Monday, February 28, 2011

An Announcement!

I told everyone about two weeks ago that I had something that I wanted to do on May 14th but I had to talk to a friend about it first. Well the mentioned friend has been talked to and has agreed to join me in this endeavor.

My best friend's mom passed away on December 9th 2008 from a brain tumor. I remember the day Christina called me to tell me her mom was sick. Four hours away, I cried with her. In my mind, there was no way this woman I knew for her love of her children and husband could be sick. She was just like my own mom and I knew her relationship with her daughter was irreplaceable. I almost walked back into work that day and told them I was taking the rest of the day off. Instead, I drove up on Saturday afternoon to give my support. I had to be there.

Lyndee lived a loving life through the 20 months following her diagnosis.  Her passionate work as an artist can still be found gracing the walls of her family's homes. It makes me smile to remember her great sense of decorating.

On May 14th, I will be running the American Brain Tumor Association 5k Run/Walk/Strut in Chicago in memory of Lyndee. I heard about this event last year from Donna while I was scanning through her blog.  I knew that I had just missed the event! But I would be trying to make it to this year's event.

This 5k is primarily in memorial to Lyndee but is also my first 5k I hope to run. Now that the weather is warming, I can get my butt out the door and get moving after work. I am looking forward to some running and maybe shopping in Chicago.

I have yet to officially register. Eek! The value of the research to find cures for these cancers is priceless. If I could raise thousands of dollars, I sure would try. My goal is $500 for this event. I will have a fund raising page up and running in the next few days. If you would like to donate, please let me know.  Thank you in advance!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wear Sunscreen

I'm having writer's block and have had the problem for over a week so you are getting song lyrics.

I have always loved this song. Most people think its kitschy but I think it has a lot of good advice. I highlighted key lyrics that really touch my emotions. Do you have any favorite songs that inspire you?

Wear Sunscreen

By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Counting Calories

I haven't posted in a little bit of time. I think I've been at a mind blank again.

So last week, I worked out four out of seven days, which isn't all that bad for me. I thought I was watching what I was eating, but I must not have too closely because I actually GAINED weight last week. Maybe it's that I watched it go into my mouth but wasn't really watching whether or not it was healthy.  I think it's a small accomplishment for me that I only went to Subway (which is located across the street from work) once last week. I used to go there atleast twice a week and sometimes more. Now I just need to be successful in staying out of the candy box at work. I know how to solve this, with a bag of Jolly Ranchers, sucking on one when I need a sugar fix.

Anyway, the goal for this week is to write down everything I eat and count my calories. I really don't have a clue what amount of calories I should be eating each week but the Biggest Loser for Wii tells me I should be eating 1620cal/day. I think this is doable, especially if I work out. I noticed when I went to the grocery store this weekend, I was really paying attention to the calories on things I bought. I'm struggling a bit because I have been wanting to stay away from artificial sweeteners but the calorie counts on some full calorie products are so much higher than their counterparts. So for now I will pick and choose what Lite products I will eat.

So here is to counting calories this week AND continuing to work out. *We're supposed to have some beautiful weather this week!*

Monday, February 7, 2011

There's something about low fat cheese...

that I hate!

I am not a huge cheese eater. It's not one of my favorite things but I do enjoy it for a snack every so often. I can not stand low fat or fat free cheese. I lied, I do like low fat cream cheese and by "like it" I mean that I don't mind how it tastes although there are times that full fat cream cheese is needed (rare in my life). I also enjoy the low fat Laughing Cow cheese wedges. They are perfect on some celery or a couple of crackers.

I grew up with cheese-less pizza. I always wanted to eat pizza with cheese because that's what all my friends were eating. The idea of cheese-less pizza sounds enticing now.

I tried eating low fat string cheese.  It's not horrible...I have had worse things. Looking at the two packages, the low fat string cheese is actually smaller than the full fat cheese. Maybe that's why it's lower fat? Regular Sargento string cheese has 80 calories per stick. Light string cheese is 50 calories per stick.

What I am really enjoying right now is the Mini Babybel cheese, also by Laughing Cow. Each piece of cheese is 70 calories and a great snack for me. Mini babybel light cheese is 50 calories...I haven't tried these yet. I eat these for a snack in the middle of the day or if I need something on the run after work but before I work out, something to hold me over until dinner.

Just an idea!

I completed Day 2 of my goal to work out 5 days this week. Pat has been complaining about his legs hurting. Do I dare say that I might be in better shape than he is?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Measurements

I decided that it was time to find my tape measure. I found it. I measured key areas of my body so I can track inches as well as pounds.

Here goes

Bust: 41 inches
Chest: 38 inches
Waist: 40 inches
Hips: 48 inches
Thighs: 28 inches
Calves: 18.5 inches
Upper Arms: 14.25 inches
Neck: 15 inches

The hips scares me and I always though my waist was smaller than that.

Days 'till race day: 232

I Just Want to Scream!!

Sometimes I just want to scream...
Sometimes I just want to scream in frustration at my choices! I want to scream about the horrible choices I've been making! I want to scream about the binging! I want to scream about the majority of my time outside of work being spent on the couch! I want to scream that it's cold outside and I can't go for a run! I want to scream when I don't update my blog!

And sometimes I just want to cry about it...
I want to cry to make myself feel better. I want to cry about how much I'm failing. I want to cry when I dont work out and it's bed time. I want to cry when I watch the scale move up or stand still. I want to cry when I feel alone in this. I want to cry after I binge. I want to cry when I realize I'm in denial.

And sometimes I just need to pick myself back up...
I worked out tonight...aerobic for 30 minutes and then Yoga for 40 minutes. I sat down and made monthly calendars for the rest of the year. I crossed today off the calendar as a work out day! I ate a somewhat healthy dinner. I conquered eating carrots without ranch dressing. I am updating my blog. 

And sometimes I dream...
I dream about the day I can complete the burpees on the Wii.
I dream about the day I can go down a pants size. I dream about not being addicted to fast food. I dream about completing my race! I dream about getting up early so I can work out before work.

I scream. I cry. I pick myself back up. I dream.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Accepting Compliments

I have been trying to write but I just have had writer's block for the past couple of weeks. I notice that entry ideas pop up at me at the most random moments, such as today when one of my customers gave me a compliment.

In the past few years, I have noticed that it is hard for me to accept a compliment, especially from people I dont know AND especially when it's about my weight or my looks.

I have two comments today from customers:
1.  "When are you expecting" (Hate that one!)
2. "Wow, you look like you've lost weight" (from a woman who has lost over 100lbs herself)

I'll touch on the second one tonight. I've gotten that comment twice in the past week from two different customers. I haven't really lost nearly as much weight as I wish I would have by now but maybe I am toning my body a bit?  In the past, before I was "destroying dead ends", I would have given the compliment-er some excuse about my clothing fitting well.  Over the past few weeks, I've been accepting the compliments and responding with a "Thank You" and a smile. Instead of just brushing the compliments off and forgetting about them, I am taking them and cherishing them.

I stole the following words from Todd Smith at Littlethingsmatter.com

Do You Recognize a Compliment When You Hear One?
Defined as an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration, compliments should be pretty easy to recognize, but can be tough to spot when we’re focused on ourselves. Here are two examples:
Have you lost weight, Mary? You look terrific!”
  • “It must be the outfit.”
Mary is sending a message that she’s self conscious about her weight and/or she doesn’t deserve credit for her efforts.
I’m really happy with the way you handled yourself on that call, Bill.”
  • “Yea, but I wish I would have remembered to tell them about the discount.
Bill is sending a message that he doesn’t think he’s good enough and that he is not able to see the potential benefit that may come from his contribution.

Responding to a Compliment
These two examples may seem obvious, but remember that compliments come in many forms. Whatever the situation, there is a proper way to acknowledge praise, commendation, or admiration.
  • Make eye contact. Acknowledging a compliment is a perfect time to connect with someone. Look the person in the eye when you respond. Doing so communicates sincerity and self-confidence.
  • Say, “Thank you.” A sincere, unhurried ‘thank you’ along with a smile and eye contact is more often than not all that is necessary.
  • Don’t explain anything. If you feel moved, you can follow your ‘thank you’ with something positive. Doing so communicates desirable character traits such as friendliness and positivity. Caution: If you can’t keep it brief and will be tempted to explain or rationalize your action or accomplishment, leave it at a simple ‘thank you.’


I think this is really some advice that everyone should take and run with.

PS: It's crazy snowing outside and I am hoping for a day off from work in the morning.