Friday, December 31, 2010

Frustration

I hate to end the year on a negative note but I have this little blog so I can chronicle the ups and downs of life and the scale and everything in between.

My scale had been dancing around 184 and 183 earlier in the week.  My calculations (adding my calorie deficits every day) showed that I should be on track for losing as well.

Yesterday I stepped on the scale and it had gone up to 190/191.  It's hard to read that scale.  I thought it was odd and felt that it would go down again.

My new scale (the withings WiFi scale) arrived yesterday.  I got it set up and it confirmed what my old scale said....a gain. A gain?!  I weigh my food.  I track everything.  My son insisted that I try an Oreo so I took one bite then recorded the calories for that bite.  Seriously.  I make sure to have a calorie deficit every single day.  I have a tan line where I wear my bodybugg!

Today is no different.  Same stupid gain.  Maybe it's hormonal.  I mean, I have been kind of testy lately.  Wanting to tell random children that Santa doesn't exist.  Wanting to rip things apart with my hands.  Little anxious.  Perhaps it's hormonal?  And maybe that's why there is a weight gain?

I've been drinking water like I should.  I've been eating like I should.  Exercising like I should.  It just makes me want to pull my hair out and scream.  And I know me.  This usually wouldn't bother me so badly.  Usually I would think, "It's only temporary.  I'm doing everything right and my clothes are fitting better.  It's no big deal."  Maybe the hormone issues are making me freak out a little more than usual.

Also, Sunday morning is my last weigh in for the Challenge I've been doing.  My last weigh in is going to show that I lost 1 or 2 pounds.  There's no place for me to add a note that I've really lost more.  I've worked my ass off and never strayed.  But it's the final number that counts in weigh ins.  Not intent.  And that sucks.

Darn it!  I'm sorry to be such a negative nellie this morning.  I'm sitting here in brand new clothes that my sweety got for me.  My size 16 jeans are a little looser around the waist (still having trouble with the lower belly pooch).  I have a wonderful family and blogger friends.  Life is good.  I know that.  It's just a little slap in the face to see my hard work come to naught. Ya know?  Just frustrating.  I'm sure I'll feel better about it soon.

The disappointment won't derail me.  There have been times in the past where this has happened and I was like, "What the hell?  Why do I try?  Let's go out to eat tonight."

I'm not an emotional eater.  I don't eat if I'm stressed or sad.  I usually do the opposite and can't eat anything!  I just make wrong choices with food.  I like the unhealthy stuff.  And it adds up.  I just enjoy the social aspects of food at holidays and dinner parties and restaurants.  I like a good, stiff drink.  That's my problem with food.  Not that I've been doing that lately.  I've been a saint with my food.  Always staying within my calorie guideline.

And in the back of my head is my doctor telling me that I'm going to have a tough time losing weight with my thyroid issues and high insulin resistance.  But I can't take the pills though because they give me chest pains. 

Life goes on.  And I never give up.  Never ever.  I always have hope that one day I will win this battle.

Happy New Year.  Looking forward to 2011 filled with new adventures. :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Quickie

  • Used my Rubberbanditz yesterday. Just did upper body.  They must work because my shoulders and arms are sore today! Super easy to use.
  • Push ups suck!!
  • The scale had been reading 183 this week but today it says 185.  Darn sore muscles.  Does it every time. 
  • 40 minutes of Just Dance 2.  More like Jump Around Like a Fool with No Rhythm 2.  I can not do Britney Spears moves to save my life but I think I have James Brown now.  Nice way to sweat and burn calories.
  • I'd have to fork out some serious money if someone had a video of me doing the above to make sure it never ended up on YouTube.
  • Jeans fitting looser so size 14s are around the corner. "I'm meltinggggg."
  • I have a hot date this Sunday night.  Going to the Alamo Drafthouse with Chuck.  It's a movie theater that also sells beer, wine and dinner.  Can't wait.  I think we're going to see True Grit.  Not a big fan of westerns but I've made Chuck sit through enough girlie movies.  A glass of wine will make it more entertaining. :)
  • New scale is supposed to arrive today.
  • One more day left of 2010!
  • Stayed up until midnight playing Angry Birds.  Must resist that game.
  • Need to get new progress pictures up soon. 
  • Charlie has decided he wants to do strength training and get big muscles. LOL

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rubberbanditz and New Clothes

I won some Rubberbanditz at the lovely Mizfit's blog and they arrived in the mail yesterday!
 These are so cool.  They're huge rubber bands (I tried shooting them but it didn't end well) and they're very versatile.
The package came with 3 bands, a thing to attach them to doorways, two hand grips, a manual, two clips, a DVD and a bag to carry them in.

I emailed the company to tell them thank you for hosting the giveaway, etc. and he emailed me back immediately.  A real email!  Not a machine saying "thanks for your interest in our product."

I love the feel of this company.  I'm not sure of the size of the operation but they have a small company feel, if that makes sense.  They are also all about giving back to the world.  Part of the proceeds go to hygiene and humanitarian projects worldwide.

The DVD is not only educational but entertaining.  The exercises are done in various locations including village shopping markets, houses, a chicken house, hammocks, etc.  It shows various ways to use the bands.

I am excited about adding these to my fitness arsenal.  Hmmm....it's raining outside today so I might just start today.  Forget the fact that my legs and rear are still sore from Monday's workout. Ha!  I'll do upper body!

Also love the fact that these things are portable and can be used literally anywhere.  Even while you're sitting in traffic.  I kid you not, they show how to use the bands while in traffic.

I played around with the bands last night.  I think this is going to be awesome.  I love the company too.  Guess you couldn't tell. :)
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Exercise:  Tuesday's forecast called for painful running.  Still so sore it's hard to walk from Monday's strength training session.  Just for fun, let's add high winds to the mix.  Yes, it was a painful run and running into the wind was challenging. 2.5 miles.
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My sweet husband spoils me rotten.  If I mention that I like something he makes sure to find a way for me to get it.  Such was the case with a certain top and jacket I found.

I ended up buying them yesterday and feel a little (a lot) guilty about getting them.

The top:
 The jacket with the top:
It is fun to buy some clothes because they're cute instead of "just because they fit."  Know what I mean?  Before I would buy something just so it would cover my big, naked self.  Anything would do as long as it covered me.  Now I'm getting to buy something that I actually like!

