I arrived in Boston in July 2015. That is a whole six months! The back story is that my brother had a baby girl last year. He lives in New Hampshire with his girlfriend. As you might know from an earlier video our mother died from early onset Alzheimer’s a few years ago. I just couldn’t leave my brother without the presence of family there to help him with this wonderful new baby diva in the world. Her name is Anna. She is breathtakingly cute and has a super fun easy-going disposition.
I moved in with my best friend Michelle and her family. She has a children’s art school in Brookline called The House of Colors. I am working as an art teacher. I also do art journaling and vision board workshops on the weekend.
Michelle and I met while we were in college. We lived together while attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She was getting her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. I was working on my BFA.
Even after we left school we continued to live together. She is like a sister to me. We also share a lot of the same artistic sensibilities. Together we discovered the world of rhinestones, feathers and found objects and used them with wild abandon in our paintings.
Michelle wanted to add more evening adult classes to her school so when I mentioned wanting to come back to Boston it was clear that this could be a good fit.
I’d also been working on a creative visualization product. I thought I could add weekend workshops doing this kind of thing. We were trying to try something different from the “Sip and Paint” evening where people make the same painting and drink wine while they learn to do it.
The creative visualization product was designed for the new age market but as I started making plans to be a Diva Dieting Diva again I began trying out my product to create a compelling vision for being healthy, slender and toned.
I’ve been working on something I call “Prelude to a Diet Program” which for me, at least at this time, are materials that I engage with repeatedly to create new neural pathways for new attitudes and behavior.
This is still a work in progress. I find as I get older that what once motivated me to lose weight no longer interests me at all. I’ve been searching for what gets my fire of fat-burning desire going. It’s not like I had a lot of time to dwell on it last year with all the new adjustments and changes. However, I did make a commitment to losing weight and exercising a lot more during 2016.
I lived in Massachusetts most of my life. Then in 2005 I moved to Santa Cruz, California where I met the most wonderful group of people that I fell madly in love with. We created a community that has been unprecedented since with support, love and belly laughs that make you spit up food. It was a hard decision to leave these people but I just had to go home.
Going back to familiar surroundings was not as easy as I thought it would be. The move was still a much bigger deal for me emotionally than I expected. It took me a long time to settle into a routine and to truly believe I had made this kind of change.
In November Diva of the Month Robert and Steve and Barbara visited from Santa Cruz. We had the most glorious-amazing-incredible time together, however, it made me miss them more when we went our separate ways.
Six months into the move and I have finally found the reserve energy required to go beyond doing the day-to-day stuff. There are two immediate things that I wanted to do while living here. The first was to get back into painting again. The second was to take my health much more seriously and get my slender body back again.
The painting began in the fall. I haven’t ton copious amounts of it but I did land on a series of work that makes me happy. It is kind of like Vision Board Cubism.
The body back started in early last December. Let me say that my weight has not fluctuated very much in the past… well… I think seven years. So even though I dropped into the 170s when I started Diva Dieting, I quickly returned to my set weight of 186. Whether I go up to 190 or down to 178, I have consistently arrived at 186 through thick and thin.
I’m quite used to this weight. I am thankful that I didn’t go beyond 186. What’s interesting to me is that when I do go beyond 186 my BMI becomes that of an early adopter obese person. I’ve essentially found a weight where I am not officially obese but I’m as far from a healthy BMI as I can get. Nice work on my part. And I did it all with my unconscious. Nice work unconscious.
This pattern even happened in December. I weighed 186 in early December. Returned to the gym. Watched what I ate. Lost six pounds. Weighed in at 180. Then Christmas happened. Then New Years happened. I kept to healthy eating on the non-holidays but I managed to ingest every single kind of sinister treat I could find on the holiday days. I worked out two times a week – not enough to change the scale much. 186. Even now. Watching what I eat. Working out twice a week still weighing 186. Set point.
How does this affect my attitude?
It makes me want to make my routine more lean and mean.
But I won’t do it.
First, it won’t help right now. I simply do not want to make the time to do it. In two weeks I am returning to Santa Cruz for a month. I have too much to do before I leave. I refuse to set myself up to fail. I’ve played that game for decades and I’m not doing it. Instead I am treating these two weeks as my new normal. This means I watch what I eat. I workout at least twice a week and I have one cheat day a week. That’s it. The results might not show on the scale but they will show up in how I feel. I really do feel much, much better when I maintain basic healthy habits.
I have come to realize that there are spans of time that are excellent for going lean and mean. There are also spans of time that are excellent for creating and maintaining “normal” healthy habits.
My “normal” means I stay clear of breads, chips, pasta, rice and sugar. I also get very intentional about exercise. I make sure that I am getting at least two good workouts a week whether that means lifting weights at the gym or hiking or doing a high interval cardio workout.
I do allow for red wine but absolutely no soda or juice. My wine consumption has dwindled considerably since leaving California. Michelle can’t drink wine because it gives her migraines so I’m all out of drinking buddies. I still love drinking wine when I cook a meal but the social drinking has completely stopped except for the holidays.
I can go on and on about wine and dieting because I read so much about it because I did so much of it. Drinking a lot of wine earns a big ole monster sticker but not as big as eating a bag of potato chips or a chocolate cake.
Speaking of wine-drinking monster stickers I’m looking at quite a few of them in my near future. I’ve got a holiday coming up. It’s called visiting Santa Cruz and that has the potential to be a high-grade wine monster sticker series. What I’d like to do is to maintain this new normal while I make more monster stickers than my new normal has currently.
I reduce my expectations for a little while but I’m not throwing in the towel. My goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this next holiday which also happens to be my 52nd birthday. When I see the opportunity to go lean and mean I will seize it. That could happen while in Santa Cruz as the vegetables are local and gorgeous and the exercise is free and easy.
I am going there to assist my friend Richard with post-op care from ankle surgery. We won’t be going on any hikes but the man loves kale smoothies and oatmeal so it has potential to be a dieting haven.