Archive | December 2016

weight loss update, aging, my 41st birthday

It was about 2 years ago now that I started actively trying to lose weight and get in shape. I started at 195 lbs, and I originally wanted to lose to 135 lbs, but with the Curves food school, and other considerations, I changed that to 145 lbs– I’m still breastfeeding, and it’s a healthy weight for me.

I want to note a few things. I’m shifting into the maintaining phase. It’s a change. But here is what I really like: with Curves stuff, the focus is on losing fat and gaining muscle. My body used to have a higher percent of fat than muscle. That has reversed now— I have a higher percentage of body muscle than fat.

So what I noticed is that I gain weight much slower now, like if I’m “holiday eating” for 5-6 weeks (during Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year), and I lose it faster once I go back to their structured diet.

I still workout at Curves 3 days a week, and I really enjoy that time.

Vitaliy bought me a cool gift for my 41st birthday, which is tomorrow. He loves technology. I am OK with technology to some extent. So this gift was a perfect combo of his tech-savvy-ness and my fitness.


It’s a fitness bracelet. …. I am surprised at myself at how much I like it!

For example, one thing I just did: I set my bracelet for 1 hour of walking (around the third floor of the mall). It timed me, constantly measured my heartrate, counted my steps, how many calories burned, and notified me each time I reached a kilometer– I walked 5 kilometers! (about 3 miles)

And since one of my main 2017 resolutions is to pray for an hour a day, and I’m still experimenting how to work that one hour into my life regularly, I prayed as I walked, and it was really a wonderful way to combine spiritual and physical fitness!

I don’t think I’ll do it everyday, but 2-3 days a week would be fantastic.

Anyway, this bracelet thing does a bunch of fitness stuff– measures my sleep hours and what level of sleep, counts my steps all day, etc. It’s pretty cool, and emotionally it helps me feel “official” as a fitness-type person. (I know, that’s corny, but it’s…. how I feel, and that can be important.)

Now, about aging.

You  know, for many years, I took the bull by the horns, researched and studied all this stuff about health and pregnancy and breastfeeding. But I’ve realized that I have a block about dealing with aging. …. I just want to ignore the symptoms and hope they’ll go away.

…. So… I’m trying to help myself deal gently with these news issues cropping up in my life. Like having to switch to non-caffeinated coffee because caffeinated started causing me blood pressure and heart rate issues. Its’ not necessarily aging, but for me it is.

And I keep putting off going to the doctor about some of my aging things. I personally have a complex relationship with the system of allopathic medicine, so I’m not exactly sure what I want from a doctor visit. I’m still in the process of clarifying that for myself. But I ought to go in the next month or two I think, to at least start talking about some of my other health things.

I’m actually looking forward to grey hair. I think it will look good on me.


Oh, I’ve started a morning routine, too, of taking care of my body. It involves body brushing, hypopressive breathing, a face mask, and a few other details. I usually do not have the patience to pay so much attention to my physical being, but surprisingly, I’m ready to do that now.

A well-matched marriage

Vitaliy and I went on a walk through the beautiful snowy woods today, and I was thinking about how well-suited we are for each other.

Maybe it’s because we choose to focus on the ways we match? Because, sure, there are ways we are different. But we both love analytical talking, theology– and we stretch each other in our thoughts, it’s not just repeating each other or arguing against ideas. It’s a growth in agreement and understanding of deep questions.

We both love mininstry. We both love living in Ukraine. We have grown to love our kids in very similar ways. We have gone through a major spiritual transformation side-by-side.

It’s a really sweet thing that amazes me sometimes.

Here are some probably sideways photos of birds we saw on our winter walk:

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Thank you, dear Lord.


I know it sounds cliche, or maybe just nuttyheads, but I actually used to worry about becoming too emotionally attached to Vitaliy. I’m not used to becoming emotionally attached to people in a big way.

But we’ve been together on a trip for 2 days now, and it’s been really sweet just realizing in a new way what an amazing friendship we have.

Yes, there have been times in our marriage when we’ve had “certain issues” we couldn’t calmly talk about (like money), so they became silence areas. But with time, even those issues have become talkable, meaning great talks with no arguments.

We’ve talked about a lot of things. It’s what we do for friendship and relationship. Vitaliy thinks other couples might do other things together to feel closeness, like sports or business, or something. For us, it’s talkingtalkingtalking. We analyze, philosophize, plan, theologize …

It’s become a deep, emotionally-fulfilling reservoir of a friendship. Probably the deepest friendship I have ever experienced.

I just wanted to enjoy and record these realizations.

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