Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 21...and Counting

As with most things in my life, a healthier lifestyle is not without it's bumps and bruises.  I do well some weeks but somehow sneak in some not-so-well days in between.  You all know I try to be active, eat well, pull happiness from the tightest spots and fight the negative with all I've got. That does not mean I succeed all the time.  Life changing events tend to take time to adapt to and right now, I'm in the adaptation stage.  All this time I have available has re-introduced some traits into my life that I thought I had said goodbye to long ago. What are those traits? The nastiest ones are uncertainty, laziness and boredom.  On this 21st day of my Conquering mission, they are giving me quite the fight.

A while back I worked on the uncertainty by telling myself that I have to live in the present and not worry about what's going to happen 5 minutes, 5 hours or even 5 years from now. I created mantras, posted quotes and journaled....anything to teach myself how to change.   I was pretty successful. For laziness I made goals that I had to work on. For each goal achieved, I rewarded myself.  The rewards included 30 minute massages, a new teacup, new tea, etc.   Small treats but they worked and it was good. Boredom was easily conquered once I took care of laziness. When you fill your time with goal related activity, you don't have a lot of time for laziness.  So I'm back to those with this shift in my daily routine. 

It's a big shift this jobless life.  With it those little nasty traits have wormed their way back into my life.  Every now and again as I'm doing a job search, or trying to decide what my next move will be, I start thinking about the future and asking myself 'What if?'  Grrrr!!! This is not a good feeling. If I have no answer and start creating all sorts of worst case scenarios, somewhere inside I decide the effort is too great and I would rather just sit here and do nothing because it's just easier. I would normally go workout to get my head back to a better place.  But uncertainty is a strong one so I do nothing and begin welcoming the lazy in. 

When I do nothing, I get bored. With boredom other things start to happen.  I start to eat. I was searching the fridge every hour on the hour with the same results. I kept leaving with nothing.  What I wanted was something comforting and offering instant gratification.  Not necessarily to fill the hunger. Most times I was not even hungry.  Now the good thing is that I don't typically have a lot of sweets, salty or greasy food in the house.  This always keeps the bad snacking to a minimum. 

Well folks, I did something a few days ago that I'm not proud of.  I had one of those days. No point in going into detail about how I got there, but I was feeling down about my progress, didn't want to do a thing about it and got bored with sitting there.  When I did decide to do something, it was a disaster.  I went to the store to get groceries and broke a few of my shopping rules.  My first rule is to never go shopping hungry. Two is never purchase it just because it looks healthy without first reading the label. The third is to stick to the list...always!  I broke most all of those rules within the first 5 minutes.

I walked into that store equipped with a list, rumbling stomach, and sugar on my mind.  Unfortunately,  I chose the entrance that led straight to the cookie aisle. Upon entering, something caught my eye. It looked healthy and made promises.  It said green tea and cranberries so I took it.  It was all downhill from there. I stayed in the middle of the store a little too long. So long that I also purchased other sweets including ice cream.  I eventually did fill the list but spent more than I had budgeted for and came home to nosh on my sweet finds. 

Feel Good About...?
What I have to say next is shameful...so very shameful (picture my hanging head).  I sat down, got caught up in a movie and ate three quarters of a sleeve of cookies. Yes I sure did!  Add to that they made me a little light-headed. I'm almost sure there was caffeine in those. But who knew? Not me because I didn't bother reading the label.  Oye! Well, it was then and there that I decided I need a swift kick in the booty to rid myself of this funky state.  So, I've made myself a schedule outlining what I need to get done and how I'm going to do it.  I re-posted the menus on the refrigerator to reduce the work in deciding what to eat for dinner.  To help with the motivation I have feel good notes tacked above my monitor.

Did I get rid of the cookies?  Of course not! I don't waste money and I do allow myself a treat every now and again. I'm still realistic about my limits and cutting out full food groups or occasional treats is not realistic to me.  I didn't get rid of them but they are not as available as they once were.  They have all been divided into the serving size, wrapped in plastic and shoved in the deepest part of the freezer.  Just in case....

So yes, day 21 of Conquering the Negative Ninnies mission should be the final day but after the above confession, I think it's going to take more than 21 days. I'm not disappointed though.  I've learned some important tactics and just have to practice them a bit more.  So, I'm good!

