Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Random Ramblings

Lot's to ramble about today. First eating. So, it's been 1 week since I quit Weight Watchers. I woke up feeling darn skinny. I've been doing Ange's Whittle My Middle challenge which involves core work 5 times a week for 6-10 minutes. My core felt tight, like a corset. I really wanted to step on the scale but I refrained. I felt good and I didn't want to let a number rule my feelings. I'll probably weigh in a month. I've written down every single food that has gone in my mouth every day for a week. I don't think I ever did that on Weight Watchers. I don't write calories or anything. It does make me stop and think. For instance, today I had a  small, decaf, skinny, pumpkin spice latte. All in all I know that is not that bad but it was a treat. I was going to crack a bottle of wine but remembered my treat from before and refrained!

Exercise. So, when I started working at the YMCA I taught group cycling every other Monday and once a month on Saturdays. So about 3-4 times a month. Then I got certified to teach Zumba. They didn't put me on the schedule regularly but I taught a few Saturdays and subbed when I could. Last spring I took a Cardio/Step certification which also  certified me to teach Group Strength (kind of like BodyPump). So I taught that on the Mondays I didn't teach cycling. I was totally going to give up my ZIN (Zumba instructor network) membership ($35/month) since I wasn't on the schedule. Well, this fabulous instructor moved to Chicago so I offered to pick up her Tuesday night and Saturday classes. I also offered to teach them for the Winter/Spring schedule. With my Wednesday mornings opening up I also offered to teach Cycling on Wed. mornings starting in January. Well, another instructor quit so I picked up her remaining Wednesdays. Starting in December I'll be teaching 3-4 classes per week! I just had my review with my boss at the YMCA and was told my pay was getting bumped up from $10 per class to $13 per class! I am super pumped! If someone would have told me I'd be teaching this much 9 years a go (hey even 3 years ago I'd tell them they were crazy! I really love teaching. It's a hobby I get paid for.

I only worked half a day and got most of Thanksgiving contributions ready for tomorrow. I'm making cranberry fluff, low-fat sweet potato casserole, and I made banana muffins to take to my parents when we watch the Macy's parade. I tried one and they tasted like crap! Even though I followed the recipe only substituting whole wheat flour for regular! Oh well!

Right now I'm snuggled in bed with the space heater cranked, the doggie by my side, and a cup of tea (husband is butchering a deer). It's glorious!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sometimes I truly amaze myself. So far today (and it's 1:25pm here) I've stripped the bedding, washed it, dried it, and refreshed the bed, washed and folded two loads of laundry, went to church, hung around and chatted about the Deacon (future Father/priest) What-a-Waste (read exothermally handsome and charming) that was a guest today, shopped for produce at the Co-op, whipped up a batch of Gina's recipe for Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili (it's in the crock pot now) and a batch of Angela's Chia pudding  AND scrubbed and vacuumed the floors! Whew! Why all the scurry you ask? Well, tomorrow is usually my day off but I plan on working so I can take Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday off. It's going to be GLORIOUS!

Yesterday I ran in our annual Turkey Trot. I ran it slower than usual because I ran with two of my students. For one it was her first 5K! The other was in a horrible motorcycle accident last and year. The doctors said she shouldn't even be alive let alone able to run. It was pretty fun day. Over 2,000 runners and tons of people I know in our community. Then I helped my mother-in-law make Lefsa. Lefsa is a traditional Norwegian food made out of potatos. I should have documented it and posted it here! There is quite an art to it. You have to have a special iron and Lefsa sticks. It was fun. She didn't give me the recipe. We just worked on rolling the dough extra thin and then cooking it. Next time I'll make sure to take pictures. Here's one I found on the Internet.



