Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ain't No Cure for the Summer Time Blues

Some people get very motivated to diet in the summer time. I guess it has something to do with "swimsuit season" and such people live on fruit and cold tea.

I am not such a person (but I want to be). No, for me, summer is the worst, hardest, most difficult of all the seasons for me to lose weight and focus on dieting. Harder than the Thanksgiving/Christmas crush, even. It's just difficult and so of course lately I've been floating around the same weight and not making any progress at all towards my goals, or towards my sub-goals.

This must change. Summer time will always be difficult for me, but I need some strategies. So, today I decided to figure out WHY summer is such a bad zone for me, and WHAT I can do about it. Here's what I came up with:

1. I love that summer time feeling of being kicked back, relaxed, not working quite as hard, that feeling of being "on vacation". And face it folks, monitoring and limiting my eating is HARD WORK and takes ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Perhaps it shouldn't be, but it is.

2. The weather is hot and I want ice cream.

3. It is too hot to exercise. (Well, I have not really been doing that anyways, because I've been sick, but I need to start now that I'm recovering).

4. It is too easy to stay up late and sleep in and lose a potentially productive part of my day that way.

5. Summer time parties, outings, visiting friends, day trips, etc. Events that center around food make me want to say "just this once"...Fall and winter might have Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Summer time has Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, etc. etc. etc. There can be something going on every week if we let it, and our family is not even popular!

OK, so here are my strategies (and I'm telling myeslf I'm going to do this-MUST do this- but I'll be honest and say that it will be HARD):

1. That "kicked-back" feeling? I just need to stuff it and find other ways to relax.

2. My desire for ice cream: I can eather put up with the semi-nasty fat free sugar free stuff (2 points per serving) OR I can budget and carefully measure some of the good stuff. I need to cut down on my sugar eating anyways. OR I can stuff it and just eat fruit.

3. Too hot to exercise: Oh please. I can exercise indoors. At home, at the exercise room, or I can go walk at the mall, as long as I don't buy Godiva Chocolates while I"m there, right? Or I can get up early and go for a morning walk. There's not much of an excuse with so many options. And there's always the pool.

4. Staying up too late: Actually it seems that the early light summer mornings have been helping me to re-adjust to getting up early and then I"m more sleepy in the pm. Avoiding caffeine is key.

5. Parties and events: Need a plan, strategy, formula...half the plate filled with fruits and veggies kind of thing. One serving and no more. Pass on the dessert.

It is a fact that I've been in denial for SO long about each individual little food choice I make making a difference. And at the end of the day I scratch my head and ask: "Why me?" Well, it's because of that little choice, this little bite, that one dessert...multiplied by 365 by 41. It all adds up.

So, Summertime is hard. Truly, if I can get through the summer and lose ten pounds, I will be EXTATIC. If I can get through the summer and lose five pounds, I will be very pleased. If I merely maintain my weight through the summer and start losing again in the fall, I will be satisfied and happy. Because LAST SUMMER I GAINED 20 POUNDS. And that, my friends, won't be happening this year.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Zoo Trip

Today (my parents are visiting this week) we went to the Zoo. It was ridiculously hot and our pace was very slow and we only made it about 1/3 of the way around the zoo before it was time to buy some drinks for everyone (the kids having dumped most of their water bottles over their heads) and catch the trolley to the top of the hill and head home.

Various ones of us (OK, everybody) was complaining of various symptoms of approaching heat exhaustion, despite my constant hydration attempts.

Going home was good. It was the hottest freakin' day of the year so far, I think.

Ah, air conditioning!

How did we ever live without it?

One cold shower some salty chips later, I was feeling a bit better and my skin had lost it's lovely red and white mottled appearance. Dinnner was good, too. I'd had the foresight to cook the vegetable curry before our zoo trip, so all I had to do was heat it up. Rice in the crock pot.

Before all that, in the morning, my mom and I headed to the thrift store because I'd seen some dishes like a set she has there, and we went to check and see if she could replace a plate that had broken. Not only did she find that, and some larger plates, and some clothes, I found an awesome decorative fruit bowl, three more bed sheets (in pale yellow, lilac and black) that will get converted into kid's pajama pants and night gowns, and some drinking glasses that coordinate with some I already own, and three shirts for Wes.

So, it was a very fun day. My family laughed and joked a lot and I realized that not only do I look a lot like my dad, we joke the same way and have similar ways of pontificating about bullshitty stuff that we are merely supposing, as if our suppositions are fact and making a constant barrage of horrible puns.

Ah, family!

Good times had by all.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

More Sewing

Today I sewed two dresses. I decided to challenge myself, and see if I could do two dresses, start to finish in one day. Wow! The serger really speeds things up and since I did both dresses with white thread, I was able to do some of the work "assembly line" style.

