Monday, March 26, 2012


.... is something I am not.  The older I get, the more I wish I would have spent my younger years moisturizing, wearing sunscreen, flossing, eating healthier, watching my weight.  What is it they say about hindsight?  Over the last several years, I've noticed my body isn't as happy as it used to be.   It is showing the stresses I've put on it over the years..... crow's feet, weight gain, random aches and pains, new freckles (finding a new spot always freaks me out), gray hair (SHHHHH!!!  As far as the world knows, yes - this IS my natural color).

One of my favorite poems, Youth and Art by Robert Browning has such a profound closing verse.
"This could but have happened once,
and we missed it, lost it forever."

Sorry, Mr. Browning.  I'm calling bullshit.

I haven't missed it.  I haven't lost it forever.  Over the last year, I've gotten pretty serious about taking care of myself.  This "exercise kick" I've been on for the past 4 months started simply as a weight loss tool.  It has become so much more than that, though.  It energizes me.  It's part of my daily routine.  It helps get the kinks out of my back after a tough day at work.  My knees don't hurt anymore.  I'm gaining strength.  My jeans fit better.  I miss the workouts if I have to go more than a day or two without one.  Bottom line - I feel good!

Credit is due to Shape Magazine for the stats here, but did you know exercising:

  • 90 minutes  a week can increase your lifespan by three years
  • 150 minutes a week can drop a woman's risk of heart disease by 14 percent
  • 275 minutes a week can help you lose 10% of your body weight (and keep it off!)
  • 135 minutes a week boosts your energy and reduces stress (A Duke University study found that 45 minutes of cardio three days a week can be as effective as a prescription drug for treating depression)
  • 210 minutes a week improves blood sugar.  Type 2 diabetes?  NO THANK YOU.
Told y'all..... I just feel good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Hot Dish!

Lunch time is always a struggle.  Always.  I'm not a big fan of the sandwich (unless it's something dripping with fat and calories from a fast-food place).  I do love salads, particularly in the summer, but I get bored with them after awhile.  Dinner leftovers are a great thought, but I prefer to keep my lunches a little lighter.  Here is a little something I like to keep on hand when I need to give the boot to lunch break monotony.

Fiesta Soup

1 can fat free refried beans
1 can chicken broth
1-2 large cans of Swanson or Tyson chicken breast
1 can black beans
1 can corn kernals
1 cup salsa (I prefer mild, but I'm kind of a wuss)
1 packet taco seasoning (I like low sodium for this recipe)

Toss it all in a big stockpot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the refried beans have melted.  It's great topped with LF shredded cheese and sour cream, and served with baked tortilla chips.  You can even jazz it up with some diced tomatoes and scallions on top.

Once I make the pot, I dish it out into 6 small storage bowls and stick them in the freezer.  I will say this - it tends to reheat a little thick, so no harm in putting a little extra both in the recipe.  When I'm jonesing for NOT a salad, I grab a bowl and throw it in my lunch bag.  With all the fiber, it is crazy filling - one small bowl does the job.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MIA - but who can blame me?

I realized today I've been MIA from my bloggity blog blog for a little too long.  So sorry!  I celebrated my birthday this week... literally ALL week.  Dinner with my family, dinner with the boy, birthday cocktails at Century Bar with some of my fave people, and I wrapped up my week long celebration by heading out to the Dublin Pub for St. Patrick's Day.  Needless to say - I. Am. Exhausted.

I do have one small update.  Please don't think of me as a quitter, because that certainly isn't the case.  After 12 weeks of struggling with the numbers on the scale, I decided to no longer be a member of Weight Watchers.  Here's the thing - I've been on their Points plan before and had fantastic luck.  And I can't talk smack about it - it is an easy plan to follow (want a brownie?  Cool - have a brownie!) and it really teaches you some great habits, such as measuring your portions and focusing on fresh fruits and veggies.  But WW has recently revamped the way they calculate their points, and it just doesn't seem to work for me.  I'll take some of the lessons with me as I go because I really do feel better when I put better food into my body, but I can't continue to pay for a "weight loss" plan when I'm not losing weight.

Like I said, I'm no quitter. And I'm not talking smack about Weight Watchers - I know several people who love the new Points Plus  system.  Even though the scale has spent the last 3 months bouncing back and forth between the same 4-6 pounds, I feel good.  I feel so much better than I have in a long time.  I can see a transformation happening in my shape, and that is wicked encouraging.  I'll still lay low on the fat, calories and carbs.  I'm not giving up..... I'm just not paying to see the numbers not change.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Workout Review: Ballet Body by Jazzercise

For Christmas, one of my gifts to the boy was going to be memberships to our neighborhood rec center for the two of us.  How fun to have someone to work out with, right?  Unfortunately, because of a minor physical limitation, he decided it wouldn't be worth the fee for him to join.

Here's something you need to know about me:  I ain't going to the gym alone.

Since I won't be hitting the gym anytime soon, I have started to amass quite the collection of workout videos.  I have a few yoga one, some dance ones, some super-quick targeted ones..... but no matter how many I buy, I always gravitate toward Jazzercise.  I attended a Jazzercise class for about 3 years with a friend (it's that "won't go alone" thing) when I lived in Cincinnati, and I loved it.

Jazzercise recently released three new DVDs,  one of which is Ballet Body.  As a past-life dancer, I figured this would be right up my ally.  And it is.  It also kicks my ass.

What I love about this DVD (and most Jazzercise DVDs), is that you have the option to pick your workout.  There is a 20 minute accelerated workout, 10 minute legs & arms workout and a full 40 minute workout.  My first time through, I picked the 20 minute workout and thought I was going to die.  Seriously.  My thighs burned, my arms and shoulders were singing!  Okay, they were screaming, but whatever.  While there is no true cardio going on, the ballet moves will challenge muscles you didn't know you had.  Within the first five minutes of plies and port de bras, I was sweating up a storm.

My only beef with this particular workout is the ab section.  Maybe it's working on the sly, but I just don't feel like I'm getting a whole lot out of it.  I don't sweat that too much though, my abs get plenty of working out with the other stuff I do during the course of the week.

Overall, I really dig this workout.  I try to do the full workout once a week, and I can already tell a difference in my strength, balance and posture - not to mention my "I WILL finish this" attitude!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I have been needing a shopping trip lately.  Not needing as in "jonesin' for commerce," but needing as in I was down to a few pieces that weren't looking like they'd been washed a million times.  The boy doesn't understand why shopping trips require planning and coupons and sale watching, and possibly trips to the same stores at two different malls.  After all, he just waltzes in, picks up a pair of pants with the correct number on the tag, and  tah-dah!  They fit!

Several times, I have tried to explain the nuances of womanly figures to the boy.  Hips, thighs, short legs, skinny jeans (ack!), jeans for curves, tummy control jeans, long legs, short waisted - Heaven forbid you get home to find you bought a pair of high-waisted mom jeans with a baggy crotch (ladies, you feel me on the baggie crotch, right?).   Not to mention, shopping for pants has been known to cause extreme depression that can only be cured with a bottle of Syrah.

I stopped by Kohl's to pick up a pair of Levi's while I was out yesterday.  Not a fan of Kohl's generally, but they seem to have a pretty decent selection of sizes and fits (particularly for us short chicks) in jeans.  I quickly found the fit and size I needed, and just for kicks and grins, grabbed a size smaller than the last pair I bought.

Pretty sure the lady in the dressing room next to me thought I was having a seizure by the sight of my feet doing the happy dance under the wall. The smaller size fit like a glove!!  Also, there may or may not have been strutting as I left the dressing room.

This is what one would refer to as a NSV, or non-scale victory. w00t!


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