The Good, the Bad, and the Garden

Dear Sarah,

Today, like most other days, has had its good and bad things. I guess that is life.

The Good:

I was so proud to hear that when I tried calling this morning you were at the gym. Kudos friend! That is awesome.

The man-cub had a “laser tag” birthday party at 9 am this morning. Both of us were forced to be up and raring to go to make a fullest of the time we have together before I head to work tonight.

The new 2nd job is going really well. I like the folks who make up the server crew there and the management is great. I am glad that I landed in a place with less bureaucracy and more humor than I have worked in the past. If I am to be working a lot more, it is nice to be in a place that can be enjoyable.

The Bad:

I ate fast food for breakfast AND lunch. Not even smart fast food. The fast food that is highlighted in “FOOD, INC.”

Yuckity, yuck, yuck, yuck. I didn’t have a plan and now remember what happens when you do not. It is called “getting fat”. I know one day does not blow all my efforts… but am not planning on a repeat performance any time soon.

The Garden:

It was clean-up day at the garden!

It was great to show up and see my gardening friends! The man-cub came with and actually pulled weeds. (This is huge. He doth protest a lot most days!)

I got 4 of my 5 raised beds cleared up. I have strawberries flowering and herbs on the mend. I arranged for my buddy to till the plot on Monday and straw is being delivered tomorrow. Man-cub has BIG plans for his 4×4 bed and I am on the fence about building another bed and doing all raised bed gardening for evermore.

It is so very exciting to start planning my garden. I feel a little late to the party compared to other years, but I still feel like the party isn’t over in that department. I will come home from work tonight and dream of what plants are going where.

I leave you with the image of my man-cub in his post-weeding state:

~ E

P.S. My asparagus are up too!!!



Plan Ahead!

Dear Erin,
I was ruminating over your yesterday’s post on over-committing while finally getting around to taking my measurements. One thing is for sure, I won’t be comparing notes with anyone, or posting THOSE online. They are to measure progress over the long haul, just for me.

After I finished up my measurements, I went and printed out your very wise saying, and hung it on my fridge: Small goals seen to fruition over long amounts of time  = PROGRESS.
For reals! Thanks for the inspiration.

I know you are balancing a lot right now, and I know that you can add the commitment to take care of you as a top priority in there. You just have to keep reminding yourself.

I don’t have as many obstacles facing me right now. You could say I really have the luxury of making sure I make time for me. BUT, I will say that the thing that really keeps me on track on the diet front, (and exercise too, but diet more) is to PLAN AHEAD.

Even if I don’t stick exactly to what I say I am going to eat when, if I have a bunch of healthy ideas already on paper, its easier to make good eating decisions. So YES! plan ahead, and buy the stuff you need to make the healthy meals happen. That’s my biggest advice.

I’m still working on my clean eating, and trying to buy more local foods. As I get a little more into that, I’ll share how it’s working out for me.  But yesterday, I found some really fun fabric (in my stash), and decided I needed a new bigger farmers market bag.  Now I can put all my loot in one big, over the shoulder bag, instead of two smaller totes.  And of course, I’ll share a picture of that NOW.  (The fabric, not the bag, its not done yet…but coming soon!) Wow, only my fourth post, and I already managed to sneak some crafts in. It was bound to happen sooner rather than later!


PS Playlists must be shared appropriately. And I have many. More on that tomorrow.

Some Say Mantras…I Say Playlist.

Dear Sarah,

My secret confession is that, often times, I skip my multi-vitamin because it is a horse pill that makes me want to vomit. I think that the gummi-vite idea is brilliant. *mental note: buy yummy gummies*

Yesterday I hopped over to the gym to get in a small workout in-between jobs. I was happy to lift, squat, plank, repeat for a bit. I ran for about 10 minutes and did a few asanas to stretch and relax.

I started thinking about my mantra. The thing that lights my fire, calms my mind, keeps my feet moving, and grounds me in whatever moment I am in. I haven’t found that feeling in the traditional Sanskrit mantras or chanting. I don’t understand it enough,and I  haven’t connected my heart with those sounds.

The thing I have connected with is my playlist. 

Let me backtrack…

When I was an angst-filled teenager, I could sit in my room and play the same song (Pictures of You: The Cure or  In Your Eyes: Peter Gabriel) over, and over, and over again. I would think about whatever boy I was crushing on/in a relationship with and get all wrapped up in the words and the drama. (Think Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club)

As I have matured, I have not lost the ability to connect music and my soul. I use music to propel me forward when my mind tells me to stop. I flood my brain with the  sounds of “can do: won’t stop” and, magically, I don’t stop. And I progress.

So, what’s my most recent mantra?

My workout playlist:

Better Things: Bouncing Souls (originally a Kinks song)

Walk: Foo Fighters

Lose Yourself: Eminem

‘Til I Collapse: Eminem

The Cave: Mumford and Sons

I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.

~ E


Dear Erin,

GOOD JOB on both doing your “homework”, and loosing more weight this week!!!

And now, I have a confession to make. I’ve been taking my multivitamins EVERY SINGLE DAY for at least a month. Seriously, I never forget. But (and here comes the confession), its because I bought the “adult” gummy vitamins, and it is like getting to have two little gummy candies every morning.  Oh well, at least my confession isn’t that I ate the whole jar at once. Honest, I just eat the two every day.




Dear Sarah,

I am super excited about your asparagus crop! I know that gardening in the spring can chase away the winter doldrums like nothing else can.

Thanks for the encouragement about my goals. I tend to be an “over-committer” and an “under-achiever” when it comes to goal setting. The perfectionist nature in me wants to do EVERYTHING right NOW and perfectly.

The reality, as I am learning it, is that changing my life and health is more of a slow and steady process.

My new formula is:

Small goals seen to fruition over long amounts of time  = PROGRESS

I was very tempted to write “= SUCCESS “ , but thought better of it. I am not sure if the word success indicates that there is an end to this getting healthy process. I think there may be a “PHASE 2 “ to my plan which leads to the STAYING healthy part of the program.

Truthfully, I’m not 100% clear on that. Seeing as this will be my first time getting there.

I did, however, complete most of my homework assignments. I took my measurements (yes… even the “redwood” thigh measurement), tracked my weight by weighing in at Weight Watchers, and developed a fitness plan. I even wrote a page of slight non-sense in my journal.

I’ve noticed that I am getting slightly anxious about my increasing need to multi-task lately. Balancing my 2 jobs, my family, and my health can be a slightly  precarious dance of keeping all the balls in the air with equal importance and not letting any one of them drop. This is why I am trying to focus on my goals of developing a fitness and eating plan that will be rigid enough to keep me accountable, yet flexible enough to bend in the times of the unforeseen. All suggestions are WELCOME!

I am back to my lunch, my messy desk, and my computer. Multi-tasking at its best.

~ E

P.S. I lost 3.2 lbs this week!! 


Dear Erin,

Thanks for saying nice things about my picture. I am lucky to have 3 especially talented photographing friends.  Jody, Garry, and Craig.  Craig took this one on a recent hike. He is my favorite photographer because he seems to be super-mindful about only posting flattering pictures of people (or at least of me). I didn’t actually ask him if I could use this picture. Ooops, I guess i know what I am off to do next.

Along with signing up for the gym for AN ENTIRE YEAR yesterday, I went totally off the deep end, admitted I needed <gasp> help, and also hired a personal trainer for 9 sessions.  We are going to work on adding some strength training to my cardio. I will talk more about her next week when we actually get into some training. Yesterday was just an assessment because my back was all sore and out-of-wack.

Your goals are great.  I already added one of yours to mine. I am already keeping track of weight, but I am off to do my measurements this evening too.  Not especially looking forward to that, so thanks for nothing. I can’t want to see some of the creative artsy stuff that flows into your written journal! (You KNOW you are going to sneak us a peek when its cool enough.)

A big shout out to our Rhode Island friend Jenny, who is blogging (probably way more frankly than I plan to) about her own journey over at: Farewell Curves. Lots of luck, good vibes, and actual support if she wants it coming her way from here.

That’s all from RI today. I’m off to find a REALLY BIG tape measure.


PS The asparagus have already started coming up in my garden!!


Looking Forward

Dear Sarah,

Let me start off by saying how cute your profile photo is! I really think it captures who you are in a really candid way.

This blog is a great way to keep me accountable. Not only to myself, but to you. I am so glad we figured out a way of doing this journey together even though we live in different states.

I am so proud of you. Your gym commitment and goals are really inspiring. Reading them really got me thinking about where I am going on this journey and how I am going to remember my own commitment to my health.

After your last post I started thinking about my own goals and how to document my process. I always think about the quote  by Einstein ” Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So, I guess, that leaves me with the thought that I have been riding in this rodeo so long that I actually have been doing the same thing over and over. And, by Einstein’ s definition, that deems me insane. ( I know, surprising, right?)

Tonight I decided to not only journal online, but to create and keep an old-fashioned diary of my progress/feelings/measurements, etc. All the stuff that I am too chicken (or too private ) to post out into the Internets.

My first “homework” assignments for journaling are:

  1. Take my current measurements. All of them (thighs included *shudder*)
  2. Record my current weight.
  3. Write down a fitness plan for this week.
  4. Write one page of anything every day.
Thanks for the inspiration!

Personal Goals for Getting Fit…

Dear Erin,

That gym bag is WAY better than a doughnut ANY DAY.  I already have a really great gym bag, and I’m trying to think of something to give up so I can go be all matchy-matchy with you.

I committed this past week too. I just paid for my gym membership for the next 15 months IN FULL today. For reals.  And I am meeting with a personal trainer to set up my first set of workouts after work this evening. (I’ll tell you more about that after it happens.)

In the meantime, I made up a set of Personal Goals for me to follow at least through the summer months, to help me get more fit.  I’m sure I will need to adjust them, but here they are, for your enjoyment:

I have been using an online tool called myfitnesspal to track my eating and exercise for the last few weeks.  Its a free app I mostly play with on my iPhone.  I love it! (More on that later too.)

EATING (Notice I didn’t say diet. Because I mean what I am trying to put in my mouth for the long haul, not just a short term “diet”):

  • Drink only water and (decaf) tea.  With an occasional fresh fruit juice treat.
  • Eat smaller meals more often. 4-5 times per day.
  • Eat red meat and poultry in no more than 2 meals per week.
  • Eat dairy, eggs or fish in no more than half my meals. (Yep, that means half of all my meals will be vegan – I have a feeling I’ll have to work on that one SLOWLY.)
  • Menu planning a couple of days in advance to help me eat more deliberately
  • No fast food


  • Join a KICK ASS gym – go there at least 3 days per week
  • Consult with a personal trainer to get me started on strength training at gym
  • Walk the dog for a good walk at least 5 days per week
  • Hike at least once every two weeks
  • Do some yoga at least 2 times per week (it can be just a video at home)

The other goal I have for this summer is to expand my garden. There is already a plan in place.  I will keep you updated on that because (1) it is totally exercise (2) I will be growing healthy food and (3) we both really like to garden!!

So now I just need your help to work on keeping all these goals in check!!



Dear Sarah,

Thanks for talking me through that moment today. You know… the doughnut moment.

I am trying to figure out why I wanted that thing so badly. Usually, I refer to them as “sugary rings of death” and can stay away. Today, it was harder.

I was a little stressed out about some work deadlines. I had a jumble of a start and stop kind of day. 

I think that may have been it. I was stressed. 

Saying it, or in this case, writing it is providing me with a reference point for my “doughnut moment”. I have to fess up that my exercise level has dropped considerably since my “Biggest Loser” contest has ended at the gym.  I sometimes can’t understand why I am more committed to other people first, then myself?

I LOVED being part of a team. I loved pulling my weight (no pun…ok. A little pun intended) and helping us win the competition. I was so psyched to be on a team that I forgot to also be an individual. I lost focus on my initial intention of working on myself and making strides towards a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

I think, as I write this I am figuring out that I need to recommit to myself first. And in almost all aspects of my life.

I am really glad that I passed up that doughnut. And not only because I got the new gym bag.

~ E

Hello world!

Fall of 2012 is coming up sooner than you think!
And that’s the year that Erin turns 40.
And, Fall of 2013 is creeping on its tail. That is the year of Sarah’s 20th High School Reunion.

Join us as we motivate each other to get healthier, and be in the best shape we’ve ever been in,
with our 20-40 events as the goal for our health lifestyle change timeline.

~ S and E