Friday, September 18, 2020

The monster sized dollhouse

So last weekend I went to pick up my dollhouse and both Jason and I were in for a surprise!   It was huge!  Ii talked a bit about it on my post from Monday    But had some requests to share the dollhouse!  Plus...well it’s my hobby so I like to share!  So here it is!!!

The dollhouse has 7 original rooms and an addition that adds two more rooms on the side.   There is one huge room in the attic and one smaller room under the eaves in the attic.   The second floor has two rooms and a bathroom.  The bottom floor has one large room and one smaller room.  The addition is off to the right in the picture below and adds two additional rooms.

 My current thinking?   The big room downstairs will be a living room.   The smaller room to the right of the steps will be the kitchen and the dining room will be in the downstairs of the addition.   The second floor in the addition will be a library.  The middle room on the second floor will remain a bathroom...and the two other rooms will be bedrooms.   The attic...right now I am leaning toward a craft from for the lady of the house combined with a playroom for the child of the house.   In the room under the eaves...a workshop for the man of the house.   

Other options:
I have toyed with making this a 1920’s era house..and making the addition an doctors office.  

I have toyed with making the addition a music room and library. 

The possibilities are endless ...right now I’m stumped though!!!!   Any ideas...please pass them along!!





I have repaired the shingles...and I have recreated some of the porch rails.  I will paint them and the house and then reinstall them.  (It’s easier to paint before I install!).   

I am thinking of keeping the house gray...but all the trim will be red (or green...Jason likes green).  So the door and window boxes will no longer be yellow...and the shutters will no longer be black...it will be one trim color!

Ideas and thoughts on paint scheme??

So how big is this really???  My McKinley dollhouse was previously my biggest house....you can see that dollhouse dwarfed by this new one in the picture below!!




I am looking forward to the work that I’ll be doing on this house!!! But the size...it is overwhelming our apartment.  I think we need to move!!!!  

So there you have my new purchase!!!!!!!!  Let me know your thoughts!  I would love to hear how this speaks to you!!!



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Crustless Strawberry Pie

 I absolutely adore strawberries!  I love them!  I don't know if I have ever gotten to the point of saying I've had enough!  They are delicious! It doesn't matter what format they come in either.  Strawberry shortcake?  Sign me up!   Strawberries with a little sugar?   I'm in!   Warm strawberries straight from the strawberry patch? OH my mouth is watering now!     But a few years ago I stumbled upon a recipe for a Crustless Strawberry Pie.  And I was intrigued!

The crust on a strawberry pie is what holds a lot of the calories!   So crustless sounds fabulous!  Do you know how many calories I can save.  And seriously, what strawberry lover hasn't scooped the delightful strawberries out of the pie and left the crust???? I made this recipe a few times and loved it.  But then promptly forgot about it.  I forgot about it for YEARS!  Until this summer when I stumbled upon this easy recipe!  I started making it a few weeks ago.  EVERY WEEK I make a  new one!   It is soooo delicious!  It's a perfect little touch of sweetness in the evenings after dinner.  It is full of fresh strawberries...and that is a win in my book for taste AND health!

Ohhh...and did I mention that this recipe is easy???   SUPER SIMPLE!!!!  Ok, your hooked now...so let me share the recipe!!!

Main Ingredients

1 large box of cook and serve vanilla pudding

1 large box of strawberry jello

1 pound strawberries

3 cups water

1 tbs Whipped topping

Recipe Steps

  1. 1. Slice strawberries and layer them on the bottom of a 9x13 pan 
  2. 2. Cook pudding as directed on package using water in place of the milk. 
  3. 3. When pudding is boiling, add contents of the jello packet and mix thoroughly. 
  4. 4. Pour the jello/pudding mixture over the strawberries. 
  5. 5. Refrigerate until the jello/pudding mixture has set . 
  6. 6. Serve with a dollop of whipped topping (optional)
Serves 8 Calories 117 Total Fat 0.2 g Total Carbs 28.1 g Dietary Fiber 2.4 Sugar 16.1 Cholesterol 0 Sodium 98.3 mg Protein 0.6 g

I'm telling you.  Crustless Strawberry Pie is the bomb!  It's easy to make. This is delicious.  Even better, the serving size  is a decent portion.  I  don't know about you...but I don't call a dessert 'healthy' just because it's only a half bite.  I want to actually have a nice serving of something that this dessert checks that box but still not break the bank in calories!!!!  This dessert does it all!!!!!!    If you try it, let me know what you think!

For a printable recipe, you can click this here.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Rough weekend

The weekend came and I was riding high on my maintain over vacation!   Nothing was going to get me down or derail me!

Weekend activities
We woke up on Saturday and relaxed before heading out to pick up a dollhouse that I had purchased through the Amazon Marketplace.  We planned on taking the old car because it would give us more space to carry a bulky dollhouse home.  We got into the car and the battery was dead!   We had an appointment to get the dollhouse so we hopped into the new car and drove the 30 minutes.  The dollhouse was HUGE!  So huge that it wasn’t fitting into the new car.    We drove home and got Jason’s work truck and drove back to pick up the house.   Have I said how huge it is?   It is so big that I feel absolutely guilty about buying it!  It totally fills up our dining room!!   Jason laughed last night and said ‘that dollhouse is just about as big as our apartment’.  In between bouts of guilt and worry about what to do with such a huge dollhouse,  I am having fun dreaming about what I am going to do with it.)

Once the dollhouse was safely filling up our dining room we headed out for a hike.   We knew it was going to be a short one because the dollhouse took up a few hours of our day.   We decided to go to Catoctin National Park.   We wanted to hike the historic Whiskey Trail.   

We thought that trail was longer....a half mile hike is not what we had in mind!   So we did go back to explore the still.


But after we explored. We headed off toward Cunningham Falls.   I was hiking slow.  My head was pounding.  I was just whipped!  It was a struggle for me!  We didn’t hike for long before we caved and called it quits.  My body was just telling me that I was done!

All evening long I remained overly tired.   The tiredness continued into Sunday.  I woke up and was showered by 7AM and I was asleep on the couch by 7:30.  I slept until about 10 or 10:30.   We took an easy day.  We ran a few errands and headed down to REI for Jason to check out some new hiking boots.  I was tired and sluggish all day!

Food
I did amazing on Friday With my eating.   On Saturday I ate a heavier lunch because I was thinking that we would have a longer hike.   The shorter hike didn’t burn as many calories.  My calorie count for Saturday was 1622...not bad but higher than I aim for.   Sunday was worse.  After sleeping all morning I was hungry and feeling so sluggish that I thought a decent lunch may help but I was so tired that the thought of making something  was abhorrent!   I pulled out two leftover pieces of pizza.  For dinner we grabbed subway subs.   I ended my day at 1680 calories.   So higher than I like but still not crazy high.

