Monday, October 19, 2009

New Goals!

Okay, so I still haven't been blogging much and I admit that I spend too much time on Facebook...LOL! I often have so many things I want to blog about and then the day escapes me among the house, work, family and "me" things. Yes, I am adding a "me" category. It's always been there but I need to keep it in front of me.

So last week I finished my 40-day yoga challenge. I did it! WOO HOO! It was a good experience. I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was and most importantly, that I CAN find time to workout. I was going to yoga 6 days a week for 60-75 minutes per class. It was intense but I did enjoy it and my body was loving it.

TO keep the momentum going, I started a "Couch to 5K program". It's a free podcast that starts you jogging short intervals gradually working up to running 30 minutes straight. I'm not a big fan of running but I don't "hate it. I completed last week with 8-60 second intervals and did pretty well. I was able to complete all 3 workouts. I like the podcast in that the creator of the podcasts tells you when to run and when to walk and there is good music. I began Week 2 today. I'm doing 90 second intervals this week.

I took a week off of yoga and I miss it already. My plan is to get three running sessions, two weight training and three yoga classes. Even though this is a busy week....who I am kidding? every week is busy....I will find the time.

So 5K Thanksgiving morning!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

40 Day Challenge - Day 3

It's been a while since I've posted anything here but I am alive and well.
Just a quick update on the health and fitness stuff.
I had a nutrition consultation with a nutritional advisor on metabolic typing in July. It turns out that I am a "protein type" which is no surprise there. Even though I was eating clean before, I knew in the way I was feeling and the fact that I was not losing much weight that a low-fat diet was not working for me and that I need to watch my carb intake. The premise is that there is no-one-size fits all diet for anyone. You have to find what works for you. I've been following a plan for a few weeks. The scale has not moved much...YET...but my clothes are looser and I have way more energy! woo hoo!

I am also doing a 40 day yoga and meditation challenge at my yoga studio. I am doing this with my yoga teacher and some other students as my teacher prepares for the Ironman World Championship in October. I figure if she can do an Ironman, then I can do 40 days of yoga. LOL!Well it's actually 32 days of yoga to allow some rest days. This is power yoga...Baptiste style...this is a type of yoga that is challenging and works every muscle in your body PLUS it's in an 85 degree room. SWEAT!

Today was my third day. When I got home, I was soaked from head to toe in sweat and I swear that all the muscles in my upper body were shaking for about an hour. Tomorrow is day 4...I can do this!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Alive and Well

I am still here and have been neglecting this blog. I have lots of new changes to share and other things I've been working on. With the kiddies out of school on summer break, I barely get to sit down.

I've been on Twitter a lot. I didn't get it at first, but now I'm hooked. Follow me at LindaGRod!
More soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This year is moving too fast for me. It's already May and it seems like I've barely dented my "to-do" list. I don't feel guilty about it. I just feel like there are so many things undone just hanging above my head.

I've realized that my day is just too full. On most days, I don't sit down to just rest or relax until 10 pm. I'm literally going all to school, physical therapy, work outs, cooking, cleaning, managing home, managing and work from my business. Lately it feel like I get to start things but never really complete the task. I'll do the laundry and the clean clothes sit in the laundry basket for days. I'll start a declutter project and the remnants are sitting in piles. Don't even get me started on the unread mail, the emails I need to answer, returning phone call, paying bills...ugh! I never seem to get to the little things like signing up the boys for sports and music, marketing my business to more clients and the scrapbooking materials that have been sitting there untouched. No wonder I'm spent at the end of the day and no wonder I'm tired. I think my soul is tired.

That coupled with the stress of the Dish being unemployed...again. Seriously, the union jobs are just not cutting it anymore. For the past 6 years, it's like a part time job. The Dish has been applying everywhere and is even shifting careers now that he has his degree in Criminal Justice. BUT these are hard times and finding a job is very hard.

I try not to stress reminding myself that I'm still working with contracts that afford me a monthly check. I try to remember that we do have savings to fall back on. But how could I not be scared for the future? Most people are and it's contagious. However, we can't make decisions based on fear.

I know I just need to slow down and make more time for myself even if something gets undone. I recently dusted off my books from Marianne Williamson. I love her! She is spiritual versus religious and has an amazing guidance to find calm in this crazy world we live in. I started following her on Twitter and her messages are just what I need to hear right now.

Here are some from today:

Happiness lies in being involved in a process larger than yourself. It's like an umbrella made of anti-gravity, drawing your emotions upward.

When you deflect your good, the universe holds it in trust for you until you are ready to receive it. You only pushed "pause;" start again.

Since you were born with infinite potential, then no matter what you have achieved you've only scratched the surface of your innate ability.

I'm going to make some iced green tea and take a few moments to sit and do nothing....if I still remember how.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Keeping my head up

I just realized that I had not posted anything in quite some time. Just busy really. I wish I had more time to blog. I do enjoy writing and reading other blogs. I usually have at least one topic per day that I plan to write about and then "poof"...the day escapes me.

