Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cherries

This is not a post about eating. It is post about grieving. Every year all my life chocolate covered cherries were under the tree for my father. We gave them to him when we were kids, and then my kids gave them to him. Every single year of my entire life. This year I noticed them first when I was waiting in a long line at the grocery store just before Thanksgiving. Then as Christmas approached and I was doing my shopping and thinking of what to get for who, I could not imagine Christmas without having a gift for my father. There are so many fond memories of him and Christmas. I could not imagine watching It's a Wonderful Life - that was his all time favorite Christmas movie and we watched it every Christmas with him, even in the later stages of his Alzhiemer's. I finally started crying last Sunday on the way to the mall. I had bought a box of chocolate covered cherries to put under the tree in his memory.

I decided that I would go to his grave and bring a wreath, and the chocolate covered cherries and have one with him. I had not been to the grave since they set the tombstone. So I went and picked out a pretty wreath with silver ribbons. Silver Bells is one of the carols I remember him singing. We have a recording of him playing the guitar and singing it. He would play guitar and record us singing carols when we were kids. We still listen to those recordings sometimes at Christmas. My brother keeps the archives of all the family recordings.

I never visited a grave before. It was comforting to decorate it and to talk to him and I even sang some of Silver Bells. It was cold. I cried but I felt like I had spent some of my Christmas with him. I felt like I included him in my life.

I have been kind of up and down. My weight is at my pre Thanksgiving weight and that is good. I am not that intersted in food and the Christmas Eve and Christmas day food will be easier and safer than Thanksgiving. I am having the family at my house both days. It stresses me a bit but then I am also excited, too. I am ignoring the rental house situation. I got it ready to show and already have one prospect that wants to move in the first of February. I will get back to that next week.

I wanted to check in and wish anyone still reading my bog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I ate at least three servings of triscuit thin crisps tonight and I don't know how many Hershey peppermint kisses. I have to be honest and accountable. This is not good. I am trying so hard to keep my spirits up and my stress level down about that rental property fiasco. Last night I went and looked at it. Stuff all over the place. Trash, bags of it in the shed. Debris and personal items strewn about. The carpet looks awful. Walls with smudges, filthy toilets, and so on. I want to be an optimist and just let it roll off. I can do that most of the time but I have moments where I think I just cannot do this. I have to pay their unpaid trash bill or the trash company will never allow trash pickup there again. There's some really weird trash monopoly situation in that county. I have to pay their unpaid sewer bills. This adds to already a couple of hundred dollars. I don't want to dwell on it. I am going to stop talking about it. My point here is that I keep making all this effort to be upbeat about it but I came home and hit the crackers and kisses. Like the underlying stress jumped out and grabbed for the food. I am responsible for this eating episode and I have to be extra vigilant during this potentially stressful time.

I have been very cheerful and happy around the house with the kids, and I have been chipping away steadily at that laundry pile and other little areas of clutter. I have energy and I even find myself liking my job. I have a deep appreciation for my job today. I have a deep appreciation for my life today. Being alive. I have been reading about Elizabeth Edward's passing and thinking to myself, what if this was my last day and I spent it obsessing over that rental property situation? I have no time to waste. I only need to think about it when I am doing a task that relates to it. When the task is finished, I can move on. I can do my tasks with joy. The joy of being alive and able to do these things. I appreciate the fact that I was able to move out here in spite of still owning that house in the old neighborhood and put the kids in a better school and living situation. It is worth the whole rental stuff, and I am going to keep on with it as long as necessary. I can emotionally detach and treat is like a business. Think of the workout I will get cleaning up the place on Saturday. I can't pay my next year's gym fee due to this financial interruption so I will have to find other ways to work out.

More will be revealed.

Okay time for sleep. The eating episode is over. I forgive myself and move on.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is it ever enough?

I was talking to a good friend yesterday and I told her what I had done so far that day, commenting that I felt like I had not accomplished anything. She told me that it sounded like I had done many things already and that every time we talk I am always doing many things. It was one of those moments where I realized something about myself that I am not sure I ever knew before. I know I have the "not good enough" concept about myself lurking in the back of my mind waiting to pounce on any flaw or mistake. But what I see now is that I never think I DO enough. I am always feeling unaccomplished like there is so much left to do, or worse lately, that this is it, and I am NEVER going to DO anything, its all over, etc.

I have had the feeling of lack, that's what I call it, about food, money, love, etc. - like there is never going to be enough, I can't get enough, I don't have enough, and so on. I believe that leads to hoarding, overeating, etc. but this lack feeling applied to DOING - how does it impact me? It leads to feeling like a failure. I can feel overwhelmed and inadequate. I am going to address this feeling and how it effects me. It can also lead to the what's the use, why don't I just sit and eat philosophy. All stress can lead me to eat, I already know that.

So, I want to visualize what would be ENOUGH doing. Does my house need to be perfectly clean? All work at the office finished? My weight at a normal BMI? One 45 or longer exercise session per day? Eating on plan all day? Maybe I need to set some minimum standards for some of these things.

This weekend I started clearing out this massive pile of clothes in my room, sorting what can go, what stays and laundering what needs to be washed. It is a BIG project. It grows as I work at it. I want to pitch it all and frankly I believe I'd never miss it if I did.

I lost another Thanksgiving pound. I am still ticked off about those. But glad I am somewhat back on track. I have not eaten in front of the TV. I watched a movie last night and I realized that If I watched a movie each night I would not eat in the evening. I like having a NO EATING zone. In fact, maybe I could only eat at the table (what a concept) and then everywhere else would be a no eating zone. I may try that after the TV experiment, branch it out. Overeating is most likely related to eating everywhere while doing everything. If eating was just eating at the table would I eat less? I believe so. Maybe I can find that out.

UPDATE - My tenants did not contact me yet about the rent and I got a funny feeling so I looked them up on facebook. They are in Indiana staying in a hotel, working jobs and house hunting. The whole story is chronicled in their facebook posts. They quite their jobs on Nov 8th and she got a job up in Indiana and took a bus, then he came up after Thanksgiving. They left their kids with relatives and my house is locked and their stuff is still in it. I doubt I see anymore money and I guess I will call a lawyer tomorrow. This was a huge shock for me but I am determined not to let it bring me down. It is a huge financial strain among other things but I was just climbing out of that awful depression and I refuse to let this take me back down. I am having steamed veggies (not in front of the tv) and we are decorating the tree. I may not be able to spend much money this year for presents but I am going to keep a cheerful outlook for me and my kids and be merry all the same. Here we go again, but this time around I am more seasoned, educated and experienced about the whole house thing. I just wish,....

Friday, December 3, 2010


My weight is stagnant and I regret Thanksgiving now because I was progressing. Phooey. But I am not giving up, I am eating sanely and exercising and all that jazz. And being patient. And forgiving myself and encouraging myself and others who are on the same journey. Today I made a tastey salmon salad for lunch. Trying to get more salmon in the diet.

I also signed up for a "study" where we try and stick with one changed behavior for two weeks. My behavior change is not eating in front of the TV. Very good one for me because even though I do not watch lots of TV, I usually eat when I do. Also, I watch more TV when I eat in front of it, and I eat more when I eat in front of the TV. I like movies. I decided that I will drink hot tea if I want something. I have not watched any TV since I started this. Too funny.

More will be revealed.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Steamed Veggies and other delights

I love steamed veggies. I especially enjoy broccoli with fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or low fat mozzarella. I have been mixing in celery and a few baby carrots the past few evenings. I also used up all the leftovers from the veggie dip tray on Thanksgiving for my steamed mix. I am focusing on the goodness of whole foods. I want to make sure I enjoy what I eat.

I also like frozen blueberries. Just small amount of large curd cottage cheese mixed in with a cup of frozen blueberries is a yummy frozen dessert for me. But it is full of nutrition. And guilt free. For my morning coffee indulgence I have been using seasonal coffee grounds like pumpkin spice, eggnog and peppermint with a tablespoon of half and half. Then I sprinkle in some spices. It makes a warm morning treat with no more than about 20-25 calories. I also have been enjoying sugar plum spice tea - a seasonal tea blend with no calories or caffeine. Also have some black cherry tea on hand at work for a rich fruity flavor in the afternoon. I love warm drinks. They are soothing. I am finding "comforts" without the calories.

I have settled into better eating after my holiday splurges. I decided to be more prudent at Christmas and have a menu that is easier to live with like a big salad and some shrimp. I still have another turkey to cook but the sides will be different. I just don't like taking a whole week to recover after a few days of eating outside of my boundaries.

I toyed with joining weight watchers but I hate when I spend money and don't follow a plan. Not that I wouldn't but this past year I spend some money on another program and ended up not doing it at all and gaining weight instead. I lost weight before by being flexible but sticking to some rules that I can adjust if need be. Weight watchers looks somewhat flexible and I like the idea of going to a meeting and weighing in. So I am still not finished toying with the idea yet.

More will be revealed

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back to the New Normal

I had a very relaxing long weekend. I increased my walking to twice a day now. I also found a new hiking spot on Saturday. It is on the way home from where I take my daughter to work on
Saturday mornings. My Thanksgiving dinner turned out good, but the last half hour is pretty intense with all the things that have to happen at basically the same time. My Mom made the pies the day before but I kept her out of the kitchen on Thursday. Everyone cleared out not too long after dinner except for my Mom, me and my brother which was nice because we watched very old family movies from the late sixties, early seventies and also listed to some audio recordings from when we were kids. I just relaxed and drank tea in my recliner and got up once in a while to re-load the dishwasher. I watched movies most of the weekend when I was not walking or running little errand or two. It was very low key. I liked it that way.

But now I am back to regular eating on my plan. I had deviations every day over the weekend but I suppose it could have been much worse. I decided to weigh in a couple of days from now to see if I have balanced out. Work is very busy and today my back/neck started hurting so I need to watch out and do my yoga and stretches, and make sure I am not sitting too long in certain positions in front of the computer. Also need to focus on getting plenty of sleep.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Long Days

Yesterday I worked until 7 and grocery shopped yet again. I forgot to start thawing the turkey so I decided to get another one - that isn't frozen. I bought more stuff. When I got home the internet was not working and I could not post. It rained and I did not get to dogwalk. Today I had to go straight to court after work. Last January a woman hit my car as I was driving through a parking lot. She left the scene and was prosecuted for it. She had no insurance and told me so before she left the accident scene. I posted about it at the end of last January. When the police caught up with her she produced fake insurance information and I never got paid my deductible and out of pockets for the rental. I forgot the whole thing, it was just one more unpleasant event in the midst of a whole slew of big deals last winter. Then out of the blue I got a subpoena to appear as a witness for her trial for leaving the scene of an accident.

I did not want to go. I dreaded it really. I did not want to remember that incident, face that person, and testify. I did not want to go back to that area where it happened, either. But I went mostly because I had to go. I sat and sat and waited and a prosecutor called me back and he read the police reports for the first time and asked me questions. I brought my bills for my damages and insurance. He said he was going to try for a guilty plea and make her pay restitution. But we agreed there was little chance of me seeing any money. So after I sat down he called her back and they were back there for a long time. Then he came out and said she was going to plead guilty. After he went through the whole plea deal to the judge and went over a summary of the case and the evidence, the judge asked her to plea and she started crying loudly and said she did not understand it and that I hit her and she did not understand what was going on. So the judge asked her if she wanted a trial and she said yes. So we had to wait some more and then me and the cop had to testify. She chose not to cross examine me (interesting) but she cross examined the cop who testified that he tracked her down to her house and took a statement from her. She told him that he told her that I was acting goofy like maybe I had been drinking or something (then prosecutor objects for leading witness) but the cop denied that he said anything like that to her and denied that I seemed goofy. That was bizarre and strange to me and I did not like her doing that. Then I had to testify again, and so on. She somehow evolved a defense that I hit her and that she left the scene to "cut me a break" or something like that. The court did not buy it and found her guilty and ordered fines and restitution. I did not like the experience at all.

She lied about what I said, she tried to imply I was under the influence or drunk and she did a lot of sobbing as if she was the victim. I guess that's what people do but it made me feel uneasy. It made me feel guilty like I did something wrong but all I did was call the police to the scene of an accident so I could have a report to turn into my insurance because the driver said they had no insurance. She left and that started the ball rolling on her case. I did not like seeing her get a fat fine and restitution, but it's a result of her own actions. If she thought it was my fault, she should have stayed and got my insurance information, and helped make the police report.

I was there for three hours at least. I just wanted to go home. And I did but I made sure I got out of there while she was still at the clerk's window trying to get her license back because I did not want any parking lot confrontations. She may have been crying in court (loud with high drama) but I am not sure what she would be like on the parking lot out of view of the judge, prosecutor and cops.

Anyway, the ick of it all should wear off. I just don't like being blamed when I am the victim.

I don't like being the "victim" either. I just want to be me.

My Mom is here and she apparently is not into the cooking of Thanksgiving dinner. I am cooking, but thought we'd kinda do it together, but I feel her negativity about it already. I want to just do it and try and make it happy no matter what she says. I was talking about making the pies (pumpkin using frozen crust - thought it would be easy) and she said "I dont want to think about the dinner" so maybe she was just tired.

I can do the whole thing without her help but I thought since she is here and I am working all day tomorrow she could throw a couple pumpkin pies in the oven but she seemed to doubt I had what she would need to make them, utensils, enough ingredients, and so forth and said she did not like cooking in other people's kitchens. Ok. I felt a little unhappy about all that.

I think I need sleep. More will be revealed. After the conversation with Mom I went out yet again and bought more stuff just to be sure she would have WAY more stuff than we needed. I also bought a frozen pie. Just in case..hee hee. It is really late.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kinda Lazy, Kinda Sad

I was two pounds down this morning from last Sunday. I cannot say I have been perfect with food this weekend but better. I took an hour walk yesterday. I have been really tired with that feeling of almost being sick. Today daughter had an opening for an art exhibit where one of her drawings was on display. She was disappointed that she did not win anything but her artwork was very good. It was an exhibit with high schools from all over the state and one of her friends took the first place in drawing.

I have to admit I have been feeling depressed a little the past few days. I feel lonely often but I don't feel like getting out and socializing either so I am sort of stuck in that spot. When grocery shopping the other night I saw chocolate covered cherries on display - every year without fail we brought those to my Dad on Christmas. Since childhood no Christmas went without Dad getting chocolate covered cherries. I even found a chocolate covered cherry coffee last year. This is the first holiday season without him. I find it hard to talk about my feelings.

So what to do? I don't know. I want sleep and withdraw and hide out but the hiding out really does not make me feel better, it brings on loneliness. But when I think of going out around people, sometimes a little panic sets in.

Anyway, that's what is going on with me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick Check in to stay an track

Tonight I snacked on a big bowl of steamed broccoli. I am still full. I also feel like I am coming down with a cold but I want to ignore it. Must catch up on exercise this weekend since I got sluggish this week. The weather will be nice for hiking. Just checking in. Very sleepy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


No, not nuts like crazy nuts, thankfully. Walnuts. Too many. After dinner. But not to worry, the rest of the day was perfect. So I will move on. I get the nuts thinking I will have a few because they are good for me, and so on. But I NEVER have been able to stop at a few. Something about me and nuts. Must be the fat or something. Anyway I was a pound down this morning. I weigh every day to keep myself honest. Otherwise I can "pretend" I am losing, or that I really don't need to lose, etc.

I am not feeling like exercising, feel very tired, and a little like I am fighting a cold or maybe it is the drop in food intake. I will get as much sleep as I can tonight and see how I feel tomorrow. I want to eat less AND exercise, not just one or the other. It takes two.

More will be revealed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Magic of 3

There is something about getting through the first three days of a change in eating. If I can get those first three under my belt I get the momentum going. I don't feel like I am making a drastic change in what I eat, more about how much I eat, especially in the evening. Ok, wait, the "what" did have to change by cutting out sweets and junk but it does not feel like a big deal. It feels normal, like home. I would like fast results and I know I could get some by cutting carbs way down but I decided to avoid extremes and go with something I can live with in the long term. I may get creative as time goes on, but right now I am just happy to stick within my daily food budget.
It is raining tonight, so I will opt for indoor exercise unless it stops long enough for a walk. I like walking in the cold, crisp night air. I feel a little blah this evening, but I am making sure to do my nightly check in.

Things are going well at home these days. Both kids had fantastic grades. Daughter has been working a part time job at the mall at a pretzel place. I can probably attribute some of this stubborn gain to the nights she was bringing us treats, pretzel dogs, bites, etc. But that's coming to an end because she decided to take a receptionist job at a car dealer working Saturdays only. I like that idea because she will not work school nights, or any nights - and just in time for winter weather. Plus no more fattening food. She stopped bringing things home a while back anyway because neither one of us wanted the calories. Even the dog started turning up his nose.

That's my report. I feel like I am on the right path for now. Time to do some exercises!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No excuses today, either

I am tired, but keeping to my comittment to report everyday. Today I stuck within my boundaries for food. Exercise was less than planned but I still managed a mall walk. I worked late so it has been a long day. I am happy to go to bed knowing that I did not overeat today. I got an apple at the vending machine when I knew I was going to be staying past dinner time. Apples fill me up and keep me satisfied for a while in a pinch. I want to get a very good night's sleep tonight so I can get up and exercise in the morning.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today Worked

I stayed in my food budget today and I walked tonight. It is almost eight and I feel satisfied. I did a few push-ups this morning. It was not easy and I did not get as low as I could two years ago. Last night I was looking at my exercise blog and felt sad when I read how many push-ups I was doing a day, among other things. I have been reading old posts and going back to when I reached my goal. Okay, I am only about 15 pounds heavier than back then and I can get back there. I did not stay at my normal body mass index very long, only for a few months but I stayed close to it, and then teetered up and down. Now I am solidly overboard with only teetering up and no teetering down and I want to overcome the feeling of being so far away. It's not that far. Not nearly as far away as I was in 2005. I want that excited - anything can happen - feeling back.

