24 January 2016

Creative Everyday check in

Despite feeling like I do nothing but exercise, drive back and forth to the Y, and fix/eat food all day long, I have managed to do something creative every single day.  Some days it is more than one thing.
The above mixed media piece is inspired from a dream I had.  The last words I saw/heard in the dream and the feelings they invoked.  I'm still working on my a face a day project, sometimes using photos as guides.
 Day 15, 16 (first time playing with watercolor) and 17.
 Day 18, 19 and 20 (from a photo I took of an actor on TV).
 Day 21 (another from a photo), 22 and 23.  I haven't done the one for today yet.
After finishing the shrug, I was ready to start something that I've had in my queue for a few years. The Lake Country Throw looks like it isn't too complicated but has some new stitches for me to learn.  A bonus is that I love this yarn (James C. Brett Marble Chunky), it is amazingly soft for a 100% acrylic yarn.

Well, that is what I've been up to.  How has your creative week been?

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

16 January 2016

taking steps for change...

As you know, I started walking back in September (I think).  I started out slow and built up until I was walking just over 3 miles several times a week.  I was trying to go for every day and some weeks I made that goal and some weeks I didn't.  A lot of time it was due to very cold temps and/or lots of rain.  At first, I didn't let the rain stop me.  Then it turned cold and well...I got sick.  

Keeping all that in mind, and what I would like to continue to accomplish with moving my body, I decided to take advantage of a perk that came with my new health insurance.  (Actually, I made the decision to change it just so I could use this perk, as my old insurance didn't offer it.)  
 The perk being a free fitness center membership.  I investigated several neighboring centers and settled on the local YMCA.  I'm very happy with it so far.

After spending a few days using the treadmill and wanting to use other equipment but not having any sense of how or when or to what purpose, I broke out my courage and signed up for a personal trainer.  

At our first meeting she made a few suggestions that have already made a big impact.  
I must record every bite of food and drink I put in my body.  I'll be honest, this is hard.  See, despite my size, I'm not one to eat much.  I rarely eat more than one meal a day and maybe a little bit of snacking.  I'm just not hungry most of the time.  

I must also eat at least three meals a day although she wants me to eat 4-5 small meals.  Well, all my meals are small.  I already eat smallish servings.  I've been eating like this for four days and I can't tell you how much food I'm eating.
Well, actually I can.  In order to record it accurately I have to measure everything!  Even if something is a single serving (like that yogurt cup down there) I have to measure it to make sure it is accurate.  Mentally, it seems like a lot of food, but when it is measured it really isn't, I guess.
It seems like I spend a good portion of my day on this.  I'm usually gone to the Y for a couple of hours (that includes the drive to and from).  I feel like it is taking over my life and yet, it doesn't feel like a bad thing.

G (my trainer) says I won't always have to measure. Once my eyes/brain adjust to seeing the sizes it will come naturally.  

I like the Y.  I like the people, the setting, the pool (yes I've swum (swam?) a couple of times and plan to do more.  But... I miss my outside walks.  When I signed up I was only planning to go to the Y when the weather was not conducive to my walking outside.  So far, that hasn't really happened. 

Yesterday, I did my treadmill for 1.5 miles then switched to the bike.  As I neared completion of my 30 minutes (it ended up being 2.54 miles) I almost broke into tears.  There were extra pains in my head (in addition to the viciously monstrous lovely pains I always have) and it all just seemed too much.  I managed to hold it together until I finished and made it to the locker room where I hid in the toilet stall and let the tears silently fall for a few minutes.  I kept thinking it was all just too much and I couldn't do it anymore.
I guess it is a constant battle, this personal war I have with myself and things I can and can't do.  These are all good changes I'm making and they should have been done a long, long time ago.  No one pushed me into this (and I've been pushed a lot over my life) and no one said I had to do this.  This was my choice, my decision and I need to stand my it.  Even if I have to spend every minute of my time arguing with myself, I think it will be worth it.

Time to get my shoes on and head to the Y.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

ps...I know!  Two posts in two days!  Shocker!  :-P  teehee

15 January 2016

Creative Everyday check in

I thought it was time for a Creative Everyday check in post.  Above you can see days 5 through 14 of my A Face A Day endeavor.  I post the individual photo on Instagram each day, but I wanted to share them here, as well.

I've also been doing a lot of knitting.  I finally sat down with my shrug to seam it and finish it off.
 Here it is, all finished.  Please excuse the lighting and the model's expression, she was really tired and she hates having her picture taken.  teehee

I'm working hard on getting caught up on my Scoreboard knit.  I've almost finished week 14.  So I'm only 4 games behind.  Once I'm caught up, I plan to start this throw.  I've been wanting to make it for a few years and finally feel like I can do it.  

