19 January 2009

Talkin' bout the weather

I can't avoid it. I'm a Minnesotan, born and raised, and we can't help but talk about our crazy weather. As though after 15, 26, 35, or 78 years a swing of 40 degrees over 24 hours is something shocking. Those darn Alberta Clippers. One day a frigid -20F, the next 20F. Whew, now that that's out of my system...

This week was a new start for many reasons. New semester and new president being the two topping my list. I enjoyed it. If I remember correctly, I believe that January 21st was scientifically found to be the most depressing day of the year. It's grey, dreary, wintry, cold, the holidays are far gone enough that the mundane routine has likely returned, and many folks are lacking Vitamin D. 

I'm hoping that getting back to the grind will keep me preoccupied enough to power through to spring. The planning for Bike/Walk 2009 has commenced and that certainly helps for a speedy countdown to spring. Here's hoping finals don't interfere with the festivities and fun of what's sure to be the biggest event in Twin Cities Bike/Walk history. The state of the economy is going to make this the year for creativity and resourcefulness. 

Speaking of the crappy economy. This recession has caused our doorstep to have been directly shat upon, like so many others. I won't go into too many details, thankfully we haven't yet "lost" a job, but the ever increasing number of jobs cut down in wages/hours/benefits has now hit home. 

To pay homage to the tough times I brought some good old fashioned, truly Minnesotan "Recession Dip" to the inauguration potluck we attended on Tuesday. I leave you with the recipe. 

Recession Dip:
1 can - Spam or Spam LITE, shredded
1 can - Hormel Chili with Beans or Hormel 99% Fat Free Vegetarian Chili
2 cups - Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1. Remove Spam from can and thoroughly rinse
2. Shred spam with cheese grater
3. Mix all three ingredients in a microwave safe 2 quart casserole with lid
4. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, remove lid, stir, replace lid and microwave 5 more minutes
5. Enjoy. 

Serve with your favorite snack cracker. The cheaper the better. 

*Warning* If you have any issues with taking in too much sodium. Don't come within 5 feet of this dish.

08 January 2009

27 - 54 = 2009

With an equation like that I should have failed my statistics course this past semester, right? Not exactly. That equation isn't really mathematical at all. Instead it will serve as a reminder that I'm turning 27 and will do my damnedest to lose 54 lbs in 2009.

This fall was my first semester back to school in four years. My partner, Jon, and myself had some new household changes and challenges to tackle above and beyond the added adjustment of navigating full-time, nay, double-time grad school and a half-time job. He's been beyond supportive and understanding in every way imaginable, and I am more thankful that words can express to have him by my side constantly encouraging me and helping me down from the ledge when I'm a ginormous ball of stress. He is my rock. The end of 2008 allowed things wind down a bit, everything at this moment is more or less under control, and even thriving, for which I am also very thankful.

The calm of winter break has allowed me to reflect not only on aspects of my life that I can improve upon this upcoming semester and in 2009, but also brought to light the things that I let fall off by the wayside for the worse.

I'm chubby. Chubbier than ever before. When did this happen? I've lost lbs and been healthy weights, I've gained and been overweight. Well, I've always, in my mind, been a girl built with what we'll call a "more to love" physique. Overweight, not obese, but somewhat lucky for me curvy and fairly proportionate, even in my weight gain. The bubble butt is in the genes from ALL sides. I kid you not, even the youngest, thinnest, fittest, and athletic of my family members carry this back-side. Over the course of 26 years I have learned to embrace it. No matter how much I have ever gained or lost, it's always there to remind me to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Thank you, Noble/Morrison/Turner/Stensrud bubble butt, for teaching me such an important life lesson. Maybe I'll start referring to it as my "MacPack" an homage to Kirby Puckett and his "PuckPack"? Or not...

To what do I owe this latest case of "chubby"? I blame grad school, and my complete inability to manage school, work, home, and what my body needed. I think I have the tools I need now to improve that situation.

Things I will make time for in 2009:

1. I will ride my bike to school at least 3 times/week (once spring arrives).
2. I will consciously seek out at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
3. I will eat healthfully and once again faithfully follow my Weight Watchers plan.
4. I will lose 20% of my weight over the course of 2009. I've got 51 weeks.
5. We will buy a house in lovely Nordeast and add to our family.
6. I will try a new sport: Looks like it's going to be broomball, wish me luck.
7. I will go cross country skiing at least 3 times before the snow goes away.
8. I will try a new recipe twice a month.
9. I will diligently use my Blue Sky Guide.
10. I will make a conscious effort to see my closest friends, more often.
11. I will give Jon a straight answer on when we can start trying for babies.*

* Disclaimer: My getting pregnant requires that we purchase a cargo trike for me to carry my sure to be big, poorly balancing, pregnant self, and thereafter: our children and groceries.

This one will do: TrioBike