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Friday, June 22, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #25

Happy First Friday of summer, all!  Or what I like to call...93 days until Fall!

It's been a stinker of a week for morning walks so Monday - Wednesday was done indoors between Leslie Sansone and Jessica Smith.  But when the weather cooled down yesterday and today, I was glad to get back out in the fresh air.

Speaking of fresh, let's get right to...

The 7 Mobility Exercises You Should Do Before Every Workout  (Yeah, these should help fo' sho')

A Trainer Says Do These 7 Things to Get the Most Out of Your Workout   (Good tips)

7 Self-Care Tips That Will Make You Happier This Summer  (Dive's the first full day after all!)

Sorry to Be a Killjoy, but the Afterburn Effect Doesn't Last as Long as You Think It Does  (Uh, did anyone seriously think it lasted 24+ hours!?!?!)

The Only 40+ Bodyweight Ab Exercises You'll Ever Need, and You Can Do Them Anywhere   (I feel an ab workout comin' on!)

Responding to Messages Immediately Is Hurting You in the Long Run  (This is all true which is why I respond to messages on my time.  Trust me, people adjust.)

Why 'Motivation Is Garbage' and What You Need Instead    (Totally true!)

Being "Dumped on a Romantic Weekend Getaway" Sparked Sian's 87-Pound Weight Loss  (Good for her!)

This Couple Started Working Out Together in Their 40s—But Had Completely Different Results  (Of course.)

The Weather Channel's mixed reality tornado lesson was actually fun  (Courtesy of the Mr.  Us weather geeks loved it!)

Here’s How We Traveled Across America For A Year Without Telling Our Bosses  ( down?)

Easy homemade salad dressing  (Makes a great chicken or steak marinade too!)

We're watching the spinning dartboard also known as a weather forecast for tomorrow before we decide on any plans.  It's looking like showers but it looked like that 2 weeks ago when we wanted to paddle, didn't and it didn't rain like they said it would.  How is it that 20 years ago we could more accurately predict the weather and now you might as well have one of these and be just more accurate...

What are you guys up to this weekend?

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Where I'm At and Where I'm Going

"11-year anniversary trip.  We got together with Sam again.  He looked so good.  He's lost 125 lbs.  He said he was talking to Iz when he was on his deathbed (Iz was a Hawaiian singer who weighed almost 700 lbs.  You've undoubtedly heard his ukulele version of Over the Rainbow at some point) dying of obesity-related problems.  Iz told him, "listen to your doctors...I wish I had.  It's not too late for you."  He died not long after.  He talked about how he would walk short distances and be so out of breath at 445 lbs.  Don't I know it.  We're on Kauai & every time we would come up one flight of stairs, I'm so breathless.  It takes me like five minutes to catch my breath.  That's sad.  There are so many things I can't or don't want to do because of my weight.  I turn over in bed, and my heart rate goes up.  WTF!?!  The smallest things are so difficult anymore and being in Hawaii only amplifies them.  I've seen glimpses of myself in the mirror, clothed and naked, and wondered who that person is.  I've seen pics of myself and this is the first year I don't recognize my own face.  I look at the sand and ocean and long to feel the sand between my toes.  Then I think of walking over to the beach, how many steps will I take before I become winded, who will be around, will they say something, will someone yell from the balcony, the walk back and how winded I'll be by the time I get back.  By then, all of the joy has been drained out of something fit, and even just overweight people take for granted.  A simple pleasure I struggle with every time I look out of the window." 

That was an excerpt of the first thing I wrote in my personal journal in 2007 on a trip to Hawaii.  That was 162 lbs ago.  I still wasn't at my biggest yet...that was 205 lbs ago.  As you can see, even as frustrated as I was, it wasn't enough to stop me from gaining another 42 lbs before hitting my proverbial rock bottom about a year later.  I'll be honest, I'm kind of proud of us for still traveling that heavy because I know so many people don't because they don't want the looks of disgust from someone praying you're not sitting by them when you're over 450 lbs.  Hell, I still get them now even under 300 lbs!  But those last few vacations were so sad in retrospect.  I remember getting most of our meals to go because I just didn't want to risk being stared at in restaurants especially if there were chairs I didn't fit in.  I once had a lady ask at a really nice restaurant if I needed an armless chair and I didn't, but she said it loud enough that everyone at about five tables heard it and looked.  I don't think she meant anything by it, trust me you can tell when they do, but still...way to put a big, fat dagger into what self-esteem I drummed up just to leave the condo for a night. 

