Monday, April 29, 2013

Random Happiness

A few random things making me happy...

1. I'm strong enough to run 5 miles with my dad.

2. There are buds on my roses, they should bloom in a week or so.

3. My dad and Matt and providing me with all new doors (post and photos to follow once they're done).

4. I found a box of Thin Mints in my freezer that I had forgotten about.

5. Even though it's been hot as heck during the day (hitting mid-90s) that sweet Delta Breeze is making evenings on the patio downright enjoyable.

6. In trying to find an explanation of the Delta Breeze, I discovered that Sacramento has its own wiki.

7. This series of dogs shaking water off of themselves exists.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy Baby

I learned a new yoga pose yesterday.

Happy Baby.

Image from Yoga Journal, follow the link above for the instructions.

Not only does it feel great, but how can you not be happy when you're doing that pose?

Or, if you need actual instructions

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Surprise

Something strange happened on Wednesday.

I lost 1.6 pounds at my weigh in.  That's not the strange part, I kicked butt at Weight Watchers this week.  The strange part was that it wasn't the most exciting thing that happened to me that day.  And I'm only writing about it now.

Normally a loss like that (which got rid of my gain last week) would put me over the moon.

And I was happy, I really was.  But I had a bunch of other stuff to do.  And after my first cup of coffee, I'd moved onto some work stuff, and I totally forgot about the loss.

I'm not really sure how I feel about that.  I think good, because it means that I am actually taking my own advice to heart, and not basing my self worth on the number on the scale.  It's not that I'm not happy about losing, because trust me, I am, but it's one part of my life, not my whole life right now.  And that feels like a good place to be.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

I feel like a pretty bad natural resources planner for missing Earth Day.  I mean, natural resources and planner are in my job title.  Anyone that knows me should find it hilarious that I ended up with a label like planner.

In my defense, I missed Earth Day because I was busy in meetings talking about how to protect the earth.  I guess every day is Earth Day in my little world?

So as an apology, have a cupcake, courtesy of Bird on a Cake.

(recipe on her blog at the link)

Or I could take credit for being too early.  Matt and I made our way to the Sacramento Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, like the good Californians we are, stopping in after our weekly visit to the farmers' market. We're now inspired to really pursue a low-water front yard.  Not only is it a wise ecological choice, we're learning that grass really is a pain, and kind of boring for the amount of work that goes into keeping it looking nice.

I know it's really easy to get discouraged when you start paying attention to environmental issues.  This isn't a political blog, but it's an issue that's near and dear to my heart.  And every day, I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle to convince people that this is really important.  So it's nice to have a day when we all take a deep breath, and celebrate the earth. 

Monday, April 22, 2013


I've been taking a lot of classes at the gym.  I like classes, they make me feel social and they let me be more creative than if I was just plowing ahead on my own on the elliptical.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the solitude of running, but I feel like I've struck a balance.

One of the things that kept me out of classes for a long time was how self conscious I am.  What if I do it wrong?  What if I can't get the steps right?  What if I'm the fattest one in the class?

But I'm trying to teach that voice to SHUT UP.

I did my first zumba class a couple weeks ago, and stayed for my first hour-long yoga class two Saturdays ago.  I didn't get all the moves right, but I still managed to burn A TON of calories, pump my system full of endorphins  and feel all around fan-freaking-tastic.

And I had an epiphany.  I was so wrapped up in myself, I wasn't really paying attention to the other people in the class.  And I realized they were so wrapped up in themselves, they weren't really paying attention to me.  We were all there for the same reason - because Zumba is fun! Yoga is relaxing! TRX training is hard!  I'm not there there to judge other people, why do I assume they're there to judge me?  

So what if I'm the biggest person in the class, or the clumsiest?  So what if I have to modify 50% of the yoga poses?  NO ONE ELSE CARES! (Unless I trip over them, then they care.  But I don't trip over other people, usually just over one of me two left feet).  And the only way I'm going to get smaller, or more graceful, or more flexible, or stronger, is to keep trying.  To not be intimidated.  Because at this point, the only person I have to be afraid of is myself, and I can just tell myself to shut up and listen to the music.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gone Quiet

Not a lot going on in my life right now, it's been pretty quiet.

The house is looking good, but is kind of in a holding pattern while we plan some stuff out and gather materials.

