Archive for April, 2012

Me Vs. The Lawn

lawncare Me Vs. The Lawn

You know, I kind of love the idea of exercise that gets something done in the process. And that’s why this year (after two years of living in this house) I’ve taken on our yard work as my new chore. Usually we just pay someone to keep up with the fast-growing grass, but it’s kind of expensive.  I have to tell you though that me and Josh are not “handy man” material. Computer people, yes, but not the do-it-yourself type.  I’m convinced that keeping up with the yard myself will help me with my weight loss goals. I don’t know many overweight landscapers or gardeners, do you?

Pushing this mower was hard work.

pushmower Me Vs. The Lawn

There is one big hill on our lot and its crazy steep. I chose the push mower for a few reasons, 1. its old school and I’m always nostalgic for times I never belonged to 2. it’s harder than a gas or riding mower 3. it’s cheaper 4. it’s easier. I honestly can’t imagine me and josh purchasing and storing gas. The thought of going to the gas station and putting gas in a container and then figuring out how to put it in the mower without the fear of blowing myself or the house up and then finding a place for it, is just not going to happen. 5. it’s better for the environment.

I did have the yard man do one round of mowing for me so that I could start fresh with short, easier to cut grass. I read a story recently  about a woman who stays in shape by push mowing her lawn for an hour every day. I can believe it. I looked up the calories burned and it’s anywhere from 450 per hour (for an “average” size person) and closer to 800 for me.

IMAG0432 1 1024x613 Me Vs. The Lawn

Not only will I be taking care of the grass, but I will be doing things like trimming these wild hedges. I’m not 100% sold on having bushes in front of the house, but I can’t think of anything better right now, and think they are fine for now.

My other project is building a new walkway in front of the house which I started digging out last night. Digging is hard work! And I used the old heavy step stones like weights, doing sets above my head several times.

This work makes me feel satisfied and happy in the strangest of ways. I love planning out my ideas for the yard and then getting my hands dirty and making them happen. This is such a foreign world to me. Growing up, my Dad took care of the yard and then after that I just lived in apartments where I had little more than a few potted plants.

Today, I’m planning a special trip to the local green house to get more plants! Pinterest is helping me gather my inspiration. Want to see?

My biggest inspiration is the yards I saw on the Venice Beach Canals in California. If you’ve ever been, you know what I’m talking about. It’s incredible what these people can do with a small space.

Venice canal Bridge view Me Vs. The Lawn

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linniecanal Me Vs. The Lawn

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Venice Canals2 Me Vs. The Lawn

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5872954007 a9ac109e1f Me Vs. The Lawn

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Of course, I don’t have the California weather to support most of these plants, but I’m  inspired by the arrangements more than anything. Ah, I will live there, if only for a month, once in my life! That would be a good time.

If you’d like to see more of my outdoor inspiration in pinterest, you can view them here and here.


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Green Detox Smoothie

Just made me a green detox smoothie. This thing tastes great and is really easy to make. I used a handful of washed kale, half a can of pinapple, one banana, and one peeled orange.

Green Detox Smoothie

Green Detox Smoothie

Although this tastes think and great there is a change I will make next time and that is to freeze the pineapple and the banana or maybe use frozen oranges. The consistency is good but it is not as cold as I would have liked. Sadly my daughter does not like bananas or pineapples so this was not a green detox smoothie for her but it is for me.

Benefits of a Green Detox Smoothie

Kale is super high in Vitamin K (1300% of a daily amount), Vitamin A, and Vitamin C as well as having a lot of digestive abilities.

Pineapple of course is great for helping digestion because it cantains Bromelain. as well as being high in Vitamin C and Manganese, and has many Anti-Inflammatory  Benefits.

Add to this the antioxidants in both bananas and oranges and you can see this green detox smoothie really packs a punch all in one big glass.

