I’m Not the Jackass Whisperer

Since I started changing my relationship with food and fitness, I noticed my Facebook page has sort of morphed from the usual fare of Grumpy Cat memes and other fun stuff to include more of my food, and of course, I also post a link to my blog entries to share them with my friends.  Now, I know that there are plenty of my friends who are happy with who they are and where they’re at, physically and mentally, and to them, I say, “awesome, more power to you!”

There are also the select few who poke fun at food or recipes that I’ve shared, commenting that it’s missing meat (egads!), or I’m converting into one of those health-crazed Californians when I post a Shakeology picture.  These guys are my friends, but it still annoys me that they are mocking my choices.  But, then I reminded myself that I am not doing this for anyone else but me.  There’s no point in trying to justify why I’m changing my life to people who are just trying to shame me.  I’m not the jackass whisperer!

jackassI’m reminded of a time when I was in college.  I had gained about 50 lbs since high school, and my cousin had commented on it.  He said something along the lines that the family fat genes were catching up to me.  And at the time, I accepted it.  Practically my whole immediate family on my dad’s side is overweight, so obviously, it’s genetic, isn’t it?  Most of them have been on some diet or another for most of their adult life.  My aunt has even had her stomach stapled, but it didn’t make her thin.

My dad had amazing results on Atkins, twice, but gained the weight back as soon as he went back to eating “normally”.  I remember back in the day, my grandmother had the cabbage soup diet posted on her fridge.  She was forever trying to diet and lose weight.  She doesn’t have to worry about that now, as she’s 89 and her health is failing and she can’t even keep weight on.

I firmly believe that my grandmother would be in better health today if she had been more active throughout her life.  I see her frailness, and I know that yes, everyone eventually will decline, but how much better would her life be right now if she had been physically fit, and not just skinny?  I see her, and all I can think is, I don’t want to grow old like that.  Wracked with pain from tiny fractures caused by osteoporosis, unable to walk without assistance, needing oxygen to breathe at night.

As far as I know, I’m the only one in my family trying to make a change like this.  Not just changing what I eat, but changing the way I feel about food.  I’m working out and building muscle, because I don’t just want to be thinner, I want to be healthy.  Thinness is not a sign of health, it just means you’ve got good genes.  I want to be fit, and most of all, I want to be happy.  Happy with myself, happy with how I look, and happy about what I have accomplished.

I can’t vanquish the naysayers.  There will always be someone, somewhere who just doesn’t get it.  There will always be people who are happy the way they are, at whatever weight that is.  And that’s fine.  Not everyone wants to get “ripped”.  It’s okay.  I’m not here to tell you that you’re wrong, that if you want to be happy, you have to look like Shaun T.  I’m not sure I want to look that ripped!  I want to be strong, fit, and try on clothes without being disgusted with myself.

I’m not saying that people who are happy about where they are, physically and mentally, are jackasses.  What I’m saying is that there are always going to be people in your life, wherever they may be, who will try to bring you down, by mocking your efforts, or making fun of your food choices.  Don’t let them bring you down!  Whatever your goals are, however much weight you want to lose, however much muscle you want to gain, those are things that no one can take away from you.  Don’t let other people determine your course; you are the master and commander of your own future.  Let them poke their fun, but in the end, you’ll have the last laugh.

*sorry for the edit, I hadn’t finished my entry and I accidentally hit publish.

Are You Inspired?

Hey hey! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  It’s Motivational Monday today, and as I was thinking about something motivational today, I came across a meme posted by one of my Facebook friends that I thought was perfect.

don't give upI honestly don’t spend much time on the computer on the weekends other than to maybe look up a recipe of directions somewhere, but occasionally, I use the time to catch up and read posts from the other blogs that I follow.  One of the blogs that I find most inspiring is mydiabetesandme.  I don’t have diabetes, but Shannon’s story inspires me to keep moving forward and to not give up doing the right thing for my body.  In a lot of ways, I feel her story mirrors mine, as far as the emotional aspect of food.

I read a few of her past entries this weekend, and I was inspired. Her story is one of triumph, and love reading about her love affair with Adam Levine, learning to dance (and love it), and seeing how far she’s come.  Now, I don’t know Shannon personally, but as when reading blogs about personal journeys, I feel like I do.  She could have been me.  Struggling, unhappy, not knowing the best way to feed my body for my needs.

