Oct 302016
  • This is the first, well, second really day of fall break. As usual I have been looking forward to this for weeks, as usual it is only one week anyway, and will go by very fast.
  • Nonetheless my husband suggested opening a bottle of champagne for lunch to celebrate, and I was happy to join in. Never mind that I don’t usually get anything done on days when I drink at lunchtime.
  • I am about to embark on both NaNoWriMo and NaKniSweMo in November. It is pretty nuts but then I am knitting a sweater that has less than the required 50,000 stitches. I am writing a novel that I have written before, and that was so jumbled and messy that I decided starting over would be less work than revising what I had. We’ll see how that goes.
  • This is actually my ten-year NaNo anniversary. I heard about it for the first time during November 2005 when it was too late to join in, and participated for the first time in 2006. That may have changed my life, and made me meet quite a few very interesting people. Also I finally managed to actually write fiction instead of only wishing I wrote fiction.
  • In the past few weeks I actually started doing piano exercises. Like the ones my teachers had always wanted me to do, the ones I never could be bothered. And it is kind of fun. Who knew.
  • Of course now that I’m so extra busy with the writing, and the spinning of the yarn for the November sweater I have completely failed to do any sewing, embroidery, or weaving. Last Friday I didn’t even clean the house. Bad mother, no cookie.
  • Since I’m talking about cookies, despite not eating any for weeks and weeks (cake doesn’t count, does it?) I managed to gain back a whole kilo instead of losing the last 1.5. It is appaling. But then it seem that the siren call of „yet another beer“ and „just a bit more chocolate“ are really strong at the moment.
  • That might also have been due to the fact that I didn’t manage to get enough sleep for two weeks or so. But for the last few days I did sleep enough so there might still be hope.
  • I am already feeling bad for not having done anything to prepare for Christmas and the November to January birthdays in the family yet. On the other hand there is still time, isn’t there?
  • I have made a pledge to not buy any more books (well, mostly). You can read all about it on my „official writer biog“ that still looks a bit raw over here.
  • I hope you all have a great weekend as well.
Oct 182016

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Seidensocken: fertig
  • Spinach gone crazy: fertig gestrickt, Enden vernäht, muss noch gespannt werden und Knöpfe kriegen
  • Stripey socks: Geringelte Socken aus Regia Sockenwolle für meine Mann sind fertig
  • Black Rib: Socken aus schwarzer Regia Silk für mich, der erste braucht nur noch die Spitze
  • Sunny Socks: angefangen, bis jetzt habe ich aber nur die Spitze des ersten

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweight weiter gesponnen, das vierte Achtel weiter
  • Targhee von Etherische Öle auf der IST Crafts Kreuzspindel weiter gesponnen
  • braunes Ashford Merino: auf dem Victoria Probestränge für Armande gesponnen
  • rot-weiße Merino-Seide: auf dem Victoria 88 Gramm für Armande gesponnen
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Bolt: Enden komplett vernäht, muss noch gespannt werden
Genäht habe ich:
  • zwei Paar Leggings zusammengenäht, kein lila Garn gehabt, lila Garn besorgt, Gummis zu lang zugeschnitten, erst Mal aufgegeben
Erwähnt wurde:
Sep 262016

So it’s been the first few weeks of the school year and I feel like I’m coming up for air again. And the things I thought about in the last post really helped as well.

I’m pretty much weaned from sugar right now, and on Saturday I found that for the first time in the whole week I started feeling that deeply sad feeing again some time around 11. And then I thought about my habit of eating white bread with almond cream for breakfast on the weekends instead of the müsli I eat during the week. And then I ate müsli for breakfast and Sunday and poof! no more feeling sad.

I’d say eating nice müsi with fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt is not too big a price to pay for not feeling completely bad.

I’m still glancing longingly at the gummy bears in the supermarket but then I remind myself how I feel when I actually eat them, and that I can never stop eating them, and then I’m good.

I am also back to doing most of my self-improvement routines, and I guess that’s another reason for the big grin on my face. I’ve sat down and worked a little on novel revision every day, and even though I don’t actually enjoy doing it I always feel better for having it done. And I’d really like to have a finished story some time.

