Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And the foot bone's connected to the....

Happiness....what is it really?

It's elusive.  It's fleeting.   It's kinda lacking in my life. I have moments of happiness, but for the most part I'm unhappy with how my life is playing out.  For various reasons I feel or actually am boxed in, unable to change the path that I'm on.  It's like a roller coaster....I got on and I can't get off until the ride is done.  (I love roller coasters...but not this one called life!)

I pray for happiness. I try to figure out what would bring me happiness.  I want happiness.  But it's hiding from me.

The bigger problem?   Happiness plays a HUGE role in my weight loss efforts.  When I have a handle on things my weight loss goes so much better.  Case in point...early last year I had a handle.....and I was losing.  My world imploded and happiness fled and I started to gain.  Luckily I have stopped the gain but I am struggling with losing more.

To make matters worse...the lack of progress in my weight loss efforts contributes to the unhappiness.

So you see, it is all interconnected.

I don't know how to fix it.  But I am just going to march onward and hope and pray for a change!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday madness

After my busy weekend I awoke this morning just absolutely dreading going to work!   I just wasn't feeling in any mood to face work!  I had already planned on going for a run.  I may have talked myself out of it die to tone constraints and my crappy mood but I pushed onward.  I was actually hoping that the 'runners high' would improve my Monday mood.

I'm sorry to announce it but I can't lie!  When the run was over, I still didn't want to go to work!!!  But at least I got a run in!!

Half way through my work day I decided that maybe a walk on my lunch break would make the day better!!!   So I walked on my lunch break!

Yeah, I felt great while walking.  I enjoyed the blooming trees and the sunshine.  Then I went back inside and the duldrums hit again.   

Hey, at least I turned toward exercise!  That's a huge step in the right direction!!!!  Tonight is Zumba!  Hopefully some of my peeps will be there!  (I refer to my Zumba buddies as 'my peeps')

This month I set a mileage goal of 100.  Should have been simple!   As of today I only have 21 miles!  Oops!  79 miles in 9 days....doable...kinda... But we shall see!!

Fear...have I mentioned how fear rules my life???  For some reason my lite speed bike is a fear for me.  I know that it is going to be painful against the first...and that freaks me out.  Go figure!  I even one day panicked about the clipless pedals.  (Although when I rode my trek yesterday and slowed down and immediately started the traditional litany in my head 'clips clips clips'...I knew I would be ok.).   I still struggle with changing the tube when I get a flat....so that freaks me out. Stupid fears!!!!   Yeah, I'm a mental case!  I know it!   

That said....I will be facing the bike and I WILL conquer it this year!   Riding and maybe...just maybe changing a tire too (I have no problem changing the tire/tubes on my trek or my husbands trek).

Eating....once again I'm vowing to get back to strict eating!!!  This weight HAS to go!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


What a busy weekend...and it's not over yet!    I have been non-stop on the go!  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I've  done some shopping, groceries, lowes, Spa store, Aldi's...etc    I got to see a friend that I don't get to see too often.  I got to hang out with family.  I got work done in the yard.  I got a few hours of mowing (push mower) done.  I got some cooking done.  I made fruit salad (a HUGE vat of fruit salad..it's my contribution to the Easter dinner....and there will be enough for my mom to have a large bowl and my sister in law to have a large bowl for the week).  I made potato salad and turkey salad (mostly for our lunch at home on Easter...but for lunches for Todd for the week).  I also made a bean salad for my lunches at work for the week.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I got in a good run.  My pace was a bit slow...but oh well....I did it!!!    I also pulled out the bikes we use on the canal and oiled and checked tire pressure and all that good stuff.  I was determined to get out and bike this weekend!   On Saturday night  I literally fell into bed and crashed.  Todd said that last night in bed I was carrying on a conversation one minute and the next minute I was snoring away  ha ha ha.   I'm thinking today will probably be more of the same.   Up for the afternoon.....a bike ride an errand or two and then family Easter celebration.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We are hoping to bike in an area where we know that there are typically a sea of bluebells.  It is really pretty to walk/ride through these areas.  So that is our hope. I did see a few bluebells on my run...but not a sea. :-)

I will leave you with a picture of the canal from yesterday.  I'll be seeing similar sites on my ride today (just a different area of the canal!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Is it possible to live a life of perfection???  Tonight I was talking to some gals and my zumba instructor.  We were talking about weight, weight gain and maintaining a weight loss.  A few of the gals talked about just simply not having the temptation in the house and simply saying no.  They said they refuse to bake or anything.  This is a great method.  I admire people that can do this. It must be nice.  But is it sustainable?

