Sunday, August 31, 2014

Running to beat the band

Friday morning I woke up and headed out the door.  My training for this 10K commenced on Friday morning. 
 I hadn't worked up a training plan yet.  I did that when I got to work on Friday.  I researched it because, hello....I've only got 5 weeks until this 10k.  I have to double my mileage and hopefully increase my speed over the next 5 weeks.  So I need a plan!

And a plan I created!  It calls for three runs and one walk a week...and two days of cross training. (ok, so zumba may not be exactly what they were talking about..but it's what I'm gonna do!)  Actually it was a four week plan that I tweaked for my purposes. I have sent this on to Paul and she is supposed to be doing the same plan with me.  Meanwhile, I also went on and actually paid for my registration for this 10k.  It's in Leesburg, VA on October 5th...raising money for the Wounded Warriors.

At first I panicked about the training schedule. One one hand I just cancelled my gym membership. So if it rains I'm up the creek.  YIKES.   And secondly, I have other obligations and desires that I have to work around.  I have made the commitment to get up super early to complete my runs if need be.  I am GOING TO DO THIS!  I will stick to the schedule.  What's a little sleep.  Satisfaction is more important, on so many different levels!  And being honest...I an get those runs in after work too. It's not the end of the world.

So this morning I got up.  I KNEW I had a three mile run on the schedule.  I dressed for it...and then procrastinated.  Afterall I had all day!  Well, almost all day.  Our refrigerator went belly up and the new one was to be delivered between 3 and 5 in the afternoon.  I didn't want to cut it too close so at 11 I headed out knowing it was 'now or never' and never was not an option.  I got myself laced up and walked out the door.  And....

Are you serious??????


Not a problem.  I went back in and threw my phone in a ziploc bag ...I call it my i-baggy  (I don't have a water proof case...but I may have to invest when I get my new phone).  I went out.  The drizzle stopped so I was fine anyway.

I got about 1.5 miles into run and my phone rang.  I didn't recognize the number but answered it.  It was the delivery guys letting me know that they would be at my house in 30 minutes.  Uhhhhhhhhhh   I had 1.5 miles to run to get to my car and then a short drive to get home.  I booked it.....well as much as a turtle slogging through peanut butter can book it!  And yes, I made it!!!!!!!  A little red in the face, but I made it!

And the guys came with the fridge shortly thereafter!  YAY!!!  A fridge that is not leaking!!!!!  And sadly, not many options for the space that was available to me.  Like model was the only one available to me for the width and height.....and yes, I was tempted to rip out the cabinets and wall to get a bigger fridge!!!!   :(   But it at least made shopping easy for me!  :-)
I waited until the fridge had proven it's cooling abilities to me (that it was working).  And then I headed to town to buy groceries.  I did make one stop on the way to the store.  And I did my brother proud.  I fixed a flat tire on a friend's bike.
Tomorrow is a cross train day. No running scheduled.  So maybe just maybe Todd and I will be able to get a bike ride in. (after I fix a flat on his bike of course.) However, the 'infernal pond project' may suck up our time.  We do have water in the ponds and it seems to be going well....we just have to haul more stones....and dig the line for the electrical stuff (for some reason I don't want extension cords running across my yard)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

hocus-pocus make me a runner

I have long ago realized that this weight loss journey is truly one that encompasses all aspects of my life.  I lost all the weight before did it with a single minded focus on just fixing the weight.  I didn't look at what made me overweight in the first place.  I didn't focus on fixing the triggers that prompted me to turn to food.  I didn't look at my life as a whole.  I only focused on the food.

Now, I totally realize that I can never take all of the triggers that prompt me to turn to food away.  I like food.  I am admittedly a picky eater but I still love the tastes and textures of different foods.  I know that realistically for me to deny myself certain foods is not an option.  It’s not a plan that is sustainable.  I am looking for a plan that is valid for longevity.  

I’m not really doing all that great with my eating.  I’m doing better with indiscriminate eating.  My eating is still contained to mealtimes. That’s good, but not good enough.

Today luckily was the first day since Sunday that I rolled out of bed and didn't feel pain in my back.  I didn't realize it until I was in the shower this morning that I had experienced no pain.   I've been pretty much pain free all day today.  YAY.  That means that I’ll be ready to kick exercise back into gear!!!! 

And I will be kicking exercise into high gear VERY soon.  Earlier this year (way back in January or February actually) I sat down and looked at possible runs. I had been toying with running a half marathon this year.  I did back down to saying I was going to be realistic and make my goal a 10k for this year.  Well, I've been so lax about everything that I ran the Donut Alley Rally with little prep. I ran it on heart and soul.   I swore I was going to start running regularly but it just never happened.  I kind of ignored the fact that I had this 10k goal in my mind.  I admittedly looked at the calendar and thought about the fact that the 10K I had chosen (For wounded warriors again…same as Donut Alley Rally) was fast approaching.  I just figured ‘out of sight, out of mind’.   That worked until today when my good friend Paula posted on facebook that she’s going to run a 10k.  Yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment and promptly liked it and asked which one and with whom.  Her response was “the one you said you were doing and with you of course.”    So I’m going to be registering for a 10K in the next day or two.   I have 38 days to prepare myself.  HA  Paula and I are just crazy enough to pull this off!

I WILL drop this weight!!!

I've been talking a bit about my thoughts.  I've mentioned that my job pays peanuts (ok, maybe not even that much).  I've mentioned that I’m bored there (but spoiled with the lack of work that I actually do).   I've mentioned that I've been thinking about and pushing toward some of my thoughts and possible goals.   I've been having some major doubts about what I’m doing the last few days.  I talked to Todd and another friend and they both said the same thing.  “If you enjoy what you are doing, do it……and if something comes out of it great.  If nothing happens then be satisfied with the enjoyment that you received in the process.”

