Friday, January 31, 2014

Links to help your Friday go by quickly

The weekend is here!  Woo hoo!

I've been perusing a lot of schtuff this week so let's get to...

What To Do With Your Free Samples: 6 Clever Ideas  (You can also donate shampoos and such to women's or homeless shelters)

The Celebrity Voices Behind These Cartoons Might Surprise You  (Wow, 80's/90's cartoons had some famous voices!)

Buy these 15 things at a dollar store  (We are fascinated by the dollar store now.  We only started going last year)

Twin Brothers Put Diet Crazes to Ultimate Test  (Interesting experiment)

Weatherman "Nut Shots" Would Be Attacker  (Even if you've seen it, it's still fun to see it again.  Nut shots=funny as long as you're not the one on the receiving end)

Why Myrtle Snow Should've Been Supreme  (I hate animated gifs but still a good read.  Francis Conroy rocks)

21 Reasons Why Old People Are The Best People On The Internet  (Old people rock.)

41 Guilt Free Super Bowl Snacks  (or Puppy Bowl depending on your preference)

A Facebook Campaign Simulated Alzheimer's, and It Will Stop You in Your Tracks  (PLEASE watch this video!)

Bruce Lee's Best Productivity Tricks  (For the Mr and other BL fans)

Visual Workouts  (A fun way to mix things up)

Global Warming in 15 seconds  (Kind of terrifying)

H2Know: What’s Really Happening When Your Body is Dehydrated?

How Eating More and Moving Less Helped Me Lose Weight And Transform My Life  (It's one way to go)

Long-Lost 'Grease' Hot Rod Found... for Sale!  (I wish!  My grandpa would've poo'd over this one!)

See The Shining twins today  ("Come play with us, Danny")

Scorned Wife Who Donated Kidney to Husband Wants it Back. Whaa?  (Note to the Mr.  I know you wouldn't cheat but if you ever need an organ from me, an extra cheating clause will be added and you'll be expected to fork it back if you put your wiener where it shouldn't be!)

The Best Way to Take Care of Your Non-Stick Pots and Pans  (I know I shouldn't use cooking spray but that "non-stick" surface is a load of crap and has ruined more than it's share of food with each new set.)

Vin Diesel Dancing Really Bad   (I know the internet is in love with this video but this felt like I watched a really bad stripper and needed a shower afterward.  Heebie jeebies)

Check out the Puppy Bowl starting lineup!  (awwww!)

I think the cold is letting up a bit this weekend so I want to get outta here, yo!  I need a change of scenery instead of seeing the house all the time.  But I hear snow could be making a comeback next week so I'll keep the snowshoes handy!

Any plans for the weekend?

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mushy surprise

When the Mr came home, he handed me the mail and there was a card from him.  Then he told me to close my eyes.  When I opened them, this little guy was sitting in front of me...

It is so cute and it has special meaning to us because it was our dog's favorite toy.  We got her a similar one when she was a puppy and replaced it every time the squeaker got punctured or it was in it's last legs after many mend jobs.  We both laughed that she would be going NUTS over it and would try to take it from me or we'd have to buy her one even though it's 1/3 of her body weight.

It was very sweet and I love getting romantic cards and/or gifts for no reason.  It makes me feel gooey inside...and not because I'm fat.

What romantic thing has your honey done for you lately?  What was the most romantic thing they've done for you?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Unhip to be square?

The Mr and I were talking the other night after a workout about how lucky we are to have found each other so young.  We also were thankful that we share the same views when it comes to things like drinking, drugs and tobacco and how we're treated by 99% of people we encounter because of those views, particularly the fact that we don't drink.

*Allowing people to process that since it seems to be akin to revealing you have a third talking boob*

That's right.  The Mr and I don't imbibe and people have no problem having all kinds of negative reactions to that.  We've heard it all...

"What, you think you're better than me?"

"Why the hell not?"  (accompanied by major grimace of disapproval and reasons why we should)

"Here, I'm going to order you a drink."  (It's your $8 pal while it sits on the table watering down)

Or some people will flat out walk away.  That's right.  We've been deemed so completely uncool because we don't have a drink in our hand that we're no longer fit enough to breathe the same air space.  Screw you dude/lady.

The one that always cracks me up is this one..."Well I don't drink all the time either.  It's not like I'm a drunk or some alcoholic or something.  I mean, I just drink socially, you know how it is."

I do not need you to justify to me why you drink.  I don't care.  But let's also not tell me all the time that you don't drink when half of your Facebook feed is full of the alcoholic beverage in your hand at the moment and looks like you work in a brewery.  I get those a lot.

When I was a kid, I went through the normal phases where you try to "be cool" to fit in.  I pretended to smoke so the rebel guy would like me in middle school when the fact is, I never inhaled a single time and could probably count on two hands how many times I "smoked" a cigarette.  I've probably smoked a total of two full ones in my whole life.  Most of the time I just flicked it to give the appearance of smoking.  It didn't work and the guy is probably in jail anyway...he was a real hood in every sense of the word.  Puppy love.  Misguided, blinders on puppy "love."

*rolling eyes*

I hung around so many concerts, rock bands and friends that smoked pot that I probably got a contact buzz or two back in the day.  But the smell of pot makes me want to puke and makes the person smoking it smell like an armpit.  So yeah, not sexy to me.  I always stood my ground when I was a teen about not smoking it and people never tried to force it on me so I'm grateful I never caved into that.

As far as alcohol, I've had family members drink from when I was a kid to adulthood and I hate the way people act when they're sloshed.  Dudes tend to get a little stupid or "handsy" and women act a fool.  The Mr had similar issues and even had a family member ruin several weddings because he was so drunk.  You can imagine it was no surprise we had a "dry" wedding which was noted in the actual invite..."non-smoking, non-alcoholic reception to follow."  That way people knew not to expect to come to our reception and get free booze.  You got water, tea and punch...period.  You know what?  To this day we still get people saying it was the best reception they ever attended.  The dance floor was overflowing and people were dancing between tables.  It proved we made the right decision and stayed true to our beliefs.  The people who just couldn't take it left early and that was one couple and they weren't missed.

