28 April, 2009

On making hoops

(You know, for the kids!)

Kenny finally got me to watch the Hudsucker Proxy a few nights ago, and I loved its early Cohen Bros. style. So many of the things I love about Raising Arizona were present in Hudsucker Proxy, too.

So, it seems that buying a hoop costs way more than making one does, if you are only factoring in the cost for making one. The materials that go into one single hoop are pretty inexpensive, but you can only buy the right kind of pvc tubing in a large bundle-- large enough, say, to make 8-10 hoops depending on size. Since the kids at school line up to use my hoop, I figured why not go into a wee business and make them custom ordered?

I got 12 orders on the first day (yesterday). Boy, was I ambitious. Doing just eight of them took me 5 hours. And I priced them whimsically, without much thought, at $10/hoop. Then Kenny helped me crunch the numbers, and... it turns out that with startup costs (I ordered some purple mirror tape online; I had to buy the pvc cutters, etc) I'm turning the tiniest of profits. And they are easy to piece together but a bit laborious to tape up. I think maybe $15 would be better, but you know, I needed the practice. Who in their right mind, before having made any hoops at all, would try to make bank?

So I got into a rhythm last night, with Kenny's help, of "cut the pipe, blowdry the ends, insert the connector, duct tape the seam. Repeat." Then watch 30 Rock, the Office, and Dollhouse while taping, taping, taping them up. I have to say, they feel great! So solid, so round, such a nice weight.

This morning I took them out to be documented and played with:

The biggest one...

And the smallest one.

Can I do both at once?

How about ALL of them at once?!

Nope. But three is fine.

I am officially almost out of mirror tape (and I will be by the time I finish one order this morning, thankfully the last one that wanted purple) and completely out of 100psi tubing, the lighter kind. I guess instead of thinking about the little profits, I can think, hey, I got my cutters for free. And I can now make myself any kind of hoop I want, which is fan-freaking-tastic.

I can't wait to bring all these hoops to school today-- it's Santa Hoop!!

27 April, 2009

I'm getting so excited about MDSW... which is somehow this weekend! I'm going to be at Guido's After Party on Saturday night... anyone else whose going to the festival should come out and have a drink with me while we listen to see if we won any door prizes!

I am looking forward in anticipation to the yarn I don't need but will surely buy. And the lamb kabobs. And the sunshine. Should I bring my hoop? *off to check the Ravelhoopers Forums to see if anyone else will be going*

26 April, 2009

Hooping: Week 1 progress

I made this little video (very roughly, by the way-- be warned about a possible abrupt ending) so that I have something to compare to in a month's or year's time.

Skillz breakdown thus far:

1. Waist hooping: got it, but having trouble maintaining an even thrust when walking around
2. Hip hooping: sporadic and speedy at best. Work in progress.
3. Hand work: got the hand offs, got the halo, but need H-E-L-P with floats. Argh.
4. Dancing in the hoop: um. You be the judges. But gently. If I move my arms too much, my torso forgets what it's doing.

To be continued in a week or two, depending...

[Many thanks to Kenny for leading a disgruntled me through the woods to the new W&M amphitheater, which instantly turned into my new favorite place ever.]

17 April, 2009

A bit of happy inspiration

For summertime, for practicing, for amazing skillz:

16 April, 2009

Day 10, and thoughts on ending

Yesterday afternoon I was hallucinating smells. Various food smells and the smells of cooking (the smell of a hot oven, for example) floated by me so strongly that I kept asking the kids around me if they smelled it, too. That convinced me that making it all the way through Day 10 and waking up to eating was no more noble than closing Day 10 with a steaming bowl of miso broth. So that's what I did. And it was SO GOOD.

Once I had the soup and let my stomach sort of get used to hot liquids, I then cautiously munched on a slice of avocado, and then a handful of pecans. Yum! This morning I had warm applesauce and a bit of a pancake that I made for a 6-year-old friend that Kenny and I babysat overnight. I was so full after that small amount of food. Today's business is letting all that fully digest--I'll be drinking fresh-squeezed orange/carrot juice (watered down) for the rest of the day. Easy does it... there's a feast coming this weekend. I feel a little heady with freedom now that food in general is back on the menu, but I want to be really, really careful that I don't let myself convince myself that those Dunkin Donuts over there are something I want in my body. No no no. Not with these freshly cleaned innards.