I am so grateful that we had a wake-up call and got the extra weight off that we did.  I'm not going to lie and say I'm happy with the progress of the last 5-7 years because there has been little progress some due to injury/muscle issues and also just not wanting to do what needed to be done even though we've said it 20,000x.  It has been more maintenance.  That would be fine if we both weren't still 75-100 lbs overweight according to "charts."  We have both gained from our lowest and of course, it's always worse coming back from vacation.  He's thankfully only got 3 lbs to go to be back to pre-vacation weight, but after a freak 2 lb gain last week (pretty sure from inflammation and lack of water from heavy lifting and HIIT), I have 10 more to lose which is a pisser. 

But here's the thing, while that's utterly frustrating, I feel good about the path we're on.  I know Saturday has some improvements that can be made but I've never really felt like Saturday was our whole problem.  The lack of movement during normal days seems to be the glaring elephant in the room and I feel good about taking steps (literally) to remedy that.  It really opened my eyes to see I was getting in 230-400 steps on an average day (obviously excluding workouts).  One area I always felt I held myself back was in the strength department.  We did strength training, but I always seemed to top out at 20 lbs per hand.  Then we'd go on vacation, not do strength for one to three weeks depending on how long we were gone and I'd be back to rebuilding.  But it's like I had some mental block that made me think, "oh look how big and intimidating those 25's are...those are Mr. sized weights, not mine."  Uh, why the hell not???  I already know women cannot bulk up like a man.  I already know it can help you burn more fat at rest and all of that other crap, but I somehow felt like lifting 20 lbs was a lot more than some of my friends were lifting so wasn't that already good?  No.  It's not.  Not if I ever want to make actual progress.  Not if I ever want to see the muscle instead of feeling it through fat. 

It's been two weeks since we've been consistently lifting heavier and we can both tell the difference in each other.  I feel so accomplished when I'm done too, especially if I'm lifting the same amount as the dude on the workout.  When I'm done, I just want to like rip phone books in half and sh*t!  (Yet I can barely open a bag of cereal or lite kettle corn...what gives grip strength!?) 

While I'm grateful for how far I've come and where I am, I'm excited about where I'm going.

Where have you been and where are you going?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Beyond Meat: The Beyond Burger

After trying Beyond Meat's Beast Burger with such positive results, we wanted to try other offerings.  We didn't make it to Whole Foods for the brats, but we did see the Beyond Burger in with the regular meat and decided to see if there was a difference.

Here's the nutritional info:

It's still 4 ounces like the Beast Burger but somehow is smaller.  Like the Beasts didn't fit well next to each other in my skillet, but these did.  These are just refrigerated and not frozen like the beasts.  I got them ready to roll, and you can see they look like real meat burgers.

It would be VERY easy for someone to pick these up on accident since they're in the meat section!

They fried up like real burgers again from the crusty char appearance to the "blood" of the beet juice to the grease from the oils in the patty.

This time we put a little BBQ sauce with it, and it looked like the real thing.

But how did it taste?

When I peeled back the plastic to open these, I swear I almost yarfed!  I think maybe it was the beets, but it truly tickled my gag reflex so I was thinking of other things I could make quickly if these tanked.  As they cooked, the smell didn't dissipate much, so I was worried.  Then I took the bite, and it just tasted like a regular veggie burger.  A little Earthy, and not fooling anyone but a good alternative for those looking to go meatless.

The Mr said they were okay, but we both agreed we'd choose the Beast Burgers over these because while this made us full, the Beasts kept us full for hours after and you didn't have that awful smell to deal with.   If you're used to the Earthy smell of veggie burgers, they may not bother you at all but I'm not so it was a new experience.  :-)  Definitely, a good source of protein especially if you're looking for a soy free option.