We still marvel how after all these years, we still get so much shit for not drinking.  His co-workers look at him like he's a cyclops and I've told my former co-workers to let me know when they get together for dinner in a place that's not a bar like the first big gathering.  Oddly enough, when another one was attempted to be arranged at a regular restaurant, it was cancelled due to lack of response.  Curious.

Personally, alcohol gives me an instant headache, like a migraine unless it's cut with something like soda and even then it's a crap shoot.  Not worth it to me.  The only time I haven't experienced that was a few months ago when I cut some spiced wine with ginger ale.  Ring a ding.

Even though I've told people about the migraines, they still give a look like I'm making an excuse.  The Mr's co-workers try to make him feel like he's somehow not a "real man" because he doesn't come home and crack open a cold one or go out with the guys after work to watch them all drink.  It would seriously be easier for us to tell people we're recovering alcoholics than to just say we don't like to drink.  That's sad.  I don't get the obsession or why people have such a strong opinion as to why we don't drink or make fun of us because we don't.  There's no real point to this, just an observation and I didn't know if we were the only people on Earth who don't imbibe.

Edit:  To clarify, the people who say something to us are not our friends.  (Some of our friends may feel the need to justify why they drink but our real friends don't care that we don't drink.  These are strangers or co-workers of ours or friends of friends type situations.  I wouldn't hang out with people who were that idiotic to constantly question our choice.)

Anyone else out there not drink?  If so, do you find yourself being treated differently because of it?

**Please note, I'm NOT judging people who drink.  If you drink, I don't care and don't feel like you have to justify it in the comments or email me.  I'm just curious if anyone else doesn't because we truly feel like we're the only ones who don't!**

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Eats, eats everywhere and snowed in

I figured since I bothered to take pics of my dinners last week, I should probably share them.  

Maple Sriracha Chicken over a bed of spinach and arugula
If you want the recipe for the chicken, click here.  I just used the same recipe but used Ian's whole wheat panko seasoned with red and white pepper.  I'm not a big salad for dinner person but we both agree, this was to be added to rotation.

Chili with cornbread
Tuesday and Wednesday were chili and cornbread.  I was having a serious hankering for cornbread and fit it into the calories.  The first night I put the cornbread into the bottom of the chili bowl to soak up the goodness.  Yum!

Spinach ricotta ravioli with a side of brussels.  
We had two movies to fit in that night so it was Trader Joe's frozen ravioli and a side of brussels.  10 minutes and dinner is ready.

Orange roughy over thai lime rice and a side of brussels.
I love orange roughy.  That is all.

The weekend was spent being snowed in most of the time.  

Before the snow hit, we decided I would be the restaurant and I had a hankering for Cheesecake Factory's good ol' days when they carried Mile High Meatloaf.  They stopped carrying it about 10 years ago and still have a different version but it's nowhere near the old one.  So I decided to search the web, got the recipe (or a reasonable rendition) and remade the dish.

Yes, it was a bit much at just under 1000 calories but it was our high cal day and it was well planned.  Cheesecake Factory's version clocked in at well over 1700 calories and 1600+ milligrams of sodium.  Mine was 975 calories and 940mg of sodium so I call that a pretty good makeover.  It's not something we can have all the time of course but to satisfy that old craving, I'm down with this version!

The next day we found ourselves under a total of 7ish inches of snow.  We decided our workout would be snowshoeing and it was a great outing.  Before we headed out into the weather and crappy roads, I made a pepper jack and cheddar grilled cheese and tomato soup (for me- chicken soup for him).  It was the perfect thing to get the bones prepared for the great outdoors!

Sometimes the universe has a way of telling you to slow down, enjoy time with your favorite guy/gal and snows you in.  I think I rather like being forced to slow down with my favorite guy.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, January 24, 2014

TGIF and What I'm Reading This Week

It's Friday!  Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah boy-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  

If you said it Flavor Flav style, you nailed it.

Remember when I said I was taking my tree down last Friday?   I lied.  It didn't come down until Tuesday.  Oops.

Never mind that...let's get to...

Widower Pays it Forward to a Couple Who Reminded Him of His Marriage  (The Mr told me about this one and I finally found it)

Seven Things You Should Never Say to a Dog Owner  (Word)

16 Signs You're a Little (or a lot) Type A   (*raising hand*)

Why Eating a Little Slower Could Help You Lose Weight

Before and After:  Old hutch makeover  (LOOOOVE this!)

What Happens To Your Body After Just One Workout  (Interesting stuff)

Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow) Reveals celeb crush and go to karaoke song...makes me lust him more.  (Watch the first video)

14 Things We Learned from Bill Murray's Reddit AMA   (I <3 Bill Murray)

33 Fascinating Stories Behind Famous Songs  (Sometimes annoying messengers but the stories are interesting)

Why Are We So Obsessed with the 80's?  (Courtesy of the Mr...oh and the answer to that is because THEY ROCKED)

6 Surprising Things That Can Influence Your Dreams  (Stomach sleeping could be intriguing)

Cut the Crap:  5 Simple Ways to Start Decluttering  (I need to put this into action)

What Causes “Old Person Smell”?  (Pass the Bengay and I'll complete the aroma in a few decades)

4 Benefits of Writing by Hand  (Break out a card and write someone you love, it's good for your brain!)

How The Rock Proves He's Really a Softie

No real plans for the weekend.  It looks like we're going to get some weather so a little road trip I wanted to go on will be postponed.  Sigh.  So we'll be winging it and I'll report back Monday.

Anything on the agenda for the weekend?

