Category Archives: Move It

Long time, no blog

Beauty and the Ballplayer | Arlene HittleMy life is still a work in progress, in more ways than one. As usual, I’ve been busy reading, writing and editing. I sent edits on Book 3, SLIDING INTO HOME, back to my editor tonight.

Last week, I got the cover for Book 2, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER. (When I got my first glimpse of it, I may or may not have screamed loudly enough to startle three dogs sleeping on the floor at my feet.)

Y’all may have seen my tweet about finally figuring out a way to get myself out the door to exercise every morning: I just have to take an ebook with me and read while I walk. By the time I’ve finished a couple of chapters, I’ve been out, moving around, for 20 to 30 minutes. Then I get to cross TWO things off my to-do list — reading more and working out.

Who knew it was so simple to rekindle my joy in exercise?

Please don’t tell me walking while reading is not a good enough workout. I know it’s not super strenuous, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the nothing I’ve been doing. Maybe, once it becomes a habit, I’ll drop the book and pick up the pace.

Or maybe I should give an audiobook a try. I’ve resisted audiobooks until now, because I’d rather read than listen. Then again, I used to say I’d never prefer e-books to print books … and now I tend to read more e-books than anything else. Ah well. If you’re not changing your mind from time to time, you’re not growing and learning, right?

I joined a team at work for a company-wide weight-loss challenge … so I have to face the scale and start tracking my eats again today.

In preparation, I stocked up at Trader Joe’s while I was in Prescott Saturday. I bought a whole lot of veggies, as well as some other ready-to-eat goodies. Reduced guilt Greek yogurt and kale dip, anyone? Mmmm. I also couldn’t resist a bag of those Horseradish-Cheddar potato chips. So yummy! And as long as I stick to a single serving instead of inhaling half the bag, they’re perfectly acceptable. That’s do-able.

Trader Joe's Haul

Then, with my veggies on hand, I made a meal plan. My last menu experiment was probably about a 50 percent success. I started the week strong, and kind of fell off the wagon by Friday. “Snacks” was the hardest square to stick to. Perhaps I should leave that one blank and wing it.

Nah. Winging it tends to get me in trouble with my inner diet police.

I’m looking forward to making veggie scrambles with those frozen peppers. And I plan to sautee the kale with sausage to add to frozen TJ’s pasta arribiata, to bulk it up. A variation of Tina’s sausage with cheesy sprouts is also on the menu.

I need to take my own advice and remember that losing weight takes hard work. It means giving up the junk food, cutting back on sugar (or completely cutting it out, I haven’t decided). It means counting calories or points or net carbs (as much as I wish it didn’t). It means long walks and fewer fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks. Tea is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

Another thing to remember: If I don’t buy the junk food, I can’t eat it. (Goodbye horseradish-cheddar chips … I hardly knew ye.)

And, of course, I have to remember the very important principle: Progress, not perfection.

In that way, weight loss is a lot like writing. Just as you don’t write a book in a day, you don’t get to goal in a day. Word by word, page by page, you write a story—and you lose weight day by day, pound by (agonizing) pound.

Easy to say, yes. Harder to take to heart.

@TheChicklets today

You can find me at Chicklets in the Kitchen today, confessing to an over-reliance on frozen dinners.

In other news, my team lost the softball game, 5-4. Since we were playing the top-rated team, that means we’re still No. 2. But No. 2 isn’t a bad place to be — unless you’re the hero of my new story. He hates being second-best.

It rained earlier in the day, and I was afraid the game might get canceled. But the weather cleared and it ended up being a beautiful night to play ball.

Field of DreamsI managed to get a hit in my first at-bat — but still didn’t beat the throw to first base. I really need to work on my speed before next season. My other two attempts were strikeouts.



Recapping Wednesday wackiness

Rest assured that I was a winner Wednesday despite a massive smoothie fail.

Since I went to the grocery store Tuesday night, I had the ingredients on hand for Healthful Pursuit’s Red Rooster Smoothie — most of ’em anyway. I didn’t feel like buying a whole raw beet for two tiny slices, so I decided to use the cooked beets I bought at Trader Joe’s.

Umm … turns out not everything from TJ’s is a miracle waiting to happen.

Red (?) Rooster SmoothieAt least my use of cooked beet instead of fresh is why I suspect my smoothie didn’t take on the gorgeous bright red color of Leanne’s. It had to be, because other than that, I followed the recipe to a T.

Mine looked more like the worst kind of green smoothie — a greenish-brown mess.

Sadly, that’s what it tasted like, too:  A mess. (Sorry, Leanne. I’ve loved the other recipes of yours that I’ve tried, and I regularly pin things of yours for future reference.)

I think it was the cucumber I didn’t like. I’m not a HUGE fan of cukes, unless they’re A) smothered in hummus or blue cheese dressing or B) pickled. This half a cucumber was neither … and blending it with a bunch of fruits didn’t sufficiently mask its taste.

The good news? Much like the Blueprint Cleanse green juice I tried at Blend2013, the more I drank, the more the taste grew on me.

Another plus was that the smoothie had just 138 calories and 6 grams of fiber. It did have 32 grams of carbs, though.

As for the #colourfulsmoothie challenge … Brown’s a color, right?

My softball team had a doubleheader Wednesday night because one of the games got canceled earlier in the season. The games were at 7:15 and 9:15. Since I had to work, I was only able to make one of the two.

I chose Game 1 — excellent decision. We won by a huge margin (17-5, I think). Better yet, I scored a run.

Let me say that again: I scored a run!

If that’s not #winning, I don’t know what is. It was, after all, my first run of the season. Hours later, I’m still basking in the accomplishment.

You might have noticed I didn’t say I got a hit. I walked to first, then ended up running in a couple of batters later.

I won’t be voted team MVP anytime soon, though: My next at-bat, I made the third out. Then I managed a hit, but got thrown out at first. I really need to work on sprinting to first.

We also won Game 2 pretty handily, from what Mike said. I wish I could have been there, but I was already pushing deadline pretty hard as it was. Spending another hour-plus at softball wouldn’t have been the smartest choice.

It was just nice to get out of the office for a while. I enjoyed the fresh air and a gorgeous sunset. Behold my view from the dugout:

Softball sunset

In other news:

— Don’t forget I’m blogging at The Chicklets today. I’m hosting one of my Starcatchers sisters, Kimberly Kincaid, who’s in the kitchen to dish about her new release, “Outside the Lines,” and serve up a recipe for the stuffed French toast her hero and heroine share.

It’s because I got that post done before work that I had time to write another one here afterward. Gotta love planning ahead!

— And if you didn’t read Mel’s post at The Clothes Make the Girl Wednesday, do yourself a favor and do it now. Be sure to watch the Cookie Monster video. Not only is it a catchy tune (I’ve watched it twice already), but it also has some excellent advice about coping with cravings.

Side note: I didn’t know Cookie Monster was hip enough to record such a slammin’ video. I don’t remember him being nearly so cool when I was a kid. But I guess it’s in keeping with his new “cookies are a sometimes food” message.

— I ate a bit more junk Wednesday (but ended up just 4 calories over my Lose It! limit). Even so, I could tell I was hungrier and less satisfied. Lesson learned — again.