Well, as a treat to myself I'm about to head off to the cheap theater to see The Time Traveler's Wife I reread the book this summer and forgot how sad it was. Hope I'm not too disappointed. I plan on sneaking a Globar in and ordering a glass of red wine!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Some Thoughts

Well, my mostly Vegan day went pretty well. I guess in my previous post I didn't explain why I decided to participate in Vegan week. A lot of the healthy living blogs I read feature women who are vegans or vegetarians. A lot of what they write about in regards to why they eat how they eat really makes sense to me on health aspect. I mean our ancestors weren't able to run to the store and buy loads of processed food to supplement their diet. They had to live off the land. Since marrying my husband the great hunter, I've mainly eaten the food that he brings home. I didn't realize what a healthy (and cost effective) lifestyle this was. We do eat chicken and when we go out I would some times order beef or pork. Now, however I feel a better decision for my health and the environment would be to continue "eating off the land" so to speak. Again, like most health bloggers I'm not going to compartmentalize myself or label my way of eating. I thought trying to go without dairy or any animal products would be a good experiment. I don't think there is any way I could be Vegan. I mean I live in Wisconsin after all. I also found that I get a lot of my protein from milk and yogurt hence the reason I was so hungry yesterday morning. Any way it was a fun experiment. I now have some healthy butter I can use rather than the processed I can't believe it's not butter sprayed I've used most of my life since it had 0 "points" and some left over yummy almond butter I can use on my oats.

I really felt a strong desire to weigh myself this morning but I refrained. I just felt skinnier even after eating at the potluck. I've woken up a little hungry for two days in a row now. I'm just going to revel in this feel good feeling!


Not much on tap for the weekend. It's the start of gun hunting and my husband has a bunch of his cousins and uncles coming in to town. I am planning on running the Turkey Trot tomorrow morning with some of my students. Not for time just for fun and to get a T-shirt with a turkey on it! Then my mother-in-law and I are planning on making leifsa! I'm also planning on taking myself to a afternoon showing of the Time Traveler's Wife at our cheap theater. I'll sit back an enjoy a glass of wine all by myself...I actually enjoy this if you can believe it!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vegan for a Day!

Now, before you think, "Wow! She really jumps from extremes don't worry I am not going full Vegan. I am participating in Vegan week! The challenge is to try and eat vegan for one day or at least one meal. You can read more at Katy and Mish's blogs. So here's what I ate today:

5:30am pre run fuel 3 energy bites. These are some home made goodies that our local food co-op sells made out of nuts and other yummy ingredients all vegan!

Breakfast: Green Monster with 1/2 c  vanilla almond milk, 1/2c water, spinach, 1/4c lemon juice, pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 pear, 1 frozen banana. I bought the almond milk specifically for today. I've never tried it before. It tasted really good plain but I must say my smoothie tasted a little funny. I definitely should have added ice since the milk was warm.

I was going to have a piece of high protein toast with Earth Balance butter but when I read the ingredients for my bread it said nonfat milk! Instead I had 1/2 C of oatmeal with the almond milk and boy was that yummy! You didn't even have to add anything else to the oats!

I was really surprised that I got super hungry at around 10:30am. I usually don't get hungry until 11:30am. I'm wondering if the almond milk has less protein then regular milk? I didn't have any Vegan snacks at work so that was bummer!

I didn't get to eat lunch until 12:30pm when I had a baked sweet potato topped with Earth Balance butter, sea salt, black beans and salsa. I also had a honey crisp apple topped with almond butter. I  was definitely feeling the need for protein!

Unfortunately I won't be able to eat Vegan for dinner. We are having our annual pre Thanksgiving potluck here at church and I don't know if I could accurately decipher what was Vegan....if there was anything! I will be focusing on making the healthiest choices possible and not going overboard! I did bring some afternoon snacks back to work with me, a few carrot sticks and one of Angela's Globars, Present! So those are my Vegan meals thus far!

My husband gave me a hard time when he saw my Globar because it had 210 calories and 8grams of fat. I tried to explain to him that all the ingredients were whole and healthy but he didn't seem to buy it. I give him a hard time when he buys the chocolate covered Quaker granola bars which are actually lower in calories. This is what will be a struggle for me. I'm use to eat low "point" granola bars with low calories and lots of fiber (which also give me a belly ache). These bars were usually 2-3 points. I figured out the points for Globars before I dropped Weight Watchers and they were more like 5-6. I'm trying not think about it. Also trying not to eat them unless I am truly hungry not just because they are there and good for me.

Another part of my "plan" is to write down what I eat but without calories and such, when I eat it, and how I feel physically and mentally when I eat it. I hoping this will help me learn to intuitively eat while making smart choices. I've also decided not to weightmy self for a month. This will be tricky as I usually weighed once a week if not more!

That's all for now, got lots of work to do!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I've been in a relationship for 15 years! Wow, 15 years and I'm only 29. This relationship started because I was 14 years old, weighed 185lbs, was inactive AND was in wedding. I so embarrassed to have to order an "extended size" bridesmaid gown and my mother was not too pleased at the price tag! My mom had tried to encourage me to diet and exercise but it wasn't until the impending wedding that I actually wanted to do something about it. So, I joined Weight Watchers. Yes, it's true I've been a Weight Watcher member (on and off again) for 15 years. This was not a "bad" relationship. In fact I actually use to lead Weight Watcher meetings when I was at goal and lived on my own. I do really think they have a sound program and it's come a long way in the last 15 years (and I should know). Lately however I've wanted to just give it a break for awhile and not because I didn't have time to go to meetings, or I wasn't the following the program, I was just looking for something different. In case you don't know when you attend WW meetings you get weighed weekly and you have to pay to attend meetings until you reach your goal weight, which is based on BMI. You write down all the food you eat and each food is assigned a points value. You can only have so many points per day plus an extra allotment for the whole week. If you exercise you "earn" more points but you choose to eat them or not ( so basically you are counting calories). I was just getting frustrated. I am not at my goal weight but I am active every day, I teach 3-4 fitness classes per week at the YMCA. When I'm not teaching I attend other classes, swim and run. I try my hardest to eat healthy, whole foods. I just didn't want to have to have the love hate relationship with food. I don't want to not eat something even though I KNOW it's nutritious but I don't have enough "points" left. One reason that kept me from quitting was I attended with my mother-in-law and it was a nice time for us to spend together on a weekly basis. We got word that our regular Wednesday morning meeting was being canceled and we would have to go to another one. This was my chance! I could tell my mother-in-law that the other times didn't really work for me (which the don't). Well, she wants to take a break too so, there you have it...I broke up with Weight Watchers.
To be honest it is quite freeing but now I'm asking myself....what do I do now? Do I quit writing down my food all together? Do I write down my food but not points and just strive for healthy whole foods? Do I weigh myself weekly? monthly? or not at all. I'm a little nervous to just quit cold turkey I certainly don't want to gain weight and I would like to be at a healthy weight for my body type. Well, I guess you'll have to stay tuned to find out more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's time

As you can see I have not posted for a week. In my mind and heart some pretty major things have been going on. I wanted to blog about these things and thought about how I would write about them all week. It's time that I finally got these things out. So sit back and relax this is going to be a long one.

As I mentioned in my previous post I was going to be busy with a Confirmation retreat all day on Saturday. The first year I was in charge of this retreat we did an over night, starting on Friday evening and going until Saturday noon. The previous leader of this retreat had always gone home to sleep and left University students in charge of the high school students over night. I did the same. After all I am a married woman and I only live 4 blocks away from church. Apparently in the middle of the night one young man caused quite a ruckus and ran around the church naked. Also before the retreat (literally the day of the retreat) I had a parent call and ream me out because they had NO idea this was a required event (it had been on out calendar since August) and there child couldn't go. It left me feeling pretty down and discouraged.

Last year I decided to do away with the retreat and offer two all day retreats one in the fall and one in the winter. This seemed to work out well as the young people had two dates to choose from. We met from 9:00am-6:00pm. It was a VERY long day for everyone involved. It did seem to go okay though. There was still a lot of complaining about how long the retreat was.

This year I offered the same deal only I shortened it even more going from 11:00am-6:00pm. Last Saturday's retreat only had 9 people signed up, and I knew by looking at the names that they would be quiet bunch and it might be challenging to get them to talk. All seemed to be going well despite the fact that one kid didn't show up so we were down to 8 kids. Unfortunately for us is was a BEAUTIFUL day, sunny and 70 degrees, pretty rare for Wisconsin in November. After lunch I had the young folks go outside. When I got outside one of them was missing. My small group leaders said he just walked away! I started to panic a little. One of the other young people had this young man's cell phone number. I called it and there was no answer. I left a message asking him to please call me as it was a matter of safety. I sent the rest of the kids to their next activity. I tried contacting this young man's parents. All I got was voice mail. I left messages calmly but firmly telling them what happened and asking them to call me and help locate him. I joined the rest of the group. I told the friend of the young man who walked away that if he contacted him to let me know because it was a matter of safety. Eventually I found out that the young man was fine and went to a friends house. When I finally got a hold of his mother she said she never got my messages but knew where her son was. She told me he really didn't want to go on the retreat but she told him to go and then decide it he wanted to stay (nice right? I mean he was only there for 2 hours!).  I informed her that he never let me know he was leaving and just walked away. Needless to say that this young man has decided not to to get Confirmed.

