revisiting an old friend

A few weeks ago, John and I spent the weekend in Mansfield so he could help his dad do some projects around the house.  This left me at a loose end, but I was determined to stay as healthy as I could so we got a portable blender and I brought up all my smoothie goods, plus my laptop to google some work outs.  We set up our tent and canopy, plus the love seat bench that we got this year with our REI dividends.  And when I was finally motivated (aka, ran out of ways to procrastinate longer), I looked up some things on You Tube, and got to getting sweaty.  I didn’t hit my move goal though, and that frustrated me. Three days in 2017 I haven’t hit it, and one was because I couldn’t manage to find a good workout.  Grr.

I was fairly determined not to let that happen again this past weekend.  I still packed up my blender and my laptop.  We set up the tent and the canopy (and Lucy, on her long lead).  But this time, I decided to pull the trigger and sign up for Beach Body On Demand. Because I’ve never done a workout that I’ve found as challenging yet satisfying, as ‘Insanity‘.

I think maybe I thought that since I’ve been working out regularly that somehow the program would be easier?  Um, not really.  I mean, some things were ‘less hard’ but let’s be honest here.  Those workouts are killer.  And now — added bonus? — there are a million different versions of ‘Insanity’.  I stuck with the original because I knew it was tough and I hoped it would burn calories.  And because I’m a little insane, I did two workouts in a row.

For the past two days, my legs have been so unbelievably stiff and sore, I wondered what in God’s name I’d been thinking.  I would never do an Insanity workout again.  But, then I decided to stop being a baby, and I fired up the laptop yesterday afternoon.  It was a very tough 40 minutes.  When I climbed on the bike for a cool down afterward, it felt like a cakewalk.  And then, I pulled myself up the stairs, and decided to take a bath with salts, in the hope that it would help my poor legs recover.

It did!  I woke up this morning and didn’t feel like my legs were dying.  Not only that, but for the first time since I began riding my bike last year, I was enthusiastic about a different kind of work out.  I got up, looking forward to my date with Shaun T, and set about my day.

I remember doing Insanity several years ago — before the MS.  It’s challenging in different ways now — I have little to no bounce in my legs, so I am working on that.  But I am less angry at Shaun T this time around. In fact, I’m not angry at all.  He makes me smile.  I feel encouraged. I am really enjoying it, and how it’s forcing different muscles to work harder.  Working out every day isn’t really anyone’s idea of a good time (well, maybe someone?  but I don’t know that person) but I am feeling really glad about my decision to branch out and do different things.  I need to work out every day — it keeps me strong, it keeps me focused on being as healthy as I can be. And to be honest, it’s a little bit of a relief not to ride the bike for an hour and fifteen minutes every day.  Although, I’m sure I’ll start to miss it eventually.

january resolutions kept

Confession:  the peach cobbler remains elusive.

It doesn’t mean I don’t want to have it, or that I’m not excited to try to make it.  It does mean that the prospect of peeling and slicing 12 peaches when I’m getting home at 9pm most nights just doesn’t feel appealing (pun unintended, but I giggled at it anyway).

The past two nights I succeeded in making cookies and enchiladas, and I’m feeling pretty content with my efforts for October thus far.  Up next ~ learning how to cook authentic beef & broccoli (and finally making peach cobbler so there’s a dessert for after dinner!).

What I haven’t been completely happy with is my exercise routine.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t been able to fall asleep the past few nights (which means less sleep than normal) and I’ve been staying at work later to try to catch up on stuff (I actually filed paperwork today for the first time since July!!!) plus doing some cooking in the evening leaves very little time for working out.

As I pep-talked my way through getting changed into work-out gear and popping Pure Cardio into the DVD player, I began to think a lot about why I would … well, for lack of  a better word, force myself into working out tonight, when all I really wanted to do was put on sweatpants, make some TJ’s treats, and cuddle up on the couch to catch up on my DVR list.

The answer goes back aways.