What are your favorite toppings for a burger, veggie or not?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Two! Two noises...ah ah ahhhh

Congrats if you automatically read that title in The Count's voice from Sesame Street.

Good Tuesday morning.

When you have record temps and its not even in summer yet, I do not get good time summer vibes.  It feels like it'll be a three paddle summer and us locked inside in the A/C trying not to melt.  Speaking of the A/C, we had problems with ours, of course.  Every time it shut off, the vent wall would pop with a big metal BOOM!  It got to the point we both dreaded it coming on.  We called them to come out and fix it, and the dude put straps around the vent, and they tested it twice, and it didn't make the noise, so he left.  Well, about an hour later when it came on again on its own...BOOM!...CLINK. we had two noises!  Now we were moving into mild PTSD territory because we would both cringe when it came on and shut off.  The Mr emailed and called, and we weren't getting any response which is the whole reason we use Home Depot as a middleman.  If we aren't satisfied, HD basically tells them to fix it, or they'll yank their contract.  (As confirmed by a friend who used to work with them.)  We weren't going to play that card yet but when we did get a call, the Mr was basically given a list of things that didn't include fixing the problem, and one of them was to basically run the fan all day since it only happened when the A/C was on.  In our eyes, this is the equivalent of having a less than a week old new car and being told to turn up the radio to cover up the noise.  The Mr let him know that wasn't happening and they came out last Friday and seem to have fixed it with extra straps and weights that are now holding down the door in the filter compartment that was clinking.  It figures we go from a 22-year-old furnace that was just fine and never made a peep to a brand new one that sounded 35 years old.  Fingers crossed that solution works because we've got a year for HD to be able to put the smack down on them on our behalf and that is the route we're taking if there are any other problems.

My Lord, that leg workout we did Sunday really crippled me yesterday!  My legs were obviously sore so since it was already 75 degrees at 8am with high humidity, I kept my walking indoors with Leslie Sansone for the same step count.  I didn't think my legs could take the elevation changes and since it was my solo day, I didn't want to risk cramping in the wild with no one to punch my leg muscle while I screamed.  (I initially typed crapping instead of cramping...that would've been a whole other situation.)  Oddly, the places that hurt me most were actually my back.  We've been consciously lifting heavier, and even when you're working the legs, the act of just holding the weights pulls your back and shoulders down more than normal.  It doesn't help I've got all of that scar tissue on both elbows in one place or another so especially my left one is weaker right now, and I have to modify a bit on some or risk dropping the weight.  25 lbs on the foot would be no bueno.

On the upside, I fixed a nice breakfast when I got back.

My water sucked last week for some reason and I need to make it a priority to help aid recovery for these muscles or else they're going to hold on to every last bit of water I give it if I don't.  I also decided to give my collagen peptides another go round.  (Affiliate link)  So many people swear by it and I just didn't feel much but I was also only doing one scoop over two because I didn't want to be consuming an extra 70 calories for nothing.  That'll give me an extra 18g of protein so that's good.  I figured I would try the suggested serving size since my muscles have a hard time recovering and see if it makes a difference or not.  If not, I'm cutting it because I'm not paying $43 every time if I'm one of the people it does nothing for.

As I type this, Island in the Sun by Weezer is on.  It immediately takes me back to shopping in Corolla, NC on our first full day at this typical beach town souvenir shop and the song came on.  No idea why it stuck in my head.  I think I hadn't heard it in years and since we were kind of on an island(ish), it just felt appropriate and made me really happy.   Any time I hear it, I immediately chill out, and it puts a smile on my face.

Share a song that stuck with you in an ordinary moment and what you think of when you hear it.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Here Comes Santa...Weekend Recap

Our Friday started with the Mr biting the bullet and getting a new ride. 

He got the Santa Fe Sport at the price he wanted, and I wasn't involved, so we were both happy campers!  We spent the weekend trying to air out that cancery "new car smell" everyone seems to love so much but gives me an instant headache and makes me dizzy if I'm in it longer than 15 minutes.  It got a good amount of it out but needless to say, we'll be driving with the windows down when the weather allows to get the rest of it out.