Quote of the day: 
If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Defending the Deal

A friend read my post a few days ago and said she thinks I could still get by cheaper if I didn't buy fresh meats and vegetable.  It was suggested that I might try packaged frozen meat and veggies. Well, I think I mentioned that I do stock packaged frozen veggies in the freezer. I have meat in the freezer as well but I don't buy the frozen varieties simply because they are more expensive.  If I purchase the frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast, I could spend anywhere between $9 and $12 bucks.  Yet I can spend much less by putting a little effort into the bone-in, fresh.  Here's an example of what I do with them. I do have to warn you, it's raw. Lol. I hate dealing with raw chicken but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

$1 per pound bone-in breast

Deboned (butchered by me)

Leaves 6 large breasts (with tenders)

Separated by waxed paper and ready to freeze.

The bones are baked and then boiled.

Results in rich chicken stock for another dish.
As you can see, I try to use most everything to maximize my dollar and I keep that in mind when purchasing a product.

Vegetables are another way to save.  Although I do buy frozen, I like to freeze my own when I find a good deal in the produce section.  I will use peppers as an example. We like the packaged frozen fajita mix of green and red bell peppers and onion strips.  It cost anywhere from $2.50-$3.00 depending on the brand.  Because we use them for more than fajitas, they last us a while and this is a good deal.  Every now and again, I find red bell peppers and green on sale and buy several.  I don't like to store all of them in the fridge because I risk forgetting them and they go bad very quickly.  To prevent this, I leave only a couple out for fresh eating. The others are chopped or sliced and then frozen.  I recently found green peppers for $.49 each and red bell peppers for $.88 each.  I sliced them along with an onion (we buy onions in bulk) and put them in the freezer.  I spent less than half of what I would have spent on the frozen package.

Now when it comes to fresh, I almost always peruse the online ads before heading out the door. Most times I find good deals....other times not. But even if the price is not the best, I get it if it's something we eat all the time.

Small, but two for $.88
Let's use lettuce as an example.  The price on lettuce seems to fluctuate more than I care for, but we eat a ton of salads (in this heat who doesn't?) so I like to have it on hand for those quick dinners. Sometimes the heads are not as large as I would like but I have to remind myself that I've saved money on several other items and this is something I know we will use.  Sometimes I can be too cheap and talk myself out of it but once I get home, I kick myself for not picking it up.

So, I hope I gave good examples of cheap yet healthy food habits. And again, I  apologize for the raw chicken picture. Hope it doesn't turn you off! Lol. Have a good day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Being The Exception

So a friend and I were watching the news and happened up on a report following the weight gain trend of couples (Marriage, Divorce Lead to Risky Weight Gain - ABC News ).  My friend jabbed me jokingly stating that I've only been married a full year and some months and that the weight gain would surely come soon. This was not the first time I have heard this comment.  Though it was nicer than some. There are also the ones that tell me because I waited so 'late' to get married, I would gain weight and never lose it.

As the husband and I were working out, I got to thinking about these comments. Would I gain weight simply because I was married?  Then of course I answered myself with a hefty 'Hell No!'  I have a theory.  For years I did a fine job of gaining weight all buy myself.  And yes, the report mentioned that a single woman living alone was among the heavier ones. I might agree with that. When I was single and living alone, I just didn't feel like physically getting up off my butt for a long time.  But then I got a dog and that changed things a little.  But that's beside the point. Back to being married.  I'm healthier now than I ever was single or dating. I mentioned to the husband that I figured it all out! He of course had no idea what I was talking about. I had to explain.

I explained that I had been wondering why it is that I am always up for working out with him no matter how tired, lazy or irritable I felt.  It is because I actually like spending time with him.  He's definitely not one to push me to do something.  I know if I said I don't feel like working out, he would just shrug and let it go.  Don't get me wrong, he will remind me of my goals if he's in the mood. But there are times when a little voice is telling me it would be best for me to lounge on the sofa, eating something sweet or salty and watch a TV show I've been missing.  It happens. But I've recently found the idea of hanging out with this awesome person (my husband) generally beats out the 'let's be lazy' voice.  And I'm glad of it.

I told my friend this a couple of hours ago on the phone. She said, 'Well, then I guess you two will be the exception.'  I said yes we will be.  I see nothing wrong with being the exception to that particular rule.  Do you?  Just because someone says it is so, doesn't make it the rule and everyone has to fall in line with it. There are several areas in my life that I am making it a point to be the exception. Why the heck should I have to be like everyone else if it doesn't appeal to me? 