So I've beaten around the bush at what I’m actually working on.  So here it is.  I like to write.  I always have.  I've kept a journal religiously since I was about 12 and I've kept my journal AND this blog going for the last 7 years.  I've written and kept my memoirs updated since shortly after college.  What are my memoirs?  My memoirs are  written out account of events and happenings in my life.  They have been a source of joy to write and as I go back and read stuff that I wrote 20 years ago I just laugh and laugh as the memories wash over me.    Over the years I have also written various fiction pieces.  I have file folders full of writing. 

  As a young kid I used to always create plot lines in my head.  It’s how I put myself to sleep.  I created these plots and I planned out stories in my head, in detail.  My stories were in VIVID detail.  I thought everyone did this.  (in fact I still find it odd to believe that it’s not the norm…go figure) .  I would get stuck on one story for a few weeks or a month and then when that plot line had played itself out, I would move on to the next story line.  As I got older, these plots got stuck in my head and replayed over and over at warp speed.  Relief came when I put these stories down on paper.  It was only temporary relief because these plots just crowd my mind and multiply at a rapid pace.  I like to write.    In my journals from my teenage years I mentioned once or twice that I was toying with journalism or something that would utilize that love.  I obviously didn't and I've actually wondered if maybe that wasn't my life calling (versus teaching).    But that’s water under the bridge.

I have a few things in the works. 

*I have a children’s book that is written and I finally have it in the hands of someone that I hope will illustrate it for me.   It’s a book that combines history and whimsy.

* I actually have a series of just articles about weight loss and lessons that I have learned along the way.  I started them for me and I've pondered putting them together into a book form someday.

* I have had an idea for a story in my head for YEARS.  I have actually started to work on it.  It is based upon certain beliefs that our society puts forth…ideas that are WRONG.  I want to write a book that sets things right.  Let me start at the beginning.  I have picked up various books about overweight girls over the years.  Let’s face it, they intrigue me.  I can identify plain and simple.  I read them, and for the most part, they are a really decent read.  My problem is that these books have the same general plot line.  Fat girl lives a miserable existence.  Her life is royally messed up and sad.  She works to lose weight. (That part is awesome because it’s giving hope!)   When she loses her weight she lands the perfect job.  She finds the perfect man. She has the perfect family.  Life just turns perfect.  Her self worth is validated by sudden perfect existence.   As I read I say “YAY main character that is awesome.”  But inside I am seething. We are placing value on life as a thin person.  That character had value as a fat person too, but she never learns that of course.  We are placing the balance of everything on the fact that this girl has lost weight. (for the most part, I know that there are people and probably books out there that don't foster this attitude)   This is wrong.  The girl (or guy…I don’t mean to leave guys out…it just so happens that my main character is a girl…haha) is perfect as a person before hand and just needs to find their self worth as a PERSON instead of looking to find it in the number on a scale.   I want to push the concept that thin is just simply a number on the scale and a number that is printed on a tag sewn into clothes.   So the whole premise of my book is that success in life, love and happiness come from within and has NOTHING to do with weight.  Pretty deep stuff eh?  

So there you have it.  I’m still toying with some of the other ideas for crafty things.  But right now my focus is on writing.  And my word…if you like to edit let me know…I hate that process, (as evidenced from my posts that often times are unedited and just put up to get the thoughts and ideas out of my head!) I may be looking for someone that will edit it for content and grammar at some point!   Remember, I’m poor and can’t pay!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Choppers, food and more of the same

My day......what can I even say?

Lets start with eating.  No, lets save that for later or rather maybe intersperse it through my post.  

Today I only worked until noon.  Todd and I had dental appointments today at 1.  So I got off work, hit home at about 12:15 and headed directly to the dentists office.  Have I mentioned that the dentists office isn't my favorite place.  Ok, it's not that bad.  My dentist office is pretty darn good and the employees are great.  I end up gagging during the x-rays.  Go figure.  Who knows.  I think I just over think it.  I'm not sure, because I wouldn't say that I have this over active gag reflex.   That is the major dread about the appointment.  So once that was over I settled into the chair and relaxed.  I'm happy to say that the dentist, amidst his jokes and laughter reassured me that my teeth were indeed still securely attached to my head and that they were not in danger of falling out.  Ha ha ha.  Ok, he actually told me that my teeth were looking good and that I was cavity free.

We were hungry when we left the dentist, so we hit up our post dentist restaurant.  Yeah, I know...clean teeth, what a shame to dirty them up.  But hey, we hadn't eaten lunch yet so why not!   We usually eat at The Green Turtle twice a year......why yes we get our teeth cleaned twice a year.  We splurged and got some wings.  We haven't had their wings, so we ended up not getting the hottest ones because wings are so subjective.  one persons hot is another persons weak.  Yeah, we could have pumped it up to the highest level.  Live and learn.  I also got the Raspberry Turkey Flatbread sandwich.  Pretty good.  Not as good as they used to be...don't know what they changed, but they changed something.

After lunch we ran some errands.  A few things for the pond project (never ending....or so it seems), cat food and some things at Sam's club.  We stopped for gas on the way home and then the fun started here.  Laundry and some light cleaning and light house chores.  Weee

I decided to not go to zumba tonight.  On Sunday I had been moving stones for the pond project and tweaked my back.  GRRRRRRR   Yes this back issue is not new.  I've had this problem more than once before.  so I'm just taking it easy.     Exercise has GOT to get back on track.....but right now I have to make sure that I'm healthy!!!!!
I had picked up a take and bake pizza from Sam's club, so dinner was an easy fix.  Now I'm thinking of hitting up the hot tub and then coming in to just relax the rest of the night.

So my eating.  Not of the rails...simple/normal meals.  But not exactly full of healthy items.  I'm going to consider that a victory.  I've not snacked between meals in a few days.  That is a major accomplishment!  That's the first step!

So the headache thing? I've been pounding the water and the headache does seem to have eased up. So I'm hoping that's it.  

So how does one go about finding the direction in life.  I am doing things I enjoy but I can't help but wonder what I should be doing. I can't help but wonder that I'm focusing on things that will only waste my time.  I know that something in my life needs to change.  My job is a job...and for that I'm thankful.  But my pay is barely minimal and my job bores me to death.  So minimal that if I didn't have a husband and his income, I wouldn't be able to afford to live...and we have no mortgage or rent.......and I still couldn't live on what I make.  I find this unacceptable.  This is NOT what I envisioned for myself years ago when I was in college.   

I have some ideas for my future, but I wonder if they are a long shot.  Is it worth my time?   But i'm going to stop myself and say that it's my fears of failure that keep me from it!   So onward I work.  

So on the same note, the other day I met a lady that has her own business doing craft things.  I was at her booth and saw her variety and I told her that I sensed a kindred spirit. She seemed to dabble in a lot of different crafts.  I told her that and she promptly looked at me and matter of factly asked me where my booth was. She flat out told me that she had worked in a bank (ha) and was miserable and bored and decided to branch out and do what she wanted and she was living her dream and making it work.  (I suspect hefty alimony and/or child support from her ex husband since she mentioned a divorce and a passel of children).    It made me think.  Should I be pursuing the things that I enjoy doing?  Should I be putting my time into some of these crafts that I like?   Food for thought.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I've got soul.....or do I?

OK, I have faced up to my weight.  It's not pretty.  Ok, so it's not that it's ugly.  But I've been sitting in a holding pattern for the last umpteen months.  When I say holding pattern I mean that I've been staying within the same 5 pound radius for the last SOOOOO many months.

I should be happy with that.  I mean seriously, I've pretty much maintained my weight for the last 6 months (more?).  But dammit, I don't want to maintain!

 I can admit that I've not been totally on board with losing.  Ohh, I want it, but wanting it isn't enough.  Getting it involves making the choices necessary to GET it.    So I can admit that.  

So how do I shake myself loose?  I have tried a monetary challenge with Sherry.  Heck, we totally messed up the first challenge so we reset it and started it again.  Uhhhhh  I'm about two weeks in and i'm up further.  (still within the 5 pound range thank heavens..but up!)  So obviously the challenge thing an the threat of paying out money didn't work.  Just saying 'do it'  didn't work either.  

I did manage today to not be tempted by the snacks that pervade my work!   When I first started this job I was totally rigid and didn't snack on anything at work.  And let me tell you, if I think we have a lot of food now, it used to be 75% worse!  I just didn't do it.  It was a taboo thing and I didn't do it.  I need to get back to that!  (and yes, I still had my treats and such, I just did it carefully and with control).

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life.  Yes, I'm 41 years old and feel as if I have yet to figure out what to do when I grow up.  I thought I knew years ago......I was wrong (or rather it just didn't work out).  So I'm soul searching....and not getting anywhere...maybe I'm just soul-less!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I had an aha moment this morning.....but first let me backtrack to the last few weeks.

I've been struggling with two different issues.

The first one is quite worrisome.  I've had some  headaches.  My normal 'yearly migraine' wasn't too surprising?   But the headaches have lingered around.  Is it sinus pressure?  Just a kickback from the migraine a few weeks ago?  What could it be????     I know that there has been one or two moments where I've wondered if my blood pressure isn't spiking. (which it has been known to do...and no,I'm NOT on medication for blood pressure).  I haven't really thought too much about it...but on occasion it does make me wonder.

The second issue is weird leg cramps.  They aren't all that bad, just random cramps.  NOt really worrisome, but just odd.  It's not normal for me.

I've also been really tired and just not energetic........but that's not really even concerning to me.

So I was having a random conversation this morning with a friend.  The friend mentioned a rough night of sleep, and cited leg cramps due to dehydration.   Immediately it all became clear.  I think I may have literally slapped my forehead with my palm!


I have been drinking....not much!   And when I have been drinking it's diet soda.  DUH!  I'm dehydrated!!!    That got me thinking about the headaches...could they be caused by the serious lack of water????

So water water water......that's my first goal!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Defining Moment

There are certain aspects about us that define who we are.  I'm a natural goofball.  It's just who I am.  That defines me.  MaryFran is a goofball.    I'm a loyal friend.   Sometimes that's to my detriment as I get taken advantage of.  But that defines me.   So much in our lives define us.  But it hit me today while talking to a friend that there is one thing that should never define me.  I should NEVER be defined by my weight. 

And I better include a goofball pic!!!  I had to trick my oldest nephew into getting in the picture and while my tongue is out being a goofball I'm not quite sure why my youngest nephew is licking my head!

Oh yes, my weight affects who I am.  It can't help but affect who I am.  However, my weight should NEVER define me.   Fat or thin I am me....and you know what......for better or worse, I like me.

If I never lose another pound, I like me.  I would like to lose weight and I am sure I will continue to obsess over it, but you know what.  If it doesn't happen it's not the end of the world.  It wouldn't change who I am, it would simply only change what size clothes I wear.  (and seriously, I don't have many clothes at this size and I'm TIRED of the clothes that I have....I need to lose or buy more clothes asap!)

All that said, I am more motivated than ever to lose the weight.  Not because I NEED to. .....because I want to!

We went to Lancaster yesterday.  I hit up the Green Dragon (farmers market) and as we walked through I scanned the produce stands and on the way back to the car I gathered up produce at some great prices. I spent something like 12 bucks and in my kitchen I have spinach, bib lettuce, grapes, two cucumbers, , some carrots, pineapple, two cantaloupe, 5 kiwi, 8 pears, and a dozen ears of corn.  I have NO EXCUSE to not eat healthy this upcoming week!