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

The motivation myth

For years I have been asked about how you get motivated enough to lose 200+ pounds.  The Mr and I did countless diets over our lives both before and after we met.  From Cabbage Soup to WW style programs to the low fat craze of the 90's.  Dieting has been a part of my life since I was young.  My mom was always dieting at one time or another and the smell of yogurt makes me want to barf because 1) it reminds me of the times that would be all she had for breakfast and 2) that chit is nasty.  All I saw when she dieted was deprivation and I continued that train of thought because back then, none of us knew better than thinking 70 calories for breakfast might not have us become seething beasts by dinnertime.  I had plenty of things that could've motivated me to lose weight over the years.  In high school, just having a school boyfriend wasn't enough to kick me into gear after two failed pseudo-relationships my freshman year.  When I finally got serious my Senior year is when I met the Mr and we both just lost about the same amount and even though we were still fat, we accepted and loved each other.  Why keep dieting?  We gained weight as the blissful dating period carried on and then came the engagement.  Surely a wedding would be enough motivation to lose weight, especially when back at that time bridal gowns went up to 24 with one or two bland ones thrown in for the 26 girls.  Well you know how gowns run smaller?  Well I was a 26 and bought a 24 that fit like a 22 and with a 2 year engagement, surely I could get the weight off.  Nope.  I should've been at GOAL weight for my wedding and had to sell the dress to get another one but I was basically the same weight I was when I bought the dress which meant gussets and darts.  For those not down with alteration lingo, that meant they had to add panels to the sides so my big azz would fit into it.  I look at our wedding pics and I still see how ill fitting that dress was and it makes me sad.

After many family issues from diseases and deaths and eating our stress and eating our feelings...had a good day, had a bad day, had a boring day...ate our feelings we got to maximum density.  Even becoming a hermit and literally not being able to fit into society anymore at restaurants, first class plane seats with discomfort (don't be fooled, first class seats aren't much bigger than coach), not being able to fully enjoy vacations we paid stupid money for or feeling like people were staring even when they weren't was NOT ENOUGH motivation to lose weight.

The only thing that did it for us initially at 494 and 455 lbs was the Mr having a health scare and it was weight related.  It finally caught up with us and because I loved him more than myself, I knew we had no choice but to do something.  Was it motivating when the weight seemed to melt off and the compliments flowed like fine wine?  Sure.  Of course it would be.  But then we "settled in."  Life gets better, we can do things we never thought we would be able to do, we can walk confidently down a street without fear of someone yelling at us because we're not the biggest people there anymore and walking to the kitchen doesn't make us winded.  Then the compliments stop and it's not like we need them to know we're doing the right thing but that "shine" of the journey has worn off.  This is just life now and even though we want to be smaller, we say things like "I want to lose more but if I *HAD* to stay this weight the rest of my life, I could be okay with it."  But it's not really okay.  We went off the rails over the holidays and some of it I don't regret.  I don't regret having an uber college football shindig with a friend where I made way too much food or going out with the Mr's mom mid week to a horrifically calorie laden meal and sharing turtles from a chocolatier from their old neighborhood.  I don't regret the cups of hot cocoa while watching the Christmas lights every now and then.

But even after all of the indulgences comes that feeling of just being uncomfortable.  Things fit tighter.  The rings don't slide around like they usually do, the jeans fit different, hell...the underwear fit different, those more hollow parts of the body are now filled back in with bloat, inflammation and fat.  I stuffed my face with every cookie, candy and sweet I wanted over the holiday season.  No, I have no idea how much I really gained because we both knew if we weighed ourselves at the time we made a plan that it could send us into a spiral even further downward.  We made up some rules about how we were going to approach Saturdays and the weeks ahead and we said he had to support each other no matter how ugly it got.  Then we went all Nike and just did it.

We were not motivated to do it.  Far from it.  I actually resented having to do it.  We might've exercised throughout the holiday season but my heart wasn't in it and I'll be honest, sometimes it rarely feels like my heart is in it.  I try to catch myself when I feel like I'm half assing it and push a little harder because I know going through the motions doesn't burn crap.  I get tired of having some of the same old dishes but I'm not always motivated to think of something else.  I did do a new dish this weekend on the fly and we both liked it but it was out of using what we had left not because I felt creative.  It doesn't matter that we have a vacation coming up within the next few months because do you know how many vacations we've tried to lose weight for?  ALL of them.  It doesn't matter that a decade ago I told myself that by my birthday this year I'd better have been at my goal weight for at least two-three years by now.  I'm probably two really angelic years off from that and it sucks.  But honestly, I'm at an age where I can't rely on cutesy things like looking good in a dress or a reunion or some crap like that.  I mean, if that works for others, more power to you.  You're better than I am.  But don't wait around for some kind of motivation voodoo that they try to sell you to get healthy that likely will never show up at your door.  You don't do it because you're motivated to do it, you do it because you're a grown ass woman or man and when you check off your daily box of "to do's", you should be at the top of the list.  Because if you're worried about everyone else, you're not doing them any favors by keeling over and leaving them because you couldn't "find time" to exercise or eat better.  If we can "find time" to catch up on the DVR, crush fake candy on the phone, gripe to a girlfriend or any of the other things we seem to make time for then we've got time to exercise or plan meals for the next day/week.  Not because we're motivated and gung ho with pom pom's in our hands but because it's what needs to be done to get us to where we want to go.

I want to keep making good decisions and learning and improving this weight loss adventure and not give in to thoughts like 'it's not a race' or some other excuse we tell ourselves to justify how slowly we're losing because we're not really doing everything we can to get the job done.  But I'm not getting any younger and just the regular affects of aging are starting to rear their heads here and there.  I don't need to add still being 100 lbs overweight to that.  If you told me 7 years ago when we started this whole thing that I still wouldn't be at goal, I probably wouldn't have bothered to start because that would just be depressing to be that long in and still not in a healthy weight range.  For 3 years we've stayed relatively the same and last year I started the last month of the year at the same weight I came into the year.

That sucks.  Period.

I used to wait for that motivation as an excuse to do something.  It never came.  Instead potentially life threatening repercussions started throwing pebbles at our window and that doesn't just happen to the super morbidly can happen to anyone choosing to not get committed to a plan and stick to it.  I care about each one of you and I want you to put YOURSELF first.  I care about the Mr and I living a good, long life together that is going to be fun to look back on when we're on the front porch resting after a kayaking session when we're 90.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some meals to plan and maybe some exercise too because I've slacked on pre-planning that and that needs to stop.

What steps have you/will you take to get on track and stay there?  Are these just words or will you put them into action?

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Home Sweet Home?

My grandparents live relatively close to us.  When they go to their winter home, we keep an eye on the place, start the cars, check pipes and that kind of thing.  We've done this for 17 years.  We noticed something needed replaced there so we ordered the part and got it the other day and Sunday we headed over to replace it.

