Must Get to Bed!!!

But wanted to say au revoir!  I’m leaving very early tomorrow morning.  I think everything is packed.  Food items that are coming with me:  food for the whole day of travel tomorrow–banana chia muffin, apple, turkey bread (from Vicky,) some baby carrots, and a Quest bar.  And some trail mix if I get nervous.  Food items packed in the suitcase:  Quest bars, trail mix, and some of those oatmeal packs that I like so much.  Most of the hotels I’m staying in have a little kitchen area, so I will pick up some fresh fruit and yogurt and cottage cheese to fill in the blanks.

I just did a long picture blog of all the quilts I’ve been working on lately over on the quilt blog.

Alright.  Be good until I come back.  Not sure if I’ll be able to blog from the road.

I Went Shopping Today

I had to get some dog food before I leave on my trip, so decided to make a day of it.  First stop Costco, for the dog food, and then ended getting a lot of extra household supply-type stuff.  Basically no food, except goat cheese and laughing cow light, the Chevy’s salsa, which I love, and those little bowls of pre-cooked brown rice.  They are just right for me.

On to Marshall’s and Ross, where I planned to look for some tops for my trip.  I have enough pants, but thought I might be a little short on tops.  I tried on 10 tops at one store and 8 tops at the other.  Only ended up with one that I really liked enough to buy. As I stood in the dressing room trying on top after top, I consciously did not allow myself to engage in ‘negative talk’ about my current weight, the size I was wearing, or the state of my body.  I was not discouraged that I didn’t find more to wear.  I am just very picky about paying retail prices for things that don’t fit that well or aren’t flattering to my particular body type.

When I got home I checked the blogs, and Lynn had posted!  She was recently featured in a segment of 60 Minutes Australia.  It was a very interesting piece, because they started out talking about a study that was done in Melbourne that ‘proves’ that your weight is genetically predetermined and so it is pretty much impossible to lose weight and MAINTAIN that weight loss.  Lynn’s part was showing that it was possible to maintain weight loss long term with “hypervigilance” both in food choices and exercise.  They also featured the doctor who is part of the NWCR study, which of course has 10,000 people who HAVE successfully lost and maintained their weight loss for a number of years.  A big part of the segment was dedicated to a plus-sized woman who won Australia’s Got Talent.  She discussed her journey of trying many different diets, trainers, etc, and finally coming to just “love herself” the way she was (they didn’t mention it, but it sounded like “Health at Every Size.”)

I guess I just want to say that I can see both sides of the equation.  I’ve been at my current weight since before I went to Africa, so that’s been about a year and a half.  Its 20 pounds (plus or minus one or two) up from my lowest weight.  Sometimes part of me feels like a failure still.  That’s when I remember all the evidence about how hard it is to maintain weight loss.  And yet, if I dwell in that camp for too long, it can kind of boomerang on me.  There’s nothing wrong with being hypervigilant about my food choices, and nothing wrong with exercising a lot.  Lori made such a funny, but true comment in response to the 60 Minutes piece.  The doctor from the Melbourne study had made the statement that to exercise that much was “obsessive-compulsive.”  Lori said, “An hour of physical activity is obsessive-compulsive? Why does no one say watching an hour of TV a day obsessive compulsive?”  LOL.  That is so true!

On the other side of things, sometimes it DOES seem weird that I think about healthy food all the time, talk about it endlessly.  Worry about what food to take with me on a trip vs. just  dealing with what I can find when I get there.

And back on THE OTHER SIDE of things, I don’t think the current weight I am maintaining is because of genetics.  I think its because I am indulging too much.  Sometimes when I take a little bowl of walnuts and raisins to bed with me, when I’m not really hungry, I think about that.  I don’t know why I can’t resist it, but I don’t really think its a genetic or hormonal thing.  I don’t even think its an emotional thing.  But since I can’t identify what it is, maybe it is a physical thing?

Ah, so you can see I have as much concrete information about weight loss maintenance for you as most of the experts do.  I’ll just tell you that the best advice I can come up with, and it has been something I have kept in the forefront of my mind for the last 7 or so years, is to look at what the successful people have done and imitate that.  So when they said that most of the people in the NWCR ate breakfast, I learned to enjoy a good breakfast.  When they said that most of the people exercise for an hour a day, I took exercise seriously.  I worked up to over an hour of exercise a day.  Now, I don’t know if I get an hour every day, but it is close.  They said that most people weigh themselves once a week.  I have gone back and forth on this.  Currently I weigh myself twice a week.  And lastly, they said that most people watched less than 10 hours of TV a week.  So I threw my TV out!  LOL, that’s not exactly true.  I don’t actually remember reading that fact before.  I did get rid of my TV for different reasons, and I think because of that I do stay a lot more active.

I also think its not bad to keep the increasing body of evidence regarding the extreme difficulty of weight loss maintenance in the back of your mind.  Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I think women are striving to get to an unrealistic weight.  By unrealistic I mean that they are not heading towards that weight with the full knowledge of what will be necessary to MAINTAIN that weight.  And in the meantime, they are very unhappy with themselves.  That’s no good, is it?  I recently saw some pictures of me as a little girl. I remembered that time so well.  I was, umm, well endowed at a pretty young age.  I remembered having to get that awful ‘old lady’ yellow swimsuit with the built in bra.  I FELT SOOOOO FAT.  What I saw in that picture was a VERY SLIM little girl.  Oh my goodness.  The mind games we play on ourselves.  Its just no good.

