Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post Christmas Recovery

This week has been fairly quiet. I have been back to normal foods. I like getting back to normal food. I look forward to it and miss it when I don't have it. I like that. Not that I am losing weight or anything but my Christmas gain was just a couple pounds that came right back off. I did not go into Christmas with any pounds to spare, though, so I still need to lose some more. I don't like that tight feeling, etc.

So, Christmas was somewhat of an endurance test. I decided to take brother with us to see Mom and Dad. Brother can be tedious to be around and the two hour car trip can be nerve racking after a while with the constant chatter and intensity of his conversations. This year the weather was a little bad, there were ice patches, a bit of snow, and strong winds. I was nervous. I told him I was going to listen to Christmas music and not talk much so I could relax for driving. He was excited about the bad weather which I found a bit annoying because he was not the one who had to drive. Anyway, we hit a standstill because of an accident and to make a long long story short, we sat, crept, and inched in traffic for a little over two hours, and then still had two more hours or so ahead to drive in the wind and slick patches. I was determined to see my Mom because she had sounded really down when I talked to her in the morning. So I was steadfast behind the wheel.

I felt like a champion when we arrived having endured the long trip without being a crab. I credit my pleasant state of mind to the infinite supply of Christmas music on the radio. I love Christmas music, so I sang along, danced in my seat, and tuned into a variety of music. All went well during the visit. Dad liked the soft cookies I had baked special for him. We all sat around the table together, had dinner and passed around presents. Dad napped for a while and we visited with Mom. I am so glad we did not give up because of weather or traffic. It lifted my mother's spirits to have us there. We left her with cash and gifts and a clean sink.

The trip back was easy. And it was great to get home. I am glad we brought my brother but it was nice to drop him off, too (sort of like grand kids?). We were glad he did not spend the holiday alone. We also had taken him looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve with us. We were focused on being charitable this year, so I explained to the kids that we were being charitable with our time and our holiday by including him even though at times he is hard to be around. We enjoyed lots of good times at home over the holiday weekend but I was left feeling a little worn out.

So I have been recuperating from the rush of the holiday, the not normal foods, the busy and intense week I had last week at work, and from the stresses of getting the right medical care for my daughter. I am happy to say that we have found a good psychiatrist. She also loves her therapist and so do I. It is relief to feel she is in good hands. Now I can focus a little more on taking care of me. I have been reading health and fitness magazines. I love doing that. I submerge myself in information. I have been focused on getting back into the right foods for me and limiting portions. I have felt tired, though, and a bit like I am coming down with a cold so exercise has not been too hot.

I want to sleep for New Year's and do absolutely nothing. I want to go to the gym and have my steam/swim tomorrow and then lounge around and read fitness magazines and sleep. I'd like to take a chilly bike ride on the trail sometime this weekend. I miss my bike rides. I think I need some time to do whatever I feel like doing.

More will be revealed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stuff

This week my daughter and I spent a full day (Wednesday) in the ER for her panic/anxiety. We have finally found a therapist who saw us the following day in the evening. We also found a new MD who saw her Friday for over an hour. It was a week of revealing information and much time spent with medical people. It was scary and I think I am in a bit of a shock. The good news is that my daughter is getting some help. There is no instant cure for what she is dealing with but there is help. I have been looking for a therapist that would be a good fit for her and a new doc and this week after persistent phone calls and such, I finally found them. They are on the same street and about two miles from our house. They are available, flexible and they both spent way more than the average visit with us. Over an hour. I think it is amazing.

I had no idea my daughter struggled as much as she did during the school day. Now I understand why she spends so much time at home in the evening on her studies. She basically home schools herself (doing a good job with a GPA of 4.0) because in class she struggles with anxiety so much that it is hard to participate. Anyway, I don't want to get into her personal stuff on here too much but I am both releived to understand some of it but also sad that I never knew before so that I could be more helpful. She was so highly functional except for the sleep problems that I did not know how bad it was.

So I missed work and had to work Saturday because we have a big deal closing right before Christmas and a trial in the first week of the new year. I am just glad I have work frankly and that I have insurance and am getting paid. So the week was a balancing act. My mood is good but I think I am in survival mode. We Christmas shopped last night which was nice. For a few days we forgot about the holiday entirely but we are back into it.

Things will get better but right now I need to be there even more than usual for the kids. Grandson lost his other Grandmother right after Christmas in January 2007. Even though it was a few years back, it is still present. I feel good about where we are as a family. I feel good about the holidays and life in general. But the gym is on the back burner this weekend and food, well, not so bad but not so great, either.

I had a friend give me a guilt trip yesterday because I cancelled plans because I was working so long. I don't need friends like that right now. I was really happy to be working and focused yesterday because I was way too distracted during the week. No, I don't have time to entertain people, but I do have time for the priorities in my life right now. And that's what matters to me today.

More will be revealed..

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Favorite Workout

I did my favorite workout today. It's the pool, steam, sauna, repeat workout. I do laps of my pool work out, then steam, sauna and back to pool for laps. I felt so good afterwards that I did cardio and weight resistance in the gym. Then I felt so good that I tackled Christmas shopping...
I can't wait to go back and do it again.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Today's Inspiration

Today's inspiration came from Knit, Run, Repeat. I was reminded of perseverance. Never giving up. It has been a while since I wrote about that. I have felt myself to be in a slump, maintaining the greater share of my overall loss but longing to get those ten pounds off. I stay gentle with myself, though, because I can turn a goal into a cycle of self abuse....seeing myself as a failure and using it to bash myself.

So this past year I mainly focused on working very hard at my job and dealing with the impending job loss, and the resulting job change. It was great to not gain tons of weight with the stress of it all. It was fantastic to work very hard and have it pay off. It was even more fantastic to see it as an opportunity (most of the time) and the get some help (therapy) during the thick of it all. My weight loss was on the back burner but maintaining and not gaining over that scare weight threshold was not.

I can pick my battles and draw my lines. My life has to be a balance of sorts. Self acceptance at any weight, phase, state of mind, or ANY situation is crucial. Essential. It is wonderful to want better, it is good to set goals. But it is the foundation of my peace of mind to find the joy, beauty and love right where I am at this moment, this day, this body, and this life in the here and now - NO MATTER WHAT....

More will be revealed and thanks to the running knitter!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Return of Energy

I had energy today and I was in a mysteriously good mood all day. Mysterious because last night I had a mini-meltdown when I came home and went into the depths for some of the evening. I came home in a rush and wanted to make a nice dinner but the kitchen counters and dining room table were covered with a smear of stuff. Plus, dirty dishes in the sink really get to me and we did not do them the night before, because I had worked until 7 and had a 7:30 pm conference call. Working with people across the planet sometimes calls for odd hours. So Monday night there was no time for housekeeping.

Anyway, back to the meltdown, I had grocery shopped on the way home and arrived with a large load of stuff. I find grocery shopping strenuous but I was in a good mood because I had things I thought the kids would really enjoy. Daughter helped with all the unpacking and I started prepping for dinner (with my coat still on.... bad idea) in a bit of a rush. I kept running into roadblocks, no room on the counter, dishes not clean, etc. In fact, there was not a clean spot to lay out a meal. Instead of taking a deep breath, changing clothes and enlisting kids to help prior to getting the food ready I got all bent out of shape. Daughter was snippy, too and that only added fuel to my fire. I gave them their food and left vowing not to return unless the house was clean ... stating I would check into a hotel if I had to (wouldn't' that be nice..in fantasy land that is) but I did not really mean it.

I took myself to a cafe and had a very healthy salad. I sat and thought about what a lousy human being I was, not keeping a clean house, not being nice to the kids, losing my temper and so on. I rested. I felt guilty. I texted an apology. I got apologies by text. Eventually, after I was sedated by a nice hot herbal tea, I came home. I did not deal with the mess. I decided to go to bed and rest because I knew if I just ended the day I would feel right again in the morning. If I can do that on nights where I feel stressed it is always better in the morning. I call it sleeping off the day. Some days you just have to sleep it all off.

Maybe I rested well. Who knows. I was two pounds lighter this morning and in a much better frame of mind. I felt happy at work, had a bounce in my step, and tonight I cleaned what was left in the kitchen after daughter did her part. I put a silly party hat on my head that was sitting in the garage before entered the house. I wanted to keep things light no matter what. Daughter had gone out to dinner with a friend. Grandson had an easy meal and I made myself a stir fry of shrimp and broccoli. A far better evening already.

I don't know what the point of all this is really except that no matter how lousy I feel one day I know that if I just stick it out, and, if possible, go to bed early to put it to rest, I will feel better. None of the doom and gloom, angry, stressed, frustrated moods last forever. I refused to overeat last night. I was on thin ice and that would have made it much worse. So I enjoyed the benefit today of feeling lighter and rested.

Sleep and abstinence, what great combination!

One more thing, I have been enjoying herbal teas at work. They satisfy me in between meals. I keep an assortment in my desk. I'd like to make tea in the evening to stave off that evening eating but often do not think of it. I think I will buy some new kinds that I can look forward to. Fruity ones perhaps.

