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Heritage

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

An article I read today about determining one's ideal weight (linked from today's SP e-mail) ties in well with what I've been thinking about my physical heritage. I am tall & reasonably slim (now--yay!), but I have an "endomorph" pear shape, which means that I'll never look like a model or a track star.

I'm shaped almost exactly like my mom & maternal grandma--even the same height, 5'10". Grandma died in 1980, Mom 20 years later. I think they'd both be proud of me for staying in shape & having enough energy to run up flights of stairs at work. Both of them worked hard at home, but it wasn't very physical work & they didn't take time for exercise (except that I remember Grandma would sometimes take a walk a few blocks down her street). Of course they didn't have all the exercise options & encouragements that my sisters & I enjoy; our culture has changed a lot in that regard in the past few decades.

Both my mom & my grandma had osteoporosis, but so far I don't--I'm sure exercise has made a difference there. They both tended to slump, probably a combination of bad posture & osteoporosis. Since I was a girl I have been very conscious of posture; I still keep my shoulders up & chest open, & this helps me to look my best.

Here are some particulars about my inherited shape:
1. very long legs, but without strong muscle definition
2. relatively short torso
3. defined waist
4. round belly/lower abdomen
5. wide pelvis
6. tendency to carry fat in upper arms (my mom's got huge!)

As Psalm 139 says, we are fearfully & wonderfully made. I am thankful for a good healthy body--& who needs to look like a model?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 3/27/2008 11:25PM

    Hi Ruth,

Here I am doing my "blog marathon" again. I really enjoy reading your posts. I'll have to go back to my spark e-mails on the date you wrote this (I'm still so far behind reading them - was catching up before I had my injury). This body type thing is something I've wanted to get more information on. I'm definitely not the pear - isn't there an apple? If so that's me. I'm short - slim hips, large waist - upper 20's even when very slim, somewhat broad shoulders, carry my weight in my trunk (bad, bad, bad). But I do have good genes for longevity on both sides of my family.

Thanks for bringing this article to our attention.

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SHANSHE 3/10/2008 10:53PM

    Only moidels need to llok like models and eprsonally, I think it would be great if they just looked like normal people!

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Progress & gratitudes

Friday, February 29, 2008

Yesterday morning I awoke before the alarm & had energy to get up & do some strength training! Yay!

Generally I have so much more energy than I did last fall when I was struggling with bronchitis. I take the stairs (just two full flights) every morning when I get to work, even if the elevator door is open. I like to run up the stairs as quickly as I can so that I'm a tad breathless when I stop in the kitchen to put my lunch in the fridge & fill/turn on the teakettle.

Even though my husband & I have been allowing ourselves little treats each day, & even though exercise beyond my commute walking has not been very consistent for me in quite a while, I'm staying at 147. I think I'm just burning extra calories in the cold temperatures.

We are taking control of our finances! We're tracking all our expenses & avoiding adding to our debt. And today we're working with a mortgage broker to refinance our mortgage & fold in the debt we had accumulated, because (1) right now the rates are low again & (2) the recent appraisal showed that even in the current sluggish housing market, our condo has gained more than $40,000 in value since we bought it 2.5 years ago! Our new mortgage payments won't be much higher than they are right now, so we'll be able to save more & (soon, I hope) start paying extra on the principal.

The other day I was able to channel some of my winter blues & anxiety over global climate change into a poem--& I really like it. My sister the literature professor says she thinks it's ready for publication! Just being able to make a good poem out of my struggles eases those struggles a bit & renews me.

I haven't planned my retreat yet, but I have a contact at a beautiful convent in northern KY. I have to figure out a preferred range of dates & e-mail her soon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YAHTZEELOU 3/4/2008 9:00AM

    I'm taking charge of my finances this year, too. Isn't it great how a little change in one aspect of your life begins to snowball, and all of sudden your whole life starts to really move towards total "wellness"? Have a great day, Ruth!

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PJBOKC 3/1/2008 9:10PM

    Ruth, isn't it wonderful when our thoughts and planning finally start taking shape and we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sure relieves some stress.

Keep us posted on your poem - sounds exciting.

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LINDAMARIE56 2/29/2008 3:25PM

    WISH I COULD WAKE UP WITH ENERGY. YOU'LL HAVE TO LET ME AND SHANNON KNOW WHEN YOU ARE COMING TO KY. AND WHAT PART OF NORTHERN KY. YOU'LL BE COMING TO. YOU WON'T BE FAR FROM US.
LINDA

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I love my work (& bonus: a vivid dream)

Monday, February 25, 2008

This past weekend I took my sabbath from Saturday early evening to Sunday at the same time. Well rested, I used Sunday evening to dive into a new freelance editing project.

A couple of chapters in it look to be very dense & philosophical--but I think the rest will be really, really interesting. It's a longer book than I usually accept for freelance work, so making the deadline will be a challenge. But I am so blessed to have intellectually stimulating work! It won't be hard to keep up my motivation for working through this manuscript.

I slept well last night, a full 8 hours. I woke up in the midst of a vivid dream. Like most of my dreams these days, this one was peopled with a whole crowd of characters. There were several large square rooms/galleries, & we were finding sleeping quarters & also places to sit for meals. I was sharing a bed with two other women--in the morning there were three rumpled/bunched pillows in a row. Out in the galleries, there were several very nice, responsible men herding people about to find seats (individual Adirondack-style chairs against the walls facing the central courtyard). My dad, finishing a plate of food, looked up & said, "I eat so little meat these days!" I was amused & pointed out that he still ate lots more meat than I do. He got up & went to get seconds, whereupon a rowdy group of little boys came in & one of them took his seat. I was trying to find one of the nice ushers to make the boy give up the seat so my dad could have it back--when I woke up.

When I remember dreams so clearly, I always think about what they might mean. This one is clearly dealing with the crowded nature of my life right now & the anxiety that there won't be enough room/time for all I feel called to do. Interesting that sleeping is feminine in the dream, while the waking characters are mostly masculine: they all reflect parts of myself. I think it's saying that both my functional/"productive"/income-producing life & my creativity, which is rooted in rest & peace, are tenuous these days, crowding each other.

I'm the main wage earner in our family; my husband hasn't yet found a steady source of income that will make use of his amazing technical skills. Some possibilities are on the horizon, which is exciting, but until they materialize I have to keep my nose to the grindstone. This limits my creative life severely, as well as the time I have for friends. And lately it has been troubling my sleep. Going on retreat should help!

(Shannon: Thanks for your concern. For 6.5 years I've been taking Amitriptyline to help regularize my hormones so I can sleep through the night. Normally it works just fine & I have no grogginess or side effects. But when I'm under stress, my body reflects that in early-morning sleeplessness. Usually as I resolve the immediate stress, I'm able to sleep well again. Hopefully that process is underway now.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 2/27/2008 6:36PM

    That is a vivid dream, and your interpretation makes sense. I was also thinking the courtyard, adirondake chairs was possibly the desire to "go on a retreat", but you were still interrupted by responsibilities and caring for others (MEN??). I hope and pray your husband will find something soon, and you'll experience great relief.

Didn't you mention at some point your husband is from Columbia? Maybe while waiting for something to come up in his line of work he could check into interpreting in a hospital. We have a lot of Spanish speaking patients at one of the hospitals I work at (OU teaching hospital), and have a lot of interpreters from Columbia as well as Mexico. The coordinator of the interpreters was a physician from Columbia. He had that position for several years and then I think finally got into a program in US to prepare him to practice medicine here. Just a thought.

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SHANSHE 2/26/2008 1:19AM

    I have vivid dreams as well and often contemplate the meaning of them. I am glad you could clearly see what this one meant, and it makes total sense.

Hopefully, you will go on your retreat soon and feel refreshed and invigorated.

God Bless!
Shannon

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Finally

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yesterday morning I got up & exercised after a long, delicious sleep. I couldn't push my body too hard, since it had been quite a while since I had done exercise outside of my normal commute walking. But it felt good to move again.

This morning, unfortunately, insomnia yet again--I had to go back to bed instead of going to church. I hope my body will get back to a good equilibrium soon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 2/27/2008 6:24PM

    Ruth, sorry to hear you had insomnia. I don't have much problem with that anymore, but when I did, I usually managed it with one of two things. 1st, I tried to relax, relax and think the 23rd Psalm in a really peaceful way; if that didn't work, I got out of bed, made a bed on the couch and watched tv to distract me from whatever was keeping me awake. I usually fell asleep within an hour.

Hopefully you'll get some things off your mind and start sleeping well soon.

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SHANSHE 2/25/2008 12:46AM

    Ruth, I do wish you could find something that helped your insomnia. So happy you were able to do some exercise Saturday morning.
Shannon

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New pants

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Today I'm wearing one of two new pairs of wool-blend slacks I ordered recently. Moths had eaten holes in my other wool pants, :-( & since Chicago's winter is really prolonged & cold this year I needed to replace them.

My old slacks were 12Ts, & these are 10Ts--& they fit me beautifully! Even with (thin) long underwear on (necessary because I commute on public transportation & sometimes am on an elevated platform for 10-15 minutes waiting for a train).

Also on my wish list: a pair of snug jeans to wear inside my tall boots. But those can wait for next fall.

It feels good to be wearing size 10 again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 2/27/2008 6:19PM

    Way to go Ruth!! You're such an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for being a wonderful example. I'll be glad when I'm in a size 10 too. With spark friends like you, I know I'll make it - that is if I can keep from falling and breaking more bones. HA!

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YAHTZEELOU 2/26/2008 7:04PM

    Yay for you! New sizes are SO exciting. Good job, Ruth! Keep up your healthy habits, and stay warm this week!

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SHANSHE 2/21/2008 12:39AM

    Ruth! Yay! I am so happy for you to be in size 10's again too!
Shannon

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