Monday, April 4, 2011

Talking Belly Buttons

Hey folks. How's that for a title that demands attention???

Each of you has encountered challenges as you've worked through the BTWG process, as well as encountering successes that aren't measured in pounds but are instead measured in insights.

I've had my own fitness challenges lately - err, let's be honest. Since the holidays I've had my own fitness challenges. No doubt, they mirror some that you've run into. This week I experienced a success, an insight that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get myself back in gear and move ahead. Yes, it involves a talking belly button. Yes, that lint-catching indent in the torso inspired my recent insight. 

For a variety of reasons I can rattle off (work hours/commitments, drive time to PRFitness and gas expense, the need for some solitary workout time which I admit is not as strenuous of a workout as when I am with our PRF community, the desire to be home a bit more versus out and about, post-winter and pre-spring mood swings, and so on) - because of these things I allowed my workouts to fall off slightly, while my eating has not. Ah-ha moment!  When I was working out more I had "X" calories coming in, "X" calories being expended - balance! Lovely. Alas, for the past 3 months I have had "X" calories coming in, and "X minus 500 calories being expended."  Add into that a diet that is not unhealthy but certainly has added in a few "extra" things a tad too often and in portions a tad too large. You don't have to be a math genius to see where this is going, right.

Weight gain of 7 pounds over 3 months. But the weight itself is not the issue - it's merely a signal to me that I'm out of balance in certain areas of my life again.  Beat myself up over it?  Nope - that's time wasted that is better spent changing my path. And, while I rarely beat myself up over anything I say or do, I always make sure I "own it", whatever it is.  What I'm owning right now is the fact that I moved away from a few of the general concepts of BTWG in the last 3 months and doing so has ramifications that don't serve me or others well. As each of you are finishing up BTWG, all I can say to you as advice is keep the BTWG concepts in your daily life. Even when you feel like you had them engrained into your daily life as I felt I had after 2 years, keep them in the forefront of your mind and actions as a guide.

Now, I say the weight I've gained isn't the issue, but let me also be clear that I am NOT happy with it. All 7 pounds have acted as a well-orchestrated team and gathered their force around my soon-to-be 45-year-old midsection.  In the same way that friends say to one another, "Let's go shopping at Kohls!" these 7 pounds all looked at one another and said, "Let's go to Sherri's waistline!"  Which leads us to the talking belly buttons.

Recently when a BTWG graduate/friend and I were comparing the bulges that have "mysteriously" appeared around both of our waistlines, we both lapsed into 5th-grade humor by exposing our midsections and flapping our midsection bulges around so our belly buttons became "talking" mouths.  (Yes, even in your mid 40s stupid body humor prevails. And no, we had not been drinking.)  What did our belly button mouths say?  In a French accent (not sure why) we flapped our bellies while crooning, "What is 'dis? What is 'dis bulge? Where did it come from? Dis was not here last summer!! Dis is what is in da way of the buttons on my pants!"  We were laughing hysterically as she watched my belly bounce about and I watched hers, but we both were very much aware that this laughter was our way of drawing a new line in the sand.  Post-laughter, belly buttons now silent, we have both recommitted to a renewal of focus on our mental, emotional and physical health by bringing BTWG principles - specifically the eating portion - back to the forefront.

What strikes me as really funny about our talking belly buttons is the fact that the next day we both went out and ran 13 miles and we felt great afterwards. I had even run 13 miles the weekend before with no trouble and felt great after it. BUT "great" is relative, isn't it?  How much better would we have felt if our eating had been healthier before our run, how much better would our joints have felt minus those extra pounds and with a little more muscle mass, how much quicker could we have run, how much more would we have mentally and emotionally enjoyed the run if our fitness and training had been a little more deliberate?

I'm owning all this, friends, and I'm asking you to witness it. All 7 pounds, the talking belly buttons, the shorts I bought last summer that now fit me like Hooters waitress...yep, I'm owning all of it.  I'm owning it but I'm not keeping it. Farewell non-serving eating habits I allowed to return and a lackadaisical approach to fitness. Hello again "focus-on-me-because-I-am-worth-it-and-want-to-be-active-and-have-fun-well-into-my-90s-with-friends-and-family"!

