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Category: Abbe Lougee

No title…  May 10th, 2010

I love reading the blogs that everyone’s been posting.  They’re all so upbeat, supportive and uplifting.  And so well written.

I’m having a tough go of it right now.  Between camp 2 weeks ago and being sick most of last week, my diet has gone to h*** in a handbasket (an old saying of my grandmother’s).  Camp food was, well, camp food. <G>  And I guess I’ve been babying myself the past week or so, feeling sorry for myself that I’ve been sick, and eating comfort food.  No emphasis on fruits and veggies, no high fiber, no whole grain anything.  And I can feel how much better I was doing when I was consciously trying to eat healthy.

My diet isn’t the only thing taking a beating right now.  My incentive and determination are so low.  It’s been a long time to sustain that “CHALLENGE, YES” high, especially with so many work interruptions and illness.  I need a good team talking to to help me get back on track.  Or maybe I just need to have a long serious discussion with that person in the mirror that I see every morning.  Tell her to straighten up, fly right.  Remind her how much better she was feeling when she was paying attention to getting enough fruits, veggies, fiber, vitamins.  You heard me, lady in the mirror — eat a carrot for the team!  (Take 2, they’re small. <G> )

The toughest 2 weeks of my work year…  April 26th, 2010

This past week at work has been our busiest yet this year, and this week (that we’re in) will be even busier.   We’re running our science camp for the SMILE elementary students.  Last week was final prep, training for counselors, ferrying supplies (and people) to the 4-H Center in Salem where the camp is actually held.  Driving, driving, driving.  By the end of the day yesterday, I was totally exhausted, and only 5 days to go!<G>

Anyway, I’m afraid my active participation in this challenge has, and will, suffer a lot.  It’s not a time thing so much as a mental fatigue thing.  I have managed to get in a fair amount of exercise; still eating my fruits and veggies, and taking the stairs whenever the opportunity presents.  As for sleeping, I’ve just been crashing, dead to the world, at the end of the day.  Definitely getting 7+ hours straight through.

Note to the Fire Breathing Beavers — my points may be down for weeks 15 and 16.  But I’ll bounce back when camp is over.  I promise. <G>

2 late posts  April 18th, 2010

I seem to be severely blog-challenged.  I’ve been posting on 2 blogs, and twice in the recent past, I’ve posted my Power Up blogs to the wrong site.  So here they are:

Disconnected; Unwired (originally posted 4/12/2010)

Seeking balance in my life has turned out to be so much more difficult than it sounds.  Partly because I’m having trouble figuring out just what balance is.  Or what balance is in MY life.  What I do know is that balance isn’t spending every waking, non-work moment at my computer, following links on a variety of topics, hunting down indie software to try out, playing computer games (I love the puzzle games/brainteasers I find on Big Fish).  But, that’s a pretty good picture of how I spend much of my evenings and most of my weekend.)  Remember, I do have a stay-at-home partner so housework isn’t usually my responsibility.)

This past Saturday I challenged myself (and the FBBS team) to totally disconnect.  No computer, no cell phone, no MP3 player.  It turned out to be surprisingly easy.  Instead of heading straight to the computer when I woke up (ostensibly to check the news), I brought out a couple of sewing projects that had been sitting, half-done, in the closet.  I’m not a speed sewer — the pleasure for me is in the journey.  So these 2 projects lasted me the entire weekend.  And they’re complete.  And I’m pleased with the results.  And I didn’t touch the computer until late yesterday evening — my unconnected time was actually almost 2 days!

I don’t want to do this on a regular basis, but I realize that a few fewer hours spent online, or on the computer, will give me that many hours to pursue other interests that may have been languishing from lack of attention.  Of course, I’ve know this forever, in an intellectual way, but seeing it in practice makes a much more vivid impression.

And my cat enjoyed all the extra ‘pet me’ time she got.

Facing up to my fear (originally posted 3/28/2010)

You’d be ROFLOL (that’s ‘rolling on the floor laughing out loud’ for readers of my generation who might not be savvy about ‘text speak’) if you knew how scared I was on day one of this challenge.  I wasn’t worried about the hard work ahead or whether or not I could meet my short-term goals or if reaching my goals will actually impact my quality of life as I grow older.  I was terrified of being the oldest person in the challenge participating on a team of students.  Just kids, actually, from my perspective.  I was afraid that they’d be secretly laughing behind my back, or even in front of my back, at the idea of an “old lady” thinking she could keep up with them through the 19 weeks of the event. That they wouldn’t want an old lady on their team.

