Unicorn Mama Graphghan

Tags

,

Make Your Wedding Known

Click here for the free pattern: https://www.craftsy.com/crocheting/patterns/unicorn-mama-graphghan/656155

unicornmama use

Advertisements

Obesity Epidemic

Tags

, ,

I find myself frustrated this morning. If you’ve seen me in person lately, you know that I have to lose some weight. Simply put: I’m fat.

So on Monday, I decided to do something about that. That day, I decided to start walking. I did four miles at an extremely slow pace.

Tuesday night I decided to start tracking calories and almost had a heart attack when I found out that I was just below over for the day. I was going to skip dinner but ended up eating it anyway (after I’d posted about trying to stay under). Myfitnesspal told me I only went over by 38 calories for the day (the reason I decided to eat) because it adjusted and gave me more calories for the day based on my workout. I estimated that I actually went 866 over (since my goal is 1200).

So yesterday I was feeling low about going over the previous day. I decided to make up for some of the overage by staying under 600 calories for the day. I was going to aim for 400 but I thought that was a bit much. I came in at 541 (actually 511 as I entered 2 extra coffees that I ended up not drinking).

This morning I completed my previous day’s entry and got this screen: umwhat

As you can see, there are a few problems there. First, they keep adding to my daily calories when I enter my workout. Yesterday’s workout burned 1001 calories so that was added to my goal of 1200. That’s annoying in and of itself.

The exercise is for two reasons. The first is to get healthy. The second is to lose weight. So how exactly would that second reason work out if I eat the entire amount of calories that I burned during my workout? Especially seeing as beyond working out, I’m rather sedentary?

The other problem is the message at the bottom. To explain my feelings on this, I’m going to have to take it back to the past by quite a bit.

When I was a kid, my parents were approached by a few different modeling agencies and agents. Most of the time they said no (when I was too young to give my input). Once I got old enough to voice my opinion, they let me decide. Keep in mind, though I do have a bit of an inflated ego, I know that the main reason for the agencies/agents interest was that I was ‘exotic’ as there weren’t as many mixed kids running around back then.

Twice, I said yes. Once, I did a fashion show. I saw the crowd, panicked, and ran off the catwalk. I was shaking and in tears backstage and vowed to never do it again. My lovely grandpa just shook his head slowly (he did everything slowly) and said, ‘Well, the girl didn’t really want to do it.’ And that was that.

The second time, my parents were more reticent. They’d seen that while I did enjoy being fawned over, I didn’t really grasp what modeling entailed. So they agreed to bring me to the agency to meet the people but didn’t sign anything.

When I went in, adults were everywhere. They had me turning this way and that, showed me all the beautiful clothes I would get to wear, and walked me through the process.

However, this came at a bad time for me. I’d just started to become aware of the differences between myself and the predominately white area in which I lived at the time. My butt was bigger, my lips thicker. So, I equated that to fat.

Now, in retrospect, I was nothing of the sort. Even at the time, everyone would tell me that I was ‘too skinny’ but I blamed that on various reasons and didn’t believe them. How could I be ‘too skinny’ when my friends’ rear ends were flat and mine stuck out like a sore thumb? And my thighs… Don’t get me started.

So as I was turning in front of the badrillion mirrors in the place, there was only one thought on my mind: What if they make me wear a bikini? They’d see my fat thighs, my butt that wouldn’t flatten no matter how long I laid on my back (what can I say? I was a kid).

I freaked out. I stopped turning and the adults working there (probably seeing my distress) quickly tried to distract me with pretty clothes. I pushed through the racks, searching for the dreaded bikini I just knew they were going to put me in. I ended up in tears, insisting that we leave. My parents never agreed to another meeting with any agents or agencies.

Fast forward to my teen years. I still wasn’t fat, not by a long shot. However, I thought I was. Could I ‘pinch an inch’? My eyes told me yes even though my fingers found it hard to grasp more than a fourth of an inch of skin on my waist. I found more ‘problems’ with my body. My shoulders were too broad, my feet too big, my stomach was never concave the way I wanted it to be.

I say all of this to put in perspective what I’m going to say. Although I was skinny, I was never skinny enough, in my opinion. I had an aunt who had the type of thyroid disease that equates to being severely underweight. She was fit, a vegan, and did triathlons. I loved her. But because my body type was different (read: I was part black and she was full white), I thought she was fit and I was fat.

In my teen years, I began to hate the nutrition guidelines at school. My teachers would ask me where I went during lunch and question why I never ate. But all I saw was fat. They’d tell me that I should eat a minimum of x calories and I’d think, ‘I’m short. Why should I eat the same amount of calories as the chicks who are a solid five or six inches taller than me?’

And I was right. Because here’s the thing. I’m 5’3 (nearly average height for a woman in America). That means that I don’t have as much body to feed as a model tall woman. Heck, I don’t have as much body to feed as my 13 year old who has started to sprout up above my head.

There is an epidemic of obesity in the U.S. (a statistic to which I right now can add myself) and I think part of this is down to one simple fact: even the agencies who claim to give us the bald facts on nutrition can’t seem to get it right.

As overweight as I am and as short as I am, it makes no sense that my minimum daily calories be within a 200 caloric gap of someone, say, a foot taller. I didn’t starve myself yesterday. I ate a full dinner and drank coffee throughout the day. I ate two olives when I grew hungry after skipping breakfast and lunch.

But fun fact: for most of the day, I simply wasn’t hungry. Oh, at one point I thought that I was. I found myself in the kitchen staring at the contents of the fridge and doing calculations. But then I drank two cups of water and suddenly realized that the feeling I’d thought was hunger was actually thirst.

“Oh no. You just drowned your hunger in water. You actually were hungry.”

But here’s the thing: I wasn’t. If I were truly hungry, after that water had filtered from my belly I should have been back at that fridge, hungry again. Instead, I was fine for hours afterwards.

Because. I’m. Fat.

Like, I think that isn’t given enough weight (no pun intended). I’m not trying to be anorexic. I enjoy food (obviously). I just want to get back to the right size for my body. Even though I put in an estimated pound loss on this site, my goal is really more of a look than anything else. I’ve not only accepted that my butt will never be flat, I’ve embraced it. I realize that my thighs may never have a six inch gap and I’m (pretty much) cool with that.

The message above frustrates me. Because one day I cut my calories to make up for a massive overage the previous day, suddenly I can’t access my goals or trends based on that day.

Do we have an obesity epidemic here in the U.S.? Absolutely. And part of that may be down to the fact that without going to a nutritionist (something I’ve never done so I’m just assuming) we can’t find valid information regarding healthy weight management and loss. Even from sources claiming to cite our governmental agencies.

Now, to pull myself out of this pit of negativity into which I seem to have fallen, let’s talk about today.

I’m ravenous. Well, to be more specific, I was. I went to sleep last night hungrier than a bull and woke with the same empty feeling. I made coffee (with one teaspoon of sugar, bringing it to 15 calories per 16 oz) and have been sipping on that. I made hardboiled eggs that I intended to eat for breakfast but because time gets away from me will end up being for lunch.

I’m no longer as hungry as I was when I woke up. I’m still hungry but it’s more of a background kind of buzz in my brain (and stomach) rather than the overwhelming need to put something in my stomach NOW.

Tonight I plan to do four miles minimum (unless I can talk my workout partner into five as I did yesterday) and I’m going to add in a little ab work.

To properly see my stats (the entire reason I signed up for this site) I am going to aim to eat at least 1000 calories today (but no more than 1200). However, seeing as there is some type of confusion as to how many calories a fat chick like myself needs to eat daily (when I could probably live off of my fat stores for a couple months), I’m not going to be too upset if I don’t hit it.

Instead, I’m going to make myself a little spreadsheet and make my own forecasts. Because there is an obesity epidemic and I’m contributing to it. But I’m trying to change that.

My ‘win’ for today? There are currently 36 cupcakes in the fridge (for my daughter’s party). I didn’t so much as taste the frosting. 🙂

Tags

, , ,

Last night’s workout was a success. Though, I must say, I’m not sure if my neighbors would say the same. At one point near the end of the walk, my backside went into full-on Charley horse mode with my thighs trying to compete to see which could make me tip over first.

“Leave me. Save yourself!” I gasped as I bent over and tried to massage the pain from my legs.

My sister laughed at me (her soul is black as night) and tried to prod me along. I did finally make it through the walk and when I got home and input it into mapmyrun, I found something awesome. I’d burned enough calories to eat something else.

Now, that then negated my walk and made me not burn more than I ate yesterday. However, it was my first day trying to maintain calorie loss so I’m going to give myself a one-time use pass. I’m considering yesterday my ‘cheat’ day (a day I plan to have, tops, twice a month).

So far today, I’m sipping on a low-cal energy drink (10 calories). Normally, I’d probably be four cups deep right now into sugar crammed coffee. Though my legs are screaming at me and the combo of Eve’s curse and my poor, overworked glutes are causing an ungainly limp, I’m still going to make sure I go out and get my workout in tonight.

