blogging, Crafting to lose weight, enjoying family, finding balance, Finding old friends, fitness, following your dreams, Friendship, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, optifast, setting goals, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Starting at Square Two

 

Being a stay-at-home Nana has been a joy 99.999% of the time.  I wasn’t able to stay home with my daughters when they were little, so it’s been amazing watching Baby C unfold from a tiny preemie to a big boy.  However, as triumphant as watching each milestone was, there was part of me that had to hugely adjust to being home with a baby all day.  After all, my daughter’s schedule as a resident physician can only be described as grueling.  Her 16 hour a day shifts, coupled with my son-in-law’s odd work hours, often left me watching him for much longer than a traditional work day. Things happened that I didn’t imagine.  Any sort of routine or self-care schedule that I’d established basically became non-existent. I became a greasy haired, yoga pants wearing woman, in an oversized spit up covered tee-shirt.  My food plan of five small high protein meals per day dissolved to grabbing whatever seemed semi-edible from my fridge or pantry  Exercise, beyond walking and bouncing a wailing baby, went out the window, as did, reading, blogging, hanging out with friends, crafting and most things that I’d used as a substitute for overeating.  I began speaking fluent Sesame Street  (not a bad thing) and forgot how to have an interesting conversation. Though my snuggle and love ratio increased, my weight management plan rolled out the door like a trashcan full of dirty diapers and I gained weight; 35 pounds to be exact.

I’d committed to watching Baby C his first year of life, however finding just the right daycare didn’t happen until he turned 18 months old.  As soon as he began his first week there, I scanned my closet for something non-grubby to wear and went directly to my weight management physician and to the weight management trainers at the wellness center. Last week, I entered a comprehensive weight maintenance program and yesterday my weigh-in revealed a 4.5 pound weight loss! I’m proud of making progress and even prouder that I’m catching myself before my weight spirals too out of control.  Having to lose 30.5 pounds sure seems more doable than my previous goal of nearly 100 pounds.  Fortunately, instead of starting at square one, I’ve glided on to square two!

Life is a constant recalibration to find the perfect balance. I’m still spending plenty of time with my awesome grandson, but it’s more quality than quantity.  I’m back to making glass art that’s more intricate than before. I’m back to having time to nurture my relationship with my husband and friends.  I’m also back to posting on WordPress and, oh-so-hopefully reconnecting with the wonderful friends I’ve made on here over the years!

So, friends, how have you been? 🙂 

 

 

Appreciation, blogging, Having fun, Thankfulness, Writing

Thankful to be up to my elbows in Mr. Clean!

Is it the smooth, perfectly shaped head, or his piercing blue eyes that make me love him?  Could it be his self-assured smile, or the mystery of why he wears that earring that keeps him on my mind?
Is it the smooth, perfectly shaped head, or his piercing blue eyes that make me love him? Could it be his self-assured smile, or the mystery of why he wears that earring that keeps him on my mind?

Yesterday, I overheard two ladies in the checkout line at Target lamenting their holiday to-do list. With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, I’ve been up with the roosters (not that I actually have roosters in my suburban sprawl) cleaning like a little maniac today. Am I complaining?  Heck, no!  This is my favorite time of year.  Not only do I adore the actual holiday of sitting down to drink wine and pig out with friends and family, I thoroughly enjoy the days leading up to the actual holiday.  I’m a planner, a list maker, and a checker-offer.  Placing a well-deserved check-mark next to “launder kitchen and bathroom rugs,” or “scrub living room floor,” is almost as satisfying as taking that first bite of perfectly roasted turkey.

So today, I’ll be up to my elbows in the lemony scent of Mr. Clean, enjoying the smell of freshly washed throw rugs, and savoring the sight of a spotless home.  Tomorrow, I’ll be shopping and Wednesday, I’ll be ironing table clothes, baking, and prepping everything that I can, so I can best spend time with my guests on Thursday.

I promise, as I turn up my speakers, so I can hear every mellow note of Bing Crosby’s Christmas album, that there’s a smile on my face and not a single grumble in my heart.  I’m truly thankful for the process and the busy moments that lead up to our holiday celebrations.  I could go on and on about it, but my old buddy, Mr. Clean is reminding me that my coffee break is over!

Are you like me and enjoy the preparation as much as the event?  If you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, what are your plans?

blogging, Daily Prompt, Food Addiction, Having fun

Whatcha eating? Um..er… I mean who’s playing?

 

What's at your concession stand?  (Logo taken from Wikipedia)
What’s at your concession stand? (Logo taken from Wikipedia)

Sports have never been a big part of my life. However, in my youth there were two things that would make me say yes to a well-timed invitation to a game.  The first was the social aspect of it.  As a true extrovert, I loved being immersed in a crowd and reveled in the electric connection of it.  It was inevitable that there would be others near me in the group happy to chat about anything  other than the action on the field. There would also be people happily engaging in my other sports associated love, and an indicator of my future food addiction,  the concession stand.  Though, I didn’t even tip the scales at 100 pounds as a teen, I probably enjoyed a defensive lineman’s portion of concessions and still equate ANY sporting event with the food served there.

Raised in a nearly sugar-free, organic household, the opportunity to indulge, and over-indulge, in field-side treats like hot

Don't hate me because I'm such a sweet fashion statement. (Photo courtesy of oldtimecandy.com)
Don’t hate me because I’m such a sweet fashion statement. (Photo courtesy of oldtimecandy.com)

dogs, burgers, nachos, and pizza, filled me with giddy glee. All of this fatty delights were washed down with a healthy, or perhaps not so healthy, bottle of strawberry, orange, grape, or cream soda, from the local bottling company right in my town.  After a super-sized entrée, it was time for dessert.  Jumbo Pixie Stix in grape, cherry, or lime filled me with just enough sugar to bound back to the line for more.  Reese’s Cups, Mallow Cups, banana taffy, cinnamon lollipops, and fireballs would be my next course.an  I’d also adorn myself in the occasional candy necklace.  For those of you who have never indulged in such a decoration, as an adult I’d tell you you’re really not missing out on much, but as a teen this creation that featured sugar beads on an elastic string, was candy and fashion nirvana.

