Friday, March 27, 2015

mandatory rest and red light therapy

I didn't want to miss days at the gym, but then I got sick so I had to.  I think I could have gone today, but decided that rest was still a good idea.  I work weekends and can't afford to be worn down - because

I did the red light therapy booth again the last time I was there.  I think that makes 4 times or so.  I was expecting results from the vibrations but have been very surprised by how much I have seen from the red light part of things.

My skin is markedly softer but the biggest effect has been on the excess skin.  I've lost a lot of weight and I have an apron.  I make sure to hold it up and let the light get the skin under it.  It helps a lot with keeping that area from getting irritated.  maybe doing that with regular light and air would help too, but the warm red light is soothing.

I have not noticed a reduction in wrinkles, but then I don't care that much about them.  If they fade they fade.  If they don't, they don't.  I'm not worried about my age or age lines.  I've lived an interesting life, my body is going to reflect that.  :-)

I will keep doing the total body enhancement booth for awhile and report again on my results.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21 - Market Report

I spent $43 today.

Lots of goodies today

2 yellow bell peppers
3 orange bell peppers
12 roma tomatoes
green grapes (free)
4 kiwi fruits
bucket of spinach
2 boxes of clementines
4 lbs of sweet potatoes
2 lbs of globe grapes
4 lbs black grapes
9 lemons
9 limes
1 small head brocoli
24 blood oranges
2 boxes of strawberries
lime pepper
ancho powder
Lime fiesta spice
some sort of salad peppers.  don't know what kind but they were only $1, so I decided to try them.  They're not spicy at all.

Then I got home and had a salad.

In addition to my market trip I spent $5 on cheese, $7 on rice and chickpeas, & $4 on feta.

This is week 8, but payday comes in the middle of the week, so I have one more market trip to get through.  Going to have to shop light next week - but that should be doable.  Right now I have $37 left for that trip.  That does put 5 trips in March, but not all months are created equal.  :-)

Being Obese

Obesity isn't just a chart.

Being obese means you don't fit.  Not into clothes.  Not on rides at the park.  Not into booths at the restaurant.  Not between cars or through turnstiles.  Being obese means you don't fit into a normal life.

Being obese means you are always looking at judging to see if you are too wide or too heavy.  It's dreading the humiliation that comes from being too large or even worse, breaking something.

Being obese is being looked at.  Feeling the eyes of people staring.  It's hearing them joke about you.  It's accepting that the entire world feels free to judge you and everything you do.  It's being afraid of your children being ashamed of you for your size.  It's the sadness of knowing that sometimes they are.

Being obese is never feeling 100% clean.  It's not fitting into tubs and not being able to reach your entire body without assistance.  It's sweating in all the nooks and crannies.  It's using baby powder to keep the skin under your fat rolls from becoming irritated or infected.

Being obese is never seeing yourself.  It's the ability to look into a mirror and see nothing below the neck.  It's hiding from cameras and dreading photos.  It's being convinced that those parts of you that you won't look at are all anyone else can see.

Being obese is seeing people your size and judging them for the faults you find in yourself.  It's looking at the models and actresses in weight loss commercials and being angry at them because you know they've never actually been fat. It's wishing and praying that those diets and gimmicks work the way the ads say they will.  It's secretly believing that maybe they will for you.

Being obese is lying.  It's claiming to have eaten 5 cookie when you ate 7 or 9.  It's hiding food.  It's promising yourself you will start a fitness routine tomorrow - when you know tomorrow is not likely to come.  It's telling your kids you'll be at an event, but backing out.

Being obese is suicide  It's killing yourself one bite at a time.  It's feeling helpless and hopeless.

Being obese is a choice.  There are a millions reasons behind that choice, but there are more to change.

Overcoming obesity is dealing with the issues instead of sedating yourself with food.

Overcoming obesity is hard.  It's changing almost everything about your life.  It's not eating when you are hungry.  It's working out when you are tired.  It's not instant.  It takes months or even years.

