Friday, December 2, 2011

Tis the Season

December...... How are you?
The leaves were absolutely beautiful this fall. More beautiful than I remember in my four years in Georgia. The leaves are on the ground now, leaving the trees naked and cold. There is something beautiful about a bare tree in the overcast winter months. Vulnerable in its appearance, yet oddly impressive with its strength and its patience to just stand there and wait. Waiting for spring to arrive and provide it with a whole new wardrobe of leaves.
Spring is beautiful. However, the colors of fall make my eyes dance with happiness!
December is a hectic month for most. A month of spending beyond our means for gifts to clutter the home, collect dust and that may only be used, appreciated and enjoyed for only a month or two. Items we're bound to donate to Goodwill or will part with at a garage sale for .50 a year or so later. Granted, we were asking $2 for that item, but we got tired of arguing and settled for .50; not even two quarters, but three dimes, one nickel and fifteen pennies.
December is filled with yummy homemade goodies, menus that impress and lots of very merry hot totties; or for the less domestic, several party platters and a keg! Eat it up kids. That's the holiday mentality..... Eat now and start the diet January 1st! Why break tradition!
I think many are scaling back with their gift giving, aren't we all broke? Hopefully no one scales back with their unconditional love and appreciation for wonderful family and friends.
A very merry to ya!
May you share in memories, love and laughter this December.... and everyday!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

41 and Counting

Inches VS Pounds?!?
The true objective is overall improved health. Though I've decreased in inches, the pounds are hanging on with all their might. They are relentless. However, being almost 42, I know age does play a factor. My age is not an excuse, it is my reality. The psoriatic arthritis can also hinder, which is also my reality. The results are showing, but they are taking their sweet time with their arrival.
Age...... Don't even get me started!
I'm not bothered by my age at all. I'm not spending dollars right and left trying to defy the aging process. Botox doesn't interest me in the least. I am a fan of hair color. I often ask myself, am I more grateful for hair color or make up? Always a tie, as I love them both! I think a decent moisturizer does wonders for the face and complexion; that's about all I invest in, besides true make up. I'm not a fan of my surplus neck, but what woman is? I've not met her yet.
Plastic surgery... To each their own! If you have the money, the insurance, the time, the faith and a good doctor.... then order up! Personally, I'm happy with what God has given me to work with. That's exactly what I'm doing too, working with it. I'm a firm believer that if you're not happy, it's your fault. So, with that, I myself have been striving to improve.... not because I'm not happy, but because I would like to be the best version of myself. Life is too short for that to be optional.
No matter what the age, some advice I could offer:
Don't get fat.... It's not good for your joints, your organs and your overall health. It's not good for your self esteem, your self worth or your confidence.
Don't stay from the gym too long...... Make new friends, challenge yourself with new machines or classes, enjoy the YOU time while you're there.... No children, No spouse (typically), No demands... Just YOU taking care of YOU! (no need to complain about membership prices. add up what you spend in a month for dining out (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and your gym membership will likely be less than your dining out total)
Shop the perimeter at the grocery store..... Read the labels before you buy...... Know what you're putting on your plate and putting in your body!
Spend more time in the Produce department.....Try something new! and Don't fry it!
Drink more water.... Add lemon or other fresh fruit!
Eat a donut..... Do not eat a dozen donuts!
Drive past the Drive Thru's!
A friend asked yesterday, what I was doing. She could tell I had lost some weight. When I told her I was eating better than ever and in the gym at least 4 times a week, I think she was disappointed it wasn't a magic pill or shake doing the 'work'. I've been doing the' work'. And yes, there are some days I do take time off 'work', but overall, I'm happy with the progress.
We're all a work in progress, in one way or another.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PMS Pepsi Motivates Shannon

August.... Done! September...... Outta Here! October..... Almost 5 days in........ Welcome! Welcome October!
I love Fall! Love it! The slight drop in temperature is more than welcome. The air is crisp! The leaves are changing! Football, Chili-Cook-Offs, Craft Fairs and Fall Festivals. Then there's the really FUN stuff.... Hayrides, Corn Mazes and Everything Pumpkin!!! Pumpkin, a true Fall staple; whether carving it, bedazzling it, drawing faces on it or cooking with it; we'll see it and more than likely be tasting it, for the next three months. Yummmmmmm!
Time to spend more time outside. A favorite mantra of mine, "Step outside and take in the view." Of course, this time of year, you should grab a sweater first. Stepping outside is easier said than done. Hectic schedules, demands of children, spouses, career.... etc........ Before you know it, October is November. Much like my August and September.... GONE!!!
Here's hoping that October doesn't pass us too quickly. May your October be a memorable one.
I spent some quality time in the gym in August and throughout September, not only for weight loss benefits, but for true conditioning. Humira is a Godsend for my Psoriatic Arthritis, but, keeping the body moving is just as essential. October will be no different. It can be discouraging to see loss in inches, but not pounds. The inches are definitely decreasing, but the pounds have found themselves a home and are reluctant to pack up and move out. I've even presented an eviction notice, but my certified delivery has been returned to sender! Damn freeloaders!!!
Menu, also a work in progress, is also improving. I stumble upon new favorites from time to time; Sabra Hummus, Stacey's Chips, fresh red grapefruit and a delicious mexican soup recipe with chicken breast, brown rice, red onion, avocado, cilantro and lime. Then I find myself returning to old favorites and sometimes old habits; Chobani Greek Yogurt, Tilapia, Laughing Cow Cheese and PEPSI! I still love Pepsi! I love my water too... with lemon. But, I LOVE Pepsi. I love the way it talks to me when it hits the ice and when it tickles my face from the carbonation. It just makes me happy! Although, I'm happy to report that my Pepsi intake has decreased substantially. Except that dreaded PMS week...... because Pepsi Motivates Shannon. There's a PMS for you!!! And ironically, that week is this week. I find myself feeling bloated and blah! (and no, i haven't guzzled the Pepsi like i've wanted to, i had ONE today) Weight: a very robust and assy 224. Assy, as that's where the weight is parked. Note: not in neutral, but parked!!! I can gain anywhere from 3lbs to 12lbs the week of my period. So far, I'm up 8! EIGHT!!! Feels like EIGHTY!!!!!! However, inches are still absent!!! So, another favorite mantra to share, "It's all good!" (and getting better)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Peripheral Vision, not Just for Perverts!

And...... I'm already a day late.
Hello August! Glad to see you, but I'm trying to get to October. No offense August, but you're hot and sticky; these are qualities I seek in a fresh baked pastry, not in my day to day living! Sorry August, but I am patiently waiting for October. It is just too damn HOT! The upside, August is the month to get kids out of the mall, out of our supermarkets, out of the movie theaters, off their handheld devices and back to school!!!
My son is twenty-three and no longer in school, but because I don't want to be the only Mother not raising her glass celebrating returning to the classroom, I plan on attending numerous Happy Hours throughout the month of August! Mothers Unite!!!
The upside of October? Cooler weather and Oktoberfest!!! I'm not an alcoholic, I just play one while blogging! Please...... I don't drink. I'm topless sober. No need to booze me up. I'd be the naked one in the corner, talking to people who really aren't there; attractive people of course.
(i hallucinate when i drink... and yes, that is the truth!)
As far as 'naked in the corner', my gym's scale is in the corner. Maybe they feel it offers a sense of privacy, for those who have the occasional 'is this flippin' scale broken' meltdown. I do gently step on three different times, then of course go with the lower of the three results shown. Sadly, very rarely does it vary. Whether I place left foot first, right foot first..... turn myself about..... The damn scale reads the same all three times.
I would love to weigh naked in the corner; I feel like I've gained at least 6 lbs. Besides, don't clothes and shoes weigh, like 15 lbs? Weighing naked would do one of two things for business... Vacate the property as though there was a bomb threat or...... Encourage members to stay longer, push harder and possibly not stare directly at me. It's all about peripheral vision, people! How else are we going to judge strangers and compare ourselves to others? It's all about the gift of peripheral!
I'll weigh in August 2nd! Yes, I'll wear clothes! Yes, I'll report back!
Happy August!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

