A Walk at the Lake

Reporting in on Tuesday’s post.  Just now I have done day 2 of the 100 Pushup Challenge and I actually can’t believe I can do this many pushups.  I was always just terrible at them.  I did 16!  

And, yesterday I did head up to Tahoe for my long walk.  It was really a lovely day overall.  It was still a little hot up there (80-90 degrees) but there was the breeze blowing and then there was the beautiful lake.  The biggest problem was that where I chose to walk was mostly in the sun, and my black poodle was VERY hot.  I gave him more water than I drank myself.  So I cut the walk short (only 2 hours) and made him go in the lake.  Which meant I went in the lake too.  Fun! 

So we headed home, but I decided to stop at Silver Lake, which is also a beautiful lake, and we had a really good hike around the lake there, mostly in the shade, for another hour.  So, not quite my goal of 4 hours, but all in all a very wonderful beautiful day.  I’m really sorry I forgot my camera.  I would have loved to share the day with you.  However, I think I will be doing this again before the summer is over!

Little Changes DO Make a Difference

So this morning I was having my ‘celebratory’ Blueberry Pancakes (recipe somewhere in an earlier blog).  I guess I am celebrating another week of NOT gaining weight.  Anyways, the first time I made them the original recipe called for regular (not instant) oatmeal.  I only had 1-minute oatmeal on hand, so that is what I used.  And as I have said many times, these are fantastic pancakes.  So today I go to make them and the 1-minute oatmeal is gone, and I have a box of ‘multi-grain hot cereal.’  Now this stuff looks like oatmeal, and I have substituted it in many other recipes, and it did fine.  It was just a little change.  But it is obviously not as ‘refined’ as the 1-minute oatmeal, so the pancakes were definitely much more ‘textured.’  Still good, but not what I would rave about either.

So, while I was chewing on these pancakes, it brought back to mind something I learned my first week at W.W.  I just could hardly believe that these little changes they suggested would make a difference.  10 calories-what’s that?  But 10 calories here, 10 calories there, 30 calories instead of 45 calories, they all add up, and they do make a difference.  

To me, they made a 100 pound difference.  Now, I’m a believer.

Tuesday Check-In

Just a quickie this morning.  I’m having another friend over for lunch today.  I am not usually this sociable!  I will tell you about the menu tomorrow.  Reading blogs yesterday, a couple from people who have walked marathons, or taken long hikes, and I had the biggest urge to take a very long walk.  I haven’t been walking as much since I joined Curves and Tigerlily’s challenge ended.  But its REALLY HOT here.  So, if all goes well, I have a plan to head up the mountain and take a long walk up at Lake Tahoe.  Higher elevation, but the walking will be mostly level, and will probably be at least 20 degrees cooler.  I am excited.  I hardly ever do anything like this.

Then today, reading blogs, and I finally got intrigued by the 100 Pushup Challenge.  Anyone else run across this?  Well, I always sucked at pushups, but I checked it out and I’m gonna go for it!  Seems I need a challenge to keep me motivated.  I couldn’t even do one regular pushup, but I am going to start with the knee pushups and go from there. Even then, I could only do 2.  But, I started on the first day (they have a complete plan outlined for you) and I was able to do what they asked:  do 2, rest 30 seconds, repeat this three times, and then end with doing 3.  I was able to do it–11 pushups!  Anyone want to join me?

It’s Not ALL About Weight Loss

Since the topic’s come up a few times, thought I would just share some of the stuff I’ve done in my ‘yard’ recently.  As I’ve said, I live in the Sierra Foothills.  So, the ground is very hard, and very full of rocks (Mark Twain even made some famous sarcastic comment about this) and it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and I have LOTS of shade in my yard (oaks and pine trees.)  So, not to complain, but its not the Bay Area where I grew up and learned to garden, where anything would grow if you just stuck it in the ground.  So, basically, all the gardening I do is in pots.  Yes, I know, you could build raised beds, but remember, I was really overweight, and that just seemed overwhelming to me.

This first picture is where I sit to listen to and watch the birds, and to read a good book and my Bible, and on the best days to journal a little, and have a little conversation with God.  The latest books I’ve read are The Shack by William P. Young, and Life With God by Richard Foster.  I recommend both.

This picture above is the ‘courtyard’ that I talked about putting in this year.  I have always liked the look of flagstones with ground cover growing between them.  The impetus for putting this in was really to fight the dust that was just awful.  Every day I would come home and let the dogs out of their ‘dog house’ and they would all race toward the front door, making the most gigantic dust cloud.  So I thought of putting these stones down, and extending them toward the dog house (not shown.)  It really has worked great at keeping the dust down, plus I am so happy with how it looks.  Here’s how I did it.  I would stop at Lowe’s or Home Depot and just choose 10-30 different ‘flagstones,’ and then come home and put them down.  I decided to use the manufactured flagstones because I just liked the idea of doing it myself a little at a time, and also the manufactured flagstones are more even to walk on.  Doing it this way made it seem more affordable to me.  Don’t tell anyone, but I didn’t even do any prep work.  Just put the stones straight on the ground.  I knew it would work because I had done this with a brick walkway several years ago.

