Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Super salads

I mentioned last week that we are making tweaks to our plan.  The Mr is already a big salad lover but I'm kind of indifferent on the subject.  It's not that I don't like them on occasion but eating a salad rarely fills me up.  As I started looking at salad add in's from vegan and vegetarian vloggers, I was able to get some ideas that have given us some good, filling meals.

This was a great salad...

A spring mix salad tossed with 2 tbsp of TJ's Bacon Onion Vinaigrette with roasted sweet potato, clementine wedges, half a serving of walnuts and topped with an egg.  It came in at 470 calories.

We had this next one a few nights later...

Thai shrimp salad.  I made a thai-like dressing out of 2/3 cup of chicken bone broth, 2 tbsp of creamy all natural peanut butter and 1 tbsp of chipotle Tabasco sauce microwaved until thickened.  I pre-made some black rice and added 1/3 cup of that over the salad with clementine wedges, a sprinkle of broccoli slaw, carrots and garlic shrimp.  450 calories

Another favorite was a Mexican style salad...

Spring mix tossed with the TJ's vinaigrette, carrots, corn, black beans, red peppers and walnuts with 4 oz of salmon.  550 calories.

This was kind of a California/Hawaiian hybrid...

Grilled, marinated ahi topped with orange zest and sesame seeds, 1/3 cup pineapple, 1/2 avocado (bleck), red pepper, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli slaw and a servings of walnuts.

Eating a huge salad takes quite a bit of time so it allows me time to get full by forcing me to eat slower.  We'll get in the habit of having 1-2 big salads per week.  I found a new dressing that is low on sodium and sounds really good so I'm sure I'll be reviewing that soon.

This change has also made it feel like I'm out of a food rut since I can use so many add ins with seasonal product and use alternate sources of protein like eggs and nuts if I don't feel like defrosting something.

How often do you eat salads?  What are your favorite add in's?

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Childhood's over weekend recap

Monday...we meet again ye rat bastard.

It was a pretty low key weekend for the most part.  We went out to lunch Saturday and the kitchen totally screwed the pooch on both of our orders.  I don't usually send stuff back but the server was totally apologetic and took both of our dishes back but that meant we had to wait another 20 minutes in addition to the 25 we'd already been there.  The Mr spied our entrees on the ledge and the server checking them out and arguing with the cooks and then he called the manager over.  Yikes.  The next thing I knew, the manager was bringing our plates out and said if there was anything at all wrong with them to let her know and lunch was on her.  The only thing that tastes better than the food you ordered with anticipation is FREE food.  We gave the dude a $10 tip because he was so on it and we wanted him to have the incentive to keep up that customer service.  The Mr had to swing by the sporting goods store so we did that, a quick stop at Sur La Table to replace my skillets since they're having a 55% off sale and to World Market to replace two little bowls that crashed down on me last week.

We also decided to swing by a mom and pop store that was closing.  My dad's mom used to take me there when I was little and it was the only place I could walk into a few times a year and still smell my childhood.  As I stood in the middle of some random aisle with half the shelves empty, I stood there and wept like an ass.  I couldn't help it.  It's truly the last place from my childhood that was exactly as I left it and now in a few months it'll be gone and stripped of all of it's contents.  I wanted to run through the aisles with 100 mason jars to capture that smell but I know it doesn't work that way.  Why can't some things just stay the same for those of us who don't need big fancy stores or whatever.  They were the only place that carried our low carb tortillas in the flavor we liked.  We would buy stocking stuffers from there.  We bought things for the house during various phases of our married life from there.  The past 10 years I wondered if it was on borrowed time but since it always seemed to be busy, I figured it would always be there.  But, you know, if places like bog box stores you just assumed would always be there are closing, then mom and pops have about a quarter of the chance of making it.  Sigh.

Not far down the street is an antique warehouse so we took a gander...

A cool repurposed light that I would have nowhere to put it so I didn't even ask and now as I type, I realize it could look cool on the mantel but as I type that I realize it was $100 and I ain't payin' that.  Movin' on.

We saw this Bruno Mars bobble head...

Okay, maybe it was Reggie Jackson.

My big score was finding my edition of Clue from childhood and since my childhood is going down the tubes and it was in perfect condition inside (sans the tape issue on the front)  I bought it for $15!

I used to think Mrs Peacock on the far left was Jean Stapleton from All in the Family and thought the maid Mrs White looked like Aint Bea from Andy Griffith.  We played Clue about 3 months or so ago and these people and the patterns are what were missing for me so I will gladly donate mine now.  Fun fact about me, the movie Clue  (affiliate link) is one of my favorite so called guilty pleasure movies but for me it's all pleasure, no guilt.  Run Mr...I'm gettin' the itch.

By far the MOST favorite thing I saw there was this...

I almost wee'd myself laughing because when I saw the outside of the box I squeed and opened the box and thought the exact same thing!  So glad someone beat me to it and I love that someone was irked to the next degree to leave the seller a note.

The next morning we got up late and I made brunch.

I love brunch...brunchy brunch brunch.

It was grocery restock weekend and I put off TJ's and Target for Sunday.  Mistake.  The sharks were circling in the TJ's lot and to keep bail money in the bank, I suggested we park in the open meter space because I just wasn't having it.  It felt like we were at each store for an hour so by the time we were done, our day had been sucked down to nothing but at least the fridge was stocked.

Then we had a turkey burger for dinner and some organic tortilla chips and salsa and I came to recap for y'all.

What did you get into this weekend?

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Friday, January 27, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #4

Happy Friday y'all!

*Yawn*  I gots no sassy banter, so let's get straight to...

12 Exercise Swaps to Help You Break Through a Plateau  (I love these moves!  Going to start incorporating them!)

How to Make a Buddha Bowl for Weight Loss  (Yum!)

10 Effortless Ways to Dress Up Your Avocado Toast  (I don't know if any of these will sway me or not...avocados make me want to yarf)

Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds, You Do: 6 Ways to Get Over It and Move On  (Some good tips!)

How to Help a Loved One Lose Weight Without Hurting Their Feelings   (Good info given we kind of touched on this earlier this week)

Salmon With Tapeworms Have Arrived in the U.S.  (Yay?  Thank God I buy frozen!)

