The long and winding road to fitness, day 12

A bowl of Strawberries.

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Oh my, I’m so tired right now, I’m not sure how much sense this will make.  What a wild day this was at work…we got there at 5 am, but the darn truck didn’t show up until an hour later….hate it when that happens!! Then we had so much to do…and it was the last day for one of our dear young men, he’s moving back home…sob, sob…

I ate well at work and got in a lot of exercise walking around, lifting boxes and putting out a ton of freight…that’s the extent of my exercise for the day though.  I’m just too darn tired to do anything else tonight…and that’s okay…I’ll be going to bed early again tonight and hopefully sleeping well.  I stopped at Kroger after work, bought some really nice looking strawberries.  Unfortunately, I bought some BBQ chicken nuggets and ice cream and ended up having some of each for dinner tonight.  Never, ever go to the grocery store when I’m exhausted and hungry.  So I ended up eating about 2,000 calories for the day, the most I’ve had in a single day in almost two weeks.  But tomorrow will be a good day, those strawberries will be good in a smoothie tomorrow night…yum!

So, how did you do today?  Did you find yourself eating well or did you succumb to temptation (like I did)?  And what about exercise?  Do you get a lot of exercise with you job or household activities?  I guess I should be glad that my job requires us to be so active…

The long and winding road to fitness, day 11

Hunger Hill, Wrightington. As a dieter, taking...

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This is going to be quick tonight.  I really have to try to get to bed as soon as I can.  I have to be up at 3:30 so I can be at work at 5 am…not exactly my favorite thing to do, but I guess somebody has to do it…I guess…

I had 1779 calories today, so a little more than I’ve been eating, but I did get in a lot of fruits and veggies so I feel pretty good about that…did have that serving of PopChips with lunch and then a little bag of Cheetos while on a conference call…I probably should have skipped those, but I’m just keeping it honest here…the good along with the not so good…

I rode the exercise bike for 15 minutes, walked for 15 minutes, did lower body strength training, 8 exercises, 2 sets of each and then some stretching.  I can guarantee you all I won’t be working out in the morning before work.  When I have to be there that early, it’s all I can do to drag myself out of bed in time to just get there, much less do anything extra before work.  But I should make it out at 2:30  or so, so I think I’ll manage to get something done in the afternoon.

I’m looking forward to going to the farmers market this weekend and doing some walking along the B-line.  I just hope the storms hold off long enough for me to get all of the outdoor activities in.  What’s everyone else got planned for the weekend?  Do you kind of let your healthy eating and exercising slide over the weekend or do you use the time to put in a more intense workout?  And with this being a holiday weekend, watch out for those cookouts!!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 10

Map of United States rails with trails.

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Day 10?!  High five to me!!  Ten days of exercising, eating more good-for-me foods, and focusing on living a healthier life!  I really can tell a difference after only ten days and I know it’ll just keep getting better as I continue along on my journey.  I’m so excited about how much better I feel and how much happier I am!

I went in to get my hair cut today (just a trim, my hair grows so fast that I have to get it cut once a month to keep it looking decent), then I walked down the B-line trail (a railway converted to a walking/biking path) to do a little grocery shopping at Kroger.  I’d intended to take a picture of all that I bought, but I didn’t think of it until I had everything put away…and I wasn’t about to pull it all out again!!  I bought grape tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, watermelon, bananas, diet Pepsi (I swear, I am going to give it up eventually), PopChips (which I immediately divided up into individual serving bags…lesson learned from previous experiences with the PopChips), baked tortilla chips, dried pineapple (I use this in my homemade trail mix…mostly dried cereal with some dried fruit and maybe some nuts), black beans, Truvia, popcorn, skim milk, string cheese, Greek yogurt, Babybel cheese, natural peanut butter, whole wheat bagel thins, oj, fish and, as a reward for sticking with it, another book (I’m a voracious reader, always have been).  So a pretty good trip as far as buying healthy goes…spent more than my $50/week goal though…oh well, if I can feel this good, it’s worth a little extra expense, right?

I prepared my version of the summer salad that someone brought to me at work yesterday…tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, peppers, mushrooms and, of course, my Hendrickson’s sweet vinegar and olive oil dressing (I bet you guys think I get paid to mention that product, but I don’t.  I just seriously love it!).  Holy moly, this stuff is the best…and I’m sure it’ll be even better when I can get just picked tomatoes and cucumbers…yum!

