May 26, 2010

The Front Porch is Gettin' Fancy

We've had this Pottery Barn day bed for years and it hasn't gotten a minute of use.  Bernie bought it for me for my birthday or something one year.  In our last house it looked like this and it was
very sad and lonely.
Then we moved to Denver and the day bed moved to the parlor and got some new pillows from West Elm but it was just too big and awkward and not meant for a home built in 1905 and it was again,
very sad and lonely.
Then we got a new couch for the parlor (more to come on that later) and moved the day bed to the front porch.  It got some snazzy outdoor pillows (also West Elm) and we sit on it almost every day. 
And the day bed was happy.
 Who wouldn't want to sit out here with a beer or a glass of wine looking at the park and taking in some sun?
"I don't need very much now," said the boy, "just a quiet place to sit and rest.  I am very tired."  "Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting.  Come, Boy, sit down.  Sit down and rest."

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

May 25, 2010

BL2 Week 7

The Biggest Loser finale is on tonight, anyone watching?  I think I'm rooting for Michael, or the chic in pink.  Below is the percentage of weight loss after Week 7 (this is a running total, not a weekly result). Heidi is back from vacation and still taking the lead in a big way!  Instead of talking Top 3 this week, look at all the people over 3% lost?  Excellent job everyone!  The biggest jump of the week goes to Amy S-C!  You have got this, keep it up!  As for me, my results aren't showing it but I am toatlly back on track - working out, eating right and feeling really good about it.


Keri 0.25%
Pickel 0.56%
Karin 3.48%
Carolina 0.79%
Kristy 1.70%
Auntie Ann 0.68%
Jennifer 3.05%
Tracy 0.00%
Danielle 1.39%
Claire 3.16%
Mindy 0.65%
Jamie 2.14%
Amy S-C 2.56%
Lara 0.00%
Marcy 0.69%
Megan 1.51%
Leah 1.14%
Molly 1.47%
Heidi 7.90%
Anne Marie 0.00%
Amanda 1.16%
Michelle 3.55%
Lori 3.33%
Stef 0.76%
Chelsea 1.89%
Sharon 3.69%

My lady M'oprah introduced me to The French Skinny Experiment blog awhile back which is about a fabulous girl named Shaboom that moved to Paris and lost 65lbs.  She eats real food, mostly unprocessed, walks a lot, climbs a lot of stairs, has a lot of "indoor cardio", eats a lot of baguette and crepes and pastries and rarely drinks (that last one is anti-French if you ask me).  And in the process she lost a helluva lot of weight.  Shaboom's friend Karen is trying to duplicate her efforts from Burbank and is down 13.5lbs in just 5 weeks.  What the what!?!  13.5lbs and I get to eat baguettes? 

I tried to get on the bandwagon by walking to the market, eating some baguettes and crepes and cornichons (Bernie insists on sounding like a hillbilly by calling them gherkins, which they are, but still).  If you haven't had real baguette with real butter and jam lately, OMG, one of the best things I've ever eaten.  Hands down.  Crepes at the farmer's market with ham, apple, leek, and brie?  Yes please.  100 flights of stairs?  No thank you.

Another thing I noticed was that these ladies eat a lot of yogurt.  Then I read this article, and there may be something to this yogurt thing:  From the April issue of Fitness: People who ate (18 ounces a day) - in conjunction with cutting their total calories - lost 22% more weight and 81% more belly fat than dieters who skipped the snack, according to research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  blah blah blah When you eat yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to drop pounds, while the amino acids help burn fat.

Today I had 15oz. with granola


May 20, 2010

Grow Dammit Grow, part 5, the garden in Spring

Introducing the Hoffman Garden
A 3' x 30' Denver Garden
It might not look like much but from left to right I have carrots, beets, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, parsnips (I moved them, they're starting over fresh away from their dreaded enemy, the carrot, who knew vegetables don't always like each other), lettuce, spinach, and more lettuce.  There is still a plot of land where the parsnips used to live and a relatively large section between the broccoli and the lettuce for leeks and winter squash.  The containers to the far left will be red peppers and eggplant.  And I'll be planting herbs throughout.  Mainly basil as I'm obsessed with basil.
Planted 8 tomatoes: 1 Yellow Brandywine, 2 Romas, 2 New Yorkers, 1 Black Krim, 1 Red Pear, and 1 Yellow Pear.  Did I mention I just started eating tomatoes this year?  I grew the New Yorkers and the Pears from seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library.  The rest I bought from our local green house City Floral.  It should be noted I would have put the tomato cages on upside down had I not seen them at the garden center.  So much for my engineering degree.
Our fancy sprinkler system is in action above.  Makes for easy watering for sure.  To the right is my makeshift barrier so the dog can't pee on the lettuce.  All the green is lettuce - getting ready for that first salad.