So the hubby and I are just going to keep on doing what we've been doing. We understand the importance of eating clean and being physically fit and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Quote of the day: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It's an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms.”~Colin Powell

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The 'Wannabe'

I think I'm a wannabe. Yep. I'm sure I am. 

I want to be that person confidently jogging the trail, sweating but not panting and grunting for a sip of air. I want to be that person killing time on the elliptical without holding on.  I want to be that person that runs the track and afterwards hangs out on the grassy area doing crunches, lunges, push ups, pull ups and other insane moves....just because I can.  I want to be that person that can do all of these things because I love doing it. Can I get there? Probably.  Do I want to put in the work? Well...now that is where it gets tricky. 

I think I've noted before that I wish I were one of those people that liked working out ALL the time. I do like working out. But that 'like' is usually felt after the workout.  Most of the time it comes from realizing I did what I previously thought I couldn't do. Again, it all falls after I'm done.  How can I get that feeling before I workout?  I have my husband who's subtle suggestions of doing 'one more round' or '15 more minutes' push me to slightly higher levels.  But what do I do about it when he's not there?  I've tried upbeat music and it helps only occasionally. On those barely motivated days, the music only serves to annoy me.  I've tried putting quotes near me (post-its on the TV, treadmill or elliptical) that motivate but sometimes I read them and feel guilty because I know the will is not there and the message has not penetrated my stubborn and lazy mind.

Oy! What's a girl to do?  I'll just keep plugging away until something miraculous happens to get me there. Though, now that I think about it, a few years ago I was wishing and hoping I could be where I am now...pretty happy, making an effort to stay healthy and being fairly confident in myself. Hm....well, that's a revelation. OK.  I think I get it now.  Find a goal, work towards it and keep dreaming.

I know you think I'm crazy but sometimes writing it all out bring the answer that I've been looking for.  

Have a good day!

Quote of the Day:  The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt

Monday, August 22, 2011

Doing Healthy on a Budget

The husband was telling me about a discussion he heard yesterday on the city bus. He said this lady was saying it was cheaper and easier for her to buy a meal at a burger joint than it was to buy the ingredients to make a healthier meal.  Someone argued that she was making excuses and was just lazy and would teach her kids this. He said it got pretty heated but he didn't say anything because he didn't want to get involved.

So as we are walking, he's telling me his side. He says he thinks maybe the women just didn't know how to cook and that's why she thinks it's cheaper to buy fast food. Well, he might have something there. I would be the first to argue that it's cheaper and healthier to cook all meals but I actually like to cook.  I know how to cook things I find in the produce section and if I don't, I have time to research.  But that's me.  I don't have some of the obstacles others have. I don't have kids which gives me a little more room to be experimental (though the husband is picky sometimes) and I can buy a little without breaking the bank.   So, I told him I to consider all sides. If you have the time, it is definitely cheaper to buy the ingredients and make the meal. But if you aren't the best cook, are not experimental, and don't have the time to learn, I can see where you might think the alternative is cheaper and easier. 

I believe I have an advantage to the cheaper part because I've always been a thrifty shopper. Now, I don't like to shop for clothes or shoes but I love, love, love grocery shopping.  When I see something new, I more often than not get a little to try.  This has made it very easy for me to incorporate more nutrition in my cooking.   I did some shopping today and thought I would share what I found.

Because I had to make a trip to Sprouts for the french bread anyway, I decided to stock my pantry with some extra grains for granola and other meals. Along the way I found some pretty good deals. Keep in mind that I buy grains from the bulk bins and don't necessarily purchase pounds. I'm a 'scoop of this' and a 'scoop of that' kinda girl.

Bulk Bins
Steel Cut Oats ($.99), Flax Seed ($.24), Sunflower Seeds ($.75), Chia Seeds($1.76), Whey Protein Powder ($3.20).

Cilantro ($.49), 2 Green Bell Peppers ($.98), Green Onion bunch ($.49), large bag Banana Peppers ($.99 *clearance), Red Bell Pepper ($.88), Seedless Watermelon ($1.49), 2 Sweet Potatoes ($.81).

I later visited the regular grocery for small bags of almonds and walnuts ($1.50), 2 lbs lamb shank ($3.50 **clearance), 3 lbs bone-in chicken breast ($3.50), 1lb ground turkey (1.49), strawberries ($1.76) and 2 lbs red seedless grapes($1.78). 

Add to that I got five cents off each reusable bag that I used. 

