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Showing posts from May, 2015

Day 20: Water. Cool, clear water.

"Cool Water" is a song written in 1936 by Bob Nolan. It is about a man and his mule, Dan, and a mirage in the desert. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. (Wikipedia)

"Cool Water" "All day I face
the barren waste
without the taste of water,
cool water
Old Dan and I
with throats burned dry
and souls that cry
for water,
cool, clear, water"

Today I am focusing on water. I went for a 2 mile jog/walk with my daughter at 2:00 today.  We drank water before we left. But it was hot. I had rivulets of sweat trickling down my back.  We felt like we were crawling across the desert on the way home. A tall, cool glass of water never tasted so good!

And I really need to focus on raising my water intake.  That is one of my focuses week.  More water.

We've all heard the drink 8 glasses of water a day. But a did a little research and discovered that since I am running, especially in the heat and s…

Day 19: 6:30 a.m. "Nobody Knows But Me..."

Not much time today. Got a good 30 minute fast walk in. Listening to KBOO this morning. The program was "Unamerican Country Music". Fun lyrics. Saw a bunny and my red-winged blackbird friends.  Going to be hot today. Spending most of the day in a church, teaching piano. But first stop, breakfast with my mom! :)  The following lyrics, while rather dark struck me this morning.  Kind of Edgar Allen Poeish.  Loved the singer's voice. I think it was Don Williams this morning. But I read Johnny Cash sang this one. I will have to look that one up later - I think this would be perfect for his deep voice.  Haunting song, but gorgeous.  Fitting for my solitary walk this morning.  

Gotta run. Got to teach little fingers to play the piano! :) 

Happy Saturday! :)

"The Long Black Veil"

(Written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkins

Ten years ago on a cold dark night
A man was killed 'neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene but they all agreed
That the slayer…

Day 18: No Rest for the Wicked...errr Weary!

I am so tired! I had a late rehearsal last night. Had a glass of wine and cheese too!

Then, upon coming home felt the need to eat a big bowl of soup my daughter had made for dinner (posole...yum!)

It was a warm night. Even with the fan blowing. I don't sleep well in general, especially in the heat.  And I overslept. This morning every inch of me aches.  I really feel the need to hit the trail, but I have to teach classes this afternoon.  So I just brought out my yoga mat in the living room and did 100 crunches and some stretches.

I think I'll wear my running shoes to work and try running a bit on break or at least walking briskly to my destination.

Even though I have a lot going on over the next few weeks, I do not want to deprioritize my exercise. Because this is what is going to get me through!

I am also feeling the need for prayer as I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I will bring my thumb rosary and pray on the walk to the bus, on the bus, on the walk to wor…

Day 17: "Someday My Scale Will Budge!" (Sung to the tune of "Someday My Prince Will Come"!) :)

Seeing some results!

I woke up this morning feeling like a new woman. I may have to change my name!

Actually I like my name. My first name, that is.  Never been so big on my last name. My maiden name was Parkison. Married, (and now divorced) name Jefferson.

Maybe I will be like Cher and just have one name: Zita.

So I am sore.  But I feel stronger. Clear-headed.  I made some salads this morning and did a bunch of work around the house. Practiced my piano.  It's going to be hot today.  But I need to hit the trail. Emphasis on NEED!

I am pleased to say my thoughts are focused on physical activity and less on food today. 

I'm drinking a lot of water. Craving fresh fruits and vegetables.

I just wish the scale would budge!  In time, in time.

Today I am probably going to do more of a fast walk. I have some praying to do and it is quite warm.

Happy Thursday! :)

Day 16: Ready to Roll!

On my way to Salem this morning. Since Amtrak doesn't have as many commuter trains between Portland and Salem anymore (freight trains took over!), Amtrak contracts  with MTR Western charter buses. But I'm not complaining! I look forward to Wednesdays.  Best road nap ever! Comfy seats and free WiFi, what else could a person need?

I'm going to spend an hour at the gym today.  Back/biceps/shoulders and treadmill.

