Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm Back!

Well, as much as one is ever "back" in the thick of the holidays. And speaking of my back it is, dare I say it? Showing signs of improvement.

I went to see my doctor a week ago and to my relief she determined this was most likely a muscular issue rather than a slipped disc or something of that ilk. Whew. My family has a "curse" wherein some of the lumbar vertebrae like to give out in the early forties.

And guess who's forty? Hint: check the sidebar, kids.

Fortunately, though, this curse comes out of the male side of the family and thus far only males have been old enough to be afflicted with it. Of course, on the minus side, my distaff progenitors have managed to produce a particularly vicious strain of spinal arthritis.

So I'm likely screwed regardless. But not yet!! Heh. I'll take it.

Treatment-wise we kept to what I had been doing: 650 mg aspirin every 4 hours, 4-6x/day (preferably 4x, due to me preferring that my gums not bleed), and heat with either an adhesive heated pad at work or a heating pad with 20 minutes on/ 20 minutes off at home. She also gave me an anti inflammatory ointment that I looked over but opted not to take after reading that it was contraindicated for folks who've ever had hives from taking any of a laundry list of NSAIDS.

Both Naprosyn and Anaprox gave me hives back a little over 20 years ago. I'd taken Naprosyn for a year for "girlie" issues and it was awesome. Then one day I took it for the usual reason and my skin felt prickly. I didn't know what was causing it and didn't really put 1 and 1 together until the next dose when I took it around my mother, and within moments I was scratching at myself a bit and welts were breaking out. Mom quickly recognized the hives for what they were.

I was pretty bummed, but my GYN said sometimes folks have a reaction to one formulation and not another, so she gave me a sample of Anaprox to try. I got home and my parents insisted I try it when they were both home, with Benadryl at the ready.

More hives. Yippie.

So at that point, my GYN told me this ridiculously long list of stuff I couldn't take that effectively knocks any NSAID into contraindicated territory.

For years I wouldn't touch even an aspirin, but since Tylenol has never been effective for me I started taking aspirin when I was absolutely desperate for migraine pain relief about five years ago, and I haven't had a problem yet. So since I've been okay with aspirin it's possible that I could use this anti inflammatory ointment, but the name of it is somethingorother-sodium, and the similarity of that name to naproxyn sodium just... doesn't sit right.

Plus I just wasn't desperate enough to risk hives. If the aspirin and heat hadn't been helping, I may well have sung a different tune.

So I figure I'm going to have a sit-down with my doc at some point and see what I can do about all these supposed contraindications for just about every other reasonable pain medication out there I've been told I have, because if I can actually take some of them as I get older, my life is going to be a whole lot more pleasant. This is one huge reason why I make sure I have a primary care physician, because at least there's someone in the world who knows my record regarding pain medication (i.e., as a rule I don't request it and I don't take it) so that if I'm ever in the position to actually need something at least there's good backup that, in spite of the ridiculous allergy list, I'm not "drug seeking".

I hate how the jerks of the world make it harder for the rest of us to get needed medication.

And don't get me started on the restrictions on cold medicines that actually, say, WORK. I swear, if one more pharmacy tech gives me the look that says she just knows my 20-pack of Drixoral is going straight to a meth lab, I won't be held responsible for my actions.

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In other news, the Gum Zombie has enjoyed a full recovery from Hurl Fest 2010, and was able to completely enjoy his 8th birthday this past Saturday. We just had a little family party this time around, with the child's grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin in attendance in addition to the Elder and me (Choreboy was working). And as a special surprise, Miss P, GZ's preschool/in-home-daycare lady came!! She knew him before he was born (the Elder and her grandson went to the same preschool so she saw me waddling around nearly 42 weeks pregnant), and had him in her daycare from the time he was 18 months old until he left for kindergarten. She's awesome, and it was so good to see her again and have her over.

Outside of that? Not much. Oh, my eating is terrible at the moment. Yes, I've lost all control. I'm below 150... barely. Well, maybe not now considering I ate birthday cake, chips, and dip with reckless abandon and followed that up with all the office treats well-meaning professionals keep dropping off at my workplace.

And I can't do my tabatas because I'm scared they'll hose my back if I jump back in before it's healed.

So color me frustrated. I'm trying to just count small victories at the moment, like the fact that I had a lower-calorie soup for lunch instead of going out and getting a sub. It's not much, but that's 600 fewer calories than I could have eaten. I'm more or less good with that.

Okay, time to get away from the computer and back onto my heating pad. Merry Christmas and/ or Happy Holidays, folks!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Buddy Murphy

Yes, that would be in reference to Murphy's Law.

Yesterday my back was doing much better by the time I got home from work. It wasn't great, mind you, but if I was just standing I was fine -- no stabbing pains, no burning, nothing. Awesome!! And I could recline on some angles, with proper support, rather than having to be perfectly parallel to whatever surface I was on.

It was marvelous. I caught up on some blogs and even managed to comment here and there. I didn't go straight back to my bed, and gave the poor forlorn Hound some attention. And thank you, all of you, for your well-wishes. I'm no fan of back pain, and I have every hope that this too shall pass. However...

... it won't be as quickly as I thought.

So, the Gum Zombie was complaining that his tummy hurt. Considering that the child had mixed tortilla soup with Oreo Cakesters, I had chalked it up to indigestion.

