Thursday, July 31, 2008

July Recap

Well, before I added up all of my numbers for the month of July, I really thought that they would be much lower than they were for June. Why did I think that? Mostly because my loss for the month was 3 pounds compared to the 7 that I lost in June.

CARDIO: Biking 12.5 hours (-6 hours); 102.6 miles
Running 15.3 hours (+7 hours); 85.6 miles
Pilates 156 min. (-24 min.)
JULY CHALLENGE: 100 pushups (did 8 days, 41 being the most)
JULY NUMBERS: 3 lbs. gone; 5.5 inches gone

So, despite a smaller loss in weight, I lost 2.5 inches more than June! That is something for me to smile about! My biking time decreased but my running has almost doubled and I owe my lost inches to it. I have really noticed a difference in my legs (and those pesky thighs). Once again my goal for August is to increase the workouts with weights. I had 5 days this month which isn't nearly enough. The pushup challenge was strong in the beginning then I got bored so there's work to be done there.

I'm ready for the dog days of August and am looking forward to another exciting month of improvement. How about you? Anything you've been pleased with for July? Something you'd like to work on improving for August? I'd love to hear from you.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just a Quickie

I haven't the time for a lengthy post today. I have lots to do and want to get it done before the heat is too high. I'll be posting a wrap-up of the month of July on Friday and compare it to June. I'm down another pound which is good, bringing me closer to that happy goal in the sky but, unless something weird happens by Friday, my loss for this month is only half of what I lost in June. It will be interesting to compare and see what might have changed to cause that.

All in all, it was a good month and I'm hoping that the dog days of summer will be better as I get ready to return to school this fall.

I hope everyone had a good week and a happy July--see you on Thursday!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Swingin' Friday

Last week, I was at the end of a run when I passed by a small park not far from my house. I was sweaty and tired but I saw those swings and just had to go over. I cannot REMEMBER the last time I sat on swings! These were the u-shaped ones that squish the thighs (thank goodness there is less of them ;) ) but despite a bit of discomfort I started to swing away. You know, there must be some benefit to getting your legs and body into giving you the momentum. All I know is that I felt so free swinging higher and higher, trying to touch the sky. This picture reminds me of my sister and myself because we were always in the park when we were growing up and loved being on the swings and teeter totter.

Katschi had a good post on childhood activities. I can remember playing outside all day long. Any T.V. watching was usually Saturday morning cartoons (which were so much BETTER in the 70's!) then it was off to the park behind our house. We'd walk all over the place, stop at the candy store for gumballs or freezies and sit around talking, playing, having fun without the aid of electronic gaming devices! So, what are you waiting for, go swing yourself!

Thanks to everyone for the comments on my birds. Hope I wasn't too silly--it's just that I'd grown attached to the little guys and loved watching them grow so quickly! Lora asked if I had removed the bird from the nest or if the father did. It is still there, as far as I know, and I thought I'd let nature take it's course. I don't have the heart (or stomach) to do it myself.

One final note was a shopping find that I thought I'd share. I went to the States with a girlfriend on Wednesday and one of the things I really wanted to get was another Lunaire sports bra. If you need support for your activities this is the bra for you. I LOVE IT! Nothing moves and I'm not exactly petite. The price is reasonable too at $35 (online as little as $32). They provide a wonderful shape and don't give the pancake look that so many other sports bras do.

So, there you have it. Go to the park and get yourself a new bra! Nah, whatever you're doing this weekend have a great time and JUST DO IT!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Empty Nest Syndrome (almost!)

If you remember, last Thursday I posted about the family of cardinals that were using my willow as their home. It's hard to believe but, as of this evening, only one little guy is left and I have a feeling that he'll be gone in the morning. Here is a pictorial journey of my little birdies (I encourage you to click on the photos for greater detail.) Enjoy!

At first, I thought that I saw 2 birds, then I thought that there were as many as five! But, finally I saw that there were 3 little birdies in this seemingly tiny nest.

Mom and Dad take turns throughout the day feeding their little ones. They will eat insects, buds, seeds, and fruits.

Here is Dad, guarding the nest. It was so interesting to watch how the parents would hop from branch to branch moving towards the babies and a chirping that would grow ever louder.

"Hey, where's our lunch?"

Here's the older of the 3 making his way towards the edge of the nest.

"Hello World!"

"Just the Two of Us"

"All By Myself"

Well, I hope you've enjoyed the pictures and learning a bit about these pretty little songbirds. If you're interested in learning a little bit more and even hearing the lovely song these birds make, check out this link.

Everyone should be so lucky because this has been a highlight of my summer garden, 2008!
*Update. It was awfully quiet this morning so I thought the last little birdie had gone too. Unfortunately, he's lying in the nest and I think he died sometime earlier. He seemed so healthy last night that I just can't imagine what may have happened. The father came by a little while ago and just sat on a branch underneath the nest. You may think I'm silly but I cried because it was just so sad to see that little bird all alone. I know it's nature but still, poor little thing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Who You Gonna Call?

It's been a good week. Did my exercising, I'm down a half pound but--know what? It could have been much better. Why you ask? Well, I've had a few nights where for some reason I couldn't stop eating. I haven't done that in a long time and I've just been trying to figure out why it happened 2 nights last week. It may be hormones (next week, yippee for girls!) but I think it was boredom more than anything. It was hot,humid and I felt like doing nothing! Except eat far too much!

Now, I usually can have an ice cream treat or something sweet and be satisfied. It's just mind over matter, I KNOW THAT! But Thursday, one Reese's pb ice cream bar was followed by some tortilla chips (with flax, yeah, that makes a difference!) and dip (have you ever had the asiago with artichoke or is that just here in Canada?) then another ice cream bar. All the time I knew this was crazy! but did it anyway. A similar thing happened Saturday night.

What do you do when things get a bit crazy? Katschi threw her ice cream bars out (I have a brother so no need for that). I think that I have to forcefully remind myself that I don't NEED 2 bars and one is sufficient. I have learned not to buy something with a large quantity just because it's on special so that is something!

Getting rid of unwanted food reminded me of a hilarious episode of "Seinfeld" (one of THE funniest shows ever!) Elaine opened up a muffin shop that only sold the tops (the best part of course!) but, what to do with the stumps? Call in The Cleaner! Enjoy the clip, it's short.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Friday

Okay, I've been tagged. I usually don't do these because they tend to be so LONG but this one is short and I would hate to crush Katschi!


5 Things in your Bag
Lip gloss

5 Things in Bedroom
Perfume (a passion!)
Lots of shoes!
Wall prints

5 Things You Have Always Wanted
A career, not a job
To travel the world (and have someone pay me to do it!)
A loving relationship with respect both ways
A bigger garden!
To play the piano (better than I do now--I know, practice!)

5 Things You're Really Into
Taking pictures of my flowers
My family

There, my first tag assignment completed and it was pretty easy!

I got another cute joke in my email and I'm sure you may have read it before but it's a hoot even the second, third time around!

Three Men on a Hike

Three men were hiking through a forest when they came upon a large raging, violent river. Needing to get to the other side, the first man prayed:

'God, please give me the strength to cross the river.'

Poof! .. God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across in about 2 hours, having almost drowned twice.

After witnessing that, the second man prayed: 'God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river'

Poof! .. God gave him a rowboat and strong arms and strong legs and he was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once.

Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed:

'God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross the river'

Poof!... He was turned into a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge.


'If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you!'--

*Scientific proof that the joke above may truer than we women already suspected? Check out this article
Thanks to Sharon for sharing that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Catching Up

Well, I've had a busy day today and finally have some time to catch up and do an early post (instead of Thursday).

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. It wasn't humid and my swim date with a girlfriend and her 2 boys went "swimmingly"! It's so nice to wear a swimsuit and not feel self-conscious in it! We later enjoyed a nice coffee in her backyard where there was a light breeze. Just one of those lazy summer days that make you feel happy to be alive and in the world.

Later in the evening, I happened to pass by my Japanese willow. Several weeks ago, I noticed that there was a nest in it. I really didn't give it too much thought until I heard little cheeping sounds coming from it. I went inside to get my stepladder being careful not to get too close.