The reason I am telling you all this is to illustrate my frustration with this job and ministry in general. When I was growing up I was the kid who wanted to go on retreats. I gave up several three day weekends to go on retreats. It was through these experiences I came to discover what I thought was was God's call in my life to ministry.  I find myself asking, "Is this really for me?"It's kind of scary when you begin to doubt your whole life's work. I feel so beaten down. I feel so unsuccessful. I am one who always said, "You might never see the fruit of your labor but you must plant the seeds."  I'm getting a little jaded with this way of thinking. I feel like I am constantly bending backwards to meet the needs of the parents and young people who put church last. Even on the evaluations the young people wrote that the retreat was too long. What do these people want? I've already shortened it from an 18hour overnight retreat to a 9 hour retreat to a 7hour retreat.

I was really angry about last Saturday. Not, that a young person decided not to get confirmed that happens all the time but with how it all went down. I wasn't even given the courtesy of a phone call to let me know where this kid was, I had to call the parents several times before finding out he was safe.

I've been mulling all these occurrences and thoughts over for the past week. And this is only half of my job. The Campus Ministry portion is not going well either, but I'll save that for another post. I've really begun to take a look at my life and ask ,"Is this truly worth it? Is it worth all the time I give, the lack of a social life, working nights and weekends, not being able to spend time with my husband, and all this stress? Is it worth feeling underappreciated, and unutilized? And what am I going to do about it?" I've known for a long time that I could not do this job forever. It wasn't until this past weekend that I realized I need to start taking some action to get me out of this situation. I don't know exactly what that means or how I am going to do it. I hope that through this blog I can formulate a long term plan.

Later today I'll post some more on this and the challenges I've had with Campus Ministry and working for the Church in general. I hope these don't seem like downer posts. I don't really feel down or depressed. I'm just thinking about a lot of things and this is a good place for me to write them out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

So awhile back Heather posted this recipe on her blog. I had the ingredients but just not the time to make it. Last night the husband was off fishing so I decided to whip it up and let me tell you it was DECLICOUS! The only substitution I made was instead of heavy cream I used skim milk and I probably added a little more cayenne pepper then it calls for since I like things spicy! It was warm and rich and comforting! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. It was also really easy to make. The whole thing probably only took me 30minutes. Besides chopping up an onion all you have to do is open cans and dump. I'm actually kind of sad that I have lunch plans and won't we able to eat the leftovers for lunch.

It was a really beautiful day yesterday I really wanted to go for a run after work but I had this terrible pain in my neck and shoulder, I think it was just because I slept funny because it's better today. When my alarm went off at 5:30am this morning the thought of running on the treadmill did not entice me. I went back to sleep and took advantage of the sun rising at 6:30 and a dog with lots of energy who like to run. We did a 30minute run up a pretty long hill and then back down. It was great! I really need to take advantage of outside running while I can.

Big Confirmation retreat tomorrow so I'll be pretty bust and should actually be working on stuff right now! Have a good weekend!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why we blog

