About Me

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Practical, Versatile, Creative Things

Some simple things make life so much easier. Take duct tape for instance; you can fix things, strengthen things, bind people (don't!) etc.

Today I fixed a garment bag with duct tape. Now it is stronger than before and I can get many uses out of it. It is something easy and cheap to replace but, why? Two inches of duct tape fixed it really well. Frugal, easy, environmentalist... Right?

I have a cheap bag I had bought for USD 20 from Chinatown in NYC. It has zippers to make it bigger or smaller. I have one good quality big suitcase and an OK midsize one. When I go to the US for an extended period I need two big pieces. I use the midsize when I travel for a week or so in the country. Instead of buying another large suitcase for which, I have no storage space, I use the cheap bag which can be folded for easy storage but, it was worn out at the bottom. Less than a yard of duct tape and voila! Better than new! The fix is inside so, it doesn't look funny but, even if it did, who cares?

I am sure you all know the suitcase wrapping service at the airports. Don't you think, they are outrageously priced? I do. My suitcase does not need wrapping but the cheap bag mentioned above would be better off wrapped. What do I do? I wrap it at home with a box or two of cling wrap after I am done stuffing it. The closure is at the top so I forgo that part just in case, they want to open it and look inside. Even if I use two boxes of the cling wrap, it is still much cheaper. Yes, I like to take vacations in the US, but I do not like to spend money having my bags wrapped.

I use four hooks and a few yards of laundry line to hang my laundry indoors in my corridor. The hooks get attached to the doors.  I need this contraption when I wash the bed linens. I use a drying rack for most other things. This line which I can put up and take down easily holds at least two sheets, four pillow cases and a couple of towels. When I am done, I just take it down. I never owned a dryer and have no space for it. So, line drying is my only option. Living in an apartment in a nice neighborhood makes it impossible to hang laundry even in the balcony. One needs to be creative.

I have cut up some old sheets which had holes and tears into a few 1 and 1.5 yard squares and sew all around them. I use these sheets to place my clothing items and other necessities snuggly in the suitcases. One could hold all my underwear, another would hold t-shirts and sweathsirts, etc. They keep my stuff clean and even if the suitcase is damaged somehow, my clothes will not be sticking out.

I use thick elastic bands that are used to tie broccoli, for extra grip when opening jars. I keep a couple in my utensil drawer just in case.

I am always looking for things that are simple and handy. Any tips and tricks you may want to share?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Exercise, Motivation, Eating Disorders... Long Post Beware!

I have been told to walk for 40-45 minutes twice a week and keep a generally active lifestyle. So those 40 minute walks are supposed to be sweaty. Rest of the time, I should walk in a normal window shopping pace.

I have added some very basic weight lifting 3-4 times a day to this. The weights I use are only 1 kg ea. just a bit over two pounds. I only want to tone my arms a little bit and build some strength.

The other day, the therapist buzzed me in and watch me climb the 20-25 steps. She said, I did well without stopping or slowing down so, my muscles must be in shape. That observation made me happy and even more motivated.

This was a 1-1 session since the rest of the group did not show up. As we talked, she told me if I had seen the movie "To The Bone". I did not so, she told me to watch it and tell her what I thought about it the next session. The movie is on Netflix in Turkey, so I watched it. It is about an anorexia patient with a dysfunctional family. She could only see the calories and could not make herself eat. I just cannot believe how hunger, taste and smell of food are not enticing. She just cannot bring herself to eat even a little bit. The actress had lost a lot of weight during the filming and she looked pretty horrid.

I also keep watching the "My 600 lb. Life" series which is on TV. Those people are constant eaters and they eat all sorts of unhealthy food. Fried, packaged food, candy bars, potato chips, tons of sugar laden soda all day long... They are also very dependent on others who enable them. I cannot quiet associate with them either. A lot of them had been sexually abused or bullied as kids or have dysfunctional families.

I cannot say I do not have an eating disorder. I do. It is just different than the anorexia patients and morbidly obese.

