Monday, September 29, 2008


I have been reading a book, The Marriage Sabbatical, and I must admit that I have been in a much better mood than I’ve felt in a long time. My mind is caught up in the possibilities; racing headlong into the fantasy of solitude, freedom, adventure. If I were to get such an opportunity, I would like to take at least three months, and I would use that time to focus on three things: 1) writing without interrupting; 2) exercising regularly; 3) eating more health consciously. I would surround myself with music (I suspect that, quite often, it would be louder than my family likes) and not much else; material things are of little consequence.

However, I don’t know if I would actually take a sabbatical from work – I probably couldn’t afford to take more than a month away – nor do I know if I would simply use the time to live separately (to live alone, for the first time ever in my life) and reflect for personal growth, or if I would use the sabbatical for more formal study.

For as long as I can remember, since I first had the ability, I have written. Short stories, poems, personal journals (not the food-tracking kind), novels – I have been writing “novels” for years, though not with much success. Unfortunately, I haven’t written as much in past years as I had when I was younger, taking lengthy breaks between frantic writing stints (my last major effort occurring November 2007 during NaNoWriMo). Feeling this way and knowing that I want to write, that I HAVE TO write or my soul withers, I have been considering returning to school to obtain a degree, either Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or a Master of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing. I would prefer an MFA. According to the University of Idaho website, “The M.F.A. is the terminal degree for those wishing to teach creative writing at the college or university level.” Although I enjoy my job, it is just that … a job. I would like something more fulfilling, and I definitely believe that writing creatively (and possibly teaching creative writing) is my niche.

Now I just have to be determined, be willing to make the necessary sacrifices, be willing to step outside my comfort zone, and I CAN do this.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Is Procrastination Healthy?

Seriously, Is Procrastination Healthy? is an actual article and, being the procrastinator that I am, I just had to check it out. Here's what I learned:

Procrastination is good (i.e., "The peculiar genius of desperation and 4 a.m. logic is a fecund contributor to the national product."), except when it isn't (e.g., "When relationships are ruined, spouses feel betrayed, bosses are disgusted, and a person is frozen, frustrated, and disillusioned with that nonperformer staring back in the mirror ... procrastination is an enemy to mental health.").

Also, did you know that there are six different types of procrastinators? 1) Perfectionists, 2) Dreamers, 3) Crisis Makers, 4) Worriers, 5) Defiers, 5) Overdoers (all defined in the article). What I want to know is … what if someone falls into more than one category? For example, I tend to be a dreamer and a perfectionist (although occasionally I am either a worrier or a defier).

Furthermore, research has shown that procrastinators don’t benefit from time-management training because procrastinating is not an inability to manage time, but a “glitch” in the procrastinators’ personality style. So … in order to overcome the tendency to procrastinate, or at least to reduce the frequency, the procrastinator has to change her thinking.

I know that sometimes procrastination is healthy, but, when it comes to my writing, I’m the dreaming perfectionist who never gets started … I’ve been meaning to edit my NaNoWriMo 2007 novel, and I haven’t even begun the process (which includes printing the document out, single-sided and double-spaced, and reading through it with pen in hand). However, this procrastination article, and several other books I have been reading, just might get me started.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I realized that by turning Unearth My Muse into a weight-loss blog, I am being unfair to myself. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against weight-loss blogs (just check out my blogroll). I absolutely LOVE PastaQueen (formerly Half of Me), and The Diet Naked Blog led me to Mel … and her other site, Actual Unretouched Photo. Some day, when I’m worthy, I hope to meet her (and possibly introduce my brood to hers).

However, in turning MY blog into one solely about weight-loss, I am taking the easy (for me) way out. A review of my first post, and my sub-title, shows something of my original goals. First and foremost, this is supposed to be a place where I can stretch and exercise my writing muscles. Secondly, it is a place to record the happenings of each day so that someday, when I am old(er) and gray(er), I can come back and be reminded of my day-to-day life.

That being said, I might still comment on my weight and anything weight-loss-related that strikes my fancy. However, I am not going to limit myself to one relatively narrow focus.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


According to, my daily intake (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) should be:

6 oz. grains
2 ½ C. vegetables
2 C. fruits
3 C. milk
5 ½ oz. meat & beans
Limit solid fats and sugars to 265 calories a day.

Here’s how I think I can apply this to a plan for losing weight:

4 - 1-oz. servings of while grain bread/crackers/brown rice (2 oz. less than recommended)
5 - ½-C. servings of vegetables; 1 serving for a snack and 2 servings at both lunch and dinner
3 - ½-C. servings of fruit; 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch and 1 for a snack/dessert
3 - 1-C. servings of milk; 1 C. fat free milk with each meal
2 servings of meat or beans, 1 each at lunch and dinner
1 sweet treat ≤ 100 calories

Now I just have to apply this philosophy and begin exercising on a daily basis, and I should see some (happy) results.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh, no!

