Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Pause Button...

This morning as the alarm beeped I reached over and hit the snooze.  It was as I was lying there that I felt a delicious cool summer breeze blow through the window.  I also heard the gentle hum of the interstate.  Hmmmm…I rolled over and slowly doze off to sleep again; only to have the alarm beep 7 minutes later.  I reached over and pushed down on the snooze button.  I felt another delicious cool breeze, and the nice gentle hum of the interstate.  I started to doze off. 

As I dozed off again, I couldn’t help but think that I could use a pause button.  I SO wanted to stay here and enjoy this moment between being awake and asleep.  It was after the 5th time of pushing the snooze button that I had to finally start thinking about the reality of myself being late for work if I didn’t get going.  Darn it anyway because I would have loved to hit that pause button and enjoy this time frame for a bit longer.  I would’ve enjoyed staying in this laid back stress free zone for at least another 30 minutes.  But no—its back to reality for me as I hurriedly got ready for work.  Thank goodness I packed my bike clothes for the weekly Emigration Canyon ride last night before I went to bed.  Because I barely managed to make it on time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Update & Indulgences...

I’ve lost a total of 2 lbs. this week which rather surprises me with the indulging that I’ve been doing. For example last night at Mimi’s Café after ordering a small appetizer for my meal.  I, then, ordered the chocolate bread pudding. OMG! Talk about decadent! It arrived at the table with two different sauces – a rum sauce and a chocolate sauce. Then the bread pudding had chocolate chips mixed in and they were to that just melting point.  YUM!  Now I’ve never been too big on chocolate but bread pudding with a bit of a rum sauce I LOVE. But if you add a bit of chocolate on top of that and its pure genius!

Now I will admit that I did do a 23 mile bike ride before consuming the OMG chocolate bread pudding but I DON’T think that was quite a fair calorie exchange. The scale might have been slightly tilted heavy on the dessert side. I did however purposely choose to have a smaller appetizer so that I “could have” said dessert. But I was still rather surprised that I was down 2 lbs. after such rich dessert consumption. Oh, and I also had a beverage with sparkling wine with cranberry juice; called a Hibiscus. It was very refreshing after a bike ride, but that was another indulgence I probably should have forgone.

My activities for this last week to help combat the general war of weight loss and has assisted in bringing me to a total of 20 lbs less? Well, there was 110 miles of cycling, 5.75 miles running, and 1 hour on the elliptical machine. I guess it was enough to tip the scale in my favor but still I can’t help but think what I might have been down if I would stop partaking of such food items.  But ultimately, I blame that dang blackboard that listed the Special dessert of Chocolate Bread Pudding.  Talk about a sucker for a marketing ploy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Healing & "Canned" Lunches...

I seem to be healing. If all goes according to plan, my stitches on my calf will come out on Thursday. In the meantime, I’ve been keeping to wearing skirts or shorts. There’s something about having pants or capris on that rub up against the stitches. It’s kind of like wearing that scratchy wool sweater; just a bit of an irritant.

On the running front, I managed to run 3.5 miles this last Sunday and no butt cramp. Yahoo! I want to thank everyone for their help with and suggestions. I’ve been doing a series of exercises and stretches that may be the key to beating this thing
Artwork- "Steak Out" soon to showing in the Bark-N-Art Stroll in Park City this weekend.

On the weight loss front, I’m down the 2 lbs. that I gained a couple of weeks ago. I think the new “incentive” was that I started a new journal. There’s just something about a new start of filling blank pages that can be very appealing. Though, in the back of my mind I often wonder about someone discovering my journal years and years from now. I’m sure they will be thinking,”WTF?!?” My mundane details of my diet and exercising would prove as a good bedtime story. It’ll put you to sleep right away.

In an effect to plan my lunch time food at work a little better, I’ve come up with the “canned” diet. It’s a simplistic way of planning a lunch time meal; open a can, pour into bowl, and microwave (if needed). It’s an effective way to keep the calories for lunch under 350. My work desk drawer now comprises of low sodium soups, non-fat refried beans, tuna, and sliced beets. Yes, beets! It’s the one canned “veggie” that I really like. And yes, to your other question—I limit the refried beans to just once a week out of respect to co-workers.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Update & Rambo Part 5...