I read an article today about overzealous new runners.  They recommended taking it easy at first to avoid burnout and/or injury.  I hear that. I do understand. But, NAAAAHHHH!  I am so looking forward to my run tomorrow!

Experts say it takes 21 days to create a habit. I am on Day 16. I hope to create a running habit for life!

Still working on the eating thing, however.  Focusing on smaller portions. Lots of water.  Veggies. Fruit. Lean protein.

Gotta run...ttyl! Zita :) 

Day 15 Part 2: Prayer Walk

I set out for my run today. I find that my head is not on straight until I get in a good amount of exercise. And the trail I've been running on has become my home away from home.  The air clears my head. And the familiarity is comforting.  In addition, it is never really the same.  Different people, different birds, different feelings and thoughts within my head.

Today my heart was heavy. I actually had the foresight to bring along my thumb rosary.  I picked this up years ago at the Grotto.  I had gone for a mini personal prayer retreat and to walk the labryinth.  If you have never been to the Grotto, it is a serene place of beauty, perfect for introspection. 

I planned on doing a prayer walk this morning.  The thumb rosary helps you to keep track of how many prayers you do.

But as I tried to enter into a prayerful mode, my heart felt hardened. Toxic even.  I felt bitter.  I tried praying for family and friends. But still this bitterness.

So I ran a bit. Then I remembered an arti…

Day 15: Am I Obsessed?

Yesterday I spent several hours with my daughter.  She was home from work for Memorial Day.  I found myself distracted and cranky because I had planned on getting up, stretching, practising piano and then going for my run. I hadn't expected her to want to send the day with her mom! She needed help with a project.  I tried to fight my mood, because it was very selfish! This is my daughter who I love dearly!  Why was I thinking that I wish I was alone on the trail?  Had I become obsessed?

She noticed my mood and commented on how I did not seem to be enjoying life at the present moment.

I realized with a pang of guilt that I needed to remember that my running is to improve my health and quality of life, so that I have more to give to others! Especially my family.

My kids were raised by only me.  A very stressed out single mother. Trying to juggle more than one job, household tasks, duties of two parents in one. I am thankful they made it through childhood!  And while we are a close…

Day 14: Memorial Day

In honor of all who have died serving our country, I am taking the day off from blogging.

I did not, however, take the day off from running!

I will be back tomorrow.  

Thank you and God bless all who serve and have given their lives for our country.



Day 13: Say Goodbye to 13 Pounds!

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." ~Micah 7:7

Looking at this chart, I am proud.  But this reflects my weight over the past year.  The past 13 days is when I kicked it up into high gear with daily exercise.  3 lbs lost since I started my exercise program.  Doesn't sound like much.  But my clothes are feeling looser and I am feeling overall much better than Day 1. I am going to get a tape measure today.

I am on my way to church this morning. I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in. Still fighting some kind of bug. Drinking more water. I've been reading about ketosis, which I will blog about later. I need to definitely up the water intake.

After church, I am hitting the trail! 

I've also been advised to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Since this is Memorial Day weekend, it might be a good time to hit the sales!

I am planning on doing a good deal of prayer on my run/walk/jog today. Many things I a…

Day 12: Walking with Ducks

I am feeling better this morning!  I started drinking more water yesterday. And continued taking vitamins. So, I hit the trail:  5:55 a.m.! 

Did 2 miles. Some slow jogging and fast walking. But I did it! This from a a self proclaimed "Not a Morning Person"!

My ducks met met at the bird swamp and walked with me for a bit. Quacking up a storm they were!

I'm wondering if baby ducklings are around the bend?

I also saw a baby rabbit!

And the music was inspiring.  I heard a song, new to me called "The Sound of Sunshine" by Michael Franti.  Lovely!ANd Wiz Khalifa "See You Again".  Love it.  Very sublime, laid back music today.

Then I switched over to the Catholic radio station and listened rapt to the "Canticle of Zechariah".

Canticle of Zechariah Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of His servant David.

