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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Good Things Tuesday- September 25th

Another sun-shiny Tuesday here in Iowa.  Another day to remind myself of all the good things, big and small, which put a smile on my face and keep me moving forward:

1.  Blankets.  Not quite ready for flannel sheets, but another blanket on the bed is perfect this time of year.  Lets me keep the window open at night without freezing.

2.  Apples.  Crunchy Granny Smiths are my favorite.  Tart, slightly sweet, and they make excellent additions to muffins--or lunch at work.

3.  Two-for-One vitamin sales at CVS.  

4.  Salted Caramel anything.  

5.  Wall calendars.  I love 'em.  All the new 2013 calendars are in stock at my bookstore, and I am having a hard time picking out which one I want for home.  Love to hang it up and makes notes I can see every time I'm in the kitchen.  And I get a little bit of changeable art every month.

6.  Sitting in a friend's backyard and sipping box wine on a lovely Fall day.  No plans, no rush.  Just chat.  Dreaming out loud.

7.  Templeton Rye Whiskey on ice, sitting on the back patio, smelling the warm vanilla notes and relaxing. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Two Week Workout Recap--I Have Survived

I've discovered a few things in the past two weeks since I've rejoined the Y:

**I have lost my running mojo.  Don't want to, don't feel like it, and when I do, it sucks.

**I like weights.

**The mirrors at the Y are cruel and clearly rigged to be funhouse mirrors.

I've been faithfully working out for two weeks.  This is a record for me, and a goal that has been laughable for pretty much my entire adult life.  Yes, I would run every week, but doing strength training with it?  Not so much.  So now the running is set aside, and I'm concentrating on getting in my thrice-weekly strength training sessions thanks to ActivTrax.  Besides the fact that it thinks I am a complete and total wimp that is incapable of picking up a can of soup, it's a great tool for working out.  And now after two weeks it's adding different machines and finally realizing I can lift more than it calculates.  It also requires that I do cardio and ab work.  I've done the elliptical and also biked.  I tried to run a bit, and that ended quickly.  

I seem to be in the down cycle for running.  I'll run for a year, then get burned out and stop for a year.  Apparently this is my stop year.  I'm okay with that, too.  Concentrating on getting in the workout groove has been my focus and I already feel better knowing I'm exercising those fat cells into oblivion! I hit the gym 4 days this week and I'm happy happy happy.  

I am very happy I rejoined the YMCA.  Once I am in the habit of working out regularly, I'm going to try some of the classes.  For now, strength training and cardio is keeping my plate full.  

And I have to say, as it gets so much cooler outside, I am pretty damn happy I don't have to go out for any long runs.  Flying the weenie flag, people--and proud of it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Good Things Tuesday Sept 18th

Tuesday.  Here we are again.  This morning it's actually chilly!  I forgot how that felt after the summer of melting heat.  How refreshing to have the shivers :P

Here's what I'm grateful for this Tuesday:

1.  Deer hunting season.  It makes Bud happy, it makes me happy cause I get to read more while he sits in a tree.  Plus I get to enjoy spicy deer sticks later this season.  

2.  Lasagna.  Nothing like taking this steaming, ooey gooey pan of goodness out of the oven and pairing it with garlic bread.  

3.  Plastic freezer containers.  Seriously.  I would not be able to bake and freeze so many things without them.  

4.  Earl Grey Tea.  My favorite.  And I found this recipe for Earl Grey Shortbread cookies!

5.  Going to the gym and getting a serious sweat going.  Feel that fat melt away!  

6.  Salted Caramel Mocha at my bookstore cafe.  A treat I have once a week (with skim milk!)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Getting Back To Exercise

I hit the gym last Tuesday for the first time in months, and I have to say I felt so happy doing it!  Even better--the first person I saw was my former trainer, Wendy.  We talked for quite awhile about the gym, classes, and this great program the Y has called ActiveTrax.  It's a workout program that spits out a workout for you to follow that changes every time.  You just print it out, do the exercises, then record your workout either at the Y or at home on your computer.  Wendy got me set up in the program, and since I was short of time I returned two days later (at 5 AM!) to do my workout.  