No change in the weight situation this week. I’ve been struggling with motivation this last week. Of course, it’s hard with the schedule I’ve been doing. Catching an early morning bike ride, going to work, catch an evening bike ride or workout at gym, then head home to work on a porch painting, and end the day with an hour of winding down time on the Nook ( I’ve got to turn the energy and brain down somehow.) I blame this all on my type A personality mother. (Just joking Mom!) If I was a true type A personality I would be studying for my Masters in some remote degree, learning at least two foreign languages, and have an immaculately kept apartment. Please never come to my apartment without proper warning because I have the hazmat team on standby at all time.

I’ve often been running through the fast food in between here and there. AND we all know that fast food is the anti-Christ of dieting! Especially when one is not fond of salads; but I’ve been trying to get the sandwich wrap things on the menus that are somewhat marginally lower in calories. Though, I tend to wonder about these wraps when you find a big glob of mayonnaise stuck in the middle of it.

My stitches are healing well. My whole calf area was looking pretty “knarley” (as a former college mate would say). There were all shades of purples, blues and greens that made it look like my calf had been used as a punching bag. The bruising was really showing up and it looked worse than the actual injury seemed to me. But as of today there’s just the lovely sickly yellow-greenish glow left. I’ve all ready been back on the bike, which will come as no surprise to any of you that know me as “Biker”. I rode Emigration and didn’t “pop” a stitch.

I was telling most of my fellow cyclists about the event. Tales of the doctor’s office where I refused to take the shot for the local pain deadening. The nurse hovered with the shot ready at a moment’s notice meanwhile the doctor is taking a brush to the wounded area to get the bike chain grease out and then he does the stitches. The whole time we are chatting along about cycling and a recent vacation trip he took to northern New York State where he cycled. It was as the doctor was washing his hands after the procedure that he looked over his shoulder and called me, “…one tough cookie.”

My fellow cyclists’ reactions upon hearing the story were “owing and ouching” and then comparing me to Rambo. In fact, one teased me that I was Rambo Part 5. Another teased me that my pain center of my brain went dead from a bike accident I had back in 2007. In that accident I face planted it while doing 20mph and was knocked unconscious for about 3 min.

Last night, I braved the same ride that I got these stitches from. I was ever so careful when I went by the intersection where I went down.  The scene of the crime still had a great deal of gravel but I managed this time to get to the “Brew” part of the “Bike & Brew” ride that’s put on by a member of my bike club (BCC). My good friend Doug who puts on the ride did however announce at the beginning of the ride that I was a safety hazard and I should be avoided. Talk about adding insult to injury! I, of course, took it all in stride.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Update & Stitches...

My weight is no change for the week. I rather feel like I’m just trying to get everything under control. My cycling mileage per week has increased and I’ve tried to get a little more time on the elliptical. I’ve been doing exercises all week building my muscles in my butt area and am hoping that I can slowly start easing myself into running. But I might have a bit of a set back…

I had a small accident on my bike last night. The result of which was 5 stitches and a cut that spans from the inside of my lower right calf to almost back of the knee. I think it was due to a small rock that got in my bike cleat at the stoplight. I was trying to take off quickly from the stop light to keep up with the guys out front. I was in my competitive mode and wasn’t paying attention like I should have.
Ow!  My 5 Stitches!

My shoe slipped off the pedal and my right calf slid into the chain ring on my bike. I was bleeding a bit and knew I would have a bruise on my right elbow for sure. I was a bit shaken so I decided to head the 2.5 miles back to the car. It was as I was cleaning the dirt and rocks from my calf that I discovered it was rather a deep gash. I took a picture with my phone and sent it to a nurse friend. (Oh, the wonders of technology!) She recommended that I go have it looked at.

An hour later, I was going home with 5 stitches, an updated tetanus shot, and told by my regular doctor (who has late office hours) that if I wanted a bike sprocket tattoo it was safer to go to the local neighborhood tattoo parlor. He’s a fellow cyclist. He said no hot tub or swimming but I can go back to the running and cycling. He put in each stitch separately incase one popped while I was running or cycling it wouldn’t take them all out and make it worse.