While I am truly blessed to work form home and be home with my kiddies but there is a big price I pay for this luxury. I have to work in the evening. I am usually (always!) spent from running the house and taking care of the kiddies. The Dish usually takes over after dinner where I move to a quiet location to turn on my brilliance. Some days it just does not happen so then I fall behind on my work and thus add to my stress.


The Dish is out of work again. I truly turn into a worry wart when he gets laid off. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. And I should know that somehow and some way, we always make it through. Still with the tough economy, one cannot help but worry.

I finished one month of physical therapy. Even though I went for left knee pain, it ended up being my left hip as well. I was "out of alignment" if I didn't already know that I am "out of balance"...literally! I've been going to physical therapy three times a week and the first few weeks I was lots of pain in my lower back and down the back of my leg. My workouts have been restricted to light cardio and light weights which does not make me happy. I am not good at baby steps.

But I am making progress and now we are working on my knee and I have been able to mini squats and lunges with little or no pain. The therapists are suggesting one more month of three times a week but I'm going to have to cut it back to two times a week and get stuff to do at home. I feel like I am so behind with everything. The house, my work, paperwork.....ugh!

It will get done and I'm trying not to let it kill me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Computer woes

My computer crashed the day before we left for vacation. What a pain.

I was able to restore most of my important files...client work, music and photos. Thank goodness for back-up services.

We had a very nice vacation and I will post pictures soon.

I am going to physical therapy three times a week. What I thought was a problem with my knee turns out to be my pelvis and hip. My left side is out of alignment which is causing my knee pain. The therapists are working with me with stretches, assisted stretches, exercises, massage and ice.

I feel worse than I did before...LOL! I am on restricted work outs until I heal so I am postponing my personal training for now. Figures...just when I get in a good plan...BOOM! I can still do light cardio and some light weights for upper body so it's better than nothing. I am tightening up my nutrition to keep things balanced.

I 'm off to ice my back....sigh!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Almost on vacation

I am on vacation in 2 days and I am looking forward to it. Just busy crazy as!
I trained twice with my trainer. The first work out was so tough...push ups and pull ups off the barbell rack...ouch! I felt it for three days!

I found out Monday that I have "patella femoral syndrome" or "Runner's knee". My left knee had been gradually bothering me more and more. My doc examined my knee, heard some popping and sent me for an x-ray. Now I have to start physical therapy.

My trainer worked my legs yesterday and it was good...we avoided bending and worked on quads and hams. BUT shortly after the workout my muscle above the knee went numb and tingly. SO the trainer wants to hold off to when I get back from vacation and to let my doc know about it.

Great! Just when I was getting in the groove. No worries...I won't let it set me back.

Until then....I'll be on a Mexican beach sipping margaritas....but I will be bringing my workout stuff with me. My ass is not on vacation!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Things on the Horizon

A package was delivered by the mailman's the Dish's new meds. He'll start LDN tonight! The only side effect that he may encounter the first week is vivid dreams or nightmares. Today may be the start of good things for him. I'm tweaking his diet just a bit. The doctor recommends the SWANK diet which is an MS diet. Basically a diet low in saturated fat and red meat...high in veggies, fruit, lean protein and whole grains and good fats...olive oil, nuts, etc. I'm really hoping that the doctor can convince him to start getting some exercise. Because he has such a physical job, he's too tired to workout when he gets home BUT that doesn't mean he doesn't need it. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I know I can get him to at least take a bike ride with me!

This morning I interviewed a personal trainer! I've NEVER trained with a trainer before. I intended to interview a few trainers but I really liked her and she has such similar health views as me such as nutrition, weight training and yoga. PLUS she is funny and we were already laughing and joking around BUT she knew how to get us back on focus too!

I, of course, went back and forth in my head as to whether I should even spend money on this as with the way the economy is going, I feel the need to be frugal. But then I thought, this is an investment in myself. I NEED to lose more weight and I am stuck. I'm only going to train with her twice a week for a month and then assess it from there...both financially and how I progress.

I've been doing the fitness thing for so long by myself and the trainer was very impressed by how much I know, what I eat, how I workout, etc. I just need some fine tuning and to kick it up a BIG notch. I'm sure I have not pushed myself to the limits. Sure, I made great progress with lifting weights and I workout to a good sweat and feel like I've done something. But to really push it...I really don't know how to do that. So what better way than to try out a trainer? At the very least, I want her to check out my form...why lift if I'm not doing it correctly? She is also going to make cardio fun! huh? Plyometrics, kick boxing, circuits...oh my!

I start this Thursday!

