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 - 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...