The majority of my refreshment stand escapades were completed at my local high school’s football field or baseball diamond. However, once a season my father would load my brother and I in his truck and travel to nearby Baltimore to watch his beloved Orioles play.  My brother would don his black and orange cap and jersey and empty his piggy bank to purchase pennants and t-shirts.  I’d empty my own porcine money keeper and put on my loose-waisted eating shorts. Once there my brother would concentrate on catching foul balls with his well-worn Little League mitt. I, as usual, had little concern over the

Smells like pizza!  I guess he is sort of cute, too. (Photo courtesy of Topps)
Smells like pizza! I guess he is sort of cute, too. (Photo courtesy of Topps)

playing skills of Brooks Robinson or Boog Powell. My eye was on a different aspect of the game. With our diet not being a major concern of my father’s, I hit up the concessions for cheesy pizza slices bigger than my head and gigantic Coca-colas, disproving my mother’s theory that Coke’s only use was medicinal.

As I grew into still svelte womanhood, I still associated sports with food.  One college weekend when I participated in an event that required my spending time with Cal Ripken, Jr., back when he still had hair. My friends enviously wanted every detail of what he was like.  I remember him as being very engaging and nice, however, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to craving cheese pizza and a super-sized Coke the entire weekend.

Though I’m not much of a sports watcher, I’m delighted to see so much coverage of the World Cup on American television.  My husband and I both have friends and coworkers who have immigrated from countries where soccer/football is their most popular sport.  While I smile at our country becoming more inclusionary in its athletic coverage, I also must admit to finding delight in the pondering of what all of those mighty soccer fans may be ordering at the concession stand!

blogging, Crafting to lose weight, Daily Prompt, enjoying family, Exercise, Having fun, love, memories, Uncategorized

Longer Days Mean More Fun

Today’s Summer Solstice marks the advent of my favorite season, and I greedily bask in the extra hours of daylight offered by Mother Nature this time of year.  I assure you it’s not just my sixteen year stint as a teacher, with glorious plans for three months off, that makes me love this time of year. It’s a complex plethora of sun-glassed, Coppertone scented, watermelon stained, wet-bathing suited, grill smoked, play-till-you’re- exhausted reasons that summer is my favorite season.

In childhood longer summer days meant:

  • Bare feet or sandals:  As soon as winter withdrew its hideous head, I would begin my long stretch of annoying my mother for the supreme privilege of releasing my confined piggies from their prison of Stride Rites.  Nothing, and I really truly mean nothing felt better than that first moment of cool grass tickling my winter worn feet.
  • Babysitter torture: My brother and I are both blessed with ADHD, which makes us energetic, intelligent, creative, and slightly noisy.  We were your typical babysitter’s nightmare.  However, after going through quite a few summer sitters, my working mom, finally hired Cindy.  She taught us every card game known to man and seemed to find us equally entertaining.
  • Best friends: Summer was the time of weekend sleepovers, day trips to museums, zoos, and other attractions.  Most often, my brother and I were allow to bring a friend or two.
  • Swimming: I spent hours upon hours in the deep end, until the purple dusk enveloped me and mosquitos swarmed.

When my children were young the longer days were:

  • Sleeping in until at least 8 am: No 5:45 am alarm,  No little girls fighting to sleep a little longer.  No force hair brushings or messy ponytails.  No “take one more bite of oatmeal.”  Just sweet, sweet, wonderful uninterrupted morning slumber.
  • Daily visits to the park: With no yard at our apartment complex part of our summer day routine was the park.  Friends to play with; monkey bars to climb; swings inviting us to reach the treetops; other moms to chat with; these were all found within the wrought iron gates of our tree-lined park.
  • Crafting: Money was tight, but we were creative.  Fabric paint and buttons made old t-shirts new fashion statements.  Everything from embroidery, to painting, to making bouncy rubber band balls filled rainy summer afternoons, or days too hot for little girls.
  • Reading:  My fondest memories are those of two freshly washed, sleepy faces beside of mine as we read together Heidi, Pippi Longstocking, Harry Potter, Mrs. Pigglewiggle and so many more beloved stories.  There was no set bedtime, but by sunset, I always  carried two sleepy, worn-out girls to their own beds.

Now, longer summer days:

  • Never seem long enough: Perhaps I over plan, but I seem to be happily busy with something from dawn to dusk. I always settle into my bed at night wishing for a few more hours to enjoy the glory of being awake and alive.
  • Are filled with extra love: From the morning snuggles to the goodbye kiss from my husband, to the time spent with my daughters, and friends.  I feel so completely encapsulated in the good people around me that it’s hard not to be joyful.
  • Still mean crafting: I always seem to find something new to get into; needle felting, painting, jewelry making, glass cutting and resin projects fill my time.  Today I plan to cut some glass rings (from bottles) for my window hanging projects.
  • Healthy living and more exercise: From fresh summer fruit and vegetables , to long swims and walks.  My summer days keep me healthy and active.
  • Mean more fun, happiness, and splendor: Because I’m pretty sure that’s what summer was designed for! 🙂

Does my love of summer days make me dread the inevitable setting sun?   Nope, who could ever be disappointed in this:

Sunset over Currituck Sound (Photo by me)
Sunset over Currituck Sound (Photo by me)

 

 

What’s your favorite season?  What’s your favorite summer activity?