Low and behold, I saw two tiny little mouths with their tiny little beaks stretched wide open! When I went to the other side of my garden I saw Mrs. Cardinal warily make her way to the nest. Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal chose my tree to start their family! This morning I saw that Mr. Cardinal was taking his turn to feed the little birdies and I sat very still hoping to be able to get a picture. These are 2 shots I managed to get. Not very clear but if you click on them and enlarge them you should be able to make out one of the baby beaks and then daddy at the nest.

Now, the saga of my car. Ladies, you've probably heard it before and goodness knows that I should know better. NEVER take your car troubles to the dealer unless you have full warranty coverage! I knew that they would find all sorts of things wrong but when they called back and gave me a quote of $1300 plus my mouth fell and I actually asked if they were kidding! Needless to say I took it elsewhere and ended up paying $300. Come on, these were things that didn't even need to be done! "We noticed that..." What, I'm stupid? A dopey female who doesn't know better? Yeah, right!

Sabine at Sunshine and Shadow has a recipe swap going on. She's calling it DINE: Delicious, Inexpensive, Nutritious, Easy to make. If you're interested, go check it out and link to her page. She has what looks like a yummy recipe for pancakes. I'm always up for new recipe ideas so I'll share a great recipe for blueberry muffins. They are moist and delicious and what a fantastic time for them as the blueberries I've been eating are big and juicy!

Blueberry Oat Muffins
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg beaten
1 c. blueberries
1 c. grated apples OR 1/4 c. oil, OR 1/4 c. apple sauce

Combine oats with buttermilk and let stand about 1/2 hour.
Combine the dry ingredients.
Add beaten egg and/or apples, oil to oats and buttermilk.
Add dry ingredients, mix until moistened. Mix in blueberries.
Fill greased muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
So moist and delicious! (makes 12)
3 pts if you use oil, 2.5 if you use apples (I prefer oil--moister and you taste blueberries not apple). *excellent for freezing; pop in microwave and they taste fresh baked!

Today was quite warm and we had a smog advisory day. After I dropped off my car I had the fleeting idea of going for a bike ride but opted for relaxing inside. This was the first time in ages that I didn't sweat due to a workout! I don't mind that one square on my calendar that will remain blank. Hmm, maybe I'll go for an early morning run...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Drive-By Blogging

Hi everyone! I hope that you all had terrific weeks and weekends. Mine was quite busy and it's another busy day today. It's already 11:14 a.m. and I'm only posting now. As my title suggests, this will be a quickie post. I had to bring my car in today. It's making some very unhappy sounds and I'm afraid of what the verdict will be! Please send your positive vibes my way that it's not going to set back my retirement fund!!!

It's going to be a warm day so right after lunch I'll be going for a swim with my friend and her kids. It's been AGES since I've been at someone's home for a swim, mostly because I'm lazy (I hate getting in and out of bathing suits--I know lazy!) Then, my plan is to finally clean out the garage and get a lot of stuff ready for garbage day. Yes, get all the garbage out just like with my body!

On the HYC, I've had a good week. I'm down another pound bringing me 12.5 away from the goal I set. Exercise has been very good but again, I'm doing far too much on the cardio side of things (lots of running and biking). I really want to get in a minimum of 2 days with weights so that will be my goal for this week. Yesterday I did about 15 minutes worth of arms so that's a good place to start.

I see some of my favourite bloggers have new posts up. I can't get to them right now but I promise I'll be visiting you all later! The pictures are of 2 more lilies that started up. I love the tangerine one!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lilies and Other Stuff

Ah, my lilies are putting on quite a show this week! I've got 2 more varieties that should be opening up in a few days. I'll post those because one of them is a favourite. So, this week I've been doing some gardening and enjoying this gorgeous summer!

On the healthy living front things are going well too. Thanks to Running Nan for helping me figure out a better way to measure the distance of my runs. I learned yesterday that my new run is 5 miles plus! No wonder I was so sore!!! I met a goal and didn't even know it. I hope you are enjoying summer's bounty. Eat up those blueberries!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July Goals

Well, all the fireworks and BBQ's are over. How did everybody do? I'm glad that I'm down .5--not much but I'll take it as I did treat myself a few too many times to certain naughty foodstuffs (my friend had some yummy goodies at her July 4th BBQ and Saturday was lunch at a favourite Chinese restaurant). BUT, no guilt! I'm not going to pretend that I don't enjoy food especially when it's good quality things (homemade, nothing beats it!) It's all about the right choices and staying within your limits. Have a piece of cake, some ice cream whatever you're favourite treat is and savour it. Remember--you're in control and you don't have to go for that second or third helping!

So, I've been thinking about what I'd like to achieve this month. In the weight department, I'd like to lose half of what's left until I reach my goal. That's 6.5 lbs. and totally within my reach. I have got to get my butt out to the gym more often and start swimming. I talk and talk but now is the time for some action! I'd love to get over the 4 mile running hump but I'm not too concerned about it after getting some pointers from Nan. It's all about finding your groove as so many bloggers have been talking about this month.

I started that 100 pushups challenge and can I tell you all OUCH? This morning I'm feeling it in my upper arms and abs which, I suppose, is a good thing! But, I'm going to be trying the modified ones on Wednesday and see how those go for me and build up gradually. That's what it's all about--working within your limits and realizing that it's not a bad thing to start at a lower level. From little acorns grow mighty oaks!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and that you're not too sunburned! My garden is in lily heaven this month and the picture I posted was taken after a rainstorm. I have been thinking that I'll be posting Tuesday's about weightloss and exercise and then Thursday's will be miscellaneous (ie. gardening, lifestyle, etc.) I want to set up a routine for my time before I go back to school and that will be part of it. Also, ORGANIZING! For me, that is way more challenging right now then losing 13.5 lbs!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Challenge

I came across a couple of bloggers who are starting a 100 Push Ups Challenge. I find that I'm enjoying these challenges and thought to myself "Why Not?" I'm sure that once September rolls around and I'm back in school full-time I won't have the luxury of trying to fit so much exercise into a day but this one is doable because you can do it anywhere!

I did the test just a few minutes ago and managed 17--yikes! Those were the regular ones. I'll try the routine out with those and if it's too hard I'll go to the modified ones (on my knees, please!). I'll be interested to see just how high I can get with this program. After all, C25K helped me with running. I do need to work on my upper body strength and this may help.

Anyone else want to give it a whirl? Check out 100 Push Ups and see if you're up for a challenge. What have you got to lose? I'll be starting it on Monday.

Enjoy your long weekend ladies!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

July 1--Happy Canada Day even if you aren't Canadian! We already celebrated with a big fireworks show last Monday but today is the day where everything is closed. Enjoy the day off if you're at work.

I thought that I would start the month of July off with a recap of June. It was SO MUCH BETTER than May in all sorts of ways. I wanted to prove to myself that I could lose the weight I'd gained since leaving my job by myself! I'm a lifetime member at Weight Watchers and losing all that weight the first time seems like ages ago, even though it's been a little over 5 years. When I complete my period of maintenance, I'd like to go back because I think it will keep me focused. I didn't do my monthly weigh-ins because I got cocky thinking it was a cinch! But as many of you know, while it's tough to get the weight off, sometimes it's much harder keeping it off!

One big change from the first time at WW has been the increase in my physical activity. I used to go to the gym, would use the treadmill every now and then but since joining the HYC I've been so much better! I have become very active and am loving it. I never dreamt, for example, that I'd enjoy running. I'm doing 4 miles now but would love to increase that over the next few months. I also want to get my butt to the gym more often and start some water classes.

As most of you know, I keep a workout calendar to the left of my posts. I tallied my numbers and this is what I came up with:

CARDIO: Biking-1095 min. (18 hrs., 25 min.)
Running-493 min. (8 hrs., 22 min.)
Pilates-180 min. (includes working with weights)
JUNE CHALLENGE: 10/12 (this included a lower and upper body workout)
JUNE NUMBERS: 7 lbs. gone, 3 inches total gone

When I see it all laid out like that I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments! How has your June been? Do you see room for improvement for the month of July?

I still have 2 challenges going, Grumpy Chair's and Thinking Thin's. I hope for continued success there too!

Enjoy the 4th when it rolls around and the freedom that our countries have. God bless!