Sunday, May 29, 2011

When It Ain't Working, Change It Up

Well, since December 2nd, 2010, I have been doing the new Weight Watchers program and religiously following it, logging all my "points" in a journal and sticking with the program pretty religiously, and doing it with several friends - at work, in real life and online. I was thrilled with the new program, in theory, because I had a minimum of 29 points and I now get "free" veggies and fruits without counting any points for those.

So I loved the new program. The only problem is/was that I've lost a total of only 5 lbs in 5 months. A pound a month average isn't so whippy. In fact, it's gotten pretty discouraging. Even with doing my Wii nearly every day, I wasn't losing pounds. Just staying the same.

I know there are many factors influencing my lackluster results, including menopause and who knows what else. So Friday I went to the doctor, got a physical and had a complete blood panel done to see what's going on.

My doctor, it turns out, has lost 70 pounds in the past 15 months. Phenomenal. In fact, I didn't recognize him at first! I thought I had had a new doctor, so it was ironic I was there to talk about my weight loss, or lack thereof, and he was standing right in front of me demonstrating his fitness success. He reviewed my food journal and we talked about what he had done. He's been a guy who tried every diet and exercise plan, including Weight Watchers and various low carb plans. He told me that what worked in the end was plain old-fashioned calorie counting and exercise 5 times a week for half an hour - mainly walking, because running can cause injury, especially in someone my age. He said, in short, that I'm getting too many calories even though I'm sticking to the plan. He suggested that I go out and get a calorie counting book. That combined with my Wii is my new plan.

Will report back. My goal is to lose 1 pound a week average. I'll get the blood work back maybe next week - and that will give me a good baseline from which to see how well this new plan works.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Am I Still Knitting?

Here lately all my blog posts have been about weaving. For those of you who don't weave, that's probably not too exciting. And you may wonder - do I knit anymore? My friend Elysbeth inquired about my knitting and I decided, what the heck, I might as well fess up to everyone that I have indeed inadvertently set aside my knitting bag somewhere due to my obsession with spinning, and here lately the new obsession of weaving.

In fact, embarrasingly enough, it took me a while the other day just to FIND my knitting bag buried beneath all the weaving books by my nightstand table.

It's not that I don't like knitting anymore. I do. Still love it. Just a matter of so many hours in the day. So I had cast on this shawl, called Haruni, in late March. It was supposed to be a knitalong with my group, but as mentioned, I'm way behind of doing anything with it. It's not a hard shawl, really it isn't. And though most in my knitting group have either finished or given up on it, I'm still plodding along, and now pulling it out of the bag and dusting it off. So here's the Haruni as it stands. The bright yellow yarns hanging out are the lifelines. It's my goal to work on it a bit during the Memorial Day extended weekend.

Have a good one everybody. I am really wiped out. Need to veg out, knit, listen to old podcasts, read a bit and knit a lot. This weekend the knitting will tag along with me. Promise.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tri-Loom Can Be Trying

Over the weekend, Bob and I put up the Tri-loom that I got for Mother's Day. It's a really nice 7' Tri-loom from Hideaway Homestead.

I was so excited! We put it together. I started working on it Sunday night. I read the instructions, then I wove. Then after working on it for a few hours, and with the daylight turning into evening, I couldn't see as well and was getting tired, but kept weaving.

Then at 11 p.m., well past my point of rationality, I stopped and took a closer look at my handiwork. Saw that many of the threads weren't right - they had several horizontal "floats." Quite annoying. And of course, I didn't know how to fix it. I was exhausted, so I ripped it all out with the intenion of starting fresh again and doing better. I am still struggling over how to fix mistakes.

I wrote Roger, the loom maker, and he is SO PATIENT and helpful. He basically said that the problem is, I've gotten messed up on the vertical weaving down but it shows up on both sides of the loom in the horizontal skips. He suggested that I use a crochet or afghan hook to make my weaving through the threads more accurate. He also suggested proofreading each line of weaving carefully before proceeding to the next. And he said there is a way of fixing mistakes and tried to explain it to me.

On Tuesday night, I started over again. Saw that when I was careful and used a hook, my weaving was indeed much better and I am starting to get the hang of it. This is really addictive but it does strain my neck and back, so I am only working on it a few rows at a time. And I learned my lesson and am now working under much better light.

I am going to keep working on this - because I can already see that I'm getting better as I practice, like with everything else. And I'm taking a class on Continuous Strand Weaving, which is what this method is - so after I have that class, later this summer, I'll probably have a better understanding of my beginner's mistakes and maybe they won't be such a big deal. The good part is you don't have to warp your loom, you just create the warp as you go, but the challenging thing is, you have to do it right. Ha! Small details, huh? Let me tell you, there's an old expression that says, "God is in the details." Really true.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Stuff Done - Yes!

Over this past weekend, I managed to get a ton of stuff done. Mostly organizing stuff - but it felt so terrific. I ran errands, I cleaned out closets and drawers, shredded up old bills. Chopped vegetables. Cooked and froze Weight Watcher friendly soups for future meals. Cleaned my car. Scrubbed my bathrooms and threw away old used-up stuff in the cabinet. Listened to the audiobook "Room" while I worked (fantastic and gripping book by the way). Reminded me that feels SO GOOD to get mundane stuff done and check them off the "to do" list.

I rewarded myself by visiting my old Sit and Knit group at Borders. Great seeing everyone again.

Now I feel recharged or empowered in a weird sort of way. Knowing that I can make headway in terms of mundane life tasks reminds me that I also can get stuff done and meet goals that are more abstract and meaningful.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Out of Sorts

Gotta admit, I'm really feeling unsettled, disturbed, grumpy and have slept poorly. My mind was just full of so much STUFF - worries floating around bothering me to no end. Finally gave up at 3:30 and got up. Am still up. Tempted to just call in today and take a personal day - but hate to waste a precious day off on just being out of sorts.

Maybe I should take tomorrow off instead - a 3 day weekend might be refreshing. I also really need to journal - there's just so much stuff. Need to do a mind and emotion dump and get all this anxiety out onto a page somewhere. I wish I could go off and pray somewhere - maybe go visit the monastery again or something - inner peace is in short supply lately. I really need Room 8.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Happy Mother's Day. We were all together. Four generations. Lucky to have Grammy Ferne still with us. She's phenomenal and was so happy to see everyone together.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Weekend Weaving Workshop

Okay, a kind of crazy, intense learning-filled weekend. My brain is mush and I'm exhausted - but it was ALL worthwhile. My friend Luann and I went to Yarn Barn to take a Rigid Heddle workshop with Jane Patrick. We couldn't pass up an opportunity to learn from a weaving master like her!

The first day was all about using pick up sticks and the second day was hand manipulated yarn techniques such as leno lace, Spanish medallions etc. All I can say was the first day, I thought the class was WAY over my head, and it probably was, since there were many talented weavers there with much more weaving experience. However, I stuck it out, and am really glad I did! Now her book and DVD set make much more sense to me.

Jane is a patient teacher who goes around to everyone and helps them go at their own pace, without feeling like you are keeping the whole class behind. Then, if you a more advance weaver, such as a couple of people in our class, then she keeps you busy with advanced enrichment techniques. Therefore, I would highly recommend any of her workshops because she's an excellent instructor.

On Saturday night, I finished this Leno Lace cowl which I had started right before leaving home. It was a really quick, fun project. Made it on my Cricket loom in just a few days. Boy, weaving is amazingly fast when you're doing a small project.

I will turn in VERY early tonight. One thing I learned, once again, is that my weekends of "down time" are precious and it would have to be for a very special instructor for me to give up a whole weekend of relax - and I'm going to try to slow my pace a bit the rest of this week to rest up and regroup.