Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quilt Stories - Sampler Class 2012-2013

I wanted to learn so badly!

I'd been sewing off and on for most of my life - though never with a formal class.  By this time, I had made 3 completed quilt tops (which are a MESS, I might add).  And I had no idea where to go next....  when I saw this class advertised at a shop.

I can't say a "local" shop though it is in fact the closest quilt shop :-)  It is 45 minutes away....  but I decided to enroll.

And discovered very quickly how expensive quilts are!  [the tops I had made in the prior year were made primarily of scraps from my stash... plus a fat quarter here and there]

Anyway, in Spring 2008... I signed up for the class and was immediately catapulted into choosing colors.  Yikes!  My first lesson. 

I find it so hard to choose colors!

I found an inspiration fabric in traditional colonial-type colors (navy, burgundy, god) that I thought would match my home.

I received great advice from the quilt shop (choose the color of the room you will use the quilt in)  - but not my way of working!  I would not do that again.  The colors just didn't captivate me and I got bored!  [quite frankly, if I liked my quilt enough - I would repaint the room rather than choose colors to match the current decor - but that is me)

There are a couple of fabrics in the quilt that I am not in love with.  I was assured that I would feel differently later.  And, while the quilt looks nice - I still see the fabrics that didn't grab me - so I learned that this is not MY way :-)

I enjoyed the class in that we learned the history of different blocks, we went all the way back to basics.... made our own patterns from sandpaper & cardboard... machine stitched but hand quilted as blocks were made... quilted as I went along.

I kept up with classes almost to the end.  But when the regular meetings ended - so did my work.....
I just didn't get back to the shop.  I worked for a bit and finished all the piecing and quilting up to assembling the last few rows.  And that was that for a few years!  Like FIVE!




I decided to finish this thing in Fall 2013 and I did finish it up by year end.  JUST!

It is appropriate that this one be my very first finished bed quilt... since the class was so long ago.... but watch out in the years to come- I started a LOT of quilts in that early time period!

********************

This quilt has a second story.. because when I decided to wash it... IT BLED!  [And, before you ask - YES, I did pre-wash my fabric]  That navy bled right into the muslin.

I tried stain remover and color catchers to no avail.

And then I found some color remover.  I am so glad I decided to go very easy and tentative with it.  I bought several boxes per internet instructions.... but decided to use just half a box and cold (instead of recommended HOT) water.

And I checked after 15 minutes instead of an hour
And I am so glad I did!

Color remover is no lie....  the navy did indeed come out of the muslin.... and the greens have faded out to gold... and the whole quilt faded :-(

BUT a) It looks antique
AND     b) I learned

so... it's not my favorite quilt... BUT that is for several reasons not just the fading. 


I learned a lot in this process, not the least of which is that I must love all the fabrics and not let others sway me.  The fabrics might look great and be fine.... but MY quilt is MY art... I have to love it if I am going to spend that much of my life on it :-)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Endings and Beginnings

As I sit here thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2014, all I can think is how I want to escape 2013.  I usually greet my mid-December birthday with a handful of resolutions and a lot of hope... but not this year..  I am still dragging but am determined to keep moving forward... regardless!

This was a year of muck and mud for me - I don't really know why.

I have some ideas - but suffice it to say that my spirit was broken this year and, as I age, I don't fight back as hard.  I won't stay broken but I'm not sure about which direction to move in or how long it will take me to heal.

I'm not so sure I am right any more and I'm not sure how much I care about some things.

I AM sure I am more selfish..... but again, I'm not sure how much I care about that either.  I think I can safely say that apathy is playing a part in my journey right now.

I haven't written much because I don't feel anything relevant worth sharing.  If I can't lift up, if I can't inspire, I feel like I'm wasting both of our time with a blog!

But I have continued to get up every day.  I have continued to think of things to help me progress.... maybe even to help me find me - whoever I am becoming.

But I decided today to think of important things that happened in my life in 2013.... because no matter how I feel about the year I have traveled through, I DID accomplish some things.  And good things happened.  And thinking ill of this time period does me no good.  Sometimes life feels stagnant or choking, but that is a precursor to a wild riot of blooming.  Let's hope so! (And let's make it so!)


2013


visited some relatives out of state
did a couple of local races and added a new state to my life race list
had a couple of overnight getaways with my husband
took several quilt classes
reconnected with some special people from my past
logged my miles walked and saved intentionally through the month of June
began work at a quilt shop and made new friends there
saw a double rainbow
counted 11 hummingbirds at one feeder
finished sampler quilt from 2007
attended a car show with my husband
enjoyed several lovely play days with my grands
greeted a brand new grandboy
embarked on household renovations (plus AND minus here! finish in 2014?)
donated and/or gave away more than a tenth of my income
found an autumn crocus blooming in my yard
made some perfect peanut blossom cookies
read almost 100 books
played in the sand and took photos of sunrises




Quilt Stories - Rag Quilt Pink Ribbon 2013

My second rag quilt was born from my dedication to the breast cancer cause.


I trained and walked in my first Komen 3 Day 60 mile walk in 2008.. and had a plan to get my friends who walked with me to sign squares that I would put together into a rag quilt.


I still think it is a great idea BUT the reality of slogging through 60 miles in an icy Philadelphia did not lend itself to being chummy and signing quilt squares!


My desire to have a pink rag quilt though did not leave me.


Next up was locating pink ribbon flannel (since I was taught to use flannel and I was not yet a flagrant rule breaker with quilting)


So I looked and I looked.  In stores and on-line.  Nope.


I found lots of pink flannel, of course.... but the pink RIBBON was not on flannel.








I did have some pink ribbon print in COTTON in my stash though and finally decided to use that

So now I became a renegade :-)

The rag quilt above is both flannel and cotton and seems to be holding up just fine.  It carries a lot of memories for me and reminds me of my own spirit and dedication.

I ended up (as of this writing) doing walks in 5 consecutive years. 

2008 - Philadelphia
2009 - Boston
2010 - Dallas
2011 - Washington, DC
and 2012 found me back in Philadelphia
and am registered to return in 2016 to walk in San Diego

If you are interested in what led me to these 60-mile walks, I did a post once on it


is my story

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quilt Stories - Sunrise Rag Quilt 2013

I love rag quilts!


The quilt store where I decided to take lessons asks that beginning quilters start with a rag quilt.


And, while I have sewn most of my life - and had spent some time in the last couple of years piecing some tops....  I was teaching myself on the internet.. and had never formally taken a class. 


So... okay... I was IN!


First off was choosing the colors... and I found then - as I still find now, I am one who sees a print - and gets inspired that way.  And - the more color - the better....


A certain print caught my eye.... not my usual blue-green... it was a lovely hibiscus... in oranges and pink and yellow.  It really made me happy.


The instructor said I could choose up to 6 colors for the rag quilt pattern - and if you have followed me for any length of time at all - you know how many I chose.   


Yep... my print and 5 colors :-)



the colors reminded me of my oldest daughter..... maybe I'll give it to her one day :-)  When I'm tired of it....


The rag quilt turned out to be easy - and very beginner-friendly.
And I love it
and it's for me















Thursday, November 7, 2013

30 Photo Days of Gratitude #9 Laughter

Have you laughed today??

A good rock-you-to-your-core belly laugh?

Why not??

Laughter improves your oxygen intake and makes you healthier!

Laughter improves your attitude and makes you happier!

Life is short.

Laugh every day.  This RULE should be there right beside 'brush your teeth' and 'exercise'.


One of the facets of my life that makes me laugh - ALL THE TIME - my grandchildren



This photo is of me and the girls! And is exactly what happens any time one of the three of us yells "GIRL PILE!"
***************************

from today:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Photo Days of Gratitude #8 Light

Today I am grateful for light.

Kind of hard to choose, really... I have a TON of lovely sunrise photos in my archives.  I have a bunch of seriously FAILED attempts at capturing the moon over the river with my little camera....  Stars make me happy when I see them late at night walking the dogs...

 It was thinking of the stars that lead me here to this photo.




Light - to me - brings joy. 

My three lovely daughters attended a painting workshop together where they painted their own versions of Van Gogh's Starry Night.  My girls bring me joy - and light - individually and together!  I love their spirits and their relationships with each other.

