Monday, January 31, 2011

Back on track?

I know, I know, shouldn't put the question mark up there...but just being honest. I'm back on track, but it's a balance beam...pretty easy for my large arse to sway one way or the other. And my knee's still being a little bitch...

That pic is the downside to green smoothies...oxidation. Say it with me: OX-EEE-DAY-SHUN. It's where a pretty purple smoothie containing almond milk, blueberries, banana, agave nectar, and kale is rather quickly transformed into something with the color and consistency of septic sludge. Tasted quite delicious, and I'm glad I stole the idea of carrying it in a mason jar, because it makes it easy to give it a shake to redistribute things.....but lord, it was ugly! Also, still need to blend 'em a little more, because toward the end there, it was like drinking applesauce.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taking Stock

Outside: Cool, annoyingly sunny

Inside: I'm a little inside myself today, have no opinion on my interior environment. It's work...think Office Space with different TPS reports. (Evidently going through a slightly apathetic phase...AKA meh...)

Wearing: a slate blue sweater, black pants, black boots...pretty sure I've had the sweater since college...damn!

Creating: Soulemama's hat in white Encore (this one WILL fit!). Also planning to paw through my stash for some of my laceweight that'll work for the Simple Pleasures hat. I've got laceweight up the wazoo, but haven't touched the stuff since abandoning the SSS almost 4 years ago...weird the phases we knitters go through...

Reading: Rereading Integrative Nutrition and probably breaking down and buying it and its companion journal this week...I'm backsliding this week, and the immediacy of the symptoms that result from that backsliding are striking. Low energy, mood shifts, apathy...Right now I'm just feeling bad about myself for doing so (I was doing SO well last week, what the hell happened this week? blahblahblah...gotta love the mental messages we allow to run through the ole brainpan), but the rally is imminent. Also reading Brene Brown, so I can work on ridding my brain of the italicized nonsense you just read.

Going: NOWHERE! Too much to do at home (and DH is joining in, when he can...SUCH a relief!)

Image from here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Food, Mood, and Other Tuesday Topics

I don't care how posed that pic relaxes me.

The cool thing about waking up in a foul mood, is there's nowhere to go but up.

Last evening was prickly...wasn't in the mood for dinner, wasn't in the mood for laundry or dishes, couldn't get interested in anything much. Les and I mirror each other, so he was chatty as hell, which got on my nerves but I managed not to take it out on him, I think...The dinner I did create was overcooked, way too heavy, and acidic. It's pretty easy to retrace my food steps throughout the day and find some other contributing culprits (gods bless my DH and his "because it's Monday" frappuccino splurge, but I have to tell him no more of those suckers)....and what's funny is compared to how I usually eat, the way I'm eating currently can still be seen as improvement. So my good decisions now are illuminating the chinks in my plan, because when poor decisions occur, my body tells me quickly. I'm heartened by this, see it as my body responding negatively in a positive manner. Sounds a bit backwards though, huh?

Larabars are saving my butt...Sunday's errands were performed with only a green smoothie in my system, but I received my giveaway package from Larabar last week and had 2 of those little gems in my purse. Today, I'm brainstorming for where to eat out while I curb my physical hunger with another one.

I can't wrap my mind around a cleanse per se. I get that Clean is a notch better than the old soup diets and juice fasts (got the book out of the library this past weekend), but I also know my body, so I'm hoping to steal some ideas from that program while keeping true to 3 squares.

If I can't afford to attend IIN, you can bet I'll be reading everything I can get my hands on regarding their curriculum in the meantime.

See the Taco Bell story? I rarely eat from there even before swearing off fast food, but this story totally gave me the willies anyway...gotta remember to send the link to DH.

Did grab a few more songs off of iTunes last night, and I'm bringing my iPod to workout with tonight...will need to stay more present in spite of the distraction, as my knees are always questionable; but I think it'll make the workout a pinch easier.

Image from here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Monday

My apologies in advance if you now have a Mamas & the Papas song going through your head...

It feels like nothing got accomplished this past weekend, but I know in fact that the errands I ran and the attention I paid to myself were key...key somethings, factors, how I'm choosing to live and take care of myself and DH.

Woke up slowly Saturday, puttered the morning away. Lunchtime I went to the Y, then the library, then the pharmacy, then Native Sun, so that it was practically dinnertime by the time I got home. But I got in a GOOD workout, stocked up on organic produce for the week, and grabbed a few more books. I'm trying my hand at unschooling myself in several subjects. I tend to think about going back to college to get another degree or two...but my latest blog reading has been steering me in a different direction. Spent the evening reading and knitting on a new hat for myself.

Sunday turned into more of the same...DH was hoping to strike out around 2 p.m. He needs a different hub for attaching the computer, TV, and PS3 so they work together...but his head wasn't cooperating (he's out and about today instead, which is always encouraging, though if he read that, he'd take it wrong). So after spending the morning puttering, I went out to drop the recycling at our localish disposal company and hit the evil-big-box store for dry goods. We're enjoying an in-between paycheck (no bills due and rent can be taken care of on the next one), so it's allowing us to see where we can save and where we can indulge. It was bittersweet seeing that Jack LaLanne passed yesterday; we just invested in his juicer. I cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out the fridge, and did the read-and-knit thing yesterday evening too. It's nice to get back into that, seriously centering.

We're still surrounded by clutter and the calendar ain't slowing down, but I'm glad for the steps I took this weekend...some of my purchases put more in the Goodwill box, while also allowing me to start defining a decor for the kitchen area. Found some seriously inexpensive glass containers for sugar, cookies, etc. (must resist urge to purchase some more, as we really don't have the counter space right now), and decided to order the juicer online to ensure I get black - could've gotten white in store, but black will match my coffeemaker and Kitchenaid mixer. It really is the little things, when you're building a "home" after 12 (almost!) frickin' years of marriage...

It's such a work in progress, and I have to remind myself that even after we move, even after we're in a rental house in or around Charlotte, that there will always be "things" to do, because that's just the way my mind works...I may not write down enough to-do lists, but the stuff that needs to be accomplished piles up in my head, just waiting for its turn. Keeping my swans in a row, as it were, week by precious week, will go a long way toward the fruitition of my dreams.

Image from here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking Stock

Outside: Started out neat...foggy and 30s...but getting up to 70 F today. These kind of days piss me off, the cold...just kidding! my head's pretty much in that image above today...

Inside: Tech support's being's annoying, but not as annoying as the QA guys who talk back and forth to each other...I REALLY need to update the iPod this weekend, so I can listen to something other than rude coworkers while I edit. Whinewhinewhine...

Wearing: Red sweater, purple scarf, black pants and seriously-comfy-and-inexpensive-($12!)-evil-big-box-store boots that I haven't figured out how to tell Husby about a man, they're similar to the boots I absolutely hate that make me look 12, so justifying the expenditure may take a pinch of finagling...

Creating: Well, the blasted green hat was a bust, because I'm a dingbat and did the wrong type of cast-off, so it doesn't fit...can't decide if I'll save it for a gift for a person with a small head (xmas next year for niece?) or frog it...probably the former, b/c I'm lazy and it does look good otherwise. Pic maybe later...will prob start a hat for myself next.

Reading: Integrative Nutrition still (and hoping I can renew it at my library)...neglecting other library books in case I do have to return IN tomorrow...

Going: Sticking close to home, too much to doooo!

I may do away with the Hoping implies that lack of control, and while I don't consider myself much of a control freak (though I'm pretty sure there are those who would disagree), the truth is that things will happen in my life these days because I've become organized and energized enough to make them happen, so what's hoping accomplish?

