Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Perfect Beginning

Today is just the perfect day for new beginnings. After celebrating the new year on Atlantic Standard Time,

[not familiar with that time zone? Well, it's technically 15 degrees east of the Eastern Standard zone in the U.S., so an hour earlier than here in Central Virginia. We have spent a lot of time there in the Bahamas, but the Bahamas actually observe Eastern Time, even tho they are Atlantic!]

I was up early this morning. Walking out to get the paper I found the kind of crisp, trying-to-be-warm morning that one normally encounters in late March - in these parts. A warm front is moving thru today bringing us warmer weather for a few days, and I thought for a second that I was in the wrong season. A sliver of moon and Venus were still visible hanging high in the sky. Now the skies are more overcast, but it's almost balmy.

The nicest thing is the lack of traffic. Don't know if folks are glued to the Rose Bowl Parade, or sleeping off too much festivities, but either way the result is a calm and peaceful morning. Makes me feel like anything is possible.


One thing that is possible in 2011 is to continue my war against weight. Whoa! That might be my new name for it. Sunday is my normal weigh-in day, but I jumped on the scales a day early so that I could start the year accurately. Total lost is 8 pounds since Thanksgiving.

Many of you encouraged me to embrace the first five pounds that I kept trying to see as "new" weight and somehow not worthy of counting. I have realized that not counting them as lost is a way of denying them as gained. So, I have embraced both! [Thanks for your guidance!]

What have I learned so far? A lot. I have tried counting calories lots of times - with no particular success. I have tried journaling several times - but stopped after a few days. But this time I am using all the weapons:

Journaling with - I think the reason this works is that they have a huge database of foods, so it's easy to find what one eats and calculate the calories using serving size. It's harder to cheat [that entire of block of cheese was probably 1.5 ounces - right?] and more satisfying that the numbers are more accurate.

Serving Size is crucial - and most "normal" servings really are enough. We keep a digital scale on the counter - even weighed our NYE goodies last night- along with a series of cup measures. Measuring has become part of meal preparation and serving the plates. No seconds allowed unless they are measured, too! and no picking off the counter after dinner!

Jazzercize is fun and crucial. On the days I dance, I can't eat - at least don't want to eat - all the calories that I am allowed. This is definitely helping with the weight loss and overall fitness. And, please don't tell ... but, I have finally started enjoying exercise. Remember all those times you heard that everyone needs to find a form of exercise she likes... well, add this to tennis for me!

Support is also crucial - yours and Mitchell's. Since he is losing, too, it's helpful to work together. He is not getting as much exercise as I am, so not yet losing as fast. That will change next week when he gets back to his pre-holidays schedule of tennis. We will have to eat out a good bit this next week - [I'll show you why in a few days] - so we have already started talking about strategies to eat less at restaurants, and which restaurants to choose so that we can have more control.

It's truly a change in lifestyle. I still need to deal - at some point - with emotional eating and snacking, but that will come at maintenance time. Until then, I am getting good at smaller servings, journaling and dancing more, so progress is being made!

Onward into 2011. This is the perfect beginning!

Words We Can Live Without!

Apparently the good folks - known as the Unicorn Hunters - at Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) issue a list each year of words that we need to drop from the English language - at least, the American version of it - for "mis-use, over-use and general use-lessness". This is the 36th year that LSSU has produced this list, and this year they received more than 1,000 entries. And, the winners - along with some of the nominating statements - are:

Viral - ok in medical usage, but way overdone in referring to things "going viral" in cyberspace. "This linguistic disease of a term needs to be quarantined." I don't really care one way or the other about this one.

Epic - "Cecil B. DeMille movies are epic. Internet fallouts and opinions delivered in caps-lock are not. 'Epic fail,' 'epic win', 'epic (noun)' -- it doesn't matter; it needs to be banished until people recognize that echoing trite, hyperbolic Internet phrases in an effort to look witty or intelligent actually achieves the opposite." I've been sleeping. Hadn't noticed this one.

Fail - "Fail is not a noun. It is not an adjective. It is a verb. If this word is not banned, then this entire word banishment system is full of FAIL." Missed this one, too.

Wow factor - "This buzzword is served up with a heaping of cliché factor and a side order of irritation." A friend of mine used to use this a lot - three years ago - but I seldom hear it now. I'd keep this one.

Ah-ha Moment - "All this means is a point at which you understand something or something becomes clearer. Why can't you just say that?" Same friend, same comment. Don't mind this one.

Back Story - "This should be on the list of words that don't need to exist because a perfectly good word has been used for years. In this case, the word is 'history,' or, for those who must be weaned, 'story.'" I'm with them on this one. "History" is a good word!

BFF - Well, I think I like this one, but then I don't hang out with many teenagers. I suspect that those of you who do, will feel differently. But, it is definitely over-used.

Man Up - "Another case of 'verbing' a noun and ending with a preposition that goes nowhere. Not only that, the phrase is insulting, especially when voiced by a female, who'd never think to say, 'Woman up!'" I couldn't agree more. I hate it when someone tries to make a verb out of a noun, or vice versa.

Refudiate - "Adding this word to the English language simply because a part-time politician lacks a spell checker on her cell phone is an action that needs to be repudiated". Well, first we need to strip away the political bias here, but then he has a point. There is a perfectly good real word!

Mama Grizzlies - "Unless you are referring to a scientific study of Ursus arctos horribilis, this analogy of right-wing female politicians should rest in peace." I find it as demeaning as "soccer moms" in a previous decade. Let it go.

The American People - "These politicians in Congress say 'the American People' as part of what seems like every statement they make!" The one thing that we absolutely know is that "the American People" never agree on anything. For anyone to claim to represent the ideas of us all, is ludicrous. Dump the expression!

I'm Just Sayin' - "'A phrase used to diffuse any ill feelings caused by a preceded remark,' according to the Urban Dictionary." Wow - I love this one. You'll have to decide for yourself.

Facebook/Google used as verbs -
"As bad as they are, the trend can only get worse, i.e. 'I'm going to Twitter a few people, then Yahoo the movie listings and maybe Amazon a book or two." Well, I totally agree with this. I hate changing nouns into verbs - it's lazy!

So, there's the list from LSSU. I think they have some good points, but the list does not include the word I want totally dropped.

It's "impact" used when you really want "affect". "Impact" (as a verb) means to strike forcefully or to impinge. As a noun it means a forceful contact or collision. Over the past 10 years or so, we have started using both the verb and the noun to mean affect, or have an affect on. It is losing the sense of force and collision - you know, like a car crash! Drives me crazy. So, just for me could you, would you, please, knock off with the "impact"? Thanks!

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Most Wonderful Night of the Year!

The champagne is iced. The cheese and crackers ready to serve. The caviar is chilling, guest invited, table set, a little bling on the coffee table - everything is ready!

Our annual party is ready to kick off after dark - just the two of us. No traffic, no drunken friends or strangers, just a fun evening in front of the fire for the two of us. A tradition.

It's also the time to be thinking big thoughts for the new year. Peace and hope come to mind. Someone suggested serenity - there's a much better chance of accomplishing that than peace and hope, I think.

For all the blogger friends I've made this year, thanks for spending some of your time reading my feeble words. Thanks for the support you have given me, and for all the happy time I have spent reading your blogs.

I wish you all a wonderful year, filled with love and friends, blue skies and following winds. I do wish for Peace - yep. the kind with a capital "P", and pray for the peace makers. There must be some somewhere.

Oh, one more thing: a glass of your favorite champagne! love, webb