finding delight in the mundane since 1936


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Can't Believe it's been 8 months!

On the February 1, 2011, I was pushing up on an all time high benchmark for weight gain. I hadn't weighed that much since my mother's death, when my despair led to inactivity and excessive comfort eating. I wrote the draft of a post about starting a weight loss journey but never posted it.

FORTY pounds later with 20 more to go, I can hardly believe the pain and hopelessness in this's a bit long but there are some valuable lessons that I should NEVER forget...


A Weight loss Journey... 

So, one of my resolutions is to lose some weight in 2011. I've had many failed attempts at this. Whenever I make an attempt I seem to actually gain weight.
My wake up call has come in many small ways:

  • The way my hips grind when I get up in the morning because of my arthritis
  • Most days, I just plain feel like crap.
  • Finishing a 5 year long milestone
  • Promising myself to skydive when I finished my M.F.A. but feeling too heavy to do it
  • My college reunion is just around the corner and I missed the last one because I was embarrassed about my weight.
  • Being only 15 years from the age my mom died and a few years from being middle aged.
  • Realizing that the destructive relationships in my life have caused me to disguise myself with fat
  • Realizing that as much as I try to eat healthy, I need to get moving too
  • Saw some tv show where a lady who was my height and weight was being diagnosed as 10 years older and at health risk for diabetes and other health risks
  • Three close friends were just diagnosed with Diabetes (they seemed mostly healthy, just overweight)
  • My fears of personal injury without health insurance make me much more cautious about what I do
  • Realizing that the negative messages my family has given me are Not motivational (Don't EVER criticize, ostracize, or mistreat someone because of their weight issues! Criticism is NEVER motivational) If anything, it's kept me paralyzed for at least 2 years.
There was a time in my life when a heartbreak fueled my motivation for weight loss. The physical activity matched my beating heart and the sweat masked my tears. It was the only way I could process my thoughts and take the stress off. Oddly enough, I was SEVENTY pounds lighter than I am now. A lifetime of heartbreaks later, instead of hiding, I should let it motivate me.

Who can watch The Biggest Loser and not be encouraged by the stories? After the show's premiere this month, I went to my local gym to sign up: the fee had doubled since the last time I joined but still too cheap to pass up. Like a dork in my mis-matched shoes (I couldn't find two that matched), I went, looked around and saw a neighbor who's an avid runner. She showed me around and encouraged me to join. I'm so grateful she didn't judge my dorky-ness or my list of hesitations!

So, there it is...I'm trying to tear down the walls of isolation and the layers of fat that I thought were protecting me from being hurt. The 65-70 lbs that I've been carrying for the last 2 decades is heavy with low self esteem.

This weeks' Action Items: 

  • gym membership                          DONE
  • go 3 times this week                     DOING
  • drink 3/4 of a gallon of water/day DOING
  • start a journal                                DOING
  • join Spark People dot com            DONE
  • clean off my bed so that I can go to bed by Midnight   DONE
  • Stay focused and avoid discouragement   THIS IS GONNA BE A CHALLENGE!

In january, I was eating an all vegan diet. And with combination of arthritis and bursitis, I didn't think I could move without hurting. But by the end of January I had actually gained weight I decided to try something different and drastic. I joined the local gym and eliminated all sugars and white flour from my diet. I ate as much green vegetables as I could and added in steamed or baked fish and lean chicken. I made my breakfast and lunch every day so I wouldn't stray and carried chocolate protein powder and a water bottle with me everywhere. The diligence at the gym was the result of a couple of friends that encouraged me and showed me things that might not aggravate my arthritis so much. I started to see it come off but was in disbelief.


Message to Myself 5 months from now: 

Yeah, this blog isn't about my weight loss journey. However, I have a pile of weight and worries to get rid of.

If it's May 1st
and You've not lost a pound:
You have only your self to blame. But it's not about blame, it's about breaking down what could have happened: You were too tired, you had to work too much, your hip hurt, you didn't have the money, your family hurt your feelings, you were afraid of people looking at you at the gym, you wanted wine and carbs, you weren't seeing a difference so you decided to give up, you couldn't find anyone to help you, your ex-boyfriend sabotaged you, it was just too hard....Seriously?
You had the opportunity and you made a decision not to act on it. You gave up on yourself and no one is fighting for you. Do you really want to stay where I am now: slow, achy, tired all the time, depressed, feeling hopeless and full of regrets?
Well, I'm not going to insult you or tear you down. Go to reunion anyway and let your personality show through. Pray that God will afford you a second chance.

and You're not quite where you want to be but have made some progress:
You can still be proud of yourself. You just need to push yourself as if your life depends on it. PUSH YOURSELF AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

and You've reached your half way point goal:
That means you've lost 30-40 lbs! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! God is restoring the years the locust have eaten! You've started to melt away the hurt and the pain of your past and Live on Purpose. I'm sure it was hard, just like re-writing your thesis 9 times! Like pushing a bolder up hill, Like working 2 jobs and trying to keep your home, Like showing your face in public after hiding from everyone for months.
In the next 4-5 months you want to work on those additional 30-35 lbs. Stay Focused, Challenge yourself More, Take it up a notch! Break that cycle of reward through food, Go get your white dress and throw out the fat clothes! Homecoming is in October and you want to look even better than you do today. Let the rejection of your family and ex-boyfriends burn you up and motivate you...Seek the love you deserve my friend! God's Unconditional love...

what I want to wear for Homecoming in October 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Upcycling my Life!

on my daily walk I bumped into a neighbor and we talked about caring for our old dogs.
I found myself saying, "you know, I just like old stuff!"...

old houses
old cars
old people
old dogs

And it's my younger days I enjoyed anything new...
my mom and I would visit model homes of new construction to get design ideas. Sometimes we'd even go into an unfinished home to look at the freshly dry-walled spaces full of light and promise.
But I live in an old house, in an old neighborhood, and nothing is plumb, nothing is new, nothing is perfect...sort of like me, it has a patina and a history. 

I love the smell of a new car, but at 12 y.o. with 208,000 miles, I haven't experienced that in quite some time. Even with all of my recent car troubles, I just can't bear the idea of of it filling up a landfill! 
My friends say I need a reliable car but I'm tempted to McGiver it together and keep on goin'!!!

My BFF is a bit older than I am but we get along great. Listening to her gush over her children and grandchildren is delightful. In a way she is like the friend my mom was to me. Since she's been gone I tend to crave the company that older people provide. They have so much wisdom and insight.
Source: via Kari on Pinterest

I love old dogs. My baby is 14 years old and showing signs of slowing down. She's been sick over the past 2 weeks and it's got my heart distressed. Though I love just looking at puppies, caring for them can be challenging!
 I'm here for my old baby as long as she decides to stay...or until she joins her nana in heaven.

And then there's me...!
As I steadily approach the next decade of my life, things are starting to break down...loosing weight has been good for my body but the exercise has aggravated my arthritis. I keep going, hoping that the LESS I weigh the LESS pain I will feel, but 40 lbs later, I'm still hurtin' and I need to build more muscle. No pain, No gain (they say)  :-(

Source: via Tonje on Pinterest

To think that I have 20 more working years and several years until I'm free from some major financial obligations, it makes me wonder if I'll have any retirement life and funds to enjoy and share. Will I need a new car, will I be healthy, will I be able to maintain my home and lawn, will I be alone, will I be a good servant and wise friend to younger folks?

(loved that movie...!)

Maybe that's why it's so hard for me to get rid of old things and replace them with the new. 
I've decided that I prefer to Upcycle as many parts of my life as possible.

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Useless, old, vintage, whatever you want to call it, I think there's value in trying to not only salvage whatever you can but celebrate it! 
Have you ever seen the documentary OBJECTIFIED by Gary Hustwit? 
Look up the term Planned Obsolescence.

Well, I'm not really worried about my shelf life, I just need to make some wise decisions regarding my future AND I have to trust that no matter what happens, God is the source of my strength, my light and reason for living. He UPCYCLES me everyday by the power of Jesus Christ and I'm so grateful for the second, third and fourth chances!!!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. [psalm 13:12]

Upcycle Something Old Today!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thelma & Louise

My BFF and I decided to take a long ride to her country house. Another friend had just purchased this vintage car and we joked about taking it on a joy ride like Thelma & Louise. 
Unfortunately, we aren't that daring! Instead we had a quiet ride in an a/c equipped suv and stopped by a Cracker Barrel and tried to stir up some trouble with the gag gifts.

gorgeous farm land

love the delicate patina and weathering on this house...

 perfect vintage farm house style

We stayed over one night at her daughter's house. She has a great sense of style too!

Then we went back to the country house early the next morning to take some pictures.

an old wagon wheel that a tree grew into.

good bye for now country house!

On the way home we saw some lazy cows

and a beautiful old mansion with a ton of ferns!

Even though we didn't light anything on fire or drive over a cliff we had a really great time!
Thanks for all of our hostesses along the way. Enjoyed the country air!