Thursday, February 24, 2011

A snowy Thursday

It snowed most of the day yesterday and with more in the forecast for late last night, I went to bed wondering what I would wake up to. This is what greeted me!

Although I was bummed about not being able to go for a run (I figured running on snow and ice probably wouldn't be the best thing for my healing knee) I was thrilled to throw on a hat and scarf, put on my rubber boots and go exploring around the yard. The quiet of a snow filled yard was only broken with the occasional rustle of bird in a tree or the soft patter of Lucy's feet in the snow.

Flower pots that will soon be overflowing with bright flowers were stark and white today.

After a long walk around the yard and through some woods, we headed back inside to warm up. Lucy found a patch of sun to sit in by the window (along with her favorite hippo toy) and gazed longinly out at the snow. She may have once been a beach dog when I lived in San Diego, but she sure enjoys the weather of the good old Northwest. :)
As for my altered workout due to the weather? I braved the roads and made it safely to the gym where I did weights, the row machine for 20 minutes and ran three miles on the treadmill. It wasn't quite as relaxing as hitting the pavement, but at least I didn't let the snow be another excuse to falter from my weight loss program!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My new hobby!

At the beginning of 2011, I made some New Year's "goals" which included a goal to find a new hobby. I have been doing some photography and I really love it, but recently I found something else that has sparked my interest as well. Gardening! When I lived in California in 2008, my lovely roommate had an amazing garden in the backyard, but I can honestly say it didn't grab my attention and I did nothing except water it a handful of times when she was out of town. Sure, I had other things on my mind like my divorce and how to pay the bills that were piling up, but even with that weight on my shoulders I'm surprised I never saw the beauty of the garden.

What's changed my mind? What was it that peaked my interest and has my heart all a flutter at the thought of putting my hands in the dirt? No doubt, it has everything to do with my dad. As we wait (not so patiently) for his appointment with a melanoma specialist at the University of Washington on March 1st and as we anticipate the next step in his treatment, there are few things we can do to fight or ward off the return of the cancer. What we can do, however, is think about, research and genuinely care about what we put in our bodies. High fructose corn syrup and preservatives have been banished from the house and words like "natural" and "fresh" are constantly in our vocabularies. And so, since spring is fast approaching, we decided to turn a patch of the two acres my parents own into a garden.

Here is a picture of the plot of land. The barn in the background used to house our horses, but with the animals no longer a part of our lives, this huge piece of land is barren and screaming for attention. My cousin and her family are going to be a part of this garden as well and together we will all be digging, tilling, planting and growing some delicious food. ALL natural of course and planted with love. :)

So far on the list is kale, spinach, garlic, onions, squash, beets, carrots, green beans and maybe potatoes. With a Seattle climate, there are some things that just won't grow and prosper, but we do plan on doing some tomatoes in pots. Oh, and the big endeavor (if time and money allows) will be blueberries! If you have ever purchased fresh local blueberries in the Northwest, you know how lucrative growing them yourself to consume and sell could be.

Seattle Tilth offers some great classes and learning opportunities and I'm thinking of attending a session. I hope to post more pictures later in spring of our garden in bloom. I will take great pride in producing food that is safe, healthy and sustainable as well as sharing this hobby with a very special and brave man.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Really bad excuses.

Alright, so maybe the cartoon above doesn't quite reflect my current situation of trying to lose a little extra weight, but I thought it was funny. I highly doubt that if I fail at losing some pounds that I will wind up dead in the near future. I'm not obese and am actually quite healthy as far as cholesterol and blood pressure numbers go, but at the end of the day I REALLY want to, and probably should, lose weight.
Several road blocks stand in my way of truly getting back into my skinny jeans, but the one that I find extremely troublesome this week is my ability to make excuses. Bad excuses and in some cases irrational excuses, but excuses non the less. I excel at making excuses and if making them were some kind of a sport I would no doubt be sponsored by Nike. I decided writing about them and putting it "out there" might help me to stay accountable so here it goes.....
I worked the lunch shift at work today and knew for a fact that I would be done at 3:30 on the dot when a co-worker came to relieve me. I had plans (since last night honestly) to hurry home, lace up my shoes and hit the pavement for a run around my block which tops out at 3.52 miles. I talked about it at work, had a protein packed and healthy lunch, and was indeed in my car by 3:35 heading home.
A few things happened between work and home, which IS quite a long commute (oops, is that another excuse?!) and by the time I pulled into the driveway I knew in my gut that running was the last thing I would be doing this afternoon. What happened on the ride home? Nothing more than some clouds rolling in and my knee having a twinge (SMALL twinge) of pain after a work shift on my feet. From these two things I derived the following excuses for not going for a run and I, sadly, can discredit and rationalize the reasons why all of them are really bad excuses.
1. It might start raining so I better not go running: this makes ABSOLUTELY no sense at all!!! I live, and have lived my whole life, in Seattle! I can get anything done in the rain and I actually really enjoy running in the rain. It sounded like an excuse someone from CA would use because, frankly, sometimes the world stops turning when it rains down there. :)
2. It might be dark by the time I get home, which wouldn't be safe: Ok, ok, a valid excuse for when I used to live downtown, but I reside in the suburbs now and I'm pretty sure I would be alright on a lit, busy street. Oh, and it doesn't get dark at 4pm any longer.
3. I really need to sit down and send out some resumes and work on my job search: This one is my favorite because there is nothing I hate more than job hunting and this can and is usually done at night from the comfort of my bed on my laptop. There was no need to embark on this task midday.
4. I have Wednesday off from work so I can work out and run even further without time constraints: Ah, yes, put off what you can do today and just wait to do it later. How about you run today AND on Wednesday.
5. And as I was arriving home the last and final excuse was that my ipod was dead: apparently I forgot that all I have to do is plug the thing into my computer for a few minutes and BAM, I will have music to run to. :)
Did I wise up and go for that run? No. Am I beating myself up over it? Not as much as I was earlier in the evening. I recognized the error of my ways and I will just start fresh again tomorrow. After all, we can't get it right every day and this journey is all about being forgiving towards yourself, right?