Archive for February 25, 2011

You have no idea how close I came to posting another photo of poop today. Apparently, it was just too cold outside to take the dog all the way out. Letting it do its business just outside the elevator was close enough. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude and not dwell on the negatives, though, so I refrained from taking the picture. Instead, I’ll show you how gorgeous the view was from the deck this morning.

It was really, REALLY cold this morning. I was seriously considering just walking to the tree, taking a photo and turning back.

I didn’t do anything to alter the color on that shot. The sky really was that blue. When I approached the tree I realized I was getting bored with photographing it from a distance so I got as close as I could without ending up in the blackberry bushes. Once I took the picture I decided to keep walking, but just couldn’t bring myself to taking the same route I normally do. Even heading East just didn’t seem appealing. It’s not like it wouldn’t have been beautiful or that I couldn’t take any good photos. I just wanted something new and different.

I took a path I hadn’t been on before, but it put me right back at the tree with the confused moss. I still wanted to see something new and different so I crossed the bridge and turned left knowing that I’d eventually reach the Knickerbocker bridge where I could head back. I ended up on a gravel path that didn’t have much to look at so I started taking pictures of the frozen puddles. So much for new and different.

As I walked along, avoiding the mud, I was starting to think that I was just going to have a collection of puddle pictures to post. I ended up taking others, so I’ll just show you my favorites.

My positive attitude was rapidly fading as the lack of interesting things to look at allowed me time to ponder my total loss of control the night before. I kept trudging along through this wasteland, wishing I had just gone the regular way. The railroad tracks that were a ways off to my right were suddenly much closer to the path.

Not giving the close proximity of the tracks much thought, I continued on. The rocks had become larger and more difficult to walk on so I kept my head down to avoid tripping. I’m sure there were some lovely views of the river on my left, but I couldn’t be bothered. I didn’t even look up long enough to notice the two quail until they flew away as I walked right past them. All thoughts of what I ate the night before were gone. All my concentration was focussed on where I was going to place my next footstep. I did notice some interesting things that I would’ve otherwise missed had I been looking up.

By this time, I was just hoping and praying that I would reach the Knickerbocker bridge soon and that I’d even be able to get on it from where I was. Obviously, I’d taken a wrong turn somewhere because I was certainly not on the South Bank path. The last thing I wanted was to have to retrace my steps. Just as I was taking the next photo, I heard a sound coming from behind me…

…a train whistle. I turned around to see if I could tell how far away it was.

Suddenly, I was acutely aware of my surroundings. Two paths, one easier to walk on, but close to the tracks and one muddy and uneven, farther from the track, but closer to the thorny blackberry bushes and the drop off above the river.

I figured I could stay on the easier path until the train got closer and then hop over to the other. As I continued on I tried to remember just how far the cars stick out over the tracks because even on the difficult path I still wouldn’t be that far. A thought crossed my mind, “I’m either going to die or get a great shot of the train.” Then I noticed a sound was missing. I couldn’t hear the train moving on the tracks anymore. “I’m saved!” I looked back again and noticed a familiar sight that made me feel both comforted and full of regret that I hadn’t been content with the beautiful walk I could’ve taken. One that never made me wonder if I was going to die.

Then I heard it. The train was moving again. I looked ahead and much to my dismay, the rough path ended leaving just the one that I knew would put me close enough to the train to lick it as it whizzed by. What was I going to do? Even if the train passed by safely there could be another and I’d have nowhere to go. I moved past a group of trees to discover a wide spot that would give me plenty of room to stand safely while the train went by…and just in time.

Talk about feeling vulnerble.

After it passed, I saw where I actually needed to be.

Unfortunately, this was the only way to get down there.

“But wait! Maybe there’s a way down on the other side.” Nope.

So I went back to the rocks and tried to figure out the best way down…besides on my butt…that was a given. As I scaled down the “cliff” I wished I had some gloves, but I made it.

Once I got back on solid pavement I noticed some interesting and amazing artwork under the bridge.

Back out of the tunnel, I was so happy to be taking pictures of lovely trees with bright green ferns and moss.

In just minutes I was on the Knickerbocker bridge. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be on a bridge. Well, except for the time I was falling in love with the man who’s now my husband as we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Safely back on the North Bank path I looked back across the river and saw the train track I was walking next to.

So today’s life lesson is: always be prepared. No wait, that was yesterday’s. Ok, it’s actually: Don’t take a nice, quiet, peaceful life for granted. When we think we’re bored and search for something new and exciting, we often bring trouble and drama into our lives. There’s nothing wrong with having adventures and taking risks, but there’s a right way and a wrong way. Always be prepared…and have a back-up plan. I guess it actually was part of today’s lesson after all. 😉

The kids had a snow day today so we decided they should watch a documentary with the hope that they would learn something. After browsing through Netflix for a while we chose Super Size Me. I’ve always wanted to see it and we’ve been making some healthy changes to our eating habits so it seemed like a good choice. If you’ve seen it, I’m sure you can understand that the kids have no desire to eat at McDonald’s anymore. If you haven’t, you should. It’s pretty interesting and disturbing. It was time for lunch when it was over and I found myself desparately in need of some veggies. And another big shout out to Trader Joe’s for supplying the world (well, some parts of it anyway) with minimally processed, casing-free jalapeno chicken sausage.

Breakfast – P90X Cafe Mocha protein bar (took my walk early and the kids weren’t ready for breakfast before I left so I switched it up – heaven forbid I wash the blender twice)

AM Snack – Chocolate Shakeology made with 8oz water, 4oz 1% organic milk, a little vanilla extract and exactly 1 1/2 drops peppermint extract (3 drops total in the blender – I make a double batch so I get a full serving and kids each get half a serving)

Lunch – 4c romaine lettuce, 1 jalapeno chicken sausage, 1oz crumbled feta, some peperoncini slices (didn’t count them), 1Tbs Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mixed with 2tsp Taco Bell Restaurant Sauce and a little water

PM Snack – 1/4c hummus, 1oz Trader Joe’s Stoneground Tortilla chips, 1 banana

Dinner – 1 Boca Flame Grilled burger, 1 slice colby jack cheese, 1 slice crushed wheat sourdough bread from Trader Joe’s, 1Tbs Simply Heinz ketchup (the kind without high fructose corn syrup), 1tsp yellow mustard, 1c peas, 2 wedges Weight Watchers garlic & herb cheese, 6oz Yoplait Light Blueberry Patch yogurt

Now, you’d think I would’ve been satisfied with all that, but no. I still felt like I needed something. In hindsight it was probably water, but I read it as hunger. So I had a bowl of Cheerios. Still wanted more. Two pickle spears. Didn’t cut it. Decided to just have another protein bar, Chocolate Fudge this time, knowing it would definitely fill me up and make me feel like I’d had “dessert”. After the bar, I did feel full and started cleaning up and making dinner for my husband who had just come home. I found one snack size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup left in a bag of assorted chocolates that I’d managed to ignore all week when I picked up the bag to throw it away. “Might as well eat it,” I thought. And I did. After all, how much harm could one little piece of candy do?

It was like a switch flipped on in my head and suddenly, even though it had completely registered that I was full, I just wanted to eat everything in sight. As I pulled the hummus back out of the fridge I asked myself what in the world I thought I was doing. Then I told myself that I just wouldn’t post anything I ate after the protein bar. I rationlized that no one would ever know and I didn’t have to tell everything if I didn’t want to. It was my blog after all. I ate several spoonfuls of the hummus right out of the container, chugged some apple juice from the container, and crunched my way through a handful of croutons.

Did I stop there? No. The spicy beef and broccoli I was making for my husband was done so I had some of that, too, with rice. It was somewhere around the apple juice that I noticed I was having a little trouble breathing. That used to happen a lot when I would sit up at night eating ice cream straight from the carton. That shortness of breath usually turned into a full-on asthma attack and by the time I downed the beef and broccoli that’s where I was. Ugh. And, I hadn’t done my workout yet so I didn’t even had that option for burning off some of those extra calories. Double ugh.

I was so annoyed and disturbed that I had done that to myself again and at how easily I crossed that line. Like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. One minute I was in control, carefully tracking what and how much I was eating and the next minute I totally lost it. It’s like walking a tightrope. You’re so careful to stay right on track so you don’t fall and it becomes easier as you form new habits, but just when you think you’ve got it you lose your focus and crash.

When I woke up this morning I knew I had to post this, as vulnerable as it makes me feel, because the whole point of sharing my food journal is to be accountable. If I left out the bad parts I’d be lying to everyone else, but most importantly myself. So here it is and today is a new day with a chance to get back up on that tightrope and do it all over again, but better because I’ve learned from the experience.

Total Calories – at least 2900 (can’t really be sure, but I tried to account for everything), Protein – 167 grams, Carbs – 379 grams, Fat – 92 grams (YIKES!), Fiber – 38 grams

Protein 22%, Carbs 50%, Fat 28%

Total calories burned – 2567, SURPLUS (ugh!) of at least 333