Which means today requires some fitness crochet.

I already have a wrist wallet:

wristwallet use

Click the pic to see the pattern in Ravelry.

I put my keys in there and cash/a card. I’m planning to make a slightly longer one to fit my phone as well.

Today I’m going to make a water bottle carrier in order to keep my hands free for batting at the trillion spider webs that seem to float around my neighborhood at night:

waterbottlecarrier notmypic

Click to see the pattern on Ravelry.

Per usual I’m in the middle of many books. I just started ‘The Hate U Give’

thehateugive

I’m only a few pages in and it’s already made me cry.

I’m also rereading ‘The Witch’s Daughter’ in prep to read the next in the series, I’m still slowly savoring ‘1Q84’, and a myriad of other books are laying around waiting to be picked up at their proper moment.

I just finished ‘Big Magic’ which wasn’t that great (and certainly didn’t fulfill the expectations all the hype gave me) and ‘Wild Iris Ridge’ which was a fluffy romance that once again made me question why my book boyfriends are all so unattainable in real life.

On my hook today is a bag (long overdue birthday present for my sister), a pair of fingerless gloves (present for mom), and some playfood for mah Belle. I also have a bra in the works and a half-finished tank for myself that will lay in the WIP pile until I get more yarn in the right color. No pics atm but I’ll try to get a shot or two tomorrow to upload.

I’ve added a few new patterns to the subscription pack since I last posted about it. The count is well over 300 now but I haven’t recounted in awhile. I’m currently trying to figure out a better fitting band for my bra patterns and am contemplating the necessity of some fitting mannequins (the expense, though…).

What’s on your hooks or needles? How about your reading list?

Getting Back in Shape

Tags

, ,

Lately, I’ve been feeling blah and gross and foggy in the brain… Pretty much everything that one can feel when out of shape. I pretty much walked around with the wool pulled over my eyes until a few things happened recently.

First, I crocheted myself a piece of lingerie. It didn’t turn out like I wanted exactly (it ended up looking more like a cabaret costume than lingerie) and part of that was because I was obsessed with coverage when making it.

Now, take that in a minute. There I was, making something sexy to wow the boyfriend and I was trying to ensure that it provided coverage. When I wore it for him, he liked it but I was self-conscious (even though I’d gone through all the steps to ensure all my flabby bits were covered).

The boyfriend insisted I was beautiful and told me that I should be more confident. Meanwhile, I was busy trying to cover myself with my hands. It was… Pathetic.

Some time after that, my kids begged me to go to the pool. I came up with reason after reason why we shouldn’t go and then it rained and I praised baby Jesus for the reprieve. Around that time, the boyfriend came over and made the mistake of tickling me. Of course, I didn’t see that as tickling but touching my fat so I swatted at his hand and glared at him.

That’s when it finally sunk in.

I have let myself go.

I mean, it’s not like this was news, exactly. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen in the mirror for quite awhile but other things were more pressing and I basically just ignored it. I kept promising myself that I’d workout ‘tomorrow’.

Yeah, I’m sure you know how that worked out.

So yesterday, I decided that tomorrow wasn’t soon enough and I went for a walk with my sister. We did four miles around the neighborhood and I realized halfway through that blammed if I’m not despairingly out of shape. But what I like about walking outside versus being on a treadmill or track is that in order to get home, I have to keep going.

I returned home all jazzed about my newfound fitness, complete with blisters on my feet (we didn’t change or anything, just went out in dresses and flats). Then today I decided to put in the ‘workout’ on mapmyrun and made an account on myfitnesspal.

Boy, did that open my eyes. I hadn’t really considered that I ate too much. Instead, I blamed my weight gain on my sedentary lifestyle. So I hadn’t intended to make any changes to my eating habits, just add in some workouts.

I didn’t really think about what I eat each day so it took some thought. Today I had multiple cups of coffee drenched in sugar  (and I’m not talking your baby-sized cups. Coffee and I have a special relationship and I require at least 16 oz at a time) and two chili dogs. After inputting that I was disturbed with how many calories I’d already eaten.

You see, I’m supposed to eat 1200 calories a day in order to lose weight at the pace that I want. No problemo. I thought.

Ha.

I had 226 calories left for the day. I was intending to have a pot pie for dinner so I checked the calorie content of it and almost had a heart attack (probably literally with all the crap I’ve been eating lately) when I saw that it was over 900 calories.

Immediately, I was faced with a choice. Go over my allotted calories for the day (by an unforgivable amount) or skip the pot pie and scrounge up something that’d keep me under my limit. The fat girl in me said, Eat ittttt. You can just start eating 1200 calories a day tomorrow. But then reason took over as I realized:

Why put off until tomorrow what I should darn well start today?

