Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I quilt

I never used to admit that I quilt because I thought it made me seem old, (and I don't need any help in that department) until I realized that I know more quilters who are younger than me than are older.

I'm going to be periodically sharing a quilt that I'm working on for my BonnieBlue. I'm following a tute on A Few Scraps (see My Blog List on the right), and this is going to be a way to keep me accountable. It's a tute about free motion quilting. I've only made 3 quilts, and I free-motion quilted 2 of them. I think I did pretty well. One was hearts, the other, meandering. I want to try big loopy flowers. Here is a picture of the quilt top I'm going to use for the tutorial.

It's a scrappy quilt. The middle row is made up of a bunch of great fabrics I used for a friend's baby quilt. I just kept sewing them together until I ran out, then I squared them off and sewed them together. The top and bottome rows are larger pieces from the same quilt, sewn together. I'm not so much into  making quilts with elaborate patterns, though I think I am going to give applique a try soon.

This one still needs a border. I've got two large swaths of fabric to choose from. one will be the border and binding, the other will be the backing. One is a gorgeous sunflower fabric, which I'm leaning towards being the backing. The other is more of the same of one of the fabrics in the quilt top. See the long strip of yellow in the right side of the quilt top? And the smaller strips in the bottom left and top right? That will make a great border. I think I may cut off some of the sunflower fabric to use as sashing, but I'm worried about the blue in the fabric not really matching the quilt top. It's these kinds of issues that drive me crazy. I'm just not good with color or design. Which begs the question, why do I quilt?

In other news, BonnieBlue had her first day of preschool today, and all went well! I didn't cry, she didn't cry, her preschool teacher didn't cry. Successful first day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keepin' on

After a break from working out, I'm back on track with half-marathon training. I had minor surgery 3 weeks ago, but these past 2 weeks, I did a modified training schedule: This past Tues-ran/walked 2 mi; Thurs-4 mi; today-2 mi. I wanted to do 6 today, to be true to the training schedule, but I was outside and at 8 a.m. it was already insufferably muggy. The bright side is that all miles were within the 16-min-mile criteria. The down side: my shins are killing me!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Trying new things

One of the things I promised myself on this weight-loss journey go-round was to try new things. This month - yoga. Yoga is hard! Sore next day; a good sore. I used the Yoga for Dummies video. If you're new to yoga, I highly recommend it.

Rhett handed me the Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruz and asked me to read it and do it with him. I tire of low carb diets, though Cruz doesn't specifically call it low carb. His focus is on reducing sugar. Frankly, I find suspect any diet that asks you to restrict fruit. I also suspect any "diet" that encourages dairy (especially butter, cheese, and sour cream) and animal fats (i.e., meat).

Here's the thing: In his rationale, Cruz points out that our long-ago ancestors (he called them Stone-Agers) had diet needs that evolved due to the availability of certain food items and since our bodies haven't changed, our diet restrictions should be based on the Stone-Agers diet. And that's why we should not eat sugar, he says. Because other than a few berries, Stone-Agers didn't have access to sugar. Well, Jorge, I say the Stone-Agers didn't have access to cheese, butter, sour cream, yogurt, etc. either! If we're to eat like the Stone-Agers, we should be eating berries, tree fruits, lots and lots of grains and nuts in their whole-food forms, and (every couple of months) lean grass-fed meats.

I do think it's a good idea to reduce sugar, though. I'm going to try that.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Going the other way

Today Rhett and I went to IKEA. He was in a rebellious mood, so we went through the store backwards. Not walking backwards. We started at the steps that go downstairs and went against the grain, walking the opposite way of the arrows on the floor and 99.9% of the other shoppers. Every once in awhile, he would point to an arrow on the floor and say something like "What are these arrows for?" really loudly. I was both amused and embarrassed.

We bought 2 flexible red cutting boards (to mask the blood), a 4-pack of dishtowels, their delicious ginger cookies, and a wooden step stool (needs assembled) for our Bonnie-Blue.

We ate in the cafeteria. The swedish meatballs are surprisingly good. I think their chocolate mousse cake might very well be the best I've ever had. Their swiss apple cake and mashed red potatoes are not so good, and the buffalo chicken wrap was bad. Rhett said that the lignonberry juice he added to his diet pepsi was nasty, but the jelly that came with the meatballs was tasty.

So here's the thing about IKEA. It's a place to buy relatively crappy furniture that you have to find, load, and assemble yourself. And people love it! Sure, some hate it, especially those who have tried to get missing parts (you can't), but you'd never know we're in a recession if you spend a Saturday at one of these stores. You know why? Because they have lots of kind of cool stuff!

And they have these "pods" of living spaces, fully furnished, that look kind of cool. I mean, I have no decorating sense what-so-ever, so that might be why I like the stuff. Seriously, an IKEA-decorated room in my house--any room in my house--would be a 100% improvement over what we have going on. Ours is best described as poor-college-student-make-do-with-whatever-you-can-find-shabby-but-not-quite-chic. And we haven't been in college for quite awhile.

I tire of our "decor." If Rhett were to die tomorrow, the first thing I do after the funeral is hire a decorator and spend part of the insurance money make this place comfy-cozy. Why not now? Not a priority for Rhett.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A week of Success

I have food issues.

There, I said it.

I'm addicted to food.

The thing about food is that you can't just give it up. I used to be addicted to alcohol, but one day I decided: No more. I gave it up. I haven't had a drink since October 31, 1996. It was a beer, by the way. A bottle of Bud Light.

I fully recognize that not everyone can just walk away from his or her alcohol addiction. Some need more help than I had. I used a new church community as my support group. Some may need something more structured, like AA.

But anyway, no one can just walk away from food. That's why weight loss is such a frustrating journey for food addicts. Alcoholics know that you can't just have one doesn't work that way. The trick is not to take the first sip. The same principle doesn't apply to food addiction. You can't NOT take the first bite. So it's about controlling the behavior as best you can:

-Getting all the junk out of the house
-Not waiting until you're famished to eat
-Not eating 'mindlessly' (e.g., while watching t.v., reading the paper, in the car, etc.)
-Starting a meal with something healthy (e.g., soup, raw veggies, etc.)
-Eating lots of fiber and whole foods; eliminating processed foods

There are all sorts of emotional issues intertwined with my particular food addiction. I'm working on working them out. Until then, I'm content to attempt some behavioral control, which includes a regular excercise program. I'm trying to train for a half-marathon: Last week, I ran/walked 2 miles a day on Mon, Wed, and Fri. I consider this to be a success, despite the fact that it is far below my performance levels of just 5 years ago.

You have to start where you are.