Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Years Goals 2009 Revisited

So, last year I made a list of long and short term goals.  I posted them on my web site not just for my benefit, but also in an effort to encourage my readers to make realistic long term goals. So, let's take a look and see how I did:
  • Seek out more bee people. Find the short fat awkward people who don't fit in and dance with them. I know they are out there.  Mission accomplished. I think I need to make this a goal every year.
  • Make a little birdhouse in my soul. Continue with this web site and blog. I'm not sure anyone is reading anymore (I haven't gotten much feedback to the blog) but if maybe someday, one person stumbles across it and finds some solace, some sanctuary here, then I'll consider this resolution a success. In fact, as long as I keep the blog up I will.  Mission accomplished. I haven't gained a lot of readers, but the ones I know about mean so much to me and make everything worth while.
  • Believe that life can change and I'm not stuck in vain! This is a tough one for me, especially as I get older and have to face my future with some sense of realism, but without a defeatist attitude. I need to remind myself that I'm too old to be a rock star, but still young enough to maybe play a song on YouTube or maybe even do a coffee house someday.  Mission accomplished. I haven't done anything with music this year, but I have made other changes in my life. Done 5ks, taken charge of other things in my life that were wrong. It's getting better all the time.
  • Make every day the best day ever! Make plans, and even though sometimes things don't always go as planned, remember to make the best of it either way.  I didn't always succeed on this one. Working on my attitude is still something that I need to do.
  • Continue making short term goals, and updating them as I cross things off. My current list is:
    • Make crabs for the ELC. Done
    • Make interactive map of how the FL land mass has changed for the ELC. Done
    • Toilet train the cats. Done (well, for Maggie, anyway, the rest are on their way)
    • Finish Timmy and start book. Not done. I need to make more time for creativity in 2011.
    • Get new tattoo. Not done. Not sure why I haven't done this yet, I really wanted to. I think this one relates to still not taking enough time for me.
    • Get promotional material (brochures and magnets) for David's business printed and distributed. Done. Not just printed material, we also have t-shirts for sale for his business now.
    • Learn a song on the banjo and post a video to YouTube. Not done. As with Timmy, the book, and my tattoo, I seem to have a harder time accomplishing the goals that are solely for my benefit. Got to work on this one in 2011.

  • Continue making long term goals and do all that I can to work towards them. Done.  I haven't crossed anything off this list, but I've worked really hard at the gym this year, which is a major step to being able to physically accomplish some of my more physical long term goals, so I am very proud of that achievement.
    My current long term goals are:
    • Appalachian Trail with Joy, Christmas 2010 (at least the part around north GA-North Carolina)
    • Summit Kearsage. It's kicked my butt twice so far, I need to show it who's boss.
    • See a cock-of-the-rock in its native habitat.
    • Sing karaoke. Unashamed, despite having been begged never to go near a microphone again ever (I mean that literally -- my ex posted an MP3 on the internet when we had a band, and someone clicked the link to listen to it and immediately called me, all the way from England, to beg me never to go near a microphone again, ever.)
    • Touch Marty Marquis' hair.
    • When I was a kid I saw a tv show about a museum in Japan that had a big animatronics collection. I'd really like to find and visit that museum.
    • Hike down the Grand Canyon.
    • Get the rest of the stamps for my National Park Passport.
    • Write a book.
    • Sell another photo or other piece of my own artwork (and go to the museum somewhere in Utah that has the first photo that I sold.)
    • See a Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko in its natural habitat (Madagascar)
Next post: Goals for 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

So, I really wanted some fruit with breakfast today, but didn't want 2 carbs, so I decided to make an omelet with some fruit on the side. My dad taught me how to make omelets a long, long time ago. Every weekend for about 3 months, I would claim that I "forgot" what he had shown me, and had him make me one while I watched. I thought I was putting one over on him, but in hind sight, I think he, like I now, just really liked making omelets.

I few years ago, I took my Hiawassee Mom shopping at the outlet malls, and I found the greatest omelet pan ever. I think it is truly the key to making perfect omelets. It makes me happy to make omelets using this pan not just cause it's cute, but because it reminds me both of my dad and my Hiawassee mom:

It is insanely cute, and has a matching omelet turner-over thingy
But I digress. There really isn't a recipe for omelets. I just spray the pan with Pam, then put in what ever  I find in the fridge. This particular day, I used:
  • Egg whites
  • Frozen veggies (carrot, broccolli and cauliflower mix) thawed
  • Cabot 50% Pepper Jack cheese
Put every thing in the omelet pan. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, flip and cook other side for about 3 minutes. Serve with fruit on the side, or, if you are PMSing, a bag of Pepperidge Farm Double-stuffed Chocolate Milanos. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Event update!

If you chose not to GOYB this weekend, here's what you missed! (Click to enlarge pictures.)

A big green... worm.. I can't remember
what Heather told me it is... I'm a bad master naturalist!

A Red-shouldered hawk

A really tiny Ring-necked Snake

The divine miss Heather with a stick bug.
We saw lots of stick bugs today!


We walked a total of 7.5 miles, and it felt so great that we're gonna do another long walk on December 19. Join us, you never know what cool things you'll see, but I can guarantee that you aren't going to see them if you stay at home on your couch!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Race update!

I did my 7th race today. I had my best time ever, even beating the one that wasn't really a 5k! Here are the results of the last 7 races:
As usual, my cheerleader and photographer was there to document it all for posterity.  

As usual, here I am being a
goof at the starting line.

David amused himself by taking
pictures while he waited for me to return.

This is my buddy Dave from the gym
crossing the finish line.

This is me, coming in last. But, in my
defense, it was a very small race. It was my
best time by 2 minutes, so I was happy.






















The only thing that kind of bummed me out a little was before the race, I was in the parking lot of the park. Now it's 6:30 on a dark, wet Saturday morning, I was wearing my little running shorts, doing stretches. And this guy handing out fliers for an upcoming race starts to hand one to me, then he laughs, looks at me with a look of disgust usually reserved for people who are caught raping puppies, and says,  "Oh, YOU aren't a runner." I told him that am in the race, and he gave a half-hearted apology, but I still kinda wanted to smack him. But on the other hand, as I've mentioned before, I get a ton of support from the people who actually matter (David, the rest of the family, real runners like Dave and Alison from the gym, and the folks from Runner's Depot who are always super nice to me when I go into the store) so I didn't feel bad for long, and I kicked butt today, so I'm happy.

Now to face my next, much more daunting challenge: Holiday Shopping... Noooooooooooooooooo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

True Testimonial and Event Update!