Now, I have plenty of frozen carrots, broccoli, spinach, mixed veggies, green beans and berries in the freezer. This is also a budget saver as a bag of frozen is just as nutritious yet less expensive than the fresh. Yes, it all takes a little more time and effort but it is so much better and cheaper than something you can get at the drive thru. 

 I think I did pretty good and I won't have to go shopping again for a couple of weeks. 

Quote for the Day: 'You pray for good health and a body that will be strong in old age.  Good--but your rich food block the God's answer and tie Jupiter's hands.'~Persius

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 9 of the Conquer

So today, day nine of my Conquering, was pretty successful.

I hesitate to mention day eight because it was pitiful. Though I suppose I need to give some time to it.  I was pitiful. Oh, you'd have thought my dog died. I let those negatives get to me like no body's business. I don't know that I would have come out of it had the husband not sent me an instant message. I won't share that message because I'm selfish enough to want to keep it to myself for the time being. Though I did print it and put it on the fridge. It gave me the nudge I needed. But just in case that didn’t work, he texts my sister to come see me and later came home early to spend extra time with me. Bless that man. Now my sister, she was a bit more direct with her ‘cure’. She told me, ‘Oh whatever. Stop whining and get up. You are only premenstrual and you don’t even get cramps!’. Yeah, she’s a hard one but she had me laughing in no time.  Gotta love family.

That's enough of yesterday. Today was a good day. Spent an hour searching jobs online this morning. All before 8am. An hour was about all I could stand and the earlier the better. Wasn't feeling all that great so breakfast was a slice of whole grain toast and plain tea. The dogs wanted to love on me for a while so I let them. I could not bring myself to even think of doing a workout. The husband has been giving me a break on it the last couple of days and I thankfully accept it.

So while cruising facebook with a dog in lap and the other at my side, the husband gets out of bed and starts his morning routine. Eventually he comes and starts telling me about this show I missed last night. I went to bed by 8 so there was no TV time for me. Anyway, I was sitting there listening to his account of the final show of Love In The Wild. Yep...he watched that show. It was so funny listening to him with his french accent excitedly telling me how the final two teams had to fight it out. He was so into it. Telling me how he couldn't believe how much the winning couple were in love. He said, 'Oh they looove each other. Yeah....Like really loooove.' Lol. Ah...he keeps me smiling and doesn't even realize why.

Still no job and I'm getting a bit weary of people asking. It would be different if they followed it up with suggestions but no...just want to know I guess. But to their defense, my weariness also has the aid of hormonal wretchedness and just icky time. I'm uncomfortable and went from scarfing down everything to not wanting to eat anything but drink tea and juices. Maybe the drinking only phase will offset any weight gain that might have happened from the two days of insane eating.

My husband keeps telling me I need to nap in the day because I'm not sleeping well. I thought I was sleeping perfectly fine.  But I've been dreaming like you wouldn't believe. And I remember those mutha's!  I wish I could forget some of them...at least the bad ones. Like the neon green and hot pink snake that chased me.  The one last night was me and my sisters participating in a 5K.  I started it and kept changing my mind and quitting and then starting again.  We all started at different times but I don't recall any of us finishing. I remember waiting on my older sister to round the bin to cheer her on but the dream changed before that happened. It wasn't the worst dream just uncomfortable because there were so many things left undone.  So I guess I've not had the most restful sleep but I don't worry about it too much as long as the days go well.

So, because it was a good day, I welcome day 10.  Working hard to keep it positive and I think I'm gonna do it.

My quote today is dedicated to my family and friends that have been with me through all the tough times. I can only hope you know what you have done to help me.

Quote of the day: 'Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.'—Sally Koch

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Renewed Friendships (and a little Salsa and Sangria)

I mentioned to my husband a few days ago that it seemed I don't have as many friends as I thought. The fact of the matter was most of the friends I thought I had were actually co-workers. Not saying that I did a heck of a lot with them outside of work but it filled the friendship slot enough for me to not feel the need to increase the number of people I knew. 

Now that I am not working, I'm realizing those 'friendships' were actually convenient acquaintances. No one likes to say that but we all do it. When we are in school (college) or take a job, we take up with people that have little in common other than the the places we share (i.e. school or work).  It happens without us actually realizing it.  If we are lucky, we might actually get a couple of real friendships out of it but the others are fairly disposable.  Once the shared thing is gone, so is the so-called friendship. We don't feel the need to keep in touch. We might wonder about that person but we don't put forth the effort to see them.  You know you've done it.

