On the journey…the traveler is hit by a cold front and decides to see how others weather the storm.

So the ‘problem’ with starting a diet in the fall is that it gets colder in the fall. As the temperature drops so does my desire to do anything. Who wants to go for a jog outside with toes so cold they feel like they’ll fall off? Waking up early to go to the gym gets harder and harder as the temperature difference between my bed and my room gets higher and higher. The dreaded sensation of bare toes hitting cold floor is enough to make me snuggle down and hit snooze ad nauseam. What does that mean for me? I need to hurry up and embrace my winter lifestyle.

This year has been an odd one, each time I start to acclimate to the cooling temperatures there have been a stretch of ‘hot’ days. Now, at the end of October, I think that juxtaposition has come to an end. After this crazy week of adjusting to that fact I think I’ll be ready to embrace Winter Jamie with open arms. It’s good for me to get use to waking up at 5:30 to workout (which I have managed to do a handful of times since I initiated it last week). Especially since once the white stuff starts to fly that’s what time I’ll need to wake up to shovel my driveway.

To remind myself to not be lazy, I decided to give myself a little jolt of reality. While searching the web I stumbled upon this little nugget:

Hint, you want to be closer to the left on this spectrum. (I'm 'rocking' a C-)

Hint, you want to be closer to the left on this spectrum (below 25 is considered a healthy weight). (I’m ‘rocking’ a C-)

These are scans of what people look like the more weight they carry. There are several others you can check out that also shows the effects it has on your organs and overall health. The long and the short of it is that it’s not good to have so much yellow (fat). So any (healthy) way you can whittle that off you is good. For instance, a good weight range for my 5’7″ (or 8″ on a good day) frame would be between 121 and 153. My goal of 135 is a nice midpoint I think. Not to small but not too close to overweight either. Also, that way if I fall short of my goal I’ll still be in a healthy range. See? Always thinking ahead.

October 31Now, I am a visual person, however I also like relating to what I see. The above, being all clinical and precise, is hard to relate to. After all, that’s not what people actually look like. I’m finding that one tactic my brain likes to use as motivation is ‘If they can do it, I certainly can.’ In that vein in addition to looking at the medical motivators (see above) I’ll also searched out more human sources. I wanted to read about specific people’s weight loss experiences. As part of my binder I had a couple that were in a magazine article, but I wanted a more in-depth look. Using the Google machine it didn’t take long to find a list of “the most inspirational weight loss bloggers of last year” according to one site (too early for this year’s list).  I decided to break up the list and look at a few each week (That way I always a fresh supply of motivation). I’ll be sure to share the ones I enjoy the most (or are the most helpful).

Until next time
~ Q

Daily Reminders – Week 3

Daily Reminders – Week 3

 

So this, happened…

This month is full of firsts for me. First I’m writing about health and fitness and now (regrettably) media and politics. Earlier this week I saw a blurb that a news anchor said that young women shouldn’t bother voting and stick to tinder and match.com. Upon reading that snippit I was furious. Looking into the situation (here are websites that had various reports on the incident, there are many more: Huffington Post, Media Matters & World News) I was further annoyed to read the article stating that young women don’t have the same life experience as older women, so they can’t make an informed decision. Okay. Let’s back up the truck.

1) Young women don’t have the same life experience as older women
Has there ever been a more obvious statement? Yes, the life experience of an 18 year old is not equivalent to that of a 38 year old, 58 year old, 78 year old etc. Is there some magical property in the Y chromosome that makes guys that are 18 as wise as older guys? Nope, that is not a thing. Please keep gender out of this. Either say all young adults do not have the same life experience as their older counterparts or just drop it. Obviously that is a true and redundant statement, guess what? That doesn’t change the fact that they still have the right to vote when they are 18. What are you going to do, change the voting age? If you do, when are people ‘old enough’ to have the necessary knowledge?