Saturday was celebration day.  We decided to take the car for a 2 hour road trip and were very happy to see the gas mileage was more than quoted.  Who knows if it'll stay that way, but I hope so.  Drive off the lot with 40 miles, by the next evening it's got 300.  Break 'er in.  We had a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and got home right before a freak hailstorm hit.  We actually moved our reservation up so if we'd gone at the original time, the car would've been in the parking lot getting hailed on with the Mr trying to use his body to deflect damage.  We ordered some purties for it like Weathertech mats and seat covers since the paddling equipment can leave a mess for the stuff that has to go in the back seat.  Of course, there's this one horrible faux wood grain piece on the passenger side that is blinding in the sun so we have to get this vinyl crap to cover it up.  It's always something. 

Sunday, we got in an early workout which I think is going to be our new habit.  Sunday is almost always brunch day, so we'll have to earn it.  That one had us dripping with sweat, and we put in a good stretch session afterward to hopefully leave me able to get in my walk this morning.  We had brunch then went to see Grandma.  We put a more permanent weight on her flag, so it doesn't flap in the wind then got a few things at the Container Store and looked at Whole Foods for those vegan brats.  No go, so off to the regular grocery store for produce refuel, and they happened to have the faux brats!  So we got those, and when we got home, we saw the stupid bagging twit sat the watermelon on top of them and squashed them flat.  I had to reshape them, so the Mr didn't have to worry about going back.  Seriously, WHY can teenagers not bag properly!?  Then you want to bag stuff yourself, and they get all wounded, and it's like "you squash my bread, thawed brats and anything else soft that we've purposely saved until the end so tuck your lower lip back in, ninny!"  Then it was home and so glad we didn't still have a workout to do!  So I made dinner of organic, grass-fed beef burgers that were massaged with lemongrass essential oil after their long day in a pasture made of unicorn grass and baked oven fries.  Then we watched a few more episodes of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story on Amazon and before we knew it, the night was over and here we are.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, June 15, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #24

Happiest of Friday's to you all!  We're halfway through June.  How does that happen?  To quote Truvy:

But enough about the months swirling down the toilet, let's get to...

The 4 Exercises That Unexpectedly Helped Me Zap Away My Stubborn Belly Fat   (She's totally right.  When I do the first three, my core is always super engaged.)

Following These 12 Easy Hacks Will Help You Lose Weight, Not Money   (Someone needs to learn the difference between "hack" and "tip."  These are great tips nonetheless.)

The Surprising Way the Sweltering Summer Heat Affects Your Mood  (Well, I could've told them this for half the grant money for the study!)

Having a Healthy Gut May Be Key to Weight Loss — Here Are the Best Foods to Eat   (I love most of these.  Need to incorporate them more.)

Get Ready to Feel the Burn With This Kick-Ass Beginner TRX Workout   (Ooh, I'll have to integrate these into some of our routines!)

Dark chocolate likely boosts memory and mood, according to new research  (I know I always feel better after our 72% squares from TJ's every night!)

Is It Possible to Do Too Much HIIT? A New Study Says Yes  (Everything in moderation, including your HIIT!)

What It's Like to Run a 5K Completely Naked  (This is really inspiring.  Kind of NSFW if buttcracks are frowned upon.)

How the Right Diet Can Help Women Stave Off Alzheimer's  (Yes, please)

Forever Young: Why Are Adults Acting Like Children?  (I get what he's saying but using Michael Jackson and people who physically augment themselves to appear younger (which doesn't work, btw) I don't think account for even 30% of the people who do it to reconnect with their inner child to not feel the suck of adulthood.   You're fooling yourself if think our grandparents didn't wish they had an outlet for that from time to time or maybe they did and it was far more societally depraved to acknowledge back then? As long as you're paying your bills and adulting responsibly, who cares if you play a video game or ask for Hello Kitty bday cake?  So bog off.)

5 Smart Decorating Ideas to Make the Most Out of a Small Patio  (Sounds good to me!)

Parents Are Reacting To A Letter Written By A Second Grader Who Wishes Cell Phones Weren't Invented  (What's even sadder?  How many people are justifying it.  No, you don't have to stare at your kids and entertain them 24/7 but you never run out of social media and internet and if you don't have balance, your kid will suffer.  We see it every weekend at restaurants.)

13 DIY Gift Basket Ideas for Father's Day  (Cute ideas that show you really put some thought into it!  I'm sending my dad a Father's Day card for the first time in 15 years.  I hope he likes poop jokes because we're never going to have the "you were always there for me" exchange!  LOL)

I was hoping for a weekend as good as last weekend weather wise but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.  We might be able to squeeze in a paddle before the heat of the day sets in if we're feeling an early wake-up time.  We'll see.

What's on your to-do list this weekend?

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Leg Up

I'm almost at the end of four full weeks getting up at 7am (or 6:45am if I'm already awake) to walk every morning.  I want to say that I come back refreshed and mentally ready to start my day but honestly, I just get back and am happy it's done. HA!  I feel no boost of anything yet that everyone claims you get when you move early in the day.  I'm not brimming with energy, mentally clearer or any of that jazz.  Maybe I'm a late bloomer, and that'll kick in next month?  You know, when it's super hot and muggy outside.  I will say though that I'm proud I'm doing it and I know that has to seem pretty silly for those of you moving and grooving every day.  But baby steps, right?  For some of us, that's literal.

You all know that I've been having serious leg issues for the past 5 years.  I'll go through phases where I'm knocked down completely, sometimes needing to pull off of weight-bearing exercises completely and other times, needing to modify to low impact.  It has been a very frustrating roller coaster and felt so limiting.  It's no coincidence that our weight loss has stalled from that point on.  I know there are other changes I can make to inch that along but I depend on exercise to destress me and make me feel like I'm working toward something.  I was quite leery when I made this goal to myself wondering how the feet would take it.  While we didn't do formal exercise on our vacation, we did walk quite a bit and I found my feet were doing okay...well, for my feet.  So I made the commitment to do the morning walks for more steps to upgrade my status from "slug" and see how things went.

An unexpected side effect from the walking has been the improvement of my legs.  When the Mr asked if I wanted a leg massage last week, I gladly accepted.  I'd just given him one and he winced quite a bit, just like I always have.  But when he did my legs, I didn't have a single spot that made me wince, groan or even hurt.  I still roll and stretch after regular workouts but I expected to have a few spots.  My legs have been a lot less sore in a debilitating way after workouts too.  Again, this might sound like a "duh" moment to some but when you have something that hurts to do, the last thing you want to do is something that seems like it could aggravate it more and has actually done so in the past.  I think it has been more the consistency than anything to help build up the muscles that just don't usually get worked with a work at home job.   I've gone from under 400 steps daily for basically the past 10 years to an average of 5000-7000 steps with my walks and workouts five days a week.  I think that's quite an improvement.  I've also noticed an improvement in feeling from the knee down.  I regularly have to use a heating pad on my legs depending on what stage of chit show they're in.  Most times, I couldn't even feel the heat on my lower legs.  I would sometimes have to check to see if the heating pad was on because I couldn't tell.  The past week, I can actually feel the heat on my legs much better which I'm assuming is due to increased circulation.

I'm not gonna lie, there are days where I do feel sorer than others afterward, but it's nothing now that a little stretching can't help with.  If this can help balance my leg muscles so I can actually function without worrying about things going all wonky,  it would be a miracle.  (I'd probably also kick myself for not doing it sooner.)  I know it's about timing too and it's something I couldn't have even committed to before the trip just because of how ridiculously sore/crippled I would be even being out on a Saturday for lunch and say an hour of shopping.  I'd be so sore, twitchy and have throbbing arches that I was beyond frustrated.  I think it's a matter of timing and recognizing that after I made sure to stretch out my shin muscles in addition to all of the other stretching and rolling I do, that my shins weren't compensating as much for imbalances.  If this new routine allows me to get a leg up on things, I may actually be able to implement a more solid plan that will evolve based on my ability and not an injury.  That sounds like heaven to me right now.

What program change has given you more physical stamina to work your big picture plan?

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