And now back to your regularly scheduled knitting/ grad school blog!

14 April, 2009

Day 9 is done!

I can't believe I've made it this far, and at the same time it really flew by. In fact, as unbelievable as it may sound, I sort of feel like I'm just hitting my stride. Kenny decided halfway through Sunday that he wanted to join me in the cleanse, but didn't ease in, just started with the lemonade, and tonight he is happily munching whole wheat pasta with seafood marinara on the couch beside me. I don't even mind, because I know how hard it can be to start fasting right after eating loads of dairy/meaty/bready foods. It feels like death. So it's okay, honey. As long as you don't mind my nose hovering closer and closer to your dinner.

Day 9 was a very evenly-keeled day, although I had to work harder to distract myself from the constant food smells which envelop the office every day. Whatever our school is having for lunch, you'll know before you even walk in the main door. Sometimes it's even hot & muggy in there due to the steam from the kitchen. Somedays it smells delicious (pizza day, tater tots day) and somedays not (baked fish day). I don't even know what we had today, but it made my stomach do a long, slow growl every hour or so. I savored my lemonade.

In other news, we got a new roommate today! Well, apartment-mate. After a long search which resulted in lots of college kids who didn't need a room until June, we finally heard from Lauren, a Colby grad who has never lived in Williamsburg. She seems very easygoing and likable! It'll be so awesome to be able to save half our rent each month and put it towards the wedding/economy failure fund.

Tomorrow is my last day of cleansing, although I can totally understand why lots of people believe that 10 days is the minimum. I'm still, how shall we say, excreting. I'd love to just keep fasting until I'm totally in the clear, but with Yoshi's big celebration this coming weekend I need to start easing out on Thursday. Fresh squeezed OJ + carrot juice with ginger is on the menu, as well as miso soup (oh my god HOT FOOD!). On Friday I'll have a salad and maybe some roasted veggies w/ quinoa.

13 April, 2009

Days 7 & 8, before I forget

Oh man, Day 7 was just driving and depression. No hunger, but I was on such an emotional rollercoaster. This is what happens when the Master Cleanse meets menstruation and 5 consecutive days of travel. It wasn't pretty, but I stayed on program. I'm thinking that for me, Day 7 was the deepest depth and the hardest day. I had lots of good insights and revelations, mostly things I have realized before but now, in a space where I'm proud of myself and having something physical to work through... I don't know, they just seem easier to swallow. [Like: I seem to have a major issue with food availability and excess being a trigger for eating when I'm not hungry. If I saw one square of macaroni & cheese on a plate on Day 6, I wouldn't have had any urge to eat it. It would have represented what I need it to be right now (something I am conscientiously abstaining from) and I would have remembered my reasons for abstaining. But at EarthFare there was a gigantic pile of macaroni & cheese squares, and that abundance made me want one so bad. This happened a lot as I contemplated the contents of the deli case. Something about stacks of food and giant platters signals my common sense to go on vacation.]

Today, Day 8, was the opposite of yesterday: mentally & emotionally balanced, happy, rational. But hungry? Oh my, yes. I took my babysitting charges to lunch at a pancake house and while the children ordered a stunningly sensible lunch for themselves (tomato juice, a salad, chicken noodle soup), I was reading the menu like it was, well, pornographic. Bounty, hedonism, escapism, all on one menu?! And with side orders of meat?? I couldn't believe everyone else just read these things so casually. I had to sort of chew on my straw a little bit and my stomach growled loudly. But I still only crave the sweet stuff, and this cleanse was supposed to cure me of that-- when do I get the cravings for steamed kale, garlicky and lightly salted? Actually, that sounds really good. Time for bed. 2 days left until I can supposedly make better choices. I better get ready to be mindful and not desperate.

12 April, 2009

on going to a party at night

I had a lot of real ups and downs tonight, but not in the usual way. I felt like an empty vessel, which sometimes had energy coming out of it--seemingly from nowhere, or from everywhere-- and then had simply nothing. Zilch. No thoughts, nothing to say, just content to observe.

