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Friday, August 31, 2007

Active... who? me?

Yesterday I didn't feel that good, physically and emotionally. I couldn't say exactly why, just had an indefinable feeling. I needed my dreams to tell me the reason...
In my dream tonight I was indefatigable, had lots and lots of energy. I did all the things listed in my activities TT yesterday and I felt so happy! Then I awoke and felt the fatigue... What a disappointment! I cried and knew in an instant what was wrong yesterday.
During the day I read TT's, the comments on mine, added the links to my post. Each time I was confronted with the activities I love, but most of them aren't within my reach anymore. I just don't have the energy. Yes, I'm doing what I can, even more sometimes but that's a choice. It's just... the bother, the pain and effort to do things has replaced the ease and happiness I formerly felt. The sadness I feel about that took me by surprise. I still want so much! I refuse to accept this fatigue will never go away, although that's what I'm told. I can't give up hope, I don't want to! I won't, but sometimes I just have to cry...
REM is singing to me right now, can't be coincidence: "Well, everybody hurts sometimes, everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes. And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on..."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

TT #54: activities

TT54

Thirteen activities / sports I did or still do
This week the new season started for aqua spinning. A nice moment to list the sports / activities I did/do. Unfortunately most of them are too intensive for me now because of the fatigue, but I'm doing all I can.

  • twirling - I started as a little majorette while I was in primary school, then moved on to the older majorettes (I'm in the top row, 4th from the left) and ended in the twirlgroup. I was the instructor of the younger group. The training also involved some basic ballet exercises. I stopped a few years after I met Ron there (he was in our drum band).
  • softball - I did this in high school, not in a club. I was a pretty good pitcher, but an average batter.
  • fitness (machines) - I liked fitness and was quite fanatic. I've done it for years. I now have a health walker at home and would love to have more.
  • callanetics - I started when it was introduced in the gym where I did my fitness training. I took 3 to 4 classes a week, sometimes more. I also had videotapes to do it at home.
  • step aerobics - After callanetics I tried step aerobics and loved it! I went 4 times a week, sometimes 2 hours in a row. My group also did some demonstration shows, but I was always afraid to look fat in my tight outfit (although I was the skinniest).
  • tae-bo - I saw Billy Blanks in a homeshopping programme, so I looked for a sports centre in my neighbourhood that gave lessons. Unfortunately I ended up in a snobbish centre where I didn't feel comfortable (I was the only chubby one). I liked the workout though!
  • inline-skating - I've only taken one class. When I stayed in Amsterdam in a clinic for my eating disorders, I took my skeelers for a ride in the Vondelpark several times. I had to stop when my thyroid gland caused problems.
  • Slender You - You might think this is not activity, but the passive movements still made me tired. It was a great way to get some exercise for me and the salon was just around the corner. Then the salon went bankrupt and I had to stop. It was quite expensive.
  • line-dancing - Ron and I took lessons in a local community centre: fun and very intensive! Ron had to stop because of his knees, but I've done it for 7 or 8 years. Sometimes we go to a special evening or event and I still like it very much! In the picture I'm wearing a crown because it was Queen's Day. I also have a cowboy hat, but that's too hot when I'm dancing!
  • running / walking - Running wasn't really my thing, but I loved to be outdoors in nature. When running got too heavy, it became walking. I walk as much as I can; sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes hours, that depends on my energy level.
  • Winsor Pilates - I have the Mari Windsor DVD's and did it for almost a year in front of the television. It works, but it's a bit boring on your own.
  • aqua jogging - It's walking in the water with a wet belt around your waist. My sister did it before me and convinced me to join too. Our group jogged on Saturday at 7.45 in the morning. I didn't mind the time; afterwards I still had most of the day ahead of me. It is great exercise because you can adapt the training to your own energy level without falling behind. I stopped when I started aqua spinning, because unfortunately doing both is too expensive. I sometimes stand in if someone of my old group can't go.
  • aqua spinning - A total body workout on a spinning bike in the water. I do it on Wednesday evenings with my sister. It's very intensive, but I can do it at my own speed. Afterwards I'm exhausted, but I like it and I want to do at least something intensive.