And a picture if me in a school house attraction that had been closed for years but is now reopened as the new owner tries to save the historic building.

Lovely wax figure....

The mantra "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"  is a good one...I'm changing it though..

Nothing tastes as good as.................    and I'm filling in the blank with my own dreams and hopes that I have for a thinner life.  (and I've learned my hopes and dreams for a thinner life are NOT based on 'my life will be fixed and there will be no more sorrow' when I'm thin.  They are VALID goals this time around!!)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

That's my Story and I'm sticking to it!

I too much food this weekend.  I was in Virginia for the weekend with a friend.  Yeah, I just kind of cut loose and ate what I wanted.  Not exactly what I should have been doing.  But hey, I don't get to spend a weekend with my friend to often, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I had grand plans to exercise this weekend.  I had exercise clothes.  I had the opportunity!   I was SOOOO going to do it.  I however spent my 'down time' writing and working on some personal projects.  On Sunday morning when I woke up, it was super foggy. Way too foggy for a good run through unfamiliar territory.   Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

I won't know what my weight will be tomorrow morning.   I fear the effects of my weekend of food debauchery.  The monthly ick is around the corner, so the weight should be popping with that....regardless of the food that I ate and the exercise that I didn't do.   So yes, I do believe that any weight gain will be due to the monthly ick.  Yes, that's my story and i'm sticking to it!!!!!

Ok, all joking aside.  I know that I am responsible. I can blame it on the fog and the ick and the excitement of my fun weekend, but it is an untruth.   I totally made my choices.  Me and all me.

I was in my car today.  I had grand ideas of what I wanted to write about. But now that it's time to write I just don't I'll just briefly touch on some of them.

 I thought about writing how we all hide secrets deep inside.  We put on shows for other people.  We hide behind laughter.  We hide behind jokes.  But inside who are we.....really?   I think this thought process has been in my mind since I heard the news about Robin Williams.  Yes, he was open about his depression...but it is totally at odds with the face that he put on for the world to see.  How many people are hiding behind the jokes.  I know I have always found it easier to laugh at myself to hide my insecurities.  Just makes me think and really wonder what is going on in the head of those around me.

I also spent some time thinking about my journals that I have stacked up from years gone by.  For years I struggled with accepting who I was.  I don't mean weight wise.  I don't mean simply accepting the physical side of things.  Those things are important for this journey, but I mean who we are emotionally and mentally.     I struggled with certain aspects of my personal psyche.  I felt totally at odds about certain things....and yes, some intensely personal things.  In recent years I've looked deeply and said "Hey, this is me"  I've accepted versus fight.    I think part of this journey that I'm on is accept exactly who I am...the good, the bad and the ugly.  And lets be honest....who is to say that anything really is 'good, bad, and ugly'.  What is ugly to some may be good to another.  The important thing is to accept ourselves and live in such a way that is harmonious with who we really are.  (well.....and legal...ha ha ha).

So that said, I will be exercising tomorrow.  I will be eating right tomorrow.  (Although I haven't yet really decided what I'm eating at all....but it will be healthy!!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pesky Ponds

Yeah, I'm aware that I've been pretty much missing in action since Monday. (ok, Tuesday because I put that book review up on Tuesday).  What can I say, I've been busy.    Losing weight busy???   Ha, I wish.  

The weight is just sitting still.  It's annoying.  But I'm going to keep trying!   I'm going to aim for better consistency with exercise and yes, eating.  Today was not a stellar day with eating.  Two words.......Zucchini Muffins.  They were/are good.    I'm actually not that far off of my calorie count today but I ate mostly carbs today.  (Breakfast Casserole.. and toast for breakfast...zucchini muffin(s) for lunch and baked ziti and garlic bread for dinner......)

So today I skipped my morning run.  Hey now, I had a reason.  I was WIPED OUT!  I slept poorly. I will get to that.....

I had a vacation day that I used yesterday.  Todd and I got up and got to work.  We started by hauling river stones.....notice I didn't say river pebbles...I said river STONES.  We are using them on the ground by the ponds that we are putting in our back yard/patio area.  A few backpacks of river stones later and we had started laying them down.  We were cognizant of the fact that these packs were HEAVY and we didn't want to blow our backs out so grabbed a few loads each and then called that quits until another day.  We carted them home and spread them out.  We did add some river pebbles to fill int he cracks....but I didn't get a picture after we did that.
We will have quite a few more trips to make to get enough river stones for the whole area, but we are ready...bring it on!

We laid the backpacks down and we were looking at the way things were and we decided to go back into the woods at least once more and pull out a some of the big limestone rocks back there to work on our retaining wall/rocky outbreak which is on the lower end of the ponds. (Our ground slopes quite a bit)   We grabbed the wheelbarrow and headed down to the pile of rocks that have been left there over the years from construction projects and from the farming from years past.   We grabbed a load of rock and headed up.  That wasn't too bad, so we headed down again.  Everything was going grandly until we decided to attempt a large rock.  We tipped the wheelbarrow on it's side and rolled the boulder into the belly of the wheelbarrow.  There was NO way that we were going to lift this puppy.  And in fact rolling is not really the term....pried it with a shovel and used the leverage to get it to shift onto the wheelbarrow.   We both put our muscles into it and we lifted the wheelbarrow upright.  Immediately the wheelbarrow collapsed. Yes, it collapsed.  Structurally the wheelbarrow is no longer sound.  We rigged it and somehow got that boulder up to the pond area.  We turned if on it's side and let the boulder fall.  It took us another 1/2 hour to get the boulder into position.  The other ones were not quite so big ...but the damage was done to the wheelbarrow.  We got some of the stones into place and back filled the area behind the stones. (Once again, this picture was before it was done and backfilled)

It was lunch time by that point.  We had spent over three hours on the stone/boulder project.  I headed in, showered and made lunch.  After lunch we ran a few errands and then ended up in the hot tub.  After getting out of the hot tub we sat on the patio looking at our progress.  We had two ponds in place....but we knew we wanted a third pond...lower still (in essence we have three levels of ponds).  We knew how we were finishing off the south end of the ponds but until we dug and placed the north end pond, we didn't have a clue how we were going to finish off the stones.  We talked about a few ideas and then I just decided to go for broke.  I carted myself to the shovel and started digging.  I dug for an hour and a half...but that third pond is IN PLACE!   (Todd sat and watched while I worked.....half of the time from the warm comfort of the hot tub...who wrong is that???)

I did take about an hour or so break before I headed out to zumba step!  Yes, I still did my hour workout class!!!!!  By the time I hit the class, my right arm was SORE!   Everything felt great.  IN fact before I fell asleep I was talking to a friend an made the comment that "I feel peachy, my right arm is sore but everything else is fantastic!"   Yeah, right.  I got in bed and my body started to stiffen up.  I slept HORRIBLY...simply because every time I moved I felt it!!!!!  

So I took it easy and didn't run this morning...that and I had a ton of things I wanted to get done before work!   After my day, once again the only place I'm sore is my arm (shoulder actually).

I'd say I'd run tomorrow...but I heard mention of a few 'rock' trips back into the woods before work. HMMMMMM

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Deepak Chopra and Lopez Lomong

I am reading the book What are you Hungry For?  By Deepak Chopra, MD.  I am doing it in conjunction with a book club/review group that I joined.  It is hosted by Kerstin and Leslie.

This first week we were 'assigned' to read the overview.  As I read the overview I was quite happy with the fact that the author clearly stated that dieting is a bad thing.  Ahhh I'm in 100% agreement!  I'm not on a diet, I'm on a lifestyle change.  

At the very beginning of the overview there were a few 'diet-like' items that were recommended.  
      * eat mostly natural and organic
      * Lower consumption of red meat and try to only eat chicken and turkey
      * Cut back/eliminate processed food
      * Reduce/eliminate alcohol and fermented foods (including cheese)
      * Reduce/eliminate refined sugar
      * Reduce salt intake
      * Get enough sleep
      * Drink lots of water
I was quite ok with most of these  I already eat mostly natural/organic foods.  I already eliminated most processed foods.  I don't eat much meat, I get sleep, limit my salt and drink lots of water.  Refined   I don't drink alcohol so that was fine...but cheese.  HOLY COW...I can't give up my cheese!     But for the most part, I was on board with his ideas.  So I continued reading.   He talked about awareness eating.  Simply being aware of the food we are putting in our mouths. I can see the validity of this too.  I think we SHOULD be aware of how much processed food and how much sugar and salt we are REALLY consuming.    

The author went on and made a generalized statement.  He stated that a lot of overeating is the result of unfulfillment within us.  Ok then  I can see that.  I know that food for me has many times become a means of fulfillment. I'm lonely...I eat.  I'm tired....I eat. So many different emotions and I eat.  That makes me wonder.    I've been noticing that in general people seem more and more down.   Is that generalized feeling part of the reason that obesity is on the rise?   Hmmm, food for thought....but that's a whole different issue that will bear further thought at a later time right now I just need to fix me  I read on.   But basically the author states that we need to fill ourselves with satisfaction other than food.

The success in this journey is apparently contingent upon getting our bodies impulses in line.   Listening to our bodies and relearning when we are hungry, when we are full.  Our bodies have somehow gotten lost and can no longer recognize the messages.   In essence we need a 'factory reset'.  We need to go back to the beginning and let our bodies tell us what it needs because somewhere along the line we lost the ability to hear those signals.  I've often despaired about this.  I have long known that I can no longer hear those signals.  I've known that I struggle with that elusive signal that lets me know when I'm full.  I also know that I also struggle with the elusive feeling of knowing when I'm REALLY hungry.  I've actually written about it a few times on my long ago as 2008 in fact.    The author stated that 'no matter how abused, the body will restore itself".   WOW....that would be AWESOME!

I look forward to continuing this read!!!!

I read another book of interest this week (this one to completion because I couldn't put it down)    Running for my Life by Lopez Lomong.  It was a book that was recommended by Katie at Runs for Cookies.   I couldn't put this book down.  It was an incredible read.  I giggled, I cried and I was awed again at the resilience of humans.  I'm not going to go into the book, but SERIOUSLY read it!!!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Course Correction

Oh. My. Word.   My eating was off the rails this past weekend.  I just wanted to scarf down food at a pace that was mind boggling.   Ok, it wasn’t a constant influx of food, but it certainly wasn't the quality and quantity of food that I SHOULD have been eating.  

My only consolation was that I DID run a 5k on Friday night.  I DID do manual labor outside for 2 hours on Saturday and on Sunday I DID walk 5 plus miles with Sherry.  At least I wasn't inactive to boot.

So, it is time for a course correction.  It’s time to turn this ship around and head in the correction direction.  I started this morning and I have been eating dead on with what I have planned.  No ifs ands or buts.  Actually, I’m not really hungry for the rest of my lunch.   Guess I didn't really need those animal crackers. ;-)

Eating is only one aspect of my course correction.  The next aspect is exercise.   I have been lax about my routine.  NO MORE.  For me, to help keep me on the straight and narrow, I have to be exercising daily!

The last aspect of my course correction is my ‘bet’ withmy friend.  That bet should have been over this upcoming Friday.  However, we were talking yesterday and we both just kind of fell off track on this.  SO, we scratched that and restarted as of this morning.  Better late then never!