*********************
From today:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude #7 Hope

From the archives:

Hope

that little feeling inside that all will be BETTER than well

the thing that keeps you putting one foot in front of the other

the certainty that life will open up and be all you ever dreamed


This photo symbolizes ONE of those moments in time when you truly believe all your problems are over!

Of course, you keep living and learn that things are not quite that easy.  Kind of like "happily ever after".  But that little feeling?  Fortunately HOPE is always there to draw on as long as you look for it.  Hope make it possible some days to get up and go again.

I am grateful for hope.

************************
From the day:

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude Photos #6 Strength

From the archives:

Strength.... I'm going to get personal with this one....

I am grateful that I am strong.

Strong enough to weather life's blows

Strong enough to help others' bear their burdens

Strong enough to change my life when needed.


My archive photo is me crossing the finish line of my first race

At age 51... when I embarked on a healthier lifestyle and decided to become an athlete

I am grateful for my strength

(and, oh so grateful for the Lord's strength at my back!)

*****************
and later... for my daily photo:

Wow - late for various family emergency reasons but here it is


A photo that represents a tough decision

and gratitude for the strength to make it.

Praying for the strength to remain peaceful...

heartsore, yes, but peaceful about it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude Photos # 5 Parents

Part 1 from the archives.....

I cannot adequately express my gratitude here.... without my parents, I wouldn't be here to be grateful!


My parents....  so very young... before they had children...

As we grow, we rely on our parents..... then as we become independent, we criticize them!  We become so much smarter than they ever were..... and, as we live.... we are humbled.  We learn that they are human, after all... and just as weak as we are....   Because life is like that.  We wake up and see their wisdom along with their faults. 

Because without both, we wouldn't be who we are today.


I am blessed beyond measure to HAVE HAD parents.
I am blessed beyond measure to BE a parent.
And I am blessed beyond measure to be part of my children's BECOMING parents

********
Part 2....  from today  coming later :-)

What a challenge!  Looking for a picture of something in my life today that makes me grateful for parents.....  additionally charged with NOT taking a random photo of a stranger....

I mean I thought about my parents several times as I walked around Savannah with my husband.  I met my nephew and his wife and two little ones so had the privilege of watching them be parents.... and then I also had the opportunity to counsel several of my children through a disagreement - long distance, of course!  And one of my children actually saved the day by helping separate the warring two.... (adult children are not necessarily easier than young ones!)

But I spotted this statue during the day and it made me think of families torn apart



the anguish

the pain

the immeasurable sorrow

of parents torn from children

by (in this case) slavery

poverty

war

I am grateful for what I am privileged to experience.

Knowing how I feel with physical distance between me and my children, I cannot begin to express my pain for children and parents separated.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude Photos #4 Military

I grew up in a military family.

I am grateful for the opportunity to support my dad as he served even if I was a little child at the time ... I am appreciative of the sacrifices that our servicemen and women make - and also of the sacrifices their families make.... on MY behalf!  Their service is personal - even while they don't know me and I don't know them.  I am grateful.

The first picture I chose is my grandfather


I chose him to represent my family members who served in the armed forces.... my father and brother.. and others up the family tree since our country was formed!


And I am grateful for the ways that our veterans and their families continue to serve their communities... MY community.  I will hunt for a new "today" photo that embodies my gratitude for the military - but I couldn't help but include this one I took last year...


a young man, a veteran marine, all decked out in pink to show support for the breast cancer fight (and to protect all the crazy pinkly-attired people parading through Philadelphia on the 3Day Walk that weekend)

Service.  I am grateful for their service :-)

************************

What I am enjoyiing most about this photo challenge is the opportunity to go through old pictures remembering blessings.... and then again, moving through my day in gratitude with a theme in mind.  It keeps my grateful radar up :-)

This weekend I am in Savannah for a wedding and had some time to kill today.  My husband and I walked around the historic district just to enjoy some time together and this beautiful city.  There are several small island parks and this memorial caught my eye.


Commemorating a Haitian corps fighting for America's freedom in the Revolutionary War.  I think we forget sometimes that America is the grand governmental experiment in freedom.  With all our problems with the government, ours is the one that is evolving and changing and growing, for better or worse.... and people from around the globe desiring freedom from oppression fought to create this country.  I am grateful to all those who helped form and protect this nation!

With gratitude to the military on my mind today... I spied this at lunch...


how we can help those we are grateful to.  I am grateful for ways to give back!  It is good to feel grateful :-)  It is better to give back!

Friday, November 1, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude Photos #3 Life

I'm grateful for life.... and not sure what kind of photo to post...

but my blog title says it best....  the journey....  Life is a journey...

with lots of loved ones coming and going

but I am grateful to have people to love

I have two from the archives for Life.....  a very special person I said good-bye to this year....  one of heaven's new formidable angels




and a very special person I said hello to this year....  our new little angel to love. 

I am grateful for both of them and all of my loved ones in between that are still on the journey with me.


Today, I am starting on an 8 hour ROAD TRIP with my husband to Savannah and am looking forward to a late dinner with extended family.  I will have to look for my photo of LIFE as I travel through today.... so look for more later!

***************************

So here it is:





To me, these little plants symbolize hope.  They are in a hostile environment but they don't give up.  They push and push and do what they can every day.  They obviously don't have ideal conditions - but look at them!  They are alive, they are growing.... in spite of the inner city brick walls and traffic and cement.

I am grateful for life because life is HOPE.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude Photos Day # 2 Color!

Color?

Color!

Hmm..... grateful for color..... this one stretched me a little.. but then I remembered a dark dreary winter (which - in MY brain - they ALL are :-)  SAD is my constant companion much of the year :-)  I sometimes think I need an IV of Vitamin D....

anyway... a tub of little balls of yarn....



and my HAPPY afghan was born.  Over a month of dreary cold.... I happily worked with these sunshine colors.... and - wrapped up in it is still my happy place :-)

And then the challenge.....  what today?   Where is my gratitude for COLOR today?  Today I am blessed to be at home.. to finish packing for an out of town wedding weekend... and then off to another state for the Komen 3Day Walk.... yep, hectic!

I saw a lovely misty gray pinkish sunrise.... but I didn't have my camera.  And I went on about my day.

I saw a few bright red leaves among the green ones in my Japanese magnolia..... but I didn't have my camera.  (I am sensing a pattern here that I will have to work with)

I tried to get a shot of the warm brown eyes of my foxy-colored pup.... but those came out glowing green which is a little creepy - though perhaps appropriate for Halloween :-)

And then I thought of this!


I just brought my plants in recently and the cactus are in full BUD :-)  I may miss some of the blooming since we are leaving tomorrow.. but today I can be grateful that this particular cactus is so healthy.  This cactus (and the pot it is in) is one that belonged to my husband's mother.  So it's special.

And, just for fun, this next cactus photo was a surprise.  Last winter I picked up a couple of pieces of broken cactus off the floor of a store.  I came home and stuffed them in a pot.

My mother-in-law always told me that if you should never ask for a plant, you should just take it.  And that kind would grow the best.  This time it sure worked.... apparently I got pieces from two different types of cactus!


It might make me a thief.... I prefer to think that they would have swept up the floor and trashed the pieces....  but it makes me think of her and that makes me smile.  And grateful :-)

Quilt Stories - Monster Quilt 2013

I love the rag quilts but have been trying to learn how to make regular quilts.  I took a basics class and have been working on finishing up that one (another post!)  

But also over the last few years I've been trying to teach myself with the internet.  One of my favorite resources is http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/

Amy Smart has a ton of tutorials and really helped this beginner quilter get MOVING!   This tutorial - http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2010/08/table-runner-tutorial.html
- was one of the ones that got me going.  I made the table runner myself last year for Halloween: 

Also made a summer one - an they were EASY!  An a super first or second quilting experience :-)  I do like no-fail projects!

But I wondered if I could do a small actual quilt with this method.  I gauged yardage as to what size looked "right" for a crib quilt.  Fabric is typically sold from bolts and is usually 42-44 inches wide and sold in yards (36-inches) 

I chose a popular monster fabric for my grandson since he was having a monster-themed birthday party and decided to try to make a quilt.  I bought 2 yards - thinking that 1-1/2 yards would work for the backing and I would do  stripes on the front with the other half yard and coordinates. 

Mistake! ... need to work on MATH.  My stripes are 3 inches wide... a half yard (18-inches) only gives me 6 stripes... nowhere near enough for what I wanted!
Of COURSE, by the time I figured all this out... I was well into construction and the monster fabric was no longer available!  [Etsy saved the day - I found ONE yard at a premium price but I had to have it so I bought it!]