[Note: this is the part where, if you're eating, you should go away for awhile, then come back without food and with a settled stomach. Trust me here.]

Anyway, I was on my way to rest on my bed, after enjoying my first more-or-less normal evening of the week, and the Gum Zombie was still grousing about his tummy. He decided he wanted to go to bed also, and we had just turned to head that way when the floodgates burst loose.

Twice.

His stomach contents for the day were ejected with such force and at such volume that they covered fully two-thirds of my entryway (blessedly wood), splattered three feet up two walls, and splattered another three feet into the kitchen and onto my family room rug (oops).

Choreboy was at work. The Vomit Comet was on one side of Lake Puke. I was on the other.

He'd managed to keep most of himself out of the line of fire, so I sent him down the hall to his bathroom where he proceeded to turn his stomach inside out (and worse) while I scrubbed down the carpet and cleaned the floors and walls. Poor little fellow... he was absolutely miserable.

As I got onto the floor to scrub the carpet I had one brief thought of my back, then I was too wrapped up in scraping everything up and helping my shivering boy that I didn't think of it again until this morning.

On the plus side? My nose has been stuffed up for days, so I couldn't smell a thing. Also, the child is doing much better. After he'd fully purged everything from his body last night I tucked him into bed, and this morning he woke up looking much more perky. He's run a low-grade fever today, but after a steady diet of Gatorade, ginger ale, toast, and rice pudding he appears to be on the mend. Bless his heart.

As for my back... let's just say that "ouch" is an understatement.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Back Issues

Hey gang, I managed to hose my back somehow. At the moment I am functional, but once I'm home from work I can't sit at my desk too long because apparently some idiot installed a freaking knife in the back of my chair that jabs me in my mid-back any time I'm parked in it.

So anyway, the upshot is that I'm trying to get my back in a less painful situation. I'm giving it another week to see if the pain changes (it's already gone through a few mutations), and if it's the same or worse I'll be hauling myself in to see my doctor. Fortunately I'm having some luck with aspirin and positioning for the pain aspect.

Speaking of positioning, sitting here typing doesn't work for me for long. I'll keep y'all updated, but it'll be brief until someone pulls the sawzall out of my spine.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yet Another Thanksgiving Post

So.

The plan was that I'd get some of my baking done on Tuesday. I'm in charge of the mashed potatoes and desserts for this year's Glut Fest, and it's usually pretty labor intensive so I figured why not spread the joy out over a few days.

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men and all that. There's a reason for it.

In addition to my plans for baking on Tuesday, I was also running on about three deadlines. I'd arrived at work half an hour early, worked through lunch, successfully got one deadline knocked out and was well on my way with the next when the phone rang.

It was the Elder's vacation daycare folks. Seems that when middle-sized boys are playing "tag" football, things can get a bit bloody... especially when one child catches the football (mine) and another child fails to note this, resulting in front tooth meeting hard skull.

One trip to the ER, 3 hours, and 4 stitches later the Elder was just fine. The other kid broke his tooth-- poor little guy is only 10 and now has to have a crown.

So although I have been/ will continue to whine endlessly about all the baking I've been doing yesterday and today, I am thankful for plenty:
  • my family
  • my health
  • Choreboy's morning groans, which indicate he is off work at home rather than at work getting caffeinated
  • the Elder's thick skull
  • the Gum Zombie's new passion for gum
This list could get really long. I think I'll stop it here. Besides, I have potatoes to mash.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blink

144.5 lbs.

That's what the scale said this morning.

I haven't seen a weight below 145 since I was in my twenties. In fact, this is the longest I've spent in any portion of the 140's since my twenties, let alone being below 145.

Let's check that sidebar, kids... yep. I'm forty.

Holy crap. I mean, this is a totally good thing, but... wow.

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In other news, last night I made personal history by staying on my much-abused-and-maligned elliptical for thirty entire minutes. Yes! And I wouldn't have done it, but Draz over at It's Just Me, Drazil & Sheniqua blogged about power and I committed to 30 minutes in the comments.

It's amazing what the threat of public embarrassment will do for one's motivation.

On tap tonight, more Tabata sprints (dangit Charlotte!), followed by my resistance workout. I've reduced my cardio to 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week. I did months at an hour a day for six days per week, and followed that up with an hour a day for five days per week. I didn't hate it, but I also came to realize that neither of those options are livable or sustainable for me. I began to resent the time spent away from my family, the enforced sandwiches-as-dinner so I could manage to get in my workout, help with homework, get kids bathed, etc. all before nine at night. There are only so many hours in a day, and I don't want to spend the lion's share of my waking time at home essentially running or walking nowhere.

Thirty minutes per day, however, is both livable and sustainable. It also enables me to take the time to get in my resistance work as well, which is super-important considering my family's history of osteoporosis (not to mention my own stress fracture history).

I've set my date for reaching goal (130 pounds) as December 31 of 2011. Yes, that's over a year from now. I'm at a healthy weight; there's no need for urgency with the scale. I want to see it moving downward, and while doing that I have to be sure I'm not concentrating on weight loss at the expense of my family time, cooking time, or just plain "me, not on a treadmill" time.

