A Gazillion Calories in a Single Day

Isn’t that a song or book title?? Anyway, that’s what Christmas day felt like. I decided early in the day that that was the way it was going to be. It was very fun, but I still have to work at not having guilty feelings or negative thoughts about eating whatever I want. I did only eat a small dinner, since I was pretty much not hungry from all the other treats I’d been eating. And by the time I drove home that night, I was SOOO ready to start my regular healthy eating the next day. I made a plate of goodies for my contractor and that pretty much cleared the house of Christmas treats.

Yesterday, I went back to my normal eating habits and logged all my food in Lose It. I ate every 3 or 4 hours, and made sure I had food that I enjoyed.

The thing is, its become more and more clear to me, that it is my INTENTION to eat healthily and stay as fit as possible. I have a very clear vision of what I want my aging life to be. I also have a very clear vision of what I do NOT want my life to be. Its been a while, but its still very clear in my mind how I felt every day when I weighed a hundred pounds more than I do now. I can imagine how that old body would feel with 9 years of aging on it.

So onward into the new year. I’m sure there will be lots of new (and old) advice and hopes for starting a newer, healthier life. I guess my wish would be for everyone to think clearly about living a healthier life, instead of a life at a certain weight or wearing a certain dress size or looking a certain way. None of those things has anything to do with a good life.

A Good Weekend

It was such a good weekend. Had very little to do with food or weight, but thought I’d share. I have designated Saturday as my housecleaning day. (Its a new thing I’m trying out. The goal is that I won’t feel guilty EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK that I’m not doing housework.) But I had something else in mind for Saturday morning, so luckily I got busy and did a bunch of work on Friday.

Saturday I started in on a quilt project. I had made some large blocks a while ago that I just didn’t like very much. And I had thought about cutting them up and restructuring them. And then I saw a tiny little picture that gave me an idea. So Saturday morning I started cutting into those blocks. And putting them back together with tiny little strips of fabric to create crosses. Here’s the result (still unfinished, but I LOVE!)

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And then Sunday was the day for my quilt show reception. I was absolutely sure that no one would come. So sure that, even though I went and bought food for the reception (had a little obsession over that too–why should I buy stuff to put out that is too tempting for me. Decided on apple slices and blueberries, and some rice crackers) I never put the food out!!

So people started trickling in, and my mom and my sister completely surprised me by showing up all the way from the Bay Area! A nice amount of friends came, and it was very fun to share my past year’s work with them. Most of them were very surprised at the volume of quilts I had produced, and all were very complimentary about the quilts and their message. It really was very nice.

So here’s a picture of me that my sister snapped. It actually shows that my jeans are too big now–YAY!

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That’s all for now. I’m off to work on more quilts. And maybe a little rug hooking and some knitting. Have to rest up from that busy weekend LOL.

An Alternate Universe

Who likes science fiction?  I used to like reading Ray Bradbury, and I loved the first of C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy.  It taught me that there were possibly other ways of seeing God besides the pedantic ways I had grown up knowing Him.

If you don’t like science fiction, you will have to have a really good imagination to even conceive of what I am going to try to describe.  Because I can’t really truly conceive of a world like this myself.

What if, in our world, bumps and bubbles, and wrinkles and extra skin, and dare I say FAT  were thought to be desirable?  What happened that made our description of human beauty so narrowly defined?  After all, humans are the ones who worked very hard to create these breeds of dogs that are considered beautiful and desirable by many people.

Extra thin:

Extra wrinkled:

Extra fat:

More wrinkles:

And extra short legs–I mean, extra cute:

It is almost painful to read “weight loss blogs” any more.  Perfectly normal, beautiful, functional woman degrading themselves, spending endless hours obsessing over an impossible to achieve “standard of beauty,” spending what amounts to years of their lives being unhappy and depressed about themselves.  Because they are not a certain shape.  It is not because they aren’t whole and functional people.  Some of these women are wives and mothers (world’s most important job,) marathon runners, weight lifters, swimmers, and artists.  Unbelievable, remarkable women.