The hardest part is when you realize you have been put in that disposable category. Does it hurt? Hm....I think it's more of a surprise. I for one never wanted to admit having put anyone in that slot but I've done it time and time again.  It's only after being one that you see it.  Once the association is lost, you don't do much to try to keep the friendship going unless you shared something other than that one association.  So, here I sit with time on my hands and no one to share it with.  I mentioned all this to my husband. He said,'That's how it is when you become a real adult. You realize the not-so-nice ways of human nature and move on.'

I decided I need to work on making some new friendships that didn't involve work. I looked into meet up groups but haven't found one that peaks my interest. I did join the running group but we only meet up a couple times a month.  But then something happened that made me rethink how I was doing this.
A long lost friend found me on facebook.  It had been 10 long years. We worked together when I first moved to her hometown. I only lasted on that job 2 months but hers was one of those work-ships that turned into a real friendship. Sometime after I quit, we lost contact because we both has some pretty heavy things going on in our lives.  But thanks to social networking, we are once again in contact. 

She invited me to an end of summer party. It was to be after 9pm on a Saturday night and the location in the less than desirable drive past downtown. I can honestly say unless it was life or death or something of that magnitude, I would normally have turned this down without a doubt.  I like my evenings clear for that 10:30pm bedtime option.  But because of the conversation with my husband and the fact that it's been nearly 10 years, I figured I would give it a gander.

We showed up at her door at about 9:15 intending on staying only an hour or so. Well, turns out there was some pretty good margaritas, an awesomely beautiful display of homemade sangria and a salsa instructor.  There was a nice mix of people and most were our age or older. You don't know how much more comfortable it is when you party with people closer to your age. And there were plenty of men for my husband to hang with.  It was truly a good time.  She and I caught up and it was like those years never lapsed.  I told her about my lack of friends in this city I've lived in for almost 6 years.  She insisted that we have to renew our bond and discover new friendships together. It was a nice suggestion and I was game.

After dancing (and sweating), drinking and meeting so many new people, the husband and I realized we had stayed well over midnight. We decided to head home.  It was such a nice time and I can say that I made some new acquaintances but I found an old friend.  I think I should consider exploring those (old friendships) a little before trying to make new ones.  I am thankful for the work-ships turned friendships, but am also thankful for the friendship of convenience. Without those, I'm not at all sure I would have enjoyed half the time spent in the classes or the workplace.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Good Days

Today was one of those days. You know the good days where everything falls into place regardless of how much you freaked out. I'm satisfied with it. I had a decent walking only workout, got some creativity flowing, had lunch with an awesome friend and got a couple more books to fill in the remainder.

The Husband and I did an easy walk this morning. No hills but plenty of sweating anyway (there wasn't even a hint of a breeze on this route). We didn't push as hard as we normally do.  I think the husband was suffering some soreness from his swim yesterday but I didn't complain. It was 7am and I my motivation was less than stellar.  Once it was over, I felt great. So glad we both pushed ourselves to at least get a 3 miler out of the way.

Here's our walk:

The quote today is actually about weight lifting but I'm using it in relation to me wanting to be fit but not exactly wanting to put forth the effort to get there.  I don't want to but I know I HAVE to.

Quote of the day:  'Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weights.'

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Through It All, I Smile

OK. So the powers that be have decided that I should kick my 21 Day action plan into high gear. It has indeed been a roller coaster day of emotions. But I must say, I think I did okay.  I got up in a chipper mood. Found that the husband had already taken the dogs out to do their business. I was feeling so good, I decided Sofie and I would go hit the trail. She pulled and barked at any and everything and was threatening my mood. In fact, she did crack it.  I was so annoyed with her, I picked up my pace after realizing she was getting tired. Yep...I did it and almost got away with it. Then guilt set in.  She only barks to protect me...uhm...herself.  Can't blame a girl for keeping her dukes up right?  So, after a while I let it go and we slowed to a fast walk instead of the jog. 

Then mid morning, I decided it was time to get some groceries. I went to the bank and because Walmart was next door, decided to fill my grocery list there. Wrong!  I got as far as the Advil and Vitamin B-12 before deciding I couldn't do it. There were so many people and kids there. All seemed to be congregating where I needed to be. I had forgotten school is about to start.  I payed for my loot and high-tailed it out of there.

