Tears!

I’m really discouraged this evening.  The walk home tonight was so hard I was near tears.  The fronts of my legs were absolutely killing me.  It’s such a difference from this time last week.  Last week I was cruising right along, feeling fantastic, wondering why, if it was this much of a breeze, hadn’t I done it before.  And today?  Tears! 

It’s weird because when driving home from the station tonight after the walk from hell, I found myself feeling depressed.  Which is kind of crazy, considering all the good things I’ve been doing.  I cut ties with the person who made me miserable for 3 years, I’ve lost over 20lbs in 8 weeks, I’ve built new friendships, I’ve walked to and from work every day for a week and a half.  What on EARTH do I have to be depressed about?  All I wanted to do was come home and eat like a crazy person and then go to bed and forget about this whole thing.  Forget about WW, forget about walking, forget about drinking water, just forget it all!  But then I realized that I’ve arrived at the point in the road that comes during any major transition.  The point where you don’t want to go forward, but you can’t go back.  It’s not that I don’t want to lose the weight or keep working on my physical fitness.  I do.  I just don’t want it to be so hard!  The last 8 weeks, with the exception of only 2 days, have been a breeze. 

I know I’m extra tired from being sick earlier this week and I’m probably also a little tired because of The Reason, so I’m going to push through the last two days of this week and then take it easy on the weekend.  Wish me strength and endurance for these last two days!

BTW:  I didn’t come home and eat myself into a coma.  I had Thai Chicken w/ veggies and brown rice….which I love SO MUCH that I consider it a treat.  5 points.  And while I’m laying on the sofa relaxing this evening, I’m planning for an orange, a latte and some Crispy Minis.  Screw the empty calorie thing for one night, I need the comfort!

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Not so much!

Results page is updated….I didn’t quite hit the goal of losing 2.2 this week….I missed it by .4.

Still, not too shabby.

One thing I did learn tonight at the meeting that I thought I would share.  Motrin, Advil and other non-steroidal anti-inflamatories will cause water retention.  I didn’t believe it at first, mostly because the Weight Watchers leaders have no background in nutrition or body science, so I looked it up myself.  Also, I like to know WHY rather than just accept things as fact.  So here’s what I found after wading through a lot of really dull websites. (I only looked at ibuprofen-type drugs because that’s all I use)

The Motrin (or whatever you’re using) decreases the blood flow to your kidneys, causing the increased production of the hormones ADH and AVF.  Those two hormones are actually antidiuretic hormones.  So when your body has too much of the antidiuretic hormone circulating, the sodium levels in your blood drop and your body retains water.  Ladies, if you are taking Advil or Motrin for cramps, that can cause even greater weight gain during that time of the month.

How to combat this?  Believe it or not, consume more sodium.  I don’t mean in a bag of chips or a salt-lick.  Drinking sports drinks evidentally will bring up your sodium level and then your body will release the retained water. (Two of the sources I used are HERE and HERE if you’d like to go and read for yourself)

I should point out that I AM NOT A DOCTOR and I have NO BACKGROUND IN NUTRITION OR BODY SCIENCE.  I simply did some online research and this is what I understood from it. 

Frustrated

That’s me.  Completely frustrated and disheartened.  One of the reasons that I made the decision to start losing weight and to get more physically fit was that I was tired of getting or feeling sick all the time.  And for the last 8 weeks it’s been great.  I’ve felt really good, both mentally and physically.  Just yesterday evening I was touting how wonderful all the good foods are making me feel.  And then……disaster!  I went to bed early last night (8pm) because I was completely and utterly toasted.  I didn’t even have the energy to take my latte cup to the sink to rinse out.  So into bed, where I proceeded to wake up every 20 minutes.  And then in the wee hours of the morning, Barfy the Clown showed up and stayed until around 4am.  Needless to say, not much sleeping was done.  I probably should have known something was up with waking up so often and how bone tired I was, but I chalked that up to making a new time over the bridge both ways yesterday. 

Not to be defeated, I still walked to work this morning, trying to out-walk Barfy the Clown.  Sadly, he followed me to work and struck a couple of times when I got there.  There is nothing worse than dragging BtC around with you when you’re at work!

I probably shouldn’t have walked to work this morning, but having lived in this body for as long as I have, I have grown to not trust it.  I can get a severe tummy-ache from nerves, from stress, from the wind blowing in the wrong direction.  So this morning I thought about it a bit and then decided that perhaps I was just nervous about weigh-in tonight.  Or perhaps I overdid it yesterday on the walk/run home.  In any case, I decided to ignore the wobblies in the tummy and just carry on and that I would feel better once I got going.  I suppose the one thing that I can take from all the eating better and exercising is that if I am feeling ill, it is because something is wrong and not due to whatever crap I ate the night before.  I think my immune system probably IS stronger than it was before, but still, I’m not quite sure which urge to resist first; the urge to throw up or the urge to cry out of frustration.

I know that the healthy diet and the exercise are not going to fix every single thing in my life that ails me, but Son of a Biscuit, shouldn’t it at least make this kind of stuff go away?

NOT FAIR!  Going to bed….I’ll post results when I get home from WW tonight….if nothing else, Barfy the Clown may have helped in that respect.   I really want to be down at least 2.2 from last week because that will mean that I’ve lost 10% of my starting weight.  We’ll see……  

Isn’t that nice!

Isn’t it nice when a plan comes together?  When what you are eating is actually starting to have a benefit to your body rather than just weight loss?  It certainly motivates me to continue to avoid crap and eat the healthier, cleaner foods that our bodies were made for.

Let’s review.

Yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese strings ~ I have one yogurt, a cup of cottage cheese and a cheese string every day.  And I’ve definitely noticed that my fingernails are stronger and growing faster and my hair is shinier.

Bananas, apples, kiwis and oranges ~ the vitamin ‘C’ in all of these, while I can’t be positive, has so far been able to help me avoid getting even a sniffle….and if you know me at all, that is impressive!

Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds ~ definitely assist in keeping a satisfied feeling for longer (especially if you combine the almonds with a fruit).  Notice I didn’t say ‘fuller feeling’.  If my problem was eating only when I was hungry, I wouldn’t be here.  The problem is feeling satiated and content, not munchy and bitchy.  And the seeds definitely help with that. (watch the sodium content though)

Soy beverage, tofu ~ aside from really enjoying the ‘dairy & meat alternative’ products, I found something interesting online about the soy based products.  Evidentally they are high in naturally occuring tryptophan (the ‘drug’ in turkey that makes you sleepy).  Every night, about 30 minutes before bed I have a soy latte.  I started doing it 8 weeks ago because I needed the sweet fix and I HAD to have something before bed so my tummy didn’t growl at 3am.  In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I have to time the latte to pretty close to bedtime because I started to get really zonky.  Like I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.  Now, the levels of tryptophan (an amino acid that triggers the production of seratonin, which is one of the hormones that brings sleep) in soy beverage is about .28g/125ml and turkey has .33 for 125g, so I can’t say for certain that is the cause.  But perhaps (and DesperateWriter, you may want to try this) when you have conditioned your body to a particular event or item shortly before bed, it is a signal that it’s time to get sleepy.  Either way, it’s a really nice side effect.  And soy/tofu are healthy and good for you.