Last year when they went, Grandma didn't recognize the home they bought the year before.  She became scared and agitated and wanted to come home.  So three days later they packed up and spent the winter here.  Grandpa wasn't happy because if it was up to him, he'd leave in October and come back in May.  But keeping her calm was the objective and honestly, we were glad they were back.  They're really not in any condition to be so far away in a new neighborhood where they haven't established relationships with people yet to look after each other.  So it was like they never really went last year.  This year she seems to be adjusting and they've been gone for two weeks so all looks good for Grandpa to enjoy his escape to warmer weather.  I think he knows it may be their last time down there.

You know that saying about making a house a home?  There are many things that go into that from the way you decorate to the smells that people's homes have to the energy in the house.  Even when people aren't there, there is an energy to a space left by the people who live there.

While the Mr was working in the garage, I went in the house to check on things.  I've always loved the smell in there.  You know how older folks homes smell?  Well, their home doesn't smell all antiquey or anything but it's a smell that if it was bottled I'd know it was their house.  It's a scent I can't put my finger on mixed with Grandma's favorite perfume, White Diamonds.  I noticed immediately while it still smelled pretty much the same, something was different.  It didn't smell as heavily of White Diamonds.  This means she's not putting it on and he's not putting it on her.  I went over to her jewelry box I used to obsess over as a kid and opened the drawers.  She moved most of her jewelry to a bigger one she got but the little flippy piece inside still had this old frosted apple necklace I seem to remember from childhood.  I checked the closets and saw old sheets she had in the 80's that I thought were so fancy back then.  I saw the old hamper that sat in her room as long as I can remember in their closet sitting empty.  In the guest room, old Christmas decorations including a blue church that lit up.  She always sat it on angel hair.  Remember that stuff?  It would cut you if you weren't careful!  I learned that the hard way.

I checked the new messages on the machine and one of them was from the cemetery telling them the deed to their graves was ready.  I broke down.  I was glad they were planning ahead but this sealed it that he knows this needed to be done.  As I was looking at all of this stuff in the house, I had the worst feeling.  I was overwhelmed with sadness.  She was gone.  The difference between watching her house from the last time we did it over the whole winter to this time is the last time she was just starting her journey with dementia but all of the things that made up her personality were still there.  This time, I might be lucky for a single moment of her old personality before she drifts off.  This time when she comes home, she won't be coming home.  It felt like going through the house of someone who had passed away.

This isn't one of those things that can be remedied with a peppy "but she's still HERE, you need to enjoy her while she's here" from someone who hasn't gone through it.  Trust me, she's not here anymore.  Those going through it know that once their personality is gone either from the disease or the meds that keep them in that haze, that it is like going through a slow death.  I felt compelled to go through her cookbooks and take pics of the 2-3 recipes she had handwritten in there.  I took pics of the ceramic "Marilyn" her mother made in class and is slated to go to me as I've been obsessed with it since childhood and she wrote my name on the bottom years ago.  I took pics of great grandma's cookbook that goes to my mom, which is funny because she does NOT cook but I know it's the sentimentality of it all.  It's just the most surreal thing to be mourning the loss of someone who is still alive.  It was also like there was a heaviness in the the sadness and toll this is taking on my Grandpa is leaving it's mark on the house.  I don't know how to describe it but the house is changed.  It feels like if it could cry, it would.  I know that sounds insane and I hope no one ever has to know what it feels like to walk into their parents or grandparents home and feel that change.

(This post is part of a "series" I do to help educate others about families living with a loved one suffering through dementia/Alzheimers.  You can read more hereherehere and here.  If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with this disease, please consider getting the book The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss.  (affiliate link) This book was recommended by my grandma's neurologist and it is amazingly informative in what to expect with the disease.  It is available in book, Kindle or audiobook form and is highly recommended by our family)

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, I will get a nominal kickback to help with blog expenses.)

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week #2 Report Card

Last week was a good week overall.  I got my water in every day which is still a feat for me.  I notice I'm slacking this week as far as when I'm getting it in.  Sunday night I had a little left to consume but didn't because it was so close to bedtime.  Last night I didn't finish my first bottle until 8pm.  I've got to stop that and just chug it in the morning to get it out of the way.  I don't want to drift into that danger zone.

Last Sunday would've been a perfect Sunday if we hadn't gone into this party store.  It has this row of loose candy.  You know, crap like Snicker bites, pixy sticks, Hershey kisses, etc.  The Mr was avoiding the aisle and I laughed and said "avoiding the candy aisle eh?" and he said he didn't want to tempt us.  So what did I do later?  Went down the candy aisle.  What did we do?  Got shit we didn't need.  *rolling eyes*  I got a fun size Crunch bar, mini Reese Cup, Mini Snicker Bite and a Smartie.  That coupled with the 100 calorie dark chocolate we split from Trader Joe's earlier and we consumed an extra 224 calories we didn't need.  Sigh.

We threw in two new workouts last week and that was good to help break up the monotony of our workout routine.  The Mr was also forced to work an extra 4 hours after he was supposed to be off Friday night and it would've been real tempting to skip our planned yoga because we don't really burn much doing it.  But we went down at 9pm and did it anyway.  I needed to stretch out and I think he probably needed to relax after that idiotic call.

Saturday was decent in some ways and a failure in others.  The Saturday before we went over our designated calorie range by 150 cals.  We thought it wasn't too bad given it was the first weekend back into it.  This time?  We went over by 238 calories.



Well even though we split a meal at a restaurant, that gave me the idea that we could have an extra sweet.  It wasn't until we figured the calories later that we saw it was over before we ate dinner.  Could we have adjusted dinner?  Yes.  Did we?  No.

So yay for splitting and "seriously" for not adjusting.  God, you'd think we were new at this crap.

On the upside, I see physical changes happening and my legs look almost back to what they were before the holidays...crepey and the hollows in the inner thighs are re-appearing.  Also, the arms don't feel quite as tree trunkish as they did last week but the batwings are still clapping a little louder than before we dove head first into doughy gluttony.  I'll take whatever improvements I can get.  I'll feel better once these one jeans I have fit a little better.

Anything to add Mr?