Overcoming obesity is accepting that sometimes you will fail for a day or a week or a month. It's having a long term goal, but focussing on this day, or hour or even the next 30 seconds.  It's starting over sometimes it's frequently starting over.

Overcoming obesity is accepting all victories no matter how little and celebrating them.  It's being able to walk a flight of stairs without getting winded.  It's walking a mile, even if it takes an hour.  It's reaching for some fruit instead of ice cream.

Overcoming obesity means accepting that you can do it as readily as you once accepted that you can't.

Overcoming obesity is a choice, and not an easy one.

Overcoming obesity is worth it.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Planet Fitness - Day 9

The 17th was a work day for me so I'm on day 9 instead of 10.  :-)

Yesterday I gook a gym friend's advice and tried the Total Body Enhancement.  It's part of the black card membership, so why not.  I'm a bit skeptical about red light therapy, but I do love a massage and the vibration sounded like a good massage.

Basically it looks like a big, pink tanning booth.  This is about as close as I am going to get to entering a tanning booth.  this one says there is no UV light, so I was willing to give it a go.

I did have to ask someone how to use it.  Not 100% intuitive.

The lights were warm and kind of nice.  I made sure to get under extra skin since it seemed like that would be good for those areas.  The vibration was cool and I realized pretty quickly that it was forcing me to engage my core more.  The program lasted 12 min and I did get bored about 9 min in, but stuck it out.  

Leaving the booth I could tell that my abs and glutes were feeling it.  I have weak abs.  4 c-sections and a life time of avoiding sit ups will do that to a gal.  While I doubt the vibrations would be much of a workout for people with actual muscle in their core, for me they were.  Still feeling it today.

Today I did the hydro massage bed.  I don't think my abs were really ready for another go and after leg day my lower back likes a good massage.

I don't know what the red light did for me.  I think it will take a few uses before I can comment on that.


Today's workout was focused on the legs.  I got my husband to give the arc trainer a go.  I did notice that I won't be on the machines forever, not for legs anyway.  Not enough weight for what I want to do.  I had it on 180 for the leg press and it only goes a couple of bars higher.  While that will last for a couple of months I think, eventually I'll have to move to the free weight section.  I'm not trying to be a "lunkhead" but I do want to lift heavy.  My legs are already very strong, so I'm at the upper end of what their machines have.  My arms are another story.  It's going to be a very long while before I max out the machines.  I have weak baby arms - but I'm working on that!

Tomorrow is an abs/back day.  I'll give the total body enhancement another go then too.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The $300 - Market Report March 14, 2015

Today at the market I spent $50.75  12 on non produce and 38.25 on fruits and veggies.

I got 

4 red bell peppers
4 yellow bell peppers
10 limes
12 lemons
12 small gala apples
3 pomegranates
1 package green grapes
1 package black grapes
4 packages blueberries
8 package strawberries
2 small heads of purple cabbage
5lbs of sweet potatoes
2  bundles green onions
6 oranges
1 small head broccoli
2 bundles organic carrots with greens
3 bundle beets with greens
rose water
pomegranate molasses
local honey

The pomegranate molasses in incredibly intense.  I have lots planned with it. 60 calories to a tablespoon but for most things I wont' need more than a teaspoon.  I'm thinking of making some dressing with it for my lunch time salad this week.  

The strawberries were a great deal, but I have to sort through them and freeze some SOON.  $5 for 8 packages so it was worth the effort.

I have been eating sweet potatoes after my workout.  I enjoy them and they are easy.  Plus beet smoothies this week. Yummmmmmm  (everyone making a gagging face should stop.  Beets are sweet and tasty.)

The current budget stands at 

$96 for the next two weeks.  We will need cheese, but not a lot else.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Planet Fitness - Day 5

5th visit to the Purplasaurus known as planet fitness.  Seriously, I am not going to get used to that decor.  I like purple.  My hair is purple.  I just don't put it EVERYWHERE.  And somehow that is one of my biggest complaints about the place so far.  Not too bad.  I'm a difficult person who can be hard to please, but planet fitness is managing.

The staff has been super friendly.  Checking in is quick and they never miss saying goodbye when I leave.  The place is clean. I see the staff cleaning a lot.  Paper towels and cleaner are well stocked.  Most other gym goers use them faithfully.

I don't partake of the whole tootsie roll/pizza thing, but I did see a Sheriff's deputy snacking on them when he was there checking in on the place this morning.

My other complaint would be - less fox on the tv.  There are lots and lots of news stations.  Put fox on some of the tvs, don't put fox news then fox and friends then some other fox thing.  I think there were 3 tvs from each set dedicated to fox stations.  Of course in Belton that might be what the majority wants.   I have my music so it's not  huge thing either way.

Today was arms day.  I just finally got less sore.  Time to fix that!

Tomorrow I am going to feel all sorts of T-Rex!  It's a good thing.  I didn't push myself enough on legs day.  No soreness at all.  

Maybe that's a little extreme.  I do still have a life to live outside of the gym, but I want to feel my workout  and I want to have to push myself a bit further to feel it next time.  

I see people, mostly women, at the gym who do 10 reps on the lowest setting then move onto the next machine.  I don't think that method would work for me.  Partially because I have a lot of weight to lose and they are already thin, so they don't need to push as hard - but also because I get such a sense of satisfaction from lifting.  That's one thing I missed about a gym membership.  

Cardio is a different story.  I prefer my cardio to take place outside in the fresh air.  The machines bore the heck out of me.  I think today I shared about a couple of dozen songs from my playlist as they came up - via email to a very patient friend.  When he checks his email this morning he's going to have a ton of letters from me since each share went out separately.   A slight distraction for working hard and going nowhere.  I will head out later and get some road time in.  I like time on the road.  I'm working hard AND the scenery is changing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The $300 budget update

I had $206, but I've spent some since then.

Here's the breakdown

-  44(farmer's market)
-  20 (4 packages of hamburger on markdown)
-    5 (cheese)
-    5( goat cheese)
-    3 (gluten free freezer waffles)
-    3(butter)

I have $146 left for the month.  That's not too far off target.

We've been eating well.  Had one of those chickens from month 1 the other day, tonight we'll have porkchops and I've had some fancy salads for lunch.

Like this one.  It has pomegranate seeds that I froze when I ended up with several of them on sale.

Colorful salads are the best!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Planet Fitness Day 3

Yesterday I ended up going by myself.  I just listened to music and did the Arc Trainer for 15 min before moving on to weight machines and an arm day.

Did some stretching and then inquired about the massage beds/chairs.  Found out how to use them and I am so glad I have a black card membership.  I would pay the $20 a month just to have access to the massage beds without gym equipment.  It was heavenly.

Today my arms are really feeling the arms workout yesterday.  Almost too sore to lift my coffee.  ALMOST.  I somehow managed.  :-)

The kid & I were back today.  We did the stair climber for a minute, but I had a hard time getting into the rhythm so we moved to the Arc trainer.  Did that for 10 min and then moved to bike for another 10.  I moved to weight machines for another 20 min, but she stayed on the bike and then did the elliptical.  Can't say I blame her.  She has a silks class tonight and that's going to give her quite a workout.  She isn't planning on going with me tomorrow.

I focused on legs and then tried the massage chair since I did the bed yesterday.  I think from now on I will do arms/chair legs/bed - based on how they felt.  

I seem to do the machines a bit differently than other people.  I do 3 sets on each machine instead of doing one set and moving on to the next one.  If there  is someone waiting for the machine I will get up and let them do their set in between mine.  I don't want to be that person who hogs the machine.  So far that has not been a problem.  The crowd isn't very thick at 4:30am and there are plenty of machines.  I've also noticed that the 30 min workout seem has a Biggest Loser theme.  I hate that show and that's enough to keep me from trying that section.  I've only seem women go in there and I've noticed very few women on the free weights or weight machines.  Not sure why since that section has machines equivalent to the ones in the main room.  I have not done free weights yet, but I will by the end of the week.  

I did go into a different section for the hip abductor machines.  My hips are a weak area and I found that I had to go down 20lbs from the last time I used a machine like that.  Most of the other machines I had to go up 10-20lbs,b ut like I said, my hips are a weak area.

So far the gym has been friendly, clean and well maintained.  I'm seeing the same people so I'm guessing there is a regular crowd of early morning gym goers.  I like that.  Gives a sense of community that can be harder to find in the busy times of the day.  I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Recovery Lunch

On the way to the market the big kid wanted breakfast so we did a very bad thing.  We stopped at Taco Bell for "food"

Not calories well spent!  Bleah.  Not doing that again.  This giant lunch had only half the calories and 8x the taste of the awful thing I got at TB

I'm not opposed to eating out when $$ budget and Calorie budget allow - but I need to make much better choices.  I fell gross after my meal this morning.    Eating a nice salad did perk me up a bit.  Coffee didn't hurt either!  The white stuff on the salad plate is feta and on the fruit plate it's goat cheese.  I've been subbing feta for dressing.  I can go overboard with dressing and I find the feta accompanies the taste of the food instead of covering it up.  Sometimes I do still have dressing, but only about 10% of the time anymore.  With the goat cheese - I just have an obsession with goat cheese.  :-)  I ended up eating it on my salad instead of with my fruit but it would have been good with either.

All that shopping I do at the market put to use.  I had 2 of the mandarins, 1/4 cup of grapes, 1/2 cup of blueberries, my last tomato from last week, some onion, bell pepper, cucumber and spinach.  The cheeses and spinach came from the grocery store.  Everything else was from the market.  Well, not the coffee.  That is from Barefoot Coffee Roasters in CA.  Tasty stuff and this is my last cup.  It was a good bag of beans.

Market Report - March 7, 2014

It's hard to believe that one week ago it was snowing.  Today is bright and happy and sunny.  Picked up the big kid and headed off to the market.  Spent $44.  I need less from the grocery store this week, so the $4 isn't going over budget.

And I got cactus!  I love cactus.

My $44 bought
1 lb green beans
8 large apples
4 head garlic
some free grapes (I like free stuff)
28 mandarin oranges
4 cactus paddles
3 packages blueberries.  Really really really tasty blueberries!!
4 packages strawberries
3 pears
2 cucumber
1 bag tangerines
6 naval oranges
12 lemons
10 limes
10 plums
1 head cauliflower
2 small head purple cabbage

Nobody in my house ever lacks vitamin c!  Between the peppers and citrus fruits we have an abundance of C in our diet. 

The cactus is going to be used in omelettes tomorrow and then in a soup.  If you're not a fan of the feel of okra you might not like cactus.  I'm from a southern family so I don't mind slipperiness of okra or cactus.  Just part of the foods I consider normal.  My grandmother used to fry up okra and I may give fried cactus a try.  By necessity I am gluten free so I'll have to find a good batter that's GF.  When I do I'll post the results and recipe (if it's tasty) on

We were good on peppers this week so I was free to splurge on extra strawberries and blueberries.  What we don't get eaten will go into the freezer before they spoil.  I don't see many of them making it to the freezer.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Going to the Gym

I decided to join a gym and I had two real choices.  The community center in my town which is a good deal and has a pool.  I like to swim.   I have worked out there before and they have free weights as well as machines and an indoor track.  They also don't have hours that work well with my schedule.  Not that finding time isn't possible, it's just not always easy.

The other choice was Planet Fitness.  They have great hours and lots of machines, less waiting for one to be open.  They don't have a pool but they do have massage chairs and some other kind of massage.  Another thing they have is a lot of bad reviews.  I don't know how much of that is location specific. I found mostly good reviews about the one close to me, but lots and lots of bad reviews over all.

I talked to some people who use Planet Fitness and got opinions from people I know who actually use it.  I also asked a few people who use the community center if they still have good standards and are maintaining the equipment.  Budget cuts can really hurt a publicly funded place.  Good reports on that front, so either place is going to work for us.

In the end I went with Planet Fitness because of the hours.  During the week I need to be in the place before 5 - 4:30 is ideal.  I have to be headed back home by 5:30 so everyone can get ready for their day.  My job keeps me from working out much on the weekends so their shorter hours don't affect me.

Sign up wasn't a problem.  I didn't have any of the difficulties I had seen online.  I took two precautions.  I used a prepaid card to pay an I set the reoccurring payment from a checking account that is not our main one.  I've heard that when cancelling it can be hard to get them to quit charging you and I wanted to head that off before it was a problem.  The whole "in writing" thing is a pain in this day and age, but not so much that I do it.  I actually READ the agreement.  More people should do that.

We did the online sign up and I got a black card membership so that the kid can come with me on days she's interested.  My husband got a regular membership.

I have zero interest in using the tanning bed.  I don't tan for a number of reasons, from its stupid to risk skin cancer to I like the way my tattoos are still bright.  However, to each his or her own.  I don't plan to do it and that leaves more bed time for other people.

After signing up online we went in to finish and get our cards + free t-shirts.

The lady helping us was super nice and it was a good experience.

This morning we got up and went in to work out for the first time.  Dan used the treadmill despite the fact that he needs something besides cardio and he hates the treadmill.  I have no idea why he won't lift or at least use the elliptical once in awhile.  He likes to run on the treadmill and then complain about it.  It's a hobby I guess.

The kid an I used arc trainers for some quick cardio.  Only 10 min.  Just enough to get us going and then we moved to weight machines.  Even with just 10 min my legs were feeling it.  I'm going to give that machine another whirl on Monday.  I liked the workout.  Later today I'll dance for awhile to get the rest of my cardio in.

Today was an arm day and that's what we did.  I love that the cleaning supplies are everywhere and people seem to be using them.  Also the number of machines meant no waiting.    It was nice to be able to switch out with the kid.  I did a set, she did a set.  It was also nice to find that we are stronger than we thought.  I moved the weight up 10lbs over where I was the last time I used these kinds of machines.

Day 1 was a success.  I will report back again after month 1 is over to see if I still like Planet Fitness.

For the moment I am feeling good.  I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy going to the gym.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gym Fees

Anyone looking at this blog can see that I use Google Adsense.  Between the various blogs it gives me a little extra cash every couple of months.  I have decided to put that money to use by getting a gym membership.  I used to go to our community center every morning and I miss it. Plus the cheap elliptical I have at home broke, so that's a little more motivation.   

I stopped going to the gym when we were financially strapped, but now things are getting better and I would like to start up again.   The community center is a great bargain for a family, so we'll all be able to use it.  And now every time someone clicks on an ad off of my blog they will be helping keep our family fit and healthy.  :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Aerial Silks

My kid has started doing aerial silks and it's one heck of a workout.

I'm adding it to my list of goals.  Hopefully by the end of the summer I'll be ready.  It's good incentive to get rid of those baby arms and get some muscles!

doesn't that look like fun??

The 300 - finding things to cook

Menu planning on a budget is a bit of an art.  Not a hard art that takes years of training and dedication - more like learning to use a Spirograph.  IT's easy and pretty fun when you get it right.

I've enjoyed the past month of eating well on the cheap but I'm feeling the need to stretch my cooking wings a bit.  A lot of cookbooks call for stuff I have no idea how to get.  I knew what rose water was but had no idea it was so pricey.  Luckily a little goes a long ways and I found it cheap at the market.  Still looking for black currants.

This past weekend I stumbled across a cache of old cookbooks at a thriftshop.  They were the kind that churches put out as fundraisers.  I snapped up all 16 of them because those are the kinds of things I hoard.

As I was going through them I realized that they are a treasure of things that can ACTUALLY be cooked and usually for less.  These are the recipes that people used and while I need to modify some, they are a great place to start.

I reviewed the oldest one on my other blog

Here's a link.