Other good news, with the Recovery package, I am being swarmed with consulting requests! Wow! That's a good thing...I'm going to need the work to afford the training. Seriously, I feel very blessed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Underground Medicine

My hubby, the Dish, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in May 1999. I remember the month because it was a few weeks before our wedding. The Dish was having really bad vertigo and other symptoms like twitching, numbness and tingling in his fingers and legs for about a week. After a few trips to the doctor, an MRI confirmed that he had spots (plaque) on his brain. The neurologist came in the exam room and coldly said, "you have MS, start taking this injection once a week and just live your life." While I'm sure there is no easy way for any doctor to deliver bad news, I found it cold. We were both in shock with visions of wheelchairs in our heads. He told me that if I wanted to back out of the wedding, he would understand. I punched him in the arm.

The medication, Avonex, is a weekly injection that is supposed to slow down the progression of the MS. It seemed easy enough but side effects are horrible. It's like having the flu...shakes, muscle aches, fatigue...just feeling like shit. And he would feel like shit for three days a week. He would take it in Friday night so he wouldn't miss work and suffer all weekend. The symptoms were supposed to get better over time but they barely did. It sucked. We (I) fired three neurologist just because they were big jerks and were closed-minded on exploring complementary treatments like nutrition and acupuncture. I finally found one willing to listen...even though the Dish still had to take the Avonex. The Dish had a few relapses...steroid treatments and more meds.

Fast forward to 2004 when we moved to the suburbs and one day my husband forgot to refill his medication and sort of forgot to refill it for 4 years....he just stopped taking it. He actually felt better and not one relapse. It had been a while since he had a physical so I found a primary doctor for him and he got check-up. His new doctor urged him to connect with a neurologist because of the MS so we found one and the first thing the doc asked was why the Dish was not on any meds for the MS. He had another MRI which showed a few new spots which is a panic that it's getting worse. So they put him back on the Avonex and he returned to suffering on the weekends.

Anyone who knows me, knows my interest and fascination with integrative medicine...holistic, natural, name it. I do believe that the body had the ability to heal itself if given the chance and some assistance. I have little trust in modern medicine...some, not all. There are some great medical advanced today BUT we still have more cancer and heart disease and auto immune disease in this country than in any other nation.

While perusing through Dr. Mercola's website, I can across this article about LDN or low dose naltrexone therapy. I also went to and was fascinated by this treatment for MS, HIV, cancer and other autoimmune diseases. It seemed too good to be true. I actually just bookmarked the page and went on with life as usual.

Then one weekend I noticed that the Dish was having a bad weekend with the shot and he looked so miserable and then I remembered the LDN and started reading everything I could...websites, message boards of people with MS, Lyme and other illnesses doing very well on LDN and very little side effects.

And wouldn't you know, there is a doctor in my area that works with MS patients with LDN! We had our first appointment with him today and what a great doctor. Some people might be taken aback by his comical nature and the fact that his dog roams around the office but we didn't. This doctor was human, he cared, he listened, he understood and he asked that we trust him and trust LDN. He actually hugged us when we left.

As explained on the website, when you take LDN at bedtime -- which blocks your opioid receptors for a few hours in the middle of the night -- it is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving immune function.

The doctor says it might not work for everyone but most of his MS patients are doing well with no symptoms, no relapses and improved energy, mobility and health. (I'll talk about why more doctors are NOT jumping to this therapy at another post)

We will get the prescription by mail through a compounding pharmacy and he will start it right more Avonex. He'll see this new doctor in a month for a follow-up. From all that I've read, I am excited for him and for us. I think it will be good.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Truth is Scary

I'm starting to avoid watching the news. It's just too depressing. We all know how messed up everything is out there. Job losses, home losses, folks with no health care and no place to live...people willing to work but there are no jobs.

My family and I are doing okay for now but it's hard to relax and it's hard not to worry when you see what's happening to other folks. At least once a week I hear of a murder/suicide where money troubles is mentioned as a possible motive. To lose your life or take another is senseless yet I understand the immense pressure one can feel when you are about to lose everything. The worry, the fear, the sleepless nights and the desperation. And what happens when you have done everything right and you still can't find your way out of the situation?

I reached a point one time. My husband had been unemployed for over 10 months and we were almost through our savings. I was working but my client had not paid me and her company shut down owing me over $20,000. I was wrecked with worry and trying to find other work and find a way to keep what we had. After a while I was just too exhausted to fight. I came to a point where I was okay if we had to sell our home and move to an apartment and completely downsize our life. At least I had that option.

What if you don't have that option? You can't sell your home in this market and if you do it will sit on the market for a long time and you might even get less than you owe. I was watching on TV on how many Americans are becoming homeless. Big families with no home, no savings, no jobs and no place to go. Some are on the streets and sleeping in shelters. Others have set up tent cities. It's so scary and it's going to get worse before it gets better.

It's a big mess that our new president inherited. I wish there was some way for those in charge who got us here to pay for their mistakes. The corrupt are to blame...the big banks, the politicians...the greedy. And a big serving of karma is coming. I'm not saying that we Americans have done the best job with saving and living within our means but many people got rich on the now suffering of others.

I do have faith and I do believe that our country can recover. So many things must change but in the mean time we have to do better for those who need it the most. They need a bailout not some rich corporate thug.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Vacation is all I ever wanted....

I'm getting ready to book a vacation! Both of my sons have spring break together at the end of March and I thought it would be a good time to take a vacation. We wanted to go to Puerto Rico to visit my father-in-law but the airfare is so expensive and even with the cheaper fares (under $400), it's about a 8 - 10 hour trip with at least one stop and layover. With two young boys, I don't think so.

We got a super deal from a friend in the travel industry for, air, hotel and all-inclusive...all meals and drinks for a super price. I was trying to avoid places where we would be subjected to college spring-breakers. No offense...I hope they all have a wonderful time but I have also witnessed less than decent behavior that I do not wish to subject my family to. So we are going to Huatulco...a quiet, eco-friendly beach resort town south of Acapulco. I've always wanted to go there! We leave in less than four weeks!

Of course, the next four weeks is saturated with work obligations. I just met with a new client this morning and I have a HUGE grant due in two weeks! It's a government grant which are beasts to prepare. The writing is the easy's all of the the budgets, addendums and certifications you have to attach with it. It can make you crazy. I have a love-dread affection for my work in this arena. While I love the challenge of tackling a detailed proposal..some of the content can cause pure anxiety. BUT this is the nature of this field and I am good at what I do. The best part is that after two weeks, it's done, I get paid and I get a break.....this time a vacation!

Right now I am going to sit down and write a work plan for the project. I do much better with a plan. Included in the plan is also my family and personal stuff that will also demand my attention and last but not least, getting in those workouts and my nutrition.

Not only will I need that for my health, sanity and well being...I have to look hot for vacation! LOL!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Birthday Party

What can I say? I had such a good time. I'm glad I threw myself a birthday party and I highly recommend doing so for yourself...hell, throw yourself a party for any reason! Just for fun.

I was pretty stressed out last week with looming report deadlines for my client. I was up to at least 1:00 am every night working on this stuff. I worked on everything up until Thursday and then cooked and cleaned on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

I love mardi gras so it was a treat to combine my birthday with a theme! I decorated the house and strung beads from just about everywhere. I made 5 gallons of gumbo and my hubby made his famous mufulleta sandwich and of course there was plenty to drink!

Everyone loved the food. I gave out beads to everyone and after cake we did karaoke. So much fun! Of course on Sunday, I was couchatose. Not even from drinking, I was just plain tired.

A few pics....I tried to load more but I'm still trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It happens everytime

I'm throwing myself a little birthday party this Saturday with a Mardi Gras theme. Of course, I also have a big client report due by next week.

I was up to 1:00 am working last night and here I sit trying to do some data entry and I can hardly keep awake.

I HAVE to do a little bit more!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I should be sleeping

I am sitting here trying to catch up on reading my friends and fav's and my eyes are sleepy. it seems by Thursday night, I am wiped out from the week's activities.

I went to the doctor's a few weeks back fro my annual physical. I am happy to report that my weight continues to go down...slowly...and my cholesterol was a happy 165!

My left knee has been bugging me so my doc scheduled a separate appointment so she could thoroughly examine my knee. Yes, my doctor is thorough and I love her for that. My left knee started acting up last year and it wasn't even painful. It just felt weak and it would give out on me once in awhile and more so when I exercised. I did some strengthening exercised on my legs muscles to support my knees and it seemed to be getting better. But about six months ago, that same knee started to hurt just a bit when I worked out or climbed stairs. I go do yoga fine, and squats and cardio without any pain but if I did lunges, it would hurt. So the obvious thing would be to avoid lunges BUT I love them and I really do not want to have limitations to my leg workouts.

The doc didn't notice anything really bad during the exam but there was a clunking noise going on when she's bend my left leg. She's glad that I'm treating it early before it gets worse. She wants me to get an x-ray and to wear a band when I work out and avoid lunges or anything that hurts for now. She may also send me to physical therapy to see if I can strengthen the knee more. Of course, I know that losing 20 more lbs would do me some good as well and I am working on that.

I am tired and obviously getting old.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Finding my Friday

The is the end of a week that seemed to kick my ass. I was pretty lucky this winter in that both my kids were not sick like they were last year. Marco had one cold a few months back and Diego remained healthy and had not missed a day of school. It's not to say that Diego has not had his share of health woes...most of which he exaggerates. He tend to get dramatic over a simple scratch. While I give my share of motherly sympathy of his aches and pains, I sometimes have to downplay every other complaint or he tends to keep going.

Last week he kept complaining of a mosquito bite to which I kept reminding him that it was the middle of winter and that there are no mosquito at this time of year. He did show me what look like a few little bites. There were maybe 3 of them on his chest so I applied some herbal salve on it and let it heal. I also washed all of his bedding and vacuumed his bed to ensure that there were no creatures sharing his bed. Ew!

Last Friday, there was a message on my phone from the school nurse. It seems Diego had been seeing the nurse almost daily for his rash/bites. Because of his consistent complaints, the school wanted to me to get the rash/bites checked out and to get a note from the doctor clearing him of any "cooties". Great. Previously, I had a note from his teacher letting me know how much he visits the school nurse in general. Again, for every scratch, ache, etc. We had a long talk about this and he agreed to keep his nurse visits to a minimum. Or at least to let me know so I know what's ailing him.

Since it was the weekend, I ended up going to one of those clinics at Walgreen's that have nurse practitioners. I utilized this service on more than one occasion especially when it's the weekend or after hours. The service is great, it's quick (usually), my insurance covers it and my child does not have to suffer or go to the ER. So on Sunday we went to the clinic around noon. Well it was one of those days where everyone was sick so there was a three hour wait BUT the receptionist was kind enough to check us in, tell us to go home and come back at a designated time.

It turns out that they didn't even know what the rash/bite was but it was indeed healing. I already knew this but I still needed a note so he could go to school on Monday. Once we got home he started complaining that he did not feel good. Again, I try to make sure he is fever... without letting him too dramatic over it. It's hard call because, of course, I want to take care of my baby and I do not want my child to be ill but I also know how he can get. Argh!

On Monday morning I could see in eyes that he was not well and he had a scratchy throat, fever, etc. That was the same morning that the painters we hired were coming over to paint all of the trim, windows and doors plus the family room and second bath over the best two days. It is amazing what I juggle when I have to.

Diego stayed home from school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, he was feeling better and running all over the place so I sent him to school on Thursday. He said he was feeling much better and that if he starting feeling bad he would go to the school nurse...ugh! He came home from school and seemed to be feeling better. He did his home work, ate dinner, took a bath and he seemed fine.

UNTIL 4:oo am this morning where he came to me and let me know that his ear was hurting. I got up, gave him some ibuprofen and sent him back to bed. When we got up for school, it was apparent that he still was not feeling well so I called his doctor. Turns out that they did not have open appointments in the morning so I would either have to travel 50 miles to their other office or wait until Monday SO back to the clinic I went. There was no wait but I still have my other son, Marco, with me who is very busy and has a hard time sitting still.

The nurse checked his ears and he has a double ear infection. Sigh! The good part is that the pharmacy is right convenient and what a brilliant business idea. We got some antibiotics and the nurse told him to drink lots of water and to get some rest.

It's hard to get a 5-year old to rest. He get bored, he get whiny and I am totally wiped out. I rented some movies so that seemed to help a bit. He is laying on the couch next to me wrapped in his blanket and looking tired. I keep checking on him.

Now my other son is starting to cough. Here we go again.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

it's hard to blog when... have painters in your house painting and furniture it piled in rooms where it does not belong. I'm smiling on the inside and looking forward to freshly painted walls, doors and trim to go with the new flooring.

Other projects for February:
Continue to declutter kitchen and living room: 70% complete.
Sort/Purge 2 boxes of personal papers: 30% complete.
Sort/Purge one drawer of client files: begin this week
Sort/Purge one box of kiddie toys: begin this week.

That's this month.

My son is sick with a slight cold and had his first absence from school. He was not feeling well over the weekend. He stayed home from school yesterday and today. My younger son has a field trip this morning. He was so excited. I was supposed to go with him and chaperon but I had to cancel so I could be home with D.

Yesterday they were both home with me. I spent most of the day trying to keep them out of the painter's way and making sure they didn't touch the parts of the house that had wet paint. Which was most of the house as they had tackled most of the trim, doors and window sills...ugh! I was so tired yesterday.

Yesterday was Groundhog Day/Candlemas Day. It's s day to "clean" your home and welcome the sun. I usually light candles in every room in the house and burn sage but with the paint fumes...I figured I'd better wait.

It was also me and the Dish's 11-year anniversary of being together. We will be married 10 years this June! Time flies....

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a big deal to me!

This year instead of setting new year's resolutions on losing weight, I set my sights on developing healthy habits for both nutrition and fitness. If you have healthy habits then it will result in a healthier body and thus a smaller size. That's my new philosophy anyways.

So four weeks into the new year and I am doing well. I have not, and will not, weigh myself. The scale and I have never been friends. I did take measurements in December and I plan on doing that monthly. My biggest gauge is my pants and they are getting looser so that's good.

My nutrition has been really good. I am eating 5 - 6 times a day...clean and balanced. I do have a cheat meal once a week. Weekends are more of a challenge because we usually have something social going on but I am doing my best. This weekend we went to my husband's cousin's daughter's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese...a child's dream place and an adult's nightmare...LOL! When it came time for cake, I knew what was going to happen. Why is it a sin to refuse cake? Especially if it's cake that I don't even like. If I'm going to waste calories, it's not going to be on something I don't like. Yes, I am becoming a calorie snob. Especially on a treat. So my husband's family is pushing cake and I'm using all of the excuses "I'm full!" "Maybe later". Geesh! Why do folks get insulted if you don't have the cake? I stuck to my cake!

Now the good part. It's no big deal but I'm just happy! I am working on my push-ups! Not on the knees but real push-ups. I train upper body twice a week and lower body twice a week. On upper body days, I'm working on three sets of push-ups. I am currently reading "The New Rules Of Lifting for Women" and it suggests doing push-ups at all levels: wall, step, ball, floor. So I started doing them on my stairs. First I got up to 3 set of 15 on the fourth stair from the bottom, then worked to 3 set of 15 on third stair and last week I did three sets of 8 on the second stair! Yes! I am getting stronger and that makes me feel so good to see even the smallest progress. So I will work on these until I can do 15 and then start mixing in push-ups on the first stair and soon I'll be doing them on the floor! Baby steps but I am lifting heavier weights than I ever have and my HIIT cardio is improving as well.

Building healthy habits one step (yes, a pun!) at a time!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

A new Blog is coming

I am so exciting to be starting a new blog with one of my friends. It's going to be a cooking blog. I love to cook, I love to eat so this is very exciting for me.

I will be keeping this blog and doing more updating for my fitness and life stuff. I will not be starting a private blog at this time as I simply do not have the time. I miss the private posts (on JS) where I can vent about stuff. I can't do that here as this is public and my picture is on here....too many eyes can see. Sigh! If the mood strikes me I can always to a private post on Facebook as there is a note feature that you can specify who can read it.

I'm not too sure what I will be doing over at the new JS. I am not complaining but it's just too much for me and I feel guilty enough for not keeping up with the rest of my online networks. At this point I have this blog, Facebook, a Sparkpage, Linked-in and now the start of a cooking blog. I dabbled in Twitter a bit but I have to stop somewhere or my family is going to have to call "social networking" anonymous. LOL!

Happy Friday! My day has begun and I have much to do!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On this Historic Day

I was so looking forward to today. It was truly a historic moment...not just because we have our first African-American/Black President...he's half white too, ya know? But because what we have is a people's president. We have not had a president like that in a long time...or as far as I have lived...ever. I call him a touchable President because even when taking the oath, you did not see some staunch person armed with his golden spoon up his butt ready to relay the affects of the previous domination. No, you did not see that. You saw a real person...a man who has walked the shoes not only of the "have-not's" and as a man of color who has endured and overcome all of the obstacles that those before him have witnessed.

I also saw "the doubters"and "the haters" today and I felt sorry for them. Not because they don't like Obama or don't get Obama because they could NOT, for one moment, witness the glory of this moment. A moment of hope...could you not see that hope in the faces of the people in that crowd? What is wrong with that? Why are we not allowed to have hope? In these past years with for all that we have endured under the Bush administration, today we are, at least I am. We are not naive. We are not stupid. We believe that this man, our new President, can lead our nation in a new direction. We need a new direction. Our country is ready for a new direction. And I believe that President Obama (and I get chills when I say this out loud) can deliver what he promised.

We needed something different, people! The old school politics do not work anymore, not that they ever least not now! Look at us! Look at what we can be! He did not proclaim to do it alone. He commissioned all of us to help and we should. Why would we think one man could fix the evils of the past?

We have elected the right man for the right time. I am happy and all of you sulkers will NOT take that away for me.

TODAY I watched all of the new coverage from this morning until the President took his oath. TODAY I cried with pride. TODAY I picked up my son from school watching all of the students in a buzz of excitement as they were allowed to watch the inauguration at school. TODAY I made a special inauguration dinner for my family....fillet, garlic scallops, mushroom risotto, champagne and blueberry lemon pound cake. I served it in style and even gave the kiddies lemonade mixed with club soda in a champagne flute so they could feel the significance of the moment. And I really didn't need to push the agenda. My five-year-old son came to dinner in a tie. Yes, he gets it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The lessons I have learned - Part 1

I am a big fan of the Biggest Loser. I like the fact that it shows that with proper nutrition and exercise, you can lose weight. No magic quick fix. Well obviously the show is an exaggerated version of fitness. You, too, would be successful if you trained for 6 hours a day and had someone prepare your meals...micro nutrient perfection. BUT it is indeed a testimony as to what can be done.

This season really hits home. These contestants are the heaviest in the show's history with the heaviest woman weighing in at 379. The significance is that it is a snapshot of our country's population and our country's obesity problem...or shall I say epidemic? It is epidemic in that the obesity epidemic is slowly lowering our life expectancy rate. We as adults may live longer than our children and there is something very disturbing and wrong about that.

