Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ups and Downs

Wow, work is DRAINING. The building is hot (especially the band room), co-workers are demanding, and the work load at the beginning of the year is staggering. I haven't even looked at tests my journalism kids took yesterday. I don't know when I'll get to grade them.

I have this policy of not bringing work home. I'll do computer research, send emails/make phone calls, but I don't bring actual, physical work home. I find it never makes its way back to the school; plus, I like a little separation.

This morning, I was able to experience just what new low voices would do for my band. 2 tubas instead of one, plus the introduction of a tenor and bari sax have done wonders. When we finished the national anthem (last time through), my very picky, cynical, and pessimistic first chair clarinet player said, "Damn! That was GOOD!" I couldn't help but laugh. It was. It's like the underbelly we've been missing has finally filled in. It was breathtakingly deep. I love color saxes. I immediately decided to put together a full sax quartet. My problem is I only have one bari, which means he can't participate in more than one like ensemble, which sucks! So, unless he wants to share, I'm going to have to find something to do with my other altos because they will probably want to do something, too. What a horrible problem to have ;)

The website is working well, and we got all our new software in and installed, so my kids can start playing with all of that in yearbook and newspaper. They're doing really well this year. Anyone want to buy a $25 page sponsorship? Anyone? ANYONE?!?!?

I'm feeling better about my body. A couple of days back on the lower-carb wagon and I feel better. H made some comment last night and tonight about dinner being so low-carb. Well, that's what works for me. He wasn't complaining...just commenting. I hate commenting! He's lost like, 20something pounds, though. Riding his bike. Cutting back the booze. It's so easy for him. I want to lose 20something pounds! Or more!

Anywho, just throwing out an update. I've been feeling kind of low, tired, down. Don't really know why. I think the hot weather has fried my brain a bit. I really don't want to hear how other people are "busy" but I can't say anything lest I hurt their feelings. I have a way of being someone...acerbic. So, I just smile and keep my mouth shut. It's taking a toll.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


So, school's great. The kids are great. I feel like a crazy person trying to keep up with everything, but a couple of things will calm down starting this week so I know it's going to get better. Losing a plan really affected me for awhile.

The weight loss has not been stellar. I keep losing/gaining the same 2-3 pounds over, and over, AND OVER and it's driving me nuts. I'm not working out so much that I would ever believe that I've put on muscle. Clothes are fitting the same, measurements, same. I know I'm not drinking enough water (my hoarse voice can attest to that) but since the water fountain next to my room gave out, I just can't always find the time to refill like I would like! I also hate running to the bathroom every hour; when it was over 90 in the building and a million outside, I loathed going into that hot box to peel off my clothes, only to have to yank them on again. Since the heat broke a bit it's not been so bad. I have a hard time believing that is my only reason for not losing.

So, this week I'm going to be super-strict. One free meal. No OJ so no smoothies. Work out every day. No wheat. (I'm still allowing potatoes because they have amazing nutritional benefits and it keeps me from eating pasta, etc.) No fast food. Nothing, nadda, zilch. We'll see how it goes. I just don't know if I'm not eating enough or eating too much. Doing the carb-cycling thing was way to difficult to stay with, given my crazy work life. I was just trying to keep the carbs down in general.

I would have a little treat now and then, but not so much that it should be affecting me. I'm just frustrated and confused. I guess I'm even going to have to cut out smoothies with OJ and my daily allowance of chocolate. No more frozen yogurt. I've definitely cut waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back on the alcohol. I think I'm just going to leave that for Friday happy hour. Otherwise, none at home. My tolerance is so low now, anyway, that I'm happy with just a couple of drinks.

So, this has just been a pity party. I've noticed an increase in strength, for sure. I need to get some 10lb weights so I can move up on some of my weight lifting moves (shoulder presses, bicep curls, triceps work, chest presses and flies, and a couple others) and soon I'm going to need to bump up past the 25lb that I have for rows.

I'm really considering going to a Zumba class, as well. They're only $5. Seems like fun. I sort of wish I had someone to go with me; but the other side of me doesn't want help and doesn't want anyone who knows me seeing me dance like that. Ha.

I've also been frustrated financially. I'm still trying to pay off flooring, summer tuition, and my work wardrobe replacement. I was prepared for one of the three: tuition. I'm glad I got the clothes; I feel more confident and I've gotten a lot of compliments. I know I look more professional, which is great. I know my new principal wanted that from everyone. But, these things don't come free. However, I did get lots of stuff on super-sale (Land's End Overstocks and private sales are becoming a new best friends) but, not free. My plan is just to empty my savings into my card, pay as much as I can, keep my car payment and insurance covered and maybe give myself a little cash for the month. I don't need much in the way of "stuff" right now, anyway, except for the weights. And not too long from now, new workout shoes. But, I'm pretty good everywhere else. Hopefully, I'll get to the point where I can save again.