The thing is, I’ve never been super good at working out consistently, or eating well consistently.  I’ve always just done whatever felt good at the time, and then done ‘exercise binges’ ~ a four month or six month stint when I get into a work-out routine  … and then something comes along and all of a sudden six months have gone by and I haven’t even lifted a finger in an active way.

I attribute part of this to working as a waitress for such a long time.  As an FYI to non-restaurant people, being on your feet, carrying trays, cleaning tables, etc etc etc, is pretty good, steady exercise.  It’s definitely an adjustment to transition into working at a desk for 10 hours a day.  But … at first, you don’t realize it.  And you don’t realize that you need to “make up” that exercise some other way.

The man and I made a pact this year that we would try to be more healthy.  We’ve lived together for over two years now, and after the first few months of settling in, and then about a year of me figuring out how to grocery shop and make food, we’re now making lifestyle changes steadily.

Working out is a big part of that.  We joined the new gym that opened across the street in July.  I’d like to say we go every day, but that would be a bold-faced lie.  We try to go to the gym at least three times a week.  We also enjoy taking long walks through the neighborhoods near our home.  Even after a bad day, or a long day …. actually, let me re-phrase that.  Especially after a long day of work, it’s almost a relief to put sneaks on, and start walking.  The man jokes that it takes him the first ten to fifteen minutes to start enjoying himself, but I completely agree.  Sometimes, I’ll be ready to go, and the first few steps down the driveway make me want to turn around.  An hour and half later, I could keep on walking!  I think it also helps a ton with our mental health.  Walking allows us to communicate without the distractions of television or the Internet.  Or phones.  It’s just me and the man and our thoughts and daydreams.

I think the other part of it is that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to be more aware of my body and my health.  Some examples:  I love wine (love. wine.).  I hate hate hate being hung over.  For a lot of reasons, but the top two are, I don’t like feeling that physically terrible, and it usually means you lose an entire day that you could otherwise be doing something else (something fun).

Sleeping is better when I work out.  I physically feel better; I’m not as anxious, angry, tense or stressed out when I work out.  I feel as though I’m taking care of myself.  And that’s a really great feeling.

As I did my third Shaun T. workout today, in my third cycle of ‘Insanity,’ I could feel that my body is in better shape.  The work-outs are challenging, and I’m still dripping with sweat at the end, but I’m much better at keeping up, and doing the moves correctly.  When the man and I made our pact in January (and we downloaded calorie-counting apps, and moved an old stationary bike in the living room) I thought in the back of my mind that it would be like most January resolutions.  I’d be gun-hoe about it for about six weeks, and then forget.

But I stuck with it this time.  I’m not fanatical.  I don’t beat myself up too hard if I only work out once a week (but I do try to be better the next week, and that’s really all a person can do ~ try to keep improving).  I don’t get stressed out because I ate two brownies.  At nine a.m.  Because I was hungry and didn’t feel like cooking.

I’ve realized that I’ve made a lot of progress.  I’m more active.  We eat much more balanced meals that we used to.  We’re better at preparing food for a week and having veggies every day.  We drink in moderation (and we enjoy it ~ I knew that trying to give everything up would just make me resentful.  So we did all this and kept the things we love ~ wine, vodka for the man, chai tea lattes from Starbucks for me ~ you get the point). We take walks together, and work the stress and angst out of our systems.  We don’t eat after we get full (this is a lot harder to get in the habit of doing, but once you start, you realize that you probably eat a lot more than you need to … or maybe I should change the pronoun from “you” to “I” ~ either way, same point).  It’s easier to see the progress now that I can look back over nine months and analyze everything.  It was harder sometimes to keep being disciplined in the thick of it all.

Reading other people’s blogs helped, and kept me motivated, which is a great thing.  This whole blogging thing is great ~ even if no one reads it, and it’s just me finally writing again after years of picking up a pen and paper and having no motivation to put anything down ~ that in and of itself makes it worth it.