So I have been reading blogs. Blogs give me hope and keep me motivated. I don't feel alone anymore. There are so many great blogs with so many different strategies, ideas, recipes and so on. I could browse blogs all night long. It keeps me busy and it motivates me.

I also wrote a list of my "excuses" that I have been using to not get serious again. Then I wrote a counter to each one. It was a good exercise. I wrote the truth about each excuse. The truth is that I want to get back down to that normal BMI and back to that level of fitness. I want to get a little lower than that this time and then stay there. The truth is that I can do it. The truth is that it is not that hard. The truth is that I did it before.

So, no more excuses. I have a goal, I have a plan, I have my mother coming next week (yikes) and the holidays ahead but there is NOTHING that HAS to stand in my way. In fact, I can turn it all to the good. I can be that much happier on Thanksgiving if I don't go into that day (and it is only ONE DAY) feeling already bloated and defeated. I can wake up that day feeling lean on the inside from having some sane eating under my belt. I can wake up that morning with that excited - anything can happen - feeling. I can take a long morning hike with the dog and have healthy indulgences that don't leave me with remorse. And so on...

More will be revealed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Joys of Hiking and Having a Plan

I was only going to hike an hour today but I ended up hiking two hours and 5.5 miles because it was such a beautiful day for hiking and it felt so good. This hike has some high climbing which makes for a very good workout, plus some scenic spots to take a short rest. The weather was warmer than I expected. I am looking forward to the colder days. I love warm, cozy clothes and fires in the fireplace! I have decided to limit food intake to 12-1500 calories a day this next week, high on the lean protein and as low as possible on the sugar and no junk. My life is feeling much more balanced and I can pay more attention to food choices and simplify my meals. I can use a zero tolerance attitude again and reap the benefits of doing so. I have gotten into the habit of giving in easily and putting off "getting serious" and the result is a fluctuation without ever getting back down and staying in the range where I feel best. If I want to do that I need to make it a priority, be true to myself and just DO IT. I know how. My body feels so good after a nice long strenuous hike. And I feel so good mentally and emotionally when I stick to a higher protein, low to no sugar food program packed with natural whole foods. I feel calm, confident, stable and hopeful. So this week I am committed to blogging every day before bed to stay accountable and celebrate my success! That's the Plan.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quick Post

I have had trouble with my wireless signal so I have not been on the internet. The picture that I posted last week was from a scenic drive I took with my Mom last weekend. This weekend I went back to that same area and hiked in the bluffs overlooking the river. Have had some great walks and hikes with the dog in the fall weather.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


The picture is not the Wow, read on..

Today I had a major awakening. Now I know nothing I say here has not been said before by me, but the way I feel about it is different. This morning I realized that at my age and activity level I do not NEED the amount of calories I take in each day. I also eat way too much sugar and do not NEED sugar at all. I have been eating for all the wrong reasons, boredom, tiredness, loneliness, anxiety and so on. Now I have always known this, but today it just all made perfect sense and I felt real peaceful about it. What makes sense now also is I do not NEED the food for the anxiety, boredom, tiredness, loneliness and so on, either. There are real solutions for those. Food is just an illusion, a quick fix, a crutch and it hurts more than it helps in the long run.

I know I have said this in many ways and felt it and believed it before yet I could not do anything about it. But today it became easy - like a light went on or something. I decided to cut the sugar entirely, and cut a majority of the unnecessary carbs and eat a very small "meal" every couple of hours or so and see how each food made me feel. I drank lots of water. I took time to marvel at the nourishment of the food and taste, and what it was going to do for my body. I also noted how I felt after I ate to see which foods were better for keeping me steady. I think this may be what they call mindful eating but I did not plan it that way.

I also wrote in my journal what I can do for all those emotions and feelings that used to trigger food "craving" and I know I have done THAT before, too. But today it made simple sense and felt easy. I wrote out what I was looking forward to doing at home tonight that had nothing to do with food and there was a nice list (included blogging) and then I wrote about what food I could look forward to enjoying if I needed to eat. There was no struggle today over food. No conflict. I ate what I planned to eat. I ate what made sense and I appreciated it. I took my dog walk, did my errands, etc., and now it is close to bedtime. I am satisfied and happy and have NO desire for food.

Wow, what is the deal? I am going to enjoy this. It's great! PS here is a picture that Grandson took of me and the dog after church yesterday. Its the only photo of me I have liked in over a year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Add Yoga and Fall Colors

I have now added yoga to my routine. Fundamental beginner stuff. But it helps. My back feels better. I do it at work, too, in my office and it gives me energy. I have been meditating more and I feel calm. I do not get that tight feeling in my chest at work like I was having every day for a while. It is a big relief. I am still walking every day. I found a nice little park to take nature walks in on my lunch hour. It has enough hills for it to be a nice little burst of a workout. It has been breezy and a little cooler, my favorite kind of weather. I want to start keeping a food diary, all day, not just during the daytime hours. It's the evenings that get me. I now have regular exercise so all I need is less food, less carbs, more lean protein and I can't help but take off those nagging ten pounds, right? Must be a reason I hang onto them, but I am willing to let them go. Willing enough to give up whatever it is I get out of eating extra food.

Anyway, I am happy to be happy again. More will be revealed!!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I have risen out of the depression. I think it may have been the worst stretch I can recall. I feel so much lighter now. As if all burdens simply melted away like a long hard winter snow. I attribute much of the recovery to my regular walks, my positive meditations and readings and the training of my thoughts. I have been diverting the negative thoughts, replacing them with realistic but positive ones. It is becoming a natural response, a habit. I am also being careful who I spend time with, converse with, so that I have more positive people in my life to balance things out. I am just happy the joy is returning. I even feel good at work sometimes, maybe almost all the time this past week or so. I feel optimistic. I don't feel trapped or anxious over things that may happen. I don't feel burdened and overwhelmed. I feel like anything can happen. Good things. It's miraculous actually. I am excited about it. The finding of a church that I look forward to going to is also a major plus. I am going to take a class there and expand my spirituality. I don't feel closed off or like hiding out. I still have some cleanup from the days of lack. But nothing looms over me. I cleaned in my room last weekend and made it pleasant to enter. There are still areas to deal with but they do not dominate. It all feels manageable. I have been reading from three Emmet Fox books that I ordered one night off of Amazon. I have read his books for years because I favor his biblical interpretations and his positive message. The church I found also has a very positive message. I have changed my thoughts toward the good in my life and it grows. I am looking forward to life again. More will be revealed..

Friday, October 1, 2010

Still Walking, and Hiking

I am still walking and hiking and enjoying the fall weather. Still no significant weight loss, just losing and gaining back the same pounds but I have been feeling better mentally and even found a nice little church that I think I am going to like. I went there Sunday, and then I went Wednesday night for a meditation. I keep trying to do better with food but my deviations occur consistently at the end of the day. So perhaps I can go to bed earlier!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hiking Boots

I bought my hiking boots on Saturday morning and broke them in that afternoon. I took a rocky trail that climbed very high and looped around for over three miles. It was great. Out in the quiet woods. It was strenuous and I felt great afterward. The boots kept my feet protected from the sharp rocks. They gripped well and my feet felt stable. They are not too heavy even though they are sturdy. Sunday I took shorter trail, mostly flat with the dog. We ran into a cotton mouth snake. It struck at the dog but missed and then the dog moved back towards the snake and I had to jerk the leash and run the other way. I need to bring the camera on my next hike. I have missed some photo opportunities in the wild. I am enjoying my new walking/hiking passion very much. And my legs feel stronger. A pound came off. I am getting a bit frustrated about the sluggish weight loss but not letting it get me down. I just keep moving on and trying every day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Still Walking

I walked everyday this week except Friday. I was very tired so I took it easy. It is gloomy this morning and I feel a tad bit down so I am at the coffee shop having tea. My scale is not going down like I want. I did lose a pound and I am making changes in my food so something has to give, right? I shopped for hiking boots. I may get a pair today. The walking shoes feel fantastic. I look forward to hikes in the fall colors.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Right Direction

I know why I like walking. It's simple. You point yourself in a good direction, and just keep on moving. That's what I have decided to do with my life. The dog and I took an 8.3 mile hike yesterday. It was very hilly and rugged. It took about four hours with a few breaks. It is a very scenic trail through woods and bluffs that overlook the river. It was breezy and cool, a perfect day for a hike. My food was not the best in the evening, but it was not the worst, either. I feel like I am making progress. My state of mind is much better. This morning I took a short walk and I was surprised that I am not sore from yesterday's hill climbing. I must be in better shape than I thought.

I also made a little progress in my room. I took two big piles of paperwork and sorted it out while watching a movie. It took a couple of hours. My room is overwhelming but I will get it together. It was a little sad going through the things. There was a file of information from the Alzheimer's Association, and lots of medical bills from when I was in the hospital, daughter's hospital stay, etc. There were numerous papers reflecting the job loss and somewhat disappointing new job.

I need to go easy on myself. I have been through so much in such a relatively short amount of time. I am grateful to be more on the other side of it now. I feel hopeful and steady. I talk down my negative thinking and don't dwell on ideas that bring me down.

More will be revealed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Shoes and Attitude

Hard to believe I have not blogged in almost two weeks. I have been busy in a very good way. Last weekend I did some major cleaning. I am very happy with my first floor. I enjoy being there again. I have also been taking very long walks with the dog. Tonight we walked about five and a half miles - in an hour and fifteen minutes. We took an hour walk Tuesday night and a forty minute walk on Monday. Those are good workouts for me, and the dog is very happy, too. But, I did not have good walking shoes and my feet were starting to bother me. So, tonight I went out and bought some very comfy and supportive shoes. They feel great. What a difference! I cannot wait to try them out tomorrow. Next, I want hiking boots because I am planning to do some scenic hikes now that the weather is cooling down.

I am feeling good again. The kids are enjoying school. Daughter is doing fantastic now. She has a part time job, she drives herself to school and work. Being busy is good for her. Grandson has a knee problem, but we went to the right doctor and he is going to have some physical therapy, etc. Long word for it, but not serious. He is very athletic, two gym classes plus weight room after school. First he was really upset about having to limit his activities for the next month, but he is feeling ok about it now. I am glad I took care of it right away so it can get better.

Taking care of my little circle of responsibility (me, my household, the two kids) is what we talked about in therapy the other night. I had two sessions this week and one last week. I think I should go often. It helps. I get confused and feel responsible for people when I am not. I feel guilty about being happy if someone else is not happy and so on. Anyhow, I am getting better now.

When I am feeling healthier mentally, I treat myself better physically. It comes naturally. I couple of weeks ago, feeling desperate, I bought HCG diet drops on the internet. When they arrived I was afraid to use them. The diet is 500 calories a day, except the first two days where you eat "lots of fattening food" - this all sounded bizarre to me. The HCG drops are supposed to contain a hormone (HCG) that makes this all work out really good, you lose fat, not muscle, don't feel hunger, and so on, but I was scare of it. I was pissed I spend so much money on it. I decided to do it, and tried to have day one yesterday, but I ended up flushing it down the toilet in a restroom at work. It made me feel kind of light headed. I did not want to eat a bunch of fattening food, either. Isn't that great? I was instructed to eat as much as I wanted, and I did not rush out and gorge. I have definitely come a long, long, way. I did not even like thinking about eating a bunch of fatty foods. And, I did not want eat 500 calories a day for 23 days and not exercise. I did not want to take drops when I really was not sure of all their contents - 20 percent alcohol - a substance I am not supposed to ingest.

I feel good about the flushing of the expensive weight loss drops. When I lost the big weight I did it by eating in balance. I lost and kept the weight off by eating healthy food in smaller portions and by maintaining a balance in my life. I have not gained very much weight. This is not a major catastrophe. But it needs to be addressed immediately. I feel excited again. I look forward to changing my body. I know I can do this. I can adapt my program now to what works for me at this point in my life.
Long dog walks are working well this week. And that's good enough for me!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Today on the way home from my Mom's house I went a little out of the way to a state park. It was mainly to use an outdoor restroom because I had the dog with me. But it ended up in a nice nature hike with the dog. And a great picture taking session. I enjoyed it very much. I need to learn more about my camera so I can use settings to get better pictures in different light, etc. But for now I just enjoyed taking pictures and walking in the woods. We came upon this waterfall which was a real treat. I have a therapist appointment tomorrow. I had lunch with friends yesterday. I am appreciating my body more but still hoping to get on a better food/exercise program. For today I am grateful for the hike. And the dog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still Here

I'm still here. I appreciate the comments and support. Not much time to write but wanted to check in. I went to help my Mom get ready to move. I also took pictures of the property and my Dad's woodworking workshop and tool shed. I am thinking of art projects related to things that represent what he did in his life. I took home one of his manuscripts and started reading it. Unfortunately the first chapter described a soldier's funeral. So the detailed description of the military honors was just like his own funeral. I felt really weird after that. I stopped reading. I find I am sensitive and prone to depression the past couple of days but then, maybe that is how I always am.. I miss how I used to be. Happier and confident. I seem to have lost some confidence somewhere in the job loss, new job adjustment, death, illness and other things going on in the past year. I remember what it felt like to be excited about life and feel like I had things to look forward to. I hope to get that back. Today it is not here but I will get some sleep tonight and hope for the best. I know I need a therapist and I have one but I have been afraid to take time off of work and she only sees people in the day. flimsy excuse, right?

More will be revealed.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I am glad I did not delete my blog. I came up with a nice dream to satisfy my desire to escape. My new exit plan is to move to Belize. A nice little tropical country. It makes me feel good to dream of it. I need to start thinking of dreams without limitations so that I can get to know my own wants and needs. I have spent most of my life thinking of the wants and needs of others. That's not a bad quality but I have to balance it with taking care of myself and all that good stuff. Speaking of which I have eaten less today. I have slept more. This week my food volume was too high but my food choices were good. I felt better about my job, too.

I went to my Al anon group this morning and then had coffee with a friend. Sitting and talking with someone who understands is so, so helpful. She and her husband have much in common with me. I need to hear how other people deal with things. I know I am not alone. They, too, experienced a death in their family recently. It was very unexpected, a nephew in his forties. Then my other close friend's son in law died very suddenly in an accident just a couple of weeks ago. When I talk to about what they are going through it gives me perspective and allows me to exchange kindness and support.

I am thankful for the nice comments and support that I get on here. When I thought of deleting my blog the first thought was that I couldn't do that especially because I know that Vickie checks in on me regularly. After all these years I would feel like I was walking out on good friends even though we don't see each other in person.

I am going to help my Mom get ready to move. She is moving next weekend. I am going to see her new place now that the rehabbing is finished. I am going to help her shop for some furniture solutions and also figure out what she is not taking with her. It is a bit overwhelming to go there, but this weekend and next will most likely be the last time I see the property which they have owned for 25 years. I want to take some photographs of the place and some of my Dad's stuff, like his workshop. I have a mixture of emotions about it all.

I promise to be kind to myself. After I wrote my post the other night I was able to get up and do some things that made me feel better. It helped to be honest instead of hide out.

More will be revealed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting Desperate and Drastic

I almost deleted my blog today. I was going to delete myself from facebook and blogger. Some form of electronic suicide or something. I am frustrated with myself. Kind of disgusted with myself, too. I start and stop on my fitness efforts. I have never felt more tired than I do lately. A couple of my friends lost weight doing the HCG diet. I decided to order some. I waited to see if their weight stayed off and if they had any adverse reactions but so far no complaints and one of them lost the weight back in January I think. I only need or want to lose 20 pounds at the most so it seems like a short targeted program like that would be perfect. I have pondered this for some time now. So now that I paid for it and it is on its way to me I am committed. It is 26 to 30 days long. I feel desperate right now because I keep losing interest and trailing off when I start something. I just want to drop a chunk of weight and be done with it. I feel like I am getting back in the cycle of self loathing where I eat and hate myself and eat some more. Geez. I thought those days were over. How did I get here? Too much time alone isolating perhaps. But not motivated to really do much else. I feel like I could sleep for a year. If I get up and clothes feel tight I don't want to leave the house. That sort of thing. Anyhow, I don't post because I don't want to write stuff like this but thought I'd be honest instead of committing cybersuicide and deleting my blog. So the HCG seems drastic to me but I am going to go ahead with it. I spent too much money on it. I still have icky shakes from Body for Life, too. I feel a tad silly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Short Report

I went to the gym five times last week. I feel like I have some momentum now in the right direction. I made good dietary choices, too. But the scale did not budge. It has been a while since I have had such a stuck scale but I am not giving up. I will just make more dietary changes and keep on visiting the gym. Today all I had time for was a short bike ride up hill before we went out of town but I did it in the morning to get my brain going. I am not letting the scale get me down since I know I am making changes that will take me where I want to go.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gaining insight

The underlying causes of my overeating - I just read my little profile blurb for the first time in a while. I have gained much insight since 2006, and I did lose weight. I also gained some of it back, but have kept most of it off. My lowest weight was maintained for a few months. Then I fluctuated in a range I could live with and now I am at the scare weight, in fact I do not consider this weight a part of a range I can live with. I want to get back to that lowest weight and stay in a lower range. I feel sluggish and slow. Maybe I am just too old to carry this much around with me. I want to feel more energetic. Lighter. It has to be easier to carry 15 less pounds. I want to finish what I started.

What are the underlying causes of not sticking to a plan?- right now I think I just give up easy because I don't feel motivated. It seems too hard for some reason. My momentum turned to the wrong direction and stayed there a little too long. Too many things happened in too short of a time and I got overwhelmed. But I can do something now.

So I am relying this week on small actions every day. I took another short lunch hour workout at the gym today. I appreciate it even though I tell myself it is way less than I used to do. But it is more than I have been doing. I used weights in the morning at home and a little bit this evening for upper body. I am turning myself around and pointing myself in the right direction. Maybe I am not moving fast, but I am moving, and moving toward the goal.

