Wait- WHAT?!

Today after work I went about my usual business. Drove home… Got cut off on freeway… Considered throwing milkshake at the car of crazy driver… Didn’t have milkshake… Realized I had rotten banana… Too late… Regretted not throwing rotten banana anyways… (This is all the true story, by the way, of The Crazy Driver and the Honking, Milkshake-less Teacher, as told by Mrs. Littlejohn.) Anyhow…
I got home and was doing the usual stuff – change clothes, bathroom time, hand washing and cleaning up from my morning when I spied the scale out of the corner of my eye. I didn’t want to get on it, because surely I popped back up to 215 today, right? I grudgingly got on it, prepared for bad news, and instead it showed 210.8. Wait, WHAT? That’s a full ten I’ve lost. Unbelievable.
And as the icing on the cake?

Yup, gas prices under 2.00. Living the dream.
And as extra bonus? Bradley dug these sweeties up today and sent them to me. This was me at my honest to goodness highest of 340. I can hardly even see myself in these anymore. I don’t recognize her… It’s so strange.


The Annoying-Braggy Post

When I start losing weight again, you all know it because I get up on here and start waving my weight loss flag around, blaring the news from every roof top, blog and Facebook post I can: I LOST WEIGHT like I’ve done something truly exceptional… Which I suppose I have. I mean, seriously, I am an excellent fat maker, here. I can make fat out of almost anything, and my body is exceptional at finding places to store it. So the fact that any fatty tissue ever takes its leave of my body is cause for celebration I suppose…
Like, a lot. Tonnnns. Totes 8 pounds since the ball dropped.
And it’s aaallll fat, baby. Eight pounds of fat.
No, there wasn’t any water weight in that at all.
All fat.
I swear it.
Okay, so around three pounds is what I would call fat and the rest was likely water. It came off too quickly to be anything but water, but it’s nice to get the ego boost of numbers swiftly moving in the direction I desire: 221-213 since 12/26.
Sigh of contentment.
That makes me happy.


I never though this would happen in a million years! Me on my husband’s back? Sha! Right! But this was us at St. Edward Park on Saturday morning, where we shared a lovely hike with a foggy, dripping understory in our lovely, PNW, temperate rainforest. Our kids made a resolution to run more this year, so we spent the lower, flat part of the trail, near the lake, doing intervals. Once again, it was illustrated why getting out often is important as our hearts were filled with nature and love was shared. We reminded our kids that their strong heartbeats were just the heart’s way of saying ‘thank you’ with every beat. It was a nice hike.

My friend, Hannah, is a photographer and I recently inquired about having our family portrait done by her. She surprised me by asking about my family’s favorite place; what place in the world is embedded in our soul, our home away from home. I’ve been stuck for a few months, delaying the photo session because I didn’t know what to tell her, until recently it occurred to me: St. Edward Park! Duh! We go there once or twice a week, have always gone there since Gigi was a baby, I learned to hike there, I learned to trust myself as an athlete, and never in my life have I been to a place where I feel almost as much at home as in my backyard. I’m protective and territorial of the place and am shocked whenever someone I know hasn’t been. It is a beautiful, wild and sacred place to us- definitely our home away from home. When we get them done, we’ve chosen to be photographed in the fairy grotto sometime this summer. The pictures will be warm, buttery, beautiful and in the prettiest room in our home away from home.

{the grotto in spring}
Last week was exhausting. It got to be Wednesday and I was sapped of energy and I was in disbelief that we had two more days of this mess! My kids in my class were exhausted, thus, squirrelly and a little naughty, my kids at home melted into puddles of exhausted tears midweek, whining and fussing at how hard school was, how tired they were, and how much they missed it being the four of us at home every day. Boy, did I feel their pain!
That said, I did well for the diet (lost one pound). I don’t know about you, but it takes me a few days of detoxing before I can really hit the ground running with a solid diet again, after I’ve fallen off the wagon. Stepping back into work made controlling my food easy, again, and that felt good. I found myself freaking out again over the fact that I have a hard time working out and training around my work schedule. I got up early one morning to run and just loved that. I vowed to do it again, but then I started having anxiety and was losing sleep over working out, so I decided I’d better just do a morning workout when it makes sense, not when I’m already tired. So I worked out twice after work and once in the morning this week.
I had great plans for working out this weekend, but I’m coming down with a nasty cold and decided that walking will suffice for my workouts this weekend. I felt lazy. I let myself sloth a little, after all, our kids were gone and I had my husband all to myself for 24 hours. Would you diet?? We hiked yesterday, today we walked a little over five miles. Not too shabby! 🙂
My goal this week is to work in at least four workouts and stick with the lower calorie diet.

{loving the foggy forest this weekend!}

Roller Disco Mama

Today I had the opportunity to cruise the awesomeness that is the Bellevue Skate King. I love it when I find a place that so closely resembles the exact experiences I had as a child so a good roller rink gets me pretty excited. And I don’t want a polished and fancy rink (well, maybe that would be kinda cool…), I want the exact rink from my childhood. Fortunately/unfortunately, skating rinks are one of those kinds of places that are patronized enough to keep the business afloat but not enough to get cool new shag carpet or new wheels for the skates. Skating rinks are, generally, 100% retro, still clinging to the carpet-covered mushroom benches, made back when pa opened the rink in 1968! 😉
Anyhow, I was not alone in my quest for the flavor of my childhood days. There were a lot of people there, most of them were novice skaters ranging from ages 4-8. That’s not to say there wasn’t a large population of grown men who were skate-dancing. You know, the guys who artfully turn on one foot, noodle around with crossing the feet, spin this way and that, weave effortlessly between neophytes, go down into crouching positions way more often than necessary… It’s like watching them in their own living room, they seem so gloriously lost. They were there, definitely, doing all of their svelte moves. In all fairness, where does one employ those moves in today’s day and age? I love that they still exist and still show up with their fancy skates, dice and flotsam hanging off of their pristine race-quads.
I skated for two hours with my daughter and her friends before the floor became insanely crowded and one woman broke her ankle by tripping on a little kid who zipped right in front of her. I could see the next tumble being mine, except the little kid would likely be suffering the injury and I really wasn’t game for that level of mind-bend on myself. I had one blister, I was satisfied, I excused myself to leave. I excitedly checked my WiiFitt Meter to find that two hours of skating yielded 1000 steps. Apparently it doesn’t read roller skates! Who cares. Fun and exercise were had!

{Skating rinks across America are responsible for keeping records of the hokey pokey in production. Yes, she meant and said records. And how awkward is it taking a selfie in front of everyone who is looking at the hokey pokey?!?! Pretty stinking awkward!}
Pet peeve of the New Year:
Loose and lose are two different words.
When people say they need to ‘loose’ some weight, it drives me up a wall. That extra ‘o’ makes all the difference in the world:
Lose: the act of shedding and getting rid of something, often never to be returned. I want to ‘lose’ some weight.
Loose: when something does not fit tightly or closely. My belt is too ‘loose’ since I lost weight.
Two totally different words. Usually I don’t make a big stink about grammar rules, because who wants to be that guy, but this is a word that I, personally, see misused more than any other because it so closely relates to my passion project: getting healthy and losing weight!
Besides, I’m a teacher and an English major. I have to be a little picky about some things!
(Please don’t send me the myriad of grammatical nightmare examples found on this website. Long ago I gave up trying to be perfect and just started writing with voice because that’s way more interesting for me to read.)

New Hike in the New Year: Denny Park Loop

You know how the New Year begins and you’re all gung-ho with enthusiasm, determination and will-power? Well, it looks like we were like that on the first day of the New Year, but on the second day of the New Year I woke up with some pretty serious pillow creases on my face that were determined to stay there. We did peel ourselves out of the house long enough to take a walk around the block, but the cold air drove us back inside prematurely, to MarioKart, to Gilmore Girls, to pajamas, to books… Yesterday was a two-mugs-of-hot-cocoa kind of day at Lj House.
Today we had to reckon with that and prove that we are in 2015 with heart and purpose. Bradley found a new hike through an app that was supposed to guide us to all kinds of outdoor urban experiences, but really had, like two hikes in our area when there are a bazillion… But it did find us this one!
It’s called the Denny Trail Loop, and it was pretty amazing since it plunged us immediately into a beautiful old growth kind of setting within the first 25 yards. It had decent elevation, but I was a little dismayed at the 1.1 mile distance. We decided to explore an arterial trail, and that’s where it got interesting! There was a stream that we got to cross 3-4 times on very rustic or nonexistent bridges, gorgeous moss-covered trees and a beautiful ravine to marvel over. Because we failed to loop, we ended up in a neighborhood that felt somewhat near to our home, so we decided to just walk the rest of the way home. We weren’t as close as we thought, though, because we ended up adding 3 miles of walking through neighborhoods and ended up walking a little over four miles! It wasn’t as beautiful as the old growth trail, but it was a really fun adventure. To make it home, we turned on Siri who directed us to turn this way or that and gave us the confidence to not feel lost! It was a really fun adventure.

To finish out the day, we turned into mall nerds and intentionally brought books and drawing materials to hang out, drink coffee, write a blog post and enjoy that whole coffee house feel that only a Starbucks in the mall can provide. Seriously, it was way fun! Crossroads Mall is the place to be when you want a taste of mall life in the 1980’s!


Happy New Year: 2015!

To usher in the New 2015 Year, we Lj’s sat around playing video games while eating burrata and brownies- a refined palate for sure- to pass the last of 2014 away. At midnight we ran outside hollering our greetings to the New Year and smootching in exaltation. It was freezing-cold, though, so within two minutes we were inside, in bed and almost fast asleep. I’m telling you- that last 45 minutes before midnight is a killer on New Years Eve night. I’m always sitting with my eyes rolling back and my head jerking back and forth drowsily. Then, after running around all wild at midnight, I’m usually energized and have a tough time settling down. Last night, though, I was out like a light.
This morning we rose and shone and hit the ground, literally, running. Bradley and my son headed out for a run, while I favored a warmer run in my garage. I made it 38 minutes and almost two episodes of Californication (I’ve been marathon watching it guiltily this break!) before I headed out to the streets with Bradley and Martha to brave the brisk, frigid air for a fast walk. It felt like a good way to start the year off on the right foot.
Last year I almost met my resolution of getting under 200, but clearly that went out the window. That said, I’m a firm believer in making goals for the year. As I wrote last year, studies show that people who make resolutions are much more likely to meet those goals. I feel like there’s no loss in trying!
Resolution one: Hit a weight in the 180’s, ideally 185. If I can get lower that that, BOO-yah !
Resolution two: Train for and run a half marathon, ideally the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I had to promise to Bradley, however, that I will not compromise my mobility or health in order to accomplish this goal. If I meet a distance that makes me hurt, I won’t push myself further.
Check-in on 2014’s Goals:
Last year my goal was to gain lean muscle mass. I’m not sure how well I did on that. I did attempt to do that, but halfway through the year I realized that I was having a really tough time both losing fat while eating to gain muscle. It seemed easier to focus on the fat for now and the muscle for later. That said, I did go from a size 16-18 to a solid 14 in the year without losing much weight at all. Not including the last two week’s gain, I lost a little over 10 pounds last year. I yo-yo’d between 201-223 this year, mostly between 205-213. I can’t say if the size shift is from a fat loss and muscle gain or if it is simply from my skin shrinking up.
I can say that I’m proud of my exercise this year- I was pretty consistentwith aerobics, but I would like to push myself a little harder. I go back and forth between actually challenging myself and just getting the workout in that burns fat and allows me to maintain some sense of physical ability. I should also be integrating more anaerobic exercise, but meh…
This year I’ll lose the fat. Next year I’ll try to gain some muscle.
Happy New Year!

{somewhat affected face, but I am oddly fond of this selfie for some reason}