Here is proof positive that my GOYB theory is good for your attitude! Here are actual before and after photos:

Before: David and Heather, sitting on
their rockers,  clearly unhappy. 
After: David and Heather on a
DeeMotivation Swamp Buggy ride!

Heather, clearly much happier not being in a rocker, and
showing off a Butterfly Orchid


How much more proof do you need that you should be coming out and playing with us?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Taste of Tuesday

So, my assignment for Thanksgiving is to bring the green bean casserole. I couldn't find any mushroom soup in the store that didn't have HFCS and other icky stuff in it so I decided to make my own. I also got real fresh green beans. Luckily, before I started making the soup, Heather gave me some pointers. So, to make the green bean casserole I followed the basic recipe on the French's can, but here is my recipe for home made cream of mushroom soup:

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz fresh sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • Light cream 
  • Chicken broth
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chopped onion
Directions:
  1. Stir fry the garlic, onion and mushrooms in a little bit of oil. Heather suggested olive oil, which I don't like the taste of, so I just used regular vegetable oil. 
  2. If needed, drain the mushrooms on a paper towel. 
  3. Take 1/2 the mushrooms, 1/4 cup chicken broth, and about 1/4 cup cream and puree in a blender. Repeat with the other 1/2 of the mushrooms.  If you have a bigger blender than I do, you can puree all of the mushrooms at once. 
  4. Spice the soup as needed. I used a little garlic salt to brighten up the taste a little.
  5. If you are just going to eat the soup, heat it till warm. If you are making casserole, follow the instructions for that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Event Update

If you chose not to GOYB this weekend, here's what you missed at Goodwin Wildlife Management Area!

 A really pale red shouldered hawk.
 A herd of roseate spoonbills.
A herd of wood storks. These were very cool. Both Heather and I noticed that there was something about the lighting today that made them appear really really white where they were white, and really really black where they were black. They reminded me of the saddle shoes I wore when I was a kid.
Me and Heather being goofy.












Hope to see you on the next event!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This week's race results

I did my 6th race today. My time is a little longer than the last 5k as it was a 3.5 mile race (as opposed to a 5k.) Statistically, it wasn't my best time ever, but my foot really hurt at the start of the race and it took me about a mile to hit my stride, so overall I was ok with my time. Here are the results of the last 6 races:
As usual, my cheerleader and photographer was there to document it all for posterity. Click to enlarge any picture:

Today's race was a benefit for the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice. I was thinking of Aunt Cathy and Hiawassee Mom when I signed up for the race. I can't imagine a harder job and deeply admire them both for being able to do that.
The race started WAY too early for my taste. Here I am yawning before it started.
My usual goofy start to the race. My foot was hurting pretty bad at the start of the race and I was thinking that I would not make it through the race and was contemplating just bagging before I had even barely started. Then, about 1/4 mile in, the song "Idiot Heart" by Sunset Rubdown came up on the iPod. The line, "I was never much of a dancer but I know enough to know you gotta move your idiot body around" just made me smile. When it got to the line in the song, "So just move around, move around, move around, move around." I was finally starting to hit my stride and decided to put the song on auto repeat.
The last line of the song is, "I hope that you die in a decent pair of shoes, You got a lot more walking to do where you're going to." I kept the song on auto repeat for about 2 miles. It carried me past the pain, and by the time I finally took it off auto repeat, I was booking it, feeling no pain and felt really really good. I don't know anything about the band, but I think I need to write them a fan letter. This is the first race that I was seriously thinking of bagging, and this song just breathed new life into my tired old bones.
This is me approaching the finish line.
I have decided the Gogol Bordello's "Wanderlust King" is one of the greatest race songs ever. I had a really strong finish, and this song had a lot to do with that. I put on auto repeat about a mile from the end of the race, and I think I would have had a better time if I had started it sooner. "Idiot Heart" is awesome for motivation, but has a slower beat. "Wanderlust King" is a faster, get your blood going song.
 Crossing the finish line.
My cheerleader, photographer and most importantly, my sweetheart, in Starbucks for the post-race celebratory coffee.










Today's freakish it-could-only-happen-to-the-truly-fat injury was that the upper, under side of my arm was stinging really bad. It took me a while to figure out why, but then I remembered that last week when I was making the chicken stew, when I was stirring the crock pot, I accidentally flung a spoonful of really really hot stew on myself, so I had a burn there (as well as other places on my arm). Combined with a wardrobe malfunction, things were just rubbing in all the wrong places and the burn got really irritated. I really, seriously, need to replace Sporti before the next race. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

 This is pretty similar to last week's recipe. I got creative with the base. I wanted something to counter the fact that I wasn't wearing my glasses when I dumped the Cayenne into the pepper. So I added some splenda brown sugar and cinnamon. It came out really tasty.

Chicken Stew
==========
Ingredients:
  • Carrots
  • Turnip or Rutabaga
  • Onion (a vidalia if you can get it!)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken (I used thighs, I think they cook nicer in a crock pot)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • Brown sugar (I used the Splenda brown sugar blend)
  • Flour
  • Spices for browning chicken (I used black, white, and red pepper but you can use whatever you like)
  • Spices for adding to base
  1. Chop the chicken up into chunks.
  2. Mix about 1/2 to 1 cup flour and the chicken browning spices in a flat dish. 
  3. Roll the chicken in the flour mixture, then stir fry till browned.
  4. Place the chicken into a crock pot. 
  5. Chop up the carrots, turnip/rutabaga and onion, and put into the crock pot.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth. 
  7. Turn on crock pot and cook for 4-5 hours. Cooking time and temp depends on your crock pot. I cooked it on high for about 5 hours. Once the veggies cook down a bit, stir up the chicken from the bottom so everything gets a chance at being in the warm cozy bottom of the pot. Do this a few times during cooking.
  8. About 1/2 hour before you want to eat, mix some water, corn starch, brown sugar, and cinnamon in either a gravy shaker or a blender till smooth.  I have no idea how much stuff I used, you will have to experiment.
  9. Pour the flour/corn starch/brown sugar mixture to crock put and stir until it thickens.
If you aren't dieting, serve with really good bread. If you are dieting, serve with really good bread and run a few extra miles.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More About Streching

I had David take some pictures of the stretches I do before races or just working out in general.

This is a ham string stretcher. My physical therapist was selling these for $25. I picked this one up at Play it Again Sports for $4. You can also get them at Amazon, but check Play it Again or even Craig's List first. Either way, they are well worth the investment. This is by far my favorite stretch. You place your foot in it, and stretch your heel down. Note also in this picture the brace on my foot. This has a strap that goes under the arch and really helps the plantar faciitis. I got this one from my doctor, but you can also find them at Walgreens.