My days are so full that I’m completely exhausted by dinnertime but then that’s not really a problem. All I do at that point is get ready for bed and read a bit. And then I sleep and the next morning when I wake up I’m full of energy and plans again.

And that makes me happy and productive. Win win.

Sep 182016

I am usually pretty much on the side of intuition. Like when making decisions they're usually either so irrelevant that it doesn't really matter or complex enough that you can't consciously look at all the variables and so I usually go with my gut feeling with very good results.

But then I found that some of my feelings are not “real” feelings at all.

It's a bit like waking up at five in the morning with a burning certainty that life is crap and you're a worthless person. That feeling usually vanishes once the sun is up and you're in the middle of your normal life again.

So for the past few weeks (during summer break) I have basically felt very depressed and paralyzed and overwhelmed and helpless. And I knew that that was neither true nor in any way helpful but I couldn't help it. I have learned not to trust these feelings a long time ago – I mean, even if I were a useless loser not good for anything, and my life bad aand hopeless it wouldn't do me any good to dwell on that and not try to make it better – but still it is no fun to feel like doing the dishes is a task that leaves you drained and unable to do anything else for the rest of the day.

I thought it must be hormones again. I also didn't manage to get enough sleep most of the time which was ridiculous when I could go to bed when I wanted and sleep as long as I liked but it seems my body has become unable to sleep past 7.30 in the morning (or 6 on a bad day), and so the only way for me to get enough sleep is to turn the lights out at 9.30 and I don't feel like doing that every night. (I know. Lame excuse.)

I became profoundly unhappy and unable to change anything about it. I tried to get enough sleep (with mixed results), I was exercising almost every day outside in the sun, I was watering and feeding myself adequately but I just felt awful.

I thought I might feel better with the start of the school year and with being back to my routine but instead I felt worse.

On the second or third day of teaching I felt so awful at night that I decided to binge-eat some chocolate to feel better. (I know that's silly. I still do it.)

And it worked. I felt better immediately and it kept helping until some time the next day. Huh.

Now eating chocolate all the time to feel better is not the worst thing one can do for sure but on the other hand I had gained some weight during summer break and I wanted to not gain more. Also when I start eating sugar I have a really hard time stopping to eat sugar which is why I try to limit my sugar consumption.

Now I think I have found out what went wrong. Some time around my birthday I reached my goal weight (almost) and I decided that I could have some sweets and a few more potato chips than before and the occasional extra glass of wine or beer, like, almost every day.

And so during summer break there were many, many days where I would eat loads of gummy bears and licorice and chips and I would drink beer and wine every single day, and funny enough, around the same time I started feeling really depressed again.

Which of course meant that I needed to eat more sugary things and drink more beer because I felt bad and eating and drinking those things makes me feel better.


Now at the moment I am slowly weaning my body from wanting all.the.sugar. If I don't eat enough I feel horrible but if I eat too much I feel worse. I'm hoping to get myself back to only drinking one beer per day max on weekends and to only eat very small amounts of dark chocolate. Without feeling constant despair.

So. Right now when despair raises its ugly head I eat a small piece of dark chocolate, and then I ignore it as much as I can.

Because in this instant those feelings of mine are not telling me anything about me that is worth listening to, they just tell me my body chemistry is out of whack.



Sep 182016

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweight weiter gesponnen, das vierte Achtel weiter
  • selbst gefärbte weinrote Merino auf der Bosworth Mini: etwa 50 Gramm verzwirnt
  • Targhee von Etherische Öle auf der IST Crafts Kreuzspindel angefangen
Genäht habe ich:
  • drei Paar Leggings zugeschnitten
Erwähnt wurde:
Sep 112016

Yes, I am perfectly aware that I haven’t posted for two – counts on fingers – okay, make that three months now. Interestingly nothing major happened. It was just one small thing after the other, and then, after a few more weeks blogging feels weird and you don’t do it.

Also I seem to have a pattern where when I’m revising a novel (or rather procrastinating about revising a novel which is even slower) I don’t write anything, not even blog posts. Writing seems to generate more writing, and not writing generates even less. Although there can’t be less than nothing, can’t there?

So. My hip hurt and I went to the doctor, and it seems it was from running too much. It seems I am doing something wrong when running which puts strain on my right hip, and then it hurt so much that I had to stop walking for a few weeks as well. Only the problem is not the hip joint but a nice little tendon atached to the hip joint. I got really strong painkillers, and and a few weeks later it was so much better that it didn’t show up on a MRI.

Only the bad thing is that it still hurts.

As long as I don’t run I can exercise all I want, and walk around, and I feel better but when I sit down for more than an hour or so I still hurt. Fun! I thought I was all better and start doing a Couch to 10K again but that was a bad, bad idea.

Then there was summer break, and we had a wonderful guest who came all the way from the US and stayed a week, and then my MIL had a friend stay at her place (which is just upstairs from ours) for the week after that, and then we had another house guest and a couple of rehearsals for the concert my husband is planning for next year, and then our son and I went to a family reunion, and then my husband went to Italy for a week, and then he was home again for a few more days, and then he went to Salzburg for yet more rehearsals, and then was now.


Of course I had big plans of sewing all.the.things and finishing that damn revision, and do about a hundred other things but they didn’t really happen.

And I’m a bit sad about that but then I also try to keep in mind the things I did get done, and now I am almost happy for school to begin again on Tuesday. Maybe I’ll get some sewing done in between teaching and exercising, and running errands, and housework.

So. How was your summer?

Aug 182016
  • Braid Hills zum zweiten: fehlen nur noch die Knöpfe
  • Vanilla Burgundy Socken: fertig
  • Ribbed Burgundy Socken: stricke beim ersten gerade den Fuß
  • Seidensocken: gerade den Schaft angefangen
  • Spinach gone crazy: stricke gerade Maschenproben
  • Lintilla: fertig, noch nicht gespannt
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Walden aus handgesponnenem Baby-Alpaka: fertig
  • Bolt: die Hälfte der Fäden muss noch vernäht werden
  • Häkeldecke aus geschenkter Wolle

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweight weiter gesponnen, das vierte Achtel weiter
  • selbst gefärbte weinrote Merino auf der Bosworth Mini: ca. 150 Gramm gesponnen
Genäht habe ich:
  • Alabama Studio-Top: es fehlen noch die Blenden am Ausschnitt
Erwähnt wurde:
Jun 202016

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Ringelsocken aus handgesponnenem Shetland: fertig
  • Hausschuhe aus handgesponnenem Corriedale: fertig
  • Braid Hills zum zweiten: fehlen nur noch die Knopfleisten
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Walden aus handgesponnenem Baby-Alpaka: etwa zwei Drittel fertig

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Mini weiter gesponnen, das vierte Achtel weiter
  • rot-schwarzes BFL/Seide weiter kardiert und die erste Hälfte fertig gesponnen
  • grünes BFL mit Glitzer fertig gesponnen und gezwirnt
Genäht habe ich:
  • Swing-Kleid: ein zweites fertig
  • orange-rot geringelte und lila Leggings fertig
  • Martha-Kleid: das erste ist fertig
  • Alabama Studio-Top: es fehlt noch die Stickerei auf der zweiten Seitennaht und die Blenden am Ausschnitt
Gestickt habe ich:
  • schon vor der letzten Folge fertig geworden: Dropcloth Sampler „Knotted Stitches“
  • angefangen: Dropcloth Sampler „Filling Stitches
Erwähnt wurde:
Jun 152016

Now I’m not quite sure how helpful my rules might be for anybody else. We’re all different, and a person who is not tempted to drink beer doesn’t need a rule concerning beer. Still.

When I started I had just read “Thinner this Year” and so the first thing I decided to do was to try and eat only 2/3 3/4 of what I’d usually eat. The easiest meal to do that for me was dinner because I usually eat sandwiches for dinner, and I knew that I usually would eat three slices of bread with cheese or salami or whatever, and so I decided to only eat two and then stop.

One of the very first things I realized was that if I wanted to lose weight I would need to eat less and that that would mean staying a little hungry every day, or even several times a day.

I know there are all kinds of diets out there telling you you will never have to be hungry at all and lose weight anyway but that’s something I never managed. I have practiced for years to become an intuitive eater which means someone who knows when they need food, or need something else, and when they’ve had enough to eat but I still was someone who would then think, “I’m full and don’t need something to eat but I’ll eat that anyway.” Which is how one gets fat. So if I ate enough to never be hungry I would not lose any weight.

The question was if being a little hungry was really so bad. Now back in the day when I ate way more sugar than I eat now I would be really, really hungry every two hours. Like “If I don’t eat right now I’m going to starve and also faint”-hungry. Funny enough once I stopped eating too much fructose I got less hungry. And these days when I have that feeling of “I really, really want something to eat now.” I know I can still go for another one or two hours without eating and will still not feel faint or have a headache. In fact I will usually exercise while I’m that hungry.

So the second rule was “no snacks”. This is not a hard and fast one, though. If I’m really, really hungry, or feel like I can’t go without something to eat I may have 6-12 almonds or a tablespoon full of peanuts. I decide that snacks are a) not to be eaten every day, and b) not there to make me completely satisfied but only to tie me over until the next meal. I’m eating three times a day anyway. You can’t really starve if you eat and hour or two later.

The next rule (or maybe an addition to the first one) was: “No Seconds”. We eat our biggest meal for lunch and I would usually eat a huge heap of whatever we’d have (my husband puts our food on the plates and when I started losing weight he was still eating huge portions), and then I’d have another plate full because it tasted so good. When I started losing weight I would put my own food on my plate (or tell my husband that no, I did not want that much pasta, please put some of it back) or leave food on my plate after eating. He has become much better at gauging how much I need to eat even though he still feels that my portions are way too small. The thing is that a 65 kilo woman needs way less food than a 80 kilo man especially when he never sits still and she basically does nothing else but sit in front of a computer all day. (On a side note our son started out being overweight as well, and when I looked up how much he needs to eat I was shocked to see that a 13yo. needs even less than me. (Also my husband did loose weight as well and now eats much smaller portions himself. Because a 67 kilo man needs less food than an 80 kilo one.))

Again I planned for exceptions, if I’m extremely hungry after my first plate of lunch I can have a bit extra. But most of the time I would tell myself it’s alright, even if I’m still a little bit hungry because if I cant stand it I can always have a snack later. Then I’d want a snack really bad at five in the afternoon and then I’d tell myself not snack because dinner would be at 6.30.

That’s a rule I use with my son and that I installed for myself as well. If you’re hungry about an hour before a meal just wait until mealtime. Nobody drops dead because they went hungry for an hour.

My nemesis when it comes to controling my eating are beer, potato chips, and sweets. I had already established a rule that I could have no beer on weekdays. I tried not drinking any when going out but never managed to follow that one so these days I’m allowed one (1) beer per day on weekends, and two (2) pieces of chocolate. The end.

As for potato chips I started out with “only one bag per week”, then upped it to „only one bag per month“, and am doing very well with that rule. Some months I decide that I like losing weight more than potato chips and declare a chips-free month. Since I can’t et my favorite potato chips in town any longer I often buy two bags and tell myself that those are reserved. Like I bought two bags at the beginning of May and declared them to be for June and for my birthday at the end of July. And surprisingly I don’t have a problem having the chips sitting in the basement. Every time I think of them I tell myself I can have them later, no problem.

Staying within my self-imposed limits regarding chocolate has been exceptionally hard in the past few weeks. It all started with my son asking for milk chocolate. We never have any sweets in the house apart from very dark chocolate these days because I tend to demolish them instantly. Also the boy needed to lose a bit of weight as well, and he was onboard with limiting sweets. (He also has a doting grandmother who gives him strawberry shakes and icecream and sweets any time he wants.)

Since I had been doing so well with my eating rules I thought I could handle having a bit of chocolate in the house easy. Yeah. turned out no, I can’t. I bought milk chocolate and within 48 hours it was all gone. Even before my son even knew we had it. I tried again, and again, and I became better but not good enough. Also my son was eating chocolate like crazy. And even when I wasn’t eating the milk chocolate I was eating way more dark chocolate than I intended to.

So now we have gone back to having only dark chocolate in the house. My son had to admit that he is as helpless facing sugar as I am. And since I got used to eating all.the.chocolate again I took it and put it away in a cupboard in a part of the house we don’t use often. Interestingly it does make a difference if the chocolate is sitting right there in the same room or not. Also I decided to not eat chocolate during the week anymore, only on weekends.

It always feels a bit strange telling anybody about these arbitrary rules I’m making for myself. Reading about my rules won’t really help you lose weight either. I guess everybody needs different rules because everybody struggles with different things. For me banning something completely doesn’t really work because then I tend to binge-eat it. Telling myself that I can have it, of course, no problem, only not just this moment works much better.

I trick myself a lot. I used to think that I needed to be strong and disciplined, and that if I couldn’t sit there looking at a piece of cake and resist it was all worthless. These days I’m all about making things easier for myself. That way I can use my mental energy and willpower for more important things than thinking about whether I want to eat this thing or not.

And funny enough that has made me better at resisting the piece of cake as well. Not that I think cake is bad, only with my fructose-intolerance eating too much sugar results in big sugar-cravings, and then into feeling sick for days. Not a good thing.


May 302016

The short answer is of course that I ate less.

But that doesn't really help, does it? Because the interesting part would be why I managed to eat less than I need for 1 1/2 years straight, losing 35 kilos in the process when I never managed to do that before.

Most people assume that I must have changed my diet in a big way, or that I must have suddenly found a massive cache of self-discipline that I could never access before. But that's not it.

From the inside it feels as if something clicked, as if that particular moment, the one I decided to lose weight after all was different than all the others before but I can't say how or why, really.

I'm also feeling like a fraud at the moment because I am currently trying to lose the same kilo for the third time in a row, this past month is the first one I haven't lost any weight ever since September 2014, and suddenly everything has become really hard. I still want to lose the next two kilos, though. And I know if I just eat less than I need I will get there eventually.

So. The moment I decided to lose weight this time. I think I already told you.

I had been working out a lot for about half a year, and when we went to do our usual hike from Herrsching to the Andechs monastery I thought that this time would be much easier than the time before. The year before I had barely managed to get up the hill, and when we reached the point where there are stairs because it's so steep I thought I would die before reaching the top.

Now I had run and done strength training five to six times a week for months at that point, and I'm happy to say that the hike actually did go better than the time before. Not well but better.

Until we reached the stairs.

Climbing the stairs was like torture yet again, and I didn't feel much better than the year before. Despite being in much better shape. Our son who had been huffing and puffing behind me for most of the way overtook me, and both he and my husband glided up the stairs as if it was nothing.

Me I felt like keeling over, and like giving up yet again. I was really angry that climbing up those stairs was so hard, and at some point between the bottom of the stairs and the top I decided that that was it, I would lose weight to make this easier.

At that point I was totally into the mindset that dieting is useless and makes us sick, that even if I managed to lose the weight chances were that I would gain it all back eventually, and that it would all be for nothing, and still I decided to try.

A 5% chance of success is not the same as a guarantee to fail. And I would have been content to just do more hill training if my weight would have stayed the same at any point but the truth was that I was almost 100 kilos and there was no end to weight gain in sight. The past few years I had gained between five and eight kilos per year. Every year.

Just before I had read “Thinner this Year” because I had liked the “Younger next Year” books so much but I still thought that it wasn't possible to permanently lose weight.

I did start the Monday after, though. I decided that this was it, the last time ever I would try to lose weight. If this time I didn't succeed I'd just stay fat for the rest of my life.

In order to help me with that I made myself some rules which is what I always do when I try to change my habits.

And since this is already pretty long I will tell you about those rules in the next blog post.