Still going on about weight and exercise stuff

I’ve been trying to really focus on the positive stuff lately.  I read a book years ago that mentioned how we talk to ourselves in our heads.  Our internal dialog speeds by so quickly that we probably don’t even catch up on it most of the time.  But if you’re running trash-talk about yourself, you’re getting a beat down so many times a day it’s undoubtedly damaging.  And since negative thoughts and comments stick to us so much better than positive ones (it’s like you can have 10 positive comments but one negative will knock them all out flat), it’s important to change that dialog to positive thoughts.

I read the book in high school so I might not have everything remembered right, but it seems solid.  Stop beating yourself up at several miles an hour and start encouraging yourself instead.  Doing that will change how you feel about yourself and life and others.

I have my good days and bad days with this concept.  And when I’m not exercising and looking at my fitness and shape, so often my head is just filled with trash talk.  Even when I am exercising, it’s hard to beat out the negativity.  But it is easier.

Example:  I love yoga.  I love the concentration, the multi-level work on balance, strength, alignment, and flexibility, the hard work balanced with the meditation.  I’m not that “good” at it if you look at how deep I can get into asanas and how long I can hold it, but I’m doing it to learn, to stretch, to strengthen, to focus . . . . 

Since we got this gym membership, I’ve been able to go to yoga two times.  Saturday, I was standing there and caught sight of myself in the mirror.  Mirrors in gyms.  Good for checking alignment and posture.  Also good at showing the flab handing from my arms and the width of my midsection.  Especially when my image completely obscures the reflection of the women behind me.  And immediately the talk starts:

Good Lord, look at my arms!  When did I grow fat wings?  Oh, good!  Now we’re leaning over and all the fat on my face is hanging to the side.  Gross!  And I can’t reach far enough because I can’t make it over these lumps of fat on my stomach.  And my butt is enormous!  Ack!

And immediately I start talking back to myself:

Oh, but check out my alignment.  My spine is so straight!  And I can get my arms up straight.  I can hold this pose for ages because my legs are so strong.  I know how to adjust my hips so I can do this pose even better.  And the burn I’m feeling through my legs is calorie burn and I’m strong and beautiful and taking control.

The internal dialog about how awfully fat and ugly I am is probably what I’m the most tired of when it comes to my current health and condition.  The constant self-loathing.  So I’ve really been working on reversing that.    It’s easy to stand in the gym and look at the little stick-figure girls and get frustrated and upset.  But I’m trying to focus on the positive things I’m doing instead—the strength and stamina I’m building.  And I’m doing things that I really enjoying instead of forcing myself to do things that I think I *should* do.  Like, “I should work out 6 days a week.”  I’m working out 3-5 days a week.  “I should work as hard as I can until I can’t do it anymore.”  I’m keeping it between 115 – 153 BPMs and stopping when it’s appropriate.  “I should try to lose weight as quickly as possible.”  I’m not even stepping on the scale right now but at most, I should lose 2 pounds a week.

I’m ENJOYING myself.  I’m ENCOURAGING myself.  And I’ve made it through a week and I’m feeling better than I was a month ago.

Tonight I’m going to Zoomba class!  Or something like that.  Isn’t that a robotic vacuum cleaner?

Follow-on for yesterday

Work from 7:30 until 11:30 Very dull, but done.

Go to an investing class from 12:00 to 2:00 Learned a few more things, but I have more to research and look into how I’m doing my investing right now.  This is so complicated when you’re getting started.

Run to Savannah and pick up my sister-in-law so she can do laundry for free (20 minute drive) No problem.

Run back home and drop her off at the house (30 minute drive) Drive, drive, drive.

Keep on running until I get to the mechanic’s to get his professional opinion about the car we’re looking at buying.  I’m supposed to be there at 3:00.  I think I’m going to be late. Justin called and set my appointment back to 3:30, which meant I made it in perfect time.

Depending on what the mechanic says, either work out the details on buying the car or go home very sad. Went home not so “very sad” but I don’t think we’re buying the car, either.  Just too many risks that involve too much money.

Go to the gym to talk with them about the free membership that Justin won. The woman we need to speak with wasn’t there.  We’re doing this one today.

Drive sister-in-law back to school after providing a homemade meal Okay, so Zaxby’s isn’t homemade but it was still really delicious.

Watch Dollhouse. “Goodness gracious!”

Watch Stargate: Universe Watched Sanctuary instead.

Go to bed.  I’m already tired. Yea for sleep!

Babblings on a Thursday

It was raining this morning.  It made getting out of bed really hard because it was so dark and the sound of the rain just made me want to snuggle back under the covers and sleep.  But I didn’t.  I still have a few more days before the weekend.

