Thursday, June 05, 2008

Life changes

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I've had elevated cholesterol levels for the past couple of years. This year, I finally decided to make a very conscious effort to reduce my *saturated* fat intake to 20g or less per day. This meant giving up ice cream, and watching nutrition labels very carefully. (Though I started exercising regularly three to four times per week almost two years ago, this alone was not enough to lower my cholesterol.)

I just received the results of my most recent blood tests. My total cholesterol decreased from 244 to 176 (target less than 200), and LDL ("lousy" cholesterol) was down from 151 to 92.6 (target less than 100).

So, the "good news" is that giving up ice cream has made a very POSITIVE IMPACT.

The "bad news" is that GIVING UP ICE CREAM has made a very positive impact.

Overall, I have to say that this has taken me two years of experimenting, so I'm happy to now be at a point in which my new habits have resulted in better "numbers."

Tomorrow I'm driving over to my former high school for a 50th anniversary band/choir reunion. Since it spans such a large range of graduating classes, there are only a handful of people I'll remember from my days of walking those halls, but my band and choir directors will both be back, and I'm very happy I'll have a chance to talk with them for a bit. (It's been, ahem, 25 years since I last saw them.) My brother and his kids will also be there, and both of his daughters had birthdays recently, so it was time to get these little bags finished:It took me until this morning to actually (finally) sew on the buttons. Each has a Target gift card inside.

After this weekend, my life changes drastically. I've been a stay at home mom for the past eight years, and it has been everything like, and nothing like, I imagined it would be. Beginning on Monday, however, my identity will be completely different. I've been quietly grieving the past few days as this chapter of my life closes, though I know it has to in order to make room for the growth and exciting challenges waiting for me, and for my kids as they will both be in school full time next fall. Still, I've always been one who gets very attached and comfortable with how things are, even if it's for a week, a month, a semester, or years, and it's difficult for me to leave people and/or routines behind. Okay, I suppose that is enough blathering on about sentimental things.

I finished cleaning out the garage (a more difficult task than I originally anticipated once I discovered a messy oil spill that leaked to multiple shelves, etc), and did several other things I wanted to finish up before school starts. I had some crazy notion that I would get "everything" done and then I'd truly be "ready," though as I should have realized from my life experiences, "ready" is a work in progress, and often things require a "leap of faith" more than they require "readiness." ...Oops -- I jumped off the philosophical deep end again.

I'll ponder all of this during the weekend, but once things really get rolling on Monday, I'm confident I'll be just thrilled to be a student again. I've really missed school this past semester, and am chomping at the bit to start grad school.

I promise less blathering in my next post. Have a great weekend!

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)


Lauren said...

1. regarding ice cream, can you do low fat ice cream? frozen yogurt? have you tried making your own ice cream? there must be alternatives!

2. cute felted bags!

3. So wait what... you're going back to school full time??? Thats awesome... grad school?!?

Kitty Mommy said...

Exciting times! Good luck with everything.

Those bags are just beautiful.

allisonmariecat said...

Yay for you! Seriously, those are some impressive changes. Have you tried making your own ice milk? I've been making ice milk for myself for years, and it's better than the low fat stuff at the grocery store. I use whole milk and just limit my intake, but you could use 2% or even 1% (just not skim, which gives it a weird texture). I have a couple of recipes on my site. Any ice cream recipe, you can just switch to all milk and no cream without ill effects.

I adore your little bags. So, so cute.

I've been thinking about being a stay-at-home mom and how weird it'll be when Lilah's in school, so I don't blame you for being sentimental at all. I wish you well!

Cindy G said...

I think I need a sign that says " 'Ready' is a work in progress."

Best wishes as you embark on the new adventure!

MollyBeees said...

Love the cute bags!!!!! And bravo for being able to kick the ice cream. You're a stronger woman than me!

Marie N. said...

Best wishes with your schooling!

The bags are lovely.

Congratulations on the better numbers! I'm trying to avoid meds too.

Sus said...

Good luck with classes! School is so much fun "at our age" -- just settle in, let your inner child loose and become one of the "college kids". Have a blast with it!

I feel your pain about the ice cream. I recently found out that I'm lactose intolerant. I do have good luck with Lactaid, so I can still have it, but I'm bad at carrying it around with me so spur of the moment custard runs are out for me. You'll find a good alternative, though -- perhaps gelato?? (Mmmmmm... gelato...)

Great bags! One of these days I'm going to get around to felting something. It looks so awesome! Super job!!!