My food is on target for today (As long as I avoid snacking tonight). I also ran this morning, so I'm doing pretty good!   

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Athletic and MaryFran are not synonymous or are they?

I am realizing that my athletic prowess is much better than I think.   There is a song in zumba step that involves jumping jacks.  The song just begs for everyone to go "hey hey hey an ho ho ho" along with the music.   The last two zumba classes I have attempted to get my cohorts (that would be the other attendees) to raise their voices while we do the jacks (of which only half do the jacks, the rest march in place).   No one will do it with me!   But they have collectively given me the same reason why they do not join in.  They say that it's all they can do to complete the jacks, let alone adding in yells.  Really????  Both nights I was the largest one in the class, by a long shot!   How is this possible?  Am I actually in better physical/athletic shape than I think?   So maybe all these workouts that I do (even as inconsistent that I am sometimes) actually are doing something?

I have also reminded a few times to not talk about the negative that I lost a minute in my time on my Donut Alley Rally 5k.  I did something that most people couldn't do.   Yet I focus on the negative....I could have done better afterall.

I'm not saying I'm in great shape. I've got a long ways to go.  But maybe, just maybe I need to give myself more credit!

Today turned out to be another lethargic day.  I did walk with Sherry this morning and we completed over 5 miles.

 I did do a few things around the house.  I'm proud to say all three of the big freezers and the fridge freezer are all cleaned out.  The non frost free ones are defrosted and I dumped  al unidentifiable things (yeah, shoot me, I have a bad habit of not marking things) and anything freezer burnt (we had a decent length power outage and shortly thereafter one freezer was left ajar for a few hours).  I get some great satisfaction from organized spaces.  I love looking at perfectly lined towels and such in the linen closet (ok as perfectly lined as I make them...I'm sure others have neater linen closets) ...the only thing that would be better is if they were all color coordinated....ha ha ha  And yes, I folded towels and put them away today.

  I finished that, made lunch and took a nap.  We did eventually get up and head to town.  We really didn't need to go to town (except I wanted to see my brother and his family and parents).  We did stop at Dicks Sporting Goods because I plan on buying a good upright bike...I'm riding next year...and I'm going to use the harsh winter months to prepare!!!   Ok ok I cancelled my gym membership so I'm just making sure that in the cold bitter winter that I have exercise opportunities at my fingertips!!!   We are slowly working on the pond project.  The lethargy slowed us down today....but slowly it's coming together.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

I'm listening!

Today was a lazy day.  It didn't start that way.  I was up and at 'em this morning. I hit the errands running and got home around 12:30 with a car full of groceries for the upcoming week.  I was on a roll and then all of a sudden this overwhelming tiredness came over me.  I pushed through.  I put the garbage and recycle out. I made a late lunch.  I did a ton.  I just wanted to sit down and do nothing.   Todd however wanted to go out and work on the pond project.  I changed into work clothes and out I went.  2 hours later and who knows how many wheelbarrow loads of dirt and I was beyond exhausted.  It was no longer a general feeling of lethargy it was plain and simple exhaustion.   I went in, showered and promptly went to sleep on the couch.  I had grand plans for a bike ride or a long walk or even a run today.  I wanted.  But my body have other ideas. Listening to our bodies needs is important!!!

So why is that thought stuck in my mind?????  My eating has been on target with my calories until yesterday and today.  (And these two days I've hovered at about 2000 calories versus my normal 1300 calories).  My body is screaming at me over the lack of fruits and vegetables and I guess the extra calories.   That was honestly why I ended up with a salad last night after the Donut Alley Rally.  It's the reason that after running my 5k I didn't partake in any of the donuts.  I knew my body needed something else.  I knew my body needed something relatively healthy.    For once in my life I actually recognized it AND listened to it!  

And yes, I do realize that the lack of nutritious food could be affecting my energy levels!

In the meantime, I was cleaning off the kitchen table and remembered my vow from a few weeks back to begin taking my multivitamin again.  Oops, I think I took one and then promptly forgot. (I am such a horrible pill taker.....I just always forget!!!)    So vowing once again to restart that.   Why am I jumping on this bandwagon?  I know that the first time I lost weight I took a multivitamin and while I don't know that it helped, I lost a good deal of weight!  So hey....why not!                                                                                                                                                                                                          Todd and I have made a pact.  We are not eating out again together until next Sunday night. So 8 full days.   We eat out a LOT..Way too much!   We were driving home (after breakfast out this morning..ha) and I was talking about grocery shopping.   We realized that in the previous 20 hours we had spent 80 bucks on food.  $40 at Red Robin.....$20 on food after the race....$20 on Breakfast.  And if you added in the subs on Thursday night we could make it an even $100.  That is RIDICULOUS!   

As for all of the eating's not because we needed to get groceries.  I have plenty of food here that I could make (we have freezers full of food).  Lunch yesterday and breakfast today were just plain and simple we wanted to.  (Dinner last night was more or less because It was 9 or maybe even a little later and we had yet to eat it was a scheduling thing...but I STILL could have gone home and cooked something!).   The problem is that Todd and I built a relationship when we were over 300 pounds.  We built our dating relationship and marriage based around food.  Our dates and our times together were earmarked with the food we ate.  We connected over food.  If we take that away it leaves a huge hole a whole that both of us need to want to fill with something else.  Hmmm

Ok, and the cooking thing..I get lazy.  I many days make breakfast and lunch.   Homemade waffles;  bacon, potatoes eggs and toast; french toast; pancakes.  Not just a bowl of cereal or an english muffin.  And then most days I cook a dinner.  I do all the cooking.  I do all the dishes. I do all the work except for eating half of what I prepare.  So yeah, I get lazy.  OH well.......

