Sunday, August 26, 2012

Episode 65: Perceived Energy vs. Actual Energy

I just spent three days on a whirlwind tour of the East Coast.  What I could see of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York it is a beautiful place full of wonderful people, wonderful conversation and wonderful food.  And the great thing was the food wasn't the focus. I didn't come here to eat, I came her to see people and see things.  I found all to my satisfaction.

But Oh My Invisible Purple Unicorn!!!  I am SOOOOOOOOO sore.  My entire body is literally aching and sore right now and I have the beginnings of an awful headache. (Which will shortly be cut off by some of the best medication for headaches! Advil!!!--hey... I wouldn't mind an endorsement!)  However, it brings to mind an interesting point that AM pointed out on our travels.


When we're at home, I resist moving. It is nearly impossible to cajole me into an hour long walk, or even to walk to the grocery store.  Getting on the Wii takes promises of chocolate and doing the Tai Chi video takes promises of some good red wine.  I get snarky and complain that I don't want to, and you can't make me!

I have noticed that, while I'm not actual losing weight lately, I am losing my pain.  I used to have to sit on a walk around campus. My back would cramp up, followed by my calves tightening and I would absolutely need a rest. That is beginning to go away though and this year, I started the school year with a nearly non-stop walk around school because I needed to.

Friday, AM and I touristed our way around New York.  I walked for countless hours around the Museum of Natural History.  I strolled through (and got slightly lost) in Central Park, and we wandered around Times Square and then walked up to Broadway and then walked to Penn Station.  Yesterday, I went to a wedding reception and danced for hours!!  Today I plan on walking around Philadelphia to learn about the birth of our great nation!

If I was at home, I would have never moved this much! I would never have done this much!  I feel amazing (if not incredibly, painfully tired!) because of the high that this vacation gave me.  I love it!  Which brings me to my topic.

At home, I think that I won't have the energy to move around. I get home, I want to sit in front of the television or sit in front of the computer.  I will get up and maybe move to make dinner, but I won't work out, I won't go for walks because I am "too tired" to do anything.  I do not want to move.  I feel that my energy levels are absolutely drained as soon as I get home from work. This was my Perceived Energy.

But they're not! That is just what I think!  This idea that I have a finite amount of energy and that I cannot move is crap!  Proven by this weekend, there is so much that I am capable of!  I can walk for hours. I can get out and get up and do things! I have the energy in spite of my weight. In fact, with this new found knowledge, I have the power to make myself better.  This is my Actual Energy.

And I realized I have more Actual Energy than I have Perceived Energy.  I can do a lot of things in my life if I start looking at my Perceived Energy and considering my Actual Energy levels and try to make them match up more often.  It may make me feel more exhausted, but eventually, my Perceived Energy will increase because I will learn that I can do that much more.  And as my Perceived Energy goes up and I begin to lose weight, my Actual Energy will probably increase as well.  So, I've decided once a year (at least) I will come out to the East Coast and test my energy level and find out how much Actual Energy I have gained and adjust my life accordingly.

This should be a fun experiment! So, gentle reader, this is a consideration for you.  What is your Actual Energy (the amount of energy you can expend on things that you want to do) and what is your Perceived Energy (what you only think you can do).  You may find yourself surprised!

Until next time,

Love and Lollipops,


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Episode 64: Satisficer or Maximizer?

AM and I were recently discussing the difference between being a satisficer and a maximizer.  Let me step into teacher mode, for a few seconds, a give you a few definitions:

Sat-is-fice-r (n). One who, in the search for a product or a service, will look for specific criteria and purchase said products or service once a specific criteria has been met. Shirley, a satisficer, found a camera that she liked that had most of the features she wanted, so she bought it.

Max-im-ize-r (n.) One who, in search for a product or service, may find a product that will meet a specific criteria but continue to look until they find the "best" product for them. Jean, a maximizer, refuses to buy a new suit until he looks in every shop and reads the fashion magazines to look for the best cut color for his body shape.

I think that, in the grand scheme of things, I tend to be a satisficer. I see something that I want, something that maybe I have been thinking about buying for a long while, and if looks decent enough, I will buy it.  I don't have to visit the consumer magazines, I don't have to look at the websites. I know that that article of whatever is exactly want to buy.

I'm also a sucker for good advertising.  Show me a good trick or gimmick, something that may make me go "ooohhh" or think that that product is good for me in the long run, and I am more likely to buy that item.  I love a good sales pitch, especially when it ends with "and for a limited time, we'll knock of x amount of money from the original cost".  I love to buy things.

Now, AM and I had been considering replacing my old and ratty cookware.  Old Teflon stuff from IKEA that I had bought ages ago. One pan had gotten so bad that it had a hill in the middle. If you wanted to fry something, you had to get used to using the sides of the pan because the grease or oil or whatever you were cooking in would just run down to the sides.  Most of the pans had deep scratches on them and some of the Teflon was scratching off.  (Some say that Teflon is bad for you, as it will flake off and has harmful chemicals, some say that it is harmless.  I am erring on the side of safety and not going with Non-stick).

Now, we did do some research. We haunted the housewares departments of Sears and Dillards and J.C. Penney's, looking at the Calphalon, the All-Clad, even Paula Deen's and Emeril's sponsored brands.  We coveted that shiny metal cookware.  We went home; we looked at websites; we even checked out a few consumer reports.

And then we went to the State Fair.  And there, for more money that we could probably afford, was our cookware.  Now, like a new bride who is just getting to know her mate, I am incredibly protective of my new cookware.  It was a lot of money, but was it worth it. The demonstration chef promised a world with no more cooking with oils, no more butters, no more frying.  He cooked us up crisp delicious vegetables.  We "oohed and ahhed" at the taste of the succulent chicken cooked without even water, deliciously seared in its own juices.  We had to have this cookware!

So, with the idea of "well, we're investing in our health and in our future" we ordered it.  Of course, we looked up reviews online as soon as we got home and read that it wasn't the greatest stuff, but at this point, I was committed.  I was waiting for my stainless steel, seven layer bridegroom of cookware to come to my doorstep and sweep me off of my feet and into better health.

It arrived 10 days later, all shiny and new.  I immediately went to the fridge, grabbed a few ears of corn and tried to recreate one of the dishes I had seen our masterchef/salesman create at the Fair.  I succeeded in burning the pan.  A good deal of elbow grease and some stainless steel cleaner, AM got the burn marks out. It was then that I decided to read the directions...

Now that we've had it for a few weeks, I am learning to cook again. I am learning to cook with less water, less oils. I am learning the true flavors of food.  Chicken without any seasonings is amazing!  Tonight I made pork roast (which I cut into slices) roasted on the stovetop with onions and garlic.  I used the drippings to make a delicious gravy without any butter that would have been worthy of biscuits and gravy, had we had any biscuits.

Now, I want to learn to really cook!  I want to take cooking classes, and learn how to make foods that make the mouth water.  AM bought a few "low sugar" cookbooks, to help us on our way and I've marked the recipes for salmon, steak diane with cremini mushrooms, fluffy omelets with avocado.  It all looks really great!

In the end, my satisficer instinct wasn't much off with this purchase.  So far, even though I bought it on a whim, I seem to have had a bit of the maximizer instict with me too.  This cookware is supposed to last me the rest of my life.  With the quality of it, and learning how to cook right,  I have no doubts that I will test that claim.

Here's to our health!

Love and Lollipops,


P.S. If you don't burn the heck out of it, it cleans up incredibly easily too!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Episode 63: Return from the Dead

Sorry I haven't been writing.  Real Life has taken over and my head is about to explode.  I've been so busy! Between spending time with AM, quilting classes, watching my nephews and discovering a new me, I am learning that life is not easy, but I am living it.

I've been doing this program called "The Artist's Way".  It has been sucking my time away from me, but it is something I needed to do because it is helping me find my "creative spirituality".   It helps me look at why I am blocked as a creative.  It helps me look at what is keeping me from writing.

A confession:  I haven't really worked on my novel in about... oh... well... 8 months really.  Even this blog, my connection to the outside world, has really sort of gone by the wayside.  I need to get back to it.  I need to start focusing again on weight loss, on exercise, on writing, on growth. I need to start working with my novel again.  I need to grow up. 

I want to be a better person.  I guess it's sort of a "who doesn't?" sort of thing.  Most of us can find some sort of flaw in ourselves.  Going through this Artist's Way program, which is sort of AA for the creative soul, I am looking at my past self.  I am looking at what I want for my future and I'm looking at my dreams, my wants, my needs.  What do I absolutely need in my life to make myself happy in my future?  Is it sugar? Is it electronic gadgets, or my Arc or my fountain pens?

I look at my life and I look at all of the things that I own.  Do these things make me a better person, or are they controlling me and making me unhappy?  Sure, I want a new computer.  Sure I want a new iPad or a new car.  I don't need these things.  I need most of the people in my life.  I need my wonderful boyfriend, my talented Awesome Musician.  I need my family.

In order to ensure that I am around for a good long time to enjoy my wonderful boyfriend, and my family, I need to take care of myself.  This blog is my journey.  I return to it to document my struggle, to reawaken myself to my possibilities and to share my story.

Love and lollipops,


(I used the word "need" 12 times in this post.  Maybe that's telling me what I should be focusing on? heheheh)

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