Well I am proud that I improved 100% on the tracking this past week. I also had a lot less in the way of cravings so it made life easier in terms of sticking to what I had pre-planned. I also measured everything ahead of time to ensure that my tracking was accurate. While my calories continue to be a little higher than I want them to ultimately be, I wanted to at least get into a good groove of 1800-2000 calories a day and I have done that for sure. I may give myself a few weeks before I try to go down much further but I think that if I can get to the point of eating 1800 max per day then I should really be able to see some results. From a water standpoint I can honestly say I am firing on all cylinders there again. Trips to the bathroom are proof of such. I guess my only disappointment overall would be Saturday being higher than we wanted it to be... again. So we know what to work on there but I am very happy with the direction we're headed regardless.

There you have it.  Working on getting to an A someday.

How would you grade last week?  What do you need to improve on?

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Childhood wrong corrected, no contingency and sunsets

This weekend was a good one.  When the alarm went off Saturday at 7am, I was so not ready to get up.  But we had to in order to try to be at the marketplace as early as possible.  We had a few errands to run too so we had to haul our butts outta bed.  We got there about 20 minutes after they opened and I told the Mr we could head to the back first where he usually finds the stuff he likes like old toys.  He's always on the look out for some of the toys his mom sold or gave away to cousins with the promise he'd "get them back."  We all know how that goes.  "Oh, would you like your Luke Skywalker back with his head chewed on and missing a foot?  No?  Sorry!"

Well, he hit the mother lode with the Star Wars carrying case he had as a kid as well as a goodly amount of original figures in great condition.  He talked the guy down by $20 and later he checked with a Star Wars expert he always checks out when we go and he told him he got a really good deal and told him what he'd sell it for and he would've sold it for twice what he paid so that made him feel good.  What'll make me feel good is him selling off his newer action figures that have been binned up for years and never quite upped their value as much.  So he's a happy manus.

I don't know why but these industrial whisks caught my eye.  I thought they would make some pretty awesome sculptures if you had the room for them but at $145 a piece, I'll let someone else get that privilege.

I did come across my old Holly Hobbie easy bake oven and it was in pretty good shape and a great price.  I kind of regret not getting it.  I don't know if I have room to store it or not but I'll have to poke around in case I can find the vendor at a show next month.

We went to this great burger joint in town and split a burger and fries and I asked if we could swing by the Asian market a few doors down.  The 9 year old boy in me came out...

We ended up buying a bag of whole, dried chilis and I chopped them up in my new Cuisinart for some won ton soup and a pinch of that stuff is enough to make the Mr cry.  It was good and will be awesome in stir fry.  I'll need to find a way to make a lower salt General Tso's sauce.

We did some of our grocery shopping (Target and Trader Joe's) so that we could sleep in on Sunday.  I wanted to be lazy and not get to TJ's at 8am and decided to enjoy our usual bigger Sunday breakfast.  We headed to an open house of a place we've seen before.  We were going to offer something contingent this time last year and the realtor scoffed and said they wouldn't even consider it.  Funny, you haven't sold it in a year so whose scoffing now, ya lil effer??  I'm pretty sure this little old Asian couple have lived there since the 60's.  It's got that old grandma smell to it that I love and a HUUUUUGE basement area for the 80's arcade we want to do.  But there are so many renovations to be done and we kind of like our vacations so they'd have to drop it by another $30K for us to even consider an offer now.  When it comes down to it, it's really only the basement we're in love with and not the rest of the house.

As we were picking up the last of some groceries (everyone seems to be out of Brussels sprouts...WTF!?), I couldn't help but snap this beautiful pic of the sunset.

The pic doesn't do it justice because it's a crappy phone pic but the sky looked like it was on fire.  It was gorgeous.  I want to make an effort to watch the sunset more like they do in Hawaii.  Everyone pulls over on the side of the road or if you're in a restaurant with a view, everyone has their camera out and cheers when the sun disappears under the water.  We need to remember we don't need to be surrounded by water to appreciate nature's beauty at the end of the day.

What did you do this weekend?
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Friday, January 17, 2014

O Christmas Tree and What I'm Reading This Week

Well, the time has come.  The tree comes down today.  I know, I know but everything else was taken down earlier this week and I just couldn't find the motivation to take the tree down.  Plus it's a great way to start off the dark mornings by plugging it in which I just did for the last time. But last night was wonderful.  I pre-planned a cup of hot chocolate for our snack, put on some of our favorite Christmas songs from this year, I cried like an asshat and we spent two hours reminiscing about Christmas past with a fresh blanket of snow on the ground.  A wonderful way to seal the season and the Mr says I can keep up the ceramic tree on the mantle until I'm ready to take it down.  I will miss you Christmas tree...

309 days until I put it up again!  :-)

Don't judge me.

Now let's get on to...

10 things the weight-loss industry won’t tell you

1970's San Antonio house is frozen in time  (I want to live here.  Watch the whole slideshow)

Egg Whites vs. Egg Yolks: Which Is Healthier?

Boost your mood (for free!)

Jennifer Lawrence Wanted to Kiss "Batman" Christian Bale In American Hustle, Not "Fatman"  (Kind of irritated by this given she's always so adamant about people not calling her fat.  I don't think it's any better to call a dude fat.  Practice what ya preach sistah!)

The Truth About Common Nutrition Myths

Prank victims attacked by horrible mechanical devil baby  (Courtesy of the Mr.  Pretty funny)

The Ultimate Warrior to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame after 18-year absence (Yes I was a late 80's/ early 90's pro-wrestling groupie.  They were hot back in the day)

Hipsters Love Beer Video Pokes Fun at Beer Snobs Everywhere  (I cracked up because our town is OVERRUN by hipsters and we have a craft beer place practically next door.)

The Cheapest Way to Step Up Your Bodyweight Workout

Why You Should Never Buy Disposable Water Bottles Again [INFOGRAPHIC]

13 Clever Ways to Save Money with a Slow Cooker

Welp, that's that.

Tomorrow we're going to this big antique warehouse marketplace.  Can't you just hear the Mr's jewels shrivel?  Oops, did I type that?  Not sure what else we have planned.  We've got a dude coming in to give us warranty service for our fridge and oven today.  Gotta get it all in before the extended warranties poop out next month.

What's on tap for your weekend?