I don’t look like I lost a lot of weight ~ but I have made steady progress.  And I’ve slimmed down.  All I can do now is keep focusing on living well: exercising, and eating right, and getting enough sleep (which you never need to twist my arm about ~ I love me some sleep!).

So tonight, when I was tired, and my neck hurt because I’d (probably) slept funny last night, and all I wanted to do was be a bum … instead, I pulled on my work-out duds (which I smartly keep in one drawer ~ a one-stop shop so I don’t lose focus half-way through!) and put the DVD in, and before I could talk myself out of it, I was jogging in place, and doing all sorts of crazy moves that Shaun T is excited about … and now- I am, too.

 

just a little manic!

With the man away, this little cat has the opportunity to play … unfortunately, she’d rather sleep!  This morning I slept in a little (’til the sun was up!) but it meant a later night at work, and here I am, half past ten, just finished with Insanity Day #2, and still no cooking done (or even dinner made!).

On that note, I also realized today that I never added the recipes for Pumpkin Roll and Kale Chips (shame on me!).  So, since I’m probably not going to whip up anything inspirational before crashing on the couch and catching up with Pan Am while color-coding my October calendar, here they are!

Kale Chips:

1 bag kale (washed and dried)

1 tbsp EVOO

Ground Sea Salt to taste

What to do:

1.  Discard all stems and unappealing bits of kale.  Rip leaves into bite size pieces.

2.  Toss kale with EVOO, and season with salt to taste.

3.  Lay kale on cookie sheet and bake 5-8 minutes at 350. (You’ll hear it start to sizzle ~ when the edges are crispy, the chips are probably done ~ it’s all about the timing, so you definitely have to keep an eye out!)

 

Pumpkin Roll: (** This recipe comes courtesy of some of my college roommates ~ I also have not yet tried it, but the man and his pops said it was a winner!)

What you need (for the roll!):

3 eggs

1 c sugar

2/3 c pumpkin puree

1 tsp lemon juice

3/4 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 cup pecans

Confection sugar for dusting

2 clean dish clothes

What you need (for the frosting!):

8 oz cream cheese

4 tbsp butter

1 c confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350.

1.  Grease & flour a 10 x 15 jelly roll (I used at 10 x 15 cookie sheet with sides ~ perhaps this is a jelly roll … I had never heard of one prior to this recipe).

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and mix with sugar for 5 minutes.  Gradually add pumpkin and lemon juice.

3.  Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Mix well, and gradually blend into large bowl with pumpkin mixture.

4.  Spread batter evenly into the pan.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans. (Minda toasts hers until fragrant … this lady just added them raw!).

5.  Bake for 10-15 minutes (or until the center is springy when pressed).  Loosen edges with knife and turn onto dish towel dusted with confectioner’s sugar.  Lay second towel on top, and roll cake using towels while still warm.  Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile…. !!

1. In a medium bowl, combine frosting ingredients and beat together until smooth. (*** Little hint ~ pull your butter and cream cheese out of the fridge and allow to come to room temp while you put together the roll ingredients.  It makes combining them during this step so.much.easier. )

2. Unroll cake, spread with frosting, and re-roll.  Place on waxed paper (or, as I did, in Saran Wrap), dust with more sugar, twist ends and tuck under.

3.  Refrigerate overnight.  Slice and serve chilled.

heartache

I woke up snuggled in bed, a distinct chill in the air, and I was both excited about the fall, and all the wonderful things it holds, but also mournful of the season that has passed ~ cold drinks on the patio, the warm heat of the sun, sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, barbeques …. Ah well.  Adieu ’til next year!