Fast forward to H-E-B grocery. I had to pick up meds.  I stood in line for about 5 minutes before this little older lady comes and steps in front of me. I politely said, 'Excuse me, I'm in line.'  She screwed her full-of-character (aka wrinkled) face at me and rudely said,  'I was here first but forgot something' and turned around. I was so taken aback.  My 1st instinct was to tell her where she could go but then I talked to myself.  I said, 'Self, she's older. Probably had a hard life from the looks of it. Are you in a hurry?'  I told myself she was ancient, angry and I was in no hurry. So, I did nothing. Well....I told her the next time she leaves the line to get something, she should put a grocery cart there to hold her place because likely she won't come across someone as nice as me!  She scoffed and turned around. Whatever.

After retrieving the medicine, I pulled out my list to shop.  I was doing so well smiling and taking my time. This gift of time is great for shopping.  I had time to pick out the best produce, the latest expiration date on the dairy and sample the sushi.  I made it out of there with no more scrapes with the long-living set.

I spent the rest of the day reading, applying for jobs, cooking and some light cleaning.  Somewhere along the way, I started feeling less than chipper. No reason.  I checked the calendar and more than likely, it has to do with the Big H. Yep...hormones.  I really gotta find a way to soothe that savage beast.  In any case, the husband chose today to walk home instead of calling to let me know he was done.  He comes in and wants to know if I want to hit the trail. I told him he can't be playing with this type of heat. He already walked 30 minutes to get home carrying a heavy backpack and nothing to drink.  Besides, it was so obvious he wanted to swim.  He told me he feels bad getting exercise and me not getting any. Well, it's not like it's his fault if I don't hit the gym when he's not here.  So, I kicked him to the pool while I finished dinner.   While he was gone, I sat and sulked and whined and finally picked up my book to finish reading it.  That was a mistake because the kid in the story died and that made me tear up.  But all was not lost.

I happened to get up to check on dinner and Baxter was at my feet. He's sitting there with his left paw protecting one toy and his right protecting the other. Ears are standing at attention and he's watching Sofie who is crouched across the room intently staring at him.  She stares and then seems to lose interest and starts licking herself.  I look at Baxter and he seemed confused by her lack of interest. I had to laugh at that.

Then my husband came back after his swim and again  asked if I wanted to workout. I rolled my eyes at him and told him to go and shower already.  He goes in and gets out of his swim trunks.  I walked in on him in the bedroom.  I burst out laughing and he was confused.  I asked him if he's always worn underwear with his swim trunks. He said yes.  I smiled and walked away.

So, the point of all of this is that no matter how down I get (even when there is no reason), if I look hard enough, I will always find something to smile about.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

21 Days to Conquer the Ninny

So, I didn't get much sleep last night. I had a ton of things running up and down the hall of my mind. I read somewhere this weekend that every now and then, we should just open up our minds to all thoughts. Well, I guess it didn't stress that time shouldn't be bedtime because my body seemed to think that's when it should be. I was a floodgate of thoughts, ideas and randomness. Can't say that I got a lot out of that midnight brainstorm. I did make one decision and that was to try and create another good life habit. You might not know that a few years ago I made a promise to myself to try and smile and at least look positive regardless of how I felt. I read that if you do a thing for 21 days, it becomes habit. Well, I don't know that it took 21 days but it's been about 3 years and now it is habit. Try as I might on the hard days, I can't still my face from smiling when I look someone in the face. It did indeed become habit.

I decided to do this again. This time, it has to do with the negative thoughts that sneak in when I'm feeling lonely, weary, mad, sad, tired, or just plain beaten. You know the ones where you are just walking along and something pops in your mind that tells you that you haven't accomplished much? Or you are working out and you tell yourself that you can't do a move because you are too tired when you know your body is just fine? Or when you lose your job and know it's a good move but then there is a small voice asking 'What if...?' As positive as I try to be, even I can't stop some of those from invading my thoughts. I think I have worked hard to push them away. What I want now it to move beyond the push. I want to pummel them. Trampel them. Smash the hell out of them. Annihilate them! OK...I'm a bit dramatic but you get my point. I don't want them. They never have and never will do me any good.

