Saturday, January 29, 2011


I am a carb whore.

In a moment of weakness I allowed myself a carb binge.  Although it was a somewhat subdued version, as I never really allow myself to lose complete control, I did get to the point where I said to myself, "Who's not gonna kill you!".  Admittedly, I had set myself up for this little trip up.  I knew I had a long work day (10 hours) and there was chance that I wouldn't be able to leave for a lunch break.  I also KNEW that I had a meeting from 6:30pm-8:30pm in town for Team In Training, which meant I wasn't going to drive home first just to come back for the meeting an hour later.

So, I failed to plan ahead and I assumed that when TNT said they would have some snacks at the meeting that they meant "healthy" snacks.  Forget the fact that said meeting was being held at THE Jelly Belly Factory (which is located right across the street from THE Budweiser Plant and down the road from some great local wineries) and that I had spent an hour at Peet's Coffee having some iced tea instead of getting dinner.  I was looking forward to the free and healthy snacks at a meeting for future marathoners and triathletes!

Lo and behold, there were no healthy snacks.  :sad face:  What I found at the center of each table were bowls of Jelly Belly's Jelly Beans and chocolate mints and....CHEEZITS!!!  
Devil crackers.
What???  My nemesis...right there on the table in front of me...bags and bags and bags and bags.  Come on!!  I mean, were these donated or on sale??  Is Jelly Belly the parent company that makes these evil crackers?  Couldn't we have had free beer instead???  Oh wait...I mean, luckily there were lots of water bottles, which I drank to quiet my now growling stomach.  It took everything I had to not open a single bag of those cheezits.  I did, however, have to leave the meeting 30 minutes early before I caved.  I guess I was under the impression that we would be treated like the athletes we are about to become...but then I realized that many people just want to do something good for someone else by participating in things like Team In Training...they are the weekend warriors who, unlike me, live their lives without having it revolve around calories, exercise and scales.

Upon arriving home, after a white knuckled drive through really heavy fog, I opted for a cup of joe to hold me over until I could think rationally about what to eat.  You know that feeling of being so hungry that all of your knowledge and common sense go out the window and you just eat?  Well, even the Keurig, which brews a cup of coffee in less then a minute, wasn't fast enough to stop me from eating whatever I could find.  It started with a mini bag of popcorn (luckily 94% fat free) that was in the goody bag I got at the TNT meeting, then progressed to my BF's left over pizza and a half a piece of Trader Joe's cinnamon bread that I didn't even bother to toast or heat up.  Thankfully, the pizza was organic and vegetarian and there was only about half of it left (which I shared with the dog) but it was still a lot of carbs and no protein for one sitting.

I keep thinking that maybe my body needed those carbs.  I've been exercising pretty hard and increasing my speed in my runs without changing my normal (higher protein) diet so perhaps I just needed to replenish my dwindling glycogen reserves.  Or maybe I am just still a carb whore who will always pick carbs in a mindless binge. 

But either way, I at least have the comfort of knowing that my choices were somewhat healthy and within reasonable portion sizes.  I could have reached for the Cheezits (yes, there is a half a box in the cupboard and yes, I know that I am asking for trouble) or the little baby container of Ben and Jerry's I bought for my BF since he doesn't even know it's there and therefore would never miss it.  But I didn't.  I had fat-free popcorn and what would amount to maybe 1.5 slices of pizza (organic and meat-free).  The cinnamon bread...well, that was just delicious, and a half a piece was all I needed.  And I didn't feel too bad.  I didn't feel the need to try to exercise it off right away or belittle myself by staring critically at my stomach in the mirror.

So, I screwed up...but maybe not that bad.  I guess there was some part of me that had some semblance of control to make sure that my binge didn't turn catastrophic...that let me get my carb fix in a more healthy way then I had in the past.  But more importantly, I didn't beat myself up for it.  I am normally very critical on this point so this is progress on more then one level.

On a happier note...I was so thrilled to see that my favorite drink is available once again!!  Looks like I might have to see if I can buy these by the case!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That Elusive Motivation

I just finished a little treadmill workout after finding myself with a bit of energy to burn (I do admit that it may have been the 1/2 cup of strong coffee I had when I got home from work).  4 miles completed in 35:45's been a long while since maintaining a 9 min/mile pace felt 'comfortable'.  And it's not very often that I DON'T have force myself, kicking and screaming, to exercise.  Yes, even after all this time, I struggle with motivation.  So, I wasn't going to question things today as I quickly changed into my running gear.

