Saturday, May 30, 2009

School's Out!

Ahhhhhh. School is out and testing is OVER for this year! Hall-ee-lu-yah! Even though I work through the summer, not having kids on campus is a nice break. I already feel better and I'm ready to get serious about losing some more weight. I haven't really tried in a couple of months and I feel like my mid-section is giving me the "eye."

I think I need to remind myself why I want to lose weight in the first place. A few good reasons come to mind:

Be healthier

Look better

Shop in regular stores

Live longer

Wear sexy shoes

Look better

Go kayaking

Ride my bike faster

Not be worried about where I sit

Not the fatty in the room

Sitting at a booth without squeezing myself into it

I could go on, but I think those kinda hit all the high points. I feel like I've been in a rut lately about my eating so I'm going to try something different. Not to be a copy-cat, but I love the way some of you post pics of what you eat at each meal, so I'm going to try doing that next week. I try to remember everything I eat so I can log it at but by the time I get around to logging it in, I forget some of what I've eaten. Posting the pics will also make me be more accountable in my choices.

Changing the subject, but I think I'm obsessed with Venice. Today while eating my breakfast (at 10:30am, love Saturday) I watched a great foreign film called "Bread and Tulips". It is a sweet movie about a woman giving her life a new beginning. Kinda how I'm feeling these days. The photography was perfect and I got to see so much more of Venice than I did on the cruise. The subtitles were easy to follow. If you can find it, rent it!

Hope your weekend is a good one. By the way, I haven't said thanks to you guys lately for being such good friends! Your support is what gets me up and going some days!

Oh yeah, don't forget to drink your water!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Good Things

Don't you love a three day weekend? I do. They're still not long enough but an extra day off is one of my favorite things! I did some cleaning and some yard work. Watched "A Love Song for Bobby Long" which is surprisingly good. I didn't know much about it before renting it and I love it when the movie turns out to be worth it. I never pay much attention to reviews. Cinematography, music, and believable characters. Those are things I look for in a movie and this movie has it all. Click here for a peek.

This weekend I got back in the kitchen and made an awesome quinoa salad. So good I wanted to eat it ALL. I got the recipe a long time ago from Weight Watchers when I was an online member. It doesn't have the nutritional breakdown, but does have the WW points. Here's the recipe:

As usual, I tweaked it some. Like cutting down on the salt and olive oil. I used store brand black olives and less cumin than the recipe listed. That's just the way I roll in the kitchen but you might like it just the way it is. Do try it. Also, I used the quinoa that is already rinsed (as I'm still taking the easy route these days!). The brand is Ancient Harvest Quinoa and you can find it in most stores or here.

Today was "teacher appreciation day" at work. The parents association provided us with a delish lunch from Goode Co. (a great local bbq place) including pecan pie. To make up for the pie I rode my bike this evening. At 7:30 it was really nice out so the ride was great.

Sometimes the unexpected is a good thing. Life is full of the unexpected. We have to be flexible and learn to go with it. Have a great hump day and don't forget to drink your water!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sad, Stressed, and Parched

Today my 16 year old kitty went to kitty heaven. She was a good old girl with a sweet, soft, tender little mew. She had a litter of kittens before we could get her fixed and we didn't even know she was pregnant. She wasn't even a year old so we thought we had time. Then we found her kittens in the dog house, of all places. Anyway, I will miss her sweet little self. She was never pushy and always appreciative of any attention she was given. She lived a good long life.

I proctored the mother of all AP exams today, Spanish Language. I get so tense when we have to do these since we don't have a language lab. We set up speakers in the gym and petition it off so the students can hear the CD and record themselves on a tape. There's usually some snaffu but today everything went fine! It took a long time and I'm really tired, but glad it's done.
Friday I have one more AP exam to give and I'm done. We had to do late exams since we were closed for the Swine Flue deal. See, I knew that would come back to haunt me!
So this week has not been good diet-wise, again. My schedule has been crazy, forced to grab a bite in between exams and then stress eating at night. All should be back to normal next week and I have my sights set on healthy planning and eating and lots of pedaling.
I've not been drinking all my water while doing these tests (not a good time for frequent bathroom visits) so I'm feeling it. Bloated and sluggish.
Have a great Friday and drink lots of nice cool water!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Well, now I'm not so sure.

I used to like cooking. I mean nothing got me more excited than a new recipe. So this weekend I went shopping for the ingredients for a dish I wanted to cook. I bought all the fixins and went to chopping and stirring and baking and cleaning up all the dang mess. I must try to use every utensil in the drawer.

