Friday, April 21, 2017

A work in progress...

When we arrived home from our few days away, and after I caught up on all the washing, re-stocked the pantry and fridge, and went through hundreds and hundreds of emails...I turned the downstairs spare room into my very own workout room.

Now before you get visions of an exercise bike and treadmill, let me assure you I am a no-frills girl and my 'gym' is without any of that equipment. 

But it does have carpet on the floor (the rest of the house has hardwood), a television, DVD/VCR player, air conditioner and pedestal fan, a nice stack of toning, walking and aerobic DVDs, and one treasured exercise video I loved working out to fifteen years ago that has lost a bit of visual clarity but is still usable enough for my needs.

Since we moved to Townsville just over five years ago I have gained 14 kg (31 pounds) and I feel it ever so much on my 5'1" frame, especially as I was 8 kg overweight before that. My clothes are three sizes larger and being short they look ridiculous with shoulder seams dropping down my arms, necklines wider than my chest and ever so long hemlines. I may be exaggerating slightly, but it feels like I'm wearing a tent....

As I am an apple shape the weight is predominantly around my tummy and upper body, so my knees and ankles take a hammering in this 'lots of stairs' house and I get breathless easily, especially when I'm bending over and trying to paint my toenails. And I love having painted toenails.

I'm also post menopausal and have Hashimoto's Disease, both contributing to weight gain but more importantly they make it very difficult to lose the weight. However, the real villain has been my sedentary life and lack of planning with regards to daily exercise. It's way too hot here to go out walking in daylight for about 8 months of the year and I used that as an excuse...but not any more.

I've spring cleaned my mind, spring cleaned the spare room, and as of today (Friday) I have done five wonderful workout sessions in my 'gym', pushing myself a little further each day - and loving it. 

I did have a rest day on Sunday and today because my body was very clear about needing it, so I am learning to listen to my body and plan on being wise, not reckless, with this new routine. 

One very wonderful result we noticed after my first two workout days was the lifting of depression - swoosh, out the door, out of my brain, gone. My daughter told me, "Mum, you're flooding your body with endorphins now and it's already making a positive impact! I'm so happy for you!" Isn't that lovely? Two of my girls are urging me on and cheering from the sidelines, exactly what I needed from them.

SO...I'm a work in progress, just like the next block in my free BOM, "The Love of Home". 

Today I drew up the design, chose linen and fabric, threads and embellishments, prepared everything for stitching, and sat down to watch season 1 of The Great British Sewing Bee again.

I chose this precious little doily for the stitchery background, and some beautiful Paperie fabric (by Amy Sinibaldi) to fuse behind the doily...

The May block is sweet and simple, and will be quick to stitch because we all need a few patterns in our stash that can be completed in an afternoon or evening...

My little doily is very old and has a generous amount of fraying, but I'll be framing the design when it's finished so that should preserve it for a long time to come...

Satin stitch...

Chain stitch....

Lazy daisies and Colonial Knots...

Little cross stitches and a touch of beading to come...

...but that's all I can show you until May 1st when you'll be able to download the free pattern and stitch your own version.

Back to my other work in progress.

Here's my starting photo, the one I emailed my daughters when I dressed for Tuesday's workout.
 Just keeping it real...

I'll update in a month because this is a long term goal, a habit I'm returning to, not a quick fix. 

It's about health, quality of life, and CHERISHING the woman, wife, mother and Nana this Jenny is.
It's about scheduling time for myself, doing this for me and no-one else, and honoring this body God gave me with the help it needs.

Do you know what I mean? Are you on a similar journey?

Have a wonderful weekend, sweet friend, and try to do something positive for yourself as well as for others. Everyone benefits when you do. xx



  1. Jenny you have described my body shape perfectly. I am five foot one and need to lose so much it is daunting. I wish you well. You can do this.

    I also love the look of the new stitchery. I hope to learn a lot of tricks so that my flower looks as wonderful as yours. I am still knitting this green and blue baby blanket I hope that takes you to the right place. I thought I would fly through this as I have knitted entrelac before. I was wrong.

    God bless your weekend.

  2. What an inspiration you are! I've always been short, and have gained a surprising amount of weight over the past four years. I have known that the right thing to do is get rid of it, but I prioritize other people/things, and life demands have a way of always distracting me from such self-discipline and self-care. We are in the midst of a move right now, but once we settle in our new home, I intend to set up space/time for regular exercise. In the meantime, packing and carrying boxes of books will have to suffice! Thanks for the ways in which you share ideas/projects to make one's life fulfilling through one's attention to the gifts God gives us.-Grace and peace, Elizabeth

  3. HI Miss Jenny!
    I love the new stitchery! It is sweet, creative and full of charm. I know it will be an heirloom piece!
    How exciting for you to start this new part of your journey to health. I'll be there with you. My husband and I have started walking together and I'm on day 3 of no sugar - ugh! lol (Its not a fun addiction.)
    I gained many, (MANY), pounds while my husband was in the hospital for 53 days and through the following recovery days at home. It is now time to shed those many pounds.I am making a purposeful decision to do it with great joy - a very new attitude for healthy living for me.
    We CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! Phil 4:13

  4. Good luck with your exercise journey. I am 62, post menopausal and hypothyroid. I could never gain weight when I was young. After the holidays, I looked pregnant, my belly was so big. I never make NY resolutions but I did this year. I have lost 11 pounds by walking more and eating smaller portions. Quilting and needlework feed our souls but sure don't nurture our bodies. I wear a pedometer and try to take more steps.
    I think that different things work for different people. Good luck and remember that you have lots of us cheering you on. I wish I had a space to exercise in when there's 2 foot of snow on the ground.

  5. Good for you! It is great that you are setting an example that may encourage someone to get exercising for their health. As always your patterns are so pretty. Nancy

  6. You go girl... Since I retired three years ago I have started exercising 4 or 5 mornings a week. Mostly walking. I lose weight, gain it back, stay the same. Would like to take off the 40 pounds I gained when I quit smoking years ago. Hmmm doesn't seem to happen but I do feel so much better when I exercise. I am proud of you and wish you the best with your journey.

    As always your stitching is equistite

  7. Just got out of the hospital, so I've been greatly enjoying your stitcheries, Godly posts, And your new exercise routine/goal. I, too, need to exercise...hopefully, will be better soon, and will join you from Texas! Hugs from afar!🌷

  8. Just got out of the hospital, so I've been greatly enjoying your stitcheries, Godly posts, And your new exercise routine/goal. I, too, need to exercise...hopefully, will be better soon, and will join you from Texas! Hugs from afar!🌷

  9. Morning Jenny, I'm so happy for you. It is a mind set followed by discipline and prayer. And you have mine. I started the same journey in May of 2016, I will be posting this May of the goal that was set and if it was reached. I look to celebrating with you each month.
    Your pattern and doily sure is sweet you are really blessed in seeing the possibilities in
    vintage items. Our God is good.

  10. Great job! I too gained a LOT of weight after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis! WOW-talk about a brain overload! It took me a long time and many doctors later before I realized I needed to address my weight issue. Workout sessions were out of the question for me, so I worked in my yard, garden, I painted. built- now I am happy with the results-no more worries! Good luck. I am looking forward to seeing your progress, and I know it will be a positive one. Thank you for your embroidery patterns, they are a "breath of fresh air" when I need the time to rest and unwind, Susan

  11. my dear friend i am so happy for you..sending you love and happy vibes.
    love the sweet stitches always,
    hugs x

  12. My dear friend: Your new work in progress is just as beautiful as all the others you carry out. The new job will give you more fatigue and more satisfaction. Your energy is a source of inspiration. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. God bless you.

  13. I'm too have Hashimoto's Disease, am similarly shaped and overweight by about the same amount. So to answer your questions at the end of the post, yes I know what you mean. And yes, I'm on a similar journey. My goal is 30 minutes of exercise per day, 6 times per week (walking, stationary bike on bad weather days). I'm also working on making better food choices and eating smaller portions. In a month I hope to be able to report progress.

  14. I am in - pulling out the Lucy dvd's and exercise bike, getting ready to ride all the way to weight loss, lol! Love love love your stitching, sweetie.

  15. Boy can I relate and I think I'll join you. Huffing and Puffing all the way but we can do this. Philippians 4:13 <3

  16. I know exactly what you mean Jenny. I struggle to keep my weight down through a thyroid problem. Nightmare! I'm not an exercise fan I like a swim but getting breathless has put me off. Like you I tend to sit at the computer and I knit a lot so don't get much exercise. Best of luck with your journey.

  17. Jenny, as soon as I read your post, I knew "Now that is gonna get the gals'll have gazillions of posts saying 'me, too!'" and here they are...all those gazillions of "Me, too's!" and guess what? Me, too!!! God bless you, dear lady! I think all of us are hungry for Biblical communications, Biblical examples and godly friends and companions. You fill that need for many, though you are miles away. Our hearts long to be women after God's own heart. Thank you for your words, your precious and stunning stitchery, your generosity, and your heart to please our Lord! You go, girl, with the exercise...I'm right here doing the same!

  18. I'm right there with you Jenny! Good for you to start working out again. I can feel depression creeping into my life too. I've got to start moving too! Love the needlework!

  19. We are all right here behind you on you healthy quest. I to have put on quite a bit in the past few years and have an autoimmune illness that makes exercise and weight loss hard. I have begun my healthy body and mind quest so I am routing for you! God Bless You! The stitching is gorgeous as usual and so are you inside and out!

  20. Congratulations on starting a fitness program! I am much the same build as you and have managed to lose 25 lbs since last spring. It doesn't seem like a lot until I think of 25 lbs. of butter! I don't believe in diets but I have been exercising regularly and watching what I eat. I have never felt deprived and I think that makes it easier to continue. Strict diets have just never lasted with me.Good Luck!

  21. Thank you as always Jenny Dear for being real and sharing struggles as well as stitcheries. I honor you and your healthy goal. I continue my lifetime Weight Watcher struggles for health. Being 68 and coming from my mother who was always over 300 pounds I have many excuses available to me...however I choose to fight hard and do the best I can do each day with certain health limitations not used as excuses. We strong women are the best health moderators for our own bodies. This "home" linen stitchery is precious and I shall be very happy to stitch it. Onward in our life's goals...<3

  22. Good on you! LOL, you are tall compared to me. I am only about 4'10 now. We tend to look heavier than we really are . I have borrowed my daughter's yoga dvd to limber up my body a bit but I haven't actually done any yet. Your May BOM is looking gorgeous already. I have been keeping up with this year's BOM so far and look forward to stitching May's.

  23. I just love the encouragement from your sweet daughters. Their support is going to keep you going when it gets difficult. I know that you will feel so much better physically, and praise the Lord that you are already seeing the effects wih the release from depression. I just know that was a blessing from God to encourage you!! His love and kindness is so precious!! Hugs, sweet friend! I will be cheering you on!

  24. Wishing you the best on your new adventure.

  25. As this is already making a difference for you, I know the difference in the long run will be tremendous! I know you will stick with it and see the results you want. I OUGHT to be on a similar journey, but today I'm sick with something and feel no motivation for anything at all, let along for moving! The home stitchery looks just right for a doily I might still have around here. I'll have t look.

  26. Good for you!. I too have been on a similar journey. I knew a year ago, I HAD to lose some weight! Every joint in my body hurt. I wanted to walk with my husband when he walked to dog, I wanted to be able to walk with our great grandson when he begged to walk outdoors. I knew that walking and "moving" was the best answer to weight loss as well as sensible diet and portion control. So today I am 45 lbs lighter, loving the new slimmer clothes and the renewed energy to keep up my life style, play with my great grandchildren and continue with the chores required to keep a HOME. Good luck, Jenny! You can do this!

  27. Bravo to you, Jenny, for tackling the health and fitness beast! I am just-turned 58 and have that elusive 15-20 to lose. Adrenal fatigue has been blocking my victory, but I believe with rest/light exercise/supplements and lots of FAITH, I will feel chipper again. We are in this together and God always wants victory for His children. Bless you!

  28. I hear you, on sticking with healthy habits! Wishing you the greatest success...slow and steady wins the race!

  29. Jenny, you're an inspiration. I have some winter insulation that needs to come off my mid-section! When my spring pants are tight I know it's time to get to work. I'm with you on this journey. Love the new pattern. xo

  30. Go girl! I definitely hear what you are saying about exercise. I too have put on quite a bit of weight and my office job doesn't help. I now have a push bike and after 30 years am starting to ride again. Baby steps, but it is wonderful. It will be harder to get out during the winter but we will do our best. I look forward to seeing you progress with your challenge. Just take it nice and steady.

  31. Hello JENNY,Betty here from NSW.I like your pretty embroidery shown at this moment on your site.I also noticed the Tatting done on the edges,how pretty is that? I made enquiries recently for some Tatting lessons warning the teacher I am a Left handed lady.No worries she said so I went an hours drive from home and watched her start the process.She then walked off without seeing me started and went to other ladies a fair distance from me so it left me sitting without any progress undertaken,I timed her about 3/4 hour went by,I started watching another left handed lady and she showed me how she did it.I mentioned to her I wished I had paid her instead for the lesson.So annoyed was I that I phoned hubby up nearby to come and get me! I waisted over 1hour.That was about two weeks ago,on my way homeI called in to see another craft shop and that lady told me she would ask a Tatting lady to ring me.This lady has phoned to say she is happy to teach me for free! What blessings God does provideHey? I am going away for a needed break with hubby in our caravan So it will be a while yet,she does not mind in the least about the delay.I am blessed,hugs Bet


It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...