I have a fought my weight my entire life. I am finally coming to terms with where I have failed. Not in failing to to lose weight but for failing to make my health my number one priority. Never before has it become more clear that it's never been about food but the lack of balance in my life. That is Lesson #1...find your balance! Not to quote Oprah but I could totally relate to what she's said on her show last week and in her webcast.

What bothers me about Oprah's new quest for health is the the marketing ploy that comes with the message. I applaud her efforts to take care of herself and her honesty about "falling off the wagon". I think she has a good plan..both for fitness and for nutrition BUT there is no one-size-fits all diet or workout plan for anyone. That is lesson #2...find what works for you! They will sell many of Bob's (her trainer) books because people look up to Oprah and take her advice to the "T". Maybe that is a good thing BUT you have to find what works for you.

It is trial and error to find out how many calories you need to eat, how much protein you need, how many calories you need to burn, etc. I'm still learning and I need to re-evaluate every month such as changing my weight training routine every 4 weeks or seeing where I can improve my nutrition.

That brings me to Lesson consistent. When I took a shot at this last year I got some good advice. Give it some time! Don't quit even if you fall...get back up! It took 4 weeks to see some real results but it was working. I did lose weight abut then I got stuck.

These are my lessons but I share them because I had read other people's lessons and it really helped me find my own. I'm here, I'm doing this and I am in this for life. Even if I just lose a pound a month there will be no turning back. Which brings me to Lesson #4 Reward progress not perfection!

To be continued.....

Monday, January 12, 2009


So a new JournalSpace was born this morning. WOW! It's a bit different but there is a Home page and some cool features. If they offer up a fav's only feature, I will be way happy. For now, I am keeping this blog for health and fitness stuff and I will use JS for life and stuff that I used to. I was not planning on having two blogs but I am keeping my options open.

I did got othat holiday party yesterday and I DID NOT have any alcohol. Yes, I did indulge in some party fare but in moderation. I was so proud of myself and I even worked out in the morning. I still had fun..LOL! and when I was leaving, the host and my dear friend, pulled me to the side and told me" You look really great! What every you are doing, keep doing it."

Validation! YES1

Friday, January 9, 2009

The weekend is upon us...and a dry one

It's Friday afternoon. It's been a good week. I worked out 6 days. Not like a crazy person. Good intense workouts...25 minutes of HIIT cardio or 40 minutes of weight training...75 minute yoga class. Tomorrow is a rest day. The nutrition was on target..clean, good proteins, lots of veggies. Feeling good. Feeling focused.

Now the weekend is here and this is where I usually screw up...and it's usually not from's drinking. Yes, this girl loves her wine, and her beer, a margarita, a sassy martini. BUT these are empty calories and I know I just know it screws with my metabolism and makes me retain water. Ugh! I wish it were not true but it is. I believe it's the one thing that has thwarted my efforts to get into shape and sabotage all of my hard work.

And I am working hard...planning my meals and workouts...working up a daily sweat. So why would I want to mess up my week by throwing back a few stiff drinks...because I like it...LOL! But I won' least not today and not tomorrow.
On Sunday we are supposed to go to a friend's annual post-holiday party. At this writing, I am not planning any alcohol consumption. The plan is club's a good plan.

It's supposed to snow 4 - 8 inches and then turn bitter cold. That means we might be stuck at, hubby, my mom ( who lives with me) and my two sons...age 4 and 5. UGH! I know, I know...I need to find another fix for stress besides generous libations. I SHOULD jump on the
treadmill for a nice run...I know! {{{{deep breath}}}

One day at a time...or in my case, it will be evaluated hourly...LOL!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No excuses when you have this!

This is a panoramic view of my home gym...weight set (a gift from my hubby on the left, elliptical and treadmill
This is the weight bench is sweet! It barely clears the ceiling.

I have a complete gym so I have no excuses not to work out. Up until about June last year, I was working out here about 5 times a week. The best streak I had was when I was getting up early, before the kiddies woke up, and getting my workout done first thing. For some reason, summer is harder for me to hit the weights. Then in July I discovered Power Yoga! Love's a full body workout...intense and in a heated room...a good sweat. Throughout the summer, I was going to yoga about 3 times a week, biking and keeping up with the kiddies.

I'm still going to yoga about twice a week. And last month I got my ass back in gear and back in to my weight training routine. I really have no excuses. Any excuse I can come up with will now be deemed "LAME". Even If I just have 20 minutes, I can get so much done.

My January routine:
weight training 3x per week - Push day/ Pull day/ Leg day
Cardio HIIT training on treadmill or elliptical - 3x per week
Power yoga - 2 x per week

I'm back to clean eating again and I feel so much better. It's a good start!

