My Weight Loss Progress

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sleepy Time

I was so tired yesterday I decided on a Sunday afternoon nap. I slept three hours!  Unfortunately it interfered with my night-time sleep, so I only slept about 6 hours of toss-and-turn, dreaming sleep. Even so, I'm not as tired today as I was yesterday, at least not yet.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Busy Day Excuses?

Yesterday I had a busy day planned, taking a trip out of town to have lunch with my cousin, visit a young niece I've never met, and attend an LDS temple.  The day included at least 5-6 hours of driving.

Good part: I got up early and exercised. I gave myself a pass on journaling and blogging.  I figured temple attendance counted for scripture reading, and I could pray both at home and in the car, so that took care of my daily routine.  I had a pretty light lunch with my cousin and did not snack in the car. So, I'm good.

Bad part: We got home around midnight, spent too much money on dinner, and I stayed up until nearly 2 after we got home.

Good part:  At dinner, I asked for a box right away and put half my dinner in it. I will eat it in a little while. My husband did the same thing, so at least we will get two meals out of dinner.  I had water with lunch, turned down soda at my niece's home, and limited myself to one glass of lemonade at dinner, opting for ice water when it ran out.

Bad part: my niece's family has 3 dogs, a ferret, a snake, and some turtles. It didn't bother me too much at the time, but today I've definitely got allergy symptoms bothering me. I woke up with my face so puffy that my CPAP mask made deep indentations, and I'm very sore.

Good part: I got up today and did yoga anyway.

Bad part: I have struggled to do the rest of my daily routine, letting Facebook slip in ahead of things.

Good part: My church lesson for tomorrow is almost done, and other than that, this is the last part of my dailies.  If we just ignore the fact that it's almost 5 p.m., it's all good...

BEST PARTS:  We had a lovely lunch catching up with my cousin and her husband. We were lucky to catch her still in the area, because they are moving several hundred miles away soon.  We had fun getting to meet our niece, and seeing her father, whom we haven't seen for many years.  We also met her mom for the first time. Our niece posted on Facebook about meeting us and said she loved it!

Overall, a good day.

Columbus Ohio Temple at Night
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Becoming an Adult

Day 21 of 30 Days of Yoga--

Adriene joked about age 21 being the age of becoming fully an adult, that being the age you can legally drink alcoholic beverages in the United States.  It got me thinking about the ways I still need to grow up. In what ways do I exercise childish behavior? What excuses do I make for doing so?

One of the big ones for me is the way I still resist bedtime. I need a grownup around to tell me to go to bed!  I push past the point of being whiny and grumpy, until I don't feel good, until I'm so tired I fall dreamlessly asleep.  Unfortunately that is often 2-3 a.m, and then I sleep late in the morning.

Another childish thing is to take what pleases now without thought for the future--like nibbling at lousy cake frosting yesterday, for which I am paying the consequence of sore neck and shoulders today. Or maybe that's because of other tensions in my life, but the sugar is inflammatory and just contributes to the problem.

I may need therapy or a support group to overcome the sleep issues. It's time for me to face the adult issues that keep me from wanting to go to bed, so I can overcome this childish tendency. I don't know what I need, but I think it's time to start some kind of process to deal with the issue and start functioning on a healthier schedule. I've just got to figure out where to go from here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

If your idea of gluten free cake is a grainy, crumbly cake, you haven't tried some of the new mixes. I've had a couple that were wonderful cakes--light and moist and full of flavor.

Unfortunately, the one I got for my husband's birthday was not one of them. I tried a chocolate cake mix, made by Cherrybrook Kitchen; it has the advantage of being vegan. It also had the advantage of being the only one in the particular store I went to. That's all I can really say about it. The texture was very fine, and it was light, and it was moist, but these did not overcome the grainy texture of the cake itself.  I was very disappointed.

The good thing about this particular cake is that most of it is sitting on the kitchen counter. Neither of us like it well enough to stick it in the freezer for later, which means we will not eat it.  That's better for our health and our diet, but not very good for a birthday!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.

---Clint Eastwood

This week:

Weight--stayed the same, first time in two months. That's a bit disappointing, but I did not gain. It's time to buckle down and pay more attention to my actual levels of hunger, only eating when I'm really hungry. It is the "little bits" that sneak up on me.

There's actually a belt company called
Buckle Down. I don't know anything
about them but I am borrowing their
logo, so I feel obligated to link back.
Now, referring to the quote above, I have respect for the progress I've made, enough respect to keep going and generate more self-discipline.

