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!