Today, I’m in a bit of pain and I’m discovering new bruises developing on my legs and arms. I’m planning on a bike ride on Sunday morning for sure and playing with the idea of a run/walk on Saturday. But we shall see how it all goes…

Friday, June 3, 2011

An Update & Balanced Cheeks?

I was disappointed when I got on the scale this morning.  I was up 2 whole pounds.  I've been backing off on the running because of the left butt cramp issue and doing a bit more on the elliptical machine but it's just not the calorie burning exercise that I need to stay ahead of the game.  So somethings need to be changed... either more time on the elliptical or bike or cut down on the calorie intake.  I also will admit that I was lax on my food journal keeping this last week and I think that's reflecting in the weight gain too.

Now as far as the butt cramp thing, I did a bit of research and I might have what's called piriformis.  A scientific name that basically is caused by a weakness in muscles on one side.  So my butt muscles are weak on my left side.  Go figure, the human body try as we may is not perfect on both sides.  Now it seems that I have balance issues in a whole new way.  Hmmmm.  I started doing some recommended exercises and have stopped the running all together.  Also, recommended is taking pilates or yoga classes or "core building" exercises(which I hate!).  I'm rather leaning towards trying out the pilates reformer classes that my friend Diane has been taking but there's an orientation class that conflicts with my Emigration Canyon bike rides on Tuesday night.  So I need to wait 2 weeks till I'm not leading the ride up the canyon and attend that orientation.  Till then I keep up with the exercises and hope to put some strength in my left butt check.  Funny, I thought my butt cheeks look balanced and maybe a bit saggy in the mirror!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May's End of Month Report...

It's seems like this month has went by in a whir ( a whir that's been mostly composing of rain).  Because of the rain I haven't gotten out as much on the bike as I would have liked to.  But sometimes that's the breaks, but overall I feel like things are progressing rather nicely so far this year.  Getting closer and closer to being the halfway point.  Here's how this month shaped up...

May showers bring May flowers?  Some tulips during recent bicycle ride.
As far as savings, I've turned around on my savings schedule; thanks mostly due to the sale of some paintings.  I've sold 4 porch paintings this last month; bringing the total to 7 porch paintings sold so far and have another porch owner interested.  I've also sold a bicycle painting to a friend.  I almost feel like a professional artist!  But all of this has helped with being able to save a bit more money.  I've also made donations to the Salt Lake City Habitat for Humanity; a win-win situation.

I’ve been happy in the weight loss department. As of last Friday, I was down a total of 20 lbs. Which puts me within 12 lbs. of my goal weight. I’m not losing fast with only an average weight loss of 4 lbs. per month but it’s been a nice steady pace which I hope means it’ll be harder to put back on if that ever happens.

The Nitty –Gritty for the month…

2 hours 23 minutes on the elliptical
24.15 miles running
2 miles swimming
212 miles cycling
Read 6 books (now up to 29 for the year)

Even with all of this rain I managed to get more miles on my bicycle. I have still been having problems with that “butt cramp” coming back. I have noticed that when I run on a more “cushy” treadmill that the cramp doesn’t occur until almost the 2 mile marker. I may have to back off some more with the whole running. Though, I really hate to because it’s such a good calorie burning exercise. It also serves as a good indoor on the treadmill when the weather is yucky outside.
"100 Salt Lake City Porches, No.43"; Poured Watercolor painting.

I’m currently struggling to do #49 out of the 100 Salt Lake City Porches project. I’ve now started the same porch four times on the oil canvas. I may have to set it off to the side and just come back to it.

Un-cluttering my life? Well, I’ve been forming a pile to go off to good will. It’s formed out of summer clothes that I’m not going to wear this summer and some winter clothes that I really didn’t get much use out of this last winter. I also went through my collection of make up and threw out a good bit of make up that needed to be done away with. Now I just need to work on that misc. shelf in the hall closet. It needs a major overhaul and to be organized. I guess that could be the project for this next month IF I get my act together.