I'm not trying to be all dramatic with this. I mean, my kids are amused by my exercise attempts, Choreboy is incredibly supportive, and I know ultimately that I do my best to balance work, home, and self. It's the resentment I was feeling over that hour that's more to the point, I think. Like I said, it just wasn't sustainable for me. I work forty hours per week, commuting adds another ten hours minimum... it feels like life's just flying by.

The boys are maturing. The Elder is getting a little dark shadow over his upper lip that's more impressive than mine; the Gum Zombie already looks alarmingly like a middle-sized kid rather than a little boy. And I don't want to blink and be fifty and wonder where I was for the last decade.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Win Some...

... and you lose some. Okay, since I'm human it's something I do at least.

NaNo this year appears to be a bust. I was thrown off track by my trip to NYC to see my little sister and to meet my niece, The Divine Miss M! Let me tell you, this child is adorable.

Wait -- show, don't tell.



And yes, I got her mother's permission to post her face on the blog. Although the Gum Zombie and the Elder appear only from the back in here, my sister and I agreed that The Divine Miss M is likely to change sufficiently in the intervening years that the facial characteristics of a two-month-old just won't be that pertinent.

So in light of that, I also present her wearing The Hat of Shame:



As you can see (via the clenched fist), she was clearly less than pleased with our choice of headgear. In fairness, her other hat was in the wash.

Oh! While in New York I also got to ride the subway. It was my first time and I was so psyched (yes, I'm a huge dork). I was also amazed to see the work of the Mustache Artist! For those of you who follow Bitchcakes' commuting blog, this picture may be old hat:


We found the poster at the 7th Avenue stop after disembarking the F-train, just shy of Prospect Park. And yes, I was way more excited to find the poster than I likely should have been, but what the heck -- it's not every day I get to go to New York! I was a total gawking tourist, and tickled pink to be one.

Even if I hadn't seen the work of the Mustache Artist, this alone would have made the entire trip worthwhile:


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In other news, I'm well on track with food and likely weigh 145. I'll weigh in next Thursday, and I will get back on my accursed cardio (which I let slide in all the travel madness) before that time.

[Update: Tabata sprints kicked my butt. I blame Charlotte, who incautiously blogged about them the other week.]

I've also been baking again, since it's the season for it. A total win in my family has been Carrot Pumpkin Bars, recipe here. They're really quite good, and have cream cheese swirled through them. I've substituted half the sugars in the recipe with Splenda (brown sugar is Splenda blend, and white sugar is half granulated and half Splenda) which brings the total calories per bar down to 104.7. I only get 24 bars out of the recipe because my pan is smaller than what the recipe designates... so if I were able to spread these out enough for 48 bars I'd be more at 52.4 calories per. Not bad, all in all!

This next is a win taste-wise, but visually, the Pumpkin Cranberry Breakfast Cookies... well, I'll let you see for yourselves.


Choreboy says they look a bit like colorful horse dro.... erm, yeah. Click to zoom in. They're grainy, and that's putting it mildly.

The original recipe is from Food.com. My recipe is adapted from that using suggestions from the comments on the recipe. In addition to deleting the applesauce and raising the pumpkin amount to one full cup, I've subtracted 2 TBSP of the whole wheat flour and replaced it with 2 TBSP of ground flaxseed meal (hence part of the graininess) and I've additionally used 1/2 cup of Splenda Brown Sugar Blend in place of the 1 cup of brown sugar.

Oh, and I added 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips... which kind of negates the brown sugar substitution, but a girl has to have priorities, dammit.

I also added the zest of one full orange. I love orange zest with cranberries, and it wasn't a mistake to add it here.

I've made the cookies larger than in the original recipe, and dividing the dough into two batches of one dozen cookies each with the substitutions I've made nets cookies with 108.6 calories each,
2.4 grams of fiber (yay, flaxseed), 2.8 grams of protein, and a full 25% of the daily recommendation of Vitamin A. They're hearty, and two of them keep me satisfied for quite awhile. Just make sure you refrigerate them in a sealed container after the first day. Trust me on this.

So for me, these are a definite win. The Elder agrees. Choreboy and the Gum Zombie are instead rather appalled by them.

I have, however, caught the Gum Zombie picking random craisins out of the surface of the cookies. Like his mother, the boy has his priorities.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pre-Teen Mom Angst Redux

Well, in the case of the former best friend of the Elder?

It appears they're friends again. Or at least friendly. They've apologized to each other for whatever wrongs they committed (using the infamous "I'm sorry for whatever I did or might have done" pretext).

So that's good.

But on the downside, the FBF's parents have decided the boys can't be friends. I don't know their exact reasoning, but I figure it has to do with the fact that their child was called down to talk to the dean twice about how he was talking to my child, and that they were contacted by both the school and the before and after school center both boys use.

Embarrassment is a huge motivator. Sigh.

You know, in a perfect world I would have called the other mother before any of this snowballed. But in a perfect world, I also would not have lost her phone number. Or she would have called me. Or I would have thought to leave a note with the childcare folks for them to give her with my number on it and a request to call. Or she would have done the same.

But unfortunately, none of these things happened. I lost her phone number. She didn't call me (her son has our number in his phone, but in fairness he could have deleted it). Neither of us had the presence of mind to figure out an alternate contact even when witnessing our sons' friendship disintegrating. And then the boys (the FBF and another child) started taunting the Elder at school as well as at the childcare center, and all hell broke loose on a small, typical, sixth-grade boy scale.

