Saturday, May 31, 2008

No Fair! No Cheat!

One thing I don't like about this Zone diet is that you can't really cheat. WeightWatchers has a bunch of zero-point food, so if I'm still hungry but don't have the points to spare, I could always eat a cucumber with salsa, for nothing!

But on the zone one 9" cuke is one block, and you pretty much have to eat it with one block of protein and one of fat. I only have 8 blocks, so I don't snack as much as I used to. :-(((

I do drink a lot more water, though.

OMG-Another Blog!

Well, I was intending to keep this one blog, but enough people have voiced an interest in reading about our trip, people who I'd rather not read about all the personal crap I've gone through the last several years. (People like my former students. They don't need to know about all my angst.)So, I decided to start another blog devoted entirely to our trip. I definitely want you to check it out, too. It's called Janola Rambles.

Of course, I'll still keep this one.

***Edit*** I got a travelblog, but am having difficulties. So, I just made another one with Blogger, since I haven't had any big problems in while.

Friday, May 23, 2008

2 Beers

Much may be, not solved, but pleasantly forgotten after 2 beers have been applied.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

1 Block Snack

Yesterday I announced to the world that I, Janola, was on the Zone Diet. I had my official WeightWatcher's weigh-in this morning and it showed a loss of 2.4lbs. :-)

So, I'm going to stick with the Zone for a bit. At least until the end of school. Just thought I'd share my afternoon snack with you all.

1 Block Snack

*1/4 c lowfat cottage cheese (1 protein)

*1 c sliced strawberries (1 block) (Boy, am I glad it's strawberry season. They are one of the few fruits where so much is one block.)

*1/2 tsp smooth, organic peanut butter (Sheesh! Have you ever eaten only a half a teaspoon of peanut butter? I'm nursing it as we speak!)

I had another 2 block salad for lunch and felt a bit hungry after 2 hours, so am now quite full and satisfied after my snack. There was a time when so little food would have made me sad.

Well, I am a bit sad about the peanut butter.

Name Change

Well, soon I will no longer work in the Land of Alphabet Soup. No more 504s, no more RtIs, etc. etc.

What will the new name be? I know I blogged a bit on it a while ago. I also acknowledge that while completing many cool knitted projects I haven't taken any pix, so I have none to post for you.

The new name will probably be Janola, since that is the address.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2 Block Lunch

I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but all week I've been on the Zone Diet.

Normally I snub anything that smells like a fad diet. I've been very loyal to WeightWatchers and totally believe in their weight-loss philosophy. (My husband is the one who brought the Zone into the house.)

With that said, you may recall that I've been struggling to maintain my weight this year. I feel that it's mostly stress-related and hope that it'll go away once school is over. BUT...I couldn't wait. I wanted to get a jump on shedding those extra pounds and have been trying all school year. So, I decided to listen to my husband's advice of trying something different since my normal routine wasn't making me happy.

That meant reading a bit of the Zone Diet book (which reads a lot like the Atkin's Diet book I read 9 years ago). According to their math I should be consuming 8 "blocks" a day. Basically, a block is a measure of food, much like WW and their "Points" system. Also, on the Zone you can eat whatever you want, but the "blocks" kinda favor healthy foods, much like WW and their "Points" system.

This is what the Zone says I should be eating: three 2-block meals and two 1-block snacks. So for each meal I should eat 2 blocks of protein, 2 blocks of carbohydrates, and 2 blocks of fat.

This is what I had for lunch today. Oh, goody, I can make this as a list!!

Two Block Lunch

*1 c raw broccoli (1/2 block carbs)

*1 1/2 c chopped mushrooms (1/2 block carbs)

*4 1/2" of cucumber, chopped (1/2 block carbs, and, yes, I used a ruler)

*1/2 c chopped tomato (1/2 block carbs)

*1 oz bleu cheese (1 block protein)

*1 oz cooked flank steak (1 block protein; Hubby keeps a bucket o' cooked meat in the fridge)

*2 tbsp lowfat dressing (2 blocks fat; OK, I'll admit I fudged it a bit. Not the 2 tbsp but the number of blocks)

*Also added ~1 c lettuce and ~1/4c cilantro (0 blocks; FYI 1 block of lettuce = 6 bloody cups. That is a lot of lettuce to chow down, my friends, and yes, I did that this week!)

Well, there you have it. It's a lot of veggies and not a lot of meat. The bleu cheese was nice because it added a ton of flavor.

