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Archive for October, 2012

I woke up this morning feeling like a zombie, which is ironic since I dressed up like one last night. My hubby and I attended a Halloween party (dressed as zombies) at the house of my friend and adopted daughter (Kelsi). Kelsi and I work together from time-to-time at WYES-TV. Recently, I discovered she is twelve days younger than my oldest son. I told her I could be her mother. Since I do not have daughters, Kelsi and I agreed she would be my adopted daughter. This is great because we have lots in common, especially our love for the horror genre. Her house looked fantastic with all the Halloween decorations she and her family have collected over the years. The food was delicious with a scary flair. For example, the deviled eggs had olives that looked like eyeballs, pumpkin spice cookies with candy eyeballs, cupcakes with icing that looked like a blood splat and a knife sticking out of it, and an eclair cake that was disguised as a cemetery. Let’s not forget about the costumed guests who provided wonderful conversations…The Grim Reaper, Witches, Dexter, Power Rangers, Zombies, an Evil Scientist, and many more. Fun night!

Zombie Kat

Zombie Nurse

Since it was forty degrees this morning, I wasn’t too disappointed I had to walk on the treadmill. As luck would have it, Shaun of the Dead (zombie comedy) was on television. My 45-minutes on the treadmill went by rather quickly. Of course, I was not happy with my weekly weigh-in. The scale showed a half pound gain, so my current weight is 131 pounds. In my opinion, this is not an accurate weigh-in because nature had the nerve NOT to call. We’ll just leave it at that.

I must admit that although I ate well this week, I did not do very well with keeping up with my food journal. In general, keeping a food journal is not easy; however, being that I was in a funk about my running situation, I let it slide toward the end of the week. I WILL get my act together starting tomorrow. I only have five more weeks to keep my journal, then it will be a matter of keeping up with food group servings and water intake, as well as my exercise log. My run/walk schedule for this week: Walk 10 minutes, run 6 minutes. Walk 4 minutes, run 6 minutes (repeat twice). I’ll start back tomorrow afternoon. Tonight, I’m watching both The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead, so I do not anticipate getting up at 4AM tomorrow morning.

My upcoming week is going to be unusually busy and exciting. Andrew has two Boy Scout meetings, Halloween is on Wednesday night (trick or treating with Dead Pool), a garage sale on Saturday morning, as well as scrapbooking with my BFF from 3rd grade on Saturday afternoon. And, I start a brand new job on Tuesday. Exciting! I will be the new secretary at St. Margaret Church. Of course, a new job means changes for me and my family. This means new routines and new possibilities. I can’t put into words how happy I am right now.

I hope everyone has a spooktacular week. Happiness!

“When you’re being chased by zombies, hills are either your best friends or your burial ground. The slope slows them down, which is great, unless you hit the peak and find out that you’re surrounded, with nowhere left to run to.”                    ~ Mira Grant, Feed  

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Well, folks, the week escaped me and I have no idea where it went and why it went by so quickly. However, I did not have the opportunity to update what has been happening with me on my weight loss journey. Unfortunately, I have been a bit of a CrankyPants this week and personally, I feel I have good reason. Last week, I finally reached my running goal of running for a solid 30 minutes. I ran Monday morning with no issues. I ran Wednesday morning with no real issues (little tenderness in right shin). I iced the area and took some Aleve. I ran Friday afternoon, but later that evening I developed a real issue or rather the onset of an injury. Shinsplits! Oooh, I was so mad. I try very hard to prevent injury. But, I’m stubborn and I like to run, so I had been adding that extra run/walk on Sundays. I think it finally caught up with me.

According to an article I read in Runner’s World, one physical therapist believes that every runner has an injury threshold. And, I’m beginning to believe this is true. Running experts acknowledged this problem a long time ago, hence the  10-percent rule. However, a 10-percent increase may even be too much for some runners. And, I believe I am one of those runners. Even though I increased modestly each week, it was obviously too much too soon. Luckily on Saturday night, I saw my friend who is a physical therapist. She gave me some tips (massage, stretches, advice) to get me back on the road. She told me I would probably be okay running again on Tuesday, but cutting back to walking/running for a bit and build back up to 30 minutes. My BFF from 3rd Grade also lent me a pair of black knee-high compression socks. I decided to err on the side of caution and did NOT run ALL week, thus causing me to be CrankyPants. You must understand, I look forward to my runs. They make me happy. My best time to think and problem-solve is during my runs. Although I did take three REST days this week, I did continue to strength train, stretch, and ride my bike. The tenderness is gone and hopefully, for good. I just have to view this as a minor setback.