I can do this. There is nothing spectacular about a negative thought. They come as fast and as simple as one can imagine. No complexity about them. This is something that should be easily conquered. No equations or symbolism needed. I figure I need to meet the 'Negative Ninnies' head-on if I wish to rid my mind of them. No more pushing them away or to the side. I just gotta get in there and get dirty and fight to the finish. And here is where the positive battle shield comes in. The NN will say, 'But can you?' I will ignore that question because those are what the NN's build on. You hear it, you think it, you start to believe it and bam! You stumble and are at risk of changing that question into 'No, I can't.' So, hells yeah I will finish and I will win.

Twenty one days to conquer this pest. Yeah....I can do it.

Quote of the Day: "Complain and remain. Praise and be raised." ~ Joyce Meyer

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Record in Breezier Times

Trees suffering in these temps...so sad to see brown.
At 730am, the husband and I slipped on workout clothes and gravel dusted shoes and was out the door.  It was a cool and breezy 79 degrees.  It felt unfamiliar after 50+ days of over 100 degree temps.  But man it was something my recent dreams have been made of. That's right...I've actually been dreaming about cool breezes and greenery.   Can you blame me?  So, anyway, it was so good, we found energy we didn't think we possessed.  We ran a little more than usual and walked faster than we have been doing.  After 55 minutes of walk/run intervals we were done.  Looking at the pedometer, I realized we had been doing no more than a 14 minute mile at any point....walking or running.   There was a little celebration of high fives and butt smacking. 

Ducks heckle us on the way home because we are forever empty handed.
Then we made the trek home.  That slow cool down walk from the park to home was probably the most satisfying one I had in a long time.  And the husband had to point out that not once did I complain. He was right.  I know he was feeling good too though. He'd been holding back for my benefit on most walks but he was able to move a bit faster today.  I'm hoping to have more morning outdoor workouts. We don't sweat as much but it is awesome for my morale. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free and Filled Days

My life is a little different since the job loss but only a little. If nothing else, I'm pushing to be better than I ever was.  This generally means trying to begin and finish all the things I have been putting off and starting and finishing new projects. Yes...this means I have confidence that something better will come along eventually.  I'm not one to sit and wait for something to happen anymore.

I completed that patio project. It is about as good as I could get on a small budget. I fully intend to add more more plants as soon as we are released from this terribly crazy thing called Summer.  I cannot see myself subjecting poor plants to these endless triple digit days.  So, I will wait until fall.  Come on Fall!

I've also upped my workouts now that I am free to enjoy the cooler morning temperatures. Sofie and I have been frequenting the less populated industrial part of the neighborhood. The scenery is not as green but there are hills and so few joggers that I don't have to deal with her vicious albeit harmless barking and snarling. We walk a very brisk pace and run a minute every 5 minutes. By the time we hit 2 miles, she's generally worn enough to walk beside me with the 'J' shaped leash. For those of you with a pulling dog, you know how much that shaped when finally achieved, is appreciated. In the evenings, the husband and I hit the trail and then the gym.
The usual suspects...Baxter and Sofie

My Dad has been with us all weekend and will be with us for the remainder of the week. He's a walker as well and can move at a pretty good pace for someone aided by a walking cane. He gets up very early and makes a mile and a half walk around the pond and then back home. I try to make it with him if I'm up early enough. If not, Sofie and I catch up to him as he's ending his. I'm so proud of the fact that at 64, he makes sure he keeps moving. I'm working to make sure I will be that and more by the time I'm his age.

I also dusted off Lola, my bike. Yes, it still feels like someone kicked my butt (Literally!) after riding but I intend to get adjusted in the near future. Maybe I will just invest in a larger seat. My trunk junk ain't no joke and that seat seems to be wanting to play one on me! But I will beat it.

I have been spending some good quality time with the puppies and that's a challenge. They expect so much out of me! I can only toss the toy and chase them so many times a day. But it keeps me moving and it keeps my mind from resting on things it shouldn't.  Between them, the projects, the gym and the husband, I have hours of activity. I'm confident I will be OK with this gift of free time.  Enjoy it while you have it as the husband would say. No need to litter it with worry.

That's about it for me.

Quote of the day: Do not put a question mark where God put a period.

Monday, August 1, 2011

July Lessons

I got this ideal from a friend who says she lists what she's learned at the end of each month. I'm a day late and a dollar short but it's all good.  I don't know what the rules are so will just list some things.

Even when I'm feeling plump, I smile because I can.

Reflection by the water really does ease the mind.

Humor and laughter always helps.

Don't ignore the warnings. They always mean something...

Excitement and action always ends with peace and quiet.

I look forward to the walk, not just the destination.

I can remember the past and still smile in the present.