I know for me it is NOT sustainable.   My manager at work just gave up diet soda.  She and I have talked quite a bit about it.  It's not something she plans on NEVER having again.  She knows that it is not a sustainable goal.  

That is the trick of this whole journey.  Finding a plan that is sustainable yet conducive to losing weight.  For me, saying I will not have sugar or never eat a cookie or even not having more than one slice of pizza is not a viable solution for me.  For me, it is a thing of learning how to manage my eating yet still lose weight.  Is this possible?  I personally think so.  It's just a thing of retraining my mind in how I think about food and I how I approach it!!!

Tuesday was an OK day.  I managed to make it to zumba and even though I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction (my pants were dragging on the floor and they were making me trip) I was able to push myself and get a good workout.   

A horrible picture of me...I'm in an old oversized sweatshirt that I use for a Halloween costume years ago (I was the twister game). That is Lucy sitting on my shoulder like a parrot!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Imelda Marcos in the Making???

Monday was a day where I was spot on.  Calorie wise...literally dead on my goal.  Not one calorie over and not one calorie under.  Amazingly perfect!   And I topped it off with a class at zumba after work.....admittedly, like I said in my last post; zumba on Monday night is a habit....otherwise I'd probably have been a lazy bum!

Workout clothes out of my bag and ready to be donned!
Some days are perfect.  We feel sexy.  We feel confident.  We feel like we are on top of the world!   There is no discernible thing that causes us to feel that way.  But it can change.  The very next day we may feel like a frumpy bottom dweller.   The sexy confident days are the days that I feel most capable of success on this weight loss journey.  I feel confident about life and I feel confident about my goals and how to get there.  Those confident days are usually successful weight loss days.

So how can I manipulate these feelings?  I have of recent weeks rekindled my infatuation with shoes.  It started with these shoes.  Yes, they are pink suede shoes.

My all time favorite boots

My husband crossed his arms when I bought them and said "Don't you have enough pairs of shoes in the closet????"   I answered "One can never have enough shoes!"   I also vowed to wear some of those multiple pairs more often.  You see, I love shoes but I typically end up wearing the tried and true comfort (and sometimes ratty looking) shoes.  So I bought my pink suede shoes and wore them. I also pulled out the brown suede shoes.  I pulled out the black boots, the brown boots, and ohhh yes...my all time favorite black boots!   Oh yes, I wore my awesome shoes that I had in the closest.

And then this last week I walked into a store and my eyes saw them. Oh yes, I saw a pair of pink suede boots.  Pink?  Suede??  Really???  I just bought a pair of pink suede shoes two weeks earlier.  I fell in love with the boots and they were on sale!  A really awesome sale!!!  Well, I had to have them!  (My husband just said 'go ahead Imelda"  Oh yes, I bought them!  
not a great picture...but I promise..awesome boots under those pant legs

I'm not quite to Imelda status yet...no where close actually.  Is it a bit of a transfer of my addiction...I take away food and replace it with shoes.....probably not.  ha ha ha.  But you know...if it gives me a bit of sparkle...a bit of confidence....a bit of fun and whimsy into my life.  And if that sparkle, confidence, fun and whimsy in some weird convoluted way helps me maintain control of my food addiction....then bring on the shoes!  Hmmmm...maybe I should hit up a shoe store today!!!!  

Exercise excuses....seven minutes???

My exercise had been sporadic of late. I have grand plans but then they fall apart. The only thing I am consistently doing is Zumba.   Zumba on Monday and Tuesday is a habit!  Habits are a good thing.

I have dreams and goals.  I have a dream of beating my PR at my next 5k....I have a goal of a possible half marathon later this year.  I need to be working out if I want to see these goals and dreams come to fruition.  I struggle.   It's not really even excuses.  It's time. It's learning how to fit it in to my lifestyle and around my husbands whims.  

So when I saw the seven minute workout I was quite interested.  Do I think it's a substitute for a full body cardio, blood pumping workout?  No!   But would it be a quick easy addition to my day?  Yes!  

I headed into this short workout with very minimal upper body strength.  Strength training had been spotty at best.  Yes, I know I need to fix that....thus my decision to try out this mini workout!!!

This morning I prepared myself to get down to business for 7 minutes.  Basically the picture above shows each of the moves you do.   Simply do each move for 30 seconds and voila...7 minutes!    I don't know if it's important to move through the exercises in the exact order.  I can only assume so in order to let certain muscles rest whilst still moving.   