It's not like I have that much saved, anyway. H said he would help me as soon as he's caught up with his expenses, which hopefully will be soon.

So, that's me griping. Free meal this coming week is going to be spaghetti with meatballs. H suggested "blackened tuna steaks" and that pisses me off. He knows I LOATHE fish and that's too healthy for a free meal! He can go out and get that stuff if he wants it, but I'm not cooking it. Have I mentioned his new affection for kippers and sardines? I freaking hate that shit. The smell alone is vomit-inducing for me. I can't even stand the smell of canned tuna. I can tolerate canned salmon, but not fresh. I don't even like to cook shrimp because of the smell. Okay, that was a totally random rant. I guess I'm just tired of those kinds of suggestions.

Off to meal plan for the week and eventually work out. And clean. And help with laundry...usual Sunday stuff. I'm so boring :P

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Feelin' the groove

So.....after watching the Step up 3 movie, I feel inspired to find adult dance classes, and it turns out there are quite a few in OKC! I found a few Adult Hip Hop classes that I'm definitely interested in. An old friend suggested ZUMBA and it turns out, there are lots of places you can take the class and there's no membership fee. It's just $5 or $6 dollars a class. That's it. No obligation. I even found a Sunday night class.

The adult dance classes would require more of a commitment, as they cost more. And one of them, as I found out, is taught by H's cousin 0_o. I'm not sure how I feel about family members seeing my "moves."

I took ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe for many years. Ballet and tap for 12 years, in fact. But, I was never a great dancer. I think I would do okay with hip hop, as I do pick up steps fairly quickly (I could even do the Soldja Boy at one time) but I'm not very flexible! I doubt that an adult class would require all that much in the way of flexibility. I kind of would like to sit in before making a more permanent financial decision.

I've been bad this weekend with the wine; however, I have realized that food-wise, my meals are getting smaller. I was stuffed after a 5oz chicken breast and a cup or so of steamed broccoli last night. After lunch (El Chico...meh...we couldn't make a decision) I was really stuffed, and I only ate half of what was on my plate and I only ate two bites of the steamed beans.

I think I need to set a weight number goal to get myself really going on this, though. This whole, "let's see how the pants fit today" just isn't working. I think I want to say, "I'll be in the 170's by September 15." That sounds both reasonable and challenging.

I also need to only weigh once a week. I'm going to pick Wednesday because I'm usually best in the middle of the week. While that sounds like cheating, I don't think it is.

Okay, so that's the goal. If I can get into the 170's by September 15, then maybe by my birthday I'll be getting closer to fitting into all my clothes. I'm feeling the time crunch and I'm feeling inspired so I'm going to try and go with this feeling. I spend way too much time watching tv and playing on the computer, and if $5 will get me out the door and active, then that's fine.

Guess I need to start sneaker-shopping. Geez. I wish my card was paid off so I wouldn't feel guilty about buying stuff! Stupid tuition and floors!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Things are going well!

I tried on a couple of pairs of jeans this morning--one that had started to fit but was getting tight again back in July, and another that I had just bought that within a week was already tight (why are dark finishes so much tighter? I have a pair of the same brand, same cut and they fit fine). While the dark finish jeans were still a little tight, the others fit fine. Solidly in the 16s again :) My collarbone is re-making its appearance again, as well. I feel better, too. I had a lot of energy this week, especially yesterday!

I'm loving working on the new website. The faculty seemed supportive and some were downright excited.

I took a "free" day yesterday and enjoyed some mac and cheese with my lunch (mmm...Iron Starr....) and I made that chicken parm for dinner. And bruschetta. The administration decided we should do more team-building exercises on Friday afternoons. It's fun team building ;) More social than anything. So, I partook in that time before my big dinner.

I couldn't even eat what I put on my plate and it was only a 5-6 oz chicken breast, which is what we normally eat. I guess with the bread AND pasta, it was just too much for my tummy. H brought home some wine that we split, and I definitely couldn't enjoy as much of that as I normally do. My tolerance is dropping swiftly.

I've been doing well with the workouts. Yesterday's cardio was pretty stupid. I pulled up a workout from the OnDemand menu and OHMYGOD I wanted to shoot the guy. He was like the Old Spice Guy but without being funny. It drove me nuts.

I already got my weights in today so I'm good to go! I might even enjoy some popcorn at the movie I'm going to this afternoon, Step Up 3D. I've not seen the other Step Up movies, but my sister wants to go, so I'll join her out of sisterhood.

This is me signing off for the day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 12 (where does the time go???)

So, I managed to avoid pizza today, but not a cookie. At least it had raisins in it.

Got up this morning, did my weight lifting, and then holy crap! It was time to go to work! Time slipped away and I didn't have a chance for breakfast. I ended up eating some fruit and a small piece of banana nut bread. Could have done worse. I can always say no to bagels, no problem there.

Yesterday both H and I were just tired. We slacked and the world didn't come crashing down. SYTYCD was phenomenal, though I don't understand why they allow some choreographers to work with the dancers on the finale. One choreographer used cheesy 80's music and did a cutesy routine to it TWICE in just this season. Really. And then there was this one amazing piece that just blew my mind and made me tear up. Gah.

I ended up not going into work yesterday, and again, the world didn't come crashing down.

Here's yesterday's food (allowed a few more calories)
B: Smoothie
L: 2 low carb tortillas with 5 oz chicken (leftover) and about a cup of avocado tomato salad (leftover)
S: Grapes?
D: Pork stir-fry and a largish helping of brown rice (peppers, onions, green onions, broccoli, and snow peas and lean pork).
DS: Two fun-size snickers from the freezer. It keeps me sane to have some chocolate.

I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow night--Chicken parmesan, salad, probably garlic bread, and copious amounts of wine. It's the big "free" meal of the week and I'm oh-so-excited.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The great debate

Hmm...do I go into work today, or not? What I really need to do is organize the band office (it's a total mess after band camp) but I can't seem to drag myself back there to do it. Instead, I'm sitting here, blogging and drinking a mixed-berry yogurt smoothie with almonds.

You should try almonds in your smoothies.

I'm sure I'll go in. I thought my meeting was yesterday afternoon but it's today. I've been a day ahead in my mind for several days now. Luckily, I realized what day it was about 9:00am yesterday so I didn't go out of my way to be disappointed.

I'm so ready for school to start. My newspaper editor was up at the school yesterday after early cross country training and she hung out for awhile. We talked, discussed how she broke up with her boyfriend (and frankly, I don't blame her one bit!) and laid out some plans for articles once school starts. I provided her with a copy of a super-liberal paper from here in OKC (really, it's a hoot) and she got some laughs from it. It was nice having company, but she was good about letting me do my work while she flipped through that paper and through all the new stuff I have for them this year. When I discovered a mistake on their syllabus, and couldn't find the online copy (because it's here, on my home computer) she even offered to re-type the whole thing for me. Sweet kid. I told her no ;)

I saw some of the newbs, too. It was "new" new teacher training, as in, they've never taught before. Laudy, help them. I caught one trying to figure out the water fountain. It's a tricky device; it's either light, motion, or heat sensored but I'm not sure. Most likely light. You sometimes have to do a little shimmy to get it to turn on. I usually just lightly rest my hand in front of the two dots and it works for me. She was trying everything she could think of, and as I walked by I told her to do the "stanky leg" (remember that dance from a year or two ago?) and my joke was lost. She looked so helpless. I told her my trick and it worked. Then I told her to watch when the freshmen try and figure it out on the first day because it's HILARIOUS. She didn't seem to get the joke.

Poor, poor thing. I told the student in my classroom and she got a good laugh, because she's been there (and so have I). She said she couldn't wait to try and sell the freshmen "Elevator Passes." Some unwitting freshmen invariably believe that all those stairs can't be real, and that there must be an elevator in the building somewhere. That's where the upper classmen come in with the Elevator Passes. I think it's hilarious. If that's the worst our kids are going to do, bring it on.

I haven't worked out this morning. My legs are still so tight, and my chest. Yesterday I enjoyed my 3-mile walk, but I got a blister (time for new shoes?) so that's a bit sore. Both H and I were feeling pretty tired, so we called it a break day. I might try one of the OnDemand Yoga shows when I get back this afternoon. The stretching would certainly help.

Here's food from yesterday:
B: Egg scrambled with green onions and topped with shredded mozz, 1 piece bread (gah) with blackberry jam. OJ.
L: Same chicken as the day before, leftover asparagus, red pepper strips, and grapes.
S: Smoothie, like the morning before.
S2: Pepperoni "chips": turkey pepperoni in the oven until crispy, dipped in lowfat sour cream (old Atkins snack habits die hard...but so tasty)
D: "Taco" spiced chicken, avocado and tomato salad
DS: Grapes

W/O: 2.9 mile walk, mostly with the dog.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9

Wow, my hamstrings are TIGHT. Thanks to the deadlifts from yesterday morning. Wow.

Yesterday I worked up at the school. I got quite a bit done, including two weeks worth of lesson plans for my journalism class! Yay!

Food was decent, here ya go:

B: Smoothie with plain lowfat yogurt, mixed frozen berries, a little honey, and a splash of OJ
L: Chicken with mushroom sauce, tomatoes and mozz w/balsamic
S: Carrots with hummus and a cheesestick
S2: About 2 servings of grapes, a little more cheese (I was hungry!)
D: Filet on the grill and grilled asparagus and a small glass of OJ to help with the iron
DS: A couple of bites of the last brownie that H was supposed to eat. Dang.

So, pretty good--lots of veggies.

Went for about a 3-mile walk this morning. Almost 3 miles I think, about an hour's worth. My stride was pretty short due to the tight hamstrings. I started getting that weird muscle itching thing in my thighs that I get when it's hot and I work out (especially walking and running) but I did my best to ignore it and it went away. It's insanity-inducing, though. It has a name: Uticaria. You can take an antihistamine before working out to prevent it, but I'm so loopy after taking a Benadryl that I just can't do it. I'd walk into traffic or something. So, instead, I suffer. Oh well.

Going to meet my graduate adviser in charge of my practicum project this afternoon. I've got to get my butt moving so I can get up to the school and get some work done before that! Sheesh...where did the morning go? I haven't even showered yet!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dang iron

Had a blood donation scheduled today. It's like the one thing I do for mankind and my iron was low by one freaking point. I didn't even have any iced tea today.

It's only happened one other time, last summer, right after my period (duh). I'm nowhere near that point in my cycle. It's strange to me because I've had a high energy day!

The tech told me to eat some steak, the rarer, the better. No problem, sir. He also said to have some juice with the meal, as the Vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron. Well, what a coincidence--I actually have OJ in the fridge!

Here's a list of iron-rich foods you can enjoy!

* liver (ewwww)
* lean red meats, including beef, pork, lamb
* seafood, such as oysters, clams, tuna, salmon, and shrimp, etc.
* beans, including kidney, lima, navy, black, pinto, soy beans, and lentils
* iron fortified whole grains, including cereals, breads, rice, and pasta
* greens, including collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens
* tofu
* vegetables, including broccoli, swiss chard, asparagus, parsley, watercress, brussel sprouts
* chicken and turkey
* blackstrap molasses
* nuts
* egg yolks
* dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes, dates and apricots

Still alive, I promise

Um, yeah. I suck.

Last week was band camp. I spent three days in an auditorium with no air conditioning and a band room that we know was about 94. You would think I would have sweat off some weight. Nope. I gained. What the crap.

Now that school's about to start (and my mind knows this as I had teaching dreams last night, wow) I'm ready to get back into a routine. Which is why I'm here posting at 6:50am. I'm actually up!

I need to start working out to help out the healthy eating habits that I am going to re-hone. I'm doing a modified carb-cycling plan. You do a couple of higher carb days, to keep you sane and keep your body happy, and do much lower carb the rest of the time. I will probably have lots of brown rice on my higher carb days. Lots of veggies on the low.

The workout plan is just to alternate weights and cardio each day. So, today is weights. I jotted down a very simple plan with 1-2 exercises per music group, starting with the big muscles (chest) and working my way down to smaller muscle groups (bis, tris, calves). I enjoy weight lifting, but I prefer to do it at home. Though, I will probably have to invest in some better and some heavier weights eventually. I know the 2 5lbs and H's 2 20lbs dumbbells aren't going to cut it in the long run...I need some in-betweens! Hooray for Target's sports and recreation section. Cardio days I have several options--use OnDemand to pull up a new workout, pull out the TurboJam or go for a walk. I have a long walk plan in my head. If it would just cool off faster, I could walk in the evenings. But, last night it didn't get under 95 until after dark and frankly, I hate the heat. I hate it with every fiber of my being. I can't wait for this wave to be over. But, I can work out inside until then. I have options.

I've managed to re-build my wardrobe, much to the demise of my poor credit card. But, what am I supposed to do? Wear holy, stained, inappropriate clothes to work? I don't think so. I'm awaiting a Land's End order of some pants (I didn't know they did hemming for you automatically!) a $5 shirt and a $7 cardigan, both white. Needed some white in the closet as there is lots of dark stuff. I also bought a cute shirt at Target yesterday for cheap.

So, here I go again. I've got the fridge stocked with my healthy options, a re-resolved attitude and I made some freezer meals for future tired nights to boot! There is a lot of protein and veggies in my future.

H has been riding his bike a lot, too. And losing, though he hasn't stepped on the scale. The fact that all of his pants are getting too loose is proof enough for him. I kind of hate him right now.