Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making Friends With My Inner Athlete...Maybe I Should Send Her A Facebook Request?

Oh sweet baby Jesus!
Is it really August already????? How the frig did that happen?
I have exactly 4 weeks from today until school starts back up - a fact that gives me an acute attack of agita every time I think about it.  My brain is simply not ready to wrap itself around having to read textbooks and write papers and develop lesson plans and complete observations and all that academic mumbo jumbo that comes with each semester. I know, I know...suck it up....If I think it's bad now, just wait until I am an actual teacher. Hells bells.

It's not completely accurate to say that July flew by, but it didn't go quite as slowly as I would have liked either. I guess we've just had a lot going on this summer and time that I normally would have to simply kick back and relax has been filled with other things - 2 summer classes, helping find a nursing home for my Gram and traveling to visit her, various home improvements (that are still under way), and my mom's surgery, just to name a few. I feel like there has been a lot of driving back and forth to school, nursing homes and the hospital. We live in a town that is close to absolutely NOTHING so any commute is a long commute. Hell - we even drive 17 miles to the grocery store (it's Wegmans so it's well worth it, though).

I'm not really complaining, mind you - I would do anything for my mom and Gram so commuting the hour to see them isn't an issue for me at all - but it does take a chunk out of the day that I might otherwise being doing stuff here, of which there is PLENTY for me to do. Making matters worse is the fact that I am an unbelievably seasoned procrastinator. For example, here I am blogging when I have a pile of laundry in the basement calling my name, and a kitchen floor that is begging for Mr. Clean to have his way with it. Hey, I never claimed I'd win any awards for having good discipline.

I am happy to report however that my mom is doing AWESOMELY since her double knee replacement surgery on July 25. I have been able to sit in a few of her therapy sessions and seeing her push through her exercises has really inspired me. She does throw out that old cliche from time to time as she is pushing through her therapy - you know the one - NO Pain, NO Gain. And while it is quite possibly the most annoying thing to hear someone say to you when you, yourself are exercising, I must admit, it has some validity to it. And it has caused me to look at my own views of exercise and why I seem so resistant to pushing myself and really, truly, going the distance.

My husband has his own theories as to why I don't ever try to go above and beyond my comfort zone in terms of exercise. He thinks it's because I never played competitive sports when I was in middle and high school and college. I never developed that "go for the gold" attitude that many athletes have. I never had a coach screaming in my face to run faster, jump higher or do another lap. Hmmmm....ok, well, maybe that's it. But I have my own ideas.

I know from reading lots of weight loss blogs that many self-proclaimed former coach potatoes are now supreme athletes....runners, swimmers, spinners, aerobic queens, zumba masters - you name it.  And from this I know that the exercise-loving gene is not always an inborn thing - you CAN develop it through out your lifetime, at any point.  I have been told that in order to develop this "gene" you have to find something that you love to do. I like to walk and have been doing this with my husband on days that my plantars fasciitis isn't stabbing knives in the side of my foot (this of course is self-diagnosed - I should probably just go get this nagging foot pain checked out). Waking is good exercise - but I am acutely aware I need to do more. I have been talking about wanting to master the food thing before diving head first into exercise but you know what? After seeing my mom go through what she is going through, AND after reading all of my blogger friends accounts of kicking ass in their own exercise goals (a special shout out to Fat Girl In A Skinny World in particular!) I realize that I am just being a big freaking baby. I need to start really pushing harder - I need to move my ass faster, longer and more habitually and those, my dear friends, are the simple facts, whether I like it or not.

And if I happen to need a reminder as to why my ample ass needs to bust a move, I can always look at this fun little display:
My Post-It Pounds Pull-Off Wall of Motivation
That's right - 100 Post-Its for each pound I need to shed from this big 'ole bod of mine.  I actually have a few pulled off the wall already (6 to be exact) and think I will start to post a picture of the "Post-It Pounds Pull-Off" each week when I do weigh-in so that people can see how many more pounds I have lost and how many I have left to go. It's also a good visual for me to see how far I have come - but also to push me by seeing just how far I still need to go.

And so, I give you my new exercise challenge promise. No more excuses. I WILL exercise every day for AT LEAST 30 minutes, 6 days a week. Today I completed 20 minutes on the elliptical (2.1 miles, 251 calories burned) and also completed this arm workout with 5lb dumbells.  After Josh is done with work today, I am sure I can coax him outside for a bike ride around town, too (he will be ecstatic that I am willing to go out in 95 degree temps and sweat) ....that ought to do it for today.

So there you have it....I'm turning a new leaf in this weight loss process. In the words of Emeril Legassi, I'm kicking it up a notch! I have had a month of getting the eating thing under control and have been doing well with that....I haven't had a Tostito in a month! Miracles do happen!

Today I leave you with the following food porn and recipe:
1 can Lite Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp (or less) brown sugar (you can use Splenda brand if you like)
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1/3 cup water
1 pound large shrimp (peeled, cleaned and deveined) - OR you can use frozen pre-cooked shrimp, which is what I do - it makes this recipe easy and fast!!!
 Basmai, Jasmine or Brown rice (cooked based on package directions)

Optional ingredients: Red curry powder, Sirracha sauce, Thai Sweet/Hot Red chili sauce (to kick up the heat depending how big of a sadist you are - you can add these to taste - a little goes a LONG way).

In large sauce pan, heat coconut milk and Red Curry paste until simmering. (You can also add the optional ingredients at this time if you are using them).

Cook for about 3 - 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add fish sauce and brown sugar - stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add frozen peas, water and red pepper, cook until peppers are tender - about 4 or  5 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook until pink - about 5 minutes or so. (If using frozen shrimp, they should be thawed before cooking and tails should be removed. Cook in mixture until just heated through - but do not over-cook).

I taste the sauce to make sure the heat is as I want it and add more curry accordingly.

You can serve this over rice or eat without rice, as more of a soup.

P.S. The lite coconut milk cuts significantly off the fat grams/cals for this recipe! Also - you can add more veggies to bulk it up!


  1. That's a brilliant idea! I wish I would have thought of that. I've also heard of buying as many beads as pounds you have to lose and making a necklace!

    Thanks for sharing the food porn.

  2. Awww you're too sweet. Thank you soooo much for the shout out, you're adorable. Congrats on the new way of thinking (not like your old way was bad either btw). I looove your post it idea...I maaaaaay just steal it...if you don't mind that is. Have a great day :D xoxo

  3. Love the post it idea!!! So creative. I bought some funky beads and I am making a necklace with the pounds I lose. So far I havent gotten any beads but I am on my way!


  4. I also fail to push myself a lot AND we have the same amount of weight to lose. I think it's fate! Or fat, but whatever. I love your post it idea. Let's do this!!

  5. I am so excited to hear your workout goal! You can ABSOLUTELY do this. Push yourself hard. I'm soaking wet with sweat after each work out and I feel great. If you think you can't do something, I would challenge you that you can. And yes I've cried during a workout - so don't get discouraged if you have a hard time ever. It's part of it.

  6. I'm with you - July flew by. Yikes! Summer will be over before we know it!

    As for exercise, it took me years and years to build up a habit, to make it routine. I still don't push myself as much as I should. But I get it done, every darn day.

  7. I love your post it idea!! I might have to steal it! Thanks for posting the recipe - looks so good!