Thursday, December 31, 2009

ADA recommends A1C for diabetes diagnosis

According to a recent article on WebMD, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) now recommends a simple blood test, known as the A1C test, for diagnosing diabetes. Until recently, the A1C test hadn’t been standardized between labs. Now, a person with an A1C below 5 is considered not at risk for diabetes. People with A1C levels between 5.7 – 6.4 are considered pre-diabetic. Those with A1C levels of 6.5 or higher are considered diabetic.

Happy happy. Joy Joy. In accordance with this recent revelation, my latest A1C result would mean that I am considered pre-diabetic. Never thought I’d be so happy to learn that. Of course, the other category to consider in my diabetes struggle is my BMI. Using a simple BMI calculation, I still have work to do as my BMI is still slightly in the overweight category. I also am an apple shape which means I put additional stress on my vital organs by having my excess weight in my mid-section.

Ugh. Time to reduce my waistline.

10 SMART Goals for 2010

1. Exercise – Like so many people, I have a goal to exercise regularly, but having this as a goal is not really fair. I already do exercise regularly. 5-6 times per week. Just because I currently do it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a goal for the upcoming year.

2. Keep a food journal. We’ve all heard it before. Keep a journal to keep aware of what fuel you are putting in your body. According to an article in Diabetic Living (Winter 2009, p. 64), “A 2008 study of almost 1,700 people found that those who wrote down what they ate and drank for six days a week lost twice as much weight as those who did not.” I am just as guilty as the next person. I think I am aware of what I am eating until I sit down and realize that I just mindlessly shoved 3 cookies in my mouth in the afternoon instead of paying attention to my body and giving it what it really needed.

3. Register for a race per month from March (maybe April depending on weather) through December. I am hoping to do the Delavan Frostbite Classic Half Marathon in March, but that is weather dependent. I’ve signed up for the sold out OneAmerica 500 Mini-Marathon on Mother’s Day weekend and the Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in October. In addition, I will definitely be doing the Tremont Triathlon on June 26th. I’ll be watching a few races sites to see what other opportunities are out for the remaining months.

4. Track distances for running, biking and swimming.

5-7 Create monthly plans for dining, exercise and finances. If you missed the Suze Orman guest appearance on last season’s The Biggest Loser, you missed some pretty good statistics on obesity and finances. Now, my dear husband made fun of every line Suze had on the show, but in all honesty, I know there is a direct correlation between my weight (i.e. dining out and being lazy) and my finances. When my food is out of control, my weight is out of control. I am usually in total denial about where my money is going about the same time I am in denial about why my pants feel tighter.

8. Create a monthly plan for housekeeping duties. Life gets in the way. A LOT. So sometimes swiping the toilet doesn’t happen as regularly as I want it to.
9. Complete at least two scrapbook pages per week.
10. Work on genealogy at least two times per month.

All of this adds up to someone with a balanced life. That is my ultimate goal. To have a balanced, fulfilled life while providing a nurturing Christian home from my family. Over the next few weeks, I am hoping to flesh out some of those goals with some SMART objectives: S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Realistic, and T-Timely.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 – a year to jeer or cheer?

It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. Is it really almost 2009? I still feel like it could be 1980-something….I am in denial that I am a woman of a certain age which is considered “middle aged”. Ugh. I hate that word. But let’s look back at another year and see what lessons on life we have learned.

January – Swimming is not easy. As a kid, you thought it was so much fun to splish splash in the water. Now, swimming has turned into a form of exercise. It takes the fun right out of it.

February – I love to be a coach and mentor. Every winter I coach 5th & 6th grade girls travel volleyball which is a sport that I truly, truly love. I want to pass that passion on to the youth of our small, little town.

March – Relaxation is good! We went to Orlando for spring break and really enjoyed the relaxation. We didn’t do a heck of a lot except sit by the pool. We did visit a couple of parks, but we didn’t kill ourselves with a break neck pace. Thank goodness for vacations!

April – I love my job. I really enjoy my job at the park district…especially when it’s busy which always happens at this time of the year. I started my career as a computer programmer which was an interesting career, but sitting in a cubicle with my computer screen was not quite as fulfilling as interacting with people. Of course, being the busy time for me, I swayed from my triathlon training and questioned whether I could do it this year or not.

May – I’ve become my mother. In May, I discovered I was diabetic. Not pre-diabetic. Not borderline. D-I-A-B-E-T-I-C. I shed a few tears over that one, but in the end I decided this was God’s way of saying “Don’t give up on the triathlon. It’s time to hard boot your training.”

June – I AM A TRIATHLETE! Oh my gosh, I so loved running in the Sprint Triathlon at Tremont. Words cannot express how happy I was to complete my first triathlon. I met my goal time. I finished with a smile on my face…and a desire to buy a new bike.

July – I am a goal oriented person. With no races sitting in front of me, I became a slacker. I was still running, biking and swimming, but my intensity was lost. So, I signed up for the Canton Triathlon in August.

August – I still need to work on my swim. I competed in the Canton Triathlon which is an open water swim. I read all about the people who freak out when they do the open water swim. I was extremely nervous, but I prepared….I thought. I took my first few strokes and had to flip over to a back stroke. I was convinced I was going to drown because I didn’t have a huge amount of faith in my swim ability. As soon as I finished the swim, I felt a huge relief. I finished the race in OK time, but my swim took away from my enjoyment of the race.

September – I like a schedule. After a free form schedule for the summer, I know that I need to follow a schedule. Now that the kids are back in school everything just seems to fall into place better.

