Friday, February 25, 2011


I sat down to eat dinner at 7PM. Now, that might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but let me put it into context. All this winter I have been struggling with snowstorms. The first one set me into a panic. I missed work, had a minor panic attack, and ended up hand-shoveling a 20-foot driveway. It sucked. The second time was a little better, but until even with a storm under my belt I was scattered and hand-shoveling.

Today a storm came. A big one. Jackson got around a foot of wet snow and I figured it out. I got a ride into work this morning with my friend and his 4-wheel drive pickup, so transportation wasn't an issue. I called the plowman of wonder, Judah, to come to my rescue while at the office. When I got home (early, everyone left work early to beat the icy roads in daylight) it only took two hours to clean off the car, shovel paths to the sheep, hay, barn, and chickens, start a fire in the woodstove, get the driveway plowed, and dinner on the stove.

Dinner is light. Some couscous and tofu. I've been really dedicated to healthier living recently. Ever since I posted that acceptance piece on Valentine's day I have been dedicated to the goal of healthier living. Some folks read that post and thought I was just accepting myself and flaws and not interested in trying to change them. What it was, was me accepting myself and my flaws and choosing to respect myself enough to actively heal them. In ten days I have dropped seven pounds. I started working out twice daily, and eating better (and less). Between being a newborn lighter and figuring out this storm I feel great tonight. It took me all winter to feel like a volunteer instead of a victim, but now I am fighting back. My goal for spring is to be 20 pounds lighter with a healthy lamb or two in my arms. You'll see. I promise.

Currently, these arms are rather sore. I'm not used to free weights. But every second I put in at the gym or with workout videos is another second of better air breathed this spring when the farm becomes my gym. With lambing, gardens, chicks, workshops, and more along the way I'll need all the strength I can muster.

Tonight I am just happy that it's a Friday. That after all that shoveling, hay-hauling, bird tending and cooking I can just sit down relax while the wind outside whips across the farmhouse. It's a warm place to be. I think I'll stick around a while.

Seven pounds and dinner by 7PM... took all winter, but here I am.


Blogger Diane said...

You are on the upswing of the learning curve! This was one heck of a first winter for you on this farm - I hope they are all milder after this one. That snow was heavy today. I was out there for four hours and I only quit because it got too dark to do the back fenceline. It was like trying to snowblow bread dough.

February 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Yeah! It's the little things you have to celebrate. Be safe in the snow.

February 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

"What it was, was me accepting myself and my flaws and choosing to respect myself enough to actively heal them." Hooray! You are a great, brave woman and I'm happy that you are having such an evening. This quote makes me very happy: it's simple but so true, and a maxim not easily lived by. Tuck in to your dinner, have a good cup of tea or glass of beer, and then sleep the sleep of the victorious--you certainly deserve it.

February 25, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger buddha-girl said...

insight and awareness....sometimes it takes awhile, Jenna. Lucky you to be finding it out at soooooo young an age!

February 25, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Why's woman said...

Hi Jenna,

From reading your blog, I know you are a woman of wondrous determination and I hope your efforts to lose a bit of weight and add muscle go well. From my own past experience I must caution you to not overdue with hand weights. Without going into the anatomy too much (and as a yoga teacher, not a physio) ... muscle development is at a least a two-way process. Work breaks down and rest builds up. Too much weight with too many repetitions does damage and it can take 6 months to repair what one or two weeks of overtraining can do. This is what repetitive stress injury is all about. Your schedule and the needs of your farm don't give you the luxury of injury. If you have someone who can coach you a bit in a weight training schedule, talk to that person. It's almost laughable, but my worst experience was from a pre-Christmas month of evening knitting some years ago. But it took six months to get my wrists and forearms back to normal and I still fatigue more easily; I have to be cautious about the duration of handweeding, for example. Very best wishes to you ... the photo of you holding the lamb/sheep is lovely.

February 25, 2011 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Good for you! I think Why's woman's comment makes sense- it's hard not to overdue when you're enthusiastic about training.

But seven pounds in ten days! If you can keep that rate up, your next book better be a diet book, and you'd probably make a fortune! Good luck!

February 25, 2011 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger kringsrud said...

See? You ARE amazing.

February 25, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Good for you Jenna. Cheering for you here in snowy Upper Michigan. Spring is not that far away. Hang in there !

February 25, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I'm thinking at this point you're better off with snow than rain which is what we're getting tonight - going to be a bugger when it freezes which it plans to do tomorrow - I'll have to get out the ice cleats just to go out and drop my coffee grounds on the compost!!
Truly you have become a New Englander/Maritimer this winter - it takes a while to develop this new set of skills, but clearly you've gotten there!
Have a great weekend and take it easy. You're going to be one busy lady in a few weeks time!

February 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Go Jenna! You'll do it, you're on the road to accomplishing pretty much everything else you've set your focus on, so why should this be any different? Just take it easy and take care of yourself in the process. You got a lot of critters depending on you :)

February 25, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Nice job girl! What fun that you see 7 lbs so quickly.....does this mean there is a bit less pie baking going on? I used to just sigh as you described all that baking, knowing I would gain 5 lbs just breathing the wonderful smells in :) Spring is coming!

February 25, 2011 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I read your Valentines post and thought "You go girl"!!!! I think what you are doing is great and I am enjoying your posts. Keep on farming and writing! Cheers!!!!

February 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

How about parking the truck at the bottom of the drive? Then you'll only have to shovel a few feet.

February 26, 2011 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger daisy g said...

You're doin' it, Jenna!

Have you thought about puttin' on the crockpot on for supper in the morning?

February 26, 2011 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Congrats on success AND the right attitude. It's all about living healthier, not skinnier. If you haven't checked 'em out already, there are a ton of fitness blogs I use for inspiration. Fitnessista is a great start.

February 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Judy Hamilton said...

*High five!*

February 26, 2011 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

How you can work a day job, operate a farm and live through a NY winter on couscous and tofu is absolutely beyond me. This girl needs to be fed if I expect to have any energy at all. :) Good for you for being so determined! Seven pounds in ten days is a lot, though. As long as you feel good, carry on, but mind you don't run down your resources!

February 27, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

congrats to feeling good about yourself and having a wonderful night to relax!! Just curious... i am at the point you found yourself a few weeks ago -- i need to eat healthier and need to exercise! the first part is easiest, i just stop eating all the leftover junk food at my work and cook meals at home :-) but exercise has never been my friend. Where did you begin?

February 28, 2011 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

In the latest YogaJournal, there was an article that made me think of you, Jenna, and this discussion in general (I'll re-post this in the comments on the latest post, in hopes everyone will see it!)

The upshot of the article was basically that our bodies aren't made to sit in a chair for 6-8 hours at a shot. And a recent study showed that people who work office jobs and exercise regularly have less all-over health benefits than people who work office jobs and just get up and do something every so often - walk to the water cooler, do some stretches, jog in place for a minute, etc -

I don't remember if it targeted weight-loss specifically, but in the vein of making choices that support all-over health and wellbeing, loving and accepting the bodies we have while working to make them the best they can be, its a little change that could potentially make a huge difference... If you think about it, it makes sense, from circulation to immune system stimulation to the way gravity pulls on muscles and bones...

March 7, 2011 at 4:51 PM  

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