Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Holiday Weigh-in

Today's post represents a fresh start on my way to a healthier body.  My ultimate goal is to lose 70-100lbs.  It seemed like a good idea to have the fresh start just after Christmas knowing full well that once the cookies are gone my weight will drop again and give a nice positive start for the weight loss.

This week's meals will be mostly leftovers from the holidays: Jumbalaya, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Ham.  They aren't super healthy meals but they aren't terribly unhealthy either.  I will be getting back into the routine of zumba every morning and once I've got that going I will work on adding an evening workout of some sort.

So, here is to a fresh start!


Current Weight: 226.2

Weight Loss/Gain: N/A

Starting Weight: 226.2
Highest Point: 
Lowest Point: 226.2

Friday, December 23, 2011

Uninspired: Technique versus Style

I'm beginning to wonder if my lack of inspiration isn't coming from the dance itself but rather how I do the dance.  I've spent three years working on technique and how to make the dance comfortable both as a lead and as a follow.  This makes for a technically decent swing out but it lacks some of the style and flair of the dancers that draw my eye on the dance floor.

The dancers that I tend to watch are the one that are not just doing the steps of lindy hop but are also dancing.  These are the dancers having the most fun: their swing outs rarely look the same twice in a row and there is a true sense of interplay and communication between the dancers and the music.  My favorite partners to dance with are the leads that inspire that sense of creative play and give me the space to dance.

Obviously that gives me two options: 1) Dance more with those leads and 2) learn to recreate that feeling myself independent of who my partner is.  Clearly, option 2 is the ideal choice but that seems to be easier said than done.

Goals that I am setting for myself for the next few weeks:

  1. Dance to live music more often
  2. Only sit out one song at a time
    • Dance with everyone: Leads, Follows and Beginners
    • Resting drinking water, and listening to the music are fine but sitting out all night is not
  3. Practice solo dancing both on the dance floor and at home

Uninspired: Excuses

This January marks the third anniversary of when I started going out swing dancing socially.  I seem to have found myself in a bit of a slump.  I no longer feel inspired when I go out dancing.  I often leave the house all excited and geared up to dance every song.  Then I get to the dance and ... I sit.  I dance a few songs and then I sit and watch.  I often find myself critiquing the music selection, but when a song I enjoy comes on I only look around for a partner half-heartedly and then go on sitting and watching.

Where has my inspiration gone?

I've traded pure enthusiasm for excuses:

  • The music sucks
  • There isn't anyone I want to ask to dance
  • I'm feeling too shy to ask anyone to dance
  • I'm not feeling inspired
  • The floor is too crowded
  • The floor is too sticky
  • I love watching so-and-so dance

I sometimes wonder if I am growing burned out or tired of lindy hop, but then I realize how much I still crave swinging out.

How do I get my inspiration to dance back?  Is this something that means I should take a break and step away from Lindy Hop and dancing for awhile? Should I try another style of dance for a while?  Or should I just push through and keep swinging out?

This is probably going to end up as a series of blog posts as I examine where this lack of inspiration is coming from and how I personally deal with being an uninspired dancer.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Political Ponderings: Presidential Election 2012 (1/?)

This will probably be just one of many political rants to come as the election draws closer.  But for now, a general idea of my starting point will do.

There isn't a single candidate that is currently in the running that I would like to see in office.

Obama.  Sigh.
I've been disappointed with his inability to follow through with the positions that got him elected but mostly not actively displeased.  That said, I don't really want another four years of a President who isn't strong enough to stand up to the Legislative Bodies.

Republican Candidates. 
This is pretty much their election to lose and barring the late-entry of a sane candidate, they probably will lose.  Besides being ridiculously and viciously socially conservative, the economic policies espoused by these candidates make me cringe.

What I Want (and will probably never get)

  • Economic
    • Cut Spending dramatically, if possible combine with tax increases on the upper tax brackets and Corporations (who are NOT people)
    • Penalties for Outsourcing US Jobs and/or rewards for US job creation
    • End Tax Loopholes for Corporations
  • Social 
    • Equal Rights for Everyone
    • Increased Support for the Sciences
  • Political
    • No New Military Commitments
    • Pay attention to matters at home instead of spreading Democracy to Countries that don't want it
    • Term Limits for all Political Offices
    • Minimize Corporate Inference with Politics

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I originally started this blog as a way to track and stay accountable as I tried to lose weight and post recipes.  That was a nice idea but it didn't work out so well for me.  My blogging became erratic as I failed to get a solid start on dieting and/or a new exercise plan.  I came back every couple of months to admit to a set back and my intention to start fresh again.  This blog hasn't had the effect that I was hoping for.

Recently, I read this blog post.  Take a moment and read it.  Here's the part that stuck out to me:

I always thought that some day—when I finally stop failing—I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin! I will get the clothes that I want, the job that I want, the love that I want. It will be great!

I haven't necessarily had these feelings regarding weight loss but reading this post made me realize that I had put my life in a holding pattern.

I'm a 24-year-old college graduate.  I graduated with a degree in Biology from a small private Christian University at a time when unemployment levels were skyrocketing.  I wasn't ready to go straight to graduate school so I temporarily moved back home with my parents while I applied for jobs in my field.  Fast forward two years, I still live with my parents and now I work with them too.  I'm working part-time doing the accounting/book-keeping for the family business, which is most definitely not a job in my field.  I started applying for graduate programs last year and have become adjusted to not being able to plan past the next August/September.  This means that I've been unable to plan more than a year in advance: no traveling for dancing, no pre-planning for out of town Steampunk events, no long-term commitments, and lots of hesitation.

This Fall, I decided to change the direction that I wanted to take my graduate school education.  My previous planning has come unraveled.  This change is a good thing and will almost certainly make me happier than my original intentions but it leaves me feeling under-prepared.  My new program of choice, Genetic Counseling, has some additional requirements compared to the life of Academia I had previously desired.  Given the new requirements, I have chosen to take this year off of Graduate School applications and improve my qualifications for genetic counseling programs.  This leaves me in a novel position:  I can now plan almost two years ahead.  I can get out of this holding pattern that I put myself into and live more intentionally.

Things that will be changing:

  • A New Church Home- I'm picky so this could take some time
  • Classes!- Statistics, Counseling and maybe a language refresher or two
  • Volunteer work- hopefully something with an advocacy component
  • Job Shadowing with a Genetic Counselor
It's time for me to accept who I am and what my life is like.  If I can accept and embrace who I am then I can move forward and be happy.

With these things in mind, this blog is going to change quite a bit.  There will still be posts about weight loss and recipes because I do want to live a healthier life.  However, there will also be posts about things that are weighing on my mind.  

You can expect to see:
  • My Experiences Church Shopping
  • Various thoughts on Religion, Christianity and Spirituality
  • Updates on my Path towards Graduate School
  • Anything else weighing on my mind