More will be revealed..

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tiredness

I am tired today because my daughter and I knitted into the wee hours last night. It was my first project and it got a little out of control. I kept mysteriously adding stitches and my scarf had to be terminated early. It would make a nice headband maybe or some sort of knitted collar or even a hood of sorts. I love the yard, and I have started again and can keep track of my stitches so I do not have the same problem again. I had a productive weekend in some ways and not so productive in others.

We put up Christmas lights. I really like our little display. I shopped yesterday morning and picked out a few things. Grandson helped me put them up. They look nice. Not too much and not too little. Simple. I also put up the tree and got the lights on it plus my little shrine of angels and ornaments dedicated to my two sons. I set up the little village and figures and other items that decorate the entertainment center, and even hung stockings on the mantle. Now we just have the rest of the tree decorating to do.

I have even watched a few of my holiday movies. Last year I don't think I got around to it. This year I am starting early and enjoying my collection. I collect different versions of A Christmas Carol, and other holiday movies. I love watching them with the glow of the tree lights nearby.

Got a good walk in yesterday but was too tired today for anything. I can't stay up late anymore, it makes me too tired the next day. I did not go overboard with food this weekend but I did not have a very good food plan, either so I suppose I am still in maintenance mode and not losing mode yet. I want to be in losing mode but I have to do the work. I have had an aversion to green veggies and any veggies for that matter the past week or so. Very odd for me. But I made a big salad yesterday and am prepared for the week with my veggie supply.

Planning to go to the gym on my way home tomorrow. I even prepped a casserole for the kids to pop in the oven for their dinner so I don't have to worry about that. As for me I hope to nibble lightly after a workout.

More will be revealed!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday already!

This week seems to be going by fast. Yesterday was odd - I went to the gym after work for cardio. I felt great when I got home but then I commenced to eat too much. Phooey. So today I had little appetite. I have been faithful in my morning exercises but that evening eating has got to go! I am at the library blogging while daughter looks for books. Free wifi on the mini laptop. I am going to browse magazines, too. One of my favorite passtimes. I have also taken up knitting. Need to keep the hands busy so they can't reach for food..Tonight is much better than last night. I am finished eating. Case closed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post Eating Holiday Detox

Thanksgiving went pretty good. I did not get that uncomfortable way too full feeling, did not load up on desserts, etc. I did eat more than normal. I did enjoy what I ate. Daughter and I talked about holiday depression afterwards because seeing my father in his condition and then stopping by and seeing my brother had an impact on her this year. Family events always have an impact on me. She talked about how things will never be like they used to be at holidays. This year my father went in his room at dinner time and did not want to come out to the table to eat. We understood. Nobody took it personally. He was overwhelmed for one thing. He had sat at the dining room table for longer than usual while we were having the appetizer/relish tray and he also came out and sat for quite a while having dessert.

We don't get to have all the family together for a number of reasons right now. My brother can't be around Dad because the Alzheimer's has impacted Dad in a way that makes him a little hostile toward my brother, and my brother's mental illness adds to it, and makes it hard for him to understand what is going on with my Dad. So brother had Thanksgiving alone but for the brief stop by from the kids and me on our way home dropping off dinner to him. My sons are not able to be with any of us - we have to visit them in separate parts of the state. So, yes, holidays are not big family gatherings. I guess I have grown used to it. But when Daughter pointed it out this year we had a long talk about that sort of thing. We also talked about how we want to deal with holidays this year. Our idea is to focus on giving, and we chose a couple of charities we like.

I felt tired and off focus on Friday and I had to go in to work. Long story about time off and holidays, very confusing. I could have been off and from now on will take off on holidays. I was at my pre-holiday weight on Saturday morning which was good, but Saturday I developed what I consider a migraine, in fact looking back now I believe it started Friday. So Saturday was tricky. I joined a new gym with a wet area on Friday night but Saturday I just could not get it together to bike ride or go to the gym. We opted for a movie night. And I ordered pizza. I got that uncomfortable full feeling, and I ate too much.

So now comes the detox part. I slept really good last night and for a long time. I got up and the migraine feelings were all gone. I detoxed today. I drank water, I went to the gym. I had cardio, steam room and sauna. I did lower body resistance machines. It felt good and eased the post holiday blues. I ate very little all day and had a nice dinner with the kids in the evening which did not involved any over eating or unhealthy trigger foods. I feel really good right now. Looking back on the pizza thing, I don't really know how bad it was actually except that I got too full. It was thin crust and pretty light for pizza that is, but I just had too much of it, plus a large helping of salad in addition to what I ate waiting for the pizza guy... But that's over now and time to move on.

I will see if I am back to my pre-holiday weight again in the morning. I am glad I joined the new gym. It is not far from home and it has everything I like. The pool is not so big but technically has four lanes. There is only one divider, though and then there are two striped lanes in each divided area. So sharing is important and I am timid being around big time swimmers but I will get in there and do my thing. There are yoga classes, too, and I think I might do a water class. I am looking forward to it. I love the steam room. I feel so good afterward.

So I am detoxing from the holiday. There were good parts and not as good parts. Sad elements and happy ones. I took a walk in the woods and I took Daughter for driving practice on the country road at Mom and Dad's place. There are many things to be grateful for but I do need to deal with the grief. I've been stuffing feelings lately so probably a good thing that Daughter is vocalizing things now.

More will be revealed..

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting Ready and Getting Grateful

I am getting ready for Thanksgiving. We are going to see my parents. We are keeping things simple. My mom is consumed most of the time with Dad's Alzheimer's condition so there is no need to add extra work with food preparation. She is putting a turkey in the oven and some sweet potatoes baked plain so whoever wants to dress them up can add ingredients. I am making a broccoli casserole for the kids. Each kid picked a dessert. If Mom feels like baking a pie she will. I am bringing raw veggies and cheese and crackers, gherkins and artichoke hearts, jumbo shrimp and crab meat for a relish tray. Odd combinations perhaps but I just picked out some things that we like. I will be looking forward to the turkey, and the appetizers. I love shrimp. I bought some very spicy cocktail sauce. I am looking forward to foods that are safe for me to eat.

My treat is special coffee with Mom. I bought one of those brew by the cup things, do they have a name? You put it on top of the cup, with a filter in it, place the coffee in the filter and pour hot water through it. I love them. I have one at work. I have special decaf and regular. Biscotti and cool whip free. That is my dessert to savor with Mom. I am looking forward to the warmth of companionship. I love spending time with my Mom. I love being in the country at their house. This could be the last Thanksgiving there. It it getting too hard for her to live out there with Dad being in his condition. So I am going to savor the front porch, the woods and the whole experience. The healing aroma of the turkey warming the house. Maybe a family favorite Christmas movie in the evening. I want to look at pictures and share fond memories of our lives together. I want my Mom and I to tell stories to the kids about how things used to be. These are precious gifts that money cannot buy.

I am not worried about overeating, or weight gain. I am just looking forward to being there and enjoying a good meal. I am eating less in the days prior. Today is a very good day. I was too busy to have t0 worry about evening eating. I visited my brother who is doing good in his little place. He works just enough hours to support himself and even put a little money back now. I am so glad he found that little spot to live in. It is so affordable, and so simple and cozy for him. He is not going with us to Mom and Dad's because he is still getting over the trauma of living with Dad last year. He has trouble with the Alzheimer's impact on Dad, and Dad had trouble accepting him in the house so we may try for a Christmas visit.

My renter called today (she paid the rent this month, last Thursday, but she paid..) around 4 p.m. wanting me to fix the oven before Thanksgiving. I did not know it needed fixing but it heats up slow and it is a gas oven. Fortunately I called an appliance place and someone is coming out. I told them what I was willing to spend to fix it and we will just have to see what the deal is. It is kind of last minute for a repair like that. I can't take off work but the repairman is going to call me from the job. I hope it works out ok. Last week she called and said water was dripping from a vent but it was because her kids had been overflowing the upstairs toilet and not cleaning it up and water leaked heaven knows where and ended up in the vents. I cringe to think of the house right now but I make the repairs promptly. I cautioned her about negligence with plumbing and water and explained that she would be responsible for her kids leaving water on floors and so on. I want to think she cares but it does not matter. I take it as it comes. It is what it is. She paid November's rent in November. I keep thinking if I am the best landlord she will pay on time but that's kinda silly really.

Anyway I did not have a food event over the house repair. Things breaking at the house used to really really freak me out but I am getting so much better. I just pay people to fix them and thank God, the universe, and whatever other entities are out there working in my favor, that I have the means to pay these people. Speaking of which I got a bill from the lawyer. It was worth it to have his advice even though I never had him do anything yet.

Well I am getting ready to sleep and want to read some blogs. I am stepping up my blog reading so I can sail through these food festivals without remorse, self loathing and feel great about what I eat and who I am eating it with....

I am grateful that I can pay to have the oven fixed. Grateful that I have someone living in that house. Grateful she pays even if its late. Grateful that she and her children will enjoy a thanksgiving dinner together in the cute little house.

