Friday, September 26, 2014

Lesson 324: Bringing Booty Back

It's the weekend, Readers!
You are GOLDEN!

Golden is the word on the street here in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The autumn winds are blowing cool, crisp air into my region,

painting the town in the glorious colors of fall.

Golden rod is in full bloom.

These seagulls danced in the golden light of the sunset over Erie's Bay.

A nestful of golden finches had a late hatch.
We watched as the babies lined up one by one to take their first leap.
This one I named Wrong Way.
She bravely took a flying leap and then hopped into the middle of the road.
We had to shoo her back.
Perhaps I should have named her Eloise.

Nature is bursting with complementary colors.
Purples balance the golds.

Drive through Harborcreek or North East this weekend with your windows down.
The entire area smells like grapes.
The harvest has begun.

The winery has been busy every weekend.
People have been coming to Six Mile Cellars by the trolley load.

Oranges enhance the clear, blue skies.

My world is awash in vibrant reds and greens,

and inside.

Ellen, now FOURTEEN, has earned the new responsibility of washing all of 
our produce from our CSA with Post Apples every Friday afternoon.
That's an eggplant, by the way.

Sam has been busy with a round of Fall Ball.
The photographs have taken on a whole new look with the changing leaves behind him.

The refrigerator door is littered with new, fall themed artwork from Natalie.

Mr. Rocky is helping her morph her People into


and spider-bat hybrids.

Old Eloise has been zooming around on my new mountain bike, 
recording it all.

I found the bike for sale along side of the road, by the way.
$20 and Eloise has a new set of wheels!

There's lots going on at the Lamp Post, and as always
I've started a new challenge.

Dr. Steven Krauza, local Erie chiropractor, is offering the 58 Day Challenge, 
and Eloise is bringing her booty back to it!
I did the 58 Day Challenge last year, and loved it.
It was the healthiest fall I ever had.

It's always good to visualize your goal,
so here is a photo of me and my girlfriends on the beach next summer.
I can't wait to hit the beach with that booty!

Although a nice booty would be bootiful, really, the major aim of this challenge is total body wellness.
The intent of the challenge is to hold you accountable for 58 Days, to keep you on track for your healthy lifestyle goals. Anyone can participate.  All you have to do is get to his office to be measured prior to October 1st when the challenge starts.  It runs through Thanksgiving.  The winner will have a combination score between the greatest increase in arm strength and the greatest reduction in waist circumference.

 Contribute $25 to a pot, and have your pot belly measured.  When you don't like the number you see, step on the arm strength measuring contraption called a dynamometer, and pull with all your might.  
Just don't be so angry you pull the chain right off of it.  I will need it to be measured November 24th.

Eloise is going to win.  
I've already been writing my Play Book.

I've been filling it with exercises to do,

and healthy recipes to try.

I'm already paid up, and I've spent the last two weeks getting mentally ready.
Part of that preparation involves assessing my habits.

One thing I noticed I've been doing is nibbling constantly.  Being a working mom of 3, and with the twin wrap package of my parents living next door, I'm a busy lady.  There is always lots to do here at the Lamp Post.

To save time and energy, I'm a Stand Up and Chew on the Fly eater.  I'm not picky about dishes or food presentation.  If it's healthy, quick, and easy, I consume it.  Many a night I've walked around the kitchen, packing lunches for the next day, with a chicken breast between my fingers.  I munch from a ripped open bag of baby carrots, and swish it all down with some fruit water.  I really don't take the time to sit down and savor every bite.

Very often my hubby asks, "Did you eat?"  Lots of times I have to stop, pause, and ponder.  "Yeah...I think so..." is my usual response.  

When time is tight, I grab a hard boiled egg or two and these:

Sure, they look harmless enough...

but they are addicting!
I've had them in my house for 16 years straight and never have tired of them.

Now, for 

Eloise is going to be conscious of her eating habits.
The constant grazing,
the big, giant, heaping teaspoons of peanut butter,
and vegetables soaked in butter
or it will end up on my HIND END.

58 days 

That's how many times I get to choose what goes into my body,
if I eat 3 times a day.

I counted out 174 of the medium sized paper plates.
I chose the smaller sized plate because of a documentary I watched in 2007,
Supersize Me.

Morgan Spurlock only consumed McDonald's food for howevermany straight days,
and researchers took data on the changes in his body.

What I remember well from that documentary is Spurlock's girlfriend, Catherine Elsworth.
She was a vegan and a natural food freak.
After her honey got done poisoning his body with the constant consumption of fast food,
she put him on a strict detox diet.

I clearly remember Elsworth stating that the stomach should hold the contents of two, side by side, outstretched hands.

The body is designed to be so proportionally perfect, 
it only makes sense that this is the right amount of food your stomach should hold.

Someday soon, we can discuss the beautiful number Phi, and how it relates to the human body.
I could fill one hundred blog posts about that.

But for the Here and Now, 
I'm choosing wisely each day.

This was my breakfast this morning.
OK--there is no orange wedge,
mint spring,
folded linen napkin,
or silverware.

I basically wanted to see if what I planned on eating fit on my plate,
(or in my outstretched hands).

I flopped the egg on top of the tomato slice and stuck the turkey bacon on top.
It was a bit drippy without a fork, but I managed just fine,
standing at the counter with my purse over my shoulder, ready to leave for work.
(Next week I'll work on trying to sit down at a table while eating).

After I had eaten my wisely chosen food,
I found this message I wrote to myself.

I wrote out hundreds of them!
This one went with me to school.
It held my apple, some turkey, and an avocado.

They all have positive comments,

Some, a little gentler than others.

I put some in the stack randomly.
I shoved this one where I thought Halloween would fall on my plate stack.
(Great estimating activity, teachers!)

The hubby and kids joined in my fun and wrote me messages on my plates, too.
Louie made my plate for dinner last night.
I had the chicken he made, and ate the meat and veggies off of the sub, 
but passed on the bun.

This was my last sugar treat for awhile.
However, if I do decide to have any small indulgence for the next 58 days,
it has to fit on the plate, and it is considered a meal.

I hope some of my Readers join me on this fun, fall challenge.
You'll stay the course through the fall, and be armed with new healthy habits
when the holidays roll into your town.

Contact Eloise if you are interested in participating.
I'll connect you with the right people to get you started.
Plus, I really will enjoy taking money off of people I know.
The pot is already over $1,000,
and registration runs through October 1st!

This week's blog video song is All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor.
If you haven't heard my theme song yet, you've been living under a rock.
I put some pictures from my workout group on there,
to show you people of all ages, and sizes come to Team Adrenaline.
It's a fun way to workout and I encourage you to come and try it.

The song also reminds me A LOT of my son, Sam.
My boy has a butt and he's not afraid to use it.

He went through a stint of showing his backside in every photo I tried to take of him.

Sam was reprimanded, and I thought I had the problem under control until.....
this week.

Sam has been insistent that I get him up in time to see his sister Ellen get on the bus to go to school.

Awww... maybe Sam is starting to really like Ellen! 
He must miss her throughout the day.
How sweet!

record scratch

He wanted to moon the high school bus as it went off to school!

I caught him white hiney-ed on Wednesday!

You only get so many days here on this earth, Readers.  
 Move the body as it was designed to.
Fuel it with the nutrient it needs to function properly.
Help someone in need.
Be kind.
And don't moon the school bus.
That's rude.

Enjoy the video.  Thank you Team Adrenaline participants for allowing me to use your booties for the greater good.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Lesson 323: Sail into Fall

Fall is knocking on the door, Erieites.
You can feel it in the air, especially at night.
The skies contain football weather clouds,
purple puffs, tinged with pink.

The teams are at practice every night behind the Lamp Post.
The tweet of the whistles,

mixed with the smell of grapes,

gives assurance that fall has arrived in my hometown.

The woodpile is a sign of things to come,

as much as Old Blue's last trip down the driveway marked a time to go.

Some dealt with the transition better than others.

Sam handled it with his usual stoic grace and maturity.

As for me,

Old Eloise is ready to sail into the next thing,
whether it be a Honda Ridgeline
or a return of the polar vortex.
What's to come, will come.

Did you notice the headband I was wearing a photo back?
I got a six color pack of them at Wal-Mart for $5, and they fit my head.
I have a hard time finding headbands that are big enough for my cranium.
Apparently I have a big noggin.
Legend has it, when I was born, my father announced to everyone who would listen,
"It's a girl, and her head looks like a grapefruit!"
It's all brain.

Like anything that helps hold my hair,
from bobby pins,
to barrettes,
to pony tail holder,
I leave them lying around the house.

Every time my husband sees these lacy headbands,
he mistakes them for underwear.

"Hey...." says Louie in a throaty voice,
"what's this little surprise?"

Sorry to disappoint, Honey.

I wasn't disappointed with the outcome of one of my favorite shows of the summer season,

All of the top 12 finalists were extremely talented.

I was rooting for Acro Army

but a personable and clever illusionist won it all!

This is Mat Franco the mind boggler.

Speaking of talent, 
Natalie seems to be experimenting with color this year
in Mr. Rocky's Seneca High School art class.

I love Kid Art, and Natalie's interests me more than any I've seen.

What do you make of the thing in black?

And if the thing on the right isn't a crop circle,
I don't know what is.
Mother Eloise is giving NASA a ring on this one.

Kenyan and my friends shined as bright as the sun did at the
Erie Marathon last Sunday.

It was a gorgeous day to witness so many fulfilling their dreams,

making good on promises to themselves,

and finding strength in the depths of themselves.

Eloise's next challenge is not of the running nature.
I'm toeing the line for 

for a chance to get healthy,
and win some money right before Christmas!

More details on next week's blog.

I have to hit the sack a little early tonight.
I have lots going on because my middle child turns 
fourteen on Monday.

Tonight's video slide show is dedicated to Ellen, 
one of the kindest and most patient people I've ever known.

Ellen has an extremely high tolerance for most annoyances--
long waits,
and changes of plans.
She handles them with grace.

I am glad that so many others can see in her what I see--
a big heart full to the brim with love to give.

The photos are set to Audra Mae's version of Forever Young.  Thank you, Michaelene Skarzenski for telling me about this song.  You were completely on the mark.  I do love it, and saved it for something special.