I wish I had rain boots.  I was wet up to my knees by the time I made it to my desk.

I did get to use my umbrella, though.  So many people use such drab-colored umbrellas, black and navy and they’re all so dark.  My umbrella is white with multi-colored polka-dots.  I love it.

In other news, I got to my desk and realized that my shirt was on inside out.  This, apparently, is what happens when I try to make last-minute wardrobe changes in my rain-darkened bedroom.  So I ducked into an empty cubical with a door and flipped it around.

A coworker and I had another discussion about how I don’t understand why he crosses off the days on the group calendar when we haven’t finished them yet.  He does this all the time and it drives me nuts.  Sometimes he’ll not only cross off today, but also the next couple of days, too.  He’s already crossed off the first week of the furlough.  He says he’s thinking ahead.  I say that we haven’t finished the day yet.  I’m tempted to steal his marker away, but he’s higher-up than me so I really just need to learn to deal with it.

My shoulders are starting to peel from the sun damage.  Hopefully it’ll stick to the two red stripes that have persisted across my shoulders.  The rest has faded to a dark tan, but these two stripes have stayed red.  And now they’re starting to peel, despite my best moisturizing efforts.

I should write about the trip.

Okay, that’s done.  I’ll post that separately, though, because it’s a huge long thing.  So once you hit the end of this post, keep on scrolling and you’ll read the post about our trip to Vermont.

It’s not raining anymore.  The sun has come out and it’s hot and humid.  Welcome to summer.

I have today, tomorrow, and four days of next week left to work and then I’m off for four weeks.  I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to handle meals over the next month.  The plan is to conserve as much as possible, in both energy and food expenses.  I can cook things in the crock pot and not have any heat seep into the room.  I actually have a lot of options there, from what I read.  And we have the wok for other options, and a toaster oven.  We’re going to look into getting a tiny, cheap little grill for the back porch and that will open up a whole world of options.  Plus, yea!  Grilling!  On a cute little $10 portable.

But what do you all think?  Do you have recommendations on foods that I could make over the furlough?  Length of cook time isn’t a concern—I’ll have all day to work on meals.  But I’m looking for meals that are super cheap and don’t cause a lot of heat in the house (air conditioning is expensive).

Ideas I’ve thought of so far are:

Crock pot:

  • Roast chicken
  • Chili
  • Soup
  • Pasta


  • Stir fry
  • Fried rice
  • Scrambled eggs


  • Salads
  • Sandwiches/wraps


  • Hamburgers
  • Hotdogs/brats
  • Kabobs
  • Baked potatoes
  • Chicken
  • This thing called “Poor man’s lunch” that I can’t quite remember but I’m going to search until I find it.

Leave me comments with suggestions of other meals I could make!

And keep on reading if you want to read the post about our trip to Vermont.

Working on my goals

One of my goals to accomplish before my birthday (in just under three weeks) is to have 10 pages of writing saved. I’ll be honest with ya, I don’t have one. Not one! Things are not looking good for this goal. And I really want to hit this one! There are several of my goals that I’m just not going to be able to accomplish, but it seems like if I just sat down for once, I might actually have a chance to make this.

So if you don’t see much up here other than the Grace in Small Things posts, understand that I’m doing fine, I’m just trying to get my writer’s legs under me again. I’m going to try to put in a good amount of time during the evenings to writing again for a while in the hopes that I’ll actually fall onto something that I can submit for the Writer’s Digest annual competition (another one of my goals). And, in doing so, get the 10 pages that I want.

Now if only sitting at home would help me accomplish all the other unfinished goals on my list . . . .

We rescued a dog!

Justin and I went out for our afternoon run a little after noon.  I mentioned as we were getting our shoes on that I’m getting really tired of running in circles and Justin asked if I’d like to go back upstairs and plot a route that would take us around the neighborhood.  I said that … Continue reading “We rescued a dog!”

Justin and I went out for our afternoon run a little after noon.  I mentioned as we were getting our shoes on that I’m getting really tired of running in circles and Justin asked if I’d like to go back upstairs and plot a route that would take us around the neighborhood.  I said that I’d rather not today because I wasn’t feeling very well and I wasn’t confident about my ability to finish the whole almost three miles.  I’d rather not wind up 1½ miles away from home and be totally wiped.  So we went off down to run laps around the pool like normal.

We normally run in the dark.  Saturdays are the only days when we run in the daylight.  And there are lots of squirrels in that area and other small critters, so when we’re running, there are always things making noise in the underbrush and leaves off to the side.  You just learn to ignore it after a while.  But one lap, I looked around to see if I could identify what it was making all the noise.  And I saw a little brown dog sniffing around in the leaves.  I thought, “Huh.  Must be someone’s pet that got loose or a stray in the neighborhood.”  Nothing too unusual.

