Friday, November 29, 2013

Lesson 272: No $h!t!

We've got ourselves an early winter at the Lamp Post.
Some parts of my region got over a foot of snow!
No $h!t!

Good thing the birds flew south. 
There would be no room for them in the Inn.

The puffy clouds on Thanksgiving morning brought snow.

Some parts of my region got over a foot!
No $h!t!

It didn't deter the group of guys who play football in the park.

They held their Thanksgiving morning game anyway.

How did I know they were there?
I was out there, too.

Thanksgiving morning I began a little fitness challenge to stay motivated and reap the benefits of outdoor exercise.   My friend Bri told me about it.  From Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve I will run one mile outside each day, snow or shine.  For Eloise, this takes about ten minutes.  I plan for eleven minutes due to frequent photo ops and the fact that I don't like even numbers.  

I laced up my sneakers and threw on some polar fleece.  With my ear buds in my ears and camera strapped around my midsection, I took off for a little back and forth down my road.  

Here are my tracks from Thanksgiving morning.

I trotted past 6 Mile Cellars, a great winery across the street from the Lamp Post.  
Eloise was glad she was out, or I would have missed the chance to take this cool picture.

After eleven refreshing minutes, I came inside and completed a stretch series I learned on my recent 58 Day Challenge.  In about twenty minutes time (well, 21....the even numbers thing...), I felt like a new person.  Refreshed, relaxed, and ready to meet the demands of the season.

The challenge is 33 days long, which happens to be my favorite number.  Try it with me!  If you do, Eloise will give you a prize when it's over.  I also have something special planned for the last night, which is New Year's Eve.  You won't want to miss it.

33 was the magic number on Thanksgiving, too.
Kenyan, my speedy fast sister, hosted a dinner for 33, plus me!

No Sh!t!
We all fit!

Kenyan and Steve are fabulous cooks.  They put on the entire feast.
I always have the important job of bringing the rolls.

Did you notice my roll platter?
It's the toilet seat lid from my bathroom remodel.
No $h!t!
That was it!

We had to get rid of our potty.
(Don't ever say he's not a good sport.  Can you imagine living with me?)

The flusher would no longer work, and couldn't be fixed,

 much to the dismay of my father.  He lives next door to me.

 It pains the man to see anything go out to the trash.
Dad's a fixer and an inventor and a saver.
Mom just calls him cheap.

Before the trash man came for the pick up, I stripped the lid off.
Made a handy little roll platter, it did!
No $h!t!
A perfect fit!
(for 33 dinner rolls)

So what did you eat for Thanksgiving dinner, Eloise?  Did you stay true to your new habits formed out of 58 days of clean eating?  I can hear you asking through my computer screen.  

 I ate whatever I wanted at Kenyan's for Thanksgiving. 
 I didn't pass up a single dish.  

Then I ate some more later that night
at the Lamp Post Poker Party.

The cream cheese on crackers with red pepper jelly

was my favorite!

I got to experience all those foods again in the wee hours of the night.
Eloise could have filmed a Pepto-Bismol commercial.

My stomach did not handle all the sugar,
all the caffeine,
all the alcohol,
 and all the dairy.
Even my own rolls revolted!
I guess you could say I was a gluten for punishment.

After flipping and flopping,
and moaning and groaning most of the night,
I got up at 4:00 am and did what most people do awake in the middle of the night:
Post my intestinal drama on facebook.

No $h!t!

Here was my post:

58 Day'ers: Anyone else's intestines in a twist from a day of feasting? OMG. My body is revolting.
Like ·  · 

I managed to get back to sleep in an upright position.  
If I lay flat, the acid pooled and gurgled in the dip at the bottom of my throat. 
No $h!t!

A awoke a few hours later, belching, but optimistic.