Sunday morning I was getting ready for church, and I thought a black belt would look nice with my outfit. I grabbed my longest belt, which I could previously only fasten on the loosest hole, and then it was quite uncomfortable.  I wrapped this belt around my waist and went to fasten it--past the loosest hole and easily to the second one.  That means I've lost about 1 1/2 inches around my waist.  This is exciting, because with my stretchy clothing and jeans I don't feel like I've seen much difference.  But the belt tells the story

Fun Belt Buckle I found at

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Warming Up

It's a beautiful day outside! The weather is warming up a bit today.

I bet you thought the title meant exercise warm-ups, didn't you?  Well, it does, really--I just have to enjoy the beautiful day for a moment first.

 I just want to comment that I have found that the same warm-up I use for a walking workout is good for a yoga workout. It gets the muscles and joints loose and warm, ready for a good stretch.  I learned this in yoga class a few years ago--a brisk exercise is good before stretching, and a good stretch after exercising. The one I do is not brisk, but it does get me loosened up and ready to stretch.

One of my Leslie Sansone videos (5 Day Slim Down) has separate warm up and cool down segments, so the warm up is good to do before both walking and yoga.

Ooh--when I went looking for this picture--which is from saw pictures of a whole lot of Leslie DVD's I don't have.  I just might have to get myself a new one next month. I have a lot, but rotating them through and having change in the routine really helps me to stick with it.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Now Don't You Quit

Some days I need this quote desperately!  Today I just did not want to get up and get going, but I pushed myself, did a warm-up and some yoga, had some breakfast, and spent some time in scripture. Now I feel enthusiastic for the day and its chores.  I thank the Lord for this change, this determination and strength. I'm off to take care of paperwork and go to the bank and the store!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Job Interview

Disclaimer: this is not really me,
and I did not wear the hat.
And I smiled. At least I think I did.
I had a job interview today.  I was concerned about how I would present myself, especially with my weight issues. I took care with how I dressed, made sure my hair was behaving, and put on a touch of lipstick. I was early. I had a resume with me. I was so prepared!

I got there and the door was still locked.  I noticed there was another door at the other end of a long hall, so I wondered if I should go around. That's what I hate about job interviews; they make me feel so insecure.  I know I'm more than qualified for this company, which will probably underpay me, but a stupid little question about which door to enter makes me feel totally insecure and unprepared.

Disclaimer: this is not really the guy. 
This is Hank Green. The clothes are
about the same, though. I didn't get 
a picture of the actual interviewer. 
What am I going to sayCan I take 
your picture so I can blog about you?
The back door, it turns out, is the main door they use, since it is closest to the parking lot.  There is a little reception area, and the guy came right out to meet me. This man is probably younger than my children, and was dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt over a tee.  The world sure has changed. So I probably look like an old fuddy-duddy there in my skirt and jacket.  Oh well; I still think it best to dress appropriately.

One of my sons, when in his early twenties, was hired to be a restaurant host. The employer told him the thing that made him stand out was that he was the only applicant to show up in a tie. Today, when I handed this manager my resume, he said I was the only one who has done that, and it's a good thing to do.  He quickly put me at ease as we talked. He seemed to be as nervous as I was.  All the questions come from a form, and he's required to ask them all, even if they seem repetitive (which some did.)

Of course I don't know yet if I got the job, but he's talking background check, so I think I'm in.  It's very part-time at first, but is expected to grow into all the hours I can pick up.  That's perfect for now. So, after all the library degree, I may become a tutor once again.  I'm still looking for a library job; there's a possibility I can do both if the hours work out right, but I love tutoring. It's a very satisfying work.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Здравствуйте, друзья из России

I'm having an off day, but I could not waste it completely.  The force of habit is too strong now, so the only thing I have skipped so far is exercise.  I am very tired today.

I don't know what triggered it, but for some reason this week I have more hits from Russia than any other country, including the United States of America.  I hope the translation worked correctly and it really says hello to my friends from Russia and not some highly offensive thing.  How much do I trust Google?

I find myself thinking through slang and idioms now as I think of my words being translated into a language other than English. How much is lost when I use contractions and other typical American constructs?  I suppose if people comment in their own language and I have to use Google Translate, I will get some idea of it.

