Wednesday

Wednesday

Not improving my attitude any, but this thought occurs to me:

Even when I feel:
  • inadequate
  • useless
  • overwhelmed

He is still the I AM. And, thank the Lord, that isn't dependent on how I feel.

I think tonights episode of 'LOST' was my favorite yet.

Tuesday

Tuesday

I started my day with this:

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Cor. 4:10)

Beautiful, isn't it? Unfortunately, it didn't get me very far.

WHAT. A. DAY. in Room 24. Never, never, never do I want to drive away from those babies and never come back. Oh, I desperately want to go home, and many, MANY days I am thankful I don't have to go back the next day, but I always look forward to loving on them again when I see them again. But the rest of it? The paperwork, testing, disgruntled parents -- I could drive away from and never come back to in a heartbeat. Again -- WHAT. A. DAY.

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My ladies retreat this weekend was an interesting study in human nature. I find that I look at all groups of people as, "What would that person be like as a second grader?" They aren't too hard to peg, generally. There's the kid that likes to annoy people because they take great joy in it, then there's the kid that annoys people and doesn't even know it. There's the kid that's everyone's mommy, and there's the kid that can't sit down and/or stop talking if their life depended on it. Then there's the kid that is all of those rolled into one. There's the kid who gets stuck in work because they missed one word way back there and are fixated on it. Just so funny. I was the kid in second grade that couldn't shut up. I doubt that surprises you about me.

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The other unbelievable event of the weekend was the dust storm. If you weren't here -- well, I can't even describe it. But you know I have to try -- imagine unbelievably thick, orangy-brown fog. There you go. And WIND like you wouldn't believe. Around 50 mph, with visibility about 1/4 mile. Track meets, soccer games, baseball tryouts were all canceled -- due to DIRT. Have you ever heard of such? It was simply amazing. And, thankfully, it is over, leaving wheezing, sneezing, hacking children in its wake.

Monday

Monday Morning

From Beth Moore's blog:
Sometimes if you want to go face to face with Jesus, you've got to go face to face with the carpet.

That's my 42 Days of Faith thought for today!

I need you to meet my friend, Amy. Amy and her husband, Justin were dear friends in Temple while Justin was in medical school. Read about the year she's having here. Then, if you're in Fort Worth on Saturday, grab a blue and white bandana and go cheer on the Indianettes as they play in the State Tournament! Go, Indianettes!

Sunday

42 Days of Faith

This weekend at our ladies' retreat I had the opportunity to "tell my faith story" -- which I had to limit to less than 3 days' worth of talking, so it had to be a portion of my faith story. People were very gracious and some even thanked me for sharing my story. In reply, I would very honestly say, "I am honored to tell my story, and even more honored to be a part of God's story that I can tell."

I was reminded (again) that God is constantly at work in all of our lives doing amazing things. Little by little, drip by drip, our lives become an amazing force of His work. And, I was reminded (again) that I am missing most of it. I am so entrenched in the everyday that I am missing the eternal works happening right in front of my nose. Busy-ness keeps me blinded to His majesty and His holiness all around me.

All of this is so ironic since a portion of my lectureship talk in September was on 2 Peter 1:3,4:
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness
through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that
through them you may participate in the divine nature
and escape the
corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
(italics mine)

And I went on to point out that a)PLEASE notice that we are called to participate in the divine nature and b)most of us are missing the divine because we are so bogged down with the daily. Oh, yes, that is me. And, evidently, I am not alone.

I think of my days and all that I actually do get accomplished (laundry, to work, kids' projects, errands, etc.) because I have to and some things I get accomplished because I like it (exercise). I am convicted of how empty it all can be and become if I'm not doing those things at His feet and at the foot of the Throne.

In this season of Lent I am committing to finding my way there. I say "the season of Lent" simply because it is and I need to give myself time to establish this habit and fuel this desire. I want to spend every day of my life at the foot of His throne, seeing all that I do in a day through His eyes and with His love. The crazy part is that I will still be able to do all that I do, and I will probably love to do all of it so much more than I do. So what am I waiting for?

