Thursday, November 18, 2010

You can’t go back again

Some folks—my mom included—seem to have the knack for holding a family together.  You know the type:  they’re the glue that binds everyone and everything.  Gatherings are usually at their homes and at their request.  No one would think of staying away, even if the scheduling isn’t just right, and everyone has a good time while they’re there.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week, as my family tries to work out our plans for Thanksgiving dinner.  For a variety of reasons—most having to do with trying to maintain some sort of family peace—we’ve decided to go out this year, rather than gather at anyone’s home.  And, scheduling is proving very difficult—so much so that about half of us apparently won’t be able to make it Thursday.  We’re going to spread some of the festivities into Friday, but even that won’t let everyone gather at once, or even over the course of the weekend.  And the part that bothers me the most is that it doesn’t seem to bother anyone else.  Clearly, of all the many things I learned from my mom, how to be the family glue was not among them.  It makes me sad.  I want the days when things were simpler and family traditions were important to everyone. 

But the saddest thing of all is that I know we can’t ever go back.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Still Alive

Yeah, so my grand plan for weekly updates to this blog seems to have failed miserably.  I’d blame it on the trials and tribulations of RL, but that excuse gets so boring.

However, updates or not, I am glad to say that I have continued with my improved fitness/weight loss regime.  Now, granted, I’m a bit behind goal in the actual weight loss arena, but I’m still working on making “less bad” choices, and still slowly losing not just weight, but inches. 

I’ve started the Couch to 5K program—though I’m pretty sure the plan is a bit aggressive and it’ll take me a few extra weeks to reach the 5K milestone, but that’s okay.  Slow is fine with me.

In terms of my daily movement (not exercise, just normal walking around), I’ve increased my steps so that I’m up to a minimum of two miles of walking per day.

And, my first real test came today: first home game of the football season.  I am extremely glad to report that I did not feel like I was gasping for air by the time we reached our seats.  Now, granted, I was still pretty hot, and it was definitely an exertion, but it was easier than it was last year, and that’s been one of my underlying measuring sticks for this whole program.  I’m hoping by the time I attend the final game of the season it will be easier still.

Onward and upward (or downward, if we’re talking about the reading on the scale!), because I am still alive and kicking.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Last week was a static week in terms of the weight loss. Not surprising, really. I let too many other things consume my attention and my energy and slipped back in to bad eating habits and practically no exercise. What with a couple of graduations this week, an ailing grandmother, and a ton of stuff to do at work, it will take some true diligence not to let the same thing happen this week. I'm trying to break into a new cycle of living, not keep slipping back into old ones. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life and stuff

Three weeks in, and I've already fallen off on my commitment to at least weekly posts. Still, it occurs to me that when I began this blog way back in the day, it was supposed to be about whatever was on my mind, not a single topic. And now that I'm on my quest to make some changes physically, I don't think I should give up on that idea and only write about the weight loss saga. So here's some other stuff that's been going on, and maybe just a hint at why I've been distracted from the blog.
My grandmother has been ill for about two months now. Not like life-threatening, hooked-up-to-life-support ill or anything, but just an ongoing illness that we haven't been able to shake. She's elderly, so she stayed with me for the first three weeks, and then we thought she was mostly on the mend, so she went back home, but the family has still been preoccupied with checking in on her, taking her to doctor appointments, etc. Monday, we had to admit her back to the hospital for IV medications, and it looks like they'll need to keep her for about a week or so. Kind of crappy, but if that's what it's going to take to get her better, then that's what we'll do.
I think I mentioned earlier that I was under the weather myself. Well, that's still wearing me down. I refilled the antibiotics and will hopefully completely kick the crud soon.
Work. Most everyone has a job, and it's rarely because we want to work, so I figure everyone understands that just dealing with work can be stressful, annoying, tiring, and just plain sucky. Enough said.
Last week, tornados moved through the area. Fortunately, we had no damage, even though the closest one was just about four miles up the road to the west, and the next was maybe ten miles or so to the east. We were lucky. However, we did lose power for a few days. After not quite twenty-four hours, we broke down and bought a generator, just to get some essential services back. Unfortunately, we're on a well rather than city water, so the essentials didn't include running water. But now that we're through it, husband is on a quest to figure out the best way to get power to the pump so that we will be better prepared in the future. Just dealing with all that consumed a few of my days.
Then there's the kid. He's supposed to graduate high school next week. I say 'supposed to' because while he only needs one credit hour to complete his requirements, he's failing the class he needs. (He's failing a couple of others, too, but I've honestly quit worrying about those.) It's frustrating to watch him make bad decisions that could impact his whole future, especially when his only answer to why he does anything seems to be, "I'm 18; it's my life." Kids. I'm not sure when they realize the sort of hell they put parents through, but I think it's not until they have kids of their own. I mean, I gained a lot of maturity the older I got, and I could intellectually look back at some of the things I'd done as a young person and recognize that it was probably not a walk in the park for my parents, but I think I had to become a mother to really understand. Too bad. Life could be a lot easier on a lot of people if that insight could be gained a little sooner.
But, even in the midst of all that, the quest for more physical fitness goes on. I'll admit, it doesn't go on with quite the gusto I'd be able to generate without some of the drama, but it does go on. After three weeks, I've lost a total of six pounds and about four inches over various parts of the body. I could wish for something slightly more dramatic, but at this rate, I'll more than meet my goal, and that's the whole point. Slow and steady wins the race, as my mom used to say. Probably another thing I didn't listen to at first, but it's never too late to learn.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week One: Done

