Thursday, November 12, 2009

Long Dry Spell

I've not been writing. I've been neglecting this blog, facebook, emails, etc.

It's been summertime! I cannot be chained to a pc when there's a bright, beautiful world out there!

I've been backpacking, and training for a triathlon.

And I got a new bike! The 2008 Jamis Quest Femme, that I've been pining over, is here with me now. Bobby and I drove to Calistoga to get it just a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, the bike and I were hit by a car after I'd only ridden it a few times. Fortunately, the bike is fine (what craftsmanship!). I am not broken either, meaning I will heal with some physical therapy and patience.

I hope to write more soon,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where've I been?

August is prime birthday season in Bobby's family - his mom, niece, himself, etc. My sister, Beck, is also in August.

With extremely low funds, I've been eating whatever gets thrown my way for the last month, so I've lost only 3 lbs over the last month, instead of my planned 3 lbs per week. Ahhh!

I've been reading a lot in preparation of the 6 weeks of triathlon training Bobby and I are starting TODAY!

I came up with an alternative to the Subway plan that costs much less. It still has the same grams of protein and calories at each meal, while continuing to avoid sugars. I'll start testing it this week. I'm also adding a recovery drink after workouts - 1c chocolate milk per hour of exercise. (I'll be using Nesquik to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup.)

Bobby and I've gotten a bit depressed an frustrated lately because of our lack of funds. We get along fine without money, but it's hard to feel like we're always behind. We don't usually spend much extra money on entertainment, etc., but lately we've had a rough time even coming up with gas money to get us to the lake.

We've been getting over this depression by watching "Lost" and "The Closer." And we've been either running or walking almost every morning.

And perhaps most exciting, we got bikes! Admittedly, these are not our dream bikes- I still lust after the 2008 Jamis Quest Daily. However, we each got a bike at the Davis Bike Collective. Well, perhaps I'm being hasty. Bobby got an in-tact bike with severely chipped paint. I got a rusty frame and a bag of parts. I couldn't find a frame in my size, so I'm using a mountain bike frame and converting it to be a road bike.

We've both sanded our frames down and begun re-painting them. I'm very excited to be building my bike completely from scratch, but it's an elaborate task. And I need to finish this week, so I can do my first ride this weekend... I'd better get back to it!

I hope you're all out enjoying the sunshine.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just Because I Don't, Doesn't Mean I Can't

Lately I've been pondering the instances where people assume that others can't do something just because they aren't doing it. Here's a few examples:

When a couple doesn't have children, traditionally they were believed to have a biological reason that they couldn't.

When people don't have sex, others assume they can't- whether they can't find a willing partner or they have some sort of sexual disfunction, etc.

When a person isn't in a romantic relationship (or married) over a long period of time, people assume they are embarrassed by their sexual orientation or unable to find anyone willing to partner with them.

When a person doesn't own a new car, large house, etc. others assume they aren't capable of obtaining such things. Others think either don't they have enough money or couldn't they get a job that earns them enough money to buy all of those things?

I think it's wrong to assume that people want OR SHOULD WANT these things. What makes society think it's okay to judge people this way?

It's okay to NOT want kids or a large house. As much as it's against my nature, I'll even admit that not wanting sex is okay.

I've seen people flabbergasted when they hear that a couple doesn't wank kids. I've seen utter disbelief and confusion when a person says they don't want a large house full of expensive furniture.

There is an increasing number of people making the decision not to have children. The few authors who have voiced this decision have been attacked as being unnatural, un-Christian, and immoral. That disturbs me.

Not only because I feel similarly, but also because society is pressuring against a choice that was just won in recent history. Am I the only one who remembers Women's Lib, the recent acceptance of birth control, and the highly contested right to an abortion. (That's right- I said abortion, instead of 'choice'- I'm a realist.) Women have the right to choose against children, marriage, huge mortgages, etc. So do men.

These choices are all closely tied to environmentalism. These against-the-grain choices all can have huge positive effects on the planet. Having children and building a home are the two biggest ways people negatively affect the environment. Perhaps we should be applauding people who stand up and make these changes.