I'm keeping on keeping on in Weight Watchers.  I saw a small gain last week, but I want to blame it on water weight - I tried to go for a run in 80 degree weather the night before my weigh in.  In my book, that's a recipe for at least a slight dehydration, which makes my body hold onto water like nothing .  We'll see if it was a real gain or not Wednesday morning.  But I feel good about my week so far.

I'm still going to the gym.

I have some ideas for posts over the next couple days, just wanted y'all to know, I haven't totally forgotten about this blog.  Just nothing really to talk about.

And now back to whatever you were doing before.  May your day be half as good as this guy's:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Body Image Talk

I stumbled across this video on Facebook a few weeks ago.  It really stuck with me.

While discussing it with some Weight Watchers buddies, I had two thoughts:

I wish I could have the confidence and self image this girl has


I don't get internet haters.  I don't understand the energy it takes to tear someone down.

Another person pointed out the irony in those two statements.  I don't understand taking the energy to hate someone else, but I find the energy to hate myself?

It's just such a waste, I need to stop.  I would never put up with someone else calling me fat or telling me I'm a failure because I had a bad week on the scale.  My body can do pretty incredible things.

One of the first sermons I heard preached at my church was about love.  The short version of the message was: Love is seeing things as they are, accepting them, and loving them anyway.  It doesn't mean that you don't want to change the situation, but you do see its reality and still feel love and compassion.

I have to learn to apply that to my own body.  I have to see my body as overweight, and love it anyway.  No more ifs.

If I lose 50 pounds, I'll love my body.  If my underarm stops jiggling, I'll love my body.  If my thighs didn't rub together when I ran, I'll love my body.  If I can run a marathon, I'll love my body.

But that's not how it works.  That self loathing is just sucking up the energy I could be spending living my life.  I don't have to wait until I'm perfect, because let's be honest, I'm never going to be perfect.  I'm doing this because I love myself, not because I hate myself.

Wow, that feels good to write.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Random Things That Make Me Happy

1. Really good lattes made by a barista that knows what she's doing.

2. Sun is shining, and my roses and trees are covered in leaves.  So clearly my pruning didn't kill them, blooms are sure to follow soon.

3. I get off early today, so I'm going for a bike ride.

4. My house is finally put together enough for friends to see it, and we saw some of them last week, and will see another one this weekend.

5. Said friends brought their adorable baby, and baby laughs may be the best sound ever.

All in all, it's been a good week!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

And I'm Back!

I had my weigh in yesterday.

I'm down a pound!  Turns out, if you follow Weight Watchers, it works!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday Inspirations

I'm heading to my Weight Watchers this morning.

I'm going to break the cycle.

My self worth is not governed by the number I see on the scale.

I'll be back later.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Things that Make Me Happy

One of the advantages of having parents in Alaska is a freezer full of salmon every time I see them.

One of the advantages to being married to Matt is that he makes amazing pizza, and will make it for me whenever I want it.

Do you see where this is going?

A few nights ago we had Smoked Salmon Pizza, and it was amazing, and it made me very, very happy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Zumba, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Body

I'm starting to see a cycle on this blog.

I go weigh in, I write a post about how much I hate my weight, I get depressed.

Then I do something with my body and I snap out of it.

Today is going to repeat that cycle, because I went to my first Zumba class.

It was so much fun.

I flailed so much.

I learned that Latin dancing is A LOT easier when you have a partner to follow.

But do you know what?  Your heart rate goes up whether you're moving with the beat or just flailing.  I burned 520 calories, so I was clearly doing something right, even if it wasn't the moves.  By the end, I felt great!  Much better than when I got off the scale on Wednesday.

So that raises the question.  How do I break out of this cycle?

I thought about quitting Weight Watchers and just focusing on fitness.  But I know from experience that won't work.  I may maintain, but I won't lose.  While I'm proud of how far I've come, I'm not done yet, by a long shot.  And as much as I bitch about the scale, I need that accountability.  So I need to learn to make peace with bad weeks.

I've been on Weight Watchers long enough to know that some of the first advice you get when you're disappointed by the scale is to Google "Why the Scale Lies."  One of the first hits you'll get is an article that tells you all about why the scale is a terrible way to measure progress, any one of a number of things can mess up a weigh in.

