Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Biking -- Eliza Furnace Trail

I went exploring on my bike yesterday, again. As soon as I got to the south side, it started raining, but I decided to ride anyway and it was SUCH a good decision. I went approximately 10 miles on normally populated trails and I saw about 5 other bikers, in total. It was wonderful to have the road all to myself.

I started at 18th street on the Monongahela Trail on the south side of the Mon river and rode to the Hot Metal Bridge at 33rd St. Here is the view of the city from the Hot Metal Bridge:

not my picture.

See how pretty and far away it is? Well, I took the Eliza Furnace Trail on the north side of the river and rode the whole way into town! It was a very urban and exciting route. The busy parkway at rush hour was on one side of me and a highway on the other. I rode under overpasses, past the Allegheny County Jail, through a graffiti-ed landscape to Point State Park. I loved it.

Pittsburgh, although it doesn't really have a reputation for being a "clean" city... it has a wonderful network of bike trails. My favorite thing about biking in the actual city is that each trail has a distinct mood or feeling. I feel like a real explorer crossing bridges and traveling more distance that I ever could have dreamed of doing on foot. How did I go my entire adult life without knowing how much fun riding a bike is?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crinkle Broomstick Skirts -- Just added

I finally found a good source of rayon material and have added Crinkle Broomstick Skirts to my shop! Click H E R E for the listing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time Article -- why exercise won't make you thin

This article has really inspired me to rethink my weight loss efforts. Up until this point, I have been practicing a mainly exercise based weight loss program. While I have attempted to watch what I eat, I definitely haven't looked at diet as an equal component in my efforts.

I feel like this article describes me completely. I didn't even realize how much I was sabotaging myself. I eat a main diet of wonderfully healthy whole vegan foods, but I let myself "cheat" all the time. I'll have a starbucks drink with my sis, go out for pizza on friday, eat two cookies when my mom brings them over for Scouty, have a few bloody marys on the weekend, etc. I always think... well, I work out so much and so hard, I can eat these extra things without feeling guilty. The truth is, I probably wouldn't feel like it was okay to "cheat" if I wasn't working out. With a totally perfect diet, I would need to work out as much as I do to see results. The fact of the matter is that all of the random "treat" binges of calories I consume (starbucks, pizza, sugar, alcohol, etc) add up to totally cancel out my exercise efforts. There are probably even a lot of weeks where I consume at random a lot more than I work off.

Let's look at it this way... if I burn 300 calories a day working out, I've burned 2100 calories for the week. In that same week, if I get a fancy coffee, eat a few cookies, go out for pizza and have 2 drinks... I've added maybe 3000 calories to my diet for the week. It's no wonder I have to WORK LIKE A DOG to see results of MAYBE a pound lost every few weeks.

I just wasn't thinking about it logically. I thought that since I ate a diet full of healthy, good for you foods and that I worked out every day, it was okay that I had special treats that I otherwise might not have allowed myself.

The truth of the matter is, I don't need to really focus on exercising anymore. I will work out every day, it's not a struggle for me. It's something I have planned into my life and that I do without thinking about it. I actually enjoy working out. I don't have any desire to slack off. That means that I really don't need to think so much about it, anymore. Exercise and I are friends. It's here to stay, in my life.

I am totally inspired to shift the way I think about losing weight. Instead of focusing on the fact that I exercise, I'm going to really put some energy into the things I'm recreationally eating. If I could even cut my "cheats" by half, I would be giving myself a head start. I'm really sick of working out for hours every day and being diligent about it only to find that I'm losing weight at a rate of .5 pounds per week, if I lose anything at all.

I'm sure that if I really thought about it, I could have come to this conclusion on my own, but reading this just made something click in my head and I thought, "That's exactly what I do and I didn't even realize it!" A chocolately coffee has more calories in it than I burn on most days. That's no small "cheat", even if it only feels small.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

About Me...

I'm Amanda and the best and most important thing I've ever done is to be a good mom. Everything else I've ever accomplished is kind of silly, compared to the fact that I get out of bed every morning and I try, so very hard.

I have two daughters, Scout and Louise. They're three years apart and they keep me very busy. Sometimes I think I'll die of busy-ness, but I never do.

I used to be a misfit.

I was born in a small place with a God that was much too big for its britches. As I grew, I never felt right.

I think I tried to make myself as big as what was always looming, holy, holy, holy.

In reality, I was just a creative girl with too much noise inside, and without much to do with it.

I always knew the church stories about the end of the world weren't true, and I guess I was trouble for knowing all that. I guess girls weren't really supposed to know anything, not as long as Jesus had appointed the husband as the head of the household. Not as long as I wanted to be a wife, someday.

I didn't. Want to be a wife, I mean.

But, then I grew up, and now I am one...

I met my husband in college, in 1999. He was nineteen and I was 21. He was dating one of my dear friends and roommates. We were friends for a long time, and then we lost touch with one another for a few years. In 2004, we decided to drive together to another dear friend's wedding, from Pittsburgh to New Hampshire. By the end of the car trip, we were in love. At least that's how I see it. I told him he was going to marry me, someday. He might have tried to maintain his cool casual dating status, but I knew.

Within 5 months of dating, we were pregnant with our first amazing daughter, Scout.

She's all grown up, already.

Three years, a new house, a new car and a wedding later, we had our second beautiful daughter, Louise.

She's getting there.

So, now I'm a grown up. I never thought I would be good at being a regular person, but I'm figuring it out. I'm 32 years old, and not even freaking out about it. I love my thirties, so far. I love being a mom. I love not having the luxury of thinking about myself all the time.

I'm an avid stroller walker, bike rider and wooded trail hiker. Vegetarian. Aspiring cook. I read a lot. I love living in Pittsburgh. Despite it's reputation for being a gritty, working class city... it's beautiful and fun and there are lots of things to do with two girls who love exploring.

I guess you can pick up with my story there...