This morning’s weight = 194.4 lb. Ugh! I wish I could be happy with my body; D is always telling me how gorgeous I am. Unfortunately, I don't feel gorgeous. I don't even feel pretty. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that I’m ugly; -- (most) people don’t turn from me in disgust or fear -- and I have some features that I actually like … pretty eyes, nice cheekbones … but for the most part, I don’t feel like any special.

Why is weight such a big deal for me? I’ve had people outside my family show surprise when I mention my weight. One person even told me, “You wear it well.” Unfortunately, I just don’t feel attractive, or that I’m wearing it well. And it is more than the number on the scale (although that is a big part of it); I also know that I am not in good health … I get winded going up the stairs at work; my feet hurt all the time; I can’t walk faster than a 15-minute-mile without my heart pounding. For my own health and the sake of my children, I need to make better choices with my food and my activity choices.

I know that what will work best: 1) track everything that goes into my mouth AND 2) exercise regularly. Unfortunately, I am losing the battle with keeping a clean-enough living space for regular exercise at home, and the bad-weather months are on their way, so I’m probably going to have to get a gym/fitness center membership … then I’ll actually have to use it. Also, I am atrocious at tracking my intake; I’m just not that dedicated (or organized). Further, I give in to temptation way to easily (no willpower WHATSOEVER); and there are so many tempting things. You see my dilemma.

But, if anybody cares (other than me), I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep working at this.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

No Weight

It's only been a week, but it feels like longer. I didn't weigh in on Monday ... because I forgot to weigh myself. I was headed out of town for a 1.5 day seminar in Seattle, WA and in the rush to get everyone else ready for the day, and then finish my own packing and getting myself out the door, I didn't get around to weighing myself.

Also, while I was gone, I made use of the hotel fitness room on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings; I used an elliptical machine for the first time Tuesday morning, and managed ten minutes before the program I selected became much too difficult to continue. Then I moved to the treadmill and walked for another ten minutes. On Wednesday, I used the treadmill and walked for just under fifteen minutes, completing a mile. I then did some leg lifts to work my abs. I've continued with a few small crunches to work my abs, and also did some squats while waiting for the water in the shower in reach an acceptable temperature yesterday. My current goal is to incorporate exercise in my daily routine, so that it becomes, well, routine.

Oh, and yesterday I also went with my son's Cub Scout troop for a hike; we spent about two hours on the path, about an hour spent climbing the trail, fifteen minutes milling around at the summit, and 45 minutes coming down. That was quite a workout.

I guess I'll find out tomorrow if any of this activity, paired with my new habit of eating only when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full, has caused any change in my weight.

Friday, September 05, 2008


D is out of town this week, attending the Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas. He has reported to enjoying himself, though he has expressed surprise and shock at the cost of food. Apparently the low-cost buffets are the stuff of legends; started on a grain of truth but no longer based on reality.

I find myself wanting to take advantage of this time "alone" (I'm not really alone, as the kids remain in my care). Just some of the things I want to do: 1) Watch movies - D and I have such different tastes in movies that I feel I should use the opportunity to watch my action films; 2) Read books; 3) Write - I haven't done any significant writing in months; not since completing NaNoWriMo last year; 4) Exercise; 5) Eat like I'm on vacation - raw cookie dough and Dr. Pepper while watching afore-mentioned action movie(s) [takes me back to weekends in College with my girlfriends]; 6) Sleep.

I am torn as to which activity to give my attention to, so I am ending up doing (almost) none of the above; I did get some extra sleep because Lumpy went to sleep with me one night, and Tigger did the next night (earlier going-to-bed time for me so each of them will get enough sleep). I act as Tigger did earlier tonight while trying to decide what to have for dinner -- I treated the kids to TV dinners -- there were so many that he wanted to try that he was unable to settle on a single item. I think he finally just opened the freezer door, closed his eyes, and reached.

Unfortunately, in my indecision, I have managed to let the time pass without doing any of the things outlined above. Not that the time was a total waste, as I have managed to write this post and also listen to some wonderful music, but it has passed without my full attention and, thus, is now lost.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Weight Update

I know, I know. I didn't update this blog with my weight last Monday ... which is surprising considering that my weight was (slightly) lower last week; on Monday I weighed 196.8, down 0.2 from the previous week. This week, however, I am happy to report that there has been a more significant loss. My weight this morning was 193.4. Woohoo! I am trying to follow the guidelines in The Weigh Down Diet; eat whatever food I want, but only eat it when my body is truly hungry, take the time to eat slowly, drink a calorie-free beverage (water or tea) with my meal, and stop eating when I feel full. I also tracked my caloric intake for a couple days last week, but I am not very good at doing that. Other than that ... the loss is a mystery. I haven't started exercising, yet (I plan to start tomorrow, with either a quick workout in the morning, if I wake up early enough, or a walk during my lunch).
With my goal to lose 50 pounds before my birthday in 2009 (mid-November), I better get to work.