Day 5 – Cinco de Cel

I was talking to a friend about the theoretical question: Would you rather be deaf or blind? I don’t know if it’s strange or not, but that’s a hard question for me to answer, but answer I did. I chose deafness. Trust me, I pray for neither. However, to never see the sunrise, to see my daughters and someday their children or to drive was a more unbearable thought than to greatly miss all of the great music in the world, the birds singing in the trees and the sound of a gentle spring rain. However, my friend said she would choose to be blind. When I raised the eyebrow and asked why her answer was interesting to me. She said without vision she could “see” past another person’s physical attributes which would make her a less judgemental person and therefore a better person. I agreed that could be the case. Then surprisingly, she said, “Isn’t that the way God is?” God does judge us for our actions, but he “sees” us with his heart. This is definitely a good point to ponder for a bit.

Life Lesson #5 Marry your best friend. It’s helpful in those moment where you literally trip and fall and they don’t laugh at you nearly as much.

Health & Fitness #5 Not feeling quite up to snuff at the moment. Earlier tonight was out with the hubby walking the dog and had some pain pop into the picture in a way I hadn’t quite anticipated. Made it home, went to bed and here I am because I was woken up and I can’t go back to sleep (hate that.) Hopefully will feel like sleeping shortly.

Food & Drink #5 No words of wisdom today. However, I did rely on some processed protein type bars to help keep hunger at bay. First time in awhile I met my protein requirements. The Zone bars are probably my favorite and one especially is the Chocolate Mint. They have inklings of Girl Scout Cookies attached.

Food tally for the day:

Breakfast: 1 Cup of Light Chocolate Silk and a Kashi Go lean Chocolate Truffle “roll” (190/12) and 6 grams of fiber (probably an important part of being healthy.)
Morning Snack: 20 grapes (Yum), 15 baby carrots and a cheese stick
Lunch: Tuna and a Zone Dark Chocolate bar. (Kept me away from the cookies and candy.)
Afternoon Snack: Small rice krispie snack (Literally two bites.)
Dinner: Smaller portion of spaghetti, whole wheat noodles, and veggies

Feeding the Spirit # We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Mother Teresa

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Day 4 – Silliness, gotta love it!

It’s 0638 hours and I’m a little sore this morning from the “workout” last night. It was definitely unconventional, but that can be outstanding. One of my daughters and I pushed back the dining room table and used the space to just dance and be silly. Between the heater being on and the movements we worked up enough of a sweat last night that we had to open the back door and let in some cool air. I can’t airwalk (yet), can kind of moonwalk, can definitely “cupid shuffle”, can’t break-dance, and can just move until I can’t move any more. It was a blast and I think spending time with J. was more fun than just getting my groove on. (BTW – the groove is a little rusty. It’s been like 20 years since I’ve been clubbing…) Time for a hot shower and to start the day…

Life Lesson #4 Make new friends but keep the old. If you haven’t been in touch with a good friend for awhile. Now is a great time to write a note, shoot an email or just plain call. It’s important we keep in contact with those near and dear to us. I was reminded of this today when I went to a friend’s retirement party. So take 5 minutes and get in touch with someone you haven’t talked to for awhile.

Health & Fitness #4 I talked with a good friend today who, like me, is tired of feeling the way we feel and probably tired of feeling a little more “round” too. I’m thinking we need to buddy up and hit the gym. This would require actually GOING to the gym, but I’m totally game for that. Change means stepping out of our comfort zones and my comfort zone hasn’t been the gym for almost 3 years. That’s too long.

Food & Drink #4 Recommendation for the day: Muscle Milk LIGHT. The light version has fewer calories than the regular version and fewer grams of protein, but at 20 grams of protein, it’s a pretty easy way to feel full and get some extra vitamins and minerals the body needs. I actually prefer the chocolate, but the vanilla today wasn’t too bad. I know there are folks that drink Slim Fast and nothing against it, but at 30 fewer calories,5 more grams of protein, (and this is Slim Fast’s “high protein shake”) and more nutrients added, Muscle Milk seems to me a much better option.

I’m also a sucker for fun things written on food / drink packaging. My bottle of Muscle Milk said, “If you enjoy feeling dull, overweight and lethargic put this bottle down, pick up that donut and prepare to cry yourself to sleep on the couch again… Good, you’re still reading. Muscle Milk light is a perfect grab and go option that provides and excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals for helthy sustained energy, appetite contol and a revived mind. We can’t say it’s magic in a bottle, but it’s close.” I love truth in advertising.

Food tally for the day:
Breakfast: Muscle Milk Light Protein Shake (Vanilla!) (160/20)
Morning Snack: 2 scrambled eggs (200 / 13.5)w/ a tablespoon of salsa and 2 strips of bacon (92/6)
Lunch:Chik-Filet – 6 nuggets & 1 chicken strip (275 / 27),1T. BBQ Sauce, and 1 cup of fresh fruit. I also had about 3/4 cup of sweet tea. As this was Susan’s retirement party, I thought this was an excellent choice of foodage as I didn’t have anything sweet to eat and the cake looked yum-a-licious.
Afternoon Snack:Pretty, little Granny Smith apple
Dinner: 1 slice of pizza and 1 homemade rice krispie treat. Not outstanding, but kept within the bounds of reason.

