Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day ??? -- honestly not sure what day it is...

but I will figure it out...tomorrow. Today is a sad day in my household as this afternoon we are saying goodbye to one of our most faithful companions. Our lab is in constant hip pain and it takes every bit of her energy to get up and down. It is time to say goodbye, even though every bone in my body wants to scream "NO".

Today is all about taking care of my family. Yes, my pups are part of my family. While I don't consider them "children", they are very important to us. I also have to take care of my husband, who is truly heart broken today. Everything else can, well, wait until tomorrow.

This does not mean that I am going off plan. No, I am still following the second phase of my protocol. I started with the protein drink a couple of days ago. I did add some almonds into my diet...well, I will admit that I added too many almonds into my menu last night. I guess it was my reaction to the stress plus I was fighting the impulse to binge on totally unhealthy food. But today the almonds are gone. There is plenty of good food in the kitchen. I will do what I can to stick with things in a better manner.

I know I blogged a bit about my Matti a few weeks ago so I won't repeat my thoughts about that here. Do know that saying goodbye to her will leave a big hole in our lives. She has meant so much to us over the years. The house will be somewhat empty for some time. BUT it is the right time. It is not fair to keep her suffering just so we will not be sad.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 15 -- Final day of phase 1

As you may have read in the previous 14 days of posts, I am working my way through a diet cleanse to heal any potential leaky gut (more info) and to see what foods, if any, cause inflammation in my body (more info). There are really three phases. The first one has been 15 days of using RepairVite to heal gut issues. I am glad to see this phase be done as the RepairVite really tastes horrible (as I have said before kinda of like coffee made from sweat). It also has been a bit inconvenient to schedule as I have to drink it 30 to 45 minutes before breakfast and dinner. I have made it through without any hiccups.

Now I move onto the next phase, where I start incorporating this protein powder into my day and I start eliminating more foods. I do however get to add some foods back in. I can add back in almonds and almond butter. That should help with some of protein/fat issues. 

I could also add back in some rice products, but honestly I still believe strongly in the primal lifestyle I have been following so I likely will not add these back in at all. There will be a period during this phase that I will eliminate meat. During this period, I may consider adding some white rice but at this point I don't think so.

On another note, there are lots of little sprouts in my garden this weekend! It makes me excited to see the progress the garden is making in such a short time. I really hope the hail stays away this summer so that we see a bountiful harvest.

"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance." H. Jackson Brown

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 14 (missed day 13 but all was well) -- training motivation

One of the things that I have used as a motivation to keep moving is signing up for charity events. It gives me a target and something to train for. Also, even though it costs money to register, the money is going to good causes. The day of the event is typically quite fun, with the crowds cheering you on and the camaraderie you have with strangers.

One of my goals for the year was to do an event each quarter and I have done quite well with the goal. So far this year I have completed 
  • a 56 floor stair climb for the American Lung Association in February,
  • a 5K walk for Autism Speaks in April
  • a 5K walk for MS in May
  • a 5K run (although I walked some of it) for Growing Home in May
 I have the following events planned:
  • a 5K run for Saint Joseph's Hospital in June (more info)
  • another stair climb for cystic fibrosis in July (more info)
  • an 80's retro 5K run for Colorado Youth at Risk in August (more info)
I am including links in case any of you want to join in on the fun. 

I list all these items not to brag about it but to reflect on how far I have come. In the past, I have done various charity events for time to time but this year, it is keeping me excited and invested in my training and such. The one event on the list that I am the most nervous about is the stair climb in July. The one I did in February was a bit over 1,000 steps, straight up, while this one will be just about 3,900 steps but both up and down. It should be interesting. This week I am starting with stair training again.

What keeps you motivated to keep moving? Do you do events? Do you enjoy them?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 12 -- A little time to reflect

Those of you who know me know that I have been working out hard over the past few years. I have gone from aqua aerobics to riding on the elliptical to swimming to zumba, body pump and other group classes at the gym to working with a personal trainer to boxing to running to kettlebells. No matter what workouts I may be doing at the time, I do them consistently and generally with all my energy. I love to work out. I do. But I never really felt like I was getting any results from just working out. I knew that diet had to be part of it but as far I understood, I was following what conventional wisdom was telling me to...whole grains, low fat dairy, lots of veggies, etc....and the whole "anything in moderation" concept.

I know that the conventional wisdom and the legacy diet programs like Weight Watchers and others work for lots of people. I just didn't see it working for me. It was a blow to my self esteem in many ways. Hearing over and over, the program works if you work it just hit me in the gut every time I heard it. It didn't work for me. For those of you that do get results from following conventional wisdom, good for you. I am happy that you are getting the results you are seeking. It is awesome.

Then last year I went to a spa in Utah and started hearing some new things, like about food causing inflammation in your body, that eating too little may be just as bad as eating too much, that you can work out too much, that each of us is unique and our journey to health will be unique, that you need to listen to your body. A lot of this was a revelation to me and it made sense. We all have a unique body composition regarding muscle mass and fat percentage. We all have different joint and flexibility issues. We are all unique individuals.

This all led me to realize that grains negatively impacted not only my weight loss journey but my general health. I would feel very lethargic even the day after a pasta dinner for instance. I started to research it all and found the primal/paleo lifestyle. After a lot of research and such, I decided to change my diet (as in a lifestyle not a temporary thing) to more of a primal/paleo diet. At first it was hard but the positives since starting this well outweigh any negatives. I have such a great amount of energy and am enjoying such a wide variety of foods. I won't lie and say that there is never a time I wanted to eat something else. There have been and sometimes I do indulge but then I get back on track.

This whole post was to lead me to one item about reviewing how far I have come. Last Friday, I decided to try on my "measuring stick" jeans. They had not fit a month or so ago but my hubby was laughing at how big my other jeans were. As I was trying them on, I did not hold much hope for them actually fitting but guess what? They did. In fact, they were even a bit loose in the waist line. I can tell you that there was an extra spring in my step that day. Now I need to find another pair of jeans to use as a measuring stick.

Here I am on my journey. I am following a primal/paleo lifestyle but am now working with a nutritionist to do any healing that may be necessary as well as working to find out what foods may be inflammatory to me. I am on day 12 of this current quest. Phase one (the healing phase) ends after 15 days and then it is on to phase two to get a handle on inflammation. I look forward to what I will learn as the phases progress.  I know that weight loss is mostly diet so I am glad I am starting to find MY answers (note I am not saying that this is the only way as what works for you may be different).

I am doing kettlebell classes three to five times a week. I love kettlebells and think they are the perfect exercise for me. I love how it combines cardio and strength. I am running. I am actually up to running three miles at a time. That continues to amaze me. I look forward to continuing my running in the coming months. I really do enjoy it.

Again, I am not at all saying this is the right journey for any of you. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But I would like encourage you to listen to your body more than to what the "experts" say. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and makes you feel like you worked. Mostly, do not give up. Feeling healthy and being healthy are so worth it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 11 -- How my tastes have changed...

Guess what I am having for breakfast this morning? If you guessed, turnip and grass fed beef hash on a bed of were right! One of the changes I have made over the 11 days is changing my idea of what's for breakfast. When I was eating on the conventional wisdom "healthy" breakfast, it would be some sort of whole grain cereal with skim milk or Greek yogurt with fruit. Then when I changed my lifestyle to a primal/paleo lifestyle, I still focused on "breakfast foods" for breakfast. That would primarily be eggs. Well, now that eggs have temporarily been removed from my diet, I am quickly realizing how breakfast can really be anything. Leftovers are great for breakfast. Carrot and celery sticks with sliced turkey breast and  a bit of avocado are a satisfying morning meal.

Not only has my mindset about what is an appropriate morning meal changed, so have the items that I am actually consuming. While I would not say that I am ever was a majorly picky eater, there were definitely things I would not try. Now I am willing to try most things and am finding there are so many delightful nutritionally dense foods out there.

I never would have thought that I would have had cravings for kale but I did this past weekend. Chard is another green that I adore now. I still have to try some others like collard and mustard greens. I never was a big fish eater but now I even eat sardines (still can't eat them out of the can but crisped up in a skillet over a bed of lettuce, they are not bad). Turnips and yams are two other foods that I would never even look at in the grocery store. Then there are brussels sprouts. Sliced thinly, sauteed in bacon greases (or currently while on the cleanse in coconut oil) and they have been the star of so many meals. I seriously love this vegetable now.

It is very funny how the mind can change and how certain things that never looked that good before are becoming staples in my diet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 10 of 35 -- My Forrest Gump moment

So, I went out for my run this morning and had made the decision that I would have a light run of only two miles today. Wait a minute...what am I saying? Light run...two miles????? Who would have thought that those words would be something I would ever think. A few years ago a two mile run, heck a one mile run, would have been something like a science fiction fantasy to me. 

But nonetheless, this morning I was thinking about a "short two mile run" since I wasn't sure how my back was feeling after the little fender bender on Monday. I thought that this could be a light workout today and it would be fine.

Well, I ran my two miles and thought I was feeling fine so I kept running. Yep, I kept running. But unlike Forrest Gump, I couldn't keep on going so I stopped after three miles and came home. It is nice to outdo your plan. It is nice to actually like running. 

It is nice that I no longer feel embarrassed when running and meeting people I would have considered "real runners" on the path. Whatever. I don't care what they actually think. I am out there to make myself a better me. I am a runner. I may not be swift but I am a runner. I may not be beautiful out there (in fact I am a sweaty mess) but I am a runner. The path I take may not make sense but I am a runner. 

Later this week I may try to run more than three miles...or maybe it will be next week but I will keep increasing my distance and my endurance. Speed may or may not come along with it but that's okay. I like running...and I am a runner.

"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going."-- Forrest Gump

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Days 8 and 9 -- missed a day of blogging

I missed a day yesterday. I must say I was a bit mentally exhausted from the Whole 9 seminar on Sunday (read about it here). Also, we went to see a rebroadcast of the 25th Anniversary of the Phantom of the Opera from Albert Hall last night. It was amazing by the way, but these days I find it really hard to sit through movies and such. I much prefer seeing things in my own home where I can pause and get up to walk around a bit and then continue. In addition, a car decided to play bumper cars with me at the light out of our neighborhood yesterday and my back was a bit tight. All in all, although the rebroadcast was great, I was miserable sitting there. We may go to Love Never Dies (the sequel to the Phantom) on Wednesday. If we do, I am sitting on the end seat so that I can stand from time to time. I really hate walking over people and interrupting their evening, especially in an event like this.

Where am I on the cleanse? I am actually doing quite well. We went out to dinner last night and managed to have salad greens with seared tuna and pickled ginger and a lot of balsamic vinegar. I was very upfront about how I needed it served and they did very well. I smuggled a bag of carrots into the theater along with some turkey breast. I know I know....but wouldn't it be nice if the theaters sold mini bags of carrots or something like that at the concessions?

Tonight is kettlebell class and I have not been since Thursday. I am eager to go. It is funny what I miss these days. The other day I was actually craving kale! On Sunday, all I wanted was some salmon. Yesterday (after they mentioned them at the seminar) I bought a jar of olives (hmmm...salty goodness and did you know that for some olives, it is only 15 calories in FIVE olives, good healthy fat calories? I know I am not counting calories here but what a bargain food.). It continues to amaze me how my food choices have changed. I also made a beef soup with turnips in it. Turnips? Something you would have never seen me purchase a few years ago. I guess you can rewire your brain if you stick with it.

Quote for today -- "In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance." H. Jackson Brown

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 7 of 35 (one week down) -- Whole9 Seminar

Today is completion of my first week on the cleanse that I am doing to try to heal my body from any potential leaky gut and/or inflammation. I have eight days left in the first stage. It hasn't been that bad thus far but we will see what the next few days bring. 

I went to a nutritional seminar by Dallas and Melissa from Whole9. I must say it was a great day. Although I may not have "learned" a lot, I definitely had a lot of things reinforced and a lot of things presented in a slightly different way. For instance, it is pretty clear that food we eat either improves your health or does not. There really is nothing else. It is good for your body or it isn't. While you may choose to eat something that is not healthy for you, but you should do it knowing the consequences. An analogy I loved was when Melissa described eating a food that you have been craving like carrot cake with cream cheese icing, it's like the Vegas strip in your mouth, all glitzy and such until you see it in the day light, also known as reading the label, and you realize how dirty and grimy it really is.