Amen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

I bought myself a netbook or notebook or mini as it is called. I have been planning this for a while. I wanted an easy transaction. I wanted to walk in a retail store and buy something off the shelf, stress free at a price I could live with. I wanted it to work right away and it to feel easy.

So tonight I was shopping with the idea that if the opportunity arose I would look. If you guys recall I had a nightmare of an experience buying my laptop over the phone and had problems upon problems and most of it centered on customer service over the phone. So, tonight I was out and popped in an office supply store to look. They had what I wanted in a couple of brands and sizes. The manager had lots of time to spend with me and when he was called away he had a techie guy hang out with me. I know business is slow and I am glad to buy from people these days because it helps the economy. But I am very impressed with good honest customer service. These guys actually sold me the smaller less expensive model. The guy kept telling me from time to time that the one that cost more was not in comparison that much better for the money.

It was great really. It was easy. I got to ask all my questions, play with the products and he threw in a free case. If my mini goes on sale on black Friday or any time in the next thirty days or so, I get the price difference or something like that. I have real people to call about it. Or even go see for service. I even bought the protection plan so if it falls out of my backpack, or I drop it down the stairs I can get it fixed or replaced. He also stressed that if I don't like it I can return it within 30 days after trying it out. I feel so good about this. I got the little guy out in the car and packed it in its case and went straight to a free wifi coffee joint. I set it up in a matter of 15 minutes and have been happily blogging ever since.

I can slip this little notebook in my purse. The screen is big enough for my older eyes to see all I want to see, the keys on the keyboard are big, and it is very user friendly. Happy Happy joy joy. I want to hide it from the kids for as long as possible. I have missed blogging at the coffee house so much. And being mobile with the laptop.

Anyway, I had a pretty good bike ride (actuall two) today but I am still lugging around the extra weight I do not want. I have to put it in perspective, though. Tonight when I was out I stopped in a store because I saw a sweater I liked. The sales lady came to greet me and I told her I thought the sweater was pretty. She very sweetly told me none of the clothes there would fit me because it was a plus sized store. I still feel big but people see me as normal sized. I told her the clothes were all so cute and she jokingly said "you will just have to eat more!" Well, I won't be doing that.

In fact I have decided to eat less, but savor more. That's my motto for today and the holidays. Eat less, savor more. Eat less, love more. Eat less, move more. Eat less, play more. Eat less, run more. Eat less, walk, bike, dance.. more. You get it...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spicy Food

I am enjoying a spicy salad while waiting for my chicken breast to bake. I use spicy hot salsa and cottage cheese to make a dressing for my spicy salads. I have read that eating spicy food curbs the appetite but I am not sure if that is true for me. I will see tonight since evenings have been challenging lately. I have been working hard and feeling very productive at my new job and when I get home I feel like lounging around. I want to start an evening exercise ritual of some sort. Anyway, I will have to report back tomorrow on the spicy food experiment...

Grateful today for how hard my daughter studies, and how well behaved both my teenagers are! Can't say the boy studies, I never see a book open in front of him, but his grades are good so far..

Been forgetting my gratitudes..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Biking for Distance

Today I challenged myself on my bike ride. I did an eight mile round trip and tried to work on speed and endurance. I went four miles took a short water break and had small snack and then turned around and went the four miles back. It was a great workout. I don't usually go that far and I never measure really or time myself. It was nice to have a goal and to feel like I accomplished something. I know I can go further, but this was good for today. Then I had my cozy coffee experience afterward. It got steadily colder during the day so I am glad I rode when I did. It is raining now.

There may not be as much nice weather since we are into mid-November now but I plan to ride when I can and now that outdoor activity is limited I guess I can start hitting the gym again. I want to pay up a membership where there is a pool. I miss swimming!

Got to get to sleep for now. Trying to bump up the exercise before the next eating holiday. I love warm fires and baking. Today I cooked a roast. I can still bake and roast, just have to make sure I do it in a way that does not sabatoge my healthy eating!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally a Photo!




Finally uploaded pictures from our trip. I like this one of the three of us at the Bean... I have been getting over being sick and my energy is getting better. The first couple of days this week I felt pretty lousy at work but not unbearable. A little better every day. Just wanted to share a photo. More later...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Library

Daughter was sick all last week. I have it now in a milder version, but I am trying to ignore it as much as I can. It is mostly a cough and upper respiratory ick and I tire easy. I am taking extra vitamin C and lots of liquid. It is such a beautiful weekend I did not want to miss out on the weather. I did my favorite Saturday morning ritual of a bike ride and coffee shop yesterday. I took it easy on the bike ride. This morning I stayed in prepping veggies for the week but may do a nice dog walk on the river front if I feel up to it. The fresh air should do me good.

We cleaned house yesterday downstairs and that makes my room mess even more unbearable. I am not up to that task yet so I have set up shop in the library. I love this room. It is bright all day with natural light. It is full of books and inspiration. It is just big enough for a small couch and a chair. I watched a movie in here on my laptop last night and also lounged around reading from some of the many books. I have a lot of great books. I added a couple that I found to my coffee table books. I don't buy books too much anymore but we used to go to the bookstore often when daughter was younger. We'd relax and read for hours and then each pick a book to bring home.

I had lost five pounds as of the middle of last week, staying faithfully on a program of healthy eating but when I got sick I started eating weird stuff. Three pounds were back this morning but I am not worried. I am stabilizing today and that fluctuation will go back down. I wish I had not deviated but I am not going to beat myself up and get all sad over it. I am moving on. I stocked up with the veggies and lean protein and I am prepared. One thing that helps me is to clean, cut, chop, peel, etc. all the fresh veggies on the weekend after I purchase them. If I don't then during the week I am far less likely to use them because the task of preparation is too daunting. So I have them all at my fingertips now.

I feel very optimistic and good about my body. Being in the library reminds me of how far I have come. Many of the books purchased in the self help department were to address issues that I have faced and healed, including the food issues. It makes me happy to see all the many different books I drew inspiration from. Different programs of eating all meshed together to make up my choices that eventually melted away fifty pounds or more of fat. I will never really know how high my highest weight was because I stopped weighing in the worst of times. But it does not matter to me anymore. What matters is now. I am at a very good place in my life right now. The pesky pounds that I work with now are manageable and no longer overpowering like in the old days.

Anyway, I am getting a bit tired so it is time for rest.

Today I am extremely thankful for my home and especially my little library.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Proclamation Extension

The candy is gone now (hooray!) and I ate none of it. I have extended the Proclamation to any sweets for now. The sweetest thing I have eaten are my frozen blueberries and the fresh crispy apples. Today I am grateful for New Job. I am grateful for Ezekiel sprouted wheat bread which I finally decided to try. The price put me off before, but when I shopped for office food I decided it would be handy because it comes frozen. So far a loaf has lasted from last week into this week. It satisfies without making me crave more. It is amazing actually. I am grateful for Our Lady of Weight Loss. I have been reading from her two books each night at bedtime. Also I have Wisdom Cards published by Hay House (Louise Hay) that I flip through before sleep. They are positive statements with drawings and bright colors. I love them.

It has been a week now since I started my new eating habits and I feel very good about it.. I naturally gravitate to the veggies and lean meat. I cut up fresh veggies tonight so I would have a supply. I boiled eggs and made salmon salad. I was tired but determined. It is so rewarding to be prepared. So today I am also grateful to be prepared. And grateful for my friends who are landlords who recommended a lawyer to assist with the Situation a/k/a operation Love Boat. You have to read this past Friday's post to understand the name.

Anyway as always, more will be revealed!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Gratitude Month

I was true to my Halloween Proclamation and I was down two pounds for today's weigh-in so the re-gained pounds are going away (again). Being true to myself is so crucial to eating healthy. No one but me makes the choice!

It is sort of a tradition to talk about gratitude in November. I talk about gratitude often, but make it a point to bring it up in November for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Maybe this year I can celebrate Thanksgiving by actually thanking people. Sending thank you notes or something. I am keeping food on the back burner this year. Sure, I want to make nice meals at the holidays with some traditional items, but it will feel better for me if they are good for us and not something that will sabotage progress.

Back to gratitude and appreciation. I appreciate the blogging community so very much. I can always find hope, strength, inspiration, understanding, humor, good ideas, and more when I take the time to read and cruise my blogging community. I have found unconditional acceptance and support in the past three plus years. I am so glad that so many of us are still posting even if only every so often when we have the time. So for today I am grateful for the blogs. I will try to include at least one thing I am grateful for in each post this month.

Anyway, also grateful I have passed up the candy bowl for what might be the first time in my memories of Halloween. I do recall a Halloween when I was on the soup diet (anyone remember that?- tomatoes, cabbage and onions..yikes!!) where I munched celery and such but even then I most likely had a little something.

Thanks to you all you blogging buddies!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Proclamation

For me Halloween symbolizes the start of the "eating holidays'"so this year I am celebrating by not eating any Halloween candy! No candy shall pass my lips. That's the Halloween Proclamation. I want to be a pound down tomorrow. And I believe it is possible if I eat the yummy veggies and fruits. In fact right now I am nibbling crisp apple slices dipped in yogurt. I am not a big Halloween person anyway. The timing in my life is such that I will be losing weight during the Holidays and that's a good thing because it means I won't gain any. That's the bright side. I had somewhat of an epiphany at Halloween 2006. I even went to a support group the next day. So Halloween is special in a different sort of way for me now. It is more about my right to choose and treat myself good. The scariest thing in my life is my room and I think I will spend the evening cleaning it up!

Happy Halloween!!!!

It is 8:40 p.m. and no candy has passed my lips. The bowl is still full and sitting out next to the jack-o-lantern. It can sit there forever. I never use the front door. The kids can dispose of it. I don't want them eating it either, but I have decided not to touch it. Ever. The postman can have it. Possums can carry it away. It is exiled. Banished. Maybe the big older kids that come out without costumes later in the evening will take the whole thing.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

You know I LOVE Friday!!

It makes me go "Ahhhhhhhhhh" This one started grouchy and early. Daughter had to make up a test and since I have New Job I can't pick her up after school much so she goes in early for stuff like that. I was tired and so was she. I went to work early which was nice because I got to leave early. Work is good. It's work, though and just not my favorite thing, but then that is why they pay me nicely for it. I appreciate it very very very much. More than I used to. Much more.

Especially today. The tenant at my old house has been paying late. I have been patient and trying to work with her. This time was supposed to be her last late pay month. Last week I came buy to pick up the rent on her payday right before we had to leave on vacation. I was offering her a payment schedule that I thought would help her budget. Half the rent on the first payday, the other half on the second, so long as it fell in the same month of course. She said she'd think about it (sheesh) and made a remark about being concerned about paying for her cruise. Yes, that is right a CRUISE. She said she has been paying on it (while getting her gas shut off, and paying me late) and still has to come up with plane tickets (gosh, I feel so bad for her..) Okay I was flabbergasted.

So I took the check and deposited it in the night drop. I left for our vacation the next day. When I was leaving the hotel with the kids for our walk to the museum that afternoon she called me with a (tall) tale about the bank ATM giving her too much money. Yea, I get too much money at the ATM all the time. It was bizarre. Anyway long story short she said her check would bounce. I said, take care of it. She had a story about the bank being at fault and it being fixed in five days, blah blah blah. I said take care of itand that the check was already in the banking system.

I got back from vacation and called her to follow up. No return call. Today my bank charged back my account. They had tried running it through again with no luck. I called her bank and they said there still was not enough money to cover the check and were puzzled with the tall tale. So I have a felony sized bad check on its way back to me. I called her two times in the morning and left messages to call me right away. No calls. I called in the afternoon and she picked up. She said she'd have to pay me Thursday and I said, the November rent would be due by then and I could not subsidize her lifestyle. She said she might have to move. I noted the bad check was something I could prosecute. I asked if she could come up with any money at all and she said she'd call back, and of course no call back.

I am writing so I don't eat over this. I have been angry. I have been disgruntled. I am not going to turn it on myself and punish myself with food. What I am going to do is pay people to deal with it and let it go. I am submitting the bad check to the prosecuting attorney's office when it comes in the mail. I am hiring an attorney of my own to evict her. I am going to try and sell the house or rent it out again (not my first choice) and take my losses now while I can absorb them and use them to offset taxes on the double income that I am getting for the next couple of months. That's my idea right now. Turn it over to the experts and let it go. No more Ms. Nice. I am fed up.

I wish I could just not think about it at all but it has preoccupied me over and over. It shocks me when people do this stuff. I did not want to be a landlord but it was a choice I made to deal with that situation in 2007 when we needed to move. It has worked up until now for almost three years so I can appreciate it for what it has been and appreciate the fact that now is the best time to absorb the loss. I have a good job, I have severance I have savings and I can pay someone to take care of it. My landlord friends recommended their lawyer who has helped them in two evictions.

So, no food for me. Just a good night's sleep. Sorry for the rant but I had to lay it out there. It bugs me. Taking it personally does not help but I have held up my end of the deal and been more than forgiving and kind. I waived late fees and so on. Trying to prolong the inevitable I guess. But the CRUISE for Pete's sake - that was the last straw. I feel like some airline got the rent money and now I am stuck providing free housing. Okay, that's enough. I want to put a lid on this.

I still love Fridays. And it is STILL Friday..

There was a beautiful sunset tonight after days of rain. It was very pretty and I enjoyed it while driving in my car.

My food was good today but a little more than I wanted this evening when I started thinking about the tenant thing. We will have to think of a nickname for her. Something silly. But now I have shared my tale of woe or perhaps my window of opportunity and I am going to drink a big glass of water and go to bed. Tomorrow morning could be a glorious bike ride, or a snuggly morning at the coffee shop (oh how I have missed my coffee shops) reading if it rains. Yea, I gott clean house, too but need my happy time. It's my prozac.

More will be revealed...My life is full of endless possibilities!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The difference

I had one good day - keeping track and staying with my healthy food and limits. And two pounds came off...the two extras from vacation. It really makes a difference. Now I can move on - today was a good day, too..

I feel like I may be a teeny bit sick so I am trying to get extra rest. Just wanted to check in with a good report.

More will be revealed!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Job New Habits

Or maybe I should say return of the not so old new habits.. The habits that slowly melted away 56 pounds or so, the habits that enabled me to feel free from the bondage of overeating, the habits that enabled me to feel in control and hopeful, enthusiastic and healthy. I am not so far away from the "normal" BMI that I visited a few times in the last year and a half. Not far at all. My mini vacation was great. I behaved pretty good but could not resist nibbling at the Chicago style pizza we ordered in the hotel room on the first night when we were soaked from walking the Magnificent Mile in the rain. Actually for us it was more like a Magnificent two miles..because we walked the wrong way at first when we were looking for the Art Institute.


I was up a couple of pounds when I returned to the scale yesterday and today. In spite of all the walking (the next two days were dry) and even a morning swim on Sunday, and the mostly good eating I was still stuck and feeling kind of swollen. I am paying close attention to sodium content in my food and drinking extra water. I am writing down what I eat and adding it up. I am blogging tonight after dinner, far, far away from the kitchen. I feel good. I feel optimistic. It is raining again but I am seeing it as the soothing, nourishing rain. The mesmerizing soft sounding, hypnotic rain that lulls me to sleep.


It is the second day of New Job. I was able to shop on my way to work and buy a supply for the week of healthy lunch and snack food. Cottage cheese and blueberries, a lettuce and herb mix, low sugar/carb whole grain bread, turkey breast (gotta watch that sodium on the sandwich meat). I am label reading and putting things back that have too many ingredients. I bought organic salad mix. I brought plenty of herb tea. I am prepared. I have a system of writing my food down on a big post-it note in my calendar book. I tally the day as I go along and keep track of what is left in my "bank" of calorie/fat/etc. Again, gotta watch that sodium. My feet feel swelly and it concerns me.


New Job is fine. I have my own office (whew!) and this one has a door and no interior windows so I can do a few exercises here and there. Speaking of exercises - I have been doing good with my upper back/neck exercises. All the driving on the trip did not have a negative impact because I have exercises and stretches I do while in the driver's seat. Yesterday I forgot about it all while on the New Job and in the evening I hurt for the first time since being off work. So I did my stretches and exercises last night and on little breaks today. I feel much better. Keeping up with simple things that don't take much time can really pay off. The exercises and stretches take minimal time and effort and the pay off is that I feel good. Recording my food intake and doing a little shopping trip and prep do not take too much time in comparison to the pay off of feeling like I can take off these ten pounds and move on.


It's after eight in the evening and I must get ready for bed. Sleep is a huge investment in feeling good and lower my risk of overeating. It is healing and renewing. I like to read positive things before I sleep or look at pictures that make me feel good. Like the horse nibbing at my car that I have included in this post for your viewing pleasure. I sure hope to blog regularly now that I am back in a routine.


More will be revealed!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best Bike Ride




This morning I had the best bike ride. I went to the trail right after dropping daughter off at school so it was around seven thirty. I rode to the middle of the bridge over the river to see the red sunrise sky. There was a cloud covering that took on a bright red/pink shade. It was very nice. Then I rode down the big hill to the river trail. I rode further than I have been on this particular trail and then turned back to go further in the other direction. I had not had breakfast or even coffee so I was not going to make this a marathon, I just wanted to see areas I had not seem before and then go home for breakfast. I ended up biking for a full hour. The finish is going up a very long steep hill. They made it a gradual climb but it is still steep and long. I felt very accomplished when I finished. I know I feel a little out of shape these days but I must still be in pretty good shape to do that hill!


So now I am home sipping my coffee with one tablespoon of fat free half and half for whopping ten calories. I also made a hot whole grain (seven grain) cereal. I have never had this cereal before and I was debating what to put in it and decided to eat it without anything so I could taste the grains. It is very good in it's natural state. I like to taste foods in their most natural state before adding other foods or flavors. I can taste the grains and there is already a variety of flavors going on. Delicious. I love warm cereals. I rarely add anything but perhaps fruit or a splash of milk, sprinkle of cinnamon, occasionally a dab of really good peach preserves.


