Monday, May 2, 2011

A Month of Meanderings

We had a great trip to Savannah, GA to visit BigJ's family. The weather was mostly sunny (rain and stormy on our road trip both ways). We spent time downtown Savannah, on the beach on Tybee Island, on John's boat, and playing back at John's house. It was great to see everyone and to see lilJ get to know his Buckridge family. I think he went through a growth spurt in all that sun he seems a size bigger since we got home! Wisconsin welcomed us home with rain, sleet, and snow-how fitting for late April.

The biggest loser is over! The numbers are not in, but everyone who participated did awesome! It was a great way to encourage so many people all at once to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I really think that if we are going to overcome the obesity epidemic and make major changes to our country's junk food lifestyle we need to start at home: health care workers, children, families, hospitals, clinics. We need to be examples to others and push for changes in the system that is encouraging unhealthy lifestyle choices. I came out 5# ahead of my low. I was disappointed that I had gained some weight over vacation, but with all the eating and not a lot of regular exercise it was inevitable. I debated just skipping the weigh in and going with my pre-vacation low, but that's not really honest and I'm the one who couldn't say no to EVERYTHING while we were gone. I was actually pretty surprised it was only five pounds. I think that all the skiing and exercise I have built some lean muscle which helped burn through the junk food. I'm still hoping to stay active and get rid of another 10 pounds or so. I did notice that while we were gone on vacation and I was eating lots of sugar and other junk food I felt awful. It is so true that you are what you eat. I feel so much more energetic when I limit myself to sensible portions (no lunch coma) and less sugar and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). I have been trying to be much more cognisant of HFCS in my (and lilJ's) food choices as they seem to rev him up and make me eat and eat and eat.

Exercise-wise, I tried running. It has been a goal of mine since I was a teenager to run a 5k race. I have trained probably 5 different years and always have the same outcome: no race & sore feet. After working so hard on weight loss & exercise with the biggest loser I decided to give it one more go... I just ran and ran and ran, then I stopped and walked, then I felt a blister, then I walked home. The next few days I was sore and my knee swelled back up and I decided: my foot dr. is right--I'm not a runner. Instead, I started Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred, which Hana loaned me. Its funny because the workouts are pretty intense, but only 20 minutes. I like her style and its quick to get through in the am before lilJ and I get on the move. I ramped up to Level 2 today as I didn't think level 1 did the job Friday, we'll see how I feel tomorrow. I'm definitely feeling the burn!

I finished my Skew socks before we left for Savannah as was my goal. On the trip down, I cast-on a Traveling Woman shawl and a pair of plain vanilla socks. I'm not loving the shawl and I think I need to frog it (rip-it) and start on smaller needles or find a different project. The socks I LOVE! I finished one and have a good start on #2. I have officially reached my goal of three pairs of socks for me this year and have a half a pair beyond that! I made my list of birthday and giftmas knitting to start in July. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it but my self-made goal is to knit for myself Jan-June other than a few special birthdays and knit for others July-Dec except for maybe socks for me. I think I have most of the yarn I need for most of the July-Dec knitting so my stash should continue to shrink shrink shrink. My goal is to knit from my stash exclusively unless I have a specific project I need yarn for that I don't have in my stash AND its time to cast on that particular project. Exception: travel/souvenir yarn buying is ok. If I can loosely stick to this plan I can buy buy buy at WI sheep and wool festival in September. I'd like to get some blue sock yarn there for me as well as two sweaters' worth of yarn for ME!

I spent a week off work due to low census and day-care being on vacation. By the end of the week I was so sick of my house I decided that I needed to "character-ize" it. I feel that currently my house is "Northwoods Neutral" and I really want it to be "Peaceful, Minimalist, Eclectic" so my goal this summer is to paint the living room and find treasures that support this theme. I'm leaning toward earthy colors like mustard yellow and olive green. I also want to do some improvements in the kitchen and bathroom. I hope we'll be able to convert the front room (which is currently useless) into a three-season porch with large windows and a futon where I can watch the morning sun and drink my coffee. I'm feeling very cluttered... can't wait to clean it all out!

Reflections on working as a nurse: The balance of life is a fragile thing. As health care workers it seems that we are inherently working against the terminality of life; instead of working to enhance the quality of our days many people focus on the quantity. Its ultimately a job that we fail as all lives must come to an end. I hope that I can give my patients some sense of well-being and "quality" even in those last days, hours, moments.

This morning I heard the news about Osama Bin Laden's death. Since I can't word it any better, I'm quoting K.C. on this, "It seems so unnatural to celebrate the death of someone. Rather than focusing on revenge, lets remember this is about peace and unity." I was unpleasantly surprised how many of my facebook friends were so ecstatic about this assassination. Its interesting how the tables turn when we are the hunters instead of the hunted. I'll end with a favorite quote of mine, "War is not healthy for children and other living things!"