When I had energy, I all of a sudden was witty, interested/ing, and honestly felt like I was fully present in the moment, that I and whoever I was talking with were creating something. Like improv. No preconceived thoughts or plans. And then, zap, it would be gone, and I'd feel sort of tired but more just wide-eyed and spaced out, and I was really really watching other people, fully, like they were in a zoo or on TV. I was captivated by their conversations that were happening right next to me (but felt 10 feet away).

I experienced some depressing thoughts as well, which hasn't happened yet in this cleanse, but that I gather are a pretty normal side effect. I also completely fell out of agreement with actual time, and every fiber of my being felt like it was hours earlier than it actually was. I couldn't help but feel disappointed when the grocery stores were all closed (I accidentally ran out of lemons for tomorrow morning's prep) and my fiance was already in bed and too sleepy to discuss my big meaningful insights.

Now I'm waiting to crash. I'm really tired of living out of my car. I'm emotionally overwhelmed by returning to Boone after 4 years away and only staying for 30 minutes. I'm confused about the myriad of feelings that I had while watching my best friend perform at the party tonight: I always knew how kinetic and vivacious and talented she secretly was, but when did it stop being a secret? When did she turn into this gypsy siren? I feel strangely protective about her for some reason, and I hope I hope I hope it's not, well, maybe envy.

I should probably try to go to sleep now. Oh, one more thing that has me slightly worried: I tried busting out my new accordion tonight, and came to grips (literally) with how incredibly heavy it is. And huge. Will I get stronger and manage to wrangle it, or is this a big problem? Too tough to decide tonight. I have named him Klaus.

11 April, 2009

Days 5 & 6 together in one lump

Cause that's sort of how it felt. Get up early Friday morning, drive to Brevard in a HUGE thunder and lightning storm, deposit check from Dad (thanks, dad!) meet friends for breakfast but don't eat, go to camp and look at new construction and laugh with Cate, Barbara and Andy, do a pitiful half-hike with Sarah and then get really tired, go to Poppies organic market and experience complete food lust. Go back to Sarah's and watch "Rachel Getting Married" while teaching Sarah how to knit. Felt very cold, it was hard to stay warm.

Saturday morning, get up early, drive with Sarah all the way up 19E past Penland (stopped in to say hello to my amazing aunt & uncle), went to a dance in Avery county (Lift Ticket! Yeah!), drove by Boone real quick to Sarah could see it and eat at Angelica's (I didn't eat, more food lust ensued), drove back to Swannanoa, now I'm crashed out on a couch enjoying the internet. Ahh.

So, the lax tea continues to um, inspire things. I'm can't believe there's still things to be laxed out of me. Hmm. I wasn't hungry for the 1st 3 days and now I'm realizing that the last 4 are going to feel very, very long. I'm off to read some inspiring thoughts by Marce, who must be almost done by now...

Rumble rumble.

Must remember why I'm doing this. And that all that delicious food will still be there when I'm done getting clean. And that I need to eat to live, not live to eat.

Off to a birthday party...

[this was written when I was really tired, and now an hour later, after drinking the last of my day's lemonade stuff, I feel much better. Clearer. I'm looking forward to coming home and doing the SWF again, so that I can re-focus on the "getting rid of" part and not the "I can't eat food" part. Being active really effects how I feel on this cleanse, as well as being around food. My major trigger for cravings (going grocery shopping) happened twice in the past two days, just because I was hanging out with friends, and I think that tomorrow, when I'm just driving and not wandering around in EarthFare, I'll feel much more sustained and less deprived.]

10 April, 2009

How Day 4 went down

Day 4, Thursday, was just one of the best days I've had in a long time. This whole week has been awesome, come to think of it. This makes 2 years in a row where I've had a fabulous Spring Break, and both weeks have had a few essential things in common: time with my parents, time in Asheville, time with Sara and Lauren...

So yesterday I did my 2nd Salt Water Flush, which went even more smoothly (heh) than the 1st. Knowing I wasn't going to get sick was a big part of the mental ease, and then things progressed faster than they had the day before. I think I was all out of water by 2.5 hours in. So I packed up my things (many more things than I came with, thanks to IKEA!) and went to my Dad's house.

I am very lucky to have the parents that I have, all 3 of them. They are each incredibly talented in different ways and offer their skills to me when I need them. Having not found the right curtain for our cheap-ass kitchen door, my Mom let me pick out fabric and some trim and then she just whipped one up for me, even though she could have been doing other things. My step-dad routinely changes the oil on my car, hooks me up with great new music (most recently: Sometymes Why), and all three of them will probably help make the music merry at my wedding next year. Anyway, yesterday I went to my Dad's so he could help me with a musical project.

At the end of the year I'm responsible for picking a piece for the Upper Elementary class to sing at their graduation ceremony. Last year we did an a capella "Let There Be Peace on Earth (and Let it Begin With Me") which was so sweet. This year I want to utilize a genius piano-playing 6th grader so I wanted to bring a song with accompaniment. The song I want to teach them, however, I learned from a blind piano player at my summer camp who has just been playing it the same way for probably 50 years and I have no way of extracting from her the exact way that it should be played. So rather than just sing the song to the 6th grader and let him make something up, I went to my awesome Dad who, in the space of like 45 minutes, let me sing the song to him, came up with a basic chord structure that he let me offer input on, tinkered with filling out the arrangement, added an intro, and then put it all into Finale. In minutes it was printed out professionally and I even had a CD of the accompaniment so I could play it for the kids the first time I sing the song for them. ROCK!

Then my birthday present was, well, presented:

That's right, kids. I am now a 2nd generation accordian player!! This is made even more fabulous by the fact that my Dad has played since he was in elementary school, Kenny's Mom plays, one of my best friends is taking lessons, and accoridans seem to be making a general comeback in the cool crowd. I'm so excited (as you can see! Don't judge my "whee" face!).

Then I packed it all up, said thank you thank you I'm so excited thank you, took a walk to the grocery store to get Vitamufin mix (aw, yeah) and some Jarro-dophilous (gotta keep the good in while the bad goes out) and hit the highway, pointing myself due west.

Asheville. Coffee shop. Bear hugs with friends. Contra dancing myself into a state of rapture. Sharing sweat with hundreds. Laughing out loud at the genius and surprise of the music. Hanging at Waffle House with a cup of hot lax tea. Back to Warren Wilson (oh, home of countless memories) and into the shower, and into bed. I was lucky enough to score a newly vacated single room in my friends' suite and I awoke at dawn.

I slept not so great, but that's okay: today hold even more wonders (including seeing friends I usually only get to see in the summer months) and a trip to a yarn store. Hallelujah, and see you tomorrow!

P.S. I felt some real hunger yesterday, but it's not surprising as it was a very active day and I burned hundreds of calories at the dance. Bring me some lemonade!!!

09 April, 2009

Two FOs to show you!

As I was wrapped up in thesisville, I couldn't get these photographed/edited/uploaded with a clear conscious. But now I have nothing but sunshine and time to fiddle around with the computer, so here we go:

1. Toe-up rainbow socks (Ravelry project page), as blogged about right here back when they were about 6" high. I was so determined to knit until I ran out of yarn but I just couldn't work on them any more one day a few weeks ago and had to stop. the. knitting.
This is how tall they got before I ran screaming from them, tiny little leftover red balls trailing behind me.

The heelflaps didn't work out for me on these, which I blame on the feet inexplicably growing by 2 inches when I blocked them. WTF?

Yeah, about that yarn growing: I feel like this happens with most of my blocking attempts. I'm not lifting the wet projects up and letting them stretch themselves out or anything; maybe it has to do with the way I walk on the towels to soak up the extra moisture? Maybe it's my yarn choices? Anyway, beware when blocking the KnitPicks sock blanks.

Anyway, number 2: my 2nd pair of baby booties! (Ravelry project page)
baby booties
(god bless ComicLife and screenshots for making me look a lot better with a Mac than I am.)
I love making these! I can use leftover sock yarn, and it's a pattern that's been around for ages and ages, written down in different formats and whatnot (most of the women I show them to go, "oh, I knit those once" even if they haven't knit for 30 years), so I'm thinking it might be okay to make lots of them and sell them on Etsy or in local shops. Whattya think?

I started a cowl that's working out beautifully so far. It's the popular Good Luck Cowl (non-Rav link here) in my 1st ever Koigu yarn. It's springy and nice, of course, but it's also twisted a little firmly for me. Hmm. Maybe my tastes aren't as classy as I thought.

Also being worked on slowly and in fits and starts is the 2nd Phiaro Scarf (which I blogged about over a month ago, here).
(doesn't it look so funnily unlike a shawl in it's pre-dropped state? Imagine all those purled columns dropped down into long ladders. The large swath of stockinette is, of course, the fringe...)

[I'm also still working on the old silky brown pullover from last November (sigh), but since no new progress has happened, no new pictures need be taken.]

08 April, 2009

MC: Day 3

After the slow but eventual success of my 1st salt water flush, I set out on a monumental day of IKEA shopping with my Mom, which normally would have left me tired and cranky and in need of a quick sugar fix. Don't get me wrong: standing in the checkout line inhaling the mouth-watering scent of those hot cinnamon buns was awesome. It made me really appreciate smell, and how satisfying it can be to just smell something delicious without needing to put it in my mouth and eat as much of it as I can get away with. A lot of taste is smell, and a lot of (my perceived) hunger is the desire for taste and texture, so a good deep appreciative inhalation might be a good thing for me to do when warily approaching my next "should I or shouldn't I" treat.

For my birthday present, my Mom helped me buy myself a two-hour massage at Massage Envy. My therapist was very, very strong, and I usually enjoy (no, need) deep pressure-- especially under my occipital ridge (top of the neck/base of the skull) to relieve headaches. Tonight, maybe because of the cleanse or maybe because I just did weight training 2 days ago, I felt flinchy and bruisable (and neither of those are real words, methinks). None of that is her fault, of course, and I'm sure my detoxification process is only benefited by the enthusiastic wringing out of my muscles. Now, though, at home with my hot tea and big bed, I just feel so tired. My eyes are so heavzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Day 4 brings a two hour drive to the mountains (!!!!) and a sweat-tastic contra dance at the OFB. I'm so excited.

Salt Water Flush, the 1st

Okay, just writing up my own wimpishness last night motivated me to actually do the dang thing. This morning I got up around 7 and stirred up my 1st "internal scouring" solution. I was pleased and surprised to realize that I am apparently one of the few people who don't find the taste disgusting. It's not as salty tasting as I thought it would be, and I didn't gag at all (fear #1). I drank it very cold (which was the worst part, but the only filtered water here comes out of the fridge) and licked a lemon wedge in between gulps. I laid down on my right side (while reading this article on banh mi-- yum) and 90 minutes later I still haven't felt any, um, urge to go. This is fear #2: retaining all that salt. Come on, lower intestines!

ETA: Okay, 3 hours after the fact. I don't want to be too graphic here, but the SWF has worked it's way out. It's not nearly as dramatic as one might think, in fact the senna tea gives me way more cramping. The salt water is aptly named "flush."

Okay that's it for today! Thanks for reading probably way more details than you wanted!

07 April, 2009

MC: Days 1 & 2

Wow, thanks for all the feedback I got from so many of you who have done this before! I've really enjoyed hearing all the gory details, believe it or not. It helps me feel less uncertain about some of the processes I'll be going through the next 8 days or so.

I spent my 1st full days of the Cleanse babysitting. This was challenging, because I had to focus my energy somewhat and also keep giving firm but polite reasons why I really did not want a hot dog, or popcorn, or some "roast." All of which sounded pretty delicious, of course, but my objectives for abstaining remain strong!

Truth be told, I haven't had much hunger to speak of yet. I think easing in with a pre-cleanse diet of raw fruits & veg did help a whole lot. Monday was Day 1 and I had so much energy that after babysitting and walking a friend's dog I went to my usual group weight training class at the gym... but about halfway through I suddenly ran out of oomph entirely. I lazed through the end of class doing really slow reps and then went to pick up Kenny from school, and by the time 9pm rolled around I felt like I was being pulled downward onto the nearest soft surface. I fell asleep observing an acute headache clamping down on my temples, which didn't worry me too much.

Day 2 dawned with slightly more mental clarity than usual, and I accomplished a lot of chores (including packing the car for my trip to see my parents) all before 9:00am. I spent the whole day babysitting again, which was way less thrilling than yesterday, and involved several fantasy games in which I was the customer at a restaurant and was being served by my ward. I discovered that even though I didn't technically feel hungry, I was really enjoying describing what I wanted to eat to the mini-hostess. Among the things I picked were eggs over easy with sourdough toast; creme brulee; blueberry pancakes. Think I've got some sugar issues to deal with here?!