BlogSpot I've missed you!
Wow... March! Has it really been since March?
I'm not even typing this now. I will officially be returning to That Shannon in August. Consider this your That Shannon 'teaser.'
I haven't been feeling well. Only now, have I been feeling better. If you've read my previous posts, you know I have psoriasis. My psoriasis had evolved into psoriatic arthritis. I had had minor symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in the past. However, more recently, the symptoms were not so minor. Painful! Exhausting! Debilitating!
I'm blessed to be on Humira, which seems to be improving everything. The skin, the joint pain, the swelling, the nails; well...... all of it. My doc was convinced that because I was such a hot mess, Humira would give me a quicker result than my previous prescribed drug, Enbrel. "Why did you go off Enbrel?", you ask. Lack of a full time job (thanks to budget cuts in 2009 with a company I had been with for almost 10 years), resulted in lack of health insurance. Lack of health insurance, resulted in no Enbrel.
I was actually testing my body too, to see how long before the drug would be NEEDED. The answer... One year. Thanks to Cobra I could continue for a while, but, ran dry of coverage May 2010. Been on Humira since May 2011. I am so very grateful. The joint pain and swelling have decreased tremendously, the skin looks almost flawless and the nails are coming along too!
I went to the gym today. Not my first day back, but still felt foreign to me. Not as comfortable as I once was. I am going more often though, so, in time...
I'm thankful for the Advil I have on hand, every time I go. It assists with the inevitable swelling.
I missed the gym these last several months. I missed looking and feeling normal. I do NOT miss feeling like I was beat up every day in a boxing ring. I know there are worse things to be diagnosed with. I would never try to make light of someone diagnosed with a serious illness or disease. I can only make light of and make fun of myself and my experiences.
Laughter really is the best medicine! And Advil!!! And Humira!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hello Month Three of 2011

Work.... Grateful!
Schedule.... Demanding!
Family..... Missed!
Relationship...... Challenged!
Balances.......... Unpaid!
Friends............... Appreciated!
Stress........ Up!
Psoriasis......... Annoying!
Weight................ Down!
Gym......... Random!
Optimistic............... Always!
Sense of Self......... Improving!

March has only been here 9hrs (est) and I still have to look at both my phone and my computer to believe it's here at all! I'm not sure where January and February dissolved to, but no doubt, they are gone. I am welcoming March with open arms.
Inches are still gone and weight is still down. 216 is nothing to brag about. However, it's not 246 and... it is a process. Pepsi is still a must have, because me headaches/migraines dictate that it is. The good news: the Pepsi intake is decreasing!
The top was (and is) decreasing in size; I'm happy to report that the bottom half is finally starting to catch up! FINALLY!!! "Triangular" was not a good look for me!
This was just a little something to play catch-up by.
Looking forward to having more time next time.
What I've also been noticing.... which I knew all along...... Fat friends don't like fat friends losing weight. So, to that, I also should have posted:

Fat Friends....................... Cranky!
(yes, I chose 'cranky'. other words that came to mind were not lady-like)

Have a great third month of 2011......................... and don't be Cranky!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Flat-Chested Triangle, a shape not yet sung about on Sesame Street!

So yes, I weighed in on the 21st of January. The scale made its way to 219.4.

However, here I am in the middle of a heavy period and I feel as though I weigh 246 once again. What a roller coaster! It's said that women are more moody and more emotional creatures then men... Gee, I wonder why?

Is it disrespectful that I'm wondering if my God isn't an overweight woman? I say this because, what I do know is that, at least among women, fat friends don't like their fat friends to lose weight! Sure, they smile and offer well wishes on the outside... if their Mothers' raised them right. But, on the inside, they're sitting in a Krispy Kreme having a major meltdown.

My weight is gradually coming down; the inches too, are also coming off. Inches off my bra size! This is NOT where I need the inches to come off! I do think my God is a fluffy female, because if I do put a few pounds back on, like this week for example, the inches don't return to the boobage. The inches always seem to find a new place to call home, on my ass. I look like a flat-chested, wide-load triangle. Just not as pointy. Only a fluffy female would do that to another fluffy female. If my God were a man, it would surely be the other way around. Most men like a bigger top and a smaller bottom. The best thing about my God? My God allowing me to have such a peculiar, borderline controversial, sense of humor.

