Friday, September 12, 2014
I love this and I wanted to share.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
One of the most valuable things Iíve learnt here on SP is that exercise can usually get me out of a funk. Yesterday, I needed it. I was home, bored, depressed and I needed to do something so I got my shoes on and did some walking, 8,000 steps to be exact.
I drove to a small mountain-top town nearby that I hadnít been to and explored. One of the cool things about Italy is that they try to keep their medieval architecture while incorporating the 21st century. It can lead to some cool discoveries, like this:
This is a cage that used to be used as a torture device. They would put their victim in and hang him up in the town square and people would throw things at him. I was taken aback when I rounded a corner and came upon it. Hopefully, itís used just for decoration.
Itís a little town called Mondaino that never advertises, no tourists know about it, and yet itís pretty to walk around and has a castle! Who knew?
It instantly brightens my mood to find treasures like this nearby. Add to that the endorphins from the exercise and the fresh air and I was ten times happier after.
And on the way home I came across this escapeeÖhope he got home safe!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
This is not a diet blog, this is about death, love, and personal growth. I lost someone dear to me this week. I also celebrated my anniversary, and saw friends I hadnít seen for a long time. In short, itís been an emotional roller coaster. I gained a couple of pounds, but Iím not concerned about that, Iím back on track now, and more important Iím trying to process everything Iíve been through this week.
A friend of mine died last week, on Wednesday. I hadn't seen him in about 6 years, but it really didn't change how close I felt to him. There was a period of my life where we were always together and I really treasured him. I was so sad when I got the news that he was dying, I called him in his hospital room on Tuesday but I didn't understand anything he said. Later I found out he was on a breathing tube and was heavily drugged, which explains it.
I like living in Italy, but at times like these, when I want to be physically close to someone, it's very hard.
On Thursday I spoke to some mutual friends and learned that his family was planning on lying about how he died (he died of AIDS, they wanted to say skin cancer), and that they left his partner out of the obituary completely. He had had a strained relationship with his family for years because of his orientation and his life was lived with his partner and his friends, ie. the people who loved him and accepted him. For his family to come in and try and manipulate how others remember him was, in my mind, terrible.
I went through a range of emotions from anger to sadness to protectiveness and drafted a number of wicked emails and facebook posts -NONE of which I sent. In the end I closed the computer and walked away, giving myself some time to grieve. I'm proud of this, when I was younger I'd have gotten all fired up and launched a crusade against these wicked people. What I figured out now is that they aren't wicked, they're sad, and in pain, and caught in a paradigm where they are convinced they're right and don't understand why the world is against them.
And besides, what could I do from where I am? He wasn't a man who would have fought for himself, he never made a fuss. He really was someone who loved peace and God and his family. He wanted everyone to get along and I know deep down he'd have loved to introduce his partner to his family, but he wasn't a fighter. What right did I have to become one on his behalf? I debated about this for days. In the end I didn't need to though, it all turned out well, even beautifully.
His numerous friends left lots, I mean a huge number of sweet loving tributes to my friend, his partner AND his family on his facebook page and then the funeral home guestbook. No accusations, no recriminations, just love, sympathy and acceptance. The love everyone expressed for my friend and the memories were overwhelming. I can't describe to you how amazing they were. It was powerful reading each tribute that contained memories of his partner, and of his family in the same paragraph. No one left anyone out. In doing so they effectively erased any chance the family had to marginalize his partner and his lifestyle.
They bombarded the family with love during the last 4 days, and it worked. The family spokesperson made a powerpoint of photos to play during the service yesterday and his partner was included in many of the photos. The service (officiated by his father, who is a minister) was about love. About Godís love, love for each other, all kinds of love. My friendís partner was there, the family was there, only kind words were spoken. I couldnít be there, but the people I heard from afterward said it was an amazing ceremony. That theyíve never been to a service so loving and peaceful. My friend would have been thrilled. Heíd have been thilled at the maturity of his friends, who didnít respond to ugliness with more ugliness, but who responded with love. He'd have loved to see his partner included in the powerpoint presentation played in his father's church in front of everyone. And heíd have been thrilled with his brother who, last night, wrote a long, heartfelt response to all the messages with kindness and maturity.
I know it sounds cliche, but this week I learned that love really can win some battles. And that life is short, so love each other out loud, and tell people how you feel, often.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
It starts with a day at the beach. Plenty of water, fruit as a snack, fresh air, playing in the waves - sounds healthy right? About 3 o'clock in the afternoon we get a call from friends who are at the beach too, about a half a mile up the coast. A nice healthy walk in the sand to look for them, and when we arrive we find them, at the bar! LOL
I'm on vacation, right? So ok, I order a martini, then an hour later another, then the bar snacks start to look good, then we decide to order some appetizers, next thing I know it's 8 o'clock and I'm drinking beer and eating nachos.
Oh dear, I want to enjoy my vacation but alcohol seems to loosen my resolve to eat well.
I need to be careful!
On the plus side, with all the fresh fish in the area, it's amazingly easy to eat healthy at the local restaurants.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The scale is consistently going down. For the first time in my life I think I really have found the key. You know what it is? Veggies. Seriously.
When I counted calories, I didnít lose weight. When I did the wheat belly diet I did, but it was too overwhelming, because of all the cooking and prep and it made travelling a nightmare.
The dietician gave me this low-carb, restrictive diet, yes, but I really think something clicked in my head when she said ďeat as many vegetables as you can, at least 200 grams each mealĒ. 200 grams is almost half a pound. 200 at lunch and 200 at dinner is a pound of veggies a day. When that sunk into my head I was shocked. A pound of veggies a day? Is she mad?
That right there turned out to be the best diet advice Iíve ever gotten. And Iím doing it, and loving it. For example, yesterday at lunch I grilled some zucchini and a chicken breast on the stove. How much zucchini? Three whole zucchinis. THREE zucchinis, sliced thin, grilled, with a dash of garlic salt and a drizzle of olive oil. They were delicious, and because they were so good I ate them first and then was full and almost didnít want the chicken breast.
My vegetables have become the main dish and the meat has become the side. Last night, I ate a small steak and some swiss chard (cooked with some butter and fresh sage, yum!), and ended up having seconds then thirds of the swiss chard. The steak was almost an afterthought.
Iím so excited because I really believe I will reach my goal. I may end up at my pre-pregnancy weight in September if I keep this up. 130 pounds has seemed like an unattainable dream for so long, but now I feel like I can really make it happen.
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