Friday, January 29, 2010

I Get a Star

I am in a four day stretch where I am working Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, on call, long hours, all that jazz. Anyway, end of February (and a much lighter schedule) is on its way. I had an hour between basketball pickup and a patient visit. DH made dinner while I actually worked out at home, which (I confess it) only took 25 minutes, and felt really good, and left me feeling happy with myself. Will I learn from this experience? Let's hope!

Time for the Outspoken Personal Opinion of the Day, which is as follows: lighter fare at fast food restaurants rocks. I know some of the hard-core folks hate it, as it's high in sodium and weird ingredients and masquerading as health food. Hard-Core Folks (you know who you are), don't lose sight of the fact that the world consists at least partly of the harried and disorganized (believe me, we know who we are). Even a few years ago, the best you could do in a pinch was a grilled white flour snack wrap or a McDonald's ice cream cone, maybe a Pintos and Cheese at Taco Bell minus the cheese. Now you can get Starbuck's oatmeal or Vivanno smoothie, or even an eggwhite sandwich at Dunkin Donuts (though it seems like good policy generally to steer clear of Dunkin Donuts. Egg white sandwich... chocolate munchkin... hmmm.)*

I know there are those of you who never forget to pack lunch, or run out of salad mix, or have to divide your day into 15 minute increments with "lunch" happening behind the wheel of your car, perhaps with mustard dripping onto your scrubs. I salute you! Sadly, I am not that person. I think Starbuck's oatmeal is genius, and I am pathetically grateful when Sheetz has hard boiled eggs or fruit for sale in a sea of chips and buns and candy. Rather than spurning these attempts, I'm inclined to cheer and beg for more.

I really believe that the major factor lacking in the average American diet is time. Many of us are fat not so much because we're greedy or careless or morally lacking, but because there is so little time, energy, or attention available for nourishing food and rewarding exercise. If we can't overhaul our frenetic culture, at least we can shape some of the environmental factors making us fat.

*In the interest of full disclosure, today's diet included 2 cheese sticks from Sheetz and a Starbuck's oatmeal with all the trimmings except the nuts because I can't believe those little packets are 100 calories, can you? Thank you. This blog is not endorsed by Starbucks. Definitely not Dunkin Donuts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wind It Up

We had this awesome, rowdy woman in Zumba today-- whooping and hollerin' and generally conveying a party atmosphere. I am constitutionally incapable of that sort of thing unless drunk which has not happened in this century, so I appreciate it in others.

I spent some of my brain power trying to learn new steps and also trying to disentangle the complicated relationships in one of the songs... So if the singer is a she, and she's talking about a you and a he, and the he is obviously male, that suggests the you is female, which means this is more advanced than I would have expected for the YMCA, or I have an incorrect understanding of what they mean by "Wind It Up"...

In today's news, there is a story about very tight glucose control possibly not being the best from a mortality standpoint. Interesting stuff. There was a suggestion of this in an earlier, cardiac-related study-- they found controlling people to a T with insulin is not actually such a great idea. I find in practice that once you get past the metformin stage, people do sometimes get crashing lows which result in ambulance visits and hospital stays. One of the reasons I'm trying to hold off the diagnosis as long as I can.

Of course any weight loss/fitness blog is not complete without a photograph of paint colors and curtain fabric, so I bring you:

1. Wicker Mat

2. "Rustic Toile" which I sewed in a frenzy. Actually 3/4 of these are sewn and the other one is just stuck up there. Kinda symbolic, eh?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Perfect 10 Update

For the next four weeks:

Behind! Inadequate! Not meeting my goals!*

But that's okay, because I just have to hang on to February 22, and then I can cut my hours back and return to my regularly scheduled life as per the discussion with my very nice boss.

I was at Zumba yesterday (Zumba, how I've missed you! Mwah!) Two amusing things:

1. We did the Jewish wedding dance. Really. To Havanagila (sp) which got faster and faster and faster-- quite aerobic. It would have been even better with actual chairs and an actual bride and groom, but we made do.

2. My teacher pointed at me and said "Center!" for the inner ring of the dance. I wasn't completely sure she meant me and I didn't fancy the more conspicuous spot on the floor, so I just hung back and did my thing. And then I thought, "Oh my gosh, I didn't obey my Zumba teacher. She'll feel ineffective! I did it wrong. Should I say something after class?" And that, my dears, is what the last three weeks has done to me... I am in a perpetual state of late and wrong. I can't Zumba without agonizing.

This weekend I painted my bathroom. (There's a point to this, bear with me.) I liked a paint called Wicker Mat. But I wanted to be sure, so I painted 12 other samples up there before I finally went with-- wait for it--Wicker Mat. Before I agreed to increase my hours, I thought maybe it wasn't such a good idea. Which it wasn't. Huh!