My main reason for doing all this has always been to have fun. The fanatic sporting took a high in my eating disordered years. Of course it helps to lose weight and it is better for my health, but if I don't enjoy it I won't persevere.


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Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Mama Pajama ~*~ Mark Caldwell ~*~ Claire ~*~ Midas ~*~ Damozel ~*~ Nicole Austin ~*~ Kota Bear ~*~ Sandee ~*~ WhatWorksForMom ~*~ Ed ~*~ Yuriko ~*~ N.J. Walters ~*~ mama kelly ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ mummifiedx5 ~*~ eastcoastlife ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ DK ~*~ Lori ~*~ Friday's Child ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Nancy J. Bond ~*~ Judy Callarman ~*~ Kat ~*~ sasha ~*~ Amy ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Denise Patrick ~*~ Dorothy ~*~ Joshua ~*~ Darla ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Stine ~*~ Daisy ~*~ busy91 ~*~ Tilly Greene ~*~ LA Day ~*~ Raven's Roads ~*~ Linda R. Moore ~*~ Ann Aguirre ~*~ J. Lynne ~*~ Samulli ~*~ Samantha Lucas ~*~ Candy Minx ~*~ Elisa ~*~ -E ~*~ Miranda ~*~ The Crazy King of Clowns ~*~ MamaLee ~*~ Bernie ~*~ Julia ~*~ Sophisticated Writer ~*~



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cats On Tuesday # 1: Maia is tired

CATS ON TUESDAY 
is a group of cat lovers
who write about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

Maia is finding her place in our household. She's feeling at home and seems to be content with where she ended up. ;-) She knows the other cats and the dogs are higher in the hierarchy, but she likes to try them out anyway. She is very playful. Between all that she still needs a lot of sleep:

yawn
Yaaaawwwwnnn! One of her favourite places: in a corner behind the TV.

flat outFlat out in my arms!

zzz...Isn't she adorable..? My arm was sleeping too, but I didn't want to move...

I could go on and on posting pics, but that's all for now. I hope I have done everything right this first time (also with Mr. Linky).


Monday, August 27, 2007

Busy Bee

Friday afternoon Wonder and I went to the Albert Cuyp Market, a big (semi-)permanent market in Amsterdam. I like it very much. Wonder had some things to buy there. One of my favourite shops/stands is De Peperbol with herbs, spices, tea, kitchen stuff, etc. I bought a strainer and a beautiful disc of ash wood. When we had seen everything, we decided to eat tapas. Yummy! Then we went back, because Wonder had to work that evening. When we arrived at the parking, he discovered he didn't have his carkeys. Lost or stolen, they weren't there... and he doesn't have a spare key. We called everyone and everything we could think of, but found no solution. We had to leave the car in the parking garage and took tram / train / bus and shanks's pony to come home (IJmuiden). I was exhausted to the max and went to bed almost immediately. I'm still not fully recovered. If all goes well, Ron and Wonder can pick up the car tomorrow with a new key.

Saturday was Gaialynn's birthday. At first we wanted to surprise her, but we decided not to take the risk to drive all the way for nothing. We called her to tell we were coming to Den Bosch. First we had to pick up the car of Wonder's brother near Breda, so he'd have a car to do his job for a few days. Then we went to Gaialynn's. Her kids had given her a new kitten for her birthday (smart kids!), such a cutie! So small even Maia would look big next to him. Towards the evening I took a long nap on Gaialynn's bed, so I could stay longer. Ron and I were home around midnight.