So I was reading Heather's race recap just now and remembering my first 5K. Can you believe that my first 5K was so long ago that blogging hadn't even been invented? Yes, that's right! My first 5K was in the spring of 2000.  I was never a runner, never thought of myself as a runner, and had no inclination of becoming a runner. That December I  was 19 years old weighed almost 200lbs and was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. My mom and I saw a sign at the local YMCA advertising and informational meeting on a women's triathlon group that was forming. I'm not sure which one of us decided it would be a good idea to check this out but we did (my mom was 52 at the time and not an athlete, she didn't even know how to swim). We were both inspired by what the three women giving the presentation had to say about this triathlon. They in turn empowered us to want to do a triathlon and so we started training. When I look back now that training for that triathlon was truly a transformational time in my life. I wish now that I would have documented the changes and challenges I experienced while learning to become a tri-athlete. If you would have told me then that I would now be teaching classes at that same Y I would have told you you were crazy. Sometimes I wonder how I got from there to here and wish I would have documented my journey. I don't really know why I blog. This blog started out being about my challenges with working in ministry, then changed to my challenges with infertility, and now is just a whole mess of things. Sometimes I wish that my blog would be famous and that lots of people would read it and companies would offer me products to review. I also know that in order for that to happen I would need to work harder at this blog. I don't really write to get noticed. I write for myself, to document what is going on now. I share what I write with the blog world because it is my hope that some how I connect with someone out there. I know the blogs I read have certainly formed connections within me. Sometimes I forget that I don't even know these people in the really world.


Why do you blog?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I'm missing

Well, it's been kind of a slow day here at the office. That's good I suppose. I was suppose to work three nights this week but found out this morning that A. The soup kitchen I take students to on Thursday is closed this week for remodeling and B. No students signed up go any way. Yay! A surprise night off! This is good since I have an all day retreat for our confirmation students on Saturday.

As I was swimming a mile this morning I was really missing my past colleagues at the middle school I use to work at. We were such a social bunch and really worked together to teach our students. Every morning before the bell rang we would gather in the social studies teacher's room and fill up our coffee mugs and chat about our day. When it was parent teacher conferences we would go out to the local sports bar afterwards for a drink or two. They even threw me a wedding shower. We just don't do that sort of stuff around here. It's so depressing sometimes. Guess I'm just looking for a change these days. Not sure where or how but I've got my ears perked. Like they say, "You don't know what you've got til it's gone."

On another note I have this simmering in the crock pot for when I get home! Today is my hubby's birthday and he took half a day to enjoy being out in the woods!

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Windows Live Writer

Thanks to Angela's Blog I just discovered Windows Live Writer! Where have I been? This rocks! I just had to try it out. Sorry for the random weird, downer of a post before. Will try to be more clear next time. Now to try some pics

100_4140 me2

Oh yeah! This is so much easier! Too bad I don't think I have this on my home computer just my work laptop! Okay, not so cool! Now it won't publish!


I guess it will publish without the pictures?

Fixed something! Hope it works!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thinking about IF again

I wasn't going to post today because I was kind of in a bummer of a mood. First of all Aunt Flo showed up this morning. I knew she was coming yesterday so it wasn't a big surprise. I really had to PMS symptoms so I was still really hopeful that I could give the husband an AWESOME birthday present. When you've been trying for over a year it is so hard to not think about it. I'm finding it hard to not think about the what if's. What if we're not pregnant by the end of this year? What will the tests tell us? Where will we go from there? What if we are doing something wrong? Oh well. I guess I get to enjoy some read wine for awhile again...I've really been craving it.
Also, a girl at the Y who teaches Zumba is leaving. I was hoping to pick up her classes for the extra cash but got and email this morning that this other girl Lindsay took them. This Lindsay girl seemed to appear out of no where. I've never seen her at a staff meeting, I'm pretty sure she's not on the schedule but in the last two days she subbed two classes that I could have taken. Her GST class this morning was really good (really hard) but the Zumba class she subbed on Monday wasn't that good so this kind of bums me out. I did get another email from our boss that said she would get me on the Zumba schedule for winter/spring so that is good.
This crabby mood started yesterday. I was at church/work and this younger guy Dave was greeting. Dave just happened to interview for my job when I did. My one boss (K) has told me that when he came to interview he acted like he already had the job. She thinks my other boss (J) pretty much told him he had the job but the committee picked me. What bothers me is the way J treats Dave, like he's his best buddy. I wonder what life at my church would have been like if Dave would have gotten the position. I know he would have driven K nuts. I'm not saying that I don't think I'm qualified for the job or that Dave would have been better but it just irritated me.
Don't worry I'm not a total Debbie Downer today. I got my house clean and cup cakes made for my husband's birthday. Going to eat some lunch and chill for the rest of the afternoon!