As for exercise....I'm determined to exercise consistently this week!!!!   I"m walking tomorrow and Todd has mentioned hiking or biking.  So I've got Sunday covered!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Running with Heart

The Donut Alley Rally was tonight.  I did this run last year with some friends and had a blast; so I knew that I definitely wanted to do this one again.  Seriously, how could I ever pass up a run where there is a free flowing stream of donuts. (Before and after the run).   This year however I didn't have any friends that were running with me.   Ohhhh, and did I mention that my training has been lackluster to non-existent??    Yeah, that would best describe my running regime of late.

I still forged ahead and signed up for the run vowing to run religiously an get 'ready' for it.  Ha, best laid plans sometimes mean squat and this was just one of those 'means squat' times.    I packed my bags and went to town.  As the afternoon progressed I seriously contemplated backing out.  Yeah, I did.  I'm not proud of that fact.  I gathered my fortitude and just said "DO IT".  I knew I could finish but I told myself that finishing would be the victory.  I had a goal to stay 'close' to my rough times from previous races (38-40 minutes) and I REALLY wanted to be under 40 minutes.

I knew that this run was not going to be a run based on training, but a run based on my heart.  My heart would push me through.  My heart would propel me and my heart would motivate me.  And my heart would fill my thoughts and make me smile.  I was going to be running with my heart.

I started out strong. Todd cheered me on at the start line.  Mom and dad were waiting at about the 3/4 mile mark.   At about 1.5 miles in my calves were SO freakin' tight.  I started intervals.   Mom and dad were at the 2.5 mile mark too!  It was nice to see people waiting for me, cheering me on.  

It was a rough run.  I had some good thoughts in my intensely personal things that fill me with warm fuzzies to think I was smiling (maybe through the grimace of pain...ha ha ha).

The finish line was awesome.  I saw people that I knew..and they cheered me on.  I finished it in 40:52  A minute slower than my recent times.  I'm ok with that...because I ran with my heart!

 I'm ok with that...because I ran with my heart!   And I have the teeshirt to prove it!
 My eating today was...well....   Ok Lunch at Red Robin and they accidentally brought us the french fries instead of fruit...and they left them...and guess who ate them????

I DID however pass on the umpteen free donuts that were floating around before (yes there were people double fisting donuts before running) and after the race.    On the way home we stopped to pick up sandwiches...I ordered a salad..
 One thing my run showed me tonight.......I've got to get this ship turned around!  I ran with my it's time to live with my heart.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

I'm sending my food intake on a daily basis to my friend via email.  I know that she will keep me honest and tell me straight up if I mess up.  She won't pull her punch when she sees my food intake. 

    I will freely admit that I had a lunch malfunction today.  I made a peanut butter cup protein shake for my lunch and threw in a banana for good measure.  I had it in the fridge at work and went to pull it out at lunch.  I took a few sips.  It was pretty good. On about the 4th sip I got this weird fibrous stringy thing.  Was it a string from the banana?  It was really firm and didn't break apart though.  What the heck?   I plodded through...and took another sip.  Another piece of 'whatever' flowed into my mouth.  I was off to the only food place in town (ok, there is a bar also) and I ate a turkey and cheese sub (1/2) and some chips for my lunch.  It will totally throw my calorie count out of whack but I couldn't eat a shake with some kind of unidentifiable sticks in it!   The chips were over the top.  I didn't need them...I shouldn't have had them.  And my mouth was dry and pasty the rest of the day.  

Friday is the 5k Donut Alley Rally in Hagerstown.  I ran this race/run last year.  It is sponsored by a really cool donut shop in Hagerstown and is for the Wounded Warrior Foundation.   It's a great run....and yes, I ran it last year.  Last year I ran it after coming off a month or two of not running due to plantars fasciitis .  I ran it with some friends and had a blast.
It poured down rain at one point...that's not all sweat!

This year no one is running it with me.....and I have been inconsistent with my runs, to say the least.  Once again I'll be running this 5k one with my heart and not based on my training.  I'm hoping to at least keep my time in the same general area as my most recent 5k's.  We shall see!   As for the donut afterward??????   Get back with me later on that one!  I did indulge in ONE last year!

I coulnd' tget the burning of the dreams out of my mind after my last post.  It wa stuck there since my friend talked about it. Id din't go away when I wrote about it in my recent post.  And when some of you seconded the motion, it became cemented there.  I thought about it last night as I sat in my car waiting for zumba to begin.  I know I need to let go of some of these dreams and as I sat there pondering the act of burning them I started to cry.  I warred with myself, would I actually have the guts to set the match to the paper?????   

A plan came to mind!  Index cards.  On one side I would write my dream and on the other side I would write why I am struggling to let go of that dream  I would also write the positive aspects of letting go of that dream and thus moving on.  I spent some time making these cards.  I wrote down the dreams I wanted to burn.

I also spent some time writing down some of the dreams I have for the future.  No, I'm not going to burn the future dreams, I just felt that it was important to have something to fill the void.   Some of them are goals, like lose weight.  Some of them are thoughts and ideas I have had in the past.  Some are simple building onto our house to make it a bit more 'palatable'.   Some are self explanatory and others have meaning to only me.  But I made a small stack of dreams.

I sat with the two stacks of cards beside me.  I cried.  I didn't know if I could burn them.  And quite frankly, I didn't know if it would help.  Finally tonight, Thursday night I was able to go out to the fire pit.  The teaching card was so easy to lite up. I've given that dream up a while and have small vague fits of sadness over that lost dream.  The other two were BIG. They were HUGE and I admittedly struggled with lighting them up. And Admittedly I cried some more.