So…what is my plan? I am no longer walking/running on Sundays. I’ll either just ride my bike or walk on the treadmill. I will run 3 days a week, but cut back to the following schedule: Walk 10 minutes, run 6 minutes. Walk 4 minutes, run 6 minutes (repeat twice). I may not really need to cut back that much; however, I want to run and I would rather build back up slowly than get injured again. Instead of increasing my running by three minutes each week, I plan to increase by one minute. In addition, I will have to include at least one REST day each week. And, I may try to run with the compression socks.

As for my weigh-in on Sunday, October 21st, I weighed 130.5 pounds. I lost 2 more pounds, which means I have 5.5 pounds to go to reach my weight loss goal. I have five more weeks left of keeping my food journal. It would be nice if I could reach my goal within these five remaining weeks. It will also be my five month mark of eating clean.

Until next time, enjoy the blessings of your day and do your best. Happiness!

“When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself “All is lost. I have to start all over again.” This is not true. What you have gained you have gained….When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

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On Sunday morning I ran later than usual, so I had the opportunity to experience a beautiful sunrise. I decided at that moment when the first rays of light were coming up that I prefered sunrises. Naturally, this is not set in stone because I can imagine a sunset in the right place can be quite beautiful, as well. At this point in time, I’ll stick with sunrises. For me, a sunrise signifies more than just a new day. It is hope and a clean slate. Whatever mistakes, shortcomings, or failures the day before seem to have faded away. The sunrise caused an intense feeling of gratitude within me. I was given another day. Another day to spend with my family, stay connected with friends, and enjoy the many blessings of the day.

What do you prefer…sunrises or sunsets? Why? I would love to know. Leave me a comment below.

If you noticed, I am a little delayed in posting this week. It was not my intention, but time just slipped away from me. On Saturday night I directed the Showboat Auction at WYES-TV in New Orleans. It is one of my favorite places to work because some of my favorite people work there. I went to sleep later than usual Saturday night, which meant getting up later on Sunday morning. I got caught up in the day’s activities. Sunday came and went. Monday came and went, as well as Tuesday. I had plans to blog at BAM on Wednesday; however, received an early morning call to substitute for Kindergarten. I agreed. You agree to crazy things like spending the day with twenty-one kindergarteners when you need income. They are like ants. Always busy. It is Thursday, and I’m at BAM blogging away. Honestly, I haven’t been blogging the entire time. I’ve been checking e-mail and movie times, while stealthily eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. Okay, stealthily is a bit CIA; I just didn’t make direct eye contact. HA! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good information. However, there is an early showtime this Sunday for the new Alex Cross movie coming out this weekend.  

Update on Mission Weight Loss:

At Sunday’s weigh-in, I was 132.5 pounds. No loss or gain for the week. As for my run/walk schedule this week, I graduated to running a full thirty minutes. Essentially, this means I can run three miles. I ran both Monday morning and Wednesday morning this week. I always warm up with a 10-minute walk and cool down with a 5 to 7-minute walk. I’ll stick with being a 30-minute runner for a while. I haven’t found a race, yet. I’m thinking it may be early next year. It would be fun to run the Crescent City Classic in 2013. I haven’t run that race in many years. Although it’ a 10K race,  I have plenty of time to train. However, I would like to do a couple of 5K races first. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself.

I also wanted to share with you that I have become quite passionate about red seedless grapes. In the past, I’ve always eaten green seedless grapes. Last month at the teacher preview party for the school’s Book Fair, I ate some red seedless grapes. YUM! No more green grapes for me. Now, if I could just get my hands on some satsumas.

Oh, my wonderful readers, enjoy the remainder of the week. Find joy each day, even in the simple things of daily life. For today, sipping on a Skinny Mocha Latte brought me joy. Happiness!

