Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pre-December Update

Previously I had determined that my December goal would be a sort of continuation of my November goal, which is to lost 10 pounds before the end of the year.

It's proving harder than I originally thought.  BUT.  I have 9 pounds to go.  Nine pounds in 35 days.... Maybe I can do it.  And if I don't - hey, at least I tried.

I'm discovering that weight comes off really slowly for me.  Honestly, I think part of what slows it down for me is that I work out so often.  I am building a lot of muscle.  My arms and shoulders are more toned than they've ever been, and I am noticing more and more definition in my legs.  I know I am losing weight because of that roll on my back that's shrinking (this is where I always notice my weight going up and down - if I'm especially bloated, this roll will be affected, and I'll start feeling 'fat').  But the last place I see any change, of course, is my mid-section.  I've always said that the number on the scale does not matter as long as I'm noticing changes in my body, and I still submit to that; however, I really would like to see that number go down a little more.

Like, 9 more pounds so I can achieve my last goal of the year.

I can't believe a year has gone by.  In January I had this grand idea to do a New Year's Resolution every month of this year, with the idea that I can do anything for 30 days.  And I've pretty much succeeded.  Except for October, but that wasn't the hugest failure anyway.  This might be the ONLY resolution I've ever stuck to for an entire year.

I do think this year has changed me.  For example, in January, I'm planning on doing a combination Paleo / Whole 30 for the month.  If you had told me on January 1st 2013 that on January 1st 2014 I would be going Paleo, I would have laughed in your face.  "What?  No sugar?  No dairy?  Are you crazy??"  But all of the goals and experiments I've done this year have led me to this place, and now, I feel ready to take this extra step towards better eating and better health.  I have learned a lot this year - about what foods are best for me, about what foods are terrible for me, about living a lifestyle that is both healthy and satisfying and even rewarding.  I know that I am a better eater, and therefore I am healthier; and even my daughter is a better eater now.  My kid likes broccoli.  My kid likes broccoli.  How many kids do you know like broccoli that's not covered in fake cheese sauce?  And guess what!  I like sweet potatoes and green beans!  My taste buds are even changing.  But anyway, this year has been a true journey for me.  I have transformation pictures to prove it.  And I'm excited about the changes I've made and the changes I'm going to make.

More on my Paleo / Whole 30 January in the coming weeks.  Right now I'm in the throes of recipe-finding and meal planning.  Planning a month with no dairy, grain, or sugar is pretty daunting, but I have the help (and inspiration) of the very lovely Dawnita Parkinson, of Pinterest, and of the awesome internet.  Let me tell you right now, if you're even thinking about changing your eating habits and your lifestyle by going Paleo or Whole 30, it would behoove you to start planning as soon as possible.  If you're used to a processed-foods kind of lifestyle, switching to Paleo or Whole 30 would be so overwhelming for you that you'd quit before you even got started.  Me - I'm already halfway there.  And it's still daunting to me.  So get to planning and really commit to it, if you're gonna do it.

That's it for today.  I'll be posting more in the coming weeks as I wrap up my Year of Resolutions and start planning for January.  Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter, Maraea Rayne - she turns 4 in about 4 hours and 20 minutes (4:23pm).  Someboday make her stop growing please?  And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else out there that stumbles across my blog!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ghost Hunting in Indiana

In early October I took my first solo road trip to Oxford, Indiana, to visit my dear friend Courtnee.  We both share a love for graveyards and cemeteries, and during that weekend we actually visited two together.

The first one, we were visiting pure for the hauntedness factor.  She had heard many stories about certain graves and how they are haunted by children and sometimes you can hear them laugh or cry or something similarly spooky.  We thought we'd check it out one night as the sun was setting.  This cemetery was set up on this huge hill in the middle of an intersection.  Or really, the roads just kind of went around the cemetery, I guess.  While we were there, we had several weird experiences.

The one that stands out most clearly in my mind is this one:  I was taking some pictures with my camera when I felt strands of hair entwined in my right hand.  I thought it was my own hair blowing into my face, but when I brought my camera away from my face, the hair that was entwined in my hand was too blonde to be mine.  And, I hadn't felt any of my hair pull out of my head.  So that gave me the shivers.  If it wasn't mine, where did it come from?  Up on this hill way above road level, with nobody else around?  Gives me goosebumps even now as I'm typing this.  But then, a few minutes later, Courtnee had the same exact thing happen to her.  Her hair is even darker than mine.  It definitely wasn't HER hair.  I probably could have brushed the hair on my own hand off as just a weird random experience in a cemetery, but it happened to her too.  We wondered how the heck strands of blonde hair would have managed to float their way up that hill on the wind, only to find themselves entwined right smack in our hands.  Courtnee suggested that maybe somebody had brushed their hair.... but... where?  And who?  We couldn't even see a house from where we were perched, and I highly doubt, with the way the breeze was blowing, that hair was just floating around up there waiting to find it's way to our hands.  So - my verdict?  Having been there and experienced it?  Ghosts.

Another weird thing that happened... We were taking pictures with our cameras, when we remembered that if we had the flash on, we'd be more likely to catch orbs.  So while I was shooting with my digital, I thought I had remembered reading somewhere that if they were TRUE orbs, and not just dust specks, you'd be able to capture them on film better.  I can't remember the reason why, but something about film cameras, and how they don't capture dust specks, they capture orbs.  So I went to my camera bag to get out my film camera (yes, I still have one, and I love it, I will never give it up).  It was already on.  And, it was on in a mode that I don't ever use on my film camera (TV).  So at first I was like hmm, did this thing get knocked around in my camera bag?  Then I started trying to remember the last time I had used it.  I had last used it 6 weeks prior for Cara & Val's engagement shoot.  The battery indicator on the screen said I had a full battery life.  I assumed it couldn't have been on that whole time and still have a full battery, and that I must have somehow knocked it around in my bag and it got set to TV mode inadvertently.  So I switched it into flash mode, and as soon as I went to take my first picture - my camera died.  Batteries: dead.  I couldn't even believe it, because like 5 seconds before I pressed the shutter button, Courtnee said exactly this: "Watch you try and take a picture and your camera dies."  Apparently the ghosts didn't like my film camera!  Or, I guess my camera HAD been on for 6 weeks straight and had a full battery life as indicated, until I pressed my shutter button?  I suppose we'll never know, but it freaked me the fuck out (especially after the hair thing).

The longer we stayed up there, the colder it felt.  We were shivering, even though it had been a warm day.  And I had started feeling slightly headachy and nauseous as well.  I didn't feel better physically till after we were on the highway out of town.

So, with all that said... Below you will find some of my favorite shots from Indiana and that spooky graveyard - unaltered, un-photoshopped, pure raw footage.  Orbs or dust?  Maybe dust, but you decide.  I know one thing's for sure - I've got a stockpile of batteries for the next cemetery outing I go on.

A truck left its dust

So, the only arguments I have that these ARE orbs and are NOT dust specks, are: A) if it's dust, how come there's not more of it?  How come I don't see dust specks in EVERY picture I took?  (The pictures above have the most clear orbs, I have many more pictures with orbs, and just as many without, even with my flash on.)  You saw the picture with the truck's dust trail.  See all that dust he kicked up?  How come there wasn't a ton of that flying around up there on that hill?  Indeed, maybe some of the orbs are dust specks - and some aren't.  Who knows?  And, B) at first I was thinking that the orbs were only showing up in my pictures when I was standing with my back to the sun.  So I thought well, maybe they are dust specks, and the pictures I take when I am facing the sun have so much light that the dust specks are sort of drowned out.  But if you look at the second to last picture, there's a big old orb on the left hand side, the side of the picture that would be closest to, and have the most, sunlight entering my camera.  It really makes you think, doesn't it?

Sleep tight kiddos.  <3

A Year of Goals.... Almost Over

So, remember way back in September how I said that for October, my goal would be to continue my clean eating crusade?

Yeeeahhhh.... I kinda, probably didn't beat my September clean eating percentage.

I totally fell off the wagon in October.  Things were hectic.  I stopped tracking what I ate, I cheated a little bit, maybe a lot, I didn't exercise every day.  Looking back I don't even know what the heck I did in October that had me so busy.  I went to Indiana for 4 days and that was the start of my downward spiral.  I don't drink coffee, so I drank Pepsi to help keep me awake on the road.  And I ate chocolate.  But it just gave my tongue that taste of sugar and that was all I really needed to head down that path.

Within a couple weeks, I was back on track though, and back down to my "lost 10lbs" weight.

And then, I went to Hawaii.

Before I went to Hawaii, I decided that my goal for my last two months of this year would be to lose 10 more pounds by the end of the year.  I had more than 10 weeks left in the year when I decided that.  I figured a pound a week; should be no problem, right?

Then Hawaii happened.  And my moment of truth is tomorrow.  I'm just hoping I didn't gain a lot at this point.  In all honesty, I did not even cheat all that much in Hawaii.  I stuck to my clean eating as much as I could, and when I didn't, I just ate a smaller portion.  Two times, we went out to dinner and I splurged, but that's it, really.  And there were a couple cheat meals in Seattle.  So, 4 cheat meals in 11 days is really not all that bad.  But we will see tomorrow when I weigh in at my WW meeting.  ERMAHGERD.

So this month is November, and Part I of my goal to lose 10 more pounds by year's end.

In the coming days: expect posts about my ghost hunting in a spooky graveyard in Indiana, and my favorite shots from Hawaii.