Feeding the Spirit #” The only thing that separates any one of us from excellence is fear and the opposite of fear is faith. I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for, perfection is God’s business.”
Michael J. Fox

Day 3 – Just thinking …

Have you ever had one of those mornings where you want to listen to music on the radio and the morning DJ’s just won’t shut up? This was one of those mornings. For a few minutes my desperation reached almost Biblical proportions on the way to work and I was listening to Tejano music. Then reason kicked back in and I found myself listening to “Life in a Northern Town” once that station came back out of commercial. It was appropriate because it’s 5 degrees outside with a wind-chill of 4 below. This is proof I need to get my XM radio up and running and a pair of either thermal undies or winter-weight pants. Something in cordoroy or wool would be nice.

Life Lesson #3 Today’s a parenting tip. Because of what I do I find many parents don’t understand one little IMPORTANT lesson. Lift up, don’t bring down. Empower your children and grandchildren so they will understand there is a big, bright future to be earned and they don’t have to accept mediocrity. If you don’t know where to start, here’s how it’s done. Start with the words, “I believe in you;” and believe what you are saying.

Food and Drink #3 Something to try: “ThinkThin” bars. The one I’m chowing on now is “Brownie Crunch.” No sugar and 20 grams of protein / 230 calories. It’s a good option for when you need a little something to eat and don’t want to down a snickers bar which has about the same number of calories, but not the vitamins and protein the ThinkThin bars do. It’s not quite as yummy, but equally as satisfying in the hunger department.

Food for the day:
Hot tea and pineapple for breakfast
Morning “snack” – ThinkThin Bar
Lunch: 1/2 chicken breast, 1 cup of Spanish Rice and a cup of broccoli cheese soup. YUM!!!
Dinner: 4oz Sole, Stuffed baked potato and about 2 tablespoons of peas w/cheese. BLECH!!!!

I can actually say the only sweet thing I have had to eat today is 2 red hots. The problem with me eating sugar is my body immediately thinks it needs to have a LOT more. Fortunately, today wasn’t craving sweets like I have been.

Health & Fitness #3 If you are looking to quell the junk food habit, there’s a “new” study out on something that will help you achieve that goal. Pay with cash. The study showed that only 14 percent of people use cash to grocery shop. Ressearchers think t this could be one of the many factors behind America’s expanding waistlines. Apparently, charging or using a debit card is less emotionally charged than the more immediate and uncomfortable act of parting with hard-earned greenbacks.

Thomas, M. et al., Journal of Consumer Research 2010 Oct 6; doi:10.1086/657331.

I’ve noticed when I pay in cash, I am much more apt to stay away from those inner grocery store isles of temptation and stay on the perimeter where the “good for you” things are located.

Finally… gearing up for tonight’s workout. Tired of looking in the mirror and wondering how I got round. My daughter and I went for a walk and walked each of the dogs earlier. It’s 27 degrees out and one of the puppies is old so we only went a total of about 3 blocks, but that’s okay, Biggest Loser workout still to come.

Day 2

0139 hours Most experts agree that eating protein, carbs and a little fat with each meal makes for a well-sated appetite and unfortunately, I know I didn’t eat near the protein yesterday that I should have. So… I get to start this post early in the day because obviously I didn’t eat the proper foods yesterday. (What a sad realization.) So I just got done drinking a cup of Light Chocolate Silk (90) and eating 2 blueberry Eggo Waffles (190) with 1 tsp. of butter . Not quite the well-thought out process, but there is quite a bit of protein in the Silk and the rest should be covered. I’m not quite as hungry now and I think all things considered I should be able to get some sleep. G’Night…

1153 hours. I came home for lunch so that I could 1) not eat at my desk, which is oddly enough what I’m doing at the house and 2) eat some leftover chicken soup which has got to be healthy. And I have to say I had a SMALL portion of the apple/oatmeal concoction. This might make up for the fact that I did cheat this morning and had 5 mini oreo cookies and 3 Giradeli (sp) dark chocolate squares. I consider this progress because I want to eat a whole bag of the big oreo cookies and a Snickers Bar. I don’t know if the two glasses of water I drank at work offset that at all, but any progress is good progress.

Which leads me to Life Lesson #2 Don’t beat yourself up if you slip and fall. The point is to get back up and start right where you left off. You don’t have to wait to make changes till the next day, til a Monday, til the cows come home. Start right then and there to make the changes you want to make.

Health and Fitness #2 I did park as far away from the building today to get some exercise in. Actually, I didn’t. I was forced into it because it’s 21 degrees outside and I got there after the early birds. I did however run to the building from the parking lot and then take the stairs and that’s something positive about exercise that we all can do. Add some umph… take two or three stairs at a time. Going up you will definitely feel the “burn” in your backside.