I waited a week, and I still don't know if it was too long or not long enough. And I didn't call in the "big guns"... I emailed the guidance counselor for suggestions. But due to what was going on, he had to pass it up to the dean. And even so, when the dean asked if I wanted to "throw the book at them" I emphatically said no. These are kids. Kids do dumb things. Just get it to end.

Thankfully the dean is a bright guy and knows how middle schoolers are. I'm grateful for that, and for how he handled the situation.

No one was punished -- the parties involved got a stern talking-to, and warnings of consequences that would follow if certain behaviors continued. I hear the director of the child care center also talked to the parents of both the other boys involved, although I have no idea what was said (perhaps what was said at that meeting is why they are not supposed to be friends -- who knows?). And it was a good lesson for all of us. I've told the Elder that he and FBF need to remember to be careful with each other. I've also told him to be respectful of FBF's parents because I can't blame them for being cautious -- they likely don't know how careful I tried to be with their son, even considering all that went down.

If the shoe were on the other foot, I can't say I wouldn't react similarly, especially knowing how well kids tend to skew events to show themselves in the best light. Shoot, I hear rumors even parents tend to do that a bit...

The entire thing gives me a headache.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yep, my right to whine about our government is assured for the next two years at least.

How about you?

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

Yes folks, it's that time of year again!

So, what does the fact that I'm trying to spew forth 50,000 ill-chosen and poorly-constructed words in one month mean to you, my readers?

I've got no clue.

Some years I'm so focused on (losing) NaNo, that I don't post at all. Other years I'm so busy procrastinating on my (perpetually unfinished) novel that I am inspired by post topics more than I am during any other month of the year.

And I have been known to post excerpts of execrable prose, for your reading pleasure/ pain.

I guess the best take on NaNo comes from my mother who, when reminded NaNoWriMo started today, responded with, "Oh God."

No plot, no problem? Riiiiight....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Semi-Anonymous

In spite of the pictures posted of Choreboy and me on this blog, I'm still what I refer to as a "semi-anonymous" blogger. And by that, I mean that the entire surrounding community out here in the real world isn't aware that I blog. Or if they are aware, they have no idea what the URL is and likely couldn't possibly care less.

I'm semi-anonymous by choice, and now it's becoming a necessity. Both boys are getting older and, unlike the rest of the folks I know, they are painfully aware that their mother is a [cue gasp of horror] writer.

It's gotten to where they'll do or say something, then whip their heads around, glare at me, and say, "Don't you dare put this in your blog, Mom."

"Awwww, come on, can't I?"

"No. No, no no no NO!"

"Uhm... can I put that we argue about what I can blog about in my blog?"

Resigned sigh. "Okay. I guess. But nothing else!"

So, them getting older equals fewer stories about the Elder and the Gum Zombie, and more navelgazing for their mother. Fortunately I am endlessly fascinated by belly button lint.

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In the world of food, exercise, and weight, I stayed within my calorie range again last week, and got in all my exercise as well. This current week is looking iffy on the exercise due to circumstances totally outside my control, but my hope is that I can at least make up some of the time over the weekend.

My next weigh-in is tentatively scheduled for next Thursday, November 4th. I'm hoping for 145, but we'll see if the scale chooses to cooperate. After that weigh-in I'll wait another minimum two weeks, so if I don't weigh in on the 4th I'm not going to bother until the 18th, one week before Thanksgiving.

Why the big gap in time? Well, you see, the evening of the 4th I'll be heading up to NYC to finally visit my niece, the two-month-old Divine Miss M for the weekend. And air travel plus my scale just don't mix. I've seen folks weigh just after a flight, and to those willing to do so, more power to you! I know the games my brain plays on me, though, and if I weigh in after all the exercise and decent eating I've been doing and see a higher number than I believe I should? It has the potential to send me into a tailspin. Frankly, the last thing I need a week before Thanksgiving is to get in that "what's the point?" mindset.

The fallout would be severe... as would the pie consumption.

Oh, and just a note to would-be thieves trolling blogs for burglary targets: it's only me going. The rest of the house including the Guard Hound will be home... er... guarding.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Twenty Down

I've been checking out my reports at SparkPeople, and I saw that I'm not only 20 pounds down from my high of 166 in early March, but Friday also marked exactly once month of staying precisely within my calorie range with no deviations.

Of course, for those of you following the math it also means that I lost a whopping 0.75 pounds in the past two weeks. But folks, that's three sticks of butter. I'm good with it, especially because I know I've been on point for both food and exercise, consistently. Okay, I'm also good with it because it's been Hormone Fest around here this week, so really I wasn't holding my breath too much anyway. This isn't The Biggest Loser. My high was 200 pounds, I'm now at 146 pounds, and I only have 16 pounds left until goal.

This is likely going to take awhile, especially since I'm already at what is considered to be a healthy weight for my height (although my knees would beg to differ). So, to keep myself from freaking out when the scale is moving at the speed of a constipated snail, I've embraced The Slowest Loser concept initiated by one of the Spark execs. I'm working on losing weight at the lightning-fast speed of half a pound per week, which will put me at goal on, oh, say... May 19th?

So, yeah, plenty of time to manage that.

Anyway, lightning fast speed aside, when I put my new goal date into the system I kept my exercise at 2000 calories burned per week. And they raised my calorie limit to 1820 calories per day. YIPES! Honestly, I'm not sure I can lose weight if I eat at 1820 per day consistently, but it's nice to have that flexibility.

That said, I'm forty (see, I can almost say it without stuttering now). The metabolism, she isn't happy. So I'll likely eat at the lower end of my range (1370) most days, and just enjoy knowing that I can spike up a bit higher if the urge hits and still not compromise my goal date or my "streak" of eating within range.

Exercise-wise I'm on track. I've been hitting the elliptical again since I figure it's something I need to conquer. Being straight with myself, I've gotta say that I hate that sucker because it makes me work much harder than my treadmill does. So to ease my pain somewhat I've started working out with my music cranked up.


This carries me through 20 minutes of elliptical and 30 minutes of treadmill (at 3+ MPH and 5% incline), nicely wrapping up with Flogging Molly's "Kiss My Irish Ass".

Which is pretty much what I want to say to my exercise equipment at that point anyway.

Weirdly, I've not exercised with music much before. I mean, I own an MP3 player, but I usually watch TV or read while I'm on the cardio equipment. And man, what a mistake that's been! I don't know about the rest of you, but when the music hits a certain tempo it's nearly mandatory for me to ramp up my speed to match it. It's adding some good interval training and variety to my cardio that was lacking prior to the musical inclusion.

Plus it's just plain fun. Fun is good. And "Devil's Dance Floor" is beyond good for getting that speed going. Just saying.

Okay, time to get that grocery shopping knocked out. And tonight is DATE NIGHT. Yes, for once Choreboy and I get to go out on the town without the offspring. We can talk without being interrupted by "Mo-om!!!" fifty-thousand times.

I'm not entirely sure what we'll do with ourselves, but I have every confidence we'll be able to think of something.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pre-teen Mom Angst

The Elder was quiet on his way home today. He finally burst out that he and his best friend are not friends anymore.

He's devastated, and I'm broken-hearted for him. I kind of saw this coming when the other two guys in their formerly tight foursome got kind of down on this one kid because, as they said, he was "being a jerk" to them.

The two he was being a jerk to were still in fifth grade, while the Elder and this kid moved up to middle school.

Now it seems he doesn't need my son anymore just like he didn't need the younger two guys anymore. He feels free to not only cut off the friendship, but also to a) gang up on my son with another child, and b) rub my son's nose in the fact that he's been talking poorly about him in one of his classes.

I'm sickened and disgusted. If this continues, it smells alot like bullying.

I just wish I could fix all this for him...

Friday, October 15, 2010

So...

Last week I picked up a pair of khacki pants I'd dropped off to have hemmed and taken in at the waist. I've mentioned before that I have the very dickens of a time finding a pair of pants that will fit me. And clearly these didn't fit well either, but they looked like maybe they could be brought into line.

So anyway, I tried them on at the alterations place and they fit fine -- no gap at the waist, etc. They weren't great. My saddlebags preclude almost any pair of pants from fitting truly well. But all in all, not bad.

That was Thursday, the day before I weighed in at 146.75. And I swear, I don't know what happened between Thursday and Tuesday, when I chose to wear those slacks to work, but something gave because I put on those pants and suddenly they didn't fit worth a flip. The legs dragged, and the waist gapped hugely.

It was freakish. I've got no clue. All I can figure is I dropped a boatload of inches between those two days, but for the life of me I can't figure out how.

In other weirdness, I have developed a lovely brownish patch on the left side of my chin. Thank you sunscreen that apparently does me no good even though I dunk myself in you religiously to even go grocery shopping! Good grief.

And where I'm getting extra pigment on my face, it's leaving my hair in droves. You would think I might have gotten my paternal grandmother's greying pattern since I apparently inherited her facial hair problem, but no dice. I've got my mom's early grey, but my grandmother's mustache.

Thankfully I've got an appointment shortly to cover up those stubborn roots (and a nice little jar of wax to take care of the other... erm... issue). Hey, better living through chemistry! I'm all for it.

Okay, time to get on the treadmill before I lose all momentum. Have an awesome weekend, y'all :)

Oh yeah, and if anyone's checking, I'm still within my calories for nearly four weeks straight, and yes I'm exercising (obviously). No, I haven't weighed in again which would be another reason why I have no idea if I've lost weight since I tried on those stupid pants.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Holy Consistency, Batman!

I did it -- I managed to make it through the weekend after an awesome weigh-in, and I didn't go over my calories even once.

Yes. Y'all, this is huge.

Okay, Saturday wasn't a big deal. We had the pork roast and all, but I pre-tracked for the entire day well before I had my dinner and I stuck with my plan. I'm allowed between 1320 and 1670 calories per day, and ended up with a total of 1620, which included breakfast (yogurt, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and raspberries), lunch (sandwich with lean meat and cheese on a sandwich thin, along with 1/2 an avocado), and dinner (pork, carrots, green beans, oven "fried" potatoes), along with a square of a Godiva White Chocolate Vanilla Bean bar and two Biscoff cookies.

Sunday, though... I had to work on it Sunday.

The day started off without much challenge. The Elder and the Gum Zombie woke up wanting pancakes, so I made a batch with Bisquick Heart Smart mix. I had some raspberries left from my breakfast on Saturday and tossed those into my pancakes and enjoyed them with some light butter/ canola oil mix spread and real maple syrup. That ran about 400 calories. It's more than I usually have for breakfast, but I was planning a repeat lunch from the day before, so I figured no biggie, right?

