Friday, December 31, 2010

The Party Is Over!

Okay well thank you to every body for your opinions :-) Especially thanks Heather!! It is a good suggestion, but I think I want to try and do something a little bit crazy. If I get to February, I'll be doing better than I've ever done before. Abds are just the pits for me! I've kept off the worst of the weight. I've done some running. I've done a couple of swims. I've got that last impossible 10-20 lbs and the whole impossible muffin top/flabby ab thing going on. We'll see...maybe I can finally knock off some more goals this year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

365 Days of Sit Ups!

Does it clash that bad ?

What do you think of that for a New Years goal? No, not being more color coordinated, though I could use some help there too ;-) The 365 days of sit ups/abd work I mean? On the edge of New Years Eve, I am trying to come up with some kind of a good challenge. Its been a year now that I've been able to stay under 140lbs (on my scales) to my best knowledge. Last New Years Eve, I was up over that but hadn't been for a long long time. Most of the year I've been under 135. I've successfully kept the weight off, but I still have that last 10-20 lbs to go that I've never gotten rid of along with with some flab. I'm thinking 365 days of sit ups might just accomplish a long wished for goal :-) I've also been thinking on putting up a running ticker and maybe one for swimming in the summer. Those are kinds of fun ways to keep track. I just don't know. Do you think 365 days of sit ups is too drastic a goal? Every time I try to start a sit ups/abd work regime, I get bored and quit. Maybe if I blog the challenge it will happen ;-) Kind of like the movie "Julie and Julia" - lol!!

In other news, I have decided to construct a cheese cake. Yes, a cheese cake. Since I'm going to get really serious in 2 days, I figured I should do some kind of an end of the year hurrah if you will. I hope this doesn't offend anybody. I was just reading in Oxygen Magazine one reader telling the Editor that she hopes he "rots in hell" because he eats occasional candy bars and also occasionally has a glass of wine. Ugh!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Carbon Copies (AKA Kids)

Okay, I have a confession right off the start!! These pictures are from making egg rolls yesterday. After frying them, my daughter suggested we try baking them next time (GREAT IDEA SOCK FASHION EXPERT)!! Some time i will let you know how that goes. Good thing is is that as you can see, Moonbeam is enjoying vegetables :-) One thing I want to point out on this post, and probably will again is that your kids WILL copy you. If they see you eating a handful of chocolate chips, they will go to the freezer and get them self a handful (or harass you for yours). If they see you eating a cookie, they immediately want one. If you sit in the living room eating an apple with peanut butter, your kids will come up and eat half the apple off your plate before you can scarf the thing down. These are the foods they will become accustomed to and what will build their body - good or bad. These are the habits that they will acquire for a life time, or until they work hard to do otherwise. You and I cannot be obese alone. We curse our children with the same eating habits whether we like it or not.
Yesterday, as The Sock Fashion Expert and I were sitting down eating the egg rolls after working in the kitchen making them together, we talked about the "old days" (a couple of years ago.) I used to eat four. So did she. I felt sick after 2 1/2. She felt sick after 2. "Remember when I used to be fat?" she asks me. "I'm never going back to that". I tell her she was never fat. There was a time, though, when I was around 176 lbs and she was not wearing regular kid sizes. She was in the pretty plus section. That's when she wanted 2 burgers at the McDonald's drive in and I would let her have them because I was eating 2 burgers too. I'm not wanting to sound harsh. Its reality. Today my daughter is 14, VERY HEALTHY and looks fabulous. She hikes every day. She is less than 90 lbs, but vibrant. She has a tiny waist, and frame. She has the figure most women would kill for. She eats incredibly well. She never ever starves herself or eats in a dysfunctional manner. She knows how to enjoy food without binging. I wish I had her eating habits. She some how learned what I am trying to accomplish way ahead of me. She amazes me.
I quit bringing donuts home years ago, but I decided for Christmas I would as a special treat. My 19 year old son, who I often tease "is the perfect specimen of a man" immediately told me he didn't want his share. He used to do that a few years ago when I would bring home donuts too. The other thing he refuses to do is eat at buffets. He becomes incredibly disturbed watching people over eat at them. Last time I was pregnant, I took the kids to a buffet because I was craving Chinese. He wouldn't even eat. He also refused to eat at a pizza buffet during that pregnancy as well. It was a waste of money paying for him to eat with us. In the end I had to promise him not to take him to one again. I know that sounds kind of strange, but its true. He honestly can't stand watching people over eat. He also does probably 200 sit ups every night and has abs of steel. He hikes up and down mountains. He is the fittest 19 year old man that I know. If he sees me over eating, he will get after me. BTW, I don't think he ate any of our egg rolls either. He inspires me.
Some how, over the past few years, my older kids have gained an IRON STRONG conviction about fitness and healthy eating and they don't waiver. Why do I still waiver? I don't know this answer, but I know I have done something right with them in the last few years. If you looked at my family 5 years ago, you would have seen things a lot different.
Does Anybody have any good ideas for New Years Resolutions or plans? I'm open to suggestions :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Have Some Fudge