My next post was this:

  • Eloise Hawking Eloise has lived! Stupid workout photos will continue. Live and learn sums up that experience. The night was long. I couldn't lay flat. When I did, there was an acidic gurgling in that dip at the bottom of my throat. A day of mass food reintroduction following directly after 58 days of clean, healthy, sensible eating, was far tougher on my system than I imagined. I crave the way I felt two days ago. With no effort, I will go back to doing what Doc encouraged us to. If I do have treats this season, it will be in moderation--just a bite or two will suffice. No need to try every single delight either. Just pick my favorites and have a little.
    15 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Eloise Hawking It was yucky, by as the sun comes up today, I am thankful for the experience. I learned a lot. You are a good teacher, Doc. Coming from me, that is the best compliment I can ever give.
    15 hours ago · Like · 1

  • And then I decided to do this:

    Eloise Hawking Now, to sweat some of this out, and on to a little shopping.
    15 hours ago · Like · 1

    Holiday Streak Day 2:

    No $h!t!

    I shouldn't have fed Josie all those turkey scraps.

    When I returned home from my eleven minute, fresh air recharge, 
    I felt fantastic.
    It was very short lived though.

    Hmmm,  peculiar.

    Strange pattern + guilty look.

    Sam to Mother Eloise:  I was trying to write my name in the snow with pee.  You didn't get back fast enough.  It all melted together.

    No $h!t!


    I suppose you'd like to see the Lamp Post bathroom remodel.
    Let's have a look.

    Ellen Louise chose the red color on the wall.

    That is my lamp post in the front yard of the Lamp Post.
    The best part is the frame.
    It is my old bedroom window.

    If you are a good reader of detail and were paying attention,  you will remember that earlier in this piece I mentioned:
    • My parents live next door
    • My dad likes to save things
    Therefore to take your learning a notch higher:
    • You inferred that my old bedroom is in the house next door
    • And my dad had my old window (just in never know when a person may need something)
    You must be gifted!
    I'll add you to the Quest class roster.
    There are my old bedroom windows--top floor of the red house.

    Cool shot because I am looking out of my current bedroom window.
    Quite surreal.

    My potty sits back in a nook.

    I have a handy hubby.  He made me this wooden wall.
    Eloise was inspired by this pinterest pin.

    DIY Pallet Wall- Bathroom before and after....for a small half bath to give depth and height!

    That's what I do with pinterest--find inspiration,
    then make my own, but even better.

    The thing to the right of my potty in the picture is a scrabble board.
    I thought that would be fun!!!

    I found a way to include my photos.
    Handsome made the Wall of Fame,

    as well as some of my other favorites.

    My friend Lauren loved the top one of the men in the boat.
    Yes, I see that it is crooked, Mother.
    I'll fix it after I post this.
    Lamp Post doors are locked for the night.
    Go to bed, Grandma.

    I got a new light.  

    And found a display for some of my key collection.

    Thanks for the board, Bart Towell.  I swiped that from your horse corral when you were taking down part of it to make the parking lot for Six Mile Cellars.  

    No $h!t!
    Can't let a good board go to waste.
    Or a horseshoe.

    My dad saved a bunch he found over the years.  Their house was actually the old Firman Farm.  My house was built on a horse pasture.  We unearthed several when we dug the foundation for the Lamp Post sixteen years ago.  I've kept the ends face up, and so far my luck hasn't run out.

    Behind the door we made a spot for bathroom graffiti.
    Maybe my luck is about to run out now.
    With teenagers in the house, that is an invitation for trouble.

    Sam insisted on making the first picture.
    Hubby got the first phrase.
    (Sam can't read cursive yet).

    I'd say it was a job well done.
    No $h!t!

    For a peek at how Eloise spent her Thanksgiving, click on the video below.  It is set to Best Song Ever by Alex & Sierra, contestants on the X-Factor.  The modern day Sonny and Cher have made it to the finals.  They, along with Jeff Gutt, are my favorites this season.  

    Alex & Sierra have a knack for making something old, new again.  The song is actually a remake of the One Direction song, Best Song Ever.  No $h!t!  If you don't believe me, CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE ORIGINAL.  You almost won't recognize it as the same song.