And the compliments that Chuck gives me don't hurt either. :) 

All of this is motivation enough to stay on path.  No brownie can beat the feeling that I have right now.  And I'm not even to goal yet! 

2011 is going to be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How long before calorie surplus shows as weight gain?

NOTE:  This is a repost from June 2009 but I thought it would be appropriate this time of year.

How long before calorie surplus shows as weight gain?



How many have you eaten a really bad dinner calorie-wise and then weighed yourself in the morning to see how much you've gained? Raise your hand. I know I have.  Does Christmas ring a bell?  Birthday parties?


This got me to wondering (or pondering): how long does it take before a calorie surplus shows up as a weight gain?


It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to see a 1 pound loss but many factors can cause a gain such as water retention.


I asked @bodybugg on Twitter about gain/loss/results and here is her answer:


"I received a question on Twitter today that I thought warranted a blog post. @dasschus (that's me!) asked "how long does it take for a surplus of calories to show up as a weight gain? How long until is shows as stored fat? Curious."

The answer to this question is pretty complex & like everything in health & the human body, what may be the answer for one person may not be the solution for all. Therefore, I'm going to answer this question from my own personal experience.

The short answer is that it doesn't happen instantly. That's good and bad news because just as one day of eating poorly isn't going to derail your weight loss goals, neither will one day of excessive activity make a noticeable difference either. The body ultimately takes an average of my calories in & calories out over a period of time. I notice a lag time of about a week.


That being said, we all notice weight fluctuations on the scale that can happen instantly. Those weight fluctuations are typically water & waste; not fat. Scale weight is very deceiving because it doesn't accurately reflect our intention for losing weight. In actuality we want to lose fat & the scale doesn't accurately reflect that. Our scale weight is determined by fat and lean mass. Lean mass is typically defined as muscles, but also organs, bones, water and waste (stuff in our stomachs & bowels). One pint (two cups) of water weighs 1 lb. There are a number of factors that determine how much water the body is holding:

hormones, carbohydrate levels, lean mass, and sodium levels.

hormones - most women experience bloating and weight fluctuations at different times of their cycles by no fault of their own. At this time in the menstrual cycle, the hormone levels in a woman's body are high, which causes gas and stool to move more slowly through the intestinal tract.

carbohydrates - when we eat carbohydrates, the carbohydrates are broken down & stored in our muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. Each molecule of glycogen stores four water molecules along with it. (I've read elsewhere that they store 2 water molecules but the idea is that there is water involved)

lean mass - muscle is comprised of ~75% water, where fat will hold ~25%. Additionally, the more lean mass you have, the more glycogen your body can store.

sodium levels - when your electrolytes are out of balance (typically through consuming too much sodium), your body will retain water until they are back in balance.

Okay - so now you can see why folks who are on low carbohydrate diets will see quick fluctuations in their weight: because as they deplete the glycogen in their muscles by not eating carbohydrates, their muscles are also shedding water. Then, if s/he eats a large amount of carbohydrates s/he will see a weight gain because where their muscles were depleted of glycogen before, they are now replenished & the water is added too. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more glycogen and water you can store.

I personally don't intentionally keep my sodium levels low. I tend to not eat processed foods, which is where high sodium lurks. But, I can tell immediately when I eat something that is high in sodium because my fingers swell. The best way to reduce swelling is to drink lots of water. It reduces the concentration of sodium in your system & will help you shed that water that the body is holding on to.

So, let's say it's a holiday & you've eaten foods that you haven't been eating in a while. The next day, when you weigh yourself, you'll notice a huge gain in weight. Typically those foods that we eat in social gatherings are high in sodium, carbohydrates and low in fiber. Since fiber helps food move through our digestive tract, we have the physical weight of the food in our bodies, and the retained water from over-indulging on carbohydrates, and sodium.

Even if you overate for your calorie level for that day, if you're in a calorie deficit or equality for the week, the over eating should not show up on the scale long term (as fat). You will notice that the scale will go up immediately, but fear not. Resume your normal eating and exercise routine & all of that water weight will fall off again. I notice that the fruits of my labor usually take about a week to show up as fat loss or fat gain.

And for what it's worth, I don't weigh myself for at least a week, if not two, after I've come home from vacation."

For more bodybugg and fitness information, visit http://www.elizabethsherman.com/

Here's to a successful New Year.

Java Jitters

I mentioned yesterday that I got one of those Keurig coffee makers as a gift for Christmas.  I think I may love it a little too much.  It's so easy to use and I can have a cup of coffee or tea in less than 15 seconds.  And clean up is as simple as removing the K-cup from the machine.  That's it.

That being said, I had waaaaaaay too much coffee yesterday and got a little bit of a tummy ache and some jitters. 

I also bought a ton of coffees, teas, and hot chocolates from Keurig.com.  Free shipping on $45 or more orders.

You know, if I had a coffee shop I think I'd name it Jitters.  Cool name.


I didn't do too much yesterday.  Braved Target and Kohls to get some coffee.  Did some lower body strength training that included reverse lunges, deadlifts, side lunges, crunches, and single calf raises all with weights (my rear hurts today) and played Angry Birds until midnight.  Stupid addictive game.  Don't get the app for your iphone or droid.  It'll suck you in.

Ate a little below my 1200 calories but not by too much.  Wasn't very hungry.  I'm sure I'll be hungry today though.

And before bed I had a cup of hot tea thanks to my Keurig.  I wish I could get each of you one of these things. It's a very cool gadget.  I love it. 

Today: haircut, running, washing & folding some clothes, grocery store.  Fun, fun, fun.  At least it's warmer today.  I feel for my east coast friends today.  Hope you guys are doing ok and staying warm.  Come over here and I'll set you up with some coffee or tea. :)

Only 4 days left in my Challenge.  So far I've lost 8 pounds.  I was hoping I could drop a few more but I'm not complaining.  I went ahead and ordered some size 14 black jeans from Coldwater Creek so I'll be prepared.  I got rid of some of my larger clothes so no turning back now.

Speaking of Coldwater Creek:  you can get 50% off your entire order there right now until January 3, 2011.  Just go to their web site.  They have very nice clothes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back To Life, Back to Reality

Did you have a great Christmas?  We sure did.  I just hate that all of the fun is over.

Saturday we went to my parents' house and exchanged gifts.  That was a lot of fun, of course. My brother gave me a new Droid X phone that is super-duper awesome.  It's even nicer than Chuck's iphone.  LOVE it.