14 Reasons You're Always Tired  (Well, these can be some of the reasons)

Tips for Working Out at Home When It’s The Last Thing You Want To Do  (All good tips and I just found some new YouTubers that I can add to the list too for some variety)

How to Take Pressure Off Your IT Band  (That IT band can be a bugger!)

Science Says You Don't Need a Standing Desk, After All -- You Only Need This  (Thank God because I've worked retail and the thought of standing all day does not sound appealing.  But good suggestions!)

Phishing scam targets Gmail users  (Read and be wary!)

TCM Remembers Debbie Reynolds   (If you're looking to go on a binge fest.  I've got Singin' in the Rain set to record...never seen it.  Don't judge me.)

Well, just when you think the crud is officially gone, this version apparently likes to bow back up on you and give you all the symptoms you had at the start.  I swear to God if it takes away my sense of smell again, I'm going to start breaking things.  So beware if you catch whatever this is...it's a long, irritating bugger but I'll take it over the other thing that's going around, I guess.

What are you guys into this weekend?

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Nothing changes if nothing changes

(via Pinterest)

If you've followed the blog for any amount of time, you know that when we're home, we're very stringent about our workouts.  Not working out isn't an option barring major illness that has us physically unable to stand.  I have worked out with a migraine, with a cold and when my uterus felt like it weighed 500 lbs in the worst PMS of my life.

For as much as our dedication to exercise has served us in the past, it now only serves to maintain our current weight.  When we face the facts, we both essentially work from home.  The Mr does go into work two days per week but we noticed when his telework days went from once a week to twice and finally three days per week that his weight loss slowed and then reversed.  The difference was when he goes in to work, he has a long walk ahead of him both to and from his car.  In total, there was about 1/2 mile walking just to and from the car he was no longer getting.  It doesn't seem like much but that's anywhere from 1-2 miles less per week or 4-8 miles per month.

When you get right down to it, doing anywhere from 30-60 minute workouts depending on the day still only qualifies us as sedentary.  We spend the majority of the day on our asses, plain and simple and that small slot of time will not undo that.  Now I've tried doing "two a days" where I workout  twice while I curse my life and attempt to find a calorie range that will now fit the extra calories burned and I gained weight for a month doing that...not going there again.

But what we can do is when the Mr takes his lunch, we can get up and go outside, rain or shine, and do a lap and a half around the neighborhood for 30 minutes which equates to almost two miles.  We just started this Tuesday so I won't be able to tell you if it will warrant any results for a couple of weeks but I can tell you that sitting on your butt all day isn't healthy.  You've heard all of the studies saying how sitting is the new smoking and all that jazz.  I'm not saying that 30 minutes of walking will make all of our weight loss dreams come true in addition to our normal workouts but it's a start.

How long are you active each day including your workouts and any other "normal" activity where you're not sitting on da bum?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Food Review: Back to Nature Multigrain Flaxseed Seeded Flatbread Crackers

When I went to grab our favorite crackers we occasionally use for tuna salad, they were out.  

Womp womp...

We love the Back to Nature brand and thought we'd give one of the other varieties a try...

Here's a peek at the nutritional info...

You can see the fat it does have are the beneficial ones which is always a plus.

Our usual stone ground seeded crackers are the size of normal crackers but these are longer so it feels like you're getting more.  Each flatbread is like getting 2 1/2 regular sized crackers.

They are nice and sturdy to hold up to my tuna salad for lunch and though they have slightly less sodium than the other crackers (30mg less), it doesn't taste bland.

They would also be perfect for an after workout snack with some apple and cheese slices or peanut butter.  Whatever your preference!

I'd say it's pretty likely we'll be buying these again!  They would make for a nice change in texture and size for cheese plates for entertaining with a healthier twist as well!

Have you tried Back to Nature crackers?  What are your favorite crunchy snacks?

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Intervention Phase

When you've lost weight, there's no doubt you get a confidence you were missing when you were heavier.  When you've lost a LOT of weight, you tend to go through this phase of feeling like you want to tell all other fat people that you know what it's like to walk in their wide width shoes and share your new found wisdom.  You see the person that other people are looking at because of their size and you want to run up to them with your pom poms and in your best infomercial voice scream "I was your size and I lost weight without crazy measures and you can too!"

It comes from a good place.  It comes from a place of empathy and knowing that it sucks to be that weight for various reasons from health to comfort to social to shopping and just about everything in between.  But we all know that getting and keeping the motivation you had when you start a new program is often waning and not something you can depend on.  You have to find a balance of what will work for you and what works for one person absolutely will not work for someone else.  But try to tell that to people who have lost weight a certain way.  Because that's what worked for them, they believe it will work for everyone and want to shout it from the rooftops and do fattie interventions in public as a way to help with the obesity epidemic.

I'll admit, the Mr and I had those same impulses when we were around the 100-150 lb lost mark, especially given how easy the first 100 lbs came off.  It truly was portion control for the first 50 lbs and then moderate exercise with portion control for the next 50 and we thought "wow!  Who knew it was this easy!?!"  Well at 494 and 455 lbs respectively, any little lifestyle change in the right direction is going to make a difference.  The second 100 lbs came off slower but it did come off in a way that had us buying clothes in smaller sizes at the end of season sales because we could count on that weight loss.  Then it got stuck.  We tried all kinds of tweaks and unfortunately you have to give those tweaks time (3-4 weeks) to see if they're going to work and if they don't, you've wasted a month.  When you travel as much as we do, you've got vacation food and being off your normal exercise schedule that seems to have you losing the same pounds all year.  But I'm getting off track a bit.

When we road tripped last weekend, we were in this antique store and just glanced down at this pinball machine.  The owner, a dude probably in his late 30's maybe early 40's started yammering about it and everything that was replaced in it and I had to make it clear we simply glanced at it and had no room for it.  Nope...he was just a talkative fellow and now what I wanted to be a leisurely poke around a shop was turning into praying for someone else to come in for him to pounce on or how could I do a stunt jump out the front window.  He was telling us about another town that had a lot of antique stores and said "it's nice and level walking, no up and down hills or anything."  Dude, you picked the wrong weekend to judge me.  Inside I was boiling because he was doing what most people do when you see a fat person of any size.  You assume they are sitting with a feed bag strapped to their face well on their way to morphing into the blob.  I was running on severe sleep deprivation (which the Mr got the brunt of the day before) and Aunt Flo swinging off the fallopian tubes.  I did what would keep me out of jail and walked away.  Sorry Mr.

