Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Over Already?

Well, technically there is still one day left to our (Susie, Erin and myself) April challenge to lose 10 pounds. I'll assume that my numbers won't change too drastically so I'll make my announcement now. I'm down 2 pounds from last week (yay!) which makes my loss for April 6 pounds.

Yes, I would love to have said that my loss was closer to 1o but I'll take my 6 quite happily. I have learned that it's much harder to take off the weight than it was a few years ago. I've been watching what I eat and exercising my little patootie off. I've started running and that is something I would have laughed at if you'd told me I'd be doing it (I always said that you'd only see my run if something large and furry with very sharp teeth was chasing me!)

I have been watching my fiber intake and learned last week that too much fiber is not my friend. So, while "they" say you need 24-32 grams a day, for myself I prefer to stay between 20 and 24. It's also harder to recover from those little binges we have every now and then so I'll definitely be keeping those to a minimum. I also feel better if I get some form of exercise into my day. I've had 2 days off and am feeling rather sluggish. I hope that my run for week 6 tomorrow will be a good one.

So, it was fun ladies. Let's see who gets to 10 first as a continuation of the challenge. Anyone out there have any ideas for another challenge? I feel that this one really kept me in line and I'm glad we did it.

As a footnote, today's flower is a David Austin rose that I have growing in my garden. It's called Graham Thomas and it has a lovely fragrance as do all the old fashioned roses in this series. I almost always get 3 bloom periods from it so that's a big plus.

I hope that everyone had a great week and that this one may be even better. I'll be checking in on you all throughout the day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Well, it's 11:45 and it still isn't raining. It's quite a bit cooler and is supposed to be dropping 20 degrees by Monday. YIKES! Especially since it got to 82 yesterday. Now, you may be surprised to hear me say this but I'm okay with that. My neck of the woods is notorious for short springs that turn into hot, humid summers almost overnight. So, we'll get to enjoy the spring blooms for a bit longer.

I really enjoyed Patti's post on Friday about favourite spring flowers. It's too hard to choose so I'll start with an early summer favourite--the wisteria. I have one at the end of my garden and it looks to be loaded with blooms. I found the above picture while searching the net and loved it. I'll take pictures of mine when they bloom. It's such a romantic looking flower and the fragrance is lovely (the above and mine are Japanese which has huge blooms as opposed to the Chinese and a stronger fragrance).

Now, you may be wondering what it is that "I DID". I ran day 3 of week 5 without stopping once! That, if you don't know is 20 minutes! I have to thank Happy Blog Chick for sending me the link to the post she did after running hers. I can't believe that we both felt the same way. When I read that it was 20 minutes with no running, the first thing I said to myself was "I can't do that". Why is it that so many of us say we "can't" rather than "I think I can"? The worst that can happen is that you don't finish it or have to change it up a bit.

What helped me complete it? I had my MP3 player with me. I played "Life In Cartoon Motion" by Mika (highly recommend it for the fun, bouncy tunes with a few slower ones thrown into the mix). I did NOT look at my watch until I had run what seemed like a good long distance. When I finally looked, I had run 13 minutes! It's very windy so I had to run with the wind (had to add an extra 25 minutes of walking back against the wind!)

So, when you think you can't do something just tell yourself YES I CAN! And I'll dedicate "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)" from Mika. Download it--you'll love it. It has a very positive message.

Enjoy your weekends ladies and I'll be back on Tuesday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"I Am Woman Hear Me Mow..."

Wow, what a week I've been having. There is nothing like beautiful weather to just get you in the mood to go, go, go!

On Tuesday I looked out at my lawn and decided that it would be the day to drag out my mower from hibernation. I filled it with clean oil and went to buy my oh so expensive gas. It started up with very little trouble. Actually, I've been considering getting a manual, good old-fashioned push mower. Gas ones are SO bad for the environment. I'll have to see my money situation. I'll also edged it (which I HATE). The next day I turned over the soil for my vegetable patch and added 3 lovely bags of manure. Today I finished with the soil in my flower beds and added some topsoil. I'll probably get to my composter tomorrow and clean it out. I have two which I switch back and forth so one is always ready to use.