Many people ask about motivation, where to find it, how to get, and how to keep it.  But, for people like me, it can be very elusive.  I exercise because I have to.  Although I always feel better after working out, I generally have to convince myself to get off my ass and move.  Accountability certainly helps but since I don't have a lot of local fitness freak friends to rely on I have leaned to count on my cyber friends.  Currently, I report my workouts on and and I feel really bad when I have nothing to log.

Committing to some challenges helps motivate me as well.  Whether it's registering for a 5k or taking on the 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge, I have found that 'publicly announcing' my challenges has really boosted my motivation level.  Generally I post these challenges on Facebook, my blog and Nutrisystem....and being the (stubborn) go-getter that I am, I would rather drag my ass through a workout then have to announce that I 'failed'.

That's what works for real words of wisdom or magic mantra to share that will spark the desire to "just do it".   Working out is hard, I won't lie.  But it is also fun and rewarding and those things far out weigh the alternative.  So I do whatever it takes...yelling, bribing, and tricking myself, as necessary, to get it done.  So, when I have these kinds of days, where I find myself WANTING to run, I have to take advantage and try to hold on to that feeling.  I'm still holding out that soon I will have more days like this, and less days where I have to force myself into action.

I also see a lot of people with questions about what to eat after working out, one of my favorite recovery snacks after a good, hard work out is Greek yogurt.  It has the perfect blend of protein and carbohydrates to help in a speedy recovery and I love it's thick texture.  

Now for something exciting!!!  I just ran across a Chobani Yogurt giveaway contest on Healthy Cultivation's blog.  It's my (and your) opportunity to win a 12 pack sampler of their fantastic Greek yogurts!!  You have until 8:00pm Eastern on Thursday, January 27, 2011 to enter. Check out the post here.  

Here is one of my new favorite recipes using greek yogurt (I got the idea from another blog but can't find the bookmark so forgive me for not quoting the origin).  I alternate between this and a slightly altered version of the Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal from Iowa Girl Eats blog for breakfast every single morning.

The Morning After Oatmeal and Yogurt
1/2 cup dry oatmeal
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 oz nonfat plain greek yogurt
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar-free maple flavored syrup

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Enjoy the next morning!!  
*Sometimes I cut up a small banana on top...delicious and nutritious!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Living for NOW

"I have never met anyone for whom years of rejection and hatred suddenly and miraculously turned to love, even after a face-lift, LAP-BAND surgery, liposuction.  When you love something you wish it goodness; when you hate something, you wish to annihilate it."~from Women Food and God by Geneen Roth.

Why are we all waiting to begin our lives until we lose weight?  We all say it, 'I'll buy nicer clothes once I lose __pounds', 'I'll get portraits done when I'm thinner', 'I'll start to exercise once I'm not embarrassed by my size and feel comfortable going to the gym'...and on and on.  Our lives are put on hold as if we aren't 'good enough' to deserve to live NOW.  

We even say we hate our selves...or at least bits and pieces...'I hate my thighs, my double chin, my butt, my stomach'...In the book Women Food and God, Geneen Roth asks the reader to imagine all of the people who died today (about 151,000 people) and ask yourself what they would give right now to have one more hour of life in your body.  Do you think they would spend that hour complaining that their thighs rub together?!  I'm thinking they would want to see, hug, and speak to their loved ones...smell some flowers, fresh brewed coffee, or their baby's freshly washed hair.  They would probably love your body, and what it can do for them, more then you can imagine.

For those of us who struggle with all kinds of obstacle, real or imagined, who think their lives are unfixable because of an eating disorder, childhood abuse, spousal abuse, depression, fears of how we might change once we are thin, fear of failure, money problems, etc...Geneen writes "An article in The New Yorker about people who romanticize committing suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge quoted one man, saying "I instantly realized that everything in my life that I'd thought was unfixable was totally fixable--except for having just jumped."

Perhaps it's time to realize that we tend to take better care of those things we LOVE...and not the things we hate.  Perhaps the weight will come off easier when we care more about ourselves and our health instead of telling ourselves we are ugly, useless, fat slobs, weak, undeserving.  Perhaps we should try going to the gym or for a walk when our mind tells us we don't want to because we care about our health and know that it makes our body happy to move.

I've spent YEARS worried about how I look, or more precisely, how much I weighed or how "fat" I was.  Even when I was anorexic, weighing only 84 pounds at 5'4", I was worried that people would think I was fat or that I would become fat.  Now, all of those years are gone, I can't live them over again, yet I used catch myself dwelling on them occasionally.  I used to say that I would tackle some activity or adventure, get a bikini or portraits done once I lost 10 or 15 or 20 pounds.  Before I started getting serious about my fitness I would looking back at pictures and wonder what the hell I was thinking?  What I would have given to have THAT body back!

It dawned on me one day that I was basically putting my life on hold, wishing away time, hoping that I'd be a better me one day.  I was waiting for some magic thing to occur that would make me more worthy of love and attention and, well, basically a life.  In reading posts from other people on their weight loss or fitness journey I see the same thing...people who are hoping that one day their life can begin.  That magically they will be happier, more outgoing, bolder, more stylish or worse, finally worthy of being a human being all because they lost weight.

For me, I decided to make every attempt to live in the present.  The only time that I truly have is this moment right now and this body I have, right now, is all that I have to carry me through my day; to hug with, to laugh with, to smile with, to make someone else smile with.  I am so fortunate, that with this body, regardless of what it weighs,  I can smell the flowers, see a rainbow, cuddle with my cats, kiss my boyfriend, read a book, go for a walk, enjoy a sunset, take pleasure in a relaxing massage or hot tub.  Why should I allow my mind to rob me of these pleasures??  It certainly doesn't mind letting me experience all of pains.
Just some thoughts about getting us to start living in our bodies and not in our minds.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fear and Blame

I've been working on follow through and mini-goals and feeling really good about it all. Yesterday, I tackled a 45 minute interval run making it possible for me to get in 5 miles without being completely bored on the dreadmill (I saw that term on and 'stole' it). Today, I created, printed, and mailed letters to 5 potential (big) donors for Team In Training and started 5 more. I also have a pretty good email template created that I can easily personalize and send with just a few clicks. I've never been one to follow through on goals that *scare me*. Usually, once things become "real" I lose the drive and allow fear to settle in to my psyche. I am trying to get past this hurdle and so far, I'm feeling confident.

I was chatting on a discussion board with a cyber-friend when the topic of Fear of Success came up. Most people automatically assume that people have a fear of failure...they don't try things because they are afraid that they may prove themselves incapable or unworthy if they fail to achieve their goal. But, I had a councilor ask me once if it ever crossed my mind that I have a fear of success. Sounds weird, huh?  Who, in their right mind, would be afraid of success?

It's a hard thing for me to explain but I can see where, in some instances, this may be true. After all, the more I can accomplish, the more I will expect of myself (or others will expect of me), perhaps this is a side-effect of perfectionism...the need to constantly prove my self worth. It was easier to be the wallflower, the quiet one, the "good" child, the perfect student. If I dared to excel too much it would be overwhelming because I would have to do something more, I couldn't just move through life like I was on a lazy river.  And ultimately, I would have to face my insecurities. 

What ever forces have combined to get me to the point in my life that I am ready to conquer my fears and insecurities I am grateful. I certainly wouldn't call myself a Pollyanna by any stretch of the imagination, but whether good times or bad were had, lessons have been learned that have helped me get to this place in my life. A place I am very happy to occupy.

I really think that, for me, the trials and tribulations life has thrown in my direction have shaped me into the person I am today. I've said before that I don't want to die with regrets and so I have to accept these things from my past and treat them as a source of strength. Sure, I could blame outside circumstances for the disappointments I have had. I could blame an alcoholic father, an enabling mother, the fact that we had to move every 3-4 years because my dad was in the Air Force for all kinds of things. And I did that for a while...I became anorexic when I was 16 years old and thought that the only thing I had control over was my body and the food I ate. I thought I was powerful.