I'm not arguing that everyone has to make these decisions - I'm arguing for the choice.

Excuses, Excuses

OK, I've been missing-in-action for a while. I was sick, then Bobby was sick, then we went backpacking while he was still sick, then we got sunburns and mosquito bites that made us both feel sick for another week or so. That catches you up to last week. Then I just took a week to get into my old habits, such as contributing to this blog.

I still need to update you on our weight loss: Bobby has been sticking to losing 2-3 lbs/ week, but I've been failing miserably. We've been out of money and eating whatever we can find, which often turns out to be junk food. My losses have been hovering at or below 1 lb/ week. I also haven't been drinking much water.

This past week I've gotten back on track with exercise and water, but we still don't have money for Subway. We took a gift certificate to Target, where I got Cliff Builder Bars and Top Ramen. At least I'll be back to my Subway targets for protein and calories.

I've been jogging a little more each time, every other day, to get ready to start the triathlon training. My last "practice jog" before the real training is on August 15th. I'm hoping we'll start back on the Subway at that time, too. If I don't step it up, I'm not going to make it to 155 lbs by triathlon day, September 27th.

Wish me strength!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Clear your path to joy with Unclutterer.

I know that I've already mentioned, however, please allow me to shamelessly plug it again.

July 10th's post answered a question put to Erin, about how she finds time to do all that she does. Her answer follows. I hope that this post will inspire you improve areas in your life. I believe that happiness comes from diligence and attitude. This list should help you give direction to your diligence.

  1. Purge clutter, downsize, and minimize. The less stuff you own, the less you have to clean, store, maintain, manage, protect, worry about, stress about, waste money on, forget, and pick up. Have the minimum amount of stuff for you to be comfortable. (This level is different for everyone and you’ll have to figure it out for yourself.)
  2. Organize what you choose to own and use. Your home and office don’t need to be pristine museums, but you and the people who access the same space/items need to be able to easily find things when they’re needed. Order is better than chaos, and order saves you time and energy.
  3. Commit to a streamlined routine for the mundane tasks in your life and be disciplined enough to maintain that routine. If you do 30 minutes of housework a day, your home is never chaotic. But, you have to be committed to these daily activities (dishes, laundry as needed, things put back in place when finished, kitty litter scooped, etc.) and not put them off for another day. The same is true for work; you have to stay on top of the necessary tasks or they will haunt you. I also think of this item as taking responsibility for the things you choose to own.
  4. Determine what matters most to you. Make a list of the people, activities, and things in your life that mean the most to you and then spend the vast majority of your time focusing on these items. Be honest with yourself, though, and put on your list what really matters to you, not what you think should matter to you.
  5. Remind yourself that even if you live to be 100, life is short. There is no better time to live your life than right now. My life’s motto is carpe vitam, Latin for seize life. It’s morbid to think about, but someday might not ever come. Stop putting things off until tomorrow.
  6. Say “no” to what doesn’t matter. If an activity or responsibility isn’t on your list of what matters most to you, say “no” to it. Learn to say “no” in such a way as to not be a jerk, but say “no” when you need to. This is where I greatly differ from most people because I don’t feel guilty about protecting my time. And, as far as I know, most people don’t think I’m a jerk because I’m clear about why I’m declining offers and invitations. (”Taking a yoga class with you would be fun, but Wednesday nights are date night with my husband. Is there a similar class we can take together on another night?”)
  7. Enjoy being industrious. Working provides us with the resources to take care of the things that matter most. Whatever you do for a career, make sure it is something that you enjoy (even if just minimally).
  8. Get rid of everything that is toxic in your life because toxic things are clutter. Toxic people and habits suck up resources and energy. I was an avid smoker until I calculated how much of my money, time, and energy were going into my smoking addiction. No matter how gifted and talented, I avoid employing, working with, and spending time with people who are toxic. A toxic person can waste your time and mental energy faster than any other form of clutter.
  9. Live within your means and save money for retirement, rainy days, and adventures. Get rid of your credit cards and only use cash or your debit card. Live on a budget even if you don’t need to be mindful of your spending habits. Have a retirement account, and two savings accounts — one for emergencies (refrigerator died, fender bender) and one for splurging on what matters most to you (vacation, rock climbing lessons, a camera to capture your child’s first steps). Buy quality instead of quantity. Be a smart consumer.
  10. Take risks and be brazen. A second motto in my life is ad astra per aspera, which is loosely translated as to the stars through difficulty. (It’s also the Kansas state motto.) Great things might fall in your lap from time to time, but for the most part you have to get outside your comfort zone and initiate something new. Have you always wanted to learn to play the flute? Get your hands on a flute and start taking lessons. You’ll be really awful those first six months (or year or five), but you’ll never learn to play the flute if you don’t take the chance and try.
  11. Get adequate sleep. Keep a sleep journal and find out how much sleep you need to function at your best. Then, make sure you get that amount of sleep every night. When you’re well rested, it’s easier to stay calm, be productive, and focus on what you need and want to do.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Slip.

Bobby and I each lost less than one pound last week.

Possible reasons:

1. I was sick last week - my bronchitis & asthma & allergies knocked me back to bed for at least half of every day.

2. As a result of #1, we only walked one time - 4 hours on Sunday.

3. We ate Baja Fresh one day. However, I had Grilled Mahi Mahi Fajitas, which were about the same calories as my regular sandwich.

4. The 4th of July, Subway was closed. I ate quite conservatively and feel confident that I didn't overdue it. I had some pineapple, one half of a hamburger, 10 chips, a chicken leg, and a salad with no dressing.

5. Bobby had some cake and whatever else he wanted.

6. We ate a package of klondike bars - Ohhh! I regret it so much! I thought a few extra calories would help me get over my cold, alas, it did not.

So, my conclusion is that the lack of exercise was the primary problem.

This week we've yet to weigh ourselves, but here's what's been going on:

I've been just as sick as last week. I haven't been exercising much. I've been in bed. I've been eating normal (read: bad) food. I ate a box of Life Cereal. I've had Chicken and Nectarines and Watermelon and Skinny Cow Ice Cream Bars.

None of this has helped my lungs. I've been somewhere between drowning and choking for over a week now. This morning I feel a little better, so I guess upping the medications and my water is finally working.

I'll eat a salad today with some edamame. I had chicken and corn earlier.

Maybe Bobby and I can get in a few good walks before this week is up. The walking clears my lungs, but after 15 minutes at the tennis courts with the dogs, I was desperate for my inhaler and felt near passing out for an hour afterward.

I think we're getting back on track and steadily dreaming of road bikes.

A minor slip, really, in the grand scheme of things.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Got teeth?

I lost another 3.4 lbs. this week! That's good enough for me.

I also went to the dentist - finally! The last time I had insurance was in 1999. I only went to the dentist once since then (2003) until now. Not for lack of trying, of course. I've jumped through every hoop I could find to get to the dentist, but every time I failed. Only now, after getting on Bobby's insurance and finding a wonderful dentist office (David J. Berg, DDS) have I managed to get in.

Yesterday they cleaned my teeth and examined my teeth. I need my wisdoms removed, 6 cavities filled, and a deep cleaning (also called root planing). Luckily my insurance maximum for the year is $1750. I won't spend that much unless I have them put me out during the wisdom removal. I can handle to be awake, right? I think so.

In reality, I'm the lucky one. Bobby's teeth need lots of expensive work that will take over 2 years of insurance to cover. His mouth is more sensitive than mine, so the treatments are more uncomfortable for him. Also, he's always disliked going to the dentist. At least he likes this dentist and the whole office, as do I. I'm really grateful for our insurance and the opportunity to go to the dentist.

Smiles all around!

