Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts #eatinghealthysucks #gymselfie

Let’s not kid ourselves. Giving up sugar, donuts, french fries, soda, coffee, donuts, bread, pizza, fast food, ice cream, donuts… it all sucks.  I’ve actually given up NONE of those things… but I have tried hard to cut back.  It’s all I can handle.  An Apple Empanada from Taco Bell is about as exciting as my life gets!  I’m much too weak to say never.

But sugar… I’ve really got to get serious about eating less of it.  Middle age has it’s way of telling you that.  I was recently shocked when I started paying attention to all sugar i was eating.  And that was just in my yogurt and my oatmeal!   And how fun is yogurt and oatmeal anyway?? If i have to eat that every day, then why I might as well get a donut!!

Frosted.

But instead of giving up all sensibility for a daily chocolate glazed (which would be f*cking awesome!)… i decided i could have the occasional root beer, Happy Meal, or mmm… donut… if I just simply get the sugar out of the things that are, let’s face it… pretty lame anyway!  No offense yogurt and oatmeal.  You have fantastic health benefits… but you are not a donut. 

yogurtIn all seriousness, I really do have a lot of respect for those who choose to eat consciously and stay active… no matter how moderate or extreme their habits are.  I am terrible at it!  But we all don’t have to be #cleaneaters and #fitnessmodels.  Right?  If I can just make a little more effort today than I did yesterday, and a little more tomorrow… maybe I can get somewhere with this.

I HAVE to get moving too.  I sit all day, and it’s soooo not good.  And lunch is the time.  For me, that’s the only time I can even hope to stick with it.  And it keeps me out trouble (like driving to the store for a donut).  This week’s WordPress challenge asked us to look around at lunch and document what you see (i paraphrase)… and this is pretty much what I see every day.  And it’s not horrible.  It gives me a chance to listen to gangsta rap.

It hasn’t been an easy week… I am almost done with my first week of plain yogurt.  Ugh.  I didn’t want to do it.   I have to throw a bit of honey or raisins in it, but it’s a start.  The oatmeal was a much easier adjustment.  But it’s gotten easier through the week, and I’m pretty sure I can do this.  In the name of name of longer life, and tighter buns.

#gymselfie

#gymselfie

now where’s my donut?

xo skyblue

p.s. sorry I didn’t post at lunch… I was a little busy listening to Pitbull and trying not to think about donuts. 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/weekly-writing-challenge-lunch-posts/#more-66914

Belly Dancers in the Wild

Image

I absolutely love this photo from ronscubadiver.wordpress.com and just wanted to add it to my blog feed. The colors are beyond vibrant… there must be a word for that, but I don’t know what it is. It makes me remember the feeling of dancing with my belly dance troupe and how good it felt for fabric and coins to move around all of us in wild unison, hair swishing on my back.

In this photo you can see the energy shooting from the earth, through the dancers bodies and right out their fingertips. Just look at their gorgeous delicate fingers. I can almost hear their zills and coins… i must dance today.

xo skyblue

Thank you Ron Scuba Diver for sharing this lovely photo! Check out more lovely creatures and adventures on his WordPress blog.

Granola Head…? Little crumbles of love.

i just love this idea… First of all i just love granola… especially in yogurt.  You can do so many things with it… eat it out of a little bag, mix it with fruit and chocolate, poor milk over it, add flavors to it…

This DIY granola should be what “granola” islittle crumbles of love.  instead, when you go to most stores, the granola looks like the healthy choice, but most of it is just as crappy for you as fruit loops.  (no offense, fruit loops… i adore you… but they were not invented as a “healthy alternative”.  super yummy though).

anyway… enough about me and my evil sweet tooth… enjoy this post from alotabouteverything.wordpress.com.

via Granola Head…?

Granola rocks!  share your healthy recipes… share them with the world!

skyblueXO

Smokin’ Wii

o-m-G.  I can’t believe we bought in.  We bought the Wii Fit.  We actually look just like those people all over you tube!  (Why many of them need to be in their underwear, I’ll never know)

I like to think I have steered clear of most fitness trends, and weight loss gimmicks.  Most of my life i have been moderately active – more active than many people around me, but not even close to athletic.  I have made many half-hearted attempts to become a “gym-rat”, and I even got some fitness certifications here and there… but physically I was only doing enough to maintain a half-way decent figure and an ability to move about with relative ease.  For the past 2 years I have lost my way with this maintenance program… i have been moving less and less, becoming more and more tired, and i need to kick it up a notch before i become what i always said i would never… obese and immobile. i have to get back to doing all the things i used to “preach” to my students, family and friends… watch the posture, drink the water, breathe in and out, stretch and lengthen, vegetables, be active…

so the even larger challenge has been getting my husband on board to work out with me, and eat more mindfully…maybe lose a few pounds.  I think the Wii Fit may be just what we needed.  It seems to be creating a fun bit of competition between the two of us, and it’s getting us off the couch and moving.  together.  what more can i ask for from a really expensive (and slightly annoying) video game?  I hope by mixing the Wii in with other fitness activities that we enjoy, we will be successful in becoming a more active & fit couple.  I hope others will find ways they can too, become more healthy and active.