Today, I ate 1680 calories, did 15 minutes on the exercise bike, walked for 20 minutes, did upper body strength training, 10 exercises, 2 sets of each, and about 10 minutes of stretching.  I also spent some time outside pulling weeds and watering plants…oh, we had just the nicest day here in Indiana…low humidity, temps in the lower 80s with a nice breeze…gorgeous!  I was so lucky to have today off work.

This is how I feel today…I sincerely hope you do too!!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 9

Animated cartoon on a exercise bike,

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I just couldn’t get myself to write this last night.  Yesterday morning, I woke up at 3 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I was really tired when I got home from work last night (after working late, I might add).  I ended up going to bed early…I sure did sleep well though!!  But today is a new day, I’m well rested and looking forward to a good day!!

Yesterday, I ate well…ended up consuming 1680 calories, rode the exercise bike for 15 minutes, walked for 10 minutes (in addition to all the walking I did at work all day), did core strength training, 7 exercises, 2 sets of each and about 10 minutes of stretching.  Not bad…I noticed I’m feeling more fluidity in my movement now.  Isn’t it amazing how much just a little consistent exercise can do for you?

One of the guys I work with brought me a bowl of summer salad that he had bought at Hubler’s Orchard in southern Indiana…oh my goodness, this stuff is delish!!  I’m going to try to replicate it today…heading to Kroger (after I get my hair cut today) to buy the veggies for the salad…will post more about that later today.

So how was your day yesterday?  Was it a fresh start for you after the weekend?  Do you ever try to copy a dish that you find to be especially tasty?  Care to share?


Homelessness in my home town

A Roma woman with her dog in a street of Rome.

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Anyone who knows me well, knows that I believe we all have an obligation to help people who are less fortunate.  I like to think I do my fair share, but an incident on the way in to work yesterday has me reconsidering whether or not I do enough.

When Donna and  I were walking up to the front door of the store yesterday morning, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a little movement over in the cart area. When I looked directly toward that area, I was surprised to see a guy peering at us from under the cover of a sleeping bag.  It kind of startled me, to say the least.  I’ve known, for a long time, of a homeless kind of village off in the woods behind one of the nearby shopping centers, but had never really seen anyone sleeping on the sidewalk in our part of town.  As I thought about it, I realized we’d had some storms roll through over night and the man was probably just trying to find a dry place to sleep.  He also probably assumed that no one would be around until at least 9 am, since most of the stores in our strip open at 10 am or later on Sunday.  I wonder if he was as surprised to see us as we were to see him?!

Our town has a multitude of homeless shelters and services to help people overcome the issues that lead to homelessness.  With the terrible economy of the past several years, you can understand how someone could become temporarily homeless.  But there are also the chronic, long-term homeless people.  I often hear people ask why they just don’t get a job.  But how easy is that if you don’t have an address or a phone when you go to apply for a job?  Or proper clothes?  Or a way to clean up?   And many of the people who fall in to the category of the long-term homeless are also dealing with other serious issues such as addictions or various forms of  mental illness.  I’m glad I live in a city that’s progressive enough to make concerted efforts to help those in need, but what can be done about the people who aren’t willing to avail themselves of the proffered help?  If they only cause discomfort to others (by virtue of simply being homeless and on the street) and no real harm, can we force them to accept help?  I can’t see how we can as long as we continue to believe in individual rights and freedom.

I don’t know what the solution is for the people who have to deal with these problems, but I feel profound sadness for them.  Yesterday’s near encounter with a homeless man left me wondering what else I can do to make life a little easier for people who don’t have the comfort of a roof over their heads, a bed to sleep in, running water to drink and bathe in, heat in winter and air conditioning in the summer.  I donate food and toiletries to the food pantry, but is that really enough?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 8

Cover of "Healthy Weight Loss (DK Healthc...

Cover of Healthy Weight Loss (DK Healthcare)

Well, today was weigh in day…I’ll tell you a little secret, I weigh in every day, but I’m only going to report my weight loss or gain on Sundays…you ladies know how much our weight can fluctuate from day-to-day.  So, anyhow, back to the big scale today…stepped on it this morning and was thrilled to see a 10 pound loss!  Yes, I’m totally aware that most of this was just water weight, but you’ve got to start somewhere and this was enough to put a smile on my face for most of the day!!  Also enough to keep me in line with what I ate at work today.   I’m feeling pretty positive about being able to make healthier choices, both at the grocery store and in my kitchen.

So, today I had 1624 calories, rode the exercise bike for 15 minutes, walked for 15 minutes (plus several hours of walking at work, but not fast enough to get me breathing hard), did lower body strength training, 8 exercises, 2 sets of each exercise.   Another good day after a decent night’s sleep.  I think it helps that I’m shutting everything down about an hour before I need to get to sleep, not eating anything at bedtime, and the exercise helps as well.

So, has anyone else noticed any changes in attitude, sleep patterns, mood, or anything else that you attribute to eating better and/or exercising more?  It does make a difference!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 7

"Method of exercising a cat ", figur...

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It’s so hard to believe that I’ve now put in a full week of eating mostly healthy, exercising every day and making an effort to get enough sleep and deal with stress in a positive manner.  I’m not sure if I really feel better or if I just think I do…lol…I guess it doesn’t matter, does it?  If I feel better or only think I do, it amounts to pretty much the same thing!!  Every day that I have to work. I’ve been getting up at 4:30 so I can get some exercise in before work and do a little writing.  I know myself well enough to know that I will find excuses not to exercise at night after work, so hitting it first thing works for me.  Do I like getting up that early?  Heck, no!!  I liked the days of sleeping late and going to bed late, but that doesn’t work with my job, so I’ve learned to adapt.

Today was a good day…I had 1637 calories for the day, rode the exercise bike for 12 minutes, walked for 15 minutes, did upper body strength training (7 exercises, 2 sets of each), managed to get almost 7 hours of sleep and was in a good mood (most of the time).   I ended up eating 5 1/2 servings of fruit/veggies today…so getting better in that regard.  Even had spinach on my turkey sandwich…yum!

One thing I’ve realized over the years is that exercise improves my mood…why in the world would I ever stop exercising when I know this to be true?  I know we all think we’re too tired to exercise, or too busy, or too something else…but when you look at the benefits, why not give it a try if only for 10 minutes?  Usually, after 10 minutes, you keep going.  Funny how it’s almost never as bad as we think it’ll be.  On the days when I tell myself to do at least 10 minutes, that I can quit after 10 minutes if I still feel like I have to, I usually manage to keep moving.  Rarely will I be in so much pain that I give myself a break, but it does happen occasionally.  And that’s okay too.  We have to learn to listen to our bodies, give them the nutrition they need to perform, move them to keep them strong and healthy, but also rest them when they need it.  I guess the key is learning when it’s our bodies talking and when it’s our minds trying to convince our bodies to quit.  Our minds can be pretty tricky…we just have to learn how to be trickier….

So, how was your Saturday?  Did you fit in some exercise?  Spend the day with family or friends?  Did you have a cookout or a picnic, go for a walk, sit outside and enjoy the nice weather?  I worked all day, but it was a pretty good day anyhow…worked with good people, the customers were nice and cheery, we managed to get a lot done, and little Spooky girl was right there at the front door as soon as I opened it.  How nice to know that someone appreciates it when you come back home…although, in Spooky’s case, it may just have been that she was wanting some food…

The long and winding road to fitness, day 5

Soft waffle

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Oh my…I actually had a good night’s sleep last  night…hard to believe, but true.   And I think that made all the difference in how I felt today.  I worked all day, on my feet the entire time except for the first 45 minutes and the last 45 minutes when I was trying to get a little work done in the office.  I didn’t wear my pedometer today…wish I had…I’d like to know how many steps I took today…all I know is that it was a bunch!!  After working all day, I still feel pretty good.  Usually I come home exhausted, but I came home tonight and prepared some whole wheat, oatmeal, flax-seed waffles for breakfast tomorrow…hmm…just realized I didn’t take a picture…oh well, they look like…well, like waffles.  Tomorrow I’ll throw a couple in the toaster and put a little peanut butter on them for my breakfast.  I put most of them in the freezer…haven’t you noticed how quickly homemade bread products will mold?  Ewww!

