Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weight Just a Minute...

MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

We interrupt our regularly scheduled decor, art, mood lifters and general happiness to chat a moment about weightier matters.   Namely...weight.

I could write a novel on this subject.  That's not an exaggeration.  In fact, I've considered doing that.  But for today, just the highlights.

From the beginning - I was not a skinny baby or a particularly thin child.  In my childhood photos I seem to veer from normal to slightly chubby to fairly chubby to back to normal.  You'd be hard pressed to find a photo of me looking svelte.

I don't remember being particularly concerned or even all that aware of my appearance or whether it was "normal" or "over-normal" until around maybe 3rd grade.  I mean, at age 3 I am sporting a bikini rather proudly (blissfully unaware that I'll never wear one ever again...which is also why I can't see limiting little tiny girls and telling them they can't wear a bikini because it's not's probably one of the few times in their lives, regardless of their weight, that they will feel happily unself-conscious in one.  live while you can I say).  By 3rd or 4th grade I'm aware that I am definitely not skinny.  And I am aware that some girls are.  And I'm already slightly confused about why I am not skinny, and other girls are skinny, given my eating habits do not seem worse than girls who are skinny.  I'm a at a friends house and their family is eating loads of raw cookie dough their mother has kept in the fridge for them to snack on (this would never happen at my mom would make the cookies, but never allow us to treat the dough as a snack).  Her mom also sometimes makes fresh bread and everyone in their family eats it with copious amounts of sugar and butter.  As much as you want!  (this also would not happen in my house - my mom occasionally made bread, but we were allowed 1 slice, maybe 2).  Not that we don't have snacks at my house.  At my house there are always cookies in the pantry, and you can pretty much grab one whenever you want.  I love them right when they come hot out of the oven - while the chocolate chips are melty - but after that, I rarely eat any.  But when my friends come over - especially my very skinny friend - they eat them by the handfuls.

Truly, my diet is fairly normal.  Very suburban 1970s childhood foods.  Yes, there are a lot of noodley casseroles.  But there are also a lot of vegetables and fruits and it's a pretty balanced meal.  We DO usually have dessert after dinner.  Ice cream, maybe a cookie, maybe pie (if you're lucky...because my mom's apple pie is the best), but more often raspberries in a bowl or strawberries or peaches.

But somehow I do stay on a curve where I am slightly larger than the other girls my age.  Or at least that is my perception.  I don't know how accurate my perceptions are any more.  (I would scan a bunch of photos into the computer so you could judge for yourself, but last time I tried using my new scanner I nearly threw it across the room in a fit of frustration so you'll have to take my word on my size as a child).

By 6th grade I feel officially worried about my weight and/or size.  One day I am at recess with these three girls I know  - one of them says she weighs 65 lbs, the other one says "oh my gosh you're so skinny!  I'm sooooo fat!  I weight 80 lbs!"  the third girl says "that's not fat - I weigh 81 lbs and my mom says that is totally normal".  I do not tell them how much I weigh because I am horrified at age 12 (I'm almost 12, actually still 11)  to weigh 100 lbs.

In retrospect I am sad that I weighed 100 lbs and felt fat.  Here is my 6th grade class photo: 

I am on the back row, light blue shirt , (between the red head and the girl in the red dress) - do I look fat?

By 7th grade I am pretty convinced I am grossly larger than every other 7th grade girl. I could go into a lot of long explanation about how my thinking got so distorted. (if I ever do write that novel, this will be a long chapter) There are a plethora of reasons. Suffice to say that I started a "diet". I also started a lot of unhealthy eating habits around the same time I started the diet. I swung between the two extremes of a VERY restricted diet of lemon chicken and an apple and some melba toast (gross) some days/weeks to other days when I walked with my friends to a convenience store for lunch where we would buy deep fat fried burritos and mint chocolate chip ice cream cones for lunch. Other days we ate at a restaurant called Arctic Circle where they sold massive artery clogging burgers (but who cares when you're 12) or we walked to a grocery store and got mashed potatoes and gravy in to-go containers from the deli. Other days we walked to a drug store and had grilled cheese and french fries, and if we had extra money, a ice cream sundae with marshmallow topping. Then I'd be back to a can of tuna and some melba toast for a few days. This kind of eating went on ad naseum. For pretty much...ever.

