Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yada, yada

     My mind is a jumble this morning with all sorts of things. So, yup, this will be another one of those random blogs.

     I am excited for the Super Bowl this Sunday, and I will blog more about that later - about surviving all the snacks - and some ideas I have for some yummy, healthy ones.

     I read three different magazines last night while watching "American Idol." They were all about health and fitness, and I found some fantastic ideas and tips.

     First, I liked the idea of taking a picture of me in the same clothes each week, so that I can see a transformation over time.

     This isn't anything new, as they do this on "The Biggest Loser" competition (you can see the cool "slide show" pics of contestants online).

     But, I guess I just did not think about doing that for me. I am going to, and I need to figure out all the little things like making sure the camera is at the same distance, yada, yada.

     Then I read a great tip about snacking. You should place whatever you are going to snack on a plate or bowl.

     This way you are not just eating endlessly and directly out of the bag or box in which the snack came.

     Speaking of snacks . . . today is National Popcorn Day! I love it, and I love those little mini-bags of microwave popcorn even more.

     I think it's right on that companies are catering to those of us who have portion control issues. A little bag of popcorn is 100 calories, and I plan on celebrating that tonight!

     Finally, my last completely random piece of information is about a soup recipe that I found in one of the magazines last night.

     I love acorn squash, and I had never even thought of making it into a soup! I am going to try this on Thursday night. Stay tuned on how it turns out.

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The big day circled on my calendar

     It's sort of strange that I have a countdown to when I am going to start the weight loss program. At least it feels weird.

     It feels far away, too. Feb. 12. It is two weeks from yesterday. I know my planning will make this more successful.

     I have had a couple people question why I don't just start. I think that it will be more beneficial for me if I wait, as far as the contest goes.

     Since it is a percentage of weight loss for the Biggest Loser competition, I don't want to lose five pounds before I even start the contest.

     But, it is definitely ticking closer, and I am feeling anticipation and excitement. And, with this delayed start of sorts, I feel more prepared.

     We are headed to Wenatchee this weekend, so I can buy some shoes (I have a favorite brand that we cannot buy here), and some comfy exercise clothes.

     As well, we are going to do some major grocery shopping from my gi-normous list for the month of February.

     My biggest fear at this point is that I will injure myself when I start the program. My hips have been really sore lately, and I just don't want anything to pose as a roadblock to my program.

     I think I am going to try and go into the gym or at home do a little bit of walking (not so much massive cardio) to allow my body the chance to warm up.

     As well, I have been drinking more water, not quite to my goal level yet, but I have improved and each day I challenge myself to drink just a little more.

     With that plan, hopefully when I officially kick this off, I will be drinking around 80 ounces a day.

     Besides getting healthy, I want to stay healthy. I am a bit nervous about the whole gung-ho attitude and overdoing it and burning out.

     I do, however, want to win the money. And, this start will make a dramatic difference for this upcoming summer when he have a couple of big celebrations planned.

     Thirteen days and counting.

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Monday, January 29, 2007

13,000 calories a day

     Did that headline grab your attention? It sure did spark my interest yesterday, so I watched a program on The Learning Channel.

     The show was about four super-obese people, including one man who eats more than 13,000 calories in a day.

     It was an incredible program to watch, and I was really interested in the medical information behind these people and their addiction to food.

     What the show did do for me is make me think about a couple of things that relate to my life specifically.

     First, one of the biggest points made was that the individuals had no idea what they ate in a day. All of their estimations were half of what they were really consuming.

     They actually gathered the exact amount of food each ate in a day and then presented it to them.

     All of them acted like it was impossible that they had, in fact, eaten all that food.

     The doctor said either they were embarrassed or they really did not remember eating everything (almost an unconscious eating of food).

     For me, I plan on writing everything down, food journaling. That's one of the reasons I am thinking about joining Weight Watchers.

     It should be easy to write all of my food down because I plan on planning out my week's menu on Sundays.

     With that, I will only need to add if I ate something extra or subtract if I didn't eat something.

     The second observation made on the show was related to color. As they gathered all the food each person ate in a day, you noticed immediately how bland the color was.

     Everything was beige and brown and boring. So, definitely bringing color into your diet means that you are including fruits and vegetables.

     Finally, because of the severity of their obesity, three of the four people could not exercise. Both of the men lived in their beds.

     I have not been exercising as I should. I am starting soon, Feb. 12, on a regular schedule.

     One of the things that this show really drove home on a personal level to me is that I have "dieted" all my adult life.

     I have lost weight always to gain it back and more. That's the slippery slope. That's where at some point people just give up.

