Monday, October 8, 2018

Red, White, and Blue -- EVERY DAMN DAY

I have a few new "followers", people who like to stalk my blog trying to find something really cynical and/or incriminating about me. Oh, it's not so bad now, is it? I'm not the bad guy am I? Nope, what I am is a true blue American Patriot, who just doesn't happen to take crap from anyone. I'm not racist, I'm not prejudice, I'm not going to discriminate either; if you're unloading on me, you're going to hear about it. I should probably have the "Don't Tread on Me" emblem tattooed on my forearm so that when the idiots try it, I can give them the ol' back of the arm treatment with my clinched fist held high in the air! Maybe do a little salute, and start quoting the Pledge of Allegiance!  (Too much? LOL) You can't see me, but I'm laughing just a little, my mom didn't raise a pansy, no way.  My mom raised a tomboy who learned the art of staring a man down by practicing with snakes. My own snakes. Maybe you don't realize it, but snakes don't have eye lids, they don't blink. I don't either.

One of the best things about being the daughter of an American hero is that when I grew up and had a son of my own, having named him after my father, I watched my son grow into the fantastic military man that he is today. I gave birth to my victorious protector after being able to be his for the first 18 years of his life. He's paid it back in spades. Protected, loved, honored, given to bragging just a little bit, this Patriot is never going to let anyone put a mark on me without that person being worn the worse for trying.  I may lose a job, I may not be accepted into the club, or allowed to hang with the cool kids for what I say and what I believe, but you'll sure as hell know where you stand with me. You'll never have to worry about it, I'll flat out let you know. Just ask. If you dare. Besides, I have a few good attorneys who feel the same way I do about the way people treat other people.

Now, having said that, welcome to my blog. I hope you find it to be both entertaining and enlightening. You'll find out more about me, and you'll either respect me or you won't. You have to understand, I don't give a damn what you think. I'm the only me I could ever be, and I've been me for far too long to be anyone else. My kids love me. My mom loves me. My daddy loves me, and watches over me from his place in Heaven.  My dog loves me, and if nothing else ever happens to me in this life, I've been loved by more dogs than most people have ever known. I am born again, a child of the Living God, and having been born in the GREAT STATE of OKLAHOMA, I am Sooner born and Sooner bred, when I die, I'll be Sooner dead.  There's not a lot anyone can do to upset me, but there are things they can do to piss me off.  Getting back to my upbringing for a second, my mom taught me that if I couldn't say something nice about someone I wasn't to say anything at all. Well, sorry Mom, Daddy taught me to say what I am going to say, and leave it at that. My yes is my yes, and my no is my no.

If you're my friend you'll be my friend for the rest of my life. I will defend you, and everything you do. If you screw up I'll let you know, but I will never throw you under the bus.  If you've chosen another path, and you don't want to be my friend, I won't stop you. I am who I am, and I'm damn good at it. You'd be lucky to call yourself my friend.  It's a very selective group of people to be a part of.   I hope you have yourself a good day now, and I hope you understand that when you step on me I bite back.  What's that Toby Keith says? "We'll put a boot up your ass, it's the American way"...that about covers it.   Army strong!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Ava, My Sweet Horse.

About six weeks ago, mid August, 2018, I was asked by my daughter Laura to look at a few horses she was following online at the Stroud Kill Lot on Facebook. We live in Oklahoma, and Stroud is a smaller city just about an hour East of Oklahoma City off the turnpike.  At the kill lot there are good horses, some very good, just sitting around waiting to be sent off to slaughter.  The owners of the kill lot realize that some people would rather work and ride these horses, and they can actually sell them for more money, or about the same as they would pick up from the meat buyers who only buy the animals to slaughter so they can produce dog food, cat food, and other by products. It's a terrible, horrific story, but it is a reality not only in our state, but in most.

Laura had me looking at the horses for another reason, other than just to show me how pretty they were, or how healthy some were. There are some that are being sold that have fund raisers going on, where outsiders online will donate funds toward the "bail" of a horse, and then if the kill lot receives a "home" offer from someone who is willing to pay a full half of the needed bail, the fund raisers money goes in with the home offer, and the horse(s) finds itself home, safe and sound.  This was the reason Laura asked me to look at one horse in particular. Her name was Mora she was a Missouri Foxtrotter, about 9 years old, dun in color, and she had a baby on her side. She wasn't just any ol' baby, the baby was a mule! She had a little Jenny Filly on her side, that the fund raisers were calling Molly. They were such an attractive pair, both gaiting in step while a young boy rode the mother mare hap-hazard around the muddy arena online.

"She's only $410 mom, she's gaited, a good age, and look, you'd get a little baby mule with her!"   A little baby mule? Hardly.  The mule was about ten months old and darn near as tall as her mother, who was just under 15 hands. Laura was right about one thing, with this horse having a fund raiser going for her all I would need to pay for the pair was half the bail, which at $410 is a steal for a broke to ride gaited Missouri Foxtrotter, not to mention a gaited filly mule I could sell for twice that amount even before she was trained to ride or drive.  I said OK, it's a deal, and I made a call.  It was agreed that I would become the home offer for Molly and Mora.  The following day I paid the remainder of the bail, and there you have it, I owned a new horse and a mule baby! LOL...that was easy. PayPal is a wonderful thing.

As you can imagine, most animals coming out of kill lots are not all that healthy, and not all of them are broke. This pair was exceptional, and I knew there would be hurdles to jump for sure.  First thing, I needed to convince my friend Angie to pick the pair up with her rig and truck, and to keep them at her place for at least a month while they sat separated from other horses. Horses from kill lots can bring sickness to new barns; something like strangles or EPM could go through a barn like wild fire and harm any and every equine in the place. It could be expensive, time consuming, and even deadly. Angie has a place between Stroud and Oklahoma City, a 260 acre farm where she keeps and rehabs several equine for the Remington Park horse track. She has her personal animals on the farm as well. Keeping my new girls separated wasn't a difficult task, but it did take a bit of planning and work on Angie's part, for which I am very thankful.

The conversation went something like this:  "Hey, Angie, do you want a mule baby?"  At first all I heard on the other end of the phone was silence, then a resounding "YES!! What do you have in mind? When?"  That was easy!  "OK, so I bought a pair of kill lot specialties today, a mother mare, a Foxtrotter, and her baby mule filly. You can have the filly if you pick them both up and let me keep my mare at your place for a month or so."  I waited for a came rather fast. "OK! YES! WHEN!"  I told her anytime, I just paid for them to be bailed....maybe in a day? Would that work, I asked.  It worked, and she was off to the kill pen the very next morning with bells on!!

I had already decided I wasn't and couldn't name the horse Mora, it didn't suit her. I liked the name Ava, and Angie liked the name Georgia for her new little (big) mule baby. When they arrived both were skinnier than they had appeared online, it had been an older video I think. They were certainly under weight and sad from stress and sickness.  It's taken Angie and I (and my daughter Laura) a good month now to get them  fatter, dewormed, clear from a bout of strangles, which can be described as snotty nose, throat, and eye discharging, leading to lesions that open up on the throat and under the neck to drain. It's disgusting and can be deadly if not cared for immediately. Georgia had it the worse, being a baby, but my sweet Ava was affected as well.

From the very first moment she arrived at the farm I knew she would be an amazing friend. She had no issues with me loving and rubbing all over her. She enjoyed being handled, loved, and groomed. I was even able to spray her with water, lessen her fever a bit, and help her with her healing through prayer and singing to her. When a horse has strangles you can't give them antibiotics, it could kill them. The disease is an odd one for sure.  Angie was taxed with daily feeding, watering, giving of herbs, prayers and love. Georgia took to Angie like no other. It's obvious these two love us both, and we're tickled pink to be their moms. 

In about another month I'll take Ava from Georgia, and move her to a barn much closer to my house, but we'll ride often as we can together after Georgia is trained in a year or so; it won't be that hard to wait. By that time Georgia will probably be 15.2 or taller, and out weigh her mother by 200 pounds. 
As the weeks go by I'll keep you posted on all of the good news about them. They are truly gifts from God, and we couldn't feel more blessed.

Still Fighting the Weight -- BUT, I'm Still FIGHTING it.

