Thursday, July 31, 2008


Look at me, two in one day! LOL!

BUT - I wanted to link everyone to my favorite Bargain Hunter's blog - Briana and I have been friends for a long time, and her Bragain Briana Blog is fabulous for those hoping to find the tricks to saving tons of money on groceries and shopping!

I am her guest blogger for the day, since she needed something about Aldi. Click Here to check me out in all my guest glory! :D Also check out her wonderful advice on when and where to shop, and how to use the CVS card to your advantage, as well as coupon do's and don't's!!!

Feelin' Crunchy

I had several ideas for a post today - and they have one thing in common. They make me sound crunchy-granola. Which is funny. I'm not a very crunchy person. I mean, I try to do my part - but I also like my conveniences!!!

Crunchy past-time number one: Hanging the laundry outside to dry.
I've been doing this for 3 weeks now. I actually enjoy it. I'm lifting weight going up the stairs with a basket of wet clothes. I'm out in the sun, smelling the freshly laundered sheets and clothes. It's wonderful. But unfortunately, it wasn't my idea to do it. I didn't decide to try to make the world a better place by using less energy. In short, my dryer broke. And I'm too cheap and annoyed to call a repair man, when I KNOW my husband can fix it. He just was out of town for a week and then we were busy last weekend. And will be busy this weekend as well. It will get fixed eventually. In the mean time, I'll continue my little good deed and keep hanging the clothes out to dry. I love the smell of sun-and-wind dried fabric. It's fantastic. And ironically, on the days we've been having here (90+ degrees) the stuff is drying faster than in the dryer! Funny stuff.

Crunchy past-time number two: Using less gasoline in the car.
Except this one is sort of sad - I just haven't been going anywhere! No hybrid, no hydrogen car. I'm just being lazy and staying home a lot more! Hehehe...

Crunchy past-time number three: Acupuncture.
I tried this for the first time yesterday. I hadn't planned on it. Once again, I fell into doing something different! I go to the chiropractor for my neck and knee issues (my chiro is AWESOME, he's into rehab and helping me avoid surgery and making my life as pain-free as possible without any medications! Love it) and also for my migraines. I told him yesterday that I've had an increase in frequency and duration and intensity/symptoms in the past month. He was actually a little miffed at me that I hadn't said anything sooner. Well, you know how it is - I figured it would stop being more frequent on its own. Anyway - he basically did a bunch of work on adjusting my neck and some pinched muscles in my shoulders to help fix the problem. Then he took me for my muscle stim, and said to his assistant, bring me the acupuncture needles.

SAY WHAT??? UH, I hate needles. Of any kind. I torment myself twice a day with the epi-pen that delivers the medication I'm on for my weight. So yeah - the thought of needles all over? GAH!!!!

I tried to remain calm, and not tense back up all the lovely work he did for the past 30 min. I closed my eyes, and figured what I couldn't see, I wouldn't feel.

Acupuncture is SO different. So weird. But awesome, too. It didn't feel like a needle stick. It felt more like he'd hit my funny bone, only in small spots on my hands, eyebrows, scalp, and ears. It's WILD, is what it is. And it helped tremendously. I was able to make it to Spin for the first time in 3 weeks. BONUS!

I'm going back for another round tomorrow. I'll let ya know how that goes....heheh!

Go me and my new crunchy habits! Hehehe!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Be The Change....

One of my favorite quotes of all times is, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi said that, and I do believe he has a wonderful point.

I just found a fantastic web site that tracks all the small, seemingly insignificant things people do every day to make a difference. You know the ones - where you feel silly, because you feel like you're using a tear drop to put out a forest fire? Except that, when you combine the people all over the globe who are doing that very same thing each day - you find a deluge instead of a tear drop.

