Friday, May 23, 2008

A Dream is a Wish Your Gut Makes

I had a food dream a few weeks ago while I was doing some morning couch sleeping. I was making Nerd's breakfast and packing his diet-friendly snacks (trust me, this is about as thoughtful as I get) as I do every morning. As I rummaged through the fridge, I came across a pound of bacon. You know how excited you get when you find a long-forgotten $100 bill in your parka pocket (I don't know either--just imagine, OK?)? That's how excited I was about this bacon. However, I was worried that Nerd would see the bacon and want some for himself, so I squirreled it away in the back of the fridge, burying it under rotten leftovers and produce, and planned to fry up the whole pound for myself after he left for work. [Am I this duplicitous in real life? Maybe.] As I continued with my food preparations, I nibbled on a caramel-filled chocolate Easter bunny I had stashed in the corner behind my mixer. I was careful to wash my hands when they got too carmelly (carmely?) so I wouldn't mess up the carrot container or anything tell-tale like that. The bunny was delicious. I've never eaten real bunny, but I can't imagine it's better than caramel-filled chocolate. 

I have no idea what to make of this dream. Obviously I like bacon, chocolate and caramel more than I should, but all the sneakiness worries me. Is snarfing down Funyuns and candy corn while hiding in the coat closet in my future? Will I tell you if it happens? 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I love you, Skinny Mom

My Momma: circa 1970s

Is it too late for a Mother's Day tribute to my mom? Of course not! Nothing is ever late in Holly Land. 

My mom is skinnier than I am. In fact, with a few brief exceptions, she has weighed less than me for the past 15 years. I'm the only one in my family of origin with a weight problem, but that's a subject for another lengthy post in the future (Title: Holly's Family: Skinny Candy Junkies). We are both 5'9" tall, so comparing and contrasting our weight load is fairly easy. 

Guess what? Mom doesn't spend every waking hour at the gym, nor does she fight weight gain at every turn. Do I sound jealous? I am...just a little, but I also recognize that she is not a glutton and that is probably a big part of why she's not fat. In fact, she kind of eats like a bird a lot of the time (she's on the worms and seeds diet!)

As much as I struggle with losing weight and keeping it off, I do have a good nutritional foundation, thanks to my mom. I am grateful to her for teaching me what healthy eating is from a young age. 

Thanks, Mom, for:

*buying only wheat bread. I yearned for squishy Wonder bread like all the other kids, but I know now how disgusting that stuff is (if you can mush a piece of bread into a tiny ball, there's something seriously wrong with it)

*making me eat my vegetables. I could have done without the cardboardish frozen pea-carrot-lima bean abomination, but hey, it was the 70's and that's what was available. 

*growing a garden and cooking stuff like beet greens, chard, and mixed garden vegetable stir fries. I will never, ever thank you for the squash, though. 

*stocking our cupboard with Grape Nuts, shredded wheat, raisin bran and Wheat Chex. And not allowing us to dump sugar all over them. I'm fairly sure that I could survive on handfuls of bark without too much damage to my digestive tract, thanks to my fibrous upbringing.

*canning fruit in the summers so we could have peaches year round. I don't think I appreciated then how good home-canned peaches are, but I do now!

*not making me eat the wormy cherries that Grandma canned. Sterilized worms are still worms.

*making do with little to no money, and making sure we didn't go hungry

*all the times you said you weren't hungry and let us finish what was left of dinner (I know you lied sometimes)

*bringing me orange juice in bed to help me wake up. Sorry I was such a lazy bum of a teenager!

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Open mouth, insert money

Oh, wait...that's not how that saying goes...

Anyway, in the spirit of the video I posted yesterday, I worked out today in spite of the obstacles.

Here is the background (and it's really long and I'm really wordy and oh well, just deal): I usually exercise in the morning after the kids go to school or in the evening after they go to bed. My dh is home virtually all the time these days, as we're getting ready to move, and I homeschool my almost 13-y/o, so I really have no excuse whatsoever to not get my hiney moving. The last couple of weeks I've been trying to ramp up my strength training, as I have a multitude of what a friend once called "squishues." I am getting near to my goal weight (p.s. Holly, I would have readily admitted that; no need to rat me out! ;), but I am still so doughy and, well, squishy, that I really need to be more consistent about working out with weights in order to get the body I want. So, like I've said, I've been working harder at getting that done lately. Mostly I work out at home, and I have a pretty good collection of weights, bands, etc. that I use. However, three weeks ago, movers came to my house and took away all my weights and bands and even my etc. So then I had to start dragging myself to the gym at our neighborhood's community center. I hate that gym, especially the weight room, as it is nigh unto useless. But that's what I've been doing in order to get my workouts done.

This week has been harder, as we had another set of movers come and take even more stuff (since we're moving overseas, we're sending our stuff in waves, in the hopes that it will all arrive roughly the same time we do), and I haven't gotten all of the weight workouts in that I wanted. I knew that this morning was basically my last chance to get it done in order to get the 48-hour requisite rest period before my Monday morning workout. But my dh is out of town! And my handy dandy built-in-babysitter-eldest-child (a.k.a., the reason you don't kill them when they're little? so they can grow up and babysit for you!) had an early-morning (as in, out the door at 5:45am) church youth activity to go to! And my older son is camping. So what to do what to do. Hello, body-weight circuit training! Last night before I went bed, I came up with a full-body workout using just my body weight. I laid out my clothes, water, and ipod last night and then when I got up to help get my dd out the door at way-too-early o'clock, I worked out! Go me!

Here's what I did:
5 minute warm up on the old and crappy yet free treadmill (the movers didn't take it, because the electrical system of the apartment building we'll be living in can't handle it)
10 push-ups
20 squats (technically, I guess I did "prisoner squats" as I raised my arms overhead whilst I was performing aforementioned squats)
20 tricep dips
25 crunches (I like to do these with my feet on the wall and my legs at a 90-degree angle. Then when I crunch up, I push my feet against the wall, thereby increasing the contraction in my lower abs.)
15 lunges, each side (also, I hate lunges!)
20 calf-raises on the bottom step of the staircase
30-second plank position (I had to fudge that a little as I am still pretty weak, so I did 10 seconds doing it right, 10 seconds holding it halfway, and then 10 more seconds doing it fully) (also, ow)
30 mountain climbers

Then I started over back at the beginning and did it again. I had intended to get on the treadmill after that and go for as long as I could, but just as I was starting my second trip through the circuit, my youngest woke up and vehemently demanded my attention. I got him settled with some food and a show long enough to finish the circuit, but there's no way to contain him well enough to allow me to get on the 'mill, and the other 2 kids weren't awake yet (gratefully! it wasn't even 7!). He's 22-months and fully into the stage that a friend of my mom's describes as "Maximum Mobility, Minimum Judgment." So the extended treadmill session will have to wait for tonight after bedtime, but I'm very happy to have the strength workout done. I don't expect to be able to lift many things today, and tomorrow may involve a lot of sitting and saying, "ow," but for now I'm happy.

The other thing that makes me happy about coming up with this workout is that in 10 days or so, I'm going to be homeless for 6 weeks or more (depending on when we can get into our new place) and gym availability is going to be sketchy at best, so now I know that I'm going to be able to put together effective workouts regardless. I figure if I add in a jump rope, marching in place (sometime soon, Holly needs to tell y'all about LRR), and/or jumping jacks, and I'll be good for the cardio portions of the circuit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Can't think of a catchy title, but watch this anyway:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

She's plucky

I bet you're dying to know how many pounds I was down at my Weight Watchers weigh-in on Saturday? Sorry about the suspense. Can I get a drum roll? No? That's OK--but have your snare drum ready next time, please. 

I was down 0.2 of a pound! I am SO glad I plucked my eyebrows before I got on the scale. 

Friday, May 2, 2008

Don't worry, it's just butter weight

You may be wondering what I'm doing with 8 pounds of rettub on my head. The picture is symbolic, you see. I love symbolism--I'm deep like that. I'm also crazy. The kind of crazy who gets 8 pounds of butter out of the freezer in order to give you, my reader, a visual image of how much weight I gained in a mere three weeks. No, I didn't gain the weight on the top of my head (though that would have been a good reason to invest in a wardrobe of top hats--finally!), but I'd rather not photograph the area where the pounds actually settled. This isn't that kind of blog.
Here's how it all transpired:
I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday, April 5th and weighed in at 182.8. On the 11th we drove to Sara's house, far far away, for a visit/vacation. (Before you start blaming Sara for making me fatter, read on--I know it's your tendency to blame her for my problems, but you really ought to get your facts straight). We spent a lovely 10 days with Sara and her family, enjoying the sights and eating. I ate so much. Sara tried a few gentle reminders along the lines of, "How about we both count points tomorrow!" and
"Are those pants really splitting at the seams?," but I was not to be dissuaded from my chosen path of sugar and gluttony. Fast forward to my next WW weigh-in on April 23rd (yes, I could have gone to WW on vacation, but that would have made me feel guilty. Guilt is uncomfortable). Dum, dum, dum, dah! I weighed 190.6. Sorry to say this wasn't a fake weight. You know, the kind you get when you're bloated, or you had a really big meal the night before, or you're carrying 400 quarters in your jeans pockets. No, this was real, genuine body poundage.
What now? I've heard eating less and moving more works for some people. I may have to give it a try. Meanwhile, I think I'll go put the butter back in the fridge before it jumps into a bowl with flour, cocoa powder and eggs and becomes brownies.

Pssst...Are you wondering if I tried to balance the butter tray on my head rather than hold it there with my hands? Of course I tried that! And I was rewarded by painful butter-box-corner wounds on my shoulders and legs.