Secondarily to this burning backside moment or primarily (hard to tell,) I did week one of Bob Harper’s Boot Camp Workout tonight. Felt the burn and worked up a sweat. After I got done, Kyle did the same workout. Solidarity!?!? And frankly, if we both can walk tomorrow it will be a good thing. Tally-ho!

Food and Drink #2 I know I have talked a bit about what I have eaten today. However, I thought I would pass along a few things that you may or may not know about those appetizers we know and love.
1) Worst Dips: Spinach Artichoke: 326 calories and 21 grams of fat!
Brie: 401 calories and 33 grams of fat (This is more fat than 2 jelly donuts
2) Better Choices: Hummus: Avg 240 calories and 14 grams of fat (and protein packed!)
Guacamole: 200 calories and 16 grams of fat (homemade… without oil or sour-cream that’s often added in the store bought kind for thickening.

The one and single most important thing in any lifestyle change is to couple the changes you make with drinking plenty of water. Yes, I have had my 8 cups today and yes, I feel like my bladder has taken a trip down the Mississippi. However, it’s one of two ways to get the toxins you build up in your body out. The other of course is exercise.

An exercise we all need is to become more aware of the majesty of the things around us. I can’t help but marvel at all the colors in the sunrise, the individuality of the snowflakes and the drifting fog that floated overhead this morning. I know some say there is no God. I look at this and say, “Prove to me that there isn’t.” Genesis 1.1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. How awesome.

A final note for the day. Great song to just relax to with a cup of hot tea: “A Place Called Home” by Kim Richey. Check her out and let the cares of the day just wash away.

Day 1

This adventure will be set up a little differently than most. I’m going to be talking about skills for life, fitness and health, parenting, feeding your spirit and a lot more. So lets head into it…

Today I set out to start making some changes. Frankly, I’m not thrilled with the way I’ve been living life and I figure I have 142 days to take care of business. 142 days from today is June 1st and for me is essentially the first day of summer (not the real one, but the one I consider to be it.) This is a good deadline to have new habits in place and enough time to break all the old ones.

Life Skill #1 Too often we get lazy and don’t take care of the things around us that need to be done. Today’s life skill is simple and shouldn’t take too long. Clean out your purse or your wallet. I’ve been wanting to do that for some time and I kept putting it off. It took me about thirty minutes because I swapped out purses twice and wallets and finally figured out what bag I want to carry for the next little bit. This cleaning included getting rid of the excess change in my wallet – that will really weigh down a handbag. Now, I feel a little more organized and better about life.

Health and Fitness #1 Take a long, hot bath or shower. Sounds silly, but take the time to do something for you. Spend some extra time and shave your legs, wash your hair slowly and give your head a massage, deep condition and then when you are squeaky clean, moisturize. My favorite part of the process is a little something called “body butter.” Quite yummy smelling and my skin loves me for it.

I actually opened the new workout DVD’s today and watched them. I didn’t participate, but I wanted to get a feel for what I am going to do. So the tip for now is prepare to move your body. Get your mind in order so that your body will follow.

Food and Drink #1 I hate diet plans that give you strict guidelines of what to do and not do, but when you’ve been living on pizza and ice-cream for quite awhile, the body (and mind) needs some acclimation, or at least mine does. So here’s what I have had to eat today and if you want recipes, I’ll post for you.

Morning: 3 cups of Yogi “Healthy Fasting Tea” with 2tsp of Sucanant in each cup.
I’m trying to wean myself off the little pink packages that have plagued my life and this seems like a good alternative as sucanant is derived from natural sugar cane and not refined which means it still has trace nutrients in it. It also does a pretty good job of not spiking my sugar /insulin response.

Lunch: Home-made Chunky Chicken Vegetable soup // 2 slices of cornbread with butter and for dessert home-made apple / oatmeal dessert.

This desert isn’t too unhealthy. The total recipe has 2 tsp of sucanant and 1/4 cup of brown sugar for the topping. The rest includes apples, a pear, allspice and cinnamon, 2T of butter, oatmeal and 2T of flour.

Afternoon Snack: 2 more cups of the apple dessert.

Honestly, I have a sweet tooth a mile long and today it’s been really hard not to grab the white chocolate bar that is sitting on my dresser in the bedroom.

Dinner: I tried to keep it light and had 1/2 a pear, a cheese stick and another cup and a half of tea. I have had plenty of water today and at the moment I’m okie dokie on the hunger scale. Hopefully this will hold out.

Finally, as this is a life-change that I’m looking for. I felt guilty because I missed church today and making the chicken soup was probably not the best excuse for it. So, I asked the Lord for a good verse in the Bible today and this is what He provided:

Romans 6:14 (New International Version, ©2010)
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Day one down… 141 days to go. What have you done today to make a change for the better?