Category Archives: The Blogosphere

My Four-Leaf Clover: hard to find, lucky to have.

I stumbled across a hashtag on Instagram this past weekend which read: #onlinefriendsareREALfriends

I found it humorous because obviously a hashtag like that wouldn’t have been created unless someone felt the need to validate an online friendship to a ‘non-believer’.   Back in the mid-nineties I was a firm non-believer, myself.

Remember when AOL was the only provider in town and chat rooms were all the rage?  Back then one could request an online penpal simply by posting a message on a ‘board’ which I did.  Within a week I received a response from a young woman who lived only a few hours away from me and we began an instant exchange of emails several times a week.   After a couple of months we began talking on the phone (which as you know, not the easiest thing for me to do) and that led to an invitation to meet in person.

To make a long story short, our friendship ultimately turned into a unfortunate termination of communication, initiated by me.  ME – the one who hates confrontation.  Me:  the one who’s most likely to stay in a job she dislikes only because she’s more fearful of the unknown.  It was a total train-wreck because, well….while I was truthful about things happening in my life, she was not.  I held on though, giving  her the benefit of the doubt.  I even made a second trip out to see her but the entire experience was based on a foundation of lies which continued to unravel faster than I could keep up.

I am terrible at confrontations and avoid them like the plague, but I knew that continuing this relationship was out of the question.  I broke it to her as nicely as I could but like most break-ups, it did not go well.  In fact, the emails that followed which ultimately led to the deletion of my account were downright threatening.  That mess affected me so deeply I remained pretty quiet on the Internet for years, always the lurker but never really wanting to interact for fear that true friends simply couldn’t be found online.

Then I decided to start a blog.

September will mark my third year at Fat Girl Wearing Thin, and for the first time this year I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few women that I that I’ve been in contact with since my blog’s inception – all women are fellow bloggers and each of them whether they knew it at the time or not, gave me the gift of gladly being proven wrong:   Online friends ARE real friends.

First there was Roxie; then, Vickie.  Then, this past weekend I had a tremendous gift bestowed upon me: Lynn from Learning Curves who, along with her husband, happen to be a full-time travelers were driving right through my hometown on Thursday, and staying in the area until Monday.

Lynn first connected with me shortly after I published a post back in November 2010 about my mother nearly dying from a hit and run car accident.   Lynn reached out to me to let me know that she too, was experiencing heartbreak from a recent accident that involved her parents.  From that email blossomed a very special online friendship.  For nearly three years we’d never spoken on the phone, never texted one another, and only occasionally emailed – but there was always something there; something I couldn’t quite put my finger on; something wonderful  that kept us in touch, whether it was a supportive comment from me via her Instagram feed as I viewed photos of her daily yoga challenges, or her leaving an uplifting comment on my Facebook art page regarding a painting I was working on.  When I learned that she was coming into town I could barely contain myself.  In usual fashion I was a bundle of nerves, anxious and excited all at once.

We decided to meet on Friday morning at my local Panera restaurant.  I waited impatiently outside and posted to Instagram this photo:

photo(2)

Underneath it read: Impatiently waiting to meet one of my dearest online friends whose travels have taken her to my neck of the woods!  Hurry, @lynnbonelli!! 

Not more than 30 seconds after posting this, I heard her voice. We immediately hugged like long-lost twins, separated at birth.  We’ve always known there were similarities in our lives and we are so alike in so many ways its uncanny, yet the differences between us leave me in awe of her so much of the time.  This is a woman who’s finished marathons, completed the Tough Mudder Challenge in Tahoe and has mastered yoga poses that I cannot imagine doing (by the way, Lynn was gracious enough to do a few of her daily challenge poses in my yard yesterday:

Scorpion Pose

 

What lifts me up is the fact that like me, Lynn also has a back problem.  Yet with diligent yoga practice,

she’s been able to not only diminish her chronic pain but she’s grown strong enough to master poses like the one above, called Scorpion.

 

 

 

Here Lynn is doing Camel Pose while my water fairy, the ever diligent one, watches the water below.

If you’d like to see the other few poses Lynn completed in my yard, you can view them here via her Instagram feed: @lynnbonelli

 

Between Friday and Sunday I was fortunate enough to visit with Lynn three times, and each time we saw each other we talked nearly non-stop.  Sunday we brought our guys along for a nice lunch:

This morning they left for their next RV adventure and I already miss her.

 

The other day I saw one of those articles that reminds we ‘old-folk’ of just how old we are.  This one, from the Huffington Post was titled 23 Things your Kids Will Never Understand.

…things like floppy discs and record stores, dial up Internet and having to get off the phone in order to even USE the Internet.

Yes, things have certainly come a long way.  Technology evolves, and fortunately for most of us, so does our way of thinking.  Thank goodness I didn’t allow one bad experience stop me from connecting with some of the kindest, supportive, kindhearted people I have ever known in my life.  Whether I’m 2 hours or 2000 miles away from my friends, it is the best feeling in the world to know that no matter what kind of day I’m having, there are people out there who truly care.  To me, that’s just magical.

Another Goodbye

We all have our favorite blogs to read. The same way a parent fumbles with the words when asked which of her children she loves the best, the same is true with blogs.  They are all special in their own way.  I can think of some common reasons why people would support, encourage and stand beside the bloggers they devote their time to:

  • Our blogs were launched about the same time and I feel a certain kinship with this blogger.
  • I read this blog and feel as though he/she knows exactly how I am feeling.  I read because I know I’m not alone and can garner some strength in that knowing.
  • I strive to be more like this blogger.  He/she gives me inspiration and I need that positive reinforcement in my life right now.

We all have our own reasons as to why we’re especially loyal to certain blogs.  But, what if you were asked, ‘Why do you blog?’ Well, until earlier this week, I’d never considered that to be a loaded question.  Now, I begin to wonder.

Yet another one of my favorite bloggers officially signed off on Sunday, hitting the publish button on what was to be her last post.  I was deeply saddened to see her go, and quite surprised by the events that led to her decision.  Here, in part, was what she had to say in her last post:

The idea that blogging may no longer be the best way to meet my needs came from a German university.
A few months ago, I was asked to participate in a research study of bloggers. Of course, I was skeptical, but this one checked out as being legitimate. As I was filling out the questionnaire, I became upset, as I felt the researchers had been less than forthright about what they set out to prove in their research. At some point I stopped answering the questions, as I was highly offended by the nature of the questions. To paraphrase, they were asking leading questions to gather a psychological profile of bloggers as people with few friends, socially awkward (my paraphrase) who used the internet rather than have actual human interactions….

But it did get me to thinking. Did I fit that category? How well rounded an individual am/was I? Did I fit that blogger profile? What was driving my need to blog? What need was I meeting by blogging? For me, it was a combination of things – external affirmation and a need for intimacy, to find and connect with like-minded people – something I seemed to think impossible for me in my real life.

….The time has come for me to leave this behind. To concentrate on my 3D life – cultivating friendships and creating real intimacy. I’ve substituted the keyboard for skin far too long. In my year of living authentically, it’s time to move completely into the real world.

 

When I finished reading, I sent a comment to let her know how much her blog as well as her online friendship had meant to me, wished her all the best, and started my day.  It wasn’t until later, when I was walking my dogs with my husband that I noticed an unsettled feeling regarding her post.   Much of it had to do with the researchers and their questions (opinions) about bloggers.  First of all, I had no idea that someone like me, a blogger – was worth researching; especially a project whose team hopes to portray an idea of who they perceive us to be:  lonely, isolated, anti-social people who reach out to others like us so that we don’t have to fully participate in life like the rest of the world. 

I personally know a few people right now who would wholeheartedly agree that I should apply as the poster child for that study.  Since losing my job last September I have certainly had to adjust to feeling more isolated, even though I have another part-time job; I do find myself lonely at times (but who doesn’t?) and as far as being anti-social?  Well, if that means that I’d rather spend my evenings with an intimate group of people as opposed to being at an entire house party then yes, I’m anti-social.  But, choosing to blog because I’d rather reach out than go out is inaccurate. 

Still, the seed had been planted and I found myself wondering:  How many 3-D friends do I have?  How much of my life is spent blogging as opposed to living among the…living?  What DO I get from blogging?   Is the term ‘blog friend’ nothing more than that being compared to a high school pen pal exchange program? We write a few letters back and forth, develop as meaningful a friendship as one can over the hundreds or thousands of miles that separates us; then it’s time for graduation; we say our goodbyes and go our separate ways.  (Truthfully speaking, how many real-life friendships are immune to similar endings?) 

What does the word ‘friendship’ mean to you?  Must we meet a person in real life and get to know them to accept these bonds as real?  Does it diminish the bond if you never have the opportunity to meet face to face? 

I can tell you one thing:  it’s difficult for a blogger to explain to a non-blogger about the whys of it all.  They simply do not understand something they’ve never done.  They may grasp the idea of it, but it’s still not the same. Want my take on the whole thing?  I’m always commenting on here about how much of a rule-follower I am – which, by and large, is part of my nature (it’s a control thing, but I’m working on it).  But, I’m not a true conformist.  I never took my husband’s last name, I don’t have a traditional family, I try to challenge my comfort zone on a regular basis, I seek out vacations to see the things that other people don’t particularly take the time to go see; and I happen to run a blog.  I am learning to embrace my differences.  I truly am.  Different is grouped together with the same words as unique, special, and diverse.    I’ll take any one of those words and wear it proudly.  And those researchers?  Maybe they should start a blog and meet the kind of wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of spending the last year with.  Then we’ll talk.   

A couple of useful websites

Know what I learned yesterday?

My blog friends will listen to me whine and complain when I’m sick and not one of them will say, ‘Suck it up, you big wimp.’

Thank you.

My blog friends will ignore comments about my nasty hair and less than stellar hygiene and instead offer words of support and encouragement.

Again, thank you.

 

I’m starting to feel like this blog is an ongoing broadcast of useless news updates:

You’re watching Day Eight of Ellen’s Massive Shut-in!

Has she found her way back to health?    Will she ever wash her hair?  Stay tuned!

Vickie checked in on me this morning and I wrote back, ‘I feel better but not enough to really mean it.’ I am going to throwing class tonight; at least for the demonstration.  So, I will be making my way out of the house today which means that yes, I’m washing my hair (my husband must be secretly thanking the gods for that one.)

While I’ve been sick I’ve been away from the computer as well, except when I can’t sleep at night.  That’s when I usually surf around and if I’m lucky I’ll find something of interest.  This week I’ve come across a couple of completely unrelated but interesting websites that I thought I’d share:

The first one is called Earndit and you need to head over there if you use one of the following services: Nike+, a Fitbit, FourSquare, EveryTrail or a Garmin Connect.  Basically, you’re awarded points for exercising and can use those points for things like nutrition bars, giftcards, apparel, tea and some other cool stuff.  I don’t use any of the above services but love the concept – and who doesn’t love free stuff?  Oh!  I scanned over the FAQ’s and you can use this service even if you don’t live in the US (you may have to meet certain requirements though, so check on that).

The second site is called InfoZooms and if you like finding information quickly and in list-form, you might check it out. Topics vary from Ten Ways to Exercise Outside of the Gym to 11 Rules to Work Smarter Not Harder.  What makes this site interesting is that it’s interactive: you can push the most useful info to the top of the list and even add to it if you like. I’ve used this site a couple of times now to help with blogger’s block.  Sometimes just scanning the lists has triggered an idea for a post.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone.  Stay healthy.  If your hair needs washed, just do it already.