I had 1670 calories for the day…not quite the 1500 goal I’d set for myself, but still pretty darn good, especially when you compare it to what I was eating…let’s not even go there…I rode the exercise bike for 11 minutes this morning…hey, I’m gradually increasing it, one minute at a time twice a week…won’t be long before I’m back up to the 30 minute mark!  I did lower body strength training, 7 exercises, 2 sets of each and I walked 20 minutes in addition to all the walking I did at work today…and I’m going to try to get to sleep by 9…that would give me 7 1/2 hours of sleep…not bad!

I still haven’t stopped at the grocery store…I think I’ll run in there before work in the morning and get some bread, fruit and veggies…that would get me through until my next day off work.  So, that’s the plan tonight, let’s see if I manage to stick to it~~

So, does anyone have someone close by that you can walk with or talk to about getting healthier?  I have a couple of people who will listen, but I don’t think they really understand as they’ve never really been overweight.  And I know most people get bored listening to anyone talking about things they really have no interest in.  Who do you discuss your problems, goals, desires, meals, and exercise with?

How was your day?  Get enough sleep, exercise, healthy foods?  And what’s on your grocery list?  Are you going to try something new?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 6

Example of an American grocery store aisle.

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This is going to be a short one tonight.  I didn’t sleep well at all last night, worked today (feel like I accomplished absolutely nothing) and worked late.  On a positive note, I did work out this morning before work…exercise bike for 11 minutes, walked for 25 minutes and did core work, 5 exercises, 2 sets each.  There is also a less positive note for the day…I stopped at the grocery store on my way to work this morning (that’s a good thing, not a bad thing)…bought some spinach, blueberries, bananas, turkey breast, oj, bagel thins, lite Ranch dressing and some PopChips…the bad thing is I ended up eating the entire bag of PopChips over the course of the work day today.  Hmm…I guess I didn’t learn that lesson about measuring (or counting) out my servings…finished the day with a little over 1800 calories and too much sodium…

So, who else can share my crazy eating antics?  Have you ever sat down and eaten an entire bag of anything?  Kind of discouraging, isn’t it?  Oh well, tomorrow truly is another day!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 4

A picture of a collection of healthy (low-calo...

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I had the day off work today and that always presents challenges with my eating.  I guess I have a routine for work, prepare my lunch and snacks to take with me and know what I’m going to have for dinner before I ever get home.  But on my days off, I don’t plan what I’m going to eat and end up eating too much.  Yes, I do understand that the solution to this is simple…plan my day’s meals and snacks even on the days I don’t have to go to work…now just do it, right?

Today I did manage to eat a couple of servings of veggies with my fish at lunch, so that’s a plus!  But I made the mistake of sitting down to read with a box of Chex (the honey flavored, sweet ones).  I eat these as a snack and that’s usually okay because I measure out either a half a cup or a full cup and eat them dry.  Today I didn’t measure.  I found myself just eating them out of the box while reading.  Yikes!!  I think I put a stop to it before any real damage was done, but still…Lesson for today…plan ahead for meals and snacks…measure, measure, measure…

I ended up eating 1776 calories for the day (hopefully not any more than that…lol).  Tomorrow I’m going to keep it below 1600.  I rode the exercise bike for 10 minutes this morning, did upper body strength training (6 exercises, 2 sets of each), and walked for 15 minutes this evening.  So overall a pretty decent day, I think.

I didn’t go to the grocery store…just being lazy, I guess. I just couldn’t force myself to go.  It’s not like I’m really out of anything, I just didn’t want to have to stop after work…now it looks like that’s exactly what I’ll have to do.  I had planned to prepare a veggie pizza, but changed my mind and went with black bean salsa…

I use this on my vegetarian taco salad…some fresh spinach or Romaine lettuce and either Greek yogurt or lite Ranch’ll have to be the Ranch dressing since I don’t have any Greek yogurt right now…it is on my list tho!  So that was the extent of my cooking today.  I did get outside this morning and pull some weeds and move some of my plants that are in containers.  One of these days I’ll have fresh tomatoes and cucumbers…ooh…can’t wait!!

So, how did everyone else do today?  Does anyone have any recipes to share today?  What kind of exercise did everyone do?  I think we’re making some progress here!!