October – I am IN my 40s. I know this shouldn’t be a huge revelation, but there is a difference between 40 and 41. And I felt great to be 41 and getting my body back into tip top shape.

November – I love my family traditions. We were in Disney World for Thanksgiving this year. Jeff really hated being away on Thanksgiving. He wanted to be home smoking a turkey for the family. Ha. I didn’t miss that. I missed Black Friday. Getting up at 4 a.m. and going shopping with my sisters and nieces…fighting through the crowds to get hard to find item at a great deal.

December – I will never again participate in a Cookie Exchange! I love my neighbor who I’ll just call her Martha. She’s an incredible woman who invited our entire neighborhood over to her beautifully decorated home for a cookie exchange. I enjoyed the company and conversation, but, really, Who needs 7 dozen cookies? They were all yummy and tasty, but I don’t need 7 dozen cookies sitting around my house at the holidays tempting me. I only participated this year because my darling husband insisted. Next year, he can go and I’ll stay home and enjoy my peace and quiet.

2009 in summary -

Overall through this year, I’ve also discovered that I like to follow a plan. It’s just making sure I take the time to make the plan. That’s the key. I’m awesome at following my workout plan. I just need to make sure I follow my food plan. That is my long term goal for 2010. Now, I need to work on making measurable short term goals to up the long term ones.

So for 2010, I’m working on a finance plan, a workout plan, a food plan, and a housekeeping plan.
Mmm, I like me a plan.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I've become a statistic

According to several recent studies, the average person gains one pound during the winter holidays. In surveys, people report the average weight gain during the holidays is about 5 lbs.
EEEKKK! During our trip to WDW, I gained 2 lbs. Now that we are in the final week of the year, I’ve gained another 2.5 lbs. As I said before, it is the most fattening time of the year.
But I am still working out. I am still enjoying the adrenaline rush after every workout and reveling in my growing muscles.

Until I hear the toffee call…

But I took care of that today. Yes, I ate some, but when I got to the point that I was disgusted with myself I threw the rest in the GARBAGE.

Yes, victory!

Hmmm, I’d hate to test my sugar level right now though.


WWCore Olive Salad Dressing

This is my all time favorite salad dressing. I got this off of an email list when I was following Weight Watchers Core. It is so tasty. Add some reduce fat Feta cheese with loads of veggies and it's an awesome salad!

Olive Salad Dressing:

1/2 c green or black olives, pitted, chopped
1 c black olives, pitted, chopped
3-4 sweet cherry peppers or pepperoncini, seeded, chopped => I use pepperoncinis
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 anchovies, crushed (optional) => No thank you!
3/4 c red onions, sliced => I chop
1/4 c roasted pimientos, chopped => I just use olives with pimientos in them
1/4 c fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon each oregano and basil, chopped
3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspon salt (or to taste) => I don't use the salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate in a covered container overnight before using.

Usually one batch of this dressing lasts me about 2 weeks.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas to all - fat & fat. Please remember that Jesus Christ Our Savior loves you no matter what your fitness level.

In celebration of His birth, I received a number of fitness gifts which I am VERY excited about. My family knows that I've had a life long love of exercising, but due to my diabetes I've stepped it up this year. Here are some of the exciting gifts that I received and can't wait to use & review:

Triathlon Workout Planner, by John Mora (available at My sister got me this one. I'm always looking for new material to help me refine my training. I'm a very independent athlete. I don't like to wait on other people to exercise. So I thought this might help me intensify some workouts. Here's hoping.

180s Discovered Headphone Ear Warmer. Ahh, relief for my ear on the cold outdoor runs. I have ear phones and a ear warmers, but when I wear the two together I end up smashing my ears. Hopefully, this will help and feel much better.

SportCount Lap Counter. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE. Don't tell me I'm the only one who loses count in the pool. I can't seem to keep track of my laps. I get too excited when I realize I'm getting close to a goal and suddenly I'm not sure how many laps I've done.

Jillian Michaels Adjustable Weight Powerbell. Ohhh, my husband is good. I dropped one MAJOR hint and he took it. I was so impressed. I can't wait to start swinging these things around. He said there's even a DVD with it. Ohhh baby. Can you feel my excitement?

In addition, my daughter received these for Christmas and her birthday. I know. You think it's cruel, but she LOVES Jillian Michaels.

The Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD workout

The Biggest Loser for the Wii. I've already started playing with this one and it is a LOT of fun...and challenging as well. I like it much better than Wii Fit...but more about that later.The Biggest Loser Last Chance DVD workout.

Looks like I'm going to have plenty to keep me busy over the winter.

Enjoy your holiday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WWCore Vegetable Soup 0 pt

One of my favorite recipes to get me through the winter months and helps me eat my vegetatables is Weight Watchers Core Vegetable Soup for 0 points. Plus, the bonus feature is that it's a crock pot recipe. Put all of the ingredient in and walk away for a few hours. I love anything that is EASY! My crock before I even chop up any vegetables.
I added the chopped up vegetables....and a few hours later....

YUMMY YUMMY HOT SOUP! I usually have at least 1 cup per day through the winter. One batch lasts me about a week.
Here is the recipe:
10 oz spinach, baby, washed
2 medium carrots(s), chopped (NOTE: I like things easy. So I chop a few baby carrots.)
2 medium stalk celery, chopped
1 large onion(s), chopped
1 clove garlic clove(s), minced
4 c vegetable broth, low-sodium
28 oz canned diced tomatoes, no-salt added
2 leaf bay leaves
1 T dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
Place all ingredients in a slow cookers; cover and cook on high power for 5 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week of 12/14/9 Workouts

Not the most stellar week, but with all of the sickness running rampant through this house I can't complain too much.