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Breathless Body 3: HIIT It Big

I got several new workout DVD's for the holidays, bought a few and since last week was focused on re-building strength, this week we put a few of the new ones in the mix.  The first new one I'm not going to review yet because it would get me in trouble.  The venom I spewed while doing that workout because we didn't know you could turn off the instructional mode was epic.  We will do it again as a full workout as it was intended and when Aunt Flo vacates because honestly, I think I should not do new workouts when she visits.  It skews my reality.

But last night's was good enough that I feel okay in reviewing it.

Breathless Body 3: HIIT IT BIG (affiliate link) is one of the ones I bought.  We own a few of Amy's DVD's including Breathless Body: The Ultimate Calorie Burn , Breathless Body 2: The Edge and Raise Some Bell: The Ultimate Kettlebell Workout.  (affiliate links) Her style is in the vein of Tabata/HIIT for most of her stuff.  She wants you to push but she does give modifiers which is why I got this one.  The preview looked good and I know even though I'm a little more limited in what I can do with the leg issues, the Mr shouldn't have to suffer.

This, like others in the Breathless Body series has three levels of intensity.  A beginner with lower impact, a moderate tempo which is what she usually demonstrates and then a super human version that should only be done if you like to punish yourself or you do cross fit and are used to that kind of "fun."  I usually vary between the lowest level and moderate depending on the type of exercise.  On this one, she had two particular plyometric exercises that would've left me in pain today so I modified and during "breaks" I would do speedbags to keep my heart rate up.

There are eight different exercises that are done with high intensity for 40 seconds with a 20 second break and repeated four times before moving on to the next exercise.  Exercises vary from a cool little multi-knee strike/chop combo to a jumping combo (that's where I had to modify) to even a capoeira type move at the end.  Ultimately, it's up to you to choose the moves that fit your fitness level but as long as you bring it by putting your all into it, even the beginner moves will warrant a great burn.  (I got an 800 calorie burn but some of that was due to my keeping my heart rate up with the speedbags.)

Even though this workout has modifiers, this isn't for a true beginner.  Like if you're just starting out in the exercise game, save this one for when you have a solid six months under your belt.  But if you're a regular exerciser looking for something different, then this might be right up your alley.  I know this will become a part of our regular rotation.

Have you tried any new workouts lately?

(This post contains affiliate links to some pretty awesome workouts.  Should you choose to buy through them, I will get a few cents and you'll get some variety in your workout regime.  Win-win!)

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Movie madness

When I was perusing the new releases, I noticed a few we said we wanted to see had snuck out while we were busy sliding into January.  Monday night's renters were two that we agreed looked decent on the trailers but knew there could be a high possibility of "trailer duping" on these two since they were both panned by most as stinkers.  We rented 'em anyway.

Runner Runner -  (affiliate link)  Starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.  Now I'm no Affleck fan (nor a hater) but I likes da Timberlake and am always ready to give him a chance in a flick.  Richie (Timberlake) is an affiliate for an online gambling syndicate recruiting students and professors alike at Princeton for their gambling addictions.  When a student turns him in, he's warned to stop by the dean and reminded of his substantial tuition due in a week.  He decides to try to get in with the big boys (Affleck) and hijinks, drama and such ensue with a pretty cool ending.  Would this be a top pick?  No but it exceeded low expectations and I like to be pleasantly surprised.

Thanks for Sharing(affiliate link)  This one stars Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Pink and Gwenyth Paltrow.  This centers around a sex addiction group and the struggles they face on a day to day or even minute to minute basis.  What it takes to get out there and forge into normal relationships when your life is anything but normal.  It sounds like a downer but in addition to being a drama there's a lot of great comedy in it as well and I have to say Pink nailed it.  She was really funny and a great actress.  There are even some scenes relatable to food addiction that are interesting.  This was another one that was a pleasant surprise and I'd recommend it if you want something to rent during a new release dry spell.

Now we move on to last night's rentals...Carrie and Enough Said.

Carrie (2013)(affiliate link)  Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer.  When I saw Chloe was attached to this movie well over a year ago, I couldn't wait to see it.  While I'm not a fan of "reboots"  (actually I LOATHE them) I thought Chloe could do it justice if retold properly.  She does a great job and the backstory of her mother and why she was so nuts as well as the deeper investigation into her telekinesis were interesting spins.  Julieanne Moore does a stellar job as the wacko mother giving her way more depth than the original.  Oh and you know THE scene?  The scene you think of when you hear the movie "Carrie?"  There is an interesting twist with that scene as well, specifically the role the bucket plays afterward.  (Though we are NOT fans of the fact they showed the blood dump three times.  That was the only irritant for both of us.  Well that and the bully's day of reckoning was a little lame.)  Then the very end, there's another twist with the final character.  So if you've seen the original, definitely rent this one if for nothing more than for comparison but Carrie purists might respect the enhancements made to this version.  I know we did!

Enough Said - T(affiliate link) his one stars James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener.  The trailer pulled us in on this one since we're not major fans of the lead actors.  It started out promising but then I realized I already saw four things I laughed at in the trailer in the first 25 minutes.  It started getting a little odd when the twist came in because it just got painful to watch her character be swayed.  Then the ugliness kind of crept in and it became uncomfortable to watch.  The ending gave no real pay off.

I'd say three out of four ain't bad.

Seen any good movies lately?

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The importance of strength training variety

During our December descent into gluttony, the one thing we never wavered on was exercise.  I'll admit, the workouts weren't quite as intense because at that point I think we were more worried about ticking the box than killing ourselves with intensity every time.  We still kept up strength training twice a week and I was glad for it because my muscles themselves never got that "mushy" atrophied feeling I get when we don't do it on vacation.

Last week, we did a free weight strength session on Sunday and come Wednesday, we thought it was time to break out the Total Trainer again.  For those who don't know what it looks like, it's similar to that Chuck Norris/Christie Brinkley contraption.

Because we kept up on our strength, I didn't anticipate there being any over the top soreness but I knew I'd be sore since it'd been about a month since we did the trainer.  Holy God!!!  I could barely move the next day!  I'm talking my arms, shoulders, back, abs, legs...all of it!  I asked the Mr if he was as sore and he said a little but his soreness usually hits two days after the offending exercise.  So the day after when I was still hobbling like an 85 year old, I asked if he was sore yet and he said no.  I ranted about how unfair it was and he said something about dropping his resistance down to six when he usually does seven.  That rat bastard knocked his resistance down one notch and left mine the same!!