I'm looking forward to the part of the cleanse when the detox really starts getting nasty. So far I have a fuzzy tongue and teeth but that's about it. Tomorrow I get to hang out with my Mom all day, and we're going to IKEA(!). Hooray!

p.s.- I'm sort of avoiding the Salt Water Flush. You who know, know what I mean. I think that next time I do the Cleanse, it will be a definite part of the experience, but seeing as the really profound results come in at around day 6-7 of consecutive SWFing, and I can only do it once or twice this time due to traveling, I'm going to stick with the lax tea instead. Surely, I will still reap some benefits anyway? I find it hard to believe that without the SWF, the Cleanse is no good. Feel free to weigh in if you've tried it either way.

05 April, 2009

Spring cleaning: my declaration of intent

Over the past few months I've been writing my thesis and have been staying up very late writing, and getting up as early as I could drag myself into consciousness to write again. In order to keep myself going, I've been indulging OVER AND OVER again in incredibly junky foods. Processed foods; food high in saturated fat; salty snacks; and sweets made from a combination of very unnatural sugar-type stuffs. A Diet Coke every day just to buzz my system into an alert state. My energy decreased every day, my clothes started squeezing my body, and my general brain power felt, you know, sluggish. I was cranky with my usually delightful students and I felt really, really guilty that I wasn't treating myself the way I know I should.

Because you see, I'm not new to healthy food. I'm not usually a carb junkie and I truly enjoy vegetables. I know the value of eating until I'm almost full, of checking in with myself mentally and emotionally before I reach for the next treat to see why I really am craving it. I've been a successful Weight Watcher and therefore have learned the balance of calories in and out; I have an active gym membership and ride my bike to work on most sunny days (well, except during thesis-time). I went without eating red meat for years, I was a vegan one whole summer (and it was a really great summer, full of clarity and ease), I practice yoga, I have hobbies... I'm not the average American "junk food junkie" (my Mom's phrase from the '80s).

But life is stressful sometimes, and rather than let my big assignment slide, I let my health slide. Sugar became a major addiction and I needed more food with every meal to feel full. Well, I turned in my paper last week, and it is now beautiful Spring Break. Our apartment is tidied, I have savings in the bank, and the most important thing: I have free time again. It's time to own up and give my body the respect it deserves. I need something to help me steer myself back to good health, a way to silence the noise, to process what I've done and reset my goals and objectives for the new season.

One day last week I noticed that not one, or two, but THREE of my friends on Facebook had posted something in their status updates about the Master Cleanse. I'd heard the phrase before, and vaguely remembered hearing about Kenny's younger sister doing it after the holidays. Basically it's a fast from solid foods. All of the world's major religions advocate fasting as a way back to mental clarity, to set priorities, and to heal the body. I've fasted before, usually no more than 3 or 4 days, and I know firsthand that my particular metabolic level (read: reeeeally slow) and digestion speed (I could survive in the desert for days on my last meal and a couple gallons of water) make me a really good faster. I'm slow to feel hunger and I like to take a break from all that eating. When I've fasted in the past, I all of a sudden could remember things better, felt sugar was less of a need. When my body has a chance to work on output, when I give it a careful break from input, I can re-enter the world of food choices with a much clearer mind.

So I've started prepping for this 3-10 day cleanse. Since it's a really bad idea to go right from mountains of buffet-restaurant crap to nothing but lemon water, I gave myself an unlimited amount of time to transition with just raw fruits and veggies, but as much as I wanted of them. The first day, I had a huge salad, several bananas, more fruit in the evening, etc... and I felt great. The second day I also had a salad, but a smaller one, and carrots, and an apple... but my stomach felt crampy and I felt grumpy. I have no doubt that this was my body starting to come down from the dizzying level of trashy foods I had stuffed in it for months, regardless of my hunger level.

Yesterday was my third day on raw fruit/veg and I awoke feeling awesome. I had a great walk with Kenny, we went to the gym and I felt so strong on the rowing machine. All of a sudden I could feel my muscles working in tandem-- and they didn't have to avoid a huge belly full of food (just the residual flab). At home as I was putting clean dishes away I became aware that what had previously seemed like a monumental task--the organizing of our tupperware/pots & pans hutch-- was now clearly do-able, and I sat down cheerfully to the chore and had it finished in minutes. Why had I been avoiding that for so long? At night I went contra dancing and felt if not lithe then definitely more centered, more upright on my axis. Sleep was, again, deep and peaceful.

And today, day 4, I made it til almost noon before I even felt the slightest stir of hunger. As I was babysitting and the kids were having creamy tomato soup, I sliced up a ripe tomato for myself and had it with a handful of snow peas. When I got home I had a bunch of red grapes, and lots of water. I feel like I'm ready. Tomorrow I'm going to start the Cleanse.

My ONLY worry-- not the hunger (it's temporary), not the moodiness (it's a symptom of toxins leaving)-- is that my parents will disapprove. I'm 28, responsible, self-supporting, and all around a good adult, so please let me do this without a fight. I've fasted with you before, remember? Only good things came of it.

This means that Mom, Dad, friends in Brevard and Asheville, I need you to understand that this is what I want for myself this week. I'm coming down to see you, and I know we might be a little thrown off at not having food be the main treat in our time together, but please know that there will be so many other times that we can resume our delicious habits of grilling, going out to Vietnamese food, treating ourselves to Hobnob, etc. This Cleanse is not a diet or a lifestyle, it's just a tune up. The doctors and thousand of other people who have chimed in about their experiences online have all had the best effects when following it for 10 days. So we'll be eating together again, and how! Besides, it's my birthday coming up, and this is the best present I can give myself and it's the re-start I want most. I'm looking forward to doing all the other exciting things together that we have planned.

Here are some links with information to read that might help you feel better about me doing this:

Or just ask around. Chances are good that someone you know has done it, or something like it. If you find yourself worrying about the adverse affects of my taking in very few calories/nutrients, think about what I was doing before, and ask yourself if it worries you just as much. I think as a culture we're better at helping each other indulge than abstain. I'm only abstaining for the time needed to get back on the conscious track of being aware of what and how I'm feeding myself.

Want to join me? ;) I'll be journaling here, I expect, about what it feels like and what I'm thinking. Maybe I'll even have some epiphanies!

01 April, 2009

Because I am a following follower, and also a fan of abdominal improvement

Apparently, while I was out of the loop due to thesis writing, a bunch of knitters started hoola hooping for fun & fitness. I had been reading little mentions here and there on the Blogosphere, but I didn't realize it was, like, a full-blown thing. (And, um, also it seems to have been on Regis & Kathy Lee and also Beyonce does it. Where have I been??)

And wouldn't ya know, the moment I did realize how many people were/are currently jumping right on that bandwagon (Rav link), I wanted on. Badly. Last night I fell asleep soothing my post-talent-show-production nerves by window shopping at all the various online options for purchasing a fitness hoop (which is bigger and heavier than the kiddie hoops one might pick up at the local big box store).

Here's what I found out, just in case you're also feeling bandwagonny and in need of some resculpting around the middle:
Hoopnotica- looks pretty sexy. They definitely have the slickest website, and a very cool product lineup. I want their travelhoop, which breaks down into a bunch of pieces and has a carrying tote, but it is a little pricey, given that I haven't actually tried hooping for fitness yet. I mean it seems like something I'd like and be good at, but it's not worth my $40 plus shipping plus waiting for it to be back in stock to guess. That's one of their main people, Rayna, up there, photographed for the NY Times and found on Flickr.

RainbowFrogs77- has an Etsy shop where she sells the hoops that she makes, adult sized and everything, but for $10!! Wicked. Plus, they're not yet decorated which means I can also interstalk some cool decorative tape ideas (which, conveniently, can be found here. Have fun with the shiny things.)

SpiritHoops- These seem like a good halfway point between the two above. A little more of a handmade feel, not so slick with the sexy video girls (not that I'm dissing them-- I'd love to BE them), and they have a hoop that twists down to become half it's size.

A basic Google search brings up lots of options, actually-- Body Hoop, the Energy Hoop, the Sports Hoop-- but I like the three above best. After more stalkage today after work, I went with the 2nd option. Etsy love. I can't wait for my hoop to get here! I told myself I'd wait until I got a little practice in before shelling out for the pretty tape. But I do want a hoop workout DVD to go with it. Back to the forums...

Go read a bit at Hooping Magazine online. Or read about how to make your own for really cheap. And then tell me you honestly wouldn't have any fun doing this.

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr