Ahh…winter…

…how I haven’t really missed you. I could have been perfectly content to have you stay far away until, oh I don’t know, maybe next December.  But no, you had to show up over night here in Indiana and make my morning more than a little uncomfortable.  You decided to visit us with your freezing rain, covering the sidewalks,

the roadways,

and even my car.  How I’m sure you laughed as I struggled (and failed) to get into my car in the dark early morning hours.  How funny you must have thought it to be to watch me using a hammer to crack the ice around the door after I came home from work.  I’m sure you chuckled while watching me slip on the sheet of ice as I feverishly worked to break through the layer of ice covering all of the car windows.  Oh yes, laugh while you can, you evil-hearted witch…your days are numbered.  In fact, your hours are numbered as the temps rise into the 50s tomorrow and all signs of you melt away.  How that warms my heart.  And if you forget all about us for the remainder of January and February, it won’t upset me at all.

To give you credit, winter, you did provide some beauty amongst the misery…

I suppose, as in much of life, beauty often hides behind the discomfort, only making itself known when we take the time to really see what is before us.

 

Martha Stewart…love her or hate her?

I have to admit, I’m not a huge Martha Stewart fan, but…I don’t hate her either…I respect the huge business she’s built, I respect that she took the blame for the whole insider trading thing and did time in prison (how many men have done the same thing with the insider trading and never done any kind of time for their crime?  Hmm…something to think about…)

What brought Martha Stewart to mind today was me watching Swagbucks TV (at home, sick) and catching several snippets of her crafting shows…the one I was watching (thinking why didn’t I think of that?) was where they were making mittens from old sweaters.  They simply traced around their hands on a piece of paper, cut it out a little larger, then used that as a pattern to cut the mittens from a sweater.  Sew it up, trim the seams, and turn…oh so cute…really…can you imagine all of the different mittens you could make from sweaters you (or the people in your family) no longer wear?

This is something I really, really want to do…we’ll see how it goes on my next weekend off work…I have lots of sweaters that I never wear…mittens for every coat is what I’m thinking!

 

red sky in the morning...uh oh...

Livewell challenge

Well, we started our health and fitness challenge at work yesterday…I ended up with over 20,000 steps for the day…well, the equivalent of 20,000 steps anyhow.  They have a calculator on the site where you can key in various activities and have those activities converted to steps…So my morning exercise bike workout ended up being the equivalent of 5,000 steps. 

Plus I did several hours of house work…I put some music on and just cleaned, cleaned, cleaned…not that it needed it or anything.  Don’t you just love walking into a room that’s been cleaned from top to bottom?

A couple of my co-workers are having cupcake wars…wow…they bring in cupcakes that they’ve made and leave them in the break room.  Today’s cupcake was red velvet with cream cheese icing…yikes!  I’m pleased to say I resisted.  I did think about eating one, but decided I was already too tired to have to do that much more exercise to burn off those calories.

I baked a home-made pizza yesterday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…lots of spinach and mushrooms, some onion, a few turkey pepperoni and some mozzarella cheese.  That’s going to be lunch for the next several days.  I also mixed up a salad of halved cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, diced onions, cucumber chunks and, of course, my favorite Hendrickson’s olive oil and vinegar dressing.  So I got in a few servings of veggies in a very tasty lunch!  I’m doing it…and feel pretty good about it!

What tasty treats did you eat today?

Power outage

I couldn’t believe it.  Last night I was doing a little work online and all of a sudden everything went out.  It wasn’t storming or anything (the storms came this morning…crazy thunderstorms and a lot of rain), so I didn’t know what was going on.  I have a flashlight that I keep on my desk, so that was handy.  Then I lit a few jar candles in places where the cats wouldn’t accidentally catch themselves on fire (no burning kitties, please).  Then I finished the dishes I had started earlier.

A few minutes later, I could hear people talking outside. Someone was telling the neighbor that there had been a car accident that caused a transformer to blow…great!  This was a  few minutes after 7…my thought was my writing streak would be in jeopardy if the power didn’t come back on soon.

Needless to say, it didn’t come back on for several hours (like 1:30 in the morning) so my 222 day writing streak on 750words ended…darn it!  And I missed writing my blog for the first time in several months.  Oh well, some things you just can’t do anything about.  I had to laugh at my neighbors who were outside cussing up a storm because they couldn’t watch tv.  Hey, at least the temps were in the 50s and rising overnight.  I’d hated for it to have been zero outside with no power for a little over six hours.  The lesson is…this wasn’t the end of the world, just one of life’s little inconveniences.

