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Dieting Without a Scale

I was going to weigh myself before starting the diet, but I didn't have a scale at home (too depressing!) so I logged my starting weight as what I weighed last September when I was visiting my daughter. Based on how my clothes fit then and now, I'm comfortable starting with that number. I also thought I might just check my measurements and use those numbers but found that in my house I only have rulers and a 26 inch tape measure. Nothing on me has been 26 inches since high school!

I'm about 3 weeks into the diet and exercise routine (I started in a mid week, so it's more like 2 1/2 weeks).

After checking out a lot of options for dieting, and seeing what methods of losing weight others were embarking on - New Year's resolutions in full swing around here - I decided to watch calories, use a touch of food combining whenever possible, and to increase my activity slowly.

My entire department at work has begun similar regimes, with each of us trying different diets. The only thing in common is that we all have added about 3 hours of slow walking to our day (the fact that all of a sudden our jobs are requiring this extra activity was the fortunate catalyst for that!).  We are helping each other to be accountable and we have one "diet nazi" who shrieks whenever she sees one of us partaking in an unhealthy foodstuff. It provides comic relief and allows us to restate our diet goals, how we are justifying the intake and, sometimes, we re-evaluate the snake or meal.

One of our techie co-workers found a great free app called Lose It! that is available on Android and iPhone. A few of us (including me) are using this app and others have bought small calorie pocket calculators, pedometers, and calorie count books.  It is interesting seeing who is using what tools and why.

I'm loving the Lose It! app. It is handy and keeps me accountable. It set a reasonable goal of 1 1/2 pounds per week (I tried to set it for a two pound per week weight loss but it gave me a lecture). Of course, since I'm trying to lose more than 1 1/2 pounds per week, all I have to do is watch the goals and cut the intake a little further. I'm not watching carbs as part of the diet but I have noticed that in my decision making to keep my calorie count low, I'm naturally giving up carbs in favor of being able to eat more and still stay under my calorie goal. 

A really nice feature of the app is that it allows me to look at the week as well as daily goals and reports my weekly calorie over/under stats.  It will also track nutrition, although I don't really use it for that, I have also noticed that as I decrease my carbs (again only so I can consume more calories with additional food) I am also decreasing my sodium intake and fats.  Wow.

I haven't done a weigh in yet but plan to this weekend. My slacks feel a little looser, but besides that, I have no real noticeable changes yet. I am having fun though which a change from the old days of dieting when I just felt hungry all of the time.

Watercolor or Pastel "Toy Portrait"

I'm working on a piece for a friend's newborn. A portrait of some of the toys that were on hand to greet her when she was born, and a couple of her older sisters' toys, a sort of welcoming committee, old and new friends.  I started off with about 30 photos of the toys under different lighting with two different cameras and in different configurations.  Then I spent some time tweaking the shots to get the most "information" from the shots. Even bad shots can reveal shadows, textures, and unusual angles. After I had the photos were I needed them for reference, I did a few sketches to get to know the toys a little better. Four of the toys are plush, one is plush and chenille, two are knitted, and one is a glossy ceramic, giving me a variety of textures to work with.

One of the final sketches:
The composition is crap, although I do love the group of three in the bottom right hand corner. I have Gimp installed (too cheap/broke for Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator) but setting it up to manipulate the characters during the composing stage just seemed like an excuse not to keep working so I pulled out my trusty scissors and did a little old school copy/paste:
And I added a little color to give myself a better idea of how this was all going to fit together. I put them on a piece of folded paper which represents the final board. I still haven't decided what the medium/media will be (pastel, watercolor, pencil, ink or all of the above?). 

Well This Was Not Unexpected

We are all, mostly, creatures of good intentions. Which is why we declare a New Year's resolution at all. We wish - intend - to do better, be better. However, if we actually followed through on our resolutions would so many of us repeat the same ones each year? Of course not.

This year, I've committed to following through on my resolutions publicly via this journal. To be honest (and I am a realist), I was curious if I would abandon the journal first or the weight loss/art goals first. The order of abandonment, the degree of engagement, these things I contemplated.

So immediately after posting I felt a great need to sleep. For hours and hours and hours. Even now, the desire to procrastinate by pleading lethargy is pulling at me. 

And I haven't even started on the goal to create a work of art each week. So tomorrow I work on putting together a "schedule" laying out the time allotments for tasks. I don't expect that I will be able to rigidly adhere to the schedule but it is once again an attempt to put into existence evidence of my commitment. 

Tomorrow I also commit to laying out the basics of the "diet" I intend to implement and timelines for goals. 

On a positive note, I did get up from my marathon of sleep to dance to some music for about two songs the first night. That's a small improvement. It was about 5 minutes of exercise.Today at work I also put intention into a little holiday office cleaning and put in a good solid 5 minutes of walking as I completed tasks. I'm not liking how tired I was after each of the exertions but it does remind me why I'm doing this in the first place. Those activities should not have tired me out physically (muscle fatigue set in immediately after the tasks) as much as they did.

So, the following need to be established:

1). Schedule showing time commitments to work on goals
2). Basic set of "rules" for caloric intake (eating)
3). Definitive plan for physical exercise

How are you doing with your resolutions?

I've dieted before but I was much younger then. It was easier then, because frankly, everything is easier when you're young. What I do remember well is that all the dieting in the world is not going to help if you don't exercise as well.

So I did a little googling to see how little I could get away with doing and still begin the journey of weight loss. The first result brought great sadness. According to a Huffingtonpost article from August. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/9-great-low-impact-workouts_n_928817.html#s331764&title=Circuit_Workouts : “A recent study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that older people have to work out more than younger people to maintain muscle mass.”

Balls. More.

The only saving grace is that upon further review I'm not considered to be in the “older people” group chronologically. However, combined with how sedentary I've been, it would be fair to say that I am with them in spirit and body.

I can embrace the recommendation of 5 minutes of exercise three times a week to begin. My thinking is that at least it would get me to schedule time for a workout. Working up to 20 minutes per session is also an attainable goal which is really important to me right now. More important than the ultimate goal, in fact.

Did I mention that I am incredibly lazy?

Types of exercise suggested include: walking (brrr cold outside so maybe not), rowing (seriously?), body-weight training (where your body is the weight - definite possibility), swimming (up there with rowing on the hells no list), weight training (I've always enjoyed that), water exercises (I think you may be noticing this thing I have about water, so no...), group classes (don't have the wardrobe or the money for that), and cardio (just as soon as the asthma is under control).

So that left me: body-weight training, weight training, and maybe indoor walking. If I count stretching as a sort of half-hearted yoga that gets me four possible activities. None of which require me to purchase over-sized beach balls or giant rubber bands. I wonder if the “stop the insanity” crowd is still loosing weight by hyperventilating?

Balls. It's a place to start but I think I'll do some more research. I want to make sure that what I commit to I will actually follow through with. And this sounds boring so far. Any suggestions?

New Beginnings

After some retrospection and a look in the mirror (literally, not metaphorically), I determined that I need to commit to, and follow through on a couple of resolutions for 2012.

1). Diet and exercise: after a health scare this year I got some amazing news about my overall health. Other than being fat, I'm in really good shape. I have asthma to deal with again and I'm basically lazy about sticking to diets and an exercise regimen but I have the appropriate foundation to work with.  I'm not looking to get back down to the 103 I was when I was 26 (yikes how unhealthy was that!), 40 pounds would make me ecstatic and is definitely attainable if my old anorexic self recalls correctly.

2). Art: I'm tired of talking about artists, posting about artists, promoting artists, selling artwork, exhibiting artwork. This year I'm creating artwork and, maybe, selling artwork. Gonna live up to the Tucson Artist label. Or die trying (no dying, honestly, just trying).

So here's my commitment, or rather ARE my commitmentS:

A. Research and find an appropriate diet and exercise routine for a 52 year old woman whose primary exercise routine is currently walking from the house to the truck, from the truck to work, from work to the truck and then from the truck to the house.  I'll share my research, my decisions, and the whole nasty diet including the progress and results.

B. Commit to a "painting" a week. You thought I was going to say a painting a day? Ya, that's not going to happen lol... And by painting I mean a work of art I create and decide if and when it's finished (so I can cheat a little if I want).  I will work my way up to a legitimate finished work of art within a few months if you can put up with my feeble beginning attempts.

For now, I'm going to watch the rest of Modern Family's Christmas show while I contemplate what I've committed to.

Moving to Art of the Deal at Wordpress

While we have enjoyed the community at livejournal in our time here, a decision has been made to combine forces with Art of the Deal, a wordpress blog.  Art of the Deal will focus on Tucson Artists while maintaining their international postings and including articles such as those seen here on becoming a better artist through use of techology and networking. 

