Last year I organized a Secret Santa gift exchange for the blogosphere, and it was great fun! It might have been a little too much fun for Woman though, because she decided to pass the torch to AM. So, if you want to play Secret Santa this year, scoot on over to AM's blog and sign up, just be sure not to leave a streak on the carpet. Woman gets mad when that happens.
In other news, Ian has a new print over at threadless, and a new design up for voting.
I have to admit that I have not read Eduardo's blog regularly, so I can't really choose a favorite post. I did add him to my blog roll today though, so I will start reading in the near future! He's a cool puggle with a fun attitude, and I look forward to getting to know him better.
2. Has #10 taken any pictures that have moved you?
Tami often shares lovely photos of her hometown in Kentucky, and they are all inspiring, but my favorite photos are of Guido, because he is one good looking Pug!! That Ashley girl is cute too. Maybe we need more photos of Ashley with Guido!
3. Does #6 reply to comments on their blog?
Clover is a super-blogger! She always responds to comments and reads SO MANY blogs every day! She's a great blogger and blogger friend!
4. Which part of blogland is #2 from?
5. If you could give one piece of advice to #7, what would it be?
Woman told me I'm not good at giving advice, but I'll take another stab at it. My advice is to get another Pug! You can never have too many!
6. Have you ever tried something from #9's blog?
Oh my, no. Swamp Girl is far too crafty for me. I would rather lay around and sleep than tear down walls and such. I doubt I would be much help at painting or refinishing hardwood floors either. I don't have thumbs, you know.
7. Has #1 blogged something that inspired you?
Priscilla is a super strong lady with a great sense of humor. Just about everything she writes is inspiring to me, especially the posts with the LOL cats. Those cats are just too funny!
8. How often do you comment on #4's blog?
Just about every day! I love me some Punchy!
9. Do you wait excitedly for #8 to post?
M is a new blogger, and she doesn't have a Pug, so honestly, I don't get all that excited to read her posts. Woman likes her posts, but I find it too low on the pugocity scale. Get a Pug M.
10. How did #5's blog change your life?
Page's blog changed my life by connecting me to Winston and Sela! They came up to my house in September, and now we're BFF's (although Sela might not agree)! What could be more life changing than that??
11. Do you know any of the 10 bloggers in person?
I personally know Sandy, Punchy and Page, but Woman also knows M and Swamp Girl.
12. Do any of your 10 bloggers know each other in person?
Sandy knows Punchy and Page. Punchy, M and Swamp Girl all know each other. I'm not sure if there are any other connections. Let me know if I'm missing any!
13. Out of the 10, which updates most frequently?
Clover and Tami probably update the most.
14. Which of the 10 keep you laughing?
Right now I'm getting a good laugh from Punchy's blog showcasing the clothes she has made for her Pugs. Pugs in clothes - LOL!
15. Which of the 10 has made you cry? (good or bad tears)
I don't cry much, because I'm a dog and don't really have a feeling of sadness, but Woman has had some tears from many blogs over the years. Priscilla's cancer battle and difficulty with her ex-husband has made her shed a tear or two, Punchy's discussion of losing her Mom around the same time Woman lost her own Mom has brought on the waterworks, Sandy's discussion of losing her brother has made Woman sad, but her discussion of joining the body of Christ has made her cry happy tears (I don't understand people at all), and Tami's stories about her Mom's struggle with cancer have also made Woman cry the sad tears.
So there you have it. A meme completed! I tag you if you want to play. If not, I tag you to go take a nap! Woo-hoo!
What went on last week with my blog? I see posts that I did not make. Woman!!! You got some 'splaining to do!!
I'm surprised that Woman found time to post on my blog since she has had no time to rub my butt or throw my hootie. It's the time of year when she is knitting like a crazy person to meet Christmas present deadlines, and there is no time for attention for the Pug. If I'm lucky I get jabbed with a knitting needle on her way across a row. Poor Pug.
On the upside, I hear we're getting our Christmas tree soon! Woo-hoo! I LOVE me some Christmas!!! Anyone else getting their tree this weekend??
Norman is still pouting, so I (Woman) am blogging again for him. Maybe he'll be less of a sour puss next week.
We don't have cable, and since the mountains block the "free" television transmission waves, we don't currently have access to network television. Back in the day when we did, I loved the show The Biggest Loser. Although I have never been overweight, I could somehow relate with these people and felt such joy in their accomplishments. What a great show. I haven't seen the show in a long time, but I was impressed with NBC's ability to keep the backstabbing drama that was so prevalent in other reality shows out of this one and focus on the participants' victories. I hope it's still the same.