The groundcover is part of my ever-optimistic ‘Pollyanna’ gardening.  I know it will probably get too hot and dry and it will all die, but I just had to try.  I had the idea of putting Miracle Gro Moisture Control potting soil between the stones to help the groundcover.  And so far, I have been faithful to water every day… 

This picture is one of my Japanese Maples that I repotted this year.  I am actually prouder of being able to do this by myself than I am of doing the stones.  It was really large and heavy.  It is one of my oldest Japanese maples, and I hope the new pot will help it at the end of summer when it gets so hot.  I really love Japanese maples, don’t you?

This picture is just a beautiful lace-cap hydrangea.  I bought it last year.  It was one of those ones that had been ‘forced’ as a gift plant, and it was pretty sad when I bought it.  Plus I have not had good luck with hydrangeas for some reason.  So when this one bloomed this year, it was a real gift.  Sometimes my Pollyanna gardening pays off.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth!  Take some time to be thankful that we get to live in such a wonderful country.

Good Eatin’

Had an old friend over to lunch yesterday.  She is actually the one who invited me to W.W. so long ago.  So she is a w.w. too and still struggles with her weight.  I love putting a great meal together, and this is something I would serve to anyone, not just a fellow weight watcher.  It was great, because I had all the stuff in my frig or freezer, mostly all prepared.  Thought I’d share it with you.  We had Shrimp and Avocado Fiesta Soup, which is a version of Fresh Corn and Tomato Soup.  I had already made the Corn and Tomato soup, so just added shrimp, salsa, and avocado to the leftovers (I’ll add these recipes somewhere.)  Then I served the Ham and Cheese Breakfast muffins (by the way, these do freeze great), a 1 point salad, and a little watermelon.  For dessert, we had Hungry Girl’s Death by Chocolate Cupcakes, with 1/2 f.f. s.f. vanilla pudding and a couple cherries, with a spray of Reddi-whip (3 points.)  What a feast.  If you do all the points, you will see it is not exactly a light meal (9 1/2 points) but very healthy, and so filling that I was able to eat a very light meal for dinner.  Its really fun to eat so well, and know that you are eating well.

Here’s the Shrimp and Avocado Fiesta Soup recipe:

6 oz. shrimp, tail removed, pre-cooked

2 ears of corn

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup salsa, more or less to taste

1 can tomatoes cooked with onions, OR 3-4 fresh tomatoes and 1 onion, both chopped

fresh cilantro, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

1 avacado

If using fresh tomatoes and onions, spray pan with pam, then cook onions for 7 minutes 

over medium heat.  add corn (cut kernels from ears) and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Add

fresh tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.*  Add chicken stock, salsa, shrimp, and cilantro.  


Place soup in 4 bowls, and top each with 1/4 of a chopped avocado, and a dollop of fat free sour cream, if you have it.


4 servings = 3 points each.

* Follow these directions for the fresh corn and tomato soup.  It is so delicious and fresh tasting with the summer vegetables, and only 2 points for a big bowl.  You can add chicken stock or just water to make it as soupy as you want.

Criticism and Contentment

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like these two things have anything in common.  But Lynn over on LynnsWeigh wrote a great post on criticism, and of course, it got me thinking. About myself.  Of course.  So I think I’ll just copy and paste my comment on Lynn’s blog here, and then tell you how I think that relates to contentment.

 I have always hated criticism. I had ‘good girl syndrome’ growing up–tried extra hard to do everything right so I wouldn’t be criticized. I think that translates over into the obnoxious habit of ‘I have to BE right about everything.’ Anyways, I think I have grown out of all that a little, but I still HATE criticism. I can still be working on forgiving someone that hurt me 2 years later.

I guess I am blessed that people have not really criticized my body, either when I was fat or thin. But I really have spent too much time criticizing myself. I REALLY related to your comment that you ‘got sad that you missed the boat on smooth, even skin because I spent so many years overweight and obese.’ That was really hard for me. Especially my thighs, I said they looked hideous. I have really worked on this in myself the past two years (body acceptance) for one reason that I didn’t want to regain the weight like one of the commenters explained. I try to push myself to wear something a little more revealing without being uncomfortable about it. I think I’ll make it a goal to go swimming this summer. That will be the ‘final frontier.’ LOL. 

Anyways, I really wrote to say I loved your thought “the energy I spend worrying what people think of me could be better spent cultivationg compassion for others and helping people feel better about themselves.” I love this thought, and will bring it to mind the next time I am obsessing about how someone hurt my feelings.

So, contentment, where does that fit in?  For a very long time, probably since my 20’s, I have really tried to live by the words in this verse:  For I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  I have applied this verse to many things, from having very little money, to being single,  to being overweight for so very long.  And now I have to learn to apply it to something that seems so frivolous, but something that has the potential to derail me from more important things:  my imperfect, aging body.  For me, I think I will also have to learn to be content with a weight that is higher than the BMI chart says, higher than W.W. goal, higher than my lowest weight when I was in my 20s.

Most of you probably know the key to this verse, which I have to admit that I have periodically forgotten myself:  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  (Phil.4:11-13) 

A Great Quote

I love a good quote.  Don’t you?  I have them framed, on bookmarks, in my journal, on the refrigerator.  I noticed this one on my frig the other day, and thought how well it applied to what we all go through on our up and down relationship with food.  When I got it I wasn’t thinking about food, just some of the junk in life we go through.  But in view of what we have all been blogging about recently, thought you all might enjoy it.

finish each day and be done with it.  you have done what you could.  some blunders and absurdities have crept in;   forget them as soon as you can.  tomorrow is a new day.  you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.    -emerson

Isn’t that a great thought?  I wish I would remember it every day.  It makes anything seem possible.