August 31, 2010

The Countdown Begins!!

I had a great weekend meeting for the first time bloggy buddies Bari & Mendie.  I want to do a detailed synopsis posted about the weekend complete with pictures and everything.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures and haven't had the energy to go steal the ones that both ladies took. 

Also, I went thrift store shopping in Yuppiville and got some great deals.  As good as consignment stores in my area!  Hopefully I'll snap a few pics of those also.

Right now I can't get my mind off what's to come - only 8 working days until my vacation!!!

Saturday the 11th I've got my first race since getting back at it - the Marine Corps Mud Run.  The next day Jay and I are leaving for the beach, then back to Ohio to see the Ohio University Bobcats get slaughtered by the Ohio State Buckeyes in the horseshoe!

Hope you had a great weekend!  I'm behind a bit, so I might not be very kind to my google reader.  Right now I have 121 unread items.  It might just stay that way.  Sawry!!  Forgive me?

August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Test results

This week for Thankful Thursday I'm gonna keep it short and sweet.  Okay I say that, but this is just the 2nd sentence of the blog.  I might get to babbling and have to come back and strike through these thoughts.

Yesterday I had my yearly gyno appointment.  I don't think I have male readers, but if I do, this isn't going to be graphic or TMI - promise!!

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but my doctor practices in Yuppiville.  The doctors in my small town have let me down 1 too many times, so I always visit doctors in the university town next door.  All their offices tend to be moving to the rich end of town.

Once again, I went to Yuppiville and got a compliment on my wedding rings.  It makes me feel good to know that I don't just think that they are beautiful because of my love for Jay.

Anyhoo, while I was chatting with the nurse who loved my rings, she asked if I wanted them to test my iron.  Its routine for them, but she wasn't sure I wanted it tested since I had noted that I had undergone iron infusions.

I jumped at the chance to see how my iron was holding up.  The healthy range is 35-45.  Mine was 40.  Right smack dab in the middle.

Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow!!

August 25, 2010

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

The scales weren't kind this morning.  Okay so I get that they are an objective observer and don't get to tell me anything beyond what I've done to myself.

And what I've done to myself is sabotage.

Challenge start: 129.6
Last week: 130
This week: 131

That's right folks, the number is getting higher, not lower.  Since next week is "my week" I'm sure to finish off this challenge with a big fat gain.  (I always gain the week of my visitor.)

I worked through this a little on twitter the other day with April and Kirstin - I mostly think I'm scared of the anemia coming back.  Scared that somehow my diet and exercise plan will coerce the ugly beast into making a reappearance.

I cannot live in fear!  Taking the wise advice of Tiffany, I'm going to drop the calorie restriction for a while.  Eat good, healthy foods when I'm hungry.  And train till my heart's content.  Maybe neither caused it, the doctor couldn't say for sure.  But if one did, adding things back one at a time will help eliminate the culprit.

Instead of crying into my glass of water (its a little early for a tear in my beer) I'm going to think about two new challenges I'm going to participate in.

The first was recommended by Kirstin - the Inner Mean Girl 40 Day Cleanse.  Here's what the hosts have to say about it.

It’s totally free, it starts on August 25th, and within 6 weeks we will have outed 6 of our Inner Mean Girls toxic habits. Comparison. Judgment. Obligations. And more… Goodbye!

Check it out and get registered now at:

Can’t wait to have this experience together!

I've signed up and I'll certainly let you know how it goes as I progress!

The other challenge is for the rest of the year.  Its called the Drop Dead Gorgeous by December challenge hosted by Jess.  While you can include your weight in your portion of the challenge if you'd like, it mostly focuses on being nice to yourself, and pursuing your goals.

Here's what you need to get started:
1. A photo of yourself with a self-motivational note.

Yes, those are my jammies.  Jay didn't get home until late last night and had his camera with it.  Never seen a woman in a ratty old shirt and silk PJ pants?  Get over it!

I thought about it on my run last night and come up with this mantra for my sign - I can, I have, I will.  I can train for whatever I set my mind to.  How do I know?  Because I already haveI will meet my triathlon, half marathon, and marathon goals over the next 4-5 months.
2. Posting your weight is completely optional.
see above.  it ain't pretty!

3. At least one but no more than five long-term goals.
  • Complete the Anchor Splash Triathlon
  • Complete the Secret City Half Marathon in a new personal record
  • Love myself
Out of the 3, its the last one that terrifies me.  Comparatively the other 2 are easy peasy. 
4. One brag for the week.

I made myself get out and run last night!  Only a big deal because I'm a girl that likes to go home and put on her jammies (as seen above).  I usually either work out at lunch, or immediately following work.  Seldom do I make myself workout after I'm home for the evening.  Last night I made it happen!

5. One thing to improve upon for next week.
Consistency - I need to complete 1 bike, 1 run, 2 swims and a brick for my triathlon training.

August 24, 2010

Pantry Purge Update

After checking out some of your blogs, I started to feel embarrassed.  I thought our food stockpiles were somewhat normal.  My mother has a big freezer in her laundry room along with extra shelving for those items that are "on deck" and are waiting for a home.

Jay's parents have an extra mini fridge for drinks and quite possibly a deep freezer or two in the garage or basement.  (I'm not allowed to go in either.)  Also, Jay's Pawpaw has an extra refrigerator in his garage.  An abundance of food is normal right?

Well not according to your pictures.  Some of you (who have more people than me to feed) aren't working with the space I have to work with.  Quite frankly my excess is embarrassing. 

Warning - I took pictures of most of the places I have food in the house. This blog is going to be very picture heavy.

Jay thinks the cabinets are beginning to look a bit sparse.  I haven't been to Sams Club in a while nor have I shopped at the store with my mind on stockpiling. 

Okay so I'm cheap and by Big K (the Kroger generic) soda.  Jay loves orange and grape soda and the generic tastes the same.  And I get them for $1.99 a 12 pack. 

(Please overlook the dirty clothes hamper also in this photo - I don't have a laundry room, just a laundry closet.  The hamper stays on top of the dryer, unless I'm doing laundry.  That must have been the case when this picture was taken.)

Here is the top portion of the pantry.  Notice the Tupperware with a brown substance in there?  I'd like to claim that's brown rice, but I'd be lying.  Both that container, and the Christmas snowman tub are filled with popcorn Jay received in a tin for Christmas.  The remainder has since been thrown out.

Also, yes those are cases of canned green beans, corn, and sweet peas.  Meijer had them on sale for $0.30 a can or something insane like that and Jay had his mom get us 3 cases of each.  (We don't have a Meijer nearby, but his parents do.)

Here is the bottom portion of the pantry.  Lots of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce.  We love spaghetti and chili in my house.  Well I love how easy it is to make, and Jay swears my chili is the best non-chili in the world.  (According to him, its not real chili if you can eat it from a plate.  Mine is thick and hearty enough to eat with a fork.)

The most embarrassing thing in that photo?  The bottle of strawberry daiquiri mix.  Jay and I bought it on our honeymoon and I had daiquiris that whole week.  We didn't use it all and brought the rest home.  We've been married 2 years come fall.

This is the freezer in my kitchen.  Its stuffed full of things that have already been opened - bags of fries, hash browns, pizza rolls.  We check here first, before going out to the mud room freezer.

When I took this picture the refrigerator was actually kinda full.  Eggs have been eaten, beer drank, and some wilted lettuce thrown out.  I wanted to get a picture of the after but I couldn't find Jay's camera.

On top of the fridge was my empty bottle of Darma Initiative beer, bread, and some chips.  Those are all long gone by now and Jay has stashed the beer bottle.

I had trouble taking pictures of the big freezer in the mud room, because the door kept shutting on me.  Here's the door though.  Those big jugs and powerade bottles are full of water - I've read that full freezers are more energy efficient.  Also, in case of emergency we'd just have to wait for them to thaw and we'd have a decent water supply.

More crap.  And some not crap - the frozen tilapia is perfect for those nights I really don't feel like cooking.  Just a little lemon pepper and some time baking in the convection oven and I've got a healthy meal.  (Remember all those canned veggies?)

The 2nd draw is full of frozen veggies.  I tend to throw those into one dish meals I make, just to add in some veggie content.  We love stir-fry so I tend to stock up on those veggies when Kroger has them on sale for $1.  Last time I was at Sams I bought that box of Boca burgers and I love them. The taste is good, but I love how simple they are to make.  Just 2 minutes in the microwave and I have dinner!

Some chicken, ground turkey, beef tips, and chicken thighs round out the rest of my freezer.

I also have a cereal/baking products cabinet as well as one full of spices, and a drawer with Kool-aid and chili, spaghetti, and alfredo sauce packets.

This weekend I made a list of all the items I have on hand and put it in an excel spreadsheet.  Turns out I have 170 different items in my kitchen.   I'm not taking about 10 boxes hamburger helper + 3 containers chicken.  I mean 170 different varieties of food in my house. 

I told you it was embarrassing!

So for the month of September I'm vowing not to grocery shop.  I will use my pantry stores to make breakfast, lunch and dinner each evening.  Like many of you suggested, I'll take the planning a week at a time, surveying what I have on hand at the moment.

I'm giving myself $15 a week ($60 for the month) for fresh produce.  I also want to know, given how much we have on hand, how quickly we'd go through it. 

I was reading Shop, Save, Share by Ellie Kay this weekend and she told about an ice storm her family experienced.  Because of her food stockpile, her family didn't go hungry.

While it seems like a lot of food just looking at it, I'd like to know just how long it'd last us if we had to rely on it.  We're not in an area that gets lots of snow, but I am married to a man that works off straight commission.

No sales = no paycheck.

Sure we have our emergency fund in place, but it'd be nice to know that on those months we don't have as much money coming in we can skimp on grocery shopping and not have very much money going out as well.

Now that I've bored you with the details of mine, how's your pantry purge coming?

August 23, 2010

Down on the Farm & Other Weekend Tales

This weekend I got to check out farm life at its finest.  First off I won the best/hottest wife ever award.  Sorry to all you ladies out there, you can just quit trying

After waking up early to see my hubby off to work, I headed out for a 3.5 mile run (with some walking throw on the uphills of the last mile).  When I finished, I was covered in sweat  and decided it was the perfect opportunity to take out the trash.  Typically that's Jay's job, but he hadn't gotten around to it and it desperately needed doing.

Having a hard time passing up that cookie or brownie this afternoon?

Read on.

I loaded up the garbage from the kitchen (including my Pantry Purge bag o'junk) into the back of his Jeep, then tried to figure out how to get the outside trash can into the Jeep I gave up and just ended up putting the bags directly into the back.  Although I did double bag the ones with maggots crawling all over them.

That's right, our trash usually ferments long enough outside to not only smell like a rotted corps, but to also have those slimy little worm-thingys crawling in and out of the bags.

Once that was all loaded up, I hauled myself up into the Jeep and fired it up.  It only took a few moments to noticed that my rear end was soaked.  Excellent.  You see Jay had taken the sides off the Jeep about a week ago, and its rained several times since.  I even noticed that the passenger seat is starting to get a white film on it.  (Mold?  Mildew?  I didn't get close enough to see.)

After finishing at the dump, I headed to the Dunkin Donuts near my house. 

Picture it - Tourist Town exit gas station.  A young 30 something girl getting out of a jacket up Jeep.  Her ass is soggy, her hair pulled back in a nubby, sweaty pony tail and she most likely reeks of rotten chicken carcass.

As I got out of the Jeep, I got hit on.


My hands feel like I'm covered in filth and a gas station attendant gives me that leer.  "Nice Jeep."

If I hadn't already wanted to vomit, that would have cinched it for me.

The rest of the day I just hung out on my front porch swing, or inside napping.  At one point I did finish my pantry purge and list making, but I figured I'd earned my day off with that 20 minute trip to hell the county dump.

Yesterday my sister and BIL brought the Princess & Little Man to town.  School is starting back soon, so they kids are having a week with the grandparents while their parents prepare for the first days of school.  (They are both teachers.)

After dinner, we headed home for the main event of the weekend - watching a calf suck on the nipple of a bucket.  Apparently she's not able to get milk from her mother, so my Papaw has to feed her every night. 

Inez/Beautiful the donkey always seems to think that its food for her, and gets irritated when she doesn't get any.  Last night we got a half loaf of bread and fed her after Papaw fed the calf, so she wouldn't feel left out.  The Princess was loving it until the donkey slobbered on her!

Both the Princess and LM each got rides on the tractor before darkness fell and we had to call it a night. 

August 20, 2010

Can You?

If you ever had any doubt as to your worth - you have a Father who loves you far more than even this father does his son.

You CAN!

August 19, 2010

Help - I need a plan!

Yall know how I like a good challenge right?  I loved doing the Monday Projects earlier in the year and feel like I had some good personal growth because of them.

The Monday Project

Well...the Monday Project has become the Monthly Project.  This month over at the Sisterhood we've been challenged to clean out our cupboards, refrigerators and freezers - purging what has gone bad or we don't need in the house tempting us, and taking an account of what we do have on hand.

I've taken the pictures, throw out the 7 month old popcorn some stuff, and am in the process of cataloging my food. 

What?  When you see how much I have you'll understand why its a process!!

*Puts on nerd glasses*  I'm then going to put it all into an excel spreadsheet that I'll update as I use/add to my inventory.

So - here's the part where you chim in.  I'm batting around different ways I can challenge myself for September.  It really is embarrassing how much food I have.  In a "I'm so incredibly blessed if I post what I've got it'll look like I'm bragging" kinda way.

Have you ever cooked from your pantry - and only from what you have on hand - for an entire month?  Is it possible?

I definitely want to try it, but I didn't know what parameters to put on it.  Is this for dinner only?  All meals for September?  Am I allowed to purchase fresh fruits and veggies?  (I wouldn't go without if I didn't - I have plenty of canned and frozen of each.)