2) They are too young to make an informed decision
Okay, now that we’re foregoing the gender part of this statement, when is someone old enough to make an informed decision? 20, 25, 30, 35….how old? We already have an age limit on how old you have to be to represent people (Quick recap: 25 to be a Representative, 30 to be a Senator, and 35 to be President) As displayed in the first part, young voters can’t make a decision based off of experience but they can definitely do research and instead vote based on data. “But they don’t care enough to actually do research!” you might argue. Are you telling me that every veteran voter researches the candidates thoroughly and votes being fully informed? Or that every veteran voter has lived the necessary life to gain the required insight? How often is it generalized that voters side with their party no matter who the actual candidate is (regardless of their age)? Answer: all the time. Isn’t it hypocritical to say that young voters aren’t allowed to vote because they don’t know what’s going on when others might not either?

3) Stick to tinder and match.com
Really? Really? Should I also be discussing with my father what my future husband can expect in my dowry? Guess what, women can do more than just be a wife/mother/partner/girlfriend/fling/whatever. In today’s society we have to be. Not to mention the fact that I don’t know too many people (men included) who are satisfied with just being one thing. To somewhat imply that young women should put aside thinking about such complex things that might make their little heads hurt and just find a man is downright idiotic (and borderline insulting) for any person, especially in media, to say. Is this reporter aware that less than a century ago there were women being sent to jail for fighting for their right to vote? A little perspective please. It is important for people (women included because we are indeed actual people) to be involved and voting is one way we accomplish this. Please don’t discourage the next generation from performing their civic duty.

Now if you click through any of the sites I listed above you’ll see that this is really just a snippit and when taken out of context has rage-inspiring potential. If you take what they were saying, and put it through a ‘don’t be stupid’ filter they arguably made some valuable points:

  • Everyone (not just young voters) needs to be making informed choices and not be voting for who this actor supports or who that celebrity knows
  • Voters need to know the issues and where each candidate stands on those issues
  • People need to look at the big picture (Part of the argument was that young voters don’t have the same concerns as other citizens. They don’t have many bills to pay, no mortgages, children, etc but they still do represent a demographic of this country. If all demographics looks at what’s best for just themselves it’s not going to work out too well)

In the spirit of making informed decisions here are some quick links you can reference as you get ready to vote in the upcoming weeks. (Please note, these are just a few of the sites that popped up as I start figuring out who I will be voting for this year. I do not support one site over another, merely offer these as starting points. I haven’t even had time to fully look them over.) For this midterm election Iowa has 6 names on the ballot, five of which are viable (one candidate, Douglas Butzier, passed away but will still appear on ballots). Who are they?

  • The Democratic nominee Bruce Braley (1|2|3)
  • Republican nominee Joni Ernst (1|2|3)
  • Independent nominees
    • Bob Quast (1|2)
    • Rick Stewart (1|2)
    • Ruth Smith (1|2).

Most people want their vote to ‘count’ so they limit their choice to the party candidates. Here a couple links comparing Braley and Ernst. (1|2|3)

I hope everyone will vote this November 4th. I really don’t care who you vote for, just that you vote knowing what you are doing. This is one of the few times a year the general public gets to voice their choice. It’s pretty easy, just grab an absentee ballot or hit up the polls.

Until next time
~ Q

The Journey Continues…with a 6 AM workout.

Let me tell you how much I like hearing my alarm go off at 5:10 in the morning. NOT. AT. ALL. Then again at 5:19 and again at 5:28 at which point I decided I couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer. Rolling out of bed the lights were far too far away so I decided to just fumble in the dark. I had already laid everything out the night before: workout clothes – check, post-workout bag – check. After getting dressed I grabbed a smoothie I had also made the night before and with a little toast I was out the door and on my way to the gym.

Wednesday, October 22

Today’s coincidental reminder. I CAN get up early to workout and I WILL.

I had been telling myself the entire time I was getting things situated the night before that it wasn’t going to be fun. That I would be too tired and it would hurt because my body wasn’t quite awake yet. Was I wrong? Of course I was. (Getting my mind on board to the notion will make it easier in the long run I’m guessing) Was it a cloud of rainbows and unicorns fun? Well, no, but what outside of Care Bears and Rainbow Brite is? It wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I was sad I didn’t have time for a full hour, limiting myself to just cycling. Tomorrow, dare I say it, I might get up a pinch earlier (or get out the door sooner) to ensure I have time to cycle and elliptical. My coordination wasn’t ready for the latter when I arrived at the gym this particular morning, but after the bike ‘warm-up’ it could work. We’ll certainly see. Now if my energy will hold throughout the day then I’ll have a well-made match.

Why am I doing the morning workouts? I think I need to do it before my brain has really put together what it’s doing (since it’s being slow on the healthy lifestyle uptake). If I wait until after work I have too much time to give myself reasons not to go. (I really need to start the laundry, there is a lot of detail painting left to do in the basement, I need to stay late to get a couple more projects done, etc etc). By taking the bull by the horns and just doing it I feel pretty good. It will start to feel even better as I push myself to meet my potential (despite not feeling ready in the morning). After all, I am a morning person, just need to recalibrate my days to start a pinch earlier.

Until next time
~ Q

Daily Reminders - Week 2

Daily Reminders – Week 2

Departing on a magical journey to the land of good health

Something I don’t write about is health. Probably because I’ve never been too focused or concerned about it. I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but I’m not the worse either. That being said, two years ago I started a health initiative for myself. I wanted to get healthy and stay that way. For about a year I was well on that road. Then something happened and I decided to take a break (honestly don’t remember what, I think I just got busy and allowed some of my old habits to creep back in and make me lazy). Seeing as how I started in October last time, I’m going to go ahead and do that again and lose the rest of the weight I wanted to lose back in 2012. I lost about half of my goal the first time around, so now it is beyond time to lose the other half.

All choicesWhat steps am I taking? For starters, actual steps. Working out is obviously a big key to weight loss and overall health, but as many will tell you that is only a part of the equation. Another is adopting a healthier diet, or at least one that doesn’t include eating everything in sight. Another factor, one talked about less often, is how important mental health is to overall health. The mind is the pilot, if it’s not ‘on-board’ how can it deliver the body to where it needs to be?

I gave myself a ‘soft’ start (not unlike a soft opening businesses do) last week. Weighed in, developed a plan (like any FCCLA-er would), and started implementing what I could. To conquer the physical I found some 30-day fitness challenges I could do (one for each month) as well as got my work out clothes ready (found and washed) for going to the fitness center. For the diet I organized a couple weeks of meal plans to get me started. To improve and maintain my mental state I made some cards to keep me motivated, valuable things to remember in general and made my health binder. Overkill? Perhaps, but what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working, so things needed to change.

October 15

Bi-monthly weigh-in progress

Monday was my real kick off. What does that look like? Everyday eating the right kind of foods at sensible portions, tick off one day’s worth of fitness challenge, go to the gym 3 times a week (for starters, will work my way up to the recommended 5) and keeping a good head on my shoulders. Hopefully, with some dedication and patience I’ll make my goal by my birthday. It’s a long way off (seven and a half months) but I have a long way to go.

We’ll see how this experiment goes. Maybe by writing about it/needing something to write I’ll be inspired to stay on track. Fingers crossed.

Until next time
~ Q

Reminders_01

Daily Reminders – Week 1

Fall is here!

Has it been two months yet? Not quite? Well, that’s okay. I suppose I can write a post any way. So Summer is over. Shocking no one I wasn’t able to blog 15 weeks in a row. August really took me out and September stomped me down, but here we are in October. Not to say bad things happened in August and September, quite the opposite! It just kept me busy and I didn’t take the time to write. Refocusing on that now.

The house keeps inching along and there is light at the end of the tunnel! Which is fortunate because I will have 6 house guests for a long weekend in just over 6 weeks. Wow, I really shouldn’t have written that. Puts things in perspective a little too much. However it’s also quite weird to think that that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it extended family time! I’ll hold photos of the progress for another time since I want to finish this post before my mom gets here. That’s right, we’re working tonight. (To those of you who know my father/my family this will not come as a shock, but I have a detailed list of every single thing (I think) I need to do everyday of the week in order to have everything just ‘so’ before winter/the holidays hit. It’s intense and I love it. Keeps me focused which, let’s face it, I need.)

Already I’ve had a reunion with one side of the family. Two weekends ago the Quarnstrom’s got together for a Northwest Missouri Bearcat game. Both my father and uncle went to school there. My dad only has one brother and they both managed to get all of their kids (and grandkids) wrangled together for a Saturday of fun (even me, who swore up and down I would NEVER go to a game in Maryville. Well played dad, well played). After 6 or 7 years, it was nice to be able to catch up and see what my cousins and uncle & aunt have been up to.

With what little free time I have left (that I don’t decide to just loaf around at home) I’ve managed to cut out some time with the friends. Just last night I went to a concert with one of my buddies.

Hear that weirdo laughing? Yup. That’s me. Good times. We even waited around after the show to meet Ingrid. Although she was quite pressed for time so we only got a few moments with her we got to talk to Billy (the dude singing on stage in the video) for a short while which was quite fun. I don’t go to many concerts so it was a nice break from the norm.

Okay, well time is tight and I have some wood shoes to measure and cut.

Until next time
~ Q

Week Eleven of Summer

Drawings 11 The eleventh week of summer was an odd one, full of intentions that didn’t go quite to plan. My parent’s were gone on vacation and I was left in charge of their plants. Now I am not the most faithful at watering plants so I was a wee bit concerned. Luckily it all worked out and I managed to keep them and their cat alive – hooray!

Drive-InOutside of family ‘duties’ I had made several plans, some of which that didn’t quite work out. On Thursday I had planned to go to a Drive-In movie (Guardians of the Galaxy) with my friends. Mother Nature had other plans. The week started with rain and kept up on Thursday. So rather than sit in our car and watch it through windshield wipers we, being a flexible bunch, altered our plans. Instead we went to an Irish pub for dinner and went to the theater to watch it. (Clearly NOT seeing the movie was no longer an option. We were all rather excited to see it). It was awesome. I recommend it.

HikeI had the day off on Friday so I continued leisurely working on the basement. I FINALLY completed muddying and sanding the last of the drywall. (Hint – this is very very exciting.) I also got said room primed. What what! Work continued on Saturday when I painted the stairwell. After so much productivity I decided to pack up and go for a hike. It did not go quite to plan either. I made it about 1/2-3/4 of a mile in before the mosquitoes got too bad and I had to turn around. They’re wicked little blood suckers. I think I’ll postpone that hike until the fall when the they’ve gone for the season.

ConcertSunday rolls around, the day that I had planned to go to an outdoor concert. I was kind of excited to see Ingrid Michaelson but earlier in the week I discovered the concert was cancelled. Presumably because of the rain (I’m guessing that don’t blend well with an outdoor venue). So the plans for the day rather cleared up. I was feeling rather productive when I woke up so I went ahead and got the bedroom painted. So all in all, despite the week not going to plan it was still quite lovely.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight | Week Nine | Week Ten

Daily Writings: August 5 | August 6 | August 7 | August 8 | August 9 | August 10 | August 11

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Ten of Summer

Attend Street Market I know this is late, but c’est la vie. Summer is (or was) two-thirds done! The excitement of my tenth week of summer was Saturday. I decided to get up nice and early and head to the Des Moines farmer’s market. It was fun to walk around and see what is being produced locally. I managed to snag a few things for supper later that night.

Week 10 drawingsAfter touring around the market I returned home and was already muddying my bedroom when my mom called at 9:30 to see where I was. To say she was surprised would be an understatement. Who sleeps in on weekends?

Farmer's Market FoodLater that afternoon I took my loot from the market and concocted a lovely treat for supper. There were so many options there it was hard not to get too much food, but I ended up with some nice fresh green onions, new potatoes, some Gouda cheese (with bacon) and some focaccia with green peppers and garlic. With such beginnings I went with cheesy hash browns with a side of bread. I don’t usually make hash browns so I’d call it a success. Really it was just nice to get out and enjoy the day in a way I don’t always get to, which, of course, is the point.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight | Week Nine

Daily Writings: July 29 | July 30 | July 31 | August 1 | August 2 | August 3 | August 4

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)