Thursday, October 1, 2015

Aversion therapy and my cursed mouth

(Read the word "cursed" with two syllables, please, as that is how I am thinking it. It is so much more ominous that way.)

I just took a walk with a friend this morning, which got the ol' brain juices flowing. If I don't post it now, I'll lose it, and that would just be so very sad.

Last night I went out to dinner with some of my favorite people. Admittedly, I have a lot of favorite people, most of whom are females. Isn't that funny? When I was younger, I always considered myself a "one of the guys" girls, and proud of it, but now, most of my favorite friends are female. I said most, Michael, shoosh, you are one of my favorites, and you are invited to my Golden Girls house, too. Anyway, so I went to dinner with these favorite women, and they really are probably 3 of my Golden Girls (this house had better be big, I have a list, and 9 of them really must live there. What a lucky ducky I am, to have so many wonderful people to love!)

Seriously, now, it's time to get to the point. Two of the women are pregnant right now. This is very exciting, for several reasons, but mainly because they have had to overcome some pretty difficult obstacles to becoming pregnant, and I am so very happy for them. Obviously, the pregnant girls should get the floor when we are chatting. So why, oh sweet readers, do I still feel the need to dominate the conversations? Adding my own little stories to everything? I love these people, and truly, I want to hear what they have to say. Why can't I be a better listener?

I am reading Night Shift by Stephen King right now. It is a book of short stories, written when he was much younger and a lot more disgusting, to tell the truth. The Grey Matter story - just, ew. Anyway, one of the stories I read yesterday described a gentleman who was trying to quit smoking. The program he went to used a rather extreme form of aversion therapy to help people quit. I won't say anything more about the story, but since this habit I have of trying to contribute my own anecdotes to every topic has bothered me for a long time. Perhaps a shock collar, delivering shocks of increasing intensity the more I babble, would help? I will give the remote to S, who is very level-headed, and will keep me honest.

So, why do I do this? Again, I swear it's not because I believe I am so interesting. I think the answer is two-fold (says the queen of self-analysis.) First, I was not exactly in the popular crowd in school. I have some self-esteem issues. Perhaps, my need to share something of myself for every topic discussed stems back to a need to belong: "See? I understand! I'm like you! Please let me join your club!" As many wonderful people as I have in my life right now, I still have dreams at night where people I love are conspiring to leave me behind. These dreams occur at least once a week. Seriously, why did I quit therapy? Anyway, so this is a likely reason. I just got used to trying to belong (never really worked), and it became deeply ingrained habit.

Second reason? I really just like to talk. This is not news. I have a blog so I can talk whenever I want. Every time someone indicates that they read this blog, I get a fresh jolt of excitement, "people are reading what I have to say! No matter how inane!"

So people I love? I am fairly certain you all know this, or you would not continue to hang out with me, but I really don't think my stories are more interesting than your's. And you can tell me to shut up while you finish your freaking story. I really just want to remind you that I get you. And I really just love to talk. Also, S, be careful with my shock collar.

So, health-wise, I don't really have much to add - last week, I gained a horrible amount of weight because I ate everything. Also, I went out to dinner with another group from my Golden Girls house on Friday night, the night before I weighed in, and I ate pretty much everything the restaurant served, plus beer. This week, I've done some better (last night aside), and I have worked out twice thus far, including a lovely, very brisk walk this morning. I feel fairly certain I'll have a loss this week, but I'll check in this weekend to tell you.

Now I have to go to work. I have 13 freshman girls coming in to my office this morning, for whom I am responsible. I ran out of half and half for my coffee, and I had to use milk, which is just not satisfying. But the weather is fall-like, and I have a very good audio book going, and an exciting volleyball game to look forward to, so Happy Thursday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Craving Solitude

I moved into my own apartment when I was 20. It was a one bedroom, low rent place on the 3rd floor of my mom's building. I lived alone for about 1 month, and I spent the whole time trying to go out with other people. The few times I ended up staying alone, I was miserable and lonely, and ended up going downstairs to hang out with my family. After a month, my roommate moved in, and I haven't been alone since. I've been trying to find time alone for the past 20 years.

Which is kind of funny, really. I'm really chatty and social, and I think about being alone all the time. I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, and one of the characters is a wildlife monitor living in a cabin up on a mountain, and she goes months without speaking to anyone. In the beginning of the book, she is speaking to another character, and is trying to remember how to have a conversation, and all I can think about is how lovely that sounds - living in a tiny place with just your books and animals for company. And then I start to think about how much I like flush toilets, and she only has an outhouse, and that would be a serious problem. Also, I am married, and I do actually like the guy I married, and the children we produced, so I guess I'd have to bring them along, and there goes the whole idea.