Weight
I weigh daily....it works for me. (Do whatever works for you.). I was disgusted to see my weight up by 3 pounds today.  Really?  1600 calories each day and I am up 3 pounds?   What is wrong with my body?

I will say that the monthly ick arrived...and my water intake probably was not as solid.  But still...three pounds???

I’m not giving up.   I’m still trucking on...I’m working on drinking my water today and keeping my calories down near 1200-1300 for the day!   I’ve got this!!!   This three pound back and forth is done!!!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Weigh in after a vacation

Well, it is time to explore the possible fallout from our little mini vacation.  What Am I talking about?   What in the world happened with my eating and on the scales during and after our little mini vacation to the beach!


It’s only a month of being healthy

I had made a decision that in September I would be adopting a mantra of ‘its only’.   Basically I can hold steady and stay on track because ‘it’s only a month’.  When I made that decision and challenge for September I was unaware that we would be going on a mini vacation.   It should have been smooth sailing!   But life isn’t about smooth sailing.  Life is about curveballs.  Life is about adapting.  I am not going to say that I restricted 100% and stayed true to being absolutely perfect on my mini vacation.   I honestly can’t say that!   However I am going to be totally honest and say that for the most part I feel like I made some really good choices!  I never went overboard.  I never went crazy.   I kept telling myself ‘it’s only a trip to the beach....next trip I can go crazy’.   But did it work?

Eating on vacation

Let me say that I tracked my eating each and every step of the way!   Every bite of food was tracked!!!   I did enjoy some Thrashers Fries (boardwalk style French Fries).  These were not eaten as an extra high calorie snack, they were part of my dinner and I did not eat all of them...we shared the order!

I also did indulge at the chocolate store!  Even then, I chose three small half inch squares of chocolate to enjoy after dinner.  Nothing more!  And tracked!!  I kept a tight reign on my choices and desires!

So I did have some indulgences.  My goal is to keep my calories between 1200 ad 1300 calories. So how did I do???


You can see that Saturday, Sunday and Monday my intake of calories was much higher than normal!  Sunday was quite high (for me) at 2200 calories.  I saw that number and cringed!   

  Now it is time to add in my movement.  Because we were on the move a LOT.   Especially on Sunday, that really high caloric intake day.  On Sunday we started walking at 9:45 and we did not sit down until we hit our hotel at 6:45 with our takeout dinner.   (We ate lunch on the go!). We also spent time frolicking in the ocean...fighting waves and whatnot!  So let’s look at my net calories to see where I was with adding in some of my movement (I didn’t even count all the hours...I underestimated the hours of movement)


Oh yeah...I pretty much ate higher calories on Sunday but I apparently should have burnt most of them!

It all wasn’t happy though.  I lost control one time!  Yes, I had a snack fiasco!

The Snack Fiasco

We were driving home.   Traffic as we headed toward the bay bridge was horrible (as it always is after a holiday weekend) and we got stopped dead behind an accident.  When we got moving again we knew we needed to stop for gas, bathrooms and lunch as it was already 2pm!  Everyone else was in the same boat apparently.   I waited for 10-15 minutes in line for the bathroom.  It was then time to grab something to eat.  I honestly tried!  I really did!  I marched myself over to the area for made to order sandwiches!  But that line was just as long as the line for the bathroom   No thank you....I wanted to get moving and on the way home again!   I tried to look at the ready made foods!  But it was picked over and nothing was left!   I defaulted to an individual sized bag of cheese ritz crackers.    While we waited in line to pay (another long line) I saw the chips!   I was hungry...I was discombobulated due to my original plans for food not panning out.   I grabbed a bag of chips also!   And that is the snack fiasco.  Because I did not nibble daintily a few pieces from each bag.  I scarfed down both packages and practically licked the inside of the bag clean!

Weigh in after a vacation

The day we left for vacation I was sitting at 242.6 pounds.   The day after we got back I was at 245.8!  I had gained 3.4 pounds in three days!  I had gained even with all that walking and movement!!!   I was so mad and upset but I didn’t let it get to me!!!

I turned it around.  I didn’t let vacation make me forget my ‘it’s only a month’ mantra.  I turned it around immediately and made sure I was doing what was good and right for a healthy life!    And today...Friday I stepped on the scales.  I weighed in at 242.6.     I somehow managed a straight up maintain!


Moving forward with my weight loss

Our mini vacation is behind me.   I have the rest of September to rock out my it’s only a month mantra!   It really works!  It even got me through a vacation.  My mantra kept my vacation food indulgences at a minimum and that mantra brought me right back to my healthy eating when we got home.    I may have only maintained my weight this week, but it is a HUGE victory!   Vacations usually elicit a weight gain!  But not this time!!!  I was victorious! 

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Mini get away

We have been struggling with the final decision about what to do for our week long vacation.   A beach trip had been booked for months....but the beach had mandatory masks anywhere outside (except when actually on the beach...but all that boardwalk walking and bike riding we would do would be masked).  So we made a back up plan to go back to new river gorge and hike for the week!   We double booked hotels and sat back to wait to make our decision.   As time passes we have become more and more convinced that the mountains are where we should go.   But we just hesitated to drop the idea of going to the ocean!   We love to see the ocean at least once a year!   And our spring trip had been cancelled in the height of the Covid panic so we hadn’t seen the ocean yet this year.    

On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we were out shopping and we were talking about our upcoming decision and we both said ‘if we could at least see the ocean I think this decision would be easier.’   We looked at each other and said, ‘Well it is a long weekend!’  We quickly finished our grocery shopping and headed home.  Surprisingly we found a hotel that had a vacancy (not ocean front but it was a hotel situated right on the boardwalk) and by 12-1 Pm on Saturday we were heading to the beach!!!  What beach?  Ocean City, Maryland.

Masks were mandatory...and they had police on the boardwalk patrolling and stopping unmasked people!


 
We didn’t buck the system.   We wanted to see the ocean but we didn’t want to get sick in the process.  So we kept our masks on when we were in crowded areas!  But when we were in wide open places with no one for 10-20 feet away, we lowered our masks!  


The ocean was gorgeous!  (It was a lot more crowded than this picture made it appear....this was taken early morning)

We explored some history of Ocean City.  

Our hotel was the Shoreham Hotel...which was built in the early 1900’s and is actually the oldest continually operating hotel in Ocean City.  (There are two or three older hotels but their original buildings all burnt down at one point and had to be rebuilt...the Shoreham is the original building) 

We also spent some time exploring the vintage amusement park rides in the carousel building.  And In particular, the 1912 giant hand carved carousel. 




We had a fabulous time in Ocean City...even with the masks!


Sooo....the question you may be asking.  What are our thoughts about our week long vacation now that we saw the ocean and experienced the mandatory masks on the boardwalk?  

Within a half hour to an hour of walking on the boardwalk with masks....we had our answer.   It was annoying...hot...and just not cool!    We both are satisfied with our glimpse of the ocean and the time that we spent frolicking in the water.  We are both now 100% ok with a trip to the mountains versus the ocean.   In fact, we got home and immediately cancelled the ocean hotel!   Our decision is made!  Bring on New River Gorge come vacation time!!!!




Monday, September 07, 2020

Broccoli Chicken Rice Crockpot Casserole

 I love using my crock pot.  I somehow always seem to forget about it though!  But not this week!  This week we dined on the broccoli chicken rice crockpot casserole.  



This recipe is super easy.  It calls for a 

1pound of chicken (cut into bite size pieces)

5 cups of bite sized pieces of broccoli

 1 can cream of chicken soup

 1 can cream of celery soup

2 cups of rice

 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese 

3-4 cups of chicken broth (I start with 3 and add more if it looks too dry as it is cooking)

Dump it all in the crockpot, put the crockpot on low and let it cook for 6 hours.  And Voila'  a delicious meal!!!!


For a printable recipe you can click here.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Game plan: It's Only

 I have talked in the past about a certain mindset that is helpful in weight loss.  I call it the "It's only" mindset.  It is that belief that I an do ANYTHING that I set my mind to.  I don't have to promise to do it forever.  I am only vowing to do it 'today' or 'this week'   Next week is a different story.  I can decide next weeks 'it's only' goal next week.  But for now I can put my mind to something and do it because....it's only!

Losing weight in the face of donuts

This started for me years ago when I was working at the bank.  We had customers bringing us donuts almost every day.  My manager and I wanted to lose weight but how could we when there were donuts in the office.  All. The. Time!     We talked about it and we both had vacation about 6 weeks away. We decided that we could resist donuts until our vacation.  Because seriously....it was ONLY 6 weeks. Who can't live without donuts for 6-7 weeks.  We both made it too!   NO donuts for 6 weeks and it didn't even hurt us. You see, we had told ourselves "it's only 6 weeks"  I'm not giving it up forever.  Just for 6 weeks.  You and I know what happened after the six weeks.  Well ok, maybe you don't!   After the end of 6 weeks, the habit of having donuts at work CONSTANTLY had died down.  Customers knew we weren't eating donuts so they stopped bringing them in.  We stopped eating them and we didn't have much of a desire after the 6 weeks were over.  It broke the habit!  Sounds like a perfect plan to me right?

I have utilized this 'it is only' plan quite a few times.  Of course I can do something....it's only for a day...or a week...or whatever.  So it should come as no surprise that while I have been struggling with my weight loss efforts that I came up with a new "It's only" plan!

What if I was spot on perfect with my weight loss efforts for one month

I was in the shower one day and I was thinking about my goals for weight loss and where I am in my journey and I started to think about "what if".  What if I kept my calories in line EVERY DAY for a month?  What would happen if I exercised during my lunch break EVERY DAY for a month?  What would happen if I drank all of my required water EVERY DAY for a month?   I bet I could lose quite a bit of weight.  I would feel better too....at least that was my theory in the shower that day!  As I allowed that hot water to wash over me, I remembered the "It is only" concept.   Hmmm....could I do it?  Well yeah, because it's only a month.  But did I WANT to do it?

It's only a month

Yes, I decided that I did want to follow through on the 'it's only a month" plan.  I know I can do it!  I have faith in myself.  And well....maybe I knew that we were not planning on traveling or going away during the month.  So I knew that would make things easier!  I was all in!

I was so all into this 'it's only a month' plan that I shared it with Jason.  I usually try to keep these things a secret so that when I fall off the bandwagon that no-one knows!  This time I told Jason.  He shocked me because he decided to do no sweets for the same month!  Really???   He liked the mantra "it's only a month"!   

Oh now it's game on!  (Hmmm could I make this a challenge...because I will work harder so that I don't lose against someone!  LOL)

Now some things have changed and we may be going away for an overnight trip.  That will be problematic but that is ok. You see, at the end of the month I want to see what happens if I put my mind to something.  I'm aiming for perfection but I'm ok with one or two mess ups. (remember, my monthly goals does allow me to have one day where I am not spot on...so if that is what it ends up being, then I'll still consider it a win!)  I can do it!

Hello September!  It's going to be a fun ride!!!! 

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Monthly Goal Recap

 I have already said that I kinda blew it in the month of August.  Yeah, I really blew it!   But you know what?  I am still here in this weight loss journey.  I am still wanting this weight loss to happen.  I am still in this game, so I did NOT fail!  Failure is giving up and I have NOT given up!


So how did I do?


1.  Track every bite of my food-  I totally fell off the wagon with this one.  I failed to track for a good two weeks.  I just didn't....no real reason.  Ohhh there are reasons...but they are all excuses!

2.  Save money  There is not money in the savings account, but we have paid for TWO weeks of lodging for our one week of vacation.  The duplicate (back up option) is being cancelled and I will be regaining those dollars.  I paid for the second hotel this past month.......and did not deduct ANYTHING from savings....so when I get my refund.  So while I technically did not put money into the savings, the money will get there eventually!

3.  Weigh less at the end of the month - Uhhh yeah, this did not happen.  (See tracking issues above....because we all 'know' that we we don't track it then it doesn't count as calories....right???)

4.  Be active at least 4 times a week  I actually managed this thanks to the after work walks with Jason!

5.  Stay within caloric/food budget at least 6 days a week  Nope.....this didn't even come close to happening!

6.  Have an average of over 5K steps per day for the month.  I actually nailed this one!!!!!


So you can see that my month was a combination of victory and failure!   But that's ok.  We learn from failure and we grow from adversity.  So I must have done a heap of growing!!!!

So my goals for next month?   Exactly the same!!!

1.  Track every bite of my food

2.  Save money

3.  Weigh less at the end of the month

4.  Be active at least 4 times a week

5.  Stay within caloric/food budget at least 6 days a week

6.  Have an average of over 5K steps per day for the month.



Monday, August 31, 2020

Hiking at Seneca Creek State Park

We had the nicest weather of the summer on Sunday!  The humid was low and the temps were steady in the lower 80°’s!  How awesome is that???   We knew we couldn’t let that slip away form us!   We were up and moving early figuring out what we were doing.   And we decided to hike at a state park about 20 miles from us.  We had never been to this park so it was all new to us!

Hiking Plan

We had read online that a pretty hike would be to hike a 2 mile trail to a lake.  Once to the lake, we could traverse the trail around the lake and once that look was completed we would be able to hike back the two miles on the trail to the car.  Easy Peasy!  

We were all in!   We drove to the trailhead with excitement because we were going to hike somewhere new.  New trails are the absolute best!  It’s all a mystery.  It’s all fresh and new!  It’s all exploration!
How fun!!!!

We got to the trailhead and parked.  But there were No clear signs indicating where the trail began. Luckily we ran into a nice lady who was able to answer my questions!   And we were off!!!

Hiking adventures

At the beginning, the trail was not well marked at all and it was confusing as to which way we needed to go.  A slight part of this was due to the way the blazes were marked.  Admittedly part of that was due to our newness and the not so clear maps.  And thirdly, the disc golf course that we were hiking through made it a bit confusing (I almost always find trails confusing when they meander through a disc golf course).   But even with the confusion we were happy!   We were exploring and if we took a wrong trail...oh well....we would just see something different than planned!!

Have no fear though, we found the right trails and we did our planned hike!









It was a great hike!   We had a blast!   Jason even found some mushrooms to bring home to eat!!



My new boots worked well, but my heel (plantars fasciitis) is really kicking now that it is one day later! 
We will definitely go back and hike that trail again!  We plan on doing it this fall to experience the changing colors of the leaves!!!


Friday, August 28, 2020

Surveying the damage from my weight loss failure

Losing weight is so very difficult!   How can it be so darn hard?   In theory it sounds so easy, use more calories than you eat!   But this weight loss journey is nowhere near that simple!   In the last few weeks I have struggled.  I have struggled big time and now it’s time to survey the damage.

Weight loss struggle

Over the last few weeks I have been struggling.   My weight loss journey has not been easy.  I have moments of pure success for sure.  But those moments are evened out with weight loss catastrophe! And then August happened.    It started with Jason’s birthday cake that I baked.   Of course I had a piece.  And I had a second piece the next night. And then we went away for the weekend and I splurged with a Cinnabon, a donut and finally cookies.   We ate fast food and while I would have been happy with the sandwich, of course this food addict couldn’t resist the fries also.  We came home from the weekend and it would have all been ok if I had simply tightened the reins.  But no, I had opened the door wide and I couldn’t get it shut...the food frenzy continued.

Voice in my head
Losing control of my eating like that allowed the voices in my head, that negative reasoning that I am so adept at doing, to regain control.  I call it my fat mini me.   That is the ‘voice’ of reason (insanity) that talks me out of making the healthy choice.   On more than one occasion I stood on the precipice of weight loss disaster and asked myself if I wanted to really eat that?  Was it worth it?  Did I want to eat and be fat or not eat and be thin?    And that darn mini me voice/reasoning was so loud that I chose the path to disaster!

Control over my food addiction 
This past week I started to regain some semblance of control over my food addiction.  It has been a difficult battle, but one I am determined to win.  I started to track my food.  It wasn’t easy!  The first day was horrible.  I resisted eating anything that I had pre-tracked.  But each day got better.  It wasn’t a banner week, but it was a week of moving in the right direction.  I’m once again making better choices and putting my health first when I make those choices.

The numbers on the scales
I weigh myself every day.  So I saw the scales steadily climb this past week.  It got terrifyingly bad.  I tried to stay calm.  There was no way that I ate that many calories to warrant a 6 pound gain.  I tried to focus on drinking enough water along with my healthy eating.  

And today, my weigh in day....I weigh...245.4.   That is  a three pound gain from last week.   I’m not happy.  But I can only blame myself!


It would be so easy to give up. And that is why so few people succeed in a weight loss journey.  Losing weight is going to have ups and downs....highs and lows.  However, success is not given to only those that never struggle.  Quite the opposite, riding out the bad times is the key to successful weight loss.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What is wrong with me?

What is wrong with me???  I literally can't seem to stop eating!  I tell myself that I'm going to get it under control.  No more.......Yet when it comes time to eat I just eat with abandon! There is a war waging in my head and the fat side is winning!

Yesterday I literally stood in the kitchen putting some chips in a bowl and I literally told myself "Maryfran, you shouldn't eat these...you want to be thin"   and I then immediately said "I don't care" and I ate the chips in the bowl. I sometimes say "tomorrow"  or "my next meal I'll be good".  But yesterday I just didn't care......but I cared about the numbers on the scale and how bloated I feel!

Hey, at least I am putting them in the bowl versus eating the straight out of the bag because we all know that if I did that....the bag would be gone in one sitting! 

I am miserable and feel bloated and icky.  I want to be thin and feel good about myself.  Yet I want to eat what I want and when I want.   I know I can't have it both ways!  Yet I sit on the fence and often fall onto the fat side of the fence!  

This is so difficult and I so wish there was an easy answer!!!!!

I seriously must be insane!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Broccoli Salad

A cool refreshing salad for the summer months



Broccoli Salad

In a large bowl combine:

6 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 can (8oz) sliced water chesnuts, drained

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup chopped red onion

 

In a small bowl whisk together

¾ cup mayo

¾ cup yogurt

1 ½ tsp cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp sugar

1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Pour dressing/liquid over broccoli and toss to coat.

 

Just before serving sprinkle with ¼ cup slivered almonds (optional)

 

Serving Size ½ cup

Per serving (without the almonds)

Cal 51.8

Fat 0.5

Sat Fat 0.2

Poly Fat 0.1

Mono fat 0.1

Chol 0.9

Dietary Fiber 1.8

Sugars 5.6

Protein 2.6

 

Alternate versions:
Use raisins instead of cranberries

Different dressing

 1 cup miracle whip

1 tbs vinegar

1/3 cup sugar


Click here for a printable copy of this Broccoli Salad Recipe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail: And it was uneventful!

 Hiking is great exercise and I am totally blessed to have the Appalachian Trail meander through our area.   We have plenty of additional parks and trails to keep us hiking and moving!   This past weekend was no different.  


After our last experience on the Appalachian trail where we hiked a further and longer than we had planned, resulting in a case of heat exhaustion, I am happy to announce that our most recent hike on the Appalachian Trail was uneventful!

We decided to hike North from Keys Gap, which is North of Harpers Ferry.  I really want to hike Maryland Heights again (and for the first time ever with Jason) but the Harpers Ferry area is SO darn busy and it is difficult to find parking.  Sooo, we settled on the AT again.

This trail was awesome.  We parked and for the most part, the 3-4 miles that we walked on this trail was flat with very minimal grades!   YAY!  My favorite!    There were some rocks....ok, a LOT of rocks!  It was a very rocky path!  But it was a great hike!  We saw some pretty incredible aspects of nature!  


We saw some deer...and even this youngster....

And we saw this neat looking caterpillar.......

And not exactly nature, but this dolls head was laying in the woods!  (Jason put it on the log)
Of course we saw pretty flowers of all sorts of colors.
And mushrooms.....
Lots of mushrooms.......we left the psychedelic ones where we saw them!
Nature truly is amazing!  It was a good hike!  We covered about 7 miles.  

So how did my new hiking boots that I talked about recently work out on the trail?  I went with ultra light boots. They feel amazing on my feet!  But the trail was too rocky.  My ankles are too week and my feet are too messed up.  I need a heavier boot for rough terrain.   So back to the drawing board for the rough rocky trails!   I will still be using these new Asolo ultra light boots for easy trails.....ones without tons of rocks, so it is not a waste!!!!


Hiking with your best friend is the best thing in the world......I can't wait to go again!



Monday, August 17, 2020

Shame from my Obesity

 It is no secret that I am overweight, obese really.  I can't hide it.  All it takes is one glance and it is clear that I have a weight issue.   Luckily for me, I have managed to ride this storm of obesity without too many emotional issues and hang ups.  But I have one big one.   I get embarrassed to be buying things for a healthy life.  Yeah, isn't that crazy!

Years upon years ago when I bought my first bike as an adult, I was kind of embarrassed to go buy a bike and spend a lot of money.  I was probably almost 300 pounds at that point.  All I could think about was what were the salesmen thinking about this fat girl buying a bike.  I was sure they were thinking it!  But I screwed up my courage and I did it anyway!  I went and bought my bike. (This was in 2001 and I bought a Trek Navigator).   Yes, it took courage and no...I have NEVER regretted my decision.  

You would think that I would have learned my lesson to gather my courage right?  But no.....I still struggle with it.   A few years back I went to replace a pair of hiking boots. I replaced them with the exact same make and model of boot.   This should have been an easy purchase.   But it wasn't.  I went to the shoe section and asked for the shoe that I was interested in.  The sales person brought me the shoe I requested and then proceeded to do the shoe sales man game.  They had me try on a shoe a size smaller.  Why, I still don't know!  And then they insisted that they knew what they were doing and the smaller size was what I needed.   I was a fat girl in a healthy fit persons store and I felt out of place and shy.  All of those feelings of being 'a fish out of water' flowed over me.  I didn't stand up for myself and I bought those 'size smaller' shoes.   

I didn't notice too much of an issue with the new shoes at first.   Mainly because life happened and we didn't hike much.   When we did hike it was just little short hikes.  It wasn't until we started to hike regularly this year that I realized that there was a huge problem.  (And yes, it is to my shame that it took me years to really reach this decision).    I knew that my shoes were not comfortable and that the longer I hiked they more my feet bothered me.   But it wasn't until we hiked for over 5 hours that I knew something had to change IMMEDIATLY!   After the 5 hour hike, my feet were so sore.  In particular, my toes.  They hurt so badly each time we went downhill (because they bumped the front of my boot) and for days upon days afterward they hurt anytime something touched the toenails.......the sheets covering my feet in bed hurt!   I had to do something.  

I did buy a new pair of boots on Friday.  I like them.  They are comfortable.   THey will be great for certain types of hiking. (But I will still need a heavier pair of boots for more rough terrain).  

I could have saved myself so much trouble had I just stood up for myself and gotten over the shame and embarrassment when I bought those last boots.  I would have certainly purchased the correct size boot. (I would assume).  I wouldn't have let a salesperson talk me into something that I kind of suspected was wrong.   I allowed myself to be shadowed and it backfired.   That is my lesson....no shame!  I am out there doing it.  It doesn't matter what a sales person thinks.  It doesn't matter that they THINK they know more than I in every situation.  They do not.  Their advise is awesome....but it's NOT the end all be all answer!  Trust yourself!  

Friday, August 14, 2020

A little Heat Exhaustion

 It was a hot one....so very hot!  We were not going to let that deter us though!  So we headed out to the Appalachian Trail.  We just picked a spot.  We didn't know what we would see, if anything.  We were ok with that! We just wanted to be outside and enjoying nature!   We headed Southbound on the AT and we were loving the trail.  

The trail was mostly shaded and it was gently rolling.  There were no major grades and we knew that the hike was going to be awesome.  We were just moving along at a nice clip!   A few miles into the hike we hit it.  We hit the rocks.  We hit the incline.  We hit the yucky part!   Ok, not yucky but rather the hard part! The hill  didn't stop. 

 I had a mileage goal in my head.  I was determined to reach that mileage goal.  So I kept climbing!   My trekking poles continued to do a fabulous job and I trucked on up that hill.   We made it to  my mileage goal and I was so happy and proud of myself. I could feel the first tingling of tiredness and knew that I could get back to the car but would be tired.  It was a great place to turn around!

"But what if we are only 10 feet from an overlook,"  Jason asked?   Well, that is a good question.  We were climbing. Surely we were going to climb to an overlook right?  But how much further was it?  Jason started to walk ahead to see if there was anything in site around the corner.  I reluctantly followed.  We hiked a bit further unsure and then we got lucky!   A hiker was coming down the hill and we asked him!   The answer was a mixed bag.  There was an overlook.  YAY!  But this said overlook  was about a mile further!  BOOO!   Jason left the decision up to me.  I'm either brave or a sucker for that man  since I knew he really wanted to see the overlook!  (probably a bit of both!)  I decided to hike onward toward the overlook!

I did make it and I enjoyed the view.  But then it was time to turn around and head back.  Luckily it was downhill....but it was still a hike!   About a mile into the return trip, I started to feel it.  What is it?  I was started to feel the early signs of heat exhaustion.  We immediately stopped and I allowed myself to cool down and I drank water.  We started hiking again.  It was a long walk back!   I had to stop and sit about 3 times on the way back. (It could have been worse!)  As if that wasn't enough fun?  About a mile from the car we ran out of water.  We had not planned on hiking as long as we did...ooops!  Luckily we had waters in the car which we guzzled as soon as we got back!     

And yes, we made it safe and sound.  My last 'sit down' was literally in sight of the parking lot (although I couldn't see our car or any cars from there...just a wee corner of the parking lot).   I had progressed past just the first stages of heat exhaustion and I was so sick to my stomach.  I thought I was going to hurl!  Luckily for me, I didn't!  After I cooled down a bit (no water so I couldn't drink also) we headed for the car where we did have water!  That water tasted so good!  

I am actually super proud of our longer than planned hike.  It was tough...especially with the heat exhaustion.  My legs were super tight and achy the next day.  My planters fasciitis was kicking after we were done.  But I did it!   GO ME!



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Monthly Weight Loss goals

 OK, ok ok ....so I'm a bit late in sharing my monthly weight loss goals and how I did in July!  Better late than never right?  I have some basic goals that I strive to keep each month.  They rarely change but do sometimes get tweaked a bit to fit my life as it is at that exact moment.  I try to keep my goals flexible so that it allows me to 'fail' but still succeed.  You can read more about my goals and how I came to this set of goals here.   For right now, lets see how I did in the month of July!


July Goals

1.  Track every bite of food!  DONE!  I managed this one easily.  Half of the time I actually tracked my food before I even ate it!  Huge victory!
2.  Put money into my savings.  I sure did!  It was an expensive month as I had a few big purchases...but money was put aside!
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  YAY!!! I managed this!  I lost weight in the month of July!  SOOO happy!  It was the first time in a few months that I lost in the month!  LONG overdue!
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   I actually didn't have any problem with this.  My eating was in line and I was never crazy over  (from the day that I got serious about this journey again...which was right about July 6).
7.   Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the month....bike ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal, simply because it shard to get  steps when you are riding)     I somehow managed to make this goal!   We walked after work each night, but that only got me to roughly 4800 steps for my weekdays.  LUCKILY we hiked most weekends so that pushed my step count way high and that made up for the lower weekdays.  I really need to focus on getting my daily steps up!
8.  Transparency with my weight...even if it goes up!!  Definitely!  I shared and have been open and honest!!!

My goals will be remaining the same for the month of August. I am going to work hard to not squeak my steps in by the skin of my teeth though!!!!!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Weigh in

This last week  was a mix of good and bad in terms of weight loss!  I didn’t do horribly but I wasn’t spot on target.   This held true for my eating and exercise.  And admittedly, I was at one point quite nervous about my Friday weigh in!!!

Exercise for weight loss

My exercise was mostly derived from a hike that Jason and I took on the Appalachian trail.  As I mention in the post that I linked, it was a hot hike but it was full of climbing and exercise. It was a good way to start out my weight loss week. I was on track!

Through out the week we were pretty religious about taking our evening walks after work.  We enjoy them because it gives us a chance to talk without the distractions of life (making dinner, straightening the house, tv, phones, etc) but it also affords me a bit of activity.  Working from home has severely limited my activity levels (step count).

One of my monthly goals....(oh heavens , I just realized that I haven’t written a post yet with an update on my monthly goals for last month and this month and it is already the tenth of the month...shucks I better get on that!!).  But one of my Monthly goals is to walk 5k steps a day.  Yes I know that 5k steps is very low!  But I’m struggling to make that!  Even with our walks, I am barely (hahah never) reaching my daily goal on the week days.   I usually make it to 4700 or so.   Just shy!    Luckily, my goal is actually an average of 5k steps.   So long walks and hikes on the weekend help pick up the slack.  BUT....I could be doing better!!!

Eating for Weight Loss

This week was a mix of good and bad.   At the beginning of the week I was not doing well at all!   I was filled with some stress. (Nothing too major, just job worries and worry about what to do with our vacation that is booked at the beach...is it safe to go or should we change our plans?).  Stress causes me to want to run to the kitchen and shovel food in as fast as I can!   And I did that.   At one point I even asked myself the question, ‘do you want to eat this and be fat or do you want to not eat this and be thin?’  At one point I actually said I don’t care if I’m fat...I want to eat this food to feel better!  (Yes that is an addict speaking for sure!)

Midway through the week two things happened.  Number one I saw the number on the scales go really high...like three pounds higher!   And number two, I saw a video  of myself while I was editing the footage of our hike for my YouTube channel.  I didn’t like the huge pudgy stomach that I saw!   Those two things sparked me to get back on track!

Now let me say that I wasn’t way off track.  I wasn’t eating cakes and pies and cookies!  I wasn’t eating ice cream!  I didn’t have anything like that!  But I WAS eating over my food budget that I have set for myself.  I count calories and I KNOW that I have to eat 1200-1300 calories to show a loss.  1500-1700 calories SHOULD be enough for a loss, but not with my body. 1500-1600 calories is maintain and even gain territory for me.  I admit, it makes me sad, but it is what it is.  So for the first part of the week I was eating 1600-1700 calories.  Not good...for me!  

I turned it around and cleaned up my eating on about Tuesday!  But would it be enough to erase the negative affects that my apathy had created on the scales?

Weigh In Time

As I said earlier about mid way through my week I was up about 2-3 pounds!   On Thursday I was starting to feel hopeful that maybe I could pull out a maintain! And on Friday I got the official results.

Drum roll please......

I showed a loss of 0.6 pounds!   Not a huge loss...but a loss!!!.  And it only recouped my 0.6 pound gain from the week before, but I’ll gladly take it!!!!!!!

I am proud of myself for cleaning up my act and turning the ship around.  I could have had a really bad weigh in!  I could have given up!  I could have allowed so many excuses to derail me from losing weight.  Instead, I changed my behavior and I changed the outcome of my weekly weigh in!   It just proves that this journey is still possible for me!!’

Friday, August 07, 2020

More Hiking on the Appalachian Trail

The weather was hot again this past weekend!  We however, did not let that stop us!  We went out hiking.  We knew it was going to be hot, so we made a decision to not go long or hard.  We wanted to get out just enough to stretch our legs and get a bit of exercise and to enjoy nature a bit!

We decided to go to Gathland State park.  We had gone hiking here in January and  walked one way on the Appalachian trail and it was so cold!  We were mostly ok while we hiked that day, but it was cold!   It was time for a return visit, in nicer weather.  Well, nicer if you consider hot and humid nice!  What is it about Gathland that invokes us to visit during miserable weather?

This time we opted to hike in the other direction on the AT trail.  We started on the blue side trail that led us to the Crampton Gap Shelter for AT hikers and then from there we went upward to the Appalachian trail.  
Crampton Gap Shelter

We left the shelter and headed the rest of the way up the hill to the Appalachian trail.   Without thinking, we headed left.  For a bit it was great because we were walking on a relatively flat section of the trail, but very soon it began to wind us down....steeply!   Undaunted, we continued on!  But then, we came to the ruins of a barn.  It was a barn I recognized.
Barn at Gathland


The ruins of this barn stands right next to the parking lot at Gathland.  The same parking lot that we were parked at!  NO!!  We went the wrong way!  I looked at my watch.  If we gave up then, it would be a very short hike of only 45 minutes.  Oh well......we turned around and headed back up the hill.  TWICE I climbed up that hill!

We eventually made it to the top and things leveled out a bit...but only a slight bit!  They were still steadily uphill, or so it seemed!  But it was an enjoyable hike!  We saw lots of fun things like a red mushroom and a neat AT mark on a step/log placed for erosion.

AT mark on wood
Mushroom on the AT

This was a second opportunity to use my new Trekking poles. (Amazon Affiliate Link)  I can't tell you how much I am enjoying them.  Maybe it is all in my head.  Maybe the do not do anything for me.  But I feel more stable and confident.  I don't believe my knees hurt as much after a walk and after climbing up and down big rock steps.  I totally am loving them!  So far, I think that they are the best and wisest decision I've ever made!

We had a great time.  It may have been hot.  It may have been humid.  It may have been a lot of uphill climbing.   But we had a fantastic time out in nature!  Ohhh, and even better?  We got in 2.25 hours of exercise and I slept like a baby that night!
MaryFran on the Appalachian Trail

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Summer Salad

One of our favorite dishes in the summer is this summer Salad.  It is filled with nutritious beans and is  healthy, light and very filling.



15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pinto beans , rinsed and drained
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Rinsed and drained , rinsed and drained

15 oz bag frozen sweet corn kernels
small chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 chopped bell peppers (different colors make it prettier but not necessary)

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl

THe Dressing

1 tbs ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
The juice of two limes

Whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the vegetables.  This can be eaten immediately, but the taste will be enhanced after they sit and marinate together for a bit.

serves 10
Cal 245.4
total fat 6.5
chol 0
sodium 192.4
total carbs 39.6
fiber 11.4
Sugars 1.9
protein 10.6

Click here for  a printable recipe of this Summer Bean Salad.


LEKI Trekking Poles

​I recently found myself in the market for some Trekking poles and started to do my research.  I had no clue what I was looking and therefore, I started this research blind.  I knew nothing about trekking poles, it had just come as a bright idea that it may help my hiking abilities.    I read some articles and I talked to the sales representatives at my local trail outfitter.  Eventually, I decided to purchase a pair of LEKI trekking poles.

Researching Trekking Poles

​I started my research online.  I had only a vague idea that trekking poles would help me with a problem that I had recently developed while hiking.  The problem?  I had been stumbling more frequently and while hiking was occasionally unable to catch myself from falling.   (I had first checked for other health issues, but everything appeared to be fine, I was just falling….a LOT!)   That is where I started my research.  Immediately I looked for guidance.  Would trekking poles help me with my stability?    The resounding answer was yes!  I was ready to really start shopping!  But then my eye caught some other things that Trekking poles are noted to help.  Trekking poles were supposed to help with balance and stability for those suffering with arthritis in the knees!  Perfect!  But, the clincher for me?  It also has been helpful for people who have hands that swell while hiking!  Oh my word.  I was totally hooked now!
 
There are a ton of different brands out there.  I am an Amazon shopper so I immediately turned to Amazon.  I found trekking poles for as low as $20!  Awesome, it wasn’t going to break the bank!   But then I started to look at the reviews.  Hmmmm, flimsy and break after the first use.  I was not impressed.  I knew that I was going to be using these to help give me stability and a trekking pole that broke while I was using it was NOT going to keep me upright!  In fact, that sounded downright disastrous!   I went back to the research table and started to look at the top trekking poles.  I was so confused and didn’t know what way to turn!

Visiting A Trail Outfitter Store

We decided to stop into our locally owned trail outfitter to check out their options for trekking poles.   I was excited to see what they had in the store.  I was hoping that they had something in stock!  They were easy to find and we made our way right over to their selection.  I immediately grabbed a pair or women’s poles.  They looked snazzy.  I extended them and did a few steps.  Hmmm.  They seemed to bow a bit with very little pressure.  That didn’t seem safe to me.  I grabbed a pair of LEKI poles and we extended them to the proper height.  They were stiff and solid and seemed to have no bend or bow in them when I put a bit of pressure onto them.     
 
The sales representative came over and started to talk to us about the different brands and styles of poles.  They did not push one way or the other.  HOWEVER, they did talk about the warranty of each product. They talked about the superior customer service of LEKI products and the ease of receiving replacement parts for anything that wears out or gets broken.  LEKI is a company that specializes and manufactures two types of products, trekking poles and camp chairs.  Their R&R is not spread thin, all of their attention is centered on these two products and they stand behind their products. LEKI seemed like a great company that stood behind their products!  I was sold!   It wasn’t until I got my trekking poles home that I  read the documents to realize that these trekking poles have a lifetime warranty on defective material and product.  Furthermore, warranty parts are available for up to 10 years after the product is manufactured.   EVEN BETTER!

Using the LEKI Trekking POles

We immediately took my new LEKI trekking poles to an easy trail so that I could experiment with them.   Getting the motion down is actually more awkward then you would think, but after a bit it became more natural.  But the real test occurred when we headed to a portion of the Appalachian Trail that is uphill and rocky.
 
I headed out with some apprehension due to my recent falls and right off the bat we encountered our first rocky climb up some steps that have no handholds/trees.  I put those poles to use and marched right up those uneven rocky steps.  The poles gave me the stability I needed and helped my arthritic knees by taking the pressure off of them.  Oh my word, they work perfectly!

I used the poles with the glove type strap.  I wasn’t sure if I would like a glove instead of a strap, but when my hand was in the glove, it correctly positioned my hands on the grips of the poles.  The design allowed me to now have to grip the poles tightly and it helped to spread any weight or pressure in an ergonomically and efficient way.  We hiked for 3 hours that first trip where I really put the poles to the test and my hands and arms felt as comfortable at the end of the hike as they did at the beginning.  It was a painless learning experience!

The grips are great!  We were hiking on a day when the temperatures was 95 degrees Fahrenheit  with a super high humidity. I was wondering how the grips would handle a hot day.  I shouldn’t have been worried.  I never once had any issue where my hands felt slick.  The grips worked fabulously and even after 3 hours of a sweaty hike, felt dry and new.

These poles are easy to adjust for different heights.  When we started our hike, it only took me a minute  or two to extend and adjust the poles to the proper position for comfort and safety.  After hiking up the mountain we turned around for our descent.  After just one or two steps down a steep part of the trail I stopped and quickly adjusted the height of the poles for downhill trekking.  All in all, that adjustment took less than a minute.   There is no long adjustment or worry.  It is quick and easy.  SO easy in fact that when we were done with our hike, I returned the poles to their small carrying size while I walked across the parking lot toward my car.  It really is that easy and quick!

​I am totally in love with these trekking poles!  They will be going with me on all of my hikes.  I am planning on getting some carabiner clips for my backpack so that even when I am choosing to not use them, that they are there with me.  I felt myself stumble and trip once or twice during this hike but the added stability of these poles made the stumbles just that, a stumble.

Trekking Poles at Weverton Cliffs
 

Monday, August 03, 2020

Weigh in Time

It is weigh in time once again and a review of my week!   Some weeks are fun to share, some weeks are tough to share and others, well they are just mediocre with everything.   This week is a mundane so so week where I am not dreading to share my results but I am not overly excited either.  

Let me start with the exercise.  We got out and hiked in the heat twice.  The first time was at a regional park where we do a lot of mountain biking.  I forgot my camera and phone so I had Jason take a picture of me for posterity sake (well and because I am a YouTuber and Blogger and need footage!).   
Hiking At Little Bennett Regional Park

The next day we headed out to hike again. This time we hiked on the Appalachian Trail for a bit to hike to the Weverton Cliffs.  I was happy to really give my new Trekking Poles a workout and I love them!  The view at the top of the hike was fabulous!
Weverton Cliffs (Maryland AT)
We finished our hike and picked up subs/sandwiches on the way home.  I had calculated my food intake before we even walked into the sub shop.  I was sooo hungry though that I bowed to the 'fat thinking' and ordered a whole sub.  I ate that whole sub too! (At least it was Turkey...and one of the healthiest options there!) I at the chips that I bought also.  And why did they have to be nice and give me two cookies (they were stuck together) because you know I ate them both!   Furthermore, I was still hungry and ate more chips and some strawberries!  I was ravenous!  The next day my weight was up.  OOOPS

The rest of the week I didn't falter too badly, but my efforts were only lackluster.  I was never off the rails, but some of my choices COULD have been a bit better!

I pulled out the stability ball and I have been trying to sit on that for a few hours a day at my desk.  Do people even use these things anymore????  I haven't decided if it's doing any good, but it breaks up the monotony of my day so I will probably continue!


And with my lack of true grit and willpower, I managed to regain the 0.6 that I lost last week.  So yes, a wee gain!  

Honestly, I am not upset about my gain.  NO, I'm not happy.  BUT, I can see that my efforts did not match the weeks before and I can see that I need to focus more.  So I had  a week gain to teach me a lesson....Lesson learned!!!!!



Friday, July 31, 2020

Think Thin

Over the years I have somehow managed to forget about one of the most important aspects of this weight loss journey.  I totally forgot to 'Think Thin".   How in the world did I forget this?   There is no telling why, but I remember now! 

A week or so ago, I was filming a segment for my youtube channel.  I was talking about my choices in this weight loss journey.  More specifically, I was talking about my question "DO you want to eat this food and be fat or do you want to not eat the food and be thin."   I immediately jumped in and said "ok, not thin now...but thin in the future, but thin up here in my head so that it will trickle down to my body.  That was enough for me to remember my old motto!

Yes, I used to have a motto!  That motto was "Think Thin"  and I wrote about it as early as February of 2007.   It was the concept of thinking as a thin person thinks.  You see, thin people do NOT think like a fat person!   This was startingly clear to me when I had a really thin manager who ate cheesecake for lunch quite a bit.  Ohhh yeah, I hated her to for a while because I would LOVE to be able to eat cheesecake for lunch every day!  But one week I realized what was really happening.

This manager arrived to work on Monday and talked about how she had brought some cheesecake for lunch.  I didn't say anything but  inside I was seething and asking myself why could I not have cheesecake and be a size zero?  On day two she left for her lunchbreak and once again talked about her cheesecake that she was eating for lunch.  REALLY????   Again?  Life is not fair!!!!!  Every day that week she talked about eating her cheesecake at lunch!   on the fourth or fifth day she brought her cheesecake down and eat it in the office.  THAT is when I realized that she was thinking thin.

You see, She sat down and opened her container.  Inside was a half eaten piece of cheesecake.  Half eaten??  Who leaves a piece of cheesecake partially eaten?  I watched my manager pick up her fork and take a tiny bite of cheesecake.  You could see the absolute bliss as the taste hit her taste buds.  She loved it!  She took another tiny bite and moaned in delight.  She took a third bite and her eyes closed as she reveled in the taste.  And then something crazy happened!  She closed that container and took it right back to the refrigerator! 

She ate three bites and stopped.  She thoroughly enjoyed those three bites too!  But she stopped!  For a whole week she worked on ONE PIECE OF CHEESECAKE!  Me, I would have eaten the whole piece in one sitting and licked the plate clean....literally!   And right there is the difference.  Thinking fat....thinking thin.  

Thinking thin is the art of making wise decisions.  Stopping after the bliss of the first taste dies away and putting it away for the next day.  Thinking thin is deciding to do what is good for your body versus what your mind tells you to do.  Thinking thin.  

Thinking fat....well that is eating something until you are sick, long after the good feelings and taste fade away.  Thinking fat is eating everything in sight, because you can, not because you are hungry or craving something....just because.  Thinking fat.

Which do you want to be?   I do not want to be fat.....so I have to really work on making my thoughts and my actions match that of a thin person.  I need to THINK THIN!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Hiking in the Heat

We have been allowing this heat wave to derail us from our outdoor activity.  We both love to be out in the woods on a trail (hiking or biking).  It has been a large part of our relationship.  It is where we go to unwind, destress and exercise.  But the heat this past month has been relentless! We have tried to stay inside as much as possible.  But this weekend we just got tired of it and we went hiking.....twice!

The first time we went out was on Saturday.  We had spent a portion of the day running errands and taking care of some of those mundane things that pop up in life, like grocery shopping.  We decided to head to a regional park, Little Bennett.  This park is a favorite of ours for mountain biking, but we were going to go do a section on foot.  It was hot!  But we didn't die. (Obviously)  We each carried a fair amount of water and it wasn't too bad.  I somehow left home without my phone, so I only have this one picture that I had Jason take!   We found some berry bushes that had a few straggler berries.  They were delicious!   We hiked for a bit over and hour and had a great time!
On Sunday it was just as hot (ok, maybe hotter) but we were feeling confident after our successful hike on Saturday.  We decided to get outside again!  We talked and I did some research and we finally settled on a visit to Weaverton Cliffs off of the Appalachian Trail in Maryland.  I knew it was going to be an uphill, but I was even more excited about that because I really wanted to try out the trekking poles I purchased a few weeks back.  (I wrote about the purchase here.)     
The climb was uphill and it was rocky.  Perfect to try out my LEKI trekking poles!  Oh my word!  I love them!   I did feel myself stumble a few times, but that extra anchor kept me steady as a rock!   Climbing up and down rocks was a cinch.  The poles helped take the pressure off my arthritic knees.  The decision to buy these poles was a good one! After one 'real' hike with them, I am convinced of their worth!!!

The climb up is about a mile and a half and at the top, you come to a fork in the road.  You can go left to stay on the Appalachian Trail or you can turn right and hike 0.2 miles to the cliffs. Of course we went to the cliffs.  
After we enjoyed the view at the top of the cliffs, we turned around and made our way back down the mountain and back to the car!  It was a great hike.  We may have only been our for an hour or two but it was exactly what we needed!!!!