I worked well

This is a short post because I'm pretty worn out, but I actually accomplished almost as much in front of my home computer yesterday as I did at Starbucks the day before. I think it was *knowing* that I'd successfully worked through my WIP problems while NOT clicking over to email/Facebook/MySpace/etc that forced me to acknowledge the problem lies within me.

And so I was disciplined. Not much choice really. The Deadline of Doom approacheth.

But I may head out to SB today as a way to shake up the routine. Or not. Now that I've taken the time to register for Pandora Radio, I'm loving it as I write. So much easier than trying to find stuff in my iTunes library.

In other news, my diet/exercise program is going fairly well. Jogged nearly 2 miles. It's only my 2nd week back, so that's not too bad. Soon, I'll be able to hop up the pace and get my miles done quicker.

Okay, to work. What are you up to? How's your New Year's diet/exercise program going (come on, we all have them!)?

Weekend recap – the list

funny pictures of cats with captions

It was a busy weekend. I don't know where the time went, but it flew. Things I've realized:

1. I need to stick to a diet. I feel like cheeseburger cat.

2. I need to reacquaint myself with the treadmill. And the weight bench.

3. I need to paint my house. Went on a holiday tour of homes in the historic district and came away feeling like my house is crap. Crap, I say.

4. I need more than paint, but at least it's a start. Tired of builder paint on my walls.

5. Ate a Whopper. Still don't like Burger King all that much. Or many fast food burger joints, in fact. (Though this burger place we went to in San Fran was pretty good! I was surprised.)

6. Never let a store employee get the best of you when it's your money. Got my $30 additional discount by threatening to bring the whole darn thing back.

7. I love my RWA chapter. And my friends there. I don't feel like an outsider, like I did nearly 2 years ago when I first arrived in this state.

8. I have the coolest job in the world.

9. My hubby cracks me up. It takes some doing, since I know him pretty well, but he's still funny when he's just being him.

10. Thank heavens for Spanx!!

Funky Food

Some people think I'm a food snob. I don't know why that is. I just like food without mystery ingredients. What's so wrong with that? The fresher, the better.

But then, on Friday, I was shopping and realized something. Something that indicated to me that I might just be a teensy bit of a food snob after all. I had NO clue where to find Velveeta cheese. I wanted to make that cheese dip that's so popular at parties, you see, because I was hosting a chapter board meeting at my house on Sunday. And I like that dip, but I've never made it, so there I was searching.

Not. A. Clue.

And I was too stubborn to stop and ask. (Or maybe I didn't want anyone to know what I was looking for. I had visions of Tony Bourdain going all Invasion of the Body Snatchers on me if he saw the stuff in my cart.) I figured out pretty quick that it wasn't refrigerated. And that's just wrong! What's in that stuff anyway?

So I wandered down to the chips. Nope, not there. I wandered back to the canned tomatoes (you know, because you pair it with Rotel). Nope, not there either.

I wandered past the macaroni and cheese. I never look at this stuff because I don't eat it. But before you think I'm an unrepetant snoot, the first meal I ever learned to cook, when I was about eight yrs old, was boxed macaroni and cheese. Loved the stuff! And I've made plenty of Hamburger Helper back in the day. Oh yes, used to go to Sam's Club and buy the stuff in bulk.

But somewhere along the way, I changed my stripes.

While I was searching for Velveeta, I remembered Government Cheese. Remember that? I think it was the gov't version of Velveeta, and they used to give it away. My parents used to get it, and we put it on crackers and who knows what else. Probably made grilled cheese sandwiches with it.

Finally, I arrived at the Velveeta. It sort of has it's own place in the store! It was down the aisle from the mac & cheese, and it comes in varieties now. Pepper Jack? That looked kind of good.

But then I saw the price. Seriously, cheese* that the gov't used to give away for free costs as much as gourmet cheese from France?! Mon Dieu! Somewhere, Julia Child is rolling in her grave. After deliberating, I chose the smaller package, 2% milk version. And forked over enough money for it to buy a hunk of brie.