And before you think I am pointing the finger at other people, I’m talking to myself too.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this the past few months.  Especially since I changed the header on my blog to be about “living a whole and healthy life,” instead of just being about “weight loss and life.”

I am NOT in weight loss mode right now.  Not even in the same country.  Yet, every single day I think about it a great deal.  I think about how I “should” be losing weight, or how I liked how I looked a few pounds ago.  And then I think about how I shouldn’t be thinking about that.

When I swim and even when I walk, I feel so good and strong (aside from the knee.)  I love how energetic and slim I feel (is that a feeling??)  I am happy with the way I spend my time right now.  I am putting more energy into my art (quilting,) and I am working on The Bridge, our child sponsorship program.  Alleviating hunger in the world, even in a small way, is so important to me (wrote about it here.)  I am happy with my daily schedule for the most part.  I am even happier with how I am keeping my house up.  So why would so much of my thought life be spent on this stupid weight issue?

I don’t have an answer for me or for you.  A couple of things that might work–the “acting as if” thing–in other words, I act as if I am okay with my current weight.  I wear shorts, even  in public, and my summer uniform has been a variety of sleeveless teeshirts.  The thought “I’m too fat to swim now” flits through my head quite often, but I load up the bag and head to the gym anyway.

Another thing that might help is the “what you say becomes your reality,” that I have read recently on someone’s blog.  In other words, I try not to use degrading words (even to myself) to describe my physical body.

People, we are more than physical beings.  No matter how you believe, you can’t change that.  We are more than body.  We have a spirit that is infinitely more valuable than the vessel that contains it. Thank goodness.

And one last note to “women of a certain age.”  Who came up with that term?  I love it!  Anyway, as we age, we are ALL going to retain weight around the middle.  We are.  We Are.  WE ARE.  I don’t know why.  When I get an audience with God and I have run out of the important questions, that is the first one I am going to ask.  I’ll report back to you.  In the meantime, will you try to make peace with that fact?  Please?  And yes.  I’m still working on that one myself.

(edited to add:  if you can’t relate to my doggie illustration, please continue on to the comments.  Karen’s description of a rhino on a treadmill is PRICELESS!)

New Old Thoughts

First, my excuses.

This guy is one reason I haven’t posted for a while.

That’s Monk, sitting on top of the box that is his ‘stair’ to get on my lap when I sit in the big chair in the evening.  He doesn’t ask much, just a little lap time at night.  How can I resist, especially since I LIKE sitting in the big chair at night!

For proof, here he is this morning, perfectly content to sit in ‘his’ chair.

The other reason for my absence is this!

Yes, the sheep rug is finished!!!!!  Cambria Pines Rug Hooking Camp starts Sunday, and I decided to make a concerted effort to finish the rug.  I really didn’t think I would finish, but I decided to make this week all about the rug hooking. No quilting, no knitting (until evening chair time!)

Its not a balanced way to live, but it was fun!  I got up in the morning, read a few blogs, and started right in on the rug hooking,  which was conveniently set up next to my computer.  Since I was skipping my morning reading, I listened to well over 12 hours of Dallas Willard lecturing on his book “The Divine Conspiracy,” on Youtube!  Who knew?  What a great resource, and for free.  I have paid a lot of money to buy DVD’s of presentations like this.

In between hooking, I started dying some angora and cashmere sweaters to use for rug hooking.  This is something I have not seen rug hookers use regularly, and I think it might be something that other rug hookers will enjoy, so I wanted to have some to sell at camp this week (they have a student sale on Tuesday afternoon.)  Here is the sample I started with the angora.  It has a little softer look than the traditional wool that is used.  These little circles are a traditional rug hooking pattern called “cats paws.”  They are rather addicting!

So that’s it.  Its actually been a relaxing and refreshing week.  In addition, I have thought much about the direction of this blog.  You can see that I changed the byline.  I don’t think the blog will change that much.  Just my intention.  Which eventually might change the direction of my writing a bit.