It's been seven days since I vowed I was making some physical changes in my life, and I've gotten through the first week on track.  Still under the weather today, so no exercising again (I'm hoping the antibiotics will kick in soon), but I'd still consider it a success.

This morning, the scale shows 4.5 pound loss-- yay, me!  Now, if you'll remember (as I certainly do) three of that was very recent gain from too much splurging, but I'll still take it.  Of course, at 1.5 pounds lost per week, I'll actually miss my goal by 4 pounds, but I'm pretty sure there'll be some weeks I can crank it up and lose two or three real pounds.  That is certainly my plan.

Oh, and I forgot to measure last week, so I've only just done that today.  We'll see how that goes, especially in my legs, which are totally untoned.  And, in addition to more activity, I've also gotten a pair of those Shape Up shoes, that are supposed to help tone you just by walking in them.  We shall see.

All in all, I'd consider this a good start.  On to week two.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A good sign

After one week of only small changes to my activity level, it's not like I'm all super-athletic or anything, but I've been coming down with some sort of ailment the past few days, and today, it's laid me pretty low.  No exercise for me, and my ever-present pedometer may not make it into the triple digits before I decide I just need to head back to the bed and give the world another try tomorrow.

And what's so good about that?  Well, nothing, really.  But there is a definite sense of something missing today, that there's something sort of intrinsic that I'm not able to accomplish.  I find myself wishing I could get on the exer-glider for even just a few minutes, or maybe walk down the driveway, something.

I think that's a good thing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

If not good, at least less bad

One of the things I've realized over the years is that I'm not cut out to be a health food junkie—not even remotely close. I've also realized there are some things that I cannot live without, at least not happily. Take Coke, for example. I love an ice-cold Coca-Cola. And if it came from the local Sonic with their scrumptious ice, even better. I enjoy Coke so much, it's almost like a security blanket for me—the thing that lets me smile when I want to cry, shrug when I want to scream, persevere when I want to give up. It helps keep me sane.
Now, we all know Coke isn't really good for you—empty calories, caffeine, etc.—but, dang, I do love it. So, while eliminating Coke from my diet might be a good choice, that's not very likely. Continuing my current consumption, though—maybe three sodas per day—that's a bad choice. So, the less bad choice is to reduce the amount of Coke I drink. On a normal work day, I'd venture a guess that I consume 50-80 ounces of Coke; today I had about 24, yesterday less than 20. I know some folks still think that's too much soda for someone who's claiming to want to lose weight—and I can't say I disagree—but it's a less bad choice that will allow me to continue on my journey. Trying to give up the staple of my mental health regimen would be asking for trouble.
As another example, it was a long and trying day at the office today. What I really wanted driving home was a chocolate chip milk shake. I was sort of hungry and very drained, and a bit of comfort food would've been just what I needed. Now, in the spirit of truth I'll admit that the shop where I like to get these shakes wasn't open, but I still passed by a couple of McDonald's, with their alluring chocolate shakes and wonderful French fries. And I didn't stop at any of the convenience stores to grab an ice cream bar. Didn't even break open the Bryer's once I made it home. Instead I opted for a small bowl of oatmeal. Sure, eating anything at three in the morning probably not the best idea, but oatmeal instead of ice cream is still less bad than other choices.
Here's to less bad choices that allow us to keep going.

