May 23, 2013

Thursday - Weighing In

So, if you've read my blog at all, then you know that I've begun trying to be healthier.  I started with just working out a little, and then a little more.  Then I drafted Mr. Hollybroke to join me with the Fast Metabolism Diet.  You can read about that herehere, here, here, and here.

Now, with Mr. Hollybroke firmly in tow, we're embarking on Weight Watchers.  This diet is directly opposing our most recent one, but that's ok, because I really enjoy tracking my points.  Counting and tracking are things I very  much enjoy.  I really like thinking of my diet as a bank, putting points back with exercise/activity and taking points out for foods I like to eat.  It's always horrifying to realize how much you think you're eating and what it costs you and what you're actually eating and what that costs you.

My weigh-in day is Thursday, so I will be doing this post on Thursdays for now.

Another big motivator for me is having a step counter.  It's funny because you would think it's kind of stupid, but when you realize that it's 3p already and you have only gone 2000 steps, you definitely feel the need to bring that number up higher.  Just don't take such huge stock in them, as they tend to be faulty and not so reliable, but they give you an approximation about how active you are.  WW also lets you enter your steps in  for each day and they will give you points back if you get to a certain number.

WW Diet Stats:

SW : 148.2 lbs

GW : 135 lbs

CW : 143.8

WL : -4.4 lbs

May 22, 2013

WiP Wednesday - Olive Basket

I'm really loving this pattern.  I can actually see myself making another one.  I'm not sure if it's the yarn, or the  pattern itself, but it goes a lot faster than I thought it would.

Currently, I've split the stitches for the fronts and back of the sweater.  My only misgiving, that I didn't follow the directions properly.  The pattern says to knit the number of stitches, then BO a few, knit more stitches, BO a few, then knit across; placing the first two parts onto stitch holders.  But, if you just knit the stitches, then you lose the double basket weave pattern at the edge of the fronts.  So, I did not follow the pattern, and I did the pattern stitch for the edges and knit the rest, but following the number of stitches.  Maybe that is an assumed instruction, but with me being, at best, an intermediate knitter, I wasn't sure.  To be honest, if that is assumed, that's a bad practice.  Patterns need to always state exactly what to do.  I've been reading patterns for more than 15 years and I think I have some experience with it at this point.

Now to knit up the two fronts will be a breeze, I'm almost done with the left front.  The back might take a bit more time, since it's just all stockinette, unending....I just can't wait to see how it will look when it's done.

Since I have a huge housewarming party this weekend...yikes....I will probably not be knitting much for a while, so I will look longingly at my knitting basket, waiting, waiting, waiting to pick her up again.

May 20, 2013

Blog Interrupted...

Okay, folks.  I have a very busy personal life for the next few weeks (and beyond) so my posting will probably become a little erratic.

This weekend, we're having a huge housewarming party and we still have a number of details to work out for the house and the party.  Check out my pin board for the party, here.

Then, next week, on Wednesday to be exact, we're flying out to St. Kitts.  It's my best friend's wedding and I'm her Matron of Honor, so I'll just have to schlep myself to the Caribbean, oh the sacrifices I make for our friendship....

This week I should be ok with normal posting, but the next two weeks following might be a bit more unpredictable.  Of course, I'm choosing this week to add a new "segment" to my blog, but that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

Anyway, wish me luck with the party because I think I will need it...

May 16, 2013

Checking in

Life has been CRAZY, CrAzY, crazy.  Family obligations, moving into a new house, millions of projects around the new house so that we're happy with unpacking, UNPACKING (still in progress), my outrageously bad poison ivy rash (14 days and counting  ya'll), and E not sleeping.  This equals a very stressed out lady on this side of our blogging relationship.

Keep on the journey with me, because I really always have something to say or express my opinion on and I'm always looking for validation feedback about whatever it is I'm blathering about.

Back in January, I made some plans to update this place and clean out some of the cobwebs.  I'm working to expand my reach...and influence people to do my biding...and maybe help some people along the way.  In my real life, I'm somewhat overbearing in my aggressive need to give advice, it's a terrible habit, by the way, and I would suggest that you do not take it up and having an outlet here is probably better for me and all the people that I annoy on a daily basis.

I'm still debating how much to expand the subject base here, simply because this was originally a blog for me to yammer about crafty stuff, but I think I enjoy having a sort of overview of egocentric.

In summary...I think I will continue with product reviews, WiP Wednesdays, Photo Fridays (although this isn't so popular, really), PCH updates, and my "being healthier" trek.  I might sprinkle in some words of idiocy wisdom about being a mommy and some other random bits of business, but luckily for the World of the Web, you can just skip the crap posts that you don't like and move along to the ones that you do.

If you're really good, I might even show you a picture of my rather shameful yarn stash...seriously, it's a little insane.

Wish me luck !..?

May 15, 2013

WiP Wednesday - Olive Basket Cardi

I'm loving this pattern...miles of stockinette with a nice neat mossy border....makes me do a happy dance...except that I don't actually dance b/c I'm slightly chubby and more than slightly, lazy.

One thing that I noticed, and unfortunately, it was about 6" into the body, was that the RS, right edge was a little wonky and loose.  I tried to gently stretch the loose loops back into the fabric and I was not really successful, so I decided to knit a few more rows with the first stitch held tightly, still, no luck.  Well, now I decided to just slip that first stitch and voila, nice even edge, no loops.  It might be the way that I knit versus the way that I purl, but either way, I solved my first knitting issue all by myself and it didn't mess up anything (yet)...

I'm also really crushing on the yarn.  It's the Berroco Vintage DK and it's smooth and stretchy.  It slides nicely along on the needles, holds shape rather nicely, and the colorway is just slightly heather-ed for a woolly look without being 100% scratchy wool (I can't go near the generic wool yarns alone).

Here she is:

Olive Basket Cardigan by Amy Miller
Ravelry Project Page

May 14, 2013

Product Review - The Fast Metabolism Diet - Done

The Fast Metabolism Diet - Final Review

The journey is over...I'm a bit relieved because it was somewhat difficult to constantly plan every bite that I would eat during the day and how much.  Also, I had some challenges with eating as much as was suggested during meal times.

The hardest part, for me, was all the meat.  I'm a definite meat eater, but at 6 oz of meat for every serving that you have, it's a lot.  It's a hard switch to cut back so much on the carbohydrate portions of my meals.  I really enjoy eating rice and pasta, and I always feel a bit lost without the carb/veg/meat combo on my plate.

I will say that I'm feeling a little unsure of how to proceed.  I know that in the book she discusses how to maintain, but I'm not sure that her guidelines are clear enough for me.  I think that what I will try to do is keep eating about the same portion sizes and times, but cutting back some on the meat.  I will also try to stay away from wheat flour products and substitute healthier carbs.  One thing that I won't give up, even though she suggests it, is dairy.  I very much like to eat yogurt and cheese, so I won't be giving up those things.

So, what does all this mean?  Well, the diet was, in a way, a success.  I did lose quite a bit of weight in a relatively short time, but I did not lose 20 lbs or even close to that much.  Mr. Hollybroke however did lose about 20 lbs, so it was very successful for him.  The reasons for my lack of weight loss are: I did not always eat as much as she suggested, nor drink about 70 oz of water a day, and I did not exercise as much as I wanted to and as much as she recommends.  I will defend myself about the exercise...we are still in the middle of unpacking our house, my little monthly friend came along (I do not exercise during those few days), and I caught a really bad case of poison ivy dermatitis (which I'm still, literally, battling - 14 days).

I really think that this is a great diet and I highly suggest it.  You never really feel deprived, just maybe a bit overwhelmed with planning.

I think I will continue to weigh in here on the blog and talk about my weight loss.  I plan to exercise 3 days a week for 30 minutes and for the most part, I was successful and I think it will get easier as it becomes a habit.  I will somewhat continue with the rules of this diet and see how that goes as well.

Final Diet Stats:

SW: 153.6 lbs

GW: 135 lbs

CW: 145.2 lbs

WL: 8.4 lbs

May 8, 2013

WiP Wednesday - Olive Basket Cardi

Time to start something new (as if I don't have enough old WiPs to keep me occupied for two years).  I have been swayed by a blog I follow to make the Olive Basket Cardigan.  I've been watching her posts and falling in love with the pattern.

It has a moss stitch type pattern on the bottom...I can barely resist that stitch pattern as it is, but when it's paired with miles of neat little 'v's of stockinette, pushes me over the edge and stash diving.  Luckily, I had plenty of Berroco Vintage DK for this sweater.  So I dug out my size 6 circulars and cast on....Unfortunately, my width gauge was too big and I had to frog, frog, frog.

Now I've recast on for the smallest size and I've reached the stockinette portion...and I'm getting ready to start the decreases....sooo excited.

I don't have a more recent photo, so the pic below will have to suffice.

To clarify, this color is no where near the color and I could not get it right at all....I will hopefully, have a better photo soon.