Despite wanting to have a low key weekend (I think of it as a battery recharge for the five days of work that wear me out completely) this one seemed to be jam-packed with things to do.  Today, after a yum breakfast courtesy of my lovely Mama, we went over to the storage unit to assess the workload necessary to clear it out of extraneous… stuff (I’ll refrain from saying ‘junk’ because it probably isn’t junk … but it has been in storage for years, so I don’t think one could call it necessary).  It’s amazing the amount of stuff I thought I’d lost, but it has been sealed up in boxes instead!  Very exciting stuff ~ and probably a lot of work for an upcoming weekend.

Then, I watched the Steelers’ painful loss to the Texans with my father.  No matter how much I try to be calm and collected, watching them this season (and with total honesty, the end of last season) is absolutely gut-wrenching.  Where is the fire?  And ~ say it with me Steeler Nation ~ where is our Offensive Line?  Ugh.  Not to mention the salt in the wound reading the news ribbon the rest of the day stating that Ben boarded the plane on crutches and a boot on his foot.  For me, being a fan is deep-seeded.  The Steelers are part of who I am.  No matter what happens this season, or any other, I will always love them beyond what is considered normal.  I have to have faith that they will figure this out and triumph as well.  But I’d like to think it won’t take until we’re 7-5 to find the fire.

Today also launched my third go-round with Shaun T and Insanity.  For some reason, those work outs work better for me than anything else.  I’m disciplined about it, and I find it challenging, so I keep up on it.  I was thrilled beyond belief that Workout #1 (Plyometric Cardio Circuit) was challenging, but not impossible (as it was the first and second time).  Yippee!!  I still think the man is crazy, but clearly, also very motivating.

On the food front, the peach cobbler has remained illusive thus far, but fingers crossed, it’s baking away happily tomorrow night.  Monday is coming again …. and this girl must get some shut eye before the rat race begins.

right now

I had a totally different idea of what I would pontificate on this evening.  It involved ‘brownies’ and ‘from scratch’ ~ but due to an unexpected evening happy hour, I am going to have to post pone my attempts to recreate a masterpiece I experienced today until Thursday ~ as tomorrow is occupied with WeHangsDay, and I have a pretty nifty plan in store!

Some thoughts I have right now:

1.  Never ever do ‘Insanity’ after 2 glasses of wine, steak tartar and a soy chai latte on the drive home.  Ever.  I’m very serious about this.  It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that I could fully concentrate on working out and not on keeping the contents of my stomach right where they were (aka, in my stomach).  I confused ambition & will power with common sense.  Whoops.

2.  Air conditioning is a beautiful thing.

3.  ‘Radio Times’ with Marty Moscowan on NPR can be a truly thought-provoking two hours.  I’m still mulling over this morning’s discussion on journalism ethics.

4.  I write this blog for me mostly (it’s my hobby, remember? hehe!), and love that anyone reads it and enjoys it.  But I really love it when my Mama Bear reads it, because she’s totally my hero and idol and all that I wish and strive to be as a human being.  And when she reads my words and likes them, I need no other praise.

5.  When I cook something good, my heart hurts that my grandmother isn’t here to see it.  She would have been more than surprised that I ever made something edible, but she also would have been infinitely proud.  I miss her every single day.

6.  I’m very nervous about the current state of the NFL.  Please, dear Football Gods, please give us a 2011 season.  I’ll even take eight games only if necessary.  But don’t cancel it entirely.

7.  I love these lines from one of my favorite movies ~ and I’ve never even been to Iowa.  Must be awfully beautiful and magical.  (Guess the movie!)

“Is this heaven?”

“No… it’s Iowa!”

P.S. While searching for an image, I found out they made a Field of Dreams 2 … which just almost upset my poor stomach as much as ‘Insanity.’  Yowza, what a bad idea!

8. I love learning.  I miss learning.  If only there was a great class I could audit on Roman anthropology and mythology, I’d be there in a hot second.