I  do not believe that you need deep issues to have an eating disorder. I am happy with my life. I would change probably just a handful of things if I could start over. I do know, I have an unhealthy relationship with food though. I am a mindless eater. Don't need to be hungry to eat. Who needs to be hungry to eat cheesecake? Stress and deadlines make me eat because, it is a part of procrastination. Boredom also makes me eat. I also like different tastes and generally love food. Good things in life are also associated with food. Birthdays, Holidays, outings with friends, celebrations of all kinds.

The other day I posted that I am not buying anything unnecessary and this is now something I do without even thinking. In the past I could have bought something just because... My relationship with shopping has now matured. I want the same maturity with my relationship with food. I want to make healthy choices and control my portions without thinking. I made healthy choices partially in the past. I could eat a nice healthy lunch and then I would have a piece of cheesecake with coffee. I could eat something high in calorie with my coffee every day without thinking. I want to be able to say "no" to that cheesecake and instead reach for a small piece of fruit or just have that coffee and be content with that.

People on diets think: "So, even when I lose the weight, won't I be able to eat cheesecake?" I do not know the answer to that. It can be "You can eat 1/3 of a commercial portion every once in a while" or it can be "Cheesecake is poison, noone should be touching it". I just don't know the answer to that and may be that answer is different for different people. Everybody has a different way of coping with a variety of problems.

For instance, when I start not weighing myself, I gain weight. When you are trying to lose weight, they tell you not to weigh yourself too frequently. That doesn't work for me. I know the weight will not go down on a steady pace. There will be ups and downs. Actually, right now I am in that position. It has been 8 days since I have weighed in at the dietician and I haven't yet lost a single pound. That is only natural. May be I did not drink enough water, may be I ate too much salt, may be I did not go to the bathroom. However, I have to track my weight every two days or so and mark it on my Excel sheet. I need to feel that I am in control. I was discussing this with my sister and she is the opposite.

My weight loss journey will not be a short one. I just do not want to think about how long it will be. I also do not want to set a goal that is too far away. I need to see reaching smaller goals to keep on being motivated. I have no ideal weight that I have set for myself. The BMI Index tells you that. Now, I am not concerned about that. Baby steps are just fine.

Wishing everyone a very nice weekend! It is still cold in here. I hope, May will be nicer.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Why is housework so boring?

I have mentioned that, I am organizing my closet these days. This chore is taking a very long time because, I am as slow as a snail and I keep making all sorts of excuses to stop.

Thinking of housework; I dislike cleaning, washing the floors, dusting, organizing, changing sheets, absolutely hate ironing. I like cooking but, not cleaning up the kitchen. I do not mind laundry and folding. I do not like emptying the dishwasher. There is nothing I like to do. Is it just me? Or do people generally feel like that but, do the chores anyway?

Yesterday I wanted to have fish for dinner and instead of buying something and cooking at home, I went to a small fish place and had a fish soup and a sea bass. No matter how you cook, the fish stinks the apartment. Sometimes I do not mind it, sometimes I do.

When I was done with dinner, it was 8 p.m. so, I decided to do my grocery shopping. I needed only a few items to get by till Sunday when I am leaving for Ankara for a week.

I bought some boneless beef shank and frozen string beans. It was almost 9:30 p.m. by the time I got back home but, I cooked both items in the pressure cooker. I have all my lunches and dinners I need till Sunday. You see, I am not lazy when it comes to cooking.

As I type this, a load of laundry is in the washer so, all good in that department. The kitchen needs cleaning up due to the cooking yesterday. I will get that done today although I really do not feel like it.

My apartment has central heating and since, it is still cold, the heat is on. Once they turn off the central heating; I have to take down all the curtains and wash them. My curtains are wall to wall and ceiling to floor. There are tulle curtains and underneath the tulles, there are light blocking curtains. Taking them down, washing them and putting them up usually takes two days. That is a task I dread yet, needs to be done due to my allergies.

Change of seasons always require more housework. Sigh...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Not one item of clothing since October

I just realized that I haven't bought one single item of clothing since October 2018. I have only purchased a pair of shoes and a pair of slippers.


This was not intentional at all. I just did not need anything. So, I congratulate myself for having self control when there is no real need for something.

I also haven't purchased anything that can be considered a decorative item, or any linens and towels (my biggest weakness) in a very very long time. Yay me!

It seems like, I now know what is a want and what is a need without conciously thinking about it. I hope this habit will rub on to my eating.

I mostly spend my money on groceries, utilities and maintenance fees on the real estate and gas. I consider the cell phone, Internet and TV a part of utilities. For me the most important thing is to be able to travel and take long vacations.

This week, I am looking at my wardrobe to see if there is anything I can give my sister or get rid of. There are a couple of summer dresses, I would like to give my sister. I haven't worn them at all since they have shrunk after I washed them. My sister can wear them to the beach if she likes.

I also need to organize my wardrobe a little bit. It is one giant mess these days. However, I will not dump everything on the bed like Marie Kondo suggests. I am lazy and I easily get bored doing something like that. It would be a disaster.

I will however, handle the mess, section by section.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Work Situation

Ever since I have retired, I have been engaged with part-time project work. The work has been slow but, it did generate some small income so far.

The owner of the consulting company is also now a friend and she was looking very stressed yesterday. When I inquired about her, she told me the business was not doing too well. The country is in a crisis due to incompetency of the current Government along with many other things. She told me there are no new projects in the horizon so, I should be prepared to not receiving any income in the coming months. I told her that it was OK and my sustenance does not depend on the income from the project work. She felt a bit relieved upon this assurance. However, having to make this conversation with every other team mate will probably be very difficult for her.

I really like her so, I hope this stress will not wear her out so much.

On the other hand, I was kind of relieved too since, I had been having trouble concentrating on work lately. I do not know why but, going to work every day is one thing and working without a schedule is another. Besides, this last project was so up in the air that it stressed me out. We did not follow the usual steps in the anaysis, and had to rely on very little information due to some customer budget constraints and I have not felt comfortable with designing processes in such a situation.

I still would like to be able to generate some additional income but, if it is not going to be possible in the near future, I am OK with that. Being a frugal person, I can make my income work especially after September when I will finally get rid of the loan I had taken over from my uncle.

Renting or selling the apartment in Ankara will also help.

Life happens...

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Weekend Things

Yesterday I did some cooking. I baked sliced eggplants and cooked purslane. In case you do not know what it is; here is a picture:

I bought two very big bunches with the roots still intact. It is very messy and you need to wash it several times to get rid of the soil. I cut off the roots and washed it real well. I then sauteed an onion and a couple of tomatoes, cut up the purslane and added to that. Since the vegetable is very watery, it doesn't need any added water. This cooked on the stove for about 20 minutes to get rid of all the liquid. Two big bunches make just one and a half portion vegetable! I love this but, the washing and the small yield just kills me. 

I have both the purslane and the eggplants with plain yogurt. I sometimes add crushed garlic, mint leaves and red pepper flakes to the yogurt.

All that effort and I have 4 portions of vegetables! Whatever...

Today I met a friend for a cup of coffee and a stroll. After I dropped her at her apartment, I went to my favorite fish place and had a salad with sea bream for lunch. It was yummy and I did not have to cook it myself and make the house stink.

Now, I have some work to do. Hope, everyone is having a nice weekend.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Today, was my weigh-in day. I have lost 12 pounds! I am so happy. I know I have slipped a bit lately and I know, it could have been 14-15 pounds but, this is good too.

I will try harder this month. Feeling very motivated.

I would like to share what I have learnt so far:

- Water intake is the key. 8 glasses of water is not enough. 10-12 works wonders.
- Eating after 7:30 p.m. is bad. If you cannot go to bed hungry, a small cup of yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon is a good idea.
- Pineapple, Kiwi, Berries help accelerating weight loss provided that you control your portions. 2 thinnish slices of pineapple, 1 Kiwi, 10-12 Strawberries are a portion
- If you do not consume enough calcium, weight loss is harder. So, consuming two portions of plain yogurt is in my diet.
- If you are on the road, if you cannot drink enough water, do not weigh yourself because the body will retain water and you will be disappointed. Go back to drinking plenty of water for a few days and then weigh yourself.

I am hoping that this time I will do it, do it well and not gain weight back.

I am going to meet a friend for lunch and I think I will even put on make-up since, this is a special day.

I wish everyone a great weekend, beautiful spring days and lots of happy things to happen!