What a great way to start the day! One thing I have noticed on my biking and drives lately is that the prettiest leaves so far are right in my neighborhood, outside my house in fact. Gives me a pleasant feeling to arrive back at home and see the grand finale of fall colors right in front of me. I appreciate my home very much. I thought I'd be doing a lot of house cleaning on my time off but it turns out I haven't and I am okay with that. I was sort of stressing about it and my daughter suggested I just use this time to enjoy and not worry so much about cleaning. We always have cleaning to do. This is a special time for me to do things I enjoy, while also taking care of some things before I start working again. I do love where I live and even when it is a bit messy I still enjoy the cozy atmosphere. I realized lately that my home is decorated much like the cozy coffee houses I enjoy. I choose comfy furniture, variety in seating. It's just a nice place to sit and read, gather round a table, enjoy a meal, or a fire. I really like the way it is put together, indoor and out.


I have been downing myself lately for not keeping off those nagging ten pounds. I have been focusing on the negatives of my body instead of the positives. I never lose weight that way. So I am turning it around and appreciating what I have to work with. I have kept 50 pound off that I lost over a period of years. There was a time when I never I would lose even that much. I exceeded my own expectations. It is fine to want better and to keep striving but I want to remember to be grateful for accomplishments and keep positive. That lurking self loathing needs to be backed down so I can gain my momentum and move forward.


More will be revealed!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stuck, but cozy



My scale is stuck. It is weird. I have been eating less, and better foods. Usually a gradual entrance into weight loss like this yields a result. But I am stuck. I will have to take the food intake down another notch. And change some more things. And be patient. I still have the habit of losing track in the evening. So I will make a greater effort to write down and measure everything. It is the only way I have found that I can stick with any plan. I get too out of touch with how much is going in.
I was reading an article about eating habits of other countries. The takeaway was this: Eat meals without distraction, not while doing something else such as driving, watching TV, etc. Eat meals at mealtime and eat with others. Sit down and eat making eating the activity. Stop before the sensation of being full hits. That sounds simple enough. My daughter and I were talking about eating habits. She pointed out that food is associated with activities that could and should just be enjoyed without food, like the movies, the zoo, the bowling alley and roller rink, even the batting cages and miniature golf. Food is sold along side of everything, even physical activities. I guess it is nice but it leads to overeating. I'd like to make our meals a nice relaxing time of day. Breakfast on school days is the biggest challenge. Too often we eat on the go. And then I lose track of the intake plus I enjoy it less. Surely I have three times during the day that I can totally stop and relax and eat a meal. I am going to make that a priority.
Anyhow, that's my thought for the day. I still feel swollen, and puffy. I had a salad bar on the way home from a surprise visit to my parents. I think there is hidden sodium in salad bars because the next day I was up in pounds and puffy. I also had soup which probably had a high salt count as well. That's why I like to make my own food. It is the only way I can really have an accurate measurement of what's going in. I have been drinking plenty of water. Exercise has been zilch. I have not felt like it. The weather is gloomy, rainy and wet. The entire week has been this way. Nice for reading, sleeping and even shopping. Indoor exercise is totally doable but for some reason I have not returned to the gym.
I feel optimistic in spite of being a bit stuck. I have enjoyed being off work but at times miss a routine. The kids and I are going to have a little holiday in Chicago next week. We did not have a vacation this year due to the impending job loss so. I got a room in the downtown area walking distance from the art institute and the magnificent mile. We are staying two nights, Thursday and Friday of next week. It will be fun. It will involve eating out and that is why while I have the ability to control every morsel of food I want to take advantage of it. I am looking forward to taking the kids on a family trip where it is just us and we can do things together. Family bonding. I plan on walking and using public transportation. Will valet the car and not get it out until we leave. Parking is really expensive. Plus it will be fun not to drive. It will be an adventure. And I like adventures. I don't plan to stray far, though, and keep it to the area where the two museums are that we want to visit.
I am off to do a few exercises, and try and perk, up on yet another grey day. I hope the sun comes out next week and I have a decent day for a long bike ride down the trail. I have not fulfilled that dream yet. I had a couple nice rides last week but have been traveling and getting things done since then. The rain also gets in the way of the biking. But there's always the cozy curling up with a good book or magazine. It is also chilly enough to light a fire. . .
Anyone with Chicago tips please chime in. We want to go to the art museum and the museum of science and industry. That may take up most of our time but we'd also like to eat somewhere that is unique to Chicago. It may be rainy but if we get clear weather we want to go to the lake shore for walking.
Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I wanna lose ten pounds...or something!

I am getting inspired to re-do my eating and get charged up about exercise. I have already stocked up on lean protein to cook today and freeze. I have also had time to relax and time to look at blogs like I used to. I found this one - http://findingradiance.com/ where she photographs her meals and posts about experimenting with veggies. I want to make this exciting again. I have been in a weight loss slump for a year basically. It was a sort of maintenance but mostly a gain that I struggled to lose back and re-gain. So it would be nice to move on with some freshness.

The losing my job preoccupation is over. The finding a job project never had to begin. I accepted a nice offer from that company I interviewed (and lunched) with a couple of weeks ago. I could lose a few pounds and be content but I'd like a little excitement and an overall better feeling of fitness. My exercise has been a huge slack over the past few months with the exception of bike riding and morning basic exercises. It might be nice to try something new, really new.

So, the new job starts on October 26th which gives me a little more time to relax and get into some better habits. Also, going back to work while I am still on severance and getting paid by the old job opens up the door financially to spend a little more on weight loss if I wish. For example, a class, or a trainer and more expensive foods that I normally avoid on a budget. Not sure if I am ready for a trainer but some classes or joining the gym that has a pool could be nice. I just need something to get excited about, something to peak my interest and keep me motivated.

For now though I am getting back to basics of tracking and portion control, whole grains and natural foods. And avoiding sugar and things that only make me want more. I'd like to feel satisfied and energized by food. Not sluggish or craving more.

So here is to a new start for me. And soon, a new job as well. They wanted me to start on the 19th but I told them I wanted another week. That gives me a solid three week break. I already feel completely divorced from the old job. And I feel excited when I think about the new one. I will make a little more money there plus it is a new industry for me and a different type of setting. I am also excited about putting together a little bit of a new wardrobe although I don't want to shop too much in current size. But the interview suits fit good and I have plenty of skirts to mix and match with a few new sweaters, jackets, boots and so on. Things I can continue to wear after I lose.

I will probably start a new weight loss ticker and fess up to current weight, whatever it is, on tomorrow morning. Maybe even take "before" pictures... And be more accountable. I have been too often distracted in the past months...

more will be revealed..

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eating and Anxiety

I never thought about it in plain and simple terms until I read it in a daily reading this morning. Overeating causes anxiety - for me. Overeating causes mood swings. I know I may also overeat in response to anxiety and mood swings, but overeating is also a cause. I have food hangovers. Wow.

Maybe I discovered this before and acknowledged it but today it seems like a huge realization. That is why when I keep my food "sane" I feel sane. Hmmmmmm. I think I may go back and read some of my old posts when I was steadily losing and keeping track of food. It could be enlightening since I have lost touch. I just gain and lose that last five to ten pounds over and over now. It might be nice to finish this last stage of the weight loss legacy and go into true maintenance of a weight that I am comfortable with instead of settling for this like I have been doing. Some of it is indecision on what my happy weight actually is. But I know one thing. I feel uncomfortable at this weight so I must focus on taking some off and then honestly maintaining at a comfortable level. Not living on the edge.

I am glad I am paying attention to my body's health now and not putting it on the back burner anymore.

That's enough revelations before my morning coffee!! Oh, sheesh, maybe I should give up that, too...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Re-claiming my life

Yesterday was one of those cool, crisp, clear blue sky October days. The leaves are just starting to turn colors, too. I took my bike into the historic riverfront area and rode. I went to my coffee shop to read and journal. It was perfect. Later I had my final of eight therapist appointments. I may be able to get more approved but I may not really need them. Still, it is very good for me to go. I don't remember much more about the day except I watched some TV and a movie later with daughter. I am starting to unwind and relax. I also got a book in the mail that I had ordered. I read. Daughter and I took dog for an evening moonlit stroll at the riverfront, too. It was a day doing things I love.

My first couple of days off work I still felt a little anxiety. I also had odd dreams about working, not working at the old job but weird working dreams. I think things are just lifting out of me. It rained early this morning. I woke up and heard the thunder coming and then relaxed and went back to sleep with the soothing rain. It is still wet and cloudy out which makes for a nice morning to be cozy in bed reading, and blogging. The leaves rustle outside my window in the breeze. It makes a restful sound. I do not have to do anything until 3 pm when we have an orthodontist appointment.

My back has felt great since Friday's physical therapy. I may not need to go as much anymore. I am very grateful I had the therapy when I needed it. I have been thinking of all the things I am grateful for and noticing that nowdays I take care of myself with out even thinking about it. I think I will take a walk with the dog in between the rain showers. And perhaps a nap.