I feel like I am recuperating after being stricken with a serious illness. I feel weak, but I know I have it in me to do this.

So that is the focus for this week, turning around and facing the right direction.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wow its been a while

Didn't realize how long it has been since I last posted. What have I been doing? Well, not losing weight. But I have been going to the gym again. Thank goodness!! And hey, its day two again! Sort of like groundhog day. I need to get my groove back. Or get a new groove. I keep wondering what happened to my peaceful, go with the flow, grateful, Zen-ish attitude. My backyard is a jungle this year and I have not sat out there once. Maybe I should just sit in the jungleness of it and enjoy it for what it is. Natural. My little nature spot. Like out in the wild. I could do that. I will try it tomorrow morning. I have had a decent attitude toward my job. I work hard and try and look at the good in it. I have sent a couple resumes, but I am also trying to make the best of the current situation.

I took a quick workout at the lunch hour today. I tire easy lately and it scares me. I feel very out of shape. But I am still showing up and doing whatever I can in whatever amount of time I have. It always makes me feel better. Food is going good this week also. I hear thunder outside and I think I will go on the porch and listen to the night storm. It is bedtime but I have been having trouble sleeping lately so I will take in some air first and see what happens.

More will be revealed...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yet another day two!

I always say Never Give Up. So I don't. I started my body for life over yesterday. I just finished a bike ride, the first of this entire year! First I walked the dog. It is one of those rare cool Summer evenings with low humidity. Perfect for outdoor enjoyment. I was concerned I would not make it up the hill, but I am happy to say that I am in better shape than I thought. It did wonders for my mental state.
Last week I had my performance review. I had to ask for it and remind the boss, which was not a good sign. I was given a below expectations rating. I never had a bad performance review in my life. I was not expecting a good one because I have missed so much work and it has been overwhelming given all the personal things that happened. What it said was that my first six months were difficult due to a number of personal things and that when I was able to focus on my work my performance was good. Something like that. And that since all that stuff is behind me now (not exactly but they can think that) they are looking forward to see what I can really do. What I really want to do is find another job.

I have never much liked this job. I won't go into why. I don't want to focus on it. When I was getting laid off last year this is not the job I dreamed of, longed for, and hoped to find. But the pay is good and it was offered to me easily and I needed the money. Given the job market it was somewhat of a miracle. I do not regret taking it. I do believe there is something out there for me that would provide for a better quality of life. Something more suitable for me and something for which I am better suited.

I made an appointment with the department chair at the college where I earned my professional degree. I want to brainstorm about what other types of work I can do with my background. Plus, I'd love to work in an academic environment. I am looking forward to seeing her. I have huge burnout right now. I'd agree I did not accomplish as much as I could have if my daughter and I had not been hospitalized and my father had not taken a turn for the worse, gone into the nursing home and then died, but factoring those things in (plus the stuff they don't know about) I think I did outstanding.

It was sort of a grand finale for the worst year of my life and I felt oddly liberated by it, but at the same time really sad. I feel sad and lonely at work frequently so I am now determined to do the best job I can do while looking for a new situation. I get the idea they may want me to leave. But I could be wrong. So each day I must seek out what makes me happy and partake in it, keep a positive attitude, and look for the good in my job. I am ready to move on in life. Out of depression and negativity. Those have been looming for too long. I must work harder to overcome by bringing more and more positive energy in wherever I can.

So, bike riding was a major uplift tonight. Perhaps some humor. Maybe I will look up jokes online before I go to bed.

More will be revealed.

Monday, June 21, 2010


It's Monday and I feel better. Last week I felt awful, physically and mentally. I went to the doctor Friday because I realized I most likely had a sinus infection. I feel much better after a few days of antibiotics. We also had my father's memorial Saturday. Although I was very tired from not sleeping well the night before and getting up very early to pick up everyone and get down there on time, I felt better after the memorial. It was very nice and afterwards we went out to eat and then spent a little time at my mother's house. I was pretty exhausted but felt good that we did it and everyone who wanted to come got to be there. Sunday my daughter was having a party and the house was a wreck so I helped put that together. I am glad we did it because if forced us to clean the neglected downstairs. It was also nice to have the house filled with her friends playing games and having a good time Sunday night. This morning I felt better than I have in a long time. I feel capable of doing things. I feel optimistic. I watered my flowers and I did some exercises. I went to work. These things I do not take for granted today because I have recently experienced not being able to do even that much.

I look forward to putting my life back together, maybe not exactly like it was, maybe evolved and transformed a little.

More will be revealed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

two days

My first two days are good but not perfect eating. I have not exercised. I am exhausted. I want my positive self back. This is a week of mourning of sorts. Mourning things that are lost and appear lost at the moment. Things I can't change. The past. Maybe it is necessary but I want it to pass. I still dread picking my brother up tomorrow night. I don't know why. I feel full of dread. I am afraid to be this honest but hope that if I am these feelings will go away. They are just feelings. There is nothing terrifying about picking people up at the airport - I have done it with joy many times in the past. These are feelings and I want to let them go. I want to release the anxiety I feel about nearly every part of my life tonight. It has to pass. I don't understand it, I don't want to understand it. I just want it to go away.

I want my sense of humor back, too!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

De-stressing, I hope

Tomorrow I am starting the Body for Life challenge (again). The new renters moved in Friday night so I will no longer be driving back and forth to that property almost daily, cutting grass, etc. and now have time to devote to the rest of my life. There is a minor complication still with exercise. Monday night I dropped a bookshelf on my foot. I was dragging it back up the driveway of the rental property because the trash men did not take it. I have swelling and a nasty scrape but it does not hurt to walk. The swelling concerns me and the scrape is on the top of my foot near my ankle so it pulls and hurts when I move my foot.

Today I am resting and keeping ice on it. I really was looking forward to a big increase in exercise involving walking distances and biking. I can still do things but will have to adjust some activity to the hurt foot by trying not to put weight on it so much until the swelling goes away. It is a little disappointing but I can still do many exercises that don't involve being on my feet. Like swimming.

I am very tired today. Yesterday hired handy man and I assembled a shed for the rental property. We were in the heat for a few hours. It was not good weather to be outside, and yes I was standing on that swollen foot most of the time. I went home after finishing and rested, drinking water. Today I will just have to take it easy. Swimming sounds good. That could be the answer to the whole foot, back, de-stressing situation. Right now I don't even feel like grocery shopping.

I thought I would be elated once the renters moved in but I notice today I am just looking around at the neglected projects over here and feeling a little overwhelmed. I am glad I can get to them now. And I am very happy about the renters. They are excited and grateful for the house. She told me yesterday that she would like her kids to grow up there. Maybe they will stay a few years, that is my hope. I think I just need a day to rest and re-adjust. That project consumed so much of my thoughts, acts, time, and even emotions. I am behind here at home but I can enjoy taking care of my little backyard again and making our home space nicer. It just seems a little daunting at this particular moment as I lie here with ice on my foot.

We have a memorial service for my father next Saturday and I have to pick up my brother at the airport late Wednesday night. I am so protective of my sleep nowadays I almost refused to do it. I will take him back to the airport the next morning early to catch the bus. I cannot take any time off of work because I have no paid time off yet, I used it all up so far this year. For some reason I do not look forward to a family gathering. We had one service for my father already. This one is the result of my brother not coming when my father died and my sister not wanting to take her kids out of school at the time of his death. I think I am still holding resentment about both of them or something. Anyway it will sort out eventually. It is mostly my brother. I was shocked he did not come out when my father died and that he expected the funeral to be put off until he could make it. I was shocked at how he made the flight reservations and just expected I would be able to do whatever he needed. I normally can adapt but my life is different right now. Oh well. No use getting my emotions up over that one. It will pass. I may just be extra sensitive right now.

I have had a slight headache since being outside yesterday. I may actually nap and really take it easy today. Grocery shopping is necessary but it can wait another few hours. Maybe the foot swelling will go down and I will feel more energetic. Who knows I could be out in the back cutting weeds this evening or swimming at the gym.....

More will be revealed!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MIA report

OK, I got a little diverted because I had to make rest a priority for the past two weeks. It is doing wonders. I hurt myself pretty bad in my week one when I fell run/walking the dog. It was worse than I thought, when I worked out it made it worse. I must have sprained/pulled muscles when I broke my fall. Anyway, I did not gain back weight or anything like that. I have been pretty good about food. I should be able to start next week. I want to be careful.

It was not just physical rest I needed. I have been exhausted mentally for some time. now. So for the past two weeks each night when I am finished with the mandatory things to do (which are extra right now due to rental house) I go to bed and read. The reading relaxes me and I am able to fall asleep. This has worked to help my depression, anxiety and the healing of my physical ailments. I was in pretty bad shape mentally and did not even realize how bad until I began resting. I still have regular physical exercise and my grass cutting at the property.

