Monday, April 27, 2009

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

I found old photos and had to post a comparison. I remember not liking my photo in shorts last Summer. I needed a reality check. I hope I can look like that this Summer. I am about 6 pounds away.. I need to look at these pictures now and again - it is very motivating...The swimsuit babe at the bottom is me in 2003 at the heavy weight I carried for several more years. The after photo is from last August.

Before and After

The only time I ever got in water without shorts over my suit!! I was having fun on an empty beach with my daughter.

Monday Progress

The scale went back down that same two pounds I've been teetering on. I have a good feeling about this week. I feel a scale breakthrough on the horizon. I am determined to get the winter gain off by the end of May. A realistic goal. I have already proven to myself that my methods work, so long as I practice them!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mental Diet

Yesterday's amusement park therapy worked wonders. I got physically active and had fun. It was nice to be with my daughter and her friend and we all had a great time together. She had not seen this friend in a while so it was good for their friendship. I like that the girls talk openly with me about things. One thing they both talked about was how many of the kids they know are now drinking and doing other unmentionable things. They both are swearing those things off for now and are pretty disgusted with it all. They agreed that not having a big social life was better than doing what many of the kids are doing. They talked about how it changed their old friends. I am grateful that they see it the way they do. Good girls day out bonding time!

Anyway, it was all very positive and did me a world of good. This morning I looked on my blog for the past two April postings - I had depression then, too.. and I know I had an episode in 2006 because I remember it was when my friend got married, and for some reason I quit going to the gym and really did not start back up for a long time. I don't have to have that kind of consequence this year. I can do the things that work to get me taking care of my conditions, mental and physical. Like sitting out on my patio, enjoying my flowers and doing my reading and meditations in the morning. I love the backyard. Today was my first morning of the season. There were flowers blooming out there and a calming breeze. It was exquisite.

I wrote out some things in my journal, the things that had been piling up on me emotionally. And one of my readings was about going on a mental diet. This is a week of thought monitoring where you pay attention to your thoughts and if they are negative, you intervene and steer them to the positive. It is not an easy task really, but I plan to try it. It said to take few days before actually starting. I did a mental boot camp in the fall where I focused on positive affirmations all week and it was great. So I can use the same tools when I go on my mental diet. I use the positive statements as replacement thoughts when I catch myself in the negative zones..

Good food for thought. Speaking of food, I still am frustrated by a stuck scale. I have not been tracking very well but I know I am not eating that much. So track I will so I can see what the real deal is. It is not easy to lose weight when getting zero exercise most of the time so the walking yesterday was a good kick start to getting back into regular physical activity. I know that I am on hormone replacement this year and it seems to have some sort of impact on things like water retention but I can't imagine that it would prevent me from losing if I really do eat less, eat right and do some exercising... I am going to track and see what the deal is instead of using it as a reason to give up...that would be the old me. And I am not that person today.

Today's therapy - writing out my grievances and forgiveness, enjoying the garden patio, eating a diet of lean protein and good carbs, exercise of any kind, reading positive and inspiring things..

More will be revealed..

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is not an easy post to write. My week took a nasty turn on Monday after finding my brother on a park bench near the riverfront where I walk. He had been sleeping there that day. He had left the shelter in the city where he'd been living. It was far away from where he works and it was an unpleasant place. I talked to him for a bit and then I called the social worker that has been visiting him but not really doing anything to help him (I hate to say it that way but I am a ball of feelings and one is anger). I could tell brother wanted me to take him home and let him stay at my house. I had to go back to work. Social worker was on his way. That was the last time I saw him. He is still out there living as a homeless person.

I have been in the depths of depression since then. I took two days off work, Wednesday and Friday. I watched almost 5 seasons of The Office on my laptop. I have not been overeating but I have not lost any weight. In fact I have been eating less but still have not lost any weight. I feel angry in response to most things. Very angry. That's my main emotion right now. Anger, bitter, stuff like that. At the world, at the social worker, at myself, mostly. I think I should take care of my brother. But then I think I can't possibly do it. The thought of it makes me crazy. I tried it last year. It did not work out then, and nothing has changed. But I am still very very angry. Another feeling I identified is shame. I feel shame. Shame is very negative. This goes all the way back to childhood because brother had problems then, too.

I want to sort things out and talk to someone but I am too angry and cynical. I don't believe anyone helps, anything works, all because brother's life is the way it is. Not my life, my brother's life. I think that's what co-dependency is. When someone else's life and problems impacts me - when I feel like I should be able to fix it, or when I am in the depths of despair over some one's life situation that I cannot change. Co-dependent people use detachment. I guess I don't have that mastered yet. Detaching, letting someone else's life situation be, and not try and manage and control it, and not let it impact me. I guess I feel guilty for detaching. Like I am being insensitive.

I feel ashamed that I am not taking care of my brother. I am a bad sister. Then a bad person. A selfish person. I don't feel like going anywhere. I don't feel like talking to anyone. Pretty soon I will run out of episodes of the The Office and I will have to face reality and take care of my own co-dependency. Maybe some answers will come for my brother. But if they don't I have to make peace with the world and stop looking for someone to blame.

I had to get this out there. I feel like I am isolating and getting worse. I know I will get better but it has been bleak in my heart this week. Writing about my feelings helps me, in fact just writing this post gives me a feeling of relief. It's a huge burden to carry this stuff around with me.

Update - today's treatment for depression - a trip to the amusement park with daughter and a friend - walking will give me exercise finally, and the rides will give my brain a boost. I'll let you know how it works out.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Defying Odds a/k/a Dare to Dream

I am having a stay at home weekend dedicated to rest, reading and tackling my room a corner at a time. I have been going through a box of paperwork that started when I moved here. Instead of cleaning it out, I have added to it for the past two years. Now I am sorting it all out. I love going through stuff because it is a reminder of things that have happened. Good reminders of how far I have come. I like to think of myself as someone who defies the odds. My doctor even mentioned it at my last visit in February. He said I had done something that few people do when I lost the weight. I am now determined to do something else that defies the odds - keep it off!

This is not my first odd defying life experience. At a treatment center many years ago I was told that only a few people, maybe one percent, out of my "class" would actually achieve freedom from addiction or continuous sobriety, whatever you want to call it. I have managed to be one of those people. I have also managed to maintain a stable single parent home and provide a comfortable living for my daughter and grandson. I don't even think of myself as a single parent because it has been that way forever. But there are stereotypes, I don't listen.

When I was in college I had an instructor from Nigeria. I remember something he told us about Nigerian culture. He said that when parents wanted to build up their child's esteem, they would go back through the ancestry and tell the child all the great things or strengths of their ancestors. I do this sometimes with my kids but I also have a practice similar to that but of a personal nature. I go through my life and remind myself of the accomplishments I have made, the barriers I have broken, the odds I have defied.

The odd defying experience I was reminded of just now going through the box was when we moved here two years ago. I remember meeting with two real estate agents about my house, recently bought and over financed. They told me there was no way I'd sell it so I said I would lease it. They said there was no way I'd lease it for enough money to pay the mortgage. Not in "that neighborhood" anyway. I showed my house to one person. She loved it and she has been there ever since, paying my mortgage every month. They said it couldn't be done. I am glad I didn't listen. I just pressed on and left the rest to a power greater than me, call it God, call it the universe, call it destiny.

I want to defy the odds with my weight loss. I want to defy the odds keeping it off. I want to go on defying odds. I want to find true love/soul mate stuff at age 50. I want to write. I want to change careers and find something I love that pays enough to support my family. I want to see my sons get out of prison and live happy safe lives. I know they can because they carry my odd-defying genetics. I want to dream big. Whatever it is.

Maybe I can write a book on odd-defying life experiences. I want to inspire people to think positive and keep on trying no matter what. Because the one thing I have learned that keeps me going is to never give up.

So I want to ponder big dreams. I don't know what they are. But I am looking forward to it.

Right now I better get back to that box. . .

PS - I am also reading the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It's about character, so far.

More will be revealed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy thoughts

Easter was wonderful. The kids appreciated the baskets, the egg coloring, hunting and the dinner. My daughter was really happy I was in the holiday spirit. She said she had thought I was not going to do anything because I had not mentioned it. Her friend came - and she had never gotten an Easter basket. Her father is atheist and mother is Buddhist so they don't really do Easter. She really enjoyed the festivities. It was nice to have the kids enjoying kid things at their older ages. I was good with the food. I really enjoyed the holiday especially because the kids enjoyed it so much. I did my morning exercise routine today and packed my lunch. I am feeling grounded and stable again. I am also feeling very grateful for the life I have.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Keeping My Life Simple

Laura mentioned the Bunny Song in her recent post. and I have not gotten it out of my head since I read it. So I thought I'd put a link to it on my post today..reminds me of addictions, of any kind. But it's also rather catchy..

I won't be having any bunnies today - holidays are no longer an excuse to eat wildly. I learned from what really began with the bag of kit kats at Halloween and basically continued through valentine's day. Sure, not a huge gain - maybe some people don't notice. But to me it is twenty percent of my loss. My loss at it highest point was 58 pounds. As of today ten of it is still back. I gained twelve at the most. It was up and down, here and there but never all the way back down again. I will be happy with losing six or eight of what I have left. Perfectly happy. That still puts me at a normal BMI and a feel good weight.

But this is not so much about the number on the scale. It is about the habits and lifestyle I enjoy. I enjoy feeling a little bit hungry before my meals. I enjoy my clothes fitting nicely if not a tad loose. I enjoy feeling a little lighter and springier in my step. I enjoy keeping a simple basic food plan and not having to figure out a bunch of stuff to eat each day. So it feels nice to be back to my simple basics. I am celebrating that today, along with the holiday.

I planned our meal by letting daughter pick the meat dish which ended up as meatloaf. I am making her favorite sides and Grandson's favorite green bean casserole. We each have a jello dish. Mine is sugar free with grated carrots and a tad bit of pineapple and light cool whip. My meat dish is baked chicken breast. It's a really easy dinner to put together. It all goes in the oven. Carrots and potatoes right in with the meatloaf. Casserole and chicken breasts in their own separate pans. I have a tossed salad and some raw veggies, too. I won't be having the same things as the kids but I will be enjoying mine just as much.

My current favorite breakfast is spinach and eggs. It can be in the form of an omelet or a scramble. I sprinkle low fat cheese on top. Sometimes it's mozzarella with a sprinkle of black pepper and garlic. Or a light American over the omelet. It is delicious and healthy. No guilt, simple and satisfying.

Exercise is light right now but I am back in my morning routine of floor exercises. Working the abs and arms simultaneously. And my push ups, although harder with that ten pounds on. what a difference ten pounds makes in my current weight range. When I was 206 and I went down to 196 I did not notice so much...but now I have really felt it in my work outs. But not to worry. I have stopped gaining and am now going back down. I actually feel like I am loosing it back and willing to stay there this time. There is no sense of struggle or that feeling of being out of control.

I have a nice simple day planned. At some point we will color the thirty eggs I boiled (I can take some for lunch this week and use them in tuna salad, how handy) and hide them for our hunting. My teenagers still get a basket and love to color and hunt eggs. I will make the meal whenever we are all ready. No schedule to follow, just whenever I feel like it. I know big family holidays and gatherings are nice, but today I am grateful for my own little nest. Just the three of us plus one guest - daughter's best friend if she comes. Manageable, and simple.

I have been lounging all morning reading and doing nothing. Yesterday was a long trip day with Grandson to see his father. It was a very nice trip. Grandson and I had some nice talks on the way and it went very well with his Dad. I feel I have some support from him as far as encouraging Grandson to get his schoolwork finished on time and be respectful to me. I enjoyed the day very much. I am always tired the day after the long trip, so that's why I am lounging. Weather is supposed to be nice so perhaps a hike later or at least a bike ride or dog walk.

Simplicity - that's my theme of the day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happily Pulled Back Together

I feel much better today. My meltdown did not spill over into any more days. I am in good spirits. I even feel good about not getting that job I interviewed for Monday. I got an e-mail from them when I returned from my lunch with Laura. It was totally cool to meet Laura for lunch!!! The first blogging friend I have met in person!! Right here in my neck of the woods.. It is amazing to have made friends all over the country. Real people... very supportive people. I need you guys! It makes me want to go to the Blogher conference.

After Sunday's mini meltdown I have been pondering a few things. For one, I don't want to change jobs yet. At least not until the kids are out of school. For another, I really want that severance pay and perhaps a even a month off. I feel like I have been trying to do too much again. Maybe just in my head, thinking I NEED to do too much RIGHT NOW. I want to take some time and get all peaceful again. I have not been too peaceful. Since they cut off our overtime, I can happily leave the office at the end of the day knowing that I CAN'T stay late no matter how much work there is. That is a plus to the quality of my life. I need to be out walking, bike riding, teaching my daughter how to drive, going to the gym with my grandson and so on..having some fun. Life is too short to work too much.

I know it is risky but I feel like waiting at least until I get my 60 day notice to start looking again. Maybe even 30 days after my 60 days begins. When I was interviewing for this job I felt a lot of pressure. I could visualize being in that highly corporate, very disciplined environment where people don't even have pictures on their office walls (I could not figure that one out but all three offices I sat in had NO pictures, bare walls - maybe it's just because the walls were white or something) and stay late every day. I could visualize being in traffic at 7:30 a.m. stressing whether I'd make it by 8 a.m. sharp. I did not like the feeling very much. I was willing to do it. But in my heart I was feeling like I HAD to, and I was resenting it. Maybe I am just not ready to do it. Part of me was on board with doing it..but part of me was a tad freaked out about it. I always try and look on the bright side.

Right now I don't want to think about jobs. I just want to do the one I still have, and focus on getting my personal life a little more in order. Like my diet and exercise, my kids, my parents. I kept thinking that if I took another job and something happened with my Dad I would not have the time to take off and go down there. There is an advantage to staying put. A quality of life advantage. There is also a sense of freedom or something in being in a situation that I know is going to go away. Not sure what that is but there's something about it. There's an energizing challenge in the high volume of work we are doing, and a joy in the fact that no matter what I can't work more than a 40 hour week.

Anyway, I am taking a week, maybe more, off of looking, thinking, and even talking about finding a new job. After that I will think about it again. For now I am giving myself a vacation. I did feel a tad rejected about that job. I wanted to be wanted, but I did not know if I wanted them..sort of like with the guys I've dated.. hmmm..maybe I need to look at that.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Secretly Falling Apart

Yesterday I had a silent meltdown, well not entirely silent. It started with Grandson. We had a little deal the night before about him not checking in and running around the neighborhood until 9, basically gone all day and going about 6 hours without calling. He had his phone but the battery died. Some of this is just a training issue. He is not used to having such an active social life. He gets distracted and forgets. So I was not real hard on him but I gave him a small consequence, and grounded him for the rest of the night and for the remainder of the weekend, with an exception that a couple boys could come over and work on the bike the next day for a little while.

So the next morning I wanted him to do his chores. He kept forgetting, stopping etc. to text on the phone I presumed and to go up on his computer to check e mails. I had a simple solution. Give me the phone until the chores are finished. I asked for the phone. He refused to hand it over. This went on for more than I was comfortable with. It was the first time he flat refused to comply with something. I finally told him that I'd just get the line shut off and then he handed it over. I was not ready for a battle with him. I was very upset. I let him know that I expected way more respect than that. We had gotten in a discussion about seeing his mother the night before and that did not go so hot either. I had a lecture to give and it did not go over so hot. I was resentful and I could have handled it better but I did not do so bad either. He was way out of line and I am not going to permit it.

For a while I stayed ticked off and that fueled some carpet cleaning downstairs that I have been wanting to do. Then I got really depressed. Go lay in bed and do absolutely nothing depressed. Eat four pop tarts and lay in bed even more depressed. That was the bulk of the remainder of my day. Until calling for pizza because I could not leave the house and grocery shop and we had no food to make for dinner. I tried shutting myself off from the pizza but ended up having some of that. Pizza and pop tarts. Made for a nice hefty bloated weight gain this morning. I did manage to get it together in the late evening and read up on some information related to the project that the company I am interviewing is working on. I went to bed early and slept off the day. Grandson apologized later in the evening. We made up before bedtime after not speaking much to each other all day.

So I was again very prepared and put together (but for the snuggish feeling of the belly hanging over my clothes) for my second interview. I met with the boss of the woman I met with last week. He talked to me for over an hour. It was a good meeting. I noticed a paper identifying an internal candidate, though, on the desk of the hiring manager. I like many things about this opportunity but my heart will not break if I don't get an offer. For one thing the thought of changing jobs right now overwhelms me. I am still not warmed up to the big change. I have moments where I feel it is exciting but then I also have anxiety, sadness and other feelings. Adjustments will involve the kids. Leaving earlier before Grandson gets on the bus has it's risks. He left the bathroom door open and the dog locked himself in the bathroom for the day - a bizarre thing he does with some nasty side effects, not to mention the scratching on the door. We can prevent that by kenneling the dog. I know I can work it out if it happens, we will manage.

I think I am dealing with fear, and other feelings I have not identified yet. But I need to identify them because I am starting to eat at them. There is sadness at the passing of my job. It is familiar, it is close to home, it is flexible at times. I know everyone, I know what to expect. I have been there a long time. The unknown, the adjustments, the possibility of no job, all that stuff creeps in my thoughts. I need to journal it, express it, and find a positive way to channel the stress and emotions. I refuse to gain more weight. That will piss me off.

So I am in my room getting ready to get another good night's sleep. I am going back to basics. Planning meals, prepping food, sleeping as much as I can, and taking care of me. I have been doing some of that but then I deviate. I know I was not ready for the Grandson thing, and I know I reacted more than normal perhaps because of the past. But I need to get in touch with that stuff so I can deal with him without taking things personally. He's a teenager. My daughter went through this. I have books. I have other parents to talk to. I just get really scared. I went through so much with my boys. I refuse to go through that again. But this is different. Grandson is doing normal social stuff, football, skateboarding, hanging out. He is doing reasonably well in school. I need to stay in the here and now and not the past and not the what if's of future stuff that is not even happening.

I know this is a long post but I am desperate not to eat to cover, soothe, or suffocate my feelings. I can't do it. I have come too far. Stress is part of life. There are other ways to deal.

Well thanks to anyone who made it to the end of this post. I needed to write it. I hope it makes sense. I can't do this alone. I have been secretly falling apart in my mind. Not so much on the outside, but mostly on the inside. I can't keep it a secret for long. It shows up as body fat!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Interview Clothes

We took pictures (again) tonight of me in the interview wardrobe. My daughter and I agree that the pictures don't do the clothes justice. And, I look a bit slimmer in them in person. I am not fond of the photos but they are better than the first round we took. So scroll down and let me know what you think. The first interview suit is really lovely in person. Hard to capture in the pictures. Maybe I should photo this stuff on the hangers, it might look better!! Anyway, take a look. I have been doing really good in the evening with not eating after dinner except for a small snack if I really feel hungry. But I still feel like Mrs. Puff. I cannot complain though, the suits are tens and they are a teeny bit loose here and there. I am counting my blessings. It has been fun putting together outfits.

Check out the shoe

The picture does not do it justice. It is a navy blue.

Second Interview

First Interview

I know the glaring & glowing makes a bad quality photo but it gave the best idea of the fit and shape of the suit or me in the suit. The suit is a dark chocolate color.

I am not liking my glasses. Too big. I miss my little rounded ones. I think I am going to get them back. Oh, and my hair is not really orange..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I now have a second interview on this coming Monday. Friday night I bought a beautiful suit. I will have to post a picture. We took some but I hated them so I did not post them. I bought another on Saturday morning but it won't work for the second interview. It is a beautiful color but I want to go conservative. First interview suit was a beautiful chocolate brown. I got shoes and a bag to match. Second interview will be with higher ups. I want to be impeccable. I will do black or dark navy. I may even do more shoes and a bag. I see this as an investment. I am dressing for the part I want. Successful and well paid. So well put together is a must. I got compliments and thumbs up from co-workers on the first interview suit - so let's see how I do on the second. The clothes part is fun.

Work is stressful. And irritating. But I am glad I have a job. Parent company is making cuts and no more overtime is allowed. I feel like I can't get out the door fast enough but then again, I don't mind staying until the bitter end if a good opportunity does not come up. I still have time and I can always work with a recruiter.

Food has been not bad but not great. Not gaining. Not losing. Was grateful to fit perfectly, if not slightly loose in a ten for the suits. They feel good. My body feels kinda yuck though. Not much exercise. Really distracted with job stuff, and other things. But hanging in there.