Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How it feels vs. How it tastes

Monday, I posted the BEFORE pictures of my pre-fat-camp body. Tuesday I posted the NOW pictures. Looking at those pictures brought things into perspective for me. BIGTIME...

Here's the thing. Throughout my life, I have often been annoyed by people who recently lost weight -- coming up to tell me HOW THEY DID IT. UGH.  I wanted to yell...STOP BEING SO SMUG....I FEEL BAD ENOUGH....LEAVE ME ALONE....NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU ATE FOR BREAKFAST!!

There are a million ways to lose weight. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Fat Camp, online support groups...self-imposed diets. But what works for one person may not work for another...there is no perfect answer...

So, I have no intention of using this blog to tell you what I ate on any given day...or to get preachy about the importance of exercise. But, for those of you who may have given up hope -- I want to say this.

What has helped me the most is to focus on HOW IT FEELS... as opposed to HOW IT TASTES.

My life today feels terrific...and it's full of active VERBS. I travel, swim, walk, lift...I am DOING STUFF every day -- and life has never felt better.

This is a photo collage of RITA-ON-THE-MOVE....trains, planes and automobiles....

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This is NOW...

So -- here are some recent pictures.
At the Morton Arboretum with my friend Linda. Even though it was a hot day -- I WAS ABLE TO WALK all over the grounds! And I didn't feel like I was gonna die any minute...IT WAS GREAT!!

In my new Hamilton coat. I feel positively svelte in this outfit!!
Thrift store shopping with Kathy, during our Pennsylvania vacation. THOSE ARE JEANS I'M WEARING, PEOPLE. Actual jeans!! With a zipper and pockets and everything...
At TMBC last week (I was all dressed up for a History Luncheon)...those are WHITE JEANS I'm wearing. Wow. I'll bet you didn't see that coming, did you??
So, even though it can be VERY SLOW GOING...I realize it took me A LONG TIME to get this fat -- so losing the weight will also take a long time.  But I am happy to be headed in the right direction.

Thanks so much for all your encouragement...it really makes my day when somebody takes the time to send me an actual email (doesn't that feel almost as old fashioned as snail mail nowadays?).

Last year at this time, I had NO IDEA I'd be on this journey!!

THANKS AGAIN, RHONDA!!

And -- GUESS WHAT?? IT'S TIME FOR ROUND TWO. Rhonda and I have decided to make FLORIDA Fat Camp an annual event...so we're going again. Wanna come along? If we get enough of our sewing friends to join us -- it could mean A DISCOUNT. There are no firm dates or details yet -- but we're thinking the week BEFORE Thanksgiving. Email me if you are interested...(farrorita@gmail.com)

Monday, July 24, 2017

That was THEN...

It's Monday -- the day I post my MMWI. As I'm writing this post, I have no idea if that number went up or down...

Although I try NOT TO MAKE MY LIFE ABOUT THAT NUMBER...Because that can be very discouraging. I think it took me six weeks to lose 2 pounds...ugh...But I get on that damned scale once a week to be accountable. To face the number.  To understand WHAT I ACTUALLY WEIGH.

Anybody who's walked in my fat shoes can tell you losing weight is never easy. There are days when the potato chips win...it's just the nature of those little bastards...

Summer has been rough...the Pennsylvania vacation meant Italian bread and Calzones. Then, the holidays -- the 4th of July...Elliott's birthday -- pesto and Farro Family birthday cake. I still love food, and I eat EVERYTHING. It's only the portions that have changed...lol...

Hey -- If you're doing it right -- LIFE IS FULL OF celebration and those good times are ALWAYS ABOUT THE FOOD..!!

So, to encourage myself...I decided to go back and see what I looked like last summer...BFC  (Before Fat Camp).
Last summer, at our Sisters Sewing Weekend. In June. I probably weighed 310??  Yikes...
Here's what you cannot see in this photo. It was hot in Missouri...and I was sweating like a pig most of the time.  Whenever I sat down, I tried to position myself in the chair closest to the little window air conditioner...I was very uncomfortable...

That same month, my sister Ronda and I went to Hamilton, Missour to visit the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  We were attending a Featherweight Workshop...
Ronda and I at Missouri Star. Gheesh...I was so fat!! I am shocked I was able to walk at all!! (there was a lot more sitting than walking)...
What you can't see: we were staying in the lovely sleeping rooms on the second floor of the MSQC retreat building. This 1900 building had a wide staircase, with a landing....so it was many stairs. Once I came down in the morning, I NEVER WENT BACK UP...I had to do those steps one foot at a time and I dreaded the trip...
At Ross's surprise graduation party last summer. One of my least favorite pictures of me. YIKES I AM FAT...and sweaty...I make both Ross and Deena look downright skinny. (you're welcome)
Again -- what you cannot see in the photo. I didn't have any summer pants or capris that fit me.  They would have been size 26 at least...  Although I tried to cover my fatness with some stylish long dresses -- I looked terrible and felt worse. I was short of breath...and on this day, I tripped over that long skirt when I got out of the car. Deena's son Toby rushed over to carry the cake into the building...because I looked and felt like I was about to pass out...