But I have a Pinterest board devoted to my little cabin in the woods, and I really want to live there. I can have indoor plumbing in a cabin in the woods, right? And internet service.

I am kind of obsessed with Bilbo Baggins' house, as imagined by Peter Jackson. Which I thought was kind of weird, but I am not the only one! You can Google blueprints! But, every time I saw the inside of his house on the Lord of the Rings movies, I pictured myself there, in a comfy chair, in front of the fire, with a book...

A friend of mine lived in the woods at the top of a hill in Bardstown, KY when I first met her, and I loved her house. Of course, they had a small child, and they were, like, 2 hours from a decent hospital, but it was so cozy and dark and lovely there.

This is all very amusing to people who know me well, because they all know me as very social and outgoing. Striking up conversations with complete strangers, and stroking people's hair, and shouting out "woo!" during workouts, which is more fun than you know, so don't judge me. I am social and outgoing...for a few hours...and then I am exhausted from all the people, and I need to be by myself again. So, I need my tiny Hobbit house, with my big trees (and indoor plumbing,) and I will spend time with my (small) groups of friends, and spend the rest of the time reading with my cats and my fireplace. And the occasional episode of one of the many excellent shows on television, because you can turn those people off. Right now it is Blacklist, which is excellent. James Spader is invited to come visit my cabin in the woods. Come on over, James. I have indoor plumbing...

Health stuff - not much to report this week. I have been a big, lazy slug, and I drank pop this week (horrors!) But I didn't drink any yesterday, and this morning I woke up early to walk (very quickly) with L, and we are boot camping tomorrow. I need to plan my meals next week and prep ahead - I am having a major problem keeping my calories in check when I am eating off the cuff. I texted goals (yesterday) for the next month to Mel, and I have committed to 3 boot camps and one long walk a week, in addition to planning my meals (still logging all my food, even when it is way too much.) I'll post my weigh in next week, as the last two weeks I've had to go in on weekdays, and I tend to forget my camera then.

How are you doing, healthy-living wise? What are your thoughts on the tiny house trend? (there are shows on HGTV now, which I love, although a lot of them are very expensive for the square footage.) Hobbit houses - yea or nae?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Checking in of a Sunday

Hi everybody!

It's been a busy weekend. The girl played in a local volleyball tournament - their team lost their first match, and I had no idea we would end up spending all day yesterday watching more volleyball, but they ended up winning the tournament. Go them! 

My sister and her husband and my mom came over for dinner last night. I made pork chops marinated in chili powder, orange juice, cumin, and other yummy flavors, mashed potatoes, and edamame. We ended up not having enough pork chops, so I made a small meat loaf to supplement, which must have been pretty good, as that was finished off first. I also drank a few Yoda heads full of wine, and got a bit tipsy, and we played this bizarre game my daughter made up a few years ago called "Picture Dictionary, A Different Kind" which kind of combines Win, Lose, or Draw, Charades, and Apples to Apples, but is not really like any of them. It is a ridiculous game that really has no actual goal, other than to make us laugh hard enough to spit things out, which happened more than once last night.

Also, I weighed in yesterday:
SW (8/4/2015): 281.8
LW:  280.2
CW: 278.6

Which looks good, but I did lose some muscle this week, and I was hormonal and grumpy, so I have planned out the week. Boot camp will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and hopefully Saturday (depending on softball schedule.) I had some pop this week, so there will be no more drinking that this week. I made blackberry vanilla smoothies, roasted cruciferous veggies, and some roasted chicken to put in with my lunch salads this week, so I am pretty prepared for the week.

These are my bullet journal pages for this past week - you notice today was very full, and I finished most of it. I did mow the front and side yards - I left the back for Tuesday evening, as I wanted to go for a long walk with my friend L, and I wouldn't have had time otherwise. Dude, I'm at 16,202 steps for today - it's been a very active day. Laundry is still working, and I'm going to fold that as soon as I'm done here.

This morning was pretty interesting - I was drinking my coffee and admiring the deer in my front yard, when my friend J started messaging me. I suggested we actually speak on the phone, so I called her - we haven't spoken in years. She was my first actual, adult (relatively :) friend - our oldest boys were very close friends, and we are Godmothers to each other's youngest. We met and bonded, almost instantly, when we lived in the Chicago suburbs, and then they moved back home to Texas. It was crazy - we didn't talk all that often, but every time we were lucky enough to visit each other, it was like no time had passed. I was so happy to spend time talking with her this morning, and I hope we'll be able to connect a little more often. Both of our boys graduated this year - when we lived near each other, they spent the night at each other's houses, played outside, and played a lot of Starfox. They shared a love for Star Wars and Pokemon. They are adults now, people.

The baskets of laundry are calling my name. I should go fold them. Or, perhaps, finish my book - I'm reading Kim Harrison's Witch With No Name, the last of the Hollows series. That may have to win out. What? The clothes are clean.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Weekend check-in and weigh in, amble through my day.

Well, hey there.
Happy September! I love autumn, and every day is a day closer to autumn, but of course, after a very fall-like August, we have started September with a week of very hot days. Like, humid, 90's, dog days of summer-type heat.
Of course, I spend all day in a climate-controlled office, so I guess I'm not really missing out. It's a little sad - I have a great job, but I spend an awful lot of time wondering what else I could be doing. Yesterday I got off work a little early and treated myself to a pot of hot tea, on a hot day, go figure, at a favorite spot in Oakley, Essencha. I love the smell and ambiance of the place, and I love to go in there and drink tea and read my book, and they are looking for part-time help, and I couldn't help but wonder if I wouldn't love to work there. I worked in the restaurant business briefly, when I was 20, and I really did not love it. There are a lot of people who turn into assholes when other people serve them food. I am the opposite, of course - if you are going to give me food and wait on me, I am going to bend over backwards to make you love me. Anyway, I doubt I'd love it as much as I imagine, but I sat there thinking, "if I was to quit my current job and take on a few part-time gigs, doing different things, maybe I'd figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life?"

Is it possible that, as I grow older, I grow more uncertain as to what I should be doing with my life? What a very disconcerting thought. So many women my age talk about how they are loving their 30's and 40's because they are more confident and they know themselves better. I suppose I do know myself better - I know that I still haven't found something I feel passion for - to a point that I want to make a career out of it. I would like to be outside a lot more than I am, that is for certain. And I desperately want to work closer to home and do away with this traffic, which makes me so angry that I want to beat other drivers over their stupid heads with my daughter's size 13 metal softball cleats - which rules out Essencha, of course.

This is not at all what I planned to talk about today, but it is what is spewing from the churning sea that is my mind today, so it's what you get.

Weigh in time! I weighed in yesterday morning, 6:00AM, after a kickboxing class.

SW (8/4/2015): 281.8
LW:  282.0
CW: 280.2

Ok. So we're going the right direction again. I definitely kept my eye on my calorie intake this week, much more so than I was, and I need to keep that up.

Today I woke up at 5:30 to go to kickboxing. When my girl was a baby, I used to hold her while sitting in my computer chair and my upper back would get stiff. Once, while holding her, I did some twisting stretches to try and get the kinks out, and I moved funnily, and pulled the muscle just between my right shoulder blade and my spine. I have no idea what this is, but it hurt like a mother. And every so often, that spot gets tender again, and I find it difficult to move my arm certain ways, and it hurts really badly when I look to my right. I was pretty freaking uncomfortable yesterday afternoon into the evening, and then again this morning, so I decided punching a bag was not going to work for me today. I decided to stay up and do some cleaning, some light stretching, and hit the grocery store before the Saturday rush. I got there at 6AM, well ahead of the rest of the world, but there were a lot of men there. I was literally the only female shopper I saw in the whole store. Isn't that weird? I have never been the only woman in a grocery store (aside from the employees, of course.)
Anyway, I had to get half and half for my coffee, and fish oil capsules, and the makings for taffy apple salad, which I am making for my baby sister's birthday lunch tomorrow. I ended up having a rather productive rest of my day - I freaking dusted, people! - and then took my girl and her friend shopping because she has "NOTHING to wear!" I want to say to suck it up, girl, and buy your own clothes, but she wants to buy shirts from Hot Topic, which is the kind of place I always wanted to shop when I was a teenager, and I am the weak, pathetic mom trying to live vicariously through her adorably quirky girl. I saw a Chewbacca in the Build-a-Bear Workshop (we used to live in that place when the Girl was little) and squealed loudly, prompting my daughter to kind of freak out and put her hand over my mouth and yell out "Mom! Shh!" which only drew more attention to the situation, while her friend was giggling hysterically and said, "your mom is so funny and cool." So, see people? I have been judged "funny and cool."

I am Madonna. Who kind of looks high in this picture, right?
Anyway, so there we are. I'm going to go read or something. Because that's what we cool moms do on a Saturday night.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


First of all, thank you to those who commented on Facebook with your own righteous anger on my behalf. I am rather sensitive to the idea of being excluded because of my weight, so I was leery of contacting the company or his manager, but I really feel I was on the nose in this case. You know what they say. "It's not paranoia when they are all after you." Something like that.

Anyway, I weighed in this morning. I didn't take pictures, and I am kind of fine with that. Except that I promised I would. So I'll just tell the truth. I gained. Ugh.

SW:  281.8
LW: 279.8 (this is different from the weight in the picture, but this is what I have written down by Mel, so it's what I'm using.
CW: 282.0

Yeah. I worked out a LOT this week - some serious sweat - but wow, my eating. People, this is a problem. It's not a matter of tweaking a few calories here, a few calories there. I just eat a lot of stuff I shouldn't. I start out great - do really well through 2:30PM, and then I am tired and bored, and driving alone, and trying not to fall asleep, and I stop for ice cream. Ice cream. Not exactly an every day food, people.

So many of my fellow boot campers are having trouble with their numbers because they eat too little, or they're talking about needing to eat more protein, less fat. Those of you reading this are probably thinking, "dude, what is wrong with you?! You are trying to lose weight, you don't eat ice cream or chips or whatever! Treats are for treat time, not every day! That's a no brainer!"

I know. I really do, and I feel horrible when I do it. Since starting this past session, I have logged all my food. But logging all my food does nothing if I just look at the enormous number at the end and think, yikes, better tomorrow, but...well, my brain needs the tweaking, not my protein portions.

It goes like this: I am driving home after a particularly crappy day at work, the number of which have been increasing lately. I am tired, I am beyond bored. I worked out that morning, and I know I have to go home to a messy house, people asking "what's for dinner," and a kid who has to go to volleyball. And I'm a lucky one - my husband pitches in with sports and dinner, and I realize a lot of women do not have that. Anyway, I have to drop off my FedEx, and Graeter's is just across the street from the FedEx drop, so darn it, I'm going to stop for ice cream, because I have been working so hard (that day.) And I am not stopping at 1 scoop either, because I will NEVER get ice cream again! Until the next day, of course.

A group of boot campers and I were discussing this today - that mindset of entitlement, combined with a feast or famine mindset - let's add the fact that I tend to binge. Do you do that? Say, I'll just have a handful of white cheddar popcorn, but then you look down and realize the entire bag is gone. You eat and eat, trying to get emotional fulfillment. It doesn't work! The popcorn just doesn't care about me. But at the moment, it is my only friend.

Janet teaches me that I need a little control. Which involves changing my mindset. But, how do you change a mindset you've had for decades? Most of my friends who have lost a large amount of weight, and kept it off, have certain traits that may be described as "control freak." This is a case of using the "control freak" for the good, not evil. I'm talking about those of you who have worked hard to lose weight, controlling your numbers and your intake and your output, not those who have gone too far the other direction into anorexia land, by the way. I understand that can be a slippery slope. But there are times that my easy going, laid back, non-obsessive personality bites me in the ass. Wait, did I say non-obsessive? But, there have been times, more than are healthy, where I have found myself thinking obsessively about the ice cream, or the pizza, or the freaking white cheddar popcorn, until I couldn't think of anything else. I couldn't even get back to sleep at 2AM. So, finally, I get up, and I go downstairs, and I eat a whole bag. Or I finally get back to sleep, only to wake up thinking about it, and go to the store for it.

Yeah, I need help.

So, this week's plan:

1. Keep the last few habits going - working out, all the water, logging the food.
2. Plan the meals, and plan for the commute - keep something low-calorie in the car on which to snack.
3. Use a different FedEx box (simple solution here.)
4. Find someone to walk with during volleyball (being alone in the car is dangerous for me.) Who's game!?
5. Move my daily Mel-text to later in the day, after I get home. I tend to be pretty accountable to her, and I don't lie. If I decide I'm going to confess, I am less likely to do what I may have to confess. I think, this is a theory. I think it may work, though.

Phew. I could use some help here, my friends. If any of you have any thoughts on "changing my mindset" please let me know.

In other news, our sweet new kitty Dutch is settling in relatively well, but she has an upper respiratory infection. Apparently, Siamese are prone to them. She's still hiding a lot, but she likes to be petted, and she allowed Finnegan to lick her head yesterday, although it was a rather awkward moment for both of them.

The girl made a new softball team, and will be playing for the Xplosion this year. She's excited about the opportunity. My girl is so into her sports. It's so cool - and foreign.

The boy has gotten through his first week of college. For those of you waiting on news from him, he says he is "fine." He is a man of eloquence and refinement. He did text me this week asking me to send him his TI-84. It's good to be needed.

That is about it for me today. We have a softball meeting, and then the girl is going out with volleyball friends and the husband and I have the house to ourselves. I don't know what we will do, but you can bet it will be a party. I have been wanting to watch Blacklist...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A little righteous anger

This is a post about prejudice.
I'm not asking for pity or outrage, just a little understanding. Maybe someone to listen to my own anger, because I feel I am right to be angry in this instance. And because sometimes you have to vent that anger so your family doesn't want to kill you at the end of the day.
Sporting goods stores are slim pickings in this area. Oh, we have the Bass Pro, the REI, and the Field & Stream, but if you're looking for baseball bats and yoga mats, you have Play It Again, and you have Dick's Sporting Goods. With two kids who, between them, have played 20 years of ball and bat-type sports, 12 years of soccer, plus assorted years of volleyball and basketball, Dick's has gotten more than their fair share of my time and money.
Today, I visited Dick's fitness area in search of adjustable dumbbells for my brother, the truckdriver, who, understandably, does not want 12 sets of dumbbells rolling around his truck. I could have ordered them off Amazon, but I wanted to give them to him today, and I have a gift card, and I prefer the occasional physical store. I tried Play It Again yesterday, my preference, as it is smaller and far cheaper, but they didn't have any. I found what I was looking for, but I had a few questions. I waited out the couple who was there ahead of me with 200 Crossfit equipment questions. I waited out the gentleman who arrived after me, asking 200 weightlifting glove questions. Then the young, superfit male associate looked right at me, looked me up and down, turned his back and started to walk away. I called out, "excuse me" and he responds with, "Oh, Do you want something?"

No. I'm just standing there staring at you because you are so darn hot.

What I actually say is, "Yes, I was wondering if you have anything else like this. If not, do you have more of these in stock?"
He responds, "Oh, this isn't my department."

Really? Look, I realize that with my history and self esteem issues, I may be quick to assume that people are judging me on my size. But, this one felt like a pretty obvious "the fat girl couldn't possibly plan to purchase anything in the fitness department" moment.

Dick's Sporting Goods, here's the thing. You probably want to hire athletic people to work in your store. People who actually play sports or work out regularly. You probably want them to look that way, and you likely pay them crap. But - and this is more a good business suggestion than just a sensitivity issue - people who want to lose weight and get fit are going to want to buy fitness equipment. They very likely will shop in the fitness department of your store. Don't you think it would benefit everyone involved to teach your employees who work in that department to work with these people, and not to just write them off as a fat woman who will never use her weights?

Because this fat woman does use her weights, and will need newer, heavier weights sooner rather than later. And this fat woman really wants a standing bag of her own for kickboxing on days she can't get to a class.

And guess what, Mr. Superfit Dick's Associate. This freaking fat woman probably worked out harder than you did at 5:00 this morning.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday is weigh in day

I know. You're wondering about this picture. Because you would really like this underwear.
I'm down 4.8 lbs. from last weigh in, 1 lb from last week. I went to boot camp M-Th this week, and I am sore. Very, hover, saying owowowowow, then drop onto the toilet, like sore. Did not drink any pop this week. Would probably have dropped more than 1 lb, if I had managed to freaking keep my calories in check.

I log every bite I take - all of it. The two days I stayed within 100 calories of my allotted number, I was STARVING! Which tells me a couple of things:

  1. I have some serious portion distortion, and I'm so used to eating big portions, that my body thinks it needs more than it does.
  2. I may be one of those people who needs to eat small amounts every couple of hours instead of 3 meals.
  3. I need to pay better attention to my nutrients and spread my protein out so I have some at every meal.

Okay, so I will take these things into consideration this week while I plan.

By the way, favorite snack for this week - I roasted a bunch of cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts and took a cup of them to work every day. I eat them cold, and they are delightful. The do not smell delightful, but they tasted fantastic.

In other news, I took my firstborn to college today. He lives on the 7th floor - if moving him in wasn't a workout, nothing is. All these kids had tubs and suitcases and carts full of stuff, and my kid had a duffel bag, a tub, two backpacks, and a few grocery bags. Oh, and his hamper with his bedding. Hopefully he didn't underpack. Anyway, I'm excited for him - I truly hope he is happy there. My boy is not exactly an outgoing, friendly, joiner kind of guy - I told him not to let his tendency to be annoyed by everything get in the way of his enjoyment.
Send him happy thoughts, please.
I spent the later part of the afternoon cleaning bathrooms, mopping, organizing stuff, cleaning cat boxes. I am going to spend these last few minutes of quiet (volleyball game) with my book (Storm of Swords, 3rd Game of Thrones book.)