Sunday morning I stayed in bed until late and decided to have a quiet day. Well, decided... My body ordered me to. ;-)

This morning I had a meeting of the advisory panel of the empirical experts pool of the Client Concerns Bureau of De Geestgronden (mental health service organization). I hope you can follow and understand that; hard to translate! Tonight I'll have another meeting: this time of the pet shelter committee. Pfew... I think it will be an early night for me!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scattergories

Dorothy (Scrungy's Creator) tagged me for the Scattergories Meme.

Here are the rules:
scattergories logoUse the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions. They must be real places, names, things ... nothing made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question. If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can't use my answers!

I'm using the first letter of my real name.

1. Famous Singer: CĂ©line Dion
2. Four letter word: care
3. Street: Coronation street
4. Colour: cobalt
5. Gifts/Presents: chocolate
6. Vehicle: car
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: cards
8. Boy name: Colin
9. Girl Name: Cynthia
10. Movie Title: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
11. Drink: Coca-Cola Zero
12. Occupation: coroner
13. Celebrity: Charlie Chaplin
14. Magazine: Cosmopolitan
15. U.S. City: Chicago
16. Pro Sports: Champ Car World Series (form. CART)
17. Fruit: cherry
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: caught in traffic jam
19. Something You Throw Away: clutter
20. Things You Shout: cut!
21. Cartoon Character: Captain Caveman

Pfew, I did it!
Wanna play? Consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

TT #53: Maia

TT53

Thirteen pictures of Maia

Hi there! My name is Maia! I'm the newest kitty addition to the household. If you missed my introduction, you can read it under this post or here. Mommy Tink is taking soooo many pics of me; it's time to share the 13 me, myself and I like best!

(if you click on a picture, you'll get a new window with the big version of the picture)

  1. 1
    Before I came to live here, Mommy Tink took care of me when my then "parents" went on vacation. Every day she came to feed me, stroke me and play with me for at least an hour. When I heard her entering I was always waiting for her at the stairs.

  2. 2
    When Daddy and Mommy came to pick me up, I nestled myself on Mommy's bag so they wouldn't forget to take me home!

  3. 3
    The first evening I met the other kitties and the dogs. Although I've learned that Bastet is the boss over me, I still like to catch her off guard to give her a fright. She hisses at me and I hiss back and run away. Hihi!

  4. 4
    But they like to do the same to me... Freyja follows me around and suddenly touches me when I least expect it. Yikes!

  5. 5
    Mommy doesn't like me to sit in the magazine basket, but it's such a great place to hide and peek at the others I can't help myself. I just forget time after time that it's not allowed. Really! I must admit my innocent kitten look helps...

  6. 6
    I think all of us pets here will get along fine! We are getting used to each other, even play already cautiously. They help me to remind my place if I forget too obviously.

  7. 7
    Pfew, life is fun but it makes me hungry all the time!

  8. 8
    He Bastet, what are you doing there?? I can do that too!

  9. 9
    Yummy, I don't mind at all when Mommy is too tired to load the dishwasher. I help her wash off some remains!

  10. 10
    I know, I know, I can't eat the house plants, but this one is sooo tempting! It's not fair: Mommy made a picture and then sent me away..!

  11. 11
    I laughed and laughed when Mommy and Daddy couldn't find me. I was just sleeping in a corner of the mantelpiece between a pictureframe and a speaker!

  12. 12
    Playing, running, eating... I'm tired soon and need a lot of sleep. ZZZzzzz.......

  13. 13
    Mommy! Enough now! No pictures anymore, away with that camera!

I hope you liked my picture show!