I feel like I am getting back to my normal self. My balance was a little off for a while. I need rest and time. And I have both today.

The pounds gained last week are coming off. My body feels pretty good, just a tad too puffy but easily taken care of with some exercise, right eating, and lots of water!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ahh at last!!!! The Friday of all Fridays!!



The joy of unemployment (with pay) is finally upon me. Today is my first day off. In fact it is the first day that I have not worked in two weeks straight because I worked a few hours each on last Saturday and Sunday. It feels really good. I find that people have a hard time understanding why I feel so good. But it matters not. I know why. It's because I can relax and take it easy. It is because I have faith that everything is going to turn out just fine. It is because I can stay in the moment and appreciate it for exactly what it is.


Yesterday we had my goodbye lunch, I packed files up to be shipped to Ohio and did a little more training for the person taking over my role in The Project. I left work early and went to physical therapy afterward. It was a good way to transition. My back was hurting and after PT it felt good again. My daughter's surprise party was last night so there was little time to contemplate my unemployment. I did let out a big Woo Hoo as I drove across the bridge that takes me home each day.


When I was checking out in the grocery store with the cake, I got a call from the company where I had my Wednesday interview. It was the in-house recruiter telling me that they were very interested in moving forward with an offer but she needed me to fill out and return the application she gave me Wednesday. I brought it home and had not had a chance to fill it out. I told her I'd scan it and e-mail it to her. She said I'd be hearing from them next week.


It felt good to have something promising in the works but I want to savor the lack of work for a bit. I already told them I was going to take some time off before working again. Not too much, but enough. I will see what they offer and how I feel about it all next week. Right now I am enjoying the ease of having nothing hanging over my head. Of course there is housework, bills to pay, the usual, but I don't have a time crunch. It is Saturday but I don't look at the clock and feel the time is ticking away and I have to do things before the weekend ends. I have time and that's a very nice feeling.


I am unwinding and enjoying life. I dropped the dog off to be groomed so he can look good for all the walks we will take. I had a lazy breakfast at the coffee shop while reading writing a little. Then I found a great big beautiful canvas at the thrift store to hang over my bed in my room. It compliments the color of my walls which I have had trouble getting used to. The blend of colors really improves the overall color scheme of the room. I have been doing bits of decorating for a while now. On a budget, of course. I find that I can get pictures at the thrift shop and use the frames to frame other prints that I like. The good stuff goes fast so I stop by often to see what is new and if there is something good I go ahead and get it.


I gained a few pounds from Wednesday to this morning but it was from eating out and celebrating daughter's birthday. I feel like it is coming off as we speak. I am relaxed and eating sanely along with drinking plenty of water. I did some exercises this morning and plan to do some dog walking or biking tomorrow. Today's main theme is rest. Lots and lots of rest. Delicious, luxurious rest. Everything can wait. Nothing has to be taken care of immediately.


That being said, I think I will take a little nap!


More will be revealed...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Interview Suits

Remember those suits I bought back in March for interviews? I bought a total of three and posted about two of them. This is one of the photos. I am so glad I went shopping and bought them back then. They were ready for my lunch interviews last week which sprung up quickly and unexpectedly, three entire outfits, shoes, bags, jewelry, all ready to go. Having them on hand made it so easy and stress free. They fit well, and I'd already worn them each once and gotten good reviews. I now have my third interview on Wednesday- this one is not a lunch date, it is a meeting on site with the two HR people. I have already lunched with the associate and the general counsel. For some reason the HR people make me a bit nervous but I am looking forward to going on site and seeing the place. The whole scenario intrigues me, in fact. So Wednesday will be the blue suit with those great shoes that I have been keeping in the box ready for such an occasion. They are still brand new. It felt good to put them on tonight.

This is such an interesting development really. I'd never heard of this company. It is tucked away a little west of me, sort of in the country. The location is great. Only twelve miles away and going against the commuter traffic. It's a profitable company in an industry that will be in demand indefinitely. They appear to pay well from what I have researched. I know when they lay people off they severance well because I read about their layoffs. Funny I would have never thought about that before when checking out a company, but it seems relevant now. I felt energized and positive after talking with each of the lawyers. Very comfortable. Especially with the boss. So I am kind of psyched to go there and find out more.

I have four more days left to work. I felt stressed over the weekend. I worked about eight hours and I felt like I should be working all the time. I felt like I was abandoning my co-workers and leaving an unfinished project. I felt guilty but I have a tendancy to do that to myself at times. I am somewhat over it tonight. I put in a huge effort on this. projoct and I can't help they gave me such an early date and did not ask me to stay longer until the last minute. If after the meeting on Wednesday I know I am not getting the new job, I may consider offering to stay, but only if it feels good to do so. Right now the idea of being off feels really good to me.

On another note, physical therapy is helping my back problems. It also helps me relax after work. I feel a sense of relief this evening that I have not had in a while. There is a seemingly endless amount of work to do but I don't have to do it all. The other people who have the same last day as me have been helping me come to terms with all of this. One told me that he, too, turned down an extension. He said his brain is turning to mush. Everyone is supportive really. It just seems to be happening so fast. But I feel like I am making peace with it all.
Anyway, I need to go to bed. Sleep makes me feel great when I wake up. I am very much a morning person these days. What a difference a good night's sleep can make.

More will be revealed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Final Week

I have one week left on the job. I was offered an "extension" of 30 days because the grueling project is still not finished (nor will it be in 30 days) but I declined. I still get my severence package and can walk out the door a free woman. I think they were all shocked I said no. They may have taken it for granted I'd say yes and keep on giving and giving. If they'd asked a month ago when I told them the project would not be complete by Oct. 2nd and asked them to give me advance notice of an extension, I would have said yes. I may have even said yes at the beginning of last week. But yesterday, a week and a half left to go, I said no.

I'd gone back and forth in my head, thinking that the financial benefit of one more month's pay would be good. But that would be one month delay to my job search and I'd miss October - the month I'd looked forward to having off. I have also had two lunches with a prospective employer who has shown high interest in me and I gave him an availability date based on my Oct 2nd end date. I don't want to change it, and I don't want to jeoapardize getting an offer. They are supposed to set up a third meeting with the HR and upper management. I have already lunched with the VP and general counsel. He and I hit it off nicely. I was not looking for a job yet, but my boss recommended me to an attorney she knew and that prompted the lunching with lawyers.

So this last week will be intense, overtime and temps thrown at me, one more week of dedication and that's it. I need to remember that. One more week. When I turned down the request to stay longer, I said I'd do as much as possible in this upcoming week. I also suggested how they proceed without me, and have been transitioning my role. Last week I trained my other replacement. I'm tired and I want it to be over. It does not seem like it will ever end.

Anyway, I want to get back to blogging more soon. I want my dream of doing nothing for a while. But right now I just need to go to bed....

More will be revealed..

Monday, September 7, 2009

Inspiration
























We had the opportunity to watch (photograph and even video tape) this baseball player warming up before the game about a week ago. Watching him stretch was inspiring. I have not been doing my floor routine in the morning and my body feels (and shows) it. It always makes me feel good to stretch and to have flexibility. Athletes are inspiring. The strength and the range of movement they achieve.. I never thought of baseball as anything but running and throwing, and hitting the ball with the bat. I've watched more of the sport this year than ever before in my life. I now see the ballet and acrobatics - the jumping, reaching, diving, sliding, twirling, leaping, running, twisting, and so on.. No wonder he's stretching.

Physical therapy involves a variety of stretches for me. Stretches I never thought of doing. I used to think stretching before a work out was a waste of time. I feel silly admitting that now. Anyway I have a new found respect for it.. and am starting a new routine inspired by watching this fine athelete!










Sunday, September 6, 2009

Grasping for Normal









I can't believe how long its been since my last post. I became buried in a work project, too buried for a person who received her severance agreement last week. Getting up at 4 a.m. splitting my day and working in the evenings, thinking of little else. It was too much. Nothing felt good anymore. All I could think of was getting this project finished by my last day of work. Why? That's what I asked myself when the severance agreement came in the mail. Why am I knocking myself out on this poorly plan, poorly executed project for a company that has me training my replacement the week after next? People keep hinting they will ask me to stay longer since my boss does not want anyone else in the department to have to work on the Project but me. But she wants me out on October 2nd and the Project, Mission Impossible, will not be finished. I am sick of it. My hands hurt. I am tired. I want it to be over. And I want my Normal back. Not anyone else's normal, just mine.





I had this moment of truth on Wednesday. I just wanted my life back. And then Thursday afternoon one of my daughter's friends was killed in a car accident. On a bright, beautiful, sunny afternoon out in the country on the way to a park in a car with her best friend driving - 16 years old. Gone in an instant. It was and is devastating. Nothing seems like it will ever be the same. My daughter took it very very hard. I was and am at a loss of what to do. I just try and help her whatever way I can. I can't even really talk about it much. It is too fresh.