What will this look like? How will this be different than yesterday? Well, that's still what I'm praying about and figuring out. Obviously, I will need to be intentional about time in prayer and in His word. Which, again, can have thousands of interpretations. The biggest change will be what Beth Moore calls a "re-wallpapering of the mind", which will involve "taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) Which makes me tired just to write.

I hesitated to put this on my blog, for several reasons:
  1. People generally assume one person's confession and renewal of commitment is an indictment or finger-point at them. Not true. This is what the Lord is currently putting on my heart. You'll have to decide what the Lord is putting on your heart.
  2. I will fail. Seriously. Not, "I might" or "I could" but I will definitely fail. I want to live the rest of my breathing days under His wing, in His word, radiating His light, but I will not. Life will take over, I will grab back the reins, and gallop on my way into my own mess. I will. The Lord is gracious and forgiving and will welcome me back when I am ready, but then I will also have the eyes of all the internet on me as I slink back to where I was supposed to be in the first place.
  3. This could be viewed as Pharisee- talk -- standing on the street corner, yada, yada. I guess I'm way worse than the street corner since anyone with an internet connection can read this. I, personally, am viewing it as public confession and accountability. Feel free to challenge me on that point.

There are many more reasons for NOT putting it on my blog, but the reason I chose to is simple: I realize I do, in fact, need to be held accountable to this, and would appreciate anyone that feels called to do so to say a little prayer for me. The last week has also led me to realize how many people read this blog that I have NO idea about (Hey, Melissa B.! :-) and I'm sure one of them might say a prayer for me. I would really hate to miss out on one.

So, I will go on my way, seeking the Lord's heart (I love that He really isn't all that hard to find and WANTS to be found!) and filling my heart with Him. I will stumble and fall on my face and still have grouchy days, but I know that if I start with Him, the rest falls into place. What's so hard about that?

Friday

Fitness, Schmitness

Okay, if I get some major spurt of inspiration later today I will try to post a Fitness Friday. If I miss this week will anyone notice? Will anyone be heartbroken if Fitness Friday goes away? I'm not getting much feedback on it, other than how much Karene hates it (no, I don't take that personally, at all -- I get what she means). And it's becoming such a struggle to come up with info that would actually BE info that I don't know how much it's worth the effort. I will tell you MY fitness tip for the week: DO NOT assume that Sonic's "low-fat yogurt fruit smoothies" are healthy. I should have known when it tasted EXACTLY like a Dairy Queen blizzard -- I could have had an entire Happy Meal or an order of fried cheesesticks, or TWO lean cuisine meals for how many calories are in the regular!

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Insight into why I haven't (and shouldn't have) been blogging this week:

I was out and called Troy at home: "Are you standing in... that room where you could check ingredients for me?"
"Do you mean the kitchen?"
"That's the word!"

I returned someone's phone call and left this message: "Yes, I'm going to be at... whatever it is you asked me if I'm going to be at (awards ceremony is THAT difficult phrase I was searching for) and I can help you with whatever you asked me to do."

Words fail me. Frequently.
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We finished up basketball season last night. We had a great season with a wonderful coach. We had a difficult game Tuesday night with some unfortunate coaching from the other team. He made an illegal substitution for that game (your roster as to who is your 'A' team and who is your 'B' team is supposed to be set for the season back in December). Things didn't go well, and, yes, I'm more irritated because we lost -- but not just because we lost but because 21 girls in the 9 and 10 year-old division witnessed that bending the rules to suit you causes your team to prevail.

I can't say much more because I'm still so ticked about it, but the funniest part to me was all of the mommies I was sitting with -- from our team -- are all fair-skinned, including myself. As the game continued to tank and the other team's fans continued to be hateful, I turned to my friend, Marion and asked, "I can feel that my face is flushed -- are my cheeks red?"
"Yes," she replied, "is my neck splotchy?"
Indeed it was. We checked out red-head, freckled Debra, wearing a scoop-neck top, who pointed at her neck and chest -- it looked like she had been in the sun for 12 hours. Red-head, freckled Angie, sitting next to her, was of the splotchy-neck camp. Fair-skinned people can learn to keep their mouths shut, but their skin will give them away every time.