Sea Salt ~ I replaced my regular table salt with the coarse Sea Salt from Victorian Epicure to try and reduce sodium intake.  Sea Salt has a more subtle taste and the coarse texture is nice because you can actually see the salt on your food rather than just taste it.  It has more of a crunch to it and is more pleasing to the palate (mine, anyway).  The jury is out on whether or not sea salt actually has less sodium in it than table salt, but I find that I use far less of it than the fast flowing table salt and in that way have decreased my sodium intake without actually eliminating salt.  Just a reminder, the human body NEEDS sodium.  It is an essential mineral that helps control and regulate hydration.  Just don’t overdo.  Go HERE for an easy to understand article about why and how much sodium you need.

Fibre, fibre, fibre ~ without getting all disgusting on you, the increase in fibre in my diet has been handy.  Not only does it do the obvious, but once my body got used to the extra bulk, I found myself getting less bloated and feeling less toxic.  I believe that ‘toxic’ feeling contributes greatly to when I’m having a ‘fat’ day. 

Water ~ Skin?  Nice.  Hair?  Nice.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for awhile, you probably know all the benefits of water; eliminating toxins, lubricating joints, delivering nutrients to cells, helping brain function, regulating body temperature, flushing out fat cells and much more.   Drink up, kids!

So that’s it for my diatribe on the health benefits ASIDE from weight loss that I’ve been experiencing since I began eating healthier and cleaner.  Anyone else?  What have you noticed?

Food

I finally got a new recipe up in Recipe of the Week on the left hand side. 

Also, I have found some really good websites that have lots of really good Weight Watchers recipes.  So in the main Recipe of the Week page on the left, I’ve included links to these.  Let me know if you try anything new….

Enjoy!

A Much Needed Break

Today was lovely.  Last night after walking home (the hardest one yet), grocery shopping, driving to work to pick up my stuff and then coming home and unpacking groceries, I was exhausted.  The new routine definitely took its toll on me physically and mentally, but today I took the entire day to renew and re-energize.  I napped, played with my bird, watched hockey, watched a movie and made chili.  Tonight I have hockey at 9:30.  I saved one point to have a soy latte when I get home to warm up before bed.  I’m looking forward to it.

When I wasn’t napping or brain smooshing with the movies, I was giving some things some thought.  That dumb movie, Death Becomes Her, was on today.  You know, the one where Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep take the magic potion to gain permanent youth and become beautiful and thin again?  Anyway, I was thinking about if there was such a potion.  And then, in fine Lady Shanny fashion, my thoughts drifted to the ongoing battle of the weight afflicted.  If there was such a potion that every weight afflicted person could take, would that be a good idea?  I think, no.  I think that the requirement of effort and struggle and learning are all so important.  I think that without going through the actual actions, we don’t really get to learn who we are and what drives us.  And then I wondered about people who have never had to deal with weight issues.  Are we better off for the struggle?  Are they better off for not having had to struggle?  I have to say, I am glad for the struggle.  I’m glad for the accomplishments that I’ve made and that are coming.  I’m thankful that I am figuring out my triggers.  I’m happy that I am laying the groundwork for the rest of my life.  And I’m grateful for all the people I have supporting me here on this blog and in real life.  Without this journey, I wouldn’t have found the bloggsters (who I love so much) or grown my relationships with the real life people who are so amazing.  So, magic potion?  No thanks.  I’ll do it myself.

The other thing that I was thinking about was something that I was talking about with a couple of guys at work last night.  The idea that those two had (and that they live by) was to be completely disciplined, Monday to Friday, and then relax dietary restrictions on the weekend, not to a ridiculous extent, but to have something to look forward to, food-wise.  I agree with what they are saying but I don’t feel that I want to apply that to myself just yet.  First of all, it has only been 7 weeks.  Second, I still have a lot to lose.  The Weight Watchers system is both flexible and structured.  It’s flexible in that you can pretty much eat whatever you like, but the structure comes in when you have to account for what you’re eating in points.  The reason that I chose Flex over Core is that I don’t control my portions very well or make particularly decent choices (obviously) and I need the boundaries set for each day.  Without that, it’s too easy for me to get out of control, especially being an emotional eater.  Because this whole thing is fairly new and I have quite a bit to lose, I need that number to be lower every Tuesday night.  I don’t get on the scale at any other time so that number tends to mean a lot.  The boys were talking about once the weight is all gone that the main journey is over and it can be hard to avoid burnout because you still have to be doing the same things, you just don’t get to see lower numbers or smaller waist sizes.  I get that.  I know that once the weight is gone and I’m not seeing change every week I’m going to struggle with why I’m doing it.  I will have a hard time not losing sight of the reasons.  And that’s where I think the “Monday to Friday” theory will be very effective.  When maintaining a weight loss, that little bit of weekend splurging won’t show up on the scale.  Following the program 75% of the time will be perfectly effective in maintaining.  But because I’m actively losing, I don’t want to give up those other two days as potential weight losing days.  One of the boys said that at some point, I have to be able to eat, in moderation, the stuff that I really, REALLY love or otherwise I’ll never be recovered, that I’ll always be scared of certain foods.  I totally agree.  But I don’t want to take that test right now because while I do enjoy the foods that I am eating on a daily basis, they are cleaner and healthier.  I feel that I’ve purged out all the crap and toxins that my previous eating habits deposited and I don’t want to add any back in.  I also don’t want to get one taste of something and then decide that the cleaner, healthier food is dull.  That said, I think I probably could test myself right now and be successful, but why add any extra difficulty at this point?  Also, as mentioned, I don’t want to waste any of the weight losing days.  The pleasure in the little splurges does not outweigh the pleasure I get in seeing that number be lower every week.  I need to be doing everything I can to get this done.  I am impatient and results oriented.  I know that to be healthy, I need to continue to be doing this properly.  So because this process is inherintly slow, I cannot fathom slowing it down even more at this point by eating off the program on the weekend.  The day will come when that will be perfectly acceptable.  Today is not that day.  So boys?  Let’s agree that you’re right, but that I’m not there yet.  M’kay?

PERSISTENCE, NOT PERFECTION

Naked Me

Hi Blog-People!

I know, I’ve been really bad about updating.  I’m sorry.  By the time I get home from all the gall-dang walking, eat dinner and get everything ready for the morning, I’m DONE!  It should get better though.  Stick with me for just a few more days while I get used to the new routine.

There is not much going on in Lady-Shanny-World.  Plodding right along.  But while I’ve been plodding, I’ve been hearing a little voice in the back of my head begging me to stop.  It’s Little Naked Shanny (wow, I can just see how many creepy website hits I’m going to get with that one!).  What I mean by LNS is that there is the part of me that the fat has protected for a really long time.  And now that the fat is going, LNS is wondering how she’s going to protect herself down the road. 

The fat has always stopped people from getting too close.  It’s stopped people from really seeing who I am.  That’s not their fault, it’s the way it is; generally image comes first and if you aren’t putting out an appealing image, most people tend to walk away rather than investing the time to get to know you.  Not all of those people are jerks, it’s just human nature.  So now that my outward image is going to be more pleasing to the eye, I have to find a new way to protect LNS.  I feel a little bad for LNS because no one consulted her when The Main Shanny decided to start losing the weight and make a lifestyle change.  And now LNS is left to deal with the fall out.  LNS is going to have to figure something out, because I am NOT going through this all again.  The Main Shanny is doing this ONE time and then maintaining it. 

“Insert Random Topic Change Here.”