I will make my God proud on Monday, January 31st, when my flat-chested, triangular body gets on the scale. Through this glorious period, may the three digits read 219 or less!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shannon VS Rocky

Snowed in for several days (atlanta) and i'm not going to say I didn't work out, but I am going to say, I didn't miss a meal... or a snack!
Being snowed in, well, this involves a different kind of workout... a very relaxed, i'll get-to-it-tomorrow type of workout. Hell, I didn't shower until day four, people!
A decent workout promotes a shower, and I wasn't going to let that happen!
A nice hot shower is great, but then it's cold when you step out, you have to blow dry your hair before you freeze to death with a wet head, then you have to get dressed... and assuming you'd be wearing a different/clean outfit, now you're just promoting more laundry to do. Honestly, who wants that?
Two rules of snow days: just keep adding deodorant & don't eat the kitchen!
Guilt and some body odor set in today, so I worked out and showered!
My meals weren't necessarily 'bad', they were just excessive and 'non-portioned.' A successful meal is not only on the healthier side, but smartly portioned. One of my 'no-no' meals was egg salad. Why it was a 'no-no' meal was because I apparently wanted a 'snack' as I was watching the Biggest Loser, Tuesday night.... I ate all the egg salad I had made!!! Out of the bowl! Yes, with fork, not my fingers! No bread needed! (I didn't think I needed the extra carbs) Don't laugh, but I was thinking about Rocky Balboa, as I was watching the Biggest Loser, and eating my six-egg salad... out of the bowl... with a fork. Like when Rocky ate his eggs.... well, drank his eggs, his raw eggs, from a glass.... almost the same thing..... I too, like Rocky, was wearing my sweats! However, unlike Rocky Balboa, I wasn't going on a 4am run, and had a remote control in my hand. In that moment, i felt like a winner! I ate that six-egg salad out of a bowl, with a fork, like a champion!!! I'm pretty sure I would have made Mr. Balboa nervous!
That was the only BAD BAD BAD naughty, 'no-no' moment to confess to.
I did drink lots of water, had some oranges, bananas, Fiber One blueberry muffins, fish, chicken breast, lots of broccoli, sweet potato, some veggies and pasta too. Enjoyed some Triscuits and yummy rosemary focaccia sticks by New York Style and yes, one Pepsi every day! Hey, you snow me in... I'm going to cave! I'm just proud I only had one a day.
Today was the day that I moved and worked out the most.
The ice and snow are gradually melting, so tomorrow will be a better day.
I will challenge myself this week, and we'll see what the scale says on Friday the 21st. I'd weigh myself now, but the six-egg salad thinks it's too soon! And I agree!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Loss of Pounds with a Side Order of Lost Inches Please!

Eleven days into our New Year, and as Dr Phil would ask, "How's that workin' for ya?"
The to-do list is in my head, but the execution has been a struggle. However, because I know the outcome will be a positive one, I persevere. As blogged previously, I am a work in process. And what a process it is!
Scale is lower, but still reading a very "Biggest Loser" number of 224.8.
Clothes are fitting differently. Someone said, "You're losing inches right now, not pounds." And though I appreciate the insight, and I appreciate that the clothes are fitting differently and loosely... I want to see a loss of pounds WITH my 'loss of inches.' Yes, that's what I would like to order.... "A loss of pounds with a side order of lost inches please!"
I'm still trying to figure out where to 'order' some anti-gravity! Gravity is just evil! Nature's way of reminding you that you're no longer in your twenties, or even your thirties. What I am learning though... no matter what your age.... working out is essential. Essential for the body and the mind. What I am also learning too, is that you can't remedy and restore a body you let go to Hell, overnight. My current body was not an overnight train wreck. So, I need to remind myself daily, that conditioning it, restoring it, working it to its maximum potential, will also not happen overnight.
I often think of what God would say to me when we met. Would He say, "Look at you, you're a Hot Mess. I give this body to you, and this is how you treat it!" Or would She say, "I don't think you look all that bad, besides, I gave you a beautiful face!"
I gave a friend two different size frying pans for Christmas. But, then I found myself putting a disclosure on them by saying, "Wash them by hand, they'll go bad in the dishwasher." That's like me giving my son a new bottle of cologne, but then telling him, "Only spray it once or twice, or you're just wasting it." Never happened..... but still, who am I to 'disclose' anything? If I were to give him cologne, I probably would say that. Well, he is twenty-two now, so maybe not. The frying pan recipient is thirty-six. So....... Whatever....... Okay, maybe I have 'disclosure' issues. I'd rather just call it a Barbara-ism! (you'll need to read previous blogs for that one, people)
Life's lessons are our own disclosures. The choices we make, and the lessons we both grow from and learn from, allow us to evolve into the person we are truly to be. And if you can't laugh along the way, then you're not really enjoying the ride. If you can't make light of things that are dark, or you can't see that the glass is really half full, then you've not learned any lessons...... yet. But, maybe in time... in time you will.
I joke with my God being a He or a She, but whether a He or a She, I know that when we meet, God will be able to say, "I'm so glad you figured it all out, but what took you so long?"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Good Nap! Good Workout!