Monday: 3.4 mile treadmill run
Tuesday: The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga
Wednesday: 2.5 mile treadmill run
Thursday: The Biggest Loser Power Sculpt
Friday: OUTDOOR RUN YAYAYAYA with my trusting GARMIN watch

Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Wii The Biggest Loser – 30 minute cardio workout plus challenges

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's the most FATTTENING time of the year

It’s Sunday, December 20, 2009 and yes, it is the most fattening time of the year. Let’s exam why.

1. Everyone is running here and there trying to purchase gifts that no one needs instead of exercising.

2. There are some people in our lives who believe that food is the 6th love language and will spend hours and hours baking in the kitchen to pass out fattening treats to their friends, co-workers and neighbors.

3. Tradition. My family has a multi-generational tradition of making homemade candy each holiday season. Candy which is oh so yummy, but also full of nothing more than sugar and butter.

4. Cookie exchanges. I love my neighbors and last year I refused to participate in the fat exchange, but I succumbed this year due to pressure from my sweet tooth husband.

My goal for December was to maintain, but then I also got a cold and lost my voice. On top of it all, my Mini-Me got pink eye this week and my dear hubby was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Yep, it all adds up to stress and a quick grab of all those cookies, candies and goodies which are just splayed out across my pantry counter. Guess I’d better go get on the treadmill after all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DVD-Rev: The Biggest Loser Power Sculpt

I received another DVD through the inter-library loan this week....The Biggest Loser Power Sculpt DVD. I did this workout this morning and uhhh, yah, I like it way better than the Weight Loss Yoga.
I decided to do the Maximum Results pre-programmed workout. The entire program was led by Jillian Michaels. The program started with a 5- minute warm up followed by a 20 minute sculpting segment and a 5 minute cool down.
Now, I have to say that LOVE Jillian, love, love her. She used to have a podcast on KFI which I listened to every week. The show helped me understand some of her thoughts and why she treats some of her contestants in such a rough manner. She's really not a psycho masochist. She has some level of thought process behind it all...actually a lot of thought. She's very insightful with her contestants.
HOWEVER, I can honestly say Jillian Michaels may be a fantastic trainer, but she is not an aerobic instructor. When you do aerobics, there is a certain tempo...a consistency which needs to be followed...a 4- or 8-count to follow when doing your exercises. There is no tempo, no 8-count during the Power Sculpt segments. And maybe I'm just a DVD snob, but I really like my 8-count. The 20-minute level I segment went by very quickly with a mixture of lower, upper and core exercises and with the exception of the lack of a tempo, I really enjoyed the workout....but it ended too quickly.
So, I decided rather than move into my cool down I went back to complete the Level 2 & 3 segments as well since they are each only 10 minutes long. Level 2 is led by former TBL trainer Kim Lyons. This segment consisted of completing the designated exercise and then doing a power segment were the reps were completed at double time. The segment was fine. Most of the lower body exercises were just a repeat of what Jillian completed in Level 1 with upper body movement included. The main problem with this segment is the power portion were Kim wanted you to speed up the exercise....but then later in the segment asked you to slow it down and feel the burn. Hmmm, which is it? Speed up or slow down? Kim did say some key phrases just as I was ready to put my weights aside and kept me motivated to keep going.
The Level 3 segment was led by Bob Harper. This segment was full of completely different exercises utilizing upper and lower movements. The segment ended with some core exercises which I definitely enjoyed.
One of the extra features on the DVD is the inspirational stories where some of season 4 participants told the listener about their journey. The stories were interesting and enjoyable. I hope someone out there will find them motivating.
Overall, I think the DVD is a good one which I will use again and again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DVD-Rev: The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga - Part 2

I know I've had the DVD for a week now. You would think I would have gotten more use out of it. The library was already calling for it to come back to the library, but with my cold I only got to use it once. So, today I was determined to try the DVD again. This time I customized my own workout with a 5 minute warm-up, 20 minutes & 15 minutes segments and a 5 minute cool down.

The 20 minute segment was basically the Maximum Results program. Lots of Warrior 1 & 2 poses, triangles, and plank positions. Still, a lot of time on your wrists, but I didn't have that feeling that my wrists needed to pop today so that was a little bit better.

My favorite portion of the workout was the 15 minute segment which wasn't a part of the Maximum Results program. It was actually a 15 minute core workout. The segment did use a lot of plank positions, but I really enjoyed this core workout. It was hard, but I loved all of the different positioning without doing a single crunch. I was a little dismayed though when everyone on the DVD pulled out their light medicine ball to use in some of the exercises. On most of the exercises, I was able to substitute with a light hand weight and balled up my sweatshirt to put between my knees instead of the medicine ball.

Overall, I enjoyed this DVD. It's a good workout, something different for me. However, I am still not a huge yoga fan. I know if I keep doing it consistently I will see results, but yoga will have to be a supplemental workout for me. I know I've gotten a good workout. My shoulders, arms and wrists could feel it, but I just haven't caught the yoga bug...yet. I guess I'll keep trying. I'm giving this DVD a 3-star rating because 1) I don't love yoga, and 2) I didn't like all of the impact on my wrists.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Diagnosis: Diabetes

It all started out so innocently - that day in May of 2009. I thought I was doing the right thing and I was. I really, really was. I just didn't realize how it would impact my life.

At my yearly ladies exam, I mentioned to my doctor that I should probably get my sugar tested. I was 40 now and after giving birth to my 2nd child, a 10 pound 9 ounce baby girl (yes, that's what I said), my gynecologist treated me as a gestational diabetic when I had my 3rd child even though my sugar levels never got out of whack. So, while I was never diagnosed as truly gestational diabetic, I was treated as such.

