Archive for November, 2013

I bought myself a fitbit and other news…

November 30, 2013

As readers of my blog may know (all five of you), I have struggled with my weight since quitting smoking in August.  Before that I was losing weight steadily since the beginning of the year.  In fact, I’d lost 48 pounds.  Now, as of last Monday’s official record, I am at a net loss of 33 because I gained 15 back.

What changed?

I took up running in the form of the C25K training program.  I have kept up with it past the 5k fun run I did in October and exercise at least 3 days a week.  Well, I know I didn’t gain those 15 pounds from running!  Next?

I stopped smoking.  It is said that people gain an average of 10 pounds when they quit smoking.  I like to think I am an overachiever but I don’t think I can blame it all on the smoking.   Besides, restarting isn’t an option so nothing I can change here… Next?

I stopped recording my food intake.  Therein lies the root of the problem!  If I am not obsessively counting my calories I begin to lie to myself.  “Oh, I know I ate a candy bar at 10am but these cookies won’t really put my calories for the day that far over.”  Not having the actual calories taken in for the day staring at me from my phone made it easy to fool myself.

So I again began scanning packages and recording bites.  When?  Thanksgiving Day, of course.  Why not restart a diet on the most gluttonous day of the year?

Then yesterday, I bought a Fitbit.  I was planning on buying the Zip when I went into the store, but it was $10 more than I thought it was going to be so I ended up talking myself into the One which was even more expensive (don’t try to follow that logic… it’s impossible.)  I would have loved the Flex that you wear on your wrist but using sign language all day would mean that the more I talked, the more steps it would count.

So far I am really liking the Fitbit.  It syncs into My Fitness Pal (which I just switched to from Lose It) so I can track steps and exercise in the same program as my calories.  It also syncs to SparkPeople for my points there and then I have it linking to Earndit, Everymove, AchieveMint, and Walgreens because you can win things and earn discounts and such through them.

So I have seriously restarted my quest towards 150 pounds with renewed vigor (and new electronics.)


November Foodie Penpal

November 29, 2013

This was my first month of participating in the Foodie Penpals program that Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean began and coordinates!

What fun!!!  You sign up and get matched with a penpal at the beginning of the month then you make up a box of interesting, or local, or unusual food which you then mail to your penpal by the 15th of the month.  At the same time your penpal is mailing a box to you.

My penpal this month was Kelsey and she sent me this great assortment of goodies:


The first thing to be eaten was the homemade pumpkin bread!  I ate 1/2 a piece, it was quite yummy, and when I came home from work the next day there was none to be found.   Something similar happened to the fruit and nut mixture!  I did manage to hoard the Toblerone bar and not share it with anyone!

The funniest thing?  Kelsey sent me, and I sent her,  a bag of Snapea Crisps.  Great minds think alike?

As of this writing, the only thing left in the house from my penpal box is the oatmeal.  I love oatmeal but rarely take the time to eat breakfast (I don’t skip breakfast, I drink it on the road in the form of a protein drink from powder and water, like Spirutein.)  I almost turned the oatmeal into a topping for apple crisp which I haven’t completely ruled out happening…

If sending and receiving a box of goodies sounds good to you, think about joining the next exchange!  The program is taking the month of December off but you can still sign up for the January 5th deadline!

The Lean Green Bean

Cat TV

November 24, 2013

When you have cats, you always have entertainment at the ready.

First, you need to know that I live in the middle of nowhere, so hearing gunshots means the neighbors are sighting their guns for hunting, actually hunting, or having target practice, not that there is gang warfare happening.

Today’s comedy show?  Well, every time the neighbor shoots off his gun, Tippy growls loud enough to hear her across the living room.  It has happened twice in the past few minutes and never fails to make me laugh.

Sometimes Cat TV is home to heart-wrenching drama as well… the other day China and Tippy got to fighting and China smacked Tippy in the face.  Luckily missing her actual eye but there was blood and much mother panic for a bit.  They must have worked out their differences because the fur flying fighting only lasted the one evening.

Now it is time for me to go run because I am lazy and have not been following the schedule I set forth for myself.



Friday excitement

November 22, 2013

Because it doesn’t get much more exciting than this…

I went grocery shopping on my way home from work tonight.  I had a list and got as much as I could from Aldi’s then went to Giant Eagle.  While at Giant Eagle I wrote down prices for the things I bought at Aldi’s.  End result?  Aldi’s bill was $40.62.  Had I bought the same items at Giant Eagle? $58.42.

Needless to say I will be grocery shopping for as many of the basics as possible at Aldi’s from now on.

