Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three steps forward and two steps back, Wanna Dance?

Last week we had some great weather here in Southwest Iowa.  Noble and I went walking twice and I even got my husband out once.  I ate great for two days, then went back to the "see-food" diet, you know, see food, eat it.  How are others consistent?  I'm constantly battling SAD, that pesky winter-time disorder of wanting to hibernate until spring.  When the weather is good, which means the sun is shining and the temps are about forty, I feel better and can stay on task.  When the sun hides behind a thick layer of clouds and the temps hover around freezing I just want to crawl back into bed (I have to get up to get breakfast for my family and see all the males off to school) and not get up until it's lighter and warmer.  Also this past week I've been malingering and blue because of some situations at church.  This is definitely a different kind of congregation.  But that is another blog.  So back to the problem of consistency.  I admit: I'm weak willed when it comes to changing my habits.  I did much better when I was single and living alone.  I didn't have anything in my house that I didn't want to eat.  I ate in more of a vegetarian style, and I walked everyday (living in So. California is so convenient).  How can I adapt for Iowa, with a husband and sons who demand MEAT at every meal and the winters are icy and snowy and impossible to navigate outside on foot?

Winter is the worst time to begin a program of change!  I'm going to wait for spring and the sunshine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Immutable Law of Gravity

Today is the one month mark so it's time for weigh in and measurements:
Weight - 175 (-3)
Neck - 14" (-1)
Bust - 40" (-1)
Waist - 34" (-1) (I stood up straight!)
Abdomen - 44" (no change)
Hips - 44 1/4" (+3/4)
Thigh - 25" (+1/4)
Calf - 15 3/4" (+1/4)
Ankle - 9" (no change)
Bicep - 13" (-1/4)
Wrist - 6 1/2" (-1/4)

As you can see the changes are mostly due to gravity.  Everything is moving down!!!  And the weight loss is simply water.  I was out and about yesterday and forgot a bottle of water so I am slightly dehydrated.  But truthful, always truthful. 

I didn't get any chocolates (or flowers or cards) for Valentines Day, unless you count the half of a Milky Way bar I shared with Noble while we were out shopping.  I fixed a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner, the top crust covered in little hearts cut from the leftover crust.  It looked really nice and tasted yummy. I used a red damask tablecloth and white linen napkins edged in red; made cranberry juice (from frozen concentrate) and served it is stemware, then we had ice cream with fresh strawberries for dessert.  Also at everyone's place I put a small box of conversation hearts.  And that was our Valentines Day. (My husband has never been big on holidays so I just do my thing and enjoy it with the children.)

So, back to gravity.  To counteract its effect I must strengthen my core muscles and remember what I learned a long time ago from a book called "Set For Life."  The author said "Remember, muscle curves, fat hangs."  And that just about describes me.  All hang.  As soon as the snow is gone I can begin to work in the yard again, which builds muscles; and I can walk, which tightens my tummy and butt better than anything I've tried.  Well, better in a natural and painless way.  I am not into pain, or sweat for that matter.  I've always felt that if I'm sweating I'm either working too hard, or it's too hot, or both.

I set a goal to change my breakfasts--Well, I took smaller portions, does that count?  Still trying to get organized.  Actually I'm very organized, after the sun comes up, it's this getting up in the middle of the night (anytime before the sun is up) that is difficult for me.  But hope, and spring, is on the way.  The days are lengthening and it won't be long before I can be awakened by the sun rather than my alarm.  I'll keep plugging away.  And I'm truly grateful I don't have cows to milk at 4:30 AM.

One last thing; I got a lovely letter from my missionary son in Argentina.  PAYDAY!  He said he'd trade his new hat for a mother's hug!  All the long hours of teaching and training and patience are paying big dividends.  I love being a mother

Friday, February 11, 2011

Name Change - It's who I am, really!

When my daughter, Noble, helped me start this blog, sort of on the spur of the moment, I couldn't think of a catchy title so went with "The Happy Homemaker."  Then the other day I was musing on what I want to accomplish with this blog and decided that I would go back to my roots, so to speak. 

I married a US Marine almost twenty-three years ago.  When we met he was the senior instructor at a formal school at Camp Pendleton.  Occastionally I'd visit him at the school and he'd introduce everybody to me as Sgt. Smith, LCpl. Jones, Pfc. Hamilton, and so forth.  I was just plain Rozy.  I felt rather naked without a title so I decided to be Pfc. Wilson.  In my case the Pfc (Private First Class) stood for Pretty, friendly, civilian.  I thought it was fairly appropriate.  Anyway, the appellation stuck and after we married and had children I became Pfc Mom.  My husband is known as TopDad, Top being the nickname for a Master Sergeant in the Corps.

So there you have it.  Pfc Mom!  We can even change what the pfc stands for--practical, frugal, clean; or persistent, fanatic, clever; of course there are days when I'm petulant for candy; but who's counting.  If you have something fun to share, please do so.  I'd love to hear it!

