Life and loss…

Katherine with bow & strings!One of my goals this year has been to continue working on my health and weight. At the beginning of 2012 I had lost 40 pounds. Now, a month and a half later, I have lost another 7 pounds.

Back in January of 2010 I decided that I needed to change my life. Why? Well, it had to do with men… Ok, not the way you are thinking… I was jamming with some friends and one of them decided to weigh himself. It turns out that he weighed less than me, and he is not a small man. Then, at a rehearsal with some other guys, one decided to sit on the hearth at his house. I watched him sit down and thought, “I’d like to be able to sit on something that low that easily!” Here I was feeling envious of two guys…

So, January of 2010 I decided that I was too young to feel as old as I did. The floor was getting further away, as were my feet! I do not claim to be any sort of expert, but here is what has worked for me.

I decided not to join a gym or any sort of program that would tell me what to eat. I pretty much knew what I was doing that was bad for me… I’ve got to say, I enjoyed it too! I enjoyed the late night eating, the snacking, the sweet, the salt! It was all really tasty!

My goals are to eat much better. I always eat better when I am busy, which I know seems counter-intuitive. When I am teaching I make sure to cook food ahead that I pack away in meal sized servings. There is no option of going back for seconds. Also, when I am teaching, I am not wandering around the house eating whatever I can find. Once I eat the food I bring along, I am done. Other things I am trying to do is only eat fruit and vegetables between meals. That is, of course, never what I desire! My other big rule is not eating after 8:30pm. I know that some people say that time should be earlier, but with my life, 8:30pm seems to be working. Last thing is that I have been trying to drink more water.

The other thing that I have been doing to try to improve my health is exercise. I have been walking 30 minutes a day and have also been doing some weight exercises off and on over the last couple of years. There seems to be disagreement about exercise and weight loss, but no matter what, it is good for my health to be active.

One thing I find interesting about this is that by now it is not all that hard. This is one of those times in my life when I am thinking “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” I have not given up any foods… I still eat pizza, ice cream, chips… I just don’t eat them as much or as often as before. I am not winning any sort of race for the speed at which I am losing weight, but my aim was to do it on my own terms, at my own speed, in a way that I thought I could maintain! I am not depriving myself, but am also trying not to binge too often!

I do feel much better now that I have lost a total of 47 pounds. I am certainly not at a point where I am going to stop trying to improve me health, but am delighted with the results so far! This is one of those things that I think is a life-long project.


Meet my idol

Alasdair FraserAll of us have idols in our lives. People that we look up to in some way or another. My idol, as far as fiddling goes, is Alasdair Fraser.

Alasdair is a Scottish fiddler who now resides in California. He tours quite a lot, most recently with Natalie Haas, a cellist. I don’t remember when I first heard Alasdair, but have been able to see him perform many times, and have enjoyed it each time! One of my earliest memories of watching him perform was at the New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon Mountain.

So, why is this man my idol? It has all got to do with his tone. Various people like different things in fiddle music. For me, one of the big things that I listen for, and also aspire to, is a beautiful, singing tone. Alasdair has that tone!

There is no extraneous sound and no scratching! His sound is very clean. His playing also seems to be completely effortless.

One of the things that I have always loved about the Scottish and Irish styles of fiddling is the lilt to the music. The fast tunes are energetic and driving, but there is a swing to the music. A lilt that always brings a smile to my face!
Perhaps one of the reasons I have been drawn to Alasdair Fraser is that he is classically trained, as am I. This means that he has been trained to listen to his tone and has also trained to work on bow control. Sometimes you will hear people comment on a fiddler being classically trained as if it is a negative thing, but to me it seems to work well for Alasdair.

If you want to hear my idol in action, check out Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas in Boston on YouTube.

You can also visit his site at:

This is what I aspire to be and to sound like!