We have already had some crossover with articles so it made sense to merge our efforts and boost the staff.  Of course this means more postings and more information for the average consumer on what to see and to purchase in the Tucson art world.  We ask that you continue to submit your listings/articles/press releases through your current contact or update to include artofthedealblog@gmail.com.

Come visit us at http://artofthedeal.wordpress.com and click on the rss symbol at the top right hand of the new blog and subscribe to feeds in your google or yahoo reader or have them sent to your email address.

Tucson Artist Editor

Summer Arts Program in Tucson


ArtFare Summer Arts Program in the Heart of Downtown Tucson

May 1, 2009

The ArtFare “Summer Arts 4 Youth” program begins June 1, 2009 with enrollment accepted now.  A $25 down payment holds your child’s place in one or more sessions.

Ages 6-17 encouraged to attend a well rounded arts adventure.  Day campers will be exposed to theater craft, dance and movement theory, music performance, visual arts and crafts.

Half day sessions run Monday thru Friday with free snacks provided daily.  Attend one session or all twelve.

For more information visit www.artfare.org or call 520-0918

ArtFare is conveniently located across from the Ronstadt Bus Center.


In today's recessionary times, what could be more stylish than a cute scooter? The wee little cycles get great gas mileage and look sharp.

And if you're really lucky, you can get one for just $5 (or 10 cans of food), thanks to our friends at Scoot Over Fun in Motion.

Yes, just $5 (or 10 cans of food) gets you a raffle ticket to win a special scooter commemorating the Tucson Weekly's 25th anniversary! Best of all, the $5 will go to the Community Food Bank, which is facing unprecedented demand thanks to our crashing economy.

Drop off your contributions at Weekly World Central, 3280 E. Hemisphere Loop, or at Scoot Over, 4534 E. Broadway Blvd.

6 pm broadcast, LIVE!! (Streaming on accesstucson.org, also LIVE)
Co-Producer of Noche de Sonora IV,  Daniel G. Harrigan,
is hosting Gaia Sound on local cable station Access Tucson
this evening at 6pm (Mountain Time). You can view the live stream by going
to http://www.accesstucson.org/ and clicking on Channel 72, 73, or 74
in the NOW PLAYING box.

Tucson Community Cable Corp.
Access Tucson
 Noche de Sonora   Harrigan After Hours
Channel 72, 73, or 74, on Cox Cable - NOT available on Comcast.
See you on your tv...or computer! ~Amber, Jaye, and Steven
Sharing Love with Music!
cell 858-733-2626
Indiegrrl Performing Member http://www.indiegrrl.com/
Hello friends,
I'm going to be co-facilitating this Altered Book Exchange starting in March. Please pass the info on to anyone you think might be interested and consider participating yourself!
Community Storytelling Arts is hosting a twelve month Altered Book Exchange.  An altered book is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. Altering can include (but is not limited to) painting, embossing, collaging, and rubber stamping individual pages. The books will rotate among participants so that each month, each person will alter a minimum of 2 spreads (a spread is 2 facing pages) in someone else’s book. At the end of the twelve months, everyone will receive his/her original book back, filled with the unique artwork of 12 different people (including your own).
Participation involves gathering once a month (2nd Sunday) from 1pm – 4pm to work on your books and share ideas and inspiration. Monthly fee includes a starter kit (a book - you can choose from our collection or bring your own - and a variety of materials), refreshments, and the opportunity to gather with creative people in a supportive and inspired space. Community Storytelling Arts is located in the historic C.O. Brown House in downtown Tucson. 
Individuals at all artistic levels are welcome are especially encourage to come and experiment!
First meeting is Sunday, March 8th from 1pm – 4pm
Community Storytelling Arts
40 W. Broadway, between Church and Stone
Park in lot off of Jackson behind the building
Cost is $12 per Sunday
To sign up or for more information please contact csatucson@gmail.com or 882-3988.
For altered books examples, visit:
http://www.alteredbookartists.com/ or google “altered books”
Community Storytelling Arts is a multicultural arts studio, home to Therese Perreault, Julie Ray Creative, and Arts Marketplace.
Cheers & ciao,
Therese Perreault
Community Storytelling Arts
A multicultural arts studio
(520) 882-3988


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Tucson Artist - Global Arts Community
El Ojito Springs

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