25 October 2009

My Metabolism, the Kindle & Jillian

I now read a lot (more than I have since college), and my preferred mode of having multiple genres going for whatever my mood may be, yields many books laying around.

For my birthday this past May, my husband bought me a Kindle2 which I love! I travel and he wanted me to have all of my various types of reading in one 'book' to save my neck.

Because of this snazzy device, I bought Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. Having just turned 40 and feeling at almost my fittest (with the single exception of Nebraska State Track meet in 1987), I also have found that running, weight training and calorie counting have had me at a semi-permanent weight and size. It's not a bad size but I know I can be fitter and absolutely detest the belly fat that has found it's leach-like "home" on me.

This book has changed the way I few my overall health as created by my eating, exercising, sleeping and overall care for myself. I have bought 5 copies for my friends in health and fitness.

Pair this with a recent work-sponsored breathalyzer (of sorts) to provide me with my resting metabolism. My resting metabolism is 1,920 calories; that means that if I do nothing but sit, I require this many calories to maintain. Here's the key that I only just learned this month: if I don't eat this many calories, and assume I work out for 30-45 minutes (which I do 5 days/week), my body is forced to utilize lean muscle mass and save the fat! That is, it does not view my input as sufficient to metabolize and support me but views it as starvation and save-mode. Of course if I want to lose weight, (which I do), there is a great formula (I will add mine later as an illustration) to support calories burned during exercise as well as those needed to maintain.

I am loving my 1,900 - 2,400 calorie days and am feeling more fit daily. "Making the Cut" is the next in my sequence in the 40 year old mission of my health.

07 September 2009

Mowgli's Milestones

Mowgli's adventure today, Labor Day, consisted of a trip to the local PetSmart to purchase some snacks, food and of course a squeaky toy. This is only his second excursion into a public area since he came to live with us in January; with only 3 weeks of his life on the streets of Mumbai India, we are reminded daily of the inherent fears from the many generations preceding him. Thanks to his big sister Leela,
he has a confident and people-loving escort as well as a guide to encourage and protect him. We are quite confident he is the only Indian street dog who has a best friend that is a cat.

11 July 2009

Your Investments Require Your Wisdom

This week's Economist notes the size of Merrill Lynch (ML) as the leader in Global Assets. In addition, a two-page ad touting this status is also part of the first section of the magazine. Aside from verifying why reading from the front to the back yields shorter reading duration, I realized that ML is attempting to re-emerge and redefine the brand. Over three years ago, and just shy of three years before ML would 'crash', my husband I were successful in purchasing our first home but not without nearly losing it. We researched and requested a 30 year, fixed interest loan and at least 3 times ML tried to talk us into a 10 year interest only loan. On the last day the purchase agreement was in effect, ML called to say there were no comparables in our area, but if we agreed to a 10 year interest only loan, we would be accepted immediately. With the help of a different, and actually reputable banker, we were able to extend the purchase agreement with the sellers, and buy our home, in one of the most steady growth areas of the past 5 years, within 2 weeks at the price and with the loan we had requested. We live in a humble home that's nearly 15 years old allows us to make minor improvements whilst also enjoying some of the finer things in life. We are thankful that we are not in a home we can't afford but that we do have a home that has maintained its value. My hope as this new B of A backed giant regains its place in the world is that they finally have leadership that leads with integrity. As with every round, we'll continue to trust karma.

09 July 2009

Simplicity in a World of Complexity

In Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia, are multitudes of reminders of the power of nature. Travertine dams, 16 natural turquoise-colored lakes, hundreds of plants with flowers, various animals and birds, dozens of waterfalls and yet humans have inhabited this area for thousands of years. The most notable in recent history being Marshal Tito, former Yugoslavia communist ruler whose home remains in the midst of the fauna. Even prior to becoming a national park in 1949, it appears that this area has been one of preservation. Even today, it's access is a narrow split log walkway without rails bordering various lakes, waterfalls and forest. It was clear such a park could likely not exist with this access in the U.S. due to proven risk associated with lawsuits due to idiotic tourists or accidents as part of choices to go into such areas and 'experience' and appreciate the specialness. So one might surmise that in the U.S. the areas that intrigue us most also become the areas that we punish. Thank you to Eastern Europe, specifically Croatia, for trusting and for allowing us to encounter the Earth according to it's rules, instead of ours.