So, it's been a minute since I last wrote, and some things have changed in my life since I wrote my last post. I'm teaching again, in the classroom as opposed to online, and I don't have to tell you which I prefer. I just haven't been hired to teach online this year, so there you have it, I was forced to return to the brick and mortar rooms filled with screaming children. I say children, this is my 4th year to teach 9th graders, so they are around 14-15 years of age; nevertheless, they are still rather loud, obnoxious, and in most cases incapable of meeting state standards.  Hey, that's OK, I'm there to help them, and to hopefully make them realize that meeting the standards of our state, while important, is not the end-all to their lives. They have to want to learn, and most do.  They have to seek an education, and most would if it came right down to it. There are those who would rather sleep through life, but you know that after a few years they too would wake up and realize that their ship(s) were about to sail away without them aboard.  It's a trade off; I wake up early and fight the good fight, and they put up with me bellowing at them constantly about reading more, writing more, and spelling correctly!  (Just between you and me, they rarely spell correctly.)

I'm still fatter than I want to be. I pass by a glass panel at school, say a window or a door, and realize my gut is sticking out, my roundness is absurd, and I really haven't lost enough to make a dint in what I wanted to lose by this time! I've given it so many chances, but my body just won't respond to good sense, most probably because I'm not backing up that good sense with enough exercise, water, and more exercise.  I bought an elliptical machine that should have helped, right? Well, it did for 3 weeks, which is about as long as I used it. It wasn't expensive, and every time I climbed aboard it I could only work it 6-8 minutes without passing out from exhaustion. The strides were shorter, so it felt more like a stair master, which hurt my knees and pumped my heart to the point of popping out of my chest.

I'm giving the elliptical to my daughter Caity, she accepts any good challenge, this one will not be a problem for her. She'll work her magic and lose all the weight she ever wanted to, her and her fantastic knee strength! Ha! Take that ELLIPTICAL!!!  I'm starting over with a new piece of machinery. I bought a recumbent bike, it's to be delivered before October 11, that's 12 days. I bet it shows up on October 9th or so. I'll be happy when it's set up and I can start working out with it instead of climbing ungodly amounts of stairs. Recumbent bikes are designed to help your back while riding. I used one for 30-40 minutes at the gym now and again, and it was wonderful. I think I can go about 4-5 miles a day on it, and possibly get in the cardio I'm needing. I walk anywhere from 2-3 miles a day in the classroom, round and round and round. I even tell the students to move their backpacks because I'm trying to get my steps in without killing myself!

I've taken to drinking the green smoothies in the morning, as well as drinking the apple cider vinegar two times a day. I started today on the ACV, and believe me, it's not an easy thing to do. I have to use good strong cranberry juice to mask the horrid taste of Braggs ACV!  STRONG STUFF that is, and they know it!  It's been curing people of next to everything for a million years, it may as well be credited with helping me lose 60 pounds...did I say 60?  I mean 40, but if 60 feels like falling off I'm not going to stop it. I'm at 190 now, so I could stand to be a waif! Bring on the size 2, I can handle it. LOL (No, not really, I think I'd die after 140...I think my bones weight that.)

Autumn is here, and it's time to put on the sweaters, sweat pants, and onesies, making it easier to cover up this fluff for sure, but I want to lose it.  I want to be a good sized, healthy, active woman with a story to tell. This time, it's MINE to tell. It's hard as hell, but I'm going to make it happen with prayer, lots of prayer, apple cider vinegar, green smoothies, walking, drinking more water, riding horses and pumping that bike! I WILL BE smaller by Christmas. I will be in my size 8 jeans on Christmas Eve. THIS is my goal.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Back on Track

So for a few weeks I've been off the green smoothie diet and/or challenge. I'm finding that I'm slowly drifting back into bad habits, so I'm putting my foot down on my own behavior. It's just so much easier to reach over and grab a bag or pack of chips than it is to fight the refrigerator for carrots and grapes.  If you're like me, and you put your food in odd places throughout the refrigerator, you know what I mean by "fight the refrigerator". I don't have time to go looking for the healthy snacks, so I settle for NOT searching for the healthier snacks...well, not this time.

This is a two-fold situation: one, I'm not going to buy foods unless they are healthy, that way I'm getting the best of that world by only bringing good foods into my house.  The 2nd part of that equation is that I am in charge of what I buy, and if I buy good food I am helping myself achieve the goals I set.  There is ONE deviation, I will buy Hershey's Milk Chocolate Drops, that will never change. I am not going to give it all up, but will be willing to do about 95%.

I'm back to blending smoothies, and I'm going to do the first one today to start the next cycle of the 10-day challenge. I want to lose a bit before I see my son; he's been overseas for nearly 9 months. We'll see how this one goes. My son is leaving Afghanistan today, he'll be going to Kuwait for 2 or 3 days, then off to Ft. Bliss for 10-14 days, and then home.  This means I can have the 2nd round completed before he hugs me. Maybe I can lose another 10-12 pounds. That would make me happy.  I could do that little dance we all do when we achieve our goals.  I'm at 191 now, so if I lost down to 179 I'd really be happy for now...just for now, I have a total of 40 to go.