I had a great visit with my best friend last week.  When she comes down to visit her parents, we usually try to sneak in one day to spend doing the things we like!  We met in Folsom, shared a great dinner (so fun to share meals with friends!)  and spent the evening doing ‘show and tell’ of all our latest projects.  The next morning we walked over to the Starbuck’s for our coffee, and then headed up the hill to Placerville to visit a couple of quilt shops and a yarn shop!  We ended our visit with a GREAT piece of apple pie a la mode.  We did NOT share the pie LOL.

My friend mentioned that I do not snore any more.  That, and my perfect blood pressure of 112/71 are reasons to continue on this healthy life.  I look forward to sharing more about that with you all in the days to come.

Here’s a couple new recipes I’ve come up with.  This first is a raspberry coconut cake.  I wanted something that was a bit decadent, but still on the healthy side.  This fit the bill nicely.  As you can see, it is almost too moist.  I think that’s because of the frozen raspberries.  I might make it again, and just use less almond milk.

And this is more of an ‘assemblage’ than a recipe, but man, it was tasty!  Sauteed the snow peas in a pan sprayed with pam, and then added a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, and orange marmelade, along with the pre-cooked shrimp. Yum yum!  Gonna write this one as a recipe just so I won’t forget it!

Over and out.  I’ll try to check in one more time before heading to Cambria on Sunday!

Talking Back

Sorry for the absence.  One thing you can say about me is that I’m consistently inconsistent…  Last week was one of those weeks that I really try to avoid.  Over-filled with too many activities.  It wasn’t really my fault, and it wasn’t really anybody else’s fault.  Just a convergence of events that could not be changed or delayed.  In short, I met with three realtors, and then chose one to list my dad’s house.  Vicky was out of town for a week, so my little job was a little bigger.  The pastor from Haiti (where we have our child sponsorship program) was in town, and we met with him (in person for the first time!) to work on some of the details of the program.  I had scheduled a lunch out with a friend that I hadn’t seen for several months.  And, I was scheduled to sing at the Ladie’s Tea on Saturday!  Egad!   But you know what?  I made it through, and I had some real food victories along the way.

But first, I wanted to share some of the great comments I received on the last entry.  Sometimes I think blogging is so weird.  I blab on and on forever, and then some of you are so kind as to make pertinent comments, and on my best days, I will reply to those.  But when life gets so hectic, the comments just sit there, and that is the end of the conversations.   “blah blah blah blah blah” I go. and you reply,  “oh, well have you thought of blah blah?”  splat.  the end.  Don’t you think that’s weird?

ANYWAY, some of those comments were really really helpful to me over the past few days.  So thank you!  Sharon said simply “Do the next right thing.”  Okay, I can do that.  Lori talked about “the line that you cross between being accepting and complacent. I think with complacency comes weight gain. Accepting doesn’t mean you stop trying, but just accepting that where you are right this minute is okay. Sure, it may not be quite where you want to be, but it is not a reflection on the person you are.”  Yes, of course.  I hadn’t quite thought of it that way.  PJ  suggested “keep it simple. quality. really satifying visually and texturally” in regards to my food choices. Yes.  That was something I could really relate to.  DebraSY just said “RRAAaaar!  Dig in with your heels and fight back!” That was something that I really appreciated hearing, especially from Debra.  And Karen left a note about being in a similar muddle, which made me click over to her blog, where she had written an excellent post about practicing both acceptance and improvement.  Now that is an excellent thought!  A little unrelated, but it made me very happy, was Caron’s note that she recommends my homemade yogurt instructions to people who are interested. I appreciate so much all of the comments people leave, so I feel a little rude for only listing these.  Just know that I love all of them!

I had quite a few challenging food “situations” in the past few days, and I’ve been so very happy in how I’ve handled them.  The best one was the ladie’s tea.  I was totally stressing out over NOT wanting to eat the food there, but worrying that I would feel pressured to eat it, more by myself than others.  I knew if I sat down at one of the fancy tables I would eat.  So I went in the kitchen area where they were just starting to prepare all the plates of fancy little foods, and I asked if they needed help.  For once they said yes.  I was so happy helping out, arranging the food, and not at all tempted to eat it.  And then they left me to arrange the dessert tiers all by myself!  I put out about 250 little dessert tidbits on those plates, and I did not even lick my fingers.  Cause I knew if I licked my fingers I would take a few home for later LOL.  If you’re interested, here is a link to the song that I sang.  Its a beautiful song by JJ Heller “What Love Really Means.”  And then I went straight from the tea to our meeting with Pastor Gilbert!  It all went really well, but when I left that meeting, I knew that all the stressful things from the week were over and done with.  I came home, put on my shorts, and sat in my chair with the two little dogs on my lap for hours!  Lovely.

 

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies…and Other Stuff

I recently re-subscribed to the Nutrition Action Healthletter.  To thank me, they sent me a nifty little booklet with a rating system for fruits and veggies, and a few other foods.  Interesting.  Guess what vegetable was at the top of their list (rating fiber, potassium, vitamin C, Lutein, and vitamin K.)  Kale!  I gotta try that stuff again!  Spinach was right below it, and guess what!  Canned pumpkin was way up there at the top of the list!  Romaine lettuce had a surprisingly high score–above butternut squash and tomatoes and asparagus.  And believe it or not, a potato with skin was above my beloved beets!

Then on the fruit list, guava was far and away the highest scorer (scoring fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and carotenoids.)  Never had one.  Guess which one was second.  Watermelon!  Wow.  I be eating a little more watermelon this summer.  Plus, it only has 80 calories per two cups diced.  Orange, strawberries, mango (my latest love) and pineapple were all high on the list.  They were all above the mighty apple.  Hmmm.  Oh, and blueberries were farther down the list. Raspberries and blackberries had a considerable higher score than blueberries.  All this just served to remind me to stock up on a variety of fruits and vegetables, and to try to get more of them into my daily food choices, especially the vegetables.

About the same time I checked Georgie’s blog, and she had a most excellent article on ‘losing weight on a vegetarian diet.‘  But it was just a very balanced overall view of the best way to eat.  And she had that reminder in there to have fruits and vegetables filling half your plate!  Well, I’m not there yet.  But I’m trying.  This week I’ve had apple, orange, mango, strawberries, and pear.  On the veggie side, I’ve had green beans, asparagus, artichoke, brussel sprouts, beets, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots.

On to other stuff.  Well, truth is, not much other stuff to report.  I’ve had a very uneven week of eating, starting with the ‘super bowl of dog shows’ last week.  One day, I eat just ‘perfect,’ and the next I overeat a bit.  I do not like it when I overeat.  Sunday I took a quick trip to the bay area to visit my mom.  And of course I ate too much.  But that I expect.  I did visit a farmer’s market, and paid $6/pound(???) for some brussel sprouts.  Good grief people.  Good luck on that farm.  Personally, I do not think that is sustainable.  They were good though.  Of course, the trouble with farmer’s markets is THE OTHER STUFF.  I also got a giant chocolate chip cookie, and some kettle corn, which I shared with my mom.

On to good news.  I am continuing to be very consistently active.  I am very happy with that.  Getting to the gym 3X/week to work out on the weights, and if there is time, I do a little bit on the stationary bike.  Working out consistently, I have been able to increase some of the weights I am using.

The other day I was grousing about how I had overeaten the day before, and that famous line from “City Slickers” came back to me–”today is a do over.”  I don’t have to get stuck in that mode of overeating and making poor choices.  I can just start from today and get it right.  I think that is a key to continuing on a healthy life of good food and exercise.  It made me feel better, anyway.

I have been doing a lot of quilting, and having fun blogging about it.  I’ve also been knitting more than usual, thanks to Shelley’s inspiration!

And now, I have to get a going, because it is ‘sewing day,’ and I am going to stop at the gym before I head over to join my friends for a day of sewing and quilting together.

A New Year’s Day List

The day after I flew home on the plane I was sitting in church writing a different kind of list.  This time I was thinking about the kind of person I wanted to be.

