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Amazing how far I've come

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Three wonderful men have died in the local leather community in the last couple months. All three of them died of cancer.
Today I met one of the women who lost her beloved to cancer. I did what I could to comfort her since I've been there. It's strange to look at someone and completely understand their grief and remember that you've been there...and you've gone through the tunnel and you can look back and see how far you've come. I'm starting to see that maybe part of the reason why I went through what I did was so I can better comfort those who are now struggling the way I struggled. Maybe I'm wrong...I don't know...but it's nice to be able to know that I can offer a shoulder to cry on and I can encourage people to do what works best for them when it comes to grieving. Grief is such a strange thing...you never get over those people you love. I don't think I'd want to get over Kim...or grandpa or Sparky (my poodle when I was growing up). I want to be able to remember those feelings and remember how they've shaped me and how much those people meant to me. I wish I knew if I grieved for my grandma, but small children grieve differently. Every so often something happens and I'll be reminded of Kim and I'll start crying like I just lost him...and sometimes something else will happen like Craig and I went to Petsmart one Saturday for aquarium supplies and there was an old standard sized poodle that was up for adoption. I knelt by his cage and cried for several minutes. I wanted to take him home so bad! The only thing that stopped me was the insipid no pets clause in my rental agreement. Grief is a complex thing, but I think it's a beautiful, powerful thing. It transforms a person like no other emotion. I am so grateful for the lessons I've learned. That's not to say I ever want to go through the grieving process again (even though I know it's practically inevitable).
Well...enough ruminations on such things. I'm so glad that I was able to hug someone whose grief was similar to mine and hopefully make her feel a little better about her journey. The one thing these women are fortunate in is that there are people here who knew their beloved and so they aren't grieving alone. During the hardest part of my grief I'd share things, but my friends could only hold me...they couldn't share memories...but life goes on and I have some wonderful friends that I met during that sad time who are there when I need them. Two of those people I met when I first started attending local leather events were there this afternoon...and it's always good to see them. Well...I've grown...not just wider, but maybe a tad wiser as well. Strangely, I'm about at the weight I was back in 2001. That's an interesting observation. Well...off to settle down and try to get ready for bed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVAH 3/2/2009 6:21AM

    Hi Laurie,

You are wonderful. I am glad that you can be there to offer comfort to your friends. And thank you for sharing a few thoughts on grief.



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Been a bit quiet

Friday, February 27, 2009

I've been a bit quiet lately. Things have been a bit crazy lately, but it's kind of normal for this time of year. Springfest, the annual one day belly dance extravaganza Thia puts on every year is a week from tomorrow. I've spent the last week or so sewing like a mad woman to get my costume finished. The vest turned out better than I thought. The bra looks surprisingly good, it's just the belt. Apparently, even though I'm not shrinking out of my regular clothes, I am shrinking out of my costume and I have to readjust the clasps on the belt. Thankfully, Amy is a genius and she gave me some ideas to try to make the belt fit beautifully.
Thia is getting a local news crew to come to her dance studio bright and early to do a little bit of free advertising. The morning lunatic for the local Fox channel is going to come and shimmy at 5:30 in the morning so Thia wants a bunch of her troupe members to show up in full costume...so naturally since it isn't too unusual for me to dance that early in the morning, I'll be there...and hopefully nothing pops up so the rest of my troupe mates will be there as well...and a lot of my beautiful belly sisters in other troupes! If they have a clip online afterwards, I'll be sure to post it!
I've been so preoccupied with the costume that my workouts sort of fell by the wayside. It didn't help this week that my foot has started hurting again. No worries. I just need to get new shoes. I'll be getting them tonight. I just hate having to spend so much money to keep my feet happy!
I also haven't made the healthiest food choices. Last weekend Craig was in Denver so I splurged on my favorite pizza: shrimp and olive. It was a medium pizza and I had that for lunch and dinner every day last weekend. I also had a cinnamon roll for dessert last night and the night before. They were delicious! On some level I think I must be needing comforting because I'm looking for comfort foods. I must be a bit more stressed than I think I am (that happens every so often). Being in pain probably has something to do with it as well. Well, the new shoes will help with that.
Strangely, in spite of the crazy eating, my weight has remained the same and I think things must be shifting around a bit because I went to the thrift store and tried on a pair of size 18 pants and they fit....needless to say they came home with me:) So....I'm wearing anything from an 18-24 depending on the cut...mostly 20-22. I really wish clothing makers would get together and make sizes consistent. I don't care what size I wear, I just want to be able to go to a store and know that something fits true to size; shoes more or less are that way. Of course, there's the issue of vanity sizing. I don't think any woman is immune to it. The funny thing is, most of us aren't trying to wear smaller shoes and we're not focused on fitting into a size 6 shoe, but we're obsessed with fitting into smaller clothing sizes. I wonder why? Granted, in old China foot binding was practiced, but not anymore (as far as I know). Like wrong sized shoes, ill-fitting clothing makes us uncomfortable and we don't function as well when our clothes don't fit well. Just a random thought.
Anyways, all is well, just really crazy busy. I'm going to try to do more physical activity next week and plan my meals better. Craig will be in Seattle for the Microsoft MVP conference and I'll be staying at his place keeping our fish happy (probably the most spoiled group of mollies and guppies around). That means I'll have the Wii :) I'll play with my game My Personal Fitness Coach and be able to finally report back on it. I will say this: if you have a Wii and you like fitness DVDs, My Personal Fitness Coach is something you'll want to get. I've only played with it a few times, but I'm fairly impressed with it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVAH 3/1/2009 4:45AM

    I can't wait to see the pictures of your new costume! And hopefully there will be a clip from the news shoot. I am glad the bra turned out so well... I know you had been worried.

Break a leg!

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MOMMA48 2/27/2009 5:56PM

    Your involvement in Springfest -- the belly dance extravaganza must be alot of fun. That is one thing I can't see myself doing. I think I'm too stiff or something -- so you just stick with it! It's fun and great exercise and, mainly, you enjoy it!

And, I love the comparison to shoes -- no kidding -- when was the last time someone was working so hard to fit into that size 6? Just a reminder of society in which we live --but we at least are doing it for our own health and happiness.

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Larry H. Miller, 1944-2008

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Larry H. Miller was probably one of the best known Utahns. He was the vibrant owner of the NBA team, the Utah Jazz and he owned a number of auto dealerships, a triple A baseball team , the Salt Lake Buzz, some sort of race track, and even a small local television channel. He died surrounded by his family yesterday.
Last year Larry was diagnosed with diabetes. He spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital and most of the last year if he was at a Jazz game he was in a wheelchair. Larry got the best care money could get him, but it simply wasn't enough in the end.
Larry H. Miller was an amazingly generous man. No one really talks about how generous this guy was. There's a busy intersection where I grew up in Taylorsville, UT. That's roughly fifteen minutes south of Salt Lake City if you take the freeway. My neighborhood was on one side of this intersection and my elementary school was on the other side. When I was in third or fourth grade, I wasn't quite sure how to cross the street. I was really confused about the whole thing. The crossing guard wasn't there to walk me across the street. Well, I think I must've crossed with the green light because I'm still here. There were other kids who weren't so lucky. At least one child was killed at that intersection. In the late 80s there was talk of putting a sky walk across to the school. Everyone thought it was a terrific idea, but the county didn't want to pay and neither did the city (at the time I think Taylorsville was still an unincorporated part of Salt Lake...I was a teenager at the time). For another year or two politicians squabbled over who should pay for the bridge that would save the lives of countless kids. I think Larry H. Miller got sick of the squabbling and pettiness because he put out the money for that bridge. I don't go by that bridge very often, but I am so grateful that he did that for the kids who go to the elementary school I attended.
I'm not a huge sports fan, but I love our triple A baseball team. One day Craig and I were at a game a couple years ago and Larry H. Miller was sitting across the aisle from us on the third base line. He was just another guy watching the game. It was pretty cool. He could've been up in one of the fancy air-conditioned boxes, but no. He was sitting in seats that the average joe would be sitting in and he was enjoying being an average joe. He wanted to be remembered as a man who loved Utah. I think that's how he'll be remembered. At least, that's how I'm going to remember him, as a generous, thoughtful, great Utahn.


Weekly Blog Prompt: Do you try to avoid corn syrup?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do you try to avoid corn syrup?
While I don't necessarily try to avoing high fructose corn syrup, if I'm given the choice between a product that contains it and one that doesn't contain it and the price is similar, I'll choose the product that doesn't contain HFCS.
At some point in my life I'd like to be able to say most of the products I use don't contain HFCS and I'd also like to be more of a part of the slow food movement, but things are too hectic and let's face it, I simply can't afford to do those things financially or time-wise right now. I'm working on making more dinners at home and eventually I think I'll work on making my own portable lunches, but at the moment I'm not ready to make any more big changes.