This stretch is deceptively simple. Start with your feet on the ground and lift your toes. Do it a bunch of times. It is really great for preventing shin splints.

Another one for plantar faciitis is to start on a curb or bottom step, with the balls of your feet on the edge. Drop your heels to stretch for a stretch downward, then go up on your toes.


I also wear a night time brace for plantar faciitis. This is the one I have, which has the advantage of being cheap and readily available at Walgreens. The disadvantage is that it wasn't made for someone with really fat shins, so I have to wear an ace bandage over it to keep it from moving around or coming undone over night.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Tortoise Must DIE

I did my 5th 5k today.   My time wasn't great, but when I came home and was going through prior times, I realized that  it was actually 3 minutes off of my best time, since the Walk for Air was not a full 5k.

Here are the results of the last 5 races:
I was, as usual grateful to have my cheerleader and photographer along. It especially meant a lot to me today since he had to work today and could have chose to sleep in instead of schlepping out of bed at 5:30 to cheer me on before going to work. Without further ado, I give you the pictures. You can click on them to make them bigger:

It was a beautiful sunrise.






This is the statue of the guy whose name I can't recall with his pet pelican in Riverside Park in Sebastian where we started.
This is me, being goofy at the start of the race. I jogged part way, but quickly came to the horrifying realization that I would be finishing the race with black eyes and bruised knees if I kept jogging instead of walking. It is seriously time for a new sports bra. I need to hit Junonia before the next race.
This is a bird that flew over while David waited patiently for me to return. I also saw a pretty big herd of Sandhill Cranes fly over the race. Not sure where they were going or coming from. Perhaps they were just pointing and laughing at me!
This is me, nearing the finish line.
Me, crossing the finish line.  I'm always so grumpy at this part of the race. The little boy from Runner's Depot who is always so nice to me in the store was at the finish line cheering, and for no discernible reason I just wanted to smack him one. I think maybe they should start passing out pastries instead of water at the finish line, I think I'd have a sweeter disposition.


Overall, I was pretty disappointed with my time. About midway through the race I realized I wasn't going to break into the 40's and was cursing the stupid tortoise; slow and steady does not win the race, FAST and steady wins, the tortoise only won cause the hare was an idiot (sadly, this is really what I was thinking about during the second half of the race.)  But then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the only thing that would have sucked more than having a bad finish time would have been to not have tried at all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

So, I was horrified on Saturday to find that my life has been a lie, and nothing is as it seems!

Growing up, my mom made insanely tasty beef stew with lots of turnip in it. I think it was the cold weather, but I had a hankering for beef stew and ran down to the fresh market with the intention of getting me some turnip! David said he didn't think he'd ever had turnip before, so I explained to him that it's basically a bowling ball covered with wax, but once you cut it and peel it, if you can avoid slicing off any appendages, it is very very yummy.

So, I'm walking around Fresh Market, and have these little wimpy whitish-purple thingies that they have labeled as "Turnip". I said to the produce boy, "Those aren't turnip, I'm looking for wax-covered bowling balls." And the little boy said to me, "Those ARE turnips, you are looking for RUTABAGAS, which we don't sell."

I said "No! I'm from up north, they are turnips and they..." but it was a lost cause, he insisted that the little whitish-purple thingies were turnip. So, I bought them. They were NOT the turnip that I had up north. I guess they had their positives:
  • They were WAY easier to peel than the wax-covered bowling balls
  • They starred in Gone With The Wind. To my knowledge, Rutabagas have never had a starring role in a movie. 
But on the negative side, they have a much mellower flavor, I prefer the more pungent taste of the wax-covered bowling balls.  But I digress. I did make the beef stew, and although it's not my mom's recipe, it came out really good. So without further ado, I give you:

Beef Stew
=======
Ingredients:
  • Carrots
  • Turnip or Rutabaga
  • Onion (a vidalia if you can get it!)
  • Stew Beef (I used 2 packages to up the protein amount)
  • 1 can beef broth
  • Ketchup (I used the organic stuff with no HFCS)
  • Flour
  • Spices (I used black, white, and red pepper but you can use whatever you like)
1) Mix about 1/2 to 1 cup flour and the spices in a flat dish. 
2) Roll the stew beef in the flour mixture, then stir fry till browned.
3)  Place the beef into a crock pot. 
4) Chop up the carrots, turnip/rutabega and onion, and put into the crock pot.
5) Pour in the beef broth. 
6) Turn on crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours. Cooking time and temp depends on your crock pot. I had mine on low for the first few hours, then turned it up to high for the last few.  Once the veggies cook down a bit, stir up the beef from the bottom so everything gets a chance at being in the warm cozy bottom of the pot. Do this a few times during cooking.
7) About 1/2 hour before you want to eat, mix some water, some flour or corn starch and some ketchup in either a gravy shaker or a blender till smooth.  I have no idea how much flour and ketchup I used, you will have to experiment. I used ketchup to taste, probably about 1/2-3/4 cup.
8) Pour the flour/ketchup/water mixture to crock put and stir until it thickens.

If you aren't dieting, serve with really good bread. If you are dieting, serve with really good bread and run a few extra miles.

Grace... I have none!

Someone at work sent around this amazing video today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp_RHnQ-jgU

And I'm thinking to myself, Bah! Anyone can do that. Then I remembered last week when the trainer showed me how to do a very simple exercise where you pull a cable forward with one arm and swing the opposite arm back. And how when I tried to do it on my own I got all tangled up and spazzy and couldn't remember how to move my arms at all, let alone how to move them in the manner in which she taught me 1 day prior to me trying it on my own.

Sigh. I guess ballerina is one more on the list of things I'm never gonna be when I grow up.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Event

If you chose not to GOYB today, you missed a fun time at the very chilly Sebastian Clam Bake. Shown here are Heather, Kristen and moi:

The only bad part about today was that due to the weather (45 degrees and high winds) the kayak trip was cancelled. Tomorrow's event, a walk thought the fitness trail at Riverside Park in Vero, will hopefully be a tad warmer. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We need a new 5k benefit!

So, this morning, I did 2 miles on the treadmill, and my heel was pretty sore when I got home. So I decided to ice it. I took off my shoes and was rolling the ice bottle around on the floor. I got up to get something from my office, and when I did, I noticed that my right heel was kind of numb too. I was like, "oh, no! Don't tell me I have plantar faciitis in that foot now too!" So I was all bummed out.

A few minutes ago, I got up to get lunch. When I came back, I noticed that floor in front of where I'd been sitting was all wet. Suddenly it dawned on me -- I don't have PF in the other foot too, the ice bottle was just leaking on my good foot.

We will file this story in the same folder as when I thought I was having a stroke but it turned out to be my glasses fogging when I went from the airconditioned car to the unairconditioned parking lot. Or the time I thought I was going to die of Lime Disease, except it wasn't a tick, it was a piece of chocolate from the trail mix on my leg. Or the time I thought I had really bad floaters until I realized there was an ant crawling around on my glasses.

You know, they have 5ks to benefit every other disease, I think I should start one to benefit Hypochondria. I will encourage people to wear imaginary ribbons and we can all wear t-shirts that say "Placebos, not drugs!" Who's with me?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday - Smoked Tuna Pate

A long time ago, David and I were down in the keys and we stopped at a little restaraunt. They had a smoke tuna pate appetizer, and it was insanely yummy. I've spent a long time trying to duplicate it, and today's recipe is about as close as I think I'm going to come.

Mix together:

1-2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened or melted
Liquid Smoke*
Old Bay*

* To taste. I think I like it with more spices vs. less.

Slightly drain 1 can of tuna, leaving the tuna moist but not completely dripping. Place cream cheese mixture and tuna into a Magic Bullet or blender. Blend until it's the consistancey of pate. Serve with crackers and some fruit.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Plantar Faciitis Advice

Here is an interesting article about plantar faciitis:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130573337

I do the ice, NSAIDs, night time brace, a strap during the day, and lots and lots of stretching. It's not as bad as it was, I plan to do 3 5ks between now and December. I notice that after a long walk it hurts, but I ice right away (I even brought a bottle of ice to the last 5k I did) and recover much faster now and it doesn't hurt when I first get up anymore. I think the stretching helps the most, with the daytime strap a close second.

The stretches that I do:

  • Stand on a stair stepper or the bottom step. Hold onto something for balance. With your ball of your foot on the edge of the step, drop your heels, then stretch back up on your tip-toes. Repeat a bunch of times.
  • While sitting, with your heels on the floor, tap your toes. Again, do this a bunch of times I usually do at least 20-30 times before I start walking. This is also a great one for keeping shin splints at bay. It does look kind of silly though. It might look better if you click your fingers and bob your head, so it looks like you are really getting into your music. Alternatively, you can keep looking at your watch and pretend that you are impatiently waiting for someone.
  • Lie on the floor on your back with the one knee bent. Raise the other leg, pointing your toes towards you as much as possible. If, like most people, the PF is worst when you first wake up, do this lying in bed before you try to walk. Use a towel or blanket to pull your toes towards you to get a really good stretch in the bottom of your foot.
Let me know if these aren't clear descriptions, I can post some pictures. Good luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Reminder for this week's event

My back is still hurting from the bike incident last weekend, so instead of the bike ride, I'm gonna do a walk at Riverside Park in Vero Beach by the art museum Saturday, Oct 30 at 3:00 p.m. Please RSVP or send mail if you want directions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

As previously mentioned, my favorite standby breakfast is DeeMcMuffs. However, the nutritionist that I've been seeing says that I need to up my protein after a work out and told me that I need to put a few egg whites in there.  I didn't really think about the ramifications of this... perhaps I should have saved this picture for halloween but what the heck, we are close enough. Prepare to be scared... I present to you, my breakfast:

It actually tastes pretty good, and I prefer the white to the yolk anyway, but man, it's a bizarre looking concoction! I think I need to find a way to make it a little flatter, but still fit on the english muffin. I'm open to suggestions.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Exercise Bearable

Recently, someone who shall remain nameless was telling me how much she hates exercising. I admit, there are plenty of days that I don't feel like doing it either, but there are lots of ways to make it more bearable:
  • Use your imagination. I hate the rowing machine. For some reason, every gym I've ever gone to doesn't have a tv on or near the rowing machine, leaving me to my own devices for entertainment. Unfortunately, I've always had bad knees and there are days when rowing is the only form of cardio I can get in. So, when I have to use the rowing machine, I pretend that I'm on real water, and there is a really attractive guy on the shore who I have to save from a pack of rabid Victoria Secret models. The amount of clothing that the guy is wearing is inversely proportional to the amount of hatred I am having for the rowing machine on that particular day.
  • Use your active time to take out your agressions. I took up raquetball at a really bad time in my life. I won't share the details, but I named the ball, and if voodoo works, the person I named it after had the headache to end all headaches every time I played, and just the thought of that made me feel really really good.
  • You don't have to go to a gym, you just have to GOYB. Don't even call it exercising -- call it walking the dog, window shopping in a mall, playing WiiFit, dancing to your iPod, or my personal favorite, going birdwatching. As long as you are not sitting on the couch watching TV, it's all good.
Let me know your favorite ways to get off the couch and avoid exercising!

Exercise Tip

I discovered a new exercise tip yesterday!

When you go bike riding in a wilderness area far from your house thus requiring a bike rack, make sure that when you are taking the bike off of the bike rack that you actually unhook the bungee cords holding the bike on the rack. Serious back pain can result if the bike is still attached to the rack when you try to lift it off the rack.

I used to think I was too old for this fitness stuff, now I am thinking perhaps that I am just too stupid for it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Event Updates!

If you didn't choose to GOYB last weekend, you missed a ton of cool birds out at Pelican Island, including this magnificent Osprey:














If you didn't choose to GOYB this weekend, you missed the lovely Heather:














And a bunch of birds, including a poser of a red-shouldered hawk:














I haven't decided where next week's trip will be, but I'm open to suggestions. Either reply here or send me mail if you have a place that you would like go!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

From Caterpillar to Yeti

I'm not a huge fashion maven. I've never been into the girly stuff like makeup and jewelry. But I do try to at least take care of the basics. I know the gym isn't a fashion show, but still, I try to remember to at least wear clothes without holes and to shave my legs if I'm wearing shorts.

But lately, I've noticed this bizarre phenomenon. When I am in the shower, I always check my legs to see how furry I am. If I am in the caterpillar range, I figure I can go another day without shaving.  But then, when I get to the gym, I notice that I am suddenly in the Yeti range, and totally should have mowed (way past "shave" stage) my legs. This has been going on for a few months, and I just can't understand how I can go from stubble to dreadlocks in the 1/2 hour it takes me to go from the shower to the gym.

The other day, it finally dawned on me what the issue is. I don't wear my glasses in the shower, so I can't see the braidable hair, my legs just look smooth and perfect.  So now my big dilemma is, should I stop wearing my glasses altogether? On the one hand, I really like not seeing imperfections. Also, there will be many more humorous gym mishaps for me to write about. On the other hand, assuming I survive the trip to the gym and the workout, I won't be able to see to update the blog. Dang. There is always a downside to taking the easy way out.



