The Magic was lost on me, Mike

I’ve been sick for the past few days so I’ve been catching up on all the TV and movies I’ve been meaning to watch. Magic Mike was never on that list, but I saw it available on HBO and decided to give it a go. I had a different reaction than I thought I would, given what other hetero females I know had to say about it. I do have to say that I admire the work these men had to have put in to get and keep their bodies in that kind of shape. Since I’m working on getting healthy I understand in some way the dedication that takes. And good on them. But I was actually pretty skeeved out by the guys. I did not like seeing them gyrate around the floor and grab their groins all the time during their act. I know it’s all a performance but I don’t like seeing men act that way. I’m glad I’ve never been to a real all-male revue because I probably wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Especially if a man got all up in my face with his junk – I need to at least know his real first name before I get that up close and personal! I may be an old maid for saying this, but it’s just not decent to me. But to each their own. If a woman likes a slicked up stranger helicoptering his banana-hammocked member around on her, far be it for me to stop her from having her fun.

As far as the rest of it goes, I thought the movie was actually pretty dark despite all the glitz and fun found in the strip performances themselves. I have seen other Soderbergh movies and they all had have this kind of gritty feel to them, which I think this movie also exemplified. The yellow lighting you saw inside at night made everyone look a little sick and sallow. But then contrast that when they’re outside in the daytime and everything looks so bright and hopeful. The crazy madcap drug binges with the neon lighting and pulsing music and the reality of the vomit you wake up to in the morning (if you’re lucky). It definitely makes it a lot more reality based to show the darker side of living that kind of lifestyle. And it certainly doesn’t make me want to be a part of it. I’m boring compared to that and I’m ok with it. I’m a heck of a lot more like Adam’s sister who you see reading a book and who likes breakfast food. Bacon and Austen for me!

I found a new podcast to love!

I am a huge fan of podcasts. I think it’s so fascinating to listen in on a conversation between two people (usually) for an hour. How often do we get the chance to really chat with someone for an hour, whether we know them or not? I remember being in college and having the most random and interesting conversations with my roommates. The conversations would always veer about haphazardly but would always be engaging and helped me feel closer to them and honestly, to humanity as a whole. Podcasting does that for me now in its own way. So I listen to a lot of them.

Recently, I heard about The Mental Illness Happy Hour when the host of that show was a guest on another podcast I love, Girl on Guy. What I love about MIHH is the sense of humanity I feel when I listen to the stories people tell about their lives. We’ve all had terrible things happen in our lives, and it’s important to acknowledge that and work through it, if we’re ready. They say it multiple times in the podcast but it’s still true: taking care of your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. The stigma which surrounds treating mental health issues is antiquated and ignorant. We don’t beat ourselves up over breaking our arm, even if it’s because of something stupid we did to ourselves, we just go to the ER and treat it. But people are still cautious or resistant to seeking help because of a mental illness. That’s sad and it needs to stop.

Keep in mind that the host and the guests are not trained professionals (which a few exceptions). They are simply speaking of experiences and giving their interpretations from their own lives. Take a listen to an episode or two of The Mental Illness Happy Hour. Since I’ve just discovered it I’ve only listened to about 3 myself, but it’s made enough of an impression on me to recommend it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

March On

 

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Dear March,

You are one of my favorite months of the year. You are the harbinger of spring, easing the transition from the quiet of winter to the bustle of activity as the earth wakes from its slumber. Birds are returning from their yearly sojourn, singing sweetly among the trees, whose branches are beginning to bud and blossom with new life. You have a bit of whimsy as you include St. Patrick’s Day, my favorite minor holiday. You also hold within your fleeting hours my birthday and the birthdays of many others, all of whom are as special and unique as you are, March. I used to think that spring a weak season, lacking the bitter cold of winter or the pounding heat of summer, but it is not weak at all. Spring is bendable, transitioning between two extremes and full of the perseverance of perennial life. March, you are a wonder, a magical month full of possibilities and roads untraveled.

March On,

Stephanie

How I changed my diet and lost 72 pounds

I have had quite a few requests of the “what’s your secret” variety regarding my recent health journey. The truth is, there’s no real secret. Everything you’ve been told your whole life is true. Watch what you eat, not only amounts but also types of foods, and move more. That’s the “secret” to my success. But in attempt to answer part of the question of what I did to lose weight, here’s my basic meal planning guide which I have tweaked and changed over the past year.

