Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This Old Heart of Mine

Howdy.  Remember me? Probably not since I fell off the face of the earth for a while. Let me catch up with you just a little bit.  There's no way I can cover everything but I'd like to tell you where I've been and what's been going on.

In March,  I got pretty sick. It lasted for almost two weeks,  I felt better for a few days, and then I was down again for two weeks. During that time I was in bed a lot and Chuck would pick up dinner pretty much every night. My energy was gone!  So during March I also started gaining weight at a rather rapid pace. Then it kept going.

In May I went to the doctor and was told I had high blood pressure. Not just a little high, VERY high. One blood pressure pill per day wasn't affecting it so he put me on 2 per day and sent me to an internist.

It took a couple of months to get in with the internist. They took blood, talked and scheduled a stress test on the treadmill. A couple of weeks ago I had my stress test, an EKG, and an ultrasound for my heart. There have been concerns about my insulin issues causing heart damage.

Last week I got a call about my stress test. The results show an abnormality in the electrical of the ST section of the readout. So this Friday I get to go in for a 4 hour procedure where they hook me up to an IV and inject a nuclear dye (radioactive??), do a CAT scan, run me to death on the treadmill, and do another CAT scan. There may be more but I kind of zoned out after that part of the conversation. I hate needles and I hate the stress test.

To be honest,  I'm pretty scared.  I'm scared about the test results and I'm scared about the test itself.  I think about it way too often.

I've also gotten a spot through the lottery in the Houston Half Marathon in January. The problem is that I registered right before I found out about the heart issues. I've been told by two doctors not to run until these tests clear me.  I can walk but not too hard. I can go outside but don't get too overheated. Haha! I love in Texas! In other words, put most exercise on hold.

That's the big news going on.

The heart issues were a wake up call,  plus my clothes being too tight, that it was time to get my fluffy butt back on low carb. On September 19 I began my own challenge to myself to be 100% lowcarb, no cheats, for 30 days. It was much easier than I thought! During that time I lost 15 pounds and some change.


I've tried so many amazing recipes during those 30 days and I'm going to share my favorites with you. Soon. Not all at once.

Also,  I got house chickens! I'll introduce them to you little by little.  But here's my very special hen named Peeps. They wear chicken diapers! How cute!

Happy to be back. I felt a little overwhelmed with everything for a while but I'm feeling better now and ready to get back to my old self. The old Happy Texan.

Hope y'all are doing well. Missed you

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Waking from Hibernation

It's still winter and I know a lot of my northern friends are still dealing with cold and snow, but this Texan is waking from a very long hibernation.

Let's face it: I did not participate in one single race last year. I didn't do as much as usual either. It was more of a sabbatical year for me, I guess. But I'm waking up from hibernation and ready to hit it hard again. I have so many great plans this year!

First, back to low carb. When I started taking metformin I lost all interest in most low carb foods. They seemed repulsive to me. Eggs and bacon? Gag! That's not good for a girl trying to watch her weight and health. Plus I was tired much of the time. When I wasn't tired, I was nauseated. Fun times, people.

Second, starting this Sunday I start training for my first (only?) half marathon of 2014. Rachel is on board and Charlie is considering. No word from Chuck yet. He prefers 5k and would be happy to never see another half marathon in his life. My goal race is April 4th for Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. I completed it in 2012 and I like the course plus the medal and post race party. The first 5k of the year will be the Rhythm and Blues in Houston on February 10th. Another pretty medal, bands and great party.

Third, I want to play guitar.

Fourth, update my math and French skills.

Fifth, more adventures! I phoned it in last year. Seriously. That just won't do. Life is way too short and there are so many things I want to see and do. If only my checkbook could keep up with those plans.

So let's do this!! Time to kick off the adventures of 2014!

PS: you may notice I didn't mention weight goals and such. That's because I'm not stressed at all about it. I want to feel good, look good, and have fun. I'm assuming my weight will reflect my lifestyle.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Howdy, stranger

It's been a while! How are you doing?

So much has happened since my last post. My youngest is now 13. Rachel has a job. It's crazy with all the changes going on. I guess I just needed some time to step back and look at everything going on around me. I knew time flew fast but I had no idea how fast. They say you only live once but I think I have to disagree with that. You live every day; you only die once.

I did not run one single race in 2013 and I think I'm ready to start training again. I may have gotten a little burned out in 2012 with all the races I did. Lesson learned.

I'm easing back in to blogging and organizing my thoughts. I'll be posting at least once a week. Yay! Then probably twice a week. Any more than that and you'll get sick of me really fast! ;)

Other not - so - fun things: I slipped and fell in a parking lot and really tore my knee up. I have a lovely scar now. Fortunately, there were people to witness my misadventure. Two weeks later Charlie challenged me to a race and I tripped over a root in the trail and landed face first. Face plant on the ground! Once again, my knees were torn up further but I continued the hike while blood ran down my legs. That's how bad ass I am. Call me Grace.

A new low carb cookbook is coming out with a couple of recipes I submitted. I'll tell you more about that later.

I sincerely hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Hoping 2014 is even better than 2013.

I'll be back soon with another post. And thank you for all the messages and emails checking to make sure I hadn't fallen of the face of the earth. I was just suffering from blogger's block.

See you next week!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Camping and Losing Weight

The camping trip went great but, wow, what a lot of work goes into loading, unloading, then loading and unloading again.  Still, to see the smiles on the kids' faces is all worth it. 

We rented a shelter which is just a concrete floor with walls and screen and electricity with a water faucet outside but this shelter was special: it had AC! Our friends rented the other shelter with AC and we had a great time.

Dash, my car, was loaded down with all the bags, food, a mini fridge, two canoes and 4 bikes. I don't think we could have fit another thing in to that car!

After arriving, we had to make a trip to Wal Mart to get some food and a couple of things I forgot to pack. Yeah, this was in the parking lot. 
 Then it was time to relax. What a great view we had from our little cabin.
 Charlie and I went for an evening paddle on the calm water of Lake Raven at Huntsville State Park.
 Chuck had to solo a tandem canoe but he managed.
Charlie and I made it back to a cove and an alligator splashed and went right by the canoe. It was so close we could see it! Talk about an adrenaline rush. Then there were splashes as large fish zoomed past us. I even touched something alive with my paddle. I'll admit I was a little spooked at that point.

On the way back we did get to paddle past a roosting area for great white egrets. That was really cool!

 Got back to shore and relaxed a little but we couldn't resist going back on the water one more time to see the beautiful sunset.
 It just kept getting better and better. Wow! So beautiful. Wish you could have been there.
 The days were spent relaxing...
 The kids played together, went swimming, hiked, rode bikes, paddled. It was a nice break from the daily grind of reality.
 We had a few thunderstorms here and there but nothing bad. In the evenings I liked sitting by the lake and feeling the breeze. One evening we even got a visitor. A great blue heron.
 One night we even went for a night paddle and it was so pretty with the reflection of the moon on the water.

Saturday night we had some friends come up for dinner and that was a lot of fun!
All in all, a great time.

Even though I wouldn't say I ate great, I didn't eat a lot. And somehow I managed to lose 1 pound while on the trip. Maybe it was the paddling. Surely it wasn't just sitting in a chair.

So it's Monday and back to reality. There's laundry to be done. I still need to lose 5.2 pounds in 19 days for my DietBet. I suuuuure hope I can do it! Going to do my best. :)

Hope you had a relaxing weekend too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Low Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is such an easy and tasty recipe. I didn't count how many carbs are in the dish but it's really low and it's so filling!

First, pound some chicken breasts so they're rather flat. Then saute over medium heat in a couple of tablespoons of butter with a couple of teaspoons of oil added to help with scorching. I also salt and peppered the chicken.
 I mixed about a tablespoon of dijon mustard with a tablespoon of mayo to make a little sauce.
 Brush the top of the chicken breasts with the sauce.
 Top with ham slices.
 Top with swiss cheese.
 At this point you can roll them up and secure with toothpicks but I just left mine flat. Put in 350* oven for 10 minutes and you're done!
 It's great for weeknight cooking when you just want to get in and out of the kitchen. Plus I was having a hot flash or something because I couldn't stop sweating and really didn't want to be over a hot stove.

