How to Gain 8 Pounds in 8 Weeks

The day that I’m writing this is exactly 8 weeks until June 1st.

June always feels like the beginning of summer to me. Summer..sleeveless shirts, shorts, sandals (read no more covering up with turtlenecks, sweaters, or fleecy leggings). I’ve used these items to camouflage my fluffy body for a few months. Putting on weight happens soooooo effortlessly. I weigh myself every Monday (mostly) and watched the numbers creep up, pound by pound, each week. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, just trying to stay the same. But I was struggling.

You know when you’re struggling.

Slogging along in life.

You can smile at your neighbors. You take out the trash on Fridays and make sure your family is fed. Brushing your teeth happens. But you lose touch with yourself. There is no bandwidth,  no energy to do what makes you feel good and be healthy. I was in this place for about 8 weeks after Christmas and through February. Here is what I’ve learned if you want to gain 8 pounds in 8 weeks:

Livin’ the Couch Potato Life

Don’t exercise! In so many magazines and blogs I’ve read recently, I’ve heard about how you can’t easily lose weight by exercising. But let me tell you, you sure can gain weight if you don’t. I regularly walk each morning with Stella, and now our puppy Evie. But have you tried to exercise or do yoga with a puppy? I wrote about my daily routine here. But sometimes you just don’t FEEL like exercising. So I’ve been walking and when I get home, there is just so much to do. Breakfast, writing, homeschooling, making the bed, cleaning the grout on the kitchen floor…

Carbs are Your Friends

Eat carbs like a teenage boy. I have a husband, two teenage sons, and a daughter who dances 8+ hours a week. Carbs are staples in our kitchen. When I’m feeling tired, meals are served with pasta, rice or bread. (Last night, we had spaghetti for dinner and  I not only ate several slices of warm, soft, chewy Italian bread, but I slathered sweet butter on each slice…yum!)

Chug-a-lug

Drink alcohol daily. I love going to my parent’s house. Dad makes the best Brandy Old Fashions–sour, not sweet. (I got him this gift last Father’s Day and I have really enjoyed it!) Since my one son just got his driver’s license and needs practice, we go over and I have a couple of drinks EVERY night…I’m not driving…right?

STOP!

I’m even having a hard time writing this. I think I may be having an anxiety attack at this very moment. I am serious about how I put on the weight, but I’m not genuine about having neutral feelings about the gain.

You see, no one but me knows that I’ve put on a few pounds. I don’t look a lot different, but I FEEL different (and not in a good way). I’m stiff, my arms feel weak. There is a bike tire around my middle. I notice that it’s harder to cross my legs when I’m sitting in a chair.

Just 8 little pounds and all this fuss?!? It’s just a symptom of a larger problem, really. I’ve lost sight of myself, not taking care of ME. I’ve gotten wrapped up in the day-to-day and everyone else’s needs. Can you relate?

I’m wearing yoga pants and athletic shoes so I must be burning calories, right?

Well, we have exactly 8 weeks until the “beginning” of summer. Let’s walk a little more, ditch the sugar, and say no to flour.

Are you still with me?

Let’s drink lots of water and have some “come to Jesus” time with veggies and leafy greens!

That’s my plan. Check back on June 1st to see how well I fared.

Logo Lisa

Want a Friend? Be a Friend!

BeingFriendWhen I was a little girl, I always felt like I didn’t have any friends. I was raised in a neighborhood of all boys. Play revolved around playing cowboys and Indians and other games that involved me being the only girl.  I must say since I was the only one with cowboy boots and a holster set, I often played a lead role.  I would pretend to be Roy Rogers or The Lone Ranger. Most of the boys were younger and smaller than I was so they didn’t argue with me. They followed my lead.

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Cooking is a Waste of Time

Can't we just invent a meal pill instead of cooking__I dislike cooking. I find cooking, on average, a waste of time. First of all, you have to decide what to make, then you have to go to the store. Another thing I dislike to do and purchase the ingredients Then you spend hours making your delicacy, it takes ten minutes to eat it, and then, guess what, you get to clean the mess up. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking when the house is clean and everything is done, and I am cooking for a get together of family and/or friends. The key here, everything else needs to be done.

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Lazy or Just Inadequate?

Am I lazy or just inadequate??  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  Both in my personal life and my work life.  In my work life, I’ve said for years that I want to get back to my computer programming/development skills.  I have all the tools I need to refresh this information in my head, so why don’t I accomplish this?  What is holding me back from accomplishing this goal?

What is holding me back?

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Honey… What’s Cooking??

I have a confession to make. I don’t cook very often. My husband was raised in the restaurant business and started scraping gum off the bottom of tables with a putty knife when he was too little to remember. One thing led to another and he started food preparation when he was very young. Being around food and people who cooked well caught on with him.

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Time – Lisa

Where does the time go?

Some of us are working hard, head down, getting stuff done..others, not so much.

So often when I look back at days, weeks, months…or years, it feels like I just put my head down and plowed through my life. Accomplishing tasks. Meeting needs. Moving kids from point A to point B. Cooking. Cleaning.

I recently took a yoga teacher training where I learned about svadhyaya. In Sanskrit, it means studying yourself. I love to use journaling to do that. As I look back, I can break my life into several “times”.

Way back, when I was married to my ex, I lived rather thoughtlessly. There were just the two of us, both working, no kids. We watched froreign films with subtitles and used a French press to make our coffee. We explored book stores and listened to jazz music. He played his guitar and I worked in my flower gardens.

Now I have a family…husband. three kids. My time for the past twelve years has revolved around teaching, books, kids, survival.

But I feel like this time is changing, wrapping up, and I am preparing for the next chapter. I’ve been teaching for more than 20 years. Now my kids are older. I’m not moving toward retirement…exactly, but another chapter in my life. One where I’m finding more joy and purpose in writing and creating.

Transitions take energy, focus, and dedication. That’s what I’m doing. But, on a daily level, I too often act like I have all the time in the world to accomplish my dreams. At the end of the day, I realize that there wasn’t enough time to even accomplish the mundane, everyday tasks that were on my plate.

So. Here’s what is helping me…

Being a teacher, I love that my time is organized into blocks everyday and those blocks have a solid beginning and end. Accomplishment is inevitable because all the goals for my class are given a little time EVERY day.

That works in my personal life too. Call it the First Grade system of time management. Everything in a block of time and a block of time for everything.

I’ve been planning the week. Food and shopping. Don’t you find that the energy that shopping and cooking meals consumes a huge amount of energy in the week?

What are my work/life goals?–lay it out. Put it down on paper, sticky notes or journal. Make time for work, sleep, writing, reading, and play.

‘Chelle and I during our weekly coffee meeting when we plan, support and encourage each other.

I schedule walking, yoga, meditation…my “self-care”. It’s not that there is no time for these things, rather, if I don’t value myself enough to honor and protect myself…well…no. one. else. will.

Where does time go?

There are large chunks of time in my day that are spoken for, parts that are committed. Then there are, of course, parts that I get to choose.

When I mindfully and thoughtfully choose, I make a commitment to myself and can create the life I want in the long run. But if I don’t plan for this ahead of time, it disappears…and MY time is a terrible thing to waste.

Soups, Casseroles, etc – Cooking Is Love To Me

In my mind, cooking equals love. The thinking goes this way…

If I love you, I take care of you.

If I take care of you, I want you to be healthy.

If I want you to be healthy, I want you to eat good food.

If I want you to eat good food, I have to cook.

If I cook, then you won’t get processed or fast food.

If you don’t get processed or fast food, you will be healthy.

If you are healthy, it means that I am doing a good job of taking care of you.

If I am taking care of you, then I love you.

There is only so much within the control of a mom. I can only make my kids do so much. I can grocery shop and feed my family. If I feed them something out of a box, I feel like I’ve failed. I have set them up for future obesity, heart disease, and a life of culinary incompetence.

(I know, I’m a bit over the top here.)

Ok…a lot over the top.

I have been teased about my cooking. I put together strange combinations. Leftovers aren’t leftovers, they are the starting point for the next day’s meal. I cook more “almost homemade” than organic, free-range, or “close-to-home grown”.

 

If it is soup…I LOVE it! My latest specialty is solid soup.

Salt and pepper? Yeah.

Make couscous in a saucepan according to instructions. (I add a handful of kale or spinach.)

Salt and pepper? Yeah.

Sauté sliced up onion, celery, and a carrot.

Put this into a baking dish and add some protein—I put in the meat from a couple of leftover pieces of chicken.Then mix in 2 eggs and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Almost sounds like “Midwest Hotdish” or a variation of tater-tot casserole.

Right.

Well, good idea. Let’s go with the mushroom theme—sauté and a carton of mushrooms with a pinch of salt and place them on top. Generously sprinkle a handful or two of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for about a half-hour (or so) and WA LAH….

…just call it LOVE Casserole.

Who is Lisa

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Hey! Get Me an Old Fashion!

old fashion

My favorite drink: Alcoholic that is.

I guess I would have to say the this would be an “Old Fashion”.  I say this because it has come to be a kind of old friend so to speak. When I came of age, (I don’t like beer) I tried what my Mom always ordered. A Bacardi.  Then I thought I should be drinking what my friend liked.  Manhattans.

Well, after a couple of years of being totally wiped on only one or two of those (most likely one), I realized that I didn’t really care for them. Anyway, an Old Fashion was presented to me. It had a good taste of booze, I like them rather sweet, and that is where I am at the present time. Margaritas come in second. When you are out of state you don’t even think of asking for an Old Fashion because they are made with brandy, not a staple in other states.

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Green Drink vs. Gin and Tonic

You might think that I have a touch of bi-polar with this one. You see, I definitely have a morning drink and an evening drink…and these two are at the opposite end of the beverage spectrum.

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Weird Favorite Drinks

When someone asks you “What is your favorite drink?” – do you automatically think they are referring to an alcoholic drink?  Well – I do; and that’s where I take pause.  I’m not a big drinker.  Typically people talk about coming home from work and having a drink or a beer…  I come home from work and grab a glass of milk.  Is that weird?

Milk vs SoCo

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