Fait Accompli

Behold the glory of a renovated yard and a refreshed woman. We got a huge help in the yardwork department from my dear friend, the avid gardener, I think I thanked her 17 times. She was able to make it go faster, and she knew how to cut things back, and how to rip out the roses. Thanks again, K! We spent two days weeding, planting and mulching. Over the course of those days I confirmed - quelle surprise - I hate yardwork. Hate. it. Perhaps I should change my system of weeding only once a year whether it needs it or not? That might help. My snarky neighbors who spend 4 hours a week in their yard said my plan to grow giant shrubs to cut down on weeding time won't work. We'll show them!

Before and after:

The Dandelion Circus

Scary Spider Habitat in the ivy:

Sad, sad bed looking for some room to breathe:

Overgrown bushy tree thingy(that's the techinical term) and dying rose bush:

And now, Willow tree happiness!

Trimmed down the star flower bush into a tree shape, and ripped out the dying roses:

Au revoir, ivy!

Grow, shrubbies, grow! And lavender. Breathing room for you!

My other great accomplishment - not eating all day on my vacation. I lost a little weight, and feel great. I was really concerned that I would find myself bored and munchy and eating things I shouldn't. But I didn't! For one thing, I wasn't bored. For another, I made sure I had good things for me to eat in the house, as well as making meals. I am so proud of myself, I can't even explain it in colorful terms - I just ate when I needed to, and focused on fresh. I'm planning my menu for the week and plan to keep up this eating only when I need to train, because its the right thing to do, sister. Sunday cooking commences, for a stellar week. Returning to work will not be easy, but mama needs some money.


HYC Check In

Rejuvenation Vacation Day 1, down. I picked the perfect week, temperatures in the 80's all week. and I've got the sunburn to prove it. I'm getting back to basics, having loaded the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, and I'm planning my meals and have dates with old friends and walking my dog in the early morning when it is still cool enough for him (and me!). I'm loving being home in the evening with my husband, having gotten exercise out of the way. Life is so very good when I take care of myself in a healthy way instead of eating garbage to comfort myself. It's so simple to be well, and yet I still fall sometimes. I was not brave enough to face the scale this morning. I will tomorrow, remembering that the damage will be undone, its not impossible!


Rejuvenation vacation! And a salad

Who is the most responsible office worker - it's my last day in the office for a whole glorious week, and I'm typing a blog entry. Not good!

I'm approaching the week as a time for rejuvenation. On my list

  • Weed my GD yard. I loathe weeding. Have roped in the husband to a full day on Sunday, so we can just call it good. Planting shrubs, laying down mulch and building a fence for the tomatoes. Fun!
  • Creating my new menu for jump starting weight loss. I am so good about exercising. I mean really good. Its not an issue to work it into my day, the issue is telling myself that the exercise justifies extra snacks. Although that's a lie! It does not. Must start restricting extras. Bleh.
  • Reading in the hammock - the weather here has been pitch perfect - high 70's. I could even take a wee bit hotter. Please don't let typing these sentences call forth rain.
  • Purging clutter. I can tell my eating is in discord partially because I am on my cycle, I am worn out and tired, but also, the disarray - I need to clean up my environment - too too messy!
  • Visiting friends - I hope!
  • Eating watermelon. Making watermelon popsicles. And possibly a watermelon mojito. In the hammock? Oh yeah, baby.

I also made myself the most delicious salad this week. Cobbled together from what was in the fridge, and modified from a recipe I saw elsewhere. Make it. Make it now. It is delicious - creamy and crunchy and fresh, but if you mash up the garbanzo beans, I'm told it could sub as a mock chicken salad filling in a pita pocket. However you eat it, you'll be glad.

Garbanzo bean salad - serves 2

1 1/2 cups Garbanzo Beans
1 cup Celery Hearts (about 3 stalks)
1 cup Savoy Cabbage
1 cup Cabbage, Red, Raw
1/2 cup Orange Bell Pepper
2 tbsp Sour Cream
1 tbsp Mayo
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp dried Dill Weed

  1. Rinse and drain well, 1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, or cook enough dry to yield 1.5 cups.
  2. Crush the garbanzo beans a little with a potato masher, or your hands. Or leave whole, the mashing is best for a sandwich filling.
  3. Dice celery, and bell pepper
  4. Shred cabbages to equal 2 cups
  5. Mix beans and veggies together in a large bowl
  6. In a small bowl, cream together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour dressing over salad, stir well.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Yes, I used high fat dressing ingredients - I was out of plain yogurt. And fat, she satiates me.

Nutrition facts:

Amount per Serving
Calories 314
Calories from Fat 95.0
Total Fat 10.55g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Cholesterol 12.5mg
Sodium 276.25mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.56g
Dietary Fiber 6.66g
Sugars 13.07g
Protein 11.81g


HYC Check In

Bonjour au Canada! I was working in Vancouver, BC the past couple of days, and now find myself with a few hours to kill until my flight. A perfect time to get caught up on blogs and a little mental menu planning.

My personal outlook has improved, thankfully. I had a very productive conversation with my manager about where to move forward in my career development. I am so lucky that she's willing to work with me.

I am truly looking forward to taking a week off next week. Time to recharge and renew - and some hammock time to boot! And time to iron out a better meal plan. My body is a little sponge, so time to really cut out the refined things that it doesn't like.


The Girl Who ate Bacon and Cheese at noon

I am a medical miracle. Yesterday I hit a low place - not in the scale, but in eating. I always, always, always bring my lunch to work. If for some reason I can't, I have a salad or a light soup - I'm always trying to do what's right. Yesterday, I was like eff it, I'm having a sandwich. With Swiss cheese, bacon, and bleu cheese. Oh, and some chicken, lettuce and tomato. I was having lunch with a colleague to help me get off the wah-mbulance and make some positive changes in my work life, and I just thought -I should get the salad - I don't want the salad. It also came with fries, of which I only ate a few - look at me, I am restraint personified! And I ate the whole damn thing. Sometimes I need to just eat what I want. Foolish? You betcha.

I was planning on a gym night anyway, but now knew that I had to step it up in the strength department. I did 20 min on the elliptical, my full strength routine, and then finished with some core stuff. The whole time, it was as though I was clicking undo over and over again in a frenzy. Also, I didn't do any strength training at all last week, and I expected to find the exercises super challenging - but I could still do it - hooray. I went home, ate my fabulous Asian coleslaw, and some melon and called it a night.

I am telling this long story because... I always weigh more the morning after a strength training workout. Always. This morning, I was 2 pounds lighter than yesterday. Oh the scale, she messes with me, everytime. And thus concludes the tale of the foolish girl who ate bacon and cheese at noon.


HYC Check In - Disenchanted

I am suffering from a case of the doldrums. Losing that job was way more devastating to me than it should have been. I'm feeling a little lost, disenchanted with the way things are. And as my Mom always says, you can feel sorry for yourself for a day, then you have to make a list of what needs to be done, and then do it. In health news, I had a good week exercise-wise and food-wise, with 2 planned indulgences at social outings. Not too bad! Still no movement on the scale, of course.

So here's my plan of attack list for feeling better remedies.
  • Plan a 1,400 calorie meal plan - more on that later
  • Take a week's vacation even though Mr. Black can't go anywhere - spend it cooking, reading, visiting, enjoying the weather, cleaning up the cluttered areas in my house, and exercising.
  • Spend time with my family and friends, and my fun little dog
  • Send out some loves. It sounds cheesy, but when I am feeling blue, I find the best thing to do is to send out some gifts or notes to the people in my life that I love.

I hope everyone is having a great week.


HYC Check In

Here I am, two days late, with the same old, same old. I had a low-exercise, heavy eating weekend. Not a good combination. And man, by Tuesday, I could feel the difference it made I felt bloated and sluggish. I would like to say in my defense, that I had my wedding anniversary (do you say wedding or marriage? Seems like it should be marriage, but I always say wedding.) and we went to an Italian restaurant where I had a not so lean protein, but also grilled veggies and polenta, instead of pasta. But the chocolate creme brulee had me undone. It was worth every pound I'm carrying today! Tuesday evening I returned to the gymnasium and felt like a fool - it was 80 something degrees and gorgeous, and there I am exercising indoors. But that night I had a good night's sleep and felt good about taking a rest day on Wednesday, because I had to be at work at 6:30 am on Thursday, and I wanted to eat dinner in the backyard with my husband. So there.

I am starting to feel like my updates here are like an alcoholic who gets drunk every night and then says "No, sherioushly, I'ma gone get betters." and then passes out. I'm not binge eating, which is good, I've cut back on the candy - but not entirely - and I am still planning my meals. So what's doing me in? The extras. The wine with dinner, the handful of pretzels and mini babybel cheese for a snack that I love, and sometimes ice cream. I think that the last year and a half of being stuck at one number has got me into a maintenance mode. I think I'm going to have to really start saying no to the extras. It will be like my own little EXTREEEEME sport. Extreme dieting. Because ya'll know I can only say no to the cheese for so long, so it is a diet, not a lifestyle change for right now. Thank heavens for the fruit, the fruit! I love summer fruit.


Let's Hear it for Number Two!

On Friday I found out officially that I did not get the job. When I walked out of my interviews on Wednesday, I could tell that I didn't ace them. There was one question that was my nail in the coffin. At least, I think there was only one - who knows, I may have bombed every question! Luckily, I was able to get some feedback from the head woman. They decided to hire a woman that has the experience and ideas that they need. I knew my lack of experience would be a problem, but was hopeful that they would be willing to grow my skills, since I know the office and industry so well. Dude, I made it through 4 levels of interviewing - that is nothing to sneeze at!! Thinking about it now, I realize that I should have focused on preparing some ideas for them, to show that I am willing to try it - also, being an insider to the company, I really should have taken the opportunity to use my inside knowledge to show how I would use the resources we have. I was looking toward let's talk about my skills, and how I can be influential with the relationships I already have. Now I know what to do next time.

Although I understand their choice - they'd rather focus on teaching someone our office and database rather than teaching someone marketing - it is still disappointing. I felt hurt and frustrated by the rejection. Like I don't have any special skills and that I'm not worth developing. So I was a cry baby for a little while - but now I'm moving on to the positives.

The good stuff is this. I've been noticed! The head woman told me I was their second choice - even compared to the other 2 candidates who had a lot of marketing experience. I specifically asked if she thought I was a wasting their time, and she said no - she was very impressed with me, and said that all four people I interviewed with were impressed by me. She said she was glad to get to know me better, and she was glad I applied, because she liked that I think outside the box, and am willing to learn new things, and that she wants to work with my current manager to help get me where I need to be. Also, the HR recruiter said that she thought I did very well, and she'd like to give me some feedback about what I did correctly, and talk about where to go from here. That's going to be a fantastic conversation!

I know I'm not going to go to my grave thinking about my career - my family and friends and health are so much more important. But there's no shame in looking for a little fulfillment outside the home. I hope all of you are spending time with those you love this weekend!