~*~*~*~

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ WendyWings ~*~ Special K Toni ~*~ Suprina ~*~ Nancy ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ busy91 ~*~ Shannon ~*~ DK ~*~ Sue ~*~ Mama Kelly ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Lori ~*~ Damozel ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Sasha ~*~ Kelly ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Starrlight ~*~ Ann ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Qtpies ~*~ Samulli ~*~ Tilly Greene ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Robin ~*~ Daisy the Curly Cat ~*~ Darla ~*~ Colleen Gleason ~*~ Mo ~*~ Ann Aguirre ~*~ Gabriella Hewitt ~*~ tanabata ~*~ Maribeth ~*~ Comedy + ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Joy Renee ~*~ Samantha Lucas ~*~ Tempest Knight ~*~ Kuanyin ~*~ MamaLee ~*~ Donica Covey ~*~ Julia ~*~ Ed ~*~ Dragonheart ~*~ Forty Paws ~*~ Carolan Ivey ~*~ The Meezers ~*~ Titania Starlight ~*~ Bonnie Underfoot ~*~ Jimmy Joe ~*~ Katie & Da Katz ~*~ Lesley Speller ~*~ Tara ~*~ Dorothy ~*~


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Meet... Maia!

Maia
Let me introduce to you, the newest member of our family since yesterday.... Maia! She is around 3 months old, born in May and named after the goddess Maia, the most beautiful of The Pleiades and goddess of spring & fresh beginnings.
It wasn't planned to have another kitten, but as usual with cats coming to us it just happened this way. She was taken in by friends of us, but they went on vacation shortly after. In those two weeks I cared for the little kitty and of course grew attached to her. When our friends came home, they realized a kitten is nothing for them. They called Ron and in the end he decided to give her to me as an early birthday present!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dreams

Last night I had a few interesting dreams.

I've often dreamed about highschool (VWO, 6 years). I've had a wonderful time at school, except for the last year. My fear of failure got worse with all the exams and my black-outs started after a concussion I got in the swimming pool. The dreams are always about this last year: I have an exam and don't remember anything about the subject; it is the first day of that last year and I don't have books or I am too late, etc. You get the picture. Tonight I dreamed I was late for the first day again. I didn't have books, couldn't find my school supplies, didn't know my schedule, etc. I felt very anxious to put it mildly. Suddenly I calmed down and started thinking: 'what is this? why am I doing this? feeling this? I already have my VWO diploma! I've had this before and it is nonsens. Stop it!' And then my dream ended...
I hope this is my last dream about this subject. If it isn't, I hope I can redo what I did in the dream last night!

I often dream about my parents: sometimes in the present with a message, sometimes about the present and they are still alive, but mostly about times when they were still alive. Last night I dreamed I was in my parental home, the one where I've lived for years. I was downstairs, not sure what I was doing, I was the age I am now. I was waiting for mum and dad to come down or come home, something like that. Suddenly I got thinking: 'is this real? it feels strange!' and then I realized: 'they won't show up! is mum dead? or dad? or... both? oh no, they are both dead!' The world around me faded away and I felt sooo sad... Then I woke up crying.
I love dreams about my parents, but not this one! I don't know what to think of it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I wish..! :-)

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

TT #52: Binge Eating Disorder

TT52

Thirteen things about Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Yesterday I told my story about eating disorders in a follow-up meeting of a group of women who have been suffering from Binge Eating Disorder.

It strikes me how much incomprehension people with BED still encounter. Anorexia and bulimia are mostly recognized, but often people with BED are condemned and told "they should just eat less and all will be okay"...

How much do you know about BED?

  • Most of us overeat from time to time, and some of us often feel we have eaten more than we should have. Eating a lot of food does not necessarily mean that you have binge eating disorder though! People with binge eating disorder frequently consume an unusually large amount of food during a short period of time (a limited period, usually less than two hours) and feel out of control during the binges (i.e. the feeling that one cannot stop eating).
  • People with binge eating disorder also may eat more quickly than usual during binge episodes, eat until they are uncomfortably full, eat when they are not physically hungry, eat alone because of embarrassment and feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after binging.
  • People with BED do not show inappropriate compensatory behaviour like purging, excessive exercise, lengthy fasting and/or abuse of laxatives.
  • Serious medical conditions can be a consequence of BED: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease and/or failure, gallbladder disease, arthritis, bone deterioration, stroke or other heart problems, upper respiratory problems, skin disorders, menstrual irregularities, ovarian abnormalities, complications of pregnancy, depression /anxiety and other mood disorders, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse.
  • Social consequences are common. People with BED are extremely distressed by their binge eating. Most have tried to control it on their own but have not succeeded for very long. Some people miss work, school, or social activities to binge eat. Obese people with binge eating disorder often feel bad about themselves, are preoccupied with their appearance, and may avoid social gatherings. Most feel ashamed and try to hide their problem. Often they are so successful that close family members and friends don't know they binge eat.
  • Studies have found that people with BED may find it harder than other people to continue in weight loss treatment. In addition, they may be more likely to regain weight quickly. These are some of the reasons that people with BED may require treatment that focuses on their binge eating before they try to lose weight. Further, even those who are not overweight are frequently distressed by their binge eating and may benefit from treatment.
  • There are several methods currently used to treat BED:
    a. Cognitive-behavioural therapy: Method in which the client is taught techniques to monitor and change their eating habits, as well as to change the way they respond to difficult and stressful situations.
    b. Interpersonal psychotherapy: Method in which the client is taught to examine their relationships with friends and family and to make changes in problem areas.
    c. Medications: Antidepressants may be helpful for some individuals.
    d. Self-help groups: These groups may be a good additional source of support for many.
    Research is still trying to attempting to determine which method or combination of methods is the most effective in controlling BED.
  • Although it has only recently been recognized as a distinct condition, binge eating disorder is probably the most common eating disorder. Most people with BED are obese (more than 20 percent above a healthy body weight), but normal-weight people also can be affected.
  • Obese people with binge eating disorder often became overweight at a younger age than those without the disorder. They also may have more frequent episodes of losing and regaining weight (yo-yo dieting).
  • Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men; estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male.
  • BED is often confused with Compulsive Overeating. It is not exactly the same though. CO is more like eating too much during the day, not necessarily in binges but spread and eaten more steady and calm.
  • No one knows for sure what causes BED. As many as half of all people with binge eating disorder are depressed or have been depressed in the past. Whether depression causes binge eating disorder or whether binge eating disorder causes depression is not known. It is also unclear if dieting and binge eating are related. Some people binge eat after dieting. Dieting here means skipping meals, not eating enough food each day, or avoiding certain kinds of food. These are unhealthy ways to try to change your body shape and weight. Studies suggest that people with binge eating may have trouble handling some of their emotions. Many people who are binge eaters say that being angry, sad, bored, worried, or stressed can cause them to binge eat.
  • Researchers are looking into how brain chemicals and metabolism (the way the body uses calories) affect BED. Other research suggests that genes may be involved in binge eating, since the disorder often occurs in several members of the same family. This research is still in the early stages though.

If you think you might have binge eating disorder, it is important to know that you are not alone. Most people who have the disorder have tried but failed to control it on their own. You may want to get professional help. Talk to your health care provider about the type of help that may be best for you. The good news is that most people do well in treatment and can overcome binge eating for good!


sources: SABN (Dutch foundation of Eating Disorders), ED Referral, WomensHealth.gov, Weight-control Information Network, Healthier You

image in header: Food & Feelings


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Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Sue ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Toni ~*~ Christine d'Abo ~*~ WendyWings ~*~ Shannon ~*~ Mark ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ Lori ~*~ DK ~*~ Tempest Knight ~*~ Wylie Kinson ~*~ Midas ~*~ Starrlight ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Samulli ~*~ Daisy the Curly Cat ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Barbara ~*~ Robin ~*~ Grace ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Debbie ~*~ MissMeliss ~*~ Kris ~*~ scooper ~*~ Jeremy ~*~ Ed ~*~ Bee ~*~ Gabriella ~*~ N.J. Walters ~*~ Daisy Dexter Dobbs ~*~ Darla ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Missy ~*~ Luka ~*~ Mitch ~*~ Candy Minx ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Born2Cree8 ~*~ Dorothy ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ Kuanyin ~*~ colleen ~*~ Lesley ~*~ Ann ~*~ Travis ~*~ Rhian / Crowwoman ~*~ tanabata ~*~ Callista ~*~


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Back

Gaialynn and her kids went home last Sunday. It was a great week for all of us. Ron and I had to get used to having kids around the house, but they showed us some consideration. ;-) They went to the beach, we have played midget golf, Gaialynn and Robyn have been abseiling (!)... I think they enjoyed themselves! The house is very quiet now, feels a bit strange. I liked having them over here a lot, but I also like the peace now.

I finally found time to finish my posts about Anno Domini and Castlefest, so have a look!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Internist

This afternoon I've been to the internist for a check-up. My blood pressure was better: 145-100, lower than last time. The medicines are somewhat raised. My iron value is getting higher too, that's good. I don't have to come back until December!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Guests

This week we are having guests: Gaialynn and her three kids are staying with us. That's why I'm not spending a lot of time on the computer. I don't think I'll have time to do a thursday thirteen. See you later! :-)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Castlefest 2007

Yesterday Wonder, Ron and I went to Castlefest, a medieval/fantasy/pagan festival with lots of stands and great entertainment in the gardens of castle "De Keukenhof" in Lisse. Wonder and I had been there before, for Ron it was all new. He rarely accompagnies me to events like this, so I was glad to be able to share this with him. We met a lot of friends and acquaintances there, like the people we went to Luxemburg with, Gaialynn & Robyn (her daughter), neighbour Monique, etc. Ron and I wore the clothes we bought in Luxemburg: my blue dress and his black shirt.

The weather was great, sunny and warm. I´ve made several rounds to see all the booths and had a great time. I didn´t buy much though. Early when we arrived I had seen lovely wings, made of feathers from different birds. At the end of the day I bought the wing with pheasant feathers. On the big podium there were performances by Rapalje, Faun, The Mediaeval Babes and Omnia. At the end of the evening they were all performing together, that was great! During the last performance of Omnia the Wickerman (or in this case Wickerwoman) was burned. Read about the meaning of burning a wickerman here. I made a movie of it with my camera, but it's too big to upload to YouTube. Other movies: YouTube.

You can see pics on the following links:
Castlefest gallery
4GM
Arne de Laat
Berry van Tuijl
Celtic Satyr
Connie van Hal
Jolanda van Tuijl
Jos Braal (password: enjoy!)
Marcel Bakker
Renate Egberts
Will Stavik (Ron & I are on IMG_0999)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

TT #51: Dutch provinces

TT51

Thirteen provinces of The Netherlands

This week I decided to teach you a geography (and a bit of history) lesson about my country.

  • I have to cheat right away, because my country only has 12 provinces. :-) I'll use the opportunity to tell you that "Holland" is not interchangeable with "The Netherlands". Holland is only a small part of the Netherlands. We have North-Holland and South-Holland. Holland used to be an independent country. It had a Count, its own coinage (until the 19th century), its own measuring units and time - but it gave up that independence in the 16th century, when it allied with the Northern and Southern Netherlands against the armies of the King of Spain whom at the time was officially the Count of Holland and ruled over this whole area. The main reasons for war were religious differences, disputes over taxes and the fact that when some cities wanted to break free, the King's army was quite brutal to civilians. Eventually the Southern Netherlands gave up the fight and stayed occupied by foreign forces until 1830. That area is now called Belgium. The Northern Netherlands fought on and won. The counties of Holland, Drente, Groningen, Friesland, Gelderland, Zeeland and Utrecht formed a free Republic, including the occupied regions of Brabant and Limburg. All these counties (called provinces today, together with some new ones) are now called "The Kingdom of The Netherlands." Today the province of Limburg still has a Governor and to say to someone from Limburg or Friesland that he or she is from Holland, is considered an insult. They are not! They consider themselves to be from the Netherlands. They even have their own language. People from other provinces (except North and South Holland) will perhaps not consider it a real insult, but still they're not from Holland. In summary, Holland gave up its individual independence a very long time ago, so calling the Netherlands "Holland", is much like calling Great Britain "England." Wrong in both cases. (source: WorldAtlas)