One last thing:  The name Rozy Lass is because I'm one fourth Scottish genetically, much more than that in reality.  Seriously, I'm redheaded, I love bagpipe music, tartan (plaid) and shortbread.  I've been to Scotland once and am promised another trip by my husband, who also loves Scotland, having served for two years there in the Marines.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Habits and other Perversions

Habits are queer and perverse things.  No sooner do I begin to blog and think about changing habits then my mind begins to crave candy, cookies, cake, pie, chips, and all other manner of bad for me delights.  I believe conquering the mind is more difficult than conquering the body because one has to win the mind over first!  And to add insult to injury, as the saying goes, the weather has been overcast and depressing with temps in the negatives.  I thrive on sunshine!  And fresh air!  I NEED to walk outside and can do so for far longer than I can trudge on a treadmill.  My daughter and I have gone over to the hospital several times to do the treadmill thing and while it is better than nothing it is only barely better than nothing.  My husband thinks that we should just keep going and we'll overcome our aversion to the darn things and make good progress.  But he is of the "do as I say, not as I do" persuasion, and I don't see him over there exercising.  I've hinted and asked outright for a bicycle for my birthday and I think he is getting me one.  I hope, I hope!  A friend of mine back in Washington (state) began to ride a bike after her husband died and she lost a ton of weight (not literally) and looked fantastic.  I like to think that being out in the fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for my mind first and then my body. 

It's as if my mind goes into a reverse psychology mode whenever I decide to get healthy and lose weight.  Okay, I'm going to eat more vegetables (which I honestly like and enjoy eating) and less sugary things like candy and cookies (which I also enjoy eating, but not the effect they have on me) and my mind says, as if hypnotizing me, "Body, you are craving candy, you must have chocolate, you will die without something salty and crunchy."   Seriously!  A long time ago I told my children that I couldn't have candy anymore, that I was allergic to it.  Yes, honestly, it makes my hips swell something awful.  I pretend I'm diabetic and can't have sugar or refined carbs.  Ha ha, my mind knows differently and I fall into temptation and embrace the goodies like long lost friends. 

This is a struggle to conquer the natural (wo)man.  I want to, I know I need to, and I believe I can be successful.  I have grandparents who lived well into their nineties.  My parents are mid-eighties and healthy.  I went in for a complete physical last week.  The good news is that I am basically healthy.  Blood pressure is 110/70, pulse 58, temp 96.4 (it was a cold day outside and the examining room was freezing); all the lab work came back normal, except! my triglyceride level is elevated slightly.  Too much sugar and refined carbs in my diet.  Oh really?  Overall cholesterol is good and my HDL is 50, which is good.  So there is laboratory proof that I need, repeat NEED to cut down, if not eliminate sugar from my diet.  I can do it for a meal at a time, a day at a time, but then, BAM, somebody (usually a loving husband or son or daughter) will offer to share their treat with me and I succumb.  Will you stop tempting me? Please, stop tempting me!

Reader's Digest published a diet book that I thought approached things the right way.  It was called "Change One"  and used the premise that changing everything all at once was too hard and people were prone to failure.  So they advocated changing one thing at a time and when the one new thing became a habit, move on to the next thing.  They began with breakfast, then lunch, snacks, dinner, eating out, shopping for food, exercise, etc.  I can't remember all twelve things from the book.  (I had the book but gave it to a co-worker who needed it more than I did.) 

I'm going to begin again and change one thing at a time.  Breakfast:  I usually make a big breakfast to feed the men in my family.  They like meat (bacon or sausage) and eggs, or french toast, or pancakes (which I like too) or their favorite "Skillet Breakfast" which combines meat, potatoes and eggs in a tasty and filling meal.  BUT, those meaty kinds of breakfasts are too fattening for me.  I knew a woman in Maryland who was very thin and she said "I eat three times a day, but my metabolism eats five."  (I was always very envious of her and coveted her metabolism.) My situation is opposite: I eat three times a day and my metabolism eats about three times a week.  I just do not burn off as many calories as I take in.  So here's my plan:  I'll continue to make breakfast for the guys (and my daughter who is young and has a good metabolism) and I'll make myself a different breakfast.  I know that is more work but one of my favorite breakfasts is one that I can prepare ahead and just heat briefly in the microwave.  That is brown rice.  I love brown rice and it is filling and when I eat it I don't get hungry until lunchtime.  Another good for me breakfast is cracked wheat which can be cooking on the stove while I prepare the other stuff. So here's to my first CHANGE. (Everyone lift a toast with a glass of water!)

My goal for the week:  Change what I eat for breakfast. 
Second goal is to blog more frequently.  (Will be more specific when I get a rhythm going. I find that living a full life doesn't always include writing about it, but I'll do better.)