28 February 2011

more than a bit excessive**

** Dad, don't read this post. It's gonna be about boobs. heeheehee**

I was always blessed with plenty in the chest growing up. (That kinda rhymed, which is funny to me. Sorry, I closed the store last night and didn't get to bed till super late and I'm totally tired and headed to work again here in a bit. Things are funny this morning. The cat was chasing her tail and I cracked up. Anyway.....) My sister was blessed with height and I got boobs, plain and simple.

Not excessive amounts, just enough, like 34C.

I got pregnant with Matthew in December of '95 and took the "eating for 2" thing literally. Oops. Of course, one of the first things that happened was that I needed to shop for bigger bras.

Five years later, I got pregnant with Caleb and still needed like a size 40C. And was pushing a D cup at that point and all through nursing Caleb that first year.

Jon's been spoiled by the excess. See, Dad; this is why I warned you not to read.

Needless to say, but you know me, I'm gonna anyway, basically the first thing to go in my journey to a normal weight in the last nine weeks has been my chest. I didn't really notice it at first, but did notice that my bras were fitting differently. Then my one bra that's a 38C was fitting comfortably. And now it's even on the tightest hooks. And still comfortable.

Just for fun the other day, I decided that maybe it was time to take my measurements. While it seems that every record to go on has been deleted from my computer, I can tell you that my chest is at the smallest it's ever been and my waist (at my belly button) has about a half inch to go to claim the co-title. But I also noticed something else.

As much as Jon is dismayed by the loss, I'm still currently a size bigger than I was when he married me.

He's forgotten.

So I told him that he can mourn the loss all he needs to, but it's maybe in his best interest to come to terms with what is now, not wish for what was then.

Cuz, I'm hitting the store for new bras soon and 40C ain't ever coming back.

With that, I'm off to work out, have a great day!!

25 February 2011

Seven Quick Takes

1. Today is Caleb's ninth birthday. I believe it and yet I don't, all at the same time. When he crawled up into my lap this morning, I commented on how big he's getting and he said "Yeah, Mom, I'm not your baby boy anymore." "Um, yeah you are, you're just not A BABY anymore." He's chosen spaghetti for dinner, no surprise, and then we're going to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow.

2. I'm so tired. Everything's making me weepy or giggly or both. It's lovely.

3. I'm more excited than I probably should be to be able to sleep in tomorrow morning. If I'm awake before 7am, I'm gonna be ticked.

4. I'm super curious as to why the parking lot at work was never really plowed after the storm we had on Sunday. It's a total mess now.

5. I really want our federal tax refund to come this weekend so I can start shopping for a new stove and refrigerator. We're not going top of the line just yet, as we wanna gut and redo the whole kitchen someday, but it'll be like getting a newer used car...broken in but not broken down. Yay!

6. I need some new music for my playlist. I've run to the same tunes for the past three days and I'm already sick of them.

7. Two more weeks till retreat and the music isn't even close to done. I really need to get on that.

Have a great weekend!

See more Quick Takes here.

24 February 2011

Dear Albuterol Inhaler

Dear Albuterol Inhaler,

While you're doing a decent job allowing me to breathe while pushing myself on the treadmill, you could step it up a notch. And I'm not really crazy about the jitters you provide for hours afterward, just in case you wondered about that.

I mean, do you know how hard it is to check in on my face book friends when my hands won't stop shaking?

And just so you know, unlike your predecessor who I could ignore since I wasn't exercising regularly, you and I are going to be best friends. Doctor's orders. So it's just in your best interest to do your job and no one will get hurt.

But even if you decide to only give me marginal effort, I want you to know that you buddy Asthma is not going to slow me down; despite my disappointment in the doctor telling me that regardless of my weight loss, I'm gonna be stuck with him.

You do your job and I'll continue on a path to make Treadmill wish I were never born.

I'm glad we could have this talk.

On you I depend,

Jen

23 February 2011

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

Good Morning! Just a few things running around in my brain that I thought I'd share.



- Matthew did a great job last night at solo/ensemble on TWO class A pieces. His band director played a little trick on him and never told him the trumpet trio piece was a class A, she figured that he'd freak out big time at doing two class A's. She told him when it was all over.



-His solo judge was tough but helpful. And Matthew finished with a 2, which only gives him room for improvement. Maybe shows him that more practice time at home wouldn't hurt. I'll try and get the solo uploaded in a few days.



- My nephew Sean is turning ten tomorrow. That's amazing stuff and he's a great kid.



- I still haven't had a chance to meet my great-niece and it's driving me CRAZY.



- Is spring EVER coming? Seriously, I am OVER winter.



