Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just Ducky

Well, for the second time in our marriage C has rescued a lame duck. The timing couldn't be better, right? Well, the last time was, I believe, in 2003 when C came across a duck with a crippled foot in a bad snow storm. The duck was a wild female Mallard that was limping in the middle of the street. It appeared as though her foot had broken, and then healed incorrectly, rendering her unable to run and take off to migrate with her fellow Mallards. She took up residence in our home while we decided what to do with her. She spent the day in the bathtub, and nights in a large box, occasionally wandering in to watch TV with us. She found a good home on a farm in St. George.

This round was not such a cozy story. C saw a hit-and-run incident and at first thought the bird was dead. When he passed by, the lump of feathers was still moving in the middle of the road, and he pulled over to determine how bad off the little critter was. As he petted it, he noticed the blood on its mouth and thought it must be injured internally pretty bad. He considered for a moment "putting it out of its misery," the only kind thing you can do when an animal is injured beyond repair, but the large corporate building looming before him was cause for consideration. He could see the headlines read, "Therapist and state employee murders duck in public."

Watching him pet the injured little bird, a passer-by commented, "You are such a GOOD man!" Definitely, he is. He decided he would try to get some help if it could be had.

"The eyes are red. I don't know if that means there is hemorrhaging or if its eyes are just red," Chris commented when he called. I asked if it was a white duck, thinking it was albino. It was black, so I thought the injury must be pretty bad. I located a vet that offered to put the duck down if it was bad enough, but mentioned that he would not care for it. Of course, vets must like animals, otherwise they wouldn't be vets. On the trip to the vet the duck's situation improved, and after inspection, the vet told C that he would keep the duck and pass it on to the appropriate Wildlife group, but that it seemed well enough and he could see no reason to put it down. Oh, and yes, the eyes were naturally red.

Once again the hero, C rescued a little life from being further crushed in the street by responding to care for a ducky. Way to go, C! As usual, I am proud of you and all you do.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What Success Looks Like

Well, Jillian really knows what she is all about, I must admit. She and her crew of health-folk have put together a fine fitness guide. C has been following the diet, albeit with much more vigilance since he started to see the results. He weighed in at 227 today and is looking great. I have some more mathematical results, considering I started with measurements as recommended by J.M. With just two days left on the 30 day plan, I think I have swallowed enough water to fill a swimming pool, avoided enough salt to make one float in a swimming pool (I really love salt), and knocked off some critical inches and pounds. I have lost about an inch on my arms, 2.5 inches on my waist, three inches on my hips, 2.5 inches on my upper legs, and 1.5 inches on my ribs. After a plateau of weight loss (I had to re-read to see what was going wrong), the weight is coming off again, and I am almost down to 140. I have only done one set of circuits on the prescribed days, and minus the run-around at work, have done no other exercise, which totals to 45 minutes per day at about 4 days per week. Not too shabby. Now that I have it down, I think I am going to shoot for 135, which I believe was my marriage weight - maybe. I can't remember back that far. Either way, I am both pleased with the way I feel, and the way I look, and feel much more in-control in my life. It is a great feeling. I am so grateful for the healthy body God has blessed me with and for the amazing healthy food he has given us to eat! I am especially grateful for the strength he's given me to increase my health. Upward, and onward!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Faith and Fitness

What an awesome day. We went to a church meeting called Stake Conference and it was so refreshing and buoyant. I admit, I really like attending Church Meetings, time consuming as it may be. After we came home we read some scriptures together that talk about building a personal relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. There is no more important relationship to me. With all of the insanity and craziness in this life, nothing would seem right without that one relationship.

A good friend lost her 16 year old daughter in a skiing accident just a few days ago. This woman is an amazing mother and faithful woman. Her daughter hit a tree and was found by the father. After being rushed to the hospital in a coma that night, she passed away the next morning. I can't imagine the long list of "What ifs" that have seiged the thoughts of this woman and her family members. These are humble, good folk who are living right. My heart breaks to think what it would feel like to lose a child. It is unfathomable to me.

One of the speakers today mentioned that she recently lost a young grandchild to brain cancer. She said that through faith, we can find the miracle in otherwise horrible situations. Heavenly Father wants so much to help us find peace and meaning in terrible things. I can't completely convey the beautiful message she shared, but it gave me great peace. Without the knowledge of eternally unified families, how destitute death would seem! And yet, the scriptures teach that no righteous person shall die in vain.

Wrongs will be made right, and peace will be had by the innocent and righteous. Our loving Father truly does not want us to suffer one ounce more than is absolutely necessary, although the reason for that suffering is often unclear to us. Our just God will make right every wrong. It is that knowledge that gives me comfort in the loss of this dear young friend.

On a lighter note, I realized that in my attempts to meet the rigorous fitness plan I failed to count calories and was still feeling hungry. Out of the roughly 1500 calories I was supposed to eat today, I barely cracked 1000. Let's just say that I felt fully justified in taking a second breakfast tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just a Few More, Just a Few More . . .

I have to admit. I didn't really have a New Year's Resolution. It was more like a post-Thanksgiving resolution that bled over into a fudge-filled Christmas resolution until at last I was pushing 150 and reached my breaking point. I was walking through our new local grocery store when I glanced across the store and saw Jillian Michaels staring me down. I think there was a halo around her picture saying, "I will kick your butt into shape!" I mindlessly obeyed the call to fitness, and purchased the book. At the time, the thought crossed my mind, "Get another." Now, had I obeyed that thought, I could have saved the next two weeks, hunting for this best-selling, sold-out book for a friend, but instead, I doubted, I relied on my own logic. I said to me, Well, make sure it actually works, first.

The first day was painful, but good. "Give me 100%!" Jillian shouted from the pages of her book, and I obeyed. The second day I exercised early because I knew it was only a matter of time before my aching muscles would kick in. I was ruthlessly faithful to the outlined health plan (although for the first two meals I failed to notice that the amount of cooked food was FOUR servings and not one).

The food was nothing like the diets I'd tried before. This was actually good food, and I found that I enjoyed trying out the recipes and new foods. I mean, how often do you eat fennel? Which by the way, also appears under the name Anise. I went to at least six stores before I found it.

After one week I felt good, and my clothes fit better, but I thought, naw, it's in my mind! I didn't really see the pounds peeling off, but then, we didn't have a scale, either. At 1.4 weeks I weighed myself at 5-6 lbs lighter. At two weeks, 7-8 lbs lighter! And who REALLY cares about the weight because my arms are looking good and I noticed that my legs are losing some of those knee bags. The dimples are melting away, and I feel, well, ready to rest during those rest days, and ready to kick into gear on the exercise days!

The pounds are coming off as promised, and I have supplemented Jillian's happy thoughts with a great little book called the Portable Do It! I did waste one night sad and upset, and then thought, no, that creates belly fat and that is what I am getting rid of. As an added bonus, C has been eating the same food but with less stringency than I (and of course works out regularly) and has lost 6-7 lbs as well! Thanks, Jillian for the agony of true weight loss, and thanks Heavenly Father for giving me the stick-to-it to get it done!

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