9.  I have a countdown on for two things ~ I know, decadent, eh? July 15th ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II hits theatres, and so do John and I to see it.  Unfortunately, my HP movie buddy from the last few years will be in Maine (boo!) but I’m gonna see it on opening day anyway.  Also equally important (and marked in bold red in my date book since February when the date was announced) is the release of Daniel Silva’s new Gabriel Allon book, Portrait of a Spy.  I’m totally addicted to the series, and mark the release dates of the newest addition every year.  That’s on July 19th, and I will be waiting outside B & N in Rittenhouse first thing Tuesday morning.  Yippee!!

10.  I really can’t wait to make those brownies.  But after ‘Insanity’ today, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them.  But man oh man, they were soooooooooo good.

road block

I was so pumped on Saturday, because I made it through Max Interval Cardio without taking many breaks, and managed to do all the moves in each interval, sometimes slower than the pros, but pretty consistently, which was not bad, if I say so myself.  Which I did.  All Saturday night.

I also said ‘Ouch’ a lot on Saturday night, because I tweaked a muscle in my back.

So today, when I woke up nice and early to greet Shaun T. with a smile after taking a wee break yesterday, I was pretty bummed that my energy level and ability to get through today’s workout ~ Max Interval Plyo (the Doozer workout which I did last week with flying colors) ~ was pretty sub-par.

The other slightly discouraging thing is that I only have six days of ‘Insanity’ left ~ which would be good if I felt like the stride I was hitting in my progress on Thursday and Saturday of last week were continuing onward and upward.  Instead, I feel like I’ve hit a road block.

Oh Monday.  Usually I don’t mind you so much.

oh happy day!

I have been very into watching Secretariat recently.  ** As a side-note, I can watch the same movie over and over again ~ for days, sometimes weeks on end (Field of Dreams comes to mind). ** But, to the point, there is something so uplifting about the story of a woman who believed in her gut instinct and knowledge, and fought tooth and nail without much support, to fulfill a dream.  And what a reward at the end of it all ….

The story of Secretariat is remarkable, and to this day, he is considered one of the best athletes that ever lived.  It’s incredible, really.

Watching the recreation of the Belmont Stakes of ’73 in the movie, I can’t help but feel my heart flutter with excitement as Secretariat rounds the final corner, and continues surging for the finish line.  His time and margin of victory, to this point, have never been matched. No one has even come close. If nothing else, that’s amazingly impressive. 

(** For anyone who feels that movies gloss over reality, and paint prettier pictures than actually existed – which is more often than not, true – you should check out the words of Penny Chenery’s youngest son here.)

That’s the thing about sports ~ and any kind of sport, really.  The wonder it inspires in those of us who aren’t amazingly skilled, to watch those who are excel in ways that sometimes defy imagination.  It’s breath-taking, adrenaline-pumping … one of life’s daily miracles.

Speaking of miracles … another movie that I have over-played is Miracle, the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and -this is shocking, I know- the end of that movie (real audio from the actual game) gives me shivers.

Do you believe in miracles?… YES!” Thank you Al Michaels, for one of the best sound bites in the history of sports.  Not just hockey.  Sports.  Full stop.

Sports’ triumphs, often depicted in movies, can lift a country during a time of need (Jim Braddock, The Cinderella Man, Seabiscuit in Seabiscuit), support civil rights (Mohammad Ali, Ali) embody the morals of a people (the 1980 U.S. hockey team defeating the Soviets at the height of the Cold War, Miracle), reinforce womens’ struggle for equality (Penny Chenery, Secretariat)really, do any number of things. Including uniting a group of people, and teaching us to believe.  Because sports exist in black and white, as so little else does in our ever-evolving culture, and in times of trial, or worry, having answers gives people security.  Sports give people hope.

Sixty minutes.  One team wins, one team loses.  And that depends on the level of performance and strategy during those constantly ticking seconds.  Trust me, after this past Super Bowl, I’m intimately familiar with how important those 60 minutes are.

Nine innings. Eighteen holes.  Mental toughness.  Physical skill.

 

 

At the end, the score says what you accomplished, and it’s either good enough, or it’s not.  There is no middle ground.  It’s refreshing.  It’s a relief.  There’s a finality that is comforting to sports.