Every time I pull on my pants I think...I'd rather button them. I'd rather have pants that have an actual waistline. I'd rather have pants that have a real waistline, and real belt loops. I want a belt that doesn't have XXL on the tag. I want to be healthy, not skinny, but healthy. This is the way I'm going to do it. We're not going to the gym anymore. I don't have time to go. I will walk at the school where I teach. I walk between 2.5 and 3 miles per day in my room and through the halls. I really do get my steps in, but I could also use a little elliptical time as well. I need to start doing that 10 minutes a day if I can without killing myself. My best friend comes over and uses my machine and she gets in about 10 minutes before she's wasted and falling off of it. I may have to buy a better (easier) machine, and give this one to my daughter Caity who seems to have a bit more strength and energy than the rest of us. She could appreciate it.

OK, so this smoothie will be: kale, tart frozen cherries, chia seeds, and grape juice. YUMMY. I'll let you know what I think about it.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Not So Smooth Smoothie Today, August 6, 2018

Today's tasty breakfast smoothie is anything but smooth. I added yogurt, kale, apples, cucumbers, strawberries, apple juice and chia seeds. The apple and kale keep it a bit chunky to tell the truth. I could have left it in the Nutri-bullet a little longer, but it's OK, I'm surviving it. It's like drinking down an Oreo malt that's melted, except you have the chunks of cookie left.  I will have to remember to brush my teeth immediately following the smoothie, otherwise the little green kale pieces will be all over my teeth and I may attract those egret birds; you know, the big white birds that land on cattle and pick at them? They do that to alligators too, and God knows really, God knows!

Today is a great day! I'm praying (yes, again, to God) asking that the guy from the bio chemical company calls me back for my third and final interview.  That would be EPIC. I am also praying that they start me this week, but I don't know their plans. It takes companies a bit longer to hire people for supervisory positions and I understand why. You have to jump through hoop after hoop, meet manager after manager, then the CEO after that, and you have to know your stuff. If you come prepared and you do all that, you still have to wait to see if you're the candidate they choose. It can take FOREVER.  I'm OK, Psalms 37:1-5 tells me to not worry, just trust God, and delight in His plan because He will bring it to pass.  That's enough for me.

Let's talk about a horse named Axel.  I was sitting here at my computer minding my own business. You know by now that's what I do, I mind my own business.  I went to Craigslist and began innocently looking at horses for sale under the Farm and Garden section of Oklahoma City's Craigslist. Well, you know I put in a few choice keywords like "gelding" and "broke" when there he was...Axel.  I won't say too much about him because I don't want anyone to do the same thing I did and find him too. They may decide he's perfect for them as well as he is for me.  We'll see if it works out, I need to be hired by the bio chem company, and know I've got at least one paycheck coming before driving out to see the pretty pony.  What I liked most about Axel was the fact that he's broke, only 14.2HH tall, he weighs a bit more than 1000 pounds, and he's a gelding. I like geldings over mares mainly because they tend to have less of an attitude, they love treats, attention, and they tend to be on the loving side. Mares can be....well, you know....bitchy.

If I do get the call today, set the appointment, go on the interview, get the job, and start the job, I can then call Axel's owners and set that ball in motion. He'll come to the farm first, where he'll be evaluated and given all his shots, see the vet, the farrier, the dentist, and the chiropractor, then he'll be hauled to the boarding facility. I just want to be sure he has everything he needs before making a grand entrance into the pasture. You only get one shot at your pecking order, and if your back isn't in line, or your feet trimmed well, you could stand to lose your place in line. There are only 2 other horses, one a mare, the other an older gentleman, so it's not all that imperative that he be given the royal treatment first, but that's another thing I do, I spoil my horses.

