Sunday, November 27, 2011

471 vs. 329

Take at look at these two pictures of me:

May 2006

October 2011
See a difference?  

I don't.  I mean... I do when I look at them for a really long time, but I still feel as fat now as I felt in the first picture.  

Objectively, when I stare at these pictures for a while I notice I now have a neck, that my shoulders are smaller and my face so much thinner. I can see how much smaller my cheeks yave gotten and much more pronounced my chin and cheek bones are. 

Then I look in the mirror and I still see my face from May 2006.  

So who is the real me?  How do people see me now?  Do people really notice the difference?

Yes.  I know this because in the last week I've had three people comment on how much my shape has changed.  Matt and Chip both commented on how "tiny" I've gotten and how they can wrap their arms all the way around me when they hug me.

Will I ever start to feel smaller, thinner, tinier? Or will I always be 471 pounds in my eyes? 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turbo Kick

That's me and Mrs. Fatass and our friend Karen (the instructor!) after a blazing hot Turbo Kick class.  You read that right: I DID TURBO KICK!

You can't see it but I am dripping in sweat, red as a tomato and fighting to keep myself upright as my quadriceps are on FIRE.

I have been so utterly afraid of taking Turbo Kick because I see how hot and sweaty and exhausted even Karen is after a good Turbo class and I look at my body and go ... uh... NO! I did it though and I LOVED IT.

It was a totally different high than during a good Zumba class but it felt amazing.  I have never had a workout make me want to cry and puke at the same time and it be a GOOD thing. 

I was sweaty at the end of the warmup - that's a good sign.  I was really feeling it at the end of the first section.  I was really REALLY feeling it shortly after that.


Everything after the turbo section was fun and difficult and that's when the wanting to cry and vomit set in but I pushed through it.  I backed off a little and let my body recover but kept moving.

It was fantastic! Karen is an awesome instructor and I appreciated all the support from her and from Mrs. Fatass.  Friends make everything better!

After class my legs were jelly and I was aching in my shoulders and upper back and neck.  I know I'm going to feel it a ton tomorrow! Tomorrow is back to Zumba day! 75 minutes worth! Hooray!

I need to look at the Turbo schedule... I'm going back.  I will conquer Turbo Kick... and after that.. on to PiYo! I will complete the Chalene Johnson trifecta! I will!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Today was a pretty fantastic day.  Despite feeling like my rib cage was about to explode every time I sneezed or coughed I felt better than I have for the last two days.

My temperature has stayed in the low 99 degree range and under, even without medication, so I know I'm on the right track to be back to my old self in a day or two. 

I did well with food today and stayed under 2200 calories even with splurging on cake! My normal calorie goal is around 1800.  I over did it but not 3000 calories which is what they say people consume during a typical Thanksgiving meal!

I felt like crap and food didn't taste that great but I ate a normal lunch with Marshall and his folks at 11 and then I made a mini Thanksgiving feast here at the house for dinner.

Lunch was at K&W - no dishes, no stress, portion control, so awesome.  I had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, peas and a roll.  I got an slice of apple pie and brought it home - calorically it was almost as much as the rest of my entire meal.  Someone else can eat that.

Dinner was a modest Thanksgiving feast.  Much like round 1, it centered around turkey, potatoes, stuffing and peas.  However, it was a slightly healthier version of a thanksgiving feast since it was all under my control and I knew exactly what I was putting in to my body.

On the menu was:
  • A 2 pound, pre-cooked, turkey breast for ease of use and pre-determined portion sizing.
  • Stove Top turkey stuffing with minimal light butter spread and low sodium chicken broth rather than water.  I swear it makes the stuffing ten times better and eliminates the need for most of the butter/margarine. 
  • A can of no salt added peas. 
  • Mashed potatoes were made like my momma used to make them.  I made them with skim milk and the light margarine spread and only a touch of kosher salt. Once mashed and mixed and delicious I put them in a casserole dish, topped with another helping of spread and a touch more salt, and baked it till the top got yummy and crispy. It made me miss home.
  • Fat free turkey gravy
  • Delicious Grands Honey Butter Biscuits.  I only ate one.  I promise!
  • Chocolate truffle cake.  Grabbed on a whim at Food Lion when I ran to the store earlier in the day.
 I ate a good amount of food but I didn't really get to enjoy it.  Everything tastes bland and kind of chemical like because of the antibiotic.  Plus my sense of smell is just dead right now because of the congestion.  I enjoyed the stuffing during round two the most because when I was cooking the steam from the boiling broth opened my sinuses up a bit and I could really smell it.  That carried over to eating it. Yum, yum!

I napped a bit today, watched football and read my book.  Ready to hit work tomorrow with a fury.  8 hours between me and two more days off.

I'm 19 days away from vacation! 19 days away from adventures! Hooray!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is ready to get back on track with their nutrition and fitness goals tomorrow.

I'm going to hit the gym Saturday morning and either take Yoga or face my fear and try out Turbo Kick.  I'm ready to get moving again!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Simply Thankful (and the secret dance project!)

I am feeling rather grumpy today as I blindsided by a sinus infection yesterday but, sitting here in bed, I realize just how blessed my life truly is.

I woke up yesterday feeling fine.  A bit congested but that's normal - my allergies are always worst in the fall.  Forgot my pill case and struggled through the morning.  Matt gave me one of his Claritin.  No improvement.  Started to scare coworkers with sneezing and blowing my nose.  One starts making snarky comments - retaliate by walking to his cube and blowing my nose as loudly as I possibly can.  Hilarity ensues. Finally get my meds.  Take more Claritin.  No improvement.  Crap. 

Leave work early - my doctor can't see me so off to Immediate Care.  One look in my nose and at my lab work and my low grade fever and I'm sent home with antibiotics.  Work from home for the rest of the afternoon. 

Dinner is reheated pizza.  No flavor.  Can't breathe.  Making playlist for Zumba. Not looking forward to it as breathing through my nose is death.  Big girl panties on.  Let's do this.  Class is awesome. Had a fantastic time even though it felt like there were rocks in my chest.  I want to pass out.  No can do! One more stop to make!

Off to the YMCA to record this video with Matt and Katie. My choreography. On the internet. Forever. I look like a Zumba Oompa Loompa. Oh well. What's done is done!

Went to bed as soon as I got home and got my second dose of antibiotics in me.  Prayed I;d feel better so I could go to work today.

No such luck.  Worked from home.  It was not easy as my nose and head are fighting a war to see which wants to piss me off more.  I get stuff done.  Food has no taste.  I can't smell anything. 

Even though I feel horrible I am incredibly thankful for all the good that being sick has helped me see.

I am surrounded by people who love me.  Matt, Marshall, Chip, Katie, Sarah, Jennifer, all the folks at work, all the folks at Toe 2 Toe, everyone is concerned about me and is showing me such love and kindness. I haven't had to leave the house all day. I'm being bombarded with love and that makes me feel very special.

I have a job that allows me to get stuff done at the office and at home and a very understanding boss who let me work from home when going to the office just isn't a good idea. I am grateful for the technology that allows me to telecommute.  How awesome is that?

I have health insurance that allows me to easily see a doctor.  I didn't have that good fortune so much with my last job.  The copays were not cheap (especially when it wasn't your PCD) and it just wasn't feasible all the time. I'm thankful for nyquil, cough syrup with codeine, anbiotics and orange juice.

I'm so thankful that I found Zumba and got close to my Zumba family.  I don't know what my life would be like without them.  I didn't have much in the way of friends outside of Marshall and our immediate circle of friends before Zumba.  I am so blessed to have those ladies and gents in my life. Zumba is my hobby, my second job, and my escape from the daily grind.  Can't get much better than that.

I'm a little sad that I feel this gross at Thanksgiving.  I'm hoping I can at least somewhat enjoy food tomorrow.  Maybe it's a blessing in disguise - at least I know I won't over eat and maybe I can avoid some of the holiday bloat?

I am thankful that the Macy's parade is tomorrow.  I love the Macy's parade!

Happy Thanksgiving readers.  May you find tomorrow is a great day full of food, friends and festivities.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


In order to make myself feel less crazy - I'm focusing on my measurements per quarter.

So, here we go: My first quarter measurements.

Measurement 08/21/11 11/21/11 1Q Change
Weight 340 329 11
Wrist 6.75 6.33 0.42
Upper Arm 16.75 16 0.75
Chest 50 48.75 1.25
Ribcage 43 42 1
Waist 48.5 45 3.5
Hips 68 64 4
Upper Thigh 34 33 1
Calf 17.5 17.75 -0.25
Ankle 10 9.75 0.25

That's a total of 11 pounds and 11.9 inches across my body lost in the last 4 months.  My calves are getting bigger only because they are solid rock at this point.  They'll slim down eventually.... I hope.

In perspective in the last month I've lost an average house cat worth of weight.  No more carrying Napoleon around with me!.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rest. Recover. Reflect.

Last night was rough.  Even after the panic subsided I felt gross.  Depressed. Sad. Scared. Guilty.

Guilty.  It's weird that I felt so guilty for having feelings.  Emotions are not rational and we often cannot control how we feel.  We just feel things.  I felt like my panic attack hurt everyone around me.  That I disappointed them by freaking out the way I did.  I always feel like people think less of me after an attack like that.  Above all - I feel guilty that the whole thing ever happening.

Regardless of how terrible I felt I got up this morning.  I showered.  I got dressed.  I went grocery shopping.  I did laundry.  I made a giant pot of turkey stew for a team thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  I watched football and I kept going.  The world doesn't end because of one day.

I realized this morning just how lucky I am to have the support system that I do.  Not only did I find someone to cover my Zumba class this afternoon but I had another offer to cover it for me if that fell through.

I woke up to caring and concerned messages - text, email, facebook, voicemail - from people who went out of their way to let me know they were thinking of me.  I felt momentarily bad for worrying people... and then I felt loved.  I'm lucky that I have that many people who care about me. 

Today I am doing chores around the house but am trying to be as still as possible.  Resting my body and my mind as much as I humanly can.

For me the worst part about a panic attack like I had last night is how drained and exhausted I feel the day afterwards.  I often talk about the panic hangover and it's a pretty apt description.  I know some of the muscle soreness is a result of the 5 hours of Zumba yesterday but a lot of it, the upper back and body stuff especially, are from the tension from the panic attack.  The headache, the lack of appetite, the aversion to the sight or smell of most food - all of that is typical for me the day after a panic attack.

I also took the big step of asking a friend who she sees about her anxiety.  Tomorrow I'm going to call Dr. Awesome and see if I can get in to see him.  I've been on Zoloft for my mild depression and anxiety since college.  I went off it for a short time after college until I got a real job and that was miserable.  What was even worse was the short period of time I tried Cymbalta. That was evil, evil stuff.

Still, I think it might be time to do some talk therapy, even if just short term, and to consider changing up my medication.  I went a few years without a major panic attack and yesterday was my second one in just a few months.  I also had a smaller panic attack within the last few weeks.  That's the start of a trend and not one I'm okay with.  So off to the doctor for me. 

Now just to get back on board with life.  One day at a time.  One foot in front of the other.  I've got a weird week ahead of me.  Work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday. Thanksgiving tucked in there to break up the weekly flow.   Zumba tomorrow and Tuesday and then not again until the next Monday!

I'm really looking forward to the 5 day break from Zumba.  Even though I KNOW I'll spend time over those 5 days learning new routines it'll be nice to not be on such a tight schedule.

Other than finishing laundry the only thing I have to do today is record a quick dance video with Matt and Katie.  Then I'm making myself a steak and veggie stir-fry and curling up with a book till sleepy time.  Rest. Recover. Reflect.  The three R's of my Sunday... not a bad way to spend the day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The inevitable crash.

I crashed hard today.  Hard.  There is so much going on, so many balls in the air, and today they finally came crashing down.

The crash was a result of low blood sugar, bad news, and just sheer exhaustion. 

The morning started out AMAZING.  We had a super energetic, exciting and fun Zumba class at 9:30 this morning.  It was, by far, the best Saturday morning class in a long time.  It felt more like a Friday night at the club than Saturday morning at the studio.

Directly after class Sarah and I drove off to Greenville for lunch (SUSHI!!!) followed by a master class and ZIN jam session.  That's 4 hours of Zumba and made for 5 hours total for the day.  And they were amazing hours, all 5 of them!  A tun of fun was bad by everyone and I felt tired but on top of the world. 

In the car on the way home I started to feel gross.  Marshall texted me and gave me some upsetting news about a death of a friend and annoyed me by being kind of thoughtless.  I was grumpy and starting to really feel the weight of the day.  Sitting still in the car for another hour I started to cramp up a bit more and was not so happy.

When I got back in to town all I wanted was something for dinner that involved chicken and vegetables.  My house guests had other plans and I was annoyed by that too.  I should have been grateful that someone cooked me dinner but I was more going BLAH red meat.

Then I was about to say Eff everything and was going to grab a quesadilla on the way home - whole grain tortilla, chicken, extra vegetables, lots of cheese.  I stopped by Moe's and the line was out the door and I got even more grumpy. 

Little things just kept making me feel like everything was ruined and nothing would ever be okay again.  I finally just came home, resigned to eating food I didn't want but it was there.

I got in the shower to get rid of the gunk from 5 hours of cardio and in the shower I just broke down.  It was the hottest shower I've ever taken and I showered until the water just ran cold.  Wrapped in my robe I curled up on the bed and just the tears come. 

I know I wasn't crying because of anything that happened today but it was the culmination of two weeks running on all cylinders without a break.

I'm hoping that the instructor I asked to cover my class tomorrow is available.  She said she thought she was but would let me know for sure.  I would really love to have most of the afternoon off to just relax.  We just have to record Katie's dance project tomorrow and I need to make a pot of turkey stew.  If that's all that's asked me of tomorrow that'll be the best.

If I have to teach it's no big deal but I'd really like to veg.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feel the Burn(out)

The last few weeks have been utterly exhausting.  This week especially so!

Physically demanding

Today was my 19th consecutive day doing Zumba.  The last day I didn't work out was October 30th.  In those 19 days I've taught/co-taught/participated in 25 classes.  That's over 25 hours (there were a few 75 minute classes tucked in there) of cardio in the last 19 days.

Tomorrow I have my normal Saturday morning class and then a master class and Jam session.  That's 5 hours of Zumba tomorrow.  Then class on Sunday and Monday (both of which I'm teaching solo) and then two classes on Tuesday and then I have a 4 day break.  FINALLY. 

My body is in agony and some of it is not so delicious anymore. My calves are rock hard and achy all the time. Oh and my shoulders, chest, and abs hate me right now.

At the same time - that hour or more of Zumba has been my solace on more than a few days with everything else that's going on.

Mentally taxing

This week I've been involved in multiple meetings that were very in-depth and required me to push my problem solving skills. The follow up work from the meetings have been piling up and piling up and it has been a big weight on my shoulders. 

Today was the first time this week I was in my own office for an entire day this week.  I spent half of it just following up on emails.  I still have phone calls to return on Monday and more meetings to schedule.  So much stuff!

I'm grateful that I have the flexibility to bring work home and work on my own schedule.  If that weren't the case I'd be at the office every night till 7 or 8 for the next week or so getting everything back in order.  Maybe it'll all fall in to place quickly but there's a lot to do.

Emotionally draining

It hasn't been a particularly good time to be working in the financial industry.  Fears about lay offs, staffing issues with temp labor, all scary stuff.  It's been scary and I know I've been hiding in Zumba and sweating out my stress but my brain is constantly going round and round with all the worst case scenarios.

Plus it's also a weird time of year for me.  I tend to have a hard time adjusting to the shorter days to begin with but it's been especially rough this year.  I've had to start taking more B and D vitamins to help try to keep me even. Even with my anti-depressants and my exercise plan and my normal vitamin regimen I've been overly anxious because of all the other stress.  It's just... draining.

I can honestly say that things are okay now but I am totally, absolutely, 100% ready for a break.  A good, solid, break.  I am going to lounge, read books and watch movies as much as possible Wednesday night, Thursday and all day Saturday and Sunday.  I wish I had snagged the day off on Friday but at least I know it'll be a semi-quiet day and a good chance to catch up on whatever work I'm behind on in peace and quiet. 

On the weight loss front I actually showed several days of weigh ins under 330 pounds in the last 2 weeks.  I'm going to be doing my official weigh in and measurements on the 21st.  We'll see if the scale is nice to me then!

Monday, November 14, 2011

What an awesome day!

So my day started out with a dark cloud of my head.  The staff meeting. 

Wound up being much ado about nothing as, aside from some added responsibilities, the changes didn't really wind up impacting my direct team too much.  Huge weight off my shoulders.

Work was actually, all around, good today.  Got a lot accomplished and I really feel like I'm getting in to a groove with all of my tasks.  I thank Chalene Johnson for that!  My CCDM is getting a workout!

After work I went out to teach the first Zumba class at a brand new location.  As I mentioned in my last post, I was a nervous wreck.  This is the first place I've taught Zumba where there wasn't an established class, an established class base.  It's all up to me to make it work. 

I didn't want to let the students down.  I didn't want to let my Zumba family down.  I didn't want to fail.

I walked in there quivering inside but trying to be cool, calm and collected on the outside. Matt was at my side.  Jennifer came to be supportive. There are three ladies who come to class in Wilson who live out that way were there.  I had friendly faces and a built in support system.  Awesome!

Realization when I got there - no mirrors.  Quick mental check, no "Dance, Dance, Dance" which I have yet to master teaching facing the class.   A few mental adjustments and a mini-freakout later I'm ready to start class.

I did my little spiel about modifications, having a good time off we went.

Class went awesomely.  People were having a good time laughing and doing their own thing when they got completely lost.  I had to do a bit more verbal cuing then I'm used to since all but 5 of the people there were completely new to Zumba but that was kind of awesome too!

I had taken for granted people know the basic moves and it was a nice refresher for me to have to slow down and think on the cumbia, merengue, salsa, cha-cha and reggaeton moves.  I know I was more aware of my body and I can feel that my muscles really appreciated the way that I held it tonight.  I may have sacrificed some style for form but I think that was a good thing.

There were a few missteps from my reliance on mirrors but, all in all, people enjoyed themselves and that was really what mattered. 

And really... 16 people for a first time ever class is pretty awesome! The folks at the Academy did an amazing job with advertising and word of mouth and I appreciate that more than words can say!

Also a plus?  I sold 4 hip scarves so at least 4 of the 11 people who'd never been before intend on coming back!

Today was a fantastic day and I'm feeling good all over.  Now to sleep as the next two days are going to be a whirlwind!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Anxiety as a coping mechanism?

A quick thought for the evening.

I have been anxious and nervous all weekend about my first solo class at a new/non-established location tomorrow.  But, well, here's what just happened.

Going about my evening being anxious and overly cautious about being ready for tomorrow night.  Cleaning up the bedroom, putting my gym bag back in order with all the necessities for tomorrows class. Wondering what to pack for lunch tomorrow. *twitch*

The staff meeting day. 
The SCARY staff meeting day.
The everything could change staff meeting day. 

Holy. Crapballs. My mind is BLOWN.

I've been so busy worrying about Zumba class that I forgot to be worried about the my whole job might change after tomorrow thing. 

I mean, I guess it's good that I focused on the stuff I can fix, change, or keep from going badly but OUCH does it hurt when the real anxiety pops it's head up.

I know there's nothing I can do about it.  The die has already been cast.  It's out of my hands.  Enter platitudes here.

It's still scary but it'll be over and out in the open tomorrow somewhere around noon. 

All this changes is that I don't have to worry about packing lunch tomorrow.  Just need to worry about healthy snacks and my bottles of magic blue water and a small stash of Xanax in my purse just in case the worst case is the actual case.

I'm about to get in to bed, snuggle up with uncle Ambien and hopefully get some solid sleep.  Before I head to the gallows.

How about people out there in the internet wild - 
  1. Have you ever coped with a major stressor by focusing on a smaller  more easily controlled stressor?  
  2. What are some of the weirdest ways you've dealt with stress?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Adventures in cooking

Tonight I wanted Shepard's pie for dinner.  I really, really, REALLY wanted Shepard's pie.  So I defrosted the lean beef, chopped up an onion, and got to work.

While browning the beef and sauteing the onions I realized we didn't have beef stock or gravy and so, at Chips recommendation, I tried to make a sauce out of beer and flour.  We've done it before and it was super tasty!

Popped open a bottle of Newcastle and mixed it with whole wheat flour and was working on veggies when I realized it smelled a bit funny.  I tasted it.  It was not a happy taste.  Yeasty and grainy.  It was SO not a go.

I don't remember what beer we used the last time we did this and I think we used white flour instead of wheat but I was shocked that it turned out so badly.  What a waste of food... but I guess every attempt in the kitchen can't be a total success.

After Matt made a quick run to the store for more beef and gravy and I got started from the top.

A pound of beef, a big ol' onion1.33 cups of corn, peas,and  lima beans topped with  mashed potatoes and cheese on top baked to a bubbly warm crisp.

Yum, yum! It was a hit all around the house!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Zumba News. Vacation. A secret project!

Earlier this week I hashed out an agreement to teach Zumba at a new location.  It's a solo teaching gig! I'll be out there, on my own.

I'm completely and utterly over the moon about the whole situation and also scared out of my mind.  Three ladies who come to Zumba at the studio live near where I'll be teaching and are talking the class, and me, up all over the place! I can't even express how much of a boost to my self esteem that is.

I've also agreed to teach in another Zumbathon in Goldsboro next month.  Another fundraiser for the troops.  Zumba for a good cause?  Sign me up!

Then there's the on going plans for my yearly vacation to Kentucky and Indiana.  A car load of folks driving up and spending six days trapped in a van and visiting new and exciting places, seeing dear old friends and meeting new and interesting people along the way.   I can hardly wait.  It's always one of the best parts of my year and I look forward to the break from the monotony to recharge my batteries going in to 2012.

It's also going to be great for my body because I'm going to be wearing myself out over the next few weeks.  I'm currently at day 12 of 18 continuous days of teaching/co-teaching Zumba classes.

I have not had a day off from Zumba since October 31st and my next day off is November 18th.  While that's kind of cool... it's also very painful.

I'm actually holding on relatively well, all things considered.  Yes, my quads and hamstrings are sore, my calves feel like I've filled them with heavy rocks, my back is tight and my feet are in desperate need of a very long massage and a pedicure

On the flip side though, I feel energized and am sleeping like the dead every night. I'm dealing with my anxiety and fear through pushing my body in class. This has decreased my reliance on Xanax for panic attacks because I can funnel that anxiety in to preparation for class and into class itself. 

I can't wait to get up in the morning and go teach another hour. Then I get to focus on my other big project for the weekend.

Katie has a dance project to do for a class and she, Matt and I will be meeting up to learn the choreography I came up with and finally get it recorded for her to turn in.  I'm excited about having people dancing things that came out of my head.

I still get a high from watching people do the Zumba routines I choreographed.  One day I'll get brave and record that too. 

There will be video from this project and I promise to share it!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Zumba therapy and a simply dreadful day.

That's how I would classify my day.  Simply Dreadful.

A vague idea of how my day went can be found in this fantastic children's book.
My day started out okay for once.  I woke up early and got my shower.  I was on track to leave for work early.  I was ready to take on the world.  And then I got to the office. 

Computer issues.  Staffing issues. A staff meeting I forgot all about.  The staff meeting was less than happy. A sad afternoon. A very slow end to the day and nothing wanted to go my way.

If it weren't for Zumba I don't think I would have survived the day.  I just kept plugging on knowing that I was that much closer to turning my mind off and getting my shimmy on.

When I made the playlist I went hard core.  High intensity and leg intensive.  I wanted to sweat and I wanted to sweat HARD.

Not a great example of the of 70% Latin/International to 30% other split that we aim for but we can't be perfect all the time.

I wanted a fun, exciting, workout that would make me feel rubbery in the knees and this was it.  And the students loved it! It's kind of nice to step out of the box and do a set that tossed the rules out and just flowed.

We're working on some new songs with the core rhythms that will bring some life back to that side of things as we start rotating them in.  This week I'm adding a Japanese pop song and a new reggeaton.  Then I have a new cumbia, merengue and a cha cha to fold in! I've been a busy girl!

When I got to class and got my booty bling on and got in front of that class my brain flipped its switch and I was in a very good place! The music thumped and I bounced and I cheered and I got chatty with the ladies and gents in class.  It felt good.

I focused on my body.  My legs felt tight when I started and they woke up and warmed up and I started to moving more freely. I felt the tension in my back start to relax. I let the music free me and I felt better.

I pushed my body to the limits.  My quads and hamstrings and calves were killing me.  They ached and felt weak and I willed them to keep going.  My shoulder muscles and my abs got sore and tired and I felt the strain of holding good form.

I felt all the grossness of the day seeping out of me as I felt my body being drenched in sweat.

I felt like I exorcised the bad day away while I exercised my mind.

I left class laughing and smiling and joking with my students and my co-instructor.

I know I have to face the fallout from today when I go in to the office tomorrow but I know as long as I have a place to go and turn off my brain and give my body the release it needs that I'm going to be okay.  I'll even be good! Maybe even AWESOME.  I just need to take it one day and one class at a time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simply delicious - Orange Berry Sorbet

I got a little creative in the kitchen this afternoon and decided to make something cold and sweet and, most of all, healthy.  What I wound up making, I suppose, is an orange berry sorbet. 

I had a bag of frozen mixed berries in the freezer and I wanted to make something dessert like with it.  I looked at the food processor and said to myself "Let's get processin!" At first I thought about doing just berry puree served with light Cool Whip but once I got everything pureed it was just too thick and... missing something.

Off went the light bulb! Orange juice. 

Not too long ago I had a drink at some restaurant that was lemonade with wild berries.  Why not see what orange juice adds to the party!

In to the food processor went about 12-16 oz of minute maid orange juice. 

I let it blend for quite some time.  It looked thick and creamy and probably could have been eaten right then and there.  I said no! I want it FROZEN.  So in to the containers and in to the freezer they went.  This is what I wound up with.

I actually have 3 of these little yummy containers!
 It's not as soft as a sorbet normally is and it actually eats more like an Italian ice at this point but it is exceptionally tasty.  You still get the natural sweetness and tartness of the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries from the fruit mix and the delicious citrus flavor from the orange juice.  

Cold. Sweet. Tart. Delicious!
To make my Orange Berry Sorbet you will need:
  1. 1-16oz bag of mixed berries 
  2. 1.5-2 cups of orange juice
Take the berries and put them in to your food processor or blender and blend until it becomes a grainy mushy pile of fruit bits.
Start adding in the orange juice slowly and let it mix in completely.
You'll want the final mix to be thick but easily stirred and mostly smooth.
Pour into containers of your choosing.  (My mixture fit in to 3-1.75 cup Ziplock bowls.) Freeze for several hours until completely solid. 

I plan on using this as part of my post workout routine.  The sweetness of a bit of sorbet, after nomming my post workout protein?  You betcha! Also, natural sugars rock my socks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simply silly

If you haven't caught on yet, I am a cat lover.  My fiancee and I have 5 cats and each one has their own wild and weird personality.  Napoleon is our judgmental, curmudgeon of a kitty.  He's the youngest of the crew and tonight he gave me a good giggle.

Let me set the scene.

Arriving home from work in a hurry, I bypass the pleasantries and go straight to the master bathroom.  Lunch apparently didn't sit well with me and I'm in quite a bit of gastronomic distress. Napoleon follows me in mewing just as hard as he can.

Me: "Awwwww, Poley.  Did you miss me today?"

Him: Purrr... growl... mrrr... pet me!

Me: "I know you want attention but I'm busy at the moment.  Can't I potty in peace?!?!"

Him: Purr... snarl... hiss... knocks over trash can.

Me:  "I will snuggle you shortly! Quit it, butt-head."

Him: Huffs and passive aggressively hops on the counter looking for things to knock over.  Notices that I'm not paying attention and plants his whole body into the sink, curled up and ready to stay put for as long as it takes to annoy me.

Me:  "Seriously, I need to wash my hands.  Move it."

Him: LaLaLaLa I'm ignoring yoooooou!

Me:"Move it or I shall poke you and try to dislodge you forcefully!"

Him:   Does anyone hear a buzzing? I think something is making noises but I'm sleeping so hard I can't hear them.

Me: "Fine, have it your way."  

I turn on the cold water a little more than a trickle.  He continues to attempt to ignore me, his tail swishing in annoyance.  The water begins forming a little pool on his back and then begins to puddle up against his back.  He continues to pretend that this doesn't bother him until it starts to sink in past his outer coat.  With a growl he steps out of the sink, shakes off and glares at me before hitting the floor muttering in his little kitty mews and mrrs.

I laughed for a good ten minutes.  He still won't come near me and keeps looking at his back and then glaring at me like I have betrayed him for the last time.

Ahh kitty love. 

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