AND NO, I will not be doing an encore performance of the French-speaking belly button act. Don't ask.  heehee

HOWEVER, I am game for getting a group together on Sunday and running/walking the trails at Eagle Creek...all paces welcome. Kelly and I will be at the 71st entrance to the park at 8am sharp for an 8am sharp departure. Any takers? If so, drop me your email at

Thursday, March 3, 2011

RECIPE - Nutty Millet Veggie Bites

I haven't tried this yet but it sounds yummy and they looked pretty in the photo.
Serves 4: 170 calories, 6g fat, 1 sat fat, 0 cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 23g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g protein

1 cup finely grated carrots
1/3 cut finely chopped roasted salt free nuts
1/2 cut chopped red pepper
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 gluten free fat free egg substitute
1 tsp gluten free salt free garlic herb seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 cups hot cooked millet

Preheat oven to 350. Line 8 cup muffin tin with foil liners. Coat liners with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine everything but the millet.
Add the hot millet and stir gently.
Spoon into muffin cups.
Bake 30-40 minutes until a knife comes out clean from the center.
Serve warm or at room temp.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

RECIPE: Easy Gnocchi Garden Skillet with Beef

This is equally as good with no meat. Simple and fast and tasty!

15 oz. can no-salt diced tomatoes, undrained  (I use fire roasted)
1 large zucchini, cubed
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup water
8 oz. sirloin steak, trimmed and cubed, uncooked
1 cup whole wheat gnocchi (potato dumplings in the pasta aisle or sometimes with refrigerated pasta) or mixture of plain and wheat
1/3 cup FRESH basil leaves (definitely go with fresh basil instead of dried)

In a large skillet, combine tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic and water. Place on high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer COVERED for 10 minutes.

Stir in beef and cooked covered for 5 minutes. Add gnocchi and basil and return to a slight boil. Cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Season with pepper.

Serves 4:  225 calories, 50 mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 19 g protein, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 165mg sodium

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back from the Gulf

Hey there Everyone!

I am back - back from illness and also back from spending a week at our condo in the Gulf. Such power sunshine and water have...

So, what was I doing down there?  Being completely selfish and doing whatever the heck I wanted. Yep, and I say that with no guilt. Husband and dog left behind in Indiana in a house I did not clean before leaving. Detect any guilt?  Nope.  Left behind a couple huge work projects I have going on. Detect any worry?  Nada, zilch, zero. Emails and phone messages were left to pile up. Detect any concern? Not one ounce! Found an outlet mall near the Gulf and went a little shoe crazy despite funds being a tad low right now. Am I filled with regret? Heck, no. No regret AND my feet are looking fine!

My point?

Being "selfish" occasionally isn't a bad thing....sometimes it's a self-sustaining thing, a renewal thing, a way to rejuvenate and refresh, a way to come back to your life with a little more verve. Truth is - it feels pretty darn good to have a little "you time".    I believe wholeheartedly in selflessness and service - but I also believe wholeheartedly in a little selfishness.  It's all about balance, right?

That all said, I have returned healthy and ready to dive into working out seriously again and fine-tuning my eating in preparation for the DC half marathon at the end of March (with deadlift queen Vanessa who will fly in from San Diego to run with me).   AND, I look forward to seeing all of you very soon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"easy" is good

Just got this in from that inspirational email service I subscribe to - seemed fitting:

"Like most things in life, getting what you want, or doing something new, or being really honest with yourself, is typically very, very hard for first timers, but then... it becomes patently, ridiculously, absurdly and preposterously EASY for the rest of eternity.

I'd say do it right, nail it, whatever it takes, because "easy" is good, and eternity is long.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Journey By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Thoughts Become Things"

Every so many days I receive an email from filled with affirmations and inspirations and new ways of perceiving. Here's one I just received and want to share with you all. -Sherri

Did you know, that you can expect extraordinary miracles to manifest in your life about 2% more often, simply by learning that your thoughts become the things and events of your life?


And that you can expect extraordinary miracles to manifest about 25% more often, when you not only learn this, but you also visualize at least several times a week? 

"Oh, cowabunga." 

But when you understand that "thoughts become things," you visualize,and you begin saying and doing things, every day, that you've never said or done before, the onslaught of serendipities and coincidences are immeasurable. 

"Holy #$%^! I'll have what she's having!" 

Yeah, sounds like it's worth it - 
The Universe