Reminder: Walk today at Pete's Impoundment

Hi! Just a reminder we are doing a walk today at Pete's Impoundment at the end of Jungle Trail in the Pelican Island wildlife refuge. We are meeting in the Centennial Trail parking lot at 4:30, or if you prefer, at my house at 3:45.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Decision

So, after much, much thought, I decided against having the lapband replaced. There were many contributing factors, and I sincerely appreciate everyone who share their thoughts with me on it, and I really appreciate all of the support I've received. The decision wasn't an easy one. I pretty much decided early on that I would not have it replaced, but the insecurity that's messed with my head for the last 2 years made me second guess myself pretty much till I woke up in the recovery room.

As angry as I've been, and as stupid as I've felt, I do think I have learned a lot over the last 2 years, and I think it's important to document what I have learned from this experience for anyone thinking of getting a lapband who might stumble across this blog:
  • First and foremost: 
    • Fear of vomiting is not the same thing as learning how to eat right.
    • Fear of vomiting is not the same thing as learning how to deal with issues with food and weight.
  • If you have ANY medical issue and you feel like your doctor isn't listening to you, FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR. I know my body, and any doctor who thinks otherwise can go fry.
  • As mentioned in previous posts, I've never been hungry in my life. This was probably the most important thing I learned. I did not get to be morbidly obese eating only when I was hungry, even if the lapband hadn't been defective, I still would not have succeeded with it for this reason alone. 
  • I am fairly active, and my nutritional needs simply do not coincide with the dietary restrictions required for the lapband.
So -- where am I today? Well, I had the surgery to remove the lapband last Thursday. I'm home now, recovering well. The first day, the pain felt like I had done 100,000,000 situps. Today, it's down to about 2000. Although I can't get back to lifting weights for 2 weeks, I expect to get back to the gym and cardio tomorrow.

I have been seeing a nutritionist for a few weeks. She suggested getting rid of my scale altogether, stop driving myself crazy with the number. I've been working out, doing 5ks, feeling great and yet I still let the number make me crazy. So, the scale is gone. I have the jibblies from not being able to weigh in everyday, but as I've mentioned in previous posts, I am more than a number on a scale, getting rid of it once and for all was one of my final frontiers.

Late Wednesday, the day before surgery, I expressed my concerns and self-doubts to my friend Richard. I told him I was afraid that I would come home from the surgery and, despite the fact that I know that the lapband was defective and not doing anything, I would still want to eat the world once it was removed. Richard stated that I woudn't do that -- he said I am a different person than I was 3 years ago. As usual, he was right. I am confident now that it was the right choice for me.

Onward and upward!

PS. I underestimated my recover time and had to cancel today's walk. We have rescheduled for next week though and will meet at the Pelican Island main lot to walk Pete's Impoundment next Sunday at 4:30. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Event Update

If you didn't GOYB and join us for the bike ride tonight, you missed a spectacular sunset, a Merlin, a Great Horned Owl, great conversation, and this fantastically beautiful snake of an as yet undetermined species:


Make sure you join us for our next outing, an evening walk at Pete's Impoundment at the Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge. We will meet in the parking lot at 4:30 next Sunday, or you can meet me at my house at 3:30 and we can car pool.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Race Results

Well, the good news is that I had my best time ever today, I have cut more that 10 minutes off of my first race in June, so I am proud of that. The bad news is that there is no record of this whatsoever because my chip fell off somewhere on the race course. I told the record keeper at the end of the race, but I guess they couldn't add it in as I am not listed on the official results. I know that the point of this race was to raise money for the American Lung Association, and I accomplished that goal, and I know it's really small and petty of me to be this upset about not having this official, but MAN is it bugging me.

At any rate, here are the results of the last 4 races:
And I do have proof of my time, as my cheerleader and personal photographer got me coming across the start and finish line:

 






Me, at the start line.


Me, torn between being elated at my best time ever, and utterly crestfallen realizing that my timing chip was gone and there was no record of this whatsoever, other than the picture.

I didn't even come in last, I would have come in 17th for my age group  if I hadn't lost my chip.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekend Event

Hi! This weekends event will be a bike ride out at Goodwin Wildlife Management Area:

Date: Sunday afternoon
Time: Meet at my house at 5:00

Please drop me an email if you want to join and for directions. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You don't need new underpants, you can surgically get a bigger butt!

Ok, now I'm just plain scared. Last week I posted about the fact that you can buy underpants to make your butt look bigger. Well, it turns out that if you want a more permanent solution, you can also GET SURGERY to make your butt look bigger.

My favorite line of the article, and I warn you to skip the next line if you are squemish, is:

"The difference between this is and other sorts of fat augmentation is that the surgeon injects fat between layers of muscle, so there is more blood supply to the fat and less of it dies. The scars left by the incisions needed to inject the fat are hidden, says Mendieta, ‘in the grand canyon where the thong goes’, hence the name of the procedure."

Now I don't know about you, but on the list of places on my body that I don't want an incision, I'd have to say my butt crack is pretty close to the top of the list, or the bottom I guess. I mean, have you ever been riding your bike, and you kind of lift your self up a little to adjust, and when you sit back down you are a little off center and you.. OUCH. Now, imagine paying someone to ... oh wait, don't imagine that, it is WAY TOO FREAKING HORRIBLE.

But this still comes down to the fact that there are women in this world who actually WANT a bigger butt. I want to find these women and introduce them to the joys of Dairy Queen, large sausage pizzas, lazy-boy loungers and Netflix. There are far better ways to get a large butt, and I am familiar with them all.  But for now, I personally will stick to trying to get off my butt more!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who ever knew I am fashionable!

The treadmills at the gym I go to all have built in TVs, and lately during my morning workouts, I have been seeing commercials for a product called "Booty Pop". In case you are not familiar with it, this is a pair of underpants you can buy to make your butt look bigger. I am not making this product up, click here to see for yourself.


I'm actually kind of psyched about this product. I'm really hoping they plan to come out with companion products. I can see them now:
Jelly Rolls
Get that extra roll of belly fat you've always dreamed of, built in to a lovely tank top!

or maybe:

Chinz-a-lot
When two chins just aren't enough, wear our custom turtleneck with stackable extra chins, wear 2 or 3 depending on your mood!


My absolute favorite thing about this product though, is the sizing. The sizing they use is:


Small = Sweet
Medium = Sweeter
Large = Sweetest
Extra Large = Super Sweet

I've decided that since I have a gigantic ass, I will henceforth refer to it as my "Mega Ultra Wicked Freaking Sweet" ass. I think I like this new terminology.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Event update

Of course I forgot my camera for the bike ride last night, so if you didn't GOYB and come with us, you missed a magnificent bobcat, 2 adorable baby red rat snakes, a very pretty black snake with yellowish vertical stripes that we were not able to identity, more deer than we could count, a small herd of roseate spoonbills, a norther harrier (or possibly a snail kite, we weren't really quite sure, and HFC David wasn't with us), a BA limpkin, a night hawk, and a ton of other birds at a roost by the airboat launch.

Thanks so much to Heather for joining me. I think evening bike rides will have to become a more frequent event, there was just so much to see, and the temps made the ride really comfortable and enjoyable.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Event Update 18-Sep-10

I will be doing an evening bike ride out at Goodwin Marsh tomorrow, Saturday Sept 18. We are meeting at my house at 5:00 PM. Helmets are highly suggested. Drop me an email if you want to join us or if you need directions.

Monday, September 13, 2010

To quote the Doobie Brothers, "It keeps you running..."

I ran my third 5k this weekend.  Here are the race results from all 3 I've done:

I'm not too happy with these results. I stretched the heck out of my feet and legs, and had no pain whatsoever. I felt like I was going fast and doing really well. I was totally bummed when I realized that I came in more than a minute over my last race. Given that I had all kinds of leg/foot pain last time, I don't really understand why my time was longer this time. I guess I can use the excuse that there were hills, and it was inland which made it a thousand times hotter than the last 2 races. But those would just be excuses. I will try harder next time (next race is in October.)

But overall, it was a great race, made better by doing it with 8 other family members. Uncle Duncan came in first in his age group, cousin Janine came in second in hers, cousin Beth did great in her first race ever, cousins James, Cathyrn and Dylan came all the way from Canada and survived the heat and humidity of a Florida race, and Amy (the one who started it all) did a 10k with her best time ever.  And, true to the family motto, we all got cake after! Yay!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Me and the Lap-band Part II

Back in November of 2008, my monthly visitor was particularly painful, which is really not unusual at all for me. I vomited violently from the pain of the cramps, and pretty much immediately noticed that my lap band didn't seem to be working. I had never reached that "sweet spot" that the salesman had raved about, but it seemed to me that the lap band was no longer working at all. I told the lap-band salesman, and he informed me that I just needed another fill. I went back the next month, and told him the last fill had done nothing; he told me I just needed another fill and rambled about this hypothetical "sweet spot" that I hadn't reached. The next month I was pretty adamant and asked for an x-ray. He finally did one, it took about 30 seconds (literally) and he said everything was fine and I just needed another fill. I cried all the way home -- clearly I was just a complete failure who couldn't manage to lose weight, even with a giant rubber band tied around my stomach.

I dutifully went for a few more fills, but was not losing weight, and there was no difference no matter how many fills I got. I pretty much gave up and stopped going for fills altogether. As described in the introduction to this blog, I spent the next 2 years in psychotherapy and being treated with drugs for depression and food issues.

In June of this year, I noticed that my insurance listed a lap band guy right near my house. I figured I would give it another shot, at least I would only be losing 1/2 hour every time I went for a fill instead of making the 2.5 hour trip to the previous doctor. I explained my history to the new doctor, and his first effort was to give me a fill. I went back and told him it didn't make any difference at all. He suggested a swallow test (which the previous lap-band salesman never did.) The swallow test showed that the lap band was in place, but was not restricting at all. He tried one more fill, which again, did nothing. He then took out all of the fill and measured it  -- there should have been more that 8CCs in the band, and there was less than 7, which indicated a leak.

Which brings us to this week. I went in for a fill under (flouroscope? something like that) which showed that in fact the band was leaking, and it had also slipped out of place. When the doctor confirmed this, I just burst into tears. I had spent the last 2 years completely convinced that I was just a fat miserable failure. As mentioned at the start of this blog, I saw a shrink who helped me be more accepting of myself, I started this blog in an effort to encourage other people as well as myself, but deep down inside, it's been killing me that I failed so spectacularly at this. When the doctor finally validated that the band was broken and had been for a long time (if it ever was right, which I have serious doubts it was) I was filled with relief, sadness, and more than a little rage. Must... not.. make... hulk... mad... I cried pretty much the rest of the day. I talked to mom and calmed down, and also chatted with another friend who got her lap band done at the same time as mine.

Which brings us to today. The band has to be either removed or replaced, but it is up to me to make the decision. It's something I have thought about a lot and need time for. So far, the merits of replacement vs removal are pretty even in my head:

Pro replacement:

  • My insurance will cover replacement now, but if I just get it removed and decide in the future that I want it put back, my insurance will most likely not cover it. So, this is my second chance, but most likely my last unless I want to pay out of pocket. And, if I want or need it removed in the future for some reason, the insurance will cover it. 
  • Although the band doesn't help with sugar, which is my worst vice, it does help with bread, pasta, pastries and other carby stuff that used to eat way more of.
  • I really don't think the band ever worked properly, so I don't have any way of really knowing if it will help, but I've never succeeded at weight loss on my own. 
  • It might work.

Pro removal:

  • Sugar is by far my biggest issue, and the band does nothing for that.
  • My common sense tells me that eating 4 ounces isn't a natural or sensible thing to do. And, with how much I work out, it seems even more nonsensical.
  • I will not be able to use the band as an excuse to eat "safe" foods. Ice-cream, fancy coffee, candy, etc do not get stuck in the band ever. Chicken, beef, rice, raw veggies can and do get stuck. 
  • I have been very very depressed since I had it put in. As described above, a huge part of that is that I failed with it and blamed myself entirely, so this might not be an issue going forward if a new one actually works, but I think it is still something to keep in mind. As I've talked about a lot here in this blog, the band won't make the food addiction go away or even lessen cravings. It only can prevent me from eating more than 4 ounces in one sitting.

So, if anyone is still reading this, let me know if you have any input, or if I've missed any points in my analysis above. I have a doctor appointment next Thursday, but will not rush this decision and will wait if I need to, just until my head is in a better space. I welcome all thoughts, words of encouragement, and so forth though. Heaven knows I need them right now.  Thanks for reading!

PS: Sorry for the length and seriousness of this post. I am running a 5k Sunday morning though, so there is a very good chance that I will have a goofy Dee story to post on Monday:-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

As you know, I am not fond of High Fructose Corn Syrup in my regular (non-junk) food. I came across a recipe recently that called for barbecue sauce, and when I went to buy some, I could not find any that did not contain HFCS, which really kind of irritated me. So I decided I would try to make my own. Now I am NOT claiming under ANY circumstances that this sauce recipe is low-calorie,  but it is FREAKING yummy and works really well with the recipe here. So without further ado:

Dee's Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Just a touch of apple-cider vinegar
  • Orange marmelade*
  • Brown sugar spenda*
  • Molasses*
  • Black pepper*
  • White pepper*
  • Cayanne pepper*
  • Grated orange peel*
  • Liquid Smoke*
  • Paprika*
  • Onion salt*
  • Fresh crushed garlic* (to taste, but I use enough to kill all of Transylvania)

Mix all ingredients together, stirring well. Ingredients that are asterisked should be added to taste and should be adjusted as needed. I accidentally added too much vinegar and had to tone it down with the splenda. If you go easy on the vinegar you might not need the splenda at all. Feel free to leave out or add any spices you like or don't like. I promise I won't have the Cooking Police come after you.