This weekend, more lists will be drafted, a box or three will be investigated, and some cleaning will occur. I'm thinking tomorrow will be a rest day workout-wise, so I'll hit the Y both Saturday and Sunday. We've had the windows open lately and the fresh air helps in our apartment. I'll do some writing about the move and beyond it. And Husby and I will enjoy the weekend. Not a bad plan at all.

Image from here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

With a nod to Mastercard's ad campaign.....

Discovering the versatility of brown rice: $2.99

Inventing the "shut up and graze" salad for lunch: $1.99

Drinking water all afternoon with ease: $4

Discovering you don't even enjoy the flavor or after-effects of a regular candy bar anymore: PRICELESS!

Images from here, here, and here respectively.

Mental musings of a potential yoga convert

So I was planning to hit a "gentle yoga" class at the Y last night, but at the 11th hour, something about bending over repeatedly in public in workout gear stabbed at my self-esteem and I decided to do yoga at home instead. Quite cowardly, I know, but as it turns out, it was a success and then some, thanks to Husby who, as I was digging in the dining room for my Yoga for Arthritis book, commented, "why don't you see what yoga workouts are On Demand?" I checked and sure enough, there were several, including a beginner's workout, which seemed the wise place to start considering it's probably been years since I've contorted my body to my Kathy Smith (it's VHS, for gods sakes!).

Never mind the fact that those DVDs and practice vids never take enough time during poses.....I've never attended a real yoga class, but I imagine it as being similar to how Tai Chi looks, where you find your center with a couple of breaths in each pose...a slower process than you see on most media. But another advantage of working yoga from home initially (for me) is in the fact that the workouts do require some adjustments for my body type. I'd have felt like an elephant on roller skates in a Y class. I'm a plus-sized woman with flat feet, knock knees, and weak knee joints. As I was being shown poses, some I was able to do fine, some required me to use my yoga blocks (hey, whaddaya know, they DO hold my weight!), and some required me to find the stance and then adjust my balance further so that I was feeling the stretch properly without doing damage to something. Since you're supposed to do yoga in bare feet, poses like Tree become a cross between laughable and challenging, because your balance/center of gravity is in quite a different place than the skinny broad showing you the pose. When I finally suck up my courage to attend a class, I'll probably add to my freak status by leaving my shoes on, so my orthotics can at least help a little with the balance issue (until I can invent yoga socks with built-in orthotics for flat-footed people...there's gotta be a market for that).

Sidenote: interesting...REALLY good notes on Tree pose in Yoga Journal's website (and all other poses probably, gotta check)...don't feel so bad anymore about my inability to get my leg up there.....

Anyhoo, I slogged my way through the workout, kind of half-assed, because as I mentioned, the dang thing doesn't allow a couple of breaths between poses. But I was getting the gist of the moves, finding my center, not hurting myself. Was pretty drained afterward, felt like a real workout (duh!). And two funny things happened...

I'm vegging in front of the TV last night afterward, watching Dragonfly, because i don't have the patience for anything else that's on at that particular time...and as the movie's finishing up, the tears are streaming down my face. Yea, it's a powerful movie that gets you thinking about death (which naturally gets me thinking about Dad), but this wasn't about that...I'm pretty sure it was a toxin release from the yoga. And this morning, my body felt different, taller somehow...kicking my legs out of bed in the morning, they didn't feel like mine; they felt like a cross between a daddy-long-legs and a ballet dancer. Which is hilarious for someone like me, because then you catch a glance at yourself in a mirror and sigh, but still, the strength and energy I've had today is something I'm VERY interested in repeating. Tonight I'm doing cardio at the Y, but Thursday night is going to be more yoga. I think I may be finally hooked.

Image from here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Pinch of Seasonal Affective

I'm backwards...we've had grey weather here the past couple of days, and I'm pretty sure I'd feel better about it if there were snow on the ground. It would seem more normal. Not saying I want to move back to an area of crazy snow...if I do get us further north than Charlotte in the years to come, it'll be a damn gradual undertaking. But this grey, 50s F, occasional rain's a snore. Feels like what northerners feel in February, that "geez, winter's taking its time" mindset. Can't complain about the rain though; it keeps the spring forest fires at bay. Seems weird for a tropical state like Florida to get forest fires, but it happens.