I've also done well with my exercise. Some of you may have noticed the calendar I have at my sidebar. I love seeing that so much of it is highlighted! That's where I keep track of exactly what I've done and for how long. Today I actually managed to run for 8 minutes straight, twice, with a 5 minute run and 3 minute walks to break it up. But when I looked to the third day of this week I said "What?" "20 minutes with no walking?" I don't think so! When Saturday comes we'll see how I'm doing but I have to tell you I barely pushed through that last 8.

Some of you may know that every now and again on Fridays I'll post a joke if I get one. I got another good one in the mail from my friend and I'll share it with you tonight.

Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'She again replied, ' Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'
The defense attorney nearly died.
The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mini Goal #1 Met!

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One pound doesn't seem like much but this week it's a pretty special little pound. It has allowed me to tick off my first mini goal (see April 9 for list) of losing 2 pounds to reach the 10 pound mark. My next goal will now be to lose 3 pounds and weigh what I was last summer when I left my job.

Now, I'll be honest and tell you all that I really thought I'd have a bigger loss. I've been eating great, exercising almost ever day, etc. There are a few things that I'm going to switch up this week and see if that will make a difference. Otherwise, I have a theory for why it's coming off a bit slower for me this time around and I'll share that in another post.

Of course, slow and steady wins the race, right? Why are we always in such a hurry for things to happen? There is still plenty of time until summer hits us with its full force so I'm going to enjoy my healthier lifestyle and grow into it. This time I want it to stick!

I hope that everyone else had a great week sticking to whatever goals you've set for yourself. Enjoy your Tuesday and I hope that the sun is shining wherever you are.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Following Through

Good morning everyone. I hope that you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend like we did here in Windsor. I took a short shopping trip with my brother on Friday to London, which is about 1 and 1/2 hours from here. The price of gas is so ridiculous that any driving trips this summer will have to be short ones.

Yesterday I was reading through some of the blogs and have to say that as usual, I enjoyed 2 posts from Cammy at The Tippy Toe Diet. Yesterday, I made a special point of marking down the fiber content of my foods. You know, it is really tough to get to the required amounts if you're not paying attention! I managed to get in 28 grams which is very good. I found a high fiber food chart that I liked at Bella Online. What I found useful about it was that they have the foods categorized into 3 groups. Group A are foods that have more than 7 grams per serving, B has more than 3 and C has less than 3. At the top is bran cereal and beans (pinto, lima, kidney, lentils). Lucky Cammy having an office to herself!

I also enjoyed the post about making specific changes and I have to say that right now I'm doing 5 out of the 6!
1. I've always tried not to buy bottled water (mainly because I'm cheap). When I buy it now it's purely for convenience sake. When you read articles about where many of the manufacturer's are getting their water from, drinking from your own home makes good sense.
2. Eat less meat. I've never been much of a meat eater, apart from chicken ALL the time and the occasional serving of beef or pork (the other white meat). I could never be a vegetarian mainly because I prefer the variety that I get with meat. And with summer coming, I couldn't resist and juicy burger. We get most of our meat from organic sources or from local producers so we know where it's coming from.
3. Buy fewer packaged products. I've definitely made a concerted effort here. I really started to pay attention to the chemicals and other garbage that is in so much processed food! I used to eat a lot of frozen dinners for calorie control and convenience. Now I try to prep my food ahead of time and it's been working great. Having fresh produce will be terrific too.
4. Buy organic and local when possible. We're lucky in Windsor because there are lots of local producers. That's why I have been so eager for the spring weather!!!!
5. Walk your errands every chance you get. I'm lucky with where I live because all sorts of things are within a 10 minute walk. 2 grocery stores, 2 hardware stores, 2 drugstores--you name it! Plus, with that expensive gas short trips in the car really are a waste.
6. Don't know if I want to carry a sack and gloves to pick up garbage but it's a great thought :) Again, I'm pretty spoiled with where I live because people keep things pretty clean and rarely will I see a lot of garbage for picking up.

Thanks for the postings Cammy--they gave me some new information and opportunities to get even better!