I knew this day would come. It's not a surprise. Diabetes runs very strongly through my mom's genes. My mom was diabetic. Her mom was diabetic. Grandma's dad was diabetic. I guess I always knew it would come. I just wanted it to come later rather than sooner.

I set up my fasting test for a Friday morning in May. The nurse told me not to eat after midnight. I was so paranoid about messing up my numbers I barely drank water that morning. I arrived at the doctors office relaxed and ready to get this over with so I could move on with my life with the assurance that I had a few more years to wait before worrying about diabetes.

The nurse took my fasting finger prick. She came back and asked, "You are fasting, aren't you?" UH-OH. That's not a good sign. She shouldn't be asking me that first thing. "Yes" I answered, "but I did drink some water." See? I really was paranoid. "Well, your fasting glucose is 140. Maybe we should take it again to make sure the machine is working ok." Uh. Ok. Not very re-assuring. The nurse pricked another finger. "OK. Well, it's right. You probably just need to exercise more."

Listen lady! I exercise 5-6 days a week. I am training for a triathlon in just over a month. I DO NOT NEED TO EXERCISE MORE!


crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!


I drank my nasty glucose drink and then went out to the waiting room to sit for an hour....and think. An hour to realize that one of my worst nightmares had just come true. The tears pricked at my eyes. All rational thought went out the window. I felt as if I'd just chopped 20 years off of my life. My mom died at 68 due to NASH disease. My grandma died at 69. My brother died directly of diabetes at 54. I am 40 and could feel the mortician preparing his tools to embalm my body.

After an hour of deep breathing to stall the tears (because I didn't want the entire office to stare at me - I was in a gyne office after all!), I went into the examination room to get my 3rd finger prick.

"271", the nurse said as tears pricked at my eyes again. "Well, look at it this way, honey {Editorial comment: the nurse is about my age. Not a blue haired nurse by any means.} when we see you next you will have lost some weight." (awkward pause) "Not that you need to lose a lot."

No, I don't need to lose a lot of weight. I'm not obese. I exercise regularly. I don't generally eat fried foods. I eat....ummm....average. I'm not a disciplined eater. I know I need to lose 20 pounds or so. I know my BMI is a little high. But diabetes? Really? The tears started flowing again.

Another hour later and I was told my glucose was still at 260. Wow! You can't deny the numbers. The proof is in the pudding. The doctor would call me next week to discuss my numbers, but I knew what it all meant. You don't get the nurse asking you two or three times if you are fasting and not have a problem.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on my couch staring at the TV, crying for myself. Yes, I had a pity party and at that time, it was just what I needed. I sat and cried. I googled diabetes and glucose tests to find out just how bad my numbers were. My husband, God bless his sweet heart, tried to tell me I was overreacting and that I needed to wait and talk to the doctor, but I knew the writing was on the wall.

Once I was in a better frame of mind, I could actually think and come up with a game plan. I love a plan. My biggest gripe is that 95% of the materials I could get my hands on talked about diabetes and obesity or diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle. I didn't fit into either of those categories. I needed to lose 20 pounds. I exercised 5-6 days a week. So, what did that tell me?


It all came down to food. I knew what I needed to do. I had all of the materials in my head. I've been to Weight Watchers meetings before. I even joined Jenny Craig after I had my first child. I knew what to do. JUST DO IT.

So, I did. By July I had lost 15 pounds. Unfortunately, it's December and I've still only lost 15 pounds. I am still running at least 12 miles per week. I do weights and yoga 2-3 days per week. So once again. It comes down to FOOD. I'm trying to get back into journaling, but last week I got sidelined with a cold and laryngitis...and I'm still struggling with it.

My goal for the month of December is simply to maintain my weight. Between GoldieLocks' birthday and Christmas parties, I am sure my sugars are not nearly as stable as they should be. BUT I have a plan and I will follow after day....until my goal is achieved...and beyond.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DVD-Rev: The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga

Because of the winter weather, I figured I may need to get some new DVDs in my stockpile to help me get through the winter. I did a little searching through my library card catalog and found a few DVDs that I thought might be interesting to try. If I like them, I can always buy them later, right?

Since The Biggest Loser is a hot show for anyone interested in weight loss, health & fitness or anyone who just loves reality TV, I thought I'd try a DVD by the hit show. The first to come through inter-library loan was TBL Weight Loss Yoga with instructor Bob Harper.

Now, keep in mind, I am not a big yoga buff. I've done a couple of different yoga DVDs, but have a hard time with yoga since I don't know the names of all the poses and have to wrench my neck 95% of the time to figure out where my arms and legs are supposed to be in each pose. BUT the title said "Weight Loss Yoga". So, I thought why not give it a try?

I popped in the DVD and Bob gave a little speech about the benefits of yoga. Great, got it. Let's move on. I decided to select the Maximum Results workout figuring I was already in decent shape and really wanting a challenge out of this DVD. The workout started with some easy breathing exercises and some basic moves to warm up the body. Next Bob moved into a series of poses which really challenged me. Or should I say challenged my wrists? Holy Cow! Midway through the segment my wrists felt like they needed to pop and moving from plank to a push up down to upward dog resulted in me dropping to my knees and not completing the movement. The next series involved moving from the downward facing dog into Warrior 1 & 2 poses followed by some pose I can't even remember the name.