- I wanna be able to get new kitchen appliances before Ladies Retreat next month. I'm sick of fighting for space with my old refrigerator.



- I spent three days horribly off track with eating and exercise. But yesterday, I completed a 5k on the treadmill. Today I was running (haha) short on time, so one mile in 14:56 is done. It's hard for me to stay focused, but if I do, it's totally gonna be worth it in the end.



- And finally, I LOVE when I can get Lean Cuisine entrees on sale!



There you have it- have a great day!

22 February 2011

backsliding

You know how easy it can be to make excuses? Excuses to not work out and to not eat the best you can?

Friday was the last day I got in a workout. My justification was that I had to work all day Saturday and I'd done weight training on Friday, so I could skip my Saturday workout and things would be okay.

Fully intending to wake early Sunday morning and get in a mile before church, when the alarm went off at 5:30, I heard it. And for about two minutes, I was considering getting up. Then I realized that I was more sore from Friday's workout than the day before and I rolled over and slept another hour.

Then comes Monday. Since the towns on either side of us got 13.4 inches of snow and 13.9 inches of snow, Jon's boss called and told him to stay home till noon. The boys were already out of school for President's Day (first time EVER they got that!). The next justification for me was that it's harder to work out when the house is full of people. I can't use the upstairs TV because there isn't room and the downstairs TV is stuck on the Disney Channel. (Not actually. hahaha) Jon's at the computer so I'm just gonna be bothering him if I get on the treadmill.

On and on and on.

And you know what automatically happens when I don't get in my workouts? I don't eat well either. Imagine that. So I'm here to report that the last three days has been filled with pasta dishes and pretzels and barely any vegetables.

And I wonder why I'm feeling gross. Geesh.

But no more. Today is a new day. And to make up for my shortcomings the last few days, I'm getting in THREE miles on the treadmill as soon as I finish this post.

Oh, and I bought a new scale. And it weighs four tenths heavier than the scale at my doctor's office. But I'm vowing not to obsess about that. And I need to maybe start taking Evening Primrose Oil...anyone take it? Trying to do my own research on that one..... And eliminate caffeine and caffeine seems to be my lifeline to keep this up these days...any tips?

So much to catch up on and Caleb's ninth birthday is Friday. But I'm off to the treadmill before another excuse appears! Have a great day!

18 February 2011

a little perspective

Alternately titled: Never give up.


Friends are good, huh? If you're lucky enough to have friends that cheer you on when you do well, you're just that. Lucky.

If you're fortunate enough to have friends to talk you out of eating that entire pint of ice cream and just forgetting about this entire process because it's just too hard, you're blessed indeed.

I am blessed with such friends.

And these friends have offered me valuable perspective in my various times of need. Sort of a "look at the glass as half full, not half empty" type of thing. Imagine my surprise when such a thing starts to occur in my brain, by itself.

Big stuff, I tell ya.

Here's an example. Before Christmas, it was nearly impossible for me to walk on the treadmill for twenty-two minutes and complete an entire mile in said time. I wasn't even considering adding a second mile; good grief.

Eight weeks and four days later, I can complete a mile in 15:01. And there are running sprints in there too, you know. And twice a week I even add a second mile. I'm also doing weight training and have been able to increase the heaviness of the weights.

In eight weeks and four days.

I had a wonderful lunch with my husband prior to my appointment with my doctor yesterday. I ordered my favorite burger, cut it in half, pulled two french fries from the basket and set the rest aside. I ate that and two onion rings from the appetizer, drank my one diet Coke and I was full. Honest. Granted, the burgers are fairly large, but still.

And better yet, I stopped eating. And I didn't feel guilty about leaving those fries because I don't really like them anyway. I did save the other half of my burger, but I had Jon take it to the office to put in the fridge so it didn't spoil while I ran errands after my appointment and he forgot to bring it home last night.

Please bring home my leftovers tonight, babe. I wanna enjoy the second act. Thank you.

And the other thing. Remember how I was totally obsessing the other day? Well, did you catch how I said that I had lunch prior to my appointment? Yeah. Totally worth it but at least in part to blame for me not seeing the number I was hoping for at the doctor's office. Super close; 170.6, which for the record, goes down as 170 in my chart.

But here's the thing. As deeply disappointed as I was at not cracking 170, and I had to force myself to not cry and to answer all the nurse's questions accurately, when she left the room a thought occurred to me.

What if I ask Doc about my last recorded weight?

So, three or seventeen minutes later, I could barely contain myself when he said "Do you have any questions for me?" To which I blurted out "I'm dying to know what the last recorded weight you have for me is...cuz I'm working on that, you know."