     I am not giving up. I am going to figure this out once and for all.

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Friday, January 26, 2007


     This morning has been an interesting one. First, I woke up late (not too late, just a little past my normal routine), which always brings a twist.

     Usually, it will be something crazy like hurrying and then dumping all the coffee on the floor or something, but today, thankfully, life is still calm.

     Then as I was reading my Hungry Girl newsletter, I saw that today is National Pistachio Day.

     Imagine my delight! I love pistachios, and I started thinking of all sorts of ways to have pistachio this and pistachio that today.

     Then I decided to check out some nutritional and historical information about pistachios.

     Shocking . . . today is not National Pistachio Day, but rather it is Feb. 26, a month from today.

     What a great lesson that I always share with my students, don't believe everything you read or are told just because. Instead, have an inquiring mind. Want to know!

     I still might eat some pistachio pudding (sugar-free, fat free) today, but for now, I will hold off on my all-out celebration.

     Yesterday I did not eat so swell. I ate a deliciously rich raspberry cheesecake up at Campbell's, and let me just say, it was worth the splurge. NO GUILT.

     I am very excited for my sister to come and visit this weekend, and I think I am even going to drag her down to the gym, maybe to play some racquetball.

     I am also really glad that today is Friday. For many reasons it feels like this week has been a month.

     I don't have one thing that I HAVE to do this weekend, which really stokes my fire! I have a few things that I would like to do, and will.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Double P

     Today I just do not feel inspired to write. This rarely ever happens to me; it's sort of the concept of me not having something to say (which I always do).

     I have a couple of topics I planned on writing about after reading some articles (dieting like the Amish and the increase in rate of obese high school football players).

     But, they just don't feel like the ones I want to write about today. So, that leaves me a bit blank, mostly because I feel tired.

     I did not make the peanut butter noodles yesterday because I ended up having a very long day and not returning home until after 6 p.m., which was not planned.

     Anyhow, I did buy everything I need, so I am planning on making them this weekend when I have a little more time.

     As well, I did just try something really yummy this morning: Pumpkin oatmeal! It is amazingly delicious.

     I just added some canned pumpkin to my oatmeal, and WOW! I found the idea on Hungry Girl, and I am glad I decided to try it!

     I love the pumpkin flavor in my coffee, so I should not have been so surprised that this would be the perfect morning meal for me.

     I watched "American Idol" last night, and I started thinking about that I should borrow my mother-in-law's recumbent bicycle to ride while watching that show!

     That is one more thing to add to the plan, which at this point is really shaping up (no pun intended, honest).

     I am feeling better now that I started writing, probably just more awake, and I have drank two glasses of water since sitting down to the computer.

     You know, I am really proud of how this year has been going for me, the progress I am making.

     I have a plan with the weight loss efforts. And, I am working hard at that plan. I feel like I am being so thorough.

     Something else that I have always wanted to do is start a book club (our first meeting is Feb. 7).

     I will receive my tax refund in the next week (YUP, I already filed), as well, I have my financial aid information returned for Cody already (check that off the list, too).

     I have really made an effort to not procrastinate and to be proactive! It feels good. Baby steps, and pretty soon I have miles behind me.

     I guess I did have something to say this morning.

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


     OK, now it is really starting to sink in. Today is the start of second semester, which means obviously that the year is half over.

     I feel like someone should pinch me because I don't know how time can go that quickly.

     The old me would be lamenting about what I did not do since school started (as far as losing weight), but I will have none of that.

     I have such a great plan! I have never felt this prepared to start working toward my goal.

     I have been working on a menu planner that will last the entire month of February.

     With this menu planner, I am figuring out all of my meals, my family's meals (sometimes the same), and all the necessary ingredients that I need to buy at the store.

     Several times in the past I have cooked with my girlfriends on a Saturday and we will prepare 15 meals for our families.

     So, this is somewhat the same concept. And, it helps that I love to cook. I am planning it all out, and I will be doing as much prep work as possible.

     I have ordered a new sports bra, and I know the exact shoes I want to buy, but I just need to make a trip to Wenatchee because nobody sells them around here.

     Next up in the planning stages is for me to figure out what exercise I am doing, when, where, etc.

     I am actually going to create a schedule (kind of like the boys' chore chart when they were little, not that I think exercising is a chore!) and map out my exercise.

     I am definitely going to join the Biggest Loser competition at the gym, which starts Feb. 12 (the second flight).

     That will give me even more motivation. I could definitely use the $1,000 prize, especially a month before Cody's graduation and summer.

     Also, I am thinking about joining Weight Watchers. I haven't decided yet if I want to or not, but I have been doing some investigating.

