Friday, March 31, 2006

One down...one to go!

May I introduce my very first finished doll!


So there she is! It took about 2 weeks to finish her I think - and I got one more to go, and I must do it quicker than that! I will be starting tonight on her sister!

3/31/06 - had so many meanings:

1. The anniversary of my Nana's death. I think it has been 10 years that have passed since her death.

2. Anniversary of our engagement. Cesar proposed on 3/31/02 Easter Sunday - where he hid my engagement ring in a plastic Easter egg in my Easter basket.

3. Anniversary of the first day we ever saw our new house. We had a showing on 3/31/05 and put our offer on it this very night. What a crazy weekend that was last year!

4. Today is our goal date for Kelly, Emily and I for our last weigh in of this goal. I was supposed to weigh in at 159 for my goal, but instead I weighed in at:

I made my goal!!! Not only that - I officially hit a loss of 20 lbs since Christmas! Let's I hope I can not blow it this weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Day 60 on Weight Watchers...Update.

Wow - 60 days has past already. It does not feel that long that I started getting serious about my weight loss. I have really surprised myself in how I have actually stuck to this diet. I have not done that in a long time. And I honestly have never counted points before - so this is my first time being successful at it.

In summary:

Christmas Time Weight: 178 lbs. - which was followed byt a temper tantrum via e-mail to some of my friends.
1st Weigh In - Tuesday January 24, 2006: 173.7 lbs
60th Weigh In - Friday March 24, 2006: 159.3 lbs

Since Christmas, I have lost 18.7 lbs.
Since I started WW: 14.4 lbs
Therefore I averaged a loss of 7.2 lbs a month which I see to be very normal.

This coming from a girl who tried to lose just 5 lbs between Sept 05 and Dec 05 and could not do it.

My exercise has been very helpful. I do 20-30 minutes per day on a Stair Stepper, and now that I am gardening again, that may also help in my weight loss.

My main enemy right now: Salt. I love salt, and my new found fave is Vegtable soup. I try to only have it once a week. Another thing to remember is that those frozen dinners we love so much are loaded with sodium. I swore off these last year when I had a mild high blood pressure scare.

Here is an article I found on salt intake:

How does salt affect my weight?
Salt does not cause your body to gain or lose fat. In fact, salt has no calories. High consumption of salt only results in temporary weight gain as it causes your body to retain water. Conversely, low consumption of salt can result in temporary weight loss as it causes your body to expel water.
It is interesting to note that many crash diets which boast quick weight loss rely on foods with little or no salt content. The weight loss is mostly water, and as soon as you eat foods containing salt again you regain the weight.

A Word of Caution
Our opening paragraphs would lead you to believe that salt is of little concern in regards to long-term weight loss. In fact, a diet high in salt content can not only affect your blood pressure (see below), but is typically associated with weight gain.
The reason is that high levels of salt in our diets usually come from calorie dense, low fiber, processed foods, like those found in fast food and restaurant meals, as well as on supermarket shelves. If you adhere to a low salt diet, it will likely consist of the lower calorie, healthier foods associated with weight loss.
Salt versus Sodium
We add table salt (sodium chloride) during cooking and at the dinner table to enhance the flavor of our food. Manufactures add it, often in great quantities, to return flavor to processed foods and help preserve them. But when we look at nutrition content, we look at sodium.
Though the terms are often used interchangeably, salt and sodium are not the same. Sodium, which is found naturally in most foods, accounts for approximately 40% of table salt. Therefore when salt is added to food, the sodium content increases by approximately 40% of the amount of salt added.

Why Salt Causes Water Retention
Our bodies rely on electrolytes, most significantly sodium and potassium, to carry the electrical impulses that control our bodily functions. In order for our bodies to function properly, it is important that the electrolyte concentrations in our bodies remain constant. It is therefore important that we do not completely eliminate salt from our diet.
High concentrations of electrolytes in our bloodstream trigger our thirst mechanism to ensure that we consume adequate amounts of water to maintain proper concentrations of electrolytes. This is one of the reasons bars provide free salty snacks like pretzels and peanuts. The salt causes us to become thirsty and purchase more drinks.
Our kidneys keep the concentrations of electrolytes in our blood constant by increasing or decreasing the amount of water we retain. As a result of our kidneys retaining more water in our blood, our blood pressure may increase.
The water also moves beyond our bloodstream. Through the process of osmosis, water flows from a lower salinity environment to a higher one in an attempt to make the levels of salinity equal. After we consume large amounts of salt, it is the water moving from our bloodstream into our skin that gives us that "puffy" look and makes it hard to get our rings off. Then, when we consume lesser amounts of salt, the same process works in reverse to remove excess water from our bodies.

Salt and High Blood Pressure
Some people are "salt sensitive" which means that consumption of salt can increase their blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is an important risk factor for both heart attack and stroke.
For information on high blood pressure, including methods of lowering it and recommended levels of sodium consumption, please visit the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association websites.
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Well, off I go to work, and hopefully I will have a healther weekend than I had last weekend. I have a group weigh in goal on March 31's to be 159.0...I hope I can do it!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

She Crafts and She Builds

So Sunday morning went a little bit like this:

I woke up at 6:15am...could not fall back asleep. So what does every *Larson* do when they get up that early on a weekend? Pay the bills, what else? I grabbed my water, sat in front of the computer, paid bills, when come 7:50ish, I hear something in my driveway. I look outside and there is Dad. Pole digger and all.

So while Cesar lay sleeping, I get on a pair of jeans, a jacket and hat and heat outside to where Dad starts digging holes for the new Compost we are building. Have no idea we would be building it today though! Hey - not a problem for me! I wanted this thing made to hide out huge mess in the back yard and to help decompose everything we had back there to begin with.

After about 10 minutes of pole digging, a fire made in the firepit, we end up heading off to Lowes to buy supplies. I work Cesar up to help watch the fire while I left with Dad.

$189 later, we are back at home, Cesar is up and dressed and we start working on the Compost Fencing. Here is what things started out like:


Our big mess... It is gross - full of leaves, twigs, branches, lawn clippings...and a tree actually died because of this mess. We had to cut it down and burn it.

Dad and Cesar did the majority of the cutting, nailing, pounding, leveling - but I did do my share. I lifted posts, carried fences, etc...I wish I had pictures to prove it - but just ask them - I did help!



And finally, the semi-finished compost fencing:



The only issues we had building this include:

I told dad to cut one section too short. OOPS (You can see in the picture). BUT I don't care because I'll be planting things in front of that section of fence anywaus, so you won't see it after I am finished with it. And as you can see in the picture, the colors of the wood are different. That is also ok, because over time, the color with change anyways being pressure treated wood. It is all good - I love it, and I can't wait for it to be 100% finished. We need to invest a bit more time and maybe $100 - 150 more into the project. (Thank you tax refund check).

When Cesar and I came inside after we finished up - it was only 1pm. We burned like pyros all day long, and really felt good with what we all accomplished in that afternoon.

Now, as I can barely move, I showered, and am about to sit my butt on the couch and work on Joy's doll some more. Hopefully I can stay up to watch the Sopranos!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What a pretty doll!

Here is an updated picture of Miss Doll. I still have some work to do on her - but she is making progress! I finally finished the ruffles which took about 2-3 hours per layer - each layer has over 360 stitches to give the dill the beautiful fullness!


Sharon's sweater is also coming along nicely. I worked on it a lot last night at knitting group.

Diet update: I am still doing well on my diet. Last friday at my weigh in, I was 163.6, and I am 163.1 today. So my goal for this Friday was to be in the 162's somewhere and I hope I can do it! I think I am on day 42 or something like that.

Today I am very cranky though - not sure why. I just want to be home and knit/crochet maybe even pick up the house a bit. Could the weekend come any slower?

Have a great day!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Oh Happy Day

If only it were Easter weekend - then I would really be singing joys!

Ok Joy, here we go! PIctures of the beautiful Miss _____ (we need to name her, Joy).


So I am very excited with how she is coming out! I have not been able to put her down all week!

Tomorrow Sharon is coming over, so I will be working on her sweater all day which will be nice to get back on track with that again.

I think that is all for now - Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Reminder: Craft Day at Sharon's Sunday 3/26/06 at 10:30pm! See you all there!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

An update for Joy.

I regret to inform you that non rechargable batteries suck, and therefore can not up load new pictures of the doll that I took this morning.

I tried every remote control in the house and sole their batteries - and still nothing. I am bringin the disk to work with me, so hopefully a computer there can get a picture off of it so I can show you the progress I made on the doll.

I am on the very last row of the bottom ruffle which is edged in white and pink - it looks great! I think the dress is a bit longer than expected, but still looks good to me. Especially if her bottom half is going to be stuffed anyways to make it into a pillow.

So Joy - I will try to update again today!

This weekend is going to be fabulous! Saturday, Miss Sharon is coming over to knit with me. She will be working on her first felted bag, and I will be working on her sweater. Sunday Miss Michelle Ac__avi__tti will be coming over to scrapbook with me! I think I am working on Barbara's Bachlorette party pictures, and Michelle will work on her "All about me" album.

I can't wait!