I was wondering if anyone out there in Blog-Land has ever had the following problem.  We all know (OK, some of you might not, but you do now) that I don’t do committment.  I have a really hard time once I feel obligated to do something or obligated to someone.  I’ll give you some examples so you know what I’m talking about.  A few years ago, I went to the gym 3-4 times a week.  I always paid the drop in rate.  After a couple of months, I decided to get a membership to save myself some money.  And then I never went again.  About 2 years ago, I started going tanning.  I paid the drop in rate and went a couple of times a week.  After a couple of months, I decided to get a monthly pass to save myself some money.  And then I never went again.  A few years ago I started going to church with a friend of mine.  It was great at first, but once I felt like I was obligated to go, I stopped.  What was worse in that situation is that the friend totally turned on me in a very UN-church-like way about my not going every single Sunday.  So then I never went again and suffice it to say, we are no longer friends.  I have many more examples of instances where I stopped going to things once I was committed.  Here’s the problem.  I would really like to buy the FareSaver transit pass so that the Skytrain-ing that I do twice a day will save me some money.  But I don’t want to buy one given my past performance because so far I’m really enjoying the walking and I don’t want my weird committment-phobia to get the upper hand on this one.  Now, I should mention that I bought a Season Pass for Weight Watchers which saves me about $9/week and is good until December 22nd.  I bought it about 3 weeks ago and I’ve still gone every Tuesday.  What’s the deal?  I was trying to do some self-discovery last night and figure out what’s going on.  But the tanning one stumped me.  The activity where you get naked and LAY DOWN?  And I never went again?  What’s up with that?  Does anyone else have this issue?  What have you done about it?

“Insert Another Random Topic Change Here And Hope Your Readers Can Keep Up”

I haven’t put a recipe up in Recipe of the Week.  I have one, but the page publisher is being an asshole and keeps changing all my formatting and the HTML code is not playing nice.  I am TOO TIRED to fight with it, so if you came looking for the new recipe, keep your panties on, it’ll be up tomorrow.

The quiz is still open for anyone who wants to play….in fact both of them are.  I really, REALLY love reading the responses.  I like getting to know you guys.  And those of you who read but don’t comment (you know who you are, as do I!) this is a great way to comment without feeling like you need to be profound or wordy.  Come on, PLEASE????  PLAY WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!

Holy Lord!

Good stuff!  They are back with the jackhammer to take out the other concrete pilings.  Only this time they have to take out 6 instead of 2 and they are doing it on Day One of my non-smoking!  Awesome!  I have my iPod on at work to try and block the sound, but that only goes so far, so I need your help again.

 Here are the questions:

1. What is your favourite ‘get moving’ pumped up song?

2.  If you had to pick one, would you rather be a firefighter, policeman/woman or ambulance technician?  Why?

3.  What is your favourite topping for toast?

4.  Where would you go right now if you could go anywhere in the world?  Why?

5.  Would you rather be a great singer or a great dancer?  Why?

6.  What is your favourite NON green vegetable?

 You don’t have to answer the ‘why’ parts if you don’t want to…..

Henh?

Results page is updated. 

 I have nothing much for you tonight.  Except that we talked about the whole ‘moving more’ thing at the meeting and they say that a person definitely SHOULD be eating their activity points (extra food points you earn for exercise).  I don’t love the idea of eating more because it goes against everything that the ‘diet world’ has always told us.  BUT, if you think about it like a car, it makes sense.  If you put a fixed amount of gas in your car every week and drive the exact same amount of kilometers every week, it should be just enough.  But what if you decide to drive your car an extra 25km in that week.  Probably it would need more gas.  And evidently, so does your body.  So I will eat the extra activity points.  And I will make SURE that the food that I pick has a good nutritional value.

See y’all tomorrow.

Last One, I Promise

Clearly, my posts of late are boring the crap out of people….readership has taken a huge nosedive….but this website is mine and the whole point is to help myself.

But, as I promised, I will not post anymore about the walking.  Except for the Day One Review, which I will do in point form to keep things short.

1.  This morning’s walk = 21 minutes

2.  This afternoon’s walk = 25 minutes (it’s 1/3 uphill on the way back)

3.  The bridge sidewalk is completely covered with ladybugs.  Which is kind of cool until you just about sprain an ankle trying to avoid them.  Then you just turn the iPod up so you don’t hear the crunching.

4.  Bicyclists over the bridge are ignorant jack-asses (Tarable, you were SO right).  They don’t seem to understand that there is a finite area for you to move over to get out of the way of their Handlebars of Doom as they go zipping by at Mach 3.

5.  Getting ready at work is NOT my idea of a good time. 

6.  Any toxins I may have had, or may accumulate on a daily basis, should be flushed out by all the sweating.  Holy crap!

7.  I need to quit smoking.

8.  I am incredibly out of shape

9.  I’m in this for the long haul, slanty rain or not!

 I’ll be back to post weigh-in results tonight and then I should be back to regular Lady-Shanny style posting tomorrow.

Like Christmas Eve

I’m totally excited about walking to work tomorrow.  That’s right, the day has finally come!  I just got back from the plant where I dropped off all my stuff (clothes, makeup, hairdryer, shoes….all the stuff I don’t want to hump back and forth every day).  I installed a hand held shower head, cleaned the bathroom with bleach, put up the privacy screen, got an electrical outlet set up and now I’m ready!

Are you guys sick of hearing about this yet?  I can’t help it.  This is the first time EVER that I’ve willingly exerted effort when I have a perfectly good car to get me somewhere.  It’s the first time EVER that I’ve inconvenienced myself and tried something totally different. 

I’ve taken all the safety precautions that I can by getting a head lamp and a high-visibility vest.  I think I’m going to leave a little earlier tomorrow so I have time to work out any kinks with getting ready at work.  If I’m super ahead of schedule, that will leave me time to have a nice, relaxing coffee before I have to start work.

I’m totally set.  I’m a little nervous about doing it, but it’s not something that will take me hours every day.  29 minutes either way and I’m done. 

Wish me luck, I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow (and then I’ll stop talking about it, I promise!).

For the love of…..!

The one thing that can put me completely off my game is to go clothes shopping.  I feel like I’ve worked really hard at this for the last 6.5 weeks, and all I wanted was a pair of pants that fit!  Is that so much to ask?  Really?

Now, I should point out that I went right at lunch time and I was starving.  I got a little prickly during my outing, what with being starving, cranky, hot and not being able to find any pants!  Evidentally I am between sizes right now.  I don’t want to buy anything that is already loose or too big because that is a waste of money.  So what am I left with?  Not a hell of a lot, that’s for sure.

I did buy a pair of pants that are still slightly too small, but they were on sale and I would really rather not do this again anytime soon.  So now I’m stuck with ‘ridiculous baggy pants’ that I already own for another week or two.  Lovely! 

I’m going to take a nap!

That wasn’t bad at all!

OK, inaugural bridge-march completed!  A little over 2km each way and it was FINE!  It took about 29 minutes from my house to drive to the station, ride the skytrain 2 stops, get off and get walking.  29 MINUTES!  Some days it takes me that long just to get out of my neighborhood.

So, I will be walking to work.  I have only one more thing I have to do and that is make sure that a hand-held shower can be put on the tub in the ladies room and find/install an electrical outlet for my hairdryer and straightener.  So I won’t be able to start bridge marching probably until next week, but other than that, I’m good to go. 

