Monday, October 25, 2010

Pivotal Moments in Weight Loss

I began my weight loss journey two-and-a-half years ago knowing it would be a long and, at times, frustrating process. When I began, I just wanted to look better. (Well, I really want to look like Catherine Zeta-Jones, but I am a realist.) That has evolved into some very specific fitness goals. So far I am down about 65 pounds, with 30 to go. There have been funny and exciting moments along the way, some of which surprised me. When the weight goes on over the course of years, you don't really notice it. Oh, I knew I was heavy, but I didn't really realize what limitations physically (and emotionally) I had put upon myself because of it.

  • The first thing I noticed when I really began taking it off and changing my shape was (of all things) reaching down to pull the gas tank release in the car. Really. It hadn't dawned on me that my tummy was getting in the way of even little things like that. That was about a year or so ago, and even now, every time I reach for that release, I smile. (Then I think of gas prices and my smile fades, but at least I have it for a bit!)
  • Another thing I have recently found is that people have stopped saying, "You have such a pretty face." I'm not sure what other people think when that is said to them, but what I actually heard is, "You wouldn't be so bad if your head was attached to someone else's body." Ouch.
  • Last week I went to Old Navy and bought jeans that are the size I thought was my GOAL. Not even close. In 30 more pounds I will be in the size I was in high school. My shape will definitely be different, but hey...that's called adulthood. And I'm just fine with that.
  • But the best thing that has happened recently? Joe snapped a picture of me and it is the first picture in a long time that I have no criticism of. 

I'll update again after the next 30.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote of the Day: Cicero

Even if you have nothing to write, write and say so. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

I haven't a creative bone in my body today.  So I will post a link to The Pioneer Woman on her blogging tips. If you don't read her website regularly, check it out. There's a bit of something for everyone.

The Pioneer Woman: 10 Things I've Learned about Blogging

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Danger of Being a Type A, Productive Person

Because I'm so Sick of Political Ads that I Need a Little Humor

Why I am a Reader

I know a lot of people who say that they don't read, whether its a lack of time or enjoyment, I don't know. But I read for a number of reasons. One of those was illustrated to me recently.

My mom gifted me last year with a book from one of the best bookstores I have found, Title Wave Books in Anchorage. I can be sure that if she finds something for me there, she has put a little thought into it. She hit a home run with this purchase. It is a wonderful book called Surviving the Island of Grace by Leslie Leyland Fields. I was certain that I had blogged about this excellent book, because it had made such an impact on me. Apparently, I just recommended it to so many people that I felt I had written a review.

I loaned the book to my mom, who is now in the middle of it. We were discussing some thoughts from it, and I remembered (loosely) a description of the author's father-in-law's love of fishing, and the beauty of the fish themselves.

This, in a nutshell, is why I read. Those words that were on the page created in my mind a picturesque description to which I could relate. Not because I feel that way about salmon, but because the man in my life does, and it helped me to understand his passionate nature when it comes to wildlife.  And even now, a year after finishing the book, that passion which the author was able to convey still sticks with me. When I read that section aloud to Joe, he immediately jumped in with even more thoughts about the industry and his experiences.

Reading a good book takes time. It forces me to slow down, to spend some time pondering the emotions and ideas the author has taken the time to put down on paper.

And if I can discuss a shared experience with another book lover....even better.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Confessions of a Macaroni and Cheese Lover

My name is Karen. I only eat fruit and veggie carbs (and protein, of course).

You can see how that would make Mac and Cheese a problem.

Once a month, I crave me some homemade-baked-in-the-oven-with-as-many-kinds-of-cheese-as-I-can-get-my-hand-on macaroni and cheese. If that's not available, some Kraft with an extra handful of sharp cheddar thrown in will suffice. I'm not picky.

Here's how I abstain. There is no macaroni in my house. It's un-American, I know, but I just can't keep it around. Otherwise the whole box will be inhaled. And my discipline will be shot.

Is there some sort of 12-step program for me? Do I get a 90-day coin for being good?

I just wanna know.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thank You, Captain Obvious

I believe we have a culture of so much covering-our-a#@!s that apparently all common sense has left the building. Many of you know that I started a new position in the last week. Below is the word-for-word text of a sign that is posted on the wall of my new office. I'm a little peeved, and have already complained to my preceptor, that she didn't go over this during training. I've been doing it all wrong.

The chair is on wheels and on a floor pad to allow the chair to move easily over the carpet.
When getting out of the chair, turn the chair so the back is into the desk to prevent the chair from slipping outward. Always use the arm rest prior to sitting or standing.
Thank you,

This is not a joke. Well, it is, but in a pathetic, head-slapping sort of way.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

Joe mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he loves pumpkin bread. Hmmm...never made that...but I'm up for anything in the kitchen. I found this recipe online this morning. Oh my. It might throw me off my diet. Moist and delicious!

The only changes I made are that I used half whole wheat flour, egg substitute, and applesauce instead of the oil. Yum.


***A quick follow-up. The pumpkin bread is going over well in the hunting camp. Glad I sent a couple of loaves with banana bread as a backup!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hoarders as Housekeeping Motivation

There is a "Hoarders" marathon on A&E today, so of course, because of the already-admitted obsession that I have, its on in the background while I am having a nice "at home" day. It actually inspired me to do something that I had read about in one of my Alexandra Stoddard lifestyle books.

From the front door, I took a photo of the first impression as I walk into my home. Then came the kitchen and the dining room. Honestly, I was a bit surprised at how it looked on film. Unnoticed in everyday life, but laid bare on "film" are a few items that I have been putting off dealing with. And then just began ignoring. So now I have a list. And am working my way through it.

Try it! You might be surprised at how others see your home. And at least for me, its very important that it be welcoming anytime.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Bit of Flirtation...

Lest you think I am being untrue, let me tell you about the lovely 94 year young man I met yesterday, As I was checking him in to the hospital, he was getting a bit cheeky, so I asked him what his wife would think about him flirting with another woman. He told me that he has a rule: he doesn't flirt with women over 40. That way his "lovely bride" of 66 years doesn't get jealous.

What a nice sense of humor. And when he called her his lovely bride, I could see that he meant it. I hope he lives to 100 as his father did.

Friday, October 1, 2010

To Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

"The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

"The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees."
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

~William Blake (1757-1827)

What Comes Around...

I really don't believe in "karma". Let's face it, there are people in this world who never really "get what's coming to them". At least not in this life. I'll leave that up to Someone much more just than I will ever be. However, when someone really sets out to inflict harm it is somewhat gratifying to see it backfire on them.

This week I had someone come after me (and mine). In a really interesting way. But you know what? It backfired on them. Big time. And the effect that they were looking for? The opposite happened in my heart, and some things were really confirmed for me.

It's like the story of Joseph in Genesis. What man had intended for evil, God is using for good.