But we finished with a fun game last night and I'm so proud of all of our girls for not only hanging in with a tough game, but realizing it's not okay to stoop just because other folks will.
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I have a full day today, one of my glorious days off. I am headed to my gym for my love/hate relationship with my RPM class. This afternoon my Ashley gets an award for some writing she did, then this evening is Ladies Retreat. I am NEVER in the mood to go to that -- I am very much a homebody and am always exhausted by Friday night, as well -- but I am always glad I went. It's about "Telling Our Story" and Judy Thomas is our speaker --it should be great!

Sunday

Mark Your Calendars

I sacrificed my Sunday afternoon nap today. Well, I actually had a few moments to lay down, but my husband, known as Snuffleupagus (yes, I looked up how to spell it) during allergy season, was having mucho sinus trouble, so no nap. Then up and re-dress in our Sunday finery for a movie. Well, big deal, you went to the movie on a Sunday afternoon, right?

Not just any movie -- you can't see it yet! ACU had a special sneak preview of The Ultimate Gift. It is based on a book by the same name that ACU is currently giving to donors. Troy, as Mr. Donor-Relations-Type person has read this book and let me read it. It's a good book, quick read, if a bit cheesy at times. The movie was FABULOUS. They did throw in a purposeful MAJOR tear-jerker thread throughout the movie that wasn't in the book, but the actor playing the lead pulled off the character as far more believable than what I read in the book.

This movie will open March 9 (I have no idea where). To encourage big ticket sales opening weekend, you can also donate $1 of your ticket price that weekend to a charitable organization OF YOUR CHOICE -- cool deal, huh? Get details here. Take EVERYONE you know to go see it. We took the kids -- and both of them laughed out loud at parts, but Riley voted it as "too mushy". But it was clean enough for both of them, and I do think even with the mush, some valuable lessons were learned. I'm not even sorry I missed my nap!

Friday

Fitness Friday #7: What's Your Number?, Part 2

You thought I forgot, didn't you? NEVER -- but I am quite delayed due to employment as well as frivolity today.

I asked for Fitness Friday topic ideas and the only response I got included these questions:
  • More information on “What is a glycemic index?”
  • More information on good carbs versus bad carbs
  • Being vegetarian – where does your protein come from?

Perhaps I should direct that kind person here, where she will learn (shhhhhhhhhhhhh) I don't really know what I'm talking about!!! All of that is WAY beyond my expertise! I know just enough about each of those questions to make me dangerous.

So, I'm moving on with more numbers you should know! These fall more in the exercise range of numbers you should know:

1) How many times per week to exercise: Short answer -- optimally, 3-5 times per week. Long answer -- if you do not exercise AT ALL right now, one more time per week than you did last week. It's always a goal, right? And, ALWAYS remember: ANYTHING is better than nothing!

2) How long should you exercise: AGAIN -- ANYTHING is better than nothing, especially when you are establishing a habit. I saw a plan for a walking workout recently that took a beginning exerciser walking 15 minutes 4x/ week to walking for an hour 6x/week. That is the PERFECT plan for a retired someone who will end their 60 minute walk in the food court. For the rest of us, that is ridiculous. It also would leave a novice to think that if this 12-week program has them walking an hour/ day, an intermediate program might get you walking 2-3 hours/ day. PEOPLE -- we're trying to be healthy to live life, which includes HAVING one. We're not trying to MAKE it our life! 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at 70% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) is PLENTY. Sure, you'll burn more calories if you go longer, but not enough to make it worth sweating over (in a manner of speaking).