I am a big fan.  Clearly!

That’s why it’s such a bummer I’m not better at them!  However, Shaun T. and I once again had a fairly successful workout.  It was the “bad workout” (aka, the one the always summons the Doozer)and not only did the Doozer not arrive, but I felt really good about my progress.  Truth be told, I’m nervous to admit that – for fear that tomorrow, I will crash and burn.  Ah well, we will see.

I feel it's important that you all meet Shaun T., too. Say hello.

He’s smilin’ because he loves it! (If you ever endeavor to do the workouts, you’ll find that pretty funny).

Last night’s WeHangsDay was a doozy.  Our friends’ surprised John with a bag full of great BBQin’ loot to celebrate his 30th.  I’m a little jealous, I have to admit!  And dinner was great ~ pork tenderloin on the grill, mango salsa with a kick, and mushrooms (need I say more… really!), tomatoes, zucchini (mmmm….) and cauliflower on the grill.  Yum.  And … pretty good for a person, if I do say so myself!  We also enjoyed some very delightful vino (keep an eye out for it on ‘in vino e verita’).  All in all, a slice of perfection.  Thank you, Man Cave.  😀

Also, they brought me back a present I have to share as soon as the camera is charged.  Everyone, please wait with baited to breath to meet Jorge Dos.  Adventures to follow.  😉

Tonight, because I’m a socializing diva (ha!), our neighbors came down to dine.  We served white wine (obv!), baked salmon with an avocado cream sauce (told you I can’t resist that little green fruit), fresh broccoli from our landlords’ garden (totally flavorful ~ muchas gracias to our lovely land-people!), and little red baby new potatoes boiled and served with a drizzle of EVOO, salt and pepper.  Here’s how I did it ~

~ First, I filled a saucepan with water and added the potatoes (baby red bliss).  I brought the water to a slow boil, and let them cook happily away while I composed the rest of the dish.  I checked on them periodically, and when they were soft (I tested by poking with a pointy knife), I pulled them off the burner and let them sit.

Meanwhile …

~ I separated the huge head of broccoli into bite size pieces, and then put them on a foil covered cookie sheet, sprinkled a little sea salt and EVOO and then popped them into the oven which was preheated to 375 for about seven minutes (note: when the broccoli starts to make audible noise from sizzling, it’s done  ~ there were some crispy bits, but that added to the deliciousness).

~ Next, my fresh salmon filets.  I seasoned with salt and pepper and a little white wine.  Then, I baked them at 375 for about twelve minutes ~ the flesh had turned a nice light pink color, but the fish was firm to the touch.

~ While the fish cooked in the oven, I quartered two avocados, and with a whisk, smashed them up with two dollops of mayonnaise, some S & P, and a splash of soy sauce.  Pretty much guacamole ~ only this time, I had a heavier hand with the mayo.

~ When the salmon was plated, and the avocado cream sauce plopped on top, I drained the potatoes, and drizzled them with EVOO, salt and pepper and some parsley flakes (green is such a lovely color … oh wait, that’s right, it is my favorite!).

I also braved making angel food cake to serve strawberry shortcake (for John’s b-day I used store bought ‘dessert cups’ and I was not a fan).  Even angel food cake from a box is challenging.  Just FYI.

my teeny work station

Either way, it was pretty good (sans burnt bottom).

A triumph Mrs. Cratchit! A triumph! (I will use this many times, so it’s probably a good thing to advise that this expression will make frequent appearances).

I love dinner parties.  If only I could afford to entertain every day …. Ahhh.

Dreams.

wed.nes.day.

breaking the fast

It’s my favorite day of the week.  I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved the Wednesday. 😀

Have a champion breakfast this morning.  As I told John, I bought raspberries because they were on sale at the market.  Meaning, they had raspberries they were selling.  (I just can’t resist …!)

