Friday, September 28, 2012

Two weeks... slow start but learning.

It's been a little over two weeks since I started our Chairman's Health Challenge at work. And while it's been a slow start, I feel like I've learned some things already that will help me on my journey.

Some things I've done well:
  1. I'm doing a good job of keeping up with tracking my food. Weight Watchers makes this easy, of course, with their online tools and mobile apps. And it's easy to see where I could save my points.
  2. I've made some good choices, particularly at breakfast and lunchtime during the week.
  3. I'm doing a better job of bringing my lunch to work. Not every day, but moreso than before. Which reminds me, it's the end of the month, so I need to rescue my salad dressing from the refrigerator before it gets tossed.
  4. I did a Zumba routine this week and had a blast.
Some things I could do better:
  1. I made a few bad breakfast choices, particularly on Sunday morning when we leave the house extremely early and generally have to eat on the go. I could certainly do better with some fat-free Greek yogurt or other portable non-restaurant foods.
  2. Snacking less. Snacking at my desk during the day is a killer.
  3. Weekends in general. It's too easy to just splurge on the weekend, and those points really add up. Two weekends ago I used all my extra weekly points in just two days.
  4. Get moving more. Find some time to walk, either early in the mornings, at lunchtime, or after work. And of course, more Zumba!
At the end of week two, I'm down a pound. But hey, every pound counts.

The good news is I have things I can deliberately improve upon for next week. And tomorrow I plan to take the bike out and burn some calories on one of the local, flat trails.

Onward and upward!

P.S. I forgot to say thank you so much for all your encouraging notes!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today, AT&T's chairman issued all employees a Health Challenge, to set a goal (actually a TARGET) and work toward it for the next six months.

I decided to take him up on that. Guess that mean's I'm going to have to get serious about eating right and exercising.

My specific goal is to lose 30 pounds in six months following the Weight Watchers online program and participate in a 5k event somewhere along the way.

Here's why I'm doing it:
  1. I was already overweight and gained 30 more pounds after getting married 6 years ago.
  2. I'm tired of having hundreds of pieces of clothing in my closet that I can't fit into any more.
  3. My two grandfathers and one grandmother died in their 60s or 70s of heart-related issues. That age seems to be approaching more rapidly every day.
  4. My dad, turning 71 this year, has already had two heart attacks and a triple bypass. (counting on my mom and grandmother's genes... both healthy as horses and Granny Dot made it to 93!)
  5. My last physical indicated elevated triglycerides, a precursor to diabetes. Time to get that under control.
  6. I failed the "atheletic" part of the corporate athlete assessment. Miserably. Everything else was great!
  7. I'm tired of being tired all the time, out of breath when walking out to my car, etc.
  8. I'm completely lazy, but I figure if I put myself out there in front of thousands of co-workers, I'll truly be committed and there'll be no backing out of it. With this blog, I'm out there in front of the WORLD with the same goal!
Here's what I need from you (my friends and co-workers) to be successful.
  1. Encouragement. Just knowing you're on my side will help.
  2. Lack of temptation. Weight Watchers will give me flexibility to splurge now and then, but I can't do it every day. Don't bring me a cookie and I won't be tempted to eat it.
  3. I'd say a training partner, but I wouldn't wish my schedule on anyone, so pairing up will be hard. But maybe virtual partners would work... we can keep each other posted on progress.
  4. I don't know yet but I'm sure there's more!
Anyway, there it is. I'm committed and I'll probably blog some of my feelings along the way. Say a prayer for me that this actually works and maybe next time you see me, I'll be approaching a more healthy weight and level of fitness.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Missing Someone I've Never Met

Do you think it's possible to miss someone you've never met?

Those of you who know this story, bear with me for a second. My husband and I met briefly, once, three years ago, then didn't speak again for a year. When we met again, we almost immediately fell in love, and six weeks later were married. It's been a wonderful journey ever since. As we learn more and more about each other, our love grows stronger. I feel blessed every day that this man is in my life.

My husband's parents died well before we met, in the mid 90s. They died way too young, in their 50s.... they'd be nearly the same age as my parents if they were alive today. I've seen pictures and heard stories, but never knew them. I think about this when my friends struggle with their in-laws... we're blessed in that my parents and John love and accept each other, and there's rarely an argument as to where to spend holidays.

But I would trade all of that for a chance to meet and get to know the people that raised my husband, that shaped him into the man he is today. The father that moved his family around Texas and finally to Georgia in an effort to provide for his family. The mother who nurtured her son's musical gifts that allowed him to become an accomplished musician and performer.