The following was relayed to me by the Mr when I asked why he didn't follow me once we escaped.  He said the guy cornered him and started showing him these shoes he had on...some weird off brand and asked if he'd heard of them before.  He said no and the guy proceeded to tell him how he just lost 110 lbs by doing nothing more than walking.  OOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!  The Mr was getting the fat intervention by a noob who thought he was laying down some knowledge.  Well the Mr laid down some knowledge of his own and said "Congratulations, that's great!  I used to weigh 455 lbs and I've lost 150 lbs and she's lost over 200 lbs."  The guy was a little stunned and then was like "oh wow, how long ago was that and how did you do that?!?!"  He said portion control and exercise just like him, no big secret like people seem to assume.  He'd lost 190 lbs at his lowest but has gained some back but kept the majority of it off.  The guy goes from intervention mode to 'we are simpatico' and starts talking about how he has a whole new attitude and didn't realize his weight was why he was so depressed and stuff that you just feel a little awkward hearing from someone you don't know.  I'm happy for him just as I'm happy for anyone who is in any point of their journey to slay the weight demon.  It's a never ending battle and one you should absolutely celebrate.  I was just not in the mental place to have been able to handle it that day and I already knew he'd labeled us as one of those poor souls he could now help.  I knew if I'd been the one to tell him of our weight loss, it would've come out much less eloquently than the Mr put it, I'm sure.

The next day when we were getting our produce for the week, that situation came up again and the Mr said "the worst part about that whole encounter is that it just confirmed to me that I'm no longer acceptable fat.  I've apparently hit that tipping point where some stranger thinks I just need to hear that he used to be like me and I know how crappy that feels to be on the receiving end of that."  I felt horrible because there has been an issue we've been dealing with that should improve with weight loss (still in the middle of it so I'll update at a later date) and I felt like this was just another punch in the gut for him.  It was for me too because the guy clearly looked at me when he was talking about there being no hills to walk in this other town.  It was when after he said that, my brain showed me the picture of me pouncing on him and yelling in his face "effer, I walked the hilly streets of San Francisco for 12 MILES when I was 10 lbs heavier than this.  Streets that SKINNY LOCALS told me they'd never walk more than 2 miles and even then would likely call a cab for!" that I knew I needed to walk away.  So I was not immune to the shitty feeling the Mr was going through.

Now that we are both better for the most part, we've begun tweaking the diet a bit to throw in a "big salad" or two per week or more meatless options on occasion.  I need to be better about planning on Sundays because while I have stuff on hand for dinners, I don't sit down and plan them.  I need to do that because the Mr is the most successful when he pre-tracks his meals.

We have seen intervention phase from so many people both in real life and online.  The Mr and I were VERY careful to never do that to someone even if the urge was strong.  We know what it's like to get the courage to just exist in public waiting for someone to say something, which I can count on one hand how many times that actually happened to me as an adult but still.  To have some well meaning stranger come up to you and be like "hey you two, I was once like you and I like to do the wild thing I lost weight, let me tell you how!" could send them into a social coma with a box of Twinkies and the pledge to only order online from now on because the real world is too scary.  If someone asked about my weight loss or a conversation was initiated by someone else about weight in a way that wasn't meant as a judgmental dig toward me, then yes, I would casually mention I lost weight.  

So if you should find yourself in the awesome position of having lost a goodly amount of weight, resist the urge that will inevitably come over you when you see your former self in someone else.  They are fat...they KNOW what they need to do just as we all did when we were at our heaviest and the last thing that will give them a mental boost is the unsolicited advice of a stranger thinking they have the whole weight loss game nailed.  Also don't assume just because someone is fat that they haven't already lost weight or aren't already actively in the middle of their journey.

Have you ever given or been tempted to give the 'intervention' to a stranger?  Have you been given the intervention by someone who assumed because you still have weight to lose that you're not already doing something about it?

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Whirlwind Weekend

Happy Monday sassy peeps!

Since I regained my sense of smell (but still had the lovely sniffles and occasional hack that led to nothing "productive") I decided I wanted to go to this cupcake place.  I have been craving this place since we had it in Savannah almost 2 years ago and when I got my taste back, it was all I wanted.  It was only 3 hours away and that's right on the cusp of insanity to drive somewhere for lunch, we jumped on it.  I just was NOT up for the same Saturday, different version of indecisive lunch game.  Unfortunately that morning I was not feeling it.  I felt so draggy but since the Mr reminded me he'd gone to bed early the night before because we were supposed to road trip, I hopped in the car.  I told him I'd be trying to sleep on the way there and he said he'd finish up his audio book of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.   (affiliate link) There was no comfy position in the car that didn't put me into a kink fest and not in the fun way.  So I wouldn't say I slept per say but I attempted rest while some dude that sounded like the worm from Labyrinth yammered for 2 1/2 hours.

We got our cupcakes and grabbed some lunch but unfortunately we got in there as the Women's March was ending like 2 blocks away and everyone was either going to their car or where we were.  I snagged a 2 seater in the back while the Mr waited in line and it, of course, turned into whiny kid central.  I could feel my ovaries trying to shrivel and roll out of me in protest.

On our way back, we stopped at some antique stores.  You always see things that range from heartwarming...

...to heartstoppingly creepy...

Sunday we both slept in.  It was unseasonably warm which we both hate.  So figured it was a good time to walk the historic district and then go to the grocery to restock some produce for the week.  I got some black rice cooked while I was cooking dinner for other dinners this week and have some prep I need to do today.

Before we knew it, it was 8:30pm.  Pffft.

What did y'all get into this weekend?

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Friday, January 20, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #3

Oh yeah babe...it's Friday!!!

It's looking like the creeping crud and Aunt Flo exchanged pleasantries as one curse is starting to pack up and the other firmly planted itself on the couch with a bag of chocolate.  But enough about my lack of a TMI alert, let's get to...

5 Reasons Working Out at Night Will Change Your Life   (I don't know if it'll change your life (well maybe, who knows) but I know we love working off the stress of the day.)

14 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Power You Through the Morning  (Might give a few of these a try!)

Why You Need to Eat Fat to Burn Fat   (Oy.  That's great but I remember when in the 90's it was all about "NO FAT!"  I was down to 15g of fat per DAY and I didn't lose a pound so maybe there's something to this)

Hailey Lost Over 100 Pounds (and She Eats Dairy and Gluten!)   (Dairy AND gluten!  Well alert the media...oh, I guess they did!  Still though, good on her!)

6 Tips for Stopping Food Cravings   (In case ya need 'em)

Why Deadlifts Are the Best Exercise For Weight Loss   (Just started throwing these back into the mix!)

Why your weight loss plateaus, and how to fight it  (Courtesy of the Mr)

7 Ways to Be Calmer, More Mature… and More Productive  (I need to follow this)

Mom and Her Four Kids Build Dream Home With Help of YouTube Videos  (This is pretty awesome!)

11 'Golden Girls' References Explained for Younger Viewers  (Cleared up a few for me and now I want to watch Hee Haw)

Take a Look Inside NYC’s Upcoming ‘Golden Girls’ CafĂ©  (I'm so there)

We don't really have anything planned though it's the first time we've both been well(ish) since we got home.  I kind of want to road trip but probably shouldn't.  The Mr has studying to do.  We'll just see where the weekend takes us figuratively and literally.  All I know is it's going to be out of the house at some point because I've seen far too much of my house lately.  I suppose since my lungs are almost cleared, it'll be time to coat them with dust soon and get to working on the basement.  Ugh, not even thinking about that!

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

An end in sight

Howdy do?

It's been a productive week on the leg front.  Tuesday I had what is potentially my last PT appointment.  I get this feeling she knows I haven't been doing my calf raises because she's asked me about them the past two times I've gone.  The chiro and I agreed doing those prior to the trip was not a good idea.  I didn't do PT the first few days I got back since I was taking care of the Mr and started up the first day of the new year.  It wasn't feasible for me to go ovaries out after about 2 weeks off of PT, so I did light calf raises a few days a week before going back Tuesday but obviously it wasn't enough.  She had me do them for her and I thought I busted them out pretty good but she's like "you came down too quickly, control it on the way down."  


So now my progression on those is to do them hanging off the edge of a step which will also stretch those yank points.  My next progression on the clam shells is to do them in a full side plank the entire time.  Yay.  I haven't progressed my bridges yet because I don't feel like with all of the other exercises I'm trying to build up to that my legs can take it quite yet.  Maybe a week or two.  Lord knows she'll be checking on my next...and last...appointment.  The insurance company has made it clear they'll cover two more and that's it.  The word "cover" is rather laughable though considering they're out of network so each visit cost me anywhere from $68 - $108 depending on what was done to me that session.  All of my visits for 2016 totaled just under $1100 with "coverage."  I will miss my therapist though.  She's tiny but tough and there's no way my amazing time in Vermont would've happened without her.

Yesterday was the first time I saw the chiro since we got back.  He asked how the trip went and how my legs felt.  He said they felt much less "angry", though tight from the paces she put me through the day before.  He released some of the knots in my legs front and back and then ultrasounded the bad one.  He did say using the term "the bad one" will no longer apply though which is good news.  He's moved my visits to bi-weekly for now but I got the impression I may not need them much longer.

I gave myself the night off from heavy PT since I was pretty sore from the dead lifts and other exercises she gave me the day before.  We did Walk Away the Pounds but that first mile of three was long and excruciating.  So on mute Leslie went and on came a playlist with some Bruno Mars, Gwen Stefani, The 1975 and Empire of the Sun to get us through the rest of the workout.  

Then it was time for dinner...

Big salad with black beans, corn, red peppers, walnuts and salmon.

We caught up on the DVR which included Timeless, Bull and This is Us.  Is there ever an episode of This is Us that doesn't make me sob?  The Mr was even close and he's not a crier.  It was the whole um, let's see, how do I not spoil this.  The life event the doctor was dealing with in his own life.  Of course the Mr thought about if he had to go through the same, so did I so Puffs Plus commenced.

What exercise instructors do you occasionally mute?  Do you have insurance with laughable coverage despite paying a buttload of money for premiums?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Food Review: Annie's Organic Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce

In my quest to cut out high fructose corn syrup wherever it hides, I decided to try a new to us BBQ sauce.  We are very finicky about our sauce.  We like brown sugar hickory and it has to be thick.  I didn't have time to sit and read 25 labels of different sauces at the grocery store so this one jumped out at me.

One thing I knew by tipping the bottle is it was of medium consistency and borderline something I would pass on but I threw caution to the wind with it being on sale.   Besides, being fresh off of a Vermont trip, I'm down with all things maple.

Here's a peek at the nutritional info...

Pretty comparable to many sauces but slightly better on the sodium as well which I always look for.

Here are the ingredients...

But how did it taste?

That pretty generous looking portion is actually 1 tbsp and not the 2 tbsp serving so you can see it easily coats an 8 oz pork chop.  Now I did season the pork chop with some spices so it wasn't the most unbiased first taste test.  But a quick taste or two on its own told me it that it did tend to lean more toward tangy over smoky in my opinion.  Consistency is thinner than we like but I knew that going in.  The Mr said that was really the only difference he noticed.  This was certainly much less smoky than I'm used to and I missed it.  (We use K C Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar.)  I love that it's as natural as possible so that's a big plus in its favor but what I could taste when I did taste it on it's own just wasn't that maple-y or smoky.  I'll finish the bottle but I'm going to keep looking for that perfect sauce that is as close to what we're used to without me having to doctor it.  I've got to be able to pour and go.  I'll make sure to season the meat less next time so we can have a better representation of it.

What's your favorite BBQ sauce?  You a smoky molasses type or vinegary Carolina style?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Classic eats and classic flicks

Happy Tuesday all!

The weekend was a pretty bland one since I'm still recovering.  The Mr seems to be over it for the most part which is good.  He was kind enough Friday morning when he heard me hacking up a lung to bring me some piping hot tea which really helped my desert like throat.  Then when I decided to take a bath, he brought in the tablet with The 1975's playlist on Vevo.  What a nugget.

I hope to get there by the weekend and be able to actually taste what I'm eating. I'm told I made a pretty wicked burger and fries...I bet they were good.  I bet this was too...

I used a mix of the Mr's favorite cheese, Orne Meadows from Cabot (which we'll never find until we go to Vermont again) and some pepper jack.  It did feel good on the throat though between the hot soup and the scratchy bread.

The groceries wait for no one.  We were expected to get some ice storm (didn't happen) so we went out Friday night to do Trader Joe's and Target.  Then Sunday we did our last grocery store run and stocked up on veggies and such.  Since we're going to throw in a few meatless meals here and there, I needed to pick up some extras including a major container of mixed greens for a big salad.

That would be salad greens tossed with TJ's bacon onion vinaigrette, roasted sweet potato, carrot slices, clementine wedges, half a serving of walnuts and an egg.  I was skeptical it would be able to keep me full but did about as fair as anything else I eat so that's good.  I did need a cup of hot tea later to keep the satiety going but no biggie.

I don't know what the deal is but ever since we got back, I have been friggin' ravenous.  It's taken all of my restraint not to stress eat and that's even with a cold for crap I can't even taste.  I have GOT to get that under control because I still have 5 vacation pounds to get off me bum.

Last night we watched the cult classic The Warriors.   (affiliate link) We were WAY too young to see it when it came out.  It was heavily cheesy where the gangs were concerned and I still couldn't see Michael Beck as anything but Sonny Malone from Xanadu  (affiliate link) which I did see back in the day because Olivia Newton John was my girl crush.  When the last gang to approach were on skates, I began whistling Xanadu and expected Kira to rush past the thug with her glowy self and sweep Sonny off to Coney Island.  I guess I'm glad I can say I've seen it now?  It was funny to see Dexter's dad and T-Bird from The Crow in their early days.  We rounded out the evening by watching the MLK documentary I told you about yesterday which meant I blew my nose a lot...well, more than normal.

What cult classic movies have you not seen yet?

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Monday, January 16, 2017

When History Changes You

I wasn't great at History in school.  Matter of fact, it was probably one of my worst subjects.  I was never interested in it and if I'm not interested in something, it's just not going to stick.  I am 99% sure that my History teacher junior year passed me simply because she liked me because when my friend (who was equally as bad at the class as I was) and I went to get our exam scores, she said "you passed."  I asked "what were our scores?"  She barked "you passed, accept it and walk away" and gave a slight smile.

When we would get Martin Luther King Day off school, I was grateful for the extra day.  I didn't think much past that because in that time, I was like most kids- self involved and glad to be able to sleep in.  I knew there were breakfasts and parades and events honoring Dr. King but that was about it.  It has been in my lifetime that Black History Month became a nationally recognized thing but I don't remember it being prominent until I was a teenager and again, being ignorant and white, I assumed that black history wasn't my history so it didn't pertain to me.  How wrong was I?

Within the past 5 years, we made two trips to Memphis.  On the second one, I said I wanted to see the National Civil Rights Museum because frankly, I was embarrassed I knew so little about MLK and the civil rights movement.  It is set up at the Lorraine Motel where he was killed.

It is chilling to be in the same place that such an event in history has taken place with it looking just the same.  What makes it more surreal is touring the museum after you've seen the documentary they show you at the beginning of your visit called The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306. (affiliate link)   That documentary had me bawling like a friggin' baby within about 10 minutes.  It provides insight and a retelling of the events by a man who was one of King's friends and there that day that will forever change you.

The black glass in the middle is actually where you can stand inside the museum to see the building where the shot came from (and you can tour that building as well.)  The inside of the room is set up the way it was when Dr. King and his friends were there that fateful day.  I again stood there crying like a baby because after having watched that documentary, I could see his feet from the angle inside that a picture had been taken.  I own the DVD and we watch it every MLK Day to remind ourselves that all history is our history no matter what your color and though things are better in some regards, we have a ridiculously long way to go.

I was able to track down the documentary online and if you have 30 minutes tonight, I beg of you whether you like history or not, please give it a watch.

It's true reality TV that will actually change you for the better and not rot brain cells from listening to millennial vocal fry.  It will give you an appreciation for the holiday and I promise you will never be the same.

Happy Martin Luther King Day all.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #2

Happy Friday all!

This week seemed to zip by for some reason which is odd because I was awake for most of it at all hours.  If anyone knows of cleaning fairies that are willing to magically clean my house and put everything exactly where I would without me having to tell them, I'd be down with that.

But enough of my domestic goddess fantasies, let's get to...

It's all good: Any exercise cuts risk of death, study finds  (Get up and get movin'!)

Classic Covers: New Year’s Resolutions  (Yeah, that first one looks like me)

Why Building “Long and Lean Muscles” Is A Myth and How You Can Get Strong and Lean!  (Interesting stuff)

What 1 Woman Did After Being Fat Shamed by 3 Skinny Girls at the Gym  (Great article but barf, can we STOP using the term "shamed" for everything?  Over it)

My 6-Month CrossFit Transformation Isn't What I Thought It'd Be  (Good message for those who think "my body should look like X after X amount of time)

7 Things People Who Lose Weight Do Every Day  (Word up)

7 Foods to Eat When You're Sick   (I'd better get to it)

Smartphone Deniers  (Any deniers here?  The only reason I have a smartphone is for the camera.  Literally no data plan!)

5 Ways to Finally Get Your Ass in Gear and Quit Stalling  (I will, I will...sheesh!)

Heart Attack Signs You Must NEVER Ignore and How To Prevent Them!  (You MUST know the difference between symptoms for men and women...they aren't the same!)

The 1 Photo Going Viral to Help Women Detect Breast Cancer  (Memorize this!)

How To Hygge (Or: 29 Ways To Actually Enjoy Winter)  (These are EXCELLENT suggestions for people who are actually getting snow which is not me so...)

I did manage to get two good cardio sessions of Tae Bo and Turbo Fire in this week.  I didn't die so that's a plus.  The Turbo Fire was a little more taxing because I was sore from a wicked PT session that left my legs already tight and sore so I had a bit of a tingling throughout and after the workout where my "yank points" have been.  I'll take it easy tonight.

If you need me, I'll be on the couch hacking up a lung at the world's most slow moving, irritating kind of a cold, kind of not but enough to disrupt my life event I'm living through.

I hope you have better plans!  Spill 'em!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Movie Bender

With the Mr down and out with his cold, we've been on a movie bender lately.  Here's my summary of our recent rents.

Sully (affiliate link) (Tom Hanks)- I think we all remember the "Miracle on the Hudson" and the beloved pilot we'd all want on our side, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.  The Mr and I were very excited to see one national treasure playing another in this movie.  As the movie starts with a scenario you know isn't real, you begin to see how they're going to tell the story.  I am not a fan of time jumping in movies but despite that was looking forward to seeing more about the man and what made him such a wonderful pilot.  I feel like I'm still waiting.  Only very briefly did they touch on some key things that may have contributed to his awesome but it focused mostly on the NTSB's handling of the incident.  While that may be an interesting story, it wasn't the one the Mr and I rented it for.  Meh.

Blair Witch-   (affiliate link) We are fans of the original Blair Witch Project because it was truly a breakthrough back in the day for the way it was marketed.  It's still a great psychological watch and I still freak with Heather screeching and the dude in the corner.  *insert heebie jeebies*  We decided we'd see if these people could give it a better go than previous attempts at a sequel.  While the likelihood of Heather still being out there all these years later waiting to be found by her little brother is pretty low, you suspend your disbelief and try to go with it.  When a dude sends him video of the Blair Witch (watch that footage closely and see if you spot the twist toward the end!), a bunch of fools end up in the woods together.  It doesn't end well for them.  The last 10 minutes are kind of terrifying but seeing the Blair Witch was kind of underwhelming for me because it looked like a praying mantis or overdone stick figure.  While unnerving, I thought it was a cop out.  It was certainly better than other movies they tried to do so there's that.

The Accountant- (Ben Affleck, John Lithgow, JK Simmons)  Wait, where are you going?  Yes, Ben Affleck is the lead in this movie but holy sh*tballs, we didn't know he had this in him!!!  How awesome it was to see a character on the spectrum use what others view as a disability as their strength to be a major bad ass!  In the beginning, it started a bit slow but it did pick up and man did it just take you on a ride!  It gave you every feel.  I laughed, I cried, I covered my eyes, the choreography during fight scenes was almost like a beautiful ballet that reminded me a lot of Brandon or Bruce Lee.  Of course I couldn't help but yell "Affleck, you da bomb in Phantoms, yo!"  (Points if you got the reference)  But truly, he was da bomb in this and we both agree we will likely own this one.  Four thumbs up!

Passengers (affiliate link) (Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence)  We saw this one in the theater and I believe it's where I caught whatever this is that I have but I'll try not to hold it against the movie.  As the trailer shows, two people in hibernation wake up 90 years too early and da poo hits the fan in so many more ways than you could imagine.  If you like Chris Pratt's butt, pay attention.  I looked away for a NANOSECOND when he was coming out of hibernation coma and by the time the Mr alerted me, I only caught coin slot.  He worked out hard and wanted people to enjoy it so I felt it my duty to pass it on.  The movie is almost a full two hours and I feel like they may have been able to cut out 15 minutes and still do a good job.  The twist actually comes relatively early given the length of the movie and when you see it, it's one of those things you'll come out saying "holy crap, what would you have done" and probably argue for or against 20x over.  Overall I did like it.  The relationship seemed more brother/sister to me though and I didn't think they had much chemistry as lovers but you know, trapped in a spaceship and all so...

What have you rented/seen lately?

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Prep time

If you follow me on Facebook, you know every Sunday I post about preparing for the week.  While yesterday wasn't Sunday, I decided if I was going to potentially do a few nights of this new meal plan I got that I should have some stuff on hand.  Some of the things that come up frequently are...

Quinoa.  I made mine with minced garlic.

Black beans with some chipotle powder.  (From dry bagged to control the sodium)

Roasted sweet potato unseasoned.

Today I will portion them out and freeze them so that we can grab them for lunch or dinner.  I don't quite have everything I need but they will get us through this week and into next week.  This weekend I'll do more stocking up on veggies like peppers, onions and stuff like that to add in.  I'm glad to have these things pre-cooked so that dinner after my ever increasing exercise sessions will be easier to throw together.

Do you prep food for the week to make dinners/meals easier?

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sorry I'm a little late

I know, I'm late on the "new year, new me" bandwagon but I've had other things on my figurative plate so I apologize.  You may remember last year I told you that I'm not a resolution person and had no real desire to pick a word for the year...I rarely stick with it.  I revealed my motto which may have seemed pretty dismal but it was the first time I actually put a new year's thought like that into action.

A reminder for those who don't have time to click the link, it was "if you don't care, I don't care."  I also posted a sign with this saying...

(via Pinterest)

I tried very hard to do that.  It took some reminding from people who knew it was my goal including the Mr who, God love him, probably talked to death more issues than he cared to on the health front. When the subject of Grandma came up, I smiled, kept my mouth shut and said as little as possible. Obviously the Mr and I would yap about it when out of the situation but for the most part I just kept my lip zipped.  I said my goodbyes to Grandma at Thanksgiving as everyone was fairly certain this holiday season was her last.   Even though I would express frustration with the situation, I spent last year making peace with the fact that decisions had been made, they are not what I would've done and no amount of crying, stressing and stating my opinion would change it.  I am kind of dead inside on the subject.

The problem is, I became dead inside on many things.  It was not a good year and not just because of what was going on in pop culture.  I had an entire year full of leg issues and a lot of tears were shed and a lot of money spent to fix it.  (The bills are rolling in and boy when they say chit rolls downhill...welcome to the valley, yo!)  I am still not fully recovered but better and know that full physical therapy at least 3x week is my reality for life.  It may have been our 20 year anniversary but I'm not ashamed to admit to you all that it was not the Mr and I's best year.  I'm hopeful though.  What is "bad" to us is probably someone else's dream.  Just some tweaks that need to be made.  With the baking channel came a LOT of stress for both of us due to a time crunch and my ambitious plans but I'm hoping it's something that will give us a good base going forward as I continue to share my passion.  So it was a stressful year on many levels and one I'm glad to be putting to bed.

The Mr has some work related stuff he needs to get done early this year so I will help him with that if he needs it.  I need to sit down and work out a schedule for my work stuff because time just flies too damn fast anymore to wing it.  I will continue to set boundaries on issues that have no middle ground.  The weight loss stuff?  Well, that's probably worth a whole other blog.  We're still getting back to a good rhythm on the exercise front with a small setback on the ankle due to being lax on vacation with PT and the Mr recovering from his creeping crud.  Of course it looks like I could be catching it too so I may be in for a rest day or two depending on how bad it gets.  This week will likely be more of formulating a plan of action.  I bought a food plan through a website we use all the time for meal ideas since I'm in a food rut and have ZERO desire to do a fad.  Unfortunately it looks like I purchased a pre-planned food rut (I swear I typed turd instead of rut uncontrollably 3x) since everything basically looks like "have an omelet for breakfast and spend the rest of your time throwing veggies in beans, quinoa and/or rice."  I wasn't looking to go vegetarian.  But I suppose we'll consider making a few more meals per week along those lines.  I'll think on it more as the week progresses into grocery refill weekend and figure out where the hell I'm going to keep even MORE veggies in the fridge.

So yeah, I have no word for the year.

I have no motto.

I have no bandwagon I'm jumping on.

Just a little time this week to formulate a plan going forward as we assess goals both physical and mental.

How would you say 2016 went for you overall?

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, all!

Saturday we got up and despite the Mr initially feeling better, the longer we were out, the more congested he got.  I could tell it was irritating him and he was just starting to feel like poo again.  I had to get out of the house because my only contact with the outside world was PT and let me tell you, that wasn't fun.  But what always makes everything better momentarily?  Puppies.

So while we got to get out, it wasn't necessarily fun for him then it got not so fun for me so I suggested we go home and not bother with dinner out.  A pit stop at home was what we needed and we were back out again.  We had a nice dinner and the Mr seemed to be feeling a little less crappy.

Speaking of PT,  since I took most of my vacation off of PT, (mistake) I decided for some reason that when I did my first gastroc stretch when I got back that I would still have the same range of motion as the last time I did it.  I did not and I over-stretched it.  Then it crazy contracted because it was pissed at me for overstretching it two days in a row before I got the message and then I had to try to make up for taking time off before seeing her so I did PT including moves I hadn't done regularly (lunges, regular squats and star excursions without touching).  When I went to see her, she gave me two new variations to do on clamshells and bridges that will cripple me. Matter of fact, I was so overloaded, I had to take 2 days off of full PT at home.  I now know the tests she will put me through to finally release me so I know I need to concentrate on lunges and the hellish new bridges once my legs loosen back up.  She wanted me to get one of those big exercise balls to do the bridges on but two problems with that  1) we have ZERO room for that thing.  I mean I'm seriously stressed just trying to find homes for Christmas presents much less a 2 1/2' wide ball and 2) it hurt SO bad when I was doing it that it felt like every muscle from ankle to ass was going to lock on me.  I don't see that being a make or break move for me.  I told her there's no way I could fit that ball  in there and she said to use some couch cushions or something.  Uh, because that's smaller?  So I bought these  (affiliate link) instead which will fit in our area.  I'm going to try them out sometime this week as a test run while still in the return window time and then move to that in a week or two.  I just refuse to continue overloading muscles because the therapist wants me to do it daily.  (I've been supposed to be doing 2x per day but that has never been a possibility for me so I've only ever done it once a day the whole time.)  I'm going to have to listen to my body and everyone else will have to deal with it.

Sunday was like a total time suck.  I stayed in bed reading a book until 11am because the Mr was on the couch and I didn't know what time he went to bed and didn't want to disturb him.  But my back was done for.  I got up and made brunch and then we started breaking down the Christmas tree.  About halfway through, I could tell something was off.  Yep...I'm getting sick.  Yeah because I didn't just go through this 2 1/2 months ago coming home from Virginia.  Note to self (and you)...never, ever, EVER go to the movies within 2-3 weeks after the holidays when everyone around you is sick and coughing.  They (including the Mr) are at a point where they're tired of being cooped up and want revenge on healthy people who came out unscathed.  Effers.  So I won't know until you're reading this if my body decided to fight or white flag it.  The Mr was kind enough to go to the grocery for some produce and tissue refuel.  I warmed up turkey legs and wings for dinner and some garlic potatoes.  We looked through our Christmas cards and recounted some of our favorite moments from Christmas vacation.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, January 6, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #1

The first WIRTW of the new year!

I'm sure the theme will seem familiar given the calendar flip so let's get right to...

11 Things Healthy People Never Say  (Well la ti dah!)

10 Ways to Get Back on the Fitness Wagon  (Hop on board!)

A Winner of The Biggest Loser Opens Up About Gaining Nearly Every Pound Back  (It happens to the best of us girl.  Just get back to it)

Body Shaming ANY Body Is Bad For Everybody  (Get it, girl)

29 Easy Recipes to Help You Stick to Your Healthy-Eating Resolutions  (Yum!)

40+ Small Ways to Help You Hit Your Weight-Loss Goals   (Every little bit counts!)

17 Ways to Change Your Body in 2017 to Get Stronger, Leaner, and More Toned   (Word)

Why It's Important to Stop Drinking Shots of ACV  (A burning hole in the esophagus?)

This Adorable Newborn Puppy Photo Shoot Will Make Your Heart Melt  (OMG, I can't!)

The 6 Stages Of Sharing A Bed With Your Significant Other  (I literally had to stop reading halfway through at first because I almost pee'd myself laughing!)

We had a little bit of snow yesterday but nothing that will get me out shoeing anytime soon especially since it's set to warm up.  Stupid global warming.  Apparently I will never have winter again unless I move to New England.  I don't want to constantly be called a flat lander for the rest of my life so that's not an option.

For any Sleepyheads still left out there, Sleepy Hollow returns tonight!  WOOT!  Mison for my eyeballs baby.

Whatchu guys got going on this weekend?
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Playing nursemaid

One thing about that whole "on this day" stuff on social media is that it reminds you of past things you've shared.  Like the fact that for 8 of the last 9 years, I've been sick for the new year.  The only exception being 2011 into 2012 and it was the most amazing NYE of either of our lives because we were in Chicago and watched fireworks from a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan at midnight.

I thought having skipped Christmas with the fam and getting through Christmas Eve service surrounded by sick Vermonters, we'd dodged a bullet.  I got home unscathed.  The day after arriving home, the Mr felt like he was fighting something.  That's always as far as it goes.  For one day he feels like something might be coming on and the next day he's fine.  Well, after a night on the Thruway pushing doors and touching gas pumps at service stations after everyone got sick from their families, his immune system apparently couldn't take it.  We took Emergen-C everyday and were pretty diligent with hand sanitizer...on the way out.  I think we got a little lax on the way back.  He's usually done within 4-5 days max and is now on day 7 which may be a record for him.  Me?  I get sick and I'm down for 2 weeks, no sense of smell for 10 days.  I don't remember the last time he was sick but his already loud snore turns into something of a jet engine scenario.

The bed at the cabin nearly broke my back but a close second is our couch.  (Thanks Pottery Barn)  It's not a fun sleep at all.  In his first few days, I gave him the bed to get rest but I got none on the couch.  Then I could feel my legs trying to seize up from being crammed in a confined space for hours...hello recipe for a re-flare of compartment syndrome.  He gave me the bed and took the couch to take his turn with crappy sleep.  He thought sleeping in the basement where he could breathe better would be a good idea.  When he swore something hissed at him down there, he was back on the couch.  I feel bad for him because I can tell he's in misery.  He's not really one of those guys that whines and such.  I mean he'll complain from time to time but no more than I do when I'm sick.  But when he gets sick, I immediately go into nursemaid mode.

I think I've pumped him full of more green tea than should be allowed by law with a nice swirl of raw honey.  I made him homemade eucalyptus salve, spicy chicken broth to promote sinus draining and made meals based on nutrients I thought he needed.  There's just something about doing all you can to make someone you love feel better when they feel like a poo bag.  (As I type, he's head bobbing trying to hang in there for the last of Bull.)

I pray I don't get it or whatever the four people all around me had at the movies today.  (Passengers.  Good but rent it.)  I guess I'll know in two days.

How long do your colds/flu usually last?  Do you go into nursemaid mode for your spouse or let them fend for themselves?

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Did I stick with it?

When we went on our trip to Virginia a few months ago, we proved that it was possible to work out every day on vacation.  We didn't skip a day and I was pretty proud of us.  I knew that I needed to keep up with PT on the trip and we brought my band and balance board so there was no excuse.  When we got to our first hotel, I did PT while watching Sound of Music.  Then next night we were at our second hotel and did my PT and was pretty confident I'd keep it up.

The next night when we got to Vermont, we had to pick up our key and we only had 30 minutes until sunset.  We picked out our tree and took it back to the house (that served as our pathetic 20 minutes of cardio for the day) and then I became a "whirling dervish" as the Mr called me.  It was 4 solid hours of decorating and by the time I was done, I was exhausted.  So no PT that night.  The next night I did my PT like a good girl...and never did it again.


We would get up in the morning and not get going until 8am then I made breakfast almost every morning so we might not get out of the house until about 10am.  That doesn't sound bad but if you drive an hour here or half an hour there and then come 3:45pm the sun is starting to hide and by 4:15pm you're in the throes of sundown, man the energy just goes pfffft.  I'd heat dinner and then we'd watch a Christmas movie and it was like open mouth droolies on the couch.

We did get in *some* exercise.  The day we did sledding the walk back up the hill was exhausting and since we went down about 15-20x, we got a nice little kick of cardio with that.  While you wouldn't think building a snowman would be work, it took both the Mr and I every ounce of strength to roll that thing's bulbous ass up to the spot I picked, which of course had to be the top of the hill for all to see.

The next day we snoeshoed the property for about an hour.  The day after that we did a nice snowshoeing trail and there were lots of elevation changes and obstacles so it felt it a lot more than just a walk around our usual trails if we get enough snow at home.  So we got three good days of cardio in and another day of walking around town so I'll count that as like our neighborhood walks.  But on the strength front...nothin'.  The bands were even packed and never came out.  Sigh.

The past three days though, I've gotten right back on the PT train.  I know how easy it could be to get off track but I have a PT appointment today and I was honestly too afraid she'd be able to tell!  Seriously though, the reason I got back to it is because so much of what we did on this trip would not have been possible without it.  In 6 weeks, she was able to build on what the chiro had done and I was able to do more than just walk, which at one point was the goal.  Just to walk, period, without thinking about it.  Instead, you know what happened?

I walked up a 45 degree angle hill repeatedly to sled without thinking about it.  It wasn't until about my 10th trip back up that I stopped to enjoy the fact that my foot had not gone in that position in MONTHS.  Then the same as we shoeshoed to the chapel.

I don't know if you can tell by that picture but that is uphill meaning my heel needed to be stretched in a way that was impossible 2 months ago.  The fact that I didn't have to wonder if it was possible and just did it and then thought about it later is testament to what physical therapy has done and will continue to do for me when I am consistent.

I cannot get in that mindset of "well, I'm better now so I don't have to do it anymore."  That lax attitude has always been my downfall.  The chiro said there will be a time when I don't have to do PT anymore but I have committed to myself that I will do it 2-3x week for the rest of my life regardless of what the anyone says.  Having a sit down job will take that butt/hip strength away faster than I can imagine.  I want to break this cycle of being well for a few months with this leg stuff and then something else pops up.  Both the PT and chiro said they think those weak muscles are the core of my problems and while I love them both, it would make me happy to not have to continue to pay out the boo-tay to see them anymore.  The PT bills have started rolling in and we're at $900 and that's WITH insurance coverage and five more visits we haven't gotten the bills for yet.  So it's in my and our wallet's best interest to keep it up because I don't need to be paying more mortgage payment sized co-pays to fix this shiznit!

Did you keep up your exercise/PT routine over the holidays?

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