Raspberries are hands down my most favorite food.  I have the best memories of going raspberry picking as a child in the borderlands of Scotland with my Granny, my Mama Bear and my little brother.  We would pick baskets and baskets full of raspberries and gooseberries (which did not leave the same lasting impression on my taste buds) … and I would be stuffed by the time we left, because I would have eaten so many warm raspberries right off the vine.

Mmmm.   Memories.  There is nothing quite as heavenly as fresh raspberries with English heavy cream.  Makes me want to check flights right now!  Although sadly, the raspberry farm we used to go to has been closed for many years.

I would like to add for posterity that raspberries are best enjoyed in their native form … raspberry-flavored candy, etc just isn’t the same as pure, unadulterated raspberry.  Why mess with perfection, I say?

 

pure heaven

Last night, John and I hosted his closest friend from high school for dinner, and a movie.  He is being deployed in August (yes, he’s one of those very brave, noble and admirable people who protect our country and I am totally in awe of that) and he was on his way home from wrapping things up at the base.  Occasionally, he crashes on our couch (we’re a good mid-point between base and home, so it works out!).

The more the merrier, I say!

I had a whole meal planned out and then John dropped the bomb … his buddy is allergic to chicken (there goes my BBQ chicken pizza idea).  So we improvised a bit.  Using some frozen short ribs, we did a BBQ short rib pizza, and then a shrimp & pesto pizza with cilantro garnish.  Both were pretty yummy (but not, I will admit, on the good end of the healthy scale).  Pizza can be a lot healthier than it might appear at first … and we like making it at home because it allows us to get all kinds of creative (you can’t even imagine some of the pizzas we’ve made … and surprisingly, they are all good!).

I was pretty pleased with how they looked … I like when food looks appetizing.

Clearly, after enjoying a few slices of pie and a glass of vino bianco, I knew that I had to get serious about my workout this morning.

It was tough getting back into ‘Insanity’ after four days of total slacking! And today, my body was still sore from my afternoon workout yesterday.

But, amazingly, the workout felt okay today.  I guess after two weeks of really not feeling like any progress was being made, that’s a good sign.  My quads still feel shaky towards the end of the workouts, and the Doozer makes a daily appearance.  But it’s getting much better!

Whew!  I was beginning to worry that something was seriously wrong, and I’d never feel in shape again for the rest of my life (there’s that tendency toward hyperbole rearing it’s ugly head again!).

Well, cheerios and raspberries have disappeared, so I guess it’s onward and upward to get some work done.

Tonight is WeHangsDay for the first time in about three weeks … we’ll be heading over to the Man Cave this evening for din din.  Thank goodness, cuz I don’t know that I have any ideas for dinner whatsoever!  Gotta start thinking for next week ….

Happy Hump Day! Have a good one! 🙂

ladies, all the ladies

Check these out if you haven’t … they are scrum-diddli-umptious!  My brother’s lady love, Eli, introduced me, and I cannot thank her enough!

and it friggin' tastes like a s'mores, too!

Had a much more successful reunion with Shaun T. than I had anticipated … the workout (while still reminding me of self-imposed torture) was much easier to keep up with today.  Very uplifting.  I think it may have something to do with the Luna Protein Bar (chocolate peanut butter!) I scarfed before buckling down to the Max Interval Circuit (which is the über long one, btw).

I’m starting to get that getting healthy is an on-going process … I just have to keep my chin up and keep trying my best ~ even when I have a bad day.  Little by little I know I’ll make progress.  (The turtle and the hare come to mind … my patience wishes that results arrived like the hare … but my mind & body are hoping that by getting there via the turtle, the results last longer).

It’s funny how just when I thought I had hit a brick wall 45 million feet thick (I exaggerate a little sometimes … I’m sure you’ve picked up on that) ~ today happens, and all of a sudden, Shaun T. doesn’t look like such a sadist.

