Shortly after our little Pomeranian died, my youngest son begged his dad to get another dog.  After much pleading and discussion, my husband gave in and said “OK, BUT it needs to be a little dog”.  The search began and my boy found what he thought was the perfect dog breed for our family—a golden retriever.  

Without wasting any time we adopted a 10 month old puppy that we thought would be ideal.  We affectionately nicknamed him “the Ben-ster”.   Holy cow!!!  I had no idea what we were in for.  This dog, at 80 pounds, seemed to me like he was as big as a horse…no kidding!  Standing on all four paws, his nose is even with our kitchen table, and when he jumps up he is almost as tall as me.  One of the articles we read said that golden retrievers were a medium sized breed.  I’m still not sure what kind of dogs they were being compared with.

With our little dog, I would take him on a walk if I felt like it.  But, the Ben-ster needs to go on at least one good walk a day—that means at least 45 minutes or it doesn’t count.   It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, how we feel, or even if we have time, every single day we are out there walking our dog.  Yesterday, I even started jogging with him…well……I guess you could call it jogging (sometimes I think I walk faster than I can jog).  I jog so slowly that the Ben-ster hardly even needed to pick up his pace.  The thing I keep reminding myself is that I am increasing my activity.  

Things have calmed down since the Ben-ster joined our family.  But, on the days when I really don’t feel like getting my walk or jog in, I just have to remember about what happens when he doesn’t get his walk, like the three lawn chairs and living room rug that were chewed up, or look out at the holes dug in our perfectly manicured lawn, and then I am out the door—so thanks “Ben-ster” for the additional motivation to get moving.

If you find that you also are having a hard time getting off the couch or out the door, go get yourself a big dog.   You’ll notice a huge difference in your activity level right away.

I think this video portrays exactly what Marquette and I want to get across in our blog.  That we are all beautiful!  Several months ago Marquette told me I needed to go on the Dove website because they had some great videos about real women.  I haven’t taken the time to visit the website but one of my FB friends just posted this video and I loved it!

What’s the difference between you and I and a supermodel??  The fact the we actually eat. :0  But seriously, the ONLY difference is we don’t have a make-up artist or an airbrusher in our bathrooms to get us ready every morning.  I think as women we understand this to an extent.  But I think this would be a great video to show any teenage girls you know as they are the ones to see the full onslaught of the magazines that shout out to them, “You’re Ugly!  You’re Fat!  You’ll never be good enough!”  And these cute, ultra-skinny girls believe it.

I was watching something on TV yesterday while I was at the gym and they were discussing this very thing.  In fact, they said that in France they’re going to start fining magazines that go to far on the whole airbrushing thing and that are using models that are too skinny.  In Germany, a magazine wants to start using “real” women as models.  Now wouldn’t that be refreshing.

I hope you enjoy the video:


So as you know, it’s my quest to lose one pound a week.  Seemingly an easy task.  But in reality it’s proving to be very difficult for me.  Last week I did a little search on how many calories it takes to lose 1 lb.  If you don’t know, it’s 3500 calories to lose 1 lb.  So I got to thinking about how I can either burn or cut out 500 calories a day.

I have to admit that I’m addicted to PB.  That’s peanut butter for you non-lovers of a purely delicious, creamy…and healthy protein.  OK, I’m not so sure about healthy but that’s what people say.  So I digress.  Yes, I’m addicted to PB.  No seriously!  On the low side, I probably consume 200-500 calories a day in PB.  I don’t even dare measure it and write it down because it would leave me speechless.  My Tablespoon is probably 3 times bigger than a normal Tbsp.

So besides cutting out PB (which is really hard if you’re an addict), I also figured I would burn at least 300 calories when I go to the gym.  That doesn’t count the weights I do.  Actually paying attention to how many calories I’m burning on the machines at the gym forces me to work much harder to burn those 300 calories.  I only have a limited amount of time.  Can’t spend all day buring 1,000,000 calories at the gym so I have to work fast. 

So here’s how I figure it, if I burn 300 calories a day exercising and take away 200 calories from PB, there’s my 500 calories a day…which is a little off since I rarely go to the gym on Saturdays and never on Sundays…but I’m still working out that little gliche.

I’m on week 1.  OK, I’m actually on week 2…but week one, I went out of town…was FORCED to eat a VERY delicious coconut bread pudding.  I made cookies for a party I didn’t even go to.  So you know what happened to those cookies…yep, I ate a large portion of them.  They had 1 lb of butter in them.  Aren’t dairy products supposed to help you lose weight???  So basically I’m on week one. 🙂

Please..enlighten me!  I’d love any ideas on what you do to cut out or burn 3500 calories.

This past weekend I went to support a friend who was running a marathon.  With cowbell in hand, I made my way to the marathon route to cheer her on.  I got to our meeting spot, mile 24, about an hour or so before I knew she was going to pass by so I had the chance to see lots of runners.  Here are my thoughts.

The runners in the category to qualify for the Boston Marathon…a big deal for anyone running a marathon….were fast!  And for the most part, quite fit looking.  They looked like “runners”.  That was a group that was running to finish in about 3 hrs 30 min. 

At around the 4 hr mark, the runners came in all shapes and sizes.  Some of them looked tired.  Some of them looked like they’d just gotten their second wind.  Many of them looked like they weren’t even running that fast.  But for a VERY slow runner like myself, they were actually cruising along at a very fast pace.  I notice a tall guy just loping along.  Many women who were definitely fit…but not skinny minnies.

By about the 4:30 hr pace, many of the people were walking.  Lots of these people were with someone…a friend, family member or running partner of some sort.  I saw a dad and a younger teenage boy and the back of their shirts said, “26.2 miles of bonding.”  I liked that!  There were lots of groups of women all wearing the same clothes.  There were old people and young people.  Many of these runners thanked us on the sidelines for cheering them on.

My friend finished in just under 5 hrs.  I ran (or should I say I attempted to run) the last 2 miles with her.  After running 24 miles, her pace was still faster than mine will ever be.  I had to bow out the last 3 blocks and let her do her own thing.

But the most important thing I saw were determined people.  Tall, short, fast, slow, fat, skinny.  All getting to the final destination at their own pace.  Looking towards the end with a single eye.  Never giving up, but continuing on…to the end.  Something we all need to remember.  We all have “marathons” we’re running in our lives.  We just need to keep going and never give up!  It takes courage and determination, but if we keep going at our own pace, and never give up…we’ll get there.  And we’ll know that our friends will be on the sidelines encouraging us and cheering us on.

Last night I made a post on Facebook that said:

“Does anyone think it’s a lofty goal to try and lose 1 lb a week?  ONE FREAKIN POUND!!  And I can’t do it!!!!  What does that say about me??”

I must have hit a hot button because I got lots of responses but one of my favorites was “That you are a NORMAL woman!….Just DON’T give up!”  Amen to that!!  As hard as we try as women and with all we have going on in life, the one thing we need to remember is…we are normal.  We’re doing the best we can.  And we need to just keep going…and never give up.

And as another friend said, “Throw away the scale.  If you are working out and are healthy that is all that matters.”  So true.  I don’t know if I’m the only one who thinks this or not, but if I’m working out, exercising, etc. I FEEL skinnier.  Doesn’t mean I am…but I feel like I am.  And that makes me a happy person. 🙂

I read a book written by an MD and he talked about how if you’re slightly depressed..exercise can be an natural anti-depressant.  If we exercise daily not only will it help us physically but it will also help us mentally.  I’ve found that to be so true.  Exercise has so many benefits.  It’s something I look forward to every day…even if it is at 6:30am.