Likewise, I get teary-eyed reading phenomenal weight loss stories that I occasionally find on-line. Yeah, I'm a sap. CNN recently ran this story regarding a woman who lost 175 pounds over two years. Her website further documents her amazing journey and gives pointers to people with similar weight loss goals. To me, this woman losing all this weight is comparable to someone winning gold at the Olympics - just simply amazing.
Although I don't have a "super inspirational" story like hers to share with you, I would like to share some personal insight on fitness and weight management from the perspective of someone who has been striving over the past year and a half to live a healthy lifestyle. It boils down to this - It takes commitment to a lifestyle to be a healthy person. Health isn't about an occasional work out session, the latest binge diet or handful of pills, but a commitment to living responsibly every day and being personally accountable to yourself for the choices you make. Each day puts you one step closer to your goal, so it is important to rejoice in yourself and your accomplishments every single day.
Throughout high school I was really thin, just reaching 100 pounds the end of my senior year, although I suspect that hairspray contributed to my weight. At 5' 6", 100 pounds was probably thinner than I should have been. I didn't feel all that thin though. I ate what I wanted and didn't have a really regular exercise program. I guess I had a crazy fast metabolism. Rumors spread that I was anorexic, but I honestly was not.
I started to gain weight in college as my intake of fast food increased and my activity level came to a halt. I could put a pounding on a Whopper, let me tell you. I worked full-time and went to school full-time, so most of my time was spent sitting on my butt. Once I got married I took up the hobby of baking which only contributed to my increasing hips. My target weight is supposedly 120-133, and at my heaviest, I weighed in at 137, which is not really "heavy," but was for me. I was popping buttons off my size 6 pants (literally!) and couldn't seem to find any new clothes that fit me right, probably because I refused to go up to an 8. After swimming in a size 0 throughout high school, it was hard for me to come to terms with a size 8. I had also been struggling with chronic back problems for several years that I blamed on sitting in front of a computer all day and had painful arthritis in my hips that made transitioning from sitting to standing unpleasant.
So last summer ('07) I just got fed up and decided to join a gym and try to get back into a comfortable size 6. I started out on the elliptical for 20 minutes 4 times a week. Since the gym is close to our house, I was able to go during my lunch hour. At first I hated it, but as I saw results, I became addicted to working out. Not only was I losing weight, but my back pain was gone, and the arthritis in my hips was also fading. In December I took my first group fitness class, which happened to be Body Pump. I wanted to tone up my flabby muscles to really enhance the weight loss I was experiencing. I immediately became a Body Pump fiend, even showing up the day after Christmas for class, only to get turned away disappointed that class was canceled for the holidays. Maybe it's sadistic, but I love the muscle pain that lingers for days.
I had been taking Body Pump regularly for 6 months when I was asked by the Instructor if I had interest in teaching the class. I had actually fantasized about teaching the class, so heck yeah I was interested. I trained in August, submitted my video for certification 2 weeks ago and have been teaching my own class on Monday nights for the past month. I love me some Pump.
So during this whole Body Pump certification process, I was working my body the hardest I have ever worked it. I was supposedly as physically fit as I had ever been, but I realized that working out was not fulfilling all the health needs I had. I still suffered frequent persistent headaches and troublesome stomach issues. So I decided to do some investigation into what was going into my body. I was really startled by what I found. I can't believe the FDA has approved this food for human consumption. I decided to take better control of what was going into my body and committed myself to a two-week perfect whole food diet in order to learn how to eat more healthy.
I purchased the book, "Recapture Your Health," which outlines the PWFD and provides a handy reference for what is and is not a whole food. I had no intention of maintaining a PWFD for the rest of my life, as I found you can have absolutely no social life while on this diet, but I was hoping to train myself to read labels and really think critically about the food choices I make. Two weeks on this diet is a good training technique, and I have learned a lot from those two weeks. Admittedly I only made it through 12 days on the diet, but I am still happy with myself. I am still working on changing my dietary habits, but I am confident it will help me with my remaining health issues.
I am not a fan of "diets." "Diets" are so temporary. If you want to lose weight, if you want to be healthy, if you really want to change, you need to change your lifestyle. You need to change the way you think about food altogether and adopt a healthy system of choices. Don't cut sugar out altogether. Don't avoid carbs or fats, just use them responsibly. Don't buy a whole bag of Oreos, but buy the little snack pack of 6 cookies and treat yourself two or three at a time. You'll enjoy them a lot more. Swap whole wheat pasta for refined pasta, try Stevia instead of sugar, use olive oil instead of butter, eat oatmeal for breakfast in place of the supposedly healthy cold cereals full of refined sugars. Turn your healthy choices into a habit and thereby create a lifestyle!
If you are considering making a change in your lifestyle, I recommend that you do some reading first, and start after the holidays. There is no reason to torture yourself during the holidays by making major changes in your eating and fitness habits. You're probably going to fail and feel worse than before you started, because the holidays are too stressful as it is. So, grab a book on healthy eating or fitness advice, and start making a plan for the future, with a specific start date. Also make goals for yourself, and write them on a calendar or day planner. If you need an accountability partner, want some advice or just need someone to vent to, drop me a line. I would love to help you out any way that I can!
If anyone wants to share their stories, I'd love to hear them!
Hey everyone, Woman here. I'm blogging for Norman today since he has not had much to talk about lately. He's been in a bad mood because I changed his food back to dry food. No more beef and broccoli for him, because he was just getting way too greedy for his food. It was offensive, and I couldn't take it any more, so he's on Bil-Jac now. So anyway, I've got the blog power today!!!
I dedicate this post to Doozy who is so open and free with her thoughts and experiences with poop that I knew she would appreciate this story. This is an "involved" story, so I will warn you when the poop talk starts and ends so you can skip that part if you want. It's human poop, not dog poop, so be warned.
About two years ago (yes, this is a long story - LOL!) I noticed a sort of cloudy discoloration on my left big toenail. I didn't think much of it, assuming I had hit it or someone had stepped on it, and I went on with life. A year later, it was still the same, so I figured I kept doing something to damage it - I am quite clumsy. A couple weeks ago I noticed that the toenail seemed to be separating from the nail bed a bit, and since that couldn't be a good thing, I made an appointment with a podiatrist. She took some x-rays and told me I have hallux limitus, which causes two things; 1 - arthritis in the big toe joint, and 2 - since it limits the range of motion of the big toe joint, it causes a heavy impact down the toe during repetitive movements which could cause the nail to separate from the nail bed. She told me that the good news is that the arthritis might not start to bother me for 6-12 months. This is the good news? I'm 32, and I have 6-12 months before arthritis in my big toe joints might keep me from doing things I love to do? Whack. So she cut the toenail back a bit and told me to call if it started turning green, and then it would have to be removed. I knew that it would never turn green. My toenail wouldn't do that to me. Only elderly people walk around with missing toenails, right??
Three days later - it turned green. All I could say was - SOB. (If you don't know what that means, here's a hint - my step brother is an SOB - his Mom is really crabby. I used to tell my Mom that my Stepmom was a witch, but replace the 'w' with a 'b.' I can't believe she let me get away with that.) So anyway, it turned green. I went back to the evil toenail clipper wielding podiatrist and she removed my toenail. I wish it was as smooth as that sentence made it sound, but in reality, it was an SOB. First she sprayed something on my toe to make it REALLY REALLY cold. Like, if she had hit it with a hammer, I'm sure it would have shattered. The cold stuff hurt. Bad. Then she stuck a needle in my toe THREE times to numb it. THREE times! I cried. Finally she pried the toenail off. It was so gross. I had to change the bandages twice a day, and each time I did, I couldn't look at the wound, because it made me almost barf. Just thinking about it now makes me wanna hurl, and it's healed up completely at this point. She sent the toenail off to the lab to find out what was growing in it and whether I would need antibiotics to fight it.
A week later she called back to tell me my toenail was supporting all types of bacteria and fungal growth. Lovely, eh? She prescribed 3 weeks of an antibiotic called Omnicef. I always research the drugs I am given, so I looked this one up on-line to find that a very common side effect is diarrhea. I just KNEW I wouldn't get the diarrhea though, because seriously, I've dealt with enough crap with this ganky toe.