I also appreciated the statement that there is nothing in grains that you cannot get from more nutritionally dense foods. I have been living my life over the past few months believing this, arguing this with others, but it was nice to hear the confirmation today. In fact, it doesn't make sense to make foods that are not nutritionally dense a major part of your diet. Many things that were said today about grains, legumes, sugar, and dairy made it clear that what I have been doing to clean up my diet since January have been the right things for me.

I am also so glad that I have given up artificial sugars. It's crazy that the stuff is so much sweeter than anything found in nature and that you may even have a psychological response to it that will rewire your brain. I do believe that the brain is a very powerful thing and holds onto things in much stronger ways than we may realize.

The graphic that they are currently entitling the "Metabolic Bow Tie" was quite helpful in understanding that bad food choices can result in this endless loop of bad reactions in your body, including leptin resistance (the inability to distinguish when you have satisfied your hunger) and insulin resistance (the inability to appropriately lower blood sugar). I hope you all will get to see the graphic at some point.

The good news is that you can change things. You can clean up your diet and work on positive changes for the future. That is what I am doing. All of this applies in so many ways in my lifestyle at this point in my life.

By the way, they are also the authors of the article that convinced me to take time to recover from a workout. I am going to give their ideas on pre and post workout food a try after the first stage of my cleanse is over. I can't do it now because of the timing of drinking the gut healing RepairVite and my workout schedule. I also understand a bit more about why working out too much, too intensely and too infrequently may not be ideal for optimal health.

I am sure there are a lot of things I will think about after I post this and I will fill in anything I have forgotten in future posts. Check out their website and upcoming book if you want more information.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 6 of 35 --It's a rainy day here...

Is it considered obsessive if, during the rain, I was outside to plant some more of my garden? I wanted my seeds to be able to take advantage of the rain. I had planted some of them yesterday so they got drenched early this morning. Then when I got back from my run, it was starting to rain again so I went out to do some more planting. I don't mind the mud but it was a bit chilly.

I am planting my garden and hoping for a bountiful harvest so I can have even more control over what I put in my body. I definitely will be doing an organic garden, starting with organic seeds, etc. The more I learn about the harmful things that can come from conventional foods, the more I just want to go and buy a plot of land to have my own cows, chickens, pigs, and growing space. But for now I will have to be satisfied with the stuff I planted between yesterday and today. We have cucumbers, squashes, cantaloupe, cabbage, spinach, lettuces, radishes, spinach, and kale already in the ground. We will still plant some tomatoes for Tim. 

This year I am going to pay much closer attention to my garden as I much more invested in it for health reasons. Before it has always been one of those things that I thought I should do, but now, beyond organic issues, it is also for the more dense nutritional value of just picked vegetables. If you research it, it is amazing how much nutritional value can be lost between the time a vegetable is harvested and it makes it to the grocery produce section.

Well, my day 6 started out pretty well. I did a three mile run this the rain....and wind...and then the sun....and then the rain again....but I DID A THREE MILE RUN...that is the important thing. 

More later.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 5 of 35 -- better late than not at all...

so, I was asked today what I am not currently eating that I was prior to starting this cleanse. Let's see -- you already know about the coffee and eggs. In addition, I am continuing to avoid all grains, sugars, and legumes. I am also avoiding all dairy, which isn't that hard as I wasn't doing much dairy prior to this. I am now also avoiding nuts and seeds, alcohol, nightshade vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, etc.), fungus (mushrooms), pork (no bacon -- bummer), and food additives.

It may seem like a lot but there is still quite a bit I can eat. There are so many vegetable options. I eat a lot of yams (sweet potatoes are out). There is grass fed beef, organic chicken, game meat, and wild caught fish. Healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocados, olives, and olive oil. Low glycemic fruits such as berries and apples are allowed. I am also experimenting with fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, and coconut milk yogurt.

