Week Four

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I’m feeling marvelous. I’m taking care of myself. I’m doing the girly thing again (hair, makeup, beauty nights). I’m really aware of how far I pushed the envelope in terms of my health. I’m not beating myself up for it, I’m fixing what was broken, putting into place what was missing and getting this issue handled. To some this may look like I’m dieting, fixing my appearance with makeup, jewelry and high heels, exercising to stay slim and trim. But it goes much deeper than that.

I can see a direct correlation to the way the world has occurred to me in the past few years. I kept seeming to run into walls, things fell apart when they should have stayed cohesive, life was beginning to seem very difficult and always an uphill battle. Well, I can tell you that not only does excess weight wear you down and stop you from doing physical things but being kept from achieving your goals, hopes and dreams because you don’t and can’t move like you used to can be an unbearable weight on your self-confidence and stamina. And that is where I was before I took my health into my hands. Each pound I shed I uncover a part of me I lost in the process of gaining all this fat and useless weight. And I am loving what I am uncovering. I can be a pretty bold bitch when I allow myself to be. I have always been funny but I am discovering a softer more serious side to myself that has been hidden under some pretty bulligerent (yes I know it’s a typo but I think it should be spelled that way, look at my bold self now!)  blubber. I’m slowly getting back in touch with my compassion but I think it might still be pinned under some colossal thighs. I’ll work it out, I’m positive of that.

Oh, just adding this because it’s a big point I want to make. Many people subscribe to the theory that obesity is directly attached to emotions. That everyone who over eats does it to distract them from emotions they don’t want to feel. I can with 100% confidence tell you that this is not a theory I buy. I ate because I love food and did not control myself. I ate because I quit smoking almost four years ago and developed a habit of putting things into my mouth all day long. I was not depressed, angry or upset when I ate. I ate because I love food and the more time passed from not smoking the better food tasted! I’m telling you, for me, it’s all about self control and discipline. Just behave yourself and you’ll be just fine. Misbehave and you spend time in the fat naughty chair or on a few treadmills for sure!

And it manifests itself in a pretty cute little body too……if I do say so myself…and I do. tee hee

 

WEEK FOUR BITCHES!!

 

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Who Who ?

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I’m not really sure how I feel about these four tiny paintings. They are 6″x6″, acrylic and paper clay. Help me out…what do yall think? Any and all feedback is appreciated. I’m really trying to force myself to be more active in the studio but most of my time and focus has been on my health.

I’ve been working very hard at getting fit and I absolutely will reach my goal. What is my goal you may ask? Next year at this time I will either be running, walking or biking in a marathon with my buddies Alex and Maria. I am determined to reach that goal and help out a worthy cause at the same time. I suspect my winter will be pretty full of “art and fitness”. Aren’t we all so very accustomed to seeing “health and fitness”.  Dare to be different has always been one of my mottos!

ART AND FITNESS TALLY HO!!

So here’s who who and updated pics of my fitness progress. It actually helps me a lot to see the progress too.

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NOTHING TO DO WITH ART POST TEE HEE

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So I’ve taken on a new lifestyle that I know will improve my health situation. Let’s face it, no, it’s time I faced it…I’m obese. I pounded on those inches since I quit smoking 4 years ago and I’m pretty sure that I would probably keep going if I wasn’t introduced to the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It opened my eyes and made me see how much crap I’ve been feeding my one and only body.

Last weekend I visited with the friends who introduced me to this new way of fueling my body. I juiced with them, we talked all day and I learned so much. I Two days later I owned a juicer, top of the line juicer too. I swear the universe is aligning  for me to accept this challenge. I’m not getting younger and I’m not getting healthier either. It’s time to stop the insanity.

My buddy Alex sold me his Breville, multispeed juicer and I love it. I remember I was juicing 20 years ago on Bay Street because I thought it was the cool thing to do. The prep and clean up soon diminished my need to be with the in crowd. It was a bitch. But, this new machine is smooth, quiet and super easy to clean up.

So, I know a lot of people will say that I’ve bought into yet another fad. That this Joe guy who made the documentary is now a billionaire and I’m just another sucker. But it wasn’t really Joe who inspired me. It was Phil the super obese truck driver who not only saved his life by juicing but saved his brother’s life too. You have to watch the documentary just to see the amazing transformation of Phil. That is what inspired me. I know I can do this. I quit smoking and I can quit eating garbage too.