Most of all I want to live a balanced  healthful life.  WITHOUT ANGST.

I want to be

  • Active.
  • Creative.
  • Spiritual.
  • Generous.
  • Joyful.

I want to be all of these things.  I want them to be balanced in my life.  I even wrote “If being a little heavier is part of this, so be it.”  Now I don’t think that that’s necessarily so.  Cause honestly, my joints are telling me every day that I can’t be heavy AND active.

It feels so good to say that I WANT to be active.  For a very long time it was just something I did to stave off the inevitability of weight regain.  But finally, I am realizing that it is something I WANT.  One of the highlights of my trip was going to the gym for a weights workout with my brother.  As always, he gave me some good tips on correct form.  But this time I also knew what I wanted to do, and what I was capable of doing.  That was fun.  We also got in plenty of long walks.  And since I’ve been home, I have been consistently very active, just cause I wanted to!  Who’d a’thunk it?

This is all tied in to spending time in a town where I weighed some of my highest (234) and lowest (124) weights when I lived there 30 years ago!  The past month or so I have seen women my current age who are really struggling physically due to being overweight.  And I have seen young women who are as overweight as I was when I started this last weight loss journey.  I’ve been in all these places and so many in between.

I guess that’s why I want to live that “balanced healthful life without angst.”  No more worrying about ‘going back.’  I might not ever be the ‘ideal’ weight for my height.  But part of my self-definition is now ‘active.’  I like that.

The Week That Was

Oh my goodness.  That is NOT how I choose to live my life.  Having something ‘special’ every day of the week.  Eating out, eating at parties, staring at cookies for hours on end.  NOT gonna do that again.  But I made it through.  And for some reason, my plan worked.  It did not all fall apart, and I did not succumb to munching on endless cookies like I am prone to do.  I stayed pretty much on the bobay plan except for the meals out, and a few planned cookies.  And I achieved my goal–to not GAIN any weight this week.  I did not gain one ounce this week.  It would have been nice to lose 0.2 pounds like Helen did her second week.  But I ‘m not complaining!

So Friday and Saturday I exhibited my quilts at a very small art and craft show–7 vendors!  It was held at the local nursery, and they really did a very nice job of it.

Still, it was COOOLDDD!   Here is the field of frost I drove by as I left Saturday morning.

Close up:  frost can make even plain old weeds look special!

I actually sold one of my quilts, which surprised me, since they are priced quite a bit higher than what most people are looking for at a craft show.  It was one of my favorite quilts, but I actually sold it to a lady who lives on the same road as I do, and so she knew the place that it depicts.  I really like her and her husband so that is nice too.

In spite of it being cold, I managed to get quite a bit of stitching done on a new project.  It will end up being a ‘twilight garden’ quilt.

 

The other thing that was going on this week, mostly via emails and writing and thinking and praying, was preparing to make the announcement to our church about The Bridge, our little sponsorship program for the children of Carrefourpoy, Haiti.  My young friend, whose brainstorm it was, is really doing most of the work.  I am proofreading/advising(ha! my main area of expertise LOL) and giving moral support.  As the program gets going, I anticipate I will have more work to do on it.  Our announcement went really well (hey Cammie–thanks for the link to 10 Reasons You are Rich.  I worked that into the announcement!) and people really responded.  Looks like we will be able to help with their little church school down there.  Honestly, its like looking at the places I visited in Africa.  Their ‘school’ has brick sides,  I think there is a tarp for a ‘roof’, and I’m not kidding, ROCKS for a floor.  Not gravel.  Rocks.  Yes, people, we are rich.  Please be thankful, especially at this time of year when we tend to spend a little too much time daydreaming about the next THING we want.

And now back to our regularly scheduled life.  This week is pretty free and clear.  I plan to put out just a few Christmas decorations, AFTER I clean up the clutter.  And stick to the bobay plan of eating higher protein.  Today when I shopped, I bought more meat than I have bought in a long time!  I also plan to get back to my exercise schedule.  The best I could do some days was to take the dogs for a short walk right before it got dark.