In Search of…… a Cure for Malaria – and, Aliens?

While reading Cammy’s wonderful blog over at Tippy Toe Diet a while back, she posted about a few websites that do some seriously good work around the Internet – one of which I signed up for (thanks, Cammy!)  I’ve always thought that no act of kindness is too small.  Each of us has the ability to change lives.  Besides, who doesn’t like good Karma, right?

Recently here at home, I noticed my husband tinkering with my laptop computer.  I asked what he was doing and he said that he was installing a program called BOINC.  “What’s that?”  I asked.  “Well,” he said.  “It’s a program that uses grid computing and runs when the computer is in screensaver mode.  It will use our spare computer time to assist in scientific research.”

What he said next was pretty exciting but I don’t remember much because he started using ‘computer-speak’ and lost me about halfway through our discussion.  Basically, this is what BOINC is in plain English:

BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) is based out of Berkeley University in California and relies on volunteers to use his/her computer’s idle time (when it’s in screensaver mode) to aid in important scientific research, such as curing diseases, studying global warming, and discovering pulsars.  BOINC lets you contribute computing power on your personal computer to various important projects in many scientific areas.

 

 

Pretty cool, huh?  One of the projects that we chose to participate in is called  Rosetta@home and is lead by David Baker.  He is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington.  He does a much better job at explaining his project than I could:

 Rosetta@Home needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases. By running the Rosetta program on your computer while you don’t need it you will help us speed up and extend our research in ways we couldn’t possibly attempt without your help. You will also be helping our efforts at designing new proteins to fight diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

 

It’s pretty cool to see our chosen project at work when our computers go into screensaver mode. It may not be as visually exciting as watching virtual fish swimming on our screen but we feel like we’re contributing to something important.  The project that my laptop is assisting in is one of many from World Community Grid which is performing chemistry experiments by creating virtual proteins that could aid in the cure for Neuroblastoma, a deadly cancerous tumor found in children.  You can find out more about this specific project here.

 

Being an astronomy buff, my husband is also running the SETI@Home project on his computer.  I’m including the description for this one specifically for Tim (Fat.Boy.Thin) as I recently read that he’d love the possibility of a personal encounter with an alien – Tim, this could be your chance! 

Description: SETI@Home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data. Your computer will analyze packets of information looking for a radio signal from space and then send that information back to the project center.  

 

There are many projects that need our idle computer time.  Maybe you’ll find one that you’d like to participate in and and in return contribute to finding the cure for a disease, understanding climate change, or search for gravity waves in space.

Or, if you live on the wild side – maybe make contact with an alien :)

In Search of…Sunday: Who Ate My Blog, and FGWT

While catching up on blogs yesterday, I noticed that I’d received an email from Stephen Vinson who runs Who Ate My Blog.  Stephen is an amazing man on a mission to lose over 400 pounds; he’s already lost 230.  If you’ve never visited his blog before, it’s a very inspirational read.

Yesterday, the Birmingham News featured an article on Stephen and the progress he’s made on his weight loss journey.  This in itself is very exciting news, however Stephen’s email was to let me know that Fat Girl Wearing Thin was also mentioned in the article – particularly our Hate-Loss Challenge.  You can read the full article here.

While on this topic, I received quite a few emails yesterday asking if it was too late to sign up.  The answer is No, it’s never too late!  This is a personal growth experiment and  anyone is welcome to join in at any time during the month.  Just read the info page, print out your words and go!

One more thing: I have been having server issues this past week.  My site has been unavailable periodically both to me and the rest of the world.  I am working with my host to resolve this issue, so please bear with me if you try to access my site and are unable. 

Have a peaceful Sunday, everyone.  See you back here tomorrow :)

In Search of…Sunday: Nothing Happy about Happy Meals

When I was little, I thought that eating at McDonalds was a real treat.  When my Happy Meal was handed over by my Mom or Dad, I’d inhale the smell of french fries and carefully open the box.  I’d lay out and gaze at everything as though I were unpacking a picnic basket: hamburger: check.  Fries: check.  Drink: check.  Toy: double check.