I read about her journey and where she is now, mentally, and physically, and I want to be her.  She is my hero, an everywoman who has been there, done that, and is now holding the torch for the rest of us.  I’m sure she’ll probably laugh as I’m extolling her virtues as if I’m nominating her for sainthood.  And maybe I am in a way.

You see, I saw the above meme on Facebook this morning, and I did not immediately think of me, and how I would want others to see me.  I thought about her first, and thought, “she is my inspiration”.  And one day, I hope to be able to carry the torch for others, and they can say the same of me.  One day, people will see my story and be inspired to change their lives.

Deciding to change your life and put your health and fitness first is daunting.  We are plagued by self doubt and our own negative nancys.  But every day, we have a choice.  I have a choice to eat my kid’s leftovers, or eat that chocolate, or fritter away my morning doing nothing.  Every day, I have the choice to do the right thing for myself.  And on the days when I feel my resolve falter, I have to ask myself what am I going to have to show for myself at the end of the week?

I decided on sharing my journey to health and fitness through this blog, making it public, because what better way to stay on track than to have an audience?  It’s my accountability, you are my support.  I know people are reading, and I can’t talk about the best parts of my journey without talking about the pitfalls, the hard times, and the temptations.  I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way about certain things related to food and fitness!

This is not just about losing weight; it’s the personal growth, the motivation, and the inspiration I find along the way.  It’s learning to love myself, from the inside out.  It’s finding simple pleasures that keep me going through a workout or a run.  It’s making delicious food that fuels my body in the right way.  And yes, it’s reading the other’s transformation journeys and how the number on the scale is not the endstate, it’s just the beginning.

What’s your inspiration?  Who, or what, keeps you going?  Do you hope that one day someone will see your words and be inspired by them?  I do.  Every day.

 

 

You Bet Your Asparagus!

It’s Food Friday, and today I’d like to share with you the wonders of one of my favorite summer veggies: asparagus.

When I was little, I remember eating this stuff by the can! They were so delicious. I would gobble them up like they were candy, and yes, I would eat the whole can by myself.  Later on, I guess I had forgotten how much I loved them, and so when I was a young 20-something, I no longer bought them.  Of course, this was also the time of my life when I was beholden to no diet rules and I subsisted on mostly fast food.

asparagusNow, as someone older and wiser (haha), I am discovering more amazing and tasty vegetables than just the standard lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.  I also rediscovered asparagus-fresh, crispy asparagus.  I had no idea what to do with it, so I usually would just steam it in the microwave and sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper.  Later, I discovered the amazingness of grilled asparagus!  SOOOOOO delicious. I would drizzle a little olive oil on the bunch and throw it on, turning the stalks until they were tender crisp.  Then, I would drizzle this wonderful bleu cheese vinaigrette over them, and then the feast would begin, and we would fight to the last stalk!

What I didn’t know as I was eating these delectable little spears is how healthy they are!  I had no idea that asparagus had so many health benefits.  I’m realizing that this is true of most whole fruits and veggies, but sometimes, it is still a shocker that so many of us aren’t developing our full potential because we aren’t eating nature’s bounty.

Did you know that asparagus is not only loaded with fiber, but also has folate, and vitamins A, C, E, and K?  It also contains a detoxifying compound that breaks down carcinogens and free radicals, so it’s possible it can help prevent several types of cancers.  And, amazingly enough, it is like a little fountain of youth for our brains! That’s right, eating veggies like aspargus and other leafy greens can help prevent cognitive decline because of the folate.  Asparagus also has high amounts of the amino acid asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic and flushes extra salt from the body.

Amazing what a nutritional punch these little spears of goodness serve up in every bite! And another thing I love about them, they aren’t just a side dish.  They are also amazingly versatile!  You can grill them, steam them, use them in a stir fry, scramble them with eggs, whatever!  I plan on getting some on my next trip to the store, chopping them up and freezing them to add to my next egg scramble.  We had asparagus last night that I cooked up in the grill pan, and then added a little lemon juice and parmesan.  Yummy!

There are tons of asparagus recipes out there, but one of the simplest ways is to just trim the ends, put it in a baking dish with a little water, cover, and microwave for about 4-5 minutes.  Then, all you have to do is season them with whatever you like!  My go-to’s are usually lemon or garlic, but I’ve also used sesame oil and sprinkled sesame seeds on top.

Word to the wise: the thicker asparagus stalks are tougher, so stick to the thinner ones.

Lemon Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus

2 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 TB parmesan

2 TB or more lemon juice

 

Wash and trim asparagus, drizzle olive oil over stalks.  Saute in pan till tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.  Toss with salt and pepper, and transfer to plate.  Drizzle lemon juice over stalks, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy.

I apologize if my cooking intructions seem a little on the light side.  This isn’t an actual recipe per se, this is just how I made the asparagus last night.  I used half a lemon for the juice, but the other measurements are approximate.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

The 6 Ps

It’s Tactics Thursday and sometimes I think of Thursdays as being a sort of calm before the storm.  The storm being the weekend.  I always welcome the weekends, but in the past, it was also wrought with tension and  stress because they are unpredictable.  No kids to hustle off to school, no waking to the droning of alarm clocks, etc. I kind of always felt that the weekends were a sort of battlefield for me whenever I was “on a diet”.  I don’t have quite the same feeling of anxiety that I had in the past about it, but still, I fear the way a weekend can sort of unfold and undo all my hard work during the week.

When I was growing up, my dad shared with me the idea of the 6 Ps, and said not to forget them.  Well, I do, on occasion, when I stomp my foot and refuse to take charge of my weekends. So, I’ve decided that I should put it to use in my little toolbox of knowledge and not let the weekends unpredicability get the better of me.  Perhaps in the future, I will lead a more regimented life, but right now, it’s a pirate’s life for me, ARRRR!

6 Ps I present to you, the 6 Ps, in all their simplistic glory.  May they serve you well!

One of my family’s greatest temptations over the weekends is fast food.  We get so busy doing things, and running around, and all of a sudden, we’re totally starving.  And, how convenient! There’s a Mickey D’s right over there!  But we already got chicken out or whatever! But by the time we cook it and sit down to eat, we could have already eaten our fat pills.  Hmmm….okay, let’s just get burgers.  See how that works?

And that’s usually how it is in this house.  I’m determined to change that though, by planning ahead and sticking to that plan.  I’ve been working on my extraordinary productivity exercises from last week, and I’m determined to stick with it through the weekend.  I will not worry about every little thing that crops up on my radar and worry about when I’m going to find time to take care of it.

I have my plan and my schedule of to-do’s, and I will write it down and do it when it pops on the schedule.  I’m big on planning and making lists, but I try to schedule too much, or I spend too much time on one thing, so then I run out of time.  You would think I would be much better about the time management, but I’m actually pretty terrible at it.

I have a friend that once told me that when I had to be somewhere by 2 p.m., I would arrive at precisely 1:59 and 59 seconds.  And sadly, I have to laugh, because it’s true.  I thrive on routine and schedules, and I admit I am a little disappointed I need to regiment my schedule like that.  However, I’m understanding myself a little better now and realize I need more than a list of things to do, I need to learn to schedule the time to do it within the time I have to do things.

For instance, I know I have pretty much from 9-3 every day to do what I need to do.  That may seem like an eternity to some, but I find I can’t use my time wisely: frittering away a morning to read, typing away on my blog, reading other people’s blogs, checking my celebrity gossip, taking care of my little one, or putting out unexpected fires.  Well, remember when I said I was done with being an ostrich?  That was about the time I had to fess up to myself that I was wasting too much time wasting time instead of doing what had to be done.  If everything is an emergency, and has to be done right away, where does that leave me?  I’ll tell you: it leaves me with a pile of mail that need to sorted and floors that still need to be cleaned.

And so, enter the Covey’s time management matrix, and now the 6 Ps.  I’m still struggling to learn to use the matrix, as I don’t have enough information about it just yet, but I can no longer wait till I have all the answers to start something.  I know how I’m doing things right now is not efficient, and I sincerely feel it would be a mistake to wait, so I’m really going to have to jump with both feet without testing the water first.  Maybe I’ll find the water is just fine.

My sad diet revelation

Good morning, folks.  It’s Whiny Wednesday and I have another whine for you.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy my misery!

