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Blog Spot Three    5-20-2016     “Finding Balance”    Everyone who knows me knows about my obsession with quilting and sewing which has expanded even more in the last year.  What I have realized over this time is that balance is an illusive necessity.    I love to sit and sew and can do it all day long!  In fact that’s what I’ve been doing since retiring from my “day job” as Co-Director of Christian Outreach Center in June, 2014.  Since I am very happy spending days on end in my sewing room, I have completed six quilts in seven months, ranging in size from a baby quilt to a queen size spread.  Three of these quilts involved hand needle-turn applique, while five of the six were hand quilted.    I now have a trigger finger to prove I really did all that hand quilting!  In addition to these quilts, I did other sewing like over two dozen custom, men’s neckties, three jackets, a dress, a quilted wall hanging and restoration on a 1930’s and a 1890’s quilt. There are probably other items too, but that is all I remember. I do love to sew. Mixed in with the sewing is dozens of written quilt appraisal, trunk shows and two major fundraisers complete with live auctions.    As a result, I have experienced a problem with sitting and sewing.  I gained weight.  Not a good thing. My only excercise was taking the steps to and from my basement sewing room along with brief ventures into the garden to plant and weed.  The other problem when sitting and sewing is having a bowl of Good and Plenty or Jelly Bellies nearby to keep me company.  No wonder I gained weight.  Yes, my clothes began to shrink.  Yes, I saw evidence of another chin in our vacation photos. (See above pic of John & I at the Acropolis overlooking Athens, Greece.)  How could this be happening to someone as active and busy as I am?    I first realized I had a problem when on our trip to Greece with lots of walking I felt better. Upon arriving home, a visit to the doctor showed a slightly high blood sugar level.  My other obsession was revealed when he asked, “Do you eat a lot of sugar?”  “Well, yes,” I replied.  So of course the doctor told me to cut my sugar intake by 50%.    After this reality check, my husband suggested we join a gym since he also needs to lose weight and we could do it together.  I thought I would like water exercises since I hate to sweat and when in the pool there is no sweating!  John is more interested in working out on the machines, and the gym could provide both.  Along with getting more exercise, we have changed our diet.  We are eating fewer calories and more veggies & fruit.  It has only been two weeks, but we both have dropped a few pounds.  I am glad we are doing this together because I appreciate the encouragement, and he knows exactly what I am going through.  It is going pretty well and I can see a healthier, slimmer us in the future.    The reason for sharing this situation with others is to remind quilters that we need to get exercise to stay healthy and continue our quilting obsessions,.  I believe I will get just as many quilts and sewing projects done while feeling better by going to the gym for a good workout at least three times a week.  The trainer at the gym also reminded us that as we age we need to cut down our calorie intake.  She is right!  I’ve been eating less and feel better. Just like balanced color placement is important in the design of a quilt, we need to balance our obsessions with our physical well-being.    I will keep your posted on my attempts at balancing my obsessions with my health.  I want to lose twenty pounds.  Lost pounds so far: four! Do you have any tips for maintaining balance?  Share them with me and I’ll post the best of them here.