    Have a great weekend, Readers.  Enjoy your left overs!  Remake them into something new and wonderful.  Turkey soup sounds good, doesn't it?


    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Lesson 271: Better Than I Used to Be

    Hello, Readers!
    Snow is expected throughout the country this week.
    We've already started with our Thanksgiving blast tonight.
    Early season snow is always beautiful.

    I returned to the Lamp Post from work today to find snow on the branches.

    I had just enough time to change clothes and dig out my snow stuff.
    Eloise had a workout to attend. 
    It was the last of the, 

    If you've been following my blog, you will know that I have been participating in a Wellness Challenge developed by Erie chiropractor, Dr. Steven Krauza.  Dr. Steve, whom I refer to as Doc, challenged his patients, clients, Team Adrenaline members, and anyone in the community to join a pre-holiday season challenge.  Participants pledged to refrain from eating any foods with sugar in the first three ingredients, dairy products, and breads.  The challenge took place from October first through the day before Thanksgiving.  That is 58 calendar days.  Fifty.  Eight.

    Participants were also encouraged to add fitness to their lifestyle by attending Team Adrenaline workouts.  Stretching and relaxation were also key elements incorporated daily to combat stress.  

    Many showed up tonight for their 

    We ran despite the snow.

    Some of us tried to outrun it.  

    No luck.
    So we decided to play in it instead.
    Supine jumping jacks,

    created a beautiful array of heavenly hosts across the field.

    In between sets, we even had time to build a snowman.

    We all agreed that the night, which hovered around 30 degrees with a fine snow, was beautiful.  Sitting in your living room, looking out at the cold, dark night, one may wonder how any pleasure can be found in it.  The faces below are the proof that outdoor fitness is very rewarding.  Downright addicting, if you ask any member of this crowd.

    My post-workout photographs always turn out the best.
    The smiles are genuine.

    The look of accomplishment in the eyes is unmistakable.

    There is no better high one can feel, 

    than the lift you get from group adrenaline.

    Working out as a group was just one advantage of the program.  If you attend just one workout (the first one is always free), you can be added to the Team Adrenaline Facebook page.  There Doc, my teammates, and I share information, stories, inspiration, and recipes with one another.  

    One computer savvy group member started a page to share recipes:

    Jen K created the group.

    We posted everything from what was on our dinner plate

    to what was in our shopping carts.

    We even posted some great ideas for Thanksgiving.
    This Veggie Turkey is making an appearance at Eloise's Annual Thanksgiving Night Poker Party.

    In 58 days I've learned to love vegetables.
    My body doesn't feel like it works right if I don't have some with every meal.

    I also was going to include some healthier versions of pie on Thanksgiving.
    Eloise speaks in the past tense because the full pies are already half gone.

    This is Leslie, my friend the pastry chef.
    She figured out a way to make healthy versions of pumpkin pie and chocolate pie.
    Her pies are so good, they probably aren't going to see Thanksgiving.
    I'm delivering some to the neighbors now.
    (Grandma and Grandpa, turn on the back porch light).

    Let me know if you'd like some.  I know just where to get them.

    We asked questions of one another:

    Help!!! What can I drink besides water?? I don't like coffee or tea (hot or iced)!?

    AND from our resident photographer.....

    On a serious note... how does a dry red wine fit into this diet? it has 0% residual sugar. Editing and a glass or two of wine go REALLY well together..

    We posted our temptations.

    Wanted THIS but bought organic grapes instead.....

    Again from Matt--

    I started my 58 day challenge with a glass of wine... I'm doomed.

    Members responded immediately with reminders to stay strong.

    You got this!

    My very favorite part of the challenge was watching how FAMILIES were included in the wellness formula.

    Kiddos cooked with Mom and Dad,

    and worked out along side of them, too.

    Our workout group is diverse.  
    We took Jean's advice from her Challenge Erie 4 Summary:

    Anyone can join the group.  If you are interested, contact Eloise and I will connect you with the right people if you are willing to give wellness a shot.  Wellness is more than just good health habits practiced for 58 days.  It is the the blend of physical, mental, and social well-being.   When all are in sync, balance is achieved.

                                                                                Join us!

    So how did you do, Eloise?  
    Did you win the big money?
    I can hear you asking through this computer screen.

    My answer to you is YES.  I did win.
    I won the biggest battle anyone faces:
    the one that rages in their own mind.

    I didn't want to give up my morning toast and peanut butter, but I did.
    Life without cheese?  Didn't think it was possible, but I did that, too.

    Did I win the money?
    No, I did not.
    I was the first to be measured late last week. 
    My personal stats were not enough to take the top spot.

    But in my own personal assessment, 
    I was better than I used to be.

    Better than I used to be

    My gauge of how far I have come since working with Dr. Krauza for over a year, comes in a non-conventional way.  That is fine because I tend to be a non-conventional kind of person.  I behaved appropriately at the dentist during some recent, unexpected dental work.

    My dentists and I have had strained relationships in the past.  Cleaning Eloise's teeth has been a chore because of my nervousness and anxiety ridden behaviors.  

    Fear of the dentist continues

    In an odd way, my needless dentist phobia has left Eloise with a fine set of choppers. Always clean and flossed, with few cavities.  

    I found a great dentist a few years ago that found me more humorous than annoying.  She is a patient, Polish woman, with a gentle hand and heart as big as her accent.  "Zew are different when I work on your toofs today.  Zew are not so jumpy and nervous," so said the dentist.

    Dr. Wilczanski was right.  I wasn't nervous while strapped in a chair.  I even asked for a hand mirror to hold up so I could watch what she was doing.  Repaired tooth and mended relationship with my dentist.  An odd way to show progress, but it is progress just the same.  And I didn't even need one hit of Polish potato vodka to survive the appointment.

    We all are on a journey of wellness.  Each of the 58 Day Challengers began at a different point along that path, and moved along as far as they were able to.  I may have not decreased my body fat by the greatest percentage, but I was able to sit in a dentists chair without fear.  I also learned that I could replace my morning white bread toast with a nutritious orange, and traded cheese and crackers for lunch for a nutrient packed avocado and some almonds.  

    58 days to make huge remarkable changes?  Doubtful for me when you compare 58 days in relation to how many days I've been alive.  Check out the Date Duration Calendar (google it)  if you haven't yet.

    Here are Eloise's stats:

    From and including: Wednesday, March 3, 1971
    To and including: Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Result: 15,610 days

    It is 15,610 days from the start date to the end date, end date included
    Or 42 years, 8 months, 24 days including the end date

    I figured (after hiring a math tutor) that 58 days has just been this much of a percent of my life:

    0.00371556694 %

     Did I really expect to see a huge, measurable change in just that small fraction of focus?  Not really, and not enough to be crowned the winner of the challenge.  But I changed enough.  How do I know?  Because I'm better than I used to be.  

    Just ask Dr. Wilczanski.  She'll vouch for me.

    I have a great collection of photos from the workouts over the past 58 days.  I set them to Tim McGraw's song Better Than I Used to Be.  It is from his 2011 Emotional Traffic album, also a fitting description of Eloise.  Now that I am the crossing guard to my own emotional traffic, my life is better and fuller and richer.  

    Tim McGraw- better than I used to be..

    Sure, I got a few more dances with the devil (sweet potato casserole come Thursday).  I am cleaning up my act little by little, one day at a time.  I'm getting there.  I like the person looking back at me in the mirror.  I'm not as good as I'm going to get.  There is more in store for Eloise.  But I am better than I used to be.

    I speak for all of the participants in this 58 Day Challenge:  

    Enjoy the video recap.  Participants, thank you once again for allowing me to photograph you on your journey towards better health.  It was an honor to be part of such a great movement.

    With many thanks,