It can be fun to enter something into the translator, have it translate into a foreign language, and then translate it back.  For example, the paragraph above--to Russian and back--comes out like this: 

I find myself thinking through slang and idioms now, when I think about his words being translated into a language other than English --Raznoe. What is lost when I use the abbreviations and structure --Raznoe typical American? I believe that if the people like in their native language, and I have to use Google Translate, I get a glimpse of him.

En Français

Je me surprends à penser à travers l'argot et les idiomes maintenant que je pense à mes mots en cours de traduction dans une langue autre que l'anglais. Combien est perdue lors de l'utilisation de contractions et d'autres constructions typiques américains? Je suppose que si les gens commenter dans leur propre langue et je dois utiliser Google Translate, je vais vous faire une idée de lui.

It is fairly close, but that was a careful paragraph. What happens if I type the way I usually do?  I'm usually full of contractions and slang.  Instead of saying "I am very tired today"  I might say "I'm beat."  Or "I'm worn out today."  I can't wait for my head to hit the pillow. Such a night owl, it's my own fault for staying up late yet again...Juan Moore strikes again!  Yikes!  I've got to get my bedtimes under control. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...I'm going to try to translate this one now.

It's pretty close, but it was a cautious point. What happens if I type as I usually do? I usually full of abbreviations and slang. Instead of saying: "I am very tired today," I could say, "I beat." Or "I'm worn out today." I can not wait to get my head touched the pillow. This owl is my own fault for late again ... Juan Moore strikes again! Oh! I have to get my bedtime under control. Meanwhile, at the ranch ... I'm going to try to translate this now.

I used to have fun trying to read my son's Facebook posts with his friends from the Philippines. Sometimes it just doesn't work!

Well, playtime is over. Good-bye, my friends, Russian, American, and everyone else. I saw some French in there earlier this week, and someone from Uganda.  It is nice to have such a worldwide audience. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Milestones and Goals

I hit the 15-pounds lost mark this week!  This is not a goal--my first goal is to lose 22 pounds. However, 15 pounds seems like a milestone, just because it's a multiple of 5.  Numbers are funny that way. Multiples of 3's and 4's don't seem like such a big deal.

I put on  my denim skirt yesterday and when I went to wriggle it over my hips, it wriggled a little easier. I can't exactly say it's loose, but it had a little more wiggle room.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

My husband was smart enough to avoid buying me sweets for Valentine's Day. So what did I do?  I made brownies!

I made one very small pan of mint brownies.  I ate two small pieces, the total size being smaller than one of my chocolate muffins.  So did my husband.
I packaged up the rest and put them in the fridge and freezer.

Our church women's group leaders had beautiful iced cookies for everyone.  They very thoughtfully got me my own special pre-packaged gluten-free lemon sugar cookie.  It was a big cookie, but I shared it with my children's class. I ate the rest while waiting for my husband after choir practice, instead of a protein bar. That's not the healthiest choice, but I applaud myself for not eating both!

One of the children gave me a chocolate-covered marshmallow heart. That one was easy. There's very likely milk in the chocolate, so that one went to my husband.

And that is the sum of Valentine's Day damage.  I think I will survive it.  Maybe next year I'll make a lovely salad with heart-shaped veggies like my daughter-in-law did for a party for her children and their friends. She's a very clever mom. They also put together heart-shaped pizzas.

What child could truly resist these vegetables?

I suspect that's veggeroni.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bitter Blackberries

By De-okin (talk) 12:34, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
While visiting my son, we stopped at a store for some snacks.  I bought a small container of blackberries, because I love them. Growing up, I used to pick them straight off the vines in my backyard and eat them. We also put them in homemade ice cream and made wonderful blackberry pie. They weren't big like the ones we see in the store, but they were so delicious!

The day I bought them with my son, they were not so delicious. Though they were fat and juicy, they left a bitter taste.  It was disappointing, and it often happens with purchased berries.  I have discovered the obvious--wash them!  I don't know if they have some sort of spray to keep them fresh, but washing them takes away the bitter taste for me.

Apparently bitter blackberries is quite a problem, as I discovered when I googled the term.  Maybe I've just been lucky with washing them.  I am also careful to watch for signs of mold, though that is a slightly different taste.

In case washing them is not enough for you, here are some other things to try.