Right. Best laid plans and all that. Well, we had a ton of errands to run because for once Choreboy was off on a Sunday, and we got out the door around 11:00 a.m. The man had passed on breakfast (I know he shouldn't, but please go tell him that) and mentioned eating out. We tossed around several ideas, including the really terrible possibility of visiting the local Asian buffet, but ended up at Red Lobster.

And actually, this wasn't a bad choice for me. I ended up eating two lobster nacho chips (hey, they were good!) on top of the lunch portion salmon with double broccoli and a Caesar salad. Dinner was the infamous Moroccan chickpeas with quinoa and half a Haas avocado.

Total calories consumed? 1660. I cut it close, but I made it.

I know that I often plan overages into my eating, but right now I feel very strongly that I need to stick strictly within my designated range. I don't see eating over a calorie range as any sort of excuse when it's done in a planned, educated fashion. I just don't. But I do see that for me to blast through my current calorie ceiling at this precise time in my process would be a bad scene. Am I capable of dropping the calorie log for a day and getting right back on the ball the next? Yep, youbetcha! But right now, right after I've finally gotten below 150 for like the bajillionth time in 2010 is so not the time for me to test myself.

Over the past four years I've come to realize that losing weight isn't about any one right way, even for one individual. It's about whatever way is working for you at this precise time in your process. Sometimes flexibility is key. Other times, you've gotta be hardcore. The trick is figuring out which approach needs to be applied when.

I'm still learning that part, hence the mad weight waffling up until this point.

Speaking of which, I'm on track for today as well. Breakfast was a treat -- I stopped at Subway and picked up a Black Forest Ham Egg White Muffin Melt with provolone cheese (160 calories) along with a bag of apple slices (35 calories) and a black coffee with Splenda (I don't even count black coffee). I also ate 3/4 of an ounce of almonds (120 calories) when I was done, because at under 200 calories I knew I wasn't going to be able to limit myself with the candy bowl around unless I got a bit more food in my system.

Ah, the candy bowl... I had 3 Hershey's kisses mid-morning. There was much happiness that ran me around 76 calories, and was worth every one of 'em. Lunch was my standard (see Saturday, except subtract the avocado half and add instead a cup of grapes), and clocked in at 290 calories.

Insert 3 more Hershey's kisses here. Dessert is important, yanno.

Dinner will be baked Cajun-seasoned catfish, broccoli, some focaccia bread, and a little olive oil for dipping, totaling 507 calories. My day at the moment tops out at 1264 calories, and will probably end right at 1340 calories because I hear about 3 more Hershey's kisses calling my name.

Not bad for a day's work. I can live with this.

Note to the FTC, on the off-chance they're worried about a blog with 45 readers: I don't receive any compensation from any companies I mention by name. I just feel like being specific. Besides, I have a feeling they have better things to do with their resources than expend them on me.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

This Just In

Attributed to the Associated Press:

"To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, the Florida Department of Health recommends that people should attempt to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes."

Uhm... duh.

Friday, October 08, 2010

146.75

So I caved. I weighed myself.

146.75.

I haven't weighed that little since I quit smoking back in March of 2009. In fact, when I quit smoking I weighed 147.

So my dears.... BOOyah!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes!!!

Now I'm going to ignore the scale again for... awhile. I figure the latest I'll weigh myself will be the beginning of November, but I'm not going to carve that in stone or anything.

Weirdly, I'm not worried about flaking out with being under 150. I weighed in because finally the worry that I was eating too much (yes, it's a valid concern -- I'm working out heavily but I'm 40 and perimenopausal, so my metabolism is freakish) outweighed my fear that I'd gorge upon learning I was below some arbitrary scale number. Now I've seen that I can go on eating exactly as I have been, which is something I can easily live with

I eat in the low 1400's most days with some spikes to the upper 1600's, for the record. Average weekly calorie burn due to exercise is 2000.

I'm totally on a roll at the moment, too. I've not gone outside my calorie range, not even deliberately, for nearly three weeks. Additionally, I've made my exercise goals for over three weeks. I still don't have a problem with planned overages, but for right now I'm on what we at SparkPeople call a "streak" and I'm going to see how long I can drag this sucker out.

---------------------------------

In the world of food, I finally managed to make baked sweet potato fries. I searched around for a good recipe for them (weirdly I am not a fan of sweet potatoes -- tubers should be savory, not sweet), and I finally came upon a recipe that used curry powder with them.

Total score. They were awesome. Even the kids liked them.

Dagnabbit.

Tomorrow I've got a pork shoulder I'm going to roast. No, it's not low on the calorie end, but with a bit of moderation (and a bit more concentration on, say, more sweet potato fries), it will fit into my plan just fine.

That sucker is 8 pounds. Choreboy is going to have some serious leftovers to hoover down. We might have to call my little brother in to pinch hit.

-------------------------------

On the exercise front, I'd started back up with C25K and my knee raised a ruckus. I'm really annoyed by that, but I guess my father's right. I'd told him I'd started running again and he clutched his head.