After it was done, I ate a serving and it tasted okay. I mean it was good, sorta like a Mexican lasagna (corn tortillas, chicken, cheese, green chilies, in a sour cream sauce). My son came in later and ate some; he liked it a lot. I just didn't get that overall joy that I used to get when I cooked. Maybe it's because I don't cook that often anymore. Maybe it's because my son is hardly ever there to eat anything. Maybe it's because my mom is picky and doesn't ever think I wash my hands enough. Maybe I just don't like it. Anyway, it just wasn't fun.

I am going to make a veggie dish this week that has quinoa in it. I love that stuff so maybe it will be worth the effort. Otherwise, I think I'm giving up the apron and going one step further than just buying precut veggies. Maybe I'll just buy TV dinners, lol.

Have a good week everyone. We had a cool front come through here and it feels fantastic outside. Like a cool Pacific coast breeze. That reminds me, don't forget to hydrate!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mystery Solved!

If you've read my blog in the past you might remember that I've posted some pics of a trip I took in 2005. I went on a cruise and one of the stops was Venice. I love Venice and want to go back some day. Anyway, while I was there, I kept seeing these big red penguins (see picture) placed on some of the balconies of some of the hotels and other buildings. Honestly, ever since then I've wondered what the heck they were all about.

Well, the strangest thing happened today. I was visiting a favorite photo blog called Paris Daily Photo, and wahl-la, mystery solved. An Italian artist group called "The Cracking Art Group" makes huge plastic animals, exhibits them and then recycles them when they are done. Their penguins were in Venice when I was there! I am so excited to finally know why there were big red penguins everywhere. Well, I still don't know why they were there, but at least I know who put them there!

Have a great Saturday and don't forget to drink your water!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ahem, what kind of blog is this?

A weight loss blog, you say? Really? I'm not seein' it. That little ticker over there hasn't moved in a while. What's up with that?

I have to admit that even though I've been saying I'm back on track, I've not really given it my all over the last month or two. Yes, work has been hectic and it's dang hot outside now, but those are not good enough reasons to put my weight loss efforts on hold.

At work I am very organized and detailed. It's what I have to be everyday or I can really screw things up. When I go home I just want to coast. Relax. Not cook and not cut up veggies or think about what I "need" to eat for dinner. I don't make bad choices, but I'm not working hard at losing. You know what I mean. The small sacrifices we make like choosing fruit over ice cream (even if it is diet). I keep telling myself that after this month when all the testing is over at school and the calendar is all set for next year, I'll be more focused on me. I hope I'm listening!

This week I have been for two bike rides so far. Woo Hoo! Normally, I ride everyday, but for the last few weeks I skipped it all together. Excuse? Tired. Overworked. Brain-dead. Whatever. Not good. It would be nice to have a workout buddy. Someone to say "come on, let's go!" But I can't let that be an excuse either. Needless to say, I did not ride my bike to work like I had planned. I'm sure the motorists are glad of that! Cars seem to hate bikes on the road. They don't really bother me, but that may be because I like to ride and I'm not usually in a big hurry to get to point B.

So, what kind of blog is this? It's a blog about change and choices that ultimately lead to weight-loss. It's me trying to get it through my thick skull that I really do want to be thinner. That I deserve it and it's okay to put myself first. That is a change in itself that is hard for me.

Put yourself first. It will be okay. Drink lots of water today and everyday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blog Award!

Lee, over at Lee Getting Fit, has passed on The Super Blogger Award to me! That was so sweet of her! I don't think I've ever gotten a blogger award before. Lee started her blog out just to help her reach her goal, but she's helping keep me and many other readers well informed. I don't know how she does it, but there are days when she shares something that is just what I needed to know!

Now the hard part about getting this award is passing it on to only five more well deserving bloggers. Hmmm, I've been looking around and some of my favs have been given this award already! Anyway, here are some Super Bloggers to check out if you haven't already:

Losing Waist

Here’s what you do when you have received the “Super Blogger” award:

-Tape it up on your blog somewhere.

-Pass it along to 5 fellow super bloggers, and comment on their blog to let them know how lucky they are today!

-When you present your Super Blogger awards, link back to the super blogger who gave it to you.

I'm enjoying the "sisterhood" as Lee calls it and am looking forward to getting to know more Super Bloggers! The encouraging words and support are priceless!

NOTE: I didn't know that Ria's blog was invitation only so I'm adding another great blogger to receive the award. MaryFran at A New Start: Losing Weight! She's a fellow biker!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May is National Bike Month!

I got my newsletter from Adventure Cycling today and found out it's National Bike Month. I had no idea! I've been so busy at work and tired when I get home that I just can't seem to get out there and ride. I know I need to. And I'd feel better, too, I'm sure of that.