I'm also considering making a sub category in my budget.  *Adjusts nerd glasses*  Right now we have a category for eating out and a separate for groceries.  I was thinking of subdividing the eating out.  We spend a lot on fast food, instead of going out once or twice to nice restaurants.  Anyone had luck tackling this beast?  Maybe split off half the budget for fast food?

Also, I'm going to need lunch ideas.  If I'm not going to go shopping, I'm not going to be allowed to buy Lean Cuisines.  I'd like a variety of things I can bring to work.

Breakfast ideas are welcome too, but I'm boring enough that I could eat oatmeal every day and be happy.

Please feel free to leave novels of information in my comments section.

1-2-3 go!!

August 18, 2010

Down & Dirty in Thirty W:3

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

I gained weight this week.

Starting weight: 129.6
Challenge goal weight: 125.0
Today's weight: 130.0

That's right folks, an extra 0.4 pounds I didn't have last week. Trust me, I earned a bigger gain than that.  THIS HAS TO STOP!

This week Jay told me that I shouldn't do my triathlon.  He's afraid it will be too much too soon and I'll have a repeat performance of this.  (Looking back, that wasn't asthma folks - that was my oxygen depleted body from anemia.  Scary how bad I let it get. )

I desperately want to do the triathlon though.  And honestly, as long as I accept God's terms, I think I can.   What - you didn't read that whole link? Okay I'll give you the cliff notes version - I have to be okay with finishing last.  And I have to do it cheerfully - encouraging everyone who passes me along the way.

I want this girl back.  The one who encouraged her parents and husband to push themselves to meet their goal.

I miss Super Boo.  I want her back.  She was confident.  She did what it took to get the job done.  She's been in hiding because her arch Nemesis Anemia scares her.

I wanna remember that I totally rock.

I can get there.  I know it can.  It'll just take a little hard work mixed with motivation. 

Could you pass me the stirring spoon?

August 17, 2010

More Fun with Random Pictures

Thanks for playing along with me yesterday!  I got a wide range of guesses - from Amy thinking I was going to pop out of the basket to surprise Debbie's guess that I was going to stuff him in the basket!

Of course the reality of the picture was much more boring.  Jay had to take pictures of that cabin for a client of his and I tagged along for the ride.

The first cabin we visited was much less fun.  It was a vacant cabin with no furniture or air conditioning.  The second cabin on our stop was much more my speed.  I headed straight for the leather couch and made myself comfy.

Being the Nosey Rosey that I am - I went straight for the guest book.  I just love to read about other people's vacations.  I especially love when they over share!  As was the case with Dale and Jennifer.  I got to read all about how they met on eharmony (and just before his subscription was going to expire) and within weeks found themselves at this cabin getting to know one another better.


9 months later at Christmas, he surprised her with another visit to "their" cabin.  Perched in front of the blazing fire, he dropped to one knee and asked her to be his wife.  When I first started reading aloud from the book, Jay thought I was making it all up.  Then he asked me to read, while he was recording video for  his client.  Thankfully his client was good humored about it and appreciated my 'radio reader' style commentary.

(Unfortunately the video was 10 minutes of looking at the entire cabin from top to bottom and couldn't figure out how to edit it to share only the brief portion of me reading the 5 page guest book entry.)

Later, we find in the book, Jennifer's daughter and her new husband are given the cabin as a wedding gift from her mother.  Then Jenn and Dale revisit their cabin and reiterate how much they love this cabin and how they are happier than every.  Unfortunately, the cabin didn't provide such good fortune for Jenn's daughter, as she and her husband divorced.

Seriously - the mom felt the need to give us the update in the guest book.  Over share anyone?

As I peered into the lives of those who had traveled that path before me, Jay continued on his work.  Taking a shot of the fireplace and the living room area from the kitchen, he asked me to duck down.  I obliged, then ask him to take a picture of me from the other direction, for blogging purposes of course.

(Please note the shoes, they'll be important later in the story.)

Jay finished up taking pictures and I decide to give his client one final greeting.  What could be better than a cabin where people fell in love, celebrated their love (many anniversaries recorded), and got divorced?

A giant picnic basket of course!!

After I displayed the basket for the camera in true Barker's Beauty fashion, Jay and I packed it up and headed to the real romantic spot - the section of the National Park where he and I married.

I've posted a million blogs about Cades Cove and a billion pictures of it.  It never disappoints.  There is just something about driving back there, rolling the windows down, and being as close to nature as you possibly can be in the comfort of your car.

It was a hot day so the front portion of the 11 mile loop was disappointingly short on wildlife.  Even the turkeys that always greet us at the entrance were noticeably absent. 