But, that is just today! 😉

tigger-licious

I sat bolt upright this morning when I remembered that Rooney (my Mini) had an appointment with destiny at 8am.  Well, not really destiny, more like inspectors … but since her tags expired last Thursday, it was pretty important that I get my hiney out of bed and over to the dealership asap.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t set an alarm, so I was running juuuust a leeeettle beet late.  Whoops.

Luckily, the people who work for Mini are potentially the nicest people on the face of the planet.  Big props to Mini for being a pretty rockstar company.

A short 45 minutes later (and a delish soy chai from Starbucks) Rooney was ready to hit the road, and she’d even gotten a bath.  If you noticed, she’s the gorgeous colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers ~

house-warming present from my Mama Bear

And she’s named after the family who has owned and run one of the NFL’s best franchises since the Steelers were founded (and originally called the Pirates!), the Rooney’s.  Clearly, I’m biased, but I have great admiration for a family that runs their business with the kind of integrity, spirit and soul that the Rooney’s possess (and, to be fair to the man, the Mara’s -owners of the Giants- have, too).  As we like to say, real football teams don’t have cheerleaders!

So, I wanted to follow up quickly to my Eeyore Day last week.  It’s always rough when you get the glums, and can’t seem to shake them.  And I think the best thing to do is dig deep, and take action instead of giving in to being bummed.

Some things I did last Thursday to cheer myself up.

I painted my little piggies.

french done at home

It took me a little bit more time than usual ~ I used to do french pedis all the time, but got out of the habit~ … and I’m glad I did it.  It always makes a girl feel good when her toes look nice in sandals, right?

I drank a lot of water.

I always try to drink a lot of water, but being hydrated definitely helps kick fatigue.  Plus, when you do Insanity work outs (like most workouts), you sweat so much, that you have to keep re-hydrating.

Sometimes, I don’t want to drink any more water, but I forced myself to on Thursday ~ I try to drink my minimum of 64 ounces a day, and more if I can.  Just constantly drinkin’ agua.  Yummy.

 

I went outside and enjoyed some new flowers that are blooming.  Somehow, if you’re stuck inside all day, it’s way more depressing.  Gotta get some A & D from natural sun rays …

Pretty purple to go with the dazzling orange of our Tiger Lilies.

I also tried the massage techniques described in my GOOP newsletter.  Once I stopped thinking about it, and expecting miracles to happen, it was pretty relaxing.  But I’m gonna guess that it’s not as satisfying as having someone else do the massaging (which costs moola that I don’t currently have … bummer).

 

One thing I have absolutely learned over time is that when I eat well, and exercise, I feel better.  Thursday was an anomaly … I hadn’t had too many glasses of vino, or eaten junk food.  I was just weighed down by stress.  And stress can wreak havoc on a person physically and mentally.

Shaun T. and I didn’t have a wildly successful workout, but it did boost my spirits a bit, and combined with a little water and some pampering (in the form of a home pedi), I was feeling better by the time I curled up in bed.

The hardest thing to do is find the will to put the workout duds on, and get motivated to get sweaty.  Especially when all I wanted to do was stay snuggled in bed.  But the days that I sleep in feel less productive and more frustrating than the ones when I get my butt out of bed.  Early bedtime and good rest is way better than ‘sleeping in,’ which just kind of leaves me groggy all day.  Something of a letdown of a revelation, but it’s better to know than to keep feeling yuck.

I’ve got 16 more days of ‘Insanity’, and then I’m hoping that the Planet Fitness is open across the street (no words can describe how totally psyched John and I were when it was finally revealed that the empty car dealership on our street was becoming a gym … fabuloso!).  I have a couple ideas up my sleeve to keep myself working out and moving forward & motivated.  But I’m not ready to share yet, so when I am, y’all will be the first to know.

Enjoy the short week!  In the infamous words of Gupta from “The Terminal” (and a favorite expression of a great friend & myself) …

Don’t hate the Toosday! 😀