As you can see, I've been avoiding this blog. Perhaps its because I've gained a couple of pounds from Holiday eating - ugh!! My friend, "Nurse Happy Sunny Day", who is a marathoner and soon to be an ultra marathoner decided to fast from white sugar during December with the exception of Christmas Day. That was an incredible strategy! As a matter of fact, she picked up the white sugar fast idea from me, though I have never been brave enough to do it during the entire month of December. The first time I did it, it was for the summer. That was the summer I lost 35 lbs and felt great. I've also done it different time periods during winter months, but never all of December. Anyway, unfortunately I did not follow her example, however, I am still probably 10lbs less than I was last year at this time. I went back to my December posts to try and find a weight, but all I could find was a post entitled "Holiday Gluttony, Drowning in Lard" from Dec 23. I didn't put up a link to it because it was not one of my better days ;-)
Honestly, I contemplated working on weight loss this month but decided better of it. Not because I'm avoiding it, okay maybe I'm avoiding it a little. Really, once I hit the 130's I just can't lose weight without a lot of work. That's okay. I am slowly learning that maintenance is a big challenge in itself. Losing weight is fun. Once you start doing it, the pounds keep dropping. Maintaining doesn't give you any prize at the bottom of the cereal box. Its just maintaining - nothing exciting. Anyway, my point is that I'm not going to work horribly hard to lose a few pounds over December. In January, EVERY BODY and His BROTHER will be trying to lose weight. The stores will all be selling wonderful weight loss stuff on sale and everybody will be starting new diets, weight loss blogs and exercising like the Dickens. I think that's when my momentum will be a little easier to find. Until then, I'm NOT going to pig out. I'm going to strategize and make a great plan for 2011. Until then, don't be hard on yourself. Enjoy the fudge, just don't enjoy 6 pieces of it. Learn moderation because when all is said and done, its what you will have to live with if you don't want to be a human yo-yo :-) Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


i should have seen it coming. After all, I am an RN and have been in health care practically all my life, well since age 16 to be exact. i've just been fighting a terrible case of the "D" word. In case you don't know what that "D" word is, I'll tell you, but its hard getting it out. Okay, here goes.......d-e-n-i-a-l. Whew! Okay I said it. It also doesn't help that I've had this "feeling" I should be putting more time into my core.
So as I was saying, or about to, sigh, after that hard 3 mile ski, something, er, "happened". I got a back ache. Well as every good person in denial does, I didn't accept that I could possibly have a back problem. The next day it seemed better, so I Nordic Hiked in the snow for 4 miles. I got home and it hurt worse. This time I was a little alarmed. I've NEVER had back problems, EVER!! All the nurses and aides have back problems but NOT ME!! I am immune, or so I thought. Any way, the kids prayed for me and I started popping Tylenol, ibuprofen and alieve. Yes, I know, I should have slowed down. Yes, I was in denial and even brainless, but again, I pushed myself. This time it was another 3 mile ski trek on icy surfaces with my friend Elasta Woman. I was feeling better (most likely due to all the anti inflammatory meds) and I thought going slow would be okay. The minute I got out there, I could feel the pain but I WANTED A GOOD WORKOUT IN!! By now you are probably wondering if my brain took off to Hawaii without me and so am I. Long story short, I am going to have to force myself to take some mandatory time off from exercise. Oh the agony!! Even yesterday when the pain finally eased up, I popped the Tylenol and took the baby outside. I noticed that the steps needed shoveling off. Before I even thought, I picked up the shovel and started in. Immediately, I could feel the pain and I knew I had to force myself to stop. I had to fight every instinct within me. I love to exert my energy. I love the endorphins. I love it but I can't have it right now and I'm going to have to adjust my eating even more to compensate for its loss. THIS IS TERRIBLE!!
While I'm on a roll with the set backs, I'll continue on before I start in with the positive :
2. We were just blessed with 8 boxes of bread products. I'm super thankful, really I am, but now our house is over run with carbs and its going to be hard to control.
3. I only have 2 days scheduled at work this month. I LOVE the time off with my kids. I don't like not having a lot to do because then I eat out of boredom, especially when i can't exercise. Its also a stressor knowing our income will go down which could cause me to want to turn to food. These are just potential challenges I am seeing.
4. Tis the Season and I like to eat!! How am I ever going to avoid gaining weight? We also got blessed with 40 or so expired marinades and salad dressings along with about 10-15 fat free mayos. I am into organic, whole fats, whole - clean food eating. I need to make use of these free goods somehow even if they're not what I would normally buy. Any suggestions?
5. Its hard to feel inspired to blog on a new blog that isn't established.
Okay, well now that you see all of the challenges I'm facing, here are a few of my positive thoughts :
1. With Every Challenge, God makes a way for us to overcome them. He promises that there is "No temptation greater than which we can bear." and that He will "provide a way of escape".
2. I have extra time to focus on cooking healthy - lol!!
3. I do have the hot tub to do some self imposed physical therapy in.
4. My kids are really helpful.
5. I've been having the kids do a lot of organizing and cleaning now that we're in a slower season. The toy closet, bedrooms and kitchen have been thoroughly cleaned and organized. Bags upon bags of trash went out and its much more livable now. That feels good.
6. Maybe i'll start some sprouting.
7. I've got at least 2 trips to the Big City this month for Super Catman's braces, so I can buy some bulk healthier fruits and veggies.
8. I do have a freezer full of organic wild meat, organic cherries, huckleberries, plums, etc. I can chose to cook healthy.
9. I'm not in denial any more and I can start moving forward, first by allowing my body time to heal.


Home Made Tortillas (adapted from

2 Cups Flour (1/2-3/4) of total flour should be whole wheat.

2/3 Cup H20

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup oil

Must let them rest 1/2 hour covered in plastic wrap before rolling out. A wonderful, healthful whole grain option. Serve with organic taco meat and a host of veggies!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I've Been A Good Girl Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

I have been a very good girl today. After working all night, I went to the grocery store. The first thing I smelled when I walked in was freshly baked donuts. My kids love it when I bring home donuts but I know its not good for them so I didn't do it. Instead I got them some non sugary breakfast cereal that was on sale. After that, I noticed pizzas were on sale for $5 but again, I refrained myself. I spent an hour in the store and I didn't buy any junk food. I thought about buying a donut for myself on the way home since I was hungry, but instead I decided to eat a banana. On the way out the door, I S-L-O-W-L-Y walked by the Starbucks Coffee booth but I didn't turn in. At the gas station, I used the credit card pump so I wouldn't be tempted with hot breakfast junk inside. At home, after getting up, I forced myself to get outside before dark and I cross country skied close to 3 miles in the bitter cold.
I was wondering if I could have a Wonder Woman Doll for Christmas and maybe her figure too? I was thinking that I could generously leave you out a plate of my stubborn belly fat on Christmas Eve so you wouldn't need to bother with the cookies. That would save us both a lot of time.
With Love, Outdoor.Mom

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

death to "Operation Hawaii"

Pic from our community wreathing party - I brought my wreather and rings and donated myself with it to helping the women of the community make wreaths. One lady brought ribbons. Many brought boughs. It was a fun day. It felt good to give to others. I will probably post about it on my other blog.

Just a quick post to say I am officially ending my "Operation Hawaii" plan. Here are my reasons :

1. The name depresses me with all this cold snowy weather.

2. It isn't practical to follow, especially this time of year.

3. Every time I have to alter the plan, I get this "all or nothing" mentality that seems dangerous to the ultimate goal.

4. The name depresses me with all this cold snowy weather. Oh yeah, i guess i said that.

I had a couple of intense exercise days. Yesterday I NORDIC WALKED 4 miles on snowy roads. That was exhausting. You may want to read about my many adventures in Nordic Walking on my other blog over the past couple of winters. The only excitement that day was a man whose car was buried in the ditch. A tractor was crossing the entire road and couldn't get the thing out.

Today I cross country skied for about an hour. Whew!! I really worked up a sweat. I can tell I am finally getting into a winter groove exercise wise. As for food well that's another story. As I mentioned, I have had a hard time following my plan. I think I will think on it for a few days. I did step on the scale last night and it was 128-129 lbs. That was shocking. This morning it was 130. Not sure how I'm pulling that off. When I look at the pictures of the wreathing party I just helped host, I do look thinner but certainly don't have the toned look I want. Well anyway, back to the drawing board with a survivable plan for the holidays :-) I am open to anybodies suggestions................

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hummus Recipe and Outdoor Fun

Thanksgiving Hike

Snowshoe Adventure!

Oh moan. This is a terrible time of the year to stay on task. I've been getting out on winter exercise adventures. Thanksgiving Day before work, the little ones and I hiked a mile or more, partly in snow. The past few days I've been out snowshoeing. Mainly the problem lies in doing less. On a normal exercise day, I do a 4 mile run. In the summer I swim 1/2-1 mile. Sometimes even both. I sweat, I burn calories. These outings have been fun, but not like I know I should be doing. I'd like to try supplementing them with some indoor exercises but that seems so BORING!
Here's a fun recipe my friend gave me. I think its delicious and filling, but my husband thinks otherwise. It is very healthy and I can't stop eating it :-)
Home Made Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans
1-2 garlic cloves
fresh herbs (what you have available)
*I use thyme, basil, whatever I can keep growing.
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
olive oil (sparingly)
Blend it all in the blender. Reserve the garbanzo bean juice if you need to help it blend easier. Should be a nice, blended paste.
I love to eat this on freshly baked pita bread topped with a pile of veggies and some crumbled feta.
I especially love feta in everything because it has a lot of flavor where other cheeses are milder. You need more of them to appreciate you're eating them. Eating less cheese means a lot less fat.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Few Set Backs.....

My Son (Archer) with His Recent Prize
And Our Good, Organic Winter Meat Supply

Well I've had my share of set backs this week, but I have also had a few victories.
Set back no 1 - Had to go to court for a speeding ticket. Got the ticket dropped (but ugh!) made a bad choice by celebrating with pizza afterward and it wasn't my day off!!
Set back no 2 - Had to go to the dentist the next day. Okay I'm confessing it - ended up getting pizza again (that's right that wasn't my day off either!) On the upside, I am eternally grateful to the hygienist who got all the horrible brown stains off my teeth. She worked hard on them. I also didn't have any cavities :-)
Set back no 3 - When confronted with sad things at work, I am known to eat things I shouldn't (Oh that comfort food complex). Bingo, but it was my day off.
With each setback, I did get up and keep going on my plan, but I got pretty frustrated with myself. On the upside, despite the bitter cold, I've been out skiing, snow shoeing and hiking almost every day. Of course, that's not an excuse for bad eating. I'm pretty confident this week will go better.
Now that Thanksgiving is Officially Over Lets be THANKFUL but not keep eating like its still Thanksgiving. BACK AWAY from that left over stuffing!! None of the mashed potatoes and gravy either!! Let the kids have that stuff. Stick with a nice tossed salad topped with delicious turkey and some dried cranberries :-) Mmm.... Healthy and delicious!! I'm planning on a hike out to find a Christmas Tree with the kids. Remember that we CAN walk and many can't so get out there and do it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Balance - A True Friend

I'm sure you've all been on edge just waiting to hear my latest update on my "Operation Hawaii" eating plan ;-) Well I'm happy to report it was mostly good. I made some progress this week even though I didn't think I had :
* I saw 130.6 on the scale this morning - woohoo!! Of course I do fluctuate, but I haven't seen that number since intensive swim training - usually July. Its hard to get to that this time of the year. I am also down a couple of mid-gutt inches.
* I ran 4 miles without stopping for a cool down after two (like I usually do).
* I didn't freak out under stress and eat bad (like I usually do) when I'm doing intensive Emergency Room training/classes. The hospital provides lunch, so I got the ham from the dinner and ate it with salad bar. That was progress. I didn't eat any of the provided array of chocolates, but I did eat a mini bran muffin that am (which was fine). When Nurse Happy Sunny Day brought bakery cookies I did take one. Then I felt guilty about it so I only ate half and threw the rest of it away. I really shocked myself there.
I'm still maintaining mostly eating organic, clean, healthier foods without processed /white sugar/ much white flour,etc.. Of course I'm giving myself every 8th day off and eating whatever I think I missed out on. This week it was chicken nuggets with mac/cheese (dinner), McRib and fries (lunch), a cookie, a carmel, etc.. No binging or anything like that - just non healthy things in mostly moderation.
I'm also not being all psycho about it. The other day when I was gone Sock Fashion Expert put on a pizza crust with whole wheat flour. That was fine. I had made the sauce. The concern was the pepperoni which I really really wanted. I decided to have 1 pepperoni on both slices of pizza. That wasn't a big deal. Balance is my true friend ultimate goal.
This plan started out a little bit frustrating for me because I didn't see any immediate difference. I just had to keep doing it. That's not far off from my plans for Hawaii either. I have to keep filling out travel nursing applications, filing paperwork, etc.. There is no guarantee that I will ever get to Hawaii. A lot of things could fall through. My husband might decide that its not the best choice for our family right now - fine. Who knows? Maybe I'll decide the same thing. The employers/interviewers might decide that I'm not the best candidate - fine. All kinds of unknowns could cause the whole idea to fall through - fine. Hawaii for sure will never happen for me if I don't do some pro active things though. There isn't even a chance if it coming together if I don't fill out the papers, watch the travel nurse gigs, etc.. I have to do something for there even to be a chance of it happening. Its the same with my eating and exercise plans. I might not see results today or tomorrow, but I just have to keep doing it by faith. Theres no doubt in my mind that someday I'm going to get to see Hawaii some how. I just don't know when. It has to be the same way with the whole weight loss / fitness journey. Sometimes you just have to use your faith and keep doing the practical. Its inevitable, you will see results at some point.
Here is an exciting fitness adventure (on my other blog) about my latest deer hunt (don't click if dead things gross you out).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hold On!

It's been a challenging weekend, but I came out okay. We had friends over for dinner and I made enchiladas. I made the tortillas from scratch and used 3/4 whole wheat flour. They turned out pretty good. The filling meat was lean elk burger with seasoned beans I'd cooked in a crock pot. Then I put a garnish out of avocado, tomatoes, butter and romaine lettuces, red onion, red pepper, salsa and sour cream. I also made some corn bread on the side (sweetened with pear sauce). I really wanted to take a picture of them but my camera system is temporarily down until next week.
My girlfriend, Mist, was over while the guys were out hunting. As a special treat to have in the hot tub, I made smoothies sweetened with maple syrup using frozen cherries, coco powder, huckleberries, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Oh they were decadent and without the bad stuff. I could live on those. I just can't wait to start taking pictures again with some of my infamous "dump" recipes. At least I can blog out a few ideas ;-)
As I was sitting here attempting to blog, Moonbeam climbed up on the table and stuck peanut shells and crayons in the left over cornbread saying "Happy Birthday". It wasn't all that long ago we had cake with candles in it for Super Catman's birthday. I guess peanut shells and crayons are her best version ;-) Again, would have liked to photograph that one. Okay okay I admit it, I am addicted to photographing...... Not sure how I will survive until next week but I will try to be brave ;-)
I did come awfully close to blowing my weekly system, though. As I said, I'm trying to go 7 days of whole/cleaner/healthier foods with 1 day of regular eating after each week. So, I am reserving the sugary treats for then. Anyway, Mist was craving chocolate and I was going to let her (okay encourage her) to bake us a torte. She ended up not doing it - whew! It would have been okay and I would have kept on going. I know that times come up when special treats or meals are available and I'm not going to all freak out about it. Mainly, I'm just trying to develop habits of eating better (and lose weight). If I start training myself to think hard before making white flour/pasta/white sugar type offenders, hopefully in the long run I will do less of it. That's pretty much how I lost and kept off the first 41 lbs. I quit eating white sugar for 3 months. I also ate a lot healthier, drank more water, etc.. After that, things were different. My habits all changed and some of them never changed back. Others changed back slowly. Here's a good thought to leave you with. My friend "From MN" told me this probably 15 years ago and its always stuck :
Choices Lead To Habits and Habits Lead To Destiny.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Working Mom Blues and "Operation Hawaii"

Back on my other blog, I announced "Operation Hawaii", my plan to work on healthy eating. In recapping - I started that on 10/27 which was mainly eating clean, whole foods and avoiding processed/white sugar/flour/portion control/etc.. I completed the first week of that, which wasn't easy and then had a rest day where I ate some of the disallowed foods. I just figured that if I was going to try and do it on a long term basis then I needed to have a day every week where I could eat some of the things (like white flour pasta) that I was missing out on. I've never quite done the "off once a week thing" or outlawed processed foods, so its a bit of an experiment. That first week I gained a pound, which, I have decided to blame on PMS, yes PMS. I did lose 1/2 - 1 inch mostly everywhere. At any rate, I'm well into my 2nd week of "Operation Hawaii". That all sounds rather boring, and I hope I haven't put anybody to sleep.
Some of the ways I've broadened my horizons a little in the fitness department has been with biking. I'm even going to add it to my blogger "interests" list. Really, for some reason, I had this idea that biking wasn't real exercise. Let me tell you, biking on wet gravel and dirt while climbing hills with a baby on board BURNED BAD and I am way less cynical of biking. I also liked it because Super Catman and Moonbeam LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Moonbeam threw a big ol' hissy the first 2 days when the ride was over and refused to get out of her seat. Since I'm on my 3rd 12-hr night shift, biking with the kids in my tiny window of family time has been a good multi tasker (time with them plus exercise).
I also may have avoided the whole bike thing because I quite possibly have the most embarrassing bike known to chicks. I got it on clearance from Walmart like 10 years ago. I tried giving it away twice and it was given back to me twice - FOR REAL!! It's green, but splattered with red paint. I got the baby seat for $2 at a "Your Trash Is Also Our Trash" type outdoor sale. It was right next to some adult uh - play items. Again, not kidding. It looked like it came straight out of the 70's. I considered photographing myself and Moonbeam on it together, but I was fearful that somebody would submit the picture to's "redneck transportation" section .

Super Catman's rides aren't all that stylish either. He alternates between a variety of bikes. The first, whose seat wobbles up and down when he least expects it. It causes only occasional crashes. The next one is tiny and he can't ride it properly. The next is a girls bike which he is embarrassed to ride. I don't know what happened to his good bike, but it seems it, too, has some morbid disability. ALL OF THEM are vicious and have terrible appetites. Each one, often and unprovoked, attacks his pant legs. He has gotten to the point of rolling up one pant leg to his thigh when he rides so as to avoid getting it caught. This presents an odd image to the neighbors, who I am always hoping, do not examine our "rides" too closely. Another calamity that continually befalls the lad is that the bike chains of most of them often prefer not to associate themselves with the rest of the bike. They are snobs for sure, each and every one of them. I can't count the times he tells me to "hold up" because his bike chain has fallen off once again. Despite all this bike drama, Super Catman never complains if somebody will only take him out for a ride. After my recent rides, I was all about stealing a few minutes in my hot tub. Something about having that hot tub waiting for me seems to make work outs outdoors a little more appealing.
In other news, I have contacted my first person to interview, but I haven't heard back. Yes, this prestigious opportunity has not been accepted yet - lol. Also, Kudos to The Sock Fashion Expert who made wonderful home made whole wheat tortillas with lean wild burger for tacos. I piled on the veggies with salsa too. They made great meals while I've been working. Best wishes to you, fitness pilgrims, march on through the weekend :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let The Fun Begin!

Welcome to my new blog! I'm excited that you are reading this :-) It means that you have some interest in bettering yourself, just like I do. I'm a little bit nervous about starting a new blog, but that's okay. I've learned that I'm a happier person when I stretch my self. I bet you are too. I have fought obesity from childhood, and I am winning that war, slowly. Its my hope that I can inspire you and myself in this pilgrimage. Here are some things I'm hoping to incorporate in future posts :

1. Inspirational People and Blogs I'm hoping to do some feature stories and interviews. Many people in my life have inspired me. I'd like to share them with you.

2. Fun Fitness Adventures! I have a few of them on my side bars already.
- In the past year, I completed for the 2nd time, the 1.76 mile Long Bridge Swim.

- I convinced my ENTIRE FAMILY for the first time ever to participate in 3 and 5K's!! Several of them won places!

- I also helped organize a community women's hiking group "The Extreme Chicks". Let me tell you, its a DIVERSE group of gals and I revel in that :-)

- Throughout the year I have learned to incorporate a variety of fitness adventures into my life including Running, Hiking, Swimming, Biking, Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Snowboarding, Nordic Walking, Kayaking, Canoeing, Hunting, Back Packing, and counting. These habits did not come easily, I had to learn. I found that as I began to take joy in them, my children were close to follow. Of course, sometimes it was the other way around ;-)

3. Healthy, Whole and Clean Eating is foundational if you want to live well, as is portion control. I have dieted for as long as I can remember. Making Eating Well a way of life is something we all need to encourage each other about.

4. Weight Loss and Retention I can tell you that I have not "Arrived" there, but I will not quit trying. I have lost and kept off 41 pounds! I still have 10-15 to go. For some reason, I was entertaining the silly idea that I couldn't really inspire anybody "until I arrived" at my ideal weight. That's not true. This blog is about working together and inspiring each other.

5. Non Traditional and Thrifty Methods I am a Working Mom with 5 kids. I value my time with my children. I am continually learning the art of balanced living. You will not see me at the gym because it is over an hour away and costs more that I can afford in gas and membership fees. This means I have to find other ways. Its not impossible, only a challenge. We can chose to THRIVE in the midst of every obstacle. Its hard to afford to eat well, I know. I am on an incredibly limited budget feeding so many in an oppressed economy. Again, I have to chose to thrive with that obstacle. Over the past year here are some ways I incorporated healthy foods :
- family labor at an organic cherry orchard for trade (great exercise too).
- family huckleberry picking (again great exercise).
- living year round on hunted, organic meat (don't even get me started on the story of packing out our son's elk).
- processing large amounts of fruits and veggies when they are available at a low cost.
- buying bulk whole grains and foods.
- growing and drying spices.
- I learned about sprouting from a friend.
- I continually learn about cooking from my friend Mist, who is a whole, clean, healthy eating enthusiast and also a Hollywood California Culinary Arts Graduate.

6. Inspiring Friends and Family As I indicated on my side bar, we must empower future generations. You not only pass down your genes to your children, but your life habits as well. I am an Emergency Room RN and it grieves me to see so many premature deaths and disabilities due to lifestyle. This is my chance to make a difference.

7. Without God's Help, I could not have changed. His Supernatural Power is available to all who call upon Him and Believe. May you find that "His Burdens Are Light".

8. Overcoming Fear is important too. For instance, I was afraid to run out here on my forest roads because of mountain lions and grizzly bears. You might be afraid of creepy people in the city or of traffic. I had to realize that sitting on the couch was more dangerous to my health than taking the risk that getting off of it was. We all have to leave our comfort zones and live one the edge a little ;-) I trust God and I pack a gun. Do what you gotta do to live.

Wow!! That's a lot to promise in a first post ;-) I hope I can live up to all that. Okay, well thanks for your interest and for having read this far........ Let the fun begin!!