I mean, I’m still under my limit for the day. Why just throw that away by going over the limit because I’m ‘hungry’?

Since I fully intend to have more coffee tonight (no rest for the weary), I reasoned that I needed to keep dinner under 100 calories to be on the safe side. As I’m impatient at the best of times and didn’t feel like looking very hard, I ended up with a cup of grapes at 62 calories.

Am I still hungry? Minorly. I smell the dinner that everyone else is going to eat tonight as it’s cooking and my stomach is a bit growly. But then I think about my goals and how I don’t want to be embarrassed at the thought of a swimsuit or when trying to look sexy for the boyfriend and suddenly I’m not nearly so hungry after all.

I haven’t gotten in my workout today either. Once again, laziness and fat girl tendencies want to say, skip it and pick it up tomorrow. Instead, I’m going to finish up this post, change into something that won’t leave me limping halfway through the walk, and get out there and get my miles in.

 

Putting Fear to the Side

I’ve entered into a period of reflection in my life… Or had a strange dream.

For as long as I can remember, my dreams have predicated my reality. Is that even the right word? Well, to be sure, it is the right word for the feeling but grammar may dictate I look another way.

But back on subject…

My significant others have awakened to find me furious with them for dream cheating. And not in the playful way of some. No, I was honest to god angry. To be fair (to myself), I have never dreamed of a slight like this from a partner when they were indeed guileless.

Others have come back to me days, months, and even years later to bring up a dream I told them about that came true in some fashion for them.

My dream life is an oddly interactive thing. It is a world unto itself wherein events conspire and collude and time doesn’t pass the same but does seem to revolve in some weird way.

Why am I babbling about the esoteric? Because.

Lately, I’ve had a block in my creativity. Books languish as I find myself unable to write a man who expresses compassion, art all seems trite and forced, and my crochet work…

I can’t finish a project. I have many on my hook, many more in the planning stages. But when it comes to finishing things off, I have yet to manage to get even the smallest thing done.

For my sister’s birthday, I was working on an art bag. Not a bag for art but one that was art in and of itself. Except, I found myself writing the pattern at the same time and frustration grew.

For Mother’s Day, I was at a loss. In the end, I made two bookmarks. The first was passable but the second was cute enough that I wanted to keep it myself (‘Those are always the best gifts’, so say my mom).

But still, I remained stunted. I put the bag to the side and began working on a Gilmore Girls themed… something for my sister.

Then I woke this morning. My dream was fresh and a bit terrifying in its regularity. And suddenly, I felt the urge to write. You see, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time living in a world dictated by fear and distracted by the mundane. Last night, something clicked within me and when I awoke this morning, the dream had done as dreams do and I felt, if not a release of pressure, at least the will to fight against it.

In my time, I’ve had these moments of clarity when I realized that something had to shake. In the past, when I haven’t followed through, I’ve lived to taste regret. On the occasion when I’ve picked up the thread and taken decisive steps to see it to fruition, I’ve become better for it.

So today, I’m picking up that thread.

What am I reading? 

A lot. I’m a bit promiscuous when reading and rarely read one at a time. The two that jump out at me are ‘Big Magic’ and ‘Kushiel’s Dart’. I love the latter, the first is somewhat interesting (especially in regards to ideas and their travels but more on that in a different post).

What am I writing?

Ah, but wouldn’t you like to know? I’ve got a story that’s been burning to be written for years. My new mood demands I continue it. In another name, there are some things that I’ve had on the backburner, we’ll see if I get to them.

And what of any art?

I want, badly, to play with clay. I have designs and shapes that bump around in my head and they want to be made tangible only in clay. As that is not an option (I don’t have the space for a kiln, much less the resources to make/buy one), I’m going to try something with fiber.

For an equally long time (this block has been within me for… Longer than I care to admit), I’ve wanted to try a certain technique with crochet. Today feels like it’ll be that day.

Additionally, I have some pieces to finish up and publish in the subscription pack. I’m attempting to work through my stash which is not so great for this but works just fine for the crochet art.

Today’s dream was and is just what I needed: a resounding kick in the asset. I’ve come to the realization that things need to change and I must put aside my fear to do so. Additionally, I’ve been reminded of my mantra: ‘Following whichever path I like… Beaten or not.’

So up for the rest of the year:

  1. Finish and publish my own book in my own name
  2. Create some art that utilizes my love of working with fiber
  3. Put fear to the side and rejoin the world of the living

 

Free Pattern Roundup

To kick off the new year, how about a free pattern roundup? Per usual, click the pics to go to the patterns!

When I was a little girl, I loved a little flip doll that I had. They seem to have gone from the toy shelves but now you can make one for the little girl in your life. Bonus: It’s Anna and Elsa!

img_6895_medium2

Everyone wants to be a mermaid, including dollies! Here’s a crochet mermaid tail for them!

doll-size-mermaid-tails

I love a good fingerless mitt. These caught my eye with their pretty cream background and standout colors.

12419349_10156489426095096_630967306432509976_o_medium2

Fairy tales have always held me in their thrall. So this hood is at the top of my consideration list for Halloween this year. I love the stitchwork, it kind of looks like knit!

tunisianhood_medium2

Who doesn’t need a menagerie in their household? I can’t think of anyone. Crochet up your own today, starting with this adorable Rainbow Lorikeet.

lorikeet-1-225x300

I’m a big fan of keeping as warm as possible in the winter. These finger crocheted scarves fit the bill of warmth while still remaining a cute accessory to an outfit!

untitled-design-42

Repeat Crafter Me is among my favorite crochet designers. You may be all Christmased out but this is a great one if you still have gifts to make or you’re looking for a last minute gift for Little Christmas (the Epiphany). Click here to see the fox and reindeer edging crochet pattern. 

That’s it for today’s roundup (EDIT: No, it’s not, I’ve added more! Scroll down…). But in 2016, I’m working on blogging more frequently. Soon, ye shall be inundated with new and exciting (and seasonal!) pattern roundups!

I also have a bunch of new crochet projects that I’ve been working on and will be sharing those as soon as I can get outside and take some pics without freezing my tookis off!

As always, I’m working on new patterns. Keep an eye on my Craftsy and Etsy shops for the new releases! I have a new line I’m working on that I hope to get rolled out in a couple weeks. It’s some of the old, mixed with some new. I think you guys will dig it!

Remember, today is the last day to get all my patterns on super sale. Check my Etsy shop today and get over 120 patterns, graphs, and written graphs for $1.50. Click the pic to see the sale in my Etsy shop!

full_7915_181165_allthepatterns_1

EDIT: Well, I looked over my post and realized I only had a handful of freebies in the roundup. So how about a few more?

Get a free pattern with the code 44in2016 until January 7th. Use the code BIRTHDAY for 50% off an additional pattern. I picked this knitting one as I’m trying to learn to knit but there are many more from which to choose!

luce_medium

Drops Designs makes such elegant patterns. Keep your feet cozy with these lovely slippers!

24-2

I may have a bit of the attitude when watching the Super Bowl (next year, Cowboys!) but I’ll still be watching it. If you, like me, think of the Super Bowl as a national holiday, you’ll want to crochet up some of these!

1thhfootball-coaster-800x800

This little dress is adorable. It’s photos from one designer with an explanation for the pics from the person who uploaded it.

dscn0695_medium2

How about some yoga socks for sitting by the fire (or… at least under a light blanket if your weather has been as crazy as Texas’ has been this season)?

web_f643_sakkie_crochet_medium

And finally, a bag. This bag is so pretty, you’re sure so get compliments on it all day. This is definitely going on my to-crochet list.

dscn7187_medium2

 

Pattern Freebies This Weekend

Tags

, , , ,

I’m adding some new freebies to the shop this weekend. They won’t all remain free so get them while the getting is good!

My kids and I are deep in a Harry Potter marathon so the first patterns I’m adding are all related to that!

full_7429_183705_harrypotterwrittencrochetgraph_1

Click to get the Harry Potter written crochet graph!

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the other freebies that I’ve added since I last posted like Star Wars, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, and a larger version of the Elvis written graph and more!

Lastly, the end of my pattern sale had to come at some point. I’ve extended it a few times but on Monday, January 4th I’m ending it.

So check out the sale while you’ve got the chance. It’s over 115 of my paid patterns for only $1.50.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

$5 For Over 105 Patterns

Tags

, , , ,

Life is a funny beast, is she not? I’ve got a lot going on in mine right now and as such I’ve decided a distraction is in order.

What type of distraction, exactly? Why, a sale, of course!

I tried math, I thought of percentages, and then I threw that all out of the window and decided to just pick a number. I like the number five.

So today and tomorrow you can get all of my paid patterns that are currently listed in my Craftsy shop for only $5.

Yes. You get over 110 patterns that are currently listed in my shop for five dollars, total.

You want to be down? Cool. Click the pic below to buy them!

full_7915_181165_allthepatterns_1