We Are What We Do is a wonderful site, and you can track the "little things" you do each day. You can also find ideas for new "little things" to try out, as well. Well worth the click, if you ask me!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Need A Vest

Right, so across the street, Lt. Dan Band and the opening acts are warming up. People are starting to get to the concert. I'm considering standing out on my driveway and charging $20 per car to valet park cars on my driveway. I'd make like $160 or so.....hmmm....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Logic - What a Concept

Reading snippets of news on Yahoo is part of my morning routine. Some of my favorites are the weight loss and healthy eating articles. Most of the time, it's just not news. It's logical. Our society has so completely confused the average person with regards to what to eat or not eat, what to do for exercise, what's good, bad, and in between, that if you asked 100 people how to lose weight - you would get such varying responses it would make your head spin.

I happened first upon this article, discussing the amounts of sugar in popular foods. And although I'm not shocked by the fact that processed foods and restaurant foods are filled with sugar and calories, I AM shocked at just how much more than in a home-made baked good. I can bake cookies and muffins at home, and they're delicious. And they don't contain even half the fat, calories, and sugar that those purchased at a chain bakery would be. How is that possible? I don't skimp, I use butter and sugar. But my recipe has a shelf life, first off. And secondly, I don't use the cheapest of the cheap ingredients. Sure, white sugar isn't the healthiest thing you can ingest - but it's a lot, a LOT, A LOT better than high fructose corn syrup. Label reading is becoming a huge past time of mine, and I've decided that the only treats and desserts we'll have in our home are the ones I make myself, period. I can make it better, tastier, and healthier at home, and since it takes time to bake a cookie - I guess we'll have to REALLY want it to be able to eat it. No convenience packaged cookies, easy to swipe and stuff. And I guess the thing is - isn't it logical that those additives are what's causing our health and weight problems in this country?

The second article I read was this one, which talks about fat calories versus carb calories. What they're basically saying here, in regards to weight loss, is a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Period. You cut back the number of calories you eat - you lose weight. Doesn't matter how you're choosing to cut back, you will lose. BUT - the real question is whether you're going to keep the weight off. And the answer, resoundingly and logically, is NO. If you "diet" by the current sense of the word (in other words, you follow a plan that cuts back on one thing, or you follow some wacked out eating plan that makes no nutritional sense, or use pills, or crash cut your calorie intake) you will lose, at first. But then you will find that you gain back. Because you cannot expect to lose eating one way, and keep it off eating normally. So low-fat, and low-carb, and the grapefruit diet, and any of those weird and strange food-combination or ultra-low-cal diets have one thing in common. It is this - rare is the person who can eat like that the rest of their life. And once a person stops eating the way the diet says to eat, the pounds will come back. And often, the pounds you lost will bring friends with them.

The bottom line? LOGIC. Except somehow, we have to retrain ourselves to think about food rationally and logically. Basically, eat food. Don't eat too much. If you have pizza, have pizza - but 2 slices, instead of 4. Incorporate fresh, unprocessed foods as much as possible, both for the benefit of filling you up with less calories, but also for the healthful side effects. Eat to be healthy, not to lose weight. Eat to be balanced and have energy. Food is fuel. You deserve premium.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Just Like the Seasons

Amazing how much life changes. When I was in high school, I didn't really think about how very liquid your friendships can be. We all thought we were best friends, to the end, never thought we'd lose touch. And yet, some friends can move through your life like a swift river. They come, they leave their mark for better or worse, and they go. They carve out a piece of you, leaving you changed. I think the changes, no matter if done with love, hate, or indifference, always bring about beauty. I think that no matter how badly things might be when you part ways, there's still a lasting beauty left behind. There's the beauty of the good times, of course. But there's also the beauty of the strength and change that happens within you from anything that goes badly. We all grow and change as a result of the people who leave us.

I have always tried to live my life while keeping in mind that I would rather have that bad parting or that fight or that ugly blow up, if it means I had the beautiful part of the relationship. I would never give up my wonderful memories to avoid the painful ones. Never. And that, I think, is how a person keeps from becoming bitter and nasty to people, old and new.