Monday I got out for some exercise before the rain hit. I only got in a little over 4 miles but it still felt good to get out there and sweat.
Tuesday I had tickets to Bugs Bunny at the Symphony so we braved the traffic for 1.5 hours and finally got there.
They had pre-concert activities like a live band (as opposed to a dead band).
Several vendors and people giving away stuff.
They even gave away free ice cream. Don't judge. I had one. :)
We had great seats in the covered area (it's an outdoor theater) and loved every minute of the show. They showed cartoons on the big screens and played the music. Sometimes the conductor would give us a little background info or history first. The whole thing was fantastic!
It let out pretty late and we had a long drive home in the drizzly rain. Houston was lit up so pretty. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Things are going good with the DietBet. I did check my weight yesterday even though I said I was not going to do that. I was happy to see that it is going down. YAY!!!!!

Friday I'm leaving for a camping trip so I don't know if I'll be sending out a post before I go. I'll try!

Y'all have a great day!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Daily Struggles and an Impromptu Adventure

Roller coasters can make you scream obscenities in terror be a lot of fun but a roller coaster on the scale is not so fun. Summer is my weak time. I get in this Margaritaville mentality and just want to be lazy and do whatever I want with a side of fries. Fortunately, I've been staying at a pretty constant weight of fat and haven't gotten much fatter than I did over winter but I haven't made much improvements either.

But with the DietBet thing going on, there's money as an incentive. Plus I don't like to fail challenges. It's actually perfect and I am SO thankful to Helen for inviting me.

My struggles show up mostly in the evening. I do perfect at breakfast. Lunch is usually ok. By dinner time I want to have something totally unhealthy. I'm trying to learn how to cope with that. Maybe it takes time? Maybe I need to eat a larger lunch so I don't even care about food when dinner comes around? Or maybe I just need to have a menu planned so everything is planned in advance and I won't stray.

So this week will be by the menu only. We'll see if that helps with the evening struggles.

I'm also doing my best not to weigh every day. Instead I'd like to weigh only once a week so I don't go crazy (crazier). I tell you, it's hard to walk past that scale without hopping on for a peek. But I'm refraining.


I've come to realize I am a bit more flabby than I used to be. I had some pretty nice looking legs when I was running but now they're very....opposite. I'm happy to have legs that work but I miss being able to see a little muscle. Same thing with the arms.

While I know I need to exercise, I want it to be fun. Kind of like have my cake and eat it too. What? It's not wrong to want it all!

Some of my favorite "play exercises" include hiking, walking, biking and paddling. I'm hoping running will be in the list one day but for now it's not.

After spending all day indoors Saturday (thanks for the tantrum, uterus!) I decided I had to get out Sunday and do something. So we loaded up the canoe and headed out even though we were supposed to be getting a pretty bad rain storm (we didn't get any rain).
 We arrived at Cedar Hill Park in Wallisville, TX and launched on Lake Charlotte. The giant salvinia, a type of floating fern, was floating everywhere. That stuff is really bad for the fish because it takes oxygen out of the water and it's invasive.
 We paddled past huge cypress trees with their knees sticking up from the water.
 It was overcast and the water was calm. a perfect day for paddling.
 Two fish almost jumped in the boat which was kind of funny. We finally reached the northern most corner of Mac Lake after traveling through Mac Bayou and had to push our way through a lily pad infested area.
 We got to see 3 alligators, several fish jumping, lots of birds and calm waters. It was a great paddle.
On the way back I filmed us going through a heron/egret nesting area.
We paddled 2 hours 20 minutes then the thunder and lightning started so it was time to head home.

My shoulders and arms are a little sore from the paddling. What a great way to get some exercise!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

I Bet I Can Lose Weight!

Got up this morning and actually did what I was supposed to do.....exercise! Doctor demanded 15 minutes of activity every single day but I gave 21 days because I'm awesome like that.

Ok, it was just a quick ride. 3.23 miles. But it felt soooo good!

This week I received an invitation to participate in a game at DietBet (http://www.dietbet.com/). Have you heard about this? You put money in a pot (usually $25) and you have 4 weeks to lose 4% body weight. Anyone that accomplishes his/her goal is a winner and splits the pot. If you don't succeed, you lose your money. 

You have to send in a full body shot and a pic of of your feet on the scale along with a piece of paper with a special word that they give you. You submit your photos then start losing weight with the group. That's it. What great motivation! 

So I'm betting that I can lose 8.1 pounds in 4 weeks. You think I can do it?
I know I can because...

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty awesome. And I've lost 4.1 pounds since Tuesday! It may be mostly water weight but it sure is motivating.

Have yourself a great weekend. I hope to have even more good news and a couple of new recipes to report Monday.

***I used a blogger app to write this so I have no idea how this will turn out.***