Here are I am in 8th or 9th grade...thinking I'm pretty large: I don't look like an anorexic model...but I hardly look like the fat lady in the circus I thought I was bordering on...

So this nonsense continued. And continued. When I was graduating from high school, I had perfected this system - so that one day might be a day where I had 3 hostess chocolate cupcakes and a diet coke, while the next day I had some healthy shrimp salads. Here I am at the end of my senior year:

I'm on the left end in the gray and black.  Gee I'm huge.  (seriously, I would like to go back and slap some sense into that frustrating)

So then this set in motion pretty much a life time of not understanding my limitations where food was concerned. And a lot of twisted thinking happened along the way. For a long time. For a reallllly long time. Here I am in college:

So to try to bring this up to speed as quickly as I can for you. I got married, had 3 kids, had roughly the same psychoses regarding food I always had except now I had to bring food into the house for other people. The problem with that is that it makes it really hard to stay on the kinda sorta bulimic diet I had been using to stabilize my weight. It can be done. But it's really hard to be constantly on that up and down one day you don't eat the next day you do, but you never quite get a grip on it roller-coaster when you're also trying to be a mom. I know moms who do it. But I could just never quite make it work for me as well as it had when I was younger.

So over the years of my 20s and 30s I have been up and down with my weight. Mostly up. And up. and up. With a couple of brief periods where it was noticeably down. And there have been soooooo many different diets.

Diets I tried (and was everything from completely not successful to very successful for a while):

Weight Watchers
Jenny Craig
Diet Center
LA Weight Loss
My Doctor's plan
Modified Sparing Fast
Oprah's cookbook/Bob Greene
Lemon Cleanse
and any wacky weight loss technique you've ever read in a magazine (grapefruit diet? yep, tried it. soup only diet? yes. Juice only? yes)

And you know at some point it just gets so exhausting.

So I have spent more than a year in therapy. And although I have had many things to work on, one of the big things was unwrapping a lot of issues and baggage I have about food. I read a book I really liked about weight loss and that helped, but still it has just been a lot of THINKING and THINKING about how I FEEL. And FEELING for how I THINK. And it has not been easy. In the meantime, I've actually gained weight. So that's a little frustrating because it doesn't actually look like I'm accomplishing anything in the losing weight department.

But you know what? It is okay. It really is. Because one day this week I woke up and something shifted in my brain. I cannot exactly explain it to you. I cannot exactly tell you what it was - but it felt like I had all these things I've been working on and suddenly, they just fell into place in a way that made sense.

Can this work? Can suddenly seeing food differently work? I'm not sure. But so far, so good. My doctor gave me a estimate of how many calories I should eat each day and the amount of exercise I should get in order to lose 2 lbs per week. Now in the past, I can never be patient enough to only lose 2 lbs a week. I've got to be losing 5 or more lbs a week or forget it, pass me that cupcake. But suddenly I'm okay with this plan. Because it seems that every day with food is a little different than it was before.

We'll see. I'm sure people will feel that this may not really work.

But I don't really care what anyone else thinks. Maybe for the first time ever. It doesn't matter. It only matters what I think. So I'll update you from time to time and I'll keep that little ticker on my side-bar. I probably won't update about food or weight loss all that often because - well, because it's just not the most important thing in my life. It's just a thing I am doing - it's just my life. My life isn't defined by the food, or the lack of the food, or the type of the food or even the weight. It's just food. Nothing more and nothing less.

and that seems totally different.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

White Before Memorial Day? What is she Thinking?!

On Sunday this really lovely lady at church was wearing white shoes.  My friend Kate gave her a hard time about white before memorial day.  She was of course, just kidding.  It's not the Eisenhower administration anymore baby.  :)

Even still...we do tend to associate white with summer.  Doesn't white look great on tan skin?  Yes, I still I have a 'thing' for being tan.  Yes, I know the sun causes skin cancer.  I'll never get over it.  I'm not out laying in the sun slathered in baby oil all day either and I make my kids put sun block on.

