Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Fitness Challenge" - Day 8

My faithful readers will remember a recent post where I mentioned that I was trying out a "fitness challenge."  I prefer not to call it a "diet," because in some ways, it is a change in the way I approach food.  I have a protein shake for breakfast and a second one either at lunch or at dinner.  The non-shake meal is as close to vegan as I want to make it, but high in protein.  I cannot really bring myself to give up the meat, so I try for leaner cuts or go with chicken.  I also cannot really give up cheese or eggs (or other "animal products") but I have cut back on what I eat of those.  This goes for 30 days.  I am on Day 8.

It has been 8 days since I have had a soda.  I am not really missing it and I thought I would have massive withdrawal headaches, but I have not.  I have only had unsweetened iced tea (the only way I drink it anyway), twice and otherwise have drank water.  A LOT of water.

Before some of you get upset and tell me that it sounds like a "diet" or even worse, a "fad diet," I will tell you that I am also working on the "fitness" part of it.  I have been playing basketball in a league each week for about a year.  Although I've been off for a few weeks, I am still playing.  I just started playing in a volleyball league on Tuesday nights.  (By the way, it is never the day after that hurts, it is 2 days after.)  I have also been trying to get back into running.  (I keep saying that I need to train for this 1/2 marathon in August that I signed up for and the calendar keeps ticking off days and weeks without me getting much training in.  I'm starting to feel a little crazy about it!)

But I digress.  So, this new way of eating and looking at food.  I honestly am not feeling much different and I don't think that my eating style had to drastically change to fit the program.  Most mornings, I would either not eat breakfast at all, or I would have a plain biscuit from McDonald's with a large (unsweetened) iced tea.  If not that, then water and a granola bar.  I think the protein shakes are better for me, keep me full longer, and don't have as many calories as the biscuit.  Lunches usually involved a sandwich of some kind and soda, so I know my calories have been cut way back for that meal.  I'm not really missing the bread, but I am running out of ideas for the days I have a meal at lunch rather than a shake.  I had a tiny piece of bread on Sunday with dinner (steak and potato and salad) and I had a few tortilla chips with lunch on Tuesday.  Otherwise, not really much carbs, other than what comes in fruit.  (Although I did have gluten free pasta salad last night.)

With all of this, what could be the problem?  Well, I am not seeing the weight start to move yet.  I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped on the scale on Day 1, it was not as high as I had thought it would be.  But it hasn't moved much since.  It went down a 1/2 pound, but then back up a pound and I haven't checked since it did that.  I did not want to be depressed.

A few years ago, I did weight watchers and figured out the hard way that I had to eat all of my daily points, plus a few of the weekly "extra" points in order for the weight to start to come off.  My body just needed that much or it went into survival mode, trying to pack on everything I put in.  I am wondering if the same thing isn't happening now.  I switched breakfast and lunch and completely dropped out the soda and almost completely dropped out the bread - so does my body think I'm starving it and is trying to save what I eat for dinner?  I may have to work with things a bit to see if more snacking during the day helps keep things moving.

At the grocery store last night, I loaded up on cucumbers, celery and carrots, all to the chorus of "yuck" and "ewww" from my girls. (Except for the carrots, they love carrots.)  I try to include a vegetable with each meal and make them eat just a bit (at least) before giving in.  I am hoping that by having those veggies available (I still need to cut them up and get them ready,) I will be more likely to grab those than anything else if I get a hungry moment. (Of course, that means I have to actually cut them up and prepare them.)  I also have a fridge full of zucchini from my last farm-fresh delivery.... anyone got any good recipes?