"I don't know what it is with your brother and you. You both just need to come to peace with the fact that your bodies, through ill-luck with genetics, are fragile. Why can't you pick something you are able to do regularly and just do it?"

"Because it gets boring?"

"Okay, that's a point. But still..."

So here I am, walking my ass off again rather than running. I might have to completely give up the thought of running a 5K. It kind of sucks that I've managed to get too old for my body to cooperate with that sort of thing, but at least I can still do little intervals and sprints here at home, and my walking exercise is at 5% incline at minimum for 60 minutes, so it's not like I'm taking it easy.

---------------------------------

Okay, in theory Choreboy should be home soon -- "theory" because his assistant manager has a mysterious variant of morning sickness that only strikes on the weekend, thus requiring that my husband come in to work for her. Fortunately, he's her boss so this won't continue forever. But for now I'm trying to bite my tongue.

And before himself spills it in the comments, I'm failing miserably at this whole tongue-biting dealie. But in my defense, we haven't had a single weekend day together for nearly three weeks.

And I'm old.

And crabby.

And I'm outta here before I whine much more. Have an awesome weekend, folks!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Three More Hours

Tonight after work:

  • 5:05 - Pick up the dog.
  • 5:25 - Pick up the Elder.
  • 5:40 - Pick up the Gum Zombie.
  • 5:45 - Arrive home.
  • Let dog out back.
  • Feed snack to Offspring.
  • Scoop litter boxes. Have staring contest with cats.
  • Let dog back in.
  • 6:00 - Leave for the Elder's middle school's Open House.
  • 6:30 - Open House begins.
  • Continue cursing under my breath because the middle school and the words "adequate parking" are never to be found in the same sentence unless joined by a negative.
  • During mandatory PTSO meeting, wonder why in the world Herff Jones is selling middle school class rings. Holy crap.
  • 8:00 - Open House ends.
  • Attempt not to be run over by the several hundred other parents who've also missed their dinners and are desperately trying to be first to get to their cars to hit the McDonald's drive through.
  • Feed children.
  • Take out dog.
  • Staring contest with cats. Someone used the litter box again. Pungently.
  • 8:45 - Showers for both boys.
  • 9:00 - Gum Zombie's bedtime is ignored because he has a spelling test in the morning and needs to study his words. Yes, he could study them in day care. No, he won't do it. Why? Because he's seven. And balky.
  • 9:30 - Put Gum Zombie to bed, because all the studying in the world won't help the child if he's too tired to remember what he's learned.
  • 9:45 - Finally get on the treadmill for W1D2 of C25K.
  • 9:46 - Stop the treadmill to answer the phone. Choreboy's on his way home. Put on coffee prior to his arrival.
  • 9:50 - Get back on the treadmill.
  • 10:00 - Off the treadmill to greet Choreboy. Elder's bedtime. "Yes, now. Yes I mean it. No you may not watch the rest of WWE. I don't care what CM Punk is doing tonight."
  • 10:10 - Kick side of treadmill. Get back on.
  • 11:10 - Stumble off of treadmill after post C25K walk. Shower. Wash hair.
  • Midnight - Remember I haven't eaten dinner yet.
So yeah... I'd like just three more hours for this evening, please. That's all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Clarity

I'm not going to weigh in this Friday.

I don't even know if I'll weigh in at the beginning of November, which was my original goal date.

What I do know is that right now I'm hovering around 150. Whether that's above or below is up in the air, but I can tell the ballpark from how my pants are fitting. And not to be too graphic, but I can also tell from how the skin sits on my abdomen. I don't have a huge amount of redundant skin at this point, but my time in obesity (sounds like a prison sentence) combined with two pregnancies where, if eating were a gauge, I should have been Octomom twice... well, it's going to take its toll somehow.

So anyway, I recognize the draping pattern of my skin, and that tells me I'm right at 150, probably a bit below.

If I saw that on the scale there would be fallout of the negative sort, but not knowing what the scale says is really helping me to stay on track. If I weighed myself I'm sure I'd overeat. And I'd do it because either a) eating well for x-number of weeks obviously hasn't done any good, so I might as well enjoy myself, or b) I've done so well that I deserve to eat, dangit!

Yeah. Not good. And I wish I weren't like that because I'd really like to know what I weigh, but there you have it.

So instead I'm going to get on the treadmill tonight and do the first night of C25K again, after nine months off from running after my stress fractures (for the record my bone density test came back just fine, so my doctor and I have collectively thrown our hands in the air for a cause). And then I'll ignore the fried chicken sitting in the fridge (I've been ignoring it since I bought it -- it's for the boys in the house), and the chili, and instead I'll dive for the Moroccan chickpeas and quinoa, and half an avocado.

And if I must, I still have the calorie allotment for one Biscoff cookie, and as much black coffee as I can hold.

Anyone else who has a twisted relationship with the scale, however it works, please share. Quirkiness loves company ;)

Okay, I'm dressed, I'm hydrated, and I'm off. See you on the other side!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yes!

I have totally kicked ass this week.

I finally got back on my cardio because my knee is behaving itself again. I'm at 100% on the treadmill and about 80% on the elliptical, even with the time I had to take off. The downside of this is that it could mean that my body is really efficient at adapting, which is a total bummer for my metabolism.