I hope that you all have a great day and I'll see you Tuesday. I'll be reseeding my lawn's few bare patches today and later I'll dust off my bike, pump up the tires and go for a ride (another beautiful spring day is in store!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Save a Horse...

...ride a cowboy."

The first time I heard that song I thought, "YIKES!" Not very subtle when it comes to song lyrics! Now, I'm not much of a country music fan (unless we're talking classic country--Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, etc.) But, I do like that song. It was playing when we were doing lifts in my BodyPump class. Can anyone say ouch? I'll be paying for this workout and it proves that I have got to do weights more than once a week in my house.

This is a great class because it works EVERY part of the body. Like I said yesterday, I really struggled in my running because my upper legs just got so tired. We did lots of squats and lunges too, all while holding the bar so I'm crossing my fingers that this class, 2-3 times a week does the trick.

I hope that everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday. Anybody that's out there doing any running--does it help to work out those legs?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Like the Sands of the Hourglass...

...These are the Pounds of my Days!

Well, could have been better, could have been worse (I had quite a bit of chocolate Friday. Why? Because I WANTED SOME!!!) So, with that being said, I'm down 1.5 pounds again. 2 would have been better because I could be showing off my new 10 pounds gone badge! But, "be thankful in small things", right?

Yesterday I finally went shopping for a new pair of running shoes. They are Adidas which I've never had before. I used to wear Reebok's and my last 2 pairs were Nike's but they both (especially the last pair) gave me terrible blisters at the back of my foot (what's that part called?)

Anyhow, I tried them out on the treadmill to keep them clean in case I need to return them. They felt pretty good. What didn't feel good was me! That first day of week 4 on the Couch to 5K was KILLER! Running time is now 2 sets of 3 minutes and 2 sets of 5 minutes. Now, I have never been a runner so this is major for me. I started feeling it on the second 3 minutes in my upper thighs so that's something that needs work. I'm going to my Gliding class at the gym and hope that it will help to strengthen them.

It's a beautiful day and I hope to do some yardwork at the front of my house. Some trimming needs to be done so that's for today (I have a wisteria that's rather wild but it loves when I hack at it!)

These 2 pictures were taken on a late summer morning last year. I went out to water and was amazed by what I saw. The spiders had gone to town and created the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen.
There was dew on the grass and it was slightly misty with the sun just starting to shine. It made the webs stand out like never before. They were sparkling like they were made from diamonds and they were gorgeous!

These pictures don't do them much justice but you may be able to get some idea of what it was like that magical morning.

LATER THAT DAY: Someone made mention of Charlotte's Web, a book I adored as a child. As a gardener I love my spiders. I HATE: earwigs, slugs and the evil Japanese beetle.

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Our House..."

...Is a very, very, very fine house.

Keeping with some of the others and the post a picture of your house theme, here is mine. I took it on Saturday. I prefer it, however, with lots of flowers blooming. My local gardening centers are just starting to get set up and I've seen pansies, summer flowering bulbs and, rose bushes!

I'm also posting this picture from a few years ago. The mums were ASTOUNDING! Have a great Monday all and we'll "see" you Tuesday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Funnies

Hey, there everyone. The sun just came up and I'm going to try to do my Couch to 5K outside. I just checked my email and got a cute message from a friend. Some of you may have seen these before (you know how certain messages just keep coming back, over and over :)

But, these are cute so enjoy!

The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, "My Mommy looked back once while she was driving," he announced triumphantly, "and she turned into a telephone pole!"

A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark?"
"No," replied Johnny. "How could he with just two worms."

A Sunday school teacher said to her children, "We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a Higher Power. Can anybody tell me what it is?"
One child blurted out, "Aces!"

A Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, "So your mother says your prayers for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?"
The little boy replied, "Thank God he's in bed!"

Have a terrific weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Goal Setting

Don't you all LOVE my pretty badge? Thanks to Susie and her creativity and also to Erin for joining us in our "mini challenge".

Well, I can tell you all that I'm excited about this month. It's another gorgeous day (albeit windier) but it's sunny and warm. I was going through my closet (spring cleaning--I love it) and thinking that I need to do a major cleanout. When I first lost the weight I went on a mad shopping spree. Now I realize that a few essential pieces are all that's needed.

But, that being said, I'm a sucker for pretty dresses. I must have at LEAST 10 summer dresses that I didn't fit into last year so, another goal is to get into at least half of those by July (they are size 8's, yikes!)

I have to say that I'm doing pretty well with A.P.R.I.L. Along with everything there, these are the things I need to achieve by the summer.


1. 2 lbs. to go before my 10 pounds gone badge.

2. 5 lbs. to go before I'm at the weight when I left my job last July.

3. 20 lbs. before I get to the weight I was in Italy 2 years ago.

4. 25 lbs. to reach my perfect weight as determined by me and my WW leader (who was a great gal!)

5. Maintain for life and NOT allow the next stressor or mini crisis to get me reaching for the food.

It's a lot but I know that I can do it--so can all of you who have set goals for yourselves :)

And Susie, you bet your bootie that you can use last week's numbers. Hey, that was the first week of April as far as I'm concerned ;) And, I'll be using the last few days of April as another week (I think a little leeway is fine in this challenge, don't you?)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday Check-In #9

How's everybody this fine Tuesday morning? I've been catching up on some of my favourite bloggers and it looks like everybody, so far, is having much success.

As you may know, Susie, Erin and I have a little challenge going for ourselves this month. TO LOSE 10 POUNDS! (that should be read as though you're listening to this over a reverberating microphone :) I had a great week last week because I exercised my little patootie off! I threw in an extra day of my Couch to 5K program along with my regular workouts. TOM stopped by and is still lingering but I'm down 1.5 pounds even with him here! I haven't lost weight since WW when he's around.

I hope that next week when my body settles down, it'll be more but at least I know that I'm doing what needs to be done (thanks Cammy!)

Well, off to have my breakfast and catch up with the rest of you latah!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Hey Susie, is that the badge you came up with for April and if so, how can I get it? BTW, I looked at your weight tracker--we're pretty much the same as I need to lose 25 to get to my goal. Let's do it!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Good Day Sunshine!

Lucky Windsor! Yesterday and today are beautiful days and bring on spring fever! Unseasonably warm, the weather channel says (60), but I'll take it. A few days ago, Mr. Cardinal stopped by. Last summer was filled with his beautiful singing. This year, he's brought the Mrs. with him! Isn't it amazing that in nature the female of the species tends to be drab while the male is the colourful one? She had tinges of red but not the vibrancy of the Mr.

TOM came by yesterday morning, right on schedule, might I add. I barely felt the usual pre-symptoms and think it's because of the exercise and better eating. Day 2 is usually worse (I feel like I swallowed a lake :) but the scale says I'm the same, yippee. I was worried there for a bit and thought I'd keep track of this month to see if the usual 2-5 comes on. Tuesday morning should be VERY INTERESTING!

Thanks for the well wishes (my pulled muscle feels much better) and for the support on the 10 pound April challenge. Cammy said it right--do I have what it takes to do what is needed? Them's fightin' words, Miss Cammy and I promise right now to do what it takes. YEE HAW!

Enjoy your Sunday and may it be as beautiful and serene in your part of the world as it is in mine.

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Rainy days and Mondays..."

Well, after 2 sunny days I couldn't very well expect that Friday would be the same. It's a bit gray and drizzly outside but I still feel pretty good! It's been a great week and I've been good about journalling and doing my Couch to 5K.

I've been wanting to go to the gym to do weights but something weird happened on Tuesday. I went to sit down on my loveseat when all of a sudden I felt something "spring" on my left side. OUCH! I must have pulled a muscle because it feels (even today) as though someone punched me. I may try one of my Pilates tapes with weights and see how it goes. If not, I've decided to throw in an extra day of the run.

Susie, if you read this, how has your first week of April gone? As some of you may or may not know, Susie and I have challenged ourselves to lose 10 pounds this month. What do you think--can we do it? Hmmm....

Hope you all have a great weekend and if not before that, see you Tuesday!