Friday, April 30, 2010

All about me

Here's the problem: I've gotten fat. I'd like to sugar-coat that a little bit, and maybe say "plump", or "overweight", but I'm pretty sure that sugar coating has caused a lot of the problem.
The solution? Lose weight.
Well, yeah. Sounds simple, right? But, like a lot of people (especially a lot of women), my weight has been a constant battle as long as I can remember. I put on a few pounds; I go on a diet and lose a few. Gain a few more, get on some exercise regimen for a while, and lose a few more. The problem has always been that the few I take off are never the same few that I put on, and over the years that has led me to where I am now. I always think it's not that bad, or I'll do something about it later, or some other platitude to hide the bitter truth that I need to get off my butt and make some changes. I've decided it's time to do that.
So why now? A bunch of things. I'm more and more annoyed by the me I see in the mirror. It's harder and harder and harder to walk up stadium steps to our seats. My husband is increasingly less attracted to me. I'll be forty-seven in a few months, which is pretty close to fifty, and it seems to me that fiftyish people ought to be more in control of their lives than I am of mine. Next year is our 25th wedding anniversary. I'm hoping for a cruise to celebrate. The cruise is really still a big maybe at this point, but if it happens, I'd like to be comfortable walking around in shorts. Heck, maybe even a swim suit.
All of those things have been rolling around in my brain lately. But the final straw was a recent picture. Just a snapshot, nothing fancy about it, just goofiness going on at work. But when I saw it, I sort of couldn't believe it was me. I mean, I've always known I was too big; always realized I needed to lose weight. But it wasn't until I saw that picture that I really and truly believed that I was fat. It was eye-opening. And a little heart-breaking. So, time to change.
And why this post? Well, like I said, I've made the decision to lose weight countless times over the years. Sometimes it's worked (at least for the short term), and sometimes I've just let the idea fizzle out and never even really gotten motivated enough to truly do anything about it. I don't want this time to be like all the others. I don't want to just say I want to lose weight and never do it. I don't want to lose five or ten pounds and a few months from now add them back again. I want to make an actual change in my life. I want to feel better—physically, mentally, emotionally—and I want to keep feeling better. So, this post sort of serves as my promise to myself. I'm going to work hard this time. I don't want to be some Barbie doll, and I don't expect to lose all the weight I need to lose quickly. This is a long road I'm setting out on, and I wanted to announce my intentions formally, because I think that will make me feel more committed. Not that this blog serves as anything more than the occasional diary, anyway—no one reads it. I just come back to it now and again when I want to chat about something or practice writing skills or something. But I'm going to try and use it now to help keep myself on track. I'm sort of a private person, so I don't want to join a gym or a group that weighs in every week, or anything like that. I don't want one of those "accountability partners", at least not a living one. This blog is going to do that for me. It's going to be the thing that I see every time I log onto my computer, taunting me if I haven't made the effort I needed to make, encouraging me when I feel like I can't make the effort any longer, and applauding me when my efforts finally start paying off. It's going to keep me honest. And if I fail, then I'll have to put it in writing. That ought to be enough to make anyone stick to their guns.
So, let me go on record now with my goals:
  • I want to lose 88 pounds. (I thought it would be 85, but apparently that splurge weekend I had before starting my regimen wasn't a good idea!)
  • I want to be more physically fit. I know that's not very specific, but that's what I want—just to be in better shape. Maybe I should list the goal as "able to walk to our football seats without feeling like I need oxygen". J
  • My time frame is about 14 months. July, 2011 is my 25th anniversary, so that's where I've set my sights.
  • I want to update this blog at least weekly. This is Friday, and I actually started this journey a few days ago, but I want to keep a record. At a minimum, I'm going to update on my days off from work. No excuse then not to spend a few minutes and jot something down.
Okay, I think that's it. This is about me becoming a better me, a me that I don't feel ashamed of in the mirror or in photos, a me that's healthier and happier, a me that I want to be. Here's to me.