Friday, April 29, 2011

I never thought I'd say this . . .

. . . but it's true. I actually look forward to two things I used to hate with a passion: breakfast and exercise.

I never used to eat breakfast; I woke up every morning feeling yucky, and the last thing I wanted to do was put food into my stomach, so I didn't. I didn't believe it when people said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.

I didn't want to eat anything in the morning, so I didn't.

But now I love it. I actually wake up feeling hungry instead of yucky, and my big bowl of fruit and yogurt is my favorite meal of the day. Not only does it taste good, but it's so pretty. This morning, I had sliced pears, strawberries, kumquats and pecans in yogurt with a sprinkling of cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg. It's a color combination that I really should bead up; soft white, pale green, bright red, bright orange, light orange and reddish-brown.

And it tastes good, too. It's funny; when I stopped eating candy and other sweets, other foods started tasting sweeter and sweeter. My morning bowl of fruit gives me the same explosion of sweetness that I used to get from a bowl of ice cream. And to think that it's actually good for me!

After doing a few things around the house and checking my email, I'm ready to exercise. I just finished doing my weight lifting; I used to hate anything to do with exercise, but now I actually look forward to that, too. I work out in the garage, and during my 60 second rest periods between sets, I wander out into the garden and admire the flowers, pull a weed or two, or pick and eat a strawberry or a few peas. Then I go back and do my next set.

The lifting gets my blood moving, and the sunshine, plants and flowers lift my spirits.

Who knew?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's that time again

I'm three months into my healthy living experiment; I've got one more month to go on my original plan. Although sugar still calls my name, I've been able to resist; I've eaten many, many strawberries as a substitute for candy.

Thank goodness we have a very large, and prolific, strawberry patch.

This month, I'm happy to report that a few people around me have actually noticed that I'm getting smaller; it felt really good to have others affirm my progress. I bought a pair of shorts last week; my shorts from last summer are just way too big. I felt so good about myself today that I was able to pick out - and purchase - a new bathing suit.

A bikini.

Hubby may be the only one who sees me in it for awhile, but when I got home, I threw away my old suits. I'm moving forward, and there will be bikinis in my future. I believe that I can do it, and that's a very good feeling.

This month, my goal is to keep on keeping on; to not let myself become complacent and slip back into bad habits. My goal is in sight; I'm feeling good, I finally believe that I can reach my goal, and I don't want to let the siren song of sugar lead me astray. I know that the last of the weight will take longer than a month to lose, and I'm ready to commit to four more months of healthy living.

I might even be ready to commit to a lifetime of it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Woo hooo!

It's always exiting to get a package from a publishing company, rip it open, and start looking for myself in there. This time, I'm on page 18 of the 7th Anniversary issue of Bead Unique.

I love Bead Unique Magazine; in addition to cool projects, they always have articles about lampwork beads and lampwork bead artists.

And you all know how much I love lampwork beads!

So it is particularly appropriate that the bracelet pictured in this issue uses lampies from one of my all-time favorite artists, Melissa Vess.

I was thrilled when my Hugs and Kisses bracelet won second prize in their Spring 2011 Bead Accessory contest, but seeing it in print is even more exciting.

Thank you, Bead Unique!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weighty matters

They look so innocent, sitting there.

Two dumbells, with five pounds on each side of each one, making twenty pounds total. When I first started using them, I couldn't believe how heavy they felt; there was no way I could finish all the repetitions in each set. But I've been persevering; each time I lift, I've been able to do a few more, and now I can do all of them.

Not easily - no, it's still a struggle, but it's supposed to be hard. If it were easy, I'd be wasting my time, right?

I've got six weeks left in my original four months of healthy eating and more exercise plan. I have no idea how much weight I've lost; I'm smaller, and that's a good thing, but I'm not where I want to be yet. I've got several more inches, and at least two or three more sizes, to lose before I'm at my fit and fighting weight.

I'm starting to really re-think my "weigh in date;" right now, I feel good about my progress, but I suspect that the number on the scale won't be nearly as low as I want it to be, and that would, I know, negate all the positives I'm listing and make me feel as though I've accomplished nothing.

That's pretty sad.

Here's the reality: Even though I'm not "there" yet, for the first time in quite a few years I'm not cringing and looking away as quickly as I can when I walk past a mirror. I'm not laying on my back on my bed and stuffing myself into "relaxed" jeans that are three sizes too small and pretending they fit, just to avoid buying a bigger size. My clothes actually have extra room in them; I need a belt to keep some of my jeans from falling down.

And still, the thought of seeing the number on the scale terrifies me.

Whatever it is, it won't be enough. My four-month plan covered 17 weeks. At one pound a week, that's a potential 17 lbs of weight lost; that amount would bring me half-way to my final goal. It sounded so reasonable when I started, but it is (forgive the pun) starting to weigh heavily on me now. What if I haven't lost nearly that much?

I'm scared of the scale; I'm afraid that it has the power to send me into despair and make me want to give up. Would it be cowardly to skip the weigh in and just keep going for another four months?

I've got six weeks to decide.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tale of Two necklaces

I'm in love with the Seven Sisters Pendant pattern from beAd Infinitum.

It's got a very romantic and vintage look to it, which suits me to a T. I used the first one I made as a closure for a pretty, lacy choker; if I'm wearing my hair up, it goes to the back, and if I'm not, I can wear it in the front as pictured here. I added a vintage rhinestone to the center of the pendant to give it a bit more bling; it was very easy to drop it in and bezel around it.

For my second pendant, I wanted something a bit bolder. I love the vintage look of the Seven Sisters Pendant, and I wanted to play that up. I immediately thought of my vintage brass stampings; I bought quite a lot of them from a local antique store a couple of years ago, and have been waiting for inspiration to strike.

This particular piece was one of the first ones I pulled out; I couldn't believe how perfectly the pendant fit onto it. Of course, I didn't select it immediately; I had to try out several other stampings, but I kept coming back to this one.

In this case, my first choice definitely was my best choice.

I added accents of chain, and put the whole thing together with brass jump rings. I think it has a very romantic and pretty look, and it goes perfectly with my favorite plum hippie skirt.

Which I am now skinny enough to wear again, hurrah!