Friday, May 31, 2013

If it Weren't For Bad Luck . . .

Just when you thought it was safe to . . . I don’t know, live a normal life? Or what passes for normal these days? For the past week, Hud and I have been taking care of my Dad after he had surgery on his knee to reattach some ligaments. The surgery went fine, but Dad’s leg is in a cast from his ankle to his hip and he can’t bend his knee for 10 days. So that means no driving, he can’t feed his dogs – he can’t even put his sock or shoe on that foot until next week. So Hud and I have been over there every day, feeding the dogs, feeding Dad, helping with his shoes and socks on in the morning and then off at night – all the while cabin fever has slowly been setting in for Dad.

Last night, Hud’s softball season continued (the season that never ends!!) with a game against the other team from his company – somehow they are able to field two teams. I was keeping score in the dugout (as usual) and the game was tied. I had my camera set to take a picture of Hud batting, but he got a hit before I was able to take the picture, so I was sitting back down when I heard someone say “He’s down,” and I turned around to see Hud on the ground at 1st base. What in the world? Everyone from both teams gathered around him, but I thought back to when our boys played soccer. From the time they were little guys, they told us – in no uncertain terms – that if they were ever hurt while playing, we were NOT to come out onto the field and check on them. We were to sit in our seats and let the coach handle it. If, and only if the coach called us over, could we come over and check on them. So, as Hud was lying there, I decided it was probably just as bad to have your wife come check on you as it would be your mom, so I stayed right where I was in the dugout.

Hud in action - pre-injury

It took a while, but the guys brought him over and got him seated in the bleachers and when I got a look at his right foot, I knew we had a problem. His ankle was fine, but his heel was already swollen. So I brought my car over and took him to the E/R. We were both amazed at how quickly he was seen and the speed with which we got out of there . . . after finding out his heel is broken. So now, it’s appointments with the orthopedic doctors this afternoon and everything else in limbo. And all the extra chores Hud has been helping me with are going to fall on . . . me? You should have seen me trying to get the trash out to the curb this morning and still get to work on time. There are just certain things I count on him to do . . .


So, where does that leave me in the ol’ diet and exercise sweepstakes? Yesterday, I did pretty well. I had planned to eat dinner after we got home from Hud’s softball game. Since that didn’t happen until nearly 10:30 pm, I just went to bed without eating at all, so I finished the day with 20 points, rather than the 26 I am allotted. I know – that’s really not good. I just didn’t have much of a choice . . . there wasn’t anything to eat in the E/R and I didn’t feel good about eating so late after we got home. This morning was so rushed, I didn’t run, so that’s not a good way to start the day, either. I’ve done very well with my eating so far today. Let’s hope I can keep it up with all the extra stress that’s going on!! Leaving for Hud’s appointment now . . . wish us luck!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The One Where Lyda Ann Actually Exercises!

Well, I'm happy to report that my migraine seems to be on the downhill slide and I'm starting to feel half-way human again! Poor Hud! I know he was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get off the couch or stop walking around with my hand over my right eye. But yesterday went pretty well and today has been a good day, so far! So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my allergies are back under control and will leave my poor ol' head alone!

Another good day yesterday with my WW points. Actually, I was a little bit under my points limit for the day - I have 26 to spend each day and I only used 23 of them. Hud and I went grocery shopping right after I got home from work and then we had to stop at my dad's house. He had surgery on a ligament in his knee last week, so we've been his legs for him ever since. We picked up some items on his grocery list and took them by his house, helped him get his shoes and socks off (really the only thing he can't handle by himself since the surgery - other than driving) and by the time we got home, it was almost bedtime. I wasn't going to eat anything then, so I put the groceries away and got ready for bed. It's probably not any better for me to eat fewer points than it is to eat above the limit, so I need to plan better for next time.

This morning, since I was feeling better, I jumped on the treadmill and ran today! Felt really good to be moving again! And so far, my head and my allergies agree with me. We'll see how the rest of the day goes. I have another 5K coming up on June 8th at our local airport where we get to run on one of the runways - I think that will be really interesting!

A girl I work with had something yummy-looking in her lunchbox yesterday and when I asked her about it, she sent me a link to a WONDERFUL website called SkinnyTaste.com. I know - I'm probably WAY behind the times and you've all known about this site forever. But this brilliant woman takes recipes and makes them "lite" and gives you the calorie count and point count so you can fit them into whatever diet you're following. It's fabulous! Here's the recipe I am dying to try:

Easy Crust-less Spinach and Feta PieSkinnytaste.com
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th of pie Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 126 • Fat: 5 g • Protein: 8.8 g • Carb: 12 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 1.7 g
Sodium: 433 mg 

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) reduced fat crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp grated Asiago cheese (or Parmesan, Romano)
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup fat free milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • cooking spray (I used my misto)
Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a pie dish with cooking spray or your misto.
Mix spinach, scallions, dill, parsley, feta cheese, and in the pie dish.
Sift flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and blend well. Pour into pie dish.
Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until knife comes out clean from the center. Let it stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings.

If you get a chance to try this before I do, let me know what you think . . .

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lose Weight in the Kitchen - or With a Screaming Migraine!

One day down . . . and I kept to my WW points plus goal of 26 points yesterday! I was proud of myself because it would have been very easy to go over when I got home from work yesterday. As I may have mentioned (countless times by now) I'm in the middle of a migraine cycle, so my head was POUNDING by the time I dragged myself through the door. Hud was such a sweetie and was all set to grill up some boneless/skinless chicken breasts for dinner, but I couldn't even think about something like that. All I wanted was a mug of hot tea with honey and some saltines.

But this time, instead of pouring the honey in the tea indiscriminately and then eating pack after pack of crackers, I used just one ounce of honey (2 points) and a pack of saltines (5 points) and then I was done for the evening! I crashed on the couch with an ice pack and the heating pad and alternated using those on the back of my head. Believe it or not, it made a difference and I was able to sleep last night. Still feel edgy and raw this morning - like my head could explode at any moment. But I don't feel as though my right eye is going to pop out of the socket! I guess that will have to count as progress.


Now, let's get through today, sticking to the program, and maybe tomorrow I will feel as though I can get back on the treadmill. Hey, miracles happen everyday!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where Lyda Ann Steps on the Scale . . . and Screams!

I've always thought I didn't want my blog to be a diet and exercise blog - there are enough of those out there and by people who do a much better job than I ever could. Check out Runs for Cookies if you want to read about someone who will motivate you and get you moving. But my personal diet and exercise plan desperately need some help . . . and motivation. Will reporting on the blog about my progress and holding myself accountable here make a difference? I'm to the point I want to find out.

A little history - in 2011, I caught a horrible cold in March and nothing tasted good or sounded like anything I wanted to eat. It took weeks for me to get over the cold and by the time I did and my appetite came back, I had lost 10 lbs.! I was pretty excited about that and did a good job of keeping it off, but couldn't seem to break through a certain "point" on the scale. I had just started working at my current job at that time and they started a Weight Watchers at work program in August, so I joined it. I'm a very competitive person and I made it my personal mission to lose more weight than anyone else in our group - and I did. I blasted through that "point" on the scale and got down to my goal weight without a problem. All told, I lost 25 lbs. in 2011 and earned my Weight Watchers Lifetime Membership.

In 2012, I was determined to keep the weight off and read that people who run tend to keep weight off, so in June I started a couch to a 5K training program for a treadmill (C25K) and ran my 1st 5K race in October. The first thing I learned about myself was - in order for me to run, I have to be training for something. I'm not one of those runners who enjoys running just for the sake of running. I always need a race ahead of me. Since that first race eight months ago, I've run in nine 5K races! I'll never be the fastest one out there, but I try to run every step of the way. I have one more race that I've signed up for before it gets too hot to run outside here where we live. Then it will all be running on the treadmill until the fall.

Running in my 1st 5K Race

My problem is my eating. Lately - the last few months or so - I've been doing a terrible job! I'll be really good for breakfast and lunch . . . and then I'll come home and have a handful of chips. Then some cookies. And a package of Pop-tarts. Then maybe a bowl of cereal. And by the time the evening is over, I've probably consumed 1500 calories of junk. To make it even worse, Sparky is getting married in September, so I've got to start shopping for a "mother of the groom" dress. I'd like for it to be in a size 4 or 6, like I was wearing this time last year. Not in the size 10 or 12 I am rapidly approaching.

So . . . I got out all my WW materials again today. I don't want to pay the money to go to the meetings, so I need to be held accountable here. I jumped on the scale this morning . . . yikes!! I've gained back 9.5 of the 25 lbs. I had lost. THAT'S not good!! So now I know where to begin.

I thought I would start this morning with a run on the treadmill . . . until I woke up this morning at 3:45 am with a POUNDING migraine!! I managed to hold my hand over my right eye so it didn't pop out of my head (why does it always feel as though my right eye is going to come out when I have a migraine?) and get down to the kitchen and get my migraine meds into my system. And then  I got to lay in bed and pray that I didn't throw them back up before they had a chance to work. Fortunately, this time it worked for me. It was touch and go for a while there. But, that was the end of my plan for a 5 am run!! I guess I'll baby my poor little head and hope for better things tomorrow!!

So far, so good - breakfast, 2 snacks and lunch are down, and I've used 20 of my 26 Weight Watchers Point Plus points. Yay!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Top 5 Tips for Your Online Dating Profile . . . or Please Help My Dad!

I can't believe I'm actually doing this, but my parents divorced last year - after 51 years of marriage - and now my dad has decided that he is ready to start dating. He joined one of those online dating services for older adults and the ladies have started "liking" his profile and wanting to "chat" with him.

Unfortunately (for me) he's not much of a typist, so when he finds someone he wants to contact or communicate with, guess who gets to be his secretary? Yep, you got it! I find myself at his computer almost every evening, going through the inbox and helping him come up with responses to the requests he's getting.

I'm starting to see a common theme with a lot of the women's profiles that are on this particular site and if I could give them some advice, here's what I would let them know.

1. Choose your screen name carefully. You may think it's cute to have "Meow Miss Kitty Kat" or "Mom 2 Five Kitties" as your screen name, but all that tells a prospective date is that you are hoarding 50+ cats at your house and are probably one phone call away from the SPCA staging an intervention. Screen names like "Lonely Grl" and "Ready 4 Love" just says that you are desperate and an easy mark for someone to take advantage of you. Go with something innocuous like "Jane12345" or "YankeesFanJane" and let the rest of your profile do the talking.


2. A picture can speak a thousand words. What is your photo - your very first impression to potential dates - saying about you? If you're spending the time and money to participate in an online dating service, why wouldn't you spend a few dollars to have a professional photo taken that will show you looking your very best? I'm not talking about some sort of glam photo here - but a well-lit, well-angled shot of you with your hair washed and combed, make-up on and fresh, wearing flattering clothes and a confident smile. With all the discounts and online specials you can find out there, it's not expensive to get a professional photo taken - and well worth the time and effort.

Dad and I have seen more blurry, outdated and just incredibly bad photographs in the last few weeks! I can't believe the women who will sit in the blue light of their computer screen and use their webcam to take a photo and call it a day. Really? Do you think that blue glow makes you look more attractive? Or those who have those glasses that darken in bright lights and use a photo where you can barely see their eyes. You're not a movie star - you're trying to get dates. You WANT people to be able to see your eyes! And why, oh why, would you have a picture of yourself standing with a man on a dating web site? Unless that man is the President, no man who is thinking about asking you out wants to see a photo of you with someone else.


3. Men are a fool for the chase. They love it. They just can't help it. If you've reached out to a man and "liked" his pictures or sent him a message and made a comment about something he said in his profile and you haven't heard anything back . . . someone wrote a book and even made a movie about this situation. "He's just not that into you." Let it go. Move on. If you keep sending him messages and "likes," you don't become more interesting . . . you become annoying. And (again) desperate. My dad's a nice guy and he isn't looking to take advantage of anyone. But not everyone out there is like that. If you're chasing after my 70-something dad like this, you're probably doing it to other men too, and sooner or later, you might run into one of the bad ones. Why set yourself up for heartache like that? Getting out there to date is hard enough. Don't set yourself up to become a possible crime victim, too.

4. Take a long, hard look at your profile. Is everything spelled correctly? Are you sure? Nothing will rule you out as a potential date faster than a bunch of misspelled words. Some sites have spell check, but some don't. Paste your profile information into a Word document and double-check it. Better yet, have a trusted friend edit it for you. You may think that things like spelling and grammar don't matter. Maybe to some people, they don't. But to others, they mean the difference between a connection and a "no way."

5. While you're looking at your profile, look at the answers you gave to the questions that were asked . In one profile Dad and I looked at, the woman said that she had been a widow for over a year but felt she was ready to get out and meet someone. Then, in the next two paragraphs, she referenced her deceased husband three more times. Red flags, anyone? She may think she's ready to get out and date, but her answers are telling a different story - her date will be treated to a dissertation of how wonderful her husband was and how much she misses him. Valid and wonderful feelings for her to have, but not something a potential date wants to hear about.

Another woman listed in her profile that her only child had died of ovarian cancer. Wow - how incredibly tragic and sad. And another red flag to make someone say "that's an emotionally charged situation I don't want to get into." Sure, it's a big part of your life and something you would tell someone you're dating. AFTER you start dating them. Not before you've even met them.

I don't know if single, 50+ women will find these tips helpful - I can't tell you how much I want to reach through the computer screen and offer assistance to every bad profile Dad and I come across. He's still looking for someone to go to dinner with and to talk to . . . he's lonely! I'll just be glad when my typist duties will be done!