Fast food places didn’t have the bad rap that they do now.  Within the last few years, restaurants have taken on new names that I’m sure don’t make the shareholders very happy.  Hey kids, who wants to go to Burger Sling for lunch?  No?  How about Pondegrossa?  Mmm……Pizza Butt, anyone? 

Health food blogs and forums all over the web are abuzz over the recent news regarding the big McDonald’s Happy Meal Maybe you’ve heard the news:  Beginning December 11, 2011, McDonalds restaurants in San Francisco will no longer be allowed to put toys into their Happy Meals unless they meet specific requirements:

  1. each meal must contain 600 calories or less
  2. It is required to have 1/2 cup of vegetables
  3. breakfasts must contain 1/2 cup of fruit
  4. there will be a multigrain requirement
  5. the entire meal cannot exceed 640 mg. of sodium

Spokespeople from McDonalds claimed that parents did not ask for nor do they want this regulation.  Some professionals say there are lots of reasons for childhood obesity and that regulating fast food will not solve the problem.  Others argue that McDonalds has the right to use whatever marketing tool they choose, just like any other company.

Is this the cause of childhood obesity?

Those who were in support of it said that places like McDonalds pander to children by enticing them with toys from the latest movies and the hottest characters.  With childhood obesity clearly on the rise, health professionals argue that reducing the consumption of unhealthy foods could save billions of dollars to the health care system. 

One thing is clear, though.  Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years according to the Center for Disease Control.  But who’s fault is it?  The parents?  The restaurants?   

I’m very curious as to what you all think about this action.  Does the government have the right to play a role in what your children should or shouldn’t eat? Are they simply stepping in on a situation that has taken on epidemic proportions or should restaurants be given the right to serve what they want to those who want it?

A test on Sunday? Yep: The Jung Typology Profile

Do you remember those magazines you used to read when you were younger that had quizzes like, Is he the right guy for you?  Do you have a love or lust relationship?  Which celebrity bad-girl are you? Should you dump your boyfriend? 

As a teenager and well into my twenties I was hooked on those things. I couldn’t wait to tally up my answers and see if I were ‘an OK friend or a great friend!’  These days,  if I’m waiting in line at the grocery store flipping through Cosmopolitan or Glamour and come across one of their quizzes I shake my head and think, ‘That’s why I didn’t become a doctor.’

Which is why I refused at first when my husband recently asked me to take a personality quiz.  I thought to myself, ‘I’m forty.  Do I really need to waste my time on questions like,   When dancing at a club, do you mix-it-up like Madonna or disco like Danny DeVito?’ 

No no, my husband assured me.  This is a legitimate test, based on the research of Carl Jung, Katharine C. Briggs, and Isabel Briggs Myers.  He sent me here to read more about it.  Oh, it’s one of those legit ones….I said OK.   

It’s called the Jung Typology Test and took a little over 5 minutes to complete.  There was no sign-up required, I didn’t have to give my email or any other personal information.  I just answered the questions and received immediate feedback of my personality type, which consists of 4 letters.  Once I had that information I went over to a Psychological Type Profiles page that told me everything I ever wanted to know about myself, including what type of job I am best suited for, what kind of work ethic I have, what kind of friends I have, how I function in certain situations and how many others there are like me in the world.

I have to tell you, when I read about my personality type, I was amazed.  It was literally like someone had read a chapter from my life.  It described me completely. My husband’s reaction to his test was the same way. 

This test was really eye-opening for me in a lot of ways.  It reminded me that I’m not abnormal…that there are other people out there who are a lot like me. Not to say that we aren’t unique individuals in our own right, but It’s easy to feel awkward at times, uncomfortable in our own skin.  Being gently reminded that we aren’t alone in our behaviors I think is a good thing.  Plus, knowing more about ourselves can open us up to learning a lot of other things, such as why it’s so hard for some people to step out of their comfort zone (me) to why some people lean towards developing destructive eating habits (um, also me).  So, I thought I’d present you with the option of visiting these couple of sites and possibly taking this test as well. 