     Another great part of my plan is that I am working on a big vacation for us. I think we are going to Disneyland or maybe Las Vegas after school is out.

     Planning a trip will sever as MAJOR motivation, since I will want to wear cute summer clothes and a bathing suit.

     With lots of motivation and lots of preparation, I am starting to feel really excited about the last half of this school year!

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2007


     Mr. Senior Night was awesome! We had a packed house (around 250) people, and the event was a great way to end a long week.

     Everyone laughed and had a good time, and I am really proud of Nikki for taking on such a project, as well as the boys.

     Then over the weekend, we made the trip. We headed down to the new Home Depot, as did everyone else in town.

     This actually felt more like a social gathering, and I was glad that I had not wanted to shop for a specific project.

     Mostly I spent time chatting with lots of other people, mostly about Mr. Senior Night, and that's OK.

     I have been to a Home Depot before, and this one checks out the same for me. It is fun to go there, though.

     We walked down every aisle (good place to wear the pedometer) and, of course, we decided on a million projects that we want to do (just need the time and money).

     On a completely different note, I read an article today on that some guy has created an equation to determine the most depressing day of the year.

     And, apparently this day would be the one. But, this guy's equation is criticized as not having a scientific foundation.

     The one good thing that everyone can agree about related to this guy's idea that today would be the most depressing day is that at least he is bringing about awareness to depression.

     This time of year does sometimes have that affect on people. There is a legitimate disorder called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that related to the winter blues.

     As well, January historically is the month where everyone's pocketbooks are a little skinny, which causes added stress.

     However you are feeling, remember this . . . exercising makes you feel better. It doesn't have to be rigorous, but can even just be going for a quick walk around the block.

     Don't let this time of year bring you down. Go and walk around Home Depot!

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

This time

     Yesterday at lunch I had a great conversation. Several of us were discussing how we struggle in the weight department.

     How we have tried every diet there is, how we have lost weight, how we have gained back that weight and more, how we are frustrated.

     I know people who don't know me well think I am a weak person as far as my weight goes.

     We even talked about that, how we can be such a strong individual and that this is the one thing we can't manage.

     Again, it's not that we don't know how to deal with weight, it's not that we don't want to lose it . . . it's a mystery, really.

     So, what is the answer? I have asked this question and the next so many times that I feel like a scratched CD.

     Why, if I know what I need to do, can't I do it? I have been eating better (improved, not always perfect) since 2007 began, but I have not been exercising as I should.

     I can give away all the excuses, all the days of not doing what I planned, and all the emotions that go along with failing to lose weight.

     I can start over today, again. I can start over in a week, again. I can start over next month, again.

     But, when is the start going to be the last time? I read inspirational story after story and it seems like many of those who finally stuck with it had some sort of life-changing event happen in their lives.

     I have had some big events, apparently not life-changing enough. I want to live a long time. I hate being fat.

     What more motivation do I need? I don't know. All I can do is keep trying, keep making a new plan, until I find the one that works.

     I am planning on joining the Biggest Loser competition at the gym, but I will start the second flight, which begins Feb. 13.

     The nice thing is it runs until the beginning of May so, if I can stick it out, I will find myself in a much better place right before summer starts.

     Part of the reason I am waiting to join at that time is because I want to be really prepared this time.

     I am going to begin doing more cardio now, so once that time comes around I can work up to working out harder.

     I have a list of things I want to do before I start the competition. I have some obligations I want to finish and give away.

     I need to buy new shoes (which I want to purchase in Wenatchee). I want to plan out meals for a month and buy all the ingredients.

     I have some busy times and work ahead of me, but I am hoping that with this, I will be successful this time, this last time.

     For me being successful will be not starting over but continuing this for a lifetime, not quitting.

     This time.

     And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Time to rev it up!

Is one of your New Year's resolutions related to exercise? Or how about to volunteer or make a difference?
Well, do I have an opportunity for you! You can deal with both of those resolutions by planning and participating in a great event.
Last year I participated in the local Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
It was such an awesome experience, that this year I am more involved, as the team recruiter. I really hope to motivate more people to be involved with this incredible event.
In thinking about writing this, I decided to go back and find my old blog entries about last year's experience.
And, what's cool is they do really record how significant the event was to me. I have two blog entries, one from before the event and one after, too.
Just for your calendar purposes, this year's event is Friday, May 18, through Saturday, May 19. And this year's theme is "Racing for a Cure."
One of my favorite parts of last year's event was the decorating of a team's area according to the theme, as well some people even dressed up in costumes.
If you are interested in participating this year, now is the time to start organizing! We are going to have a kick-off event Feb. 8 at Okanogan High School (time TBA).
You can always contact me if you have any questions or want to gather up a team. For now, read my old blogs!
* * *
Princess of the paperclips