Unbelievable…another 3 pounds gone

And gone for good, I might add.  That puts my loss for this month at 11 pounds.  Believe me, I totally understand that this rate of weight loss will not continue forever, but I’m going to take it while I can.

When I put all of my stats in on SparkPeople.com, I said I’d like to reach my goal by the end of this year.  Once they figured everything out, they said I’d need to lose 10 pounds a month to reach my goal by then.  I’ve played this game long enough to realize that I probably won’t lose 10 pounds every month, especially once I get closer to my goal weight.  So I figure anything over 10 pounds I get this month is going to help me in those later months.

You know, some people say you should lose the weight slowly to keep it off.  But now I’m reading and hearing a different point of view.  Saying you have a better chance of keeping the weight off if you lose it quickly.  I don’t know if either viewpoint is correct.  I tend to think it depends on what you do once you’ve lost the weight.  If you go back to eating the way you did when you were heavier, you’ll definitely gain the weight back.  I think you have to remain vigilant and maintain an awareness in order to keep the weight off.

I’m feeling pretty good about my efforts so far this month.  I increased my cardio minutes today and did pretty well with that.  I’m on my way!!

 

What’s in your grocery cart?

I finally gave in and made a trip to Kroger this morning.  I ran out of bread a couple of days ago, but didn’t want to stop at the grocery store after work that day because it was snowing. The snow itself didn’t keep me from shopping that evening.  I just didn’t want to deal with all of the crazy people who hear the word “snow” and decide they need to go out and buy enough food for a month.  So I did without…no big deal…

I’ve got plenty of oatmeal so I took some to work and had that for breakfast.  I had soup and salad for lunch for a couple of days.  I had a baked potato and cottage cheese for dinner.  I’m really making the effort to eat the food I buy and not throw things away just because I was too lazy or too tired or too whatever to prepare something.

This was the second week in a row where I bought only healthy foods…no frozen pizza, no chips, no candy, no cookies…wow!!  Now I’m not saying I’m not eating the occasional piece of candy.  I have some candy left over from Christmas and I’m allowing myself to have a piece if I’m still within my calorie range at the end of the day.  But the funny thing is, I don’t always want a piece.  How cool is that?

I came close to staying within my $50 a week food budget…spent $53, so not bad.  I did buy a couple of things that weren’t on my list when I saw them on sale.  I try to stock up on things that won’t go bad when I find them on sale for a good price.  One of the crackers I really, really like is this flaxseed cracker by Back To Nature…

Then, in the dairy case, I  came across these Laughing Cow spreads that go perfectly with the crackers for a healthy, fairly low-cal snack…

So those were my two purchases that put me over my budgeted amount for the week…hey, I figure it could have been worse!!

What else did I buy?  Let’s see…grapes, green onions, bananas, Greek yogurt, skim milk, coffee creamer, cottage cheese, whole wheat sandwich thins, tuna, diet Pepsi (uh..yeah…I’m still drinking it…one thing at a time…get the eating under control, then think about kicking the diet Pepsi habit), eggs (wow, has the price of eggs gone up?!), a couple of boxes of Morningstar Farms products (I tried the bacon for the first time last week and I am hooked!)…and my Saturday off indulgence…a newspaper.  I used to subscribe, but ended up not reading more than half of the papers that were delivered to my house…I decided that was a waste of my money and a waste of some perfectly good trees.  So, on my weekend off, I treat myself to the newspaper…not such a terrible indulgence, is it?

I’m feeling pretty good about making healthier choices..oh, and have I mentioned that I’ve lost 8 pounds since the first of the year?!

So what was in your shopping cart?

It’s January and I’m thinking about…gardening

Okay, you’re right…I live in Indiana, it’s in the teens right now.  Not the most conducive weather for gardening unless maybe you have a greenhouse, which I don’t (would love to someday tho).  But those seed catalogues have been coming in the mail every few days and I can just sit there and drool over all of the different varieties of tomatoes or lettuce, look at the new (to me anyhow) seeds that are available, and dream about what all I would plant if I only had a real live garden with room for lots and lots of plants.

Instead, I have a small patio and one small bed where I can grow my veggies.  It’s surprising how much produce I’m able to get from that tiny area.  And there’s not a lot of weeding to do.  But then that’s offset by the daily watering, I suppose.

So I’ll continue to peruse the seed catalogs, trying the new lettuce here or the new pepper there and just make the best of what space I do have.  It may be bitterly cold outside today, but I’m dreaming of warmer days and a new spring garden.