Thursday, January 31, 2013


HEY!!! It is my half birthday- well, almost the end of my half birthday, but regardless. It IS!!!

So, what about it?

Not much. It was a fairly unremarkable day.

*Thursdays are really long
*I had to yell at a kid- a lot.  :(  that sux
*The day went super fast
*I got my hair trimmed and it looks so PURTY!  I <3 Nancy!
*I lifted weights in BEAST mode again.  I did shoulders, bis and tris.  I am starting to include squats, lunges, pushups and burpees in my routine.  Just have to identify what I want to do when.
* I have wonderful friends who help me out at every turn- and I think that I manage to assist them as well.
*I am tired and plan to sleep well tonight.
*I'm glad I wasn't the one who sprained my ankle!  (sorry, honey)
*I had a tiny little piece of cake today and it was awesome, so....
Happy half birthday to me!  :D

I am just happy to be half way to my birthday, because that occurs in the SUMMER baby.  And SUMMER is where my heart is right now.

Be a joy giver everyone!  Embrace the day and the life you have right now.  But it's ok to dream about summer and things that could be.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Motivation found!!! Focus rezoomed!

Well, it is amazing what can happen in one short sleep time.  Lol, and for me sleep time is only about 5.5 hours, so I do mean short!

Last night when I was sleepy, I started thinking about something I had read online.

Instead of exercising to lose weight- Train for the look you want.

Hmmmm.  This was making me ponder possibilities.  I can imagine what I would like to look like, now that I know this is possible to have an idea other than "thinner".  I have a few areas that I would like to improve and a few others that still could stand to be thinner, even if I don't technically need to lose anymore actual poundage.

And so I had to send a quick thank you email to a friend who gave me a sample of some stuff I wanted to try out.  On a whim I asked her (and plan to ask a few more this) what she would do if she were thinking in this manner-  basically what would she do if she were me kind of thing.  She is a little younger than me, but NOT 25 or 30.  She has some similar old injury issues, but is a BAD ASS like you wouldn't believe.  She is a good person to discuss this with, she can identify with my situation of age and injury!  

So we have had a discussion about training for a look- and smashing some assumptions.  And I have a focus again!!!  I don't really need to go into the exact plan for this focus, as I have not quite worked out the details yet, but it will probably involve swimming, it will include biking and needs to involve some things that I am not comfortable with - not happy to have to do them - but I know that once I get going on it, I will be able to do it.  Of course it will ALWAYS include beast mode weight lifting!!  I will update you when I figure out my plan of attack.

It makes me VERY happy to have specific goals again.  I needed to have a mental outline to be able to go on with my fitness program and I am thrilled to have this in the works.  Like usual, once I began thinking outside of my own little personal box, I have found a way to grow and become a different me. Redefining myself again.  Being a little afraid is not comfortable, but I seem to thrive in those conditions!  I am ready.....  I am EXCITED!!!

I have found a new path in the woods to some joy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Need some motivation tonight- and a weird thing

I did a whole lot of stuff that didn't seem to add up to much this weekend.  

I did a whole slew of things on a list that did not even include the laundry and straightening and things like that.  I certainly made a lot of dishes for the little bit of cooking that I did.  Interestingly, I discovered that I have no less than 15 individual containers of lunch things in the two freezers- so for the next 3 weeks I do not and can not really, do a lot of cooking on the weekend.  I have at least 2 kinds of soup, a few baked rice, some red lentil sauce, some greens and beans and then there is some couscous and lentils, and cooked beans..... I think I am forgetting something, but you get the idea.  I made some  pickled beets, some fresh beet and carrot salad (to use up the whole beets that I buy ONLY for the beet greens) and a batch of hummus to use up the chickpeas I also discovered in my freezer.  Along with some baked tofu, I am set for a while!

I washed a big sinkful of dishes at least 4 times this weekend- and really that is the drawback of cooking.  However, the fresh food is worth it.  And good grief the clothes that I washed.  Last I checked there were only two of us living here. I wonder who is slipping their clothes into my laundry basket.  I think they need to stop, especially the little woman who gets all those workout clothes dirty.

I did go work out, I did some yoga, I snowshoed..... but the winter blah feeling has hit.  Not even a round of online shopping did much to help, and I didn't think that eating was going to help so I didn't.  I think I should probably go to bed!

At least I got some pictures taken, and I had a few great conversations via phone and on a device or two.  I think I should just call it a good if uneventful weekend and call it a night.  I do have that book club book that needs some reading and there is always a blog to pay attention to!  :)

I hope your weekend included some joy along with the ordinary weekend lack of excitement.  I guess sort of boring is ok sometimes.

And coming up this week:

Scenery painting commences. Stay tuned!

** weirdness in a stat
I occasionally check in on my stats for my blog and SO strange- my last blog post, my snowshoe post had 191 hits on it!  WHAT??  The most I ever have had before is like 48 or something like that.  VERY unusual. I wish there was a way to check out the specifics on that!  freaky! Ok  I'm officially mystified, but that's ok.

Snow-shoe baby!!!! Picture post

I LOVE to snow-shoe!!!  It is a fantastic exercise and it gives me the mode of transportation that is right up my alley- walking, nature, raising the heart-rate, as I go for the deeper snow, not any sort of trail.....  I don't listen to music when I snowshoe usually, as I like to listen to the woods and the sounds or lack there of.

I get my gear together which includes my camera and not as many clothes as when I go on the road.  The forest has much more cover and the terrain makes me warm fast- I have found an unexpected thing that is pretty awesome too!  My hiking boots that I purchased from eBay last year, ones that were slightly tight and a touch too small, are now PERFECT!  Who'd have ever thought that I would have skinny feet???  I also could get in and out of the snowshoes so much easier. Stronger legs?  More agility?  Just used to it?  Idk, but I was really pleasantly surprised just getting dressed and outfitted.
YAY for snowshoes!
Heading out
In the way-back field

It had snowed here a few days ago, so I had my little point and shoot camera with me, and depending on the weather I might take my SLR out today.  We will see what that next winter front is going to be doing.
And the walk is done

So here is a nice selection of lovely winter photos, including one kinda cool spooky full moon picture from Friday night.

spooky moon

Instagram sunrise

So to quote one of my favorite blogs in the world- Here is your pretty for the day, kittens.

I hope to add to the pretty later today!  And I WILL be finding some joy.

Until next time, be a joy giver, and remember - DON'T sweat the small stuff, and you guys, really, it is all pretty much small stuff.  ;)

Friday, January 25, 2013

superhero is not on my resume - confessions of an easy keeper

Alright, I have to warn you about this post~

If you don't want to read about my angst, now is the time to move to another blog.  If you are tired of my struggles with maintenance and weight loss, you don't want to read on.  If I get just too much for you, I am so sorry.  I need to write this for myself.

I feel the need to explain this to myself first and foremost.  I need to think of why I am feeling like I do. I fight off the need to apologize to others for my internal turmoil and my need to tell people about how I feel and am trying to figure out why - for the life of me I need to know WHY- I am not finding this second leg of the journey here easy.  NOT AT ALL EASY.  So before you proceed, know that Debi is talking to old Debi and trying to see what the hell is up.

So, folks I feel a bit like a fraud.  I have wonderful people telling me how great I look, how wonderful I am doing, how I am KILLING this maintenance thing. I am here to tell you- this is not killing it.  I am sort of hiding the fact that I have regained 2 - 3 pounds- which does not sound like a big deal, but it sort of is to me.  It makes me scared, it makes me panic and for some reason it is making me want to eat things.  sweet things.  And the more I want to eat them, the more people manage to find them and offer them, or I just plain old ferret them out. I am not actually eating cookies right now, but somehow I manage to find replacement sweets- chocolate of some sort usually.  Let's all just make a deal not to offer each other our personal cryptonite. I just can't do this.  I.  Just.  Can't.