It takes him getting into the computer records to find it, but when he does, I nearly hugged him.

"Oh my," he says. "You were at one ninety-nine on your last visit." Then he looks down at his paper and says "And one seventy today, you really are working on it, aren't you? Good for you!"

And then he circled it and I nearly fainted. Circles are like yellow textbook highlighters to doctors, you know.

So I didn't get to the 160's in the timeframe that I set for myself. But I'm so close I can taste it. Then the next decade and the next and the next. I may even not get there before another birthday is upon me, but I will get there.

Never give up.

Speechless*




*yesterday morning, as I was driving into town.

IN WISCONSIN.

On freakin' FEBRUARY 17th.

Come on, Spring!

17 February 2011

only a number...really.

Why is it that a piece of equipment can have so much effect on how we feel about ourselves?

I'm seeing my family doctor this morning for a checkup. Every time I'm in his office with one of the boys, he says "You know, you really should come in for an appointment." And I say "Yes, Doc, I will" and I leave his office without making an appointment.

The last time I saw him for myself, it was actually my hip pain that drove me to his office. Well, the car drove me, or rather, I drove the car.....geesh, you know what I mean. That was a year ago last October.

I hate going into his office for myself because I hate the "getting on the scale" part. When I said as much to a dear friend this week, she said "That's the reason I don't usually look." That stupid scale has to be loaded with either lead or bricks, it seems to always be heavier than my home scale.

And the number is always too high.

Then there's the matter of me being in his office for the hip pain and Doc saying to me "You know, if you lost weight, you will find that maybe you don't have as much trouble." And don't tell him, but I have found that 20+ pounds lighter, I am having less trouble with my sciatic pain. It's not gone altogether and probably won't be when I get to "goal", but it is lessened.

But there's that number.

Part of me doesn't want to look. That part knows that if it's anything more than 169 (or less), I'm gonna cry all the way home. That part knows that when my home scale went in the trash a month ago, the number was 174 and by no means would only a five pound loss be acceptable in a month. That part will be the super loud voice in my head that taunts me to "just give up" again. That part would therefore, most likely, eat that pint of ice cream in the freezer and then feel worse. And vow to "never get on the treadmill again, it didn't work anyway."

That part's pretty dominate, can you tell? Stupid.

The other part of me wants to see. I have been busting my butt for the last eight and a half freaking weeks. No less than four workouts a week; cardio and weights and sometimes both in the same day.

My pant size (at least my work pants) changed, I'm able to wear smaller shirts, and it'll be really soon that I have to go shopping for smaller bras. (I've been putting the bra shopping off but sooner or later, it's gonna be a necessity.)

Shouldn't that translate into the smaller number on the scale? You'd think so, huh?

To be honest, I'll probably cry all the way home either way.

16 February 2011

15 February 2011

plan of attack

I let myself get too hungry last night and then got home late and ate too much for dinner.

The positive? I had completed a weight-training workout before going to work yesterday morning. That's good, right?

Jon got me a "gift" for Valentines day. He comes in the room and says "I know you're on a diet, but...."

The rest of the words were something about calories not counting on Valentines Day.

Then he produced a pint of my favorite flavor of full-fat, calorie-laden, easy-to-start-but-hard-to-stop-eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Part of me was thrilled and the other part was MAD.

(My 8th grade science teacher used to say that dogs get mad, people get angry. But part of me was MAD.)

What's he trying to do, sabotage my efforts? He knows I'm busting my butt. He knows I've been working hard to reduce my pant size. Doesn't he know that I am such a black or white dieter that I can't afford to even look at this ice cream for fear I'll be scraping the bottom of the pint in ten minutes?

But let's be real; It's not like I'm never, ever gonna eat ice cream again. That wouldn't really be very realistic, now would it?

So, here's the plan, Stan. (My Dad's gonna be proud of me...he loves a plan.)

Three bites. That should be just enough. Eating a bit without getting carried away will be key.

And maybe I can play a game and see how long it'll actually take me to eat the entire pint. My record for speed in consuming a pint is somewhere around 30 minutes. No kidding.

And to Jon...thanks for the ice cream, babe. I'm grateful that you thought of me. This will force me to conquer the beast. And this'll be good for me.

But next time? Go with the flowers.

14 February 2011

On the Menu Monday

Good Monday morning, friends! How was your weekend? Mine went quickly; working all day on Saturday and then the usual Sunday activities helps that. Jon and I did get in our Valentine's date on Sunday afternoon while the boys were occupied with a youth sledding event. It was so nice to have a meal and not have to hear someone whine about not getting to sit by me. :-)

This week is extra busy too it seems as I'm working Monday, having coffee with a friend and working the evening shift on Tuesday and working nine hours on Wednesday. Then Thursday, I have a doctor's appointment and we're headed to Winneconne in the evening for a band event. And I'm working the weekend too. Whew.

And you know what comes in handy on weeks like this? My crockpot, of course. And I'm lucky enough to own a copy of Fix It And Forget It Lightly for the slow cooker. It's a collection of healthy recipes for the slowcooker and it's a great resource. And today, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorites from the book. With my own adaptations, of course.



Veggie Goulash
1 lb. extra lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (recipe called for kidney beans)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped (E would leave this out! HA!)
1 15oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 T. sugar
1 T. worchestershire sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in crock and cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Easy, peasy!

10 February 2011

what you see

There is no such thing as a full-length mirror in this house. In fact, I haven't really seen anything from my neck down in a mirror in a couple of years, unless you count seeing my reflection in a store window from time to time and thinking "holy crap!" (sorry, Mom). We had a full-length mirror that I avoided at all cost, but it was one of those cheap $5 ones and it separated from the frame so we finally ditched it when we moved here two years ago.

The medicine cabinet mirror in the bathroom is 18"x12" at best, and positioned just so that I think it's too high to see anything and Jon complains of it being too low.

Darn that 12" height difference, heehee.

But you know where there are mirrors? Work. That's right. The top third of the back wall is covered with mirror so that the clerk up front can pretty much see almost everything going on in the aisle.

And there are mirrors in the bathrooms that it's my job to clean on the nights I close the cosmetics department.

And I've seen my reflection whether I wanted to or not.

That used to be an automatic "or not". But I've been working out a minimum of 4 days a week for the last six to eight weeks and I can tell from what I can see that certain things about my body are changing.

Yesterday, I caught some reflection of my torso in the television screen and thought, "gee, it does kinda look thinner". Jon tells me it is, but as my husband, his opinion doesn't hold as much weight as he'd like to think. But that's an issue in my head entirely.

I made the HUGE mistake (pun slightly intended) of never taking my measurements when I started working out. And I'm regretting that now, for sure, let me tell ya. I don't own a scale right now either, so I'm relying solely on my clothes; some days that's good, other days, that's frustrating.

I'm scheduled to see my doctor next week for a physical, something I haven't done in at least three years. And I know for a fact when I saw him sixteen months ago that when I got on the scale at his office the nurse said "one eighty-seven" and I rolled my eyes and cringed.

I'd love to go to Dr. S's office next week and crack the 160's, although with my clothes on, I probably won't. But even some progress according to his scale will be good, right?

I think that on my way home from that appointment, I'm getting a full length mirror.

08 February 2011

Furnace

I have two siblings. I have a brother, Dan, who's nine and a half years younger than I am and a sister, Heather, who was born one day before I turned exactly three and a half.

I have pretty distinct memories of Mom being pregnant with Daniel and seeing the first picture ever taken of him and then Mom and Dad bringing him home. I was in third grade and my classmates and I made a banner to welcome Mom and Daniel home. Actually, what is says is "Welcome - we love you! - Home!" Or something like that. There's a picture in one of Mom's photo albums of the banner hanging off the old entertainment center.

Memories of when Heather was born, not so much. Not any, in fact. Unlike my husband who boasts that he can remember living in Canada where he was born and then moved away from before he turned three, I have no such powers of memory. Much.

She's always just been there. We played together for hours with our dolls in the basement in the house in Arnold. We were allowed to go to the park by ourselves and play. (You could see most of the park from the house less than a block away.) Sometimes Dad would even come with us to the park and push us "underdog" style on the swings. He's six foot tall, we were impressed with the height he could make us fly.

When we moved to Columbus, Nebraska when I was in fourth grade we got separate bedrooms. I was mostly down with that, Heather not so much, so most Friday nights after school she'd spend the night in my room.

We suffered some typical separation when we moved to Illinois and I attended high school. You know teenagers, they don't necessarily want to hang out with the little sister who's still in grade school. I mean, come on.

To be fair, I didn't really like anyone except my friends all those years, so it wasn't her. It really wasn't.

She was the first person who was a passenger when I bought my first car. (If you don't count Dad, who was with me when I bought it.)

No relationship is perfect. We've had our down moments, even as adults. But she's my sister. If you have one, maybe you get it.

This last weekend, Heather was admitted to the hospital. Many things were unknown and as much as Mom and Dad tried to put me at ease, I do NOT typically cope well with the distance from here to there when something's going on with a member of my family.

She's my sister.