But back to moments of truth and grasping at normal, I have been so out of whack, with everything. My routine was upset by the altered work hours, my food, my exercise, all in the toilet. I skipped bike riding last weekend to clean house. My sleep was off. I was not really taking care of myself. It really hit me Wednesday and it was a relief. I just gave up. I am losing my job. I don't have to be a superstar and do the impossible so they can make sure they fire me on time. I don't have to stay longer even if they ask me to. And if I they do and I stay I can do it on my terms. I don't have to do a perfect job. I want to do a good job. But more than anything I want it to be over.





I took a bike ride this evening, finally. I also took the dog for a walk with grandson. Daughter has been spending time with friends today shopping for funeral clothes and grieving together. My brother is coming next weekend and I bought baseball tickets. I felt myself again as I rode my bike through the little riverfront town that I love.





I have not been too far from myself , but I have missed me. I need me back again.



Physical therapy is going great by the way, and in that area I AM taking care of myself, or at least letting someone else take care of me!!


More will be revealed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Working From Home




This week I am working from home. The hours are odd but the payoff is that I am home. I work from as early as I can get up - so far 4:30 is the earliest - until sometime in the middle of the day, take long break and work again for a couple of hours in the evening. I am doing online indexing of the documents we had scanned so I can do it from anywhere I have access to the internet. Today I am working two laptops, one from work and my laptop. I have a nice workstation set up surrounding my favorite chair. It is working out nice.


I have physical therapy three days each week so this schedule is works well for that because I have a block of time in the day where I am not working. My back is a bit of a mess, with arthritic things going on, but we are working on it. I am devoted to taking care of it without drugs and surgery. My doctor is optimistic about physical therapy type things. I am doing my exercises and showing up regularly. Right now we are using traction. It is my cervical spine, and it is from the accident over a year ago. I have not settled with the insurance company yet and I am glad of that. This could go on for a while. I am not willing to live life with so much pain. Physical therapy is nice because it is time just for me, for my well being.


Speaking of my well being, I got my blood results and I was a bit disappointed. My cholesterol ratio was 3 something which is good and my good cholesterol was high, but I was still above range in the bad cholesterol. To be honest, I should lose the last ten pounds and get on with a better diet. I still indulge in things not so great to eat. I have been content at my weight range but if I am going for the best health, I should take a look at changing my diet and sticking with it. I am happy that my exercise is good again, but I need an overhaul in the food department. Although I am way better than I used to be, there is much room for improvement.


I started a health binder. I put my blood work results, the suggested food plan information the doctor sent, and my notes on developing my program. It is a start. I will add to it and keep it in the kitchen. One nice thing about being at home is that I can cook better food to have on hand. I cooked a supply of steel cut oats yesterday, and some beans. I am able to track better when I am not on the go so much. I want to do this but I don't want to stress over it either. I have so much change going on with the ups and downs of the final days of the job that I have put off taking on any stringent food plans, but just a plan with some flexibility would make my life lower stress in the long run. So that is where I am with my food issues.


I took another happy bike ride on Sunday but I have not had any exercise excursions so far this week due to my odd work hours. I am going to find a way to fit in my exercise since in the morning when I used to do my workout I am on the computer and I cannot deviate from that time frame. So mid day will be open and also some time in the evening. It just takes commitment.


It's been a weird feeling off and on about all this work flux. My boss insists that this project be finished by my last day on October 2nd. I think that is unrealistic but I am working with her on trying to find a way. I may be supervising another crew soon so I am going to enjoy my time at home. In two weeks I will be supervising and training one person so my home hours will be interrupted but I will be working at that nice off site location by the river and my favorite coffee house.. Nothing is permanent, especially when your boss wants you gone by October 2nd!!


Speaking of coffee, for my health I also think perhaps I should give up caffeine, but right now I just can't do it...


More will be revealed..


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Birthday, Bike Paths, Baby Pools and Back to School...




It's the end of my action packed four day weekend - complete with a birthday on Thursday, a back to school shopping marathon on Friday, bike adventure on Saturday and waterplay on Sunday.

Thursday was my birthday and I love this picture my daughter drew in my card. She put all the things I'd been enjoying on my dog walks into the picture. My sister and my niece took us to the St. Louis City Museum. It is an unusual, very fun place. Broken toe prohibited many activities but I managed to climb a little, play a little, relax a little and have a very great time. Daughter stayed with me while grandson ran off with niece to do the sliding, climbing, running activities. This is a place I'd highly recommend to anyone visiting our city. Google it if you are curious. It has rooftop Ferris Wheel, an old airplane and a school bus hanging off the roof that you can climb inside. It would take more than an entire post to describe it. There is even a small circus performance on one floor.. See below for pictures. In the evening daughter and her friends went with me for a moonlit walk along the riverfront with the dog. We sat on a bench and moon gazed. It was a perfect way to end the day.

Friday I took daughter shopping literally all day long. It was the best shopping day ever. We shopped the hard stuff (bras) the fun stuff (shoes) the challenging stuff (jeans) and rarely had a snit. Broken toe was in a homemade splint but it still gave me trouble and being on my feet was tedious so we took breaks, ate, sat, had coffe, etc. We ran into a friend of hers late in the day so I took myself to coffee and read a book I stumbled upon while they finished up the shopping. I am amazed at how well we did. The best shopping experience was a place called Aerie (American Eagle) for bras. We had the best service, actual salespeople helping her personally, very nice dressing rooms, and a wide selection at a very good price..

But one of my best weekend experiences was my Saturday morning unexpected biking adventure. I finally fit my bike in my car and took it to the local biking trail. I thought it would be flat and somewhat boring on the stretch I was taking but I wanted a workout and broken toe will not permit much else. Plus, I could bike to favorite coffee shop from the trail. Along the way I spotted a path off of the main trail. It was a dirt path into the woods going toward the river. It was intriguing to say the least. It was rugged, woodsy and very challenging. I loved it. Little dips and hills, twists and turns, narrow and winding with trees everywhere. An obstacle course!
I'd never biked anything like that! And the payoff, a quiet bench overlooking the river to take a rest and read my meditations. I thought I may never find my way back at one point (it was a long loop) but I made it, sweaty and proud. I biked back on the easy trail and rode up to Main Street to the coffee shop feeling like I earned my yummy ground and brewed to order cup of the best coffee I have ever had. I felt a sense of accomplishment and belonging. I see other bikers there regularly and one of them noticed I had my bike. It was totally cool. She told me they bike from across the river so today I found the trail they bike that crosses the bridge. I took an evening trek across the bridge in the heat. I loved it. Breaking my toe has taken me to a new level of cycling.

To finish off the weekend I added water. Daughter and I have been dreaming of swimming pools. We don't have access to any currently. One weekend we agreed we'd even take a small baby pool to lie in. This morning I went out to buy trash bags and ran across a small eight foot in diameter pool that only gets a little over two feet deep. It looked enticing - manageable and deep enough to submerge ourselves. It was cute. I brought it home and filled it up. I could not resist. It fit nicely in my little open space and it was very refreshing. We had fun blowing up a couple of baby toys to float in it and it got daughter outside for a change. It was also a refreshing way to end my day after the bridge bike ride.

What a great weekend. With the pool and the bike my broken toe is not keeping me from getting exercise!

See pictures below.

The narrow winding path - it was enchanting


Quiet bench along the path..


























Riding the rooftop Ferris Wheel and climbing ..there was a time when I may not have thought I could fit through that hole.























































































Sunday, August 2, 2009

My New Passion


I have taken to photographing dogs when I am out walking on the riverfront. I always ask, and have not been turned down yet. I love the challenge. This tough brute hid from me and peeked out from behind a garbage can. Must be camera shy. I enjoy the interaction with people and animals that this new passion has given me.
I took Monday (tomorrow) off so I could have a long weekend. Wednesday I got my official notice of my last day of work. I was supposed to get it Friday but my boss was taking off for a long weekend so I got it early. I still have the same last day... October 2nd. I had for prepared for getting notice by having a long weekend set up and also a therapist appointment on Wednesday. I thought it might hit me hard. It did, but it was a tidal wave of joy. I can't explain it but I have been elated and excited ever since. It was a huge relief. Something to look forward to. My sabbatical, my paid extended leave, my new life. My next adventure. There are so many good things about it I'd need an entire post to list them all. But for now I will just say that I am very happy.
I kicked off my long weekend by breaking my middle toe. .. I accidentally ran into my ten pound weight with my foot on the way to the closet. Further evidence that my bedroom is indeed the most dangerous place I go. The weight was camouflaged by a pile of clothes. I normally put the weights in a certain place but most likely was in a hurry that morning and set them down after the workout and forgot.
The hurt toe changed some of my plans but not all. I still took a very long dog walk with a friend Saturday morning. I just limped and went slow. I needed to move around, I think it was jammed, too. It popped and crackled a bit. I really have not slowed down until today (Sunday) because I had family in from CA - sister and one of the nieces. We all had dinner Friday night, and then I met up with them on Saturday after long dog walk and we visited brother in his new place. Saturday evening I visited my best friend from high school who recently moved to our old neighborhood. Whew! did I do all that? It was great, every bit of it.
Today I have slowed down. Instead of a long riverfront walk I parked close to the coffee house and went in and read, relaxed and savored my coffee. I took daughter and a friend and dropped them off at the theme park, taking the scenic route home. I did have to grocery shop but that's the most strenuous thing I've done all day. We were going to rock climb at the waterfalls tomorrow but the kids and I agreed that there may be no worse place for a broken toe than the rocky river falls. So we may do a matinee. I just love being off, being home and being in my happy places with the people I love.
I feel so good. I had to ask therapist and good friend who is also a therapist if I was delusional or something. They said no, that I just had a good attitude and a positive healthy outlook. I have been working hard laying a foundation for living. Maybe I am reaping the benefits in this time of need..
I can bike ride with the hurt toe, so this evening I am planning a nice ride around sunset. Right now I want to catch up on all the blogs and see how you guys are doing!!
More will be revealed!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Keeping my Joy





When I called my computer consultant about my wireless card's sudden lack of functionality he told me my laptop was a "lemon" and had been identified one on a list of HP laptops. He said they don't work on them and that the wireless card going out is the first sign that the motherboard is going bad. He told me he thought HP was doing something for people with the laptops. They go bad after a couple of years. I called HP and they told me it was too late. I only had until the end of April. I asked how I would know this and was told that they put it on their website. No recall, just some kind of upgrade but I don't get one. Now they won't talk to me at all. Instead of letting it steal my joy, I accepted it. I now share the 25 foot cable my grandson uses for his internet access, which runs from the router in my daughter's room. I backed up all my data and will do so every day from now on. Let the motherboard go out. I am making use of it while it works. And I can still get on the internet from home. It's not worth the anger, the frustration and what I went through with HP before. I don't ever have to do business with them again. Lesson learned.
I wore this dress to work yesterday and was paid many compliments which was great because I was having a "fat" feeling week. One person even told me I had great legs and my legs were what I felt the worst about. It's one of my good will summer dresses from last year - got it for about six dollars.
I had friends over last night - my very good friend and her husband. We ate together and he watched the baseball game with daughter while my friend and I talked. It was so nice. Then I met them again for coffee this morning before they left town. I need to do that more often. It was great. I got much encouragement for my writing aspirations.
I need to cut this short. Landlord is coming with a new remote for garage door. I am feeling good and keeping my joy intact!!
HAPPY FRIDAY!!!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Computer Problems

My laptop wifi is not working. Sad but true. Will need to address it soon. Last week was an eating week, after loosing more weight the previous week, so I am up today but it should slack back down again. I am still in a range that is fine with me. I have been getting exercise regularly and have been in a good mood much of the time in spite of many things.

I had a nice getaway the weekend before this one. My ex walking buddy and I went and spent the night and a couple days on my friend's lake property. I got plenty of fresh air and sunshine. I relaxed, fished (even caught some) and played in the waterfalls. After a nice weekend together walking buddy (who had been amorous in the cabin) started describing his confusion, missing parts and how he was not ready for a relationship. I was annoyed about his communication methods (text and then not answer my calls) and told him I did not want to hear from him anymore. He was one of those withdraw the affection kind of people who avoid communicating. He can't help it really and surely does not do it on purpose. But that stuff makes me feel starved and neglected so we were not a good fit for a relationship. I may not have been very sensitive about it but my self preservation instincts kicked in - I've spent too long with guys like this and it leads to misery and self doubt. It was nice for me to make a decision not to continue to converse with him (because I knew I'd take it personally) and quit before things got icky. I am glad to not be trying to have a relationship with someone like him or thinking there's something wrong with me. He's not a bad person, and has many good qualities. I enjoyed the time we spent together, but he's not for me, and I see that without any feeling of tragedy.

Anyhow, work continues to be a physically painful, and mentally straining operation. More aggressive deadlines. I am looking forward to July 31st when I get my official 60 day notice. Maybe I will do something that night to commemorate or celebrate. I anticipate an emotional wave like I had when I got "notice of my notice" so I want to prepare. I also took August 1st off so I'd have a nice long weekend to look forward to. And I am taking this Friday and a half of a day Thursday off. I am making sure I take time to enjoy life. It's not all about working my butt off and then being unemployed. The unemployment part is like a distant mirage of an oasis in my current sweltering desert of labor. I look to it sometimes with desperate anticipation.

I try to find joys in my workdays but they are not so easy to find. I am trying to enjoy some of the people I know here, and appreciate what I can. Also trying to enjoy my evenings rather than come home, make dinner and collapse somewhere.

I have been bike riding in the mornings often and taking many long walks. If I can get through this phase of my life with more joy than pain, then I have really accomplished the personality transformation I have been working for.

More will be revealed...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Post Holiday Report



I am down a pound after a holiday. What a joy that is. I am now in the range I like. I want to keep increasing exercise but not lose much more weight. This size (152 pounds and sizes 6, 8 and 10) is a good size for me. Just two pounds over the normal BMI. I am just not a skinny type of a person really. Never was.


Had a real nice weekend. I have been eating lean meat cooked on the grill. I did not get as much sleep as I would like but I am still working on that. Even with the new prescription the doctor gave me I am still waking up at early hours (like 4) and having trouble going back to sleep. This phase will pass. I took a great hike on Friday by myself in the woods and then met a friend who took a shorter walk back into the woods with me. I took my walking buddy to the swan pond last night. He liked it. We have another trip planned this weekend to my favorite place but it is subject to change or postponement depending on how our weeks go. It may end up just the two of us with an overnight in my friend's guest cabin. Or we may not go at all. I think it will be nice if we do, but if we don't I will enjoy being able to do something else.


I feel very flexible right now about plans. I make them sometimes but I am always open to change, cancellation, etc. I have been leaving myself open with unstructured time so I can take care of things at my own pace. My work weeks have been so stressful and busy that I need to balance things out with flexibility and low pressure weekends.


Very much a go with the flow state of mind going on today....
UPDATE - Just found this on NPR about the BMI - (I feel better already!!)
Weekend Edition math guy Keith Devlin graded the body mass index and tells host Scott Simon that it fails on 10 grounds:
1. The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.
The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack.
2. It is scientifically nonsensical.
There is no physiological reason to square a person's height (Quetelet had to square the height to get a formula that matched the overall data. If you can't fix the data, rig the formula!). Moreover, it ignores waist size, which is a clear indicator of obesity level.
3. It is physiologically wrong.
It makes no allowance for the relative proportions of bone, muscle and fat in the body. But bone is denser than muscle and twice as dense as fat, so a person with strong bones, good muscle tone and low fat will have a high BMI. Thus, athletes and fit, health-conscious movie stars who work out a lot tend to find themselves classified as overweight or even obese.
4. It gets the logic wrong.
The CDC says on its Web site that "the BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for people." This is a fundamental error of logic. For example, if I tell you my birthday present is a bicycle, you can conclude that my present has wheels. That's correct logic. But it does not work the other way round. If I tell you my birthday present has wheels, you cannot conclude I got a bicycle. I could have received a car. Because of how Quetelet came up with it, if a person is fat or obese, he or she will have a high BMI. But as with my birthday present, it doesn't work the other way round. A high BMI does not mean an individual is even overweight, let alone obese. It could mean the person is fit and healthy, with very little fat.
5. It's bad statistics.
Because the majority of people today (and in Quetelet's time) lead fairly sedentary lives and are not particularly active, the formula tacitly assumes low muscle mass and high relative fat content. It applies moderately well when applied to such people because it was formulated by focusing on them. But it gives exactly the wrong answer for a large and significant section of the population, namely the lean, fit and healthy. Quetelet is also the person who came up with the idea of "the average man." That's a useful concept, but if you try to apply it to any one person, you come up with the absurdity of a person with 2.4 children. Averages measure entire populations and often don't apply to individuals.
6. It is lying by scientific authority.
Because the BMI is a single number between 1 and 100 (like a percentage) that comes from a mathematical formula, it carries an air of scientific authority. But it is mathematical snake oil.
7. It suggests there are distinct categories of underweight, ideal, overweight and obese, with sharp boundaries that hinge on a decimal place.
That's total nonsense.
8. It makes the more cynical members of society suspect that the medical insurance industry lobbies for the continued use of the BMI to keep their profits high.
Insurance companies sometimes charge higher premiums for people with a high BMI. Among such people are all those fit individuals with good bone and muscle and little fat, who will live long, healthy lives during which they will have to pay those greater premiums.
9. Continued reliance on the BMI means doctors don't feel the need to use one of the more scientifically sound methods that are available to measure obesity levels.
Those alternatives cost a little bit more, but they give far more reliable results.
10. It embarrasses the U.S.
It is embarrassing for one of the most scientifically, technologically and medicinally advanced nations in the world to base advice on how to prevent one of the leading causes of poor health and premature death (obesity) on a 200-year-old numerical hack developed by a mathematician who was not even an expert in what little was known about the human body back then.