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Birks, All The Rage at the Gym


What do you do when you show up at the gym and you’re reaching for the dumbbells, and you notice your footwear is, well German and a bit boho? I decided that I could do my arms workout sporting these really cute patent leather Birkenstocks. Trust me when I say, there were a lot of double takes.  Cue funny footage (pun intended) of Continue reading “Birks, All The Rage at the Gym”

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Low Carb Fluff, Delicious Fluffy Fluffiness and How I Got Back Here

I’ve been away lately. Well, not away, away as in on a big adventure somewhere, but you know, I’ve been avoiding my blog, whilst adventuring on as we do in our regular lives. And, shockingly, but not, I’ve changed weight loss strategies again. I’ve circled around, probably passed go, but wasn’t handed the Monopoly money on the way round. Why do I go through strategies, like socks? Seriously? I don’t know. I think that Continue reading “Low Carb Fluff, Delicious Fluffy Fluffiness and How I Got Back Here”

Thanksgiving: I’m The Turkey

Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.

So, yes, my one day of eating freely, turned into 3 days of gobbling, AND 3 freaking pounds. The real truth is that I didn’t feel good after doing it. So why, why, why, why did I do it? I’m not stupid. Really, you may beg to differ by now, but I’m really not. I think that I just got tired. I was tired of being vigilant. I got tired of putting forth extra effort to find good food. I got tired of being good-ish and losing so slowly. I was all set to phase off my Ideal Protein regime before Christmas and then resume in the new year. You might have noticed, I got tired of writing. Well, maybe not tired of writing, but lazy on the blog front. I’m sorry. I missed it so. My fingers are flying and my brain is whizzing and my heart feels happy with every word I type.

I’m three pounds up, but I’m back on the horse. I’ve got a renewed vigor and desire to go ahead and tap that bell at the goal line. (What analogy is that? It makes no sense, but I like it. It is staying) To add insult to injury (in a literal sense), I’ve gotten a new Physical Therapy person at a new clinic. My surgeon’s office was great, but their PT guy was so busy that I couldn’t get in and not only was I slacking on the food front, I was slacking on my rehab, which frankly, is flat out astonishing. Unforgivable. I so want to play tennis again and be able to do all my activities without pain and swelling, that I’m kind of flabbergasted that I let life and busy-ness get in my way. I took a break from being good. I was bad.

kneeiceMonday though, thank God for Monday, I got back on the food wagon. Today, I hit the PT. Holy wow. I love my new gal. She really pushed me. In fact, she said, “Your knee’s gonna be mad, I’m not gonna lie.” I didn’t care. I went from not wanting to change clothes, go out in the cold in shorts, drive to the PT place and get going, to holy crap my legs are wimpy and weak and I’m so glad I got my ass out here to work out. It felt so good! It was a bit disheartening to realize that my good leg is actually my weak leg. What the…???  It was frustrating to have your muscles not respond like they’re supposed to. She promised to make me strong again and re-emphasized that microfracture surgery is kind of a big deal. She reminded me that most athletes don’t get back to their sport for 6 months after that kind of surgery. She was encouraging and kind. She brought me back from the brink of knee hell. Yes, it’s swollen and a wee bit sore, but it hurts so good. Hand me the ice pack, a protein bar and my laptop. I’m back! Dammit, I’m back, with a tiny limp, a few extra pounds and a head of steam. Watch out.

Let’s go!

On Flying, Trying and Goodbye-ing

There’s a lot of hype and hysteria happening right now about THE virus, you know, Ebola… I almost hate to type the word even. I don’t want to add any craziness to the already obscene and unrelenting fear mongering. I’m a fairly reasonable person, I like to think, though the hubs and kids might roll their eyes… mostly because they’re supposed to roll their eyes when mom makes a statement about being reasonable. But really, I am. However, since the beginning of the Ebola crisis (the first one) in the 70s, for some reason, I’ve been scared absolutely silly of that particular form of dying. If you’re as old as I am, you must understand why I say this. This happened in our formative years and it came from monkeys. Monkeys were the bad guys, and well, that was confusing and upsetting.That was the speculation back then.