Is it working? I weigh-in tomorrow.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Can't Believe It!

While watching a movie set in India, it suddenly struck me. I am going to India. I mean, it's kinda freaky. Me. India. Going. Elephants. Foreign.

It's also hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that instead of starting another year of school in September, I'll be in Egypt.

And snorkeling in the Red Sea.

And floating in the Dead Sea. In Jordan.

And possibly smoking some flavored tobacco in Syria.

And eating tasty food in Turkey.

And wondering what the heck is going on in Thailand.

And wondering "how did I get here?" in China.

And feeling overwhelmed in Japan.

And swimming and snorkeling in the warm, crystal clear waters of Indonesia.

And meeting new people, sending post cards, relaxing in pubs and cafes, knitting while surrounded by different smells and sounds.

And I really can't believe that all that newness will become commonplace.

Monday, May 12, 2008



There, I said it. I. will. be. thirty-nine. years. old.

I don't know why I find this particular birthday so upsetting. I think part of it is some deep down insecurity (gosh, ya' think?) about how women in their 40s are somehow less-than. That, as a woman, I'm done. I know that today, all sorts of women 40 and older are doing all sorts of things: having children, leading successful careers, running for president.

I'm not going to get all weirded-out, reflecting on what I have/haven't done. I like my life and I've done some good stuff and have some stuff I'd still like to do. I'm not planning on having children so I've been ignoring my biological clock for some time now. And I'm not 40 yet. Just very-close-to-40.

I remember, as a kid, how women my age and older were not treated very well. Lots of them got divorced or laid-off (or maybe it was just in all those movies and TV I saw in the '80s). I guess part of me thinks that bad stuff will happen to me just because I'm .... as old as I am.

Or, maybe I'm a bit down because I don't look as great as Catherine Zeta-Jones. She's 39 this year, too. (On second thought, she looks way older than me XD).

Maybe I need a personal trainer, personal chef, and plastic surgery like these other women have/had??

***Update** There's a link in the title. Go ahead and check out other 39ers.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ancient Medicine Revealed

I think most of us are familiar with the image of men using booze as a medicinal since ancient times. Don't most westerns show some cowboy numbed by whiskey in order to let a friend dig a bullet out of him with a penknife?

Well, I put that idea to the test today. Ever since Saturday my legs have been very sore and stiff. Not only is walking a challenge but trying to find a comfortable position sitting, standing, and lying down has been very difficult. After three days like this I gave up on massages and stretching and sought relief from a bottle of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. One shot mixed with diet Pepsi (x 2) and boy howdy! life is so much better!!!!!!!!!!!!

The truth to the whole medicinal alcohol thing isn't that the pain is less; it's that I could care less about my sore muscles and joints. Fortunately, I didn't get so drunk that I decided to do anything stupid. It's just been nice to sit and relax. Finally.

And now I know more about legitimately drinking booze on a school night!!!!!!!

OK. I know some of you are shuddering at the thought of mixing an irish whiskey with diet Pepsi. But it wasn't just diet Pepsi- it was diet wild cherry Pepsi!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

8 Pounds of Flesh

Well, stress has exacted its toll from me. :-( Sadly, it wasn't happy with just one pound of flesh; it demanded eight.

I've gained eight pounds this school year. (I was up ten pounds and lost three, but have since then gained one back.) In thinking over everything that I've gone through, I guess it could have been worse. So, once again, in no particular order, here is a list of

Bad Things 07-08

1. The death of Fat Rat

2. The death of The Boy Rat

3. The death of my sweet Monkey Rat

4. Threatened to be shot

5. Continued union and school district contract negotiations (this has led to...)

6. Poor school morale

7. Apathetic and unmotivated students

8. Father in rehab (though I think this is a good thing)

9. Accidental shooting of student

10. Seeing kid who threatened me at school every day (he's not in my class, but he's there)

11. No cuddly, furry pet to love and talk to

12. Normal teacher stress (low test scores, demands to perform miracles from admin, low skilled students, grading papers, lesson planning, student teachers, etc.)

bleh. No wonder I've gained weight this year. Numbers 4-11 are especially hard, as they are above and beyond #12 and the death of only one loving pet.

It just seems that I don't have time to recoup from the last negative experience before another one looms up. And, some of these stresses are constant so I never have a chance to get over it. My normal safehouses are not safe anymore; school is awful and home is not the same without my ratties. I miss them so much. They really do improve the quality of my life.