I started.....Jumping jacks!   Easy, no problem.  I was feeling quite cocky with myself at this point, thinking it was going to all be a piece of cake!   30 seconds down and I moved on to the wall sit.  15 seconds in and my legs were burning!!!  Wowzers.  

Next up, push ups.  I hit my first snag.  Have I mentioned that my upper body strength is lame at best?  Yeah, sissy push ups for me.  On wobbly arms I made my thirty seconds.  

Thirty abdominal crunches later...they weren't too bad (thank you Zumba instructor Anita for all of the an work we do).  Step ups.....and here is where I noticed it.  2 minutes of actual exercise and I was starting to get a little heated.  The squats were next, I could feel my muscles quivering a bit.  By the time the tricep dips came around it was official!  I was breathing hard and sweating!    Was totally not expecting that!  Not at all!

I finished up the rest of the twelve moves.  I could feel it.  My muscles were worked.  

I really struggled with the two push-ups.  Yikes!  At least I figured out where my issues are!!!  I do think that his workout would be one that if done consistently would be quickly outgrown.  Then I would simply need to become a 14 minute workout I guess. 

I think that this workout will be something I try to incorporate into my daily life.    Who can't find seven minutes???   

Sunday, April 13, 2014

You say potato, I say pa-tah-toe

On Friday a customer (as a side note...one of my favorite customers...one who I was afraid I'd never see again as in January at age 87 she broke her hip, which can be the kiss of death. She is doing GREAT though...up and around and just using a cane right now) brought us a bag of Dark Chocolate.   Dark chocolate is my fav!!!!!.  I love dark chocolate! The assorted bag of dark chocolate sat on the counter for a few hours and then I broke into it.  I broke into it with care and consideration.  Two pieces of dark caramel was roughly 180 calories.  I chose to eat one.  I also chose to eat that one 3/4 inch square piece in multiple bites.  It took me 2 hours to eat that piece of candy. I savored it!  And I felt so proud of myself to actually be in control of my addiction!!!  Truly empowering!

Half eaten piece of candy

Friday night I did well with my eating.  I made turkey burgers and baked zucchini Parmesan. SOOO yummy!

baked zucchini Parmesan in the making

Saturday was a rather uneventful day.   I worked in the morning and I spent the afternoon and evening working around the house doing errands and chores....you know the kind that pile up....laundry, floor scrubbing, dishes....etc.

Sunday is the day that I really was non-stop on the go.....or rather just away from home the home time.

It started at Panera Bread for an early morning bagel followed by a morning hike!
Old Lime Kilns on the C&O Canal

After the hike I headed home.  After a relaxing soak in the hot tub I got myself ready and I headed to town to hook up with my parents and my brother's family.  We piled in cars and headed northeast.  We managed to hit a few antique shops (yeah, I bought a few bottles for my collection) as we made our way to a restaurant about an hour away from my parents house.  The reason?  It was a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle.  Yippee.   A few hours later and we were heading out the door of the party and heading to the somewhat local Utz Factory Outlet.  (Utz....potato chips)

I picked up some chips....some pretzels....an Utz Potato Chip hat to use whilst running (it keeps my hair under control and the sweat from dripping into my eyes).  I of course took some pictures while there. It's now 8:30PM...I'm home and ready to wind down for the day.....time to start the week over again!

Nephew number two (7 years old)

My niece trying to coerce my nephew number one (the oldest) into posing.....that is actually the top of his head......

MaryFran Utz!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pain free run????? Holy cow!

Before I get into the nitty gritty of today's post I need to report my weight.  I was nervous about this weight.  Last Friday I weighed in and then I had a gluttonous weekend and on Monday when life returned to normal I took a sneak peak at the scales and I was up 3 pounds.  EEEEK!   SO today's weigh in made me nervous. Low and behold...2 pounds down from last Fridays weight (5 pounds down from Monday's weight!)  WOOO HOOO!    I will take that and run with it!!!!!  

And now on to the scheduled programming for today.  (

I suffer from a few ailments:
            * I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was about 29 years. I played around with a lot of different remedies and fixes.  I don’t like medicine so I looked at copper bracelets, braces, garlic and other natural arthritis busting foods.  
            * Last year I was felled by a case of plantars fasciitis and tarsal tunnel.  I have tried various remedies and fixes for these ailments also.  I have done the rest, lotions and potions.  I know that the biggest relief I have gotten is when I tape my foot up tight, so I do that, but then lament at the continual cost of the tape.