In any event, week 2 of the challenge has started.  We will see how it goes.  I guess I will have to step on the scale tomorrow to see what is what.  The results that other women are posting look great and make it sound like it works. (Some women are posting that they have lost between 7 and 10 pounds in 30 days and some feel so great after the 30 days that they keep going.)  Very inspirational to hear, but of course I have to work with things to see how my body reacts.  And of course, everyone's results vary.  I will let you all know when any big drops happen.  Til then... happy eating.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fitness, Television and Kissing - Today's Mental Meanderings

GETTING IN SHAPE - I started a new fitness program today.  A friend's posts about success on her FB page intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try.  I've noticed over the past few weeks that the little "muffin top" has gotten a bit bigger and the jeans don't fit quite as well as they did a few months ago.  I work out sometimes, I play basketball once a week (or every two weeks) and I started running to train for a 1/2 marathon in August.  But I felt like I needed a kick start.  So, here we are, Day 1.  I'll let you know how it goes.

I took "before" pictures last night and let me just say "UGH!"  Of course, no one likes their own mirror, but man - those photos are NOT flattering.  I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped on the scale for my starting weight though.  I had expected something about 5 pounds heavier, so maybe it wasn't quite as bad as I thought?   The program is a protein shake for breakfast, one for lunch and then a healthy dinner for 30 days.  The plan calls for you to go as vegan as possible, with no animal proteins or products and dairy and gluten free as well, but I'm not sure I can quite go that far.  I like cheese too much, and even eggs or a steak once in awhile.  Others that have done the program and posted information (including my friend) have mentioned that they have not followed it strictly, but have still enjoyed good results.  I'm just looking to lose the "muffin top" and get back into my "skinny" jeans. (Not that I really have skinny jeans, but isn't that what everyone says?)   The last time I took action like this was when B was 18 months old.  I decided that I was tired of carrying around the extra "baby weight" and joined Weight Watchers.  I lost almost 20 pounds and kept it off until I had K.  Now I'm done carrying around her extra "baby weight."  Ha.   I'll keep you posted (pun intended) on my progress.

TELEVISION - I'm finally catching up on some of the shows - finally having more than a few minutes each night to veg on the couch.  Last night I caught up on the Voice (although I'm still almost 2 weeks behind) and let me just say.... WOULD THE COACHES PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THE "RASP" IN SOMEONE'S VOICE?  When did that become a "thing"?  It's almost as bad as Christina starting all of her comments and sentences with the words "I mean."  GRRRRR.     Come up with a new word!    Moving on... SMASH - still so bummed that it will be going away.  Really, such a great concept - why can't the network get on board?  When I finished watching the show from 2 weeks ago, I almost felt sorry for Jimmy.  He frustrates and annoys me most of the time, but at the end of that show, I realized that he was winning me over.  Why?  Maybe I continue to have an affinity for the "bad guys," the ones that you know will hurt you but you want them anyway.  I find Derek's character to be laughable.  Honestly, a guy who has been in the business as long as he supposedly has, suddenly having a gut check moment when it comes to women?  And wandering around like a lost little boy, unable to decide who to chase after first.  I don't buy it.  And while we're at it, let's discuss Karen's seeming inability to make a decision and stick with it.  She wants Jimmy, then she doesn't, then she wants Derek and then she doesn't, because she realizes she still wants Jimmy.  Um.... have we forgotten that she had a fiance just last season?  Yes, he was a bit of a jerk and yes, he cheated on her, but did she turn off her feelings for him that quick? (Aside from the fact that he simply disappeared from the show, of course.)  Back to Jimmy - I watched last week's show and was back to not being sure about him.  He annoyed me again, but I still found myself rooting for him just a bit.  Strangely, at some points in the show, he looked good and at others, I was unable to look at him - something just seemed "off" about his face.  Strange yes, but this is me we're talking about.  Just a few more weeks until we officially say goodbye to this show.  I hope a cable channel picks it up, or they find another way to keep it alive.  Then again, depending on how they end the season, one has to wonder where the story would go.

