Friday, February 25, 2011

I am now officially a racer... don't laugh

Last weekend I did my first ever race of any kind! I finished (successfully) the Book Across the Bay from Ashland to Washburn over the Chequamegon Bay. It was supposed to be a 10K race, but I think it ended up being closer to 8k. Oh well, I finished... I fell of course, but only once. The bruise on my butt is quite a prize!

Today was weigh-in day for Biggest Loser at IMC. I lost another 5 pounds! Bringing the grand total so far to 13.6 pounds since Feb. 7. I'm pretty impressed with myself. Thats about 6% of my body weight! I'm hoping I can keep up the loss throughout the challenge, but I don't know if that is realistic. Skiing really helps, its a great full-body workout and I really actually truly enjoy it! Its like the wonder of winter is accessible to me for the first time ever.

So, the tips that have really helped me: chewing each mouthful fully with fork down; lots of fruits, veggies, and water; portion control and paying attention to when I feel full/satisfied; fill 1/2 my plate with fruits/veggies. Oh, and ski or exercise at least 3 days a week.

I'm feeling really positive about this lifestyle... I have a lot of energy and seem to have a more positive outlook on things. I feel good about my progress and about myself. I may never be a supermodel, but at least I'll be a little healthier. If anyone is interested, Biggest Loser is doing auditions in Minneapolis!

Now the important stuff! I finished socks #2 in my goal to make 3 pair this year for MYSELF. These were a challenge as they were toe-up which was a new skill for me as well as short-row heel and a garter stitch cuff. All new techniques, easy, but new. I had to do a bit of frogging (ripping out)... surprise! Then as a reward to myself for unsurpassed biggest loser success, I ordered a butt-ton of self-striping yarn from KnitPicks... can't wait for it to arrive! The best part is that its in balls, not hanks so I can knit it immediately! I'm planning to knit it two at a time toe up from the knit picks pattern so I can make them calf/knee highs just for ME. Since my ball-winder is still MIA (MOM!) I decided to whip up a pair of duffers (slippers) for myself. They are an amazing 19 row pattern, which, when seamed turn into slippers! I hope to have enough yarn & initiative to make another pair for Sally as she bought the yarn I'm using. Her's will be two colors: walnut soles and natural tops (Cascade 22o). I'm also proud to announce that my mother finished her first felted project, a Lucy Bag, and she is appropriately proud of herself as this has been on her bucket list for a while!

For those of you who missed the first pair of socks, they are a bit more impressive. I love how the lace pattern crosses over the top of the foot. These are the "cloud of warmth" socks! Fingering weight, cuff down.

Now perhaps a little less fluff. A word on the political scene here in Wisconsin. I am so proud of my fellow Sconnies who have risen to challenge of Governor Walker. It is inspirational how many people are voicing their opinions in an organized, civil, peaceful way. This is the way democracy is supposed to work. Yes, we vote, Yes, Walker won, but that does not mean that he is King until his term is over. It is our duty to express our opinions to our representatives at all levels. I am not a public-sector employee, I am a private health care worker. I am not a part of a union, however, I see the benefits of unions. I took my history class, don't you all remember what the labor-force was like before unions were in place and the FIGHT to bring unions to all the workers? I don't know why Walker insists on abandoning Collective Bargaining instead of negotiating. I think he believes he can strong arm the workers of Wisconsin into paying off the debt. Why isn't he stopping his corporate tax cuts? It makes more sense to me to ask the bigger businesses in the state to contribute a share similar to the individual as the Supreme Court has deemed corporations "individuals" for the sake of other purposes. I do have to say that I think it is appropriate for public workers on all fronts to pay a median percentage for their benefits, that would be fair, but yes, it would affect my family's income as Josh is a county worker. All in all, I'm glad its not me who has to solve the financial problems of our great state after the economic recession, but I am so proud of my family & friends and the total strangers who are out there representing the opposition to Walker. Just because I am not there physically does not mean I am not here supporting you all!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The weigh loss battle: Think Thin

We are doing "Biggest Loser" at the hospital where I work so I've been thinking a lot about weight loss, dieting, and a healthy lifestyle. I've come to realize that "thinking thin" is really hard work, but do thin people put that much thought into it?

Mom and I made a trip to the cities this week for her HeartScan and I was amazed at the constant BARAGE of junk food... McDonald's was even in the hospital lobby! How do they expect people to chose a healthy lifestyle when you have to work so hard to make healthy choices? I guess when they are standing at the counter they can pick the apple slices over the Big Mac, Large Fries, and Large Coke, but who is really going to do that when you can see the mouth-watering pictures? If we really want to turn the health of our country around why not make it easy? Why not have a bowl of fruit in the waiting room instead of a vending machine or fast food restaurant.

It seems like every decision I make these days is healthy vs. yummy...

Yesterday I was eating lunch at work, trying hard to fully chew each mouthful with my fork at rest instead of shoveling it in between call lights like usual, when I came to the realization that savoring every bite of an Iceberg lettuce salad with no salad dressing is just not fulfilling. If it were dark chocolate or strawberries or a Big Mac... perhaps.

Why is it that way? Is it my wiring? or the defeatist way our culture is wired to be fat?

All I know is that its going to be a long road to thindom... if I ever get there... and I can't say its going to be enjoyable. No wonder America is so fat.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh my Gosh Socks!

I finished my first pair of handknit socks this week, for ME! I had previously knit two pairs for Dad and a pair for Jameson. Let me tell you how blissful it was! I thought, whats the big fuss until I wore them. These particular socks are knit in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock which is Merino and Nylon. Of course the yarn is soft and quite loverly to knit, but when you wear them, its like a thin little cloud of warmth surrounding your feet. I've worn wool socks my entire life. From worsted weight handmade socks to smartwools and everything in between, but these socks are unreal! I can't wait to make more pairs, which is why I cast on a new pair today!