I said "WHAT!?!?!  You knocked your resistance down then you set mine at six like always!?!?"
He laid there for a second (we were stretching after our workout session for the day) and then busted out laughing and said "I guess I did!  Oops!  Sorry!"
So I poked him in all the spots he was sore the day before while he tried to fight me off.

So yeah, I was not only getting used to the way the Total Trainer works those particular muscles but I was yanking probably an extra 20 lbs of bloat and fat on it.  On the upside, he was giving out about the same time I was and now I know he was pulling less and other times I did all of my normal reps so I beat him!  Pffft!!

But seriously, it's very important to vary what kind of strength exercises you do because if you do only free weights, your muscles will adapt not just to the weight but even when you up the amount, it still won't work them to their full potential.  Switching things up allows you to work your muscles from all different angles and actually makes you so much stronger.

Here are some of the different strength routines/ items we use to help keep our muscles guessing:

Total Trainer  (affiliate link) 
Dumbbells (affiliate link) (I use anywhere from 15-20's right now but we have them ranging from 5-40)
Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners (affiliate link) (We don't have kettlebells but use dumbbells)
Raise Some Bell: The Ultimate Kettlebell Workout  (affiliate link) 
Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days  (affiliate link)  (The firm workout especially with heavier weights is no joke!)
Kettlebell Kombos with Paul Katami DVD (affiliate link) 
Ripcords Resistance Exercise Bands (affiliate link) 
ChaLEAN Extreme (affiliate link) 

We can do our own free weight sessions but I'll be honest, I do better when I'm being instructed to do my strength stuff because I tend to give a little less when left to my own devices.  Hopefully my perseverance in this area will one day allow me to charge admission to my "gun show."

Do you vary your strength program?

(This post contains affiliate links.  Should you buy through one, I'll get a nominal kickback to keep the blog purrin' like a kitten.)

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Report Card for week #1

This weekend was busy.  We hit up a tag sale and a salvage shop and I got a few deals.  We went to an open house and the realtor recognized us.  Damn man, even 6 weeks out of rotation and they still recognize you.  It was okay but the barking dog with the next door owner making no effort to shut it up told us what kind of life we'd be in for if we made the move.  No thanks.  We already live with that crap where we are.

The Mr and I were talking about how we thought we did our first full week back at it.

What I did right:

Got in my water every day including the weekend and that's a big deal for me.

Stayed within my weekday calorie range.

Exercised every night.  (To the point that we were both feeling pretty beat up by week's end)

Staved off cravings with hot tea and/or gum.

Adjusted dinner Saturday night to accommodate a larger lunch even though I totally wanted to eat more.

What I could improve on:

We contemplated splitting at the restaurant we went to Saturday (it was one of our self imposed "rules") but decided against it even though the portions are huge.  When we got halfway through we agreed we probably could split in the future.  This place wasn't the best place to go our first weekend with a little more restriction but I left most of the fries and  a small slab of the meat.

We went 138 calories over our set calorie range but still much lower than previous months.  I still would've like to have stuck to our range though our first week out.

I was tempted to have a spoonful of peanut butter with a couple of dark chocolate chips on it Saturday night but I didn't.  I would've though if the Mr bit but he didn't.  I need to stop with the instigation train of thought just to get my way in a way that is not on track with our health goals.

I need to add fish back into the diet.  None to be found last week.

Here's how the Mr feels he did

What I did right:

Got my water in.

Fought off tempting foods at work such as peanut butter cup cookies, chocolate cake and even chocolate fudge truffles that my co-worker offered me twice

Despite having some hunger, managed it by drinking water, chewing gum or saving some of my lunch for an afternoon snack.

What I could improve on:

Wanted to track diligently but only did the first day or so and stopped. 

Said "screw it" and finished the last bit of my cereal because the box was nearly empty and mostly full of the yummy crumbs. I did weight my cereal and piled on the crumbs and went over by about half a serving. The more in-tune me would have put that back in the box but I went ahead and ate it. 

So definitely much improvement over the previous month and a good start back to our routine.  We're looking forward to continuing on this path and making all of this knee jerk again which is much easier without bins of cookies and treats laying around.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?  How would you grade last week and what could you improve on this week?

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Greed squashes sentimental gesture and what I'm reading this week

Before we get to what I read this week, I have to share this.  When the Mr moved to my area back in 1991, it was because his dad got a job here.  They had a credit union that the employees used and his dad opened an account for the Mr by throwing $5 in it.  His hope is he would use it for a savings account but you know, he was a teen at the time and didn't think much about it.  We did however use this place to get our auto loans for all of our cars as recent as the ones we got rid of last year so basically 20 years of being customers.  Over the years, Dad's initial investment earned crappy interest but that wasn't the point.  It was just a reminder of the thought when we'd get a statement.  When Dad died in 2004, it was even more special to get that statement with the $13 it had built up to because it was like a way of kind of keeping him alive.  The credit union was bought by some other company and they have now issued a monthly inactivity fee of $5 per month.  We didn't know this until we just got a statement yesterday and saw the account had been drained by more than two thirds and is down to $3.00.  Dad's original five bucks isn't even there anymore and we didn't even get notified in time to save it.  No way in hell are we keeping any money in there since it was only there for sentimental reasons anyway, but this is just one of many ways that we're all being nickled and dimed to death by corporate greed.  *stepping off soapbox*

Are You Suffering From Secondhand Stress?  (They forgot the paragraph about extended family acting like insane people)

30 Day Squat Challenge

31 Things to Warm Your Heart  (Cockles warmed)

Does Hot Water with Lemon Really Help You Detox?

Insecure?  You're Not Alone

Makeover Manor (Funny or Die)  (Perfect if you love HGTV like I do)

Teacher's McDonalds Experiment Yields 37 lb Weight Loss

30 Things Turning 30 in 2014  (Ugh...hand me my Geritol)

Why You Want to Eat Chia Seeds  (Already had mine this morning!)

Testing 30 Internet Life Hacks  (Who would want to remove the crumbs from cereal!?  Hello extra flavorful milk!)

Watch Photoshop Transform Your Favorite Celebrities Right Before Your Eyes  (OMG, I thought Gwen Stefani had absolutely no flaws!  I'd prefer to see they have some zits and pores please)

When to Replace Household Items

Google Is About to Let Total Strangers Email You. Here's How to Opt Out

When It Comes to Nutrition, Chain Restaurant Meals Still Leave A Lot to Be Desired

First Date:  Auto and Madison  (Cute overload)

We're going to hit up a salvage shop tomorrow and not real sure what else.  Oh yeah...take down the Christmas stuff.  :-(  I'm in denial.

What's on tap for your weekend?

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Just in (tea) time

I don't know if it's because I'm forcing the water down during the day or what but my cravings during the day (thusfar) have not been anywhere near as bad as they have been in the past.  I expected stabbing pit hunger as our stomach acclimated back to normal portion sizes and insane cravings.

Aside from the haunting deja vu Reese's peanut butter cup commercial taunting me no matter what channel I have on in the background.  I've been doing well.  The Mr hasn't faired quite as well at work as his hunger kicked in a few times and the co-workers are working on getting their homes cleared out of crap so they're bringing it into work.  Chocolate cake...special darks (his favorite)...truffles, etc.  But he hung in like a champ and resisted temptation.  Go Mr!

While my days may be smooth sailing so far this week, the evenings are becoming my issue.  The Mr and I are obviously on different hunger schedules!

We'll have our snack and then like an hour later out of sheer boredom, I want more.  I've been turning to green tea to help fill up the belly and give my hands something to do other than blog.  Specifically, this is the tea I've been having.

We found this roasted green tea (affiliate link)  in Hawaii and I was over the moon to find it on Amazon and ordered a buttload of it.  I gave a box to my cousin who drinks a ton of green tea and he LOOOOVES it.  It has the health benefits of regular green tea but because it's roasted, it has a richer flavor.  It's perfect to help with that  little boredom gnaw I get in my stomach as I get back to normal.  It's better than slamming my face in a bowl of cereal or rip off a hunk or two of cheese that would both equal a couple of hundred calories.

What tricks do you use when you want to eat but you're not really hungry?

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you buy through it, I'll get a few cents and you'll get some of the best tea you've ever're welcome.)

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warning signs

So easy to spot 'em in hindsight, eh?

Here are some phrases that came out of our mouthes that should've been a massive red flag to the mayhem awaiting our fat cells over the holidays.

"Taste these."

One of my friends LOVES Christmas cookies and he looks forward to getting mine because I spoil him with a ton of them.  I'll give him like 8 different kinds of treats and he's in heaven.  Obviously I don't want to give someone treats with my name on it without tasting to make sure they don't suck.  Problem is to "taste" them, I didn't need to give the one to the Mr and one to me.  We could've split one for tasting purposes and left it at one.

Bringing in treats every time I came back into the living room.

It got to the point the Mr would sit up like Pavlov's dog when he heard me walking in, anticipating my grubby paws would be full of yuletide treats.  He was right 90% of the time.  Even after our taste cookie was consumed, I might grab one later, come in, he'd look over and I'd give puppy dog eyes like "I know I shouldn't" and I'd say "if this is bad, I can put them back."  I knew damn well it was bad and so did he.  Ask if we gave a flying fart at the time.  My hips don't lie...we didn't.

"I'll just eat how I want for the holidays and we'll get right back to it January 1st."

We did and then some.  We paid for it.  We got hooked and food had a ridiculous amount of control over us as a result.

We'll start January 1st.

Yeah, we made that January 1st, it's a new year bullcrap statement like it was gospel.  It wasn't.  It was lip service and our hearts weren't in it.  The 1st itself wasn't too bad but the days following?  Yeah, not so great...the next reason is...

"Let's just get X out of the house"

Boxes of cookies, candy and all kinds of crap staring at us on the downstairs food shelves while we worked out that hadn't been a problem, suddenly were.  To most people that statement of just getting them out of the house would mean throw them away, take them to work or whatever.  Nope.  Not us.  We paid good money for that crap, we weren't going to give them to others.  Down the gullet.  Truth has consequences, yo.

"I'm okay with skipping tonight, if you are."

This is the one that scared me the most because it was the 5th of this month and our "last day" of shoveling whatever we wanted in the pie holes.  It was a busy day and it was late and neither of us felt like working out.  We were thisclose to skipping and we went down and did a 20 minute free weight session.  It wasn't a big calorie burner but we could say we did SOMETHING so as not to have ruined our exercise streak that we kept all through the holidays.

Did you have any warning signs you were about to go off plan during the holidays?  Justifications?  Etc.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rebuilding the basics

I don't have a fancy graphic for this one.  I'm just giving you straight up truth which is graphic enough.

Well, I'm on day five (well, six now I think) of concentrating on my water.  I've hit my goal every day but I know I'm a long way from saying it's habit.  We're taking this whole thing day by day.  I'd be lying if I said from the time I mentioned the water issue last Thursday that we went back to all of our angelic habits but I'd be lying.

We did a lot of damage in a 2 1/2 week time period and this week is kind of a detox week for us.  It will no doubt be the hardest week yet because we're used to having big sugar rushes daily and that chit is no joke to get the levels you became accustomed to out of your system.  I'm not saying we're never having sugar again or anything unrealistic but we're getting back to pre-holiday weekday eating.  Oh, this is where I have to caution people who are six full days into their new plan to please not try to sell me on your current weight loss voodoo.  I've been at this a while...I know what needs done and how I want to do it.  I don't mean to offend anyone who may just be finding me but trust me when I tell you there can be nothing more irritating than someone who has lost 10 lbs on a cleanse they've been on for 2 weeks to tell the woman who has lost 200+ pounds, how to lose weight.   It happens every January.

If that sounded bitchy it's because it's the week before Aunt Flo and my fuse is shrinking so...


There are other plans in the works but that stuff will be revealed as our new approach is under our belts and there are actual results to report.  Right now, I'm just looking forward to de-bloating, for my arms to not feel like tree trunks when I do speed bags, for the parts of me that filled out to deflate (though I will miss you, bloaty boobs.  You can stay if you like) and to not feel like utter sluggish crap.

Do you have any post-holiday fitness success under your belt?

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