Monthly Archives: November 2019

Flexin’ on the little things

So I’ve been laying pretty low lately, but I wanted to write about some small victories I have been experiencing.

  1. We’ve had the Peloton bike since early October and I’ve been using it regularly. My wife told me the other day she notices that the bottom part of my butt is looking more defined! There’s nothing like an unsolicited compliment on progress being made.
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Sunday morning ride!

It’s hard for me to gauge my weight because I keep moving my scale around our bedroom. Our bedroom floors slant, as does our ceiling…so in one spot I am 144 lbs., in another I’m 152. I believe I found the spot where it can live now long-term so I will be better able to keep track of what’s going on.

I have not been tracking my food regularly for the past week. I’m back feeling like My Fitness Pal is too tedious and it’s been especially hard when the past week I’ve eaten out frequently due to a cluster of family birthdays. I can easily see how people gain weight when they travel or work a lot and rely on take out – holy shit. A lunch out can easily be a day’s worth of calories in just one sitting; even more so if you order a cocktail (as I typically do).

I used to be a personal trainer and a group fitness instructor, so this information is not really new to me. It’s just that it’s no longer an abstract concept I’m explaining to my busy clients – it’s my own life, too. Same with trying to juggle kids and an exercise routine; I never pretended to understand that when I had no children myself and found myself battling excuses with people. That was always my weakness but I get it now. It’s no wonder that people were frustrated with me telling them that finding 3 or more times per week in their already limited schedule should be easy.

I have no idea if I fit into my jeans significantly better or not ~ I’m actually a bit afraid to try them on after all these birthdays and cake. Weird, right?

2) Learnin’ how to do my hairs and stuffs.

Bought one of these twisty hair straightener/curler things and I love it. There’s a small learning curve but overall it’s super easy for non-hair-talented people like me. My sister also recommended some hair products so that my tresses don’t become too stressed with a lot of heat.

3) I’ve made three sales this month – two at the Schenectady Trading Company (one while I was there visiting!), and one on Etsy. It gives me warm fuzzies to feel that people loved what they saw, bought it, and now it’s at their home giving them warm fuzzies.

That’s really it for me. I’ve been sleeping well – sleeping more – and getting some sunshine in during the day, even though it’s cold. I’m optimistic about this winter season and what it will bring for us all.

I have a BIG goal this winter!

I kind of got away from my public declarations of my monthly goals in my blog somewhere in the summer time. However, up until November I was keeping track of them in my calendar book. Small or large goals – whatever. I like having a mantra for the month to focus on.

October’s was “Organize” and November is a big bag of silence. I’m thinking that is perfectly okay as the silence is allowing me the space to think of what I want over the entire winter season. What I want is pretty easy…

IT IS………

MORE SLEEP!

For real though. Winter has come for New York’s Capital Region like a giant frozen fist and I’m 100% here for it. It’s dark at 5 p.m. now. I don’t think I want to fight the urge to slow down and sleep more; I think I want to give up and just embrace it (reasonably).

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It’s only normal for our bodies to react to the change in climate. People want to believe that we aren’t affected by things like the weather and the phases of the moon because it sounds “hokey”, but do you know when the fishing is the best? Do you know when the deer are most active? If you don’t, ask a fisherman or a hunter. Humans aren’t as different as we’d like to think.

So I want to go with the flow here this winter and sleep more. Listen to my body and when it’s tired, rest. I want to slow down and do less.

Do less, visit more. Stress less and enjoy more. Create more. Read more. Have more fires in my fireplace and enjoy the snow falling, napping if I feel the need to, caring less about thing that probably should be done. Love more. Bullshit less.

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I really enjoyed my time in my studio over the past weekend finishing up the above vase. It is not up yet for sale in my Etsy shop, as I need better daylight for its official photoshoot. I painted this while devouring the movie Winter’s Bone.

You know, just kickin’ back, in no real rush for anything. That’s how I want my winter to be.

 

 

Inspiration from everywhere

This morning I woke up after a pretty thick night’s sleep ~ I do my best overnight thinking it seems when I’m OUT like a light! (Thank you, Nyquil!) But it was a continuation of my thoughts from yesterday – am I wasting my time? What am I doing with myself?

My crafts aren’t really selling and I spend a lot of time making, thinking, doing, trying, reading, strategizing. I’ve had one sale in the Schenectady Trading Company over the past two months and I have a feeling that soon she’ll ask me to remove my items because why should she let my items take up space if they aren’t hot sellers? I couldn’t even blame her should this be what happens.

My friends, my wife, customers that walked by my booth at the craft show on October 26th all have positive and wonderful things to say about my art. My wife says I just haven’t found the right audience. Maybe I just haven’t found my “thing”.

It all takes a lot of energy. However, I really enjoy the actual making of the things so I’ll continue to putter along with it but I think I need to step back and think more about goals and dreams I have cast aside over the years as I jumped from one interest to another. Weird Glass Art Studio isn’t going to be my big break away from the 9-5 life.

My entire life has been this intricate weaving of various goals, interests, projects, lifestyles, social groups, career paths, jobs, achievements and failures. Scribble across a page randomly and that’s been my 36 years on earth in a nutshell. I’m well aware that I’m an acquired taste as a person – I have this constant life to-do list that is likely exhausting to a person who isn’t on the same wavelength. I wanna do all the things. All the time.

As the years go by, I become more and more introverted and less likely to share anything about myself – my interests, my hobbies, my bucket list that doesn’t ever grow smaller – only larger. I’ve become conscious of judgment about it and the sneers behind my back. I still do whatever I want but I’ve become much more quieter about it.

Last week, I started my novel. Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve dreamed of being a writer. I consider myself a writer now, along with various other things…but I really want to have a work published in my lifetime. I wrote a few paragraphs and read them over and over (because that’s what I do – I want everything to be perfect) and became discouraged and put the project down temporarily to reconfigure my idea’s starting point. Where I truly want to begin has formed and after this blog, I’m going to put pen to paper and I’m going to make it happen.

I’m feeling extra inspired because I went to the eye doctor’s office this evening after work. This may sound weird and dull but turns out…

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…my new eye doctor is a newly-published author! How freakin’ cool is that? We had a really nice and energizing conversation about writing and the end of the world. It’s so true – inspiration can be found all over the place. He has a boring “adult” job (sorry, Bill!) and obviously has this huge creative streak outside of that life that probably not a lot of people assume that he has. I mean, how many of us are on auto-pilot in our day to day lives and don’t stop and consider that the person checking your eyeballs probably has a very full and interesting life, too? How many of us think about this with people who serve us coffee or deliver our mail?

Anyway, pen to paper.

 

 

2 weeks on My Fitness Pal – here’s what I’ve learned ~

I have been very back and forth for years on the MyFitnessPal app. Years. I’ll be all on fire about it at the start but then after a few days, I find it to be tedious and I give up. I seriously hate logging every little thing but the reason is that no one likes to be accountable for all the things they eat and drink when they are trying to get their shit in order.

I’ve been logging now for two weeks – which I think is the longest amount of time I’ve stuck with it. The first week I didn’t really make any changes to what I was doing. I was observing as I logged everything –  resentful that I was over my calorie count every single day. I can’t expect that simply by logging my intake that I am going to magically fit back into my skinny jeans comfortably. It requires actual change on my part.

So, week one I basically logged my food, made small changes in a half-assed attempt to stay within a calorie count generated by MFP, and enjoyed seeing the numbers on the scale dip a little. My skinny jeans did fit slightly better, but still not where I want to be.

Week two I cared more, but not obsessively. I have found that logging everything I plan on eating for an entire day either the night before or in the morning helped me to not wander off too much. It also makes me feel like I’m not a slave to my phone all day long by constantly having to update it whenever I have a snack. Plus, having this “plan”, it allows me to make adjustments on the fly when I need to.

I also learned that the set up of my daily eating no longer served my current lifestyle. For years I would eat a big breakfast, a slightly smaller lunch, many snacks, and a small dinner – dinner being the smallest meal of the day.

Seeing how that strategy consistently left me with only 100-200 calories every night for dinner, I realized I needed to flip that all around. We are a family that eats together every night. This means, inevitably, larger dinners. So I am conscious to eat a lighter breakfast and lunch, while keeping my snacking in order, so that I can enjoy a fuller dinner with my family. I love that we eat together at the table every night we have the kids ~ I feel like not a lot of families get to do that anymore; it’s a privilege.

(Potato-quality photos are what we get when it’s before sunrise in my bedroom.)

I am feeling pretty great! I am so much less bloated and am feeling better in my clothing. I took the above pictures this morning because when I saw myself in the mirror, I really felt like I could see a difference. It’s too bad I don’t have a picture of myself from two or so weeks ago. I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking too many selfies and body-shots.