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The one thing we won’t do, is end up on you tube doing the invisible hula hoop… in our underwear.

e.j.l. xo

Thank You, Isabella

I first came across the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum while roaming about Boston back in the early 90’s with some [of my favorite] friends.  I don’t remember how we ended up there, or who’s idea it was to go in… but from the moment I caught a glimpse of the magical botanical courtyard, I knew I must tell others about it… and I knew I must someday return here.  Specifically (and secretly), I hoped I would return with someone I love.  You know…maybe with a husband or something.

Fast forward 20 years to last weekend…just having met what they call middle age… and I was finally making it back for a visit.  I was bringing someone I love too, which was cool.  (-:  My husband doesn’t much think about art and such things, but he made the two hour trip to Boston with me for my recent birthday.  Once in the city, we found free rock-star parking only one block away (and not in a tow zone!).  After taking a quick photo or two (or three…) out front, we found ourselves walking past the giant iron gates, through the “whimsical meets Gothic” doors and into a dimly lit corridor.  We were greeted by a friendly guard, and the grand four story courtyard… and showered by the most delicate light.   It was just as breathtaking as the first time i saw it.  It was better than i even remembered it to be.  I knew I was having a moment…I was pretty sure that we were having a moment.

[Although my husband would say his moment came later when we were having beer and bacon burgers]

We made our way through shadowy corridors and up marble staircases (butt workout…bonus!), around each corner greeted by a different viewing room, all with walls of vibrant colors, vintage leathers and fabrics, and all with brilliantly framed views of the courtyard.  Each room was filled to the brim with art and treasures from all around the world.  There were brief, but foot-stomping-temper-tantrum-make-me-so-stinking-mad reminders of the mysteriously stolen Rembrandts and Degas drawings (amongst works by other masters that some loser walked off with).  Every nook and cranny, every tile in the wall, every window, every piece of furniture – it all had a story to tell.  This was Isabella’s collection.  Her collection that she decided she wanted to share with all of us.  How lucky i felt to be standing there, again, on my birthday, with Isabella, and my husband.

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For twenty years, whenever someone asks me to close my eyes and envision myself in one of the most beautiful places i have ever been, I am immediately transported to this place.   Photography is not permitted inside (bummer), but you can see some sneak peaks if you do a Google search, or go to the official website.   Even so, I hope I have inspired someone to travel there someday, or to stop in if just passing through.

Thank You, Isabella!

e.j.l. xo

photo of courtyard : source www.gardnermuseum.org

Angel

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” 

Michelangelo

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I had this piece of wood.  I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…

It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio.  It was a Saturday, my favorite day.  I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision.  There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…

And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood.  she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt.  i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing.  i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there.  i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling.  at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait.  I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish.  then i just started painting.   When she emerged, I was her.  She was me… the dancer inside me.  She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was.  But there was some sadness in her eyes.   i named her Daisy.

i have danced on and off my whole life.  Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good.  I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void.  In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80.  For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs…  just no dancing.  I was surely never going to dance again.  i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.

It seems Daisy came into my life just in time.  She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing.  I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer.  i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way.  Each plie, at my own pace.  Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose.   I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing.  it would heal my body.  it would heal my spirit.  and i might even wear a bikini again!

Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy.  My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again.  I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more.   Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated.  Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves.  But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her.  What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her.  And now she is free.  Still a little sad sometimes, but free.

e.j.l. xo

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p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels.  I just liked the quote. (-:

Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”?  Did it effect your life in some way?

Amazing fitness blogs from Tumblr

Amazing fitness blogs from Tumblr.

I haven’t been feeling inspired to write for some reason. Or maybe I just get so distracted by Freshly Pressed, and other peoples’ blogs.  I do love to read blogs.  I would imagine most blog writers do, but i don’t know any other bloggers.  Sometimes I read them to learn more about blogging and WordPress, but mostly i just enjoy the blogging world in general.  Little snippets of information, inspiration, ideas, opinions… bite size, and perfect for my challenged attention span. I get lost in the stories and photos, opening endless Mozilla tabs, until i get truly exhausted.

At the moment I’m just trying to do a quick press, linked from another blog about something I thought was interesting.  Some fun motivational fitness blogs.  And I’m also trying to learn how to use Post Tags.

So here goes… some amazing fitness blogs from Tumblr… lets see if it works….

e.j.l. xo