But I still love it. (and for the record, I think most fake tans look ridiculous)

But I digress.  (it's my nature to digress...but isn't the journey more fun when you take the digressions?)

Where was I?  Summer...tans...oh yes, White...

Here are some lovely inspirational rooms of white decor.  You'll know how I generally feel about white walls if you've been paying attention to my blog much.  But I do see white rooms that I really like.  I'm just in not much in favor of it when it's done only because there's no imagination on the part of the home-owner, apartment dweller, etc. (though to be fair, many many landlords won't let you paint - I had to have white walls in several of my prior apartments - did you know you can "wallpaper" with a mixture of starch and water using fabric?  I did that in one of my apartments, it turned out much better than expected.  I always try to pass that tip along to apartment dwellers who aren't allowed to paint).

I digressed again didn't I?

I love the lighting here, and I always thinks it works well in a white room to use a distressed wood table - painted wood tables look really good too.  This just looks like a great room to hang out after school and do your homework at that table.  (what am I nine?  that's my first thought?  I do a lot of homework these days)

This is just a really urban hip room.  I think it's brave actually that there's no color other than the bare wood.  I think the photography above the bed is very cool.  It breaks every rule I personally have, which is that if you're going to do all white there should be lots of accent colors.  But it breaks it in the best possible way.

This is just so restful and peaceful.  Like you know that day you have to come home sick from school and it's no fun at all because it's nice outside but you're too sick to do anything and you go lay in your mom's bed?  this is the perfect room for that.  (I'm starting to feel that I'm reverting a little too much to my childhood here...)

I really really love this.  I could have used this as an example of how to do pastel's well.  There's just the little's hint of pink in the pillow on the chair.  I adore the pale powder blue on the mirror edge.  Just lovely.

one thing I will say about white rooms is that they can be so gosh darned cheerful don't you think?  and my favorite flowers are on the table here...LOVE peonies.

i know right?  again with the peonies.  but I also adore the white sink (let's face it, stainless steel sinks are pretty much a disaster...steer clear I say), love the faucet, and I adore that miniature subway tile, awesome green tint on the glass, what's not to like?  and you know what else? i'm just going to say for the record that I rarely, if ever, like marble or any other stone on the countertops in kitchens.  i just really don't.  i'd much prefer this minty green formica or whatever it is.  style points.

I'm probably unduly influenced by the hermes throw blanket and the great lime green, but this room is very understated cool.

so much to love.  all the accent colors work in perfect harmony.  fabulous lamp, awesome lampshade, adorable pillows.

this is some crazy business.  but it's some COOL crazy business.

you can't resist those yellow chairs and that electric blue, don't even try.

love love love

admittedly, i feel it needs a little pop of color, but i'm still drawn to the simplicity of it (and I kinda dig that grass centerpiece too)

love the chairs, but in think the black chandelier makes it.

how much is there to love here?  mucho mucho (and isn't that yellow chair adorable?)

i love when i see something that i'm POSITIVE every one on the planet could afford to do and make happen.  this room is a perfect example of that.  excellent affordable and simple design. when all else fails, add a convex mirror to your wall aren't they great?

Happy Summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011

...shots from 2011 are few and far between...

as some of you know, i'm pretty busy with school right now. this year, i really haven't had much time for photography. i miss it quite a lot actually. i've been playing a little with editing software and these are some photos i'm pleased with the results. maybe in 2012 i'll have more time for it (or maybe not...i'm slated to be in school for the next few years).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Curating your Home

Recently, I mentioned to a friend that I kind of wish I had really understood the role of a curator - or that I even knew what a curator really was, when I was younger. I think if I had, I might have seriously considered a degree in art history and I might have been willing to slog through years in low paying jobs in order to forge my way into a position at a museum eventually being able to curate.

Alas, I don't think it's a particularly practical idea for someone in my age range, and I think at this point my talents are better used elsewhere. The best I can do is curate my own art in my home and maybe inspire you to do the same.

Occasionally, I like to look at my walls with a critical eye and change things around. You can change a look of a room, not only with a change of decor, paint, etc. but just by switching the art to different rooms. If you're not in love with some of the things on your walls - make some changes! I have some ideas right now of things I'm thinking of doing in the next few weeks to add some interest to some areas of my house where I need it.

Here are some ideas of ways that art can make a room come alive. As always, I hold on to these images when I come across them to give me references to make changes when I'm getting bored with what I have. It's a lot less work than painting the whole room.

I'll probably never get paid to curate anything, but I do take a lot of satisfaction in the idea that I can be the curator of my own private collection in my home - whether that collection is worth any money of not! I guess one of my secret wishes is that more people would get rid of some of the truly sad things they hang on their walls and replace them with fun things they love.

I love these prints. I love them so much I kind of tried to replicate them in my son's room remodel. I wasn't entirely successful. I think they work in many types of rooms, but they are especially lovely here.

You see how this room is full of neutral's and just this kind of zen quietude? But then you add that abstract pint over the bed and you add this really nice energy and tension to the space. Love it.

Same thing going on here - a room which is kind of cold and sterile - but you add these great pieces of art and it makes the room so much lovelier. And look at how EASY it would be to make these yourself!

I sooooooo love this wall. Most of us have our own photography that we could do something like this with. I really want to do something similar in a hallway I have.

Old aviation posters like this can be so cool. I've seen something similar with old 60s advertisements and old posters advertising for Disneyland. Such a nice little pop in this room.

I rarely see these kind of photographic walls work well. They can look realllllly cheesy. But I really like this one here - probably because the rest of the decor is so tasteful.

If you're going to do re-produced artwork - I love the idea of pop art.

Besides the fact that this is a great room, and those chair covers are darling, I love that painting. It reminds me very much of a Brian Kershisnik painting.

How much do you ADORE that print???? I would love to have a copy of this.

Like this sort of distressed painting paired with the rest of the room.

How great is this idea?!?! Shopping bags? I'm really going to copy this someday.

How adorable is this? Best kids art work wall ever.

I so much dig this print. You have no idea.

Same idea again. I'm going to start saving really awesome bags to make this work. Do you think there's a market to buy these online?

Not only do I love yellow - but this massive scale floral painting is so fabulous in this room.

This would also be easy to replicate. Sometimes I think the birds on the wire stuff is becoming a little overdone, but I so relate to it, because outside my window all day long this is what I really see.

Again, I think this abstract is totally DIY do-able.

Lots of cool stuff worth copying here - like how awesome sauce is that magazine rack? But I love the skateboards as art work!

Gorgeous! Reminds me of some art by a local artist named Daniel Shepherd.

Clearly not a cheap painting or a cheap room or a cheap house. But sometimes it's just fun to look at how the fabulous people do it.

I love the dark energy of that piece in this otherwise white space - I also love the green and the juxtaposition of the almost feminine light.

another really cool piece. when you have such strong pieces like this, you really should probably just keep everything else simple.

Ahhh. This just really speaks to me. Some of my favorite rooms are ones where the art work just sings out.

Happy Curating!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

ADELE Adoration

My days pretty much consist of the same things over and over again. Even my music that I listen to tends to be the same things. Every so often I find something new I like and then I usually listen to it so much I'm sick of it quickly. Then it's back to the Smiths or the Cure or the Clash again.

So this past week a friend of mine sent me a link to a video that she thought I would like to see. And what's kind of weird is that same day, I was noticing mention of the artist behind the video over and over in all kinds of places. And I'd actually heard the song before - but I hadn't really focused on it (do you ever do that? where you hear a song but you don't really stop to listen or pay attention for a while?...I think I do that a lot...I'm highly distracted lately). Anyway - probably everyone on the planet has already discovered the genius of ADELE - but I'm a little late on the uptake.

So right now, I'm pretty much obsessed with her. I just seriously adore everything about her. Her music is brilliant and gorgeous. She's beautiful! And I love her lilty British accent which reminds me of Boy George's accent.

If you haven't paid attention to her yet, I recommend that you do.


Related Posts with Thumbnails