Doctors discovered a cyst. Then she was going to be moved to the University of Michigan Medical Center for surgery. Then she wasn't. Could it just be a benign cyst? (The size of a FOOTBALL, by the way) Could it be cancer? No one really knew anything.

Pastor's been doing a sermon series on "knowing God". A week ago last Sunday, he touched on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; specifically what they said to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter three.

"if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:17-18 NIV

My family's been in the furnace this week. And Heather's not necessarily out of the woods yet, even as things "looked good" according to the surgeon; we're still waiting a few days for the pathology report.

But we serve a big God. And that isn't going to change.

07 February 2011

Happy Monday!


photo credit here


Well, maybe not if you bleed Black and Gold.
But if you bleed GREEN AND GOLD like me, it's a GREAT DAY! The Lombardi Trophy is COMING HOME!!
(in case you live under a rock and didn't see ANY television coverage in the last 24 hours. heehee)
Brett who???

04 February 2011

Seven Quick Takes- Happier & Healthier Edition


1. I caught my reflection in the mirror at work this week, or rather, stopped to look at it, and it sure looks to me like I'm getting smaller. That's making all the time I've spent panting and sweating on the treadmill almost worth it.

2. I'm noticing that the better I eat, the better I want to eat. That's amusing to me. I made a run to the grocery store last night after work and I was actually craving salad. So I bought some ready to eat greens and had a large bowl of greens with a Smart Ones steak flatbread sandwich. Tasty stuff, I tell ya.

3. Water, water, water. We bought a Brita pitcher to keep water in the fridge and that's been the best thing- to be able to grab a cold glass of water whenever I get thirsty. Now if I can always drink more water in a day than Diet Coke.

4. I'm trying like heck to break the 16 minute mile pace on the treadmill. It's tough, but I'm not giving up. Two miles at a time, I'm building endurance and it feels great to take out some of my frustrations of the workday pounding the deck with the music loud.

5. Someone left a magazine on the break table that I'd been perusing the last few days. It's a health and fitness one, although I don't remember the name. But one thing I was reading really stood out to me.

"It's your mind- not your body- that will either help you to succeed or doom you to failure."

6. If you don't read Prior Fat Girl, you need to. It's a great blog where several ladies contribute regularly about their weight loss and healthiness journeys. I don't even remember how I found the blog, but I've read every post for the last several weeks and it's really been a helpful tool for me to keep myself on track.

7. I think that the best thing that I can do for my boys is to be healthier. To make time for my workouts even if that means closing myself off for the first half hour after I get home at night or the first part of the morning to get in some time on the treadmill. I'm getting healthier (slowly), I'm happier with myself and my appearance and overall everything will come together in time. It's a good thing.

03 February 2011

big girl panties

You know what happens when you get full of yourself and rock the boat? You just so happen to get the extra hours you asked for, but they're all the crap ones that no one else will do without whining., ie: 4:30- 10pm on a week night and three Saturdays in a row.

But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes you have to be an adult and just deal; rather than "I don't really like this, so I think I'll quit". That's what the kids do when they wanna go to a New Year's Eve party and got scheduled and can't twist anyone's arm hard enough to get rid of the shift.

So, since I really need this job, and aside from the late nights, I really do like it, I'll put on my happy face and charge through.

But I don't plan to ask for anything ever again.

01 February 2011

cheering section

Do you have any idea how important the support of others is on a journey to get healthy?

HUGE, I tell you. At least it is for me.

I don't own a scale at the moment, so I really have no idea how my workouts are working by the numbers. And maybe I don't really want to know. Maybe this whole "throw out the scale and go by my clothes" thing is something I should have done a long time ago.

But while I don't have a scale, I appreciate other things. Like my coworker Kayla telling me that she can see that I'm losing and that my new pants are cute.

Like Grandma Jo telling me that I'm SO skinny. heee, heee. Maybe not, I hadn't seen her in months, but I'll take it.


My friend Esther told me she could see it in my face. Then I went home and looked in the mirror and I could (sorta) see it too.

Carrie said "Hey, you're getting healthy and that's important."

Jon says my waist is smaller. I haven't actually had a waist in several years, so it's a start. (ahem)

Even from my facebook friends; I've gotten in the habit of posting my mile (or two mile) times and as they're going down, I'm getting support. It feels great and gives me the boost to keep going.

Sometimes I think "Is that bragging? Do I really need to post my time? And does anyone actually care?" And then I think, sure it's bragging, but it's about doing something good for myself, and as my times are getting lower, it's keeping me on track. And I'm sure that several of my posts are not getting attention from some, and that's okay. Those that are posting are very encouraging to me and it helps SO much.

There is no "I" in TEAM, you know, and they're like my little team.

You know who you are. And thanks.