WARNING!!! Political post…

Colin Powell

Colin Powell (Photo credit: Scott Ableman)

…read no further if you’re sick of politics.  As a card-carrying member of the 47%, I’ve been trying to avoid political posts, comments, sharing on facebook, etc.  There’s no secret to the fact that my vote will be cast for Obama (and guess what?  I’ve worked since I was 14, have never depended on the government for assistance, don’t think anyone owes me anything…kind of not quite the stereotype that’s pushed on you, huh?), so I’ve been ignoring the rhetoric from the far right…I know who I am, I know what I believe…and I’m comfortable with that.

This post has more to do with what still strikes me as racism…one of my dear friends made the comment (on facebook with pictures) that Colin Powell was the man who should have been elected president.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong (and I know I’m not) but Colin Powell wasn’t nominated to run for president in the last election, right?  So, did that comment really mean that Colin Powell was the African-American man who should have been elected president???  It sure struck me that way.  The Republican party had every opportunity to nominate Mr Powell (had he been interested in the position), but they nominated McCain instead.

Now the funny thing about this whole thing is, Colin Powell is one of the few Republicans I’d even consider voting for at the national level…just don’t want my Republican friends to hold their breath waiting for him to be nominated by the party they hold so dear…I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon…and that’s a shame…but if you want General Powell to be elected to the office of the presidency, maybe you need to work to change the inner workings of your party.

No sugar???

English: Magnum

English: Magnum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, this Naturally Slim thing is harder than I thought it would be…not the eating only when hungry or stopping when you’re comfortable…I can pretty much handle that (most of the time).  And the eating slowly thing is okay…I’m a pretty slow eater anyhow.  But the eating only one thing at a time and having to decide when you’ve had enough of that and that it’s time to move on to the next food (knowing that you can’t go back to the previous food)…that’s hard.

But the most difficult thing for me is the no sugar rule…I mean, really…not even a bite of dark chocolate…no fruit unless it’s with a meal…no flavored creamers for my tea or coffee…Wow!!  Can anyone eat like this for an extended period of time, like forever?

Today I caved…I bought a box of Magnum ice cream bars.  I guess the only good thing I can say about that is the box only has 3 bars in it.  I ate one today and savored every single bite…those things are delish.  So, okay, I know this is all about getting healthy and losing weight, but isn’t learning to incorporate treats into your diet on occasion (and not overeat) part of learning to eat normally?  Or am I just trying to justify eating an ice cream bar when I’m not supposed to be eating any sugar?

Ah well, as Ann Romney said, “Stop it!  This is hard!”

Naturally Slim…week 2

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 2...

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 21, 2008 (Photo credit: zorbs)

I’m pretty excited about the success I had during week 1 of the program…ended up losing 6 pounds in the first week.  Yes, that sounds like  lot, but anyone who has battled a weight problem knows that you usually drop quite a few pounds during the first week.  Yikes!  Does that mean I’m normal???

Anyhow, altogether I’ve now lost 8 pounds and have been exercising almost every day.  I walk on the days I have to work and dance on my days off.  Walking is easier on my joints, but dancing is way more fun and burns a lot more calories.  I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I was two years ago when I ran my first 5K, but I’m working at it.

Today I dug out my SparkPeople cookbook to look for something to cook that would be good to take to work for my lunch for the rest of the week.  I decided to try one of the most popular recipes at SparkPeople…slow cooker salsa chicken.  Holy moly!  That stuff is delicious (go to SparkRecipes.com and do a search for it..you won’t regret it).

One of the things I’ve noticed in the past week is that, by eating slowly (and I do mean slowly…you know, putting your fork down between every bite and really taking the time to taste your food) I’m eating a lot less food.  Most days I’m struggling to eat over 1200 calories…not a bad problem to have in my situation.  By eating at such a slow pace, I find myself satisfied much sooner.  Now how many times over the course of my life have I heard that and just dismissed it?  Now I know it’s true…just got to do it…every meal…every day…

During the online course work I did today, they mentioned that usually, when a person loses quite a bit of weight during the first week, they lose none or very little the second week…hmm…can I prove them wrong?  We shall see.

My goals for this week…exercise 6 days, follow the NS principles, visit SparkPeople.com every day to track food intake and exercise.  I can do it!

Sweet little kitten

aww..isn’t she sweet?