Breakfast Option 1 - Egg Muffin Light

2 egg whites, thin-sliced provolone cheese, and 2-3 slices of smoked turkey breast on an English muffin.

Breakfast Option 2 – Oatmeal

Steel cut oats, if served warm, with raisins, pecans and sweetened with honey or maple syrup.

Any one of these recipes for summer porridge - quick, easy and let me tell you, really filling! I eat this around 7-8 and I’m not hungry again until almost 2! I’ll do a separate post soon for my  slightly tweaked version which is a powerhouse.

Lunch Option 1 – Spinach Wrap

Spinach wrap (chicken breast, roasted garlic hummus, salad greens, shredded carrots and avocado), sugar snap peas, prunes and applesauce

Lunch Option 2 – Quinoa salad

Salad (salad greens, avocado, quinoa, black beans, chicken breast, hummus), baby carrots, prunes and appplesauce

Dinner

There are quite a few options here as I tend to change things up often. I’ll do a separate post including my favorite recipes, but I do love to do grilled chicken breast or tilapia with broccoli or green beans.

Snacks/Desserts

Cottage Cheese with fruit

Greek yogurt and banana

Larabar (the brownie one is amazing)

Unsalted peanuts

Sugar snap peas and baby carrots

I’m sure there’s more to come, but that’s the basic run down of what my meals are during the week. The whole point of planning this ahead is to make sure I’m eating healthy and whole foods with a minimum of prep work. I like to eat well but I’m also not a fan of slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end. Let me know if you’d like to know more tips and tricks, recipe suggestions, etc.!
Have a great week!

 

Much Ado about Not Much

I’m sick of weddings already and I haven’t even been in one yet this year. Both of my brothers are getting married this year and I’m in the wedding party of both. I don’t know if I’m a cynical old spinster or what, but I am not interested in a wedding for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against marriage, in fact some day I would like to get married. What I don’t like is weddings. I think they are overrated and people make such a to-do about them when that’s when the work really begins. Couples spend so much money on this one day, thousands of dollars, and it just seems like such a waste. I’d like to elope and invite maybe ten people for my side, maybe do a destination wedding. But I don’t need a big wedding, I don’t need the big dress and the flowers on the tables and all that. I’d be there for the groom and that’s about it. He’s the one who would make it worth it.

That and the cake. Always the cake.

A few notes

Honestly, nothing much has happened around here in a bit, so there’s no major updates. But as I have resolved to try and blog more consistently, here I go. We’re going to freewheel it from here. Also, I just did a quick Google search of freewheel to get an idea of the etymology of such a term and got a bunch of mechanic related returns, so I shall close that tab and forget it ever happened.

I have been reading too many trashy novels lately. And by trashy, I just mean that they are easily used and disposed of – nothing of major substance to be found in them. Most of it is my fault, but some of it is frustrating. I want to read an adventure in which the main character is a female and she goes on an adventure. Most of those types of stories are romances, and it’s not my fault that the plot/intrigue is superfluous to the relationship between the characters. I was saying this the other day, but I would just like to read a story in which the main female character goes on an adventure and there ISN’T a boy involved, or at least their relationship isn’t the main driving point. There’s plenty out there in the reverse. And I know that there are novels out there like that, I just need to be more selective, because I am getting tired of this.

I painted my nails mint green the other day. I usually prefer darker colors as I am pale and I like the stark contrast, but I’m sick of the cold weather and I’m basically willing spring to come, one nail at a time.

My current gym book is The Book of Blood and Shadows, which is pretty interesting so far, despite my earlier complaints (see above). It’s taking a bit longer than I’d like for the story to progress, but I think that also may have something to do with the fact that I’m listening to the story and not reading it and the pace is quite a bit slower than my natural reading pace. I had a similar complaint regarding Ready Player One (which I also listened to and which really turned around for me and I quite enjoyed).

Reading this book has brought back some memories of grief and how I dealt with it, how I still deal with it today. Future blog post, possibly.

Also, the defense – kinda – of today’s generation and their inability to differentiate between fantasy and reality. I was talking to a lady at work about this today and at the end of our conversation she said I should run for office, which is patently ridiculous. I am not cut out for the political landscape. But I do like psychology.

Finally, I have a recipe for some summer porridge I’m going to have to try out soon as I’m sick of my normal breakfast sandwiches and long for a change. And I’m too lazy to want to cook anything anymore. Stay tuned to see how new adventure turns out. It may even involve powdered peanut butter, a concept as astronautical (yep) as freeze-dried ice cream!