Monday, April 16, 2012

Episode 58: Dishes

This will shock my family.  This may shock the few friends I have that know me pretty well.  It actually sort of shocks me. Here goes...

I actually like doing dishes.

No, I won't come over and do yours.

Ok, so here is why.  There comes a certain satisfaction from just drowning your arms and hands in a deep sink full of dishes.  Ever since I moved in to this apartment, I have lacked a dish washer.  I no longer could just rinse the dishes and stick them in the machine that would sanitize them and make them scalding hot.  I have to get in there, pick off the dirt and debris of the past day's worth of eating (or so... I don't like doing them all the time). I use the many tools of the job: the sponge, which if Mythbusters is to be believed (and they are) is germ laden and disgusting; the bottle brush to get those hard to reach places which my hands are too big to get and the green fuzzy plastic scrubby thing that is safe for my Teflon pots and pans.  With these tools, I wash away all of the left over sauces and fat drippings that come from a rich diet of not entirely healthy foods.  If a particular bit of something won't let go, just give it a bit of time in a warm bath with plenty of good smelling soap and it will lose its stubbornness and eventually soften and let go.  Sure, my hands may be a bit pruny as I continue to wash, but that will take only a bit of time to mend. And at the end of doing dishes, once everything is dried and put away, there comes a bit of satisfaction that the job is done for the night, that there is order in the world, even in just one small part of the world, and that you know where everything is, in that kitchen.  It is a good feeling.

And I'm finding, life is like that on a larger scale.  Doing dishes is an interesting metaphor for life.  You take time to work at the problem spots, or just set them aside if they are too large to get to and eventually, it will all work out.  You may have to do a little bit of work, spend a little bit of time, and you may have to find the right tools,  but your world can come to some sort of order if you decide that is what you want to do.  Your body or mind may get wrung out, may become a bit pruny, but just sit in a hot bath for a while, forget about that problem even for a couple of minutes, and you'll be able to face and beat it when the time is right. And in the end, you will find that order will be restored and you can look back on your life and those rough times when you were up to your elbows in troubles, and see that those troubles have been put away in the right places, life has sorted itself out, and you can feel that you have accomplished something.

For my friends and families with automatic dishwashers, may I suggest that tonight, or sometime soon, you let go of technology, fill your sink up with soapy water, and emerge yourself into just doing dishes and letting your mind go.  And while your hands are busy, and you are enjoying the peaceful meditation of a gentle, relaxing task you may find your mind wandering and a solution comes out of some that celebrates those quiet moments that come when you are just doing dishes.

Happy sudsing!

Love and Lollipops,


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Episode 57: Point-less

A confession: Since AM has been here, I haven't really been counting points.  I haven't been eating awfully,and we are keeping each other on task for exercise and walking and being healthy.  I haven't been following the Weight Watcher's way, and I haven't been going to meetings, or even really weighing in.

But... I feel healthier.  I am happy.  I admit, my weight has always been a bit of a hassle for me, a bit of a sore spot, and it's not like I don't care about it, but I am happier and I think healthier even if I'm not really paying attention to points.  I eat my vegetables with (nearly) every meal. Instead of candy bars and carbs in my desk, I keep a small container of nuts and dried fruit next to my projector at school and munch a bit while my students are working.  Instead of ice cream every night (I was incredibly addicted to Drumsticks for a while), I grab a mandarin orange out of the basket on our table.

Don't get me wrong, I do still eat ice cream and brownies. I still make mini pies for dinner (bacon, mushroom and cheddar are my favorites), but I'm not constantly craving it anymore.  I'm not constantly in need of something sweet.  I do enjoy it from time to time, but my cravings are starting to go away.

I am watching my carb intake, and my sugar intake (although the White Chocolate Mocha I just had at Starbucks probably would kill any Atkins subscriber immediately), but I'm not starving myself, I'm not feeling deprived.  I feel healthier than I have in a really long time.  I do sort of envy the people who start and continue a program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or even Atkins.  These are things I just don't have the mental toughness and will power to follow through on.  So, I will just keep on keeping on, making healthier choices without really depriving myself and I will just learn to be happier.  I"m learning that happiness, in the long run, means more to me than food.

I am finding other things to be happy about:  my Nook, my wonderful boyfriend, a shared meal at the dinner table, a good conversation.  I will always be thankful that AM has brought these things into my life. (Ok... ok... enough sappy romance.)

I will continue with my weight loss journey.  I will lose weight, but I will not obsess over it.  I will eat healthier foods (and share them with you, oh obscure reader).  I will strive to lead a healthier, happier, more active lifestyle.  For now, I leave with one parting thought:

It is not how much you weigh that will be weighed in the balance at the end of your life. Friends and family will not judge you on how large your casket is, but how large your heart was.  Be kind, gentle reader, to those around you.  It is the greatest measure of a person.

With love and lollipops,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Episode Easter: Peep S'Mores!

Ok, so I had originally planned on having this recipe up with pictures and a video, but it just didn't work out, so here is my recipe for Peep Smores.  (I figured them at about 4 points each).  Here is what you need for one..

One sheet of graham cracker split in two pieces (roughly two square pieces)
3 squares (one fourth) of a regular Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar
One Peep

1. Place one half of the graham cracker on a microwavable plate.
2. Place the chocolate on top of the graham cracker.
3. Place the Peep on the chocolate.
4. Microwave for 15 seconds. (This is the fun part.. watch it as it microwaves.  AM watched, and giggled like a mad person!
5. Remove plate from microwave and put the other half of the graham cracker on top!
6. Enjoy!

Have a great Easter everybody!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Episode 56: Rebirth


I know, I haven't been around much lately. When you're living a life of this much bliss, you can't be bothered to do much blogging, I suppose.  Well, mostly bliss anyway.  Things are good... for the most part.

Except my weight.

I seem to have reached some sort of plateau.  I'm not really losing weight, but I'm not gaining too much weight either. I rubber band around mffmmm and mffmm, gaining or losing about 2 or 3 pounds every time I weigh in.

This needs to stop.

So, Easter is coming up.  I don't celebrate it, as I have a tiny little hitch in my whole stance of belief and religion.  That being said, Easter is an interesting time.  It is a time when the Christian world celebrates the rebirth of their god with stolen pagan rituals.  But it's that word, that term rebirth that gets me thinking. 

Once a year, most of the world (about a third, really.. 2.2 billion, according to Wikipedia) reflect on rebirth once a year.  Their God is reborn after three days.  I think I'll take a cue from them, and consider my own bit of rebirth.

I need to get back on track.  I need to be counting points, spending time exercising.  Recently, AM and I went to Japantown in San Francisco and did about 5 hours (conservative estimate) of walking.  We actually stayed for 6 and a half hours, but I'm giving us an hour an a half for the times we sat down to eat, write, talk, enjoy each other's company.  We had a really great time just hanging out and engulfing ourselves in the two malls that surround the Japanese Peace Plaza.  (If you're my friend on Facebook, I will post some pictures).  We hung out at MaiDo, we strolled around, we had lunch at Mifuna (I could be wrong on the name), and altogether it was wonderful!  And we walked so much!!

And when we got home... we felt it!  I don't exercise much, and my body screamed in the only way that it could that I need to do walking more often.  Maybe not 5 hours in one day, but a half an hour - maybe an hour a day - may not be the worst thing for my system.  So, part of my rebirth will be walking, even if it is just walking daily down to the market to pick up a little bit of groceries for dinner.

Since... well, let's say since January... I haven't been big on meal planning and counting points.  Those things get in the way when you have a Nubi (good frozen yogurt) just down the street from you.  Those things get in the way when you are suddenly rediscovering that the city that you live in has wonderful cuisines that you have never tried before (like the Greek cuisine I had never noticed in Stockton before.. and the Vietnamese.. and the tiny Italian places).  Those things get in the way when you start focusing on work and grading and really teaching lessons that make your students thing.  Counting points and calories hasn't been much on my priority list. 

But they need to be.  I don't want to live forever, but I don't want to die early either.  If I stay at my current weight and my current eating pattern (high sodium, fat and sugar content) I will develop some serious illnesses. I am already on the path to diabetes and I already have to take a slough of medications for high blood pressure.  My asthma has begun to kick up again and my back has thrown in its screaming pain along with all of the else that is going on.  If I want to be healthier and happier, I have to stick to a diet rich in foods that are healthy for me. (I hate the word diet.  It implies something temporary to me in a way that is like "With this 8 week diet, you'll lose 50 pounds!" which never really works out because these diet plans are ridiculous starvation acts that deprive your body of healthy nutrients and carbohydrates that your brain and other organs need to function! Diet for me means "the way I eat every day.") Counting points and making sure that I check off all of the items on that healthy eating list are important for me. AM and I have littered our apartment with whiteboards and reminder notebooks. It is time I used them.

The last part of my rebirth is my blog.  I need to start blogging again.  I meant it to be a record of my journey, perhaps a way for me to express myself that will give other people hope, ideas and the occasional recipe or healthy hint that they can take away from it.  I honestly don't really expect very many people to read it, but I enjoy writing it and sharing my life with my family and friends, who I have been spending a lot more time with lately.  I need to get back onto a nearly daily updating routine. Maybe a "just before bedtime" bit of writing, just to check in. Maybe a quick 15 minute "this is my motivation for today' writing in the mornings. All I know is that I need to get back to it.  This is (mostly) for me.

I have been lax, and inherent in that laziness has been the weight that I have gained and the lack of exercise and good eating.  I am a responsible adult.  I have the tools I need to succeed. Now I need to use them.

Hoping that you find your own rebirth this weekend,
Love and Lollipops,


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