I Don't Have a Clever Name For This Recipe Yet, But It's Freaking Yummy, Trust Me
Cooking time:  Hours if you have to chop the raw chicken and snow peas yourself. It drives me nuts when I watch Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Recipes" -- yeah, right. It takes 30 minutes if you have minions to do your chopping for you. If you don't, plan on 30 hours!

  • Chicken thighs (uncooked, chopped into bite size pieces)
  • Shrimp (uncooked, peeled, deveined, tails off)
  • Roasted Peanuts (these are optional, but I thought they really added a spark to the recipe)
  • Snow peas (uncooked, chopped into bite size pieces)
  • Flour, red pepper, black pepper
  • Dee's Barbecue Sauce

Mix the flour and spices together. Coat the chicken and shrimp in the flour mixture and stir fry in oil until the chicken no long clucks and the shrimp stop whining about how hot the pan is. Add in the barbecue sauce and peanuts and stir until warm. Last, add the snow peas and cook until al dente.

Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Event Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Tragic

The Good: I did another 2 miles along the river (for a total of 4 today) and my foot really doesn't hurt that much at all, other than at the injection site. I think I won't have any problem with the 5k next weekend. Yay!





The Bad: I couldn't get any of my minions to join me tonight, other than HFC Squirrel, and he abandoned me when he realized I wasn't going to give him any noms.





The Tragic: I was wearing jeans cause I forgot to change into my gym shorts before I left the house. By the last 1/4 mile I had a wedgie so bad that I had to clear my throat to fix it. Ouch.

Walk tonight, 6:30 at Riverside Park

Anyone who is up for it, we are doing another walk tonight at Riverside Park in Sebabstian. I will park in the spaces on the right just after you come off of 512, across from Hess. Hope you can join me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Evening Cardio

I decided to add some evening events to the calendar. I know it's last minute, but tonight I will be taking a stroll around Riverview Park in Sebastian. I plan to get there at 6:15, and will park in the spaces just as you come across rte 1 from 512. 

Later this week, I might do an evil outing. Did you know that it's a 3 mile round trip from the public pool parking lot to the DQ on 512? Ask me how I know this:-)

Before you exercise...

I just got back from Colorado. It was an interesting trip. A lot more vertical hiking than in Florida for sure! Just being at the higher altitude affects breathing and such. But I have to say, this was my 4th or 5th trip out there, and other than the plantar faciitis acting up after I stopped and the muscles got cold, this was the first time that I did not have any knee or leg pain from hiking. I have been going to the gym at least 4-5 times a week since January, and this is the first time that I really felt like I saw a HUGE payoff.

However, between working out at the gym and doing two 5k's, I have learned a few things the hard way:

  • Stretch before and after you try to do long distance walking/running.  After my first race, I had horribly painful shin splints, and since my second race I have been dealing with plantar faciitis. Neither are fun, and both could have easily been prevented with appropriate stretching. If you are thinking of trying long distance, do a little research and make sure you perform appropriate stretches before and after you work out.
  • Make sure you have good shoes. In the past, I would usually wait till my back went out before I bought new shoes. You really can't be cheap if you want to be serious about working out. Also, if you do suspect you have a foot problem, don't screw around buying over the counter orthotics. I tried that twice before I finally saw a podiatrist to find out what kind of orthotics I actually needed. I even took my hiking boots to my podiatrist to make sure that they are appropriate before I went to Colorado.
  • Talk to your doctor and make sure you are good to go before you start. If you typically suffer from knee or joint pain, ask your doctor about supplements. I have been taking Glucosamine/MSM/Chondroitin and it really seems to help. (For readers with lap bands, note that many supplements now come in either liquid or chewable form, you don't have to deal with the 8 inch horse pill supplements!)
  • Invest in the appropriate clothes for the type of activity you are doing:
    • If you are riding a bike, get some padded bike shorts and a helmet. You might look like a goof, but you will be safe and comfortable. 
    • If you are rowing (on real water) wear a life jacket. 
    • For both rowing and doing upper body work in the gym, get a pair of workout gloves if you blister easily. 
    • If you are walking or running, get a pair of spandex (or, from Junonia, "QuickWik") shorts. You aren't gonna win any fashion shows, but after a long run or walk, you won't need a proctologist to surgically remove your shorts from your butt crack either!

I think many people who start out a workout program are like me in that we have tried exercise in the past and quit after a few trips to the gym, so we don't take it seriously when we start again. I realized after a few months that I was taking it seriously this time, and I really wish I had started paying attention to things like stretching, shoes and clothes a little earlier.

My message here is this: Even if you didn't take exercise seriously in the past, you might stick with it this time. So, take care of yourself from the start, don't wait till you have an injury! Make sure that you take care of yourself while you are taking care of yourself.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Event update!

The Garden of the Gods Hike was awesome. If you didn't join us, you missed lots of birds, including a prairie falcon going after some doves. Here is HFC David at the entrance to the park:




















I will be posting new events (for Florida) soon. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Week's Event!

This week's event will be a hike at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. We will meet at the Starbucks near GOTG at 8:00 am for noms and start hiking at 9:00. Drop me an email or reply here if you plan to join us!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Terror of Dress Shopping Continues

So, with only 6 days left till Theresa and Chuck's wedding, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and go shopping for something wear. It didn't seem fair. I went into a thrift shop, they had a really nice slate grey jacket that fit David perfect, was in perfect condition, and cost $6. I went to the women's section. The only thing they had in my size was a lime green shirt that had bizarre hair-like strands hanging from it. Seriously, it looked like someone had eviscerated Kermit the Frog. I was tempted to buy it just take a picture of it for the blog, but I really didn't feel like encouraging this kind of thing.

So, $6 later, we had grown up clothes for David, and I continued my lonely search for clothes alone. After hitting way too many stores, I finally found what I initially thought was a nice dress. Solid purple, v-neck, sleeveless, kind of flouncy skirt. Now, in the store, I thought I looked a little bumpy, but figured, hey, the mirrors are bad, the lighting... it's amazing what I can tell myself when I just want to get out of a store.