So, body for life is not over, just delayed. The rental property is coming to a conclusion. I found renters the week before last. A married couple with three daughters. They are very excited about the house and the wife is excited about growing flowers! It was an answer to an increasingly desperate prayer. There has been work to do. The county inspects houses for occupancy and I had to get that inspection and now have a to do list. Just hired a guy this morning. They are going to move in next weekend and then no more trips to the property every other day, etc. Once this huge effort is finished I can get back to my own life and get in a routine for workouts, etc.

Until then I am using my spare time for rest. It has been hard to do actually because I feel like I should be working out but I have made a commitment to let the body get better. I have come to enjoy my evening ready very much. I am reading some of the books from my father's house. I got into a long one - Atlas Shrugged - and have been reading it the past week.

Interestingly, this morning the handy man who is someone I used to run into once in a while asked me if I'd lost weight..I think the last time I saw him was within the last year. I love it when that happens. I said I did not know, I guess it depends on where you look! Not sure where he was looking but he was standing behind me while I unlocked the door. Maybe all the grass cutting and yard work is trimming something. I did feel more lean this morning when I woke up and my weight was down a pound.

So, rest, rest and more rest. It does the body good!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 7 - Mustard Seed

Friday evening I went to show the rental property to a halfway decent prospect. I arrived shortly before her and went to the back to admire my backyard, freshly cut by me a few days earlier. When I looked I was shocked to see that the adjacent property owner had torn down their privacy fence exposing waist high weeds that once must have been grass. The tall posts were still standing or perhaps leaning and it was ugly, very very ugly. Shockingly ugly to a yard lover like myself. Plus, my shiny new 20 foot extension ladder that I only climbed once to clean the gutters was gone. I had tucked it between the shed and the disappearing fence, too tempting I suppose for whoever took down the fence.

This spawned a flurry of activity. I had to go next door to the non-grass cutting tenant for information. She said her slumlord is out of compliance (and so is she by my standards - I always have to pick up trash when I mow the side of the yard in front that touches hers) and the fence work was ordered by the county. To make a long story short, I showed my house apologizing for the fence mishap and stating that one way or another there would be fence there again. It is only one side, but wow what a difference. The woman liked the house and even yesterday told me the fence situation really did not bother her (it bothers me more) and she is interested.

I got to hang out with a nice policeman after she left and I also talked to the not really nice, in fact rather snotty and defensive property owner who "has no timeline" for putting a fence back up. So I talked to my buddy Joe, my son and others. I will go see the powers that rule on property preservation on Monday and request my inspection and inquire what to do regarding the fence. The nice policeman said he would report the uncut yard, etc. to them. It was overwhelming but I got through it. I did not eat off plan even though I missed my regular dinner and my workout, I did not eat off plan. I made do. I went home and got my dog, a bean bag, some pillows, comforters, DVDs and laptop and spent the night in my house, feeling very territorial.

My buddy Joe came yesterday and power washed the whole house and it looks absolutely sparking. I gave him a little money not nearly what I'd pay someone else which he reluctantly accepted. He told me to return my power washer to offset the ladder loss and that he has plenty of ladders. I worked all afternoon removing an invasive vine from the fence on the opposite side of the yard. THAT was a workout, I'd say upper and lower body, squats, and all kinds of things. I drank water non stop in the hot sun and I ate on plan but mostly yogurt, a lower calorie nutrition bar (I now only buy one at time in an emergency) raw broccoli, protein shake and such. I was sore and tired but satisfied. I love my house and the more time I spend there the more I want to move back when the kids graduate high school.

So I did not expect weight loss this week, more than that I wanted to stick the the foods that work and not go back to the whites and sweets that move my weight up. I wanted to workout and follow a program. And I did even in the face of adversity. I reluctantly got on the scale this morning and I was four pounds down! It was a real treat. I fluctuated during the week but this is lower than I have weighed since before my Dad died April first. So here goes the mustard seed.

I have just enough hope to keep going. Joe helping me yesterday made more of a difference than clean siding. It is not often that I have people helping me. Maybe I don't ask enough or persist. I isolate and feel alone. So Joe was a mustard seed of hope that I will get the jobs done at the house. I have hope that I can follow direction in my nutrition and fitness and get results. I have hope that I can do it even when I have big deals pop up unexpectedly. I have lots of hope.

Today is free day but I don't want to get all crazy. For me it means rest if possible. I am going to the house but bringing my son for muscle. I will do lighter yard work and some inside cleaning.
Free day for food does not mean sweets, whites, and stuff. That would be sabotage. It means maybe a bowl of fresh popped popcorn or something. I have to stick to certain foods or else I get all sidetracked. The good thing about free day for me is during the week when I am tempted I tell myself I will have something on free day. It delays giving in and gives me time to think it over.

More will be revealed!

Friday, May 21, 2010

day 4

I did my cardio but had an extra nutrition bar. the bars have to go, giving them to grandson. They are tempting me like candy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Day three is finished. Even if I wanted to go downstairs and eat I am too sore. Sore maybe from that fall yesterday. Did a lower body workout at the gym. All finished eating for the day. Need to maybe cut portions here and there but mostly I measure. No sweets or junk all good healthy lean stuff. Getting adjusted and happy to be over the day three hump. Something about three days is usually how long it takes for it to get easier, but I have not found this particularly hard. Except for being sore. Ouch.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day Two

Day two is finishing up nicely. I enjoyed my favorite salad at the cafe for lunch, but had it in a half size. I never get dressing on it so I just reduced the size to fit it into my plan. I had tea instead of decaf coffee because I don't have to add any cream or milk to tea. Lots of water all day long. Had a good morning workout and another run/walk with dog. I tripped on my pants leg (must dress appropriately) and fell on concrete. I take falls well but my hand got skinned up a bit and I am really sore. These evening I cut grass at the rental for about 45 minutes. I go fast and my mower is not self propelled so that's workout! I always feel good afterward. So I feel good about today and I feel like this is not really new, but getting back to how I have lived in the past. It feels stable and natural. One thing I like when I eliminate sugared foods is tasting the natural sweetness of foods like cauliflower and other veggies. I am also having berries in my diet almost daily. Hooray for strawberry season!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day One

It is almost seven in the evening on day one of my challenge. I stayed within my food parameters and I worked out. I did my workout in the morning so I could enjoy the satisfaction all day long of knowing I did it. I am going to try and do my workout in the morning as much as possible for that reason. It was not hard to eat the happy food because I was well stocked and prepared. I had a frustrated moment in the afternoon about a couple of things but I was not tempted to eat over it. I called a friend after work and talked about it instead. I told myself while still at work that I knew I'd feel better after I called my friend and that made me feel better. It is important to have a support system. I have been talking this friend more lately because she is level headed, also a landlord and also committed to healthy eating and fitness right now. We have those things in common among other things. I am avoiding the negative and seeking the positive.

So day one is a success. I am full, satisfied and going to bed early. A mini goal for this week is not eating after 7 pm.

More will be revealed...

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I am preparing to start my 12 week fitness challenge. It feels good to have a goal, but I am breaking it into smaller goals. First goal. Get prepared. I start Monday. I am stocking up on water in various sized containers to have on hand, in the car and at work (the water there is yucky) and my bedside. I also am stocking up on zip lock bags and plastic food containers, and of course the happy foods that make my body and mind feel good. Tomorrow I will cook a supply of lean protein, chop raw veggies and cut and clean lettuce, bake some sweet potatoes. and so on. That way during the week it is all at my disposal. I have canned tuna, chicken, and salmon in those vacuum packs for emergencies at the office and home. I do have nutrition shakes and bars but they are also for emergencies only. They are low carb low sugar high protein but the bars (like Vickie said) are like candy to me and can trigger the desire for MORE. Not always but sometimes.

I read Angry Fat Girlz and I am so glad I did!! Just like Passing for Thin motivated me into my initial weight loss, AFG is motivating me out of mild relapse/complacency/plateau or whatever it is I have been in for a while. I am ready to do something, to go the final distance and see what happens. I love how Francis writes and there is something magical about reading her two books that gives me the inspiration/motivation or whatever it is I need to move forward. I also read Body for Life for Women this week as preparation. I love how it gives information unique for women and our life stages.

One of my mini goals is to follow directions. That is each day's goal, minute by minute just to do the next right thing. Turning it over to the program I have chosen. I am using all the tools in the BFL for Women book. Not picking and choosing. I want to give this 12 weeks my all and see what comes of it. It will be fun and exciting and can only improve me. It gives me something positive to focus on no matter what is going on anywhere else in my life. I have it within my power to reach for the happy (smart) f00d and to pass on the other foods. I have it in my power to move my body with or without a gym, but I do have two gym memberships...

So call it the Drastic (I so fondly recall the days of Helen's Drastic), the Program, the Challenge, the Happy Way, or any other name, but I am doing this and I am excited (I think I said that already). Tomorrow my daughter takes my official before photos and we will measure things. I may get blood work done if I can fit it in. Then Monday is day one. Woo hoo! I have had time to study, ponder and decide to make a commitment.