For someone who doesn't know about much yoga, I was satisfied with my challenge from this workout. The best benefit of TBL DVDs is that they do allow you to select various pre-programmed segments to vary your workout depending on your ability. Maybe next time I need to try a different segment as my wrists did not care to carry all of my weight through 10-15 minutes of the video. I did work up a slight sweat especially as several of the poses were held for a long time. I felt a good workout in my shoulders (and wrists)! The challenge was not enough for my legs, but it wasn't easy either.

One of my issues with TBL DVDs is that the camera sometimes focuses on contestants who really don't know enough about the exercises as of yet and they are not really using good form. Beginners beware: Make sure you use proper form and identify some of the stronger contestants to follow. I kept my eyes on Ali Vincent (my personal favorite) most of the time. The taping of this DVD was apparently after her Season 5 victory and watching her strike a pose and hold it was quite a motivation for me, one of her fans.

I am going to withhold judgement on this DVD until I'll had a chance to choose a few more of the workout options.

Weekly Workout Plan 12/7/9

At the beginning of each month, I like to create a workout plan. I've found over the years that if I don't have a plan I'll spend 15-20 minutes each morning thinking about what I'm supposed to be doing instead of just doing it. 15-20 minutes may not seem like much, but considering my tight timeline each morning those few moments spent wasted can really throw off my morning routine.

So, I decided - like my family meals - I needed to come up with a monthly plan to help me achieve my goals. My goals for the month of December are:

  • Run 12 miles per week

  • Review a new DVD each week

  • Lose the 2 vacation lbs as well as 2 more

  • Follow a menu plan for the hectic month of December

So, here are my planned workouts for the week of 7 December 2009:

Monday - run 4 miles

Tuesday - **DVD Review coming** The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga & biceps/triceps

Wednesday - run 4 miles

Thursday - The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga & chest/back

Friday - run 6 miles

Saturday - rest (baking day at my house with my sisters. YAY!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 12/7/9

Monday - Chicken parmesean
Tuesday - spicy chicken
Wed - leftovers
Thurs - chimis (from Tuesday's leftovers)
Friday - crockpot enchilada
Sat - dinner out
Sun - grilled turkey filet mignon
- make a batch of veggie soup for the week

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Workout plan for week of 11/2/9

MONDAY - rest (ran 8 miles Sunday :))
Tuesday - 5 miles moderate pace
Wednesday - FIRM Body sculpt
Thursday - 5 miles easy pace
Friday - yoga
Saturday - 10 miles easy pace
SUNDAY - and the Lord said "Rest"

Monday, November 2, 2009

I feel like a runner

For the first time in my life, I feel like a runner. I've never aspired to be a runner before. I've always exercised. I've run from Memphis to Peoria 2 times, from Champaign to Peoria 3 times. I've run for fitness. I've run for volleyball. I've run to chase my kids, but I've never tried to be a runner before.

On Sunday, I became a runner. Why? I ran 5 miles last Friday. After doing the Firm Body Sculpt on Thursday, I was plenty sore, so I took Saturday off. I woke up Sunday morning with a sinus headache. Ugh. I was supposed to run today. How was I supposed to follow my training program today if I could take a step without my head hurting? After church, I came home and took some rest. I flopped on the couch and started transcribing some old obituaries I've had in my file for quite some time. Something easy. Something brainless. Just what I needed. About 3:45 p.m. the need for a nap took over and I laid down for a cat nap. Of course, DH just couldn't stand it and had to ask me a question right then. 10 minutes- the perfect cat nap.

At 4 o'clock, I knew it was do or die time. Run or forget it. I didn't want to be running at Twilight and with yesterday's changing of the clocks I was already pushing my luck. But after a little nudge from my nephew-in-law (Thanks, Mark!), I knew I had to get up and get my run in. I didn't want to throw off my training program and a little sweating would probably help with my sinuses. The training plan for the day......8 miles......a long one.

But once I had my plan centered in my head I knew I would not settle for anything less. I started out on my run....and completed my 8 miles in 1:22, a little slower than a 10 min mile pace, but it was done and my sense of accomplishment was fantastic. For the first time in my life, I felt like a runner.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday's workout

On Tuesday, I went out for my run. I decided to take my new fancy, dancy GPS Garmin, or "Gary", out to Ropp Road. Now that I had a GPS I didn't need a specific route. I just needed Gary to show me the way. I had a 4 mile run planned. So I thought I'd do a loop - 2 miles out and 2 miles back. I parked my car and took off on my run. It was a beautiful fall day to be out running and not really windy. That was a shocker.

About 1 1/2 miles into my run, I came across a pasture full of cows. They looked at my fear as if I was coming to butcher them for tonight's dinner. I watched the cows. The cows watched me.

I continued on my run. WOW! Ropp Road was really hilly! Not major hills. Not gonna' kill you hills. Just up and down and up and down. At 2.5 miles, I came across another pasture, but this time it contained horses. One of the horses galloped at me as if I was ready to play. Nope, not now. Got work to do. I'd love to play later though. I galloped with the horses. They galloped with me.

I turned around at 1.84 miles- not wanting to run down and hill and have to run around and go right back up that same hill. As I ran by the horses, they ignored me this time as if to say they were mad at me and didn't care for my lack of play time. Finally, I came across the cow pasture again. The cows stared at me with a certain lack of trust. One brown cow decided I was definitely worthy and took off running (Do cows really run?). I think I started a stampede! Naw, not really. Just one cow who didn't want to be my steak dinner for the night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Run with the new Watch

Finally, the rain has cleared off and it was time for a NICE outdoor run. Two days on the hamster wheel this week was tough. Partially cause I'm a plodder and setting a speed on the treadmill is difficult when I don't know my pace. I know I'm slow. I just don't know HOW slow.