I don't know if it will help.  The one item that I burned totally brought clarity to my mind, I just don't know how to move forward with it.   All I can say is that it's worth a try.  (And thank you to Sherry, Timothy and Lori for their encouragement to take this route)

I'll keep you posted!  In the meantime...I'm heading out to the hot tub......hey, it's part of my 'no exercise preparation for my 5k'!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Dream Big

I'm trying. My current plan is to email my food on a daily basis to a friend.   I have to account for everything and if I'm NOT honest....and put in stellar food choices each day...then at the end of the month if I've not lost weight my lies are going to be quite evident.  I don't like lies!!!!

So I've been pondering dreams a lot lately.  Yes....I have.    I've had quite a few dreams of mine that have been blown to smithereens.  It hurts.  It is demoralizing.  It has left me shifting in the wind.  I've been helpless to save these dreams.  (believe me, I've tried)  But right now I find myself dreamless.  I am not sure where I want to go in life. (ok I have some idea of where I would LIKE to go and LOVE to be...but those thoughts are way beyond my control....I'm not in control of those things...)    What do I want in my career?   What do I want for my life?  

That is the question that I find myself asking.    My friend Sherry recommended that I literally put my 'old dreams' down on paper and burn those bad boys.  She says that I need to actually physically let go of those dreams.  I've let go of teaching......but have I really?   Do I not still feel a squeak of jealousy when I hear about teachers going back to work after the summer?   Do I not still feel a spark of envy when I hear about other people that have realized the dreams that I longed for?   Yes, I do.  Would burning them help?  I don't know.

She also said to sit down and actually think about where I want to be in 10 years.   It's difficult.  So many things are out of my control. I'm trying to teach myself to dream again or rather to dream new dreams, and things about things that I actually have control over. (not that it's bad to dream about the things that I don't have utter control, health, etc etc etc)    But I have a a few things out there that I'm going to try to achieve.......we shall see.  

Monday, August 04, 2014

Fake It

I think I need this hat.  Notice how it makes my face look thin. (thinner at least???)  And SEXY.....the bright orange animal print fur fabric is totally my thing!   And yes my outfit and demeanor or totally congruent together.  I mean...seriously..that hat...the peace sign....a Disney shirt with goofy (my favorite character) and an I love Lucy purse......AWESOME combination!!!!!  ha ha ha

I haven't figured out the solution to my weight loss woes yet.  I don't know that there is any big solution. I've pondered trying to make it fresh and new with a different tracking system, a while back (long while) I rejoined weight watchers, I switched meetings, I've challenged myself, I've set goals, I've made bets, I've joined weight loss groups and I've tried sending daily/weekly emails to accountability partners.  It's all to no avail.

I HAVE stopped the weight gain.  That's an awesome thing.  I'd rather be sitting in a holding pattern versus gaining.  However, I don't like myself at this weight.  I'm not happy with myself. I remember how awesome I felt at my lower weight and I want that again.  But I just can't seem to turn the ship around!

I don't have any solution.  I wish I did.

I do have a's simplistic really.  Fake it until I make it!  ha ha ha.  No, while that idea has merit, it's not my plan.

My utterly simplistic plan is easy.  It all revolves around one thing.  I need to TRACK my food.    I know for me that if I'm tracking I am more apt to stay somewhere relatively close to my projected caloric budget.   It's that simple really. if!

I do take comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one out there that is having the same issues of turning the ocean liner of weight loss/weight gain around.  I have lurked for quite some time on the blog of bitch cakes.....she stopped writing regularly (boo) but is still out there and still imparts a bit of wisdom and thoughts on occasion.   She posted yesterday.    I could TOTALLY feel her post.  I could totally get what she said.  It could have been written by me!   It is a common theme....

Sooooo if I could figure out the solution....I could be a millionaire!   Hmmmmmmm  Just a thought!

And just because........

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Did it already

It's embarrassing many times I've started and failed.   I hate failure!   I'm the kind of person that pushes through and conquers things.   I like a challenge.  I thrive with the challenge.  Yet I struggle with weight loss.

But it finally hit me what the problem is.  I enjoy a challenge thrive under it really.   I set myself up to do something and I work like a demon to get there.   I work night and day to complete a complex craft such as a huge cross stitch.  I type away at some various writing until my fingers are wore down to the nub.   I'm successful.  I complete them.  However...when that cross stitch is done, I'm done.  I may as well throw the pattern away. If I don't frame it immediately, it goes in a box and quite frankly, I'm done with it.   I love writing...but I hate editing.   Because once that final word is typed out and finished....I'm done.  I accomplished my goal and I'm done.  If the cross stitch would for some reason unravel...I wouldn't redo it.  If the pages of my writing would catch fire, I wouldn't rewrite them.  I am done.

I think that's my problem with weight loss.  I already accomplished this goal.  I lost 135 pounds.  I was done.   I planned on maintaining, but it didn't happen.  So I'm looking at having to lose the weight again.   I'm  faced with rewriting that book.  I'm faced with redoing the same cross stitch.   I'm facing a redo.   And quite frankly, redo's bore me.   Been there done that, bought the tee shirt.

I've changed up aspects of my weight loss regime.  I've swapped things.  I've set challenges and goals.   I've tried...but nothing has kept me in the game for long.   I somehow have to make this journey NEW!!!


Friday, August 01, 2014


My headache was winding down and for that I was utterly grateful.  It was so minimal that I went to zumba step on Wednesday night.  I felt pretty good afterward.  I ran yesterday morning.  I felt pretty good afterward.    And then about mid day yesterday it started to bother me a bit more.  Really?????  And this morning I'm feeling pretty darn icky.  Can I just chop off my head??????  I think that's a valid plan!

Yesterday I ate correctly.  I wanted to eat more.  I was dying for something sweet.  I was dying for more food. But I stopped and found that I really didn't "NEED" it.  I just wanted it.   So one day of good eating behind me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.......I have full and complete control over only one thing in my life.....  what I eat and how much I exercise.  So why do I cede my control?  Its stupid really!

Ok, enough for to rest my weary head.