Mom made a huge dinner with ham, fried chicken, BBQ brisket, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes (no pecan pie on top), fruit salad, corn, mashed potatoes, veggie medley, cranberry sauce, & mac n cheese.  I had a little sampling of the things I love and was stuffed.  I'm not used to eating big dinners.  It only takes a little to fill me now.

I brought the desserts: creme de menthe Boston Cream Pie (storebought), two bite brownies and cupcakes (storebought), layered eclair dessert and a low cal coconut cream pie (Hungry Girl recipe).  I fixed a sampler plate for Chuck and had two bites of Boston cream pie, eclair dessert and coconut pie.  That was all I needed.  So not too bad on Christmas day.  Oh, and two beers.  Oops.  It counts as fluid though.
I'm pretty sure I did just fine on calories but there is not way for me to know how many calories were in everything so I didn't sweat it.  Not too much anyway.

We spent the night and the next morning mom made another huge meal for breakfast: scrambled eggs with ham and potatoes, hashbrowns, fruit salad, and buttered and toasted rolls.  I could have hurt myself on those rolls they were so good.  Breakfast turned out to be lunch so I  actually skipped breakfast.  Just to make sure I wasn't too bad on my calories that day, I had a little bit of brisket (I pinched off a few pieces...just a little bit) and a bowl of Cheerios for dinner.

As soon as we got back from mom's yesterday, we unloaded and went to Chuck's parents' house.  The kids opened up their gifts (they each got an iPad!!!) and Chuck & I got a Keurig coffee maker.  Love it.  I can have coffee and tea instantly now.  And no mess.

It was great spending the weekend with family and I do wish it was still Christmas but at the same time it's good to get back on schedule.
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Exercise last week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: run 3.15 miles
Wednesday: strength train upper body; bike 13.5 miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Run 3.6 miles; bike 11 miles
Saturday: Rest-Christmas
Sunday: rest

Looks like I took a few too many rest days. :)
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I've ordered one of those fancy digital scales that sends the info to your computer to track your weight loss.  Can't wait to get it.  I always have to call Chuck to read the scale for me now because the little dial is too small for me to see and if you bend over while on the scale the dial goes nuts.  I'm really hoping that the digital and the manual scale match up.  I'd hate to weight more on the new scale.  But it is what it is. :)

OH, and mom bought me a shirt for Christmas and she said, "I'm afraid it may be too big for you."  I haven't heard those words in years and it felt so good.

Hope your weekend was merry as well.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Weigh In

It's a Christmas miracle!  Not really.  It's a lot of hard work.

-3 pounds   185

That means a new progress picture will be up soon.  I like to take them in 5 pound increments.

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas filled with peace and joy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Picture

I forgot to post this!  It's my Uncle Joe who plays Santa every year at various places.  Hilarious.
Merry Christmas, y'all!

Merry Christmas

Just a very quick note to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Festivus. :)

My Christmas present:
Specialized Crosstrail

Wednesday I rode 13.5 miles and only stopped because it was getting dark.  It gives me such a feeling of freedom to ride.  No worries about diets, losing weight, bills, the kids' futures (ok, I can never stop worrying about that), or anything. 

It's like a buffet of life when I ride.  I get to hear the crackle of pebbles under the tires, the sounds of kids playing, the smells of different detergents while people wash clothes, the smells of dinners cooking, birds, and beautiful sunset.  I felt so alive!!

I did have one incident.  I was riding and a bug went into my mouth and squirted something sour.  I spit it out as quickly as possible (of course it happened in front of the playground so all the kids and parents got to see me on the side of the road spitting copious amounts of crap on the road).  The sour gunk from the bug made my mouth go numb.  So weird and so totally disgusting.

Today was the 3 mile run for half marathon training and I felt great.  I felt like a I got my stride a few times and could run with little effort.  I love days like that.

I also got some new clothes!!!!!!!!!  I couldn't find a sweater in my closet that fit right so I went to Dress Barn (lovely store, terrible name) and a nice lady helped me match some clothes.  She even insisted that I buy some size 14 jeans.  I got them home and they do fit but my belly pouch is still too big for me to wear them in public.  I'd feel uncomfortable.


Weigh in is tomorrow morning so I'll post a quick update before I go to my mom's.

Merry Christmas, y'all!  I'm off to ride my bike before the rains come.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shopping Loot & Some Concerns

Rachel wanted to meet up with some teen friends to see Tron yesterday so I drove an hour to the theater and dropped her off.  Instead of driving all the way back home, Charlie and I decided to browse some stores which can be dangerous at Christmas time.  Someone almost ran over us when we tried to walk to a store.  Yield to pedestrians?

I had a coupon for World Market.  I could go crazy in here.  So many cool finds.  But here's what I left with:
Tastes like tea! Only 12 calories each and 3 carbs.

For flavoring coffees or whatever else needs some flava flav.
 Got an ornament for each person in the family...
I don't know why Charlie chose the burger.  He always ALWAYS orders chicken when we go out to eat.

Rachel loves anything about Egypt.  I wish I had the funds to take her there.


Chuck loves his popcorn.  I looked for an ice cream ornament because that's really his weakness.

A chicken in a canoe?!!  I LOVE chickens and paddling.  They only had one of these and I'm pretty sure it was made just for me.
I had over 100 chickens as pets when I was a kid.  I also had each one named and gave them parties and set up a Christmas tree for them in the chicken yard.  Under the tree I would put bags of bread and other goodies as gifts then let them out of the henhouse on Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought them.  I wish I could have a chicken as a pet now.  Ah, memories.  LOL  Weird memories but it was a fun time for me. 

Don't get around my mom: she has embarrassed me in front of more than one boyfriend when I was a teen telling them about my chicken stories.  She loves to tell those stories.  She has one about a chicken tea party that makes me cringe.
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Eats:  Stayed at 1200 calories and made an awesome taco salad for dinner.  I wish I would have taken a picture.  Taco meat, lots of lettuce, cilantro, salsa, cheese, beans, and a little light Ranch.
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Concerns/worries:  I'm going to my parents' house for Christmas dinner and we'll be spending the night there.  I'm concerned about what will be available to eat.  My mom has a history of making fattening things for the holidays.  I remember Christmas dinners with chicken fried steak, fried shrimp and oysters, cornbread dressing, mac n cheese, mashed taters, and the list goes on and on and on.  It's a huge spread.

I was talking to her on the phone asking about what I should bring.  She wants me to bring a cheesecake that I make that is an edible work of art.  It is as delicious as it is beautiful.  It is also high in calories.  I told her that I was afraid she would wreck her dieting efforts (she is borderline diabetic and has to lose this weight NOW) so I'd rather not bring it.  I know she would have way more than she should.  I hate to police my own mom but I'm so worried about her health.

I asked about some of the things she is serving: ham, baked chicken, cornbread dressing, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.  Then she tells me her special way of making sweet potatoes.  You're not going to believe this.  Instead of topping them with nuts or marshmallows, she puts an entire pecan pie on top of them. *gasp!*  Holy mother of all calories, batman!

My strategy is to bring a low cal dessert or two to share and some snacks so I can navigate the calorie hurdles.  I've worked too hard to lose this weight to have any of it put back on because of one dinner.  Not going to do it.
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Clothing problems: I have maybe 3 shirts that fit now and 1 pair of jeans.  Everything is huge.  I'm thinking of hitting up the Goodwill store to get something to wear as I shrink.  Don't want to spend too much money on things that won't fit in a few weeks.
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Temperature outside yesterday:
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Exercise for today: strength training.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Summer Has Arrived in Texas

We are having some really crazy bi-polar weather in Houston lately.  One day it can be freezing cold and the next day you're wearing shorts.  Today is very warm.  Hot, actually.

But my snowcone man (why, yes, I do have my own snowcone man) told me in October that we were going to have a mild winter.  So far he's been correct.  Not only can he predict the weather but he makes an excellent snowcone for only $1. :)

Today was week 2/day 1 of half marathon training.  I had to walk 3 minutes/ run 1 minute for 32 minutes.  I finished it off by walking until I got to my 5K.  So I'm slow.

I've been having little mental debates (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this) about running and speed.  I want to be as fast as the other cool running bloggers but I'm slow as molasses in January.  That's slow! 

I've thought: maybe I can work up to their speed.  Maybe I will be able to run the whole distance of races like they do.  Maybe, maybe, maybe....if I only work hard enough. 

I've also thought: there is no way I can do what they do.  I'm slow and I'm not sure I want to run an entire endurance race.

So many conflicting thoughts.  I've decided to make peace with myself and stop trying to compare my results (she can run a 5K in 30 minutes but it takes me an hour?!) with everyone else's.  Let me be absolutely honest here: I'm doing it for the swag. If there were not tee shirts and medals involved I would not be doing this. 

For now, I'll be happy doing my walk/run ratios at whatever speed may come.  It's my race against me. No one else.  If at some point the walk intervals seem too easy I will change it up to where I run most of the time and walk a little.  That's not the case for now. 

Instead of being ashamed of my times I will be proud that I'm actually out there doing something.  And just that thought takes a great deal off my shoulders.  It's so dangerous to compare ourselves with others.  It can rob you of happiness in your accomplishments.
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Calorie intake has been perfect.  Yesterday I think I could have gotten pornographic with a cupcake but I resisted.  I did buy some beautiful cupcakes but I have not touched one.  I have some Dove Dark Chocolate Promises that are great for the ole sweet tooth.  I also had three dried apricots at 50 calories and that totally satisfied my sweets cravings.

For dinner last night I made some zucchini noodles (see a couple of posts down if you don't know what those are) and topped it with pasta sauce.  Two huge cups of "noodles" covered in sauce with a side of "lite" garlic bread.  It was freakin' awesome!  I felt like I was being bad with my calories.  Chuck even had his with the zucchini and went back for seconds.

I like to steam mine covered in the microwave for a few minutes just to make them a little bit softer.  Drain, salt and cover with pasta sauce.  That's it.  It tastes good and it's good for you. Try it.:)
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I tried on a pair of Rachel's shorts and they fit! Size 14. Holy cr*p!  I can't remember the last time I saw 14.  I think it was right after Charlie was born.  10 years ago?  It's been a while.  I still have a belly pooch (pouch?) so I wouldn't wear them in public but it's still nice to know I could get them on.

That also means my brand new beautiful expensive jeans from Coldwater Creek won't be fitting for much longer.  Oh well.  Maybe a person in bloggerland will want some barely used size 16 jeans soon.
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I stayed up as late as I could to see the lunar eclipse last night.  Finally I had to go to bed.  The kids stayed up and woke me up when it finally started to happen.  Very cool stuff.

You have yourself a wonderful Tuesday.  Only 4 more days until Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weigh In

It's Sunday: weigh in day.  Yesterday I stepped on the scale and it said 186.  This morning it said 188 so that's what I'm going with.  Down 2 pounds.  I'm sure I'll be seeing 186 or lower next week.

Friday night I made up a fantabulous Chinese chicken salad from my new cookbook America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family CookbookI <3 this book. The delicious recipes of ATK but with lower calories.  And the calories are actually listed for each recipe.  Did I mention that I really like this book?  I highly recommend it.

Only 280 calories.
 Friday night Chuck and I stayed up until 2am.  That's late for old folks like us!

But Saturday morning we were up early.  We were on a mission. :)  First, a stop by Panera bread for breakfast then off to Bike Barn.  We picked up Charlie's bike (his Christmas present) and also mine and Chuck's bikes. 

Before I go any further in my blog post-turned-novel, let me say that I LOVE my bike. Love it so much.  And it hurts my rear so badly.  Must get biker shorts or develop a tough rear. LOL

We get home and the kids are still asleep.  So we put the presents under the Christmas tree but keep the bike in the garage.  Then Chuck wakes up the kids and I video their reactions as they came downstairs.  They thought we weren't opening gifts until Thursday morning. (we won't be home Christmas day)

Charlie and Rachel were thrilled with their gifts.  They open everything up and Chuck then takes a few boxes to the trash in the garage while I "interview" Charlie and ask about his favorite gift.  While I distract Charlie, Chuck rolls in his new bike with a big bow on it.  Charlie finally sees it and freaks out. He actually started crying he was so happy.  Got it all on video.  One of the great moments of being a parent.  It's hard to put in words how happy I am for him.

Then Chuck goes into the bedroom and tells Rachel that he forgot to give a gift to her.  Her new Canon powershot camera.  She loves it.  The best part of Christmas is watching the kids open gifts.  Can't get enough of it.

Of course my living room is wrecked right now.  LOL  Oh well, gives me something to do, right?

The rest of Saturday was spent playing with gifts.  That night we had Chinese food then went looking at Christmas lights.  Down one street they were handing out candy canes and there was a Santa and a Frosty the Snowman walking around.  So much fun.

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Exercise:

Friday- strength training.  Ouch, but it wasn't as bad as the first time.  And I was able to walk the next day. Win.  The strength training also has a few minutes of HIIT for cardio and some core strengthening.  I apparently can not do a side plank. Not yet anyway.

Saturday- rest except for riding my bike down the street with Charlie on his new bike. 

Sunday- half marathon training week 1/day 3.  Walk/run for 2 miles.  Chuck joined me and it was so nice having his company.  Had trouble with breathing for some reason. 
After the run, we took the bikes out and rode for 4 miles until our bottoms hurt too bad to keep going. LOL  It was really funny as we grunted and groaned as we hit every little bump.

I'll post pics of the new bikes soon.
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Diet: doing great keeping at 1200 calories.  Looking forward to getting to maintenance so I can increase the calories but for now I just want to lose the weight.  Don't want diabetes and PCOS and whatever else I may have or get.

Rachel is doing her own challenge: no Cokes (in Texas all sodas are Cokes no matter if it's a Dr Pepper or Pepsi....it's all Coke) for 30 days, only water.  She's over halfway done.  Her reward will be a new outfit.  You can do it, Rachel!

My mom has lost almost 20 pounds since October.  I'm very proud of her.  I don't want her to get diabetes and she's so close.  She's walking a mile per day (sometimes 2) and watching her carbs.  Go, MOM!

Hope all had a great weekend! I had a terrific one. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fun with Zucchinis and Bananas

Sorry for the perv title.  I was trying to think of a way to say it without sounding weird.  "New Things to Try with Your Zucchinis and Bananas" didn't quite work either.  Soooo.....let's just move on.

I love pasta.  Love.love.love.love it.  But carbs and calories make pasta a tough one for me to have. :(

But while looking for something in the kitchen, I stumbled upon a gadget that I forgot I had called a spiral slicer.
 It makes noodles!  How cool?! You can use all kinds of veggies but I chose zucchini.
They're so neat and noodley.
 For dinner I made Cheesy Crockpot Chicken then served it over my sauteed zucchini noodles.  OK, I admit that it doesn't look very appetizing but it's really, really good.  Promise.  And the zucchini noodles are only 58 calories for 2 cups! Come on.....that's awesome!
For recipe, check my "recipes" section.
Calories:266; Fat 6; carbs 14.7; fiber 1.3, protein 36.6

The zucchini adds no flavor at all. I'm going to try it with spaghetti next.

For dessert: banana ice cream with a little chocolate sauce.
 I froze some bananas then ran one through my juicer with the blank plate on.  So totally yum.  Really.  Low calorie, sugar free, raw, natural ice cream.  Or ice banana, really, since there is no cream involved.  It's also very rich.  One banana does the trick.  And I'm pretty sure running this in the food processor will yield similar results.
..........
Rachel has always been my little artist.  From the time she was little bitty she would draw all day long.  In art class this week she drew a self portrait and I am so proud of my little girl...who really isn't so little any more.
..............
Exercise: yesterday I said I was going to walk a 5K but I didn't. I actually took a needed rest day.

Today was week 1, day 2 of half marathon training.  I did my walk/run ratios and then it was time for some cadence-type drills.  I felt so weird doing those in front of people. LOL  I wonder if I looked as dorky as I felt.

After the cool down I decided to keep walking because I felt so good.  Ended up with 4.3 miles.  Love to burn up those calories. :)
.............

The scale still sucks.  I am pretty sure it is broke and incapable of going any lower.  Stupid scale.  I have confidence that the scale will catch up with my effort eventually.
.........
Thanks for stopping by to read my little blog.  I'm doing this for me and to keep me accountable but it's always nice to have folks stop by and comment.  I feel like I get to have a mini conversation with you. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Short and Sweet


  • After feeling guilty about the kids and cookies I got some cookie dough for them to bake.  They smelled awesome but I have not had one cookie.  The kids, however, have enjoyed many.
  • I am able to walk a little better today.
  • Still sore so just going to walk my 5K for exercise today.
  • Had to get up to pee 3 times last night.  Broken sleep is not fun.  No more water after 8pm.
  • Freakin' scale is showing a gain today even though I've had a calorie deficit every.single.day. Come on! :(  Puts me in an angry mood.
  • Made a layered eclair dessert for hubby to bring to office party that he won't be able to attend. Hate for hubby to miss the most awesome dessert in the world.
  • So excited about Christmas. We're opening gifts on the 23rd because we're not traditional at all we're driving to spend Christmas day with my parents and I want the kids to have a couple of days to enjoy their gifts before we go.  I remember as a kid we'd open gifts at the crack of dawn then the rest of the day we were on the road visiting family until late.  The kids were so anxious to get back home to play with their new loot.
Hope you have yourself a wonderful Wednesday.  Can you believe that the end of 2010 is almost here?!  Time sure does fly.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zombie Runner

 Today was my first day at attempting to train for a half marathon. 

Yesterday was my first day of strength training.  Notice the close proximity of firsts.  Firsts should not be that close together, I found out.

I woke up so sore that I had to roll out of bed to stand up.  My ribs are sore. My ribs! I was not aware that ribs could even get sore.  Maybe I was run over by a truck in my sleep?

All things are difficult today: standing, sitting, walking, lifting my arms.....breathing.  The standing/sitting issues are especially problematic as I have been drinking a lot of water.


Photo Source: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/
  With much pain I walked out of the house zombie-style: stiff legs shuffling and lots of moaning.  Running intervals were comical for a couple of reasons:
  • the way I shuffled and groaned the entire time
  • I am pretty sure that the new pants I got on clearance are youth XL and not adult XL.  My belly kept wanting to peek out to see what was going on.  Or to escape.  Not sure which.
  • I had to run past some crews working on houses so I'd pull my shirt down and hold it there which only made my cleavage hang out the top of my shirt.  I had to decide each time whether I wanted to cover my big belly or big cleavage. *note to self: no V-neck shirts while running just yet*
Through all I persevered and finished the most painful walk/run session in my very short history of running.

Today's lunch will include ibuprofen followed by Epsom salts bath.

Interesting factoid: sore muscles make the scale say terrible things.  Just so you know. :(

In food news: I am totally kicking dieting butt.  I'm staying right where I need to be with my calories and drinking all of my water plus more.  I am so going to give myself a gold star.

Best news of all:  it is predicted, if I stay on schedule, that I'll reach my goal weight on April 20th.  How's that for precise?!

I do have to confess something: all of the cool moms are making holiday cookies and I haven't made any of my special treats.  I just don't want to bring that stuff in the house.  I sure hope my kids don't end up in therapy because of this.  I really felt guilt when Charlie came home from a friend's house and told me about all the cookies that friend's mom was making. :(  Poor deprived kid.  Maybe I'll get some slice-n-bake cookies for my underprivileged children. 

Have yourself a great day. So happy that it's already Tuesday. :D

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Day Strength Training

I just finished my first day of strength training that included: weights, interval training for cardio, core strengthening, and stretching. 

My muscles are literally quivering and I feel like I am going to throw up.  I had no idea I was that weak.  Brings to mind Day 1 at Biggest Loser when all of the contestants are throwing up and having trouble moving.  Perhaps I am being a little overdramatic. :P

Exercising was not pretty today.  And I am pretty sure that I won't be able to walk tomorrow.

What program did I use? It's called Fit Moms For Life.  It's by a personal trainer in Wisconsin named Dustin Maher.  You get 1 new DVD per month for 12 months that includes new exercises and continues to build on what you have already done. Also includes an interview with a new mom each month who has lost weight, nutrition tips, and the exercises.  I think I'm paying $34 per month for it.  Maybe $39.  Cheaper than the personal trainers I checked in my area.

The only equipment you need are some dumbbells of various weights and a stability ball.  The exercises were pretty tough for me.

One thing that I really appreciate is Dustin expects the ladies (and gentlemen) to use heavier and heavier weights as they get stronger.  A lot of exercise DVDs are happy to keep you at 5# weights.  Don't worry: you won't bulk up using heavier weight.

I'm supposed to start training for my half marathon tomorrow. I'm hoping my legs will still work in the morning.

The hardest part about any exercise routine is starting.  At least it is for me.  I have expectations about what I should be able to do then when I try to do it I am shocked that I am not a superstar right out of the gate.  Running, strength training, cycling.  They all require small steps to build up to superstar status.

I'm sure I'll be the same with my bike when I get it.  When I put it on layaway I was talking to Chuck about riding in the MS 150! LOL  I may be able to ride 4 miles when it gets home.

Small steps.  I'll get stronger with weights over time.
I love what John "The Penguin" Bingham says:
"The miracle isn't that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weigh In Day

Every Sunday morning I'll be weighing in as part of the challenge from Allan's blog.  This is his third challenge but my first one.

Allan is a no excuses, no BS, let's lose this weight as quickly as possible, kind of guy.  Did I mention no BS?  Not everyone will appreciate his no coddling approach but I need some tough love from time to time.  (Maybe that's why I liked Jillian on Biggest Loser)  Now if Chuck tried a tough love approach with me and yelled I'd probably cry.  LOL Like I said, not every person will like this approach.  I need it.

The challenge has me drinking plenty of fluids and eating 1200 calories per day and getting in some exercise.  The calorie count may sound low to some but this is exactly what I was doing to lose weight before I start a blog.  It worked until I got lazy. My goal: get to goal weight now.

I was told by my dr. that I will probably have diabetes within 5 years if I don't drop some weight now (said it was one of the worst cases of insulin resistance he had seen and was surprised I didn't weigh more) plus nearly every person on my mom's side of the family has diabetes and I have a healthy dose of Native American blood. A few things against me. Yes, it's pretty important that I don't fool around with this any more.  The pounds have to come off right now.  No whining and no excuses.  I want to live!

That's why I'm doing a hard core challenge.  I'm scared to death of the things my doc has told me. 

All of that being said, I stuck to my plan like glue.  Allan predicted my weight loss at 3 pounds for the week (and I didn't really believe him).


Sunday weigh in: -3 pounds  Wow! Right on the nose.  I'm hoping that the prediction that I'll weigh 177 by New Year's Day is correct.  The idea of it keeps me going. :)
High five?

I'm also having fun with a weekly challenge at SpunkySuzi's blog.  Every Sunday she posts a nice challenge that work as reminders through the week to make healthy choices.  She's such a sweet, sweet lady. This week's challenge was to drink our water.  This worked out perfectly for me since I had to drink water for the other challenge as well.

Check out her blog and join me in the challenges. :) A new one starts today.

The weekend has flown by.  I hope yours was wonderful and the holidays aren't making you stressed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Short News Flash

This just in: I went to Coldwater Creek and tried on size 16 jeans and could actually get them on without lying on the floor and sucking in my belly.  That's down from a size 24!  Hehe...so happy.  I bought them.

Life is good.

Feed Me, Seymour

Thursday was my first day of not walking a 5K in a month.  It felt kind of weird to have a rest day.  I felt like I should go for a walk. Yeah, for good habits forming!

Instead I forced Rachel to do Turbo Jam for 20 minutes with me.  I only burned 200 calories according to my trusty Bodybugg but I felt better for doing something to schvitz. (my new word thanks to MizFit)

The rest of the day my body tried to give me some sort of sob story about how it had been working hard and it was hungry.  When I ignored it the whining started (not unlike a child):

"I want something to eat."
"I'm going to give you a headache if you don't eat a piece of candy."

Then it really started to have a tantrum with the stomach growling louder and louder.  This is after I fed it a huge salad with grilled chicken, feta, egg whites, nuts and dried fruits.

Eventually I got tired of it nagging so I gave it some popcorn while I was watching a movie.  I had actually planned to do this so it's not like I was giving in to its nagging.

So tummy has the popcorn and is complaining again within a few minutes about how it is starving and I never feed it but all the other tummies in the house get to eat what they want. To add insult to injury, every food commercial was airing last night.  Tummy was not amused.

Finally, like a child who's cranky because he's tired but just doesn't know it, I put the whining tummy to bed.
Oddly enough, this morning it is just fine and not complaining at all.  I'm glad I didn't give in to its tantrums.  I would have only felt guilty about it today.

*File under "how to handle tummy tantrums"*

Thursday, December 9, 2010

5K Challenge Done! & weigh in

I remember when I ran my first mile.  I really never thought the day would come.  It was so difficult to work up to that mile.  Walking around the block was near impossible but a mile was almost unattainable.

