Wednesday, April 24, 2013

50 lb weight loss-What does it mean?

I talked about losing weight for years. Finally, this Easter I hit the fifty pound mark. I lost fifty lbs in seven months. I did it the old fashioned way: Salads and Exercise. The type of exercise I did was atypical, however. I managed to luck out and end up in Steve Ilg's Prop Yoga class. He works your core and is the best in the business. He is also a five sport champion himself and a yogi, husband and a loving father. I was lucky to meet him and the other students in the class that really contributed to my wanting to do well in class and in life. The other teacher was Marissa Asplund, a phenomenal athlete and cycling legend. Her knowledge and passion is very inspiring. My tips for weight loss are simple: take out sugar, flour and dairy and you will lose weight. However, what is the most important aspect of weight loss is how you feel about yourself. Make the time to honor yourself and you will feel great. I love my thirty minutes in the morning of Yoga with Joy Kilpatricks's CD. I absolutely love it! My kids, my colleagues and my friends unanimously agree, I look and feel better. But the truth is I have always been the same person on the inside. So whether you want to lose twenty or fifty, remember to love the skin your in and be yourself. Do not hide from pictures or outings or sports you want to try. Be gentle on yourself, find a support group, or exercise class and commit. If I did it, you can too!

Good luck!

Many a Mile To Freedom

I woke up singing the Steve Winwood classic this morning. Usually I sing all day, even at work, the grocery store, while I am driving, in the shower, through my workouts etc....This is how I am wired. I see that my two daughters also respond to music in this very same way; they will have an outlet to express their creativity through music as well. Music allows me to work out my blues. I can sing Joss Stone who fell in love with a boy. Or Janis Joplin's maybe if I did something wrong I'd be glad to admit it, ooh yah if you'd come home to me..... or maybe I'm with Robert Plant and I'm going to California with an aching in my heart.... Yesterday, I was building a mystery and working so carefully. The day before that was Johnny Lang's version of the blues classic, "Good Morning Little School Girl" and the day before that I was stuck on a Seal song for God's sake, There has been no-one brighter than you, I have been waiting, I have been waiting for you!"

All I know is that I can remember them all! Every lyric, every guitar lick, every string arrangement, every word. It's all stored in my brain.

Here is the song that is with me today: Enjoy!

Many a mile to freedom, many a smile to tell
Ask my bluebird to sing you, from the heart of a wishing well
Call all my reindeer to graze here, call all my grain to grow
Then together we flow like the river
Then together we melt like the snow

Many a thought unanswered, many a tale to tell
Ask my bluebird to sing you, from the heart of a wishing well
If you should ask me to give you the reason for life that we know
Then together we flow like the river
And together we melt like the snow

Many a mile to freedom, many a smile to tell
Ask my bluebird to sing you, from the heart of a wishing well
If you should ask me to give you the reason for life that we know
Then together we flow like the river
Then together we melt like the snow

A few more miles to go
Miles to freedom

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Politics, Yoga, Work, and Love

I am as raving mad about politics as my father was. Stark raving mad. I don't want to convince anyone of anything I know to be true. I care about the earth and don't want to destroy it. Not even for jobs or prosperity. I care about women's issues and health care for the elderly, the sick and the children who need it. I care about education and I care about civic issues. I often wondered why my father was always ranting and raving like a lunatic-but here I am rounding fifty and I'm just like him. Just my politics are different that's all. I do search for more positive media-If that is even possible?

Tonight I went to a Yoga Class for World Class Athletes. It was surreal. It was a combination of the groovy and the wicked hard core. I did not fit in, I could barely get out of my own way. But I did not give up- I just tried to do what I could do and tried to visualize myself doing those moves in the future.
Every nerve is tingling in my body. I feel awake and alive! It was amazing. You should have seen the teacher's body. It was insane. I don't think I have ever seen a body like that! He actually does most of the workout, instead of directing you to do it. I tasted sweat on my cheek. I have not sweat exercising since middle school. If I can walk tomorrow I'm going back!

The Yoga teacher talked about breathing. I never think about my breath. He was so grateful for the breath. He spoke about loving. If you are loving there is nothing else to worry about. He talked about moving your body in natural ways. It sounds simple, but I do office work most of the day. Not too much moving around....So I will concentrate on breathing, moving and loving. Three great endeavors.