The other night I was watching my husband get ready for bed, going through all the adorable little rituals he does, and wondered if I would have recognized things about him that come from his parents. Did he inherit from one of them the serious ambition and talent that makes him a wonderful administrator and organizational leader? What about the charming personality and courtesy that makes new people feel at ease? From which does his musical talent come? or from both? Do his hands look like his dad's hands? Where does that great, bellowing laugh come from?

I thought about his mother. Is she watching ? Is she proud of him, the sweet, sensitive, caring, talented, successful man he turned out to be? Does she approve of the way he lives his life now? Is she happy that we have ended up together? Would she have liked the wife I've become? My cooking? The way I keep house (or don't keep house, as the case may be)? Am I taking good enough care of her little boy?

I want so much to know more about them both. I can pick up clues from John himself, and from his sisters... their sweetness and sensitivity, their courage and sense of humor, their intelligence ambition, their musical talents, their beauty. I've also heard snippets about them from John's grandmother, John's mom's mother, hanging in there at 96 with a head clear enough to share stories. But it's not enough.

I want John's mom and dad to be a part of our lives. To come over for holiday dinners. To hang out and get to know my parents. To tell me stories about the first six years of John's life, before his sisters came along. There aren't many folks left who can shares those stories with me. My knowledge of my husband will never be 100 percent complete because John Sr. and Patricia can't be here to fill in the blanks. I want to say thank you for being the people they were, so that my husband could become the man that he is.

My missing them became startlingly clear this past week, when John was suffering a cold. As I soothed Vick's Vapor Rub on his chest, he said, "I miss my Mom."

I know, baby. I miss her too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Economic Stimulus vs. Excess Spending

Most people who know me know that in the beginning, I was a Bush supporter, and that part of me still is. That I believe he took bold and necessary moves to protect the country after one of the only attacks on U.S. soil in our history. Americans were MURDERED on our own soil doing what we do every day, not harming others. And he took steps to address it and prevent more attacks.

And I continue to believe in President Bush and support most of the decisions he made. Call me naive, but I believe he made decisions that he thought were best for protecting the U.S. and our citizens, based on the information he had at the time. In fact, I believe on some level most politicians have the best intentions at heart for their constituents.

But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And now the good intentions of our current administration are going to drive us even further down the road of economic turmoil and runaway government spending.

The current economic stimulus package before the Senate for consideration is NOT an economic stimulus package. It is a package full of porkbarrel spending that will do NOTHING to stimulate the economy and EVERYTHING to further drive up the national debt and create even MORE dependence on government.

Economic stimulus happens when plans are put in place to create long-term, viable solutions. Not opportunistic spending that will have no real impact on the economy, short or long term.

What we need is REAL economic stimulus.

Economic stimulus happens when businesses and other employers are incented to create and keep jobs in America.

Economic stimulus happens when businesses and other employers are free to manage their business without the fear of being held hostage by union fear and intimidation tactics.

Economic stimulus happens when Americans are free to create and innovate.

Economic stimulus happens when entrepreneurs have the resources to pursue their dreams.

Economic stimulus happens when companies can invest profits into research and development, marketing, sales, service delivery, and growth.

Economic stimulus happens when Americans have more money in their pockets to buy houses, or consumer goods, or invest in the stock market.

How can we make all this happen? There's one simple answer, and that is to simplify our tax structure and allow more money to stay out of government hands and in the private sector.

Business are accountable to their owners. They either create profits and return them to their owners, or they go out of business. Governments have no such accountability.

Business must constantly change, update, create and innovate. Governments have no such accountability.

Businesses create and sell products and services that customers want and need. They are governed by the laws of supply and demand.

Government holds no such responsibility or accountability.

Where would you rather invest your money?

I believe major tax reform is the answer. I fear that our country is so fearful of change and the unknown that they are unwilling to consider the possibilities that can be created by started from scratch.

That's how we can create some REAL economic stimulus.

Why I created this blog

Hello! Welcome to my blog! Thanks for reading! Even though I know about blogs and how they work, I have no idea who will read this and when. But I hope to share a thought or two that connects with somebody for whatever reason, and they have a better day because of it.

Because this is a random thoughts blog, be ready for just about anything. Social topics, political topics, arts and entertainment topics, reality TV... like I said, just about anything.

Enjoy the blog!