That's about it for what I've been doing creatively every day.  What creative things have you been up to this week?

Thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

05 January 2016

Walking into a new year...

Happy New Year!  I hope this new calendar year is starting out well for everyone.  While I haven't been posting here, I have been staying busy and thinking about being here.  (this post is a bit of a catch-up and is a bit long, sorry!)

The Sunday before Christmas I received a call from my mum letting me know that her best friend (for over 40 years) -she's also her next door neighbor- had lost her son.  He was found dead that morning by his girlfriend.  There were no signs of a struggle or foul play so it must have been a medical issue.  It was such a shock, so unexpected and of course devastating for his mum and sister, as well as the rest of the family.  I've known him most of my life.  He was only 45 years old.  Needless to say, my mum was there for her friend and stayed with her over night several nights.  She and I spent Tuesday cooking to feed her friend's very large family after the Wednesday service.  Wednesday was the service, helping to serve and clean up behind the over 30 family members that tucked into her small townhome to visit and support her, then starting the cooking for our family Christmas Eve dinner.  Thursday I was at my mum's early in the day and spent it getting the rest of the food and everything ready for our meal.  We had a nice visit and exchanged gifts and I came home and basically crashed.

On Friday, when I woke up, I couldn't stand on my legs.  They just collapsed under me.  Three days of being on them for 18+ hours took it's toll.  

The weather was exceptionally warm the last two weeks of December and we had tons of rain.  I managed to get back to walking after that crazy week and have been keeping up with it.  

New Year's Eve my friend came over with her oldest daughter and her two youngest children for a nice long visit.  Then on New Year's Day I ended up feeding my mum, my brother and SiL and my mum's best friend.  I had already planned to cook and knew my mum was coming but the other three were last minute surprises.  Luckily I had enough to feed everyone.  We had ham, blackeyed peas (I found the dime!), red beans & rice, collards (from my little garden) and cornbread.  

I went for my latest endo appointment last week and the first thing the doctor said when he walked in the room is: "Are you trying to get rid of me?"  Turns out my A1c was exceptional (5.5) and I'd lost 30lbs since I started seeing him a year earlier.  That sure put a smile on my face.  It also encourages me to keep walking!

Yesterday's blood sugar after running errands in the cold.  

Yes, the cold finally arrived this weekend and while I'm so glad it is here, it makes getting outside for walks difficult.  Sunday was the last Steelers regular season game and also the day my extended family and my mum settled on for them to come see us.  Luckily, the game was televised locally or my brother and I would have missed seeing our uncle and cousins.  It was a nice visit, although I don't really know why we bother sometimes since most everyone had their eyes glued to their phones or ipads.  Even the little one (2yrs old) spent most of it with her face glued to some sort of you tube videos.  Yes, I'll admit I was a bit distracted by the game, but I tried to engage in conversation.  Oh well...our family dynamic has changed and it is something I have to accept.

The good news is the Steelers won, the Jets lost and we made the playoffs!!  :-)

With the arrival of the extreme temperature drop, I realized that some days there would be no walking outdoors.  Yesterday I checked out a few nearby fitness centers and settled on one.
 I went today for the first time (since it was 28 degrees out at 10am) and did my 3 mile walk on the treadmill.  I also did about 5 minutes on some weird machine that sort of glides?  I don't remember what it was called but it was interesting and challenging. (It worked muscles differently than walking)  I don't know how often I'll go to the Y to work out.  I mostly just want to walk outside, but the Y gives me the option to swim, lift weights, take classes and do all kinds of other things.  We'll see how it goes...

I think I mentioned last time I was here that I decided to sign up for the Creative Everyday challenge.  I like that pretty much anything can count.  I can't always spend the day painting or whatever, but I can still meet my goal.  I can take photos, knit, crochet, cook, bake, draw, paint...anything really.  

That's just what I've been doing too, knitting on Scoreboard (I'm on game 13 of 17), working on my crazy crochet blanket and drawing in my sketch pad.  I've issued myself a challenge to do a face a day.  I've been posting them on my instagram account as I complete them.

 Day 1.
 Day 2.
 Day 3.

 Day 4.

I'm having fun, keeping myself busy.  I've also spent some time catching-up on my blog reading.  

I think that's enough for now.  Sorry for the overload.  Sometimes I'm just not able to sensor.  :-)

Are you enjoying the new year?  What's the weather like where you are?

Thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings