March 7, 2015

It’s been over a week now that I have been making the effort to stop being old and fat. Old is just a number and state of being and I have always tried to combat that. Being fat has less to do with the passage of sun rises and sun sets, but more a matter of not doing what I needed to do to reign myself in, physically.

This less than attractive bracelet I now wear on my left wrist is helping me stay accountable to myself. Who knew investing a bit over a $100 would be such an invaluable aid? One would think paying for a gym membership would be enough stimuli, but I don’t carry the gym with me at the end of my left arm.

I have shed a few pounds, but the main change has been visiting the gym every day. Briskly walking on the tread mill for three miles is all I have done this first week, and I have to confess to missing one morning, but I think it’s forgivable. It’s a matter of setting a new routine to build on at this point and I am pleased with my effort.

I did take the “before” picture I mentioned in an earlier post. Eek gads, it will be an embarrassment to post it at some future point, but only when a less than embarrassing photo sets beside it, motivation to be sure.

Spring is only weeks away and I look forward to enjoying some hikes in the Ozarks. I purchased a camera for myself at Christmas and will bring it along. So although there won’t be photo’s of myself to elicit envy, the beautiful state in which I call home surely will.

March 1, 2015

As I woke this morning at 4 a.m., I could hear the rain falling outside. Since it’s only the first day of March, the prospect of it being a cold rain, if not freezing, rain became my first thought. There I lay, cozy under the covers. Then the mean voice started, “get up, you are going to do this! If you don’t get up now what is the point of living?” I promise that inner voice can be harsh, but she knows she has to be an extremist for me to pay attention.

Getting into shape, losing weight and toning up are all about living better, healthier, so in a sense her asking me what the point of living would be when I want to simply not get out of bed on a cold, rainy Sunday morning, is fair. It’s about discipline. The spoiled voice in my head says, “you’re 54, you’ve worked so hard all your life, sleep in on a Sunday morning, goodness sakes. Why push yourself so hard?”

Why? Because I’m tired of feeling old and fat.

Out of bed I got, walked the dogs, fed them and the cats. Let Billy the Cockatiel out of his cage. Washed my face, brushed my hair and teeth, got dressed, put on my running shoes and headed to the gym all before 5 a.m.

The gym was empty. Clearly there are folks getting to enjoy sleeping in.

I walked 3.25 miles on the treadmill with an incline of 8, average speed between 3.5 and 4.6, when I felt like adding a bit of a jog.

According to Fitbit I’ve already hit my goal for the day. Seems a bit disappointing at 7:30 a.m. to be done with my goal for physical activity for the day. The Fitbit and I are going to make some adjustments.

Breakfast was 2 hard boiled eggs and a couple spheres of mango. I’m also working on hydrating. I have always thought I drank a lot of water, but I haven’t drank what I should be. A habit to take up, maybe it’ll smooth out some wrinkles!

I’m going to take a picture of my fat self this morning, but that won’t be posted until I reach my goal of 105 lbs.

Welcome to March everyone!

Getting Back In Shape

It’s the last day of February, 2015. Tomorrow with the support of my new Fitbit Charge, I plan to lose 35 lbs. over the next few months.

This evening, on February 28, 2015 I am 5ft 4in tall and weigh 138 lbs.

It’s been well over a year since my last blog and my hope is that I will not only lose weight since I’m making my adventure public, but I’ll also get back to blogging. There may not be recipe’s posted, but you never know.

Tag along if you like… my morning starts at 4 a.m.,

Here we go!

Blah

Yes, I am a terrible blogger! What can I say? Life has been such that I have been living it instead of reporting it on my blog.

I have been cooking. I have been selfish. I have cooked and I have not taken pictures and posted to prove it. I had good intentions to post a White Chili recipe that seems to be the bomb with everyone that has the good fortune to experience it… but I didn’t get around to taking a pic of it “plated” before it was all gone. I tell you, it is that good LOL! I am simply a tease. But it is that good. It involves dry beans and chicken, so be prepared. Simple recipe with fantastic results.

So why have I been so absent from the Blogosphere? I work for a living. I manage a business that completely sucks my brain cells but has it’s rewards beyond monetary. There was a meeting of the “Big Cheeses” this month at Seaside, Florida. I suppose in the scheme of things, I am slightly a cheeser, so I got to attend. I also got to bring one of my most favorite people. My daughter Belle.

The meeting was awesome and the time at this beautiful beach community was perfection. There was a tropical storm off the coast which afforded some amazing photo opportunities. There were filters used in the shots, but hey, makeup is makeup. I have attached photos of one of my favorite meals, courtesy of Pickles, and a few fun shots of my beautiful daughter, and myself.

Did I mention I went skydiving for the first time? Yeppers, it happened.

Please forgive me for being a horrible blogger. I won’t promise to be better, but if you hang in there, I promise to entertain you with at least a story or recipe to make the wait worthwhile.

Cheers!