If you do, come back around and let me know: did it describe your personality?  Do you have a better understanding of what kind of person you are?  Did you find that your career is similar to the ones that were listed for your type?  Did it describe you as well as it did me? 

 

*Edited*
By the way, I am an ISFJ.  (I feel so exposed!!)  LOL

Bye Bye, Pie! Mmm….pie.

So, it’s Sunday and you all know what that means:  I’m here to share with you a blogsational (it’s a real word) site that I follow.

 

 

I’ve been reading Bye Bye, Pie! for some time now and have just recently graduated from ‘blog lurker’ to commenter (I didn’t much realize the importance of commenting until I began my own blog). 

Normally I pick a particular post that has stuck with me for the week, but every post of June’s has something of interest so I’m just gonna say, go read the whole thing.  Where else will you be mesmerized by what it was like to eat dinner at a goat farm – yes, complete with pictures.  Just click here.

Want to see the good, the bad, and the ugly pics you submitted to June from waaaaay back when you were all that and a bag of chips?  She posted them on this week’s Pieces of Wisdom Wednesday.  

Actually, this would be an especially great week to be introduced to Bye Bye, Pie! if you like dogs because June just adopted Edsel, the cutest pup in the world and has plenty of ‘awww’ pics for you to oogle over.   If dogs aren’t your thing but books are, get in on one of June’s Book Clubs. 

This is one of my favorite blogs for so many reasons.  Stop on by and prepare to leave in a better mood.

Eat, Drink and be Merry

When I was little, eating out was about as exciting as going to Disneyland. Some restaurants had placemats with puzzles on them; others had crayons in a cup and I could sit and color while waiting to be asked, ‘and what would you like to eat?‘ No broccoli, stewed meat and potatoes placed in front of me at the dinner table…oh, no. I had my own menu – a kid’s menu with all the choices of a child’s dream: pizza, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers and fries, chicken nuggets.  Man, eating out was pure heaven.

Today, eating out as an adult is a little different. More sophisticated choices await us as we look over menus that have more options than should be allowed by law. For someone trying to lose weight, eating out can also be a tad stressful as well. I used to avoid going out to eat. I resigned myself to the fact that I simply couldn’t trust myself with that kind of responsibility while dieting.

 

I’ve gotta tell you, it gets lonely when you isolate yourself from social situations and like it or not, food is intertwined in our social culture. It brings people together. I finally realized that I can’t hide when I know that food is around. Most likely it’s always going to be around. So, I learned some techniques that really help when I’m watching my calorie intake and heading out to a restaurant.

  • Before I go to any restaurant, I go online first. If I know where I’m going to be eating, I go to that restaurant’s website and browse the menu. If I get an idea as to what I’ll order while I’m still at home, I won’t be as tempted to look at the menu once I get there. Nine times out of ten, if I don’t have my meal picked out beforehand, I’ll pick the greasiest, cheesiest item on the menu.
  • Next, I check to see if the site has nutritional stats. If they do, I look over the calorie count for the few items I’m considering and pick the entrée that I feel best about. If they don’t, I go to Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone.  I found this site while I was following WeightWatchers. Dotti gives nutritional stats for more restaurants than you can shake a stick at and as an added bonus, if a visitor is doing the WW program, Dotti has the points already figured out. Isn’t that great?
  • Once at the restaurant, I order only water to drink. I need it. It’s filling. It’s free.
  • If I can, I’ll order first. I’m more likely to stick to the original entrée that I chose before arriving at the restaurant. If my friends order before me it makes it easier to stray and say, ‘I’ll have what she’s having’.