So here is my plan, not Joe’s plan, but my plan.

First week, juice for breakfast. So far I’ve consumed three different recipes.

  • Cucumber, Kale, green apples, ginger, lemon and celery (Joe’s Mean Green)
  • Grapefruit, fennel, orange and basil ( Tuscan Summer)
  • Carrots, apples and ginger ( Carrot Apple Ginger)

So far the Carrot Apple Ginger is my favorite.

Second week I intend to have juice for breakfast and lunch.

Third week I intend to have only juice for 15 days.

This is my plan and I am determined to succeed. As determined as I was to quit smoking. It’s time to piss or get off the pot (one of my father’s most common phrases, so appropriate)

I’m so very tired of being fat, unable to move like I used to, I hate the triple chins I have and I most of all hate that I don’t pamper myself or primp and preen anymore. I used to be quite a looker you know. Hell I used to be a size 7.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not just about vanity. I’ll admit with no shame that vanity does play a good role because I’ve not even had one single date in 4 years. And don’t hand me that old line that it’s the inside that counts. My insides are fabulous and I still haven’t had a freeking romp in four years. Now is the time when I finally admit that I’ve really let myself go. And I feel terrible. I’m always tired, I’m huffing and puffing despite not smoking , little things like getting up from the floor is a huge production with grunts and groans, I sleep with a CPAP machine which is probably one more reason I haven’t dated. Who wants to sleep next to Darth Vader! Nope, that’s not how I want to live.

So wish me luck and help support me while I fight to regain my health. I’m certain that I will be able to do a lot more acitivities in about 6 months and then the pounds are really going to start coming off. In the meantime, juice is my new addiction and not an addiction that will harm me. It’s a glass full of micronutrients…how can that be bad for you?

Inspiration Salvation

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As discussed in my previous posts I’ve been out of sorts with my studio as of late. Well this weekend my grandaughter renewed my faith in the power of paint, the power of creativity. We spent the entire day in my studio. She painted, I played with paper clay and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. She makes me smile and I love teaching her the techniques that I know. She sometimes teaches me something I didn’t know. For instance, she learned on you tube to glue gun crayons to a canvas and then use a blow dryer to melt them. The potential of this art form is immense. I think I will try it with her next time we are in studio together! In the meantime..here are some more pics of her hard at work on her creations and a little tease of what belongs in trees that I worked on.

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Anxiously Seeking Significance

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andy-goldsworthy-2art by Andy Goldsworthy

 

I find my life has become mundane. Where my most exciting moments are about my crazy cat or my aging mother. I don’t often talk about the office because, let’s face it, it’s just another office. I love the people I work with I really do. If I had a magic wand I would be making a living in art. I just haven’t had the balls to do that yet.

I have this empty space in my mind, heart and soul right now and I am looking for something significant to fill it up with. I’m still single so it could be that I’m seeking companionship. I’ve really been neglecting my studio so maybe I need to immerse myself for an entire week. I miss my son but I won’t see him for quite some time yet. I’ve started working on my health and have lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks. All of these things are not that inspiring to me. There is something else missing.

I need a cause, perhaps a higher purpose. I need some depth in my life because at the moment I feel I could be blown away by the slightest breeze. I don’t feel like I am contributing anything meaningful.

This void, this void, what is this void?

Taming another beast

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As many of you already know and for those who don’t, I quit smoking a few years back. December 8, 2010 to be exact. It was a birthday present to my son who begged me for years to quit. In December I will have been smoke free for four years. In those four years I have been through my mother moving in with me, tons of stress at work and my son getting married and leaving the province. As you can see, it’s been a chaotic four years. But I managed to keep myself from reaching for my bestest friend, the cigarette. I feel so much better lung wise but I’ve gained a ton of weight and that is the next beast to tame.

Three weeks ago I signed up for Sparkpeople.com. My friend Mimma turned me onto this amazing website that supports a healthy lifestyle FOR FREE! I am committed to loosing weight but I am not committed to spending a load of money to do so. I’m not even joining a gym this time. I know I can accomplish this goal with only minor expenses such as higher food bills (quality costs more) and perhaps a scale and some weights. That is all I am putting out. I have a bike and two feet that can do the rest.

It’s pretty ironic that I quit smoking to save my life. I wanted to breath better and stop coughing. Here’s the ironic part, now I cough because of acid reflux and I breath heavy because I’m obese. Helluva trade off there isn’t it? Well, NO MORE. I’m taking my life in my hands once more and the next health problem I want to have is muscle strain or exhaustion from a marathon or ..well, you get the point.

Which brings me to my art. It’s suffering because I’m taking so long adjusting to this new lifestyle. I’m trying to find the balance of workouts, work, chores and life in general. I work out before I make dinner but I’ve also promised my sister that I would start eating my dinner earlier than 8pm so I’m finding a conflict here. I think the sacrifice I’m going to have to make is getting up a half hour earlier and working out before breakfast. UGH…..I’ve actually never done this in my life so it might be a new GREAT HABIT to develop. That way I can take off from work to the studio and not have to worry about working out. I just need to get home at a decent hour and/or pack a dinner for the studio while I paint. Oh, and I’m also getting in a second workout by biking to and from the studio and climbing five flights of stairs to get to my studio. Ya! That sounds doable right?

One thing about healthy eating…it takes a lot of prep! So, Sunday afternoons, after my weekly group sesh with the O-Town Bombers, will be committed to prepping food for the week. This means more menu planning etc.

It’s more than just dieting, I am changing my entire lifestyle. I want to live to see my grandchild and maybe even a great grandchild or two. I want to be able to run, jump and skip like I did 10 years ago. I want to have a great sex life again, something that is very difficult when you can’t  bend for a friend. I tried Pilates last night and was horrified how locked up my body is by all this fat. I used to be able to sit in the lotus position, now I look like a lotus pad!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter or pointing the finger of blame at anyone but myself. I got me into this and I can get me out. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m not miserable but I am lonely. I haven’t felt good about myself for years so I haven’t even dated in the past three years. I don’t want to get into a position and not be able to get out of it, literally. I don’t like my body like this. I know what I have to do and I am clearly on the right path to getting er done! With Mimma and Sparkpeople I know I can nail this demon too.

And when I am at a healthy weight and feeling good….O-Town boys better get to steppin cuz I just might morph into a little cougar! meow!

Neglect? No more!

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I’ve actually stayed away from the studio for 2 entire weeks. In those two weeks I basically ate, slept and crocheted. Oh, had to work my day job as well. Yes, I still have the day job. I’m pretty grateful for it ….most days.

So I forced myself to hit the studio last Saturday. I had every intention of getting an early start in the morning but I stalled all the way to noon. I’m very good at stalling. But I kicked my butt into gear, packed a picnic, strapped my saddle bags to the bike and made it to the studio with only two stops along the way. One was at this wonderful new little place on Gladstone right beside Detroit Soul Food. It’s called From Seed to Sausage and if I was a little more flush with cash I would have purchased something. It was a tad pricey but it’s all hand made products. You can get anything from jam to sausage to cheese and crackers and homemade extra hot horseradish. Very cool set up, like a small deli and the smells were great too. I will be stopping in again when I have moe monay. The second stop was at Cardamom and Cloves. I promised myself after I purchased all those wonderful herbs and spices for my father on Father’s Day that I would treat myself next time I went to the studio. And I did. I bought Baharat spice blend (good for grilled veggies and lamb), Long Pepper (looks like tiny black pinecones that you crush in your pestle and mortar), Thai Spice Blend (freeking amazing on shrimp and veggies in a wok, then simmer with some coconut milk..nummmm), and finally I bought some Garlic Granules (much better than powder or salt). My saddle bags smelled heavenly for days!

At the studio I struggled with where to begin. I have this huge easel to work on but no big canvases yet. I haven’t quite figured out how to get them to the studio after I purchase them. Oh yeah, I also have to budget myself to purchase them. It’s all a bit daunting at the moment but I will get there. I found these four tiny little 6″x6″ canvases that I had already primed in black. I was going to paint something else on them but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet so I went with another idea I had two days ago. I started to put the canvas on my giant easel and giggled how stupid it looked. It didn’t even stay it place because it was so small. No, these paintings were going to be done sitting at my table because anything else would be ludicrous!

So here is what I came up with. It’s just the beginning but it will be built upon to create a 3-D effect. Some glow in the dark paint and yarn will be added and then I’ll share more with you! Weeeee heee….Felt good to spend the day in the studio again. I went home when it was dark out. I almost did not want to leave.

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Oh and as a post script…..I purchased my domain on WordPress today so now you can find me just by hitting the ole justydennis.com! Wooooooooohoooooooo