I am still doing snippets of time. I love my reading time right now very much. Today's snippet with my son was taking him to pick up his first paycheck. What a joy. Still focusing on the miracle aspect of that situation. I am doing housework in snippets. Anything else is just too much for me. Snippets at the rental house - planted two bushes last night. Can't really snippet work - gotta be there all day but can snippetize my projects (new word) into steps of a process in order to break them down for my mind so I don't get overwhelmed.

A man flirted with me at the cafe where I spent a couple mornings. I flirted back. I need the experience. I do not know how.

More will be revealed!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Decisions, Dreams and Goals

I have been doing an e-class or coaching session on happiness. Today begins week 4. Since I began I have made it a point to do some things towards my dreams, goals, and happiness. Here are a few - I bought the better camera I have been wanting. Even though I have not had much time to devote to photography I have used it for prom and volleyball and a few random artsy shots. I get a free class with it and plan to sign up next week. I also had my daughter upload different types of music on the Ipod I inherited from her. My current favorite is bossa nova. Music makes me happy and gives such flavor to life. I use the Ipod at work and it makes me feel better. I began reading again for enjoyment and relaxation, especially at bedtime. There are others but yesterday I made more major decisions. I set a goal and signed up to do the Body for Life 12 week challenge. When I was 200 or so pounds I bought all the books but did not do it because it was too daunting. I liked that the plan was flexible and reasonable. I don't have to buy products unless I want to, I can work out anywhere, and so on.

So, I have made a decision, I have a goal and it relates to a dream of transformation. The last ten pounds never came off and I have been drifting up and down in the area just above a normal body mass index. I dream of more energy, and fitness. I also dream of inspiring other people. I will not officially start for a week or so but I am reading, preparing, planning, visualizing and so on in advance.

I want to start and finish something. Twelve weeks seems very attainable. It is not a rigid program I like the way it is set up. I am going to share the goal and my participation with people to help me keep going.

So transformation is my dream and goal and I have a plan. Transforming to the healthier me. No longer teetering back and forth on the cusp of high cholesterol and over the BMI. I want to wear shorts and a tank top with confidence. I can do this!!

So, I am getting pumped and psyched and all that jazz.

More will be revealed..

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ah the irony of life

I snuck off from work for my lunch hour with my mini laptop to get away from it all and a bunch of guys from work show up and sit at a table right next to mine. RATS!!!! I can hear their conversation. This should count as work. Perhaps I can gain some intelligence from it.

Lack of sleep increases appetite. I am at risk. It is second day of giving son a ride. He says he has one now, though. I thought of something on the way to picking him up that really put things in perspective and stopped me in my tracks. For the past 13 years I drove as much as 3.5 hours to see him behind the glass in a prison visiting room. Today I drove 10-15 miles to take him to work after stopping at a gas station for snacks. It is all in the perspective. Attitiude is everything.

So here I sit not wanting to move but really wanting to move. I forgot my book to read. I can't move, it would be to obvious. Yes, I am anti social. But not really, gonna catch up on blogs. One of these guys has crunchy chips and chews incredibly loud. Lack of sleep makes me sound sensitive. He could shake the earth with the chips, how big is the bag for Pete's sake. sorry.

More will be revealed!! See below the meditation I found when sitting quietly after co workers left

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
You are reading from the book Today's Gift
I'm delighted that the future is unsure. That's the way it should be. —William Sloane Coffin

Some of life's richest moments are the most unexpected: the old friend met by chance, or the new one discovered when neither of us were really looking; the toy at the bottom of the toy box, rediscovered and loved anew; the book, the flower, the shaft of light we were in the right place at the right time to notice and embrace.

It is important to dream and plan, to work toward goals, to mark the milestones we pass on life's journey. No less important, though, is to open ourselves to the unexpected joys awaiting us every day.Am I ready, today, to expect the unexpected?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Father's Books

Okay, I don't want to write a negative post but Mother's Day is my least favorite holiday ever. I want to personally abolish it out of my life. Maybe some day I will come to terms with it but today was not that day. I don't even want to write about why.

When I was visiting my mother today I was able to bring home some of my father's books. There are some things that represent my father to me- music, guitars which my brother has already taken, his Gibson amplifier from the sixties which my mom insists on selling at the auction, his land, which my mother is selling as soon as possible, the arrowhead collection that we all contributed to which has mysteriously been ravaged over the years by my sister's kids, and his books. Thankfully no one else is attached to his books. My mom was going to donate whatever doesn't sell. Today my daughter and I went through them. I have his Hemingway collection now, most of the Steinbeck, and many others. My father was a reader. I cannot wait to put them in my library and to read them. Daughter wants to read them, too. But is hard to go to the house right now. Overwhelming on many levels. And I just want to grab stuff and take it home with me. I love artifacts of my childhood. I want to make a shrine.

I do not want to get hung up about stuff but it does get to me when mom firmly announces when I look at something "that's going in the auction" - it hurts. It is like she is making sure I know I can't have it. It hurts and it is hard to explain why. Maybe some day I can explain it. I think she resent we even want things. It is hard to see the property go, and to imagine an auctioneer holding up my father's tools, and all the bits and pieces of his life and my childhood. Hard to imagine strangers taking them home. I know I need to let go. But right now I associate the selling of things and the land and the house as all part of the loss, losing all that is left of him now. I could not even bring myself to take pictures.

There are odds and ends that I just want to rescue. I don't want big pieces of furniture. Just little items. But I can't just take stuff. Soon she will want us to take stuff but it will be for her need to purge and on her own terms. It feels strange. Uncomfortable. Sad. I am taking it too personally, I know.

I lost a couple pounds last week - the water helps so much. I have less of an appetite when I am drinking lots of water. I want so much to be as positive as I once was but it is up and down for me right now. My son got a job and that is a miracle, but the flip side is I am getting up an hour earlier to take him to work... temporary help. I am calling it our quality time together. I need to re frame my life. Positive thoughts, gratitude. When I get too tired it gets harder. Speaking of which I need to sleep now for my five a.m. start time in the a.m. But now that I accepted it I am looking forward to sharing his first day of real employment in over 13 years with him. It really is a break for him. And he got it on his own initiative and effort.

More will be revealed.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Prom Day

It is my daughter's first prom today. I am waiting to leave for picture time. She is at a friend's house and they are all making dinner for the boys to come and then we get to take pictures. I dropped her off earlier and the mom is doing all their hair. She is a hairdresser by trade. That was a handy development. Hair appointments can be stressful on prom day, not to mention the money. Anyway, I am looking forward to pictures. We went through several dresses to get to this one and now it is the big day. She was very nervous and snitty this morning with a couple of crying jags. I have a hard time with that and have been accused of not being very compassionate. I am more about keeping her focused when she has a crying spell when it is time to get ready for school or there is some sort of looming deadline. We went at it a couple of times and she said we were not having a normal mother daughter relationship and I said snitty teenage girls and grumpy moms was a normal relationship as far as I knew. I don't do normal. I call it chasing normal. I am more about what is natural, what is acceptable, what is realistic etc.

Anyway it has been a busy day. After the prom drop off I had to deliver art to a place called Beatnik's where her art teacher is having a show. It was a large piece and it took a while to find the place. I took some photos of this rather interesting community and I stopped at a coffee shop and had some tea. I needed a break. Breaks are good. My son and I were going to power wash the siding on the rental house today, how silly of me to think such things could occur on prom day! But there is always tomorrow.

There are good things going on. I finally bought my camera to take higher quality photos. I have not had a chance to really check out how to use it but have been shooting on Auto. Only had it a week. I am making it a point to do the things I have wanted to do even if I only get a snippet of time here and there to do them.

I drank boatloads of water this week and took off a couple of the pounds I gained after Dad died. I was feeling miserably bloated and realized I had been forgetting my water. I felt I had gained without eating more than I had eaten in the past without gaining. Water is a biggie with me. I am doing a six week fill up on happiness e-coaching deal with Our Lady of Weight loss. I will write more on that when I have more time.

Water water everywhere... more will be revealed!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Indie Music and Reading

My daughter decided she wanted the IPod that stores the most music instead of the touch. So, I got her the biggie and I got the touch. It still has her music on it. I am enjoying right now. She is a fan of Indie music. I am listening to music and ready Our Lady of Weight Loss All Is Forgiven Move On.

I need some relaxation. Yesterday I cleaned spots out of the livingroom carpet. I felt accomplished. It was a busy day. Today I tried to go mow the lawn at the rental but I found out the key to the deadbold lock on the front door was not among the keys the tenant returned. I left hating her more than ever...eek. I hate to hate. I gave the painter my keys. I changed the doorknob locks myself last weekend so I had the lower lock key, now I need to change deadbolts for my next accomplishment. I really wanted to cut grass. I have a key here somewhere to that deadbolt but did not want to take another 25 minute drive...oh well. I lazed around and had a good meal, baked chicken and veggies. Plus other various items later. I had some tea. It was a slow day. But maybe that's what I need.

New music. New anything. I feel in a bit of a slump. Reading is good. I read some literature on grief. I read a magazine. I am nurturing myself and taking it slow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tired Little Post

I just wanted to post a little bit to say thanks for the kind words. We had a burial ceremony Friday to honor my father. We are still going to have a memorial service but have to wait until June to accommodate some family members. His grave is at the Jefferson Barracks National Cometary for veterans. We had a service with military honors. His old work buddies came and afterwards we went to lunch and they told stories about him and held him in high esteem. It was just right. It was good for my mother and it was good for everyone who was there. I felt much peace afterward. I was able to go do some work at the rental property the next day. I was able to go back to work yesterday and not feel like my head was going to explode. The week in between his death and the service on Friday was very hard. I felt exhausted even when I slept for long hours. But this week is better. I have some peace. I have a little book of pictures that I carry in my purse. They are all pre-Alzheimer's photos. Some from when I was a child. Those help me focus on other memories. Today I ran across a picture saved in my phone that I took on father's day 2008. It was right when he started wearing a beard because shaving had become impossible and my mom started taking him to the barber. He looked good, still had a twinkle in his eye and looked like he knew me. It made me real sad because it made me think of all the years of slipping away. I know I can't avoid those memories completely but I am trying to balance them with other memories. I still struggle with regrets and such but at least this week I feel like I can get through the day and even feel happy sometimes. I have been taking the dog walking every day. It helps. I really feel fat right now but I am no bigger than I was when we went to Chicago. I am at my upper limit though so I have started to track food. I am tired and do not want to ramble. Just wanted to say I am still here and hopeful of better times to come.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Father's Tums

My father died in the middle of the night. My mother called me at around 2:30 a.m. crying because she had just received the call from the nursing home. Often lately I would think of my father at night before falling asleep and worry about him being alone in the night at the nursing home. It was agonizing at times thinking he may be trying to get out of bed or needing comfort but being alone and even scared. I had also thought about the call and how it could come in the night.

I talked my mother through her initial regrets of not visiting him that day. He had fallen on Sunday and had been hurt and this week had not been going well. Tuesday's visit he was not feeling well at all but very difficult to tell with Alzheimer's what is actually going on because he could not communicate much anymore. It hurts to think of it. But I had a feeling of peace come over me that he wouldn't have to wake alone in the night or struggle with staff or suffer anymore.

My daughter and I drove down in the hours before dawn. A beautiful spring day. I took my mother to the mortuary. She wanted to see my father one last time. His wishes were clear about cremation. We made initial plans and then I went with her into the room. It was so hard for me to see him lying there, eyes open, bruised on the side of his head. To me he looked frightened but I did not say that to my mother. I hate that I saw him that way. I hate that he died that way. I think he awoke in the night. He was alone. I hate he was alone. I cannot tell my mother this.

We stayed at my mother and father's house through the day. It is the house he built himself. All his things are there. When it was time to get ready to take my Mom home with us I began to panic. I did not want to leave his things. I did not want to leave. That would mean he was really gone. I went in his closet. I went through his clothes and touched them and looked at things I remember seeing him wear. I took to sobbing for a few minutes and pulled myself together. I found his suits. It had been quite some time since they had been worn. I took a jacket out and held it. I reached in the pocket. I found two loose Tums and the last mint left in the wrapper of a roll. A paper clip. Left in a pocket years ago. My father always had Tums I recalled. My fathers Tums in my hand felt so real and so a part of him. I don't know why. I clutched them in my hand and carried them as I got ready to go. I had no pockets. They are in a baggie in my purse. I found a shirt. I took it home. It is on my pillow with me.

I don't know what happens when people die. I want my father back the way he was before Alzheimer's. I can't believe he is gone. I don't know what to do. It is time to sleep as I have been awake since the call except for little attempts at napping so I could make the trip back. My mother is in the next room and I think I hear her crying. I want to curl up with the Tums and the shirt and bring my father as close to me as possible in my memory and not let him go.

I feel lost and I feel like I abandoned him. I felt peace earlier but now I feel like I want to go out looking for him, searching somewhere because he can't really be gone. He just can't.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Monday!

I meant to blog this weekend but never got to it. I had a very productive weekend and feel great about it. I have had things weighing on me and was able to lift at least two big ones. I had my taxes done on Sunday after getting the paper work together and reviewing the forms from last year. It was much better than I thought. I actually come out ahead - paying a small sum to the state and getting a big enough chunk from federal to pay for the tax service and still have a little chunk left! What a huge relief! Setting my withholding high at my new job was a good idea since I was getting double paychecks for a couple of months at the end of the tax year.

I also cleaned the side of the garage that is supposed to hold another car. It's a two car garage but junk was spread all over and it was getting tricky just to pull my one car in. My son had found a used car at a real deal and put some work into it only to find out that it was going to take some more effort and money to get his license due to past mistakes that still waited for him after all those years. He was disappointed but I decided to pay him what he had invested in the car so I'd have it for my daughter when she drives. It is not much too look at but it's an old Honda - one of my favorite kinds. It passed safety inspection and can be licensed so I took it in. If feels nice to have two cars in the garage and daughter is happy because she was not thinking she would get a car to drive at all. My hope is she can use it in the summer to work part time and drive it to school and back next year. Her radius will be very small and limited but I want her to grow up and learn to manage responsibilities. My son and I agree that having a bit of a clunker is a rite of passage and even though he was disappointed he did not end up with the car it made him happy it was still going to be in the family.

Court went well for him. It was a nightmare drive two and from, though, because we fought terribly about some things. It was a standoff of sorts. I stood up to him about some boundaries. I am not happy at how I communicated but it is over and we have moved on. I think I bottle things up too much and blow up and let them all out when I am under pressure. He took the five year of probation which was a very good deal for him so long as he can behave himself. I got what was left of the bond money refunded to me and it was huge relief to have that issue no longer between us. He is very grateful for my help. The lawyer I hired was well worth the money. I have no regrets about giving my son the opportunity to be free and move on with his life. Although court day was rough between us we have healed our wounds for now and our relationship is back to amicable.

Daughter and I had a girl's day/night together Saturday for the first time in ages. Grandson went to his dad's house and her boyfriend was grounded for staying at our house way too late the night before. I was happy about that actually. It took her shopping for spring clothes. I bought a gift for my son's girlfriend and her kids. She is such a good person and I am grateful he has her in his life. I wanted to do something that would bring joy to them all. She works hard and does not make a very high wage. She had been trying to get the kids a wi (or is it s wii?) and my son had been trying to help. My daughter and I went and bought one and just brought it over along with a bottle of her favorite perfume (she was totally out - no woman should have to go without fragrance) and surprised them. I enjoyed it so much. It still makes me happy to think about it. I can't fix some of the things I wish I could fix but I can pick a nice thing to do when I am able and bring some joy into somebody's life without any expectations attached.

I took a Saturday morning riverfront walk with a friend after meeting at the coffee house, lunched with a buddy on Sunday in addition to the fun I had with daughter. So there was work and play. I even went through piles of paperwork at home getting ready for taxes and my personal injury settlement. There were plenty of other chores left on the list at the end of the weekend but I felt very good about what I had accomplished. And I had a lot of joy and quality time with friends and family. If I focus on the things I can do, and not the stuff I can't, I am so much happier. I am even reading a new book - couldn't commit to anymore than magazine browsing for a while.

One other major accomplishment was meeting the tenant at the rental house Sunday morning and giving her a demand letter for the money she owes. She should be out by Wednesday night and she has not paid for March. She told me Friday she would not be able to pay until late April. I had little faith in that actually happening so I told her I had to serve her with the paperwork so I could take her to court if she did not pay. I went by the house and picked trash out of the yard in the rain and called her. She met me and we sat in her car and talked. She told me she had been a bad tenant. I told her she was not bad, that she just got in over her head. I told her I had to do what was best for me and my family and I did not want to have to sue her, or contact her where she worked. I just wanted the last month's rent and I would forgive all the late fees. She gave me her new address, signed a receipt for the letter and we parted on good terms. Me minus the March rent. I will sue her if I must, but I am not going to languish in resentment or take it personally.

So the rental house is coming my way soon. I also had an uplifting talk with a landlord that I called after passing a sign in a yard. He gave me pointers on how to research to set my price, and some tips on marketing the house. He also says they average about twelve to eighteen calls a day on their house for rent. I only need one renter. I am going to enjoy planting flowers and spending some time over there at the house. It is mine and in reality it is an asset. No sense thinking doom and gloom. I will start fresh with my efforts to find the next person who will pay my mortgage for me on my investment. That is how I choose to see it today.

Choosing to see things in a positive way is my current effort. I saw my therapist today and I will be doing a thought diary. It is a great process for seeing how my thoughts impact my feelings, identifying distortions and correcting them. Modifying my thinking is something I can do. I am excited about life again today. I can say no to what I don't want and yes to what I do want. I can make time for things I enjoy. Pretty good for a Monday!

More will be revealed.

PS weight wise I rose about five pounds during the time between daughter's first therapy session and right after Son's court date. Not surprising. I corrected the pattern and the pounds are coming off. Not a big deal after all. Yes, it would be great not to fluctuate but in the big scheme of things I am just happy to be where I am today in my body.