Thursday, February 25, 2010

Last chance work-out: a warning and a recommendation

I told you I am doing the Jenny Craig Diet. Every Monday I go to Jenny's right after my workout with Victor. So, every Monday I hear, "Come on Elaine, "last chance workout! Come on, let's go!"

Here's the warning. If you ever hear those words, hope that it's being said to someone else. Like Orlando, the other trainer said, "Wow! You can give her anything (exercise) and she won't complain. You just have to say "last chance workout".
It's true. What can I say?

This past Monday I needed to lose 2.6 pounds to be at my halfway mark as I had been told that once I reached that goal I would be able to eat my own food. Now, JC food is quite tasty, but nothing compares to fresh, home cooked food. And, I am tired of the little boxes of food. Anything gets old after awhile.

So, I came into the gym and told Victor, after I finished thirty minutes on the elliptical, "I need to lose .6 pounds in this workout. I've lost two pounds this week, but .6 more pounds will put me at my halfway point with Jenny." Victor responded positively, asked me if I had a jacket I could wear and we got started.

One hour later I left the gym so tired that I could hardly lift my legs, but with just enough energy left to stumble into Jenny's and pour myself onto the scale. I had lost 3 pounds! High Fives!!! I lost one entire pound in that workout, but if you could see what he put me through you wouldn't be surprised. Everyone in the gym was asking why Victor was trying to kill me and, after finding out, encouraged me. "Go, Elaine!" "Go, superwoman!" On the last exercise when I could barely move, Victor got me going by repeating, "Remember the boxes, Elaine! You can do it!" That did it, I mustered my last bit of strength and finished up.

That night I even was able to go to kickboxing as I usually do. The great part was that even after I was rehyrated the next day I not only kept that pound off, but lost another one. I thought briefly about asking Victor to keep it that hard every Monday, but I came to my senses pretty quickly.

Now, here's the recommendation. Ask. That's all. Just ask. For example, I might have asked, "Exactly what do you mean when you say I can eat my own food?" Then I would have known that all that meant was that I could choose two meals the next week of my own food. The rest is still all Jenny. I was disappointed, but realized as I thought about it later that JC doesn't want people to lose all that weight and then put it back on in three weeks by going back to the same old habits. If I don't gain this week, I get to choose two more meals, and so on.

I'm lucky because I've done Weight Watchers for so many years that I know what to do at this point. I needed the structure of JC to get my weight loss kick started, but I've been keeping a food journal online at for weeks to ease back into real food. Still, I can be patient. It won't be much longer. I have less than 20 pounds to lose. And I'm so excited. This week I'm getting rid of all the size 12's, 14's and 16's in my closet. That is a good feeling. I'll be keeping a food journal and going to a personal trainer for the rest of my life, and it's worth it to feel this good.

And, I'm making progress: Twenty-nine pounds down. Nineteen pounds to go!

Thought for the day:
"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use." ~Earl Nightingale

And, one more:
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

John Quincy Adams

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why is it there?

I don't like looking for things. It drives me crazy when I have to look for something that I know I put in a certain place, but it's not THERE! That's why I try to be so organized and why I label everything, so that I don't have to remember where it goes and so, hopefully, others in the house and find what they need and will put it back where it belongs when they are finished. I wish the latter happened more often. I am truly amazed at where I find some things. Take for instance, the chandelier in our entryway.

Need a closer look?

What can those shadows be? Well amazingly this is what they are:

A sock and a gum wrapper. Well, of course. Just what you'd expect to find in a chandelier, right? Don't ask me. I couldn't possibly explain it.
Now, another prime example. This is the glass fronted curio cabinet in our entryway. It has a statue of Jesus Christ and mementos from Matt's mission to Japan and Mike's mission to Chile. Lovely?

But, on the top the other day I found this:

I dont' even think that would have been easy to put there from the stairs. So, all I can say is, "Why?" The frustrating part is that I will never know. I won't know why there is a cereal bowl left on the shelves in the family room, or food under the cushions on the couch on which no-one is ever supposed to eat. I think my mother will say I should have taught my children better, but it's been a long time since she's lived with children and teenagers.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Commando workout, or, should I join the Marines?

I have a new routine for Saturday workouts. It's very new. I only started today, but I like it so much I plan to make it a routine.

First, go to the gym and walk on the elliptical for over an hour, keeping heart rate in the lower fat burning range at least half the time. That's the hard part-I always want to work as hard as possible, but keeping your heart rate low part of the time and higher the rest of the time is interval training and will not only increase endurance, but also help you shed fat. According to the elliptical I burned over 500 calories doing that.

Next, do thirty minutes on the bag-the kickboxing bag. There's something so satisfying about punching and kicking a bag. You'll just have to try it yourself. One lady at the gym told me that she does that on her Wi, but I can't see how a virtual workout would burn as much calories or feel as good as actually hitting something.

Thirdly, take the regular Saturday bike ride. Matt and Mir came over to bike and since Matt was pulling the trailer with the two kids behind his bike we could go a lot farther and faster. He's in such good shape and so strong that the rest of us, Mir, Chelsea and myself, could hardly keep up with him. At times he got so far ahead he was just a speck in the distance. The kids love riding in the trailer. They both fell asleep before it was over. It looks so comfy in there.

While we were out, about ten miles out, I remembered that Chelsea needed to be at a volleyball game, so Mike graciously came and picked her and her bike up and took her to the game. He swears I have radar and know when he's fixing something to eat so that I can call and ask him to do something so that it will be most inconvenient. That's crazy. It's just luck!

So, Matt, Mir and I finished the 20 mile ride. I hurried home to take Emma and a friend to the movies, but luckily Bill arrived home to take them so that I could shower and eat lunch. It was a great ride and a fun ride. Mir and Chelsea were singing for us at one point and we passed some other bikers going the other way and they thought it was great, too. I can't wait to do it again next week. I figure I burned almost all the calories I will eat today. That's awesome.

Thought for the day:
"Some give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Good people

In the backyard, behind our rock wall, on the irrigation ditch side, weeds grow tall and dense. I have hired people to clean it out, had sons chop them down, and burned them. But, they always grow back and are a nuisance.

Last year daughter #3 played on a volleyball team with a young lady who lives not too far from us. We carpooled to practices and games. Her parents are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Our girls now go to the same school and occasionally the mom and I have called each other for last minute help in getting our daughters home from school. But, one of the kindest things by far that they have done for us is that every now and then, without a word, the dad, George, shows up with his tractor and mows the weeds behind our wall. He never asks for anything in return, in fact, won't accept anything and brushes off our thanks.

There are good people in the world. I'm privileged to know many. They help me want to be more thoughtful and giving. God bless George and his family.

You don't have to be well to have fun

Our sweet, youngest daughter was sick this past weekend. She was sick Saturday during the night and Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon she was better but still weak. She came downstairs to visit Dad and me, and then found herself too weak to go back upstairs. She asked for help to get to the stairs. This is how I helped her.

See the doggy/grandchild gate in the background? I even pulled her over that -gently! She loved it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mike and Emme

I've sent a few people to my future daughter-in-law's blog to see the pictures her dad took of Mike and Emme last week when he was visiting (and proposed). But, her blog is private, I forgot, so I copied and saved the pictures and here are three of them. It's very beautiful in Alberta right now and these two are beautiful all the time.

Emme is working hard to get everything done in the next five weeks. We are too. Bill bought our tickets to Canada today. Well, actually his and #1 daughter's tickets to Canada and tickets home from Canada for me and the other three daughters. We're driving up a week early with Mike and flying home. I wish we had room in our car to stop off and pick up Drew, but he might have a ride. Matt and his sweet wife are driving up, too. I'm so glad we'll have family there for the wedding and reception in Canada. A sweet (very sweet) lady in Emme's family ward is providing a place for us all to stay. We're so grateful. We'll all be able to stay together in this 12 bedroom lodge. The town Emme's family lives in has only 300 people so there aren't hotels or restaurants. This will make our stay so much nicer. I can't wait!

I went shopping for a dress for the wedding on Friday evening. After looking through hundreds of dresses online I knew pretty much what I wanted, but thought I might have a hard time finding it. It was only the second dress I tried on, so I was pleased with that, and that it wasn't very expensive. I also found the shoes in the same store, so I'm set. One daughter has her dress, so we only need three more.

(Those aren't the shoes. I had to order them and they'll arrive at the house this week.)

This is another exciting picture that makes it all the more real to me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The girls made sugar cookies tonight. "M" came and told me that I might not want to come out of the office and thoughtfully shut the door so that I wouldn't have to smell them.

It was kind of tough when I went to the kitchen later. But, just so that you see that I'm not suffering or going hungry, here is a picture of what I ate last night. I grilled the chicken with worchestershire sauce and lime and made extra for anyone else that wanted some. Most were eating leftovers from the night before. There's no picture of that because I couldn't eat it-pork roast with potatoes and carrots and celery. But Mike and I had the grilled chicken over salad and topped with chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and green onions. I put a chili verede salsa on top of mine.

The limeade is also legal because it's just lime juice, water, and a sugar substitute called Truvia. It was deliciously sour.

I measured myself tonight and I'm not nearly as small as I want to be, but I've lost almost 12 inches total in my bust, waist, and hips. It's frustrating because I work so hard every day and I want to be a size 8 or 10 now! I just have to remember that I didn't put it all on in 3 months and it's going to take longer than 3 months to get it all off. So, I celebrate the victories and the milestones.

I got a pedicure this week to celebrate one month on Jenny Craig and over 20 pounds lost in all.

If your computer resolution is high enough you might see all the tiny marks on my feet. Those are just from wearing tennis shoes with socks all day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Good News is Out!

Mike became engaged over the weekend to a lovely young lady from Canada. Her name is Emme Skoien. They met at BYU-I a couple of years ago and have dated and had a long distance relationship since then. She has visited here in our home a couple of times and we thought maybe we had scared her off. But, I guess true love won out. They are tenatively planning to be married in March and probably in Canada in the Cardston, Alberta temple, but I'm sure if you're reading this blog, you'll get an invitation with firm details. We can't wait to travel to Canada and meet her parents.

Emme's parents emmigrated from Norway when she was three years old and they still speak Norwegian in their home. She is an absolutely beautiful girl inside and out. We are thrilled that she will be a part of our family. We fell in love with her the first time we met her. And she already has Mike well in hand.

So, just a few more pictures of our new daughter-in-law to be. I love getting children this way. And, I totally stole these pictures off Emme's facebook page. I hope you don't mind, Emme. But, you are undeniably gorgeous and I just had to show the world-well, okay, my four followers and you're one of them.

That last picture was made in Canada. How beautiful it looks. I'm looking forward to seeing the sights there. The girls and I plan to drive up with Mike a little early and fly back. It will be during spring break which is very convenient.
Mike and Emme will live here for awhile while Mike works and finishes his undergraduate degree and I can't wait for the wedding! And Emme likes to bike ride :) so I'll have another exercise partner. Thanks, Mike for having such excellent taste. My sons have all picked wonderful women. Thanks, boys. I told you all when you were young that I would love your wives, and you've made it so easy for me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Scripture Study

Don't you love this picture of the girls at family scripture study?
It's so obvious that the 2nd daughter, who is 2nd from the right in the picture, does not want this picture taken. Look at the foot.

They'll appreciate that picture (and other things) more in the years to come. But for now, they sure are cute.

Bill and I performed a Herculean task yesterday. We spent half of Saturday cleaning our joint office. We love our office, but the papers and everything else get out of control sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). But, I am turning over a new leaf. Actually that leaf has been turned over a few times, so I guess it's an old, new leaf. But, nevertheless, I vow to open the mail as soon as I bring it in, sort it and throw out the trash. I also vow to pay bills as soon as they arrive and file them as soon as they are paid. Good resolutions. That will cut down on a lot of the clutter. Now if I chain the door to keep the kids and grandkids out, that will just about cover another big chunk of the problem. Really, though, I welcome them all in. I love this big office and the table we had made so that Emma or anyone else could do their homework in here and Bill and I could work on projects together, too. I just have to keep on top of things. Don't we all? Here are pictures of the beautiful office.

Remember the happy news I told you I would have this weekend? Well, he looks happy:

Can you guess why?

Could it have anything to do with her?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wonder what the weather's like in Canada?

I haven't posted in February, yet!

Quote for the day:
"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity." Louis Pasteur

This week's weigh-in was not very excited. I lost 1.5 pounds, but that seems so little after what I've lost each week. I know it's because I didn't exercise enough, so I set a goal this week to add two days of kickboxing in addition to my regular three workouts with the trainer. And, I plan to make sure that I get my bike rides done as well. I've already done the kickboxing twice and the biking once, so I'm on track. I'm tenacious!

I'm looking forward to posting some news this weekend. I'll have to keep you in suspense for right now, though. No, not even any hints.