Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Heat,

It has recently come to my attention that you are hanging around the ceiling. This is causing a bit of a problem. Due to the forces of gravity (and a lack of furniture), I am spending most of my time at home on the floor or close to it.

If you don't mind, would you consider dropping down for a visit? I have some dried fruit I would be happy to share. I'm sure I could even find a cookie or two, if you are into that sort of thing.

Anyway, I hope to see you very soon, as things are rather chilly without you.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's not just the wind that will blow you away

I have been utterly blown away.

And it was such a small thing.

But I am still astounded.

Let me start from the beginning. Like most women, I've struggled with my weight and body image off and on since high school. It's the eternal struggle between two loves - cookies and looking hot. It's quite difficult to have both at the same time. Usually, the love of cookies wins for me.

Anyway, things had been improving as I made the slow approach to elderly decrepitude (aka late 20's). Then I moved to Japan. Land of tiny women. Insert choice word here. Unfortunately, Japan is also the land of amazing new tasty bits of deliciousness. And I had to try them all, didn't I? I mean, really, how dumb would it be to go home after spending however long in Japan and having conversations like this:
  • A: Wow! You lived in Japan for X years? What exciting foods did you eat?
  • B (me, with a prudish tone): Baked chicken and broccoli
That would be terrible, wouldn't it?? So, anyway, trying tasty treats was apparently fine in the summer, because I was walking a lot. But then, winter hibernation set in. Apparently, you burn less calories hiding by your heater than you burn out exploring the town. That was when I discovered that weight gain does not just happen to international visitors to the US. It also happens to Americans visiting other countries.

So, long story longer, here I was, a few kilograms up and surrounded by impossibly small women. And not just short, but thin...and with no curves. Well, feeling like Hulkette everywhere you go is not exactly the best for body image. Oh, and super bulky winter clothes don't help much, either. And the funny thing is, not everyone is short and thin. Some are short and rotund. But there aren't many who are tall and er...curvy.

So, lately, I'd really been down about being Hulkette. I put myself back on the ol' calorie counting regimen. I also started exercising regularly this week (which I need to be doing for many reasons). I've had some amazing epiphanies (which I need to stop having because I can't spell the durn word) about life, studying Japanese, and losing weight. Maybe I will share them with you sometime.

Anyway, yesterday (or the day before) I was trudging my Hulkette self along to school when I thought, "You know, I just need someone to tell me that I'm fine just the way I am. I know 1000000% that my family thinks it, but I just really need to hear it again."

Then, I forgot about it and went along with life as usual.

Tonight was my night to teach ballet class. It was a lot of fun, as usual. I am learning quite a bit about teaching ballet, like never give your class a combination that you are not prepared to do a bazillion times yourself - I about passed out when I wound up having to do over 84 changements (jumps). I do the combinations with each group so they can see what I'm doing. So, anyway, after class, I was talking to one of the mothers. We were doing our best, anyway! So, she mentioned that she was pretty tall, but I was even taller. This doesn't happen infrequently, so I wasn't too surprised. But, then, she says, "Oh, model - san!" When she said that, inside, I was thinking, "I love you!!"

So, that kind of made me happy. It really doesn't take much.

Then, I went to a cafe to grab some dinner. A really nice lady runs the place. She always chats with me in Japanese even though I'm usually confused. It's nice, though! Tonight there were two other people there, and we all just had a good time trying to talk in Japanese, broken Japanese, English, and broken English. It was really fun! While we were chatting, one of the ladies said to me, "Pretty girl...pretty lady!" At first, I thought, "Oh, that was nice of her!"

Then, as I was walking home in the snow, it hit me like a load of bricks.

Both of those things were exactly what I needed to hear.

I had only recently really clarified that thought that I needed to hear that I was pretty just as I am.

I hadn't even had time to cheat and call home and tell someone that I needed to hear it.

Actually, I had even forgotten that I had even had the thought.

But God hadn't forgotten.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A winter shuffle

After work this evening, I went for a walk (mini-roar). I've really been missing going for walks, and my body apparently thinks that winter hibernation is supposed to be over or something. Apparently, it has yet to realize that the world is still a frozen tundra. Anyway, I piled on some layers, ginormus hiking boots, and all the rest of the usual winter apparel. I grabbed my iPod, cell phone, and all my necessary paperwork (there are certain documents one cannot leave home without), and headed out the door. I had a really nice time out walking around town and listening to music. Walking around town is slightly dangerous, as there are many shops that threaten to derail one's progress.

So, anyhow, my main reason for this rambling post is that as I was coming back inside, a song came on that I hadn't heard in a really long time - the fun of listening to music on shuffle! I had forgotten how much I liked it, and so I thought I'd share it with you! I hope I haven't already shared it...that would be kind of funny...

Anyway, enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The spring crop and a March surprise

Well, howdy there, y'all. First of all, I'm pleased to report that the spring crop has been planted and we are lookin' forward to a good harvest this year.

In the vertical shot you can see the carefully laid out pre-crops. I don't really know what you call that. Anyway, Looking from left to right, we've got watercress, mint, basil, lavender, and parsley. Anyway, I have no idea if any of it will grow or not, but why not try??

In other news today, we had almost two feet of fresh snow dumped down on us last night. Good thing these are indoor crops! I love fresh snow - it's so clean and pretty. Walking to church and back home again was a bit of a challenge. The sidewalks weren't really plowed or shoveled...

I was really surprised to see that much snow suddenly appear in March! I'd been watching it slowly recede in my backyard, then bang! all of a sudden, it was back with a vengeance. I'm determined to get out and walk, though. Maybe I'll just walk slowly, and with longer strides to make up for the lack of speed. I dunno.