Days of Warmth, Weasels and Will Power

The cold snap seems to have left us for now.  Temps over the weekend gradually increased which was great.  The temp on my computer reads  69 F.  I’ll take it!  Last week I only left the house to go to work.  I did not go to the gym or anywhere else.  I was just too darn cold!  When the ice formed on the side of the house I did a double-take.  I’ve never seen ice here.  Sure, some chilly mornings there may have been frost on the windshield but nothing like this.  A lot of people in this area have running fountains in their yards.  These froze over too creating icicles off the sides.  A client of mine told me she had people stopping in front of her house to take pictures of her frozen fountain.  In her 50 years here she had never seen anything like it.

The Weasel seems to be doing better.  She constantly amazes me with her sheer will.  Having a beloved pet is somewhat like having a child I’ve heard, accept you watch them grow up and get old before you do.  Her hind legs some days seem to want to give out and other days she gets around just fine.  Last week while making my lunch in the kitchen she came in to explore.  I could tell she was having a bit of difficulty this day with her hind legs.  They would stretch out behind her as she walked.  Yet this didn’t stop her from exploring.  Keep in mind that she in now completely blind.  She could feel the cool wrought iron of the wine rack and the smoothness of the bottle within it’s holdings.  Her whiskers guided her around the base boards.  I kept thinking that any minute now she would head back to her sleep area but no.  She had too much to do.  She even chased the dog out of the kitchen!  Not too shabby. 

The Weasel 'Watering Hole' - aka: The Shower

Yesterday she hoisted herself into the shower stall to get a drink when I was done in there.  Then she poked around the bathroom cabinets trying to find her way in.  Let me tell you, I stand in awe of this animal.  With everything she has gone through she shouldn’t still be here among us, but she is.  She is such a little fighter.

Lately I’ve been really making an effort to cook for myself at night.  Hubby sometimes will work nights so I had gotten into the rut of preparing a can of soup or something else equally easy but boring.  Its been a bit of a challenge.  I’m more into baking things.  I did some of that, too.  I had a recipe for these oat muffins too, where you soak the oats in buttermilk.  These made a great healthy breakfast last week.  This week I’m trying my hand at baked sweet potato chips.  Its been kind of fun to search for different ingredients at the grocery store  and to try more things.  In some ways I feel like by doing this I’m really taking care of myself.  It’s like a gift I give myself.  Every day I go to the sparkpeople.com website and record what I eat.  I love to see the report at the end of the day and I’m constantly fine tuning it.  One of my new favorites is Greek yogurt.  It has such a creamy texture.  I mix it in with kiwi and some artificial sweetener. 

This week I’m going meatless for dinner and have been eating Morningstar Farm’s black bean burger.  It’s actually pretty good.  If nothing else this new eating regime has gotten me to expand my menu.  That’s never a bad thing. 

Bootcamp was supposed to begin this past Saturday but when I called last week to sign up they told me that the class had been canceled.  Bummer.  In some ways I was relieved though because Saturday was still pretty chilly and the class is outdoors.  I’ve become a big wimp when it comes to chilly weather.

Well, I’m off to give a data base class.  Hope you are all having a great week so far!

Breaking It Down

Since the start of the month I’ve revamped my weight-loss and fitness efforts.  During the first two weeks of January I was down 6 lbs for a total of 27 lbs lost since last April.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  This week though I seem to have hit a plateau.  Last summer my step-dad had suggested that I try the South Beach Diet.  This is broken down into several phases where at first you eliminate all carbs & sugars including alcohol and fruit, and then thereafter you gradually start reintroducing healthy carbs & fruit back into your diet.  After the great results I had  this last year and it leading to some permanent healthy habits, I did this again during the first two weeks of the month. 

I’ve stayed within the guidelines of the food plan but I grew curious to the fact that I might not be getting enough nutrition or getting too much of other things.  A girlfriend of mine had told me about a free website called Spark People awhile back.  Yesterday I signed up and it has an area where you enter your meals.  It then goes ahead and tallies up your calories, carbs, proteins and fats for the day.  Then it tells you where you could be doing better.  This is of course after you enter your height and weight.  I was a little alarmed to see that although my intake of good fats is good I really should be eating less of them.   This could be the reason for the plateau.

This site encourages you to set goals for yourself and also to participate in the different groups available.  There is a  group of Arizonans who have their own group, as well as a group for people over 40.  I was quite impressed that all this was free.  A few years back I did Weight Watchers Online and I think Spark People has more to offer than WW  –And they were a paying site!

They also have recipes there with the nutritional info included.  I printed out a recipe for Cocoa Rubbed Pork loin so I’ll give it go and post it here if it’s any good.

On the exercise front I’m still going to that Latin Dance class.  My new friend Maria is there each time and saves a spot for me in the front row.  I think she may be friends with the whole class now as she is quite the character.  This despite the fact that she keeps telling me she doesn’t know anyone.  😉  She left the dance class early to do a cycling class.  My goodness!  I hope I have her energy when I’m her age.  She is amazing.

Boot Camp starts next Saturday.  This should be interesting.  I’ve never done anything like this but I’m looking forward to the challenge of it.  I hope I’ll see some real changes within myself .  The class lasts six weeks and each session is 2 hours long.  Although I’ve been enjoying the dance classes, they are not all that challenging.  I mean sometimes the steps involved are challenging but the aerobic aspect isn’t as high as I need it to be.  My face barely gets red and I find that I’m not sweating as much as the other people in the class.  I may also try alternating time on the treadmill or running outdoors when I can. 

So that’s where I’m at.  Hopefully soon this plateau will be a thing of the past and I can continue on to be a healthier me.