Yes!!! I went to the gym!!! I did 20 min on the elliptical and worked out on several different machines; left sweaty... which is always a good thing!
My power nap was quite powerful, almost 2 full hours worth of ZZZzzzzs. I woke refreshed and rejuvenated, just as I thought I would. Four other people must have been feeling 'refreshed' too, as I wasn't the only one there.
Going back for round two tonight. No doubt there will be more than four people there. Weekend guilt fills the gym a little more on Sunday and Monday nights, Monday night being the busier. My guilty pleasure today was a fried chicken breast. Breakfast was a clementine and 1/2 a Zone Bar, lunch was a fried chicken breast and 1/2 cola and dinner was chicken and veggies with pasta. Water throughout the day. I'll have some cottage cheese and blueberries when I get home from the gym. I actually really like cottage cheese! Breakstone's, Large Curd!!! YUM!
Baby steps, kids!!!
Scale at gym read 226.6....... All three times I got on it! It took three times to finally come to terms that the scale was NOT broken! No.... I did not pout, panic or cry. Now... if on January 31st, the scale reads 226.6... I can't promise anything!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1 Down, 364 More To Go!

Hello 2011!
I am so happy to see you!
Grocery trip today was a good one. The only flaw was that I did spend over my $25 week budget. ($25 for food; not dog food, paper towels, deodorant, etc) And, I had no coupons to use. I primarily shopped the perimeter (which coupons are seldom valid) and did buy several sale items.
MEAT: (on sale) Sirloin Tip Roast, (on sale) 4ct Tilapia Fillets, (bogo) Gourmet Chicken Sausage-Sweet Italian Flavor. PRODUCE: fresh strawberries & portabella mushrooms. GROCERY:(bogo) Starkist Albacore Tuna, 1 can (store brand)Cream of Mushroom Soup, Success Brown Rice & (store brand) Instant Onion Soup Mix. I did buy 2 other items, but have since reconsidered. In my moment of weakness, I bought the last bag of peanut M&Ms (reduced from Christmas) and a very small box of sugar, shortbread cookies (also reduced from Christmas). I will be returning both tomorrow. It's way too early in the game to be so weak. Though I thought I could pace myself with them, i think we know differently since the Bugles confession. (please see previous blog for details)
Less the returns, $31.50 spent. Oops... I forgot to buy milk, bananas and egg whites! Darn it, back up to $35.
I have great, (somewhat) healthy staples already.... my SMALL pantry contains: 5 boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch, 4 boxes of Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits, a few cans of Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup (tis cold & flu season), Jif Creamy Peanut Butter, a few Dole Fruit Gels, Toufayan Bagel Thins, Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Emerald Dry Roasted Almonds, Sunsweet Ones (prunes), Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets and Toufayan Wheat Pitettes. Some clementines, fresh carrots, fresh blueberries, fresh sweet potatoes and frozen veggies. And yes, 'in case of emergency' Pepsi and flavored organic teas (for good measure).
It will be a great week! A productive week!
You're probably asking, "Are you going to list EVERYTHING you buy?" I'm not sure yet. But, my goals are set and LATER when the pounds are no longer attached, and you ask, "How did you do it?" This portion of the answer will have already been shared.
The gym? Lesson learned. I should have gone this morning, when I was trying to catch up on my sleep. However, I will power nap over the next hour and decide then. It's 7:45pm... I think the power nap will rejuvenate. Goodnight for now.... I'll catch up AfTeR and confess it all!