Yarn : Berroco Vintage DK in Breezeway

May 6, 2013

Product Review - Fast Metabolism Diet - Week 4

The Fast Metabolism Diet - Week 4

So, we're at the beginning of week 4...and I have to say, I'm ready to go back to a more normal diet.  The biggest challenge for this was making sure that all the four earlier meals were ready to go and packed in my lunch bag for work....Also, it's easy to eat when you're hungry, but generally I'm not hungry as often as this diet has had me eating.  Drinking enough water was my second biggest challenge and I will not lie, I absolutely do NOT drink enough water even to be healthy.  I'm always struggling with drinking enough during the day...I'm just never really thirsty

I'm recycling my menu from week 1, so you check that out, here : Week 1.

I will give a wrap up and my final weight loss at the beginning of next week.  In reality I'd like my goal weight to be closer to about 130 lbs, but that might be a little bit unrealistic and unreachable, but I think I will continue this weight loss journey here because it helps to hold me accountable.  As you can see, below, I've changed my goal weight (yet again) and will strive to get there.  I might even post what I eat and how often I exercise to give you an idea of how I've lost weight.

After I had the baby, I was determined, at least, to lose the weight I had gained.  Luckily, for me, it came off very quickly.  But, before I had gotten pregnant, I had been somewhat unhappy with my size and I also wanted to work out and be healthier.  So my promise to myself was, after we got into our new home and got our "gym" set up, that I would work out.  Well, that worked pretty well and before I started this diet I had lost about 4 lbs just exercising 3 times/week for about 30 minutes.  I figure if I can't spare 1.5 hours a week to making myself healthier then something is really wrong with me.

Also, Mr. Hollybroke and I plan to start trying to have a baby in the next 6 months or so, and I want to be healthier than I was for my first one.  I had so many complications with the labor and delivery and although it may not be because I wasn't exercising during my pregnancy, I think that being healthier would have benefited me.

Here are my stats for beginning of week 4:

SW : 153.6 lbs

GW : 135 lbs

CW : 146.4 lbs

WL : 7.2 lbs

May 2, 2013

Product Review - Fast Metabolism Diet - Week 3

The Fast Metabolism Diet - Week 3

I have now gotten about half way through the diet (maybe) and I'm moderately satisfied with the results.  I have not exercised very much, so I know that this is somewhat holding back some of the weight loss, but the exercise suggested is rather mild, so it can't contribute too much to the overall effect.  This is not to say that I haven't exercised at all, just not as much as I would like to and as much as she suggests in the book.

My other issue is that I'm rather hungry more often than I thought I would be.  For example, on Day 1 and Day 2 we eat a lot of carbs, which is fine, as I love carbs, even "healthy" ones, but they leave me feeling hungry, if not immediately after I eat, within one or two hours.  It's better with the other phases of the diet, but those first two days are an exercise in self control as I wait the 3 hours to eat again.  I have emailed the contact on the website to ask for advice or suggestions, but I haven't heard anything; that was just over a week ago.  So, I'm a bit annoyed at feeling hungry for two days straight and a bit more annoyed at not receiving any kind of response from the site (I know the author does not directly get the emails).

I'm still missing dairy, but I can make it for two more weeks.  We did cheat this weekend, but we did it intentionally, and tried to follow her advice in the book about "cheating".  All week we sort of planned for it and we knew that on Saturday, we would be having a few mini donuts at the Rutgers' Day event and a few home-baked cookies for dessert in the evening.

My Week 3 Menu:

Click for bigger picture

Here are my stats for beginning of Week 3:

SW: 153.6 lbs

GW: 140 lbs (modified for my reality)

CW: 148.6 lbs

WL: 5.0 lbs

Notes:  I plan to exercise more and really focus on better menu planning for the next week.  I'm not sure if I will try to extend this out another week...depends on if I feel like I want to lose more weight...we shall see.

May 1, 2013

WiP Wednesdsay - Oaklet Shawl

My Oaklet Shawl is all done...we'll see how long it takes me to block it.  I still haven't even blocked my last project....

I'm a little worried that it won't loosen up with blocking, but hopefully after a good soak the stitches will ease.  I tend to knit tightly and I debated going up a needle size, but we shall see.

I switched colors near the end because I knew that I would not have enough of the Tosh Sock.  So I dug through my leftover fingering yarn and realized that I could use the Tosh Merino Light that I had from my most recent project, the Serriform Shawlette.

I was a bit nervous about how they would play together, but over all, I'm happy with the result and I can't wait to soak it and pin it....

I will have to have a Ta-Dah post once I get this all blocked out and the weights of the yarn measured (yes I'm THAT lazy).

Here she is in all her crinkly, unblocked, glory: