Posted by: screan | December 31, 2012

Get Ready, Set…go?

It’s New Year’s Eve and I am contemplating beginning yet another year with the same resolution that I have had many times before. The elusive search for weight loss – the permanent kind. I took stock of my former attempts – counting 14 books I have amassed on the subject of losing weight, and now that I think of it – there is one on the way, and a few more tucked away in my Kindle app. I think the only think I have lost most years is money. Clearly the diet industry is lucrative.
I was successful once. about 12 years ago on Weight Watchers – 38 pounds over about 6 months. Unfortunately it returned – not overnight, but slowly, creeping up on me over the years, my inconsistent attempts providing me reprieves of 5 – 10 (once even 14) pounds, before the inevitable occurred. I have tried Weight Watchers since, for those who have the obvious question – why not go back to what worked. It’s a possibility. I never was able to replicate my earlier success, although I think that was because the diet is just one part of it. As my cousin Tony so aptly reminded me, “You can’t buy willpower, cuz.” That’s true, and when I did take off the weight in 2000, I was truly motivated. I combined that motivation with the my love of praise (Weight Watchers loves to congratulate you publicly), and a job that didn’t require a lot of work after hours which gave me time to obsess about…you guessed it….food! Unfortunately for people like me who constantly think about food (generally what am I going to eat next), losing weight requires you to spend more time thinking about the very thing that caused the problem in the first place.
I am trying to steel myself and be motivated. I certainly have many solid reasons why I need to lose weight. Really practical ones, like I can’t fit into anything in my closet that requires a zipper or hook/eye.
So, I have dragged out the Weight Watchers books. I have added to that my knowledge of nutrition and diabetes (not there yet, but headed in that direction), and I am almost ready to go. A few ground rules I need to establish for myself:
1. I need to journal my food intake (Hate this but it is the one constant all these “experts” agree on.
2. I need to work exercise in. Goal – 2 days per week Crossfit, 2 days Sportsplex to start.
3. I am only going to weigh myself on Fridays to try not to make myself crazy.
4. I am going to give myself a “cheat” meal once a week.

1. I am going to start with 16 pounds – approximately 10% of my weight. That sadly will only get me to what I weighed in May of 2012!
2. Long term – 138 pounds. That is within my weight range (Okay the high end), but I have not seen the 130’s on the scale in many years.

Posted by: screan | January 1, 2012

“Small as an Elephant” – great book

Small as an ElephantSmall as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was blown away by this book. Jack, an independent 10 year old boy, wakes up at the Acadia National Park in Maine only to find out that his mother has left. He is upset, but not surprised. His mom is bipolar, and in the throes of a manic episode. Jack knows that his future is at stake, and not wanting to be taken from his mom, tries to find her. I am convinced the author must have a close family member who is bipolar in order to have nailed the character of Jack’s mom. I felt like I was with Jack every step of the way.

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Posted by: screan | January 1, 2012

Sugar and Ice delivers more than just “sweet story”

Sugar and IceSugar and Ice by Kate Messner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Claire is a smalltown girl who loves to skate. She lives on a maple syrup farm with her large close family and has a best friend named Natalie. She is given what other people refer to as “the opportunity of a lifetime” to train with an Olympic caliber coach. The training isn’t the only thing that is tough.
This book got better and better as it went on. Of course, I was hooked by the great writing on page 1 (fabulous example of personification: “Even with the sun shining, spring wasn’t ready to climb out of the snowdrifts and shake itself off just yet.) My students will find it easy to identify with Claire as she struggles with commitments and friendships. There were some surprises along the way, but ultimately had a great message for people to follow their hearts and create their own dreams; something that kids need to keep in mind in these days of heavy pressure.

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Posted by: screan | January 1, 2012