But my premise worked!  I did make a crib quilt using the table runner method :-)



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude Photos Day #1 Nature

So I started going back through my photos to see what I could find that would showcase my gratitude and I found one that took my breath away!



Just a moment in time..... caught by my phone of all things.  A stormy summer day.... clearing up as the sun was going down.... and a rainbow caught!  This picture is taken from my porch... and for all the effort my husband and I have put into simply keeping the house... financially AND physically, I am grateful.  And especially grateful for the PORCH!


So.... after I posted this photo from my archives and I started out the door on a day of crazy errands before leaving town....  I spied a surprise!

(Decided that my archive photos might be the prettiest ones.... but that it would be a great exercise to force myself to find something - anything - in the theme EACH DAY to be grateful for as well)


So - my surprise?  An autumn crocus!  I forgot I had it.  Years ago, I saw an autumn crocus for the first time on a trip to a botanical garden with a couple of friends... one of whom is now an angel :-)  I remember searching online to learn about them.... I am familiar with the spring ones, of course - but autumn?  Anyway, I found them and bought them and planted them around.. and promptly forgot them.  And here it is!

When I get home, I plan to dig him up and put him in a special place where I will remember.  Hmm..... or maybe I should leave well enough alone.. he does look happy :-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude... in photos...

A friend issued a challenge on Facebook.... and I thought I'd use it as a jumpstart to get me back into writing again.

I don't write much when I'm in a bit of a funk.. because I like to write and share positive things.  This is a good way to jog my brain into thinking of all the things I am grateful for!

Sooooo... starting tomorrow.. I will share some photos and thoughts about gratitude.  Each day has a theme which offers something to think about.

I am so busy right now - and so apprehensive about my busy week ahead that the opportunity to slow down and express gratitude is a gift :-)


Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm Not Normal

Well... okay.. I don't really have a problem with that.

I have often said that "normal" = "average" and "average" is not a goal.

But what is strange to me is that it turns out I have a "condition".  Well, again.... TODAY it is a "condition".

Backing up to when I was growing up,  I was just weird.

I was a nerd.  I was a nerdy, overweight, glasses wearing, know-it-all girl.  And that was enough to get bullied. 

Finishing my schoolwork in half the time.... fidgeting, doodling, head turning, leg swinging....  you get the picture.

I can do anything in HALF the time..... but keep me on task past the initial assessing of the task?  Not so much.

If I had known then what I know now, I would have chosen a niche of knowledge where I could always be the expert.  Maybe like the tax code... or something bookish that everyone needs to know but few like to have all the details at hand.  A field where I didn't have to negotiate with people or play office games.  I don't understand them.

I would have been more fiscally independent - but would I be happier?  I don't know.

I understand facts.  I am not afraid of truth.

It's not that I don't like people.  I love them - individually.  And I understand them - individually.  I don't understand group social code.  I don't fit in groups.

I'm not normal.

I wonder if I would have had a happier life if I had known then what I know now.  Or I wonder if I would have struggled harder because I thought I SHOULD be "normal".  Because I am old now and I know that I simply SHOULD be me.

Would I have benefited from a childhood of being labelled and having experts guide me? 

I guess that depends.... I DID get labelled.  AND bullied.   But I didn't get a stigma of a "condition" - unless "weird nerd" is a "condition".   (I have recently heard myself described as "high energy"... which is a nicely put hallmark of this "condition".)

Nor did I have any help dealing with my way of thinking.... in honesty, I was generally praised for my intelligence and criticized for other characteristics.  

But it's hard to choose an expert, isn't it?  Anyone who has researched anything knows that there are a TON of so-called experts who are mostly bunk.... even people who aren't 'bunk' per se.... might be BUNK in helping ME.  Which is, of course, my criteria.


As soon as I could, I chose to allow my children to learn at home and develop in their own ways.  And I'm not sorry.  Because they aren't normal either.... and I don't think they should aspire to be.

But coping strategies to fit in the world... that would be useful. 

The end goal for each of us is deciding who we are and where we fit in this life we have to deal with.

"Normal" = "average" and "average" is not a goal.

Happiness, though - now THERE is a goal.

..... my definition of happiness is a place where we feel comfort and peace.

So, finding ways to move towards THE HAPPINESS CONDITION - that would be key.

Happiness is my goal.




Monday, September 30, 2013

Quilt Stories - Trains Rag Quilt 2013

Still on a roll!!

2 granddaughters have rag quilts..... but I also had a grandson!

And a daughter with 2 children who really found the rag quilt to be a great item to have!

I found the cutest train fabric..... and more primary colored flannel that continued the primary color focus [and could use up some stash]!


and made this one for my grandson :-)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quilt Stories - Scottie Dog Rag Quilt 2013

Well..... I have made a rag quilt for one granddaughter

so you know what that means....

another granddaughter.. another rag quilt...

This one particularly loves dogs...

and I found a piece of flannel in my stash that I had bought for her MOTHER when SHE was a child... scottie dogs.  My original plan was to make pajamas when her mom was 10...

and, as often is the case, that didn't exactly happen

but it was perfect for this project.  I found some fabric with hearts made out of paw prints in black and red - and selected solids which matched the little bows on the dogs.



And there you go.... 

If you ever dreamed about making a quilt - a rag quilt is a great place to start. 

Email me!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reasons? Excuses!

hmmm..... WHY can't I do the things that are good for me?

I don't feel like it

I DESERVE (to take it easy)
                   (the cake - pie - cookie - ice cream)

I'm too busy (to work out)
                    (to cut vegetables - plan meals)

I can't do it right

I look stupid

I can't afford it (gym membership)
                           (organic food)

SHE doesn't have to do it (exercise) or SHE gets to eat it (food)

I don't know how it will turn out

Who SAYS I have to do it?



The truth is:

If my kid gave me any of these as reasons

or if I applied them to something the world called valuable (work, service, etc)

I would label these as EXCUSES

Because they are.



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quilt Stories.... Dinosaur Rag Quilt 2013



My younger granddaughter asked me if I would make her a rag quilt.


And she wanted dinosaurs

So she and I went to the store and found the fabrics...

And so I made it







though by the time she got it, she didn't like dinosaurs.   Or perhaps her vision of what would happen to the fabric did not match mine.

Oops!

But mom loved it and uses it all the time at the pool or in the car.

Did I mention that rag quilts are awesome!  A great first quilting project - a high success easy project that can't fail - and is extremely hardy and useful as well!   Win-win...














Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Healthily Ever After....

I'm going to put something out here just because it's what I believe and maybe it will help some of you.  I think we keep looking for a formula to become something specific - like a size 10 or a specific weight - because somewhere in the recesses of our minds..... at that size/weight, we will 'live happily ever after'    I think that is what freaked me out so badly when I got close to that impossible dream and life was NOT easier.  It was actually harder at the time because so many changes had occurred that affected everyone around me.  I think that is why I preach so hard on making small do-able changes until you are ready to make big ones.  Changing your life in an instant is hard - and we can do it... we do it all the time FOR OTHERS AROUND US - we respond to all the crises of home and hearth and some of those are permanent changes - and we take on the responsibility of helping others cope.  And then one day we are sitting here - old - feeling like failures because we don't know how to dream for ourselves.  And we put all those emotions into our FAILURE to get a few pounds off.  But the truth is..... healthy habits create healthy lives.  Eat real food.  Park farther away.  CHOOSE to nourish your body.  CHOOSE to move.  'Happily ever after' doesn't happen at a specific weight any more than it did when we got married.  Strive every day for a little more 'healthily ever after'.... and you will get there.  Love yourself.  Take care of you as well as you take care of others.  It's hard and it feels selfish.... but you can lead the way and teach your kids that taking care of yourself is a GOOD thing.   For me, I am watching my daughters sacrifice themselves for their children.  I hope they can take a lesson from me about health and happiness BEFORE they reach the age of FIFTY....

Day 37/90

Man, it's been a long time since I posted!

So much has happened and I'm still on a track.... note I didn't say ON TRACK... but on A track!

My resolve to follow 3 rules for 90 days has taken a hit but is still there....
    1-2 miles daily
    Daily dvd
    Log food and follow parameters

More about these below!  The weather is gray and I don't feel well.  Nothing I can put a finger on but just not well.  I have felt this way for a couple of days - kept pushing the training... took a rest on Sunday and did 2 of my 3 scheduled miles yesterday.  Still kind of punk :-(  I am thinking perhaps I am overtraining.  Today is supposed to be a dvd - tomorrow 5 miles (and dvd).  BECAUSE I still feel out of sorts, I think I will skip the dvd.... and plan on miles only tomorrow.  Or see how I feel tomorrow and do the 5 miles with Leslie Sansone (who will work my abs and arms at the same time :-)

Today I will focus on respecting my body's apparent need for rest and on food.  Real food in a healthy mix.

Something I am doing is working.  I haven't taken measurements in a while but I HAVE lost 6 pounds and a pants size so that is something :-)  And other than the last few days, I have felt stronger and better.

So that's where I am right now.  Below is the plan I set out for my 90 day time frame.  By day 80, I will decide how to navigate the NEXT 90 days :-)
    
Specifics:

    #1 Continue with 1-2 miles daily.... CHECK!  This appears to be a life habit now though of course some days are easier than others! [Note: I have been actively building this habit since January 2012]

    #2 Follow the schedule for Supreme 90 Day system (the $20 younger sibling of P90X) CAREFULLY.  I have to modify the modifications! 

But it gives me good guidelines (and a schedule) for strength - FOCUS - work.   The trainer is knowledgeable and not annoying..... the participants are gym rats.... not too annoying :-)  And there are enough dvds that if one does aggravate you, you can move on tomorrow!  The workouts themselves are short (20-30 minutes) and heavy on planks/shoulders.  My shoulders often give me trouble so I improvise and substitute other dvds.  Many of the Biggest Loser trainer dvds (Bob Harper & Jillian Michaels) include a second short workout with a focus on a specific body part. 

I like having a schedule that tells me - today is Abs or Legs or whatever. [I often like Bob & Jillian's (and Biggest Loser) dvds but I get bored so easily that I can't seem to follow the same dvd for more than a couple of days!  And the BL ones feature the contestants who sometimes annoy me.. LOL!!  any excuse, right?  When you watch the show and didn't like a contestant or a specific season, it makes it hard to do the dvd :-)]

And whatever the trainer (Tom Holland - Supreme 90 Day) on the dvd says about higher weights... I am seeing progress by being conservative.  Beginners need to start much easier than these dvds (IMO)  Injury will hamper my progress much more than using a lower weight will :-)

     And in the last few weeks, I added my 3Day walking training to the mix.  This has slowed down the dvd system some but I expect that will get back in gear as my body adjusts.  I also am utilizing Leslie Sansone's walking dvds to help rack up those miles AND do some work on arms & abs.

     #3 Log food and try to stay within parameters.    Not good the last week or so.... but I hate logging my food LESS than counting calories and I think it is important.  I tend to be a grazer.... I feel hungry and I go to the fridge or pantry and grab the first available thing that attracts my taste buds.  NOT what my BODY NEEDS, but my taste buds.  In order to handle true hunger (which I'm not sure I recognize), I need to know that my body is nourished.

I am using some guidelines from the book Coach Yourself Thin (by Michael Scholtz & Greg Hottinger) to ensure that my body gets the nutrition it needs.  [(check out http://novowellness.com/) to learn more about these guys.  I first caught up with them on the Biggest Loser website where they work as fitness and nutrition experts) - but have since worked with them in other places.  The emphasis with them is BUILD YOUR OWN LIFE.... in other words - it's your life, take charge!]

Very simply, I am shooting for X servings of different things.... what I pulled (for me) is: Protein 9 servings, Dairy 1 serving, Fruit 1 serving, Veggie 4 servings, Fat 5 servings, and a 200-calorie snack.   Now - I do not worry one bit about more fruits and veggies :-)  And I only pay attention to the fat by NOT fussing about nuts and avocados. 

But I tend to OVER-carb (bread, pasta, rice) and UNDER-protein .... so keeping track is just smart.   My game plan is to simply watch portions, log what I eat... and regroup mid-day to determine what's left.   Sometimes I can separate hunger from boredom / emotion by looking at the data. 

I use this as a tool to ensure that I am nourished NOT as a tool to punish or berate myself.

Other "food things" I do to help my health is mostly eat REAL unprocessed food... and TRY to keep only healthy options in my immediate vicinity.  Sometimes problematic since I have 2 young adults who have the autonomy to bring JUNK in and are more than willing to share :-)  BUT I have the right to say NO.  (I also keep a running list and supplies for acceptable go-tos when the taste buds / emotions win! - like yogurt, string cheese, cut veggies & hummus, etc)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 27/90

Today's dvd is the Core Dynamics - my loser back really hurts though so I don't know if that will hurt or help!  I'll decide soon :-)

4 miles is on the agenda and I have one done - I will plan on getting most of that outside in case the treadmill is the culprit.

And NEXT on my agenda is a LIST to tackle today :-)

Day 26/90

Today's dvd didn't happen for lots of reasons.... mostly BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET AROUND TO IT!  It's on me :-)

That said - today's scheduled 6 mile training walk DID happen - so I'll take credit for that one :-)  I did more than half of it on the treadmonster watching Becoming Jane..

AND a bit of gardening....  I started tomato and pepper seeds on my porch so that I'll have transplants in a few weeks.....  I planted snow peas before the rains started in earnest... and later did a little spot weeding.  I have TONS more to do and keep up with so I only get a little credit here.

As for the house...  I don't think I did very much.  Hubs went out of town and I had (have?) grand plans but it sure didn't happen today :-)

Closets are on the agenda - and I got sucked into working on clothing a bit!  The seasonal and size switch makes me a little crazy since I have a range of clothing between size 4 and size 12!  Yikes!  My recent efforts have brought me down to a 10.... so that's something!  I will make an executive decision about the 4s in July.  That's my deadline for choosing to keep or donate.. I'm not sure that is a size I can easily maintain - but I'll decide that one later.

Spot vacuuming happened.... our tax return arrived from the accountant so there was a little attendant ANGST as I reviewed it...  I made a cheesy casserole for dinner (and I will freeze the leftovers because it was GOOD.... and too good to hang around and eat too much of at one time :-)

Mostly I enjoyed the day - I spent some time reading on my porch and had a great long conversation with one of my girls.  I guess I needed some downtime.

Food was reasonable except that I forgot to record it.  It's hard because I really don't WANT to be tied down to writing what I eat down anywhere... but the truth is that I won't eat a proper mix if I don't.  When I don't write it down, I eat whatever grabs me when I'm hungry.  I do eat healthy food - but that generally leaves me with an excess of available grain carbs and cheese and a shortage of protein.

And let's not forget that it is EASY to forget the random snack-y things that I pop into my mouth when my brain is dis-engaged!  Grazing is dangerous!

So that's why I need to do this.  I'm writing it down now to remind myself to get my dumb little notebook and get back on board!

The evening passed in a pleasant blur of crocheting and an old movie :-)

My lower back really hurts tonight - I don't know if it's the bending / stooping.. or the treadmonster....  will have to adjust life tomorrow accordingly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 24/90

Trying to get my mojo up this morning... just don't feel well :-(

Got my morning mile in but just can't wrap my head around the cardio session on the schedule for today.  Maybe my body is tired.  Maybe the rest day on tomorrow's schedule should be taken today.  Maybe if I push thru today, it will ultimately be more effective.  Maybe I'll do it later.... no, I already know that's not gonna happen!  Leaving in an hour and a half for the day.... it's now or never.   Decisions, decisions.......

I did it... I did it!!  I feel like POO... but I did it.. and it's done - now on about my day :-)

*******

So...I am the bomb!  I dropped my son off at his class at 11.... spent about 10 minutes roaming in Lowes... and decided there was a better way to spend a FOUND hour....  I moved my car to Target (which is approximately a half mile from campus).. and WALKED.  TO campus, a loop and back to Target..... twice... another loop and back to Target and halfway back where I met my son.. and he and I walked back to the car.     Hot and sweaty - but 3.5 miles done!  Which means 4.5 miles total so far today and NO money spent...  Go me!   Also the first time this year that I managed the dvd AND my 3Day mid-week training (4 miles) in one day... again GO ME!  I am getting stronger :-)

******Really hot when I got home so I didn't do too well with the housecleaning project.  I did bag up some collected clothing to get rid of when we go out tomorrow....  It's 8pm and finally cooling down... I hate to get into a project this late... I think I'll go into my closet and see what I can get rid of or pack away until next winter!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 23/90

 A day at home!!  And gorgeous weather to boot!  My list is long and I'm excited to get to it :-)

My morning mile done - dvd chosen and ready to go... and at least 2 more miles on the agenda today along with a TON of other projects.. 