I did them such a disservice!!  These young people (not all are actually students, but they are all much younger than me) are, quite simply, wonderful.  As people, they’re intense, funny, hard-working, stressed-out, highly motivated and so many other wonderful qualities.  As team members, they’re supportive, caring, ready with suggestions if you’re stuck, willing to accompany you to Dixon the first few times, at least until you know the layout and the routine and don’t feel so alien there, and so much more.

Bottom line; short version — I’m proud and deeply honored to know every one of them. And I hope the Easter Bunny puts something nice in their stockings this year.

ICE…  April 18th, 2010

Home filing is really not my thing.  I put it off as long as possible — sometimes for months or even years (such as a huge pile of magazine pictures and articles I want to scan, then recycle, that are sitting on the back corner of my desk even as I type this).  So I wasn’t especially surprised this morning when I was looking for something, to find an article that I clipped from a health newsletter many, many months ago and saved to show to my son and my partner.  The very short article follows:

“Enter the phone number of a relative or friend who should be contacted if you are injured.  Possible entries:  ICE–Dad is Dad'[s phone number; ICE–Spouse is your husband or wife, etc.

ICE could mean life-saving minutes to paramedics, firemen and police if you are unable to speak for yourself.”

I have 2 ICE numbers and that’s how they display:  ICE–Bill (my partner) and ICE–Tobin (my son).

Now if they’d only do it.  Neither is very good at taking suggestions that they don’t see the immediate value of.  It’s obvious to me; how can I make it OBVIOUS to them…

In the freezer??  April 5th, 2010

OK, I admit it. I’m a “tips and tricks” junkie. Doesn’t matter what the subject — tips about how to buy a new car, tips about how to organize your spice drawer, tips abut how to quickly and effortlessly clean your pool (yeah, right!), or tips about how to manage/save your money — I read it all.
In fact, I guess I’ve read about ever penny-pinching tip out there. I know to drop all my change into a jar each evening. I know I can save pennies by passing on the mocha latte tall with extra whipped cream each morning (which I never bought anyway) and by bringing lunch from home (which I do every day). I even know that leaving my credit cards in the freezer is a good way (but seems a little extreme and a lot silly to me) to avoid using them for spur-of-the-moment purchases.
What works for me is even simpler. I don’t carry cash. And I don’t go shopping (my credit cards are safe even though they’re not in the freezer). Of course, it’s easier for me than for most since I hate shopping anyway. And, I have a “house husband” who does the grocery shopping.

Hey, it works.

PS  I use the term “house husband” with all due love and respect.

Ostrich has the right idea?  March 15th, 2010

I really can’t imagine a life without some stress.  It’s stress that pushes you to study just a little harder to pass that mid-term or that final.  It’s stress that gives you the energy to scrub the kitchen floor until it’s clean enough to eat off of in preparation for great-aunt Ethel’s visit.  It’s stress that helps you save every extra penny for a down payment on a car before your current clunker leaves you somewhere you don’t want to be at some time you really don’t want to be there.  Good stress is, well, good.

The other kind of stress?  How do I manage it?  Fact is that I don’t.  I know I’m going to take a lot of flack for this (more stress <G>), but I just ignore it.  Put it to the back of my mind; turn away from it, deal with whatever needs dealing with and move on.

I know this is definitely NOT the accepted stress-relief protocol.  I’ve been told it’s a form of the “ostrich syndrome” (what you can’t see can’t hurt you) but it works for me.

Or maybe you think that I don’t have the kinds of stresses in my life that require “managing.”  Au contraire; I have had sick kids and sick parents, mid-terms and finals, my own long recovery and the death of a dream.

You’re right.  I wasn’t looking closely at my own past.  When that skiing accident turned my life 180 degrees, when I had to admit that there was going to be no fairytale ending for me, I totally succumbed to the stress.  I kicked, I screamed, I cried, I refused to talk even to my closest family or friends.  And I don’t recommend any of these as effective stress relief methods.  What did work for me was to ignore the stress and move on.  In a new direction, but onward nonetheless.  And it still works for me now.

Dear Diary,  March 8th, 2010

Yesterday I swam 7 laps in the Dixon lap pool  in 10 minutes.  Big deal, you say.  7 laps isn’t so much.  And you’re probably right.  But I had estimated that I could (maybe) go 5.  2 extra laps seems amazing.  And this after biking 3+ miles, 16.5 minutes of the 20 minute biking event which I only did at the last minute because my teammates (Liz! and Alexa!) urged me on.  Now I wish I’d done the walk/run (walk) first event because I know I could have finished it.  And could still have done the biking and swimming events.

What a feeling of accomplishment!   We’ve been talking a little about perhaps doing a second one at the end of the Power Up Challenge to see how much more we’ve progressed from here.  If we do, I’ll be there.

Seems I’m getting stronger and healthier every day.  But the process has been one of baby steps and so went virtually unnoticed until I took on this triathalon.  I had to call on resources I didn’t think I had, and was preparing myself for a huge let-down and embarrassment.  Which didn’t happen.  This healthy eating, physical exercise, life-balancing really works.

Fire Breathing Beaver Squad — hold your heads high.  You’re awesome!


PS  Want to hear my silly way of tracking my progress up ’til now?  My skin.  While it’s nowhere as soft and smooth as I’d like, it’s miles better than it was when I started this challenge.  Instead of being dry, grey and scaly (even sounds awful), my skin is softer even without lotion and the discoloration is lessening and smoothing out.  Since the skin you see is ‘old’ skin (30 days is what I’ve read), this seems to tell me that 30 days ago, I was that much healthier to show up as softer skin today.

Reflections…  March 3rd, 2010

All I can say is that it’s a very good thing I don’t make my living as an author or reporter or anything else that depends on putting words on paper for someone else to read. Because there’d be precious little living. Every time I open a new blog page I get a brain freeze. I can’t think of anything to talk about (that anyone might be interested in reading, anyway) or how to say it.

So my new strategy is to (try) to go about this as if it were a diary. A substitute for the little pink faux leather book with a silver locking clasp that was my pride and joy when I was 8 years old.

The mini-triathalon is this Sunday, and I’ve been doing some extra walking in preparation. 20 minutes of walking I can do standing on my head — although my distance for the event wouldn’t be very good if I were standing on my head. <G><G>   My teammates Liz and Alexa have just about convinced me to try the 10 minute swim too although since I don’t really swim, it’ll be more of a 10 minute aqua-jog. I’m certain I could accomplish this. (No pictures, please; it won’t be a pretty sight. )

If you’d asked me 2 months ago whether I thought I could do this, I’d probably have said sure, no problem. But I’d have been wrong. The exercising I’ve added to my weekly routine, and the better eating habits I’m developing, and a ‘can do’ attitude courtesy of my teammates, make the difference.

Go Fire Breathing Beaver Squad!!  Yay, team!

Fire Breathing Beaver Squad  January 28th, 2010

Here are the members of Fire Breathing Beaver Squad

Ken Westfall, Captain

Danté Holloway

Abbe Lougee

Mathew Richardson

Nate Bodie

Alexa Carey

Virginia Martin

Liz Etherington

My new best friend  January 25th, 2010

It’s been a strange week for me — on the one hand it’s been very difficult and yet much easier than last week.

Getting moving, walking, was an important part of this past week’s challenge and I’m by nature a sedentary grump.  Make me get up and exercise whether it be pilates orcalesthetics or even walking and I grouch, grumble under my breath, look for excuses no matter how bizarre they may be.

So this week I participated in the Beaver Strides challenge.  I wore a pedometer and tracked how many steps I took throughout each day (from the moment I woke up until the moment I get into bed — wanted credit for every single step taken <G>).  Day one I logged fewer than 1000 steps — 804 to be exact.  Now, even allowing for the fact that my pedometer hated me and only clicked for every second or third step, that’s a shameful showing.  But I did better every day, even logging 12, 392 steps on Saturday after a 4 mile walk.  My total for the week:  33202 steps!!  And all because I found myself betting against the little clicking tracker I wore on my waistband.  Just one more step.  And one more.  And one more.

I love instant feedback.  It’s obvious that it works for me.  To the point where I think I’ll continue to wear the pedometer at least for the duration of the challenge.  Someday perhaps I’ll be motivated to walk or exercise just because it makes me feel better or just because I know it’s improving my future quality of life.  But for now, it’s pedometer all the way. <G>

Abbe Lougee