Vanity

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Apologies for my silence, Dear Reader.  I have been ill.  *sigh* Again.

The tummy pain is back with a vengeance… almost to pre-surgery levels.  It’s stopping me from doing things.  I hate that.

I haven’t been to the gym in WEEKS.  I haven’t trained, haven’t done weights, haven’t been to a SINGLE class.  Ugh.  And you know what? Not only do I feel awful, my skin has gone really ratty too.  Who knew that even my SKIN was benefiting from exercise? I know it makes sense, skin being the largest organ, etc, but sheesh!

(Fortunately when I was at the GPs today to get a coupla new scripts and a referral to Yet Another Expensive Doctor, I jumped on the scales: 98 kg.  I honestly thought that I would have been back over the 100kg mark, what with not worrying about calories AT ALL while I was away, and not going to work out. )

I have done no sewing.  Not even tracing patterns.  Or finishing off a dress that only needs armhole and neck bindings and a hem to make it wearable.

I have managed a small amount of house cleaning, though.  I get tired of living in my mess every so often and then tend to overdo things (does that sound familiar to anyone else?) so I’m limiting myself to half an hour a day of solid housework.

Mr Beloved, Constance J. Woodle, Miss Kit Tern and the birdies are all well, if slightly bored by my constant whining about my tummy hurting.

We watched a documentary yesterday about guitars (Mr Beloved is a talented muso, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that? All self taught, and very fond of experimental music and mucking about on guitars) and he said:”Do you think I would be less depressed if I played more often?”

Um.

Do you think *I* would be less depressed if I actually sewed/made art more often?

Um.

It’s all about balance, isn’t it?

balancing act...

balancing act...

Yep. Just one more sleep to go and then Sue and I are headed to BRISVEGAS, baby!

Friday AND Saturday –  so not only will we be going to the Stitches and Craft Show, we might also do a bit of shopping and checking out fabric stores… honestly, I’m so excited about this trip away!!

Not least because for the first time IN A VERY LONG TIME, I might be able to try on some clothes.

shopping-taipei-life-magazine

Yeah, you heard me – NEW CLOTHES!!  Even though I have been quite crook this week with swelly belly (?endometriosis returning? Seems VERY likely given symptoms and duration – off to see the specialist again soon) the dietician assures me that I have lost another couple of centimetres from my waist.  My (normal, not fat chick sizes!) size 18 jeans are falling down on me.  Obviously, I’m a different size and shape to where I was last winter!

I’m not planning on BUYING any clothes, mind you – not financial enough for that! – but just being able to try on different shaped things will be awesome.  There are things like tunics that I would love to make but I need to know first if they look ok on me – same with dresses.  It’s a lot of work to sew something and then decide you HATE the style!

But more than the shopping – I’m super excited about the inspiration I know I’ll get from the show.  I hope to meet Nikkishell (from Wardrobe Refashion and Burda Style) and buy some clothing patterns from Stephanie at Can Do Books and Perpetual Patterns… and I’m looking forward to the fashion shows and the teacosy exhbition and  – well, EVERYTHING!

get-excited

I will, I will!!

(Meantime, here’s something else I am super inspired by – from another shop I wish I could afford.

bustle-white-back

In fact, if I had money I would buy one of EVERYTHING from Clothkits… meantime I have a panel of this fabulous Olivia fabric that I am dying to give the same lining-and-bustling treatment!

So after 12 months of feeling guilty about not keeping up my food diary as well as I should; 12 months of (pretty much) weekly weigh-ins; and hearing the same info nearly every visit….today (Thursday when I started writing this)was my penultimate visit with the dietician.  I had my end of program medical on Tuesday…the doctor (also my GP which is handy) was VERY pleased.

Me? I’m a bit … meh.

Until – it actually hits me that:

  • losing 16.5% of starting weight is considered a BIG success in weight loss terms (5- 10% is considered enough to be significant for health)
  • Instead of having blood pressure in the “OMG MEDICATION NOW!!” range ( I was on 16 mg candesartan a day) – my BP is now on the low side (110/70).
  • The last blood tests I had done showed that I’m still getting fat OUT of my liver  – a huge benefit, and one that only comes from exercise…
  • In the last year I’ve lost *deep breath* THIRTY CENTIMETRES OFF MY WAIST AND NINETEEN CENTIMETRES OFF MY HIPS.
  • (for those  non-metric readers I’ll say that again: 12″ from the waist, 7.6″ from the hips.)
  • I’m  (mostly) enjoying going to the gym now – I would have laughed if you’d predicted that a year ago.
  • and let’s not forget that I had major surgery in  August last year – only  8 months ago.

Do I look like this?

skinny

DEFINITELY NOT!!

Do I want to? On my more irrational days I have moments of thinking I’d like to be THIS THIN (size 6? or smaller?)  just for a little while, just to see what it’s like… then reality hits me upside the head, reminding me that I am FAR too enamoured of pastries, banana muffins, and cheese for this to EVER happen.  Not to mention – there’s no MUSCLE on those skin and bones, is there?  Ewwww!!

(Please go read the excellent post that brought this picture to my attention, on Spring Girl’s blog, Healthy from 25 to 100)

(And here’s Mia’s take on the same photo)

Well, if not the super skinny model above, who DO I want to look like, as I lose weight and as I get fitter, leaner, stronger?  No one immediately springs to mind – I’m not aiming to look like Jennifer Anniston, or Madonna, or  whoever… I just want to NOT WOBBLE.  And yeah,  B-cup boobs would be ACE, thanks very much.  Nicely defined arms, and a tummy that didn’t embarrass me, yep.

Is that enough of a goal?

Sometimes.  Other times (like whenever I have to walk past a BAKERY) it takes more willpower than I have to remember that I might as well just smear those pastries on my tummy, not even bother eating them, because that’s exactly where they’ll end up.  And do you KNOW how long it takes on the treadmill to walk off the 292 calories in this?

escargot

HOURS. And HOURS.

(note: picture nicked online.  I don’t actually have one of those yummy scrummy custardy sultana-y cool pastries flakily awaiting me in the house. I haven’t bought one in at least a month…)

*sigh* I need something tattooed on my wrist to remind me of this, I swear.  Maybe just “REALLY?” would do it.  Or a small script version of “An instant on the lips…”

(And please don’t tell me not to walk past bakeries.  They’re insidious. Bloody things are everywhere, LURKING. Don’t even get me started on coffee shops…)

Ahem.  My rationality obviously left the building for a while there….

I missed Ki Max class on Friday – swelly belly struck me down yet again.  I’m hoping that it will settle down again and it’s NOT a return of the endometriosis – that would be very annoying.

But even when I miss classes, at least I’m still getting to the gym regularly.  Step class tomorrow – yay!

and now – boringly – I’m off back to bed.  Ciao!

wah wah wah.

Another day of blah-ness.  Still SUPER tired – and I didn’t even get stay up late and watch the Formula One Grand Prix because – surprise SURPRISE SURPRISE – when you (and by “you” here I mean the Evil Power That Controls F1) schedule a race in the tropics  IN THE MIDDLE OF MONSOON SEASON in the late afternoon, IT GETS RAINED OUT.  A LOT.

Jenson wins in the wet

Jenson wins in the wet

This isn’t the first year, and it won’t be the last – but honestly, when the race gets red flagged at not even half way – well, booo hissss! I don’t want the drivers or the cars to come to harm: the race HAD to be stopped, it was ridiculous. But why in MONSOON SEASON, huh? WHY?? *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

At least all this jumping up and down in a rage counts as exercise, yes?

Hmmm, what other news?  Well … I haven’t been sewing. There are several (completely lame-o) reasons for this:

  • I’m tired (yeah, wah wah wah)
  • I can’t seem to keep the table cleared off for long enough to lay out fabric, pin the pattern to it, and get it cut out
  • My sewing machine is overdue for a service (and this is possible the LAME-EST excuse of all, because in fact I own *mumblety- three* sewing machines at last count.)
  • oh, and here’s a good one-  I’m feeling too fat to sew.  Yep, that’s right, I’m feeling frumpy so rather than sewing myself something fun and enjoying wearing it, I’m moping about and being grumpy about having nothing to wear.

It’s my head, I never said it had to make sense….

Tomorrow I’m off to see YAED (Yet Another Expensive Doctor).  Last week’s YAED was the dermatologist, who changed the long term antibiotics I’m on, said to take them for another 2 months, and call him if the rash came back when I stopped taking them.  Ummm, guess what?  I missed 3 tablets and it’s BAAAAACK, like some sort of horror movie freak show skin-itching DEMON.  I remembered to take the medicine today so hopefully it will calm down again – but sheesh!

And did I mention the wonderful side effect of itchy itchy ITCHY OH MY GOSH PASS ME THE GARNET PAPER I NEED TO SAND MY SKIN OFF IT’S SO ITCHY skin when I go into the sun? No?  Oh well, probably only a MINOR side effect…

And tomorrow’s YAED is the gynaecologist – will I spare you the gruesome details?  Dear Reader, will you survive the SUSPENSE?!

TWIRL!!

TWIRL!!

So here it is: The McFractured Tartan skirt.  As you might be able to see, I went a teeny bit berserk on the piecing… there was no plan, just lots of hacking fabric apart and then sewing it up again.  I *could* have just used the fabric as it was off the bolt, but – naaaah!  I have more of the same fabric on layby, and the plan is to make a little jacket that is *perfectly* matched across the plaid.  Just to show I can, you know!

Fabric was a bargain buy from Gardams.  It’s a wool/ poly/viscose blend, and creases just seem to drop out of it.  It also goes through the washing machine very well!  I used a couple of metres of inch wide black grosgrain ribbon for the waist ties.  Top is a $7 special from Rockmans; shoes are my favourite I Love Billys that you have seen me wearing almost every photo.

Pattern is the wrap skirt included in this book:

49-and-a-half-skirts

which of course I have mentioned previously.  I did alter the pattern for length.  And for width *sigh* since I am CONSIDERABLY larger than the pattern given, LOL! Still got a long way to go on this weight loss/getting fit thing…

caityconnie2

… as the dog and I are both showing our rounded tummies in this pic!

So I didn’t go to the gym on the weekend – which would have been FINE had I not baked Peach Crumble Slice last night.  And eaten ALL OF IT with Mr Beloved. Oh dear.

Never mind – rather than dwelling on the mistake, I took myself and my new cross trainers off to the gym this arvo.

Asics Gel 580-TR cross trainers

Asics Gel 580-TR cross trainers

Did my 30 minutes of cardio stuff (Translation: panting on the treadmill while it makes whooshy up and down noises as it changes the gradient – so high tech!) and 30 or so minutes of upper body resistance training (Trans: Wobbly tuckshop lady arms struggling to lift teeny weeny weights).

Then home via the library (because as we all know, there is NOTHING TO READ in my house….) in time for Scrapheap Challenge.

Tomorrow I’ve got an Exciting Thing to do!  It involves the transformation from this old version of Caity….

Caity, June 2008

Caity, June 2008

… into the new (slightly more slimline!) short haired blonde seen around here lately… with more make-up.  Think I’ll even ending up wearing the same top (although we might have to pin it back slightly!)

More on that tomorrow.  I’ve know about this for a week, and kinda wish that I had known longer in advance, because then I would have attempted the stupid unrealistic thing of “how much weight can I lose before THEN?”!

Uh – maybe not, eh?  I’m where I am NOW. That will do.

I mean, I’ve come a long way already in the weight loss/getting fit/getting healthy stuff… I’m just feeling frustrated at myself because I feel like the results aren’t happening quickly enough.  I know, it takes time, it takes training – but my inner toddler says “WANT IT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!”

Fortunately my inner surly teen whiner (“what’s the use, this isn’t gonna work, you can’t make me do this ANYWAY”) is securely locked in her room and is not allowed out.

So I’ll keep going.  And going. and talk to my personal trainer after Pilates class tomorrow night about re-focussing and what I need to do next.

Time for a (lo-fat!) hot choc and a few pages before I zonk.  Night all!

[memedex: pollid#489175]


Didn’t sleep well last night, one of the mysteries of the universe, that…

So as I was lying in bed this morning debating whether or not to get up (Caity’s Conscience: “But you missed gym yesterday!” Caity’s Rationalisation: “But I can’t train EVERY day…”) when my BFF texted me: “Shoe shopping after gym?”

WELL!! Caity’s Conscience and Caity’s Rationalisation both got a swift kick in the behind and out the door!  Once I got there I *was* just going to do my weights program…but I’ve been dancing around the idea of joining the Ki Max class (group class with lots of boxing and kicking, 4 people to a standing bag) and when one of the other newbies I’d spoken to recently was doing I thought – why not?

Another newbie for the class?!

Another newbie for the class?!

IT WAS AWESOME!!  It really oughta be illegal to have that much fun while actually doing a good workout AND getting to smash the (imagined) anatomy of various people who have aroused my anger.

*side-strike side-strike back-hand* THAT’S for your pr0n collection, 2nd husband!

*jab jab hook* and THAT’S for your not processing my bank transfer in a timely matter, big bank!

*thingummy whose name I can’t remember but where you hit upwards  – body strike?* OOOMPH!  and TAKE THAT, rude checkout chicky babe!

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. The release!!! The HIGH!!! The satisfaction!

I have never sweated so much in my entire life.  I had to stop and sit down a coupla times, but WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!  Of course, it helped that one of the gym owners was giving us three newbies our own little tutorials – how good is that service?

The only baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad thing was that because I did the class at the last minute, I had to use the old sweaty gloves that are kept in reserve … omg, the PONG!!!  So before next Friday I will do as everyone else does, and buy my own gloves.

I am amazed how far I’ve come in that last twelve months – I do need to be reminded (perhaps LOUDLY, dear readers!) of that.

Now I am taking my sore shoulders and abs for a nice soak in the bath.

(I'll probably NOT be wearing my ruby lipstick, though!)

(I'll probably NOT be wearing my ruby lipstick, though!)

(hands up who now has a David Bowie earworm? You’re welcome!)

I have made a lot of changes in the last year.  Losing weight, starting exercise;  the TAHBSO (Total Abdominal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oopherectomy and ensuing surgical menopause; taking better care of my skin, wearing make-up more; and getting more interested in clothing and fashion again after years of hiding in shapeless oversized clothes.

Not to mention actually getting real help with my mental illness(es?!), being in a stable and loving relationship (*mwah!* to the Teabot5000) and working towards not only getting out of debt but STAYING out of debt.

Most of these changes have been difficult, and especially so for the poor old Teabot5000 – He. Does. Not. Like. Change.

I mean, it would be hard enough for most men – but throw in the Asperger’s and you could have a disaster.

So far, we’ve managed to keep sailing. Mostly.  We’ve had a few instances where we’ve both had to bail water out of the bottom of the boat, so to speak…

boat

But then today I was soooooo ANGRY!!!

Not really at himself. Just at  – well, EVERYTHING!  I’m tired of being broke.  I’m REALLY tired of that.  I’m tired of having to watch every single cent as it briefly transits through our bank account into someone else’s pocket.

I’m tired of being TIRED.  Still.  (although some of that may be due to not getting enough iron – see “watching every bloody cent” above…)

I’m tired of feeling like my life has no meaning.

Yes, I know we’re well off compared to many – we have the house, we have the car, we have each other, we’re not starving, we have clean water etc etc.  I know I should be grateful for all that and I am – but I am feeling whiney and miserable and I just want to know WHY IS IT ALL SO HARD?!?!

There are some luxuries in my life, after all – the gym membership is expensive (but nowhere near as expensive as staying fat and inactive); and I generally get help to see the medical professionals I need to see.  We have the internet, for gawd’s sake.

And I am fully aware that my former spending habits (and a few episodes of uncontrolled mania) are largely to blame for our current situation.

Maybe if I sell a kidney, I could afford some fripperies?

Maybe if I sell a kidney, I could afford some fripperies?

(you know I’m joking about the kidney, right?  But if you’re interested in second hand sewing machines, let’s make a DEAL!)

BUT – I would like to be well enough to work.  At something meaningful.  Is that too much to ask?  (Probably, given the economy – with so many able bodied/non-mentally-ill/more recently employed potential employees out there, who on earth is going to “spare a shekel for an old ex leper?”, to slightly misquote The Pythons.)

They all want the one advertised job...

They all want the one advertised job...

Congrats if you’ve managed to read this far without my whine turning into the noise Charlie Brown’s teachers make:

Wah Wah Wah

Wah Wah Wah

New (old) skirt

New (old) skirt

So remember a few posts back (before the blog was Hjørsejacked for the nano song) I mentioned I was reworking a skirt?  Here it is.

(As you can see, I still have quite a way to go on getting rid of the tummy *sigh*.  I think I’m doing SO well and then I see a photo of myself and get all discouraged.)

Mr Beloved says this is NOT the most flattering outfit, and he’s right; but at least I have a wearable skirt for a little while.  And the trim is so much fun!

trim

Ribbons (mostly from the stash), some measuring tape (which may have belonged to my Nana – or someone else’s Nana, I do seem to get a lot of inherited craft bits and bobs!) that had suffered an unfortunate accident with a rotary cutter; and a flurry of tulle at the hem. (also unintentional but inevitable trim: small feathers from the cockatiels, cat fur, and poodle hairs.)

Anyway, I’m happy with it, it’s a fun skirt to wear, and even though I ended up pretty much remaking the darn thing from scratch, it was worth doing.  PLEASE tell me honestly what you think of the skirt!!

(if you’re interested, the review is here on Pattern Review)

Now if only the new Ottobre Woman magazine would come so I could make some other patterns up….

Meanwhile, I’m off the to the gym for Pilates class.  I went to the physiotherapist (again) today and he worked out that I have some residual nerve damage from my glorious ankle twist of mid January… also that I have long-standing issues with my C6-C7 neck joint which are in fact the cause of some of my wrist weakness and pain. Huh!  I also have ulna/radius joint weakness as well, so it’s lost more rehabilitation exercises for me and even more phsyiotherapist appointments… it never ends!!  Who knew that hyper-flexible joints were such a problem?

Who's a cutie, then?!

Who's a cutie, then?!

She’s just adorable, yes?

You might also notice from this photo that our lawnmower still isn’t back from repair.  This is what 3 weeks of no mowing and intermittent summer rain does to our yard!

Oh yeah – And I went blonde a few weeks back!

So before I went on my holiday to Adelaide at Christmas, I made a skirt.  Which didn’t fit, and so didn’t go on the holiday with me.  Which was a shame, because it was a CUTE skirt, with a border of this fabric from the “Sew Girls” range by Loralie Designs:

Loralie Designs Colourful Manequins

Loralie Designs Colourful Manequins

And it was this skirt pattern, View A:

McCalls 5591

McCalls 5591

Seriously cute, yes?

But at the time I was still suffering badly from swelly belly (which I’m very glad to say has settled down considerably with a different HRT regime and the new-found love of gym) and so had to add an ENORMOUS amount of width to the front to compensate.

Now – I’m taking the width OUT again!  But since I didn’t want to remove top stitched angled pockets on the front of the skirt, nor did I want to make a centre seam, I’ve had to get a little creative.  Which has involved unpicking EVERYTHING except the front with attached pockets, and the side seams under those pockets.

My sweet wonderful friend Sue *mwah, sweetie!* gave me a book this week – out of the blue – and it’s so INSPIRING I have to jump about when I’m trying to tell anyone about it!

This is the book:

Forty Nine and a Half Sensational Skirts

Forty Nine and a Half Sensational Skirts

(Aussie readers will find the same book under a different cover)

The artist is just … wow.  Talk about really exploring an idea!  Talk about your working in a series!!  So many pieces that share elements but are each unique –  love that!

This isn’t just me going off on a tangent – really!  – because one of the ideas Ms Willoughby explores in the book is cutting new seams in reclaimed (or new) skirts to add embellishments or other features.  That neatly solves my problem – I can make 2 new cuts in the front of the skirt (thereby making it look intentional from the start!) and reduce the width by the necessary amount without an ugly centre front seam.  AND I get to add more splashes of colour to the plain black body of the skirt, so it will look even better with that colourful border!  Très clever, très chic, oui?

Why now? Well, another friend is launching her new business on Friday night – and what better excuse to get this skirt finished than to wear it to a sewing teacher and designer’s party! I’m pretty sure I can get it done.  But not if I don’t get to bed NOW – got a gym class in the morning, then lunch with the girls…. eeek!  GOODNIGHT!!

  • Made it to Pilates even though I woke up exactly 45 minutes before class start time
  • Remembered to pack both clean undies AND a clean bra to put on post-class-shower/ pre-going out
  • Went with Sue to our first time at The Australian Sewing Guild meeting at Highfields, which was worth the trip. And while there I  traced the pattern to make the tunic featured on the cover of this magazine:
Ottobre Woman 2/2008

Ottobre Woman 2/2008

(Now I just have to grade it up *very* slightly, add seam allowances, tissue fit, choose which fabric to use, and actually sew it up)

  • Did a VERY intense session with the psychologist, working with a technique that I have scoffed at previously but which today saw me burst into tears… I remember now why I don’t usually wear mascara to these sessions!
  • Managed to eat and enjoy two hot cinnamon donuts even though buying three would have been better value – I only wanted two, so that’s all I had.  And they were GOOOOOD!
  • Spent another couple of hours STILL trying to find these back issues of Ottobre Woman (so far without success, obviously, and it’s driving me NUTS)
  • Ottobre Woman 2/2007

    Ottobre Woman 2/2007

    (And then I asked the Teabot5000 if he’d seen that cover and YES, he’d saved a magazine called Ottobre  in a box that he’d mentally marked “Important Textile Magazines KEEP THESE”!!! YES YES YES!!) So now I just have to locate the 2/2006 issue somewhere in our house/shed/combined clutter and I can stop obsessing:

    Ottobre Woman 2/2006

    Ottobre Woman 2/2006

    Why were these suddenly VITAL, I hear you ask?  Well, because I am now so very very close to fitting into some of the patterns that I adored in these but which would have been just too hard (I told myself) to re-draft to fit my larger size. Now I don’t have to re-draft, just trace, add seam allowances, tissue fit, and sew!  I suspect only another delusional sewing nut would understand the difference, but trust me, it’s VERY motivating!)

  • Watched the second auditions episode of So You Think You Can Dance – you all know I LOVELOVELOVE that show, right?
  • Did I mention that part of all the work I’m doing with the psychologist is clearing out unhelpful attitudes?  And that part of this is examinning what’s really important in my life?  So a lot of PHYSICAL clutter is getting sorted through, too; and I decided that the hugely expensive machine embroidery component of my fancy schmancy sewing machine is something  I want to  – hmmm, conquer isn’t quite the right word – perhaps – feel confident about exploring?  Yes.  So I *eventually* located the necessary bits and pieces (software, dongle, serial to USB converters and so on) and – TA DA – reinstalled the software and started to learn the programs over again.  Woo, yes?
  • Tomorrow: The physiotherapist.  And maybe some sewing.  And possibly a gym workout before those things.  So I must away to bed.

PS: Several LOVELY blogfriends have nominated for awards – I will get to them soon, thank you sweeties!

Waving goodbye to his beautiful ringlets

Waving goodbye to his beautiful ringlets

OBAMA!!!

OBAMA!!!

But needed to be a post.  So here goes:

Annie said:

Egads you’re game, I cannot do classes anymore. Was totally addicted to them when I was in my twenties, but now I am just too self conscious, to say nothing of too arthritic to look graceful anymore!

Arthritis is still an issue for me, but the class instructors and my personal trainer take it into account – I do modified version of some exercises and leave some out altogether. But the pain management specialist I see is very big on building muscle to support arthritic joints, and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet…

Of course, it’s early days for me a the gym.  But I am SO determined!

“Self conscious” – I am at the point where I honestly don’t give a STUFF about what anyone else thinks I look like when I’m working out! Of course, it helps a LOT that this is a fantastic gym with friendly people and a wide range of members – there are women (and men!) bigger then I am, and people wear what’s comfy.

Also, I have noticed that the only time anyone really looks in the mirrors is to check their form – if they’re performing the moves correctly –  no skeezoids hanging about checking out the chickybabes of any gender! I think this might be because this isn’t a “trendy” gym  – yes, they’re apparently the only gym in Queensland to offer some of the classes, so they’re modern, and the machines and facilities are kept super clean – but they’re not like SOME places I could name which are owned by franchises and have sales targets and glossy advertising that they have to cover… *wink* I’m sure you know the sort of places I mean!

I’ll NEVER be “graceful” – I mean, you should see the Oxigeno instructor, she moves like a ballet dancer, only with even more amazing muscles – but I expect I’ll get less clumsy and klutzy as I learn the routines and get some balance and core strength. Even SHE falls out of balance poses and admits some days are better than others!

I guess what I’m saying is I’m not letting any of my old ideas about being “perfect” at everything I try hold me back any more. Note: i am NOT saying that “near enough is good enough” – what I’m saying is that I am finally at the point where I can do this for ME, at my pace, and with the expectation that there will NOT be instant results, it’s a long road and I’ve barely taken the first steps.

I’m a bit tireder than usual, but I think when I do get to sleep I’m sleeping better. Going to the gym everyday has definitely improved my mood: even when I’m sore, I still like getting into the workout, and so enjoy the feeling of accomplishment once I’m done!

That said, I’m off to the gym again now.  Just doing the two machines I know so far and some stretches – unless the Step class looks like too much fun!

OI! Hello! It's meeeee!

OI! Hello! It's meeeee!

Hello! It’s me, Caity!  Shocking you as I reveal the alarmingly unflattering arms-length self portrait to show you my even shorter hair and new green framed glasses!  Wooooo!

Yep, that is grey at the temples there.  The pink just fades too darn fast, so I’m going BLONDE next.  At the next haircut.  And I finally got to see my waxer today, so I’m no longer auditioning for any roles as “grotesquely bearded lady” – just “slightly spotty” one.  And given how NONE of you wanted to hear about my facial hair woes mentioned in the last post, I’ll just leave that there, eh?

Sewing: ummmmm – well, I’m going to Gardam’s to order velvet tomorrow after gym… does that count? And I’m planning on rethreading the @*&#!)&*(# overlocker (serger) tonight and replacing the needle that broke right before I went on holidays.  Provided the front room has cooled down some – our wee hoose has no insulation and the temp got up to 36 degrees INSIDE today. That’s 95 F… hot for Toowoomba, but nowhere near the summer scorchers of my childhood.

(In primary school in Dubbo, we all FERVENTLY believed that when the temperature outside reached 46 degrees (115F) we’d be allowed to go home.  I have no idea if it was ever true, but I do remember when the temperature sat at 44 or 45 degrees for weeks and we’d have our classes outside under trees instead. Back in my day, sonny, we didn’t HAVE aircon at school…)

And I will confess to ordering a couple of new Vogue patterns: I like this one from Sandra Betzina especially.

v1085

Once my stupid swelly belly problem is a bit more sorted, I’ll sew up some skirt patterns… in the meantime, it’s just easier to wear loose dresses and tshirts with jeans.

Quilting: After quite a long hiatus I actually feel inclined towards making some fibre/quilt art.  I’ve been so out of that loop that I haven’t even read the last few issues of Quilting Arts… horror! And I’ve let my subscriptions to most of the other magazines lapse.  In their most recent email, though, there were some books coming out this year that looked worthwhile…including this one by Melanie Testa:melanie-testa

Doesn’t that look inspiring?

And now I really need to go and get settled for sleep.  I’m trying a new gym class in the morning and I’m feeling very nervous…

… but for now, I’m still so thrilled with myself every time I get there!

I’m especially loving this Oxigeno class thing – did it Monday morning and I can still feel muscles waking up from their 20 year long sleep. “Hey! WHAT?! You want us to do WHAT?!?”

Not painful sore, just – yeah, I worked out, ooooch.

Skipped yesterday because I was SUPPOSED to have a full schedule of appointments.  Now, I HAD been syncing my phone with my computer before I switched to a Linux box (which I love)…but when I got back from my holiday something weird had happened to all my appointments in my phone. OH NOES!

I got to my first appointment for the day ok (the gynaecologist, see him again in three months if this new medication works) because that was written on the calendar in the kitchen.  But – embarrassingly – missed the next two, which I thought were an HOUR LATER than the booked time… oh dear.  I blame the auto time updater on my phone.

So – I have gone back to good ol’ low-tech writing stuff in a diary, dammit! I bought one that is a very pretty blue -called “aqua” by the manufacturer, but in reality darn close to Tiffany blue (a girl can dream eh?)

Low tech, but it works!

Low tech, but it works!

So – re-booked appointment with the waxer (have I mentioned recently my struggles with chin hair? If not, remind me later, I’m sure you’ll all be RIVETED…) and the hairdresser. The lovely pink of a few weeks ago has faded to a dull – hmmm, brownish pinkish? on top, and a purpley-pink for the rest.

I may yet shave it all off and start over – or get white blonde highlights – or go black and red… it’s only hair, after all!

Gym today again – I can’t believe how rotten I feel before I go (“mumble grumble, bed, tea, mumble OH NO MR BELOVED, NOT THE FROZEN SPINACH I’M GETTING UP, REALLY!!!”) and how good I feel afterwards.

But now – I must go clean off the table to trace out a pattern.

Jalie Lounge Pants Pattern

Jalie Lounge Pants Pattern

The annoying thing is that – even with the weight loss I’ve already achieved – the only workout clothes around seem to be for TEENY WEENY (already fit? Grrummph) people.  It’s not like I even want anything fancy – and I *know* I can sew it – but it’s finding the right sort of fabrics in retail amounts that’s difficult.  And I’m not even talking technical/performance fabrics that do fancy things like wicking, oh no – just plain decent quality knits with a bit of body, that’s all I’m after.  Oh, and in just about any other colour than “grey marle”- was whoever invented THAT having a bad day or what? Is there any (non)colour more depressing?

Must get on with the day….

First day doing gym by myself.  I asked the trainer yesterday about the quietest times, and she was spot on – no waiting for machines (I only know how to use two!) and no gawkers.

I think I’m getting the hang of the treadmill  it sound totally woossy to admit it, but DANG that thing scared me yetsterday!  I was white-knuckled at 2.2kms per hour.  Which is S—L—-O—–W!  Today I was more confident, even played about with the incline settings, and got comfortable walking at 5kms per hour.  Still much slower than I walk outside, but a big leap in confidence.

So  – I did an hour of weights/stretches/pilates/treadmill.  All at a very low level, but…I’ll get there.

The gym equipment looks quite a roomful of angular monsters with bright orange mouthparts! *chomp chomp chomp*  I think it would all look much more civilised as a steampunk gym… all brass dials and gleaming ebony – don’t you?

I have a question though: my iriver MP3 player is NOT a fancy beastie.  Basic black with white ear thingies (Dontcha love it when I talk all TECHNICAL!)

And so there are no super duper fancy schmancie armbandy thingummies  to buy to fit it  – and even if they were, I seriously doubt they’d fit around my arm.

– So  – does anyone else have suggestions for how to make something to hold the thing?  The gym music is okay but there are times when I don’t want to listen to “doontz doontz doontz doontz”…. (as I write this I’m listening to Mercy by Duffy – awesome – and appropriate for gym perhaps!)

So I’m thinking a cuff/sleeve MP3 holder, with velcro maybe?  Hmmm.

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Duffy - AWESOME voice!

And I’m back to my food diary.  Tedious, but necessary.

Poor Connie J. Woodle was so excited that I was wearing shorts/t/walking sneakers… and then CRUSHED when I told her I was going to gym not to take her for a walk!  I’ll take her later to make up for it – but geesh, that disappointed puppy face – I felt like the world’s cruellest Mum!

Right.  Off to hang the washing and think about tackling …. THE SEWING ROOM ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT…

Now, as I may have previously mentioned, I am in the process of trying lose weight and get healthy.

BUT for some time now I’ve been stuck.  On a plateau.  Frustrated.

And we all know why, don’t we, boys and girls?

Yep – simple equation that even your math challenged blogonaut here can figure out:

To lose weight: Energy OUT must be greater than Energy IN.

And even on as low as 1200-1400 calories a day – allegedly below the amount needed to fuel my resting metabolic rate – the weight isn’t shifting.  Plus I HATE how I look. Really hate the extra padding. And the painful joints and all the other miseries of being so overweight. (Yes, I’ll probably still have joint pain, that’s the nature of arthritic diseases, but putting less load on the bendy bits will help.)

And I know I don’t have to look like I do.  I know I can be healthy at a much smaller size – ideally, about 40-45 kilograms less than what I currently weigh. (That’s 88-99 lbs less than now.) When I was younger I looked like this:

Caity in 1968

Caity in 1968

AHEM!  Let’s be a leeeeeeeeeeeeeeetle more realistic now…

Caity in 1991

Caity in 1991

This was in 1991. Which means I was 23.  Now, while I don’t NECESSARILY want to be as thin as this, (and it is, after all, *mumblety* years later) I reckon I can go a lot closer to looking like THAT than I am now.

So today I FINALLY JOINED THE GYM!

My dear friend Sue has been encouraging me to join the gym for some time now.  She’s worked hard to get trim and toned – and she looks great.  So  – I have my fitness assessment TOMORROW!  I’m so excited!

No big lock-in contracts, no poseurs – just a nice clean friendly gym. Run by nice people.  And a lovely  personal trainer I will work with  once a fortnight. And a goal for the year: 20 kgs less than I am now, with much improved fitness and sleekness!  I think that’s reasonable and achievable.

All the specialist doctors I see have been encouraging me to go for it – Mr Beloved is STRONGLY supportive – and my Mum and Sister-In-Law have weight loss goals for this year, too.

I know there will be days when I try to pike out – but I’m DETERMINED TO DO THIS.

(Just – if I do slack off – give me a gentle kick and tell me to get back in there, ok!)

So: tomorrow is full of good stuff.  Psychologist appointment, then the gym ,then I pick up my new spectacles and prescription sunglasses.  Oh, and I get to order  the silk/rayon velvet I need for my S-I-L’s bolero – good on Gardam’s, they’ve come through for me yet again!

… so back at my house, we have only acquired full length mirrors quite recently.  And I generally manage to avoid them by keeping them strategically filthy, so I can’t REALLY see myself in them, just a quick passing glance.

But here in my brother and sister-in-law’s house, the room I am staying  in has MIRRORS.

The ubiquitous "shot in the mirror" picture

The ubiquitous "shot in the mirror" picture

BIG mirrors. The kind you CANNOT AVOID.

Uggggh.

Naked Caity is NOT something even *I* want to witness first thing in the morning, let me tell you!

And I just got out the scales. NOT GOOD. *sigh* I didn’t think I had been over-eating, but obviously I was wrong.   Thing is, I FEEL better.  I can walk more – in fact, as soon as it’s a little bit cooler, Bidgee is taking me for a rousing game of Stick in River.  I’m still tired all the time, but feeling a little bit stronger, y’know?

But the weight loss stuff needs to get back on track.  SERIOUSLY.  (Not that I’m going to be all prissy tomorrow – you should SEE the feast my lovely sister-in-law and Mum have been working on!)

My lovely sister-in-law, Eunju, peeling prawns for the feast

My lovely sister-in-law, Eunju, peeling prawns for the feast

*sigh*

Well, time to stop moaning about it and go out and do some interval training with the dog.  (In my interpretation, we walk for a bit, then run for a bit, then both stop and pant for a bit, then run for a bit….)

Later,

Caity the waddler

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