So to make peace, I need to keep that article bookmarked.  And I need to remember that my progress on the scale is important, but I'm not doing this for a number on the scale.

I'm doing this so that I can be here for the long term for my family.  I'm doing this so I can run a half marathon without injuring myself.  I'm doing this so I can look good in the dresses I have to wear to all the weddings Matt and I are going to this summer, and I can feel comfortable in shorts when it gets to be 100000 degrees in August.

And I'm getting closer to all those goals.  I'm healthy.  I bought a super cute new dress for a wedding next month - it shows off my collarbone, which has decided to make an appearance for the first time in over a decade.  I didn't die in Zumba today, and I spent the day working in running shorts in my front yard, something I would have been too embarrassed to do a year ago.

The number on the scale is a measurement.  It's an important measurement, but it's just a measurement.  It's not the goal itself.

I just need to keep reminding myself of that.  I can do this, I really can.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I have a confession.

Sometimes I hate being on Weight Watchers.  I don't hate Weight Watchers itself, I think it's a great program.  But I hate that I have to track every bite that goes into my mouth.  That I can't just enjoy working out without wondering how many calories I'm burning.  That I can't just eat when I'm hungry and workout when I feel like it.  I hate that I give the scale so much power.

But when I do that, I gain weight.  And while I can ignore the weight gain for a few weeks, eventually, my pants stop fitting, I stop feeling good, I get tired and sluggish.

The thing is, I don't mind it as much when it works.  But then I have a week like this one.  I gained 3 pounds last week.  This week I was on it.  I tracked EVERYTHING.  I worked out 5 times, including running a freaking 5k.  And I lost a whopping .6 pound.

I thought I had a plan.  I had been mentally composing this post for a couple days about how awesome my plan was.  Then I stepped on the scale this morning and just felt defeated.  I've been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds since November.

I know, I know, a loss is a loss.  And like my leader pointed out, at least I'm still coming to meetings.  But those feel like consolation prizes.  That's not what I want.  I want to lose weight.  I want the amount of effort I put into this thing to show up on the scale.  I don't want to turn down food I love, take time out of my day to exercise, and take the time to track my entire life just to maintain for the next 4 months in the 210s.

I just don't get it.  I don't want to brag, but I feel like I've been pretty successful in life.  I'm well educated, I have a good job, I'm financially secure, I have a great marriage, but I just can't lose weight.  How can I do all those other things, but I can't control the food I put in my mouth?  I can't get my butt off the couch to go for a run?

I try really hard to stay positive on this blog.  I honestly believe that we create our own mood, if I tell myself that I will be happy, that's part of making me happy.  So I don't want this post to be a downer.  But I don't want to be dishonest, and I just can't make myself happy about my weigh in this morning.

But because I still hate to end on a sour note, here's a clip of a cat on a roomba.  This has nothing to do with my post, but it always makes me laugh.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Remember when I said the front yard was mostly done?

The same cannot be said of the backyard.

We've learned a lesson.  Weeds don't go away if you just ignore them.  In fact, the opposite happens.

A four foot tall dandelion.  I didn't know they got that tall either...
The common mallow, with the apt scientific name, malva neglecta.  Fun fact, it's edible and related to the marsh mallow, of which marshmallows were originally made.
Don't let the pretty roses hide one of the "presents" left in the backyard.  Anyone need a bumper?  I'll give you a deal.
So now you know what we're up to next.

On the bright side, learning that these are in the backyard was a pleasant surprise.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Foodie PenPal March Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

This was my second month participating in the Foodie Pen Pals, and it did not disappoint.

My package was from Soonya in Las Vegas.

Soonya sent:

- "Grab and Go" single serving almonds
- Natural Balance Perfect Bites for the cats
- Roasted Seaweed

The almonds have started showing up in my lunches, they make super easy snacks.

Soonya says I can use the seaweed on miso soup, sushi, or rice.  I ended up eating them plain, they make a great snack.  For only 1 weight watcher point, they're a nice, salty snack when I don't have the points for chips.

And Jinx loooooved the treats.  She loved them so much, she ate her own and then stole Puck's.

I sent a package to Daniela at Dani's Dish, hopefully she'll post soon because I'm excited about the package I sent her.

Plus there's a link party to read about everyone else's packages at the Lean Green Bean.  You can sign up for the April Foodie Penpals while you're there.