Monday, January 5, 2009

It wasn't so bad

2008 is over and for the first time, in a long time, I can honestly say that it was a good year. While the previous year's had their trials, challenges and stresses, I still do not call them bad years. Yes, they were hard...I was so stressed, but who doesn't have THAT kind of period in your life when it all seems so hard...and even hopeless. When you feel like everything in out of control so you try even harder to control it only to exhaust yourself...feeling totally burned out.

I'm not saying that last year did not have its moments but somehow I felt more equip to handle them. Is that what goes with getting older? Maybe. I think much had to do with the fact that I started taking better care of myself and putting some of my own needs first.

This was the first year that I kept up with my fitness and nutrition stuff. It's such a HUGE part of my life right now...finally. I've finally learned that it will never be perfect...I will never be perfect BUT everything I do is one step to taking better care of me.

I still have a long way to go and I like that. I want to keep learning and to keep progressing. I am excited about this year...not just for the health stuff, but for my marriage, my children, my family and friends, my whole life.

I don't know how long this feeling will last but I am going to revel in it for as long as I can.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sometime a girl needs her privacy

When I first started JournalSpace, I blogged anonymously. I needed my own space where I could write freely and semi-privately. I used no names or pictures so that I could talk about whatever I felt like writing about. It was therapeutic, really. And when my life went on a roller coaster of stress and problems, I could freely write about the stuff in my head and heart. For some reason, I found comfort in the arms of strangers. Sometimes the feedback and comments I got really helped me sort through my thoughts and sometimes they served as validation that someone out there was listening to me. Not that my real life friends don't give me that. However there was a different type of objectively given to me by those who didn't know me.

If I had a deep or personal issue, I enjoyed be able to post a "fav's only" entry and not worry about friends or family seeing it...especially if it was about them...LOL!I reserved pictures of me and my family to "fav's only" as well. It wasn't until late this year that I actually showed my face publicly. I noticed that when I did that, my writing changed and I was reluctant to get into the deep stuff. Aside from family, I feared that my clients could find my blog and read about my personal life and that's just not good for business.

So now I'm in an open journal with my mug clearly for all to see. I'm keeping it this way for now as I hope to find more of my JS friends but it will only be a matter of time before I will either need to go "private" for only fav's to see or set up an anonymous journal for my deep stuff. I really don't want two journals and I WISH that Blogger had fav's only posting capabilities.

Take for instance that right now I have some stuff that I would love to rant about but I can't. Everything I would say is based on facts but if it were read by certain people, feelings would be hurt and drama would begin.

Damn you, JS, for shutting down! I need my private entries! AND I paid for ProAcess for a year. I'm not counting on a refund but the administrators could have at least sent us an email and apologized and explained. Not very professional. Okay, rant over.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What day is it?

I woke up today not knowing what day it was...Saturday,, it's Friday. The holidays have thrown me off. With Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve falling on Wednesday, the weekend feels like it's 8 days long. It's thrown me off...with eating and working out..sleep and everything.

I look forward to Monday and I can get back into my routine. I crave routine for getting my stuff done. It was nice to have a break from the monotony...I got to sleep in, I got to spend time with the kiddies and I had some fabulous celebrations. But now that it is all over, I am looking forward to getting back to normal.

I know that so many people are counting on a great 2009...there is some strong optimism for this year. I don't know where it is coming from but I feel it too. Maybe if we all feel this way we will throw some positive energy into the universe and it will indeed be a good year. It's better than the alternative...feeling sucky and then having a sucky year. I'm done with that. Make it happen!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year, A New Blog

Happy New Year!~

We had a great evening with friends here at the house. There was so much food....yummy! I made paella and a few appetizers and my friends brought more yummy food, desserts and lots of wine. I got to bust out my new karaoke system which was a huge hit with everyone. The kiddies love it and the adults loved it even more. How could you not have fun singing Blondie "Heart of Glass" or the Police "Message in a Bottle" or B52's "Love Shack"? Tons of fun.

I am OH so happy that I've found some of my JournalSpace friends...thanks to Westy for having her forum where we can post our new locations. Somehow most of us will be able to reconnect and rebuild our online connections. Still it will never be like JS. I'm going to miss not be able to post "fav's only" entries when the mood strikes me. Now I can't bitch about personal stuff as I am no longer annoymous...hmm...maybe a second private, friends only journal. Well...not right now, I can barely keep up with one journal. And although my life is far from drama-free, I hope that this year I can become less reactive about it. Yeah, right! LOL!

At the same time, there a few things about JS that I will not miss...the few, but true, assholes who's mission was to spread hate and anger in the most cowardly way...behind a computer screen. These are the same jerks who formed clicks banding together to pick on the nice people. Good riddance! I'm glad that is part is over.

If I had the technical knowledge, I would be rebuild JS myself but I do not so this is my blog home for now and it will all be okay.

I have many things that I WILL accomplish this year. I'm working on a know how I love lists...not resolutions...I don't do those. I am goal-oriented so a list of new goals is always a good way to start my year, professional, family, house stuff and "me stuff" a brand new category.