Picked up some marked down mushrooms yesterday and found a recipe to stuff them with for dinner tonight... something new!

***** dvd done!  Core Dynamics - oh my middle.  I AM beginning to see a little progress.... I have been modifying the modifications.... and am getting better at some of them.  Not so much others but that's okay :-)

Housekeeping project started - today - the guest room (DONE), the family room (DONE enough :-) & interior windows in the rooms I did last week (living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room)!  All done and I am stopping!  Now on to figuring out dinner, and preparing for tomorrow (another errand day - letters / bills to mail, package to drop off at UPS, Goodwill dropoff, etc...)


I do want to mention something about my lifestyle program at the moment...  I feel GOOD!  Even though last week was a BLIP where I didn't follow my own rules :-)  I also didn't get DERAILED :-)

I think the difference THIS time is that I am recognizing an ebb and flow to things.  I am no longer interested in a one size fits all program.  I am interested in a 'what fits in MY life' prgoram.  I am not interested in being a specific size or weight.... I am interested in being strong, in fitting in my own clothes (and SKIN) comfortably... and I'm interested in being as pain-free and mobile as possible as I age.  DONE!  I want to do what I want to do... so I MUST find a way to stay strong , active and healthy.  period

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 22/90

Mid-afternoon by the time I got here....  food low but recorded....  one mile done and the total body workout dvd...  errands and groceries..

moving along on the housekeeping project .. next up is cleaning my interior windows and doing all the house floors.  I find this project interesting - but am trying to be careful not to get too caught up on how things 'ought' to be done.  When I do that, I get nothing accomplished.  My house is way bigger than I like so cleaning is an ordeal.. so I don't do it.  And it shows.  So this is another area for me to work on - and now that I have set a food/movement system in place, I CAN focus on other things!

******************************

So..... nothing done on the housekeeping project front.  I got another mile and a half in..... some paperwork and finished up a baby blanket that I'll share later in the year after I gift it!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 21/90

Such a headache this morning!  Yikes!

Got my morning mile in - thank goodness for sunny warming weather.... and SLOWLY began working on today's project from the 30-Day Housecleaning Project.  Today I will tackle my bedroom and an extra room.  Of course the project says bedroomS with a surface clean - but we are much worse off than that!  I will start in my bedroom.. and move on from there.  And I have 2 bedrooms that shouldn't be too bad so I will plan on popping in there to dust, straighten and do floors....  but we'll see how the day goes...

My extra room will be my laundry room.... again, like MY bedroom, clutter is an issue.... but my plan for both is to dust with polish, straighten, vacuum and mop.  But the clutter areas are problematic.. and I don't want to get too sidetracked with the clutter and not get the cleaning done!

Also on the agenda is a Legs workout and a couple more miles.... but the headache has to go!

So far, I have done a little work on my room and gotten sidetracked with sorting yarn and straightening projects....  need to get back on board!

***mid-day update...
another half mile and the legs dvd - go me!!  Headache on its way out the door - still here but better

Navy bean soup in the crock, 2 loads of laundry done and all yarn sorted and projects organized :-)  Bedroom ready for furniture polish and floors.... and laundry room half neatened...... one two three go!!!

neatening / dusting took a LOT longer than I hoped... it's been way too long and there is WAY too much clutter....  but I am satisfied that half a job is better than none and I will get back to the surfaces another day.   Time for floors!

At the end of the day, I did get the floors done!  Not sure if I will get caught up with the project - but 4 days of the first 7 are done!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 20/90

2 miles done today... dvd calls for cardio but I'm bushed - it's SO not happening!  Still logging food though I didn't make the best choices today.... I do feel better at the end of the day than I did at the beginning!

Catching up.....

30-Day House Cleaning challenge With Crystal with Money Saving Mom:

Starting SIX days late because of my week of not being in my regular schedule!  I am free for the next couple of days and thought I would see what I can do.... my housekeeping skills are negligible and I have a HUGE house to keep - and a boatload of decluttering to do...  ANYTHING will help! 

So... here's what I accomplished today:

Day 1 - Surface clean living room and kitchen  (kitchen stays pretty good - I am fairly regular with wiping down cabinets & doing floors every couple of weeks.... hubs is the BOMB with neatening!  So I focused on the living/dining area)
       Dusted & polished (quickly) all furniture, locating stray items as I went around the room..... even caught a couple of lamps and picture frames as I went :-)   I re-homed and handled most of the stray items.... vacuumed and mopped.  [still have ONE hotspot where the small strays collected - I pledge to handle that before dinner!]

***Strangest thing I found was hardware from when the tv was mounted a year (2 years?) ago..... I THINK what happened was that a) it was unneeded and left on the floor after the tv was mounted, b) somewhere along the line I got sick of vacuuming around it and picked it up off the floor and set it on a shelf under the end table... and c) it has lived there ever since.  I really need to do better!
                     
  Day 2 - Clean bathrooms
         Can I say YUKKKK!  I have 4 bathrooms - mine (the public main floor bathroom), my husband's, the other main bath that my son's share for showers and a private one off one of my sons' rooms.  Mine is handled fairly regularly - since I USE that one.  And the guys handle their own....  BIG mistake!

Anyway - I started mine and hit the other one on that floor.  Oh my.... that one was half the size with less than half the stuff and took twice as long to clean :-(  Okay - not whining... LEARNing... I NEED to oversee this process :-)
It's not done to my satisfaction but I made sure I got it fairly decent so I could leave it for now.  I was going to stop because I am really tired - but peeked into the other bath anyway.  One of my sons had taken responsibility for it since his girlfriend comes over quite a bit and uses that one.  Oh my AGAIN!  45 minutes later, I feel a little better.... I'm not sure I would even quite call that one decent.... but it's lightyears away from where it WAS so I am satisfied FOR TODAY.  And I do not have what it takes to look at the private one.... not today :-)

****Weirdest thing here is that my husband's trash can is gone and he has no idea where....  go figure....   No worries... I'll replace it and the old one will probably turn up right back in its place in the bathroom :-)

Aside from this project - I also finished a book this morning, did 5 loads of laundry, have black bean soup in the crockpot for this week's meal (and freezer), mac 'n' cheese prepared and ready to cook, and a pound of navy beans soaking.  Made juice for myself this morning :-)  I've cleared the yard of branch debris from the shrub trimming that took place this week while I was gone.... and have walked 2 and a half miles!  Sheets are changed, linens are switched out and I'm still awake :-)

Plotting the next moves..... Days 3 & 4 are to surface clean bedrooms and then extra rooms.... Days 5 & 6 bring me back to the living room, kitchen and bathrooms so I will skip those for now and bring them into rotation on the appropriate days... and move on from there!


                      

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 19/90

Thought about a dvd tonight but I am so so tired!  Besides the one on the schedule is arms/shoulders and they are SORE!  Carrying around a 6 month old all day has taken its toll :-) n  If this were going to be my way of life.... I definitely would take steps to get that extra exercise in!  But it's a one week wonder... so whew!

I did romp a bit with my granddaughter outside when the baby napped but he was cranky and wanted to be held today so it wasn't long.  My daughter never did manage to get the stroller out for us so walking wasn't really an option.... so there you go!

Eating was definitely better today and I totally rocked the night - mostly because I passed out at 9pm.... lol!

I am kind of excited about the things I will do this weekend - getting my house/life back in order... but am way too bushed to think hard about it :-)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 18/90

Oh my, I am really having a rough go this week!  With the 2 hours of driving and keeping up (mostly) here at home, I am not doing well fitting the exercise in.  It seems like every day SOMEthing happens that makes it a little tougher.... and my brain is not making it happen!

Last might I was so bushed - that, after a good day....  I turned into MUSH!  A little late night snacking.... and today SUBWAY for lunch.  Choices are not optimum, but not too bad either.

One more day of babysitting and then back to my normal life!  I WILL be doing a dvd on Saturday no matter what - and I am looking forward to doing some walking too!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 17/90

Not quite as tired as last night.... but a busy day!!  Had 3 little ones today and had a blast!  Not much exercise though except for baby presses - shoulder work!  On my workout schedule today is supposed to be a rest day.... I didn't even get miles done!  I feel like I almost have the oomph to do an AB dvd... but probably not!

Still doing fine on food - and scale isn't moving.... but with 2 hours of commute a day and a 7am-4pm gig with the babies....  I guess I'll give myself a pass until Saturday :-)  I'll take care of myself and see if I can work something in but not beat myself up if I can't!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 16/90

Tired, just tired....

My grandboy is teething and wanted to be held....  and the house was a joyous grand central station of daughters and grands....  I LOVED it

But I am tired and ready to pack it in.

No miles

Just a little cardio today....  3 min of jumping jacks and 5 min of outdoor romping with the 3-year-olds in the sun... the wind was too chilly to stay longer...

Tomorrow I fly solo with the 3 little ones....  how much cardio can I get? 

Food good - and for THAT I am proud :-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 15/90

What a day of fun :-)  Left home early to take care of my little ones.... and had a full day with a lively toddler and a teething 6 month old.  How quickly we forget!!

Put a roast in the crockpot for my daughter so she had a dinner cooking though she'll probably use that another day soon - it's April Fools and we had an idea that she is using with her little one with hot dogs and spaghetti :-)  But I did leave salad there too to round things out!

My husband picked me up and we came home to salad and refried bean wraps... yum-o!

So tired when I got home but stepped out right away and got a mile in... then came back and did my Chest/Back dvd... go me!!  I remember how hard it is when you work full-time!  But I'm glad I get 'er done.... 

Tomorrow is cardio.... and hopefully I can get out and walk some with the little ones to add to my miles :-)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 14/90

Quiet day and not feeling my best..... 2 miles and my legs dvd today.  And spending the day getting geared up for grandbaby week!

I will be keeping the children of one of my daughters - a beautiful 3yo girl and 6mo old boy.... and another of my daughters will be bringing her 3yo over for a visit on a couple of those days.... FUN!

My challenge is to continue with miles and dvds (or equivalent this week)... and to eat right while feeding the toddlers.  I also will be preparing dinner for my girl to come home to so that will be a fun surprise too :-)

I've already done crockpot frijoles to make burritos with and a crock of chili.  Both can be frozen if I decide to do something else  but I want MY food decisions to be good ones!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 13/90

Okay so already today is not going as planned!!  I got my one mile in first thing..... and that is good!  Came back to check emeil before workout and my neighbor called.  I had to go over to her house to give her a hand..... came back and grabbed a half peanut butter sandwich I didn't eat yesterday, walked another mile with the dog and am now checking the email.  STILL need to get a cardio workout in AND breakfast.  And 4 more miles for my 3Day training!   But it's a beautiful day and there are a million opportunities to get physical left in the day :-)

So heading now for 25 minutes of Bob Harper cardio..... and then out for a little yardwork.

Planning on Day 5 TODAY!

Have a great day!

 ***  Did Bob Harper's Inside Out Method: Body Rev Cardio Conditioning  workout 2.  (Supreme 90 Day called for cardio and my shoulders hurt from yesterday's arm work so I tried something else in my collection.... but the SHORT version.  I am shooting for 30 min or less per workout so I don't talk myself out of it!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 12/90 Doing the Happy Dance!

Oh yeah.... I did it!

1.2 pounds DOWN on vacation :-)

Apparently I'm on the right track!  Of course, I came home to a minefield of barbecue chips, Reeses cups and nighttime ice cream!  Yikes - my men buying their own groceries!

It's okay - I'm not eating non-food and I'm not buying it.  Period.  I will use diet coke and coffee right now.... but that's it.  And it's working!

Today's workout is arms and shoulders - and then a day of catching up and getting ready for next week's adventures!

****Boy, I can sure feel it in my shoulders!  I will be a while building them back up... oh, so carefully! One thing I have to note about Supreme 90 Day is that it is heavy on push-ups!  If you have back / shoulder issues, go SLOWLY!  If you are anything like me, you might have to modify the modifications :-)  While you can't let yourself off too easily, you also can't allow yourself to be sidetracked by injury!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 11/90

Yesterday was tough!  I just felt tired and dull.

While I did go out and get the gifts I wanted for my grands....  I didn't walk.. well - I did take my lunch to the beach and have a picnic..... gazpacho, a bean tortilla with fresh spinach and broccoli with hummus.  The sun was warm enough to take off my coat so I sat and read for a while.

I just felt tired and bummed... so I guess a rest day was in order!

And I got more craft work done!  I brought my sewing machine with me to the beach thinking that I would have a crafting retreat - and I have done that.  I didn't FINISH much - but I have made headway on several items and done final handwork on a few.

And I wake again still kind of empty and lagging..... and I think I am simply homesick and ready to take up the reins of my life again!  I'm ready to put away my books and craft supplies and go hug my men and my pets.

When I spoke to my beloved last night, it sounds like the demands of the household without me are starting to take a toll!  He had planned on coming down but is now feeling kind of pushed..... and I'm starting to think about my crazy week next week!  I will talk to him again this morning.. but have already started packing up.  If he's not really wanting to actually see the beach, I think I will go to him :-)  I think I will be more comfortable with next week's craziness if I go home and make sure my own home is in order!  Not to mention getting back to my nest :-)  This has been a good experiment... I know I can function on my own.. but I don't have to so the experiment is done!

At any rate - today is a cardio dvd whether I leave or not!  And if in the throes of packing / leaving it doesn't happen - then I will catch a cardio workout on the treadmill when I get home.  Promise!

Oh yeah - the meditation course... I did Day 5 this morning.  This is really really hard for me.. but it feels right..... so on I go.  Somehow I will slog through to Day 21 and see what happens next.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 10/90

    I am glad that today is a rest day on my schedule!  I will still walk a bit and I have some Spark cardio I want to finish but it's all good if I don't.

Next week I will be keeping long hours watching my precious grandchildren.  It will be a challenge to see how much official exercising I get accomplished.. though I will be hanging with a toddler and infant - and sometimes two toddlers!   I will definitely be moving!

I have gotten a lot of crafting done this week.... and am still doing well with food.  I was thinking about eating out but still have plenty of food here at the condo and don't want to spend the extra money.  

Today is household catch-up day :-)  Some laundry and some errands.... things I wanted to get for the grands.... cocoa powder and peanut butter (if I can't find PB2) for a recipe I want to try.

Still very very cold...  which limits my walking!  I've been to the beach daily for photos but it's so windy I can't take it very long

I've been trying to learn to meditate... using Oprah's 21 Day course with Deepak Chopra.... and OMG, I am having a hard time!  First there's the commitment to BE STILL for 15 minutes - MUCH harder for me than the commitment to exercise!  And then trying to empty my mind is like trying to empty a lake being filled with a stream..... I even visualize the empty uncluttered space in my head... and the wisps of steam and fog creeping in.  I can envision some value here but this is not easy for a 'do-er'!  A thought rolls in and I want to ACT....  will keep plugging along and see where this takes me.  I'm so uncomfortable being still that it must be good for me!

My husband is sounding really lonely... I think he will be here by Thursday night for the last day of this beach week....  I do miss him but this has been a good thing.  I hope to go home with a clearer head!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 9/90

I'm enjoying the observations of me here at the beach....  with no one to care for but myself... it's a whole new adventure to just be by myself.... and not just let the time get sucked up by the computer or the activities (work) I brought with me...  I'm staying at a place I know well...  seeing the sites is kind of like being at home so while I love them, it's okay not to go this time.....   I have to make myself do things just like when I'm home.. exercising does not yet come naturally - though wanting to walk outside DOES finally!

If you have known me long, you know that I decided in January 2012 to take a daily walk.... 1 mile... rain or shine.  I rarely miss.. but I treat it like brushing my teeth... a MUST DO.  And now it's a NEED... praise God :-)  The habit concept works for me.  And that was born from logic.... like this...  "They say" (whoever THEY are :-) that a fit person walks 10,000 steps per day.  I wore my pedometer for a week and counted.  My average?  3000 steps.  pathetic,huh?  But it makes sense.... my usual (chosen) occupations are reading, crocheting, writing, computer and quilting.  My ONLY active choice is gardening / yard work... but that is summer only.. and sporadic.

So IF the way I choose to spend my life is sedentary, it makes sense that if I want to be fit, I need to ADD activity.  And what is easier than putting on sneakers and going out the door?  Nothing!  Though sometimes the walk itself was GRUELING... and in the cold weather, I really don't like it.....  but I am finally at the point where the WAY I FEEL with the walk is so much better than without - that it makes the effort worthwhile...   And once I'm actually out the door.. getting through the mile is do-able.   (I must admit that even right this minute, I am looking at sunshine out the window... but I know the temp is in the upper 30s and I DON'T want to go!   But now, it's my brain that doesn't want to go - my body wants to MOVE... so time to change the brain!)

The daily walk was a factor in halting my gradual weight gain and helping me maintain for a year.  Stepping it up now is a way to tone up some more and get back into some of the smaller sizes...  but again it's logical.  My legs are strong... but the rest of me needs to tone up and be healthy.  I want to have (and keep) full range of motion and build strength.  My age constantly reminds me of the creeping decline in my abilities and I want to hold it off as long as possible!  But even this is a test... how can I fit it in my life as a habit and make it easier?  I dont' know yet - so... 90 days!

When I come back and cool down just a bit, I will do a cardio dvd...  today I am testing a Sparkpeople one I got from somewhere.  The Supreme 90 Day schedule calls for "Ultimate Ball" workout - an.d since the ball is back home.... it's cardio.

Food is still good.... I wouldn't call it perfect - but then I'm not following a plan exactly.  I am watching portions, I am eating clean - though not all organic yet - foods, and I am loosely following a plan laid out in Coach Yourself Thin (By Greg and Michael from here)... AND I am writing it all down.   for now.  I am beginning to identify and deal with cravings... and since there isn't any junk here, it's easier.  I hope I deal as well when I get home.

How are you doing?  What is your plan for the day?

so one thing I need to watch out for....  I have identified 5 workout dvds that I can easily get rid of .. I tried them, I don't like something about them and won't use them..... BUT and it's a big but... I am finding myself surfing the net for more!  WHY do I need more?  I need one or two per day... and I need a little variety.  I HAVE THAT.  Why more?  FIRST I need to USE what I have - and identify a NEED... THEN I should look for an answer...  I will have to work on this!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 8/90

Lazy so far...... but have a lot on the agenda!  I am at the beach and will spend a lot of time walking.  My legs & glutes are still sore from the walks and workout yesterday.... so the dvd for today (LEGS) is not the best choice.  I will either choose the arms/shoulder workout or an ab workout from my collection.  I brought most of my dvds with me to watch - try - see what I will use and what I can get rid of.

[Actually I always forget how many stairs there are here.... my hamstrings are already sore and knees stressed so it DEF has to be a focus on abs and/or upper body plus cardio today for the dvd]

Still logging food.... longest consistent time since I lost weight in 2007 - and I've dropped 2 pounds this week so yay!  I will take measurements sometime this week and see where I am there.    I am proud that I bought groceries but no trouble food :-)  When the munchies hit, it's celery and hummus or baby carrots or a slice of cheddar on rykrisp crackers.... or simply hot tea.   I am ready to break old habits.

I miss my family but am excited about scheduling my own time.... and taking the brain space to work on personal goals and plans.    More later as the day goes on!

Update - did a mile and a half in the cold and windy RAIN!  Yuk!!  But it was a good 25 min of work.... and then did half of Jillian's 6-week 6-pack dvd... beginner level... I only stopped because I was a little dizzy and decided that I'd check out something else later on in the day.  I did like the workout though...  recovering with a gazpacho smoothie...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 7/90

Lazy so far...... but have a lot on the agenda!  I am at the beach and will spend a lot of time walking.  My legs & glutes are still sore from the walks and workout yesterday.... so the dvd for today (LEGS) is not the best choice.  I will either choose the arms/shoulder workout or an ab workout from my collection.  I brought most of my dvds with me to watch - try - see what I will use and what I can get rid of.

[Actually I always forget how many stairs there are here.... my hamstrings are already sore and knees stressed so it DEF has to be a focus on abs and/or upper body plus cardio today for the dvd]

Still logging food.... longest consistent time since I lost weight in 2007 - and I've dropped 2 pounds this week so yay!  I will take measurements sometime this week and see where I am there.    I am proud that I bought groceries but no trouble food :-)  When the munchies hit, it's celery and hummus or baby carrots or a slice of cheddar on rykrisp crackers.... or simply hot tea.   I am ready to break old habits.

I miss my family but am excited about scheduling my own time.... and taking the brain space to work on personal goals and plans.    More later as the day goes on!

Update - did a mile and a half in the cold and windy RAIN!  Yuk!!  But it was a good 25 min of work.... and then did half of Jillian's 6-week 6-pack dvd... beginner level... I only stopped because I was a little dizzy and decided that I'd check out something else later on in the day.  I did like the workout though...  recovering with a gazpacho smoothie...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 6/90

Daily mile done CHECK  (I'm glad I have a dog - she really helps with this!)
Daily dvd done.... Back to Supreme 90 Day for a Cardio challenge dvd.  Did pretty well but re-learned a couple of things.  A) Don't look at the tv screen.. the athletes on there are moving a LOT faster than I can and my best is exactly right.   B) heavy weights for me (right now) is 2 pounds and light weights is NONE  Jumping lunges are not my thing YET

Kind of dizzy when it was done but I am taking it easy now as I re-fuel and finish getting ready to leave!

So that's done and weights packed.... car is just about loaded. I am kind of excited though nervous about this vacay.  It's a time share.. use it or lose it.. and the weather is supposed to be COLD so no family members want to come.  I have planned a personal retreat all for me.... with things I want to accomplish and thinking/planning I want to do... my exercise stuff is coming along - and most of the dvds so I can view the ones I haven't looked at and PURGE the ones I won't use.

Not taking the scale - leaving for the beach at 174 - goal is to come back less..... 

It will be interesting to see how long my husband lasts here at home with the kids without me.... and interesting to see how I handle being alone.....BOTH healthy good things :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 5/90

1 mile done and 30 min of Billy Blanks Tae Bo (today is arms and shoulders with Supreme 90 Day and I needed an arm workout without extra shoulder stress!)

Still logging and planning food - and a small NSV in my brain :-)  I have been keeping a bottle of water by my bed and trying to drink it in the morning with my coffee.  And I don't like it.. I like my coffee :-)   This morning (on cup #2), I had my usual guilty glance at the bottle and thought.. I don't want that, I want more coffee.   And the NEXT thought... in the very next instant... was...... but coffee dehydrates me and I want that less.   And I drank the water.   And, yes, I then moved on to cup #3.   BUT got the water in - I was surprised and pleased by my automatic thought and reaction.   THAT is the real NSV - a small noticeable LIFE CHANGING behavior.

Today is an algebra class for my son (one hour transit each way) and an evening event at my church....  and heading for the beach tomorrow!  Temps are as cold in OBX as they are here but with WIND!  But for me, my annual March retreat allows me a chance to re-group without a ton of family commitments.  AND a chance to plot out the next 6 months of goals......  depending on how many of my peeps come with me, of course.  But, at a minimum, I lose the distraction of vacuuming and household management.... it scales down to a couple of people and a little condo... instead of large house, pets, yard, errands, apts, church stuff, etc., etc. etc......  

I am mostly packed and just fitting in final stuff today - like the weekly plant watering and winding up the laundry..  will update more later... it's gonna be a great day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 4/90

All in all, yesterday was pretty good - considering that I spent most of it running errands!   And when I came home I tackled our burn pile - so spent a couple of hours outside raking garden plots and burning the old dry pile.

The big FAIL was last night.  I did log my food... I was short a couple of proteins still after dinner and I didn't get my carbs until after lunch.... I noticed this as an observation.  After dinner, I did the dishes and noticed that I was hungry.  I decided to have a bottle of water and my shower and see if I could wait it out.  I was ravenous after my shower... but said... hey, I can do this.

Next trip to the kitchen was disaster.   I snagged a piece of cake that was on the counter.  Not even very good (which is WHY my family hadn't gotten to it already!)  and DEF did not handle the hunger issue... so I ate a piece of string cheese..... followed by a KIND bar..... and after that.... bread with peanut butter.  Just couldn't seem to fill up.  Consequently I had all those calories - AND all that food to digest as I went to sleep.

So this morning I have a nasty headache and am grouchy.  I learned - okay RE-learned - that a) processed sugar products (CAKE) do not fill me up, they only add calories and hunger to my already hungry self and b) I sleep and wake a whole lot healthier and happier if I stop eating within a couple of hours before I sleep and c) my FEELINGS of hunger are not always that.  I am not yet in a place where I can trust my FEELINGS alone.

I do have my first mile done this morning and will do a cardio dvd in a few minutes.  I am home today so will see what opportunities I can find to get more movement in!
****
UPDATE
****

Okay - so the dvd didn't happen - mostly because of a houseful sleeping young adults and then getting ready for the my week getaway at the beach.  But in spite of the cold - I did get another half mile.. and when I remember that yesterday was supposed to be a rest day (and I did a dvd anyway).. well, that's grace :-)   Food went very well and is all logged.... I have a snack lined up for tonight IF NEEDED....  good progress!  Leaving Saturday morning for the week - and busy much of tomorrow so still a good bit to do!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 3/90

Rest according to the Supreme 90Day schedule.... do SOMEthing according to mine :-)  a 15 min workout from Bob Harper's Warrior Yoga - Abs was my choice!  Plus I need 4 miles for my 3Day training - one is done and will find the time and space to catch 3 more during the day.

Food still being logged.. so my choices are better :-)  It is exciting to think of what I can do in 90 days!  I know that I am building my new life BUT sometimes you need a jumpstart and what better time to do that than Spring!

hmm..... how much clutter can I get rid of in 90 days?  How much cleaning can I do?  How much food can I clear out of my pantry and freezer?    this is a good time to clear the decks!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 2/90

Walked my mile this morning..... successfully battled munch cravings last night.... pretty sore around the shoulder girdle today...  trading out the scheduled Supreme 90 Day workout for a BL one with less arm work.  I have a year old shoulder injury (whiplash) that needs rebuilding so I will go slower.  The success will be in the day to day consistency NOT following specific dvds.  All I know today is that I need more cardio and less emphasis on the chest / shoulder area....and less than 30 min.... will report back what I did...
  [I did the one on the schedule - forgot that it was a ball workout and I SUCK at that :-) So it wasn't as hard as it could have been.  Also since it was heavy on plank position I did some of them on my back without the ball since the emphasis was on abs..... worked the shoulders a bit but mostly gave them a break!]

Speaking of consistency - I feel at loose ends in several corners of my life so will report that progress here too... just 'cuz.... 
  welll..... got a box of yarn ready to donate to somebody as soon as I can find someone who will USE it not hoard it :-)   pruned a large rose bush - great armwork & bending and stooping - juiced a bunch of veggies for today and tomorrow... and registered for a second 3Day Walk this year.... 

Am heading for vacation next week so will be working on using up and putting away this week......  while I log food and attempt to keep within portion and variety guidelines

a good day - and it's only 4pm...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 1/90

1/2 mile walked and Day 1 dvd for chest & back... DONE!  Eating some yogurt now and getting ready to get going on my day....

The plan is to pay close attention to my intake - and UP the outgo...  I am starting with the Supreme 90Day exercise set.... since I own it :-)  I am fairly fit - but not anywhere near being able to do what they do - but it's all good!  Whatever I do today is more than I did yesterday.... so I am pleased.  Also want to take it very slow to prevent injury...  I will try to get another mile or two depending on rain and life.... but all in all... the rest of the day will be business as usual and mindfulness in the food dept :-)

Does anybody else hat the category thing?  My blog is really more of a personal journal offered in a public forum.  I'm not sure any of those categories count for my ramblings and logging

Did pretty well - over by one on the grain carbs and under by 1 on fruit..... also over by several on veggies so that's all good.

Day 1 of the free meditation course offered by Deepak Chopra - I am a total loser in the meditation dept... but maybe the dog's agitation while I try to relax is a part of it.  Will start this over tomorrow  - but will think of the Day 1 thoughts until then
"I commit to living perfect health"    What a cool thing to plant in my brain!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Race Report #5 Holton Hustle 5K Mar 2

Okay - so my beloved has gotten on board with the racing in a 5K sort of way.

We both walk a mile most mornings and try to collect another mile along the way during the day.... usually walking the Pomeranian...so not exactly what one would call race training.  Neither of us really run much - though he is definitely better at it than I am.

He's done a couple with me now - and has decided that one per month is a good idea for him.    Adding the extra event / miles to our lives brings more exercise and movement so it's a good thing.

Both of us see the 3.1 mile distance as a long walk - so it's interesting to see how the word "RACE" affects the psyche.

My son needed transportation on this particular day - so I decided to hunt for a 5K in the area.  Great idea to kill 2 birds with one stone.... BAD idea that one of those birds was a race!  But anyway.... signing up for the race had a 'team option' that was about the same price as 2 entries - so I asked my son if he wanted to join us.  For a little jog?  Sure.... no problem.  Sounded good at the time.

The morning was COLD.... in the lower 30s.  I was grateful that there was no chance of precipitation - but the skies were heavy with thick gray - OH so GRAY - cloud cover.  So we were freezing  AND depressed... YUK.  Not an auspicious start :-(  Whining before we even began... and, of the three of us, I was the most prepared,

We usually start out jogging and my husband soon leaves me in the dust.  Today was no exception.  The race was at an elementary school so the greatest challenge at the beginning was to NOT trip over children :-)  I loved the fact that so many kids were out participating..... but I did struggle with my attitude as I tried to sort out my long stride and work my around the little ones.   My men had a tougher time of it - but managed pretty well!

Oh but it was COLD!  I tried to jog a bit but my ankle wasn't feeling strong and the pavement was uneven.  I didn't want to risk another injury especially knowing I have a trail half marathon on the agenda for next weekend.... so I settled into my speedy walk.

Sometimes this winter I have really struggled with the WHY of doing these events.... I am often extremely miserable.

For the first few miles, I always torture myself with WHY, oh WHY do I choose to do this? (Of course, for a 5K in freezing temps, that is the WHOLE WAY!)  But I am good at settling in - putting my mind to it and keeping on the path.  And maybe that is the lesson for me.

I like half marathons because I get a finisher medal.  Simplistic - but true.  I know I can do it... even when it takes the stuffing out of me.   In day to day life, I can get worried, upset, and exhausted... but no medal.  This is mine..... just mine.

The 5Ks & 10Ks are just fun.  But not today.  I think I have learned... I do not like the cold.  I struggle with breathing anyway... but that frigid air burns all the way down.  Breathing through my mouth makes me extremely nauseous.... but I'm still on a learning curve with breathing through my nose.  And today?  BURN!  My chest really hurts.  I wonder if my asthma is coming back - or perhaps simply acting up with the cold, the exercise - and of course the tree pollen is beginning.

So - there's the whining - I TOLD you I was a whiner..... and that is one of the reasons I am so questioning about why I continue to race.

My son was the first of us...... and then my husband... and I brought up the rear.  They were miserable too - as I battled with my ankle pain and breathing issues, my husband battled a stitch in his side the whole way.... my son was just miserable.  So.. all in all.... it was a tough 3 miles!

But the important part was that we did it - we finished.  And, for my husband and me at any rate, we learned.  He and I have never been athletes in any sense of the word.... so in our mid-50s.... we are learning what it means.  And every time we put ourselves out there - we learn more about ourselves... about our bodies and about our spirits.

I guess that is why I still do it.  I still have things to learn from this kind of experience.... more emotion to wring from it....  next week.... a trail half and I hope and PRAY the weather is more temperate!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where did February go?

So.... it's been a while since I've written.... mostly because I've been LIVING and not spending time recording....  but I've had lots of thoughts and ruminations and will share as time passes....

Today's gem is in this story....

I noticed a FB status today.... "Where did February go?"

and it hit me....  TODAY is still February.... right?  I didn't miss a day?  Sometimes I do that :-)

But my point is... my friend was living in the future.   TOMORROW February will be gone.... but TODAY?  We're still here....

What can I do TODAY to truly be PRESENT in the here and now?

I'm all about preparing for the future - and will spend some of (okay, MUCH OF) today doing things that will help my tomorrow....

But my desire is to live life fully - which is to remember always - WHATEVER I am doing.... that TODAY is the gift I have in my hand.

The journey is far more important than the destination.