Body for Life, the Universe, and Everything

Being a description of the author's thoughts on the experience of participating in the "Body for Life" Challenge, questions of great philosophical import, and randomly selected topics of no significance whatsoever

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Location: Missouri, United States

In no particular order, I'm a professional lettering artist, a yoga practitioner, a cat lover, a vegetarian, a reader of everything from books to cereal boxes, married to a very attractive guy named Tom (nope, no kids), an exercise enthusiast, and a lot of other things I don't care to admit in a public forum. I have a BS in applied math that I haven't used in over 10 years, and I can put both feet behind my head. What else would you like to know?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Techno Nonsense...and a Squirrel

I've just spent roughly three hours setting up a few links on my blog, plus an hour doing things to encourage traffic to it. Really the way I wanted to spend half of my Memorial Day weekend Sunday! I never thought that in the year 2005, with the whole thing of making computers easy for *normal* people to use, that I would have to dredge up memories of my college programming classes of 20 years ago in order to do a simple thing like adding links to my blog. I mean, HONESTLY! That's a pretty basic thing, although not so basic it's necessary for the blog to work properly. But the internet is all about links, after all!

But in less techno news: All this week, Tom has been working on getting our pool drained, cleaned, and refilled with *clean* water (it was turning into a swamp--YUCK!!). Finally got it filled up on Friday. Then yesterday, I was standing here in the dining room talking to Tom, and I looked over his shoulder and there was a squirrel frantically paddling around, trying to get out of the pool! So we fished the poor little thing out, and it was pretty nervous around us, but we went to the other end of the pool deck and watched it from a distance. It got itself dried out, and bounced off about its business after about twenty minutes. I was extremely happy to have found it before something bad happened to it...that is the worst thing about having a pool, in my opinion. It's not the cleaning or the maintenance, it's the drownings. (Especially upsetting for me, being what they call an ethical vegetarian--so please don't e-mail me with any animal-related tragedies.) But this story had a happy ending, so that helps (we hadn't put any chemicals in yet, so it was just plain water, fortunately, so the squirrel shouldn't have any problems later from that). And I saw a squirrel on our fence today, which may have been the same one we rescued!

And now for the topic that is the ostensible reason for this blog's existence.... We are at nine weeks into the BFL Challenge, and I am having what Skwigg ( said to expect: the week-nine recurrence of the "four-week freak-out." I just can't see any difference from the way I looked in the very beginning. Tom said today, when I was bemoaning this, that he could; for example, he thought my face looked thinner--but it isn't exactly my face that I want to change the shape of! We are doing photos tomorrow, so you will be able to see for yourself on the website in a few days. I did, however, have a minor revelation this weekend. I have had a lot of trouble going from eating once or twice a day (pre-BFL) to eating six times a day (as BFL instructs), so I need more food at one time when I do get around to eating than the amount considered a standard meal in BFL. The revelation was that if I eat what would be considered a normal meal (outside BFL)--which has been a necessity a lot since beginning BFL--I feel bloated and very unhappy with my progress. If I eat BFL-sized meals, and don't have anything "outside the program" to eat, I never feel bloated. It all goes together. Maybe on my next BFL Challenge, I will have it all figured out for myself and will actually show some results!!

Friday, May 27, 2005

A brief history of the blog

...not just any blog, this one!

Late in April of 2005, my husband, Tom, and I began the fitness program Body for Life. A key (optional) motivator to keep people on track with this program is The Challenge: Take before pictures and statistics, follow the program for 12 weeks, take after pictures and statistics, write a one-page essay about your experience, send it all in, and have a chance to win (based partly on the essay and partly on results), get this, A MILLION DOLLARS!! (And a few other piddly things, like a cool car and maybe a great vacation.) Of course, you are competing with a lot of other people, but at least it isn't a random thing...your results (and essay) are what matter, and they are under your control. (If you want more info on Body for Life (aka BFL), go to the official website, )

Tom was more involved in this whole thing from the beginning than I was, although I thought it was a good idea, which is why I decided to do it with him. He did tons of research, started a blog about the experience (; check it out!), and spent enough time thinking about it to nudge the "obsessive" meter. Of course, he had more to gain than I did...or perhaps you might say more to lose, since he wanted to lose something like 15 pounds of fat, while building muscle, whereas I was already more or less at what I consider my "ideal" weight when we started the program.

So we're working out every day, eating BFL-type meals (well, mostly :) ), and Tom is posting to his blog every couple of days, and we get to about the halfway point (6 weeks), and he suggests that I might like to start a blog, since he finds that it helps him think through things to write his, and he thought I might enjoy this and other benefits from writing my own.

Well!! I had mixed feelings about this prospect. I can talk the ears off a donkey when writing (excuse the mixed metaphors!), so that wasn't the problem. There was the "will anyone find the mopped-up-and-spread-out-to-dry dregs of my thinking worth reading?" fear. (If they don't care for it, they won't read it, but it's not primarily for other people anyway.) Then there was our old enemy, "I don't have time." (You only do it when you have time, and if you find it helpful in clarifying your thoughts about things, it will be time well spent. Besides, it may actually cut down on time you waste!) And on and on. But I weighed everything, pros and cons, and decided to do it. But not that week, because the timing was seriously bad. You see, I was reacting poorly to a medication change, and I was miserable and definitely NOT a fun person to talk to at the time. I knew it was only temporary, so I decided to wait. And so, a couple of weeks we are!

Whether this is a good thing remains to be seen....

Saturday, May 14, 2005

In the Beginning

In the beginning was the blog. And the blog was without posts, and was lifeless. Then the author said, "Let the blog have a title; let it be called 'Body for Life, the Universe, and Everything.'" And it was so. Then the author said, "Let the blog contain pictures, and links to pictures, even pictures of the author in a bathing suit." And it was so. Then the author said, "Let the blog be filled with posts; with words of every shape and kind, and with thoughts both mundane and profound. Let the bandwidth be filled with discussions of ideas of every sort, and let cyberspace teem with the influences of Douglas Adams, George Lucas, Elizabeth Peters, Janet Evanovich, William Shakespeare, Madeleine L'Engle, and thinkers of every attitude and humor." And it was so, and the author saw that it was good.

Reader response was indeterminate, however. And, just like a certain deity who caught Adam and Eve having an apple break five minutes after being told that the apples were for tomorrow's party, and wondered whether it would have been better to wait until next year's model for the debut of the free-will option, the author had second thoughts about spending precious time typing in thoughts that others might see as rubbish. Thus was triggered the internal debate common to every writer of more than a paragraph since Moses. That is, the one containing world-weary phrases such as, "Who really cares about this anyway?" and"Will this sentence make sense to anyone without a Ph.D. in logic?" and "I would be better off spending some quality time with my pillow."

But...the author pressed on, regardless. Through rain and sleet and dark of night...trudging through the snow (uphill both ways, of course), to post to the blog, doing an author's sworn duty, regardless of whether the blog, over which so much agony had been spent in choosing each lovingly posted word, would ever be read by anyone other than a single soulless bureaucrat in a stuffy office lit only by a bare bulb dangling from the ceiling, or would suffer an even worse fate: to be filed, unread and unlamented, in a dusty corner of cyberspace, never again to see the warm light of the flickering monitor....