3) Maximum heart rate = 220-(your age). Since I'm 26, my MHR is 194 (just seein' if you're still paying attention!) MHR means precisely that -- anything higher than that is dangerous level. Even approaching that number for more than about 60 seconds at a time is not an effective workout. For optimal fat-burning, those 30-45 minute workouts should be at 70% of your MHR. We remember how to take percentages, right? Multiply MHR by .7 -- you will be surprised at how LITTLE you have to do to get your heart-rate to that level. Especially if you haven't been working out!

This brings me to something I will eventually dedicate an entire Fitness Friday to: my beloved heart-rate monitor. It was a Christmas gift (that I had asked for) for Christmas 2005 and I have used it CONSTANTLY. They cost about as much as a pair of decent exercise shoes, and will last through a lot more workouts! It all goes to my "Knowledge is Power" mantra. I think it allows me to work smarter, not necessarily harder or longer, in my workouts. Besides a decent pair of shoes, this would be my number one recommendation for a fitness purchase.

Keep movin' and shakin' out there!

Know your numbers!

Knowledge is Power!

ANYTHING is better than nothing!!

You won't take care of anything you don't love!

We love fitness Friday! :-)


Thursday

Preach it, Katherine

Now Katherine has solved what was, to her, a mystery. To me, no mystery, yet annoying nonetheless. I rarely go back through my comments on my own blog -- I'm doing good to get one written, as you probably notice -- but I like to respond to many of the individual comments. If I have this person's email address, I can do that. But most of my comments come from: "noreply-comment(at)blogger.com." Because my noreply people haven't checked the box. Katherine goes into great detail here. We're starting a grass-roots bloggy campaign. Check the box, people.

And this Valentine's Day comment by Caiden has had me laughing for two days now. Love it, love it.

AND -- if you're a blogger-type person, you, too have probably been forced to switch to new blogger by now. Still looks all the same to me, ... except... the little label things. That completely stresses me out. Write, write, write, yak, yak, yak, I can do, but summarize? There's supposed to be a TOPIC to these things? So I'm guessing that 98% of my labels will be: "blogging". How's that for a label and summary?

Wednesday

And To All a Lovely Night

The thermometer for my live weather updates must be broken -- it has read 22* all the live-long day. My car says that it has actually gotten up to 28*, but it's pretty much all the same, isn't it? Because this is the day of romance, some anchor lady on the news said, "Well, at least it's good snuggling weather." Maybe -- at her house.

Since my Valentine and I have such drastic variances in what is a comfortable temperature, snuggling at our house goes something like this: we get all snuggled up. I begin to thaw. He begins to squirm. I am beginning to regain feeling in my extremities. He continues to squirm. I am just getting nice and cozy warm, drowsy even when he can take it no more: "You're going to HAVE to get up oh my gosh I am burning up can I get you the heating pad? electric blanket? because I am burning up get up get up get up get OFF OF ME NOW!" Yes, snuggling at our house is the pinnacle of romance.

The kids are really cute and Ashley is especially excited this year to lavish love on her family members -- yes, even including her brother. Ashley has a January birthday so she still has some money and has spent a little on a little gift for each of us. A few days ago we were going to Academy (my very favorite sporting goods store in the whole world) for me to replace my walking shoes. Ashley had her money with her and, on the way there, said, "Mom, feel free to point out anything for Valentine's day."

"For ME?"

"Yeah, it just has to be less than... (tallies up what's in her fist) $30."

"PLEASE do not spend $30 on a Valentine's gift for me -- I didn't spend $30 on YOU."

(rolling her eyes) "Yeah, but, sheesh, Mom, you gave birth to me."

She has a point.

Monday

Because he's the daddy

Our Ashley is adult-sized. She is not adult shaped, and, at barely 11, isn't an adult, but she is adult sized. Over 5' tall and in ladies clothes that do not fit because she isn't shaped like a lady yet, but the girl that she still is. She is still getting used to those long legs and ginormous feet that she inherited from her mother.

Last night, due to events we will never understand other than the earth's gravity, Ashley's feet came completely out from under her while she was walking into the kitchen. She had both hands full, so the entirity of her adult-sized body landed on her tailbone on our tile floor. As Troy and I stood over her trying to help her and determine what happened it quickly became obvious that even if there WERE something you could do for an injured tailbone, we didn't know what it was, and watching her cry and writhe in pain was heartbreaking.

So Troy squatted down and, without even audibly groaning, scooped up her adult-sized body as if she were still 3 or 4 and carried her to a more comfortable spot
-because she's his baby girl
-because she needed him
-because he's the daddy.

Sunday

Sunday Thoughts

  • A former elder in our church, Mr. Manly, was having a landmark birthday and the entire congregation was invited to celebrate with him. I thought nothing of it, but Ashley found it HILARIOUS that an entry in the church calendar read: "Manly Birthday Party".
  • My take-home quote for the day: "Holiness is more important than happiness."
  • I went shopping this afternoon for a new top for Ashley to wear to church. I tried to find some balance between, "My mother is an old woman and shops for me" and "I'm even sluttier than I dress". Evidently, there is no middle ground.
  • Don't even get me started on trying to shop for pajamas for boys that don't advertise either a superhero or moronic sea creature.
  • Why does Old Navy have swimsuits out, but winter stuff isn't on sale?
  • I can't imagine a social or seasonal occasion that low-rise tweed shorts with less than a half-inch inseam would be called for.

I leave you with a Riley observation:

My children don't run fever. They get sick, but they RARELY run fever. Riley generally gets the flu -- he's due in about 3 weeks -- and will run pretty high fever then. Other than that, we're not real big in the fever deparatment. Riley has now determined, however, that if he feels the least bit unwell, he should take his temperature and determine exactly HOW sick he is. I guess I should give in to this, since his temperature of 97.8 would validify my stance that he isn't sick at all.

Tonight, as I lay with him in bed, he said, "My stomach doesn't feel very well. Can I go take my temperature?"

"No, why don't you just go on to sleep and see how you feel in the morning?"

"If my stomach still hurts in the morning, can I take my temperature?"

"If your stomach still hurts in the morning, what will I tell you?"

"To drink some water... (shaking his head) I know you too well."

"My friends think I'm a mean mommy (for telling my potentially sick kid to just drink water)."

"I think you just don't know where the thermometer is."

Friday

Fitness Friday #6: What's Your Number?



As I mentioned last week, "Knowledge is Power" is my mantra for fitness. Which is too bad, because there are many times that I don't WANT knowledge -- I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that what I have been eating is healthy and my lack of exercise is not a problem. *sigh* Knowledge is not only power, it's nagging!

So, what all do you need to know for fitness?

1. Weight -- obviously. Your weight isn't the be-all, end-all of your fitness level, but it is one indicator. There are SO many theories/ ideas out there about IF you should weigh, when to weigh, how often to weigh, etc. Here's the deal: It's only a NUMBER!! It isn't yelling at you! It's a measure of your health for better or worse! It's no different than your blood pressure, cholesterol, temperature and a million other indicators that tell us about your health. I weigh every day and the number goes up and down and I figure out what makes it go up and down (chinese food = up!) and I get a fairly decent ballpark figure of what my true weight is. So I know. I can't imagine not knowing what you SHOULD weigh, but here is a chart in case you need reminding. Oh, and I do like what Dr. Phil calls your "get real" weight. For instance, I could aspire to weigh what I did when I got married, but that was 15 years and two kids ago, and I was at the thinnest I had been pretty much since I had been an adult. So, my "get real" weight is what I weighed when I was 30. It's a healthy weight and attainable.

2. Body Fat percentage -- again, just a number as an indicator of your health. This one is MUCH harder to take accurately. There are all kinds of ways to take your body fat percentage. Healthy for men is 5-15% and 15-25% for women. I have a 'body fat analyzer' scale, so it can tell me body fat (first I have to log in all kinds of info including how I voted in the last presidential election, I think). There are SO many things that make the reading fluctuate, though, that I don't take it very often. Recently I advised someone that if they get a body fat analyzer scale to take their body fat every day for a week to get a ballpark figure of where they are, then only take it once a week or once a month. It takes a LONG time to truly change your body fat percentage.

