Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mosiac Monday

Sharing this post on Mosaic Monday with Mary at the Little Red House.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Diet Update

This picture was taken October 2009. I am usually the one behind the camera and rarely ever see myself in a picture so this was a rude awakening for me. I had allowed the pounds to creep on. Working part time in a plus size women's clothing store didn't help matters either.

At 192 pounds, I hardly recognized myself anymore, with a round face, double chin, large belly and what I called my bubble butt. I hated it! It was painful to garden and I had difficulty even putting on my shoes. Not only that, I was beginning to have serious health issues. I had become a diabetic and I was having dangerously high blood pressure. My hips, legs and feet hurt all of the time. I felt terrible.

I am a stress eater, and there had been significant, never ending, stress for about four years. I put on 20 pounds in 2009 after my dad's bout with lung cancer, my mother-in-law's nursing home injury and surgery, her significant weight loss and end stage Alzheimer's. My husband also lost his job. I needed a lot of comfort food! I love to eat and I am a sugar/carb addict. The more I eat, the more I crave.

The worst part was the guilt. I have over 100 diet and nutrition books in my personal library and have read many more from the library. I am a health nut wannabe. I was not being true to myself and I felt so incredibly guilty for eating all of the processed junk food. Something had to change.

On January 1, I started a healthy diet plan. Eating only fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean cuts of meat. No sugar, no coffee and nothing processed. After the first three or four days I no longer had cravings and I started to actually enjoy what I was eating. The weight came off...without exercise. I have lost 35 pounds! Really, I lost a total of 38 but those last few pounds keep fluctuating.

I used the timer on the camera and took a few pictures to record my progress.

The sad part about losing weight is that I can no longer wear my favorite denim jackets and the clothing budget is rather small right now.

These jeans were actually too tight for me and I couldn't wear them when I started my diet. (I had already packed away the larger size.)

I am down four sizes! I know that I still have some weight to lose and it will come off more slowly now, but that is OK. I'm happy! At 48 years old, I never thought I'd see a size 12 again!

The best part is not even the weight loss, but the health benefits. I no longer have high blood pressure and I can control my diabetes with diet so I have not had to get on medications. After seeing my mom suffer for years with diabetes and eventually die from surgery complications due to the disease, I am motivated more than ever to stick with this healthy eating plan.

My next goal is to start exercising consistently. I don't think I'll lose much more weight until I do that. Really, my husband doesn't want me to lose any more weight. I'm 5'7" and I weighed 110 pounds when we got married and he honestly likes the size I am. So my goal now is just to be healthy and more physically fit. If I lose more weight in the process, hopefully he won't mind too much.

I know weight is a very personal and sensitive issue, I hope that I haven't offended anyone by sharing about my weight loss. I wanted to share just in case there are those who might need encouragement to change their diet and get healthier!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Master Bedroom Makeover

My bookshelf project was featured in the top ten picks for the Make it 4 Monday, at Cottage Instincts! That just made my day!

Right now I am focusing on creating beauty inside the house because the garden is a dried up mess from the heat and lack of rain during the month of August. I cried yesterday when I walked around looking at my flower gardens. I don't know how much of it will survive, but I think I lost my Kousa dogwood. I am heartbroken over it.

Life has been so sad lately that I just can't bear the thought of my crispy garden. So, I am trying not to dwell on the things that are beyond my control. Usually the garden and nature bring me joy and comfort, but not as much lately. It has been so hot and humid that my asthma has been a problem. I honestly haven't ventured outside very much.

Instead, my focus has been on creating a serene and peaceful master bedroom, which sadly had been sorely neglected. The budget is tight so I have had to be very creative with my resources.

I bought this little candle at Goodwill. I liked the shape of the container and knew I could paint it to display on my bookshelf.

I removed all of the stickers, scraped off the flower with a razor and cleaned it up.

Here it is on the bookshelf after I painted it turquoise and "antiqued" it with brown shoe polish. I found a necklace at a garage sale for a quarter. I removed the chain and used the pendant in the indented space on the container to dress it up and give it a little bling!

For the last nine years the master bedroom had builders beige paint and plain unsightly blinds on the windows, with no window treatments. Earlier this year, I found this roll of sheer fabric at a garage sale. The couple had recently closed a drapery shop. I got about 20 yards of sheer drapery fabric for $8.00. I dusted off the sewing machine and made sheers for the three bedroom windows.

It is so romantic and serene in the bedroom now. I love the change!

I am not very good at taking "before" pictures. I get ready to start a project and dive right in, so this is the only before picture I have. It was taken only because the dog is not allowed on the bed! I got quite the shock that morning when I went to the bedroom and saw both the cat and dog all cozy on the bed.

I had the floral comforter for about 16 or 17 years. I loved the colors in it and never could find anything that I liked better, so I kept using it. It was definitely time for a change!

Two weeks before my mom went into the hospital, she and my dad surprised me with a visit. Yep, 10:00 at night, they showed up on my doorstep, totally unexpected! They had driven from my nieces house in Oklahoma.

My mother loved garage sales, and that was one of our favorite things to do together! While she was here we went to several garage sales. I found this pretty comforter set, in pristine condition, at a home decorators sale. It had been in her guest room and the bed had not been slept in. I got it for $50.00! It came with the comforter, dust ruffle, two pillow shams, and a decorator pillow. I knew it would be perfect for what I had in mind for the master bedroom makeover.

It now has very special sentimental value because it reminds me of the last time that I spent with my mom. Who would have ever dreamed that just two weeks later she would be in the hospital, and after seven weeks of fighting to recover from surgery, that she would pass away. It is still unbelievable to me. I am so thankful for that sweet gift of a surprise visit.

The bedroom is still a work in progress. I am almost finished painting a small dresser that is my bedside table. I still have pillows to make and several other projects to do. I had hoped to accomplish a few of the projects over the long holiday weekend, but instead I have been under the weather with kidney stones. Hopefully this soon shall pass! Sorry for the pun!

I am linking this post to:

The DIY Show Off

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Butterfly Houdini

Tuesday evening, while we were eating, I glanced over at Lilly, (she always lays on the floor by the table just in case something drops or someone is feeling generous with a bite of leftovers). To my surprise, she was nose to nose with a black swallowtail butterfly! Mind you, we were eating in the kitchen, not on the patio!

I immediately got up, let the butterfly climb on my hand and took it outside. I am still baffled by how it got loose in the house.

I have brought in a few black swallowtail caterpillars to watch the metamorphosis, I keep a close eye out for them and I was certain all of them were accounted for.

I am assuming that somehow one of them must have escaped the enclosed space and the chrysalis was attached somewhere in the kitchen.

I'm so glad that Ms. Libby the kitty was upstairs or there might have been a different outcome for the beautiful butterfly.