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Now that the big kids have gone back to their Dad’s for the school year, and Tommy has left for the sandbox, it’s really quiet here. We joked before everyone left that August was the month of “leaving” and that September would be the month of “peace”. Well, it’s not even September yet and it’s already Too. Darn. Quiet.
In addition to it being too quiet, there is too much food in this house! What an adjustment to go from cooking for 5.5 people to cooking for just 1.5! Turns out just two chicken breasts actually last me four days. I do not like to eat the same thing for four days in a row (unless it’s a Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad from Panera). A head of broccoli that used to disappear in one night now sits in the fridge so long I end up having to throw it out. That 5 pound bag of potatoes started creeping me out with all of its’ eyes staring at me every time I open the pantry!
I did manage to grill some chicken burgers the other day and made just a few homemade “fries” to go with, and a fresh salad. Unfortunately, the romaine has already started to wilt because it’s not being consumed quickly enough. At this rate, those Panera salads are easing themselves into becoming part of my daily diet.
Today I cooked a homemade pizza, one of my favorites! I take a thin crust, top it with a glaze of olive oil and italian herb seasoning, a thin layer of pizza sauce, mozzarella, green peppers, onions and turkey pepperoni. To top it off, I sprinkle more italian herb seasoning on top and bake it at 425 for 10 minutes. It’s really quick and delicious. However, since I made this for lunch, I didn’t feel like cooking for dinner. Yes, there were plenty of leftovers of this pizza. Who wants to eat the same thing for 2 meals a day? Not me. So…I had to run out to drop some stuff off anyways so to Panera I went.
Besides, cooking for one (and a half) is no fun!
Some might say that a challenge presented by oneself doesn’t really count as an actual challenge. Pffftt, I say. It totally does count. My challenge to myself is one of fitness and health.
Over the summer, while everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is trying to watch what they eat and keep their figures beach ready, I’ve been indulging. My kids were home for the summer, and we had a couple of birthdays to celebrate. With birthdays come cake, something that is not usually present in our home. There was also the additional snacks in our home that I don’t usually keep here…everything from cheese sticks to graham crackers to pretzels. Now, to be fair, we had our fair share of fruit and yogurt on hand as well, which was never turned down when offered as an alternative to some of the “sweeter” snacks (except by me…I am not a fan of yogurt despite my best efforts). My husband was here for the summer too, which meant that we dined out frequently because some of his favorite indulgences aren’t available to him overseas.
In addition to my poor diet over the summer, my exercise became almost non-existent. I was taking daily walks with my youngest each morning. Those dissipated as soon as school was out. My excuse was that I couldn’t leave all the kids here by themselves while I went out and walked. Two of the kids would wake up at a decent hour, while the other two seemed to sleep half the morning away. I would use the heat as an excuse as well…it was even too hot to go swimming out back!
My high-fat low-movement regime resulted in an extra 5 pounds that went straight to my mid-section. Now that school is back in session and my husband is about to depart back to his job overseas, it’s time for me to get back on track. My challenge to myself is to cut the fat and increase the activity level. I joined a local gym a little over a week ago, and I had my orientation earlier this week. Challenge Accepted! The plan is to go to the gym Monday through Friday-every day. Five days a week, one hour each day. This seems like quite a challenge, especially each morning when I wake up and think to myself how tired I am, how good it feels to just lay in the bed, there’s always tomorrow…yadda yadda yadda. Then, I force myself to get up, get dressed, and just do it. Who knows? Maybe this challenge will lead to a greater challenge later on…can you say Triathlon?
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