Before we came across these two bucks, our wildlife count was a dismal couple of deer.  (We've seen over 50 in one visit before.) Traffic was pretty backed up, so Jay assumed that it was a bear jam.  No such luck - but he still managed to score a few pictures out of the deal.

While these deer are wild, they're also protected by the park from hunting.  They have no reason to fear humans.

While deer sitings are common in the Cove, it is unusual to see two bucks with such big racks together like that.  What you are about to witness is the one and only time I'll let my husband view a sets of racks like this.  Otherwise its eye muffs all the way! ;)

The it was finally the moment Jay had been waiting for - a bear jam!  We pulled over to the side of the road, afraid that the bear had already scampered off, but others already there taking pictures quickly pointed to the bear in the trees.

I'll remind you again that Jay has an excellent zoom on his camera.  This guy was pretty far away.  We were close enough, however, to see him climbing up and down the tree which was pretty cool. 

Remember my shoes from earlier?  I had worn that outfit to church because it was something that I could get by with wearing to service, then wear around our travels.  Slightly casual for church, but over dressed for a lazy afternoon.

As we were headed back to the car from seeing the bear, I commented to Jay about how ridiculous it was I was wearing wedge heels in the National Park.  "If I weren't me, I'd make fun of me."

Less than a minute later, a car passed - the lady in the driver seat hung her head out and said "Nice shoes!"

I sh*t you not.

Jay swears there is no way she could have heard me.  We just couldn't figure if she was being serious or sarcastic.

And that was our Sunday afternoon.  I'll leave off the part about how I got home at 9:45 PM and had to make cupcakes.  More story for another day.

August 16, 2010

Fun with Random Pictures

Okay I'm in a good mood this morning so its time for you to caption this picture.  It was taken this weekend by Jay on one of our grand adventures.  Do you dare to guess what we're up to?

Leave your caption for this picture in the comments.  Tomorrow I'll ruin the fun by telling you what a boring shot it actually was see if any of you came close and let you know what the deal was.

Hopefully by then he'll have emailed me the rest of the pictures so that I can share the complete story.

August 13, 2010

Happy 46th Monthiversary My Love!

Friday the 13th is a very special day in the Mutant family.  Its the day we first met.  He and met on the internet 5 months before, and exchanged emails the whole time.  (Read all about it here if you haven't already.)

Here is the blog I composed several months after we first met:

Jay & I had decided previously that we would meet on Friday the 13th of October at Johnny Carino’s. When I got home from work that day, I started getting ready. I had selected a pink corduroy blazer and a tan camisole.

Unfortunately, my good booty jeans were dirty, so I had to go with a back up pair. I proceeded to straighten my hair and leave my apartment 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet up with him.

I grabbed a book on the way out because I knew that it wouldn’t take me that long to get to the restaurant (which is about 10 minutes away), but I didn’t want to make a bad impression by being late.

Half way to the restaurant, I began to question if I had unplugged my straightening iron. The more I considered it, I was convinced that I hadn’t. With visions of my apartment going up in flames, and thinking I still had plenty of time, I turned around and went back home. Of course when I arrived at my apartment my straighter had already been turned off and unplugged prior to my departure.

As I got into the city, traffic began to back up and I realized that I had need 30 minutes to get to the restaurant, only I wasted about 15 going back home. Thankfully, he was stuck in traffic as well. At a couple of minutes to seven, he called and let me know that he was running late.

Jay: Are you there yet? I'm running a couple minutes late, I can see the Johnny Carino's sign, but traffic is ridiculous and wont be there for a few minutes.

Brooke: No, I'm running a couple minutes late myself.

A couple minutes passed and he called me back again.

Jay: I'm here, are you here yet?

Brooke: Nope, still in traffic.

Jay: That's what I figured, I didnt see any cute brunettes waiting around the parking lot!

Thankfully, I didn’t have to stress about being rudely late because he was too.

When I finally arrived at the restaurant, I found him waiting on a bench outside. I was pleasantly surprised that he was even cuter than in his pictures. He had already been there for a few minutes and had put our name down for a table. I joined him on the bench and we chatted as we waited to be seated.

The number one rule of first dates is that you never plan to extend the date until you know for sure that you want to spend more time with this person. You never arrange for post dinner festivities until you are comfortable with them.

While we were waiting for our table, he asked if I wanted to go bowling with some friends of his afterward. Then he called them to set it up. In less than 30 minutes we both knew that the other was someone we’d be interested in spending more time with. He’s since confessed that he had his friends on reserve for if the date was going well.

Thankfully I was comfortable with him, because what happened next freaked me out. Standard protocol for meeting guys on the Internet says to not give your date too much information. I never told them where I worked, my last name, or any other information that could potentially be used to stalk me in the future.

Out of the blue he asked, “Is your last name...?” I said yes, and then proceeded to ask how he knew. What if he had done the same type of scary research on me that he had done on the Cheezmania cheese balls? Turns out he was talking about this brunette named Brooke that he was going out on a date with and a family member of the couple we were going bowling with suggested it could be this girl that she knew.

Not surprisingly, I dominated the conversation. I began to worry that I wasn’t giving him an opportunity to talk and that he would be very put off by my chatty nature. I kept reassuring myself that he was encouraging me to talk, asking question about something he knew that I love—the television show Lost.

He had just recently started watching and had quite a few questions about the plot and what was happening with some of the characters. Being the geek that I am, I knew the in-depth answers to what was going on with each of them.

After we finished with the meal I broke the number 2 first date rule. I got in his car with him. I have always been super careful to not put myself in the position that a date would cart me off somewhere and hack me to bits. But from the moment I saw him, I was so comfortable with him that I knew there was no need for the caution.

We met up with his friends at the bowling alley. I quickly learned that the three of them were very good at bowling, and very competitive. We bowled 2 games and they smoked me in both of them.

My bowling highlight was a frame that I was convinced was a gutter ball. Dejected, I turned around and headed to my seat. Only to miss the ball swerve back to take out several pins. According to Jay, his bowling highlight was watching me bowl in my jeans - guess the backup pair weren't as bad as I thought!

When the bowling center closed, we figured it was about time to wrap the date up. He took me back to my car and we chatted a little before I got out of his Jeep. I was stalling, talking about random crap waiting for him to kiss me. After about 15 or 20 minutes, I gave up, settled for a hug, and headed home. Little did I know that he would make me wait even more before we had for our first kiss…

August 11, 2010

Down & Dirty in Thirty W:2

Good morning all!  Today is that day.  You know the one - when we review our progress from the past week and let the blogosphere hold us accountable!

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

First to get the weight portion out of the way.

Goal for challenge: 125

Starting weight: 129.6
Last week: 130.4
This week: 129.6
So basically I'm just treading water.  That not quite a pound from last week was just bloat from Aunt Flo's visit and now she's gone and packed up her extra pound too.
I knew before I got on the scales this morning that I wasn't doing well enough and am formulating a game plan that will getting me heading for success.  With the help of the famous Weight Loss Mafia queen April of course. 
Which leads me to the exercise/training portion of my check in.  I'm not training at the intensity that I use to train.  Last time around I was a stickler for getting all my workouts in.  I never scrimped or cut my time short.  And I certainly never skipped workouts entirely.
This past week I only got 4 workouts in.  4.  That's quite pathetic for the girl who consistently had double that amount of workouts.  Sometimes even 10 a week!
My thoughts on the weight loss issues is that I'm not active enough for the amount of calories I'm burning.  I'm hoping that with April's help I can find that magic calorie number if I weren't active, then on those days that I exercise I can add back the calories burned.  I'm also hopeful the promise of additional calories will encourage me to get moving on those days where I just want to go home and curl up with a good book.
Speaking of which my mental portion of the check in is so.  Thursday I was feeling pretty good about it.  I was tired and decided to give myself the day off.  A step forward right?  Listening to my body and giving it a break.
Then Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all passed and I didn't get workouts in those days either.  Saturday night I freaked.  I'm talking downward spiral.  Those who were around on twitter unfortunately witnessed part of it.  Thankfully sobbing for no good reason doesn't translate through tweets, but I think they could hear the hurt in my words.
If for no other reason, mentally I can not take more than a day or so off exercise.  I need that to help keep me sane.  Really and truly.
So how'd you do this week?  Hopefully all is well on all your fronts.  Head over to the Sisterhood and tell us all about it!

August 10, 2010

Like a Piece of Humble Pie?

This weekend, driving out to meet a farmer at our 5.5 acres of land where we hope to build one day, I started thinking about how rich we are.  Not in the classic sense of course - we don't drive pimped out Cadillac SUVs, we don't live in a McMansion, and we certainly don't spend money like its going out of style.

Still, I'm more wealth than I ever dreamed about growing up.  

I'm sure I've told you before, my parents didn't have a lot of money when my sister and I were kids.  One year, Christmas only came because of the kindness of family, our church, and my dad's coworkers. 

Thankfully, that year was an isolated event (due to my father becoming seriously ill and unable to work).  He recovered, got back to work and was able to put food on the table, but it certainly wasn't easy for them.  We didn't get meat nightly for dinner, and when we did it was Spam or Freezer Queen Salisbury steak. 

Never did it occur to me, that I would ever be where I am financially.  I'm working on baby steps #4 and #6 of the Dave Ramsey Plan (15% of income in retirement and paying the house off early).  In the mean time I'm sitting on over 5 acres of land that's paid in full because "someday" we're going to build on it. 