This just makes me think of a funny story that is indicative of my house. My body fat analyzer scale thinks "ideal" body fat is 25% -- so we have philosophical differences in that regard. It will also tell me, after it measures body fat, how many calories I am currently burning in an average day at my current weight, then it tells me my ideal weight (based on the fat % reading it just took) and how many calories I will burn at THAT weight. So, if my body fat % is ever UNDER 25%, my ideal weight is MORE than my current weight. So, I was telling Troy that my scale thought I needed to gain weight.
"Why?"
"Because it thinks I need to have a higher body fat % than I think I need."
"Of course it does."
"Which is why you are crazy about me."
"No, that's just why you are CRAZY. period."
He so doesn't buy into my obsession.

3) Calories required. Again, these are starting to get tougher. You need to know how many calories are required to keep your body movin' and shakin' in a day! There are all KIND of different formulas, tips, tricks, and hoops to jump through to try to figure this one out. THIS is the BEST calculator I have found for that. I have NO idea how accurate it is (it seems in line with most other sources) but it gives you SO much information -- how many calories, how many of what nutrient, etc. -- oh, and all of that information for if you are pregnant or lactating!

Obviously, if you know how many calories are required, you can figure out how many calories you need to lose weight (tip -- you need less), etc. Which brings us back to last week's fun post for Fitness Friday.

Other numbers that I will talk about later:
  • times per week to exercise
  • heart rate while exercising (tip -- you don't have to feel like you're dying!)
  • length of time for an effective workout (tip -- it doesn't have to take all day!)

And on and on it goes. Knowledge is power! Keep learning!

Anyone out there have any questions for the next Fitness Friday?

Amazing

Fitness Friday is in the works: Know your numbers!

But, what does it say about us as a nation that this is the biggest news item this week? Yikes.

Thursday

At one point I knew...

Grading spelling tests:

It's 'sauce', right? Not 'sause'??

Is it 'family' or 'familly'??

Is it 'awful' or 'awfull'??

I've seen it wrong (or was it 'rong'??) TOO many times!

Wednesday

I've Always Suspected

Charlie Gibson, from ABC World News Tonight must read my blog: Check out the story he ran tonight.

You already knew that information, didn't you?

They Call Me 'The Stirmanator'

It has not been an easy week in Room 24. Many of those situations that come from being in a different mindset than mine, different world, different household have come to light and been hurdles for us. Add to that some cold (was that last week or the week before that I said I don't get colds?) or something that only has me coughing when I lie down to try to sleep at night and I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

Yesterday, in getting geared up for what had the potential to be a tense parent conference, I put on something that looked nice (including my black pants) and because it was about 34* when I left the house, I threw on a black suit jacket. Even though the jacket was bought about 10 years before the pants, both being black, people assume I'm wearing some fancy suit-type thing when I put them on together. Then, because the sun was out for the first time in a month, I stuck my sunglasses on top of my head so that I would have them for recess because come what may, Room 24 was getting OUTSIDE in the sun!

The daily chaos began when the bell rang to come into the class and I was still juggling papers, welcoming kids, receiving signed papers when the perpetually-tardy Thing 1 came into class breathlessly asking if he was late. "No, sweetie, you still have 5 minutes. You did great today."

"Thanks. You look really beautiful, Mrs. Stirman. You look like, like, like a Secret Agent."

At that point I realized I still had my sunglasses on top of my head. God just continues to give me little blessed surprises amongst it all -- I did have a good laugh over being mistaken (by a 2nd grader, of course) for a secret agent while I was a 2nd grade teacher. Yeah, I get that a lot! HA!

Monday

The Way I See It

So I'm listening to this guy -- VERY interesting. But he is saying that I am far too "Western" (as in, hemisphere) in my interpretation of the Bible and I need to think like the Easterners because that is how it is written.

Then all the "experts" tell me that to teach effectively, I need to approach my class from their perspective and culture, which, statistically, means for my class I need to think like someone from single-income, single-parent, minority family.

Where do I sign up to think like a middle-class white girl, married with 2 kids and a dog because truly, that is my only area of expertise. I know, my world is too small but for the next 24 hours, can I please just keep it that way?

Sunday

Dueling Zingers

Riley and I love puzzles. Ashley and Troy tolerate our card table full of puzzle and pieces. Lately Riley and I have been pouring over puzzles which gives us time to crack each other up.

Recently, he was eating an apple while working on the puzzle (ignore that if you have a "no food while puzzling" policy).

I said, "Ummm, Riley, your apple smells good."

Without missing a beat, he said, "Don't sweat it. There's better apples out there, Mom."

So I cracked HIM up when he was trying to explain to me why Ashley was being so vocal about the computer game she was playing. It's some kind of M&M's math game where you answer math problems going through the M&M's factory, I don't know.

He looked at the screen and said, "Well, she's at a checkpoint."

S -- "What's a checkpoint?"

R -- "It's where you go when you die."

S -- "So... it's like heaven for M&M's?"

R -- "Yeah, (laughing)... good one, Mom."

I got a "good one, Mom"!!!! One for mom!

Friday

Fitness Friday #5: Get In the Know

Alternate titles to this blog is: The Lazy Blog Author's Guide to Fitness, or Get Your Own Darn Information.

The internet has opened up an enormous world for all of us, and those looking for fitness helps are no exception. However, you have to proceed with caution about information on the internet. I mean, I'm giving out fitness information, for pity's sake! Trust your source! This is one of my favorite quotes:
"We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true." Robert Wilensky

He said it! Anyone with a keyboard can launch any information into cyberspace! I will try to steer you to some good websites that go in line with my third (and so far, final) mantra for Fitness Friday: Knowledge is Power (you KNOW you want to sing the School House Rock theme now! :-)

Fitness requires paying attention to many things: your current weight/ body fat percentage, how many calories your body requires, how many calories you're taking in, calories expended while exercising, as well as how hard you need to exercise for it to do any good. All of these things are information you need to be aware of so that you can take control of your own fitness. None of them are indictments about your current fitness level, they are simply information.

Some websites I have really utilized:

fitday.com -- I like all of the graphs and charts! Oooh -- and I LOVE that it's FREE!! You can track your daily weight, caloric and nutrient intake, and exercise/ calories burned -- or any combination of the three. I currently only track my weight -- my chart is making a nice ascent lately!

nutritiondata.com -- more FREE! You can find nutritional info for pretty much any food in existence on the planet. More graphs and charts (love those things! :-) You can also add foods to your "pantry", then, using foods from your pantry, determine the nutritional information of a recipe. Cool!

dietfacts.com has nutritional info about many restaurants. However, I generally just google the restaurant name + nutritional info and can come up with the restaurant's own nutritional info.

A great site if you are trying to boost your exercise level is coolrunning.com. I, personally, love their "Couch-to-5k Training Program!"

I'm not running much anymore, but mapmyrun.com will keep track of your distance walking with a clever little map!

Many other, non-free places are available if you would like specific guidance about your diet (and occasionally exercise). I utilized ishape.com for a while, but the "personalized" part of it was quite lacking and I basically used it like I now use fitday.com -- to record my weight and exercise.

weightwatchers.com is a place to be a member without ever attending a meeting. Great program, I'm too cheap to use the website (I've never paid for a meeting, either -- I use info you can find on the internet!) so I can't speak to it, but I feel certain it's great and I know people who have tremendous success using the web site.

ediets.com seems to be pretty good -- but I have no personal experience with it, nor know anyone who does.

All in all, there is EVERYTHING out there. Do you have any favorites I haven't mentioned?
 
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