[Added after Bobby came home from work this evening:]

Bobby just came home. His work sent around an email that they are changing their insurance plan on August 1st. We're both very distressed at this news. And why didn't they tell us earlier? They say that they'll pay the same amount, but our dentist isn't a "preferred provider" for the new company, so I think we'll be paying a lot more than we were planning. We don't want to change dentists... we just managed to start working with this one... and we like him a lot. This sucks!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The American River Bike Trail

We started the morning at the Bridge Street Bridge near Sunrise Blvd. We knew today would be a scorcher, so we took our hike early in the AM. We walked about 3 miles each way and I'm now carrying 16 lbs each trip. I was so warm by the end, I couldn't help dipping in the American River just before we got back to this bridge.

I'm hoping that I'll get some practice hiking on uneven terrain and be up to 20 lbs within a week or so. I don't hardly notice the weight of the pack anymore, but I do notice that I'm hungry the day after a long hike.

If we continue to cover 2 miles of the bike trail each trip (4 miles total), we'll have covered the whole bike trail before we go backpacking. This assumes we continue to hike every other day. Not only does it get me ready for the trip, but we've been mapping out great places to swim and hills to climb during our triathlon training. I'm so excited.

Cross your fingers for big numbers on the scale tomorrow!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Last Sunday I added another 2.4 lbs to my weight-loss total. So, I finally lost more than the previous week: this gives me renewed hope.

Bobby and I also went up to check out our triathlon course. .6 miles looks like quite a distance across the Lake at Lake of the Pines! We'll have to start swim skill training a bit early to be ready by September.

Our camping group met at a park and went over our pack lists. We also practiced setting up the tent, convincing several park-goers that we were all homeless and planning on sleeping there for the night!

Our walking trips to prepare for the trip have all been along the Sacramento Bike Trail. We start each day where we left off the previous trip, so now we're all the way to Haggin Park in Rancho Cordova. I think we'll eventually see all of the Sacramento Bike Trail, but it will take a while. 2 hours per trip or about 7 hours per week only gets you so far when you're packing 16+ lbs with you. At least I know I'll be ready for the July 17th trip!

Happy Trails to you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bikes, Packs, & Plans

I've been keeping myself quite busy over the last 10 days or so planning the backpacking trip & looking at bicycles, but more on that later.

I failed to update you on the June 7th & 14th weigh-ins: I lost another 3 lbs, then 2.2 lbs and Bobby lost 3.8, then 4.2 lbs. That brings my total loss to 18.4 lbs and Bobby's to 18 lbs. Not bad for 4 weeks, huh?

The only problem with this is that I've lost less each week than the previous week. That scared me a bit, so I've come up with a plan: I'm going to force down my 67 oz of water each day and I'm going to train - for the backpacking trip 1st & when I get back - for a triathlon.

I'll train for the trip by walking 90-120 minutes 3-4 times per week and I'll carry a little more weight with me each trip to prepare me for my pack. As of yesterday, I'm up to 13 lbs at the beginning of the walk - I drink water throughout, so I'm down to about 10 lbs by the end of the walk. I don't have far to go because I reduced my pack weight down to about 20 lbs. Part of reducing my pack included getting down to a super-light 40 liter pack by Go-Lite: woo-hoo!

For the triathlon, I'll be following the Phase II plan in "Triathlon Training in Four Hours a Week" by Eric Harr. (Thanks, Dad for buying this book for me a few Christmases ago!) It will take me 6 weeks to train for the sprint triathlon in Auburn, CA on September 5th. This will be on the Saturday before I turn 31. Now that's a great present to myself - completing a triathlon. As I've said in the past: I'd rather be rich in experience than rich in stuff.

However, my training will come with a nice package of goodies: I'll need a bike or I'll need to modify mine to work. I'll need weekly massages or chiropractic care. I'll need Birkenstock inserts for my running shoes. I'll need to go to the dentist to deal with my chronic tooth pain. I know most people don't see dentist visits as a goody, but I will find much relief there!

As for the bicycle, I cannot find one to work with my short frame for under $800. In reality, I'm looking at a minimum of about $2,000. So I might have to build one myself, which will have to wait until after the triathlon. Perhaps as my reward for reaching my goal weight around 130 lbs.? Or I can get one from Terry Bicycles. They have spot-on design. And they have old models for about 1/2 off!

I only know this because I've devoted nearly every waking hour over the past 4 days to researching bicycle design and selection. I now know all about the angles on a bike, the anatomy and nomenclature, the philosophies. I've read all of the forums and considered all of my options. I used to love to ride my bicycle, so I had to meditate on why I haven't enjoyed it as much as an adult. I've come to the conclusion that I'm in too much physical distress to thoroughly enjoy my rides because no bike fits me well.

That's all for now. Next weigh-in tomorrow morning!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Experience This!

No news on my weight-loss. I'm following the diet, but struggling with drinking all of my water.

Bobby and I've been struggling to deal with something that happened a long time ago, so stress may reduce my loss this week, but we'll see.

In an attempt to deal with my slightly depressive state, I've been working on my Summer 2009 Soundtrack. Songs always take me back to the time and experiences that I had while listening to them. I mean, if I hear a song that I used to listen to in 1995, such as Creep by Radio Head, I remember some intimate moments that took place in Bobby's Ford Ranger on the way to Camp Sacramento, which is where we both worked in the summer of 1995

Songs also can change your mood. For this reason, I frequently try to focus my music collection on upbeat, happy songs. I always throw in a few angst and vocal songs for good measure.

So, as I've gone through my music lists, I remembered 2 things: 1. Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill remains one of the best albums of all time. 2. Pink Floyd's album, Dark Side of the Moon, was expertly adapted into a laser light show at the planetarium at DeAnza College in Cupertino.

Today's blog comes with this message: You've got to go see Dark Side of the Moon at the Laser Light Show. It is worth the drive or flight. Even if you don't care for this album, it is perfect for creating the whole experience with the lasers. This experience will always rate as one of the highlights of my life.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Weigh-in #2

It's one thing to stick to a plan when it's new and you're totally focused on it. It's another thing when you've created new habits.

Sure, it's easier to remember not to eat between meals. I still get hungry and have to resist eating outside my plan, BUT I'm no longer in the habit of going into the kitchen to look for food. (That always led to grazing, anyway.) In fact, I don't have to think about the plan much at all anymore. I'm in the habit of finding active things to do instead of eating, etc. But this is a new kind of dangerous territory.

Now I'm bored. I'm not constantly planning strategies and enacting them. I'm just bored. I want to sleep the day away. Admittedly, this is partly due to soreness from walking over 2 hours yesterday, but it's more than that. School's out and I'm chugging along in the right direction, but what should I do with myself? What can I fill my mind with?

I lost another 3.6 lbs last week and that brings my total to 13.2 lbs. - not shabby for 15 days! I'm happier now that I'm more active and lighter. Bobby is complimenting me regularly. I guess I'll just throw myself into clearing out our apartment - our home needs to lose about half of it's weight, too! And I'll plan the backpacking trip. And I'll plan a jogging route. I'll be fine, right?

I want to push to lose 4 lbs this week, so I'll drop below 200. However, I really need to just keep plugging away and not push. Hopefully the housework will keep me busy.

2 confessions: I've not been drinking all of my water & I cannot stand eating ham sandwiches anymore... I guess I'm going back to my old stand-by: turkey. I've also eliminated the mayo.

Wish me luck getting down to 200!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Are you an Unclutterer?

Have you been to yet?

If not, I'm devoting today's post to convincing you to try it.

This post was shamelessly stolen from from May 21, 2009:

An unclutterer is someone who chooses to get rid of the distractions that get in the way of a remarkable life.

These distractions, also known as clutter, can be:

  • Physical. You have things you don’t have use for, things you have too much of, things that are out of place, things that don’t inspire you, things that you don’t want. The things you do want are disorganized. You’re overwhelmed by stuff.
  • Mental. Worries, stress, and anxiety about things you can’t control or things that could be solved if you were better organized.
  • Time. You have too much to do and not enough time or desire to do it. Or, you’re not managing the time that you do have well. Things that matter to you are pushed aside by busy-ness.
  • Processes. You’re not working to the best of your ability or don’t have processes in place to handle routine actions. You’re spinning your wheels.

