Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Primal Stride Challenge: 5 at 5

Challenge: 5 at 5...5k at 5a.m. for 7 days beginning Jan. 1
I will wake up and walk for 1 hour or 3 miles, whichever comes first.
It might be nice to walk in the snow. In the dark. Alone.
(Mom, Dad, don't read this).

I'm not good with change. The desire is there, especially during quiet moments like going to bed or sitting in church. Once I get up (and running behind), I'm on automatic and just do what I see in front of me that needs to be done (feed kids and the pets, clean this and that, etc). And, because I usually don't see me in front of me, I don't get done. So, as far as working out, before I can step it up, I have to have something to step up.

I'm trying to figure out how fit fitness around my busy life. Maybe what I should be doing is trying to fit my life around fitness.

Maybe this challenge will be good for me. Change things up a bit.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Frontier House

I may have mentioned this before: I like cooking, but I don't like doing it three times a day everyday of the week (plus snacks). Now, with trying to add good stuff to the bad and phasing out the bad, I find it very time-consuming. I will keep going, though, believing it will become second-nature. Maybe then it (healthy cooking) will go faster once I'm good at it.

That's the plan, anyway.

Have you seen the PBS show Frontier House? They took modern people and had them live in a recreated 1880's frontier with most of its challenges. I watched it many years ago. One thing I remember about it is one of the characters, I think it was Kristen, commenting on how she's in the "kitchen" almost all day. She's up early preparing the first meal of the day, and by the time she's done cleaning up after it, it's time to begin preparing the next meal...three times a day. She had very little time for herself.

I know I have modern conveniences and don't have to grow my own food, haul water from the creek or start and keep a fire-pit going, but I have days when I feel I'm in the kitchen almost all day making healthy home-cooked meals and cleaning up after them. It gets old. Actually, it's my attitude that gets old. I wish I had a better attitude and excitement towards these life changes while I'm chopping away.

The pioneers (and other cultures/times) had to spend that much time on cooking because it's a matter of survival. Well, Gina, isn't paying attention and time to what you and your family eat also a matter of survival? Isn't it worth the time and effort?

Something else that struck me about the show was the wedding cake for Kristen and her fiance. Sugar was scarce during those times. The different families all donated some sugar and rationed eggs for the cake. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all during the celebration. They savored it. The sweet treat was a rarity. The ingredients were real.

I wish I could do the same.

Shifting gears:

Bring on the water. I noticed last month I did so well and felt better overall when I increased the amount of water I drank. I let that goal slip when I was remodeling (lazy about frequent bathroom breaks). So, tomorrow, bottoms-up!

Spiritual mini-goal: I have a couple of daily-devotional books that my parents gave me years ago. I'll start reading them in the morning. They are quick and easy and will at least put something positive into my sleepy head. I'll follow that with a personal prayer.

I found my thankful journal. I'll start that, again, too, and shift it over to mental/emotional mini-fitness goals. First thing I'll enter is that I'm thankful to have food three times a day.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just Feel It

Something upsetting happened Christmas Eve regarding my weight. I didn't react to it when it happened. However, I mentioned it in a comment on another's blog at a later time, and the tears just came. I said I didn't want to write about it on my own blog because it was too emotionally painful. (Just bury it and forget it).

I later realized this is exactly what this blog is for: it's a safe place to feel emotions and work them out. I bury emotions in food and sometimes numb myself from them. Gina, it's okay to feel the hurt feelings. Deal with them.

Here it is:

I was opening a food gift: an assortment of nuts, dried fruit, bagel chips, and chocolate this-n-that. As I was oo-ing and aw-ing the goodies, my 10-yr old son, Thomas, matter-of-factly said, "Don't eat all of that. You're overweight."

Everyone stopped and just looked at him. My 8 yr. old daughter put her hand on my back. Then Thomas said, "No offense."

I continued on as if nothing happened.

I was embarrassed. I was irrationally angry with my husband. I wanted to hide. I jumped to the conclusion that my son was ashamed of me.

But I ignored those feelings and continued on. Sure, it wasn't the time nor place to discuss it, but I just buried the feelings instead of at least acknowledging their existence. (Not sure if that makes sense).

Yesterday, I spoke quietly and alone with Thomas. I wanted to give him a chance to talk to me without all eyes on him and to see if there's more he wanted to say. I asked him why he told me not to eat the gift. He said, "I want you to be happy." He added that I wasn't happy being overweight. I asked if he thought I'd be happier if I was healthier. "Yes."

It dawned on me that he has snuggled next to me in the past while I've written posts for this blog. He sits and reads what I write. His comment simply came from the heart after learning about me.

Now...about those irrational feelings of anger towards my husband after Thomas's comment:
Danny and I have had fights in the past about my gaining weight, and it continues to be a sore spot for me. When Thomas said the remark Christmas Eve, I instantaneously felt that Danny taught by example that it was okay to speak to me that way.

Danny has learned to not take my weight-gain personally (if you loved me you'd lose the weight) and has emerged to be a more supportive husband instead of condemning.

I hope I can be more aware of my feelings and find a better way to deal with them (before mindlessly eating junk). I'll find a way, I know...I feel it.


There's so much going on in my brain; it's just one jumbled mess. I'll put some of it into the blog. It may not make much sense, but at least I can rest my brain.

I went to church today and enjoyed it very much. It was so positive and uplifting. One of the messages was about having a change of heart, and the speaker likened it to heart replacement surgery and how to protect it. I desire a change of heart/attitude.

{Oh, man, I don't even know how to say what I want to say. I can't think when I believe hard-to-form thoughts are going to be interrupted any second}.

[time lapse]

I'm empty {okayeee...(eyes rolling)...not my belly, that's full of holiday junk).

Spiritually empty. Emotionally empty. THAT kind of stuff. As I mention in my little title-thingy up there I also am seeking spiritual and emotional fitness. As of yet, I haven't done much for those, except for my thankful journal (and I'm not really sure where that is right now, come to think of get the picture of my diligence and state-of-mind).

{And if/when I speak of spiritual fitness, I may have my own way of getting to it...although I'm at this moment not sure how...but I also respect others' methods/religion}.

what comes first? will spiritual fitness come after I'm physically fit? will emotional fitness be a by-product of spiritual exercise? I bet all three have to be balanced and worked on at the same time. Not sure how to do that. I'm thinking about setting up mini-fitness goals for those things, too. Baby steps.

I don't have to get it right the first time. Practice.
I don't have to get it right the second time. Practice.

Set up a plan. Practice it. Tweek it. Try, again. Practice being fit. Practice making choices for health.

I know, I'm going on a "practice" tangent. It's just something Diane from Fit to the Finish said in the last paragraph of her post about practice. It got me pondering.

So, so tired. Holidays are catching up with me. Sugar is catching up with me. The jumbled mess remains in my brain, but it's looking pretty bad here, too. Must sleep, though (after midnight). Good night..........

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December Report

Weight: 205 (up), Belly: 40 (same), BMI 31.2 (up)

I expected the higher numbers. I've been focused on other things. Without good habits established, it was all too easy to slip back into poor habits. Surprisingly, I'm not that upset. Am I numb?

My cycle started today, too. I'm putting some the the responsibility of the 8 pounds on that.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Barn Raising

It's finished! We needed a guest room for my parents when they came for Christmas. Danny wanted a barn-theme. It's nothing you would find on HGTV or BH&G, but it's our quirky personality and fun.

It originally had white walls and dark army-green carpet. The carpet was actually repeatedly marked/stained by our sick cat, Daisy, 16, who was put to sleep last month. Couldn't remove the stench. We tore out the carpet and put in new flooring. Now it just looks like a barn instead of smelling like one.

The "Lamb of God" print is by Liz Lemon Swindle (it's of Christ at age 12 making the pilgrimage for passover and carrying the sacrificial lamb...a lamb which he probably raised and loved). I am so touched by the symbolism. (I made the frame).

We also made the bed's platform and lamp shade for my grandma's antique lamp.

The room was a pleasure to work on, but I completely neglected myself. I'm actually tired of junk food. I even ordered a salad (or reasonable facsimile) at McDonalds. I went grocery shopping yesterday, bought lots of veggies and fruit, and may start cooking, again.

I didn't watch any tv and typically don't. I don't even know when Oprah is on, or for that matter, what channel she's on (I used to watch her a couple of states ago...we move a lot). The only thing I did watch during the barn-raising was Prison Break. My husband bought the season 3 dvd, and at the end of the long day we'd get our PB fix (and no commercials).

I haven't even decorated for Christmas, yet. The tree has been up for weeks, but the ornaments are still in the garage. But, my parents are here now and have a comfy place to sleep.

I worked hard on that guest room. Imagine how I'd feel and look if I put that much effort into my health. I better get crackin' before I become the size of a barn.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Focus Pocus

we started a remodeling project a few days ago, and I'm so excited about it. I love wood. I love tools. I love paint. (Ahrr Ahrr Ahrr! how do you write the sound Tim Taylor of Tool Time makes?)

I could work all day on it. I'd rather do that than eat, sleep, or (sadly) shower.

I've been pondering "focus" lately. I really felt I lacked focus. I was on a roll towards making healthier changes in my life: increase physical activity, replacing questionable foods with better choices, being thankful...all those mini-goals on the side. well, I've begun shifting away from those things before they became hard-n-fast habits. I was really getting down on myself and my lack of focus.

Then this guest-room makeover took place. I realized I had extreme focus as I often do with any task at hand. when I start something, I keep going until it's finished. That goes with any project. I have this attitude of, "Don't interrupt me. Just let me keep going and be done with it."

I'm thinking that type of focus just applies to things that have a tangible end product: the whatever is clean, built, fixed, made, organized, packed, etc. I can look at it, feel good about it, and use it. There's a satisfaction.

Fitness doesn't have a tangible end product that results from short-term, hard-core focus. I can't workout and eat right for a week and say, "Okay! All done! Destructive habits are eliminated. I have a strong, healthy body now!" It took me a long time to get into this mess; it's gonna take me a long time to get out.

Do my fitness goals just seem too far away to hold my attention? Is there a way to balance and multi-task my goals and somehow focus on several things at once? Do I have a personality flaw where I can only focus on one thing at a time? Maybe I do need a little magic to do it all.

I'm trying to internalize what eating healthy can do for me right now (something tangible). For instance, if I drink a glass of water and eat several servings of veggies, I won't see a difference in the mirror. BUT I imagine what is going on inside of me. My cells and organs, like an army in desperate need for supplies, are saying, "YES! we can use this! Rehydrate that area here. Send those nutrients there. Move! Move! Move!"

It can't be about the mirror. It can't be about how my clothes fit. It's gotta be about resupplying my body with stuff it can build with, so those little cells can see a tangible difference in their remodeling project.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gina aka Cookie Monster

'Tis the season to be fat and jolly, fa la la la belch la la la la

I went to a Christmas party tonight tired and had no plan of action in my pocket and no focus on goals. (Huh? what goals... what are goals?) The only thing I could focus on were the homemade frosted sugar cookies...thousands of them. Okay, not thousands unless I say "thousands of calories of them." Oh, and let's not forget the chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks. My first bite into it I thought, "Now why would I want to give this up? It's sooo good!"

I was like Oz's brain.

"Must......have.....more....." (Cookies! ngum ngum ngum)

Fa la la la ptht! la la la la :-p

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


About a year and a half ago, during a failed, radical attempt to eat healthier, I tried introducing tofu and soy products to my family. Only my daughter liked it and only when I fried the bijibbers out of it. I searched the web for many recipes, tried tofu burgers, hot dogs, and regular tofu in recipes. And then there's the Tofurkey.

This is what I found: I like tofu when it is itself and not pretending to be meat. It is good as bits and pieces in soups, and it rocks in Buddha's Delight. BUT IT SHOULDN'T BE MEAT. Do you know why I like hamburgers? Because... it tastes... like...(waitforit)... MEAT! The impostor just doesn't cut it. who does it think it is trying to be something it's not? I imagine wrapping an arm around its shoulder (yes, the tofu's shoulder...if it can be "meat," then it can have a hypothetical shoulder in my little story) and having a heart-to-heart talk with it.

I'd say something like, "Tofu, buddy, I gotta tell you, and it's for your own good: nobody likes a phony. Stop pretending to be something you're not. You are...(sigh)...let's face're bean curd, and you always will be bean curd. Yeah, I know, that's harsh, but, HEY, cheer up, it's okay to be bean curd. Be proud! You've got A LOT going for you just as you are. You are full of protein and can absorb flavors! That's good! You just need to accept the fact that you'll never be a juicy piece of meat; it's just not in your genes." take my own advice: embrace who I am, develop the talents given to me, smile, and just be myself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Off Track

Really got off track and haven't been doing my mini goals the past few days; other things are demanding my time, and I'm letting them. I'm feeling it emotionally, too. Exercise adds so much boost. I miss it. I look forward to starting again today.

I need appropriate footwear for winter. Last week I ordered two pairs of nice boots, the wide-calf variety from Zappo's. I've never been able to fit into boots before...can't zip them up. I was hopeful that at least one of the pairs would fit. Neither did. Well, okay, the right boot of one pair fit. My legs are too big for even the plus-size boots. Did that motivate me in the right direction? No. I ate and got my sugar fix.

It's a new day. My mind is fresh. New perspective: I'm thankful I have this problem with the boots. It means I have legs. The legs work and carry me well. They've been better to me than I've been to them. Yesterday's reality check was disappointing but necessary. I need to feel that disappointment instead of masking it. I want to learn from it. My legs are big because I hava eaten too much for too many years. It's not their fault. How can I thank my legs? I can give them more nutrients from healthy foods. I can exercise them, keep them flexible. I can lose weight so they have less to carry.

Time to get the kids ready for school. I'm also thankful for others' blogs...even if I haven't had the chance (or brain capacity) to leave comments. They helped lift me when I was down.