Lastly, I am in a very new place at work with curriculum directors, principals, and other department heads that I respect and think are cool people. I love my new gifted team; they are talented individuals that are caring and loving teachers.

Something is shifting and I can feel it-Saturn must be leaving my chart in some way and the planet of prosperity must be moving in! I feel love everywhere.....

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Best Gift

I come from a family that was close but not too crazy or over the top when it came to birthdays. We did not have to buy each other elaborate gifts because we loved each other. My parents would not buy each other birthday gifts because they did not need to to show their love for one another though things.  It was apparent in their day to day life. They had good friends and they shared quality time with my brother and I. When my mom wanted something special, she would buy it and tell my father. That seemed like a great arrangement to me. Although we had a rich life, I would not say that my mother was extravagant. She bought her clothing at Marshalls like everyone else that I knew, she watched the sales, and we ate creamed tuna, a lot. It was not the memories of traveling that come to mind but the simple days of cruising around the lake in North Andover on my father's motorcycle, or going out for Crepes with my mom in Boston when we could ditch the boys and go shopping.

I now have my own family and a group of the most fabulous friends that anyone could ever dream of having. I have deep and meaningful friendships with many women. Something many women would dream of having. I know these women to be true friends. I don't need to name them because they know who they are. I even have women in my life that I don't see for many years that are as dear to me as they were 15 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago. For some reason, I keep friends. Once I make a girlfriend, I always have them dear to my heart. There are a few male friends that I have as well. I will always love them. Friends that I played music with, snowboarded with, or husbands of my girlfriends ( all exes now). They are are a part of the whole deal.

I miss my extended family, ( aunts and cousins from my father's side.) It seems there is never enough time and money to keep up with these folks but I love them dearly. Of course I would love to see my mom's family, but I have not kept in touch with them as much....Then there is my brother, his wife and their two beautiful children. I am grateful to have such a caring sister in law and little bro...My sister in law and nieces and nephews from my husband's side of the family and my wonderful parent's in law. Sometimes I have struggled with those relationships but I still love them and am very grateful for all of their love and support through the years. They are the best grandparents and my father in law has been instrumental in being a spiritual guide for me and my children, especially Jade.

Lastly I want to tell my children that they never need to buy me a present. They have given me more joy than I could have ever though humanly possible. They are waiting for me to take me to breakfast right now. Aja is paying! My children are loving, bright kids, who amaze me with the things they say, the friends they choose, and the creative things they do.

My life has been rich, very rich and I can only say, I love you all and hope to see you very soon! jessica

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What is Rolfing exactly?

I have always wanted to get Rolfed. Have a Rolf session? Get a Rolfing treatment. I imagined it to be a treatment where the practitioner had there fingers through my ribs to the back side and vice versa. I did not know really what Rolfing was but I heard that it was painful. I am the kind of person that loves alternative medicine. I love acupuncture, chiropractic, massage and Reiki. I think there is something so fundamentally missing from our culture- connection- and these practices really help the body heal itself.
I have severe problems with my back. They are all self caused. Years of stilettos, waitressing with heavy trays, years of teaching snowboarding and the injuries that incurred,  three babies and gaining and losing 150 lbs through pregnancies.
So I decided that I would try Rolfing. I went to Body of Work in Durango and met with Bridget Hendrix, a petite and lovely woman. The space was bright, immaculate and beautifully decorated. She asked me some questions about my health and had me walk around the room. I know that my posture is horrendous. Then I sat on a table that is like a massage table but larger and more comfortable and she began the treatment. I sat on the table as she worked on my colon and other organs. It was very nurturing and felt like a dance. I was instructed to let my body be moved by her hands. It was very relaxing. Then I laid on my back while she worked on different nerves and organs in my stomach area. While I lied on my back she had me work on breathing exercises that filled my whole body. It was eye opening to really see how shallow I breathe on a normal basis.
Last, she rolled me on my side and put pillows between my knees and put me in a comfortable position for my body. Then, she worked on the nerves in my neck and my sides, all the while I was breathing deeply.
When the treatment was over, I walked around the room once more, and I could feel the arches of my feet. Something I have not felt in years. I thanked Bridget and walked outside. I kept on breathing after I left the space and imagined my head being lifted by the sun like a magnificent sun flower reaching the rays. I could feel space in my upper torso, neck and hips. I felt amazing. I had to drive to Farmington, so I kept on breathing and sat up very straight, conscious of my posture, breath, and outlook.
I want to continue this journey and see where it takes me. Rolfing is a healing art that I want to learn more about.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week one update

