Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How I Lost 10lbs

So my wedding dress doesn't really fit.  I mean it does - but it doesn't.  I can get it on alright and it looks pretty.  But it bunches in places and I probably couldn't consume anything larger than a grape without it bursting.  The Chinese lady at the (discount) bridal shop that I bought it at said "Just lose 20 lbs and you won't need to have it altered!"

And so I started my weight loss quest.

Or, in reality, re-started it.

About 4 years ago I was pretty thin due to running regularly and not being able to afford restaurant food.  I wasn't skinny, but I felt comfortable in my skin and even wore a bikini that summer.  That was the year I met my fiance.  Since then I gained about 20lbs and have always felt a little bad about tricking him into thinking he was dating a fairly attractive and active person when really I'm pretty darn lazy.

Anyways fast forward to a trip to Malaysia where I ate noodles and curry for 2.5 weeks and an imminent wedding and you can imagine I was feeling pretty motivated.  And this time I was determined to make it work - because lord knows in the past, I have tried and failed to lose weight more times than I can or care to count.  So I was gonna do things differently this time.

And what I'm about to tell you is not a secret.  It's the same thing everyone will tell you when you ask or google "How to lose weight".  I knew it back when I failed to lose weight all those times, but I didn't BELIEVE it until I gave up trying to lose the weight as quickly as possible.

You see, the things you do when you try to lose weight as efficiently as possible are the things nobody wants to do.  They're things like eating raw vegetables, and doing intervals and lifting weights and avoiding carbs.  That is the WORST. LIFE. EVER!  So nobody can do it for very long because it sucks.

The trick is - do and eat what you love.

So I joined a spinning class.  I had taken one years ago and enjoyed it, but I read that it wasn't "the best way" to lose weight, so I figured why bother?  It's a waste of time.

The next thing I did was join a swimming class with a bunch of my fellow grad students.  It is so much fun that the hour flies by and it doesn't feel like exercise at all.  But can you guess why I never bothered with it until now?  Exactly.  Somebody once said that swimming is not great for weight loss because of the buoyancy or something.  Bullocks!

The final thing I did was eat soup.  I hate vegetables.  I hate them so much and I feel angry when I am made to eat them.  And the only thing I hate more than vegetables is RAW vegetables.  But I did always enjoy a nice soup once in a while - I even like making soup - so that's what I did.  I traded in my dreaded salads for delicious soups and I was so much happier eating my meals!

And that's it.  Find some activity you like doing even if it's not super high intensity or only uses your leg muscles or doesn't require you to wear a heart monitor and ENJOY doing it.  And don't eat salads if you don't like salads.  Find some other lower calorie food that you like to eat and make that your staple meal.

Oh - my last piece of advice is this:  Eat cheat meals!  One hamburger with fries once a week will not throw you off your weight loss goals especially now that you've agreed that we're not in a big hurry.  If you are a food lover like me, you will not survive a new healthy regimen without cheat meals.  Trust me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

C.O.M. Complains About: Birthdays

In high school my friends nick-named me C.O.M.  That stands for "Crotchety Old Man".  I know.  Clever.  But it was apt because every once in a while I get really crotchety.  The following is a crotchety post I wrote about birthdays:

I've been thinking a lot about birthdays and first birthday parties in particular.  Mostly because I was recently invited to one and I couldn't stop asking "Why would I go to a kid's first birthday party?"  Sometimes to another person, sometimes just to the wisdom of the universe.

It seems some people are willing to spend upwards of $5000 on a birthday party for an infant who can't walk or speak, never mind be able to remember how spoiled they were.  And even those who think $5000 is a bit much agree that you should still throw a birthday party of some kind for a one-year-old.

But it seems so silly!  Maybe because the child has no friends at that point, so it's not really a party for the kid but for the parents - so why not at least have a barbeque with meat and booze?  I think it's rude to force your adult friends to ooh and ahh over a baby and play Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey and pretend to be super interested in dinosaurs or princesses or rainbows or whatever.  What they really want to be doing is eating a hot dog.

And like I mentioned earlier - it's not like the kid will remember it so it seems like kind of a waste.  I can attest to not remembering a SINGLE birthday celebration of mine until a few years ago.  Actually, that's a lie.  I do remember one birthday party as a kid when I ate too much fluorescent green and pink ice cream and threw up all over myself.

And that's the number one reason why I think birthdays in general are stupid.  Having a whole day where you focus on one person gives that person a big head - makes them think they can and should eat all the ice cream they want because "It's my birthday!"  Not to mention, getting all worked up and celebrating something that requires no more effort than simply not dying for a year is ridiculous and celebrates mediocrity.

If you're looking for an excuse for a party - just invite some people over.  Don't wait until the one day where your friends feel obligated to celebrate YOU.  Make it about friendship and fun instead, not passively growing older.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Zucchini, Curry and Easter Candy

So - Grad school is busy!  I'm avoiding marking again.  But I'm not being totally unproductive. I'm making a curried zucchini soup courtesy of Martha Stewart's recipe inventing staff.  It smells super good, so I'm hoping it'll taste that good too.

I also finished off the last of my fiance's Easter candy.  Honestly, what kind of person leaves chocolate for MONTHS!  I have to buy a new bar every week to satiate my choco-hunger.  Which is why I had to eat his in the end - I had run out.

In KAL news, I ordered my yarn online.  Not from a yarn store, but from someone's stash on Ravelry.  Any knitters out there who haven't heard of it (I almost don't believe you exist) should check it out.  We're talking free patterns up the wazoo, tips, articles and a fantastic knitting community.  It really is like a knitter's paradise.  As much as a website can be paradisicle.  My browser is telling me that's not a word.

And anyways - apparently, people have yarn for sale and trade.  This particular seller is located way out in Eastern Canada so the shipping was a bit on the expensive side, but in the end it cost me less than new yarn.  And here's hoping she is legit.  Fingers crossed, right?

And I know the knitters among you are dying to know:

Cascade Eco + in Purple Jewel
This just in:  The seller sent me a Canada Post tracking number.  My yarn is currently in Montreal!  Seems she wasn't in it to dick me out of $37 afterall.  Who knew.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dirty Dogs And Unmarked Papers

Days can so easily go by without thinking too much about their contents.  If I wasn't forced to think about what to write about, I probably wouldn't have noticed what an odd little collection of things my to-do list consisted of.  I mean - the things themselves are not odd, but their juxtaposition in terms of a set of events occurring in a single day is odd.

Like for instance - on a less oddly juxtaposed (that's twice I've used that word, if you're counting) day, one might vacuum the floor and do laundry.  Or bake a pie for a potluck and then attend said potluck.  Or watch 6 or 7 movies in a row.  Or Pride & Prejudice (the 6 part BBC mini-series starring Colin *drool* Firth) once or twice.

And then on the other hand you might have a day like I've had today.

I stayed in bed and watched an hour-long video about harassment policies within the Free Thought movement.  For no real reason other than it was there and available for watching and things available for watching are always first on my to-do lists.  Then I walked the dog to the library and picked up a book I had on hold.  Then we walked to the off-leash park and this happened:

Filthy Dog

Filthy dog wearing expression of "What?"

Call me a push-over, but I cannot deny this creature the intense pleasure that she so clearly gains from putting her face and body in the mud.

So then the fourth thing I did today was wash the dog.  Luckily our doggy daycare, Zoomies, has a U-Wash station so it was relatively painless and now she smells like coconut instead of dog park muck.

THEN I spent an hour or two scouring the web for ESL learning websites for work.

And NOW I'm forced to choose between this:
Horrible pile of 75 unmarked lower-level Linguistics exams

And this:
Delicious merino/cashmere/silk blend slowly taking the form of a wedding shrug
I lead a hard life.

So let's recap:

1 - Random internet video
2 - Library
3 - Dog park and mud incident
4 - Washing of dog
5 - Find online phrasal verb and English vocab quizzes and neatly organize into spreadsheet
6 - Write blog post about relatively interesting day
7 - Realize that, after writing about it, nothing that happened was all that out of the ordinary
8 - Determine to post anyway
9 - Work on wedding shrug
10 - Waste time
11 - Mark papers

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Year Late And A Dollar Short

Holy smokes it's been a whole year since I blogged anything!  I am a terrible blogger.

Here's a quick update:

I'm no longer crafting for money.  It's too hard!  And I wanted to make the things I wanted to make, while everyone else wanted me to make them something they wanted me to make.  It was just not working out.  Plus I felt cheap writing about booties on my blog.  I'd rather just complain.

What else . . . oh we finally got a puppy!  Her name is Mili and she is from India.  Here is a photo:

Me and Mili

She's not actually that small anymore, but still cuter than a button.  She's been a lot of fun and we love her to bits.

I finished a year of grad school already and now I am getting ready to start my thesis and hopefully graduate next spring.

I'm getting married in October to the guy in the Cthulhu mask.

And the whole reason I'm back here is that I joined my first ever Knit Along!  I'm going to make this lovely sweater:

The KAL is being run by Shannon over at luvinthemommyhood.com.  Join if you're inclined - or follow me in my sweater adventures.  Or both!

I guess that's it for an update.

Oh - Also, check out my friend Dot's website Busted Button if you like out of the ordinary commentary and crafting.