I don't have Axel yet, but I did go out and buy him a new saddle pad already.  It's one of those things where again, I was minding my own business and decided to look up "cheap" and "felt saddle pad" for no reason.  I found one.  I had to look at the ad about 10 minutes trying to figure out what in the heck may be wrong with the saddle pad because I didn't believe the price went with the product being displayed.  Here sat a $80 pad for $29 and I just wanted to know why!  I went over the ad again and again, and noticed that there was a number on the side of the page that was going down from 11 to 10, then to 9, then to 8, and I thought "OMG...these are the last ones they have, and they'll be gone if I don't grab it right now!" (There is nothing wrong with the pad, it's being discontinued) So, that's exactly what I did. I bought my will-be horse a new 1" felt saddle pad for $29 with free shipping. It'll be here tomorrow, and waiting on him - - how cool is that?  Well, horse people get it. Within a few more minutes all of the pads were gone...GONE.  I made the right decision!  Some days you just get lucky!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Still Going Green! August 5, 2018

Hey, so four days after the challenge ended I'm still drinking the green smoothies and have really no intention of stopping.  I think I'll still drink at least 4 or 5 a week even after I lose all the weight I want to, just to keep things healthy and regular.  Today was no exception!  For dinner last night I made a big smoothie, one I could drink for breakfast this morning too.  In the mix I threw in kale, spinach, 1/2 a granny smith apple, avocado, chia seeds and apple juice watered down a bit. I may have added ginger too, I think I did. It was an amazing drink last night, but super excellent this morning after having been in the fridge to get all nice and cold. I don't ice them up, so if the frozen fruit doesn't make them slushy they are just what they are. I do buy frozen fruit, but apples are apples and they don't belong in my freezer.

This morning being Sunday, my daughter and I worked out. I attend church online, so I didn't miss out on any good lessons, just in case that was bothering you. Nope, I have four pastors that I listen to on Sunday afternoons, with Charlie Garrett of the Superior Word being #1! Best pastor out there! Perry Stone, J.D. Farag, and John Haller make up the rest, and hey, I can even throw in a few Paul Begley sermons when I'm just dying for more prophecy updates!  Back to working out.  We went to the gym at about 10:15 and stayed about 45 minutes. I worked on the recumbent bike for 3 miles, then used the rowing boat machine. I can't figure out the display on that thing, so I just use the timer, I rowed for 9 minutes, switching my hands from over to under to work different muscles. After the work out Laura and I walked for a while on the track to cool down, but not really for steps.  It's 2:18 p.m. and I've walked a total of 338l steps today over and above the other things so yeah, I'm working it.

I stood on the scales and for half a second I was upset, but then the numbers started to even out on the digital display, settling at a number I was a little surprised to see. I'm not there yet, but I did lose another four pounds. That's a total of eight so far. I'm sticking with the plan, and working it even harder now that I know it works. I think I had to see that before I put my full faith into it. For years I'd work out, eat correctly and drink tons of water only to see no changes. I think the difference now is prayer, I'm literally asking Jesus to show me the numbers and make me not want to cheat, not want to lie to myself, and to have the strength to push when I don't really want to.  It's not like I gave up all the sugars, all the carbs, all the bad stuff and became a gym brat.  I simply decided not to eat the stupid things that I use to eat, not to drink sugared drinks, which I never did, but you can't believe how many sugars are in natural grape juice. Water it down! It's OK. You won't die from it.

I bought rice cakes, but they're really more like rice rolls, little tubes from ALDI and I have to say, they are fantastic!  I don't even know their calorie count, I need to look it up, but my guess is 10. Let me go look now and see if I was right.  I was wrong, 38.  Still fantastic. They help with the need for something crunchy, they help with the need for a tiny bit of sugar (4g), and they help when you think you're hungry, but really you aren't. They don't fill you up, but they can hold you over until the next actual meal.  I am all about grazing, as grazing throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake at meals, and keep your satisfied so you don't load up on empty stupid calories and fat.  These little rice rolls are awesome. If you can't find them, get rice cakes instead. VERY good choice.

So, besides the gym I have an elliptical machine at home. It's not the best one, it's a middle of the road kind of machine. I think I paid $150 for it, my daughter Laura put it together, and it works well. The problem is that the stride is only 11-12 inches so it feels a lot more like a stair stepper. I can go about 7-9 minutes before I kill myself, and if I'm not dying from lack of breath my legs are screaming at me to stop. I don't use it like some people do, but I will do what I can do. Maybe I'll make it all the way to 10 minutes someday. We can hope.

Other news? Well, I'm still looking for that one perfect horse. I have a few in mind, and I'll soon be able to buy one after I am hired full time and get caught up on all my other bills. I found a Mustang gelding, sorrel, 13 years old, 14.2H, and absolutely broke. He's at the top of the list. We'll see how it goes and if he's still available when the time comes.  Fingers crossed for another four pounds next week...that would be AWESOME.  My son comes home from Afghanistan in 6 weeks, I'd love to be 15-20 pounds lighter than I was when he left back in November 2017.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Day 10 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge FINAL DAY August 1, 2018

So, here we are, on the last day of the 10-Day Green Smoothe Challenge.  Sorry for the lack of balloons, streamers, or even confetti, but there's just nothing to really talk about.  It's done. It's over. I lost a total of four pounds that I know of, and though I really like the thought of losing four every 9-10 days, I'm not sure it will happen every cycle.  I'm going to go ahead and keep up the good work I've started. I'm going to drink the smoothies, eat better, drink water, be at the gym 3x a week if I can, and ride the horses. I try to be healthy and do all that I can do.

I was sort of looking forward to something big and exciting to share with you regarding the challenge, but there just isn't anything. The day opened with great news on the job front!!  I do have a 3rd and final interview with an amazing company next week. They are working out the details. The hiring manager and I did talk about the 10-Day Challenge because I was just about to go on it when I had my interview. I saw him the day before it all started, and he wanted to know the results. You know I did not go into as much detail as I have with know that. I told him it was all very good, and that I finished the challenge without any real hiccups. I told him I had lost four pounds, and that I felt energized. He thought it sounded like a good thing, and told me to bring it up when we have the final interview, as we do discuss ways to bring enlightenment and encouragement to the office!  OK, I can do that. Again, I won't talk about the poop -- just the weight loss. If they ask questions about waste I can tell them to read the blog, or see me privately. (That's a good plan.)

On the horse front, I'm still looking for the perfect steed. I know there are millions of horses available, and so many are even close by, but the one I want has to meet so many particular criteria, it may be best to cast the feelers out as far as from sea to shining sea.  There are rescues in Oklahoma, there are auction sale barns too, but I want a horse that isn't scared, head-shy, hasn't bee abused, or neglected to the point that it is permanently damaged. I've seen far too many of them. I help rescue, so when I do, I see up close and personal what some people do to these animals. There is NO reason for it. I don't want a horse to come out from under me, bolt, buck, bite, kick, or spin out.  I want one that really just wants to hang out, go on trail rides, work in the arena, be loved and groomed, and take treats.  If a horse doesn't like treats like carrots and peppermint, I don't want it. LOL

It will be 4-8 weeks before I find the right one, or before I can afford the right one. When I do I'll video, photograph, blog, and brag - - you won't miss it, I promise.  Besides that, nothing much to discuss.  I finished the challenge, lost four pounds, and will just keep on plugging away at it. I have a total of 41 more pounds to go before I'm truly at the weight I want to be at but I would be, and will be, exceedingly happy when I drop two sizes in my jeans...that's when I'll know this smoothie thing is working!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Day 9 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge, July 31, 2018

Day 9!!  Wow, so one more to go, and then I'll just call this my Challenge Blog I guess. I mean, I won't change the title of the blog from "Jude's Almost Daily Blog" but I will start titling it with different titles other than Day This or That.  I may actually title one of them "Day This or That".  So, you want to know the truth, and the truth is what you will be told.  I am not going to hold anything back because that would be WRONG. 

Yesterday, during Day 8, but after I blogged, I had still another movement and this time it was closer to actual diarrhea. Sorry, but it was, and you need to know that this could happen. I wasn't caught off guard, and it wasn't an "accident" situation, but it was a reason to drink more water just in case I was dehydrating. I don't like the thought of being dehydrated in the middle of summer, so yeah, I grabbed a couple of water bottles and chugged down copious amounts of water. I was even smart enough to get a little Gatorade as well. Just can't go around thinking my insides may shrink up.  Not going to happen on my watch. 

Laura and I went to the gym yesterday. Laura is my oldest daughter, she's 29, my daughter Caity is 28. My son Reuben is in Afghanistan for the next few weeks. He's been there 8 months or so, miss the Dickens out of him.  Laura and I went to the gym, we walked about 1.5 miles on the treadmill, then another 1/4 to 1/2 mile on the track.  I set the treadmill to slight incline, and got my heart rate up to about 176 or so, I'm not supposed to go much higher. There's a trick to it, you take a percentage of your weight and/or age, I don't know. I just know that the trainer told me no higher than 180. I did that, and I will go back tomorrow and do the recumbent bike for 5.4 miles, it's about the same amount of time, but you go further, you feel like you've achieved more. I stopped walking and stood on the scales...I about FREAKED OUT. The scales had been broken, but no one told me!  The scales said I weighed 212 pounds. Laura said "Mom, your face!!"  I bet!  I was probably really upset, mad, confused, and scared at the same time.  The manager at the gym laughed at me, she said she'd find someone to recalibrate the scales and all would be fine.  Except she didn't have to deal with my heart attack, now did she?

This morning, after I woke up, after I had my coffee, and just before I made my green/purple smoothie for the day, I was summoned by my toilet through my bowels. It was an eerie thing really. I was sitting on the couch, with the dogs, minding my own business. I do that, I mind my own business, when suddenly out of the...well, the bowels of my bowels, I felt the need to go straight down the hall, hang a left and mount the toilet without any hesitation whatsoever. It was a good thing that I did!  I was only there for a few seconds, but I think I lost another two pounds.  I know, I know, that's absolutely gross, but you may need to realize that this could happen to you, and I don't want you to be blindsided! Nothing could be more embarrassing (probably) than to be blindsided and suddenly lose two pounds without a toilet.  You don't want to do that, trust me.

This time the movement was constant, fast, but soft. It was not diarrhea, it was strangely fluid. It was one of those "What is that?" moments, when you realize it was coming out of you, but you just couldn't imagine it having been there in the first place. Poop can be so weird at times. In the beginning the poop was green, very emerald green, and very thick, almost sludge like, not now. It has taken on a more "regular" color, but it's anything but thick, and it's piling to speak. Sorry for the graphic imagery, but you know what, it's best you know!

Today's smoothie was in fact purple, not green. I used the rest of the blueberries that I had in the fridge. In fact, this was a "whatever is in the fridge" sort of smoothie. I found an avocado on the cabinet, but in the fridge I found blueberries, spinach, kale, apple pieces, cucumber, ginger, and even a couple of slices of beets. Yes, you heard me....BEETS.  I love beets. I could eat beets every day of my life. I probably shouldn't eat beets that often, they are very powerful. The greens on the beets are incredible too, I'll do those tomorrow, and make my day 10 a really good one.

OK well, that's it, I'm not going to tell you more because I think I've said about as much as you can handle for one day. Hopefully I'll step on the scales tomorrow and be 144.8 pounds. LOL...OK, that's not going to happen, but it would sure been the number I saw yesterday at the gym. Dang it.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Day 8 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge July 30, 2018

I really don't know what I'll title my posts when I am finished with the 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge. I'll just have to find something to keep it going. I'm going to try to post as often as I can, but no promises. I know that working through the challenge has at least challenged me to blog more often if for no other reason, to tell the world what my body's changes are. I want anyone who goes through the challenge themselves to be aware that there will be difficulties and you may  need to prepare for them. It helps to be prepared so you don't simply give up.  It's not easy to be disciplined, it's really hard to force yourself to drink the smoothie as a replacement meal, and not try to sneak a snack in to compensate for the hunger. 

To be honest, I've not felt that hungry after drinking the smoothie in the morning. I typically don't eat breakfast, which is absolutely the wrong thing to do, but that's how I've always been. If my son asks me to breakfast I'll go, or if one of the kids wants me to make pancakes I will. I'm just not a morning eater. I've found however that after my coffee, if I wait a few minutes, I can do a smoothie. It's packed full of really good stuff and it keeps me going. For lunch, most days, I have a half of a meat type sandwich. Today it was tuna, but most of the time it's turkey breast, roast beef, or pastrami. I add spinach not lettuce, and sometimes, not always, I may have half a slice of cheese. I give the other half to the dogs who I can pretty much guarantee are there to help me save calories. They really really care about me and my weight problem. They will certainly volunteer their services like no other!

Day 8!  I'm pretty sure I'm still at the same weight I was yesterday, and that being under four pounds from when I started. I can do that. I can accept four pounds in a week. I can accept four pounds in ten days. I want more, but four is not a bad thing.  I'm not really seeing the differences in my clothes, but two or three people say it's not showing in my face. Why I would lose it in my face first, I have no idea, but maybe it is a good sign.  I'm going to keep it up! I'll still drink the smoothies and still work out, and still do what I need to do until I get all of the weight off of me. I hope that by the 10th and final day my body will have decided to stop having spasms indicating that I need to find a restroom. My personal experience(s) may or may not be the same as yours. I want and need you to understand that.

Most mornings I have a movement and it's a pretty good one, then sometime during the day I will feel my gut moving around and have a bit of a contraction, a little pain or discomfort. Since I recognize it, I know it will go away pretty quickly after it has started, but there is nothing wrong with taking a chewable antacid like Tums or the really fun cool and fruity Equate brand. They are my personal favorite, round, chewy and candy coated....just saying. They work very fast and are very good at what they do. They help take the edge off of any pain, giving you the feeling that you're going to be OK while you make your way to the nearest bathroom.  I've not had any "accidents", so that's a good thing. I would hope anyone would know their own body enough to know when to make their way to the restroom, but if you're doing a new challenge and you've never done one before, you need to be careful and pay close attention to the movements inside of you. It could be an issue if you don't prepare for it. In other words, I don't recommend being the passenger of a car, but rather the driver, so you can pull over when you need to!  (If you know me you know I am rarely the passenger in a car. I'm such a control freak, I'm the one driving...always!)

Well, that's it for now. Nothing new, but it's good to know I'm out there working, walking, talking, getting things done, and not worrying about my belly.  I bet I'll be able to report more weight loss in a week or so. I am not doing this to lose weight fast, but to keep it off forever!! That's the goal.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Day 7 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge July 29, 2018

Well, here you have it, I'm officially 4 pounds lighter. I wanted more, but I'll take it.  I think it's all water and low hanging fruit from the bowels, but I'll take that too.  If I could lose 4 pounds a week every week I'd be where I want to be in just 11 weeks. Let's hope that's the case, and let's hope I continue to feel as good as I do today about the entire "challenge".  I wouldn't mind making it a life change if it meant that I was providing for myself the best possible nutrients and good sources of all the key things I think my body needs.

The smoothie today was:  plain yogurt, cucumber, strawberries, kale, walnuts and apple juice. This time it was a bit sweet. I'm telling you, I'm going to have to get over to the store and pick up some coconut water. I don't like having too much sugar in anything. I don't put sugar in my coffee, I don't like sugar in my tea. I never drink soda, and because of this challenge I've stopped eating things like jelly beans because I frankly don't want the sugar. I think this will be the breakthrough I've been seeking for, oh, I don't know, 30 years!

My son is 32. After I gave birth to him I got back into my clothes within a few weeks. I was larger on top, but that didn't bother me at the time because I had been a flat-chested woman up until that point. It was kind of nice to have boobs. I don't feel that way now. I'd love to auction them off to the highest bidder, and if that didn't work, I could donate them to science!  I'm just not in need of them, and they get in the way most of the time.   After I gave birth to my 2nd child I did NOT lose the weight, and I didn't really even try. I wasn't in a positive place, and I was simply just eating my way through my thoughts. Then my 3rd crept into the picture, and pounds upon pounds have left me where I was (and still am to a degree) for nearly 30 years.  That must and will change!

Having seen the 4 pounds taken off, and realizing that in just a few days I can eat right, diet, exercise, and lose weight, it makes me feel really good.  There is ONE more component to this challenge that I haven't really talked about, but it's KEY....absolutely key to everything. I pray about my weight now. I pray about what I buy, what I eat, when I exercise, what I do while I'm exercising. I'm asking Jesus to direct me, to show me, to give me discernment, because I don't want to make mistakes. I don't want to fail myself again, as I have for years. This time I promised God that if I could stick with it, He would get ALL the glory, and that is MY PLAN.  He has proven to me over and over again that I am to trust Him, listen to wisdom, not fall to my own wants, but to think about what I'm doing. I'm the one who makes the decisions to buy bad food, so I have to decide to walk past it. I asked Him for that strength. He provided it.  This challenge is not an easy one. You get hungry and you feel discomfort at times. Many people reach for snacks and try to fill in the voids.  I do that too.

For snacks I have LOW or no fat things such as fruit, Twizzlers, sweet potato chips, dried cranberries, or green tea.  You don't have to pick up a candy bar, you don't have to pick up ice cream, cake, cookies. If you don't buy it, and it's NOT in your house, the chances are pretty good you're not going to eat it. It makes a HUGE difference.  Prayer  is a life saver, and I don't mind giving credit when and where it is deserved.  Thank you Jesus.