When the miracle mile finally arrived one day, I was on a treadmill doing C25K.  The mile came......and went.  No confetti streamers.  Just here and gone.  Life went on and so did the treadmill. 

It wasn't a sad moment.  Just a moment. A milestone, so to speak.  Then it was time to keep moving forward. 

I imagine that's how reaching goal weight is going to be.  I'll step on the scale alone, see the number, rejoice, and move on.  Weight loss is a journey but I don't think that journey ever ends.  I'll reach goal and make new goals for myself that are non-weight related.  I'm ok with that.  Actually, that's how I run my life.  I must have goals whether it's planning for a trip in a couple of months, losing 5 pounds, starting a new challenge or training program, planning a hike or camping trip.....goals make my world go round.

Yesterday I was going to take Charlie along for my final 5K while Rachel was in biology lab but when we got out of the car it was cold and the wind was blowing.  Charlie said, "Can't we do this on the treadmill?"

So instead we went to Borders and I got some disco ball ornaments and some battery operated lights.  Fun!  I plan to wrap myself in lights when we go looking at Christmas lights on Saturday. :D

We didn't get home and have dinner until 6pm.  By this time it is much colder outside.  I put on a hat, sweater, hoodie, two pairs of pants, and gloves.  Ok, it was only 48 degrees but that is cold to a Bahama Mamma.

Chuck kept me company during the walk.  We didn't talk much on the dark walk.  If he was like me, we just wanted to hurry and get back to the warm house and watch Modern Family.

So we're walking back towards the house and my Garmin shows 3.1.  "I did it," I say.  Chuck gives me a hug and we go inside.  30 days done!

I've run sometimes.  Mostly walked. In rain. At 11pm.  On vacation.  In the dark.  On Thanksgiving.  While on medicine that made me sick.  No matter what.  I did it.  I'm really proud of me.  I stuck with something!

Total mileage: 98 miles in 30 days.
 Chuck, my sweet husband that he is, surprised me with a necklace for my accomplishment.
Thank you, sweety. I love it!
 Now for the scary part. Weigh in.  Oh gee, I wish I hadn't had that second margarita while on vacation.  Or those yum fries from McD's that time.

Moment of truth.  What will the devil scale say?
 Weigh in: -7 pounds in 4 weeks! 1.75 pound loss per week.  Not too bad.
So what's next?
  • drinking 3 quarts of fluids per day
  • counting my calories
  • strength training
  • begin walk/run training schedule for a half marathon
That should keep me busy!

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement through my self challenge.  I've had a lot of good times doing this but I'm happy to be moving on to something new.

I've gained muscle and endurance while losing weight.  I also got back into the habit of exercising which is something that I needed.

On to the next.......

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

5K #29: Even more unicorns & rainbows

I get tickets to go see Wicked in San Antonio and get to meet Anne.  You would think that was my quota for awesomeness for 1 day.  You're wrong.

Awesome came in the form of discount tickets to see Blue Man Group the very next weekend in Austin.  Holy cr*p!  The day just got even awesomer.

Color me excited.  Bouncing off the freakin walls excited.  I might explode if one more awesome thing happens.

BLUE MAN GROUP!

I have been Xena Warrior Princess when it comes to tackling exercise and eating right lately.

"How many calories does that have? *karate chop* Get that stuff away from me."

"How many miles do I need to walk today? Bring on another.  I'll totally slay those miles."

Instead of walking the 3.1 miles I walked 4. 
Tilt your head.  Technical difficulties.
 I was all excited.  Got home and looked up some different hiking clubs in the Houston area.  My bubble burst slightly.  These guys are hard core walkers.
 That's like almost a half marathon.  Not ready to join any hiking groups just yet.  Oh well.

Food:
Did great.  No snacking without permission from my brain (no mindless eating) and everything with reasonable calories.

Drank 1 gallon of water + some tea.

Made awesome chili with lean beef and Wick Fowler's Two Alarm Chili Mix.  

I did mess up the rice.  I have a rice cooking chart and I read "cook in microwave 35-40 minues" when I should have read "cook in microwave for 12 minutes."  I read the instructions for wild rice.  The stuff came out in one big rubbery disk.  Oops.  Still added some to the chili. :)

Also made some totally yum cornbread. 
 Cornbread

Nonfat cooking spray
2 packages Jiffy cornbread mix
1 cup fat free sour cream
One 15oz can yellow corn, drained
3oz egg substitute
1/4 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Mix all ingredients and pour into pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and light golden brown.

20 servings
calories: 119.3; carbs: 19.8g; fat: 1.3g; fiber: .2g; Protein: 2.7g

One more 5K and I am done with my challenge. Woohoo!  I'll report total mileage and stuff tomorrow.

And last, but not least, I joined another challenge because I'm feeling like be challenged. Again.

This one is Allan's Spawn of Double Dog Dare Challenge.  The idea is: drink your water, eat within your calorie goal, exercise, don't cheat, lose weight.

Bring it!  I'm ready to get into some nice clothes and lose this wad o' fat on my belly.

BLUE MAN GROUP!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

5K #28: Unicorns and Rainbows

Good day to all of my blogger friends. It's a day filled with pink unicorns and sparkly rainbows.  And just what would make this Happy Texan even happier?  Deliriously giddy?  No, I haven't had a vicodin milkshake.  I just got tickets to see Wicked in San Antonio! AHHHHHHHH! *squeal*

Chuck and I are meeting Anne (carb tripper) Feb. 19 for lunch and Wicked and I can't wait.  Hey, you know what? YOU should come too.  Yes, you!  If you just want to meet up for lunch that would be cool too.  Get to meet awesome blogger people in San Antonio.  What could be better?  Come on, you know you want to.

Happy, happy, joy, joy!
 Of course for the musical I will contain my enthusiasm and act more civilized.  Must blend.
 Exercise:
Yes, #28 5K is completed.  I was going to wait for Chuck to get home from work and we were going to walk together in the evening but it got so cold that night that I chickened out and opted for the dreadmill.

I think I enter some other dimension on the treadmill because time suddenly slows down and no matter how hard I try it takes forever to get to the next mile.  Most. boring. machine. ever.
 During the day I decided to dust off my Turbo Jam DVD.  I just did the 20 minute workout.  I've forgotten how much fun these are!  Nice workout. 

The first time I tried Turbo Jam my back hurt the next day.  This time was no different. My back is sore today.  I guess it really works those muscles or I'm doing it wrong.

Food:
I did great with the eats.  No snacking except when I was supposed to and that was on good stuff.

