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Looking back. And ahead.

A year ago this morning, I wrote:
Will I turn the blog back into a weight-loss effort? Not likely, although I predict a bit more emphasis on food-and-exercise reporting. And when does this NEW WORLD begin? I'm thinking … today.
Well, it looks as though I have turned the blog back into a weight-loss effort after all. I've been committed to (some would say obsessed with) improving my fitness levels and reducing my lardage for a full year now.

I ended up not doing what I said I would do last December 26. I ended up doing something completely out of my comfort zone. It took a couple months of not succeeding with my original plan to take a leap of faith and try this new-to-me thing that has worked so well for so many.

And it's been exactly what I needed.

I said, a year ago, I would be adding strength training and yoga to my daily walk or elliptical session. That didn't happen. I've dabbled in yoga but the scheduled classes don't mesh well with mine. I always feel good when I practice, but apparently the good feeling isn't enough to get me to keep practicing regularly.

I've been doing squats, wall push-ups and a couple of dumbbell moves pretty regularly since late summer. These moves hardly qualify as hardcore strength training, but I've been consistent with them. And consistency counts.

I did manage to take an almost-daily walk, to the tune of nearly 1,300 miles this year. With five days left in 2013, I will certainly surpass that number. Maybe even today! I'm heading out to visit my son and his family, but hope to get a bit of a walk in before I leave.

And, by eliminating legumes, dairy, grains and sugar from my diet, I've lost – as of this morning – 53 pounds. I've gone from a BMI of 36.6 to 26.5 – still overweight, but just 1.5 points away from normal. My lowest weight this year was three pounds lighter than today's number.

Looking ahead, I'd like to lose 12 more pounds, which would get me to a normal BMI and, more than likely, a size 6 or 8. It would get me to a point where I could comfortably swim with my little fish of a granddaughter. I'd feel like I wouldn't be pounding my knees if I took up running again. I've never done a full marathon. Sometimes I still think that's out of my reach.

But sometimes I don't.

Do I want to eat from the list of foods I've given up since April?
Yes, yes I do. But I've indulged a bit this week and honestly don't feel all that much better for it. The taste of those treats was fleeting, but the achy joints and morning stiffness – gone, for the most part, when I eat cleanly – isn't really worth it. I'm well stocked with coconut and almond flour and raw honey, and paleo pumpkin muffins taste just as good and don't take any more work than those made with flour and sugar.

Do I wish I'd started this plan earlier?
Yes, yes I do. But I had to be ready. I had to hit a brick wall. I had to be doing everything "right" and still not succeed in order to do something really, really different and radical (for me) and totally outside my comfort zone. I had to take the huge risk that if this didn't work, well … I'd be lugging 50 extra pounds around until the end of my days.

Because I didn't know what else I could try.

Do I plan to stick with the paleo template?
Yes, yes I do. Perhaps not as strictly as I have. It's not that grains, legumes, dairy or sugar will kill you if you partake of them occasionally. But two things come to mind when I contemplate going back to the Standard American Diet. These two thoughts have worked well for me in Alcoholics Anonymous. No reason to think they won't work for the rest of my daily life.

If you keep on doing what you've always done, 
you'll keep on getting what you've always gotten.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

As always when I travel, I'm not sure how much posting will get done here. Rest assured I will be making reasonably good food choices, I will be walking at least a couple miles each day I'm gone and I will be enjoying my final Christmas celebration of 2013. I hope you had a Merry Christmas. And I hope the rest of this year is peaceful and relaxing and filled with joy.


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Update on the water: the circuit breaker tripped, either due to a power surge when the electricity came back on last night OR when lightning struck in the area. My neighbor's electric fence control box got hit in the same area. He was able to reset the circuit breaker for us and we have WATER! I think I'll go do a load of laundry. Heh.

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…