So wherever you are on this journey,  try to look at the truth that is known.  Work that into your life now.  Try to love yourself now.  Find clothes that are flattering for your body type right now.  Don’t wait until you are some imaginary shape or size.  And don’t wear clothes that are too tight to remind yourself of how ‘bad’ you are or how you want to be another size.  That is not loving and kind.

Good Afternoon!

Don’t feel like doing much else right at the moment, so thought I’d write a blog.  Wow.  If I was a good writer, I would delete that sentence.  Cause basically it says DON’T READ THIS BLOG.  Oh well.  Continuing on.

I have almost completely converted to a free weights girl in the gym.  Oh I am proud of myself.  Yes, pride does goeth before a fall.  The other day I dropped a 25 pound weight and it landed on my shin.  Fortunately I guess we don’t have many nerve endings there?  Because it doesn’t hurt much, except when I touch it.  Anyway, back to the free weights.  I am almost completely over my fear of “men in the weights room.”  Yesterday I walked into the gym, and my favorite receptionist whispered “we’ve been taken over by high school children…”  Oh brother.  Sure enough, they were EVERYWHERE when I went upstairs to the weights room.  I peered into the free weights room and there were 3 or 4 little boys strutting around doing their thing.  There were weights on the bench press bar.  So I left and did a couple other things.  I went back and the same weights were on the bar, and the boys were nowhere near it, so I just went in there and said, “any of you using this (pointing at the bar,) or did someone just leave the weights on there?”  They said no, and then one of the little boys volunteered to take the weights off. Which I gladly accepted his help.  Then I put my little weights on there and went to work.  After that I used the leg press machine that they had left their weights on, and the barbell for dead lifts that they had left their weights on.  I didn’t have to change those weights.  Yeah!  I liked that workout.  70 pounds on the bench press, 85 pounds on the dead lift, and 200 pounds on the leg press.

Hey, here’s another item of interest.  (Switching to my favorite topic, food.)  Vicky was doing a special ‘detox’ diet plan this week, and I told her about the veggie cereal idea, because 1)  I think it tastes good, in spite of you nay-sayers, and 2) I thought it fit in with the kinds of food she likes to challenge people with.  She is pretty picky though, about what she will serve.  Anyway, she liked the idea, and she included it in her plan this week.  And she thought it tasted good too!  Come on, you guys, be a little adventurous!  It lasted really well in the fridge too.  The apples turn a little brown, but still tasty after about 4 days.

Along the lines of adding veggies to food, I just took a “zucchini cake” version of the one-minute muffin out of the oven.  Smells heavenly.  followed Lori’s basic applesauce version recipe, added a sprinkle of nutmeg, the shredded zucchini, and then must admit to adding about 2/3 Tbsp of agave nectar cause I wanted it a little sweeter.  I will have that for my afternoon snack, after I come back from getting my haircut.

My haircut for my trip next week!  Eeeeekkkk!  Does anybody know how I can lose 10 pounds in a week? LOL.  You know how that goes.  The minute I think about cutting back, I rebel.  NO I AM NOT GOING TO GO WITHOUT GRAINS.  Etc.  Sigh.  It is what it is.  I’ve been this same weight since before I went to Africa.  Someday the mojo will come back.  In the meantime, that is a very nice word using the letter ‘j’ for Words with Friends.

Friends.  My next topic.  I emailed another friend from my past, and we are going to meet up at the quilt show.  That means friends from a 30 year span of my life, from three different interests in my life, are going to be a part of this trip.  First up, meeting my newest friends, from my bloggy life,  Sharon and Cammy!  Of course, this will be our first time meeting in person.  Blog friends, because of what we share, seem just as close as friends IRL.  Next, I am going to meet an old friend (I’m guessing we first met in ’91) from the spinning and knitting era of my life.  Lynn is an accomplished knitter and designer, and my knitting has even been included in her books.  I am really looking forward to seeing her again and discussing all things fiber and color!  And the last friend I am going to meet is now something of a rock star in the quilt world.  But I know him from my years in raising and showing Cocker Spaniels, where I was a rock star in the dog show world LOL.  (so I showed cocker spaniels before the internets were born.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.)   Back then, neither of us were quilters.  I always did handwork of some sort.  But he really took a detour from his career in music to go full time in the quilting world.  This is really going to be a great trip!  And that doesn’t even count the wonderful quilt show I will be visiting, and all that goes with that.

Okay, back from the hairdresser.  I asked her to put layers in it, because I read somewhere that that made you look younger (lost cause.)  Anyway, I am quite layered.  We’ll see how I like it after it dries.  Should be easy to take care of anyway.

Back to my favorite topic.  My friend Wendy (of The Bridge project) has a lot of food allergies.  Coconut is not one of them.  She made an unbelievable orange cake with chocolate frosting with only coconut flour.  Well, and a lot of other stuff.  Anyway, it was quite delicious.  Here is a link to the original recipe, and here is a link to Wendy’s version.  I was surprised when I did the breakdown that it was only 140 calories per piece if you divide it into 12 pieces.  Of course, that is before icing…

Well, this is a long enough blog for now.  I have other things to do which I didn’t want to do when I started this…

Under the Influence

As I’ve said before, I am highly suggestible.  Fortunately, I am just as likely to be influenced in a positive way.  Here’s a few ways I’ve been positively influenced by reading blogs this week.

So yesterday I read somebody’s description of their chicken and rice casserole. (ooh, I found the blog.  Her recipe does sound delicious.  I’ve got it bookmarked.)   Mmmm.  That sounds good. And I was reading right before dinner.  Well, I looked and I had one more container of that pre-cooked brown rice from Costco.  Combined that with some of Helen’s shredded BBQ chicken and some already sauteed mushrooms and onions.  Pretty darn good!  I’ve used that BBQ chicken in a number of ways and have enjoyed them all.  Good thing, because I still have a lot of it left!

The other day I read Lyn’s description of “Grain-free Veggie Cereal.”  My first thought at reading that was ewwww.   But the picture and her description intrigued me.  So today, after I came back from my HIIT walk/hike (influenced by Miz) I wanted something cool and refreshing.  Plus I just wanted to experiment in the kitchen.  I adjusted her recipe to the veggies I had on hand (one apple, one carrot, and about 1 cup of zucchini, along with the three Tbsp pecans and some cinnamon)  Whirrrrrr in the food processor.  It looked just like her picture so I didn’t snap a shot.  But man, you get a BIG serving for 140 calories!  And it was VERY good. (I ate it with unsweetened Almond Milk like she suggested.)  After eating about half of it, I wanted to see how it would do mixed in with oatmeal.  So I dumped in one of those Abundance oatmeal packages, added the water, and put it all in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Very good. I think it would be even better as just an additive to the oatmeal like I’ve already been doing with the shredded zucchini.  So just adding a couple of tablespoons to the oatmeal.  I think I’ll be eating a lot of this stuff this summer.  Very refreshing as is.

Back to that walk.  That was kind of fun to challenge myself like that.  Basically I counted one and two and… for anywhere from 60 to 180 counts walking as fast as I could, and then slowed down and counted one and…to 20, then sped up again.  Probably much more aerobic.  Mainly Miz caught my attention by saying that it wasn’t always necessary to excercise for large amounts of time.  An intense workout can be just as effective.  And most of the time, that is what I am still reluctant about sometimes.  I don’t want to spend the time exercising for an hour every day.

You all left some very nice and interesting comments on the Neglected Garden blog.  I meant to make the point that you get a big bang for your buck (and time) with daffodils.  They are usually not interesting to the rodents that like to eat bulbs, and if you plant them in the ground they will come back year after year with very little help from you.  I am wondering if some of mine came back because I started sprinkling time-release fertilizer pellets in my planters.  Those white daffodils that everyone liked are called Thalia daffodils. They are supposedly the whitest of the daffodils.  They are very luminous in person.


The Neglected Garden

Somewhere along the way, I have lost my gardening mojo.  There just seems to be other things (quilting) that I want to do instead of spending time in the garden.  I walk out there and think to myself, well of course.  Real artists don’t have time to work in their garden. They are busy creating art.  Then I thought of Monet.  SHUT UP!

So the last time I “worked” in the garden was when I bought the giant bags of bargain bulbs at Costco last fall.  Even then I resented the time it took to plant them.  I ended up taking some to my mom, which she has really enjoyed this spring.  And then I STILL had some, and I gladly gave them to my doggiesitting neighbor.  So the display this spring has surprised and mystified me.  I really don’t think I planted all these varieties last year.  And because I plant in containers, I usually only get one year’s worth of blooms from bulbs.

These perfect little blooms appeared in the pile of weeds and pine needles that I toss  over the fence when I do work in the yard.  I guess I presumed they were useless.

I think these ruffled daffodlis are surprises from a previous year also.  (that is the end of a decorative cabbage behind it.)

More surprises.

These I did plant.  They are truly gigantic daffodils.

Close-up, with the rosemary flowering behind it.

Ah.  The forsythia and camellia that I planted in exactly the WRONG spot over twenty years ago.  Still, they struggle on.  Someday I might actually dig them up and plant them in a proper location.

Another camellia screaming, “I don’t like this container.”  Still tries its best to give me a show.

And the one thing I do seem to do well–Japanese maples.  Love when I notice their little leaf fronds unfurling.  Now that I think of it, this particular tree almost died last year when I missed its water rotation.  Plants just want to live.

Bosom buddies?

And Sophie catching some rays.  She does like the sunshine at this time of year.  Wonder if she has a little Seasonal Affective Disorder?

I don’t have any big take away point to make with this blog… no object lesson that can be applied to weight loss.  Its just what’s going on in my life right now.

P.S.  That gorgeous rose in the header is NOT in my neglected garden.  It was growing in a little garden in Pescadero, I believe.