What is the clutter in your life? How would your life be different if you chose to get rid of the distractions? Are you an unclutterer?

Monday, May 25, 2009

1st Weigh In

Well, I weighed myself for the 1st time since starting my new weight-loss plan. On Sunday morning, I weighed 107.4 lbs. That's a loss of 9.6 lbs over 8 days. (Remember I started a week before on Saturday.)

I certainly don't expect to lose this much every week, but this is a great kick-off, isn't it? I was drinking more water than usual, so I'm confident that this wasn't a loss of water weight.

Bobby's been following a similar plan, except his sandwiches have more calories and he has some additional food: oatmeal for breakfast and a few snacks like a handful of sunchips. He also ate the 3/4 of the chipotle burrito that I didn't eat. He lost 8 lbs. More significantly, he's wearing clothes that didn't fit him a week ago.

We've been swimming and walking and doing regular activities such as working on vehicles over the long weekend (Memorial Day). This is more exercise than we've been getting lately, though not much more than we were getting before.

I hope we have a few more phenomenal weeks like this one before we settle into the normal 1-2 lbs per week. It's rewarding to see a significant loss like this during the 1st week or two, when it's the hardest to adjust to new habits... Trust me, Bobby & I've been hungry!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Plan for Desolation

I'm officially back on track with my health plan. I've been only eating my Subway, but it's taken a few days for me to work back up to my 67 oz of water. I figured out that my water filter in the fridge had a few things in it - grass, etc. that was making the water taste bad, so Bobby put in a new filter and I'm doing great.

Bobby is officially a Smith, because now he's swimming like a fish. He's doing flips, laps, the whole bit. We even bought him his own goggles. I couldn't be happier.

In fact, I'm experiencing true bliss. I'm not filling every corner of my mind, and every second of my time working on my Master's project, so I'm free to just be happy... and I am. Maybe it's because I feel lighter. I don't officially know if I've lost any weight, but I'll weigh myself tomorrow and then we'll all know.

Part of my healthy lifestyle includes incorporating fun, healthy activities into my life. So, I'm planning a short back packing trip. I've been talking about it for a while, but now I'm really going for it. We've already invited Tina & Cory (our niece & her boyfriend) and we have people in mind for our other 2 slots.

We'll go to a special spot, just outside of Desolation Wilderness, which is in Northern California. Bobby and I went on our first backpacking trip here, and it will be the first backpacking trip for each of our 4 companions, so it should be perfect. I might even see if my little brother, Matthew can come. We'll all be sharing a tent and meals and I hope we'll even do some solo time in the wilderness. I'm so excited!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Diet Fail, Home Office Success

Okay, I'll admit that I've slipped a bit the last few days. Yesterday I had 100 calories of whole wheat waffle, didn't drink my water, and didn't swim. The day before, I had 1/4 of a chipotle burrito, didn't drink my water and didn't swim. I was working on my Masters Project, but it's still not okay. I should take even better care of myself in these times of stress.

Now that I've confessed, I'm ready to rejoice! My project isn't done, but I'm taking a break today, so I feel fantastic. I've eaten my delicious subway breakfast and I'm dressed to swim. I have to say it again: I feel great.

While I was working on my project, I designed a small home office for my small house.
  • It is a half circle desk top with the outer edge touching bay windows (in blue).
  • A bit of the flat side of the half circle is carved out and a hanging chair (in red) is mounted on this side.
  • The windows should be at sitting height view and side-tabbed filing folders should be mounted above at standing height view.
  • Also the distance from the back of the desk should be 5 or 6 inches (in green) past the end of my fingers when seated and the cross-length of the room should be 5' or so (in pink), the same size as my arm span.
  • A little table should pull out from under the right part of the desk to give more counter space when necessary (in turquoise).
  • I like a depth of about 18" for the desk, but we'll see.
  • If the office is cluttered (oh, I hope not!), a 5' curtain can be drawn across the opening (in purple). If a person wants privacy in the office, they could hang a curtain a little farther out, so that it would be behind someone in the swinging chair.
I think this is plenty of room for a home office. It's got less open space to get cluttered and it's super-efficient. If the desk top is a solid surface at a low height (I want 22"), you can leave the curtain open and use this as additional seating for the adjacent room.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rich in experience, not things.