What is changed is the fact that I don't have to be on my guard all the time- in theory.  But I think that is a fallacy.  I think I will always have to be on my guard.  Some say that you just have to know that you can have more food tomorrow, or you have to treat yourself once in a while and not stress over every day, just what the scale looks like at the end of the week, and all these fantastic wise things. Well, I guess the thing to remember is that we have to do what is right for us. What is right for you, might be right for me, but not always.

An interesting discussion developed today at the gym.  Two people I know were reflecting on their weightloss. One of them lost a LOT of weight a year or so ago and has regained a bit, another is almost to the end of their journey. I am right in the middle of the two of them.  I remember how hard it was and how hungry I was to finish up that last 3 pounds.  And now how tricky it is to find a balance of stopping the losing and not regaining.  I fear having any weight come back on me.  Where is that balance, where is the place where my mind can relax a little?  One thing we established for sure is that if you quite recording your food, you are doomed to regain.  It is too easy to forget about this and that and then suddenly you have your scale creeping in an unwanted direction.

So what is my issue??  I obviously gotten to the gym and so exercise is not the problem, so that leaves that old demon the food.  I know that (and the three of us also came to this conclusion immediately) that you can't just maintain your losses with diet only, or exercise only. It is the combination of the two. So what is up??  Well, I think that there is the creep of mindless snacking involved.  My meals continue to be excellent if I do say so myself, I have myself well trained in that regard, but it is the relaxing of the vigilance against eating other stuff that is the problem. The little bit of this and the little bit of that and yes indeed, I do not log every thing I put in my mouth.  And I must start doing this.  Because if I have to write it down, then I better be prepared for the consequences.  Whose?  MINE.  Because in the end, what ever stupid mind game I am playing with myself the reality is that my pants are going to fit tighter and I have this little tummy that likes to regain it's old self immediately.  I can see the extra 2 - 3 pounds immediately.

I also feel like a bit of a fraud here because of my self appointed role as a supportive friend seems a bit suspect when I can't even manage to keep off 3 pounds in the 6 weeks since I hit my goal.  How can I possibly be helpful if I can't even follow my own advice?  I hope my friends understand.  I hate to think I am disappointing anyone, because I certainly did a good job here of disappointing myself.  And yes, I do expect a lot from myself- a hell of a lot more than I am showing myself capable of here and I am pretty damn distressed about it. SERIOUSLY distressed as a matter of fact. :*(  I have discovered that superhero is not in my job description, apparently.

So people, if there indeed any of you left with me here, you might not think that 3 pounds is a very significant gain, but it is to me.  BIG PROBLEM.  This has to be stopped in its' tracks.  You see, I wanted to be one of those people who can write dreamily about being in maintenance and say..... oh my, I've been eating all of my calories and yet I am losing more weight and I really need to increase my food, because I am in danger of wasting away to nothing......  Believe it or not, there are people who DO have that issue.  And I am not making fun of them, but man am I envious. (I actually secretly want to get down into the 130's.  NO comments, please!)  I am what one would call in the horse world, an easy keeper.  Doesn't take much food to keep them fed- even in the winter.  Yes, indeed, an easy keeper. I'm guessing that there might be those around me who don't imagine me as being easy to live with in any regard. I am maybe slightly dramatic, and a bit neurotic, and possibly over react to every damn thing in my life, but hey, I do find a lot of JOY!  :)

I am trying to still imagine what the right amount of food is for myself.  I need to stop with the sugar already.  I need to turn off the sugar goggles- the glasses that are always searching for some form of chocolate- I know it is out there.... somewhere!

Yeah, sort of seems like things are pretty much the same as when I started this up a little over 2 years ago, you'd think I would have learned by now.  I have learned a lot, but I obviously, in my mind, need to relearn it in a different situation.  Before things get totally out of control.

Thank you to the people who have been putting up with me and my angst.  This hasn't been an easy month of trying to maintain.  Now to post the damage and go back to the drawing board....  and throw away my sugar goggles, and find a little joy in a Friday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Have I mentioned that it's cold??

I am sure there are those of you tired of hearing about the weather and all, esp. if you are on facebook, or heaven forbid one of my texting buddies. But I am thrilled to say that it is SO cold that there is no school today!

A very wise friend of mine said that I should make sure to enjoy it because the day will go fast.  And wow there is truth to that!!  So, there will be no laundry done, no vacuuming, no closet cleaning or things like that.  A book will be read, the blog will be written, and I will go later this day to the gym, because those are things that will give me some enjoyment on this little gift of a day.  MAYBE I will do a tiny bit of online shopping??  Whatever I do, this found time is sort of like found money, you just need to sometimes do what you want, not what  you need.

Unfortunately, I never get to stay in my robe all day, as I have this cute horse out there who needs feeding.  So, not moving out of the house is not a possibility.  I can delay that until about 8 am, but after that, I just have to be dressed up and outside.

I have not posted pix from the last few weeks, so that is going to be rectified right now!  :)
Lazy Saturday morning.....

winter scene

I have a series of 4 pix of a few of my favorite people!  
Jon and my mom

My brother and his granddaughter

Mad-seester Rose and Emily

Eddie and Bella

The ice shacks are back!
Dramatic lighting in late afternoon

Life is a journey

Milkweed pods

Stone house

Frosty morning a few weeks ago at school.

Someone needs to NOT leave her camera laying around for the students to find!  :)
I'm sure I had something cute on underneath this tragic art shirt!!

No matter what, love this tree and this sky
So, here is my cold weather, enjoy the day, use it like I want, I need to read sort of a day post.....  I discovered a lot of joy already!

Find your joy today and stay WARM!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And how did it become Sunday already? Or how conflict runs my life...

It is amazing how fast the week goes.  I can hardly believe it is the half way through the school year already and the weekend is already into Sunday morning

A few things-

I have taken a few pix and I need to photo edit.  I have found that if life keeps me from taking pictures, I get antsy and stressed.

I have one project going that I simply MUST finish!!!  So hard to find the time.  Today might be the day, though.

It is FREAKING cold out.  -10 here this morning. And that kept me in from a walk.  boooo.  AND I am so sore from really lifting HARD this past week.  I wanted to go to the gym this morning, but the aches I had told me to let it go another day yet.  SO I have to rethink my gym schedule for the week.

Which brings up the word CONFLICTS

I am having a lot of them right now.....

Ignore my whining if you choose, but this is my outlet for my thoughts- I think carefully about what I write here (usually) and so it is a good place to sort.


I think about my schedule on Sat. or Sun. for the week and todays revelation goofed that up!  oy.  So I need to reorganize my ideas.
Next the play is looming and that will totally throw off my lifting for a while- but I will figure it out.  I will not be stopping- that isn't part of the plan AT ALL.  BEAST MODE BABY!!!!


I am still working my way through this.  I still feel like I will gain all my weight back if I don't exercise like a maniac EVERY day.  I still feel uneasy with 1600 - 1800 calories per day.  I am pretty sure I should be sedated and counseled.

I also am reading a book called the Smarter Science of Slim- and I have come to discover that it is Paleo in disguise.  I understand the concepts but can not buy into it totally.  I need to do what is right for me - as  a few of my extraordinary friends have said- and I don't think whole grains are a problem for me.  I think maybe sugar is!  Certainly there is room to clean up my eating.  BUT I am incapable of perfection, which makes me sad, but it is what it is.  I want to always eat perfectly, but I am so weak.  sigh.  Yeah and the smartie in the book didn't address emotional eating or wanting to be an athlete (of sorts) so he is using not only a little flawed science, and conjecture, but also ignoring the individual.  ( I also really don't care to read on a kindle!)

I also am getting lots of conflicting advice from awesome people.  I am really feeling uncertain about how much protein to have, whether to supplement for weight lifting, if I should go vegan, blah blah blah......  melt down imminent!  I could just cry.

Also, WHY do people ask if you eat fish if you are vegetarian?  why?? Why do I have to explain that??  idk.

SCHOOL- the new semester starts.  that is all.

MY MOM AND MY HOME:  so I am haunted by the little incident that happened to my mom- I'm not gonna go into it- but suffice it to say that the one two punch of my mom hurt and the unexpected news of the loss of my family home put me into a tailspin.  It has made me feel so insecure.  I keep having all these images pop to my mind, and now I am dreaming about it.  It makes me so sad.  I feel like my base  has been removed from under my feet.