I got home and tried on the dress for David. Have you seen the movie Popeye where Olive Oyl is trying to think of all of Bluto's good qualities, and the only one she can think of is, "He's large"? I am fairly certain that it was only David's sense of self-preservation that kept him from quoting that song. He kept ... silent for a minute. I finally said, "Do you think I should get a body shaper?" He is a smart man and remained non-committal.

So, I ordered the body shaper. I learned a few things:

  • A "body shaper" is what our mothers used to call "a girdle".
  • Never try on a rubber-based undergarment when you are already hot and sweaty. It's amazing how slippery those things can get. Luckily it missed the cat on the rebound.
  • When a model is wearing a body shaper in a catalog and doesn't have any bulges, it's because she didn't have any to start with.
  • The body shaper doesn't so much smooth out bumps as it moves them around. It's like trying to hang wallpaper and you get an air bubble so you use the little roller to get rid of the air bubble, but the air bubble just moves around. When I put on the body shaper, my thighs started bulging in a spectacularly unnatural way.

So, today, I picked up what is either a fancy scarf/shawl or a picnic blanket. I'm not sure which it actually is, but it matches the dress, and when combined with the body shaper, I... well, honestly, I look like a trannie Pillsbury Doughboy. But at least a slightly less bumpy one! The best I can do is to keep working on the lumpy areas in the gym.

Confidential to V: For the love of all that's holy, please either get married soon while this dress still fits, or get married in a Chuck E. Cheese!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

I tend to be a breakfast skipper, or when do eat breakfast, I don't always make the best choices. Most days it' so much easier just to grab a Pop Tart, and even if it's a Fiber1 PopTart which have the huge benefit of being able to, shall we say, "move me", they are still pretty high and calories and are not always the best choice.

Another breakfast issue is that I go to the gym first thing in the morning and get icky if I eat before I work out. So, I usually workout on an empty stomach and am ravenous when I get home, which means I need something high-protein and FAST.  This is my standby lap-band friendly breakfast "recipe". And I use the term "recipe" loosely:

Dee McMuffs

Ingredients: Pam (or other cooking spray), 1/2 English Muffin, 1 Egg, 1/2 inch block of Cabot Low-fat Pepper Jack Cheese.

Note: You can use different type of cheese but it won't be as yummy and will therefore no longer be distinguishable as a Dee McMuff.

  1. Find a microwave-safe bowl that has the exact diameter of an English Muffin. You can go larger or smaller, but personally, I really can't handle non-symmetrical food in the morning.
  2. Spray the bowl with Pam (or other cooking spray).
  3. Place an egg in the bowl. Stab the yoke a bunch of times to prevent splattery accidents.
  4. I forgot to mention, you should have cracked the egg before step 3, it makes stabbing the yoke much easier. Wow, "stabbing the yoke" sounds like it should be a euphemism for something dirty. But it isn't, so get your mind out of the gutter. But I digress.
  5. Microwave the egg for 30 seconds.
  6. While the egg is cooking, cut an English Muffin in 1/2 and toast it. Save the other half either for tomorrow, or for a friend, or use as a frisbee in a game of catch with the cat.
  7. Take the egg out of the microwave and stir it up a little bit.  Chop up about 1/2 of the cheese and drop into the egg.
  8. Microwave the egg/cheese mixture for another 30 seconds.
  9. Take the egg out of the microwave, and remove the english muffin from the toaster. 
  10. Place the english muffin bumpy side down on the egg mixture, then turn over onto a microwaveable plate.
  11. Slice the rest of the cheese and put on top of the cheese. 
  12. Nuke for another 30 seconds. 
  13. If any of the cheese falls off the egg, scrape it off the plate and put it back on top. Quickly, before it sticks to the plate. Now! Do it Now! Sorry, I just hate the thought of any of the cheese going to waste.
Enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What you missed!

If you chose not to GOYA and join us for our outing at Jaycee park today, here's what you missed:

A glorious Atlantic sunrise:














Birdwatching with Michael and David (and your fearless leader, not shown cause someone had to take the picture, and Michael and David are far more photogenic than I :-) :














Other highlights of the trip included good looks at a loggerhead shrike and a magnificent frigate bird, and watching some insane people scuba-diving using what appeared to be a gas-powered generator floating on an inner-tube instead of real diving apparatus (I'm not making that up!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Event update!

The event for this weekend has been rescheduled to this Sunday, August 15.

This is the walk at  Jaycee Park, in Vero Beach. We will meet at the Citgo station on the Wabasso Causeway at 7:00 a.m. Please RSVP so we will know to wait for you! Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Event Calendar Updated!

I am hosting a walk this Saturday at  Jaycee Park, in Vero Beach. We will meet at the Citgo station on the Wabasso Causeway at 7:00 a.m. Please RSVP so we will know to wait for you. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Event cancelled for today

Well, I am a fair-weather leader. It is grey and nasty out there, with thunderstorms predicted. As much as I believe in the GOYB theory, I tend to prescribe to the DGHBL (Don't Get Hit By Lightning) theory a bit more. Maybe be next weekend!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yet another gym tragedy...

In general, I really really like the gym I go to (Anytime Fitness in Sebastian). The people are really nice, the equipment is very well maintained, it's clean, accessible and so forth. The one problem I have with the gym though is the mirrors. Due to the layout of the gym and the placement of the mirrors, there is not a single spot in the place where you can not be seen.

For example, I got a pair of workout shorts (from Junonia, of course) about a million years ago, and they were the only shorts I wore since I got them. I should have expected that eventually they would start to wear out, given the abuse I tend to give my workout clothes (see the sad story of Sporti in a previous post). But unfortunately, I did not realize that the shorts were quite as threadbare as they were until I was in the gym, legs spread wide... I will spare you the details, but due to the mirror placement, I am fairly certain that there are many gym members who were aware of the issue before I was. I finally ordered new shorts.

Then, there was today... As all fat chicks know, the worst part about working out is fear of doing something really really dumb at the gym. Oh sure, we've all farted doing situps. And, at least I, have fallen off a treadmill (at the feet of a really cute guy no less). But with mirrors everywhere, stupidity seems even more magnified.

Today I fell off of a yoga ball. All apologies to any fat chicks reading this, but honestly, there is nothing funnier than someone shaped like a yoga ball rolling off of a yoga ball. I kind of looked like the top 2/3 of a snowman falling off the base. The thing is, I had a false sense of security because I was way off in a corner. But looking up as I picked myself up off the ground, I quickly realized that due to the placement of the mirrors, there was probably not a single person in the gym who didn't see it.

I really love the gym and plan to keep going, but I'm thinking maybe I should wear a wig or dark glasses for a while...