Karensunset skydive2 belleandmomatseaside dinner farewelltoSeaside autumnmorningwalkseaside Skydive1

‘Tater Soup

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Autumn has arrived and my taste buds are craving comfort foods! One of my favorites is potato soup. It’s easy and inexpensive to put together and oh so worth the little effort.

What you’ll need:

10 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large stalks of celery diced
30 baby carrots, diced
1 large white onion, diced
4 T mined garlic
2 32 oz boxes of vegetable broth
3 t salt
2 t black pepper
1 T dried parsley
2C half and half

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Time to pull out the large stock pot. Peeling 10 lbs of potatoes is not exactly an entertaining endeavor, but once you’re sitting, spooning this delightful combination of goodness into your mouth you’ll be thanking yourself.

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Add remaining vegetables. Salt, pepper and parsley.

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Pour both containers of vegetable broth in, over high heat bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to get a slow simmer and stir occasionally; you’re only 20-30 minutes from dinner.

Now that the potatoes are tender, take a potato masher and start mashing those ole spuds in the pot. If you prefer a soupier texture skip this step, but I like to have a thicker “broth” with a bit of chunkiness. I also like to add a little thickener using 2T of flour and a cup of water mixed, then added to the pot.

Turn off the heat and add the half and half. Stir/blend fully. Invite the neighbors/friends, this is a huge pot of soup!  Serve!

Add shredded cheddar cheese like I do. Crumbled bacon and chopped green onion is also a fantastic topper.

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Light Italian Chicken

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The only way this dish could be any easier would be if someone else put it together for you and then fed it to you. It’s a light dish, great for a summer evening when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. The good ole Crock-Pot comes into service once again. In the lower photo I have my 2-quart along with the few ingredients, but you’ll actually need to use a 6-quart.

What you’ll need:

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cans of Italian type diced tomatoes. If you can’t find these tomatoes, using regular diced will work perfect, add 1 tablespoon of basil and 1 teaspoon of oregano.

1 large white onion, julienned

2 green bell peppers, also julienned

2 tablespoons of crushed garlic

Package of Angel Hair pasta, prepare following package directions

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In your Crock-Pot, put in the chicken, next the onion and bell pepper, and the garlic. Pour the two cans of tomatoes over it all. I normally add a bit more basil. Salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 8 hours. Once the chicken is “fall apart tender”, you are ready for dinner. I pour the goodness over the prepared pasta and serve. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. This will taste even better the next day. If you’re a left over snob, you are so missing out.

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This is a great dish to add zucchini to, experiment.

Goals

Eeeeek GADS! the things one will endure once the decision to “do something” is planted in the mushy noodle. The following rant is about my latest self focused decision to begin training to do something that I have always wanted to do, but knew my lazy butt would most certainly never make room for it in the crazy life schedule that I am following.

What form of torture (rewarding torture) have I decided to self inflict? I have begun training to run a marathon. A birthday is approaching and every year at about this time I review the accomplishments of the previous months to gauge my life’s progress. Am I continuing to move positively forward? Have I regressed or stagnated? What do I need to change? Kick it up a notch.

Marathon runners are individuals I have found extremely interesting. The endurance and drive it takes to complete over 26 miles is almost beyond comprehension. The commitment to training is a challenge in of itself.

I am in week 5 of this new adventure. It is the end of August and the marathon I have set my site on is not until March, allowing 7 months to get stronger, faster and here’s the best part; healthy and toned.

There are tracks locally that , if I am inclined to want to be bored out of my mind by running in an oval, I could use for a couple of hours. There are tree lined streets, just outside my front door. But I have been using a trail/park built locally that offers a wooded setting, paved trails and a 3.5 mile loop. There are shorter “loops” within the larger, to shorten the trek.

On today’s walk/run I had an encounter with a very large Cotton Mouth. He was resting in the middle of the trail. I came up on him running and nearly went over the top of him. It wasn’t until I was only a foot or so away he moved, raised up and showed his impressive fangs that I realized the “stick” was not going to have me or anyone else go over the top of him without a fight.

I stopped and backed away and then proceeded to toss sticks at him to get him to scurry on across the trail, He was not impressed and bit at everything close to him. From the opposite direction a couple of bicyclist came up and I warned them of the snake. One of the riders, gentleman that he was got a longer stick and convinced the snake to be on its way.

With all that being said, here’s the lesson learned, NO RUNNING IN THE EVENING WHEN THE TRAIL IS NOT EASY TO SEE.

I will post my progress as I go along. My running sucks, frankly. I am faster and I can go further than I was able to 5 weeks ago, but nowhere near where I want to be. My endurance is great. I went over the ‘8 miles in one run’ mark today. I have logged in 62.80 miles.

Thanks to Nike and Pandora I am thoroughly enjoying this new chapter

***My original post stated that I crossed paths with a Copper Head. At the time of the encounter when it was just myself and the snake determining our next move, I thought I was dealing with a Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin, but then the gentleman came by and saved the day, and he was the one that said it was a Copper Head. I have since done my research, and my instincts were correct. Explaining the critters attitude.

Every time I am in the area for a run I still expect to “run” into this critter. Eeks!