Tomorrow, I'm going to post some NOW pictures...

**********************
MMWI:  238.0...That's a gain...and I went to the pool six days last week!  I am disappointed, but not discouraged.  In many ways, that number is NOT the important thing.  Tomorrow, I'm posting some of  my THIS IS NOW pictures...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Rochester Cemetery

The Rochester Cemetery near Tipton, Iowa is a controversial topic. As a part of our Underground Railroad history bus tour -- we went to the cemetery to see 14 acres of original Prairie grass...

From an Iowa DOT page:  It would be hard to find 14 acres of Iowa land that mean as many different things to different people as the Rochester Cemetery. Depending on who you talk to, this township burial site is: A disgrace, a shamefully neglected tangle of brush growing over ancestral graves, obscuring and sometimes damaging the stones. 

A visual wonder, putting on a dazzling annual display of wildflowers that draws a steady stream of visitors. People come from miles around each Mother’s Day to marvel at the cemetery’s dense carpet of shooting stars, one of the prettiest of prairie plants with its explosive rosette of half a dozen blooms turning their faces downward, their petals thrown back upward like the blazing trail of the heavenly body from which they get their name. 

A historic site where visitors can see the graves of some of the earliest settlers in the area, dating back to the 1830s. According to local lore, the mother of the Divine Sarah Bernhardt, the fiery French stage actress of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is buried here. 

A rare and precious patch of native Iowa prairie, one of the last and most spectacular living remnants of the vast, variegated prairie that once carpeted the state, of which now less than one-tenth of 1 percent remains....
Karen Anderson has a WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE about all-things-Iowa-History.
Apparently, this is what real prairie grass looks like...and there are 14 acres of it in this cemetery.
Lots of people think it should all be cut and manicured...like a normal cemetery...
I was trying to pay attention -- but got way-laid by a GIGANTIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!!
I had no idea this place even existed -- and it's only about 30 minutes from my house.
I thought it would be disrespectful to take pictures of the grave stones.  I understand that real people are buried there.

As I walked around on that beautiful summer afternoon, I read the markers and wondered about their lives.  Who they were, what they did, where they lived, how they died, and why were they buried here.  Who did they leave behind..?

Every cemetery in the world is full of people who lived...and every one of them had a story...

Again, on that day, in that place, I had a Hamilton lyric playing in my head.

The last song in Hamilton is "Who tells your story?"

Who lives, who dies, 
who tells your story?

When you’re gone, who remembers your name?
Who keeps your flame?


 ***************

Friday, July 21, 2017

Kids and Road Trips

This post is for those of you who think a "road trip" with the kids sounds like a good idea. IT'S A GREAT IDEA!! John and I both loved taking the kids up to Wisconsin last month for their train trip. And I think it's a memory they'll have for a lifetime...

But be forewarned -- today's kids expect A LOT OF ENTERTAINMENT. Yikes. When I first told the kids we were going to Wisconsin in Grandpa's new car, Warren said, "Does Grandpa have screens in the back?"

These kids are looking at screens EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY. Since the first day they were strapped into a carseat, they have ALWAYS had a screen in their face...

Hummm...this could be a long three hours...
We got up early to get a jump on the day. Both kids were so excited!!
Lilly said we were really going OLD SCHOOL ALL THE WAY -- I am actually reading the map!!
Lilly had a bag of activities...some little puzzles -- remember this one, where you move the squares around?  I had a box of USA trivia questions...
I didn't have to worry about the driving -- since I am never allowed to do that on John's watch...
We planned the big breakfast stop so that it would happen HALF WAY up there.
Timing is everything, people...the kids were good and hungry...and ready to get out of the car.
On the drive home, the kids were tired...and once again hungry. But we didn't want to prolong their time in the car -- so we stopped at one of the wonderful Wisconsin Convenience Stores -- KWIK STAR -- and ate some gas station food.

I let them each pick out some treats for dessert.  But, when we got back in the car, I said they had to earn Treat #1 by keeping their hands off each other for 10 minutes --

Oh, yes, I'm such a clever Grandma...
As it turned out -- I needn't have worried...soon after we got back on the road -- this happened...
It was a very big day...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 4th/Grandma Camp

Every family has their traditions. In America, July 4th is about cookouts and Fireworks. A few years ago, I decided the Farro Family tradition should also be about JELLO CAKE!
It's a white cake mix...poked with holes...with red and blue jello poured over it while hot...
My brother, Cal, and his wife Jeanne joined us on the porch for John's bbq'd pork chops
Warren wanted to sit next to Uncle Cal
The "Grandma Camp" activity was all about the Jello Cake. I had it all ramped up...
Elliott took the kids down to our blueberry bush
And helped them pick the blueberries
The BEST frosting for a child to manage is simply a container of Cool Whip. And that will be perfect for this cake...
Warren added all the blueberries, and Lilly lined up the raspberries for the stripes.
Uncle Ross cut the cake...the kids were SO PROUD!!
The Jello was all set up, the cake was cold...it was the PERFECT Grandma Camp/Dessert/July 4th Activity!!
NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!