Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The past few posts have been a photo bonanza and kind of light on the weight-loss journey talk. The photography makes my happy - the weight loss journey, not so much. Today, I am treating you to a picture free post that describes what is rattling around in my brain. You will read about plans, excuses, disappointment, hope, etc. 

For the millionth time I am asking myself...what am I doing?  Every day I tell myself that I have this and I getting back on track. By the end of the day it is obvious I did not get back on track.  I have moments I am proud of, but they are buried by the not so proud moments.

I am afraid of gaining back all that I lost last year. After the miscarriage, I seemed to instantly gain about 17 pounds. I believe that much of that was a hormonal reaction, but it is super discouraging. Since that initial gain I have been fluctuating between the same 3 pounds. And I can't seem to make any progress on re-losing the 17.

I started a Biggest Loser type challenge a couple weeks ago. My main goal is just to keep myself from letting go of the trying. I didn't have a goal of actually losing significant weight during this challenge. As of last week, I have lost about 2.5 pounds. But, if I go to the weigh-in tomorrow I believe I will have gained most of that again. Grr! 

As I have mentioned, we are still trying to conceive again. Therefore, I am concerned about going full on weigh-loss mode. I don't want to put my body under additional stress. If I am not pregnant by mid-March (tick, tock) I will have to move on and restart my Multiple Sclerosis medication. Obviously, I want to be pregnant and have a healthy baby, but if that is not going to happen I just want (need) to move on. My goal of just trying to get through this time without gaining more is wearing thin. I want to lose this extra I picked up and get back to "losing my puppy."

I see the words I am writing and they look like excuses. I know there are so many things I could be doing while trying to conceive, but the truth is I don't seem to want to. I don't want to do strenuous exercise that I think might be harmful if I get pregnant - so I do nothing.  I don't want to stress over what I eat and don't eat. - so I eat whatever (and feel bad later). I feel like I am stuck in a vicious cycle until the "baby issue" is resolved one way or the other.

Another new month starts in a few days and I am considering some type of goal for February. I need something I can focus on and feel semi-confident that I can achieve to help me through the conception waiting game. I would appreciate any suggestions of what I could focus on to help me through it on a more positive note. Someone in our accountability group is giving up all added sugar in February. There is something I like about that idea because my sweet tooth has been raging since Christmas. Taming it could go a long way toward getting back on track. 

I tend to do better giving up something completely for a finite amount of time. That is how I kicked my soda habit - the goal was to not drink any soda for one year. By the time I did that my desire for soda had diminished to such a degree I can now drink soda occasionally and I have no fear of it taking over again.

 I do plan to work on my walking again. This winter has not been as brutal as anticipated so there is no real reason I can't be out there logging some miles at a less strenuous pace.

I don't want this blog to become a journal of excuses and disappointment, but I felt that I need to share this part of the journey as well. If you have been at this for any length of time, you know it is just plain hard. I may waver in my execution of the plan, but there is still a plan. At the moment, I am most proud of myself for not giving up.

Weigh In Wednesday

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Little "Me" Time

My husband had to work this Saturday.  I had all kinds of plans of the tasks I was going to accomplish while having the house to myself. So much for turned out to be more of a "me" day.

I left the house when he did (around 6 a.m.).  First stop Walmart.  Not exactly what I wanted to do, but somethings just have to be done whether you want to or not. And if you  have to go to Walmart early morning is the best time. By the time I was finished at Walmart it was light enough for my first adventure.

I have not been able to stop thinking about the silly herons at Horseshoe Lake - the ones I saw while walking the dogs (without my good camera) and then couldn't find the next day when I returned with a photographer friends and my good camera. I got to the park about 7:30 a.m. and found 3 herons. The first couple I saw were a little too far away.

Then as I was driving back toward the entrance I spotted one that gave me the opportunity for a few good shots.

I can't believe that this is the same bird. He scrunches himself up pretty small.

And like any good 80s girl, I do enjoy a flock of seagulls. There wasn't much ice left on the lake, but they managed to squeeze onto a little patch out near the middle of the lake.

Next stop a new grocery store about 40 minutes from my house. (The park was about halfway there so it totally made sense to stop, right?) 
There were all kinds of delicious looking goodies in the store. I found it to be a mix of organic foods and regular grocery. The prices were pretty reasonable. I couldn't resist some avocados...good that they limited me to 4. It it had been closer to Superbowl I might have gone through the checkout lanes multiple times and made a huge batch of guacamole. I bought a couple different kinds of the fresh sausage. Our favorite so far was a Chicken Parmesan. I am looking forward to the Chicken Basil. 
My husband was extremely happy that I brought home a block of Tillamook cheddar. He is a complete cheese freak. So it is currently hidden from him. My mother-in-law had brought us home Tillamook cheese when she visited relatives in Oregon last summer. So good!

I found this sticker on bags of cookies intriguing. Am I to believe they intend to say their cookies are special because they are freshly baked in store in small. I suspect more cookies are oven baked. I was proud of myself for not buying any - they did look good.
There was a huge shelf of snack mixes. I have to be honest, I don't think the name makes this particular blend sounds particularly appetizing. Now the "apple pie" blend on the shelf above....that might be a different story.
I shop pretty consistently at Aldi. There are a few items they don't carry and I pick those up at other grocery stores. I would definitely shop at Fresh Thyme again. It is too far for regular shopping, but when I am in the area I will stop in again.

Sometimes you just need a day to pursue your interests and recharge. This was my day :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K

This morning my husband, Millie and I participated in Katie's 3rd Annual Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K. Katie started this race as a way to celebrate her 31st birthday - 3.1 miles to celebrate 31 years. It has now become an annual event. Happy Birthday, Katie!!

The temperature was a balmy (for January) 43 degrees. There was a slight sprinkle at times, but the ground was quite wet from overnight rain.

To be honest, I did very little to prepare for the race. As a walker, I was completely confident finishing the race would not be an issue. However, training would have made a huge impact on my time. My husband agreed to walk with me instead of running. It had been since the beginning of November since we had done a race. This event turned out to be a nice relaxed way to race and a good reminder of how much I enjoy walking.

I had only printed two bibs, so my husband graciously gave his to Millie to wear. We pinned it to her collar. She didn't seem to mind at all.

The first mile I tried to get a good fast pace going. But knew immediately I was not going to be able to hold the pace for the whole race. I decided it was more important to complete the race and enjoy some family time than to hurt myself pushing too hard. Like I said, I have not been walking consistently and that lack of training could not have been more obvious. The first mile was 15:01, second mile 16:33 and the final mile was a blistering 18:03.

We didn't even come close to my 45 minute goal. That, my friends, is what happens when you don't train and get distracted taking pictures like these....
Nothing good about oil spills on the road - but it sure makes for a pretty design. 
I couldn't resist a picture of Millie sitting in this circle painted on the road.

But we did put our feet to the road and finish. I am proud of us for that :)

I was all "teched out" this morning with the Garmin Forerunner 10 I got for my birthday and the Fitbit Flex I got for Christmas.

My final stats according to the Garmin.
3.10 mi
Pace (min/mi)
86 ft
Elev Gain

It was the first time I had worn my Fitbit for a serious walk. Oh and I don't really weight 150 pounds, but I am not ready to face telling the truth to the world yet :) I think this will go a long way to getting my 10,000 steps today!

Time to get serious about getting my buns out of bed in the morning and walking again. This morning was a good reminder how much I miss a serious morning walk. Not only is it good for my body and mind, I enjoy it. What more motivation could I possibly need?

Thank you, Katie, for this fun and motivational event :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January Heat Wave in Pictures (Part Two)

One of the highlights of the weekend was meeting up with Tiina from One Crazy Penguin for a puppy play date. New BFFs Millie, Orion and Koda. I am looking forward to more adventures with this crew.

I think Millie will be begging for a new outfit after hanging out with these stylish pups. Orion is wearing a pack and is carrying all his mom's essentials. Sounds like a great idea and I am sure Millie will be getting one soon. Time for her to start earning her kibble. Koda is wearing a sparkling pink number to keep herself her mama she is a warm weather gal. Koda was very focused on walking - Millie and Orion were a little more distracted, but everyone behaved themselves very well. Love Orion's curly tail :)

We walked at Horseshoe Lake State Park - named for the horseshoe shaped lake :)  The lake was mostly frozen and the wind was a bit colder than anticipated, but the walking kept us pretty warm and the sun was beautiful.

I am fascinated by large wading birds - herons, egrets, cranes, etc.  I was so excited to see 6 or 8 of of them hanging around the lake. Several were standing on the ice just yards from us. Unfortunately, I only had my cell phone camera so I didn't get good shots of them.

I already had plans with my photographer friend to have a photo outing the next morning. As soon as Tiina and I left the park, I called Amy to ask if we could change our destination to Horseshoe Lake. I was super excited about photographing the wading birds. As you will see from the following pictures...denied!  We only saw one and it was flying too far away to photograph. Boo. However, we did enjoy the morning and found plenty of other things to photograph, so all was not lost. You can check out some of Amy's work on Facebook at Look Closely Photography.

A view of St. Louis.

Our county has some excellent bike trails. I will have to remember this one come spring/summer.

One of the main reasons I want to lose weight and get in better shape is to more fully enjoy weekends like this. By the end of the weekend, I was completely exhausted and have been fighting plenty of aches and pains since them. Part of photography is finding the right angle and patiently waiting in a potentially awkward position. I would like my body to be stronger and more flexible so I can get those shots.

How will losing weight and getting fit impact your hobbies?

January Heat Wave in Pictures (Part One)

I spent plenty of time outside this past week enjoying a break in winter.  Temperatures were in the 40s and 50s most of the weekend.

Saturday morning my oldest niece invited me to join them to do some bird watching. We live near the Mississippi and this time of year the Bald Eagles are in town looking for a less frozen river.  There is also a large flock of Trumpeter Swans visiting our area. We only saw one eagle perched high in the trees above the swans.

There was quite a paparazzi presence...

The birds were too far way for me to get good pictures, until this little group flew right over our heads.

Love this guy squawking  in back

The rest of the time the birds were too far to view easily and identify. We went in search of more birds and ended up doing some tree identification instead. My niece is currently in an ornithology (bird study) class, but has also studied dendrology (trees). She has some fun guide books that walk you through the identification process.

It doesn't look like other oak leaves, but apparently this is a species of oak.  

This leaf trapped in the ice is the shape I think of when I think of oak leaves. 

Saturday afternoon I took our dogs out to my inlaws farm to strech their legs. Seriously, I need that kind of energy!

Don't worry the ice is on a swallow puddle. And even Millie couldn't break through.

Those ears!!!
That tongue!!

Headed home with some super dirty and tired pups. My husband gave Millie a bath and it looked like he was washing her in a mudslide.

Click here for part 2 of January Heat Wave in Pictures - including one of the highlights of the weekend - meeting up with a fellow blogger.

Weigh In Wednesday