I went through that one first because it had the most personality.  :-)

Monday, March 2, 2015

The $300 - starting month two

I didn't quite make it in month 1.  I splurged and we went $17 over.

Going to give it another try this month.  I do have a lot of leftovers and stuff in the freezer, so we are in pretty good shape starting out this month.  I just need to stay on track and use that stuff.

This week I spent $47 at the market.  $37 on fruits and veggies and $10 on Hummus and Tzatziki sauce.  Both came from a local restaurant/specialty store.  The hummus is probably  my all time favorite variety.  They just get it right.

For the $37 I got

5lbs black grapes
2 bags key limes
12 roma tomatoes
1 bag radishes
2 honeydew melons 
4 beets
3 orange bell peppers
3 red bell peppers
1 spaghetti squash
1lb poblano peppers
4 lbs sweet potatoes
9 oranges
5 nectarines
2 very small head broccoli
3 cucumbers
2 red onions

I also spent money at the grocery store

$17 porkchops (two packages on clearance - lots and lots of porkchops)
$6 thin sliced steak
$7 crumbled goat cheese
$1.50 purple cauliflower
$1.50 orange cauliflower
$5 goat cheese
$5 cheddar cheese
$2 cottage cheese
$2 sour cream

That means I am at $94 for the month.  I have enough meat to last me probably the entire month now.  I might buy some bacon, but we'll see.  I still have some chicken and ham in the freezer from last month.  I also have broccoli soup base ready to go and tons of fruit for smoothies.  We were also given some fruit this week, huge tubs of pineapple and mango and two fruit plates.  The fruit plates came from a vendor at the market.  It's good to be the balloon lady.  Anyway, I suspect that in a worst case scenario I have enough food in the freezer and pantry to feed the family for a month.  We would lack in fresh fruits and veggies, as well as snack food - but it could be done.  That's kind of  where I want to keep it.  I don't want so much I never go through it, but I do want a backup supply for when something happens and we can't work for a couple of weeks.  

I have $206 left to spend this month.  $120 will go to the market for fresh and then I have about $28 a week for other stuff.  I may have to cut back on my expensive goat cheese habit.  I do love my goat cheese, but I'm also pretty determined to stay under budget this month!

Heavy Lifting

I don't lift weights often enough.  Working on that, but not as consistent as I feel I should be.  Especially for my upper body.  I have pretty strong legs.

This weekend I got a chance to use my leg muscles and a reminder of how having something besides baby arms might be useful.  Well, arms and chest.  I just really need to work on my whole upper body.

We were in a minor car accident.  No other cars involved, just slid on some ice when my husband took a turn too fast.  (moments after I got told I was over reacting and he knows how fast he's going and it's not unsafe and just leave him alone)  The Fusion is out of commission right now.  Not sure if we need a new wheel or tie rods or something else.  But it's not driveable.  That meant we had to get the VW out of the garage.  It's been there for awhile because it needs some work and we just didn't have the money.  Still needs work, but we don't have a choice about driving it and hopefully the mechanic looking at it today will be able to give us a price we can work with.  Anyway - we had to get it out of the garage.  The battery was dead but it had been going bad and we knew it needed replacing, so driving it out wasn't an option.  We had to push.  Up a slight incline which felt like a mountain when pushing  a car.

We made no headway when just pushing it.  My husband is pretty strong, but pushing a car uphill isn't easy and like I said, I have the upper body strength of an infant.  Then I had an attack of the smarts and positioned myself to use my legs more effectively.  Largely without help I was able to push it up and out of the garage.

Years of being morbidly obese left me with really strong legs.  It makes sense.  For 15 years I was toting the weight of at least one other person around everywhere I went.  I don't carry most of that weight anymore but I do still have some pretty strong legs.

Now to work on my upper body.  I don't need to look like a body builder, but I would like the strength to eventually do silks with my daughter.  You need a lot of muscle and control to pull that off and right now I'm nowhere near ready.  By the end of the summer though.  That's my goal.  :-)