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!!

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another Quickie

In June I think I lost two more pounds, and I kept off the May loss. So things are moving along. I feel good. I had a nice doctor's appointment. My weight was a pound less than it was last August. We did blood work so I will get to see the difference weight loss has made in my cholesterol. It was to the edge when I was at my high weight. My ratio was just up to the end of normal. I have been getting more exercise and also improving my attitude at work.

My day trip Saturday was fun. I was sleep deprived, though, but even on top of that I had a good time. I needed to get away and relax and have some fun. Also, my friend is handy at fixing things. A call from my tenant came in on the way home and he offered to go take a look at the dryer. I was so tired I did not want to do it but he said let's just go do it. So we did. He took the back off and was sitting behind it a for a while. I came in to check and he had fished a pair of women's underwear from the motor fan. The dryer was fixed. I was overjoyed. It was also funny. In fact, on my way home I could not call the tenant and tell her the dryer was working because I was laughing too hard. Him sitting back there tossing the undies to me and explaining the situation..

Anyway, my work week has had its ups and downs. But yesterday seemed to be a breakthrough for me. I feel like the fever broke and I am on my way to better mental health where the office is concerned. The doctor prescribed something to help me sleep which is actually an old anti-depressant that they quit using for depression because it makes people drowsy. I think I am getting the benefits from it now. Sleep and some anti-depressant treatment.

Whatever it is I will take it. I rode my bike at 6 a.m. yesterday, and again in the evening. I grilled on the newly renovated gas grill (handy friend rebuilt it on Sunday) on my patio two nights in a row. I have a sense of well being more now than I have had for a while.

More will be revealed. I plan to catch up on my blogging this weekend. Looking forward to a no-plans weekend of piddling around the house and yard, and sleeping..and doing whatever I feel like.