I figure that I will take all my stuff and drop it off at work on Sunday night when they open up for graveyard shift (I am usually at hockey on Sunday nights until around 10 anyway, so it’s just a hop skip and jump from there) and then drive over to work on Friday evenings to collect said stuff.  I already have duplicates of my hairdryer and straightener and I will get duplicates of things like face wash, so all I’ll be carrying in the backpack is my lunch, wallet, change of clothes and some cosmetics.

I’m almost good to go!

I’m off to shower and then lay around on the sofa while my Curried Butternut Squash soup is cooking.  If the recipe is good, that might make it to Recipe of the Week.

And Mareuze, have a fantastic trip to Italy!  I’m jealous!

And a BIG thanks to my mom for coming with me today!  You didn’t have to do it and I really appreciate that you did!  Now can you tell Carey that it isn’t bad so he can stop worrying?

Weekend Plans

I just spent the last hour setting up and playing with the new iPod nano.  Shanny likey!  Shanny especially likes the NHL podcasts!

Tomorrow I am going to do the walk to work (yes, I know it’s Saturday) in the afternoon.  I’ve never done it before, so before I can make an informed decision about whether or not this is going to be something that I incorporate into my life, I need to see what it’s like.  I also need to time the walk and Skytrain ride and see how long it takes.  I understand that it’s uphill on the way back, and once we’re on the south side of the bridge, there is no way to get back except walk.  That will be a LOT of exercise for one day, but I’m ready!  Ready, mommy? (I’ve convinced my mom to join me on the inaugural bridge-march)  Fortunately, there is a Starbucks at the end of the first leg, so we’ll be stopping for some refreshments before we march back.  Cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain (too hard).

Also this weekend, I think I’m going to have to break down and buy a couple of new pairs of work pants.  The ones that I’ve been wearing look bloody ridiculous, they are so big.  And even though it’s nice that they are loose, it doesn’t do much for me when I look in the mirror and see really baggy clothes.  I hope to find a really good deal somewhere, because I do not plan to be wearing them for very long.  I can’t really justify spending a tonne of money on pants that shouldn’t fit in a month or two.  I’ve been having to cinch up the Lulu-Lemon pants that I wear around the house and to yoga, but I won’t be buying any new ones of those until I know I’ll be wearing them for a good long time.  My sister gave me a bunch of work pants, but I’m still a few months out on those.  I’m excited to already have a bit of a wardrobe for when I get down closer to an acceptable weight.  And it didn’t cost me a dime!

That’s about it.  The only other thing of interest to report is that I’ve been really good about not eating empty calories.  I’m actually going to make a change to one of my lunch-time staples.  I have never loved the idea of eating deli meats (even though I love them) because of the chemicals and nitrates.  So starting next week, the deli meat goes.  Which will do good things for reducing my sodium intake, I think.

And finally, the very, VERY sad news.  The 1 point Chocolate Muffins (recipe can be found HERE) are not actually 1 point!  I’ve calculated what I think they are (2 points) but I’m going to check with my WW Leader as it’s her recipe.  I’ll give you the update on Tuesday night when I know.  I am SO sorry!  We should have known it was too good to be true!

I’ll be back tomorrow evening and I’ll let you know how the bridge-march went.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Damn Jackhammer!

Thanks to those of you who helped me through Jackhammer-Day!  It was very much appreciated.  The quiz is still open; I’d love to hear how the rest of you will answer.  Just think what fun we’ll have on Piledriver-Day!

Recipe of the Week is updated on the left….Soft Taco Casserole.  SO GOOD!  Do let me know if you guys try any of these recipes.

Help!

OK, you guys have to help me!  It’s a monsoon outside and the property next door is being ripped down with a jackhammer and it’s driving me CRAZY!  Seriously, it feels like they are jackhammering in my brain!

So, help me through the day by answering some questions….it’ll give me something to look forward to. 

1.  Which would you prefer, one big cookie or 3 little cookies

2.  When you get something exotic or unusual (food), do you ration it or eat it all right away?

3.  Tell me one weird thing about you.

4.  What’s your dream treat?  Calories and availability don’t count!

5.  If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?

You guys know all sorts of personal stuff about me, now it’s your turn to share.  Answer in the comments…..

Tuesday Updates

As my ‘update’ posts usually are, this is going to be a bit random and scattered.  

Results:  Results page is updated.  Let’s just say that this week is MUCH better than last.  I missed out on the 20lb overall mark by .2 of a pound.  The woman was really sweet though and told me to wait 20 minutes, go pee and then I could re-weigh and see if there was any difference.  There was not!  Next week for sure I’ll get a star.  AND, I am only 4.2lbs away from my first goal of 10%!!  I can hardly believe it!  So in the next couple of weeks I suppose I’ll start looking at a spa menu.  But here’s the thing: while I’m really proud of myself, it hasn’t seemed like that big of an effort and I honestly still don’t feel like I’ve done anything to deserve the spa.  I don’t really like the idea of the spa to begin with, I’m not a big fan of ‘the touching’, but I’m going to have to do SOMETHING to celebrate.  Ideas?

Empty Calories:  OK, so technically on Weight Watchers, you can eat whatever you want, as long as you have the points available to spare.  If you want to eat junk and crap you actually can.  But, a dear friend of mine keeps saying that we shouldn’t just eat empty calories.  That if you’re going to eat something it should have some sort of nutritional benefit.  So the past couple of days I’ve been trying to eliminate the things like rice cakes (believe it or not, NO nutritional value) and potato puffies.  I’ve been spending points a little differently in that respect.  Instead of my nightly soy latte (made at home) and 2 caramel rice cakes, I’ve been having the soy latte with an orange or a couple of kiwis.  Instead of the rice cakes that I take as my afternoon snack, I mixed together cottage cheese and garlic pasta sauce and microwaved it (SO GOOD!).  I don’t anticipate completely eliminating the snacks (the potato puffies are just too good!) but I’m giving a little more thought to the food I’m eating.  I’m trying to consider nutritional value AND points value.

Walking to Work:  That was my ‘secret’ from a couple of days ago.  I spend well over an hour and a half in my car on the way home every evening.  90 MINUTES to go 16 kilometers (9.9 miles for my American friends).  I can’t take it anymore!  So I thought I should start walking to work.  Obviously, I am not going to walk 16 kilometers each way.  So I will take the Skytrain (our version of the subway but it runs overhead instead of underground) from the station near my house, get off at the stop nearest to where I work and walk across the bridge.  It should take about 25 minutes to walk to work (+ 7 minutes skytrain time) and then I will get ready at work.  The issue was that while the boys have a shower on their side, there is no shower on the girl’s side.  I talked to a couple of people this week who could change that and didn’t meet the resistance that I thought I would.  BUT, the wheels turn slowly and I don’t see it happening all that soon.  I am, however, meeting some resistance about the idea in general from someone whose opinion matters to me.  So I’m torn.  Sitting in my car, burning fuel and doing nothing is starting to make me really upset every day, but there are a couple of pretty good reasons why walking is not a great idea.  I still want to do it.  We’ll see. 

Person who hurt my heart:  I had to call and talk to him today for work reasons.  I was a little nervous, but I felt like I had to test myself so I bit the bullet.  I had to find out if hearing his voice would send me into a paroxysm of despair and sadness.  I am happy to report that I felt no such thing.  I cut right to the chase, asked my question and then told him I was on my way into a meeting (partially true) and hung up.  After that little test, I feel as though I can say that I am in total control of the situation and in fact am mostly all the way over it/him.  Yay me!

Recipe of the week:  Can you say soft taco including sour cream and melty, delicious cheese?  In a casserole?  For only 6 points?  SO GOOD!  But you have to wait until Thursday…..heheheheeeeeeeee

I hope everyone’s week went as well as mine did.  Please feel free to post your results on my results page if you like.

Not so Complex

Happiness?  That’s nothing more than health and a poor memory.  ~ Albert Schweitzer

I was wondering these last couple of days, when do I get to ‘happy’?  When does the switch get flipped and I’m happy all the time?  And then I started wondering what the real definition of happy was?  Is it satisfaction?  Contentment?  Success?  Or is it something different for whatever moment you happen to be in?  Does it have to be a complicated, intricate emotion?  Or can it be simple?  I think the choice on that one is up to me, so I’ve defined happiness for myself.  Here it goes.

Happy is having someone call and see how you’re doing, just for the sake of it.

Happy is lighting some candles and taking a nap.

Happy is knowing that you are doing right by your body.

Happy is a good hair day.

Happy is snow-smell.

Happy is a good cup of coffee.

Happy is knowing there are people out there who totally get you.

Happy is learning to knit.

Happy is pretty lipgloss.

Happy is flannel sheets and a crisp breeze.

Happy is a good smelling hand soap/shampoo/body lotion.

Happy is painted toenails, even when you’re wearing closed shoes.

Happy is having an unexpected guest for lunch.

Happy is comments on a website.

Happy is an incredibly sweet orange that makes your tongue sing.

Happy is everything and nothing, all at the same time.  It’s one of those emotions/concepts that I feel media has made so difficult to get to.  They have made it so complex and unattainable that regular people could never measure up.  Happy is linked to wealth and success and the perfect relationship.  When in fact, if you wait for all that to finally happen at the same time, you will never get there and your life passes by while you sit and wait for the happiness to kick in.    

So even though every day can’t be perfect and some moments will wear me down, I can declare myself happy for little or no reason at all.

What are some of your definitions of happiness? 

Annoyed or Selfish?

(Penguin Reviews updated)

If you don’t know me in person, you may not know.  This is the third season that I have been involved with a beer league hockey team.  It’s my social circle, mostly.  I knew one guy on the team and he invited me to come watch a game one weekend (Thanksgiving 3 years ago, actually).  The rest is history.  The boys are great (these are the boys, that when I missed a bunch of games last year during my ‘dark time’, called to check on me).  Anyway, the reason that I enlighten you is this.  I go every weekend.  I look forward to it.  Most times I will allow myself some WW points to have a drink with the boys after the game.  But it’s the hockey that I go for.  So when one of the player’s wives called me today and asked me if I would help her watch her kids during the game, I was kind of annoyed.  Her children are 3 and 5, both are autistic and one has ADHD.  They are wild!  I couldn’t say no to her because she really was putting herself out there in asking for help.  But these games are something that I look forward to all week.  It’s great to be able to stand there and cheer and yell for people you know.  And watching a 5 year old autistic boy does not leave much time for cheering or yelling.

So I guess my question is this.  Should I be annoyed?  Annoyed because she knows how much I enjoy watching the games?  Annoyed that she didn’t bring snacks or toys for them (the game was right at dinner time) and that I didn’t get to see any of the goals (or fights) because I was chasing a kid that wasn’t mine?  Should I be annoyed?  Or is it selfish of me to have wanted to see her (I quite like her) and just watch a hockey game?  Is it selfish that I don’t have kids and as such I can (and expect to) pretty much do whatever I want, whereas she can’t?  Is it selfish that I wanted my own enjoyment without having to take her and her kids into consideration?

Which is it?  Where is the balance between making sure that I get what I want (to some degree) in my choices and being happy with myself, or putting someone else’s desire above my own?  Where is the balance between being a nice person or being taken advantage?

Sleep-crying

I had a dream last night, that when I woke up I was crying in real life.  Now, I can count on one hand the number of times I cry in a year (and still have most of my fingers left over) so that is always disturbing to me. 

The dream was this:  For some reason, after I had reached my goal weight, I moved to Boston.  I was working there and lunch time rolled around.  One of the people I worked with told me about this great little restaurant called Gistano’s (where do I come up with this stuff?) so I walked over there.  I went up to the hostess and she asked me for how many people.  I said “one“.  She gave me a dirty look and went and talked to a guy who also worked there.  When she came back she said, “We’re too busy to give a table to just one person“.  I looked around the restaurant and there wasn’t another soul in there and then I realized that she didn’t want to give me a table because there was just me.   I started crying in the dream saying that I hated Boston and when I woke up, I was crying in real life.

So what does that mess mean?  I think it means that I have to keep remembering that I’m not going to be a different person after the weight is gone.  I will still be me, just with less fat.  Not that I think that I deserve to be treated poorly, that wasn’t the point of the dream.  The point was to make sure that I spend as much time working on the inside as I am the outside. If I don’t correct some of my fears and issues then I will only have done half the job.

As an aside to my last post about grocery shopping, I went to my regular grocery store last night to be met with a sign that said “We are rearranging the store to make your shopping experience more convenient”.  What it actually should have said is “We are moving everything around, we haven’t put up new signs to tell you where stuff is, cereal is in 4 different aisles right now, we have hired every giggly high school girl we can find to do the move and drive you nuts, so have fun!”  Being slightly obsessive, I shop for exactly the same stuff every week and I have my list in order so I don’t have to go back and forth.  I guess that’s all shot to hell for awhile!  ERG!

Lucky

I’m not sure where most of you live, but if you live in a medium to large city, have you ever stopped to consider how lucky we are?  This will relate to weight loss in a minute, stick with me.

I’m sitting here eating the sweetest navel orange I have ever layed lips on.  And it got me to thinking about choice and variety.  I spent the first 10 years of my life growing up in a really small town.  There were two supermarkets.  Neither large enough to be considered a grocery store like we know them today.  (This same town today has only one left)  My dad still lives there and I have been forced to ‘shop’ in this store about once a year.  When I go shopping where I live now, the variety can be almost overwhelming.  The oranges, for instance.  I had the choice between navel, mandarine, blood and tangerine.  In this little town with its little supermarket, when you have ‘oranges’ on your list, you get whatever they have, good, bad or otherwise.  The town is 2 hours outside of the next major city, which itself has less than 80,000 people, so you get whatever they got.  The produce isn’t fresh and there isn’t enough of a market for specialty items.  

And so my sweet orange got me to thinking about how hard it would be to follow a healthier eating plan in a small, restricted community like that.  I found that the small town store catered to the lowest common denominator, having all the popular chips and candy and ‘fast food’ you can eat.  But the things like the Urban Wafers (see Penguin Reviews) or the beautiful, juicy kiwis, or the vast variety of yogurt (sorry Tarable), or the 1-point chocolate puddings just aren’t there.  Meat prices are exorbitant (if you can even get past the appearance), produce is sad and choice isn’t really an option.  And it is all overpriced.

So the next time you go to the grocery store and pick up your marinated chicken filets and specialty soy beverage, or you zip over to the farm market and get some fresh green beans and the week’s worth of fruit for a very small sum, consider how much easier this all is with the huge amount of choice you have.  Consider for a moment that there are folks who don’t have a giant grocery store and various ethnic markets every 15 blocks.  And then make the choices that you couldn’t make in a small town. 