We've also got a 4 wheel drive rag top toy in our driveway, that rarely gets driven because its vehicle #3 in a 2 person family.

See - I'm rich.  Certainly by my standards as a child, if not by the world's standards.

So I suppose it really was time for me to be a bit humbled.

Jay and I have been car pooling some.  It doesn't help a lot with savings, but why not if we're both set to work the same hours in town.  The big savings will come in Jay leaving his gas guzzler parked and driving my car around town on his work errands.

Today normally wouldn't have been a car pool day - I've to Rape Aggression Defense class after work until 9 PM - but Jay had an abnormally busy schedule, so he said we could ride together.   I packed my lunch, my workout clothes, and my class clothing and loaded up the car.

Come lunch time I realized I hadn't packed dinner (I'd meant to grab a Lean Cuisine on the way out of the door).  With no transportation, I was only left with the option of getting food from our Bowling Center cafe.  I placed my order, then got in my purse to get my money together.

Only I didn't have any cash.

Jay had wanted to give the guy who pressure washed our house and cleaned our gutters a little extra, and he took the last of my cash this weekend. 

So I got out my checkbook.

Only I had written my last check on bills this morning.

I called back and asked if they took credit cards.  Nope, just cash and checks. 

So I called both of my coworkers here at work that are also 2 of my closest friends - only they'd already left for their lunch breaks.  She'd already started fixing my order so it was too late to cancel.

I had to suck it up and ask my boss for money.  All 3 of my bosses are from a different generation where people didn't function without cash in their pockets.  Lucky for me.

Not sure why it was embarrassing for me to ask.  He handed it to me without even asking why I needed it.  And sarcastically said that he was real worried about me paying him back promptly.

For me it was humbling though.  To be that out of control in my situation.  That needy. 

While I might live in a "self imposed poverty" as a friend of mine calls it,  its what I choose.  When I'm in a situation where I feel limited, or choices aren't available, I freak.

Like last fall, Jay and I were at a football game.  We hadn't planned ahead well enough to have plenty of cash for parking and snacks.  As I stood at the concession counter, adding up the prices of everything I wanted, realizing that I only had the money for one thing - I felt like that poor little girl I use to be.

I hate that feeling. 

But every once in a while, its good for me.

August 09, 2010

I'm a 10!

This weekend was pretty laid back (although I didn't spend much time at home).  Friday I went to a friends for book club.   Saturday I ran errands all morning followed by an evening of laying around the house and doing nothing.  Not the relaxing kind.  But the depressed feeling sorry for myself kind.

Sunday after church Jay and I previewed a couple cabins for clients of his, then headed to my grandparents house to check in on my Mamaw.  Dinner was pizza (don't worry team - I didn't over indulge and came in pretty close on my calories for the day) the we hit Redbox on the way home.

A friend had recommended She's Out Of My League so we grabbed it.  For a vulgar comedy it had a pretty good message - confidence is a self fulfilling prophecy.  If you think you're not good enough for the person you're with - you're right.  No matter how awesome you are your confidence level can make or break your relationship.

Mantra Monday

I'm a week early for Mantra Monday's (Christie O. is officially bringing it back next Monday) but I'm going to jump right in.

My mantra for the week is "I'm a 10." 

Seriously - Jay doesn't want to have to listen to me whine about how (fill in self loathing statement here).  I'm sure its exhausting for him to try to convince me that I'm not a 4 and he's not a 9.  Logically I get that as long as I have a "4" sticker on my rear end I have no right to whine about being fat.  I'm sure its quite annoying.

Now to find the umph to stop myself!

My "I'm a 10" plan for the week?  Stay within my calories for the week.  Don't skip workouts.  You know the standard stuff that's easier said than done.  Thankfully this week I've got my team of Calorie Cutting Cuties behind me to keep me on track.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and realize what a 10 you are!

August 04, 2010

Down & Dirty in Thirty W:1

I did it!!

I swam this morning.  I tried swimming after work one day a week or so ago, but I didn't have my swim cap, and there were kids in the pool I had to swim around. 

This morning, however, I got up early for the pool's official "lap swim" times, and I swam 400 meters.  Like it was nothing.  I rested 10 seconds between each lap and finished in 15 minutes.  This is huge for me!  It means I lost practically none of my conditioning the 2 months I was benched.

It also means I have 6 weeks to perfect my swim.  400 meters is my race distance - so I'll be working on cutting out the rest between laps as well as making those laps faster!!

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

The news on the weight loss front is not so hot.  I gained 0.8 this week.  I'm sorry for my team, but I'm not really all that freaked about it.  I'm still getting back into the swing of calorie counting and its that dreaded week.  Last group challenge I gained as much as 3 pounds my 4th week of the month, which promptly fell off the following week.