My journey back to health began with some advice from my doctor and my mother. My doctor suggested that I simply eat less and exercise more and my mother advised me not to eat any white food: rice, potatoes, bread, etc. So with that in mind, I stopped eating those foods, just like that. I bought some running shoes and I've been a few times. Today, I will run three miles. I avoided all of the end of the year parties at my school and did not host a foods day in my class, like I usually do. I can breathe better and my attitude is better. Last night, I dipped my finger into the frosting of my kids cupcake. It was from the yellow carrot. Key lime, blackberry, hello. Other than that my new diet seems manageable. Now, I need to cut down on portion size, and late night eating after 7 pm. I think that I will drop 30-40 lbs by September 3, 2012. That is my goal. I have all summer to do it. Because I am a teacher, I don't work too much over the summer months. Although, I will work on the radio a few shifts a week and pick up some catering gigs. So, I know I can do this, I was not ready to worry about my health because all I could worry about was how to teach in five different class rooms with five different preps. Very difficult with AP Senior English, Pre-AP Freshman English, ESL, Theater and AP World History. Now this summer, I will focus on my kids, my health, and playing guitar as much as possible.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are

I cracked my eyelids half open to find my seven year old son in bed with me with a copy of Where the Wild Things Are this morning. I read it thinking about the interview I had heard with Maurice Sendak on NPR. He explained that the Wild things were his Aunts and uncles who were ugly and freaked him out a bit with their bad breath and yellow eyes. First I read the story, then Sage read it. He loves the pictures in that book and frankly my heart just breaks looking at Max in the wolf suit with my mischievous boy next to my side, reading the tale. Then, I scratched Sage's back and he sprang up to make me coffee and breakfast.

Next came the presents: Cards, homemade gifts from school.

Sage was so proud of the jewelry box and cards that he had made at school. What a gift.

Happy Mother's Day to all, we are off to go running and then go build a hoop house at the community garden. I will keep my eyes open for the visual blessings in Colorado and the joy the day will bring.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eric Clapton for Breakfast

I'm on my third cup of Joe, cranking Eric Clapton, I Shot the Sheriff on the highest volume possible. I am wearing huge, thick, black leather headphones and I am dancing in my chair. I am alone but speaking to thousands. I am smiling and know that somehow I was born to do this job. I am looking for all the blessings in my life and they are plenty: neon, orange poppeyes in my garden, healthy children, and really, really good friends. Lots of love from Durango: I am singing Indigenous, Things We Do and topping off my cup of black ambrosia.

Friday, May 11, 2012

mid-life crisis

I need to make some major changes. I have worked all year, most weeks seven days a week. Not what I would call a balanced life. I started today with a new diet: gluten, sugar and dairy free. I somehow feel better all ready knowing that I am starting on this journey. Yoga was once part of my past. I love Yoga but my back does not. I used to cycle, again my back has prevented me from hunching over the handle bars. Where would I like to be by my birthday? Back to healthy. I saw this cool you tube video where a guy like me worked it out through Yoga. He couldn't walk without crutches. Now he is in great shape and looks happy. I'm ready and determined to do this. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My friend-Jamie Jo

My friend Jamie Jo smiles through it all. She is gracious. She is cool. My world is better with her in it!


Bleeding heart liberal. What's wrong with that? What is wrong with caring about whether your student ate dinner last night? Or if the couple in the city market parking lot with the scrappy looking dog have eaten in the last few days? Or if the ocean is being poisoned by crude? Or if people can get proper health care? Or if the fire department /police department has enough money to function? Or if schools are crowding students in like swine because of budget cuts? If bleeding heart liberal means you should care about the environment, people, and human rights, then so be it: call me a bleeding heart....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peace and quiet

     I worked at the radio station from 6-12, went to work out and play with Sage at the pool from 12-3, went grocery shopping from 3-4 and worked at home untill about 5. Then, Sage my six year old boy and I put on Allison Krauss live at Union station on the cd player and relaxed on the couch. We just lied there for an hour listening to the music and not doing much of anything else. I watched the trees and flowers sway in the breeze and sang along to songs like,"Forget about it" Sage fell asleep on me and it was heaven. One hour of peace and quiet with my little sweetie.Big blue eyes, silver teeth, and dirty blond, hair all up in my face. I won't forget it because I have a hard time staying still and just being. It won't be long before he will be too cool for mom. So today, I just want to remember that we were blissfully happy, sharing smiles and clapping out beats to Allison Krauss.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Which Literary Heroine Do You Resemble?

 As I was pouring cleaner on the floor in flood like quantities and mopping it up with my bleached out oversized beach towel with my feet, it hit me, "I'm just like Pippi Longstocking!" If I had the scrub brushes to attach to my feet, I would clean that way!

Pippi likes traveling to exotic tropical places, I like traveling to exotic tropical places!
Pippi hates school, and plutification, I hate school, and plutification.
Pippi does not observe the rules of social society, I have a difficult time with those same rules.
Pippi keeps strange hours and has original ideas, I have original ideas and have a hard time keeping normal hours as well.
Pippi has mismatched socks, oversized shoes and a funny hairdo, ditto.

Do you think the HOA would let me keep a horse on my porch? Or a monkey for that matter?
I always related to Pippi and think that Astrid Lindgren would be surprised to see that a modern day Pippi exists.
So tell me, "Which Literary Heroine Do You Most Resemble?"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mistakes Were Made.....

   I am a horrible self critic, a double Virgo if that gives you any insight. However, some of the mistakes I have made as a professional DJ are just plain hysterical. My first day as I was pre-recording the weather, in the country station, A listener called me at 6:05 AM to say," Alright, I 've had it with the weather report, I want my cowboy show back."I had the studio mic on and not the audition mic. That was my first day.

On my second day at the rock station, the main computer shut down, and I thought I had somehow caused it "Throw on a CD," the engineer suggested through the phone. I don't know how, no-one showed me the buttons. I sat quietly and figured that one out. It took a minute before I threw on a Tom Petty CD and the engineer re-programmed the computer. Ten minutes of dead air wasn't so bad.

Last week when I programmed the weather report for the night shift, I hit the wrong button and my test weather from the Winter played over the air. Yes it was July and The weather report called for six fresh inches of snow....

Yesterday, I said, "Hope your having a good Sunday", until a listener called to correct me, "Uhm Dear, It is Saturday." Yes it most certainly is....

This week I trained to do the sports games on the AM station. You have to listen carefully and push the right buttons when the innings are finished. I was panicking. Baseball is somewhere between a slow dose and a really good nap for me. However, I pulled it together, and didn't make any mistakes on my first game. Go figure...

I realized that with live radio, anything can go wrong. But as humiliating as the mistakes are, I would not change a thing. I love live radio and I know that I keep on improving every week, and that my mistakes aren't so bad after all.

We'll see what happens next week on my show. Hopefully, it will be smooth sailing, but you never know...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz and Me.

   Ok, So every Tuesday night, at 6:45, I make an excuse to go to the store. "We're out of milk", or "I need some lunch stuff for the kids" Then I get into my car, hustle to town and park the car in the City Market parking lot. I go into the store and get some raspberries or whatever I fancy. Sometimes I just get a tea and then I go back to the car and put on NPR, Piano Jazz. I get swept away to another time and another place. I love this music, and the way Marian Macpartland seems to know every jazz song ever written. She can play them on command. I love her voice and the way she gets her guests to play really well.

Why do I go away to listen? Two reasons. One, there is no reception at my house.  Two, kids. Enough said. I can't hear a lick. When I get back from the store, I never have the groceries I set out for, but I have a head full of music and one hour that I steal away just for me!

I am a simple person, I like the sun, water, music, and anything to do with the sun, water or music. Thanks, Marion for bringing such joy to my world-Jessica