My clothes are getting looser, and I can now wear a some of the smaller things in my closet without feeling like a slug caught in a straw.  I even wore a pair of old capri knit pants this weekend that I haven’t worn since before I got pregnant with my second.  But, as much as I loved that I fit into them, they have inexplicably become too big, even though I still weigh more now than I did when I last wore them.  I swear, I can pull the waist band up to my boobs and still not have a camel toe!

shoulder padsAnd, back to the underwear.  I am a fan of the “hip-hugger” style underwear.  Not too low, not too high, covers my butt, and don’t ride up.  My hubs has been poking fun of my undies, because apparently, they don’t fit.  I either have them pulled up to the small of my back (har har har), or they sag so it looks like I’m saving room for a-ahem-download.  After I feared my husband might die from the lack of air from laughing so hard, I decided I should probably dig out some better fitting ones.  So I did, and I’m glad I already had some brand new skivvies that didn’t fit when I bought them, but fit great now!

And the saddest news of all: not only is my ass shrinking faster than the rest of me, but my meager amount of boob has decided to jump ship as well.  I was reminded of my grandmother, who has shoulder pads sewn in every shirt she owns.  She told me once how she used to use her spare shoulder pads as bra stuffing back in the day.  I briefly thought about following suit.  Briefly! I swear!

I haven’t tried one of my smaller bras yet as I’m not sure which box they might be in.  Mostly though, it makes me sad my boobs are going away.  Everyone loses weight differently, I know that.  I’m still trying to figure out the way I lose weight.  Apparently, it is slowly, and in immeasurable amounts as I can’t tell from the scale or the tape measure, but my clothes don’t lie-they are looser every day.

Right now, I’m just relishing the saggy seats of my pants, the baggy legs around my thighs, the way my shirts no longer cling to my gut.  “Soon, so very soon!” I croon to the totes of clothes.  My current wardrobe will be finding its way to Goodwill,  and by the time I move this summer, I will be wearing a “new” wardrobe of my old clothes.

 

 

 

 

Be Miserable

That’s right.  “Be miserable.  Or motivate yourself.  Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” (Wayne Dyer).

This is what I’ve been telling myself all day.  In fact, I tell myself this frequently, sort of in a “I think I can. I think I can.” kind of mantra.  When I first came across this quote, I fell in love with it.  It sort of became the seed that grew the whole “Quit Bitching, Get Fit” sapling.

 

gary the snailToday was a bit rough due to Murphy’s Law.  That bastard!  All my careful planning about trying to start my week using Covey’s matrix for extraordinary productivity, and my Monday has all but been a wash.  I was in such a fog for most of it!  I have resolved to love Mondays because it means a new beginnings and fresh effort.  Mornings, however, will still be on my shit list. I can’t help it.

You see poor Gary the Snail?  That’s how I felt this morning.  Sure, we all have those nights of tossing and turning.  And those of us with kids also know the sheer “ugh”-ness of one (or more) or your sweet dumplings having  a restless night.  And of course it has to be on the same night! Otherwise, it just wouldn’t be worth commenting on.  And of course, this is what my night was last night.

Usually, I’m down for the count within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  Seriously.  And I sleep like the dead.  Last night, I don’t know what happened, but I tossed and turned and finally dozed off about 1 a.m., only to be awoken by my 3 year old who then crawled into our bed with a pillow, 2 stuffed dogs, and his woobie.  Then he got out of our bed, went and got his blanket and another pillow and got back in our bed.  Where he then played fish-out-of-water for about an hour until he decided to go back to his own bed.

An hour after that, I’m still lying there, wide awake, listening to my little bit talking to himself and making car noises across the hall.  Then he comes in and tells me he has to potty.  So, after a little trip to the bathroom for both of us, I lay down.  And hallelujah, my body finally gives the okay for some serious shut-eye.  But, before I did, I reset the alarms. (I hang my head in shame.)

I had figured out that I need to wake up super early if I want to have time to do what I need to do every day.  Super early being 5 a.m. I made up a little checklist of things I want to accomplish over the next three  days, along with some other odds and ends and notes for stuff.  Then, I tried to go to bed.  Maybe that was a mistake.  Maybe it was the equivalent of exam jitters, and my mind just couldn’t shut down because I was worried about sleeping through the alarm and thinking about all the stuff going on.

So, at any rate, I woke up at the usual time, had my shake, and eventually did my workout.  I also managed to get some of the other this-shit-can’t-wait-till-tomorrow off my list.  This morning, I could have just been miserable.  And in the past, in my old all-or-nothingness, I would have stayed that way, believing the whole day was lost because I couldn’t stick to my new schedule right out of the box.

I just kept repeating “Be miserable. Or get motivated” over and over again till I got the most important things done.  Even though I might have only been 20% motivated at first, it got me through the first tasks, so that by the time I finish this blog, I will have completed 4 of the six things I needed to complete today.

And I think that is just outstanding!  I will still have time later on to work on the other 2 things later this evening.  Some people may say, what’s the BFD?  And it may not be a big deal to a lot of people.  And some may be saying, well, she didn’t do the other 2 tasks.  It’s a big deal to me, though, and it’s my opinion that matters.  It’s not about what I didn’t do today, it’s what I have done today that matters most.

 

 

 

Set Heading for Quadrant 2

I’ve been trying to keep up with my life and this blog and sometimes, I feel like I need a vacation from my life! I’ve really been struggling lately with my time management and my daily schedule.  It sure is hard to try and balance what I need to do, what I want to do, and what I have to do.  I’ve had this increasing feeling of anxiousness, and feeling like there was more that I needed to be doing, could be doing, but I just didn’t know how I was ever going to get around to it.

enterpriseLuckily, I heard about this amazing way to prioritize things using Franklin Covey’s time management techniques.  It was just a brief snippet, and I’ve started looking online for more information.  I have the distinct feeling I will need to buy the damned book because I’m just anal like that.

Anyway, I’m trying to work on my personal and professional development because I’m tired of feeling like everything’s such a freakin’ crisis.  It’s totally stressing me out.  Another realization I’ve had (again): I can’t manage my time effectively because I essentially have too much of it, which makes me think I have enough, but then isn’t nearly enough time to finish anything, making me wish I hadn’t procrastinated!  *taking deep breath*

So, I heard about this 4 Quadrants deal, and I’m ashamed to admit, I’m usually either in Quadrant I, or Quadrant 4, usually in Quadrant 4.  And that’s because I spend way too much time wasting time by reading, surfing the internet, or busy work.  Yes, even when you don’t have a job, you can be doing busy work.  Like when I suddenly decide I need to sort my kids’ toys when I should be working on my monthly budget.  .

quadrantsThis graphic I found online illustrates the 4 quadrants.  Basically, Quadrant 1 items are urgent and need immediate attention like sick kids and last minute shit. Being in this category mostly signifies Procrastination, but it’s also those things that you have to take care of first and can’t wait.  Quadrant 3 are distractions, and 4 is just wasting time.

Quadrant 2 is where I need to be to have extraordinary productivity.  With planning, focus, and eliminating the distractions and the slacking off, I could essentially find that elusive balance I so need in my life.  I would love to actually end my day feeling productive and satisfied, instead of frazzled and worn out.

Now, I know that a lot of this is very generalized, but I think the picture is pretty clear.  When I spend all my time frackin’ around instead of doing what needs to be done, then everything becomes a crisis.  I’m sure most of you are thinking I’m a lazy b right now, but I could care less.  I just find myself engaging in this activity more and more lately, and it’s not making me happy.  Seeing this little chart made me realize I’m in a funk, and I’ve been in one, but I don’t have to BE in one.

I’ve been wanting to start doing more personal development stuff, and this was just the boot in the ass I needed to re-evaluate my daily schedule and really be honest with how I was spending my time.  Yeah, sure, there are days, and times when I’m Q2 all the way, but I want it to be that way 90% of the time, not 30% of the time.  I have long felt that I was definitely more productive when I worked full-time and only had 2 days to do everything I needed to do.  Now that I stay home, I am often under the misconception that I have all this time to get a certain task done, so I procrastinate.  I spend too much time on Facebook, too much time looking at stupid slideshows on Buzzfeed, too much time reading my books.  And then, OMG!!  I have to start dinner!  I forgot to do XYZ! Oh, I don’t have time now! and my favorite: Fuck! We’re late!

I hate that.  So, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.  I’m going to do more studying up about this and over the next 2 days, and then on Sunday, develop my execution.  I feel big, positive changes coming.  Extraordinary productivity, here I come!