And finally, KISSING...  I wrote a long time ago about the confusion that I sometimes encounter with people, and the struggle over kissing versus hugging.  Friends I have known for ages, of course I can hug when I say hello.  People I know through business or wives of people I know... not so easy a question.  This morning, it occurred to me that I sometimes have the same struggle about kissing, and with family.  My family was never very affectionate.  I don't remember seeing my dad kiss my mom very much at all and we certainly did not get a lot of hugs and kisses from our parents (that I recall.)  Hugs from Grandma, of course, but not much beyond that, as far as I can remember.  So as I was dropping B off at school today, she wanted a kiss (which she always does, and which is fine) and she kissed me on the lips.  I felt that moment's twinge of a question - is this ok?  Should kids be kissing their parents on the lips?   I suppose that is because somewhere, buried deep within, there might be a Puritan trying to get out.  I thought I had squashed her completely when I moved to California, voted Democrat and took up pole dancing classes for exercise, but maybe she's still in there somewhere.  But she raises an interesting question - what is o.k. affection between parents and children?  Obviously, there are lines to be drawn.  But this is one of those grey areas that I have to wonder about.... and how does that spill over to relationships with brothers and sisters, and even in-laws?   B loves to give K kisses, but at some point as they get older, will it be wrong for them to kiss on the lips (closed mouth, of course.)  And both girls give Nana and Papa kisses all the time - again, on the lips.  So I wonder.

Like I said, much of my issues likely stem from my own family's "reserved" nature when it comes to displays of affection.  So I suppose that I will just continue to give (and receive) kisses, because you know that at some point, they won't want them anymore.... I should probably just take what I can get while they are young and still willing to be seen in public standing next to me, right?  Don't even get me started on having to hold Mommy's hand in the parking lots!

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Why, Mommy?"

We have once again entered the "why" portion of child rearing.  As we move from the "terrible 2s" into the "I-hope-they-are-not-as-terrible-3s," K has discovered the word "why?"  I am not even sure when she figured it out, but it was almost like someone flipped a switch.

A conservation with her last week in the car on the way to school:
Me:  "Christine and Amy are sisters." (Referring to our former nanny and her sister, our sometimes babysitters.)
K:  "Why?"
Me:  "Because their mommy had two little girls."
K:  "Why?"
Me:  (After pausing a bit to consider my answer) "Because their Mommy wanted to have two little girls.
K:  Giggle, followed by "no."

I love her giggle and the way she paused, then giggled and then said "no" made me laugh.  She asks "why" about so many things, and not always things that make any sense to us, but I will assume make sense in her world.  She often asks if Papa (Rob's dad) is at our house.  When we say "no," she asks "why?"  The response is usually something along the lines of his being at his house or with Nana, or at work (or wherever we think he might be at that time.)  She usually follows up with another "why", at which point we usually try to change the subject.

The "why" question is an interesting one that can open so many doors or even Pandora's box, depending on the subject.  Sometimes, we don't really want to know why, but we ask as a reflex.  Sometimes, there is no answer why, but we ask anyway, hoping for more information to help process a situation.  For a 2 or 3 year old, the question is often asked to gain more information about people or places, or even to establish boundaries.  "Don't touch that hot stove."  "WHY?"  "Because it will burn you and hurt."

As adults, we still ask "why."  Perhaps one of the more popular reasons to question why is when we are dumped.  A relationship ends and we want to know what we did wrong, what we could have done different or better and ultimately, we want to know "WHY?"  "Why did he leave me?"  "Why wasn't I good enough?"   For the most part, my dating history is littered with the carcases of men that I have left asking that very question.  The often used response of "it's not you, it's me" is probably laying right there next to the carcases.  At this point in time, the answers are not even important (or that readily remembered.)  But the act of asking and the situation it creates is an interesting one.  Do we even really expect an answer?

I will say that there is one (isn't there always?) that never answered my big "why" question - not even a throwaway answer.  Just, nothing.  It has been 15 years and I still sometimes wonder what happened.  Perhaps in that instance, it was cruelty for him to not even offer the standard response.  Perhaps the silence most deafening is the lack of a response.  As I write this, I think of one other instance where the "why" was so important to me.  It has been 6 years since that event, and although I got a response at the time, I sometimes wonder if the answer was sufficient.

