Saturday, June 29, 2013
It's the last Saturday in June and real hot weather summer is upon us. Of course, it's nothing like last year's real hot summer weather which was more often over 100 degrees than not. This summer it's different - like the Start page on Sparkpeople this morning.
I'd had a tip off from a spark buddy I met up with yesterday (first time ever!!!) who told me the roll-out had happened yesterday. I see some folk don't like the changes but I agree with the editors. This is a much more streamlined page and it still tempts me to explore. I tend to use SP from a serendipitous point of view. I always begin with Best of SparkPeople email - and follow the leads it presents. I've met more new people, gotten more new ideas and just all around enjoyed myself going with the flow. It's a little surprise gift first thing in the morning.
I say Thanks SP for keeping it fresh. (I'm also glad the swapped around the points earning options - again, just for the variety factor.)
Meeting up with SP friend CLBENS was fun. She looks great too! And we both ordered the same lean protein rich lunch - without even discussing it first! Next time, though - we will probably meet for something more active.
For a long time there didn't seem to be any sparkers who lived close enough for me to meet up with but this summer several have swung into my orbit. I'm looking forward to hooking up with them.
Last night there was a wine tasting in our local wine shop - She does these about twice a month on Friday evenings and they're like little parties. Afterwards there was a free bluegrass concert down the street at a riverside park. These are sponsored by our local main street organization and this is their second season. Last year I bought tickets for all of them and then never got to go to one - and gave my tickets away. It was fun to stroll down the street and listen to the music after sipping my wine (carefully calculated to fit within the days calories/points)
It was the last day of the fiscal year and though I believe I've tied up all the strings, I have a funny feeling that maybe I did not. It all seems too easy this year. Of course, there have been huge personnel changes this year, both in the library and in the county government - so maybe that's what's giving me that odd sensation. At least I know the changes are for the better, so I will just throw out my blessing hook and expect the best.
Ah well. a meandering blog with no real insights or words of wisdom - just a few thoughts fluttering around on a Saturday morning. Hope your Saturday is full of joy.
Monday, June 24, 2013
For a long time I've thought about writing this blog - the promptings of inspiration have been there but not the actual inspiration - so I've just allowed the thoughts to float around. And though I still don't feel inspired to write - I do want to get these thoughts down before they fade away because this summer is really different.
A year ago I finally broke through that 160 lb barrier that had held me in its grasp for more than a year. It felt great. It put me within target range of my old weight goal of 150 lbs. Clothes were fitting better. People were complimenting me on how I looked. Not too tall, not too short, a little chunky and squishy but well proportioned. And for a 59 year old woman, living in the rural (think FAT) south, I didn't look too bad.
One year later there is a physical difference. I've been at or below my goal weight for almost 4 months. Now, when I am naked and standing with my arms at my sides, they don't brush against my hip fat. I feel muscle and bone when I stroke my hand down the length of my thigh. My arms, thanks to a year of lifting weights, have a pretty definition to them. Interestingly enough, people seldom notice it anymore, yet the look and feel of me is really different this summer. It's fun too - this difference.
So what's not different?
1. For a long time the goal was to reach 150 lbs. Now, I'm not sure I want to stay at the goal weight I selected. I'm not 5'6" any more - I'm a full inch shorter - diagnosed with osteopenia. There's still a fairly substantial roll of fat in my lap when I sit down. It disappears when I stand up but it doesn't seem to be doing anything for me - it's not as if it were cushioning a joint or something. And since there are some pretty strong ab muscles beneath the layer - I am wondering if it's something I ought to dispense with. That means I'm still thinking 'Weight Loss'.
2. Also, I am not really sure how to LIVE at a maintenance weight. I suspect that I'll be tracking what I eat for the rest of my life. I've always thought of that as a "diet activity" - even though, yeah, yeah, I know the mantra ... "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle"
Well, okay. But. Tracking still FEELS like a diet. So - where else in my life do I track and does that feel 'restrictive' ... like a diet? I track my money - and that just feels like real life. I track the moment I write a check. Always. And once a month I do a full look-over of our financial situation. I LOVE knowing about my money - how much there is - how long it would take to plan for a big purchase - How many options I have with my cash. Even if I've overindulged and need to rein in the spending, knowing I can do it - that it's only going to take some little tweaks, makes it exciting. Doing the money math is absolutely fun for me.
I also write down a to-do list at the end of each work day. I call it my Charles Schwab List. It doesn't feel like some burdensome work-diet. It just feels like being a good steward of my job. Each week I have 40 hours to make my work world absolutely wonderful. And if I do that most of the time, I can also let it slide a little - take things easy, take a day off to go have lunch with a friend. By keeping things written down I know I'm doing my part. It doesn't mean I can prevent every bad thing from happening at work. After all, I live and function in a world full of Other People. but it does mean that when Stuff Happens, I don't have to add guilt and shame to my plate of difficulties. Tracking at work keeps me safe.
So yeah. Tracking my food is NOT something I'm going to stop doing, probably ever.
Can I be okay with this? Can this feel like part of a normal life? Hmm. I think so.
Even though I can see the value of weekly meal planning, I've always resisted it because it doesn't take into consideration the unexpected - like sudden invitations or particiularly hard days at work that sap all my desire to cook at all. Making a week's worth of plans that I then don't follow just depresses me. BUT I can plan for a day. I've begun to track my whole day early in the morning. I usually know exactly what I'm going to have for breakfast so I can be specific with that. If lunch is going to be in a restaurant I allow a certain number of 'points' or calories. That lets me know what's left for dinner so that I can either shop for what I need for dinner or select from what's in the pantry.
So - yeah. Tracking this way is almost exactly like my Charles Schwab Things To Do list at work.
Ah well. I have meandered all around my current status long enough. It is sufficient to say that this summer Some Things are Different and Some Things are TheSame.
Here's an article about rural obesity that contains NO surprises for someone who actually lives there:
Saturday, June 08, 2013
So. Yesterday I crashed my Healthy Living streak into a ditch. In a weird way I sort of watched it happen - watched my Left Brain School Marm and my Right Brain Wild Child derail it. Perhaps it would be good to listen in on their conversation and see if they'll come up with an idea or two to prevent this from happening again.
LB Hey Hey Hey! What the ... is going on?
RB Spare Ribs! gnom gnom gnom
LB Stop! What is happening?!!
RB Gawd I'm sleepy - gimme some ice cream!
LB No! Stop! Back! Stop!
RB Crayons. I want Crayons!
LB Oh law. I am going back to bed. You go ruin our lives all by yourself
RB No! Help! I don't know what's happening. You're supposed to help me. Make the lists. fix it all!
Waaaah. This is all your fault!
LB You're nuts. I can't fix you. You're crazy. And if we turn into balloons it will be All Your Fault!
RB No it's not! All I wanted was a bite of spare ribs. A bite! One measly bite! It was you who decided that it was healthier to buy pulled pork and then save money with the daily special just so Himself could have some dinner too. You were the one who felt guilty because we didn't want to cook last night.
LB Well I can't buy one bite of spare ribs. It's not sold that way. and enough baby backs for himself and me would cost too much
RB It's only money. We have tons of money. Why would't you pay $30 to stay slim? Wouldn't anybody?
LB Easy for you to say. Besides himself doesn't like spare ribs that much. I had to buy something he would eat too.
RB So what? Don't we count? That's what I WANTED and it's what YOU wanted, but you ruined it all by getting what we DIDN'T want just to save money and please somebody else.
LB Well cry-mi-nee. Just how greedy and rude do you want to be? Was I supposed to just feed me last night and let Himself fend for himself? Besides. I didn't ruin it all. I didn't eat it. WE did.
RB Oh. Well. You can't put pulled pork on a plate and expect me to ignore it.
LB Great. Just go eat that stuff and fatten us right out of all our hot hot hot clothes, you wild child you.
RB Well Miss Smarty Pants School Marm, if you know so much why didn't you stop and listen to me and come up with a good idea. I'm not the thinker around here. I'm all about the FEELINGS.
LB Oh. Yes. Well. Hmmm. Yeah. You're right. I didn't stop to find out how you were feeling - besides wanting the spare ribs and I thought I was giving you enough when I bought them. I'm sorry I didn't give you enough time to get comfortable with my thoughts and decision.
RB Yeah. Well. You did get the spare ribs for us, but by then I was so frantic that I gobbled up all the Other Stuff too. I'm sorry about that.
LB (Hugging Wild Child Self) It's ok. it was a screw up by both of us but it began when I decided to ignore our feelings. Today we will begin again and we'll do better.
RB (snuggling close to Thoughtful School Marm Self) Okay. I'm ready to begin again. Thanks for understanding.
LB (clasping her hands and looking thoughtful) So what can we do next time - so that I don't run roughshod over your feelings - so that you'll get what you want without feeling like you have to gobble everything in sight?
RB You have to say yes to me. You have to give me what I want.
LB Yeah, but I can't always give you exactly all you want.
RB Well - you have to make some suggestions to me - offer a compromise I like.
LB I tried to do that yesterday.
RB Yeah, but you knew how I was FEELING about that compromise. I didn't LIKE it. You should have waited till I agreed that it was a GOOD compromise, not just steamroller me by THINKING I would come around. It's not a GOOD compromise till you can FEEL how happy I am with it.
LB (Giving Wild Child Right Brain a twinkly look) But I'm all about the thinking part of us.
RB Yeah? so what did you THINK about how I felt? 'Cause if sure FELT like you didn't care.
LB (Looking chastened) Oh. You are right. I did do that. I thought "no this is good enough" as soon as you sent me the bad feeling about my decision. Now I really AM sorry. That was cheating us both.
RB (smiling sweetly) Thanks for understanding - and thanks for the apology.
LB So how about this - next time - I don't act till you send me the IT'S OKAY GOOD IDEA feeling. Even if I am tired or in a hurry. I'm never in THAT big a hurry. No matter what the weird craving - I'll listen till you send me the green light feeling.
RB Oh. I like that.
LB Great. So. How about we go work out at the gym this morning?
RB Now you're talking. I REALLY like that!
* * * * *
Well, it looks like my Left Brain School Marm and my Right Brain Wild Child have made some progress this morning. Nonetheless - I hope we don't have another day like yesterday any time soon.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Yesterday Himself and I took a trip down to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, in, of course - Norfolk VA. (Not Norfolk UK)
We had an unforgettable visit there nigh on to 30 years ago but in spite of it's relative proximity, we've never been back! This is not good, considering Himself has to drive down to Jamestown half a dozen times a year. What's another 20 miles?
When we went in the 1980's we didn't explore the whole place. It was August and we were just traveling on to another destination so we stayed only an hour or so, but while standing in a beautiful green enclosure along the canals, a tour boat puttered by and I lusted to have my own boat ride. There wasn't time then but I made sure we took one yesterday - all the more reason to wonder why I took so long to go back - except you have to get to Norfolk on an interstate highway and I hate driving on them.
The gardens are right next to the airport - in fact, both were built the same year - and both are really easy to get to. You just take the Norview exit off of 64 and turn left on Azalea Gardens, drive about a mile and turn right. Voila!
Talk about water features - this place is threaded with canals and a lake so of course boat rides are offered.
You betcha - I got barefoot every chance I could.
There are fountains everywhere.
The azaleas, daffodils and camellias are past but the roses are in full bloom
This one is Bill Warriner Rose - a florabunda - and a complete bouquet on a stem
Yes. I was swooning with the beauty of it all. LOL
Hydrangeas were just coming in -
Including a climbing one!
We simply had to take a boat ride down the canals
Where we found a rare green heron
We also road out onto Lake Whitehurst - a spring fed fresh water lake not half a mile from the Chesapeake Bay!
We walked through the butterfly maze
Through the Virginia Native Plant garden where we found some things never change
and deep into the Enchanted Forest
Where you can see - Other Things never change either
Yes. It's true. If there is a tree to climb - I shall climb it.
We stayed at the garden till 5 o'clock and then went to a Golden Corral for dinner where, yes, I did indulge, but not beyond the caloric limits. I'm learning how to handle myself in these buffet type restaurants at last.
This was a perfect mid-point celebration for my sort-of stay-at-home vacation. I seem to be spending an awful lot of time in the car for a staycation but oh my - this drive was so worth it. I won't let another 30 years go by before visiting these gardens again.
I hope you enjoyed the tour.
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