  • Zuid Holland - capital Den Haag or 's Gravenhage (The Hague) , seat of national government and the Queen’s official place of residence. Rotterdam with its mainport is the largest city.
  • Noord Holland - capital Haarlem. Amsterdam is also in this province, but that's the capital of the whole country.
  • Noord Brabant - capital Den Bosch or 's Hertogenbosch. Eindhoven is the largest city. South Brabant is now part of Belgium.
  • Gelderland - capital Arnhem (remember "A Bridge Too Far"?). The old city of Nijmegen is also internationally known because of the yearly Vierdaagse.
  • Utrecht - capital Utrecht. The smallest province and geographically the heart of The Netherlands.
  • Limburg - capital Maastricht. Situated between (Brabant, )Belgium and Germany. Perhaps you've heard of the American Military Cemetery in Margraten.
  • Overijssel - capital Zwolle. It has three areas: Twente, Salland and North-Overijssel. Deventer, Kampen and Zwolle were powerful Hanseatic towns.
  • Friesland - capital Leeuwarden. Has its own language (not dialect!) Frisian, also known because of the Elfstedentocht.
  • Groningen - capital Groningen. Consisting of Groningen City and surrounding areas, often called the "Ommelanden'' (lands around).
  • Drenthe - capital Assen. Well-known in our country and abroad for the Hunebedden (megaliths).
  • Zeeland - capital Middelburg. The Delta Works are world famous, built after the colossal flood disaster in 1953.
  • Flevoland - capital Lelystad. The newest province of The Netherlands. First all of it was water, the Zuiderzee. After closing the sea and the impoldering it became land in the 20th century.

See a more detailed map here. If you follow the blue line from Amsterdam to the coast (the North Sea Channel) my place of residence IJmuiden is on the end.

Of course there's sooooooo much more to tell about each of the provinces with their own unique qualities, but right know I just wanted you to know about the mere existence. :-) If you want to explore, go to Wikipedia for a list of figures and more info!

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Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Weigh In 3

The 10:4 challenge is three months on its way; here's my "score"...

  • April 3 (my start): 110.2 kg - 46% fat - BMI 36.8
  • May 1 (10:4 start): 104.9 kg - 45% fat - BMI 35
  • June 5 (1st update): 99.3 kg - 43% fat - BMI 33.2
  • July 3 (2nd update): 97.5 kg - 41% fat - BMI 32.6
  • Aug. 1 (3rd update): 93.5 kg - 42% fat - BMI 31.2
(1 kg = 2.205 lbs)

My goal for July was to get to 95. I succeeded there. Last week I was around 95 and a bit below, but all the exercise in Luxemburg (a lot of walking, up and down hill) must have given it another boost. Strangely enough the fat percentage is a bit higher (I rounded it off, so not a whole %) than last month. Ah well... Perhaps next month it will be less again. I'd like to get beyond the 90 limit, but we'll see if I can accomplish that before the challenge ends. I'm planning to get there anyway, sooner or (not too much!) later.
People start noticing my weight loss and give me compliments. I'm not that good in receiving compliments, but I love to hear them! And I need them too, because I don't always notice the difference myself. Yes, I'm wearing a smaller jeans size, but in the mirror it is still difficult for me to see. Distorted body image for life...?
I've got the Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer I told you about in my last update and it's fabulous! So much easier to use and to clean, I love it! I can throw whole apples, kiwi's etc. in the large opening. Only thick peels and big seeds have to be removed. The juices are yummy!