Weekly Blog Prompt: Do you think it's easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you're single or

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do you think it's easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you're single or in a relationship?

This is a timely question for me.
I think it's a lot easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you're single. When you're single you don't need to work around other people's schedules/needs. You don't have other people tempting you to sit on the couch and cuddle rather than doing cardio. You don't have to worry about what another person likes to eat.
I'm single on weekdays and I stay with Craig on the weekends. It's easy for me to maintain my routine on the weekdays because I feel like I have more control/freedom to do the things I need to do to stay healthy. On the weekends things get crazy; we eat out (although we've cut that down a lot), our food choices and portions aren't always healthy or reasonably sized. I find myself more likely to lounge all weekend than to move around (although having the Wii helps some). But all of this is about to change.
Craig and I have decided to start looking for a place of our own. In the reasonably near future (less than six months) we're hoping to be moved in to our own condo. This means there's going to be some compromise and some adjustment for both of us. I'm excited about this new phase of my life, but I'm also filled with trepidation; the last time I lived 24/7 with someone else was when I was my mom's caretaker. That was an extremely unhealthy relationship and it has taken me years to heal. I've savored having the freedom of doing what I want when I want without having to consider what another person wants to do; I love being able to spend hours in a craft store (yes, I can spend hours in a craft store) without worrying that someone else is getting bored or being able to spend an evening tangling myself up in a silk veil when I'm trying to incorporate a veil in my belly dancing....or even just spending hours belly dancing!
In short, I've enjoyed getting to know myself better. When I first moved out on my own, I was virtually a stranger to myself. I was literally scared of my own shadow (yes, I even jumped when I saw my own shadow on more than one occasion). I've enjoyed the process of becoming a stronger individual emotionally as well as physically. Please note that I said process. Getting to know ourselves is a never-ending process. Just when you think you know yourself inside and out, something happens and you discover that there are parts of yourself that you really don't know, or worse, that you don't like. One of the things I don't like about myself is that I've become a lot more thin-skinned and I don't take even constructive criticism well a lot of the time...even when I know people are only trying to help me. I used to have a thicker hide and I know I need to work on whatever insecurities are keeping me from receiving constructive criticism somehow. See? Ongoing process of getting to know oneself and learning to accept oneself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVAH 2/14/2009 6:02AM

    Hi Laurie,

Wow! That is exciting! I am really happy for you and Craig! Please tell him that my sweetie and I say Hi.

I know that when you find a place and move in together, there will be a lot of changes. There will be a lot of things that will stay the same too. I know that you will still go to your belly dance classes, and he probably still has things that he will do on his own. But it will be a challenge for you to learn how to eat more meals with him. I have the same problem. When my sweetie is out of town for work, I always do much better at meal-planning. When my sweetie has a week off from traveling, every night is like a weekend night - big meals, high fat content, extravagent sauces, dessert wine after dinner, etc.

I am working my needs in to the meals, though, as I know what my body really needs and wants now... not just what my mouth wants. For example, for bread, I bring butter for my sweetie and "I can't believe it's not butter" for me. My sweetie may laugh, but I don't need those extra calories and fat grams. There are a lot of other little things I do, like I've stopped using butter in almost everything.

Anyway, it will be a big adjustment, but a good one. At first, the whole thing will be kind of like a big, extended weekend - with bad weekend eating habits and more snuggling than exercies, lol. But then, you will start to add more exercise back in, and the eating habits will get modified too. I know you can do it! And what's more, I am pretty sure that Craig would support you in anything you asked him to do. That's awesome.

Best wishes for finding the right condo for you two!


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SPAMSWIFE 2/13/2009 7:02PM

    I love your blogs!!
I agree esepcailly if you do not know yourself or were in past bad relationships.
I am in a good one with my spouse and we both are solo exercisers. Plus he has out of the house hobbies. This give me much needed alone time and exercise time.
I am sure that if he did not leave for his hobbie nights we would both be couch potatoes.

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LOEGAIRE 2/13/2009 10:59AM

    Depends on the couple, I guess. My darlin' dearest and I have been working on our fitness together, so we seem to be doing better as a couple.

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