What food do you consider funky? Do you use Velveeta? Remember free gov't cheese? And yes, I made the dip — and it was good! But now that I've gone searching for how the stuff is made, I don't think I'll be buying it very often…

*Actually, it's a “cheese product.” Kraft was sued for calling it cheese because real cheese has 51% cheese or more. Velveeta does not. They cook it with a lot of whey, and then it congeals into the stuff we know as Velveeta. And it did look like a shiny congealed mass of something yellow to me.

One New Year’s goal

This is an easy one: lose weight. How many people set that goal every year? The majority of resolvers, I'll bet. I was watching TV the other day, something on HGTV no doubt, when Valerie Bertinelli popped up with her new Jenny Craig body. OMG. I was practically reaching for the phone, y'all!

Valerie looks awesome. She's 47 and she looks amazing. I want to be that thin again. I held off calling Jenny, but it's in the back of my mind should I fail on my own. Now, I know that losing weight is difficult, and programs like that really work because they portion out your meals and take all the planning away from you. But I've lost the weight on my own once before (and I've lost it on NutriSystem) and I know I can do it again.

I sound like a yo-yo dieter, don't I? I'm not, though. I've been overweight twice before and I've lost it both times. This is the third time in my 40 years I've let it creep up on me. Not exactly a yo-yo, but a pain in the butt nevertheless.

When I was 20, I needed a program. Lost 40lbs on NutriSystem and kept it off for 12 years. Then I did Body for Life with the hubby, which taught me how to eat and work out. Lost the 25 lbs I'd let creep back on. Now, I need to lose 30lbs. I gained this weight while not exercising and eating all this great Southern food. I knew it was happening, and I let it happen, and I'm not happy with myself about that.

So, I'm back to doing it myself by planning my meals, avoiding the bad stuff (except for one day a week), and exercising regularly. I know how to do this. If I decide I need Jenny, then it's because I'm not sticking to my plan well enough on my own. And that's a possibility, but I'd really rather do it myself. It's cheaper, first of all. It puts me in control, second.

Here are my diet tips if you're contemplating such a thing for yourself. I offer this as someone who's succeeded in the past. I'm not an expert, but this worked for me.

1. If it's man-made, don't eat it if you can help it. I make an exception for Kashi cereal. And, in this go-round, for Lean Cuisine. Avoid the center aisles of the grocery store like the plague. No chips, no sodas, no cookies, no rice cakes, no boxes of stuffing mix or macaroni and cheese.

2. Don't eat seconds.

3. Portion control. A portion of something is the size of your fist or your open palm.

4. Protein/carb balance. Don't eat tons of carbs (pasta, bread), and don't avoid meat (if you aren't a vegetarian, I mean). Get a balance at every meal. For example, a snack I like is a stick of cheese (protein) and a yogurt (carbs).

5. Small meals throughout the day. I like six over all (and this includes the cheese and yogurt snacks).

6. 20 to 30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week. Get your heart rate up and keep it up. Don't kill yourself, and don't think you're going to jog for an hour on the treadmill. And don't forget that working out with weights also keeps your heart rate moving. You will not get big man muscles if you use weights. Trust me. I've bench pressed 100 lbs at my best and never looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger. 🙂

Other small tips to consider — don't deny yourself. If you really, really want a slice of pizza, eat it. So long as you don't eat the whole thing, and so long as you don't stray every single day, you can reward yourself from time to time. I like one day a week to eat what I want without recriminations. Also, if you're a drinker like me (love my wine!), cut it back to two or three times a week instead of a glass a night. Most importantly, everything in moderation. 🙂

I'm not saying how much I weigh, but I'd like to lose 30lbs. I lost 3 before the cruise and gained it all back onboard. *sigh* Goal for next week: 2 lbs. I'll let you know…..