“He who kisses joy as it flies by will live in eternity’s sunrise.”  ~ William Blake

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Two years ago when I decided to leave full-time teaching to pursue other avenues, I took an acting class. For many years I worked on the production side of the camera. I wanted to see what it was like on the other end. I took several acting classes over the two-year period. It is a great deal of fun; however, much harder than one would think. Also, during this two-year period (actually, pretty early on), Andrew and I both secured agent representation. Basically, this meant we had a way of getting auditions for commercials, as well as roles for television and film. Exciting! Yes, but also very difficult because there is so much competition with other actors, as well as many factors that influence the final decision of the director. I look at auditioning like playing the lottery. Keep in mind, you have to play the lottery in order to win. Same goes for auditioning. You have to go on the audition in order to get the part.

Yesterday, I auditioned for the role of a middle school mom for a Post-it commercial. I have not been on an audition in over a year. This is my fault. During the spring semester, I was working as a 2nd grade teacher for a teacher who was on medical leave. I used work as an excuse not to audition. However, I chose not to audition because I was fat and yuck. I felt inadequate, self-conscious, and had low energy. That is not the case now. Since I’ve lost weight, I feel more energized and confident.  

My audition time was originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon; however, I was substituting in the library and couldn’t make the audition time. I let my agent know I could not make the audition Wednesday, but was available on Friday. Thankfully, she was able to get the audition rescheduled. My hubby was also off of work on Friday and drove me to New Orleans for the audition. Honestly, I was a little nervous. I had no lines. I had no idea what the casting director was going to have me do. I just prayed I didn’t have to interact with something invisible. I desperately need to take an improv class. I just had to take my own advice that I tell my children and mon frere, Moonius Maximus, all the time….DO YOUR BEST. 

I went into the auditioning room with another actress and actor. The casting director was pleasant. The three of us had to say our names and show our profiles. The casting director asked each of us a question. Mine was, “If you could have any super power, what would you choose?” I said, “I want to read minds, so I can know what will happen next.” HA! This would keep you one step ahead of the bad guys. The casting director also asked if any of us had teaching experience. I told her I had fourteen years that ranged from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The casting director then asked us to talk with one another for 45 seconds about anything except acting, the parking situation, or the weather. Afterwards, we each looked at the camera and said our names again. The audition was over. I think I did well. Regardless of the outcome, I DID MY BEST. 

“Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” ~ Miguel Ruiz

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Oh, how I feel like a writer sitting here at a table in the cafe of Books-A-Million with my laptop, sipping on a skinny mocha latte…observing people, tapping out words galore, getting lost in my thoughts. Aaaah! I could get use to a writer’s life. At this point, my only obstacle is myself. So, how do I go about changing this? How do I get out-of-the-way of myself? What do I need to do to feel more like a writer? These are the questions I must answer, and answer soon. Okay, that sounds a bit dramatic. Soon…really? I’m thinking it will have to be a gradual process. I’m thinking it will occur to me the same way my weight loss journey occurred to me. I have to affirm it, and then keep my word to myself. More on this later.  

In the meantime, I want to discuss a couple of changes. There was a major weather change over the weekend. I admit, I am a bit of a weenie when it gets below 60 degrees. I like cold weather provided I’m not in it for any length of time. So, I have to make a slight change to my running schedule, and I have to get some warmer running clothes. As much as I like to run, I just could not make myself run this morning in the dark, in the cold at 4:30AM. It was 51 degrees. Then, I had an epiphany…run after dropping Andrew off at school since I did not have to substitute today. It will still be cold; however, the sun will be out. So, this is exactly what I did this morning. Now, Wednesday I will not be so fortunate. Either I will have to invest in some warmer running clothes, or I will be running Wednesday afternoon. Now, I do live in Louisiana, and the weather could change back to warmer temperatures by then. So, I’ll just have to wait and see. HA!

I may still get up at 4AM. I could do all sorts of things with the time, especially since I’m not sleeping. Perhaps, I could write on those cold mornings since I’m being too weenified to run.   