Many times, it is that silence, that lack of an answer, that we experience more often as adults.  Not necessarily because someone does not want to respond, but because there simply is no answer.  In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, I read many articles and watched many interviews where people simply wanted to know why.  Why they were spared when the person next to them was not.  Why one friend walked away without a scratch and another friend will never walk again.  Why Boston.  Why now.  Why us.   For so many, a simple and yet difficult question that may never get answered.

It is human nature to want more information, particularly in situations that are troubling or highly emotional.  Our minds seek to find something to ground us, something to cling to when emotions are out of control or when we simply cannot comprehend what is going on around us.

For the little ones, there is usually an answer.  For us adults, we may have to work on accepting that sometimes there simply is not an answer, and possibly hope, if even just a little, that somewhere in the future, someone might have an answer for us.  Until then, I will continue to respond to my daughter's curious "why" questions, even when she does it just to get a giggle, as much as I can. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Little Help, here please?

A very dear friend of mine from high school is trying to raise money to send her son on an amazing trip to Europe with a high school singing group, Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus.  (He auditioned and was selected to join this elite group.)  The cost of the trip is enormous and she has other financial strain related to personal medical issues.  While she is struggling to raise the money for this trip, she is also struggling for personal health.

To raise money to send her son on this trip, she has done fundraisers at local restaurants and collected donations.  She has enlisted the help of friends who are demonstrators or sell products such as Scentsy and Pampered Chef and others, to donate a portion of their profits.  Friends and family are rallying to send this young man on this trip.  If you've ever been to Europe, you know how amazing it can be and what an experience such a trip is.  If you've ever been to Jefferson, Ohio or any other small town in the Midwest, you can imagine how out-of-reach this trip might seem for a young adult there.  I'm doing what I can to help with her efforts and now I'm turning to my friends all over to help as well.

Here is my friend's recent post from her Facebook page about the status of her fundraising for his trip:  "Ok, the bottom line with [his] trip... We have to raise 2700 more to cover just the trip. But we also have to have 500 for his required attire. Another couple hundred for travel insurance and the suggested amount to travel with because not all meals are paid for nor are any extra sight seeing or communication... Such as phone cards which is 1000. We are selling raffle tickets to win one of 4 large items, a beautiful watch from jr hoftsetter in Jefferson, a $100 gas card, a kindle, or iPod. These tickets are $10 a piece. The drawing is June 10. I need our friends and families help. I need 30 people to try and help sell 10. If you could sell 10, $10 dollar tickets. No matter where you live, it would help so much."

If you're thinking "so, what do you want from me?" here it is.  I want your Starbucks money for the rest of the week.  I want you to skip that ice cream or latte or extra-large popcorn at the movies this weekend.  I want $10 from you.  I want you to email me or facebook message me and tell me that you'd like to enter the raffle to win a Kindle or a iPod or a gas card (cause we all need that these days!) and then I want you to send me or give me (those who are close to me) that $10 or $20 for your tickets.  I'll even sweeten the deal... if one of my friends or connections out there wins the Kindle, I'll toss in $25 in Amazon money to buy books for it, and if one of you wins the iPod, I'll throw in $25 in iTunes store credit.  How does that sound?

Don't worry about logistics, I'll take care of getting your names on those tickets and of getting the prizes that you (hopefully) win to you.  Just worry about getting your money to me and I'll get it to my friend.  (I promise, this isn't a scam to get money to buy another pair of shoes.  There isn't any room in my closet right now.) 

Having grown up in Jefferson, where my friend and her son live, I know what it is like to wonder about the great big world out there.  Having been lucky enough to go to some of the wonderful places in Europe, I really hope that he can go and want to do whatever I can to help.  (Yes, I already bought some new Scentsy stuff. ;))

Please consider helping my friend and her son, and THANK YOU!!

If you are curious about the program that is taking the trip, you can check out their website at http://www.soundofamerica.org/  which has information about the trip, the stops that they are making and performances.