COOKING!  Lol, I am having an off weekend, but I need to do some cooking for the week.  I have found a couple fast things finally, so that is what I am working on.  In typical Debi fashion, I am taking the idea and totally doing with it what I please.  I just can't be bothered to always be prepared early for these things!!  HAHAHA  I am so impulsive it is sort of funny- well it is funny somedays.  Other days living in the mind of the Mad-artteacher isn't the most comfortable.  I have to find my inner sunshine, I think.

FRIENDS:  I feel seriously like a burden at times to my friends who I chat with a lot.  I know that they will disagree, and that is so awesome.  BUT, I wonder when I will grow up enough to deal with my issues on my own.  Or will I?  Or is that not necessary.  I am always available and HAPPY to listen to them, why should I feel like I am imposing?? I love feeling like I can contribute well to a discussion about life and all- what the heck is wrong with me??  I am not sure that what I give is equal to what I get and I really am about fairness. Sigh.

I will be finishing up this post and then finishing up a little soup for the week.  And then try to get at the afore mentioned project and brave the cold and get outside for a walk.  Just a little one in the woods.  with a camera.......

And that should give me some joy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Neglected Food Post! SW Veggie Soup!

I have been meaning to post another round of cooking, but things sometimes do get in the way!

I also have to figure out a way to get a separate list of recipes I think- it might be nice to be able to have them in a list.  But right now that would involve time I don't seem to have.

This weekend I made Southwestern flavored Mixed Vegetable soup!  I sort of followed a recipe, but I can never leave well enough alone!  :)  So I improvise and change things to suit my needs, what I have and what I like!  PLUS, I tried out making tofu in a few ways to up my protein a little in my diet.  So far so good!
My go to book these days!

At this time of the year, I have to take advantage of my pantry!

I try to find lower salt versions of things, or I  rinse off the canned things to remove some sodium!

 Chop up that onion!! I take the little growing tip out before I dice it up.  It is really pretty though.

Add the firmer vegetables with the onion to get them cooking!

Seasonings- needs a hot kick though I discovered- I added red pepper flakes

Add garlic and spices and let the flavors bloom in the oil

Add the rest of the vegetables and the broth and let cook until potatoes are done.

 I have this new cookbook, too, but I haven't had much of a chance to look at it yet!  I will be investigating soon.

My first attempt at tofu!  I just used some Braggs (really tastes like soy sauce) and pan fried in a tiny bit of oil- good!

adapted from How to Cook EVERYTHING Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman

I adapted this by adding the veggies I had and leaving out the ones that I can't even get in town!

2 Tablespoons olive oil (or corn or canola)
1 large chopped onion
1 T minced garlic
1 dried chipotle pepper (I used some chili powder)
1 T cumin (yes, that is right- a Tablespoon)
1 - 2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
1 large potato, roughly chopped
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup cooked black beans
3 tomatillas - or canned (didn't have this)
1 med. tomato ( or 1 can crushed tomatoes)
1 medium zucchini, chopped
(carrots, pepper, any veg you like also!)
6 cups vegetable stock
cilantro leaves
red pepper flakes or cayenne

Heat oil in a deep pot and saute onions- and carrots/peppers etc if you use them.  about 5 or 6 min.  Add the garlic and chipotle at the last 30 seconds and stir.  Sprinkle on cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper and stir.
Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for a few more minutes, until vegs are shiny and hot.

Add broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20 min or so.

Adjust seasonings-  I added pepper flakes and would also add a little cayenne, as this was pretty mild.  Make it taste how you prefer!  VERY versatile!!

About 220 calories per cup.  SCORE!!!

I STILL haven't written up the post for the AWESOME sweet potato salad I made over Christmas.  It was sooooo good.  I must- soon!!!

I really have to start using up my frozen treats from previous weeks!  So I might need to hold back on the new recipes- ha- maybe.

Find your joy today and make sure you give some away!  Someone might need it.....