I've been sending everyone, willing or not, home with my seedlings.  A garden seems like a powerful thing.  It's a hobby.  Its a lot of work.  It can feed you.  It can feed your friends.  It could die under a brown thumb.  I'm taking some tomatoes and peppers back to Michigan for my BFF.  She doesn't want her name out on the internet so I'm still trying to think up one of those blog code names for her.  She's my oldest friend, half of you know her, you'll have to email me some suggestions.

May 19, 2010

BL2 Week 6 - half way done!

Below is the percentage of weight loss after Week 6 (this is a running total, not a weekly result).  I'm putting Heidi on probation from being our leader until she weighs in again...it's been 3 weeks.  I'm sure she's still kicking ass after her vacation.  So this week we have Sharon, Karin, and Michelle all pushing or exceeding the 3% mark!  Way to go ladies!

Keri 1.01%
Pickel 0.56%
Karin 3.02%
Carolina 0.79%
Kristy 1.70%
Auntie Ann 0.68%
Jennifer 2.75%
Tracy 0.00%
Danielle 1.39%
Claire 2.81%
Mindy 0.65%
Jamie 2.14%
Amy S-C -0.64%
Lara 0.00%
Marcy 0.69%
Megan 1.19%
Leah 1.14%
Molly 1.47%
Heidi 8.62%
Anne Marie 0.00%
Amanda 1.16%
Michelle 2.96%
Lori 2.64%
Stef 0.76%
Chelsea 1.48%
Sharon 3.69%

I went to the endocrinologist again this week to get my hypothyroidism checked.  Then I got one of my daily emails from Everyday Health and thought I would post some symptoms.  Hopefully you are getting a thyroid panel with your yearly physical (you are getting a yearly physical right?).  Let me tell you, this shit sneaks up on you like a ninja.

If your thyroid doesn’t secrete enough hormones into your blood, you may suffer from hypothyroidism and a slowing down of bodily functions that could cause more serious complications, like high cholesterol and heart trouble.  Initial symptoms of hypothyroidism might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability and depression
  • Higher cholesterol levels
  • Slower heart rate
  • Constipation, or sluggish bowel
Unfortunately I had all the symptoms except cold intolerance and dry hair.  Even medicated many symptoms still linger.  It took me a year between physicals to know what was wrong.  One year fine, one year the Ninja took me down and I didn't even see him coming.

May 17, 2010

6 months and what do I have to show for it?

It's been 6 months since I've started blogging.  It has been fun but I've not been as productive as I would have hoped.  This is the jist of my first post or you can read the whole thing here:
This is a year in my life...I have goals to grow my own food, be a better wife, become a real runner, drink good wine, get another dog, lose lots of weight (but still enjoy great food), live more with less (I'm kidding myself with this one) and spend more time being creative. This is it. This is My Year. And it started on a random Tuesday night.
Having a little bit of a pity party today I must admit.  Not sure even what led me to ask the question, how long have I been blogging?  6 months?  Ugh.  I don't feel like I'm making much progress, mainly in the weight-loss area.  Spinning my wheels.  More like I have a boot on my wheels. 

It takes lots of work and I just haven't put in the effort.  Haven't wanted to.  On a positive note moving to the city has been awesome.  I love walking to restaurants, to the park, tot he market, to the coffee shop, etc.  I loved that a marathon started in my front yard yesterday (minus the announcer that started at 5am).  The garden is a fun work in progress.  So rewarding and I've been able to give seedlings to four different families for their gardens.  Here's to a strong finish to My Year!  No more wasting time.

May 12, 2010

BL2 Week 5

Sorry for the delay, I had a one day trip to Tucson yesterday and Bernie was waiting for me to get home so he could watch Lost.  How the hell are they going to wrap this thing up in one more episode plus the season finale "event"?  I think they're going to leave us hanging, I just feel disappointment looming...but anyway, on to Biggest Loser.

But before we get to the results...we've been looking to do a girls weekend centered around health and fitness (and let's be honest, a little wine) for awhile now so when we saw this cruise hosted by my BFF Jillian Michaels it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hang with the girls, lay in the sun, and workout (and let's be honest, drink a little wine).  We have to wait until next week to book due to a bunch of crazy rules they have, but I think Karin and I are for sure in and Danielle is 99% with us.  Anyone else want to go?  Oct 21-25 out of Miami.

Below is the percentage of weight loss after Week 5 (this is a running total, not a weekly result).  Heidi is still in first place but she owes us a weigh-in since she has been on vacation somewhere warm and sunny.  Sharon is in second and Jen has pulled up into third place by a hair over Karin - excellent work everyone!  We're getting towards the half way point - are you meeting your goals?  Are you meeting your potential or are you going to get to week 6 and say, man, I should have / could have done more?  (I'm in that boat by the way, anyone else find it odd that I organize weight loss comps and don't lose any effin weight?).  Let's see some big numbers in the next two weeks and earn some of those rewards we've set for ourselves (silver bracelets for me)!!! 

Keri 1.01%
Pickel 1.44%
Karin 3.02%
Carolina 0.79%
Kristy 1.06%
Auntie Ann 0.68%
Jennifer 3.05%
Tracy 0.00%
Danielle 2.01%
Claire 2.11%
Mindy 0.33%
Jamie 2.14%
Amy S-C -0.64%
Lara 0.75%
Marcy 1.03%
Megan 0.76%
Leah 1.14%
Molly 1.47%
Heidi 8.62%
Anne Marie 0.00%
Amanda 1.73%
Michelle 2.37%
Lori 2.64%
Stef 1.14%
Chelsea 1.56%
Sharon 3.11%

I've mentioned in previous blog posts that I'm reading/following The Beck Diet for Life book which uses cognitive therapy to help you to lose weight.  In her April Newsletter Beck shared the following strategies which is basically the essence of her program.  Hopefully you find it as helpful as I have.  This woman can bust any excuse you can throw her way, no lie, she has thought of everything:

One of the most important skills people need is the ability to talk back to their sabotaging thoughts:

“It’s okay to eat this food I hadn’t planned to eat because . . . I’m happy/I’m sad/I’m tired/I’m celebrating/it’s a special occasion/it’s healthy/I hardly ever get to have it/I exercised today/I’ll make up for it later/I’ll start dieting again tomorrow/ it’s free/I can’t waste food/no one is watching.”  And on and on and on.

I teach dieters to anticipate their sabotaging thoughts and together we create forceful responses they write on note cards. They read these cards every morning (because they never know how difficult it will be for them, on any given day, to stick to their diet). They also pull them out just before their vulnerable times of day and when they’re tempted to stray from their eating plan.

A question I often ask dieters is: “What do you wish you would remember when you have a strong temptation or craving for unplanned food?” I include a variety of responses in my books, including:

1. I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, in whatever quantity I want—OR I can be thinner. I can’t have it both ways.

2. While it feels unfair that I can’t have this food now, I can always plan to have it tomorrow. The greatest unfairness would be if I let my sense of unfairness prevent me from losing weight.

3. If I eat this food, I’ll get momentary satisfaction but I’ll feel terrible later. If I don’t eat it, I’ll feel proud of myself and especially happy when I get on the scale.

4. Don’t fool myself into thinking it won’t matter if I eat this. Eating this unplanned food strengthens my giving-in muscle and weakens my resistance muscle. Every time matters.

5. Hunger is never an emergency [unless one has a serious medical condition] and cravings always go away.

Is that a carrot in your garden or are you just happy to see me?


Dearest carrot sprout, I hope you survive this shit

May 4, 2010

BL2 Week 4

Below is the percentage of weight loss after Week 4 (this is a running total, not a weekly result).  I'm sensing a trend here - Heidi, Sharon, and Lori are still in the lead.  Great job ladies!  Heidi is on vacation this week and didn't weigh-in, let's hope she enjoys herself just a little so we can gain a little ground and give her a run for her money.  I'm traveling the entire week which is never good for weight loss but I have a couple of reward bracelets that I really want to wear sooner rather than later.

Keri 1.01%
Pickel 1.33%
Karin 2.67%
Carolina 0.79%
Kristy 0.21%
Auntie Ann 0.68%
Jennifer 2.44%
Tracy 0.00%
Danielle 2.01%
Claire 2.11%
Mindy 0.33%
Jamie 2.14%
Amy S-C -0.64%
Lara 0.75%
Marcy 2.07%
Megan 1.73%
Leah 1.14%
Molly 1.47%
Heidi 8.62%
Anne Marie 0.00%
Amanda 1.16%
Michelle 2.37%
Lori 2.98%
Stef 0.76%
Chelsea 0.82%
Sharon 3.69%

Since we are 1/3 of the way through this thing, some of you might be hitting a plateau.  Here is a great article from Every Day Health with 10 plateau-busting tips.

Karin sent me this tip last week from Seeds of Success:

Move more. “People are going to have to program themselves to move more and be more willing to fit exercise in whenever they can.”

Eat real food. “Typically, if you eat more real food, you have accidental weight loss, because there’s a lot less calories in eating apples with a tablespoon of peanut butter than eating a snack pack of pretzels or other packs of this and that. When people go back to eating real foods, they don’t have to be deprived, and they end up eating fewer calories because real foods have fewer calories.”

Push yourself. “It can’t be totally comfortable. I don’t want to make it sound like, ‘Go exercise for five minutes, and everything is going to be good.’ At the end of the day, you do have to push yourself.”

Get comfortable with failure. “Failure means you are trying. You have to be willing to throw things up against the wall and see what works for you.”

Give fitness more time to become a habit. “Anyone who has raised kids knows that potty training is not a two-week thing. Getting kids to sleep in their own bed is not a two-week thing. It takes time, every step of the way. You are in this for the long haul. You have to have this same stick-to-it-ness. Otherwise, you are letting yourself down. Give yourself 30 to 60 days. Give your body a chance to set a habit. Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

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