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Showing posts from November, 2015

Day 205: A Change of Plans

So, I was really tired last night. I made a nice meal of beef short ribs marinated in maple syrup, cider vinegar and olive oil. Baked on low for two hours. Served it with coleslaw and beets.

I was planning on laying down in bed and reading at 8:00, but ended up falling asleep. I was really excited about getting up early and hitting the gym before Mass. But, alas, my sleep disorder kicked in.

I woke up with a start at 11:30 p.m., thinking it was already morning. Wide awake! Brain racing. So I read and did some web surfing.  Tried everything. Prayed, counted sheep, tried different sleeping positions. Got up and had a glass of water.

Wide. Awake. Staring at ceiling.

I think I finally nodded off around 3:00 a.m.!

One really good thing about my insomniac night is that I found a run I'd like to aim for! I remember back in the day, when I first starting writing this blog, I had set a goal for a 5K. But I didn't follow through. I ended up switching from jogging on the trail to walking…

Update: A Scathingly Brilliant, Savagely Brave New Plan!

I am at the gym. About to jump on the elliptical for 30 minutes of cardio.

I had been mulling over my upcoming winter schedule. When lo and behold, I suddenly  noticed that the gym opens up at 5:00 a.m. on weekdays.

Hmmm... what if?

NO! I couldn't possibly!

But wait, maybe I could try- A 6:00 A.M. Workout on weekdays before Mass? It would allow me to schedule some much needed piano practice before my afternoon students. Plus, how gloriously SAVAGE to work out at the break of dawn.

ARRrrr!! Practicing my savage pirate cry of victory!

To be continued mateys...!

Day 204: Advent and Inner Peace

Beautiful morning! Cold, but beautiful!

I am getting ready to go to Mass. 

Today is the first day of Advent.

"In the Catholic Church, Advent is a period of preparation, extending over four Sundays, before Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, "to come to," and refers to the coming of Christ."

"Advent was first recorded about 380AD in Spain. By the 6th century, there are records of monks in Tours (in France) holding a pre-Christmas fast. By end of the 6th century, the four Sundays before Christmas had commonly become known as Advent Sundays."

For me, Advent is a time for self-examination. To prepare myself for Jesus to come into my life (again).  I do a lot of self-examination. But I think I look at myself more honestly at this time of year. Perhaps, because of the cold, the darkness, and the pressure from our culture to …

Day 203: Pound!

I decided against the crack tots for our Thanksgiving II dinner.

Instead, I opted for a tomato, cucumber, parsley and onion salad with a lemon, garlic, olive oil vinaigrette. I also bought  some gluten free quinoa pasta and gluten free English muffins. My mom was bringing spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread and pumpkin pie. I had to arm myself. Heavily. My mother usually brings enough food to feed an army.

I woke up with a smile on my face yesterday.  Yes, I felt full from our Thanksgiving I Feast. But I felt relatively free of the usual regret that holiday family meals

And I was excited to go to the gym!

Wow.  Things have changed in my life! :)

I spent some time snuggling with Honey Dog in the morning, getting caught up on Facebook, emails and updated my blog. Then I made a rice bowl with a bit of leftover turkey and green beans on top.

Then I bundled up and walked to the bus stop. There was a bit of a wait, so I stopped at the little coffee cart across the street. I had a soy lat…

Day 202: The Morning After (Or the Tossing of the Rolls)

I survived!

I made it through Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's house!  I stepped on the scale this morning and it showed one pound gain.  I'm ok with that.

Because I showed restraint and self control. But I did enjoy the dinner! I also noticed I was able to mingle and socialize more freely since I wasn't glued to the food table.

I had a few moments.  When my son and I arrived, the meal was still being prepared.  The appetizers were set out.  My pulse quickened. I spied crackers, chips, dips, and cheese.  Before I could pause and breathe, my greedy little hand swooped up a piece of cheese.  I had planned on having a little appetizer plate with a few choice items. And not going back for seconds. But I didn't see any little plates. And I was getting a little anxious. So I walked away!

I visited with my brother, who hosts the Thanksgiving meal each year. He goes all out. He had ham and turkey.  Usually he brines the turkey himself, but my sister-in-law said they cheated …

Thanksgiving Update: Before and After Pics. GOD IS GREAT!

Note: I am bursting with joy! Just returned from the trail where I walked two miles with my daughter. It is a crisp, cold, glorious, sunny morning. As I am posting this, the song "How Great is Our God" began playing on

How great He is indeed!

Day 201: Just Say No to Crack Tots!

It is Thanksgiving Eve.  So really, it is still Day 200. But I had some moments of profundity. If that is a word.  I'll have to look it up.  But first, I need to get this typed. I will post it in the morning. On the "real" Day 201! (Note: "pro·fun·di·ty: deep insight; great depth of knowledge or thought."
So, it just occurred to me that the number 200 has taken on a new significance for me.  A positive one!  For many years, up until June 15, 2015 I weight 200+ pounds.  I felt fearful when I first saw that number on my scale. Then ashamed. Then depressed. Then I got mad and told myself I was still beautiful. I couldn't help it if my metabolism had slowed down after I had children and began to get older.  I started to embrace the initials BBW.  I was big and beautiful!

But after awhile, I was not feeling so beautiful. Or healthy.  I desired to be fit. And full of energy.  For me, 200+ was not ideal.

I have the number 140 in mind as my …

Day 200: Blogging is My Buoy

I am sitting here looking at this number with a big grin on my face.

200 days.

Me.  Sticking with a program for 200 days!

I am actually glad I did not do my stats on Monday, my very bad, no good, miserable day.

Because today is a landmark day.  I can compare my stats today with where I began 200 days ago.

I feel really good about my progress, but most of all my new found discipline.  But I have by no means "arrived".  200 is just a number.

I don't have any idea how far I will take this.  I mean if I reach my ideal weight of 140 pounds will I then stop planning my meals? I think not!

I do know that I need to keep exercise as a top priority.

And my brain work is exhilerating!

I have so much more growing to do. I don't plan on ever being "done".

So for now, this is an open-ended blog.  I will keep sharing my life online, for whoever wants to read.

It has become my buoy.  Those times when I feel I might sink in despair, worry, and self hatred, this blog keeps m…

Day 199: A Glimpse of Paradise

Day 199 baby!

I am going to keep this short. I am heading out to the the gym and then teach some students. There is speculation of ice and/or snow tonight, so I am going to come straight home afterwards. 

We were given a couple of ginormous zucchinis, so I am going to make stuffed zucchini for dinner. I might get some fish to go along.

I allowed myself a morning of rest. I needed to outsleep my negativity. I woke up several times really early, with racing thoughts and sore muscles.  But then I refocused on pleasant thoughts and purposely stayed in bed.

This helped alleviate the guilt of oversleeping. I PURPOSELY stayed in bed!

Then I got up and did some laundry and some bible reading and journaling. 

My plan for today is:

Grocery Store
Make a healthy dinner and eat before 7:00 p.m.
Practice piano, read and relax!

There have been more acts of violence as usual.  I am not going to turn away. I want to stay informed. I will keep praying and keep learning, but then I wi…

Day198: Turmeric Tea

Today is Day 198.  In a few days I will have been on this self-improvement journey for 200 days! 

Nearly 7 months.

What is slightly alarming is that Thanksgiving is in 4 days.  Our family is actually having a Thanksgiving I and a Thanksgiving II so that we can get everyone together.  A feast on Thursday at my brother's house. A feast on Friday at our house.  Yikes!

Should I just throw caution to the wind and enjoy the festivities?  Or should I be THAT annoying person who doesn't eat gluten, or desert? I do notice that I need to work on portion control. Always.

But my biggest fear is...dum, dum DUM...the appetizer table!  I have a serious issue with social gatherings. I get really nervous and then make a beeline for the food to hide my discomfort. But I am hyper aware this year. And I hope well armed. 

But I don't have a solid plan in place yet. I do much better with a plan.  My first thought is use a little plate for appetizers. Allow myself a few chips and dip.  And then …

Day 197: La Bamba!

It is 5:59 a.m. Sunday morning. I just posted a very lengthy post that I was mulling over yesterday.

I think I will catch a little more sleep before I start my day.

I feel good getting all that thought off my chest.  But I need a good gym workout and some fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of water today. Yesterday after rehearsal, I was exhausted and feeling the need for comfort and solitude. So I went out for dinner. I had a lovely meal at "La Bamba", a friendly, little Mexican restaurant nearby.  You can't miss it. The building is painted bright pink! A beef tamale, black beans, rice and guacamole. I even had a glass of wine!

But I haven't been eating late meals much on this journey. It is sitting like a load of bricks.  I think I will be best served by more rest and starting the day fresh.

I'll continue this later.... :)

Happy Sunday!

Day 196: An Epiphany

I've had a bit of an epiphany.

("Epiphany: A moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way".

I signed onto the internet early Saturday morning while I was working up the motivation to get out of bed.  I opened Facebook. And this article caught my eye:
"Paris terror attacks: Why social media is turning us into idiots Paris massacre demands an intelligent response, not social media stupidity, writes Bryony Gordon" (

And the discontent and irritation I have been feeling lately surfaced.

I've mentioned many times how much I love to read, but I need to clarify that much of my reading is often mind numbing, emotionally soothing reading that is addictive in nature.  I need to admit that I skim.  I speed read. I do not go deep enough.

For years, …

Day 195: Five Years of Fridays....

"You do not have to move mountains today. Start with a small rock or two and repeat. Stay focused on the small stones and the mountain will take care of itself". ~ 21 Day Companion Workbook to Begin with Yes, Paul S. Boynton

I am on day 13 of Paul S. Boynton's  21 Day Companion Workbook to Begin with Yes. As you can probably tell by now, I am a big fan of workbooks, graphs, lists and journals.  In my humble opinion, the minutes of our lives tick by whether we are conscious, active, or doing nothing at all. I choose to do something!  But I can get so scattered. Keeping track keeps me on track and also allows me to review my progress.  I wish I had stuck to this my whole life! But now is a good time.

Speaking of graphs, I just reviewed five years of Fridays on my weightcommander site.  Granted, I was not always so disciplined (or ready to be faced with) my weight loss journey.  But I am pleased to announced that today I am 39 pounds lighter than I was about this same tim…

Day 194: Butter Chicken!

Yesterday I took the Amtrak down to Salem to teach. I hadn't been to Salem in over two weeks. It was nice to just hop on a bus and head south, looking out the window, read, pray, ponder, all the while wearing my comfy slipper socks!
I took this picture of them at home. Honey Dawg photobombed me. :)    
I tried to take a picture on the bus, but the lighting was not good and I was getting strange looks from fellow passengers.
It was a lot dryer today. And warmer too. But on the way back home, the rain started back up again.  Pretty heavy rain. So it was a nice long, cozy, warm drive back home. While I was in Salem, I walked and just enjoyed the peace. It is very quiet there.  It kind of reminds my of  "Pleasantville", except I wish the buses ran more often and covered more territory. I stopped for lunch at my little Indian buffet restaurant on State Street. I was pleased to discover they had remodeled and changed ownership since I had last been in. They have many more dis…

Day 193: Slipper Socks!

I nearly drowned yesterday. Ok. I exaggerate. But Portland, Oregon, known for it's continuous drizzle, was hit by a rain and windstorm yesterday.  Felt like a monsoon.

I was so happy I had my new bubble umbrella. I need to get a picture to show you!

I do have to be careful with it. My temptation is to pull it all the over my head to keep as dry as possible, especially when the wind is driving the rain at my sideways! But then visibility becomes an issue.

Still working it out.  I was not dressed for the weather yesterday.  I wore leggings a long sleeved shirt, over a tank top. A hooded vest over the shirt. A fleece coat over all of that. Gloves.  A neck scarft.

I was so happy that I made it to the gym, even for a short workout. But then halfway through my day, my attitude started to plummet.

I had to cancel my last student of the day.  Down by Reed College. Standing water everywhere. High winds. Water pelleting me sideways. I gave up and went to Laughing Planet for soup and salad a…

Day 192: Mmmm....I LOVE Me a Frittata! :)

I love making frittatas. It's so simple, healthy and impressive looking!

Today Frittattas of the Day has sauteed mushrooms, potatoes, onion, garlic, butternut squash and kale.  I just through them in the skillet with a bit of olive oil. Everything was leftover except for the mushrooms, so it only took a few minutes to warm everything up. Then I whisked 5 eggs with some almond milk and poured it in the skillet, and topped it off with some shredded mozzarella cheese. I cooked it until it firmed up - about 7 minutes. Then I put the skillet in the oven and broiled it until the top was golden brown.

It slices up nicely, like a quiche!

Happy tummy!

I am determined to have a happy day. This cloud of doom and negativity that has been with me is eating into my soul. I am grieving the loss of innocent life. I am worried about my family and the future of our world. But in the meantime I have a life to live.

I am attempting to limit my online time, especially Facebook. I had a timer set for …

Day 191: Update - Monday's Good News (Better than CNN!)

I finally got down off of my soapbox. And now I realize it is Monday, and I haven't weighed and measured!

So without further adieu, here are today's stats as compared to last week:

Today's Stats: November 10, 2015 BP 95/81 Pulse: 78 Weight: 187 lbs. Neck: 14" Chest: 43"  Waist: 37" Hips: 43" Thighs: 22" Biceps: 13" Calves: 15" Ankles: 9"

Today's Stats: November 10, 2015 BP: 113/93 Pulse: 75 Weight: 188 lbs. Neck: 14" Chest: 43"  Waist: 37" Hips: 44" Thighs: 22" Biceps: 13" Calves: 15" Ankles: 9" Well this is good news! Maybe I will just look back through my blog instead of turning on CNN tonight when I get home.  :) Peace, Zita

Day 191: Praying IS Doing Something

I got really stressed out last night. My heart was pounding and my head felt like it was going to explode.

There was no impending danger. No argument. I was on Facebook.

The recent terrorism in France looks like it is the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  Opinions are flying like fruit flies all over the internet. Especially social media.

I have so many feelings, and worries. But part of me is afraid to say what I really think.

I am afraid of being criticized, condemned or (gasp!) the dreaded "unfriended".

I am ashamed of my need for approval. So I signed off.

Interestingly enough, about that same time, my son-in-law turned off the television. He was watching the Republican debate. He said it was giving him anxiety. There were too many candidates.  Too much going on. Hard to discern the truth.

That is my general feeling these days.  How do we discern the truth?  The internet was a remarkable invention.  I LOVE information. The library is my favorite place. …

Day 190! Gloves for Cold People. Gift Cards for Hungry People!

I am blogging from the library. Have a quick break before my next student. This is like a few minutes of heaven - library is one of my favorite places to be!

I've had a wonderful day so far. The air is cold and I saw some hail, but it is so refreshing. My skin and hair seem to be soaking in all that moisture!

I started the day with breakfast with one of my best friends and another lady who I used to work with. We had a grand time!

Then I taught a student and headed to the gym! I did a good brisk walk on the eliptical for about 1.5 miles.  Then I had a nice lunch and taught  another student.

After my last student of the day, I am headed to the store to get some mushrooms. I'm thinking mushroom quesadillas, beans and rice for dinner. Plus, I am going to pick up some more gloves for cold people and some gift cards for hungry people.

Happy Sunday! :)

Day 189: Je Suis Paris

"The continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do" -C S Lewis
Read more at I am so glad today was Saturday. My heart was heavy after the news of the violence in France yesterday.  Mass was where I wanted to be.

Saturday mass at St. Ignatius Catholic church is a small, but very devout prayerful group.  We prayed for the victims in France.  We prayed for violence to cease and suffering to end all over the world. Then we joined hands and recited the Lord's prayer.

When it was time to pass the peace we hugged.  Everyone's eyes were filled with tears.

I walked for awhile afterwards.  Crying.  It felt good to let it out.  Every time an act of violence erupts, I grieve. And then I want to be a better, kinder person.  But after the dus…

Day 188: Yay for Beans!

My daughter called last night. She and her husband want to save money on the food budget. She asked if I would pick up some beans and brown rice on my way home.
 I was thrilled. I love saving money on food, love beans and rice and was ecstatic that my oldest offspring was wanting to collaborate with me! She even asked me to teach her how to make a proper pot of beans! Twas a proud mamma moment indeed!

Luckily I was close to Fred Meyer's on Hawthorne when she called. One of my favorite grocery stores. The Hawthorne Freddy's has a huge organic and natural food selection. And massive fresh produce! Not to mention a sushi bar! :)

I was even happier to discover that I had $10 rebate card I had stuck in my wallet and forgotten!

I got two bags of brown rice, a bag of black beans, a bag of pintos and a bag of red beans.
 I also got a head of garlic, two onions, a chunk of fresh ginger root, two bags of frozen peas and carrots and a bag of fresh baby spinach. Total was $11.07. After my…