At the end of the second dress, I had to go to the store to get the right shade of green thread to do the hems on the sleeves and bottom of the skirt. I also used the green thread for the button holes. I'll have to post a picture of the green dress later, since I don't have one yet. But here is the whimsical read print dress. Again, buttons were from my grandmother's stash.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Thrift Store Motherlode of Fabric

Since I had such good success whipping out this shirtwaist dress, and since it is (surprise surprise!) a decently flattering style on me, I decided to hit the local thrift store and see what there was there for sheets.

Pale green-awesome color on me. Retro looking flower pint-I'm thinking this will need some maroon piping around the collar. Blue plaid-a shirt waist dress for B who expressed a desire for a retro-looking dress herself. And the blue fabric-such a lovely shade of blue. It would look lovely with white.

House dresses, here I come!

Inspired to Sew a Cotton Dress

After a recent discussion on an e-mail list I'm a part of, and the finding of the fabulous sewing blog The Opulent Poppy, I decided to be both thrifty, seamstressy, and retro, and make a 1930's/1940's inspired dress out of a Nautica sheet I'd bought at the thrift store one time. Cost: $2.50. The buttons are from my Meemaw's stash that I inherited a few years ago.

This is the first sewing project I've done where I used my machines almost to their maximum capacity...using the serger where appropriate, and even using the blind hem stitch on the bottom and the sleeves. The ONLY hand work was sewing the button holes. I can practically whip them out by hand faster than I can set up and figure out how to do them on the machine. (I should really force myself to learn but I DO SO love doing them by hand!). This project took about three hours sewing, at the most, and was my first time using the blind hem stitch and my new serger on a garment.

The top part of the dress is the top of the Romantic Blouse Pattern from with modified sleeves. The skirt is a made-by-me narrow A-line. Alas, I did not have enough fabric to make any pockets.

So, without further ado:

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Love Mercy, Do Justice, Walk Humbly...

I'm bothered. I can't get this article I read out of my mind. I saw it on Facebook yesterday, and it is about the minimum wage in Haiti. Apparently, the Haitians wanted to raise their minimum wage from 31 cents and hour all the way up to 61 cents an hour. Can you imagine how good this would have been for Haitian minimum wage workers, to have their wages doubled? Wow. That would have been huge.

But it didn't happen.

It didn't happen because the U.S. State department got involved due to the lobbying of Hanes and Levis, who have garment factories in Haiti.

Oh no! We American's can't possibly spend a few cents more per t-shirt or per pair of blue jeans because those huge companies don't want their profits to diminish. Their profits are in the millions. Billions. Huge.

And we here in America are having such HARD TIMES aren't we, that we MUST have cheap t-shirts and Levis jeans. Such hard times that the U.S. State Department has to intervene (threaten? cajole? Be heavy handed?) in the democratic workings of another sovereign nation where sometimes the poor eat dirt?????!!!!!.

I'm pissed.

I feel like as an American I am inextricably tied up in a system that perpetuates evils here at home and abroad, and that it is nearly impossible for me to escape being part of this system. And as an American, there are SOOOO many pressures to consume, consume, consume. I'm "supposed" to do that. I'm supposed to shop shop shop and want want want.

Being sick, and watching more TV and doing less busy stuff than I'm wont to do under normal circumstances, I've seen lots of TV commercials lately. And the gist of them all is: Buy more stuff and protect the stuff you buy by buying insurance on it. Geico commericals and Allstate commercials might be entertaining (I'd love to see mayhem versus the Gekko in a Godzilla-like showdown, but I digress...), but they are also telling.

And the bottom line is, all this being a part of a messed up system that exploits others is damaging to our own souls, I believe.

And I'm not even touching on the various evils of the food industry...

How do I extricate myself? In what thousand little ways can I stop participating in all of this brokenness?

I wish I were well, and rarin' to go. I would SO like to get up and DO things. But for now, I wait, and think, and contemplate and pray.

Lord, please help me to get my strength back, and show me the way to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with my God!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Mono Blues

I'm really really struggling with the diet this week. I'm SUPER hungry, for some reason. And all I want is icecream and FOOD. Like chicken and lasagna. I know, I can have some. But I'm SO TIRED all the time from the mono that I'm still not over, and I'm wondering if restricting food to the level of actual weight loss is hindering my recovery.

Of course, wondering that, makes me lose ALL motivation to actually try to lose weight. What if I worked on maintaining for a while? I don't want to go hog wild and gain everything back bause it's taken me about five months to lose about 12 pounds. That's really really slow. And I could easily gain that all back in a month.

So I'm scared, and worried and Oh. So. Tired.

I"m at that "giving up" wall. But I can't give up. I won't give up.

I just need to find a way to get better, get healed and get over this extreme fatigue.

I want to exercise but I'm so tired that I can barely contemplate doing one load of laundry. Today was spent on the couch. Except for when I was actually sleeping in my bed.

So, that's me right now. I'm so tired that yes, I had a second piece of lasagna at dinner. And I'm so tired I don't care.