I am following the Fitness Magazine training plan for a half-marathon. I've found that having and following a plan is a huge factor for me. It's hard for me to blow it off if I have a plan all mapped out. So, usually at the first of each month, I plan my workouts for the month and put them in an Excel spreadsheet. Not that they can't modified, they just can't be eliminated. So, today was supposed to be my long run. 6 miles. I'm working my way up to a half-marathon, but today is only 6.

As recently as last year, going for a run was a simple matter. I would put on my trusty running shoes, a pair of shorts and a ratty t-shirt and I'd be out the door. I'd be running in no time. It doesn't help that it's fall and the weather is cool. I put on my cold weather running leggings. My Under Armour long sleeve running shirt. Layer with my red running vest - and I'm halfway ready. At my run starting point, I start my "TRAINING" playlist on my iTouch and put the iTouch with my earplugs emerging from the special hole in my pocket. Earplugs in ears, headband over earplugs to keep me warm, sunglasses in place....(almost there)....I put my car key in my special zippered pocket in my leggings. GPS watch on and....I'm off.

Except today I needed to go to the bathroom. I ran a block, turned around ran back to the car and drove to find a bathroom before I could complete my run. Now I have to go through this whole process again!

Once I've taken care of business - and talk to a few people at the park district - I am really off and running. I decided to do my 4-mile loop around town and use my trusty Garmin GPS watch to run the extra 2 miles. All and all the run went well. I found myself taking peeks at the watch, not to mourn the amount of mileage I still had ahead of me, but to check my pace. Using the pace portion of the watch taught me a lot about my run. I could feel myself slowing down at certain portions and could check my watch to see just HOW slow I was going....and, no, it was not pretty. When I finally got around to loading the software on my computer, I had to left when it a sudden spike. I came to a stop at one point in my run because I could feel a little twinge in my ankle and thought it needed to pop. My pace suddenly spike to 29 minute miles. WHEW! At least you know I'm not running that slow all of the time.

In order to add distance to my run, I decided to take one particular road out of town and do an out and back. Because the road was a dead end - and one house has livestock - I thought that house would be a good place to turn around - before I ran down wind. As I was turning around, a black mongrel dog came out barking after me. I thought he would bark for a while and go back home, but NO! I had to keep my eyes on the filthy mutt for about 100 yards to make sure he wasn't going to take a bite out of my new running tights. Now that would have made me mad! Don't mess with my running gear!

As I was finishing my run, I took note of my turtle pace. I kicked it in gear so I could finish at my goal pace. It's still not fast, but it was my first run with my Garmin. I'm hoping "Gary" can help me reach some new fitness goals.

I finished my run without any further events. MENTAL NOTE: If you are going to run out James Street to Augustine Road, bring mace in case of a raging dog attack.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I've tried menu planning off and on through out the years of awesome marriage, but I always seem to fall off the wagon. Well, I'm trying again. Thanks to Laura at Hopefully, I will actually follow the when Jeff calls at 4 and says my favorite (insert dripping sarcasm here) line "What's for dinner?" I can refer him to my blog.

SO HERE IT IS: The Leber Menu plan for the week of October 19th:

M Burritos w/Taco Rice (30 Day Gourmet)
T fiber-ific fried chicken strips (Hungry Girl p.112)
W Mexican Pasta Skillet
R Vegetable Beef Stew
F Mexican Chicken Soup & Easy Cheesy Rolls
S Homemade pizza
Su leftovers

Breakfast at our house is the same most days: waffles or cereal for the kids, Kashi or oatmeal for mom. Dad - Diet Mountain Dew (gag).

Lunch is usually a sandwich, grapes and pretzels for kids if they are a cold lunch. For mom, it's homemade vegetable soup, a salad with homemade olive oil dressing, Oiko's yogurt & a Nature Valley granola bar for a snack.

Wish us all luck for a healthy & happy dining week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mental Whine

Today is Friday. It's supposed to be MY day, but thus far it has not been. I got ready this morning in a fog, not really paying attention to the weather. When I took the kids to school, I discovered to my dismay that it was lightly raining and I forgot my new headband/ear muffs at home. Running in the rain didn't sound appealing. Instead I decided to go to Wal-Mart and get my shopping done.

After my super-quick trip to Wally's World, I got stuck on the phone talking about work for about an hour. I went into town to go to the library, do some work which was a result of the earlier phone call, and then FINALLY my run...4 miles. 4 not so easy miles.

Why was it hard? Cause I didn't have my head in the game. I didn't want to run. It was dreary out. As I made each turn, I devised ways to cut my route shorter.....I could skip the run along the cemetery, I could not run out to Toepfer Road....on and on and on. I was mentally whining the whole time. I couldn't seem to stop myself.

But all along almost in cadence with my mental whine, I kept thinking to myself that I planned to do 4 miles and I should do 4 miles. 4 miles. Easy cheesy. Getter done.

Needless to say, I got it done and hated it every step of the way. I just didn't feel like I could get my legs to move the way I wanted them to, but now I am home, showered and refreshed. And I've discovered something which makes me happier than I could ever say.......

BRAND NEW SOCKS!!! Nice, white, fully padded not worn out, socks. Ahhhhh, mental whine no more. I am happy again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wine & Dine Half-Marathon 2010

I was sooooo excited to read the Disney Park Blog and see the announcement about the new endurance event at Walt Disney World....The Wine & Dine Half-Marathon being held over the Wine & Dine Marathon Oct 1 & 2, 2010. Registration opens on November 16th. You can bet I'll be signing up on the day! I've already called my awesome running partner, Cheryl, so we can register early!

A half-marathon starting at the Wide World of Sports Complex and finishing at EPCOT.....UNDER THE STARS. Runnig through Disney at night??? How awesome. Ohhhhh I can't wait. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Bye Bye Pepsi Can

Food Log October 14, 2009

It's official. I've finally given up my lunch beverage of choice. No more Diet Pepsi for me. I thought it would be horrible. I thought I would be craving a soda like there is no tomorrow; however, 48 hours without a Diet Pepsi and I have prevailed so far.

For at least the last 10 years, I have had 2 cans of Diet Pepsi a day with my lunch. 2 cans a day = 14 cans a week. That's over a case of soda every two weeks. That's about $13 per month, or $156/year. Was that the main incentive for giving it up? NO.

Prior to this past year, I probably would have said I'd never give up Diet Pepsi. It was my drink of choice and I was happy with it. I drink a ton of water all day and having that fizzly soda pop with lunch broke up the monotony of my day. I don't drink tea like so many people do. Ever since I drank some tea as a child at my Aunt Joyce's house and then thought I was going to throw up, I haven't been able to stomach plain tea - sweetened or unsweetened.

Did I hear the reports that Pepsi could peel the paint off a car? Yes. Did I have a kidney stone and receive warnings against drinking dark sodas? Yes. Did I hear the reports that the artificial sweetener triggered your craving for sweets? Yes. But it was my soda. My joy. My love. I was drinking DIET. Zero calories. 2 cans a day. COME ON! One small indulgence, right?

Last winter I discovered Jillian Michaels' podcast. Now, you can say what you want about the woman. She's tough and she's mean, but if you listen to her podcast, you will also see how brilliant she is. She knows her stuff. When she said articificial sweeteners are linked to memory loss, I paused and thought "Really?.... Now what was I just doing?" The bells and whistles went off.

How often have I had to stop and think....I mean really THINK....about what I was doing? Or where I was going? Or what happened yesterday? My mind's eye would skim along the memory, but couldn't quite come up with it. OH MY GOSH! Jillian is so right. I have a horrible memory. And can I say it's all due to Diet Pepsi? NO, but why put something into my body which is only going to make matters worse???!!! I didn't need the chemicals in my body. I didn't need the sodium to help me retain water (Lord knows I do that enough on my own.) I didn't need the caffeine boost in the middle of the day (normally). I didn't need the sweet cravings after drinking a diet soda - which by the way I definitely noticed when I paid attention to my body and how it felt.

So, for my 41st birthday, I gave myself the cheapest birthday present yet. The one which will actually save me money...approximately $156/year. HA! Maybe that's what I need to tell Jeff. I gave up soda so maybe now I can get my GPS watch?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Canal Run

I am home from an awesome weekend of scrapbooking at the Villa - Grand Bear Lodge in Utica, IL. I arrived late on Thursday night after watching the Tremont volleyball team play in Fisher. They won - barely - but it was a tally in the win column. The drive to Fisher from Tremont and then from Fisher to Utica was a dreary one. After a full day of continual rain, everything was wet and soggy and gross. Fortunately, I arrived in Utica during a brief respite from the rain just in time to unpack my car in relative dryness.
After unpacking all of my scrapbooking supplies and food for the weekend, I sat down at my table to scrapbook. My goal for the weekend was to get my kids albums done for 2006, run a few miles and relax for a while. I stayed up until 1 a.m. working on some pages before I hit the sack. The next morning I woke up to see the sunshine peeking around the curtain. I thought it was 6 a.m., but I finally gave in and looked at the clock. It was 8:30! Time to get up and get started.
Unfortunately, the rain continued to come down all throughout the day. I was hoping for a brief break in the rain so I could get a run in for the day. I was 5 miles short of my 12 mile goal for the week. As the afternoon wore on, my hopes for a run were dwindling. The rain continued to fall.
Finally around 4 p.m., the rain let up to a light sprinkle. I hopped into my running gear and got prepared for a nice run. My plan was to drive into Utica and go for a run along the canals between LaSalle and Utica. In November, there is a 10k run here along the canals. I was hoping to get a "lay of the land" practice run in prior to the race.
As I was walking out the door, Kim asked me to run with my phone since we were in an unfamiliar area. I was dreading the thought since normally any additional bouncing drives me insane. Since I was layered up against the cold, I clipped my phone on my waistband and pulled my sweatshirt down over it so it would fall to the soggy ground during my run. I drove into Utica and found the paths along the canals.
The ground was very saturated from the all of the rain in the past 24 hours, but the scenery was very nice - and definitely different from running around our small town of Tremont. In this picture, you can see how wet the ground was. The path was fairly smooth and made of gravel...shoe-soaking wet, gravel.
I started on my road taking in the sights of the canals. The green sludge on top of the water was absolutely disgusting. Luckily, the sludge didn't smell at this point. I started out on my run and wasn't sure how far I was going to be running, but I had started the stopwatch on my iTouch to give me an idea of how far I was running.
The path was peaceful and quiet. No one else was around which wasn't a surprise considering the deluge of rain we'd received over the past 24 hours.