Through His holy prophets He promised o…

Day 11, Update

I feel much better!
Did the dishes, packed a lunch, did a load of laundry.

Then did 5 minutes of fast pedaling on the bike. I would have done more, but I'm a little worried about my racing heart and lack of time. So I got out my yoga mat. Did some stretching. Did 75 crunches! Then did the dreaded plank for 25 seconds.

Now I am recovering with my tea. I also downed some vitamins for good measure. My head feels clearer. And the guilt of my sticking to my routine has eased up somewhat!

I think I have revived myself significantly for an afternoon of teaching.

Wish me luck!

Day 11.

Feeling under the weather today.  It's a cloudy day in Portland. Usually I feel "above" the weather - which is probably why I like the overcast days!

But today, I feel like I might be coming down with a cold.  Tired, achy, headache, scratchy throat. I have to teach group piano classes this afternoon and need to do house work, piano practice, laundry.  Today is supposed to be a gym day, but I'm thinking I will work out at home to save time.

But first some hot tea. 

My fear is that my life will get overwhelming again.  I will fall behind in the basics of human existence, start to feel stress and pressure and start cutting things out of my life.  Usually it's the exercise. And then to soothe my feelings, it's overeating.

I guess awareness is a good first step right?

And I am going to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Actually, I do have some good news. Last night, after I finished teaching my last student, I felt the need to find a cozy cafe to …

Day 10 "Walk on the Water"

I met a friendly duck couple on my run/jog/walk this morning.  They let me get up close enough for this picture. And they walked with me for awhile.

I am still tired and achy today. Even more so, because my muscles are sore from the gym yesterday.  Not complaining. Just observing. Actually, I would rather be sore from activity, than from an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. Just saying! (Eh-hem...that would have been me over the last few years. Achy every morning for no reason, other than stress and eating too much of the salty foods).

Anyway, I am still working on the eating.

I had some tea this morning and a few bites of left over chicken sausage.

After the run, I made a really wonderful healthy lunch. I was happy to discover that both my son and my son-in-law had days off from work. I like to cook for others! :)

I marinated chicken breasts and drumsticks in Greek yogurt with chopped garlic, lemon juice and oregano. I let it swim in that while I went to the trail.

When I got back I b…

Day 9 YAY!! :)

So happy! Got on the scale this morning and gave myself a high five! I lost two more pounds! :)

But I am really tired and achy today. Hopefully my workout will get me through.....

Don't have time to talk - gotta hit the gym. Hard work does pay off!!!!

Day 8, II

Just got back from a 2 mile walk/jog/run on the trail. I hope to someday soon say "I just got back from a run..."! But I am pleased to report that I jogged about 1/4 mile altogether and even took it up a notch to a run for a few feet!

The tunes I found really helped, and as usualwere amusingly appropriate for today.

Here is today's Profound Playlist:

1. Heartbeat Song, Kelly Clarkson
2. College Hornpipe, YoYo Ma on Cello
3. Another One Bites the Dust, Queen
4. Gold Dust Woman, Fleetwood Mac
5. Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar
6. Unfinished String Quartet, Josef Haydn.
Note: This was lovely. I heard it on the Classical 89.9 fm station as I was heading home. Perfect ending for my workout.

Apparently Haydn was "old and weary" and near death when he composed this and apologized to his listeners. lol I've read that he was also deely spiritual. I found this quote from a letter he wrote:

"When I think upon my God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and …

Day 8! Old Habits Suck!

So I made it a week!  I think it is helpful for me to have a schedule.  Years ago, after my children grew up and moved out to seek their fortunes, I downsized and started doing housecall piano lessons.

Did I tell you I take public transportation? Long story, that. But Portland has really stellar buses and the Max train.  I sometimes feel like Mr. Magoo (I'm very near-sighted like him too!). I just start walking out the door, step on a bus, step off, walk into a house. lol!

But it was challenging at first coming up a with a schedule that allowed for travel time. I think I've got it down now.

 I actually ride the bus by choice. Well kind of. I found that with a piano teacher's salary, I would have to get a part time job to fill in the gaps between teaching terms when the kids were on break, or cut back. The last car I had was a mini van when my kids were teenagers. And with my soft heart, I found myself taxiing them and their friends around way too much.  And my life seemed…

Day 7: Vegetarian Minestrone Barley Soup, Humm Blueberry Mint Kombucha and Me!

Happy Monday!

I woke up feeling very peaceful.  I am a little sore, but walking around and stretching helps. Stepped on the scale. I think it is stuck.  But that's not going to get me stuck!

It is a beautiful spring time day here in Portland, Oregon. I am drinking my tea. The sliding glass door is open and I can hear the songs of many birds.  Earlier, I went out on the deck and did some stretching. This has become a part of my daily ritual.

This week I am going to continue with my exercise regimen, while moving up to the next level:  Portion Control.  I already eat pretty healthy, although I am guilty of occasional snack attacks.  Chips are my biggest vice.  I seriously cannot eat just one.  But the other day, as an experiment, I put a small handful of blue corn tortilla chips on a plate with salsa.  I finished my plate and did not go for a refill! (Although sadly to say, I had to go to bed early because the bag was calling my name from the cupboard!) I don't know if I could…

Day 6: II

Sunday, May 16, 2015:  204 pounds

After my rough start this morning, I am having a good day!

My plan is to post my weight every Sunday.  I think part of my bad mood was that I didn't lose a pound this week!  But I seem to have lost a chin! That, I am happy about! :)

 Plus my clothes are fitting better and my workouts are getting slightly easier.

AND I found a lovely church to worship at in the neighborhood. So close, that I can walk!  I have been trying new churches since I moved back to Portland a few weeks ago.  Today I went for the second Sunday to "The Bridge".  ( )

It is a small congregation, but the music is heartfelt and moving. The pastor is dynamic and friendly. The congregation, warm and welcoming. I like it there!

When I walked in today, they were singing  "Never Let Go".

The lyrics hit me hard today. Here they are:

You Never Let GO" is track #4 on the album Sing Like Never Before: The Essential Collection. It was written b…

Day 6: Demons!

I battled demons last night and this morning as I attempted to get fired up to run/walk.

The negative thought demons were in my thoughts and emotions. They have names.
The first one to visit me was Anxiety. And he was in rare, powerful mode. From there
came Uncertainty and his buddy Doubt.  I wrestled, I prayed. I breathed and stretched. Finally I slept.

This morning Self Pity and Depression came calling.

I almost gave in and went back to bed.  Then I remembered my blog!  But how can I blog about my health regimen with such negative thoughts and feelings?  But then I had a thought.  Perhaps this is when I most need to blog.  To keep it real.  Just like when my life is at its darkest moments I need prayer. And when I am feeling fat, lazy and worthless I need to workout!

So I hit the trail.  Gray day. I usually love these days. But I was in a funk.  I turned on my radio. Nothing but talk and commercials and really lame songs. Grrr...

Finally I found a song on Classical 89.9 that stirre…

Day 5: "Heed My Warning" RIP B.B. King

 Heed My Warning Published on Jan 28, 2013 Blues 'n' Jazz, 1983, 432Hz

"You can lead a horse to water
But you can't make him drink
You can send a kid to college
But you can't make him think
You'll never miss your water, baby
Till the well runs dry
And you'll never miss me, baby
Till I say good-bye
Mm hm, you'd better heed my warning

The straw that broke the camel's back
Didn't have to be so big
And when you ran off and left me, baby
I almost blew my wig
They say he who has the last laugh
Always laughs the best
And I'm gonna laugh louder, baby
Than all the rest
Mm hm, baby, you'd better heed
You'd better heed my warning

If you want me to get out, baby
You know you don't have to push
But you'll find a bird in hand
Is worth two in the bush
There's no need to lock the barn door
When the cow is gone
But you're gonna miss me, baby
On some frosty dawn
Mm hm, you know you'd better heed
You'd better heed my warning


Day 4. The Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Plan

A typical Portland morning in spring.  A chill in the air. A soft breeze trembles through the leaves on the trees as I gaze out the window. The sliding door is open. I can hear so many birds.  And the skies are a light gray, with some dark, ominous clouds in the distance.

I like these days. My head seems clearer. I breathe deeper.  My first thought as I get moving is that this would be a good day for a run!

But today is a busy day.  And I don't want my route to get boring.  So I am planning on doing some chores at home and then hitting the gym.

This is my evolving plan:

Mon: Gym. Weights (back/biceps), treadmill, crunches and stretching
Tue: 3.43 mile Run/walk on the trail
Wed: Gym. Weights (chest/triceps), treadmill, crunches and stretching
Thu: 3.43 mile Run/walk on the trail
Fri: Gym. Weights (Legs).  Treadmill, crunches and stretching
Sat: Off.
Sun: 3:43 mile Run/walk on the trail.

My goal is to decrease my time on the trail and ultimately run the whole route! Once I can do…

3.43 Miles, Red-winged blackbirds and my PROFOUND playlist! Thursday, 05/14/2015 2:00 p.m.

This is profound!

I just returned from a 3.43 mile walk/jog out and back on the Springwater Corrider Trail today.  It took 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Granted it was mostly walk, and bursts of pathetic little jogs on my sore feet, but I did it! I now know how long a 5K is!  My goal of course will be to run the entire thing.

But I have begun!

And you know the saying (Can you tell I love sayings, inspirational quotes, and passages from Scripture? lol):

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

However, in looking up this quote just now, I learned something interesting: 

" Although this is the popular form of this quotation, a more correct translation from the original Chinese would be "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." Rather than emphasizing the first step, Lau Tzu regarded action as something that arises naturally from stillness." [note by Mich…

Day 3: Can you say "Aaarrrrrgggh...?"

I could, if I could move my mouth! (Or any body part for that matter.)
I am in pain.

Whole body pain. 

My feet, my legs, my back, my neck, my arms, my face.

I hit the snooze alarm several times this morning.  Too sore to move.

I tell myself, "I don't have students until this afternoon.  Sleeping in might help."

Well, yes, it might help to sleep off the pain. But I want to shake off these old ways.  Work through the pain! Plus, I have to do laundry. I have a pot of beans to cook. I have a 5K to train for!

I am not a morning person. I never have been.  I have a love-hate relationship with my alarm clock. But lately if I hit the snooze and go back to sleep, I have creepy dreams and then wake up grumpy and with mega brain fog!

Time goes by whether I make changes or not. And at 53, I really don't have any time to waste. Do any of us really know how much time we have left on the clock of life? I think I need this clock:

I grabbed my Kindle, which I keep near my be…

My First Race Goal!

This is PhysiQ, my gym in Salem.  Today I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, 53 crunches and some chest and biceps work.

Feeling good!

So I've been thinking.  Planning ahead works for me. And since I am making my health a priority, I am making my first run goal.  

I think I will start with a 5K. A 5K is 3.1 miles. I know I can walk that.  I walk about that distance every day. But as I mentioned in my previous post, running is a different matter.  Running hurts. Running is hard! Running requires concentration.

But I know this already. I've got this!

So, I found a 5K run that takes place in September in Boring, Oregon!  (For those of you not from these parts, Boring is really a city! And it is quite lovely!)

The runs in Boring go to a very good cause. They benefit the track and field programs at the high school and middle school. And they have clever names for the runs: Like "Boring Marathon", "Half-Boring Half-Marathon", and "Not Even Close to Boring 5K…

Day 2 Bus Musings

Proverbs 3:13-17New International Version (NIV)13  Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding, 14  for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17  Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace."

On my way to Salem. I need to talk about food. A big part of my life improvement journey involves what and how I eat. I will blog about this subject dear to my heart, mouth and stomach when I get home tonight.

BUT...Typing on this bus is giving me motion sickness = not a happy tummy!
See you later!