I'm sure the same will happen next week.  Let's go Cute Calorie Cutting Challengers!!!

Starting weight: 129.6
This week: 130.4
Goal for challenge: 125

August 03, 2010

Senior Picture Take 2

Tis the season for hair cuts, and unlike my fellow sisters, I didn't rush to put a new profile picture on twitter.  (If you're not already following me I'm @smartstrongsexy )  So April and Thea decided to give me homework over the weekend - I had to get a new picture up by Monday.

After considering my Saturday plans (cleaning house) and Sunday (going straight to the pool after church) I wasn't when my hair would actually be fixed.  And who wants to see a picture of my grimy dirty hair?

After meeting my mother for our weekly Friday lunch date, Jay joined us and took us to see a cabin just for kicks and giggles.  He promised the largest kitchen we'd ever seen.  After the grand tour, we had to agree he was right.  The house was huge and beautiful.  And the built in table/bench combo gave me a great idea if we ever build a farmhouse.

Since he already had his camera with him (to take pictures of cabins for clients) I decide to make him put it to good use.  I mean my hair was already fixed for work anyway right?

I'm one of those people that are self conscious about picture of me, so I had a hard time taking it seriously.  Instead I decided to ham it up and do all of those cheesy shots they make you do when you're having your senior portraits.

This pose was a must - especially given my bracelet!  I don't accessorize well, so when I do accessorize I like to show it off!

Yes, I'm a big goof ball.  I can't help it.  I wouldn't help it even if I could!  No reason to take life too seriously!

Remember this one?  I know you do.  I'd be willing to wager that most of you did the "lean up against a tree" pose.  So mine is a dead tree.

Jay requested one with my sunglasses down, so I obliged.  Personally I think that I have too many sunglasses pictures (due to my annoying blinking), and my hair doesn't look so great in this one.  Definitely not my favorite.

Sorry for the lack of anything thought provoking or motivational, but I think we could all use a bit of goofiness in our lives!

PS - This was Saturday.  See what I mean?  Definitely not a good hair day!!!

August 02, 2010

Wonderful Weekend Wrap Up!

I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend, so I'm not sure why I started the morning in a mood.  Okay so I do, but trust me you don't want to hear about it.


On to the weekend fun.  Friday night I hung out with a couple of girlfriends.  I got to Melissa's house a little later than Chasity, so they already had the cookie cake made for Chasity's niece.  I got to witness the decoration and being a good planner, Melissa had extra to decorate the double doozy cookies that we'd set aside for ourselves.

If that weren't yummy enough, after salad and pizza we finished the night watching Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal. I'd never seen it before and of course loved it!!

Jay had tidied up the house Friday night making my cleaning go pretty quickly Saturday morning. He took off the trash (or the part of it he could fit in his Durango - we had a leak in the cellar which created lots of mildewed stuff now earmarked for the dump) then go the information together for the cabins he had to take pictures of.

I decided to ride along. And I managed to get lunch - and a new favorite beer out of the deal!

Jay got a pitcher of PBR (must be nice to be able to drink on the job). Since it was an English style pub I was excited to see that they had Smithwicks on the beer menu - I haven't had it since I went to Ireland for a friends wedding.  Unfortunately this pub was out of it, so I tried a few until I finally hit the jackpot.

Shiner Bocks is my new favorite beer.  And after being told that its very similar to Newcastle, I plan on trying that one at my next opportunity.

I grabbed my book club book The Thirteenth Tale to get a little reading done while he was busy taking pictures. Sometimes I think is fun just to ride along and see the different properties out there.

We're meeting Friday night to discuss the book, so I wanted to be sure to finish it.  Turns out it was too good to put down.  I ended up not putting it down until it was finished Saturday night.   For a change, Jay actually went to bed before me.

Jay was supposed to meet a client Sunday, so he wasn't able to go to church with me.  When I left church (thankfully everything started no problem) I had a text from Jay saying he might be able to join me after all.  His clients had canceled.   

The pool is actually the one place I'm okay with hanging out in public alone.  I had picked out a new book that morning before leaving the house and when I got to the pool I dove right in.

Skinny Dip is about a couple on a cruise for their 2nd anniversary.  They are out for an evening stroll one evening, and he tosses her overboard.  I had purchased it at a library sale, and it wasn't in the best shape.  Definitely pool/beach reading - no harm done if the book gets a little wet.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good of a book it was.  At 9:30 last night, I feared a similar fate as Saturday night - up late finishes it.  I decided to go ahead and put it down before it got too late.

I feel like all I did all weekend was lay around and read - so why is it that I'm so sleepy this morning?

What are you reading?  Anything that I should add to my list?