As I continued down the path, I came across mile markers which told interesting facts about the canals as well as the mules which were used to move the materials. I enjoyed the scenery during my run. Normally, I'm not a very observant person, but I did notice some herons in the canals. While I'm not a city girl, I don't exactly live on a farm either. Watching a heron take off into flight from the canal with his wings spread wide and his long legs falling behind him was a fun and interesting sight.
I am guessing that I ran about 5 miles in all. I turned around on the path to return to my car when the green sludge sitting on top of the water began to smell. I decided it was far enough down the path and time to return. By the time I finished, my knees were hurting from the uneven ground and my shoes were covered in the grey, gravely matter I had splattered all over myself during my run.
AND because Kim made me take my cell phone on my run - and yes, she did check on me during my run - I was able to snap a few of these pictures to remember my gross, soggy run. Even though when I got down, I truly felt like a runner. Cause only a runner would go out on a 40 degree day when it's been raining all day and everything you touch is going to be wet and gross.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Goals for October

I am writing down my goals for October as a way to keep me accountable. Nothing can turn me back now. It's official. Every goal setting workshop I have ever participated in tells you to write down your goals to make them realistic.....well, this is it.

RUN 12 miles per week

There it is. That's the goal. 12 miles per week. That shouldn't be that difficult to keep, right? I mean I could run 4 miles - 3x/week. No problem. Until you hear the fall wind starting to howl. And the temps at 8 a.m. are rarely above 50 degrees. Lots of excuses, but I will prevail.

And since we are into the 1st week of October, I will tell you that I have run almost 8 miles this week. I am going on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend, but getting in 5 more miles over the 3 day weekend really shouldn't be a problem....unless it continues to downpour like it is now. BUT they do have a fitness room at the Great Bear Lodge in Utica. So, I may have to "bear" down and get back on the rat-mobile.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

OK, well, that sucked

I've started following the Fitness Magazine half-marathon training plan for beginners. It all went great...until today.

Here's my workouts from the last week:

Sat 9/5/9 3 mi easy run - 1st run after a week off with a sprained ankle

Sun 9/6/9 Actually played volleyball with my family. Nothing wrong with a little cross training, right?

Mon 9/7/9 Rest day

Tues 9/8/9 3.7 mi moderate pace - felt pretty good.

Wed 9/9/9 - A Magical Day!!!!! I did my Yoga/pilates DVD and day 1 of Jillian Michaels' Making the Cut

Thurs 9/10/9 - 4.35 mi run - EASY. No problem, Felt great.

Fri 9/11/9 - 10 mi bike ride. I hope the bike. No I don't. Yes, I do. I just need to spend more time on the bike, but I didn't want to spend hours on the bike. I needed to get to work.

Sat 9/12/9 - 3.89 mi run. IT SUCKED! SUCKED BAD! I could tell in the first few steps that it was not going to be a good run. My legs were tired. My breathing was labored. I started up West Street, uphill, not smart to JOLT your body like that.

It may not have been up a mountain, but I felt like the whole run was going up hill. I just couldn't get into a groove and feel positive about my attempt to be healthy. Of course to make it worse, I cross Rt 9 and out of the corner of my eye someone is coming running at me. Oh crap! It's Gene! The man runs a 7+ min mile and here I am trudging along on probably one of my worst training runs in a long time at barely under 10 min miles. Ugh! So embarrassing. Of course, Gene decides to be my little cheerleader. "Keep it up. At least you're doing it." All the usual B.S. All I could think of was how horrible it was for him to see me TODAY of all days. When my legs felt like lead bricks and there was a small child sitting on my lungs compressing them to such a small size that I couldn't get any air into them.

I finished the afternoon by taking Samantha shopping for Homecoming dresses. I still can't believe that I have a daughter in high school. I'll post pictures later of the 3 potential dresses. At least she didn't make me suffer. She found something pretty quickly. Now we just need to get the shoes.

My body hurt the rest of the day after my run. I don't know if it was just the run was THAT bad or allergies had kicked in. I took some allergy medicine and came home from shopping and took a power nap.
We went to the winery for the evening. Jeff & I had a nice relaxing evening, but it was exactly a wild night on the town. The band was awesome (Jamsamich), but we weren't in the mood. We had a nice bottle of Alexander's Conquest and decided to head home early.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tennis anyone?

You wouldn't think that going for a run on a cool August evening would create such a problem for me; however, it did. Following the Turkey Festival wrap up meeting, I decided to go out for a run. It was 8:30 pm and a cool evening. I put on my Under Armour shirt and spandex along with my running vest and headed out to run.

I decided to run the approximately 3 mile loop around our little town. I was almost 2 miles into my run and thinking to myself, "Wow! I need to run more at night. I feel great!" when BOOM! A few expletives (I won't tell you exactly what they were because they were BAD) came pouring out of my mouth and dove into a barrel road on West Street.

A ROCK! A simple white rock sitting toward the edge of the road had created my painful situation. My ankle turned in an unnatural way. I lay on the road holding my ankle up with tears streaming down my face. I looked up at the house sitting in front of me debating whether I could put weight on my foot or if I needed to crawl up to the Risinger's at 9 pm and scare the crap out of them by ringing their door bell at this late hour on a Sunday night. As I sat there debating what to do, a car turned the corner. Oh my gosh. That's all I need now. To sit here and get hit or even better have someone stop and ask if I needed help. I tried to sit on the gravel pretending I wanted to be sitting there in the dark looking at the stars.

Thoughts of my running career coming to an end because of sprained ankle and a quickly expanding butt made me get up and try to walk. Luckily, I could put weight on the ankle. I got up, walked 2 blocks and then started to run. I finished my run - and considering the fall thought I had a pretty good pace.

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but my left ankle is swollen and feels like a tennis ball. Today it is very sore to the touch. I don't know if sprains are supposed to feel this way, but if I touch it or bump it, tears spring to my eyes. Here's hoping I'll be able to run again in a few days.