We’ve come a long way. You’d like to think that, but have we? I must admit that after the Frontier Flight where the Dallas nurse flew with a low grade fever after being in close proximity and nursing a man who died from the disease, I kinda, like most of the world, decided that I didn’t really trust anyone to be smart. I had second thoughts about boarding a Frontier flight right here in Texas, and flying to Denver to visit my son and watch him play collegiate soccer. (sigh) I was embarrassed to be nervous, but that didn’t change my nervousness. I decided that I really wanted to see him, and the odds of being on a plane with anyone who’d been exposed were slim to none, but it niggled in the back of my head. What if? What if there was and we somehow became infected, we’d give it to our son, on a college campus and… (head explodes.) That all got shoved to the back of my brain, my sanity prevailed and we got to have a lovely visit in beautiful Colorado with that beautiful, smart and talented kid. Thankful that we did. So very thankful.

Yellow AspensThe trip was glorious! The weather was lovely! The Aspens were mostly past their peak color, but a few of them were still hanging on and I could not get over my imagining what it must be like in a sea of yellow and white. Wow. I will be back to see them in their full, raging plumage. It was great to get away, and so lovely to hug that boy and watch him play!

Though glorious, traveling is hard on my weight loss goals.  I’m still trying. Really, I am. I’m just not very good at it right now. Travelling and dieting are very difficult, but I did okay until the last night when my hubby decided to splurge on dessert. We were dining (our first decent meal this trip) in Colorado Springs at Springs Orleans next to the lovely hotel The Mining Exchange (my favorite splurge night hotel). Even then I only had a few bites, or a few bites more, but who’s counting? I didn’t lose, nor did I gain. The scale not moving this week was a win. I’ll hit it harder next week.

The trip reminded me of how quickly these years pass. I know, I sound like an old hen, but dammit, sometimes it’s hard! Sometimes it’s painful to look at the handsome, bright and confident young man who used to give sticky kisses and big hugs; the very same boy who told me I wasn’t the best mom in the world, but that I was the best mom in the whole entire universe! It’s bittersweet to see what he’s so achingly, beautifully become, but still so clearly see the curve of that soft toddler cheek, the feel of his tiny hand and the look of little boy adoration he has just for his mom. We still make each other laugh like nobody else, and I know our bond won’t break, but ding dang, sometimes it’s so hard to say good bye. That’s what we moms do though, we let them Fly.

mom and son, then and now
Always my baby!

Reboot! Recharge! Respect!

119daysI’ve been on Ideal Protein for 119 days. I thought I’d be at goal by now instead of wallowing 26 pounds from the finish line. My youngest son turned 15 this weekend, and like most parents, I thought, “Wait. Stop. He can’t be 15!” We ate out, big time. I made him 2 homemade-ish cakes (I used gluten free mixes for the starters, but jazzed them both up). And I tried both of them. One, more than once. And I tried the brownies too. I picked meat off the pizza. ENOUGH ALREADY! I’ve strayed too much from the course for my liking.

Today, I’m back to business, it’s Monday after all. Got a client lunch at Noodle and Company. Never been there, so I’ve got to look at the menu and decide if/what I can eat, so there are no rash decisions going on. This is my first big moment in the almost 4 month run, where I’ve felt a bit flustered, erratic and really naughty (in the food sense.)

I had a momentary lapse of respect for myself and my challenge. Shame on me.

Up a notch now, let’s go!

Crunchy Herb Roasted Chicken Tenders, Fancy!

On My Plate, Looks like a magazine, right?
On My Plate, Looks like a magazine, right?

So, to say that I’m not a chef would be a more than subtle understatement. But while on this Ideal Protein diet, I’ve managed, among the messes and failures in the kitchen, to prove that sometimes it all works out and nobody gets hurt (not even the hubby!) Last night, when I decided to cook what I’m calling “Crunchy Herb Roasted Chicken Tenders” I went to the end-all, be-all cookbook that is Pinterest. I searched for Ideal Protein and Chicken. I knew I’d seen this recipe before and with it came accolades like, “favorite IP recipe, EVER” and “I could eat this every meal.” Yes, I was hankering for something that good.

Admittedly, it was that good! Well, I don’t want to eat it every meal, but because it was super easy, I’d venture to say fool proof even because well… I did it, and it was tasty which makes it a success! Woohoo!

I made it for two because the hubs was hungry as well. SQUIRREL! (that means I’m having a wee ADD moment, so bear with me!) He usually cooks, by the way, so I think it was hard for him to get out of the way. He’s a big brother too. He’s the oldest in the family and I’m the youngest from mine. It makes for some super hilarious exchanges “big bossy brother” to stubborn wee “I can do it myself” sister. I often pause after he’s made an obvious “suggestion” and give him the feisty little sister look and say, “Are you big brothering me?” He’ll laugh and say, “maybe” or “only when you need it.” Of course, when he doesn’t and I’m three miles past our exit and I realize it and glance his way, he’s got his funny little grin on (the one that’s really cute and charming) because he knows what is coming. “Why didn’t you tell me to get off?” “Because I didn’t want to big brother you.” He can’t win, can he? He does though because we laugh a lot and gets to live with me!

Back to the Fancy Crunchy Herb Roasted Chicken Tenders recipe! You’ll need: All natural organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Ideal Protein Garlic and Fine Herb Crisps (one bag per breast), an egg and spray olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a cooking sheet with olive oil. Cut the chicken into “fingers”. In a bowl, whip up one or two eggs. Crush the crisps. I used a zip lock bag and a glass bowl to squish the crisps because I couldn’t find the rolling pin. It worked great. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and dredge through the crispy crumbs. Coat well. Place on baking sheet. Bake about 9 or 10 minutes and turn them over. Bake a few more until done.

They were very tasty. Hubby liked them too!

Ta Daaaa!

Day 111: Just Hit The Panic Button

Yep, I Pressed It
Yep, I Pressed It

So, I’ve been at this Ideal Protein thing for 111 days! Yes, that’s great and all, but according to my scale, (gulp) I’ve GAINED a pound. WHAT? And to be fair, it also says my fat percentage has dropped, lean mass increased. I build muscle very easily and I’ve started using my leg more. I’m walking without the crutch around the house, and doing flexing exercises, leg lifts etc. For goodness sake, my left glute was super sore the other day after doing straight leg lifts while laying on the stomach, so using your hammies and glutes… Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve been sore? It hurt so good!

I haven’t been precise this week either, but I’ve stayed away from most carbs (except for that homemade tamale from the Farmer’s Market… woops!… where’s the tiny type when you need it?) I think I’ll go have a sit in the sauna. Hope it won’t blow up my knee. It was definitely premature to hit the big red button but I was alarmed this morning. It’s been 111 days of seeing my number go steadily downward… I was just , well, shocked! We’ll see what I can do by Wednesday!

I realize that I said slow is fine, not two days ago, but backward is not!

Ever have these panic moments?

The Ups, The Downs and The Sidewinding

The other day, I wrote about my victory and the smaller “Pants Dance.” That was obviously an “up” day, as it should have been. There’s just something about that feeling of looking at that pair of pants in the front of the closet that you know (by the size on the label) should have fit when you bought them, but didn’t even come close. After months of taunting, every, single day and trying them on every so often you get the urge and they button right up, without a strain or too much stretch.Yes, good day.

Yesterday, I almost wrote about the Old Pants Dance. I had a client function out in the middle of nowhere. You know, or if you’re not a Texan, a boots and jeans tromp around  a ranch function. My first thought was, “Oh no! I think I dumped all my jeans because they were too small.” (Yes, I did one of those clean outs in my frustration about a year ago… ) I wondered if I would have time to go buy a pair before the function. At the 11th hour, I remembered that I had stuck a box of something in a cabinet under the TV (go figure). Boom! There they were. I grabbed the first pair and nervously put them on. I noticed that they were the smaller pair, the ones that were always the tightest. What? Button. Zip. Done. Wow! The happy feeling of accomplishment made me feel warm and fuzzy! I did a little booty shake for the hubs and pointed at my jeans (he was on a conference call) I got a grin and a thumbs up and was out the door. I was feeling pretty good.

A coworker commented when I got there that I was looking great! Happy (inside) dance. Then, it happened. Someone asked for a photo. We all got together, and posed. Yay! I handed over my phone and got a picture too. Afterall, I was in those jeans again! Woohoo. Then, I looked at the photo. You know that thing that happens to a baloon when you are blowing it up and you accidentally let go? It flies around erratically and makes a funny noise. Yes, that happened. The reality of how far I’ve got to go slapped me, twenty-seven point two pounds, to be precise, slapped me upside my head. I was reeling sideways.

By the time I got home, I was feeling a bit down, frustrated and tired.

And, this is why I love being ADD. This morning, I was back to happy and good again. I dug back in to that same basket of smaller clothes (still under the TV), grabbed a pair of khaki pants and threw them on. These were even loose in the waist. What? (GRIN) Just a happy reminder to me that I have come so far. In that photo, I failed to notice that I

I was apprehensive about buying yellow shoes, but somehow, they make me happy! Happy dance!
I was apprehensive about buying yellow shoes, but somehow, they make me happy! Happy dance!

work with lovely, beautiful people that I’m happy to hang out with. It was so good to treat our clients to a fun outing with BBQ and beer.

I’m happy to report that I’m back to up. Mostly. I put on my yellow happy shoes. That always helps!

The Wake: The Good, The Sad and the Edibles

celtic crossMy grandfather in law passed away last week. He’d been in the hospital for a few weeks, but somehow you just don’t expect it to happen. We got the call at noon, and were on the 6 pm direct to London, then hopped direct to Belfast. We went straight to his Grandma’s house and were greeted by his large Irish family. The wake went on for four days, due to scheduling problems at the church. Someone stayed with Grandpa in the tiny sitting room, as is the custom, at all times. Over 500 people visited him and paid their respects during those days, according to the number of Mass Cards. He was a well respected patriarch of the family, adored by all. He was small in stature, and quiet, however, he spoke up when he needed to. He was married to Granny for 63 years. They’d lived in that wee house for 61.

The four days of visiting with the family were a gift, a goodness in the sadness. I feel like I know them now, more than the introductions and small talk. We’ve met at weddings, but we got to actually talk for untold hours. From the beginning, the family has accepted me and the kids and welcomed us with open arms, but I now feel I really belong. One day, I will write about the experience of the Irish traditions and how they differ, and how lovely it was to see people join in the procession on the way to the church. Another time, another blog. It’s all stored right here in my heart.

The trip offered me many challenges, not the least of which was travelling 13 days post surgery. Heathrow is a huge, huge airport. The gate agent in Austin promised there would be a wheelchair waiting my arrival. Um… no. At Heathrow, it is not uncommon to be dumped on the Tarmac for a bus, and not jetwayed into a terminal. Huge planes mean big staircases down. After 9 hours of plane ride, I was happy to be moving, even though it meant one stair at a time. Onto a bus, and a surprisingly long ride to the terminal. No help awaited. I hobbled, and hobbled and freaking hobbled through the ugly dirty guts of Heathrow. We did get fast tracked through the “medical” line at immigration after someone finally cared enough to get off their butt and offer. We walked past 4 people who, I assume it was their job to fast track me- considering they were in the medical area. It was a man pushing a passenger in a wheel chair (already doing his job) who corralled us into his wake in the medical queue. Then, it was lots and lots and lots of hobbling. Unpleasant at best, painful most often. Thanks Heathrow, you suck.

My other big issue was food. The Irish diet is not healthy (and is chock full of gluten): sausage rolls, scones, toast, bangers, crisps, chips, fried fish, fruit cakes and I could go on and on. At wakes, people bring lots of food (as is our custom here too) and in addition to the aforementioned delectables, there were tea cakes, cakes, sandwiches, cookies, biscuits, pies, soup (gluten) and every kind of sweet pastry imaginable. I sat there in their midst. Hours and hours of sitting and visiting and trying to stay out of the way of the crowds in the tiny kitchen and sitting room. When you’re sad, and you are around sad people, you just want to eat. That is a fact. There were so many things there to nibble on, and frankly, my husband enjoyed the things that he misses living in the states. I took bites here and there, but for the most part, I would deconstruct sandwiches and sausage rolls eating the protein part and my obliging husband would eat the bread. I didn’t eat much. At night, his mum and I would drive the 30 minutes back to their wee town and make chicken breast. She’s a really good cook and had made a pot of curry and some carrot soup, that I LOVE. I compromised and had a bit of the curry as sauce on my chicken breast. I avoided the delicious soup because the sugar content in the carrots. I did taste it though. Yum!

A few people commented that I had lost some weight. The last time they’d seen me I was 25 pounds heavier just 9 months ago. In fact, my sister-in-law’s wedding was the last time we were there. It was her mother-in-law who really noticed. “You look wonderful and fresh, younger, I think!” This was after the burial at the reception when she’d watched me eat plain sausage, and take the meat from several wee sandwiches. We discussed the low-carb lifestyle. I like being fresh! 

Despite the long 20 hours getting home, and the crisps during our wait at Heathrow, and the chips (french fries) I ate the night before we left, my scale says I lost a pound. I didn’t really think I would have, but I’m grateful. I had already decided that emotionally, this week wouldn’t count. It was a tough trip, but I wouldn’t have missed it.

RIP Granda, you will be missed by all of us.

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