Sorry, just wandering mentally, not a whole lot to report, but felt like blogging. Worked myself exhausted last night: went to the Y and then came home and did laundry and housework. My knees were killing me by the end of the night (stair work on top of Y, b/c laundry is a room at the front of our apartment complex), but I feel good today, like I accomplished stuff, and of course, the mornings run easier when lunch and the coffee are already prepped. It took a pinch longer to get to sleep last night, because I didn't have as much wind-down time, but it was a good gauge that I can get things accomplished in the evenings (with a little TV distraction in the background).

Keeping a close eye on what goes into the bod this week, tweaking recipes and practicing eating presently, with less or no distractions (you know, so you actually notice the food going into your basic, it feels idiotic, but when you're a recovering overeater/grazer, it's really important to take this step). Going to have to do some extra cooking, because DH thinks his diverticulosis is acting up, which means less rice for him right when I'm using it as a staple in my meals. I can already tell I'm going to feel bored and a bit deprived with my uninspired salad at lunch (green leaf, northern beans, dressing), but I'll supplement with granola bars and make do til evening, when I'm thinking of putting together a smoothie to power me through a gentle yoga class at the Y. Didn't lose or gain last week, so determined to do the former this week. Funny how muscle aches make you feel more alive.

Image from here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Food & Mood

Been making some very important discoveries lately regarding the above subject header...

When people talk about food and mood, they're usually referring to emotional eating. But digging further into the physiological responses that create emotional's eye-opening. It's more than "oh, I'm hormonal, that's why I'm craving salt..." or "oh, I'm having a bad day, that's why I need that candy bar." It illuminates how intricate a machine the human body is, and how giving it the "right" fuel goes a long way toward optimal health.

I put "right" in quotes, because of course, there is no one right way...there are diets upon diets out there, all claiming to be the ONE to make you thinner, healthier, happier, etc. Atkins will make you drop weight fast, but you're depriving yourself and it's high in fat; macrobiotic is great, if you're Japanese and already used to eating seaweed, but it's also depriving and high in sodium; Bob Greene is oh-so-well-rounded, so long as you have piles of willpower.....the list goes on. But reading things like Integrative Nutrition and Hannah's blog are giving me "aha" moments in my own eating, that are reshaping how I look at food and, thank goodness, changing my mindset so that I'll never "diet" again.

(See, this is why blogs are so our society, if a female weighing 2½ bills makes that claim in public, she's ridiculed right into a retraction. When peer pressure is allowed to dictate what and how you eat, it's time to reprioritize your thinking. Why in the world would you eat for anyone other than yourself? Digressing...)

I've been a bit more cognizant than some of how different outside factors affect mood, ever since I found out about my lithium deficiency. Helps me see my personality quirks and how to hold the yuckier ones at bay in public (ex: I fidget something fierce when meetings run too long and I'm off lithium). But how food actually, physiologically affects brain wasn't making enough of a connection.

Earlier in the week, I was eating better...oatmeal for breakfast, beans with rice or a big honkin' salad with neat stuff added, like beans and apples with a light dressing, for lunch. Also, drinking so much more water, I'm a peeing machine. I was burning the damn salads so fast, I was still physically hungry after eating them, but I was also feeling over-the-moon healthy...great mood, more energy, and that feeling of doing right by yourself. Also an interesting indicator that my metabolism isn't nearly as slow as I give it the excuse of being.

So yesterday, my mood was off in part because the cold here in Florida caused a power outage as I was getting ready for work. Which meant no coffee, scrambling in the half-dark to throw together lunch, opening and closing fridge door faster in case outage turned into an all-day thing, and no electricity to improve on my lunch choices (was going to splash some beef broth on beans and rice to give it flavor). So I inhaled a bowl of cereal, not enjoying it, just eating it to ward off hunger (never mind that it's plain old Kellogg's, which I'm close to swearing off of for a while, b/c I can't stand contributing to GMO use, but I digress...). So, goof #1: hitting Starbucks on the way into work for a latte ("no coffee? crazy talk! besides, I deserve it! the power went out!"). Then after a grumbly, stress-filled morning, I knew the plain beans and rice weren't going to get eaten, so I gave myself permission to hit Chow Down, a local deli with the best tasting burgers I've ever eaten. I've said before, I never want to know what goes into them; they're just too damn tasty. Eating at my desk (goof #2: should be getting the hell away from desk when I eat), I noticed almost immediately how much better I felt, sinking my teeth into that burger and indulging in their seriously-salted-but-yummy-and-hey! was delicious, it was feeding something inside of me, and my mood improved. Much's looking up.

Fast-forward 45 minutes: I'm nearly dozing off in the middle of a conference call as the food starts to digest. The caffeinated root beer that accompanied the burger and fries is doing nothing to increase my energy or keep me awake. I spend the afternoon slogged down in a food-induced stupor that's so intense, I beg off going to the Y under the excuse that I didn't sleep well the night before, and that's why I'm tired. That part may have been true, but the real culprits were the decisions I'd made, how I'd fueled my body that day.

This post is already too long, but an offshoot of this topic is how the flora and fauna in your intestines could actually be sending messages to your brain to get you to eat foods that are bad for you...I've suffered from intestinal candida overgrowth episodes for years and never put two and two together on that. A post for another time...

The hardest part is saying no to certain foods after a lifetime of saying yes. Was offered Krispy Kreme this morning, and didn't think twice. Not beating myself up for it, but did notice the marked sugar high mid-morning. Lunch was semi-healthy (leftover pork stir-fry - zucchini, broccoli, low-sodium soy...though again, the GMO stats on soybeans have me cringing and hunting for alternatives...and brown rice), but Les cooks the veggies to within an inch of their nutritional value, so it's easier on his lack of teeth. Still tasty, but an hour later, I was hungry again. It was another "aha" moment, that if I want to eat healthier, it is going to require more planning, more separate meals for a while. My version of stir-fry would've been brown rice with beans for protein, zucchini and broccoli lightly sauteed (rather than drowned), but I let him cook because it's easier. Easier is a relative it easier for me later today, scrounging around my desk for granola bars because lunch didn't do its job and I want the energy to hit the Y today, because I'm actually feeling better?

I have so much to learn. I thank the gods I'm in a place where what I'm learning is actually sinking in. I know now I can make the necessary changes to get healthier. It's a fluid process, but it's not unreachable. And the good feelings that result extend so far beyond the numbers on a scale.

Image from here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taking Stock

A bit belated...I usually do this on Wednesdays, but laundry night gets scatterbrained really quick around here. 10 more months until we're finagling a washing machine in house...

Outside: Somewhere between brisk and holy crap cold! It's a good winter IMO, though as I said to Lil Sis the other day: "well, it's not supposed to get above 50, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the idiot natives wearing shorts." Sure enough, there were 2 in the grocery store that night. I love Floridians.

Inside: Heat on, but low...we're trying to keep the bill down.

Wearing: Nightclothes, slippers, hair's up, then it's down, up, then it's down...

Creating: a green hat, not much else. Bought a larger set of circulars tonight, so if I decide to frog said hat, I'll be able to recreate it in the right size.

Reading: Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal (thank you, Interlibrary loan!), some Wendell Berry, Eliot Coleman (need to break down and buy his stuff used at Chamblins)...

Going: celebrating Mom's b'day on Sunday; otherwise, sticking close to home, chipping away at the clutter...

Hoping: I can get things accomplished on Saturday. I can continue to improve my eating habits. I can shake off the grumpies and get my ample ass to the Y. I can forgive myself when the grumpies keep me from the Y. The usual. Pretty glad tomorrow's Friday.

Image from here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Changing rhythm

The weekend was good. The apartment definitely has the feel of bailing out the ocean with a teaspoon, but I cleared out some paperwork on Sunday, tossed old bills into the filing cabinet, and shredded a serious pile of paper. Since the shredder hit the recycle bin a while back after the motor burned out, this meant doing it by hand. Monotonous, but needed to be done...Lil Sis has had her identity stolen more than once, so I'm careful. I skimmed library books and started a hat that I'm pretty sure is going to be too small, but I'm too stubborn to frog it just yet.

The pre-xmas rhythm to my days had taken on a heavy dose of slackerism, as I've suggested in earlier posts (yes, i forgive myself for some of it, because my rhythm was off from Mom's surgery, but still...). Go to work, get home, jump on home computer, goof off for several hours, get off computer and switch to TV. Both computer and TV performed in semi-brown stare. The curse of not being responsible to anything much but yourself. Definitely could use the growth of a small human or another animal in the house, to get the damn hedonism outta our philosophy.

In the new year, I'm making the effort to keep that garbage from happening (the hedonism, not the small human growth). I need to get to the Y more; I'm still not quite back up to good with that. And there's SO much to do with the apartment, that I really shouldn't only work it on the weekends...I should be doing little things in the evenings in my so-called wind-down time.

I'll be making fresh lists for myself this week, and continuing to forgive myself. Example: I got up on Sunday with every intention of cleaning off the bathroom sink area; it's a serious clutterpile, especially on my side. I got going on other things instead, and it still hasn't been touched. Perhaps tonight. But in the meantime, I've been keeping a clean kitchen, I'm eating better, and my home computer time has dropped. All very good things.

Eating better...they've been replaying Food Inc. on the PBS channels here. A good reminder for me as I change my eating habits for the better. I'm hoping for a shot at grass-fed stew meat on sale at Native Sun this week, so I can make a crock pot stew. I'm eating more salads and beans, and trying some more Larabars (yes, Lil Sis, the fat grams are high, but you can't knock the ingredients). I'm having to integrate these changes carefully, as our budget doesn't allow for all the changes I'd like to make. I did a nice shop at the evil big box store last night, and was blown away by the prices. You have to resist grabbing stuff to stock up, because the damn prices are so good. It so pisses me off to have to engage in a buying practice that's only serving to feed the worst philosophies of the food industry, but with our budget, it just can't be helped yet. Baby steps. I don't live in an area yet where it's all that viable to be eating only locally anyway, so you do the best with what you've got. In the meantime, I make small changes, read labels and price tags, and it's becoming automatic, knowing what foods are NG.

Sidebar: I should really dig out Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle again for a refresher course on seasonal eating. The landmines in the organic industry are just as hard to navigate as the regular food industry. Trying to eat more fresh fruit, in part because the frozen stuff seemed expensive, and found blueberries on sale at Native Sun, so I grabbed them for my oatmeal and cereal breakfasts. Only to figure out at home that they weren't hothoused in Naples, FL, but rather distributed from there after being shipped from Chile. Which only makes sense, since blueberries are a May to June fruit. Grr...!

And I'm still not going to worry about losing weight. The first 6 months of my Y time, I didn't lose a pound, but I gained muscle. This was because I wasn't eating properly at all, so only the exercise was doing its job. I'm going to continue to eat good food, recognize my emotional eating and portion sizes, get back to the Y at least 5 days a week, and the weight loss will take care of itself.

Image from here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Taking Stock

Outside: Soggy and cold...wasn't expecting it to be this cold; it's nice. Normally love the rain, we're always half in drought in FL, so can certainly use it...but I'm not loving how city drivers become impatient idiots in it. My driving's gotten just a wee bit more defensive since the accident. Reminds me of junior year; I wrecked the family car 4 days after getting my license. The rest of the school year, I'd get home and Mom would take me out driving, picking narrow roads on purpose, working the fear out of me. I'm awash with gratitude just thinking about it.

Sidebar: I don't normally pick a word to try to shape my thoughts of a year around, but I'm pretty sure 2011 is gratitude. Just keeps cropping up in my writing...

Inside: Cool...we're keeping the windows open. Loving the new bedspread!

Wearing: Fleece sweater (what I call a woobie with sleeves), jeans, and the boots that make me look 12. I'm doing laundry tonight, which means going outside; otherwise I'd be wearing the new slippers, which came today. So comfy!

Creating: New meal ideas, not much else yet. I have plans for some uncreating...there's at least 2 UFOs in my knitting that are going to hit the frog pile this weekend, I think. I just don't see them being worked to completion, and I have ideas for other projects with that yarn.

Reading: The New Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman, with some Huck Finn on the side. Hearing the story of the latest attempts to censor the book got me curious...I was forced to read it in 8th grade, which means I got about 6 chapters in and fudged the rest, earning my C with flying colors. I'm determined to read it through this time. Also, looking forward to some magazine purchases this weekend: Mary Jane's Farm, maybe Mother Earth News, and I'm subscribing to Hobby Farms.

Going: Visiting at some dear friends' on Saturday for knitting and noshing...otherwise, sticking close to home, hopefully getting little things accomplished.

I don't wanna do "Hoping"...that implies a lack of control, and right now, I'm in the present and savoring it. I'm not exercising tonight, because I had other tasks demanding my attention (and I'm hormonal), which are helping me feel centered (domestic crud: dishes, laundry), so I'll do some yoga stretches in a bit. I ate dinner tonight with a teaspoon, so that I wouldn't hoover it...even though it wasn't anything special or even particularly flavorful (pintos with brown rice and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette). I've been drinking water during the day, and I'm back to cognizance where my eating is concerned...eating for hunger and energy, rather than emotions. It feels damn good.

High point: Tried my first Larabar today and was surprised at how tasty they were...I'm in the middle of the peanut butter chocolate chip as a mid-morning snack at work, and I find out I won a pile of the minis and a t-shirt from MamaSpace. What a shot in the arm that was, and a delicious package to look forward to, that will keep me eating more naturally. Thank you, Hannah!

Image from here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New. Year.

Random thoughts as I engage the new year.....

I think I want to become a tea drinker more, just so I can make myself one of those tea bag holder thingies in the picture...

I'm not sure I can remember the last time I felt this good. This alive in the brain. Was sometime in November, I think, before Mom's surgery. Talk about your lessons in feeding yourself physically, emotionally, the whole dern terribly American mind is always looking for the quick fix, that "this" book will make the difference, or "this" website...forgetting that it takes conscious effort and some hard work to find balance. Have I really been out of balance for 2 months? Was I actually in balance before then? Who the hell you kidding, Melanie? My version of it maybe, but goodness, we've got some work to do.

Why has it taken me so long to see how my grumpiness when I get home from work is in direct correlation to how smithereened we've let the house become? And then I passive-aggressively take it out on Les, when I'm angry at myself. Les and I joked yesterday about the complete lack of fung shui the place has.....but it's a HUGE neon sign staring me in the face. I'm pretty sure it reads: "isn't it time to dig yourselves out?"

(We were joking about the feng shui, because of the immense pile of crap we have to trip over in the house just to get out to the porch to chase away the ducks, who recently decided it's mating time again and that our porch is a potential location for this endeavor. I will NEVER make that mistake again with feral creatures. On the upside, it got me out there to clean and start organizing, after they completely trashed the joint on Sunday morning.)

I joke that my cleaning sprees in the kitchen settle my brain. But then I finish and avoid everything else around me with the computer or the PS2. And wonder why I still feel like crap.

Turning on the TV is a choice. So is turning it off.