Yep, this is the same sweet little kitten I adopted a few months ago.  I had to buy a new stability ball because she punctured the old one.  Looks like it won’t be long before she does the same with this one.  She’s trying to pull the plug out of it, but with this one it sits flush with the ball so she’s having a more difficult time getting it.  I’m sure she’ll keep working at it until she figures it out.  Oh goodie! Ahh…kittens…they’re just so darn rambunctious!

Naturally Slim…course 1…and measurements


Coursework (Photo credit: Nufkin)

I’m not going to go into all of the things I learned in the course work from week one of the program…kind of have to give myself time to integrate everything into my lifestyle…some real eye openers and some things that made me go “hmm”…we’ll discuss this all later…

But…and this is major…I did face my demons and took my measurements today.  Holy moly!  Definitely not a pleasant experience, but now I know where I’m starting.  I think it will be good for me to be able to look back at these numbers as the weeks and months progress.  Am I going to share those numbers with you all?  Umm…no…at least not until I sit down to write that book about my success story…then anything goes!!

That makes me think…I probably ought to take pictures, right?  I know, I know…if I’m going to eventually write this best seller, I’ll need some pictures…now I’m moaning with my head in my hands…I’ll do it, just not today, okay?

Kind of struggled today

Flanders, Netherlands

Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yep, my first day on the new program and I struggled.  Only got a little over two hours of sleep last night and had to go in to work.  I decided to exercise before work since I wasn’t doing anything except tossing and turning anyhow.  I was afraid I was going to be exhausted all day, but was surprised by feeling fairly energetic.

I really focused on my hunger levels today, eating only when I was hungry, but not allowing myself to get too hungry.  I brought healthy food for lunch and snacks and stuck with them.  Sounds good, right?  Well, when I sat down at the computer to enter in all I’d eaten and drunk over the course of the day, I was more than a little surprised to find myself below 1000 calories for the day…couldn’t tell you the last time that’s happened.  I added a little more that I’ll eat before bed if I’m hungry, but that doesn’t seem likely now.

It’s interesting to really pay attention to how you feel before eating something and then to notice when you’re full enough.  Is this what people who have never struggled with their weight do, maybe without realizing they’re doing it?  Hmm…

I’m climbing back up into the saddle…again…

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 2...

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 21, 2008 (Photo credit: zorbs)

Oh yes, it’s been much too long since I’ve been watching what I eat or getting any exercise other than what I get at work.  And my poor body has paid for that neglect…big time  (ooh…bad pun not intended).  We did a biometric screening for our insurance at work and I was informed that I could apply for the Naturally Slim program.  This is a 10-week program that would normally cost right at $400, but I’m able to participate for free…free as long as I complete 8 out of the 10 weeks.  If I fail to do so, they will take the cost of the program out of my paycheck….now there’s some incentive for you, huh?

So, anyhow…that starts tomorrow.  I’ve looked through the materials they sent me.  I’m sure I’ll have more to report once I get it underway.  But I decided not to wait until tomorrow to start my healthier lifestyle.  I got back on SparkPeople.com (come on, folks…this really does work if you keep up with it…oh, I guess I’m talking to myself…why in the world did I ever drift away from something that worked for me???), cleaned up my page, left some teams, joined some other teams, started getting involved again, got back to using the trackers.  My plan is for this to be where I continue my program once the 10-week Naturally Slim program ends.  We all know this takes more than 10 weeks, right?

I went to WalMart this morning to buy another stability ball because Scout punctured the other one…silly kitten.  While there, I figured I’d save myself some time and just pick up my groceries there.  Uh yeah, there’s a reason I don’t buy produce at WalMart…yuck…I bought a few things, enough to get me through the first part of the week…then I’ll either hit the little farmers market on Tuesday or stop in at Kroger later.

I came home and got some vegetable beef soup going in the crock pot…don’t you love eating soup when the temps cool down?  There will be enough for several dinners for this week.  So I won’t have to worry about what to prepare for dinner.

I also started back with some exercise yesterday…on a two-day streak…woohoo!!  Stop laughing!  Everyone’s 100 day streak starts with making it through that first day, then through the second day…I’ll get there, in 98 more days!  I’m almost ashamed to admit how much I’ve let myself go.  A couple of years ago I was getting ready to complete my first 5K.  Today I wouldn’t even be able to walk that distance.  But what I’ve done before, I know I can do again…just got to work my way back…and I’ve already started that journey.

I’ll let you know how it goes…ups and downs, leaps and stumbles…