The next time around the loop, I looked for the dog again and I noticed that it hadn’t moved from where it was last time.  And I wondered what it had found that was so interesting, so I stopped to look more carefully.

And that’s when I noticed that the dog was tied to a small tree.  It was a little Chihuahua with a short leash wrapped around its neck and the other end tied to a sapling.  There was a Tupperware bowl with a little dry dog food off on the other side of a tree, but it looked like it might be too far away for the dog to reach.  And there was no water.

I stepped closer to the dog and it started barking at me a lot.  Nothing too violent, not snarling or baring his teeth (I could see up closer that the dog was male), but enough that I was nervous that he was going to bite me if I got too close, just out of nervousness and anxiety.  When I got closer, I could also see that the poor thing was nearly all bones.  Every single rib was clearly defined through his fur.  All the bones on his hips and his legs and across his back, were all clearly identifiable through his fur.  He was nearly a skeleton.

I stepped back to wait for Justin to come around the loop to where I was hunkered in the path, looking at the dog.  The dog calmed down when I backed away and just stood there looking at me.  Shaking like a leaf.  Justin came jogging up and asked what was wrong and I pointed at the dog.  He was as surprised as I had been that we hadn’t noticed him earlier in our run, but there are always so many things making noise that we just never look anymore.  I asked Justin what we should do and we spent some time talking about our options.  I told him that I really didn’t want to leave him in the woods.  When I was out running errands last Friday, I picked up a pamphlet for Maranatha Farm, an animal rescue group who takes in abused and abandoned animals and gets them fixed up and out for adoption to good homes.  I wanted to call them and see if they would take him.  If we could get him back to the house.

I asked Justin to give me his shirt so I could put it over the dog and keep him from biting me.  As I walked up to him, he started barking again, but backed away from me.  When I got close enough that I could untie the end of his leash from the tree, he calmed down immediately.  I gave Justin back his shirt and we walked out from the woods and back toward the house.  Justin ran ahead to find some dog food that was left when his mom’s dog was visiting and a bowl of water.  The dog and I followed more slowly so he could stop at every puddle and lap up some water.  And try to pee on mailboxes.  Apparently male dogs are all the same, even when they’re totally malnourished and dehydrated.

Back at the house, we attached his leash to the table on the back porch and let him drink the water and eat the food Justin had put out for him.  He drank a full dish and a half of water and a whole can of wet food.  For a little tiny dog, that was really impressive.  I’m not sure where he stored it all.  I called up Maranatha and asked if they could help us.  Their base is actually about 45 minutes from where we live, but the woman I talked with on the phone told me that they were out at the PetCo in Bluffton doing adoptions until 5:00, just 15 minutes from our house.

The dog was still shivering something awful, but he was getting more energetic.  The food and water really helped.  Justin went up into the attic and pulled down a dog box that we have for his mom’s dog and we went out to the car.  I sat in the back with the dog in the carrier and Justin drove us to PetCo, where I handed him over to some really wonderful people.  They “oooh”ed and “aaaw”ed and “poor puppy”ed and said they’d take good care of him.  When we drove away, one of the women had him wrapped up in a blanket on her lap.

The Maranatha people will take good care of him.  They have a lot of experience in this thing, it sounds like.  I trust them.  I feel really good about handing the dog over to them.

I also feel very angry at whoever it was who tied him up in the woods like that.  If you don’t have the time or money or resources to care for a dog, then you don’t deserve to have one.  And if you can’t care for a dog, you don’t just tie it up with a little food and pretend that it’ll be just fine.  You find someone else to take care of it.  We keep wondering if someone’s going to come back and find out that we’ve taken their dog and I’m tempted to leave them a scathing note telling them what I think about how they were treating the dog.  That they don’t deserve to keep a pet if this is the way that they “care” for him.

At least it doesn’t seem like he was abused, which is a small consolation.  It’ll be easier to find him a home when he doesn’t have that hurt to get over.  He’ll put on weight quickly at the Farm, they’ll make sure he’s healthy and neutered, and then they’ll make sure he finds a good home.  And he’s adorable!  Who doesn’t like small, perpetually puppy-like dogs?

One of these days we’ll have resources enough to have a dog of our own.  It was kind of nice remembering what that would feel like, walking back from the pool track to the house.  But I feel really good about handing him over to the Maranatha folks.  They’ll take excellent care of him.  I think I might drive up there next Friday to check out their facilities and see if I can say hello to him.