On a brighter note, my weight's more or less stable and my 12s have not exploded or anything. I was 172 as of Friday. I have a theory to posit-- would be interested in feedback. My theory is you can teach your body to stay slimmer. I'm not saying slim, necessarily, but even now with things crazy, my eating's been pretty normal. I'm not diving headfirst into the junk, I mostly don't think about food unless I'm hungry, I am okay with eating Real Food most of the time. I think I've improved my glucose metabolism so I'm not getting that gotta-have-carbs-now kind of hunger, so typical of those of us who have glucose problems. I've noticed a couple of other bloggers remarking on the same thing-- Cranky Fitness and Foodie McBody come to mind. That maintaining takes thought, but it's not that hard. I find that cheerful, don't you?

The blogosphere is sliding along without me. Fit by 41/Maybe 42 went skating! 266 is going to be 146 before I get back to it (Go, 266! Rah!) About 19000 years ago, blogtime, Chubba Momma awarded me a lovely bloggie award. Thank you, Chubba Momma!

I will have to be on Blog Lite for the next four weeks. But I will still be declaiming bravely even if every other member of the blogosphere attains a BMI of 22.5 and I am the only overweight person left on the internet. Slow but persistent, that's me.

Have a great week, everybody! May we all meet up a little stronger and little healthier on the other side.

*I guess I flunked out of Perfect Ten. But I'll still be following along at home, okay?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't Drown

"It will ruin your whole day."

Very sound advice I got off a bumper sticker today. I'm not really drowning, but you know when the surf is too rough and you're rolling around with water up your nose and sand in your mouth? That's me. I'm making my best effort to high tail it for shore. I'll let you know when I get there.

I told them at work today I need to cut my hours drastically. Twenty hours morphed into 30. My days are spent with my heart in my mouth racing around trying to make everything all right, on the phone or charting. I haven't exercised since Saturday, my eating's been un-great, with some definite stress eating in there. I want to do right by my very decent employers (it's not their fault, it's just the nature of the business.)

I am cheered up by 266's very dear passing on of an award in which I get to mention 10 things that make me happy. So let's do that:

1. My practically-always-sunny 8 year old. She loves life and it loves her back.
2. Sun
3. Fires and candles and their warm, wavering light
4. The day I just spent at Longwood with my husband and my best friend
5. My husband, the Human Valium
5a. Realizing he makes enough to support us and I don't have to be a crazy woman. Yet, anyway.
6. Best friend, who is clergy and kinda like Human Xanax
7. Bulbs, seedlings, my ivy topiaries which are turning into a cottage industry around here
8. Cozy blogs. Check out It's a housie blog, not a WL blog, but it's lovely.
10. My splendid children. When I got back from our day trip they crowded around me with big hugs and I knew I was home.

I will tag Jane of The Year of Moving Forward, Gina of Fit by 41, Maybe 42, and Leah of My New Ending. You may already have been tagged but I gotcha! When I get on my computer with my html cheat sheet I will link your blogs properly, so hang on for that.

Signing off for now. The next couple of weeks are going to be rough, but after that I should be coming up for air. I hope to keep reading and cheering you on, supressing my sulky side that's mad because I'm not getting much done in this part of my life right now. I have to remind myself it's been less than a week since I got to Zumba. I keep expecting my ring to get tight again and my size 12s to start popping off my body, but so far it's okay. If you hear a bursting sound and buttons flying you'll know what happened.

Have a great week, dears.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Zumba Toning

OK, so it was Zumba on the schedule, but I found it that Wednesday 1200 is now Zumba TONING, a six week session you have to sign up for and pay a fee. For five bucks they let me in (duly recorded on spending log). After all I was dressed and there and I didn't have my Ipod, and exercising without my ipod is what I believe the French refer to as peddling through sauerkraut.

Zumba toning is characterized by these little one pound weights that make cheerful noises-- basically weighted maracas. Whee! It wasn't, for me, all that fun-- slower and less dancey and more balance-y, plus I smacked myself a couple times with my maracas. It didn't seem all that terribly hard (one up for my intermittent high-rep weight work) until it was over, and I realized I was pretty well trashed. And hungry. I'd been congratulating myself on my nutty, fruity, rough-cut-oat breakfast with bacon, which was sticking valiantly to my ribs. After Zumba toning I was ready to eat my maracas.

Tracking eating and spending which is enlightening, to say the least. I am doing better with cutting down on the chocolate (stuff is a staff of life, but it is PACKED WITH CALORIES. PACKED. STUFFED. LADEN.) I will defer spending discussion to another post, or possibly another blog, but that's enlightening too. One expense I am okay with is the donation I made to the Red Cross.

Just as a reminder to self, I've done one weight workout and two zumba, so I'm at 2.5 hours for the week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the Blatantly Obvious Department

Since I've been working (a little less frantic this week, thanks), I've been feeling richer. Yesterday I bought a completely non-necessary decorating book and today I got a few things at $5 Below for my valiant, stressed out middle daughter who is managing 8th grade and Algebra 2 and the basketball season. Oh, and I bought her some rose shaped bath petals on sale at Pier One. And some for me. And some bath fizzers for my 8 year old. Leaving out the usual fountain drinks and this morning's latte.

I didn't go out and buy a Jag or a timeshare or a new dining room set, but it adds up, you know. Just like yesterday with the two peanut butter bears plus the mini candy cane and the York patty and the two squares of chocolate... One or two of those is fine, but add them all up and you've undone a lot of the good work accomplished in Zumba.

For a few days I hope to track food AND spending. I bought (!) a little notebook and I'm tracking $$ on one side and food on the other. Should be enlightening.

Edited to add, I just found this "before" picture of myself-- fall of '08 sometime, I think. And I look at it and think Really? Wow! What a very large bottom! Funkadelic! I'm not self-hating about it-- I was happy then, I'm happy now. But I admit I am a shade happier that I don't have the buffalo hump anymore. I think my poor bod was trying to find the most tactful places possible to store the fat, but it finally had to give up and start stowing it on my shoulders and yet more in my can... perhaps hoping I wouldn't notice it there. The title says it all: I never quite registered the silhouette you see here. Somehow it didn't seem real to me. Those staring red numbers on the glucometer were a lot more persuasive.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


34 calories, people. And so much amusement. You heard it here first.

Inspired by the awesome Melissa, I thought about running outside today. Then I actually went outside to buy food and decided it was the elliptical for me. I did elliptical and weights and core, and my gosh is my core tough from all that jiggling and wiggling in Zumba. Weekly schedule written out to the hour, house clean and pretty again (at least the bottom half), frig cleaned out and sparkly and stocked with virtuous food. Sitting by the fire next to excellent spouse wishing you could put quiet bright Sundays on infinite repeat. I hope you all had a quiet bright Sunday as lovely as mine. Good luck for the new week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Autoimmune Disorder

Crap-- threw up on my blog. Sorry, guys. As the wise and lovely Cammy pointed out, there's learning to be done here. My hissy fits are kind of like pigging out. Usually there's a reason-- I got too hungry, didn't take steps to clear out the wrong foods, add in anxiety/frustration, and watch out.

Today I got to Zumba and it felt so good. I think that's a major piece of this-- I'm used to my exercise and when I don't get it, my mood gets ugly. So that's one.

My poor MIL has returned to her own digs, so the tension around that is much abated.

Our very wonderful 2nd grader had a birthday this week and we had to pull something together for that, both at school and at home.

My husband started a major consulting job at a new place, at a time when his practice is busy past the point of reassuring and ranging into the red anxiety zone.

I had a medical appointment with many vials of blood and some degree of attendant anxiety, to deal with minor but worrisome chronic pain.

Oh, and I agreed to a different process on my hair after umpteen years and I don't like it. Not exactly hamstrung by a bad dye job but definitely limping, because that's the kind of tough can-do woman I am. I look myself in the eye for a good talking to and think, Oh my God, why did I agree to that? Was I possessed?

Blah blah and my dog ate my homework and my hamster died, etc. (Not really. The hamster died months ago, and it had a very nice funeral in the back yard because I used to have time for that kind of thing.)

That was my week starting back to work.

I think the worst fights are the ones you get into with yourself. The truth is nobody, me included, has to justify a decision like this (whether or not to take a job). If I were firm and clear and okay with it, either way, it would be fine. Nobody's going to roll their eyes and question me, at least not where I can see (honestly, nobody but me is all that interested). But somehow I have set up this stadium full of critics and I'm angrily trying to defend myself. When the truth is, no one is attacking me. I'm attacking myself.

I still don't know what to do but I have good hope next week will go better. All I have to do is get to the Y three times and everything will work out, right?

At least if it doesn't, I'll still be on a Zumba-induced high.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Desperately Imperfect Update

For the Perfect Ten Challenge (see my sidebar under LogMyLoss), I had 4 great goals. So far I am failing spectacularly at, let's see, 3.

1. Exercise at least 3 hours a week. First week back at work. MIL ended her stay yesterday with some fireworks and not the good kind. Sigh.

2. Drink 3 cups of tea a day. This one I got.

3. Weigh in at 167. Hollow laughter.

4. Attitude alignment. My attitude sucks.

I am, as feared, not writing, not exercising, not having fun, not being nice to my husband, not taking care of my house, and not cleaning up after Christmas. What I am doing is my usual 4-6 pickups a day plus working. And charting at home. My day ended at 11:40 pm last night. So I'm pretty wretched at the moment. I suspect some of it is due to the fact that I haven't exercised which combined with the above plus bad hair is making me into an unedifying ball of misery.

We don't absolutely have to have my salary to survive and I need to take a moment to be grateful for that. I really, really hate the thought of quitting a job I started a week ago. Talk about epic fail. My employers are kindly and reasonable and it is not their fault, it's just the nature of the work.

Oh, and the unknown fact about me? Did you know that I am of choleric temperament, and when things don't go well, I don't get depressed like a normal person, I turn into a furious slavering bitch? With bad hair color? Does that qualify as a little-known fact?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Train of Thought

Tip of the Day: Girding up your loins meant tucking your clothes into your belt (girdle)to make it easier for you to travel or fight, and incidentally providing a little extra protection to your privates during a presumably insecure enterprise.

There! Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

I girded mine for the week and it's helping, but I'm still not there yet. Zumba in particular is suffering. Yesterday I had the time but there was no way I was getting into my car voluntarily. My schedule these days looks like an Amtrack timetable out of Penn Station. I bagged the 1045 to Zumba. I am going to explore additional Zumba offerings (the rec is offering it closer to home) and I may look into trying to catch a class or two in the town where I do most of my work.

Weight wise I am around 172 on my forgiving, good-natured analog scale, as opposed to the pruney digital downstairs that keeps insisting inexplicably that I weigh 3 pounds more. Foo on that. The upstairs scale is centered-- even a hair right of center, which I resisted moving back during my race to 171 after the holidays-- so that means it's right, right? Case settled.

I went to see my pleasant gastroenterologist today. Gastric doctors are not thrilled when you lose weight. I had to explain it was really, truly on purpose. You all can be my witnesses, right? I've been TRYING, geez.

I have to catch the 12:00 Wound Vac and Recert train, followed by the 1440 Little Girl Express, the 1500 for High School Students Not Walking Home in Ice, and the 1600Ballet Twelve Miles Down a Two Lane Road, Usually Late and Stuck Behind a Tractor Local. Luckily I have other drivers for the Retrieving Sweet Deserving Husband During Rush Hour and Basketball Pickup trains.

I want to catch a few blogs first. Maybe I will be pleasantly reassured by hard-working weight loss bloggers who picked up a couple of pounds over the holidays. The rest of you... Shhhh.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Loins Girded

I wonder what you were technically supposed to gird loins with? Did this serve something like a support hose or athletic cup kind of function? Just curious.

I printed out a week's calendar by the hour and filled it all in. That's how my life is going to be now. Positive attitude, right? Right! I have my food figured out (same thing for breakfast, lunch and snack every day) and when I'm going to hit Zumba. Also ballet lessons, basketball pickups, dr appointments, kid/husband drop-offs and retrievals, and what we're having for dinner. I did a semi-scientific grocery shop. I got one Zumba down today and I have been doing well with my tea drinking (not all that onerous). More importantly, the house is almost completely cleared out of tempting sugar stuff except one or two things that need to be addressed. My only other news is that I did weights on Friday I think and I am still way sore, even though I was fine at the time and consciously didn't kill myself. That's a new way of maintaining the challenge, just slack off for a few weeks every couple of months :)

Wish me luck! I'm in dire need tonight because I have hours of deadly dull at home training that I have been managing to avoid. Looks like tonight's the night. Multiple frowny faces. I hope your Sunday night is more pleasant and I wish us all a focused and successful week.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Perfect 10

Happy New Year's, all!

Thank you so much for the wisdom and support in the comments to my last post. It means a lot to be affirmed in my attempts at decent behavior :) T minus 5 days, if I were, I dunno, keeping track for some reason.

I am briefly posting to jump on South Beach Steve's cool new challenge. Here's my goals for the next ten weeks:

1. Exercise at least three hours a week, including 2 weight training sessions (did one last night but I have been slide-y about that).

2. Drink three cups of tea a day (hoping to crowd out diet soda). I have this fabulous plug-in teapot which my DH got me for Christmas. Boils water in a couple of minutes, very appealing and easy to use.

3. Weigh in at 167. I would love to shoot for 164 (a normal BMI) but thanks to my holiday poundage, that's 8 pounds away and I don't think that's reasonable given assorted variables including a prominent streak of wimpiness in my makeup.

4. Attitude alignment. This is important. I keep telling everyone how worried I am about starting my half-time job this Monday. I am scared I will stop exercising, stop writing, stop having fun, stop being nice to my kids and husband, basically stop everything except working and worrying. I think a big piece of what I fear is failure (failing on the job, failing my family, failing myself in terms of good eating and exercise). I need to remind myself the job is not too hard for me and worth doing, and if for some reason it turns out not to be, it is not the end of the world, there are other options.

I think I forgot my official Hot 100 windup-- I was 1 pound short of my 7 pound goal (cordial cherries!) but I'm glad I was able to keep focus during a three month period crossed with tripwires (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's). Arrived on the other side intact and six pounds lighter. Whew!