 

Plan B: I try not to feel like I have to deprive myself from eating out with friends and family. It is important to be social and like it or not, food brings people together. If I end up ordering something that I know I shouldn’t, I make myself responsible enough to attempt some kind of self control. While waiting for my meal, I start drinking that glass of water that’s still on the table in front of me. When I get my entrée, I immediately cut everything in half. Sometimes I ask for a take-out box right right away and put the remaining half inside; out of sight, out of mind. Even though I’m veering from my diet, I still know that I’m literally taking hundreds of calories off my meal (I just make sure that I save that remaining portion for the next day).

Eating out this way may not make me feel carefree enough to ask for that pack of crayons so I can work on that placemat like when I was a little girl, but that’s all right. I no longer have to sit and stare at broccoli as it gets cold and wilted on my plate, either. I figure it’s a fair trade.

 

Believe In Yourself at Grown-up University

Once again I am here to share a couple of great blog sites that I personally follow. 

 

Believe In Yourself is run by Sam.  She has had great success at losing weight and now follows Intuitive Eating, which she explains on her blog here.  Sam had a great post last week where she talked more about overcoming challenges.  She writes:

I am starting to get to the point where I know that I can have ANY food I want, but… I don’t want it. The other day I went grocery shopping. And I walked down the cookie, candy, and cracker isle. I told myself, "Okay Sam, you can have ANYTHING you want. You can only choose one, but it can be ANYTHING!". There were things that I considered, but when it came down to it, you know what I chose? Not the oreos, not the twinkies, not the rolos, not the taffy cookies. I chose Popcorn. So while I am still making choices that are probably not the most nutritious, I am starting to see that I don’t have to eat this kind of food, if I don’t want to. That I don’t need it. And in some cases, I don’t even want it!

Sam was determined not to set herself up for failure, either:

So our new rule in the house, we only eat in the kitchen. It goes back to habits. I have habits in the past of stuffing myself while watching a movie. Eating and eating and eating while reading a book in bed. Mindless stuffing food in my mouth while playing on the computer. But I don’t really have any habit’s associated with eating in the kitchen. And I’m not talking about eating at the refrigerator. I mean, we sit down and have a meal as a family at the kitchen table. We talk. We share. We eat. And… we have this new habit – we stop when we are satisfied! It’s amazing! It seems to be really working… huh, who would’ve thought! ;)

What a breakthrough, huh?  Even if you aren’t doing intuitive eating, Sam’s site is loaded with honest, personal, helpful stories.  Check her out.

 

 

 

This next site is called Grown Up University and is run by Leslie.  She, like me recently started her blog and I’ve gotta tell you….she hit the floor running when she launched.  Not only does she give herself specific things to do every month (reading specifically chosen books, classes ranging from cooking to…what?  hip- hop?) but she set the bar especially high when she also chose to eliminate TV from her life during the entire month of September!  Regarding her class schedule, she writes:

To start with, I am going to work on my eating, exercise, work and leisure habits for the next four months.  This “semester,” I have designed three classes: Food Science 101, Physical Education 101, and Occupational and Leisure Studies 121.

Over the next four months, I’ll be going from a couch potato to someone who can run a 5K.  I’ll be going a month without television or eating out, and reading 15 books on topics that include cooking, sustainable and local food issues, running and fitness, work productivity and organization, and writing well.  That’s to name a few things I’ll be doing.  For the full deets, check out the course syllabi.

In the spring, this will start all over again, and I will begin classes in Environmental Studies, Spirituality and Religion, and Financial Principles with new goals and assignments.  Relationships and Family Planning are on the summer schedule.

This project is an experiment to see if a year is enough time to close the gap between the kind of person I am and the kind of person I want to be.

Leslie gives updates on her classes, detailed reviews on the books she’s read, and loads of inspiration.  I know I’m more motivated!  Head on over to her blog.  It’s a real education.

 

Thanks for reading; see you back here tomorrow where I will introduce you to my 2 golden retrievers; you won’t go away disappointed, I promise.  Where else would you be entertained by watching a dog whispering……hmm?