(new recipe added on the left)

And finally…

OK, so I did everything that was on the list. 

There is an RSS feed chicklet on the left.  I’m unsure how the whole RSS thing works, but I got the request to do it and the requestee tells me it’s working.  Fill yer boots!  (I just was looking online and it appears that every time I make even the smallest adjustment to my website, the people who are subscribed get some sort of alert?  Good grief….I think I’m going to have to stop making obsessive adjustments to the text, moments after I hit the publish button)

Penguin Reviews is up on the left now.  That was a hard one because I needed to figure out how to code a link to take you to the most recent reviews at the bottom of the page so I don’t have to either do a bunch of subpages or delete older reviews to keep it manageable and easy for you to navigate.  I am SO PROUD of myself.  I totally taught myself how to do it, FROM SCRATCH.  To witness my coding prowess, go to Penguin Reviews and click the word PENGUIN in the top left corner of the page.  I’ve got it set to take you to the last review that I did tonight.  But don’t get so excited and miss the first two.

The recipes are on their own seperate subpages now.  The current week’s recipe will have *NEW* in the title so that it is easier for you guys to see the updates.  And I’ll leave them up so you don’t need to copy them down the second you see them.

The Girls I Love page is on the left as well.  The list is pretty short right now but will grow, I’m sure.

And now, the entry.  Lordy!  I feel like I’ve been at this computer all night!  While I’ve been doing things like having dinner, coding and making lunch, I’ve also been giving something else a lot of thought.  I have a plan in my head.  The plan should save me some money and completely overhall my current exercise routine.  BUT!  I can’t tell you what it is yet.  I need to do some investigating and some talking to people first.  I’m terribly sorry that I’m being so vague, but it’s for the best.

Today I am feeling MUCH better.  Completely recovered from the salt overdose that I gave myself on the weekend.  More back to the way I’ve gotten used to feeling over the past 5 weeks.  And with the feeling better physically, I also am feeling re-energized mentally.  You girls are all SO GREAT!  Crooked, Willamina, Tarable, Mareuze, MamaBearJune, Krystle, JanB and Twinsunplus1.  You guys all commented in the last two days, sometimes more than once 🙂 and I really appreciate that.  I don’t know what I ever did before I started being honest with myself and with others.  What did I do before you ladies? 

So, sorry to suck wind on the entry tonight, but that’s it for me.

Some Editing

I’m just doing some website maintenance right now.  What I hope to have done by tonight is:

1.  Girls I love (page that gives links for blogs I love)

2.  Penguin Reviews (page for product reviews)

3.  RSS Feed button (by request)

4.  Some sort of recipe archive (by request)

5.  Entry

Wish me luck….

Couple of Things

First, one of you, in the last hour, was my 2000th visitor!!!!!  Holy crap!  I had no idea what a huge response I would get by simply chronicling my journey online.  You guys ROCK!!!!!!!!!!

Second, the results page is updated, and while I did lose, it was a slightly disappointing but not unexpected result.  Now begins a new week!

Third.  And this is where I get up on my soapbox for a minute.  There have been several posts that I’ve seen on various websites these last few days eschewing diets.  I get that.  But don’t roll Weight Watchers in there.  Weight Watchers is not a diet.  It is a tool.  Just like if you are crappy at math and use a calculator.  Or if you are crappy at navigation and use a map.  Or if you are crappy at eyeballing and use a level. (I use all 3, by the way!)  Those are all tools and Weight Watchers should be considered a tool as well.  It is a tool to use if you are crappy at portion control.  It is a tool to use if you are crappy at self-control.  It is a tool to use if you are crappy at structure.  I understand not wanting to count points and portion out groceries and write down everything you eat for the rest of your life.  I get that.  But if you want to learn how to do something you practice doing it.  Great pianists don’t read every note.  Great dancers don’t count every step.  But to get to ‘great’, they did.  They practiced and rehearsed and examined everything.  Someone who is good at portion control and self-control because of practice, can take a bit of leeway with what they eat.  If you are new to this, you can’t.  Don’t get discouraged and overwhelmed.  One day, one minute, one meal at a time.  Sorry if this sounds preachy, but I would hate to see people not succeed because the future is daunting.  I had a couple of days like that last week and to be honest it was not fun and I don’t expect that those were the last.  But it does pass.  You do remember why you’re doing it and you just keep going.  OK, climbing down off the soapbox now.

And last.  A girl that I work with brought us back treats from her 3 week holiday in Greece.  She brought foreign candy bars.  Nice!  I wasn’t tempted in the moment, but figured I might be one day when I open my desk drawer and see them laying in there staring up at me with their sweet Greek eyes.  So I read the nutritional information (yup, it’s on there in english and greek) and each candy bar has NO LESS than 550 calories and 29 grams of fat!  Holy Mother!  And my boss, being the uncontrolled individual that he is, ate all 3 of his (we each got 3) in 10 minutes.  That is more, MORE, than 1500 calories and 87 grams of fat that he consumed in 10 minutes!  And after realizing that, they lost all appeal and now I don’t know what to do with them.  There was a time that I wouldn’t have looked at the label (let alone tried on a Greek candybar) or cared what it said.  That time is gone.  I know that I sucked hiney this weekend and with all the salt I consumed I wrecked my reading tonight, but I accounted for every thing I put in my mouth.  I wrote down every single thing.  And I don’t feel guilty about it.  I feel irritated and slightly uncomfortable, but not guilty.  I know I’m not perfect.  I know that it will happen.  I know that I have to allow myself little indulgences because if I don’t, this won’t work.  You don’t get a dose of perfection when you pay your weekly fee, all you get are tools.  Tools to make sure that the indulgence doesn’t get out of hand.  Tools to show you what you may have done wrong.  And tools to help you do better.  That’s all we can do.

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

Admission

This weekend was, in truth, a bit of a drain on my motivation and determination.  It was not exactly the Lady Shanny affirming experience that I had hoped it would be.  It was part boring, part depressing and mostly rainy.  Given too much time to myself, I started to doubt that I was on the right track.  I started to miss the comfort of food like I haven’t in 5 weeks. 

I fell into a familiar trap that I should have recognized.  Too much variety spells disaster.  I am not yet ready to have the strength to deal with the really yummy stuff in smaller portions.  It just makes me realize what I’ve been missing.  Remember my addiction to sugar that I talked about here?  I should have remembered that when I started to open up the food plan a little to include things like the 1 Point Chocolate Muffins or the wafer cookies (Penguin will review that later this week).  I should have remembered that variety can do me in when I started adding things to the menu.  Particularly because I already really like the foods that I’ve been eating, so adding in new stuff means that I’m actually adding in MORE stuff.  So, until I’m ready (and I suppose it will be a bit of trial and error to find out when that time comes) I will stick with consistency and predictability.

So, I’m off to make the same breakfast and lunch that I have been having for 5 weeks and I will substitute ONE thing for something new so I can start getting used to the idea.  It will be the same one thing all week and we’ll see how that goes.

Are you like me and need the predictability of an unchanging menu?  Or do you get bored easily and need to switch it up?

What the hell?

Come ON!

Presenting Fried Coca Cola.

The batter uses Coca Cola instead of water, which is then fried in hot oil. The ribbons of fried batter are then put into a Coke cup. Drizzle a little cola syrup on top, sprinkle a generous helping of powdered sugar and then top the whole thing off with some whipped cream and a cherry! Sip as you feel your arteries slowly harden… Then drop down dead. Voila!

 

splashnews_ktnc131006a_05.jpg

Photo and description courtesy of Splash News

The Long Road

I need to start this post off by making myself clear.  I have examined some of the ‘reasons’ behind why I’ve allowed myself to get fat.  But I don’t want anyone to ever think that I’m making excuses.  I was reading THIS website and realized that I need to borrow a line from his posts and say that I am fat because I eat too much and I’m lazy.  Sort of.  I definitely was eating too much of the wrong thing.  But I’m not so much lazy as I’ve been scared.   Scared to be vulnerable, scared to make changes, scared to try something and then fail.  Just scared.  The ‘reasons’ that I’ve been uncovering and detailing are simply catalysts that put me in a poor mindset and allowed me to put on that protective layer of fat.  They are not excuses or blame.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way!

It’s hard to remember the words of encouragement that I give other people.  That every day that I am responsible with my health and my body and my eating are good days.  Every day that I make the choice to choose healthful and sensible is a victory.  But it sure is seeming like a LONG road.  I’ve put everything I have into the last 4.5 weeks and it’s daunting to know that I will have to keep doing that forever.  I know that because I made the decision to follow this path, it will never be over.  I will have to be careful and responsible and make the choice to ‘make the choice’ every day.  I know that there is no end date for this journey, only milestones along the way.  But I’m so sad that I have to be doing this.  That I wasn’t able to make these realizations before.  That the ‘click’ didn’t come before I got here.  I think tomorrow I’m going to go and get Lady Shanny a small token of appreciation for the effort expended so far and as encouragement for the monumental amount of effort to come.

I swear sometimes, the encouragement and inspiration is out there, you just have to be willing to see it!  Example, I was blog-walking after I wrote this and found this quote on THIS website:

I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday” ~ Author Unknown

And then when I went looking, I found these:

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another” ~ Walter Elliot

“There is no telling how many miles you may have to run when chasing a dream” ~ Author Unknown

“The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling” ~ Lucretius

“Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer” ~ Author Unknown

Self Preservation or Hardened Heart

I realized today that I used to gravitate towards people that I had to work at.  People that I felt I had to convince to like me.  It’s worked before.  My best friend in Alberta and I didn’t get along at first.  We didn’t like each other, we didn’t see eye to eye.  But I was determined that she was going to see that I was a good person and ultimately we had a great friendship.  I know what it’s about.  It’s hard to say, but I think I learned that I have to try and convince people to like me because I have had to do that with my dad for my whole life.  I have had to make him want to see me, make him want to spend time with me.  He and my mom split up when my twin sister and I were about 8, but even when we were all together, he was never there.  I have almost no memories of time spent with him before my teens, and those memories I do have were instances that I was proving that I was a good kid, that I was strong and capable and worthy of love and attention.  The majority of memories that I have of the time after we moved away from the little town we lived in, were of us waiting hours for him to show up.  Looking out the door every time a car passed to see if he had arrived.  I’ve always defended him and his actions (or inactions), wanting very much to believe that he had any desire to be in our lives.  I figured if I believed it, maybe he would too.   

The thing that I had to realize, as hard as it was, is that he was and always has been all about himself.  What he wants, what’s convenient for him, what he likes.  And any consideration for what we wanted either didn’t exist or was given begrudgingly.  Even as I type this I find myself making excuses for him.  He was young when he had us.  He had a shitty life growing up.  He didn’t have a good parental example of how to behave.  But that is all bullshit!  Young people have kids all the time.  People who grew up in less than perfect environments can be good parents.  And just because he didn’t have a good parental example doesn’t mean he had never seen one.  I find it really hard because the voice in the back of my head says “If one of your parents doesn’t even like you, what makes you think other people will?”  I know that he loves us, but I don’t think he ever did like us.  And now that we’re grown up and on our own, living our own lives, he keeps saying that he wants to ‘get to know us’ and yet when he comes here, he doesn’t want to meet our friends, he doesn’t want to do the things that we do, he isn’t interested in having any conversation that doesn’t revolve around only what is going on in his world.  

I’ve come to the realization that I have so much resentment towards him for what I missed out on in my childhood.  I see other dads with their kids and how devoted they are and it breaks my heart.  It breaks my heart because I deserved that.  It also makes me very wary about trusting people (see? there’s that trust thing again).  Because if you can’t trust your own parent to hold your best interests, your comfort, your happiness above, or at least equal to their own, who can you trust? 

I don’t want to become one of those people who doubts everything.  A person who looks at every gesture, comment and action with a cynical eye.  I realize that if I don’t have some skepticism though, that I get taken.  And I end up carrying the weight of both of our lives on my shoulders while the other person takes a walk in the park, unburdened.  So I guess some skepticism and some doubt is required.  I just have to find the balance between self preservation and a hardened heart.

I really didn’t mean to go on about this for so many paragraphs.  And I didn’t do it for sympathy or pity.  Like I’ve said before, this website is about discovery and my being honest with and about myself.  For me to make the changes in my life that I’m striving for, these posts are neccessary.  Let’s just call it blog-therapy….with an audience.  😉 

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ~ Charles Dickens

Your Choice

Hi happy blog-friends!  I’ll be back later to do a real post, but first I have a question.  On my other blog I have a guest poster that does product reviews.  What I wanted to know is, do you want to see product reviews on a seperate page on the left for low and medium points/calorie things that we’ve tried.  It won’t be recipes (we already have that page), but rather the things that you find in the grocery store. 

The guest blogger’s name is Penguin and, you guessed it, it’s a penguin.  Penguin does his likes and dislikes, his overall opinion and usually posts a picture of the product, where he bought it and how much he spent.

What I need to know is, do you want me to invite Penguin over to this blog? 

This website is something that I do primarily for me and I’m thrilled that other people find inspiration, enjoyment and distraction in the posts.  Penguin Reviews would be totally for you guys though (I talk to Penguin on a regular basis and already know what he thinks of most things), so speak up.  If you come here and read but never comment, now would be a good time to come out of the woodwork….

Mmmm….whassat?

Chocolate MuffinsDoes that look yummy?  Go to the Recipe of the Week page on the left hand side to get the goods.   (Click the picture to enlarge)(by the way, I took that picture the day that I made them….it’s not a cookbook picture, that’s how they actually turn out…..just so you know)

It’s a pickle! (Updated)

OK….I’ll be back a little later (I came back) to keep posting under this title, but I just wanted to mention that I’ve added another page along the left hand side.  It’s called ‘The Miracle Diet’.  It won’t be applicable to most of you but perhaps leave a comment with your thoughts so that I don’t sound crazy!

It’s a bit frustrating now that I know how good I CAN feel, that I woke up this morning feeling really tired and kind of crappy.  I know that we women go through cycles but that doesn’t make me feel any less poo-ey.  I’m supposed to go to Aquafit tonight at 8 but I’m torn.  It’s really cozy in here with some candles lit and I’m in my flannel pants and I feel like crap.  I could just go and turn the electric blanket on and go to bed early or I could drag my butt out in the cold, rainy night to go get wet and spash around in the pool.  I’m torn.  I know if I don’t go I’ll feel the guilt of failure, but I really, REALLY want to just lay around.  I KNOW that the laying around won’t be as good as I want it to be with that guilt hanging over my head.  I KNOW that my snack later won’t taste as good if I didn’t work a little to earn it.  But I’m still waffling on going.

I think I know what’s going on here.  It’s the familiar visitor that comes around as soon as I start to do something good.  It’s the side of me that tries to sabotage my efforts out of fear of success.  I have the familiar phrases going through my head:  “If I don’t go today, I’ll just work extra hard at yoga tomorrow”  or “I don’t HAVE to go” or “What’s the harm in just staying home?”. 

I have started to have some decent success with my new plan, so why sabotage?  We’ve been over this before on this website (I think).  Once the weight is gone, will I be the person I want to be?  Once the weight is gone, where will I hide?  Once the weight is gone, I won’t have any excuses left.  At some point, I will have to find answers for all those questions.  For now though, I simply have to shut that voice in my head up.

So, having recognized all that, I think I’ve made my decision.  I don’t WANT to go and I don’t HAVE to go.  I NEED to go.  I NEED to go because otherwise that familiar visitor will get a leg up on me and I will NOT have that!

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION!

OK, I persisted.  It wasn’ t perfect, but I went.  I feel good that I went.  I came home and I’m still super tired and feeling yucko, but at the very least I have the ability to say that I squashed the negative voice tonight.  Lady Shanny 1, negative voice 0. 

Long and kind of choppy

Results page is updated.

So, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  That’s what we talked about in our WW meeting this evening.  How people were going to reduce the total number of points that that one dinner costs them.  Me?  Doesn’t matter.  Not going.  Nope.  No Thanksgiving here.  It will be just another regular day.  Why?  Let me explain.

All my life food has been an issue.  The making of food, the eating of food, the burning off of food.  There have been endless comments about food.  Endless, heart-hurting comments about weight, personal appearance, motivation, laziness, body image.  There have been newspaper clippings and magazine articles about the same that show up in my mailbox unsolicited from my grandparents, so that even when they weren’t around to criticize me, I would know they had been thinking about it.  Shame from afar.  Nice.  Anyway, you name it, I’ve heard it (or been forced to read it).  I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I’m just telling you how it’s been.  So it boggles my mind that on 3 days out of the year (Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas), that this food and weight obsessed family of mine chooses to let one meal rule an entire day (or two or three).  I just don’t get it.  I don’t get the hypocrisy.  I don’t get the complete shift in ideals.  And I don’t need the aggravation or the stress.  I don’t need the comments; if I’m reasonable in portion size, I get commentary about portion control and if I indulge, I get calorie, fat and nutritional commentary about what’s on my plate.  Over the years, I have come to not even enjoy the actual food that these holidays are associated with.  The turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and salads are all just a bitter reminder that I am not now, nor will I ever be, the person that my grandparents had hoped for.  I know that’s putting a lot of responsibility on a cooked bird, but at this point, I don’t think I could even choke it down.  If I were going.  Which I’m not. 

So, here’s how I see next weekend happening.  There will definitely be Starbucks.  There will definitely be a movie or two.  There will be at least one pajama day.  There will be toenail painting and napping and tea drinking and music downloading and bubble bathing and hockey watching and anything else that I can think of to reinforce and reward the good in me and the good job that I’ve been doing.  I am going to turn this Thanksgiving, into a Lady-Shanny-Love-Fest.  And it will NOT revolve around food.  I will be thankful for everything that I have and all that I’ve done.  I will be thankful for my friends, for this website, for hockey, for my bird, for my weight loss, for getting rid of baggage, for my mom and my sister.  I will toast my thankfulness with my pink water bottle and my thankfulness will be no less important or meaningful just because there is no ‘occassion food’.

I don’t feel like I’m quite done writing yet, so we’ll move onto another topic.

I don’t want to freak anyone out, but this website is completely honest, so here goes!  Last year at this time I started to struggle with what would ultimately turn into a very black depression.  When I finally went to my doctor, I admitted to him that I was having some ‘not good’ thoughts.  I described it in detail to him (I feel no such desire to do that again) and he diagnosed me with moderate to severe depression with a serving of ‘involuntary self-harm’ (like the food reference?).  A lot of really crappy stuff happened all at once and I was nowhere near able to deal with it.  We had a large number of people let go from my company (downsizing).  They didn’t let them go all at once, they sort of scattered it over a period of months, so just when you had adjusted to the last 3 or 4 people to leave and had stopped thinking about it, they did it again.  Then, on November 3rd, we had a major explosion at our plant that seriously injured one of our employees, a friend of mine.  He was admitted to VGH with first, second and third degree burns and ultimately had to have skin graft surgery.  I spent a lot of time driving back and forth to the hospital (30 minutes each way) so that he wouldn’t be alone.  I saw some gruesome injuries on a close friend.  I watched this friend be in pain and there was nothing I could do.   I watched a big, muscular boy lay in a hospital bed.  That killed me!  Not to mention that this was the same time that I was working my tooshy off to keep our customers satisfied.  During this time, I was really torn about ‘the guy’ and my feelings and actions.  I was trying to soak up every minute I could with him because somehow our relationship had changed and I felt worse about the whole thing that I had to date and strangely every encounter that we had, I just felt a little crappier.  I tried to put a good spin on it in my head, but I wasn’t fooling myself.  Then, in January, a very good friend of mine was let go from the company.  He was told that his job as Plant Superintendant had been eliminated but that if he wanted to keep employment with the company, he would go work back east.  This friend had just recently purchased a house with his girlfriend and so was commuting every weekend from here to North Carolina.  In the short time that he was in that job, we had become ‘chat-buddies’.  We talked about everything all the time and regardless of topic, always managed to laugh in the end.  I felt his absence so vividly in the first couple of months that it made my heart ache.   So I was the walking wounded.  Literally.  I never missed a day of work, no one ever knew.  Or so I thought.  The spur to go to the doctor was that I had missed a bunch of our beer league hockey games in a row and I didn’t really care but I was getting calls from some of the guys on the team asking where I was.  Also, some random guy at work came up to me and asked me if I was alright because my ‘eyes look sad these days’.  And so, I became one of millions of medicated depressed people.  Thank God!  Thank God that there is medication for that.  Thank God that medication has come such a long way as to be so incredibley effective with few side effects.  Thank God that for one brief second, the black cloud lifted and I saw enough light to shine the way to the doctor’s office. 

So why am I telling this story?  Because Thanksgiving fell right around the time that I was feeling my worst, but was as yet unmedicated.  I remember going to my mom’s and how terrible I felt and how sad and…..well, terrible.  If you’ve never been in this place, I can’t describe it to you.  If you have, you know how sad and drown-y and absent it feels.  It’s different than just being a little blue.  It’s a full-body, helpless, devoid place to be.  I had never been there before and I do NOT want to EVER go back.  I was fortunate, I was able to get over the worst of it with medication and then go off the anti-depressants within 6 months.  I think these last few weeks have been the final stage of the recovery.  But, I am a little gunshy and I’m not willing to set myself up for a situation that I know is going to tax my emotional reserve.  And that is another reason why I’m not going to Thanksgiving.  I hope that eventually I won’t associate that holiday with the culmination of a bunch of really bad stuff, but if I do, I will just continue to make that weekend Lady-Shanny-Love-Fest.  Gifts accepted!

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