Sometimes, I think I prefer routine. Other times, I think I prefer change. I think it really depends on how the change comes about and if I have control over the change. When it comes to my workout schedule, I thought I wanted more of a scheduled routine. I’m finding, except for my runs, my mood and time of day determines what other type of exercise I want to do, whether it is walking, biking, strength training, etc. Running is something I would do every day if I could physically do it. So, I’m again mixing up my schedule. As long as I get at least three runs in per week (four runs would be ideal), as well as two strength training days per week, I am thrilled. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and allowing for more flexibility. This is definitely a change for me, and my lovely type A personality.

Well, my faithful readers, I have lost some more weight. I’m now 132.5 pounds. *Applause!* I have 7.5 more pounds to go before I reach my goal weight. This is a total of 20.5 pounds lost. I’m ready to reach my goal. For the first time in a long time, I’m actually looking forward to shopping for new clothes. My clothes are baggy, even my bras. Hee Hee! I must say that this has been an extremely wonderful change. I feel better physically and mentally. I’m repeating the run/walk schedule from last week: Walk 10 minutes, run 9 minutes. Walk 1 minute, run 9 minutes (repeat twice).

What other changes are in store for me in the next few weeks? Will I finally find a steady job? Will I be able to stay the course I’m currently on and spread my wings even further to discover more of myself? Or, will an unexpected windfall come my way? Don’t laugh! It could happen. Happiness!

Oh, and one final change goes out to mon frere, Moonius Maximus, who officially changes today from 42 to 43 on the celebration of his birth. Love you, mon frere.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ~ James Baldwin

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I had a busy weekend despite the rain. Barry and I attended a wedding Saturday night in Mandeville. My hubby is friends with the groom. I should have taken a picture of myself. I wore a dress and heels. It is rare for me to wear a dress. I don’t even own the dress I wore. Thank goodness my BFF from the 3rd grade has a well-stocked wardrobe. And, since I have lost weight, I can actually fit in more of her clothes. Hee Hee! As for the heels, they actually do belong to me. I bought them for a scene I did for a showcase for one of my acting classes. I managed to not break an ankle. Anyway, we had a terrific time socializing. The bride was gorgeous, the music was rockin’, and the food was yummy. I did eat a little something healthy before the wedding, so I would not be tempted to overeat. It also allowed me to eat the delicious wedding cake cupcake. The bride and groom did not have a traditional wedding cake with multiple tiers. They had one standard size cake at the top followed by four to five steps lined with giant cupcakes to make it look like a huge wedding cake.  They were so big, Barry and I had to split one. YUM!

On Sunday, I spent the day with my parents. We went to the movies to see End of Watch. It’s a movie about two young cops whose lives are changed after making a bust involving money and guns belonging to a notorious cartel. The three of us enjoyed it. Afterwards, we had lunch at Applebee’s. Before leaving my house that morning, I made a list of acceptable dishes I could eat to stay on the right course. I ordered the Weight Watchers Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin. It included steamed broccoli and new potatoes (15g fat/460 calories).  If I wasn’t so disciplined and could afford to SUPER splurge, I would have ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad. Ready for this…the regular (crispy chicken) with salad dressing is 98g fat and 1,390 calories. OOOF! Now, you can order a half-size, which would bring it down to 49g fat and 690 calories. Unfortunately, that is still too much, especially for a salad.

I have completed my 11th week of eating clean and exercising on a regular basis. Due to eating salty fried appetizers and a bowl of gumbo at the wedding, as well as nature NOT calling before my weekly weigh-in, I am back to 136 pounds. I know it is just a pound, and I know it isn’t a fat pound; however, I dislike not seeing a loss. It’s expectation. I’ve only had one other time on my weight loss journey where I gained, and again it was water weight. Never fear, I’m already over it. It’s a new week with lots of potential. My run/walk schedule for this week: Walk 10 minutes, run 9 minutes. Walk 1 minute, run 9 minutes (repeat twice). I’m so close to running a full 30 minutes.

Hope you have many wonderful blessings this week. Try to be as PRESENT as possible. It helps to keep stress away, and allows more room for happiness. Currently, I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book called Happier at Home. Rubin decided to dedicate a year to another happiness project, but this time focused on her home. I have a feeling my happiness project will be resurfacing after reading this book. Happiness!

“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.”            ~ Maya Angelou

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