Can I say I really really really love being up at 5 AM working out?  I really do.  But it's hard for me to WAKE UP.  Once I can get out of bed I'm usually ok.  And the gym is very quiet, so I can get to the machines without waiting.  And I'm a huge advocate of working out first thing in the morning.  If I wait I won't do it.  The day gets in the way, I'm tired after work, and I just want to go home. And I don't like working out in a crowded gym.   It's a big check off my list every day if I do a workout first.  It will be a challenge once the weather cools off and I want to stay under the covers.  I'm figuring out how to bribe myself to keep getting up early--maybe a new workout top or shorts every week I workout early?  Or a good smelly bath product.

I peeked in on a Zumba class, too.  Not too many people, but enough that I wouldn't stick out.  It looked like fun, and there's a class on Tuesdays (my usual day off) in the morning.  I'm going to give it a try and see how I like it.  

So now I've printed out my second workout, and I'm heading to the gym this morning.  Hoping to run a bit outside afterwards, since it's sunny and cool--a perfect September morning.  

I'm more happy than ever that I went back to the Y.  And I've been recording on my calendar when I work out and making sure I am taking my vitamins every day.  Baby steps, but I'm doing them.  

Food wise, I made 2 dozen pumpkin muffins last Tuesday, portioned them into freezer bags, and have been eating them for breakfast.  They are so darn good!  And they're keeping me away from buying a pumpkin muffin in my bookstore cafe every day I work.  I'm now looking at other muffin recipes (cranberry and apple for sure) to make again this Tuesday.  Soon my freezer will be full of muffins.  I'm being selfish and not sharing them with Bud.  Makes life easier if I have breakfast already planned--keeps me eating breakfast and not overeating later.  And if I can continue to get up at least 2 times a week to workout at 5AM before hitting my job, well--grab'n go breakfast is perfect.  Now to find a good eggy breakfast recipe.  The world will end for me if I eat so much pumpkin that I become pumpkin'd out.  That cannot happen.

I've been thinking about not running this time of year, and I have had a few moments of boo-hoo.  I do miss it, but don't miss the stress of trying to get into shape for a race.  Focusing on next year, and being ready to have some fun.  I've never been in such good shape that running was ever easy for me, so I'm hoping a winter full of 3x weekly strength training will make a difference, stop my feet from hurting, and lighten the load on my body.  Working on making exercise fun and important to my health and well being.  

Do you exercise?  What programs, if any, do you do?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good Things Tuesday Sept 11, 2011

Deciding to post good things about my life on Tuesdays has somehow shifted my week mentally.  It's certainly a good thing to have one absolute thing to do besides getting up and going to work, right?  Here's what I'm grateful for this week:

1.  Cool nights.  I sleep so good I feel like I'm actually awake during the day.  Love this time of year!

2.  Pumpkin muffins.  I absolutely adore them and can eat them every day this time of year.  Welcome back pumpkin!

3.  All my "yearly" tests came back normal.  Body is healthy.  

4.  Dunkin' Donuts  coffee beans.  Finally bought a bag and brewed some at home. Can it be I've found the coffee that tastes good brewed at home?  What a treat.

5.  Ghost Hunters is back!  New season started last week.  Fall is here for sure and I'm glad to see my spooky shows starting up again.

6.  Deer hunting season starts this weekend.  Bud will be happy.  I will have extra time to read.  

What are your good things this week?  

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Confess: I Am A Total Ding-Dong

Last week I decided I was going to try Kosama.  But after watching an episode of Suze Orman Saturday night, it hit home that I need to think about what I am spending money on, and where it's best to get more bang for my buck.

I rejoined the YMCA this morning.  It's half the price of Kosama; basically around $10.50 a week for me to hit the Y every week, take whatever classes I fancy, use the pool, play racquetball, or use the equipment.  The only problem I foresee is me being lazy and not being motivated enough to hit the gym.  

I'm attempting to turn over a new leaf, however.  My friend C-Joy has been faithfully working out the past few months to help with her fibromyalgia, and she's made me step back and realize that if she can work through the fatigue and pain, surely I can do it.  I'm lucky to be fairly healthy, though a tad overweight.  That will be remedied if I just get off my ass and work out!  I have no excuse.  None at all.  Shame on me.

So I'm back at the Y after a month of dithering, exploring options, and being decidedly undecided.  The clincher was thinking about wanting to run on the treadmill in the cold winter months.  I couldn't do that if I didn't have the Y.  After mostly a year of not running much at all, I'm going to work on that this winter--nothing major, just short little runs on the treadmill.  It's all about losing some fat and putting on some muscle and building my legs up again so I'm ready for a few 5Ks this Spring.  But!  More importantly, trying a few new things.  I've got the class schedule in my bag and I'm going to try a few new things--and revisit my nemesis, the cycling class.  

It feels good to make the commitment.  Quite frankly, I've felt a little lost this past month with no "gym" anchor.  My mental game feels much better now.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why Do Vacations Wear Us Out Instead Of Rest Us Up?

I have thoroughly enjoyed having a week off from work.  Don't get me wrong. It was very much needed!  But I've found that with one day left on my vacation, I am pooped.  Just in time to get back into the routine of things.

I didn't go anywhere, didn't change time zones, didn't do much but eat, drink beer, and eat again.  But it still wore me out.  

My brother and sis-in-law have left to get back to New Mexico, and I am sure they are even more exhausted with a 2 day drive in front of them.  But I hope they had a good time seeing family and friends and experiencing the total whacked out Iowa weather we had while they were here:  hot and incredibly humid one day, then no humidity and lovely temps the next.  Rinse and repeat.  Eyes and noses reaping the benefits of living where there's lots of green plants to kick in those allergies.  I think my brother hit all the places he wanted to go, and all the foods he enjoys while he's here:  pork tenderloin sandwich, Amana beef sticks, cherry strudel, and corn on the cob.  He even liked the chocolate cherry ice cream I made for dessert last weekend.  And it was so beyond great to see both Dan and Connie twice in one year.  That just doesn't happen at all.  

I ate too much too many times.  I think I will not drink any beer or go out to eat for at least a few weeks.  Home cooking (which we did get plenty of multiple times this week), iced tea, and catching up on sleep.  Those are my plans.  My fridge is well stocked with beer when Bud and I are ready to drink it again.  But now it's time to turn to Fall cooking--chili, enchiladas, cranberries, and pumpkin anything.  Oven on and ready to cook!  

One thing I wanted to do this week was have a mini read-a-thon.  That didn't happen.  As a matter of fact, I didn't get to read much at all.  Too busy during the day, family over almost every night until late, then either too tipsy or too tired to read before falling asleep.  I've managed to read 1 book this week.  Uggh!!!!  (She says shaking fists at the sky).  So while I should fold my freshly laundered clothes, I'm going to ignore them and do some reading.  My way of relaxing, getting my head straight, and digesting all that chaos of this past week.

The nap that follows helps, too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good Things Tuesday Sept 4th, 2012

Geez, Tuesdays come along quickly all of the sudden.  It's not because I've been terribly busy the last few days.  As a matter of fact, I've been incredibly non-busy and a bit lazy.  I blame it on the cold I have and the fact that it's hot and humid out again.  Lord, will this summer never end?!


1.  Central Air Conditioning.  

2.  A boyfriend who remembers to take pictures at family events when I completely forget to do so for most of the night.

3.  A little boy who was so happy to see me pull into his driveway.  Made his day with a new Lego and got to spend some time driving around CR with him, laughing about "old lady" drivers.  

4.  Maytag Blue Cheese.  Glorious stuff.

5.  Chocolate birthday cake with white frosting from Hy-Vee.  The bomb.

6.  Happy to have found Frida Kahlo.  Another subject to study.

7.  Grateful I've worked at a place long enough to have lots of vacation.  

Here we are, marching towards Fall.  Leaves are starting to turn, pumpkin muffins are in our Cafe at work, and I'm thinking of dishes that require an oven and not a grill.  Yippee!!

How's your Good Things Tuesday?