It wasn't until much later that I realized that the real power was in taking control of my life as a whole. Instead of "showing them" by exhibiting negative behaviors I could do just the opposite. I could empower myself to become healthy, and happy. To not let anyone else's behavior control me (as least as much as I could) and rob me of what everyone is entitled to, freewill. See, when we grab that drink or cigarette or cookie because we just can't take it anymore, we've been let down or disappointed, yelled at or had the rug pulled out from under us, we are actually letting that outside force control our behavior and letting someone else choose for us. We are saying, "Man, no matter what I think or believe I cannot stop myself from _________. So-and-so's words (or behavior) are forcing me to (have another drink, eat a quart of ice cream, hurt myself." Why? Why do we willingly allow someone else to be our puppet-master?

I'm sure most of us are fairly educated, rational people. We can take care of ourselves, find our way around, balance a checkbook, and take care of daily tasks. So why can't we take our lives back? Why are we so willing to do the very thing(s) we know is unhealthy because someone hurt our feelings? Do we think that by harming ourselves we will change THEM...or that we are proving some kind of point by being weak? (I do understand that some people endure abuses that severely affect their emotional well-being and who do need professional help to attempt to overcome these issues...I am speaking about my own personal level of dysfunction). I don't want to hand over that kind of control any more. Believe me, it's not my mom's fault if I go to the cupboard right now and eat half a box of Cheezits. I KNOW they aren't good for me. I KNOW they will take me over my desired calorie count for the day. I KNOW they are made with ingredients that I don't want to put in my body. So, if I get up and eat them I only have MYSELF to blame.

Now that I have this clarity of mind and have recognized my style of "bail out" it becomes easier for me to move forward, consciously.  It's starting out to be a very good year. I feel empowered now and I am ready for this ride.  

5 miles in 45 minutes

Time  Speed  Incline
0-5       6.0    .5%
5-10     6.5    .5%
10-15   7.0    .5%
15-20   7.5    .5%
20-25   6.0    .5%
25-30   6.5    .5%
30-35   7.0    .5%
35-40   7.5    .5%
40-42   6.5    .5%
42-45   7.0    .5%

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goal Setting+Action=No Regrets

In taking the 'plunge' and joining Team In Training, I find that I have some mixed emotions. Surprisingly, I am more excited about the impact I hope to make by raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society then I am to finish a marathon. The picture here is of Josh Garrido, my hero, who has been undergoing treatment for leukemia for the past 2 years. With two more years of treatment to go, we hope his cancer will officially be declared in remission. So, with inspiration like Josh, how could I not be excited?? But I also find myself worried and nervous about the fundraising even though I collected almost 10% of my goal ($3000) in just one week of activating my TNT website! Still, I get a little queasy, sweaty palmed, and light-headed as I ponder my ability to accomplish this goal...but I just can't let self-doubt creep in and sabotage my success!!

This is the first time, in a very long time, that I have set a rather large goal for myself with actual 'boundaries'. Meaning, this is a tangible and measurable goal (to raise $3000 and run 26.2 on June 5, 2011)...not simply an open-ended goal (or resolution) such as "I promise to drink more water". More water then what? Then last year? How much water DID I drink last year? And exactly when and how will I know if I reach this goal??

You see, many of us create goals with no possible way of knowing if we've reached them. We basically set ourselves up for failure and/or disappointment because we can't really SEE (or measure) our small successes along the way. Many of our goals and resolutions get kicked to the curb because they feel insurmountable, they provide no way for us to measure our progress or success, allowing wishy-washy direction which will inevitably make us feel lost. These types of goals make it hard for us to achieve success and to tackle more goals because we never really feel the sense of accomplishment that we are setting our goals for in the first place.

So, I sit here at my computer, thinking not just about these two new goals but also about the various other goals that I wish to accomplish and how I can rewrite them to make them attainable. No longer do I want to have the goal to "lose weight"...but rather, "I will weigh no more then 127 pounds". Setting the goal with a real and attainable number, I know where I am going and what it will take to get me there. For some of my bigger goals that have "road blocks", such as a significant financial investment to reach that goal, I will create mini-goals that will support these larger goals. For instance, I have a goal to climb Mt. Shasta. This will require a financial investment to pay for the guided trip and rental of some equipment. To work toward this goal I am setting a mini-goal to sell several items on eBay,, and through a yard sale to eliminate that road block. Once the money is available, I will have no more road blocks to successfully complete this Mt. Shasta goal! Easy peasy, right?!

Writing down our goals is the best way to secure our success. People who write out their goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them then people who don't write their goals. The trick is to learn HOW to write your goals. There are several great websites and programs that can help guide you with your goal setting. Personally, I think that it is worth investing some time into learning these concepts so that I don't flounder around for days, weeks, and years wondering why I can't ever reach any of my goals.

Right now, most of my goals require baby steps. I am relearning the HOW of goal setting and the ACTION part of moving toward these goals. I tend towards procrastination, something like paralysis of analysis...I can think and research something to death....and never, ever, ever accomplish a thing. Something I learned from my father, that has become more embedded in my mind since his untimely passing, is that the time we have will pass whether we are sitting on the couch doing *nothing* the same as it will pass if we are going somewhere or doing something. We can complain that working out will take a good hour out of your day but that hour will be gone regardless if you spend it watching to TV or doing an exercise DVD. The difference is in what you will have to show for that hour of your life.

I, for one, do not want to end up on my deathbed full of regrets. Regrets that I didn't take chances, that I let life slip by while I sat around watching everyone else's life move on, that I could have accomplished more if of only I had pushed myself, that I can't hit a reset button or have a do-over. It's now or never...and I am going with NOW!

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Self Sabotage

One of the things I have learned about myself these past few months, as I have struggled to lose these 15 pounds, is that I am inclined to sabotage myself. It isn't a conscious's more like a little pat on the back for 'doing a good job' that eventually leads to an unintended backslide. It starts off innocent enough...a few extra calories, maybe a handful of Goldfish or Chex Mix, right after a nice workout that I don't "count" because, surely, I deserve it...right?? Often, it can lead to several handfuls of chips (even if they ARE baked they are still 'off-plan') or worse, several DAYS of eating a handful of chips.

I think that I am not alone in this regard...that many, many people think that they can 'get away' with eating whatever they [think they] want because they workout. But in reality, it may go against everything we've been working towards. If you think about it mathematically you can get a better understanding of what you are doing, or not doing, by allowing these extras.

For instance...if I were to run for 30 minutes at 6mph (a 10 min/mile pace) I will likely burn about 400 calories. Now, if I then eat an extra 200 calories "rewarding" myself for working out...or claiming that my body now NEEDS extra calories to 400 calorie deficit has now been cut to 200 calories. If it takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose a pound then at this rate it will take over 17 days of working out, IN A ROW, to lose one additional pound. Realistically, I may only run 3 times a week so if I do nothing else, it will take about 6 weeks to lose that pound. I don't know about you, but I would probably get a bit discouraged if that were my true result. Granted, one would most likely be on a calorie restricted diet at the same time, but most diets are geared toward 1-2 pounds lost per week, but again, to have it take 2-6 weeks to see the benefit of adding exercise, the average person can tend to feel ripped-off.

But, if I didn't sabotage myself with those extra calories and simply rearranged my meals to fit with my workouts (ie. saving a serving of greek yogurt to eat 30 minutes after a workout) then I could potentially see that pound drop off within 9 days of working out at that same intensity every day, or in about 3 weeks if working out 3 times a week (burning 400 calories per workout). Now, my simple math does not take into account the additional calories that are expended in the 'after-burn' or any of the other fantastic benefits that come with exercise, so these are crude calculations at best.

My intension here is to help put things into perspective. I am an avid supporter of exercise and rarely take a full day off without doing SOMETHING, even if it's *just* a yoga sequence. Diet and exercise are not magic activities that will give us instant results and bikini bodies. This is hard work that involves consistency and commitment and realistic expectations. So, speaking to myself, I must take the blinders off and face all of my decisions head on lest I become discouraged and start the complaint cycle of "exercise doesn't work", "I can live on air and still not lose weight", "My mom was obese so that is my lot in life too", "the more I work out, the less I lose", or "I'm just big-boned". Beyond just creating the body I want, I am creating the health I want with habits I can maintain for a lifetime, and that will help me stay young both inside and out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Follow Through

Yesterday was another day of testing out my baby steps approach to goal accomplishment. Note that I didn't say goal 'setting'...I feel that I am quite well versed in that area having been an active member of Raymond Aaron's Monthly Mentor program as well as (over) researching the many other methods of goal setting from visualization to dream boards.

I started small, like itty-bitty, looking up the web site of the organic farm I pass by every day to see what they sell time of year, especially since their "open" sign seems to be inviting me to stop by. What I found was pretty fresh, pasturized chicken eggs AND whole humanely raised butchered chickens (Eeek!!! I don't eat meat other then fish but, I might consider getting one for the boyfriend to see how he likes "real" chicken). They also sell olive oil processed from the olives grown on site. Later in the year they will be offering a co-op style vegetable and egg program, something I am already looking forward to. I decided to stop by on my way home from work to buy a dozen eggs. Greeted by some dogs, kittens and several curious chickens I felt that this was a step in the right direction, a small step toward my health goals, with the added benefit of supporting local, organic farmers, and a little accomplishment in the area of 'follow through'.

Next, I *forced* myself to get on the treadmill for a quick run before heading out to a Team In Training meeting. Believe me, this was a HUGE struggle because all I wanted to do was #1-eat anything salty and carb loaded and #2-snuggle up in front of the fire and veg-out. I dutifully climbed the stairs and changed into my running clothes (I might have been mumbling something about how stupid running is and that I should probably take the night off). Let me tell you, there is something about putting on my running shoes that makes it seem unacceptable and completely pitiful to NOT then go run.

I did the 3-2-1 intervals I read about on Iowa Girl's blog. After a 5 minute warm up I proceeded with:
3 minutes @ 6.0 mph
2 minutes @ 7.3 mph
1 minutes @ 8.0 mph
Repeated 4 times
2 minutes @ 6.0 mph
Cool Down

In 31 minutes of running, I had covered 3.5 miles. By the way, I always set my treadmill to a minimum of a .5% incline in an attempt to compensate for the self-propulstion. Not too bad for a 'quick' run although I felt, at times, that my legs would spin right off me while running 8 mph.

After a quick toweling off I was racing off to the library for the Team In Training meeting. I'd really love to complete a marathon and TNT has an incredible training program and support system. It's the fund-raising part that scares the hell out of me. Even though it is a wonderful cause and I lost a dear friend to Lukemia 2 years ago, I am very intimidated by the whole fund raising process. Regardless of my fears, I registered for the program with my sites set on a full marathon at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in June. It is a baby step for me, considering the registration was only $20.11 (normally $100 for a first-timer). Fund raising can start ASAP (see the widgets and links posted everywhere) with a website and mentored help available by the end of this month. Also, my other challenges (10,000 kettlebell swings and the 21 Days of yoga) will be completed BEFORE the actual marathon training begins.

Oh, I almost forgot...I came home and ate a quick, protein filled dinner (taco salad with veggie crumbles AND a (fake) chicken breast and then pumped out 500 kettlebell swings...3670 down and 6330 to go!!! I wonder what today will have in store for me??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life Takes ACTION

This holiday season hit me pretty hard in the eating too much/exercising too little department. In reading other blogs and articles on,,, and the myriad of similar sites, I found that I am certainly not alone. But really, that doesn't make me feel much better, after all, I KNOW better.

Basically, I have allowed myself far too many 'cheats' (savory things like crackers are my nemisis) and too many excuses as to why it is virtually impossible for me to exercise (ie. I have a party to get ready 8 days...). So, with the start of another year, it is time to clean my internal house.

As you may have guessed, this started with several hours of researching clean eating programs on-line, signing up on (even though I am already on, touching basis with my Nutrisystem peeps, and looking at several dozen 'new' exercise plans. Now, none of this is very productive at this point. Sure, I felt smarter and amped up for the 'New Year, New Lynn' campaign but I already have an arsenal of knowledge and experience along with books, friends, on-line resources, exercise equipment, DVD's, cookbooks and eating plans at my fingertips. The LAST thing I need is to add to the paralyzing clutter I already have! If you don't know yet, this is my M.O. Lots and lots of movement...but no real action.

I gave myself a hard looking at...and confessed to my boyfriend what I feel my number one problem is...I am a time management stargazer. I spend more time thinking about doing things, and how wonderful it will be when I do them, that I never actually get around to the DOING.

So, I went back to the basics regarding my health. We all know the right way to eat, we just sometimes chose otherwise for whatever reason (it's not my place to judge). And, with or without a fancy gym membership, we all know that there are very effective exercises that we can do on a daily basis, right in our own home, apartment, or room. I am now back on the treadmill, on track for 40+ miles this month, and I have joined the 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge for the month of January (currently at 2730 swings with 21 more days to go). And yesterday was day 1 of Yoga Journal's 21 Day Yoga Challenge.

I've also cleared away most of the tempting 'junk' food and started cooking again. Okay, I admit that the reason there aren't anymore Baked Lay's in the house is because I ate them all...but either way, they are g-o-n-e. Last night I actually made an improvised version of Dr. Weil's Pasta and Greens that even the boyfriend (an avid meat-eater) liked.

Pasta with Greens
multigrain pasta
1 med onion chopped fine
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 c sundried tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
1 pound Kale cleaned w/stems removed, chopped fine
1 TBS dried basil
1/2 c water (or broth)
1 TBS capers w/liquid (or juice from olive jar)

1-Soak the dried tomatoes in hot water for about 15 minutes or until soft and then chop.

2-Heat oil and butter in skillet (med-high), add onion and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are translucent.
3-Add garlic, kale, basil, and tomatoes and cook until fragrant (3 minutes or so).

4-Stir so kale starts to wilt.
5-Reduce heat and add water and capers. Simmer for about 5 minutes. At this point you can determine if you'd like to add any additional spices, salt, or pepper.

6-Serve over whole or multigrain pasta, add some parmesan if desired.

And while I was at it, I roasted some cauliflower with zucchini and summer squash and then I baked Pumpkin Oatmeal from a recipe I found on Iowa Girl Eats blog. All of the 'new' recipes were a big hit, easy to prepare, and healthy to top it off!

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

1/2 c dry oatmeal
1/4 c pumpkin puree
3/4 c water (or milk)
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar-free maple syrup
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 TBS sliced almonds (for topping)

1-Preheat over to 375 degree.
2--Mix all ingredients (except almonds) together in oven-safe bowl.
3-Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with almonds.
4-Bake an additional 10 minutes.
You can enjoy right away or refrigerate and reheat in the microwave for 90 seconds!

I guess I can only speak for myself when I say action begets action. But if by chance you ARE like me, try taking that first step, no matter how big or small, and see how you feel. You might just surprise yourself at how much better it feels to DO rather then to just THINK about doing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stretch your body and mind...

Just a quick post to say I successfully completed Day 1 of Yoga Journal's 21 Day Yoga Challenge (this is for accountability reasons...not for bragging rights). I don't know whether I feel good for having stretched my tired muscles and releasing some toxins or because I actually went through with doing it. Maybe it's a little bit of both. Either way, I really enjoyed this sequence and thought I'd entice you to try it out as well.

Revelations and Resolutions

I'm really a goal setter rather then a New Year's Resolution maker but there is something about the start of a new year that makes it a logical time to set (or reset) goals that I'd like to accomplish. I generally have on-going long term goals that I have been carrying around with me for years. Things like climb Mt. Shasta, get out of debt, drink more water, run a marathon, and several others that either haven't made it onto the short-term priority list or will naturally take years (gulp) to accomplish.

In reviewing this past year, and transferring information from last year's Planner to this year's, it has become painfully obvious that I spend more time making and researching these goals then actually achieving them. The above mentioned Mt. Shasta climb has been transferred to 5 new calenders...and I probably have about 20 pages of information printed out and stuffed into a folder covering everything from equipment lists to price comparisons between the 2 main guide companies (from 3 years ago) to FUTURE climbs I want to take IF I enjoy this one. See, I'm already planning where to climb next without even attempting to complete this first goal!!!

Yes, I set goals...I know all successful people do. But where I go wrong is in not taking that next step. So, this year I am going to focus on setting some smaller, more achievable goals that will get me in the habit of taking the next step, and the next, and the one after that...until I achieve those goals.

A very small, yet environmentally friendly goal I am undertaking is to eliminate my dependency on plastic water bottles. I have owned several nice Gaiam aluminum water containers for years. But rarely do I use them. There is so much talk about the "right" kind of water containers that I have literally spent hours reading articles about the pros and cons of the various types (nalgene, glass, aluminum, BPA-free) while I continue to use at least 4 plastic water bottle per day!!! Today, I pulled out my aluminum water bottles, filled then from my Pur water pitcher, and brought them to work with me. Day one of my new goal and I have already accomplished more than I have with my Mt. Shasta goal over the past 5 years! It's a small step but I feel remarkably fantastic!

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