My Subway breakfast was delightful. Today I spiced it up with pepper jack cheese, banana peppers, and a small amount of chipotle sauce... Not too spicy, just zingy and fun.

As for yesterday, I failed to finish my water. I have a reason (I'll not make excuses). I had a final exam and my Irish Setter Puppy had entropion eye surgery, so I was distracted. However, I did get in a good swim with Bobby and I did finish off one of my two water bottles.

Today I'd like to point you to my two favorite blogs (for this week, at least): says that it's a blog about getting and staying organized, but I see it as inspiration for simplifying your life.
says that the aim of its blog is to see smallness as a quality worth pursuing in its own right: Smaller is cuter, faster, cheaper, easier, & lighter. I couldn't agree more. This site deals with small things, not just simplifying, so beware of the tendency to want to buy a lot of small gadgets.

I am on a simplifying kick! I've been reading Little House on a Small Planet by Shay Salomon, and I must say that it's my favorite book of all time. I just read a page or two at a time, so I can let my mind go and adjust to the flow of ideas that each story inspires.

I want to live a simpler life that is rich in experience, not rich in things. As I strive toward this goal, I get rid of things I don't need and realize I need even less. Each time I get rid of something, I find it a little easier to get to the things I need. For example, I emptied many of my kitchen cabinets and drawers. I gave away anything I didn't find essential to my life and hoped that I would make someone else's life easier with the gift of things they might need. Now, I don't look for scissors or the right spatula, because they are all hanging there, in plain sight. They aren't under a bunch of other spatulas and knick-knacks.

I am discovering that a simple life is a far more enjoyable life. Under all of the clutter lies an opportunity for new experiences and a better existence.

I'll be off now... I need to get back to daydreaming about how I'll build a simple, small home with my own hands.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why am I starting this blog now? (Weight Loss)

Hello & Welcome to my blog.

I am starting this blog now because I want to log my weight loss journey as I go.

Here's what's been going on so far-

I have weighed about 170 lbs since high school except when Bobby and I had problems back in 1999 and I got up to 201 lbs.

When I hit 201, I started eating just one 12" subway turkey sandwich per day, divided between 3 meals and I ran for 18 minutes a day. I also walked 20-30 minutes per day to get to the running track and back and lifted weights in the evenings. I got down to 159 in just a few months.

Then I moved back to Sacramento and my weight creeped back to 170, despite trying to eat well and exercise regularly.

I was stable at about 170 until recently. Over the last few months, I just spiked up to 217! It started with joint pain and as I was more careful not to hurt myself, I became less active.

With extreme resolve, I have emptied my kitchen. I started back on my diet of just one subway sandwich per day 2 days ago. [Details - I let myself have mayonnaise and cheese on it, so I'm probably around 800-900 calories per day, depending on if I get a veggie or a chicken breast or ham sandwich.] This is enough for a person who has about 80 lbs of fat to lose. My body can tap into its fat sources if it needs more. I certainly don't advocate this diet for someone without any body fat! (Do you hear that, Body! You'd better toughen up and start using those fat stores!)

I've been drinking 67 oz of water per day by filling my 2 stainless steel bottles up in the morning and making sure to finish by bedtime. Drinking the water helps quell my hunger pains, as does exercise. I've been swimming to gain some strength without hurting my joints, but when hunger strikes at 7-10 pm, I stretch or do small exercises like squats, calf raises, dips, etc.

Despite feeling hungry, I feel better already. The diet has kept me from my usual stomach aches and being on a plan somehow gives me hope. I now only have to focus on waiting until my next meal - I don't have to stress over what changes I need to make.

I've already lost a few pounds, but I'll try to stay off the scale for a while. Hooray! I'm doing it!