Thunderstorms and Ukuleles

green ukulele

My Love, My Ukulele

So it’s been exactly one month since my doctor’s appointment and my not getting bad news.

Getting up and exercising has been hit or miss. The weather has been all sorts of wonky – here in the North Central Texas region, we’ve had the wettest January on record, with 60 mph winds and torrential downpours. And with these thunderstorms come my dog, Spike, losing his ever-loving mind during the overnight hours – barking, running around in circles, shivering, and creating a bad example for his brother, Sparky, who either joins in or hides behind the couch. More than once, I have found myself watching the radar at 3 am, vainly trying to convince the dogs that there was not a damn thing I could do about all the noise going on outside and that noise outside wasn’t going to hurt them. I’m pretty psyched about getting into some healthy habits, but I’m not doing a 45 minute bike ride on 4 hours of sleep – that gung ho, I am not.

Lifting heavy objects has also been hit or miss – pumping resistance bars after work resulted in a sleepless night, and it has been far too cold most mornings to do so before work. So lifting has been limited to the odd weekend when I had plenty of time to kill.

My one true success has been my diet – I am eating a lot better. Breakfast is mandatory, either a light sandwich or cheese and fruit, usually eaten on the way to work; lunch has been a protein bar and two-three fruits I took with me to the office; and most dinners have been either salads, or lean meats and vegetables, concentrating on the non-starchy varieties like green beans and asparagus. I’ve been limiting carbs after3 pm– no pasta, no rice, and no breads, splurging on a fiber bar those nights when I’m still massively unsatisfied after dinner and willing to eat my own arm to feel full. I’ve also cut out sugary drinks – no more Mountain Dews, no more Coca-Colas – and instead have been downing water like I plan to be marching across theSahara. The biggest change has been I’m no longer adding sugar to my tea or using flavored creamers in my coffee – half and half only. Hating that – I just don’t dig on bitter tea and coffee – but I’ve cut my calorie count by over half in my hot drinks and 150-200 calories in my cold drinks. The few times we’ve gone out to eat I’ve stuck with fish and salads, staying away from the appetizer and dessert menus.

With the healthier diet and the limited exercise I’ve gotten, I have dropped 7 pounds in the last 30 days. Doesn’t sound like much – and to perfectly honest, it doesn’t look like much – but I can feel it: how my clothes fit, how much better I’m sleeping, how much better I feel when I’m awake. I haven’t lost my craving for junk food yet, but the longer I stay away from it, the easier it is to turn down. The one time in the last month I truly let myself splurge – the Lady Fair’s cheese enchiladas – my taste buds were rejoicing, but my stomach and head were planning a revolt all night long. So the craving is purely mental – I’m now to a point where my body loves the good things I’m putting into it.

My guitar has fallen by the wayside, and I’m seriously considering leaving it there for a while. I’ve got a brand spankin’ new tutorial on killer keyboards made easy I’m starting tonight. It looks very promising – the guy is a pro and he’s speaking the language I want to hear: namely, how to play the ivories in a way that makes guitarists want to kiss you. Immersing me in this program would be the smart move, and since the guitar HURTS LIKE HELL, I’m thinking being smart is the way to go. I also love my ukulele, and despite what John thinks, ukuleles are cool. I can strum the four-chord 50’s progression easily, and my Somewhere Over The Rainbow is getting closer and closer. The best part of a ukulele is you can practice in your living room watching “Glee” on the tube – talk about feeling like a romantic-bohemian type. Joygasm! The ukulele has been so easy and delightful so far, I’m seriously considering swiping the mandolin I know is hidden at Paul’s house and learning three chords on it (Copperhead Road cries out for a mandolin – I’m just sayin’).

One month down. Progress has been made.



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