Green Detox Smoothie

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The Rock in My Shoe

IMAG0425 1024x613 The Rock in My Shoe

Oh joy of joys! Our closest Vietnamese restaurant is now serving grilled pork vermicelli! This is heaven in a bowl and I could eat it every single day. Sauce droplets on my shirt or not, this is my top 10 favorite things to eat.

mrbrowncoffee The Rock in My Shoe

Luckily, it’s right next to the Oasis World Market where I can stock up on my own vermicelli and drinks like Mr. Brown’s Macadamia Nut Coffee. I love date night/day! Which consisted of Vietnamese food, Target and Home Depot. Nothing says romance like a trip to Home Depot for stepping stones.

Gah! I used to hate going to Lowes with my dad, now I actually want to go.

diningroom The Rock in My Shoe

I have something else to share, but first…

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the comments on my last post. All of those words, and thoughtfulness are not lost on me. They are encouraging and confirm why I am still writing and sharing my life. We are not alone, is there anything more comforting than someone nodding along  and getting it?

I’m working desperately at letting the negativity roll off my back. Letting my skin firm up a bit. And stop waiting for other people to grant me permission to carry on. Why do I do that? It reminds me of this quote I read yesterday by Susan Satog,”Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”  I want to be more like that, to take the rock out of my shoe and stop waiting for someone to grant me permission and tell me I’m worth it.

So what does the photo of my dining room table have to do with this? It’s kind of the point.

So often there are things I want to do for myself, little pleasures that I find so satisfying and pleasing, yet I won’t do them. I hear these horrible thoughts on repeat: you don’t deserve to sit and eat at a pretty table, what a waste of time, that seems really silly and insignificant, there are people starving and you are worried about a place setting?, etc. etc. etc.

And these thoughts are so frequent in my head, that I just don’t bother. I’m so consumed with what I assume others with think if I wear red lipstick, or paint my nails with glitter polish, or sit in the rain, or jog down the street, or eat a beautiful meal, or set a nice place setting, that I just don’t do it. And it’s me. No one else, just me. As if, my happiness is insignificant. Or that I don’t deserve to laugh and have a good time or enjoy myself in this short life.

What I know to be true is that by not doing, I’m serving no one. I’m not better to the world by leading a lesser life. To not take these opportunities that I have and my freedom and time, is such a waste. To sacrifice myself in a way that just doesn’t make sense because other people are worse off is helpful to who?

And worst of all, is when I indulge the fear that once I start doing all of these good and happy things, that’s when the bad stuff starts happening. That’s when the sky falls.

The fear that if I start making more money, or creating a healthy body, or live in a neat house…that’s when I will get cancer, or something terrible happens.

I do this in relationships more often than I should ever admit. I will push away as to say “I knew you wouldn’t like me anyway” as a way to prove to myself that I just don’t deserve to have people. I reject them before they can reject me. Before they can see just how flawed I really am. This happens over and over and over.

And the logic behind it is scary sad and backwards. That somehow living a less-than life is better than living my best life to prevent bad things from happening. And as I share this, I know how sad it is. I can feel it in my soul and tell myself, that this belief is so wrong in so many ways. But, to believe it, to feel the truth of what I know to be true enough to live it – that’s another story.

diningroom2 The Rock in My Shoe

So while this may seem silly and material, taking time to make a place setting is a little-big deal to me. When I do these little things, to make effort to look nice, or shave my legs, or plant a bed of flowers…while it may look like this superficial or pointless action to some, at the heart of it for me, it is giving myself permission to enjoy and celebrate my life. To have a little happiness. Because the truth is, when it’s all said and done and I’m taking my last breath, no one will stand over me and thank me for not living my best life.

And that’s what being healthy looks like for me. It’s being self-aware and unapologetic. It’s being kind and giving myself full permission to say “yes I do deserve the effort”. I know that losing weight is calories in and calories out, it’s about eating less and moving more. That part is simple. The hard part is creating a new habit on the path of “I deserve better”. And that’s where my struggle has always nestled so comfortably. That is why I start and stop, try new things, read new books, do new DVDs, in hopes that they will convince me what I already know to be true: I’m worth the effort.

And by doing these other little happy things, like setting a place setting or making a nice dinner, I instill that belief even more. It becomes my reality.

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