I baked a sugar free crustless pumpkin pie. I <3 this stuff so much.  1/4th of the whole pie is only 75 calories.  No guilt there.
Chuck's slice with fat free whipped cream
Crustless Pumpkin Pie

  • 15 oz can pumpkin
  • ¾ cup Splenda®
  • ¼ cup Egg Beaters®
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Beat all ingredients together. Spray pie plate with cooking spray. Pour batter into pie plate and bake for 15 minutes at 400°. Reduce heat to 350° and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Place in microwave and cook on high for an additional 5 minutes, knife should come out clean when inserted into the center. Allow it to cool completely before cutting it.

Top with a dollop of fat-free whipped topping (not included in nutritional information).
Serves 4
Calories:75; Fat: 1g; Carbs: 19g; Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 6g

Have yourself a wonderful day. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

5K #27: So Close

Yes!  27 5ks completed in 27 days.  Only 3 more to go before I am finished with my self-challenge.

I had a difficult time getting my internal engine going Sunday morning.  Chuck and I stayed up until 2am and I am just not accustomed to those hours anymore.

After the walk around the neighborhood we got cleaned up and headed to Target for some Christmas madness.  The intention was to get a tree skirt but we ended up buying a fake, pre-lit tree.  So easy to assemble and no pine needles everywhere. I do miss that pine smell though.

For dinner it was grilled cheeses and homemade tomato soup.  Comfort food for a cold night.  Then a little TV and off to bed early.

I think this may be the most boring post ever but it was a non-eventful day.  Just a walk and getting a tree. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

5K #25 & #26: Fun, Fun, Fun

Friday:
The Happy Texan family started the day by going to a bike shop and checking out a bike for Charlie.  Here's the deal: we told Charlie that we had already bought all of his Christmas presents so he couldn't have a new bike but we could go look at them then we'd get one for him if we got an income tax return.

So he picks out a beautiful Trek 820.  He rides it around the parking lot, learns that the brakes are on the handlebars instead of the pedals, and falls in love with it.

I distract Charlie back in the shop and Chuck puts the bike on layaway. (Chuck is terrible at deception so I have to keep Charlie away from him too.) While Charlie and I are looking around he notices the salesman take the bike to the back.  I tell him that they have to take it back there to clean it up because Charlie rode through a puddle of water.  (I'm thinking I lie too easily?)

This is the last 820 they have so Charlie is very worried that they will sell his bike.  Poor kid.  He keeps talking about that bike and dreaming about getting it.  What he doesn't know is that we are picking it up on the 22nd and it'll be sitting by the Christmas tree with a big bow on it Christmas morning.  It's killing me.  I want to tell him so badly but I can't wait to see his face that morning.  :)

And while we were there I also asked about bikes.  I think a hybrid will be the perfect beginner bike for me.  Yeah I've had bikes before but never a nice grown up bike.

*cue flashback sequence* When I was a kid my parents surprised me one Christmas morning with a brand new bike.  I'll never forget it.  It was yellow with a big, comfy banana seat and said "Desert Rose" across the frame.  Let's not forget the cool streamers on the handlebars.

I loved that bike so much.  I rode it for hours. I also pimped my bike with a bell, horn (just in case a bell wasn't enough), a radio, rearview mirror, water bottle holder and basket.  Such fond memories *end flashback*

To make a long story shorter, I tested a blue Trek hybrid and loved it.  It's now on layaway. *squeal* I'm getting a bike!!!!

Then Chuck tried a cool Specialized Crosstrail with disc brakes and put it on layaway!

We're all going to have bikes and I couldn't be more excited.  It's going to be so much fun riding together.

Don't worry. We didn't forget about Rachel. We got her a cool bike from the same bike shop a couple of years ago. :)

Then it was off to Galveston for a day of fun and a night of Festival of Lights.  On the way my van totally freaked out.  All of the dash lights came on and the transmission flipped out.  It suddenly went right back to normal.  Drove further (we're almost in Galveston at this point) and the car did it again so we headed back home disappointed.

At this point I'm feeling really depressed about putting those bikes on layaway.  We're going to need that money for some expensive car repair.

Chuck hates to see anyone in the family down but if the whole family is bummed he will stop at nothing to make us happy so he insisted that we take the truck back out to Galveston and continue as planned. 

So we went back, ate at Fish Tales on the Seawall, and headed to Festival of Lights.  We had an incredible time. We laughed so hard, ran up hills, ate spiced nuts, and had fun.





 Charlie decided it would be fun to roll down one of the hills.  He ran to the top of the hill then started rolling while yelling, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, oooowwww!"  He had rolled over hundreds of sticker burrs.  Poor kid had them all over.  They're small but painful.
 While there we also got in our 5K.  Yeah it took a while but it was also more fun than all of the others.  We also got to see the route that Shelley and other half marathoners took during the last part of the race. (OMG!  I see what you mean about the cruel hill at the end of the race, Shelley!)
The hairy arm belongs to Chuck, not me.
 Saturday:
Rachel and I had a haircut then Chuck and I took the kids to spend the day with the in laws (it's a tradition for them to decorate the tree). Chuck & I left the kids there then we headed out for a date.  I had a coupon for a new-to-us restaurant called Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen.  Holy guacamole it was good! 


We got queso then split an order of carnitas enchiladas and crab enchiladas. Then it was a shared dessert of  chocolate tres leches cake. Heavenly.  I even got dressed up for this date.  No jeans and tee shirt. :)


After a most excellent dinner, we browsed a gun shop, stopped by Target then picked up the kids.


As soon as we got home we all put on our walking gear and headed to the streets at 10pm to get the 5K of the day done.  Yes, the whole family.


Again, I had a great time.  We treated it as our own little Festival of Lights and looked at the Christmas lights in our own neighborhood.  I love lights.  I would wear lights if I could get away with it.


It was like Wild Kingdom on the streets last night.  There were huge spiders crossing the road. Snails that the kids rescued from the road.  Giant slugs that Charlie rescued.  A cat.  And a snake that Charlie picked up and saved from the streets.  Non-venomous of course. :)


It was another slow yet fun walk.  5K #26 completed at 11pm.
We all got cleaned up then tried out our new uber-cool popcorn machine.  Then it was time to pass out in bed.


Despite the car troubles it has been a fabulous weekend.  I hope yours has been just as great....without the car problems though.  I don't wish that on anyone. :)