A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Kind of Magic

My husband possesses a certain kind of magic.

When I have a headache, he can wrap his graceful fingers around my skull and somehow wish the pain away from me.  He simply calls this, “fixing things”.  One night when I got sick and was suffering from a particularly bad asthma attack he sat up all night, one hand on my chest, speaking quiet words and helping me breathe until the morning came and we could make it to the doctor.

Likewise I’ve seen him sit all night on the floor beside our son’s bed when he had a fever, keeping careful vigilance so that he was only an arm’s reach away if needed.  In the morning, the fever had gone.

I’ve seen him pick up a wailing newborn and tuck it under his chin, where it promptly quieted and eventually went to sleep.

I’ve seen him offer someone a hug and witnessed the profound comfort and warmth he can infuse into such a simple, human gesture.

There’s also the disconcerting fact that he continues to grow more attractive with the passing of each year.

People just gravitate toward him.  There’s something indefinable about him that makes people want to be near and to know.  It’s kind of ironic to watch since I know he’s really an introvert.  Most of the time he wants nothing more than to be safe at home with family.

Ted infuses every day with his magic.  Sometimes by bringing home little gifts, be they something I mentioned wanting or something he saw that he believed I would like.  I actually have to be a little careful of what I admire, since much like a loyal wolf he’ll go great lengths to retrieve something his mate wants.  Sometimes it’s by heading back out into a cold, snowy night with my car after he’s worked a very long day to fill the gas tank – so that I don’t have to stop and do it in the morning.  Sometimes it’s just because he always takes care of his share of our housework without ever needing to be asked.  If I’m being honest, that last one isn’t always true of me.

He makes something like Valentine’s Day entirely redundant.  Why would we need a day dedicated to romance or cherishing one another when he makes me feel that way every day?  I don’t need a calendar date to remind him to tell me I’m beautiful since even after ten years of marriage, he spends every day chasing me around the house like I’m the most desirable creature he’s ever laid eyes on.  And just in case I managed to miss the point, he tells me so every day as well.

There’s no one else I want to see every day, talk to every day, touch every day, and who always smells good to me no matter what state they happen to be in.

Sure, sometimes we make each other nuts.  Sometimes there’s screaming and crying, but screaming and crying is just another form of passion if you think about it.  If we didn’t care so much about one another and what the other thinks – would we bother?

One of my friends refers to Valentine’s Day as, “Relationship Obligation Day.”  A day where people (usually men) are supposed to come up with some grand, stupidly expensive gesture to prove that they really do care about the people they romantically love.  But when you’re doing something just because the calendar told you to – does it really have any meaning?  I think another good name for it is, “Painfully Remind People That They’re Single Day.”  I remember this feeling well, and being completely miserable because the day was all about being in love – when I wasn’t.

Just my opinion, but I think this holiday needs to go.  Be good and loving to the person you choose to spend your life with every day.  Otherwise, why did you choose them?

As for Ted – thank you my best friend and true love, for filling each and every day with your unique and wonderful kind of magic.

Love you forever and ever.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quitting Shampoo

I don’t often give fashion and beauty advice because they’re not exactly my area of expertise.  I’m about as fashionable as your average frumpy soccer mom and my nice skin is mostly genetic dumb luck.  I’m also fortunate enough to have hair that looks reasonably decent with only a blowout for styling – convenient since I have zero ability to style hair.  This may be because during that phase when little girls are practicing how to “do” each others hair I was too busy playing with my Voltron toys.  I’m not a tomboy, I just couldn’t get into hair – makeup I adore, and could go into at length, but that’s a whole other post.

With regards to a basic beauty regimen, there are a few things that I have learned and believe to be true.

Regarding skin: wear sunscreen, don’t go to bed with your makeup on, and moisturize.

Moisturize a lot.

The second I get out of a shower, even if my next stop is bed I’m putting some kind of cream on my skin to keep it pliable.  I don’t even use crazy expensive ones, I just pick whatever smells nice and stay diligent.

With regards to hair, I’ve had something of a similar revelation.  About six months ago I quit shampoo cold turkey.

I know what you’re thinking; no bubbles?  No squeaky clean strands between my fingers?  Ew.

Turns out those two things are incredibly bad for hair.  Let’s face it, hair is dead material.  It’s still attached but it can’t heal after it has left your scalp no matter what nifty graphics in hair product commercials try to tell you.  Once your hair is split and damaged the only future for it is growing out and falling off.

Shampoo strips all of the natural oil that your hair needs in order to not look like the dry, limp, lifeless dead thing it actually is.

The cleaning and care technique I use is generally referred to as “co-washing” or “condition-washing”.  It’s pretty simple; you load up a sizable palm full (two or three ounces depending on length) of whatever conditioner you like.  Can be cheap, doesn’t matter, if you like the fragrance then you’re good to go.  Work the conditioner very thoroughly through your hair, gently scrubbing your scalp with your fingertips and distributing the product evenly through the length.  I rub for a few minutes to make sure I’ve got a really thorough coat.  Leave it on for a couple of minutes while you do whatever else you do in the shower, and then very thoroughly rinse.  The conditioner seems to carry away dirt as it rinses and hair is left feeling surprisingly clean without the squeaky strands that indicate complete follicle strippage.

And that’s it.

My hair is shiny, it smells good, and it feels soft.  Much to my surprise it’s never limp or greasy either.  I have splurged and purchased certain brands of extremely expensive “cleansing conditioner” now and again.  I like it, but I’ve realized that if you do this the right way that really isn’t necessary.  Every six weeks I use a sparse amount sulfate-free shampoo as a clarifier the night before I touch up my dye job and other than that I skip soap altogether and I’m happy with the result.  I don’t even use styling product anymore, I just blow it dry and go.

So there’s my best beauty advice, take or leave: moisturize, rinse, repeat.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Whatever Motivates

I’m planning my spring and summer.

I don’t really take vacations like some people.  My husband and I run a tight ship financially and places like Aruba aren’t in the deck for us right now.  Even for our Honeymoon we just went to my parent’s shore house in Jersey.  We’re not splurgers, we’re savers.

One thing I’ve recently realized I don’t want to live without though is concerts.  Music is my heart, my favorite thing after Ted, and being in a crowded concert hall with the light show going crazy and an amazing band stepping out onto the stage is my happy place in the world.

I can remember being a kid and going to see Motley Crue and Aerosmith for about twenty bucks each, but ticket prices have changed a lot these days.  When I saw Rush last October one seat was around $125.00 (granted, they were GREAT seats).  It’s not cheap, so I have to pick and choose wisely.

This year I’m going to revisit my first great band love: Bon Jovi, and see a new English love for the first time: Muse.

Concerts are fixed points, they come up on you like a wedding date and they’re a great motivating goal to keep in mind when I’m working through my health plan.

Example:   Yesterday in work I was faced with the following poor food choice temptations (and this is all just in ONE day) – soft pretzels, donuts, chocolate bars and ice cream birthday cake.  Seriously, I don’t know sometimes how anyone I work with stays on plan.

To all four of these things I had the following to say: “GO AWAY, I am going to see MUSE.  Thhhbbtt!”

I don’t know why, but it works.  It’s not as though Muse is going to see ME, my seats are in the 50th row back.  Maybe it’s enough to strive toward having the energy to jump up and down screaming for three hours straight without giving myself a strained back.

Whatever motivates you is whatever works.