Another thing that I realized (I say “realized” instead of “learned” – because it’s something I’ve known, but it didn’t actually click until recently) is that a pound of fat is 3,500 calories. In 7 days, simply by overeating every day by 500 calories, you’re adding an extra pound of weight to yourself. By monitoring my intake, I realized how super EASY it is to do that. I can easily grab a few small chocolate candies and be there. Have a milkshake and be there; eat fast food and be there. It seems pretty easy to eat a handful of this or that and think it’s not making a big difference when it actually IS if you’re doing it every single day.

So, although I don’t have a goal weight in mind – I’m going to keep on with what I’m doing because I don’t feel deprived and I’m making headway.

I am restless – so let’s talk about the end of the world.

Going on Day #4 of this restless, unhappy-ish mood. It was amplified this morning in a very odd way; I had some extra time this morning and the weather isn’t all that bad. So, I took Adam for a walk around our neighborhood. I’ve done it a hundred times but this morning felt different.

I saw not a single person out. Cars were parked in driveways and I could hear the  traffic on Balltown Road. But I did not see anyone else walking their dogs, jogging, biking, driving…nothing. It was like I was the only person left surviving in a middle-class suburban apocalypse. It was incredibly lonely and ominous.

I’ve never done hallucinogenic drugs because I don’t need to. My imagination is wild enough as it is; I don’t need to see or hear things that don’t exist. I wouldn’t even touch an edible with a 10 foot pole – been there, done that, did not buy the t-shirt because fuck that.

So, anyway, it was easy to walk my dog through the disturbingly quiet side streets of Niskayuna, feeling like the only person left. The rubber on my sneakers on the blacktop. The rustling crunchiness of leaves being tossed and scraped by the wind. Abandoned gardens; disheveled yards. Cars left to rust. Homes quiet. How many of us would survive the upcoming winter season if we had no access to gasoline for our vehicles and natural gas or propane to heat our homes? What if we all only could rely on coal or wood? How many homes in my neighborhood are actually equipped with efficient alternative means to heat their living spaces?

I have a fireplace but it’s meant for cozy vibes, not properly heating our home. I am certain many of my neighbors have similar set-ups.

There are many post-apocalyptic stories – they star unlikely heroes that somehow survive through the end. They surprise us with their strength and resilience; their resourcefulness and determination.

Would I make it?

I have no hunting skills. I remember how to fish but I don’t have any fishing equipment. I don’t have a super well-stocked pantry nor a root cellar bursting with my gardening bounty. I don’t know how to trap live animals nor salt down the meat once butchered. I don’t have an extensive knowledge about our local edible wild plants. Shit, I don’t have any knowledge about that.

So, no, I wouldn’t. When it came right down to long-term surviving, I don’t think that I could. I don’t know if I would want to. The world we live in right now is pretty violent and the absence of any laws whatsoever would either knit us together or drive us further apart.

The pessimistic, more realistic side of me sees it separating us – every person for themselves and their family. The initial stealing and hoarding of food, weapons, supplies. Even the people who would be preaching for us all to cooperate and help one another would be driven to this extreme me-first-ness, horrified by their actions at first and then becoming immune to it, convincing themselves that the world had changed and they needed to change with it to survive.

It’s a tried and true storyline.

But I suppose that after a while, once the status-quo was established and once the weaker and meaner had died off (because I feel that’s inevitable), the strongest to emerge are the ones who are helping one another. As much as being with other people can be exhausting and frustrating, in a world lacking the amenities and technology we’ve all grown to rely on, we have to be able to count on each other. There’s no more Google, no more Pinterest. Each of us has different talents and different skill sets – we would need to learn from each other on a personal level.

The sad truth is that the majority of us are depressingly mediocre and basic. The luxuries in life have made us this way without our conscious awareness of it. We may be the bad-ass heroes in our mind but when push comes to shove, a lot of us would die of starvation, exposure, idiocy, and lack of true grit. Likely I’d be among them.

I did a Google Search for “November”

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Painting by John Ottis Adams.

…and this lovely painting was one of the results.

It’d be too easy to be like “Wow, November’s here already!? Gosh, where has 2019 went?!” but I didn’t want to do that to yet another month. I’m sure most of us could agree that time goes by quickly – we, as people, are busier than ever and likely don’t stop and notice it all too much.

I want to notice it. I want to enjoy it; I want to get outside and see scenery like what the painting depicts.

I want to work on handmade gifts for the holidays. I want to continue with hot yoga and cycling and overall doing and feeling better.

I want to be aware of the creeping tendencies my shoulders have of visiting my earlobes in times of stress and chaos so I can say to them – hey, relax girl.