Excellent example of how things need to change was last night...came home late-ish, had FINALLY gotten back to the Y (thank the gods! SOSO glad to be back on track with that). Given my size, I'm working slowly back up to where I was 2 months ago, plus I was trying working out without my knee braces (so far, so good...kept me listening to my body). Threw together dinner for myself, which we won't even discuss, because it's horrendously bad for you...and then jumped on the computer (under the guise of recording said workout, only to then spend 2 hours on the damn thing playing on FB and lord knows what else). Berated myself for being on computer so long (especially given I spend 8 hours on the damn thing at work), so finally signed off....where I then went into the bedroom, walked right past the highly informative and interesting pile of library books next to my chair, and instead turned on the PS2 and "settled my brain" with Mah Jong until exhaustion kicked in. If someone could explain to me the difference between playing PS2 and playing on the computer, I'd be eternally grateful, because rereading this paragraph has me feeling like quite the flaming idiot.

Avoidance of what? Life? Still? You're frickin' 41! Time to knock that shit out and make some deliberate, positive changes.

This goes way beyond my utopian dreams of finding my little patch of land. It's about keeping a clean house that's decorated simply, that isn't so filled with boxes and furniture that the cat's going batty. It's about eating meals at a table with chairs. Letting go of some acquisitions, finding uses for others, shaping others to better fit our needs.

It's about not having the TV on 24/7. That's not an exaggeration; my DH falls asleep with it on. It's about discussing this with him, instead of passive-aggressively turning it off on him when he falls asleep. I could see myself doing that, instead of communicating; thankfully this isn't a mea culpa. I spend so much time inside my own head at work, I don't even realize I'm boxing him out by not talking enough when I get I'm sometimes competing with the damn TV (or he's competing with the damn computer). These are things to work on, together.

I'm grateful I had the dough to buy a few things this past weekend. Simple stuff like a notebook for lists and some of those handheld expandable files. I told myself they were for the move, but I have a feeling it's going to stretch beyond that, to organizing the ways I can chip away at the apartment and our lifestyle and shape it into something more manageable. And maybe, just maybe, engaging DH's help and ideas, instead of just directing him. I'm a terribly bossy broad sometimes, and he lets me take that role, which can't be the best dynamic for a husband and wife.

I'm s...l...o...w...l....y shifting back to healthier eating. Drinking more water, getting back off soda, thinking before I graze. Found a water bottle at the evil big box store that's an absolute dream. Seriously. Wanna go back and buy 3 more and put 'em in a box with "FOR WATER ONLY" in big letters on it (most of our water bottles are tea-stained...Husby's a sweet tea addict). Not-so-thankfully, we're back to our usual level of poverty, so I have to think before I purchase.

And I discovered Mama Space (yes, yes, I know, this'll sound like another website solving everything, which I cautioned myself against just paragraphs ago...hey, at least I'm cognizant!). It's a serious goldmine. I'd love to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, but that's not an attainable goal for the near future. In the meantime, I'm so grateful to find folks like Hannah, who are willing to give so much of what they've learned to help others. I've spent the morning trolling her archives and can't wait to try recipes, get the heck back to Native Sun, and think, think, think about the ideas presented on her site.

Man, I'm glad to be back in this place in my head, where ideas swirl and dreams flow :)

Image from here.

P.S. We got our car back!!! Rental has finally been turned back in! It's so darn pretty now, I may never want to put bumper stickers on it again!

More gratitude...that that blasted fender-bender wasn't one shred my fault. The damage came to something like $3200; we have new front and back bumpers and a new trunk lid (Lesson #406 that makes me miss one bangs anything out anymore, b/c it screws up the crash test rating or something; it just gets replaced. I loathe our throwaway society.). Anyway, they also fixed the alignment (a bonus) and I'm pretty sure they cleaned out the brakes when they were inspecting everything, because they're stiffer and it's running great. Looking forward to the tax return, so we can change out the timing chain and belts and stop worrying about it for another 75,000 miles...

Wow. This was a long one. Kudos and thanks if you stuck with me :)