Next week is Bike to Work week. I don't have to proctor any tests on Wednesday so I might try riding to work! I've never done it before. I only live 4 miles from the school and I can take short cuts through some neighborhoods so that would keep me out of most of the traffic. The only thing I'm worried about is the ride home in the afternoon. We are getting summer temps now and by 4pm it's freakin' hot outside. I've always wanted to do it, though. I'm going to be thinking positive thoughts and talk myself into it!

Biking is my choice for cardio because walking makes my knees hurt. I guess since my cartilage is shot and, duh, I'm still really big the knees protest! I've always been a slow walker anyway and riding a bike is like flying. I change gears to make pedaling harder or easier depending on how much of a workout I'm aiming for. I ride on the (very flat) streets here in Houston so hills are never an issue.

If you haven't been on a bike lately, get yours out or borrow one and give it a go. There's nothing like a good bike ride to get ya going. It's good for your legs, butt, core, and arms.

Happy pedaling! Take some water with you while your out there riding!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Starting the day off right.

This morning I got up and cut up some celery. Now to most of you that doesn't sound like such a big deal, but I'm not a morning person so cutting up a bunch of celery before 7am is kinda out of the norm for moi. I bought the celery a few days ago and never got around to cutting and washing it.

I keep procrastinating about my diet. I went shopping a few days ago while we were off (due to the H1N1 scare) and the veggies and fruits are still in the fridge. Waiting. Waiting for me to get my act together and get chopping!

And ya know, after starting my day chopping fresh produce, I was more motivated to eat healthy today. I mindfully ate my two boiled eggs and drank my V8 this morning. Then at lunch I mindfully ate my cheese, lettuce & tomato sandwich on wheat with a side salad of spinach and strawberries. This afternoon I had some peanut butter with that celery that I cut up this morning. And for dinner it's baked chicken and veggies (not sure which ones yet).

I'm not saying I'll chop produce every morning. But now that I've had positive results from such a simple little activity, ya just never know!

Do what works. And don't forget to drink your water!

Monday, May 4, 2009

To good to be true.

We got the all clear from the health department for faculty and staff to return to school tomorrow. Students will return Wednesday. I was afraid that would happen. I think I jinxed it by getting so excited about some unexpected time off. Drat. Oh, well. It was nice to be off a few days, at least. Now we have to have a day to plan how we will finish the year out. Rescheduling events is my thing so I'll be busy switching things around.

It's getting hot here in Houston. Temps today are around 86 for the high. The humidity is lower than normal and that makes it really nice to be in the shade outside. I'll be spending some time in my swing today while the dogs soak up some sun.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch or you'll be disappointed. I need to drink some water. How about you?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Remembering Venice.

I'm such a night owl. Here it is Saturday night at midnight and I'm finally getting around to posting something. Today was busy with dog washing, house cleaning, cat puke clean-up (sorry, that was uncalled for) and movie watching.

The dogs are squeaky clean and smelling fresh. They really needed a bath and my dear son never seems to "have time." He is busy but I let him off easy, I know. Whatever, he's my only kid and I guess he's worth it.

The poor kitty is old and won't be with us much longer I'm afraid. She must be about 15 now. I love having pets but it sure is hard when they get old and death takes it's time. I just hope she's not feeling as bad as she looks, bless her little heart.

We watched Sahara with Matthew McConaughey. It was a nice bit of entertainment and he wasn't bad to look at either. He's a Texas boy so he must be okay, right?
I went on a cruise a few years ago and one of the stops was Venice. One thing I've learned about cruises is, I don't like that you only get one day when they make a stop. Not enough time for me. I like to check a place out off the beaten path. Next time (if I ever get the chance) I would like to stay a few days. Here are a few of my favorite pics from that trip.

Hope you're having a good weekend. Get some things done or just relax, whatever makes you happy. Just don't forget to drink your water!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I know I shouldn't, but...

I'm doin' the happy dance! The CDC has told our head of school that we have to be closed for 14 days since we had a student test positive for the 2009 H1N1. I don't know what all this will mean for us in the long run, but right now I am happy as a pig in a mud puddle! We're supposed to return May 14th! No AP proctoring for me next week! WooHoo!

I kinda think this flu thing is creating a bigger panic than is necessary, but I do understand that we need to be careful. Some people never wash their hands (yuk!) and I've been around people that never cover their mouths or even turn their heads when coughing. I went to nursing school (never got to finish, drat) and that's where I learned the importance of good handwashing techniques. It really does make a difference in the control of some germs.

Since I was off yesterday I went for a haircut (just a trim) and today went to get an oil change in my car. It was so nice to leisurely get some things done during the day. I didn't have to wait even 5 minutes either day. In Houston you have to wait for everything if it's after the workday ends. And Saturday, well, you can just imagine it, can't ya?
Hooray, it's Friday! Hooray, all in my family are healthy! Please take care of yourself and your family during this high stress flu thing. Wash your hands and drink plenty of water!