Art and Health


First.. Health: 

My good friend and artist, Amy, is part of the 37 day challenge (please click the link to read about it).    “The object of the challenge is to do something small that is doable, actionable, recognizable and to do it consistently for 37 days.”  For Amy, she is challenging herself to cut the sugars down in her daily diet.    Although, I am not doing the “challenge”, I have had a wake up call.. ironically on the same day that Amy started her challenge.  I had my physical on 3/30, and yes, I am overweight.  The blood work came back showing high cholesterol and a bit high on my sugars.. in other words, if I don’t clean up my act, I’ll end up a diabetic.  Ok.. so just seeing the “D” word really scared the beans out of me (not the having a high LDL number didn’t)  so……..I called a Nutrtionist, set up an appointment and asked her to be my partner in helping me really change my “weighs”.  So, now I have this one on one relationship with her..  No weekly Weight Watcher classes that I’ve done dozens of times. Don’t get me wrong.. WW is a great program and very sensible and I have been succesful on it several times… see the key word is “several”.  

I learned so much from my Nutrionist, Kim,  that really opened my eyes.. and it really comes down to the sugars/carbs in our diets.. and of course portion control.   She also told me that the USA is the only country that spends billions of dollars of trying to figure out how to make foods sugar-free and fat free and we are still the heaviest country.   She says I should be taking 10,000 steps a day… “excuse me, what did  you say”?  She gave me a pedometer… I got up to over 4000 which included my walk. It takes 5 miles to take 10,000 steps… gulp!   I can only imagine how many steps I did when I wasn’t active.. maybe 500.   I have to promise myself that I will not get obsessed with this..or I’ll burn out.  I just have to incorporate my changes into my life and if I miss a workout one day, I won’t beat myself up.  I will not deprive myself, but I will not over do either.  I am excited to meet Kim every month now as my personal coach to getting healthy.

Since my 3/30 physical, I have considerably cut my sugars/carbs, bought a used Elliptical (omg, that is hard to do) and have dropped about 7 pounds in 14 days.  I started my walking again too.  If I do the elliptical everyday I will get bored and give up..  So, between walking, elliptical, weight training, that’s should give me some rounded workouts.   I’ve also started to take a mult-vitamin every day, since my results also showed I was a bit anemic. 

Thanks, Amy, for sharing your challenge which led me to share mine, which, believe me,  isn’t easy.  Dieting has always been a secret for me.. maybe if I don’t tell anyone I’m dieting and if I fail, no one will know.  WHOA!…. where did that come from?  Today, I am brave.       Maybe sharing our experiences will help others share theirs and get it off their minds, chests, shoulders, butts.. whatever you want to get it off of.

I’d love to hear from anyone who is also trying to get healthy and their trials and challenges.

Ok.. now for some ART:

Have you ever used decorative napkins as a background in your work?  They are just so beautiful.  Using gel medium, they just “melt” onto your surface.

Here is a napkin before separating the 3-ply layers and below that, are the results of a small 6×6 canvas that I used it on for a background.



Separate the 3-plys in the napkin.  Spread gel medium on the canvas and lay the decorative napkin on top as a whole or rip it.. then brush more medium over it…be careful to to brush too much or the napkin will tear, but that may be what you want too.   I added paint applied by circle shape and through a doily, music paper and music paper with a resin coat (under Mona), polymer clay heart that i made and sewed with wire, ceiling glitter, the Mona Lisa angel is from ArtChix Studios collage sheets.. LOVE THEM!

Thanks for listening and stopping by.

Walk on!


About Judy Shea

Welcome to my blog. I'm a Mixed Media/Polymer Clay Artist. I do have a full-time job (not as an artist). My art includes, textural collage works on canvas, cardboard, wood or other substrates using paints, molding pastes, inks, fabric, a variety of found objects and handmade polymer clay pieces. Life/Work balance is what I strive for.

5 responses »

  1. Hi Judy,

    Thanks for the shout-out and for sharing your story. You already know how proud I am of you for making these changes. We’ll definitely be each others personal cheering section.

    Variety in exercise is key. I get bored easily as well. It is kind of like needing variety in our art. Must be why we love our mixed media creations!

    Good luck with your exercise program. They say it takes 21 days to make these things a habit. I’m on Day 15 of reducing sugar in my diet; more than half way to 21 and almost half way to 37. Like the little train that could says “I think I can, I think I can…”

    We can do it!



  2. Congratulations, Judy, for taking the courageous step to change your eating lifestyle!
    I know what you mean about exercising. I get bored so easily with one type of exercise, whether it be the gym, walking or an exercise class. You’re absolutely right that the key is to mix it up and do a whole bunch of different things to keep your body moving.
    That is wonderful that you have a coach to encourage you and mentor you in your getting healthy journey! It’s a good thing to have someone to keep you “on track” and accountable with your goals. I have my physical therapists and they are really good at kicking my butt to keep me going with my shoulder exercises.

    I’ve been thinking about the 37 day challenge ever since I read Amy’s post. I’d like to take up that challenge myself. For me, it would be incorporating more physical movement in my life. You and Amy are my inspirations!

    Speaking of inspiration, your collage is so vibrantly gorgeous! What a great idea to use pretty napkins in a mixed media project. As you know, I just started on an art journaling journey. I want to add napkins to one of my pages now! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Day 18 « Musings from the Moonroom

  4. Hi. My journey towards a healthy balanced lifestyle began almost six years ago. Change the way I think about myself, food and exercise have been the life changes that have made me successful so far. I was morbidly obese and hated myself. As I have learned to believe and love myself and change my thinking I have been able to be love myself and it is showing on the outside.

    I am now a personal trainer and I tell my clients and myself, your food choices are 70-80% of your weight loss success.

    BTW, I love the elliptical and have learned with great rocking music or someone fun to sweat with can make the time go by so much quicker!!

    Your collage is amazing!!

    I will be glad to encourage you anyway I can. Healthy people helped me change and I want to help others believe it is never to late to change!!

  5. Ruthie.. thank you for replying…. You are my inspiration.. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!! You must feel great
    You have an amazing story. So far so good with me… I’ve lost about 10 lbs as of about two weeks ago, but I have not jumped on the scale again.. I don’t want to be so obsessive about it. I go to my nutritionist next week and and I am looking forward to that visit. I think we both will be pleased. I agree that the food choices are so key to being successful… and the portion control. There is a new show on “Lifetime” called “Eating Yourself Thin”.. The recipes are wonderful.. really cutting down the calories. I do love the elliptical, but I still cannot do a full 5 minutes without my glutes killing me.. so I do intervals which I think is very good. .. and I walk too. The music makes all the difference in the world, I think, too.

    Thank you again for responding and sharing your story. I would love to keep in touch… You can reach me at If you give me yours, we can keep in touch off line.

    Thanks for the compliments on the collage…


Let me know what you think about this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s