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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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