Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hokey Pokey and Other News

One step forward one step back.  A good meal, a bad meal, a good day, a bad day. Life is a bit of a vicious cycle. Some days I'm in control. Some days, I forget all of my coping skills. Yesterday was a bad day. Today, I'm doing well. When I make tomorrow another good day, I'll be moving forward. And, as you know, forward is my favorite direction.

My major focus these days is my new online business. If I can't get any more hours at work, I have to find a new source of income. I'm still in the design and stock inventory stage, but I hope to go public by the end of the month. This is my version of getting a five yr old ready for the first day of kindergarten.

There's a new box of spinach in my refrigerator. This particular brand of spinach comes in giant clear plastic containers. Instead of recycling them, I use the containers to organize inventory and supplies for my new business venture. The more I eat, the more containers I have stacked about my work room. They remind me of my goals :-)  The ultimate in green living... reduce waste, reduce waist.  Epic win.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Today's win... not going to the grocery store because I know I would have come home with illegal snack foods.  It's not much, but it's better than last week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Slightly More Alive Now

Yeah, so the whole Monday thing was a little ambitious. Monday is my busiest day of the week. But here I am, and it's only Tuesday!  

I've been drinking water like crazy, trying to flush out all that bad attitude and Doritos residue. My eating is much better now... whole grains, spinach, veggies, low fat dairy... and reasonable amounts of each.

I had family down for a visit last week. It wasn't the huge emotional scene I had originally planned, but one family member was pretty impressed by the amount of weight I've lost. This less-than-stellar reception went a long way toward strengthening my resolve to shock the daylights out of them. The next time they see me, I plan to be a fraction of my current self.

Now here's the really big deal... I've been offered the opportunity to accompany someone on a trip halfway around the world. Unbelievable, I know. What an awesome experience!  Because the trip involves short hops on small planes, I need to get to a comfortable weight before I go... I'll have to tell the pilot each time so he/she can calculate fuel, etc. The smaller the plane, the more careful you have to be with fuel calculations. So there's another BIG motivation for me.  

What else is new?  I am still working on my book. Finding the right words to make a scene unfold is both challenging and rewarding. It definitely keeps my imagination working.  It's also fun to be at work, or at a social event, and suddenly see something that just has to go into the book. I find myself writing in all sorts of people and scenarios from daily life. I love the old cliche about the strangeness of truth vs. fiction.  

My family said goodbye to a pet we'd had for a very long time. Even she was ready to go... she was very old and frail... so, although it was sad, it was the right time. Of course, that doesn't keep us from looking for her. The house seems so very empty. But, as that door closed, another is about to open. I am going to rescue a new pet or two next week!  I haven't decided between babies or young adults. One would be more sensible, but a pair seems to be so much more fun. I will let you know what happens on that front! I can't wait to bring home a furball or two :-)

All in all, my coping-without-eating skills have improved dramatically. I consult my "do this instead of eating" list whenever I am tempted to eat out of boredom or stress. It helps.

On that note, I will leave you with a few photos from paradise...

Ibis in the surf

Wild Florida

Juvenile tern reporting to mom

Gator at a secret watering hole

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not Dead Yet

Yes, it has been more than a month since my last update.  I keep writing down BS excuses about not having time to sit and write, etc.  After I write each one, I delete it.  The truth is, I have been busy but not all THAT busy.  I'm just full of excuses.  What a wheelbarrow-load of BS.  No one is ever so busy that they can't be healthy and blog about it.

This is the absolute busiest time of year where I live.  Some days I have to hide out at a friend's house after work until traffic dies down enough for me to get home.  It's crazy!  And there are hundreds of people milling about on bicycles.  They dart out from behind bushes thinking that nothing bad could possibly happen to them whilst on vacation.  I tell you, I'm ready for a vacation.
To escape the stress brought on by the seasonal frenzy of activity, I have been eating ice cream and Doritos.  Yep.  I've been making very, very bad decisions.  I have this really nifty trick where I put the chips into my grocery cart and pretend that I am going to bring them in to work.  That rationalization works until I load the bags into the car.  Somehow, I magically forget about the people at work and soothe the stresses of my day with the satisfying crunch of a spectacularly spicy and oddly colored corn chip.  What is it about orange food that soothes the soul??

Things have gotten so out of control that I sometimes tell myself that I deserve a treat.  That's my favorite bit of BS.  What I really deserve is to carve out time for a walk or a swim.  I deserve to be healthy, not chip-laden.

Tomorrow, my journey begins anew.  I'm beginning Phase 2.  I am ready to put the smackdown on my ridiculous BS excuses.... tomorrow.  I want one last night of self-indulgent lassitude and the opportunity for culinary debauchery.  The big question for me is... will I indulge tonight or will I simply go cold turkey on bad food when I leave work tonight.  Check back on Monday.  I will have Big Things to report.

P.S.   Princess Dieter.... thank you for all the kicks in the behind.  I'm finally listening.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Life Is Not For Sissies

My life is a challenge. It has never been easy. I have always been fascinated by people who seem to "coast" through life. Although I am well aware that most people have hidden challenges that are not apparent to the rest of the world, I know that life is certainly easier for some people than for others. That said, I hate to whine. These past few months, I have had very few words to share that were either positive or new. Everything seemed negative or redundant, or both. So, instead of whining here, I just kept silent.

Inertia is a tremendously powerful force. It kept me going for months last summer, and then it kept me stationary for months this past winter. Whenever I have to face changes, or make decisions about my life, I tend to freeze up. The bigger the decision, the faster I shut down. Crazy. The great irony is that when I worked as a paramedic I made life and death decisions on the spur of the moment. I very rarely hesitated. Go figure. I suppose it's easier to decide the fates of others than our own. When my going gets tough, I pull the blankets up over my head and hide. This is NOT productive behavior!

Food is another powerful force. Its ability to soothe and comfort is legendary. I am very, very good at deriving comfort from nasty processed foods. Salt- and sugar-laden foods kept me company through all of the fall and winter holidays! We were BFFs! My homies and I hung out in the hizzie and had wild times. With friends like that....

I am running with a better class of buds these days. The turning point came when Costco restocked my favorite tortillas. I'd been without them for a couple of months. When they suddenly reappeared in the store, I knew it was time to get back on track. That's when I started pushing the boulder back up the hill. Life isn't for sissies. Good thing I'm not one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The past few months have been difficult, both mentally and physically. Thank you to those of you who have kept prodding me. I have held your words close to me, turning them over like worry stones and rubbing them smooth. Instead of weighing me down, they helped to anchor me and keep me grounded.

I have spent the last few months quite overwhelmed by life. The biggest problem I have, aside from my actual bigness, is that I am over-educated and underemployed. I work in the public sector, and my hours are dependent on property tax values. Unfortunately, I also live in an area with some of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country. Toss in the fact that I have always been an emotional eater.  Add a pinch of chronic medical condition. Stir as vigorously as possible. What a wonderful recipe for ulcers, lethargy, and weight gain!

It has been a long winter of pushing my rock up the hill, but I have made significant progress. My refrigerator is, once again, full of spinach and low carb tortillas. My resume is up to date and ready for any opportunity. Best of all, my creativity is blooming. Life might not be great, but it is showing some promise.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Inertia, that's my problem. I try to deny it, I try to work around it, but the bottom line... and what caused the hugeness of my - er - bottom line... is that I'm about as motivated as a potato. Ironically, I'm shaped like a potato. Perhaps it is all a quirk of fate...

It is hard to overcome inertia. Seriously. There are no excuses or rationalizations at work here. In fact, there are all sorts of rules about energy and objects at rest versus objects in motion. Call me a geek, but I actually enjoyed physics. It was the physics instructor that I couldn't stand... Enough nostalgia! Inertia deals with the idea that objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and that objects in motion tend to remain in motion. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this... inactive people tend to stay inactive, and active people tend to stay active. That's why we're lumpy and they're buff.
In order to become active, a person has to get up off the couch or out of the chair and start moving. That transition requires a significant amount of physical energy. Active people seem to manage to get moving with very little fanfare. For some of us, the stagnant lumpy ones, the energy expenditure is like scaling a personal Mt. Everest. We would rather have our teeth pulled out than run around the neighborhood. We need incentives, constant streams of rewards, and the immediate gratification of noticeable results. But then, once we get going, we usually do okay. We get our walks or runs or biking done. We drag ourselves off to the gym. We keep going until we become complacent. You know what happens when we fail to be vigilant. We start to slow down. Workouts get more sporadic and then there's the inevitable roll to a stop.
All of us have been there. We've done that, and we've wished we could fit into the T-shirt. We know that it's easier to stay motivated than it is to get motivated in the first place. And yet, many of us allow ourselves to stop. Once we've stopped, we have to overcome inertia to get going again. That's what happens to me. Over and over, it happens to me. Sometimes it's hard to push myself to begin again. Sometimes, Highway 150 heads up a mountain. This is one of those hilly stretches. I suppose it's time to put the old buggy in 3rd gear and head up that next hill.

Uber-irony... playing a word game today, instead of taking a walk, I missed the word "laziness"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year

Hi there everyone! I just got a kick in the behind, and it seems to have propelled me to the blogosphere. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings and Passovers and Christmases and Kwanzaas and whatever other holidays you celebrated. Is there anyone out there who did NOT overindulge? Just remember to own what you do and what you eat. If you ate too many cookies, like I did, I hope you enjoyed them! (I did!)

I am not one of those people who relishes the beginning of a new year. I tend not to see the opportunities that lie ahead, and I never make resolutions. Instead, I am more likely to reflect on the things I did or did not accomplish the previous year. When I took stock of 2010, I realized that it really was a year of change for me. I lost sixty pounds! That's huge. (pun intended) But I should have lost more. Why didn't I lose as much as I planned? Food. I like to eat, and I like to eat "bad food." The recent holidays brought a lot of baking and entertaining and food gifts into my life. I'm a sucker for holiday-themed goodies. There was too much temptation for me to resist. So, I gave in. Until a few days ago, I was AWOL.

After at least a month, I finally stepped on the scale again. (The battery died and I kept forgetting to get a new one.)  Yes, I gained. No, I didn't gain a lot. Yes, I have already lost three of the nine pounds I gained since Halloween. No, I'm not fretting about it. I used to gain and lose ten pounds all the time! Seriously, every pound was worth it... I'm a great baker, and the cookies were fantastic... not to mention the Belgian chocolates that kept turning up at work... But now the tree is away and the decorations are down, and I am spending a bit more time thinking about what goes into my mouth. I am also paying attention to the relationship between food/exercise and results on the scale. 

Interestingly enough, to me at least, is the fact that I WANT to get back to losing weight. I think I found my mojo! I think I figured out why I have found motivation again. When I lost what I will call the "first sixty," I was smaller than I'd been in a LONG time. Jeans fit again, work clothes fit, etc. Having spent the past few months relatively static in the weight department, I am now used to this weight. Instead of feeling skinny, I just feel ... fat. I never realized how happy I'd be to feel fat! Now I have a new starting point. I will lose weight from this point, not from the original starting point. My challenges and goals seem to be more manageable and less threatening this way. 150 is not nearly as far away as it was back in June.

Onward and downward! I plan to see that ticker start moving again soon. 

Happy New You.