  1. Don't bite into the seeds or core.  In How to Enjoy a Blackberry there are step-by-step instructions on how to eat a blackberry, with beautiful pictures.  I don't sort out the seeds or core, but I don't chew the berries much either.  I guess I just sort of mash them in my mouth and then swallow. Another option to this is to press the berries and strain out the juice from the cores and stems, but this also takes out the fiber of the skin.
  2. The sweetest, ripest blackberries have a dull finish. The shiniest ones are greener and not as sweet. (New York Times
  3. Growers are growing their berries to be sweeter and sturdier for shipping. (New York Times) Maybe it's nothing I do at all--except that when I don't wash them I still get that bitter taste.
  4. When choosing blackberries, jiggle the box gently. They should be firm enough that they make a particular soft bumping noise. Also look carefully at them for signs of mold. One moldy berry can quickly infect an entire box. Always look through the sides to the bottom of the box. That's where the ugly ones seem to hide. Test them by feel. They should be soft but not squishy. 
  5. Buy in season; you have to know when they are supposed to be locally available and fresher. (I've been buying them year-round with no problem, but many are grown in Mexico and other warm places now.)
  6. Some interesting advice was given at Chowhound. If you buy blackberries at a farmer's market, ask the farmer if they've been sprayed with pesticide. Ask for a taste test. Check to be sure they are not overripe.
  7. Eat the fruit with an item that contains a high level of fat, such as heavy cream. This will mask the bitterness but not get rid of it.
  8. Use them in a smoothie with other fruits and sugar to mask the flavor.
  9. Buy frozen blackberries. They tend not to have the bitter taste, but are more likely to be sour.
  10. Grow your own berries--but watch out for stinkbugs.  
  11. Readers at Yahoo Answers had a variety of answers.
    • Add sugar
    • Add a pinch of salt
    • Add a dash of lemon juice with the sugar. The tart lemon helps mask the bitterness.
    • My granny always put the blackberries in water on low heat and let them cook for a bit and added just enough sugar to take the bitterness away. She did not add salt or butter to the berries, just a bit of sugar and corn starch to thicken the juices. Her cobblers were never bitter.
    • Put them in a bowl and cover them in sugar; leave them alone in room temp. for a couple of hours for the sugar to be absorbed, them add them to the cobbler.
    • Maple-flavoured golden syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice.
    • Let them ripen up, only solution to this is time...

Friday, February 12, 2016

16 miles and counting...

It doesn't sound like a lot, 16 miles, but I have walked every one of them.  I worked my way through my entire collection of 1 mile walk DVD's. Now that my wrist can handle it, I am working through them again, but this time I am adding the 2 pound weights, or stretchy bands, or ab bands, when they show up in a workout.  I'm just not quite ready to go to 2 miles.  Next go-round.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.

--W Clement Stone, found at Brainy Quotes.

For Day 15 of 30 Days of Yoga, in celebration of being halfway through, Adriene introduced the half-moon pose.

Adriene doing the half-moon pose, Day 15, 20:19

I'm afraid my moon looked more like the quarter moon.  I just don't have the balance yet to do that. I tried; I try all the poses. Someday I'll do this one. I may not look like either of these pictures, but I'll get that leg and arm up there and be balanced.

Half-Moon Pose, Photo from Wikipedia

I can do Downward Dog now! My wrist has gradually gotten stronger, so I can do that, and plank, and some of the others that were difficult, as long as I don't sustain it for too long.  My knee is still sore if I put weight on it. I can usually do it, but every now and then it hurts. It is greatly improved but not 100% yet.

I learned an interesting bit about moon phases as I researched this.  A quarter moon shows half of the side facing earth. It's a quarter of the way through the lunar cycle, not a quarter of the moon we see. I never knew that.  There is not actually a term "half-moon"--there are waxing gibbous or waning gibbous, at 3/8 and 5/8 through the moon cycle, with crescent moons at 1/8 and 7/8, but the actual halfway point is a full moon!  I never knew that.

Phases of the moon, from Wikipedia

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Not by the Hair of my Chinny-Chin-Chin

If you remember the story of the Three Little Pigs, you might enjoy this video animation of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" 

If you don't remember it, here's a cute rendition by a 5-year-old.

Well, I was looking in the mirror yesterday and noticed that my own chinny-chin-chin is looking less fat. In fact, you might say I now have to say "chinny-chin" now!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gluten-Free Lotion

At the store a few days ago, I saw a sampler tube of gluten-free lotion. I tried some and it smelled awful!  I wasn't sure of the importance of that, so I went to my local gluten-free-group Facebook page and asked about it. Here is the information they shared. 

Me: I saw some lotion today that was labeled "Gluten-Free." Does it matter? I never even thought about lotions having gluten in them. It smelled bad, so if this is important I'll look for a better brand.

A1: I haven't ever actively looked for lotion that is specifically gluten free.  But I do try to avoid the lotion with oatmeal. Some celiac people have bad reactions to oatmeal if it isn't specifically grown in a gluten free field. If it is grown in a field that has been used to grow wheat, rye or barley in previous years, volunteer stalks of those plants can grow with the oatmeal and contaminate the oatmeal during harvest. So I try to stay away from oatmeal in any form unless it is gluten free. I think some people do ok with it though. It's one of those personal comfort level things.
A2: According to experts, the problem with cosmetics, sunscreen & lotions is when the product gets ingested. So, if you apply a lotion, foundation lipstick, Chapstick, etc with your fingers/ hand and then end up putting your fingers into your mouth (hands aren't washed good enough/ lick lips/ bite fingernails, etc) then you end up ingesting these products, which could lead to problems. Also, perspiration can cause some problems as the product can drip and get ingested by wiping across mouth/ lips.
A3:  I have to use a gluten free shampoo because of a skin irritation I have on my scalp. Due to being celiac. It flares up if I don't. The same withmakeup. Ever time I try to wear lipgloss or lipstick I get sick. 
A4: We use gluten free products for body care because our son had horrible reactions to some of the shampoo's and lotions. He was definitely not ingesting them but has done way better on gluten free items. Be careful as many chap sticks/lip products have Vitamin E from wheat germ oil. Easy to gluten yourself with those products!
Me:  Thanks for the information!

So, after last week's fibro flare of pain and fatigue, I looked at the ingredients list of the lotion I had started using on my face and hands.  There are a lot of chemicals I don't recognize, but nothing that screams "gluten" at me.  

The oil in it is macadamia nut oil. Oho! That's one of the foods on my do-not-eat list. Can the little bit in there be enough to cause all that pain?  I don't know, but I quit using it, and I am quickly getting relaxed, painless muscles again.

Now I have to go do the research to find some lotion that is free of all my allergies entirely. It could be almond-based or some other oil, but definitely not macadamia, and probably not other tree nuts.

Maybe I should just do what a friend of mine does--use shortening. Or lard.  Back to bear fat, like the pioneers--that's natural!
Whew! I'm sure it stinks more than the lotion I tried that started off all this research.  

Not to mention that it's probably impossible to get bear fat.  And really, I suspect the pioneers used tallow or lard to make their soaps anyway. It's much easier to kill a cow or pig than a bear.

Don't feel bad for me--there are some wonderful nuts I can eat! 
Roasted, unsalted cashews are delicious!

Raw sunflower seeds are chewy and tasty.
Raw almonds are a favorite too.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Saturday is a special day...

Saturday was the first day in more than a month that I did not complete my whole daily routine.

To be fair to myself, I was sick in the early hours of Saturday, from about midnight until 5 a.m., after which I fell asleep for only about an hour and a half and then couldn't sleep all day. Oddly, I did not feel that tired.

Also, to be fair to myself, I did most of the routine. I think I did everything but scripture study and blog.

However, in spite of it all, I went out for a little shopping. I bought a piece of lightweight faux leather and covered my husband's office chair.  So, you see, I could have finished up my routine and to say anything else is just making excuses.

But I'm back. Here I am today, on my last step. Admittedly it's 3 p.m., but I'm here.  I got sidetracked a little with helping my husband frame a print that came in the mail.  He could have done it by himself, but it was nice to spend the time with him.  I've got to watch the justifications, though, or I'll fall away.

So, recommitment time!  Restart button!  Back to daily routine, straight through, keeping up the good habits I've started.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

You bet your boots!

When I was 12 years old, knee-high boots were in fashion.  I wanted a pair so bad! Black leather knee-high boots! I just knew I would be so stylish in those boots!

Imagine my delight when I opened the big box under the Christmas tree, and it was a boot box! I carefully took off the paper and opened the box, and it was boots!  oh. Brown boots.  The only ones Mom could find in my size with slim enough legs  (and probably the only affordable ones.)  In my family, we did not take things back unless they did not fit. We smiled and said thank you, and wore the things at least a few times.  

And darn it, those brown boots fit.  It turned out I actually liked them, but they were just a bit loose so they liked to kind of crumple down my legs. I had to pull them up every now and then.

My parents did not let us wear sheer nylons until we were at least 13, so I remember wearing those boots with dark brown opaque tights. Skirts at knee-length or much higher were still in fashion, though with my dad--well, skirts at knee-length were in fashion. So if I was lucky, you could actually see an inch or two of brown tights.  I felt so grown up in my knee-high boots and brown tights. 

Fast forward 40 years, and I'm in school for my Master's degree, and boots are in style on campus. Admittedly, the younger students were wearing them with short skirts and/or leggings.  I decided to go get a pair, which I could wear with jeans tucked in or a knee-length skirt.  So off I go to a store with boots on sale and I find lots of cute boots. Black boots. Brown boots.  Boots with elastic. Boots with buckles. Boots with fancy trim. High heeled boots. Low-heeled boots.  Lots of boots to try on!  And then, alas, every pair too tight.  Not one pair that would pull up, or zip, or buckle, or stretch, around my calves.

I bought a pair of ankle boots that were stylish and great for snow days, but they just weren't the knee-high boots I was hoping for.  I could probably have gotten some at a big/tall shop or online, but I also figured they would cost more. And honestly?  I was tired and did not want to shop any more.  I just wasn't quite committed enough to those boots.

Inside I wanted to feel like this: 

Not sure where to credit this picture...

and look like this:

But the real me felt more like a fat, tired, old lady.
Thursday I ran an internet search for plus size boots and there are tons!  However, I want my next boots to be skinny boots, even if I have to wear them in my 90's! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Oops I blew it again

Bedtime is my nemesis.  I stayed up way too late again last night and I'm paying for it today with a headache.  That is a constant struggle for me. What is it about night time that makes it seem like free time, time that I can waste?  I've really got to ponder this and make a commitment to this part of better health.

A day or two ahead. Too bad I can't do that with exercise too.

I'm actually writing this on Wednesday. I had some topics in mind and got a day or two ahead on blog postings. This means I can take a day off if I need to.  So far I haven't. I've been keeping up with my schedule pretty well, but that's about all I've been doing.

I wish I could get a day or two ahead on exercise, too, and skip a day now and then. However, the body does not really work that way. A day skipped here and there, no matter what shape I'm in, will have a price.  Muscles do atrophy.  When I skip days, it just makes it harder to restart. Maybe when I get really in shape, this won't be true any more. Maybe I'll still be strong. For now, I have to be consistent.

Besides, I'm not really in shape to do two days' exercise at once. It's easy to get ahead with the blog; just put in a little more time.  But with exercise, that's a lot more effort. I'm more likely to hurt myself.  So I keep staying on pace, challenging myself but not overdoing it.

At least I hope I'm not overdoing it.  I've been in increasing pain over the last few days. I don't know if I'm coming down with something, or if it's a new food that I'm reacting to.  I've only been eating one new thing, and I thought I read the ingredients carefully, but this whole food management thing can be tricky.  At any rate, I will stop eating that thing, get plenty of rest after  my daily routine, and see if I can shake this off.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Suck in that gut!

I actually got the nerve to look in a mirror in the nude.  Scary!  There's my roll of belly fat, giant legs, floppy arms, saggy...yeah, you get the idea. Instinctively I pulled in my stomach--and my stomach pulled in!  Didn't get rid of the roll of belly fat, but the muscles behind it are working.  Earlier last year I could barely pull it in at all. The following picture is not actually me. (I'm not that brave!)

Middle-age belly fat roll?
This picture comes from a plastic surgeon's website promoting surgical removal of the belly fat and excess skin (tummy tuck).  I admit the "after" picture is attractive, but at what cost?

I've had two c-sections, and as a result, there are two-three inches of my belly muscles that have been cut through and sewn together. I think that's part of what makes my belly sag like this picture--so surgery seems like more of a stop-gap than a solution.  She may look better now, but what about in ten years?  Will the scarring cause more long-term muscle loss? I admit I don't know much about plastic surgery for tummy tucks. I do not know if it even affects the muscles at all, but any surgery is trauma to the body and carries some risk with it.

Then again, maybe the trade-off is worth it to her. I'm just saying it's not my place to judge her motivations. Maybe she has lost weight everywhere else and just needs this to feel good about herself.  Want to see the after-picture?  I'll show you in a minute. But first...

Ironically, the first place I found this picture was on Explicit Gists and was being used to promote home remedies to reduce belly fat!  The title of the picture indicated plastic surgery, so I went digging a little deeper and found the original on the surgery site.

The first site appears to be one of those SEO's* written by someone extremely underpaid.  Not only did they dishonestly use a picture that was originally from plastic surgery, not from naturally reducing belly fat, but they failed to give credit for the picture.  On top of that, they did not even bother to rename it, so their fraud could be exposed. 

It just might be worth it, after I get down to a proper, healthy weight.

*SEO--Search Engine Optimizer.  Brief articles written and posted on sites to promote a product or attract advertisers. They use key words often to attach to links or advertising. The key words are also used often so that they show up in a web search more readily.  The labels on a post may also be the keywords. In fact if you arrived here by accident, it's a good possibility you found it because of some of these keywords. However, I assert that I am not working for an SEO, I do not get paid for my posts from anyone, and the post ideas arise from own personal experience. That is one reason I do not have ads on the page. When I do post links, I do so to give proper credit for using another entity's work or website. This is similar to academic references and citations on a professional paper.

I think I am going to place the words in that assertion in my side bar, so you may just see it twice. Not that I really think anyone reads the sidebar.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

One man's meat is another man's poison.*

The same exercise does not work for everyone. I see this very clearly even within my own family. My son and his girlfriend came to visit and she walked with Leslie Sansone with me, and it about drove her nuts. She does not like the patter. Leslie chatters all the way through, which I find helpful and encouraging, but dear K. did not like it all all.

A daughter-in-law doesn't do yoga, because she says she always hurts afterward. An excess of limberness is a family trait for her; she can easily hyper-extend and hurt herself. Another daughter-in-law has a dog, so she can get her walking in every day with Buttercup.

My husband says he enjoys both Leslie videos and yoga, but this time around I am usually working out alone. He is a college professor, the kind that can probably walk five miles in one four-hour class session, as he paces and gestures and demonstrates lab activities. When he's at home he's generally either doing household jobs or sitting at his computer, but he is losing weight and getting quite toned as well.

I am surprised, but I am actually enjoying working out alone. Some people would rather be in a gym among people. I have also discovered that what works for me can change over time, and then change back. When I first started this blog I was committed to going to a gym often, taking a yoga class, working with a trainer. Now I live within walking distance of a gym, and I'd rather just stay home and work out. I'm just as committed, but I prefer the short walk downstairs as part of my stay-home routine. I guess my loner personality is coming back into play here. And that's okay. It works for now, as long as I am working out somewhere consistently.

*The origin of the saying in the title is, as is often the case, attributed to different sources. Basically, it means that people don't always like the same things, and that's okay.At, it is attributed to the Roman poet Lucretius.  Cambridge dictionary online does not give an origin, but gives the Chinese translation--
--which translates back to English as "Turnip greens differ from each other." if you use Google Translate.  This leads me to wonder if they eat turnip greens in China.  I'm not a big fan of greens myself. gives the date of first recording as 1576, but not the source.  It lists a similar adage as "There's no accounting for tastes"(1794), which leads to the 20th Century American South idiom, "Different strokes for different folks." gives credit to Lucretius, from the 1st Century; (quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum) and says it was later used in English by playwright Thomas Middleton, 1604. (one mans meate, is another mans poyson) 

According to BookBrowse, the oldest reference known in English is in the autobiography of English composer Thomas Whythorne (c.1576), and they add "By the early 17th century the expression is clearly well in use as Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton writes 'Whereby that old moth-eaten proverb is verified, which says one mans meate is another man's poyson. (1604)' " 

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride brings it back to fitness in a blog article about diet and health from 2014. 

We are all different; every one of us is a unique individual. So, 'one size fits all' never works. That is why we have such a bewildering number of various diets being proposed: high carbohydrate / low carbohydrate, high fat / low fat, high protein / low protein, all raw / all cooked, etc. etc.; and the interesting thing is that every diet suits some people and does not suit others. Why is that? Because 'it takes two to tango', which means that there is no such thing as a bad food per se or good food per se without taking into account a very important factor, who is eating it! Not only who is eating it, but what state that person is in.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Yoga with a pillow

One day I woke up with my neck stiff, and it was quite painful to lay straight on the floor. I grabbed a sofa pillow and put it under my head, and that made the exercises possible. After a while they were not painful even without the pillow.  There's nothing like a good stretch and body warm-up to ease away the aches and pains.