These conditions are ongoing, something I've had to learn to deal with through various products and practices.  So when I heard about TommieCopper, I was really interested.   Tommie Cooper is a company that makes compression garments and sleeves (elbow and knee sleeves ….or what I would sometimes call a brace).  What makes Tommie Cooper unique?   “Activated copper is at the core of every Tommie Copper garment……it is permanently and densely infused into all performance yarns”   That interested me from the get go as I had long ago looked at wearing a copper bracelet for it’s benefit on my aching joints.   Secondly?  I’ve heard really good things about compression garments…..so to combine copper and compression into some exercise gear sounded like a REALLY good idea.  I nosed around on their website.  I liked what I saw, except for the price.  But I vowed to get some socks whenever I had a bit of extra money.  I pushed the thought aside.  And then I was contacted by the company to do a review on some of their products.  I was over the moon happy!

My box arrived this past Tuesday.  I opened it up and looked at my new goodies.  I had received a pair of ankle socks, a pair or black calf socks and a pair of Capri pants.  I refrained from digging right in and instead vowed to wait until my next scheduled run…which was for Thursday morning. 

Thursday morning rolled around and I was up and ready to try on my new items.  The Capri pants were the first thing to go on.  They felt comfortable and fit me like a glove.  I looked in the mirror and was like “ok” not bad.  I moved around in a few weird gyrations to make sure that they would be fine for a morning run and noticed no problems.  I was ready to roll.

My socks and shoes were the last thing to go on.  I chose the ankle socks for my run.  I slipped the sock onto my foot and I immediately let out a long sigh.  Ohhh heavens, they felt GOOD.  The tight band that wrapped around my foot and supported my arch was AWESOME. (Can you hear the angels singing that word….because I can?)  You see, when my plantar is really bothering me, the quickest relief is when I tape it up nice and tight.  This pair of socks did that without the tape.  Ahhhh….. did I say heaven?   
Yes, the blur behind my foot is my cat Desi, he is such a camera hog, he sees a camera and he comes running!  

I was quickly out the door and ready to roll.  I drove to Hagerstown to meet up with Paula, my friend for our fun.  She snapped the pictures of me showing off the pants.

 We started at the Fairgrounds and meandered down to Pangborn Park and back.  (Shhh don’t tell my family, but I actually ran right by their houses…and we didn’t stop…I did wave at my parent's cat who watched my run by from his perch inside the storm door.) 

  3.44 miles completed….in our normal crazy fashion

(yes, we actually stopped to smell the roses…or rather daffodils)

 As Paula and I stood talking by our cars after our run was complete. All of a sudden I started to jump up and down and move around.  She looked at me like I was nuts….which I probably am…..but I was quick to realize that my plantars fasciitis was not bothering me at all!   YAY!  That is awesome!  And I wasn’t taped, I went running with just socks and shoes.

After my shower, I got dressed for work   I decided to wear the calf socks to work…..

Of course, maybe wearing them with these shoes may be counter productive.  Ha ha ha

And the verdict on Tommie Cooper……

   The pants…nothing rubbed wrong, it actually felt as if I wasn't wearing any pants (which would be a whole different issue were that the case).   My knee felt great under the compression…maybe it was the copper, who knows.  I liked running in the pants.  I will definitely be using them as frequently as possible in the normal rotation of my workout pants.  Very comfortable!  When I am next looking for exercise pants (when my size goes down) from what I experienced today, I will be quite favorable to buying another pair of Tommie Copper pants. (Plus, Paula told me that they made me look slimmer…..and that my derriere looked fantastic in them…..heck, that just made these pants even better in my book!)

The socks are what I am in love with.  IN. LOVE. WITH. THE. SOCKS.    I have long suffered from foot problems and my feet actually felt great after running.   My feet felt wonderful in the black socks while I was at work wearing my pink boots.  I was actually sad about taking off my socks to get into the hot tub that evening, and seriously contemplated putting back on a pair of dirty socks so that I could experience them longer!.  I have quickly been converted to become a huge fan of these socks!!!!!    The only thing that will keep me from running out and buying a drawer full of Tommie Copper socks is the price.  In fact, I’m petrified that these pairs of socks will be one of the ones that mysteriously lose their match in the wash.   Ehhh....Cost aside, owning a couple pairs pairs of these bad boys are well worth it!!!!!!!!