So a couple days on the Omnicef, and no signs on diarrhea. Thank goodness! Day 4 I notice that I am pooping a little more frequently, and it's a little "softer" than usual, but nothing to really worry about. Last night (day 5) I decided to go to a class I had never tried before - Body Combat, which is a combination martial arts / kick boxing type class. I was thinking about training to teach this class since I like kick boxing a lot and talked to the Group Fitness Manager about chatting with her after class about training. So I get to class, and we're about 10 minutes into the workout when I start to feel a little bit of concern from my intestinal region. I finish up the set and make a quick potty run just in case the Omnicef has chosen now to wreak havoc on my bowels. And it had chosen just that. Not only were my intestines in a twist, but I found that I had pooped myself a little bit. Me. A grown adult. Pooped myself during a group fitness class. I remember in second grade there was a girl who frequently pooped herself, and we made so much fun of her - poor Mary Joe. I was getting my comeuppance, and it sucked. I didn't quite know what to do. All of my belongings were in the class that still had 40 minutes left of bouncing, kicking, lunging, squatting, and I had scheduled time to chat with the Group Fitness Manager who was teaching the class! If I ran in, grabbed my stuff and left, I would have to give her some excuse for leaving, and although I'm sharing with all of you the fact that I pooped myself, I didn't exactly want to share that with her! So, I cleaned myself up and went back to the class, the whole time worrying that I was pooping myself again. I was relieved at the end of class to find that I had NOT pooped myself again. What a lovely experience. I'm ready for geriatrics. Perhaps I should teach the Silver Sneakers class since I can now relate with people who have toenails removed and poop themselves. (That was meant as humor, not to degrade the elderly, so laugh if you find it funny, and ignore it if you don't. Or, if you find it unforgivably offensive, you can stop reading and/or leave me a flaming comment.)
After class I just wanted to get home. You can imagine, right? So I hop on the Parkway, driving a little faster than I should and just power down, when I see some lovely flashing lights behind me. Let me preface this by saying that I have never been pulled over, so my first assumption was that (although I was doing 55 in a 45) the cop just wanted around me. So I slow down and pull off, and he pulls off too. Why is he pulling off? Surely he just wants around me. Holy Cow! I'm going to get a ticket! Cop walks up to me, and I hand him my license. I consider relaying the poop story to him so he knows how desperate I am to get home but decide to just suck it up, take the ticket and maintain my dignity. So we go through the whole "do you know how fast you were going" routine, and he takes my license and registration back to his car. After a couple minutes he comes back and tells me he is going to "let it slide" since I have never had a ticket. What a nice guy.
I was glad to get out of the ticket, although I totally deserved it, but I would have rather gotten a ticket than pooped my pants. LOL! At least I didn't get both :)
So please, comfort me with stories of your own dysfunctional bowel movements so I don't feel so alone right now.
Hey Everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but I have been really busy working on perfecting my Frenchy impersonation. What do you think? Am I a believable Frenchy? It would help if you could hear my accent, but that doesn't come across well in print.
Woman really loves Frenchies, and it makes me pretty jealous, so I plan to infiltrate the Frenchy underground and do some damage in the name of Frenchies. Hopefully that will help give Frenchies a bad name and keep Woman from liking them so darn much. Pugs rule. Frenchies ... not so much.
Woman has been knitting this past week, and I have been SO bored! What is a Pug supposed to do while his Woman is knitting? Get in the way of the knitting, right? That just gets me yelled at. Apparently, my "bumhole" was touching the knitting last night, so I got booted off the couch. As if I control my bumhole and what it touches. Geesh!
I'll just go sleep under the bench where my bumhole won't get in anyone's way ...
There was some confusion out there regarding my usage of the pronoun "she" when referring to Hootie in my recent Halloween post. Most of you thought Hootie was a boy and were surprised to hear me call "him" a "her." Well, let me clear some things up for you. Hootie IS a boy. That's right folks - congratulations, it's a boy! However, since Hootie was going to Halloween as a princess, it was only polite of me to refer to him as a her. This is common courtesy in the world of drag. Now you know ... So, the next time you come upon a man in drag, you will know to refer to him as ma'am and not dude.
The People just got back from voting and said there was no wait at all. Wow! I guess everyone voted early in our area. Woman wanted to wait until election day to vote, because she thinks it's fun to vote on election day. She did come back with a sticker, so I guess there must have been some sort of fun there. She doesn't smell like fun though. She just smells like regular Woman. I think she may be exaggerating about the fun of voting.
Location: Asheville, North Carolina, United States
I live in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, and I am an ornery little pugger. Although I am only awake about 3 hours each day, I work a whole lot of mischief into each and every minute.