Posted 2:52 p.m., May 19, 2006

May 19

I am so excited about tonight! I am going to my first Relay for Life. I am the chaperone/adviser for our National Honor Society group.
What an amazing event! I am so proud that we have a huge team participating. Even my son Cody is on another team for Safeway.
We have raised a lot of money, and I am psyched about walking all night. I heard that you receive a paperclip for every lap you walk.
I am planning to walk at least 34. One lap for each year I have been alive. I hope to walk more, but that is at least my minimum.
So, I hope to have a nice, long paperclip chain that I can be really proud of. Maybe I will challenge one of my kiddos to a walking duel.
I am really excited to be a part of something positive and to be out exercising all night long!
Not only is this a wonderful fund-raising event, but it is also a time to truly reflect about people that you know and love.
I have many people in my life who have dealt with cancer. The scariest for me was when my dad had thyroid cancer.
I don't know what I would do if I lost him. He is my rock. Thankfully, he is a survivor. When I walk tonight I will think of him and many others.
When I polled my classes this week, I only had a few students who have NOT had cancer touch their lives in some way.
Many of my kids have parents who are also survivors. Many of my kids have lost loved ones to cancer.
If you are not on a team, you should definitely come and see what is happening. Come be a part of the event.
* * *
I've had a couple of rough weeks

Posted 11:15 a.m., May 22, 2006

May 22

I have had a couple of rough weeks, as far as exercising goes. I was getting some exercise in, but not on a daily basis. And, I was feeling kind of blue about it. Well, maybe a light blue.
I had gained back four pounds, but have lost one, and more importantly, I am back on track.
Speaking of track, I participated in the Relay for Life Friday night. It was the greatest event to be part of!
I was sad that it was canceled due to the weather, a crazy wind and storm that came in, but I had a fantastic time while I was there.
It was still an incredible experience that I will recommend to everyone I know. Everyone was so full of life and energy.
I walked 19 laps before they closed it down, and even though my goal was 34, I know I would have walked way more than that.
One of the most touching times was when at the beginning Brad McGaha walked in the survivors' lap, and his entire Okanogan High School girls' softball team surprised him by being there to cheer him on!
They had posters and hugs, and then they walked the last half of the lap, locked arm-in-arm. Very cool!
I loved seeing the Brown family. I know they have had some recently trying times, and all my positive energy and thoughts are out into the universe for them.
Sarah is one of the most positive and inspiring people I know. She talked to me about some of the classes they hope to bring to the club this fall.
I am so proud of all the kids involved. People always complain about teen-agers and that night they once again showed how much they care and can accomplish!
I don't have a final tally of how much my group of kids raised (I know it was close to $700), but man, I am sooooo proud of them all!
The event, and walking at the event, inspired me to get back to my normal exercise routine.
On Saturday I went down to the club and jogged on the elliptical trainer for more than an hour. It felt so good.
Yesterday I went for a walk, and today I am planning on a walk after school. It's all about the planning, working everything into my busy life.
So, I don't feel so blue anymore.
* * *
And, that's the last word, until tomorrow!

Monday, January 15, 2007

This and that

Today, I have a compilation of things I want to share. First off, I would like to share about this weekend, including this morning.
I have been employing the ideas behind, and I am de-cluttering my life, which feels OUTSTANDING.
One of the ways I have been working at this is I will set the timer for 15 minutes and just tackle a project (there are plenty of them).
Then I will set the timer for 15 minutes and exercise, whether it is just dancing around to '80s big hair band music or doing jumping jacks and situps.
It really helps you feel accomplished, and that you are truly making progress, progress that you can see.
OK, so now for some really random stuff. This month is National Oatmeal Month. I love oatmeal. What a great thing to eat any time of the day.
This week is also National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week. I really can't remember the last time I squeezed my own juice.
I don't have a fancy appliance to help me with that, but I do know how much I enjoy freshly squeezed juice. Hmmm . . . I just bought some big, juicy oranges yesterday.
On an important note, today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I am fascinated by this man's perseverance in the face of such adversity. I am proud that he stayed with his peaceful and non-violent ways.
I am saddened that he was assassinated. He could very well be alive today, and we can only wonder how different our world might be.
Thinking about what struggles he faced, I think about what few struggles I have to face in my life and that I am very fortunate.
So, when we want to whine or make excuses for not reaching our own goals, they seem so insignificant.
And, that's the last word, until tomorrow.