Now, from the cheap food products to the expensive… I am having a Tastefully Simple party tomorrow (part of the reason I had to grocery shop today.)  I am not having nearly as good of a turnout as I thought I would…  It’s funny, a couple months ago I had an Undercoverwear party and had a great turnout so I thought, “oh, I’ll get at least that many if I do a food party.”  Nope.

I don’t think too much of their food products, mainly due to the price, but I like their seasoning and spice mixes.  My new favorite “add to everything” is their Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning.  I have yet to make garlic bread but I use it often, on pizza, on mac-n-cheese, you name it.

I got home from shopping and mixed up the dips and such for the party tomorrow.  Still have some cleaning to do in the morning…

So, as you can see, the level of excitement in my house is almost too much to bear.

hair addiction

November 17, 2013

I have a new addiction, my hair.  I have been actively trying to grow it out healthily.  Not that I had many bad habits before as I used heat on it maybe three times a year if that.  The things that most negatively impacted my hair would be dye, tight ponytails, and combing wet out of the shower. 

I have switched to henna for dyeing it because I can’t imagine giving up the red.  And I have to say, I am much happier with the henna.  It doesn’t fade at all!  I just took a break between that last sentence and the one before it to go mix up a batch so I can do my hair later… I have roots showing. 

As for tight ponytails, I try not to, but I am still struggling with any other way to keep my hair up for running.  I can’t stand the feel of sweat soaked hair beating on my back.  But I’ve switched to fabric only hair scrunchies, no more tight bands, so hopefully that is minimizing the breakage.

For the combing while wet, I have stopped combing my hair after I get out of the shower.  Instead I head out to work and detangle with my fingers as I drive then use a comb after I arrive.  The other day I needed to stop two places on my way so I put a Buff on and let my hair fill out the tube.

Thanks to the Long Hair Community forums I have been reading the ingredient lists on shampoo and conditioner and paying attention to the after effects of their use.  One thing you hear about often is “cones” meaning silicone variants.  When I don’t use a conditioner with silicones you see much more frizz and when I search my hair I find splits.  The silicones hide the damage better!  Of course, that is why if a conditioner is marketed as “repairs dry and damaged hair,” you can often find high up in the ingredient listing either dimethicone or amodimethicone.   I use both silicone containing and “cone-free” conditioners but it’s good to go without the cones occasionally to get a good idea of the non-hidden condition of your hair…

And so, here is my hair yesterday.  The pictures are taken after drying.  The first picture is before any combing.  The second is after combing and brushing.  No silicones for three days before this so all the frizzies were flying free.


I have this crazy goal of waist length hair.  I’ve been doing some woodworking and making fancy wooden hair forks for updos.  Like I said, new obsession.

In other news… I did my treadmill 5K yesterday before I washed my hair. LOL!  No land speed records were set but I upped the running vs walking minutes a bit.  Nothing major, just a bit of enough to make me feel like a running goddess warrior princess.


Today I think I am going to do a bit of sewing.  My brother-in-law dropped a coat off to me a while back to put in a new zipper.  I’m not charging him but he is giving me a new coat that he got from his work as payment so I’m cool with that.  Also, I got some Thanksgiving fabric that I am going to use to make a skirt for work.  Next Wednesday is our residential dorm’s Thanksgiving party and I’ll wear it for that.  Then probably again the Wednesday right before Thanksgiving.  I had one I had made for Halloween a number of years ago (and never wore) that I found and finally did wear this year.  Made me decide I was going to make a theme skirt for all the holidays.  Though the Halloween one was a bit fancy (for some reason when I made it, I put in a waistband and a zipper for a skirt that has a useful season of about one week a year) the rest I plan to make more basic with just elastic for fit.  They will, however, have pockets!

still just plodding along

November 11, 2013

I feel like I don’t have much to say right now.

I’m still running but not doing the C25K program at the moment.  I’m just following my own run/walk pattern for 2 miles on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and then for 3.1 miles on either Saturday or Sunday.

I signed up for the Foodie Penpal at The Lean Green Bean.  I’ve had fun this week shopping for my first penpal.  I think I want to go back though and get some different things than what I’ve already picked up.  It has to be in the mail by Friday at which point I stop obsessing about what I should put in and start second-guessing myself about what I did put in.

I think I am going to henna my hair again this week.  I am so in love with the henna… there is seriously NO fading!  It doesn’t seem like I’ve grown any additional length this month but it feels pretty incredible.