After the first 15 days, I start with a protein powder and slowly change what I can eat. In fact, during the second phase there is even a 6 day period that I am not eating meat. I will post more about those days when I get there.

That's the program in a nutshell. So far things are going okay. I will know I can do this and that is to try to figure some things out. More later.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 4 of 35 -- It's not about a number

I was asked recently what I thought my "ideal" weight was. Honestly, I have no idea. I do hope I know it when I am at it but right now I don't know what that would be. I used to think that there was a magic number. My previous doctor used to try to tell me what the number was for me, without really having any idea about my body composition other than my height. When I did have my body comp measured at one point last year, I was told that my lean muscle mass was 20 pounds MORE than the weight my doctor was targeting for me. I don't know about you but I would rather have lean muscle mass than anything else. 

My focus for now is to lose weight to be healthier and to be able to do more physical activities. I know I will not be able to run faster unless I lose weight....and I want to run faster. BUT I also want to get stronger. I love swinging heavy kettlebells. I love pressing heavy things. Maybe some day I will know what an "ideal" weight is but for now I am trying to focus on more than the numbers. Although I would be lying if I didn't say that the numbers were a motivation, I hope that I can rely on how I am improving in other areas to measure my progress. I do want it to be more than about a number. I am more than just a number.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 3 of 35 -- So much to learn

Ok. Day 3 of 35 is about to start. I really thought I would be entitling this post Day 3 of 35 -- I so miss my caffeine. But honestly it has not been that difficult. I am quite surprised by that. I will admit that the first day I was craving coffee and the second day I caught a whiff of a nice dark roast and the thought of a nice hot Americano crossed my mind. I have not, however, had any headaches from the lack of caffeine, which was one of my fears. I have filled my craving by having some mint, ginger or licorice tea. It fulfills the need for a soothing hot beverage.

Giving up coffee has not been that bad. The hardest part has been giving up eggs. Eggs for me are a "go to" protein. When nothing else sounds good, I have eggs. It is funny because a few years ago, I didn't even like eggs. Now I miss them but again, as I said yesterday, I want to heal my body so I will complete this 35 days. I mean, if I can drink the powdered RepairVite (or as I think of it, coffee flavored sweat -- seriously that is what it tastes like to me), I can endure 35 days or a lifetime without eggs, if it is what I find will keep my body healthy.

So, what is the title about "So much to learn"? Well, I am trying to understand the difference between rest and recovery. Here is a good post about the subject. I always feel like a slacker when I take a day off from working out. Maybe I am a slacker. I am going to try to focus my "off" days as being recovery days. My favorite recovery activity is swimming. I realized this weekend I wasn't swimming enough. After my 5K this weekend, my hip has been bothering me but I still worked out at kettlebells on Monday and Tuesday as well as running Tuesday. They have not been the best workouts. I am wondering if, even though I "rested" Sunday afternoon, maybe I didn't do necessary "recovery". Does that make sense? 

Today is going to be a day of recovery. I went for a long walk with the dogs this morning and, instead of kettlebells, I am going to go swimming tonight. I am going to move my body but not as intensely as a kettlebell class would be. I am also going to rest a bit by sitting in the jacuzzzi and sauna at the gym.

I have long heard about the need to recover and that your body is actually getting fitter during the periods of recovery but I don't think I have ever understood what it meant for me. Hopefully I am understanding it more now and am doing the right thing for my body.

More later.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Healing myself -- day 2

As I said yesterday, I am on a 35 day protocol to cleanse my body. But more importantly, I am seeking to heal my body. I have been working hard on this for the last few years and, for the most part, have been quite successful. My blood work has improved significantly over the journey. I feel more energetic. I can do more things than I ever thought possible.

So, what am I seeking through this cleanse? Well, there are few things that I have been researching more and more through the past year. The two things that I am working on now are related to each other...leaky gut and inflammation. You can do a google search and find a ton of information on leaky gut. Here is one link that I found helpful. I don't know if I have leaky gut syndrome or not but I am sure I can use some healing in this area. For the protocol I am on, that is what the intent is for the first 15 days. I have to remember that I am healing myself because the supplement that is used for this portion of it tastes HORRIBLE. 

Lauren (the nutritionist I am working with), to her credit, warned me how bad it would taste. Well, she was so right. But it is only 15 days and I have already completed one of those 15 so 14 more days. I just have to remember it is helping to heal me. 

Then after the first 15 days, I will continue to work on the relieving inflammation in my body. Here is another link about inflammation and what it means. Honestly, I had never heard of these concepts until a year or so ago. I always thought that food allergies were much more dramatic and immediately life threatening. Now, do I know that this is the root of my issues with my weight. No, I don't. I could probably go out and have expensive testing done but it can't hurt me to try this protocol first.

If you have followed my blog from the beginning of the year, you know that I already did a ten day cleanse. I actually followed it diligently and felt great doing it. But I didn't follow it as well in the reintroduction phase. You see, I wasn't quite doing it to see how foods impacted me as much as I was doing it to get ready to go primal. The ten days did help me approach the primal lifestyle for the last few months without much issue. But now it is time to do the reintroduction part correctly and see how certainly inflammatory foods impact my body.

My ultimate goal in all of this is to be healthy. I really is. Yes, I want to lose weight and such but mostly my health is the important thing. What are you doing to be a bit healthier today than you were yesterday?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day one of 35

So, I am starting a 35 day cleanse today. I am working with a nutritionist. Even though I did the 10 day thing at the beginning of the year, I knew that it was not long enough to really see if certain foods were causing inflammation. Now it is time to find out. The cleanse is sort of like the Whole 30 that I attempted a few weeks ago but a bit more extreme in what I cannot eat. AND you know what, that's okay. It is temporary and I should get some good information as I listen to my body. I also have a guide to help me along the way in Lauren as she is available via email and such. That will be very helpful.

So, I can eat lots of veggies, healthy meats, and good fats. What I cannot eat are grains, dairy, eggs, caffeine, and certain fruits/veggies. I am going to focus on quality food, drinking lots of water, and listening to my body. The hardest two things will be no eggs or caffeine as eggs have become my "go to" protein and caffeine, well, it's caffeine!

I find it is easier to concentrate on a goal if I blog about it so I will likely blog about it every day for the next 35 days. Let's see how it goes.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Westminster Women's Classic

My 5K was today. I did run....just not all of it. I was able to walk a bit and then run again so that part was good. I didn't stop and just walk the rest. I even finished running. For the most part, I think it was my mind more than my body that was telling me I had to walk. I need to get over that. But I also was running at a faster pace than any of my training runs.

I am not giving up on running either. I am already looking for my next event. Hopefully, I can get over the mental issue before then.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Actually running a 5K on Sunday....

and I am extremely nervous about it. BUT I need to keep in mind that it doesn't matter how slow I do, I am still out there doing it. I have been running and actually enjoying it of late. The first two or three minutes are pure hell but after that, I get into the groove and I just run. 

Other than that, things are going well. I met with a nutritionist, who actually understands and supports the paleo/primal lifestyles. We talked for awhile and, although she repeated a lot of things I already knew, it was good to hear her agree with things I believe for my own body. So, we are going to start with a 5 week cleanse and really see if there are certain foods that are causing inflammation in my body. I know it may seem like it is yet another path that I am going down, but it really isn't as I view this as her helping me down the path I was trying to go on my own.

I recently viewed this video on a FaceBook page. I love most of the sentiments in this slide show. In particular, the first one really speaks to me. I have long thought of my struggles with finding the solution to my weight loss struggles as a puzzle I am trying to solve. AND if you know me, you know I love puzzles and I rarely, if ever, give up.

I will check in after the run on Sunday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am still here....

I am still here, working away. I have been continuing with kettlebells. I have been running. I have been following my primal lifestyle the best I can. I finished reading The Grapes of Wrath as was one of my 2012 goals. I have a 5K walk coming up this weekend. I have signed up for a 5K run the next weekend.

I am busy with life. I am busy still trying to figure out how to spur weight loss and such. I am busy trying to think of what to blog about. In the meantime, I am still here, working away.