Yes, I have a few people from my past for whom I still have some anger and yes, one even has (deservedly so) my antipathy. But for the most part, I try to let that go. I try to see the results of the worst of it. I try to see how much more love I have for the people who truly care about me. I try to see the strength of my friendships that I retain, how much deeper and more amazing because they weathered a storm or two. And I try to see how my judgment and personality have been formed by those who are no longer within my sphere.

So it is the wounds that highlight the best in our lives. I truly do feel that I would not appreciate what I have today if yesterday had not happened. I would not appreciate comfort if I had not felt pain. I would not appreciate life if I had not faced death. And I would not appreciate the friends I have if I had never lost the ones who are gone.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Not As Bad As I Thought...

I'm in a medical weight loss program. Which sounds like a lot more than it really is. My husband started seeing an endocrinologist at the Bariatric Center at our local hospital. He wanted to find out options that weren't surgical, and try those. He was quite heavy. And his mother died from complications due to bariatric bypass surgery. So we want to exhaust all non-surgical methods first, as one could guess.

Anyway, to show solidarity, I started going too. They have us trying an insulin-controlling medication, and we're having pretty good results. We're both happy with it.

The one thing about these centers, though, is that it's a whole being approach. In other words, you don't only go see the endocrinologist. You also have to see a nutritionist, an exercise expert, and a few others I have yet to need to see. I saw the nutritionist at my first visit, and duh - it was all information I knew. I KNOW it. I just don't always DO it. Like, for example, at 11pm in the kitchen when I have a mad case of munchies and only peanuts or something equally salty and fatty will do. THAT is the moment I need the nutritionist to step in. But obviously, they do not pay house calls.

So today was my appointment with the exercise expert. It was a fairly comical meeting, to say the least. I actually looked forward to her reaction to me. You see, I'm tall - 6 feet, to be exact. I'm also built in the "sturdy" or "bigger" method of know, big bones, decent musculature even when I don't lift weights - that sort of thing....

I weigh - uh, let's just say, a lot. But I'm also fairly fit. I told her first about my knees and neck, though. And then she asked me what I do each week for fitness. This is where it got comical. Because, honestly, I do a lot for someone who is my weight. I told her about the 2 hours of spin I normally do a week, and the 3 hours of karate I do at MINIMUM. Add to that the half hour of rehab weight lifting each Wednesday with my doc, and she kinda just stared at me. The look on her face was priceless - a somewhat amazed, bemused look, that said, "Why the heck are you overweight then??"

Ahhh, priceless....

So we discussed some things I can do to modify weight lifting in order to increase my muscle mass - it's the one place I've been floundering because of my knees and neck.

AND then .....

cue dramatic music....

It was time to test my body fat percentage. OY. VEY.

I was terrified, I will not lie. First off, the electronic body fat testers often run wacky on someone with higher muscle mass. The scales that test body fat will tell me I'm something like 65% body fat (uh, sure, yeah - I'll go lose 130 pounds, k? Not....accurate, eh?? I mean, I have bones, no? And organs?? Those have to weigh more than 100 pounds...) Secondly, I just did NOT feel like being depressed today...

This tester was awesome. It measures at the bicep. I carry my fat in my midsection, and have skinny arms and legs (for a chubby gal). WOOHOO! It also asks 7 questions which it takes into account for results. Things like, what frame are you? How often do you work out? For how long? Double woohoo!

I am in love with this told me I'm ok! woot! I am 28.7% body fat. Which is UNDER the obese category - happy day! I was expecting like 40% with it being the electronic ones...but WOW, it was fairly accurate! She said I should be about 22%, so I've got 6% to work on. This is far less daunting than the ones that told me I had to lose about 45%....

So I guess it was a good visit. I think she was impressed with my fitness knowledge (former instructor, I should hope I know how to do stuff! LOL! ) And my I see her in October again - she said she'd test my body fat again....can't wait, actually!!!

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