Oh, talking about my hair reminded me of a funny story from yesterday.  I’ve been trying to find an alternative on how to keep my hair up off my neck when I run.  Because I always do a ponytail that I then pull through halfway.  But doing the same thing all the time will end up breaking my hair so I decided to try something different.  I put my hair up in a bun with four hair pins for the first time for a run…  So then I started warming up, run, walk, run… everything going fine.

At a bit over two miles I heard a weird noise that sounded like something hit the treadmill, looked behind me, nothing.  I didn’t make the connection with the new ‘do.  About three minutes later I felt one hit my shoulder and then it bounced off the treadmill.  The hubby happened to come out at the same time so I sent him to get me a ponytail holder while I held my sopping wet hair off my neck.   So new hairstyle?  Fail.

calories in, calories out…

November 3, 2013

I have tried so many diets in my life. It always comes down to the calories I eat.  Personally I think for everyone it boils down to the calories but some people hold fast to their “oh, but if I eat the magic combination of high-carb/low-fat or low-carb/high-fat or high-protein/high-fat then the weight will melt away faster.”  Uh, no.  Regardless of which book, magazine article, celebrity, or commercial diet you follow it boils down to calories.

For me, I find it easier to count calories then I do to eat according to someone’s defined plan.  Back when Weight Watchers did “3 protein, 4 bread, etc.” I was successful on that as well.  I didn’t like the switch to points at all.  And I’ve never done well on a plan that says eat “1 slice bread, one grapefruit, one cup of yogurt.”  I might eat that but probably not on the day or time that the diet list says I should.

So why am I rambling about calories?  It is time to get back to counting them for me.  I’ve been slack about it and it is such a slippery slope back to the fatness.  It’s been twelve weeks since I quit smoking.  I’ve gained nine pounds back during that time.  Time to put a halt on it and just say no to the cravings for caramel corn.

Yes, caramel corn.  Available everywhere and oh, so good!  I have been on a many weeks binge on caramel corn!  I may investigate recipes for a lower calorie make at home version.  But I am making a public declaration to stop buying bags of it!  In fact, I think it’s a good time to publicly declare that I will stop buying anything to eat in a gas station…

I think I just came up with the basis for the next best selling diet book “Your Car is Making You Fat.”  The premise is simple:  Don’t eat anything you can buy from your car (no fast food) and don’t eat anything you buy where you can buy fuel for your car (no gas station convenience food).

Tomorrow morning I’ll weigh in and we’ll go from there.

Speaking of junk food… I got the Pecan Pie Pringles.  And Cinnamon & Sugar ones.  They were okay, good but nothing special.  I’d not buy them again…  I’d rather have caramel corn.

And now, I shall end my food/calorie ramblings with this:  I am sooo sick of pumpkin spice this, that, and everything!

being neglectful

November 2, 2013

Sorry to my two? three? one? readers… I haven’t been blogging much.  Without the Color Run to prepare for I feel like I’ve not much to talk about on the running front.  I can confess that I have been super lazy this week…  Back on track today though, I’m getting ready to go hit the treadmill for a full 5K which in my world of self talk will get me to stop calling myself a loser.

I didn’t end up working out at all at the hotel last weekend.  Two weekends in a row I packed exercise clothes for my work travels and two weekends in a row I didn’t exercise while traveling a bit…  Good thing I don’t travel a lot since apparently it increases my laziness.

Last weekend I did do something out of the ordinary.  I put on makeup.  Trust me, this isn’t a common occurrence!  It happens maybe three times a year.  Trying to remember, I know I put on makeup to go get my driver’s license picture taken in July… before that I’m not sure.  It appears I better document the occasion!  So here I am, made up:


Makeup this last weekend was a sad reason though, A coworker and I were accompanying one of my students to her father’s memorial service.  I interpreted for the student at the request of her mother. I did okay with the part where the mom talked about her husband and his life, but oh, non-christian me trying to interpret the lord’s prayer and hymns?  Ouch!  Thankfully, the student was fine with my attempt, weak as it was.  I want to be a certified interpreter some day but am certainly not at that level now.  Even when I am I would likely not accept a religious focused assignment because I recognize that I would not be the best qualified.

Off to put coconut oil in my hair and get running!

polepole ~ breathe

Living with metastatic lung cancer; a story of life, my life, now

Kristy Leconte's blog

Training for Life

A Dress A Day

A dress, nearly every day.

Lifting My Spirits

A lifelong dream deferred no longer- transformation from fat chick to bodybuilder after age 50.

Miss Celie's Pants

I sew. I Machine Knit. I cook. I travel. But, I do not clean.

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Pretty Grievances

When I'm not complaining, I sew....