Fortunately, I'm not shocked. It just means I have to continue to make physical activity a priority, which can get a bit sketchy with the way my joints like to behave, but if my grandmother (God rest her soul) could walk six miles a day at age eighty with severe spinal arthritis, I think I've got the genetics and the gumption to soldier on through.

My food has been on point as well. Among other things I've had Moroccan style spicy chickpeas with cilantro-lime quinoa and avocado; salmon with a dijon-dill sauce*, brown rice and quinoa, and broccoli; and tonight I'm making chili (no beans, because other than chickpeas they are The Sum Of All Evils) with 93% lean ground beef. The chili's kind of a one-off, but whereas the chickpeas and the salmon were multi-day meals (3 on the former, 2 on the latter), I'll only be eating the chili tonight. And tomorrow I'll either make another batch of chickpeas, or hit up the mustard maple pork tenderloin (recipe here -- it's awesome).

With breakfast and lunch I'm extremely boring. Most days I have an egg for breakfast, along with some form of whole grain (seeded wheat bread or perhaps some Kashi), dairy (nonfat milk or yogurt), and fruit. Lunch tends to be 2 oz. of a lean meat on a sandwich thin, one slice of cheese, more mustard than the law should allow, a HUGE bunch of grapes, and 3 pickle spears.

Snacks revolve around chocolate. I tell myself it's health food because it's over 80% cacao. Hee.

All in all, my daily calories hover around 1430 (my SparkPeople range is set at 1320 - 1670), and with exercising at a minimum burn of 2000 calories per week (low end is 5x/ week @ 400 calories each session), I can live with that.

I still have no idea what I weigh. It was close this week because I am extremely curious, considering how some of my jeans are fitting (loose-ish), but I didn't cave. And now I'm thinking... do I really want to weigh in next Friday? I know how my mind works, and if I'm below 150 that's a huge trigger where I have historically said, "Yes! Under 150! I can eat again!" and massive potato chip and Reese's consumption ensues.

I just don't want to go there.

I have been fighting this last twenty pounds for three years. The first fifty came off within a year, but I've been yo-yo-ing between 145 - 155 (with a few higher spikes) since fall of 2007. ARRRRGH. So perhaps I'll just keep on tracking my food and exercising, but not weigh myself.

It's still up for debate. I'll figure it out.

*1 lb salmon fillet
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 TBSP dijon mustard,
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP freshly chopped dill
1 bunch of chives, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse fillet, pat dry, and place in the bottom of a 2 qt. glass casserole dish (I spray my dish first with a cooking spray). Salt and pepper fillet to taste.

Whisk together sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, and dill, until thoroughly blended. Spoon over fillet and smooth until entire piece of fish is evenly covered. Sprinkle chives over the top. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the fillet flakes easily with a fork. Serves 4 unless you're pigs (which we are) in which case it serves 2. Or maybe 3. If you're lucky.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

De-Mucking

Ooof. Sorry for the radio silence, y'all. We had a nasty run-in with impetigo (I know! eewwww!!!) and I've been so skeeved out that I could barely think without my brain going into squick-out mode.

On the plus side my house is now practically sterile, and my pediatrician confirmed that washing the bath mat every day was probably overkill. Anyway, since I had already de-bacteriafied the main living part of the house, the hall bathroom and both boys' bedrooms (only one had it and for his privacy's sake I'll not say which one), this weekend I was inspired to hit up the master bedroom.

Let's just say it was past due.

In the end of it all, I scraped out the entire room including my dresser drawers and closet. Choreboy lacks my hoarding tendencies and thus was not part of the Grand De-Mucking outside of moral support and vacuuming assistance. I ended up trashing a small garbage bag worth of clothes and filling a HUGE -- I think 37 gallon? -- bag for donating. I also went into the bathroom vanity and threw out fully 75% of the junk under the sink.

All my clothes fit in my drawers and closet. My shoes are also in the closet rather than piled by my dresser.

Choreboy can't stop smiling. I can't say I blame him.

Oh, and just as a general note? After age forty it is perfectly acceptable to throw away the plaid dress with the Peter Pan collar, the teal paisley number with shoulder pads, and the Flashdance sweaters.

Yes I totally had to have that conversation with myself.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thursday

Well, in the Gum Zombie's elementary school's continuing quest to drive me completely around the bend, they just sent home the reminder about tonight's open house last night.

I know, I know, we're all grown ups and should have looked this up on the school website (which they update maybe once a year... in May), but seriously? Sending the reminder home the night before? Just not bright. Try the beginning of the week, kids. Most of us try to pay attention, but when you throw this on our [overloaded] plates less than 24 hours in advance, we get a bit skittish.

Choreboy has valiantly offered to accompany me, to help keep me in line. Otherwise I'd likely sit and read a book through the entire PTA meeting.

Shame for me to ignore the whole thing. Yes, I'm trying to convince myself of that.

--------------------------

In other news, food went well this week. I've still not weighed myself and I count that as a bit of a victory as well. My brother told me on Labor Day that my face looks the thinnest he's seen it in recent memory.

I think he needs glasses. But I'll take it.

My knee is improving, thank goodness. One more week off it and I hope to be back on track with my cardio. And Choreboy's job situation just improved exponentially, which means I can finally breathe again.

Whew :)

Ooops, my reminder to gather the office garbage just popped up. Better get a move on. Have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Why Yes, Yes I Do Want a Medal for That

Accomplishments for the day:

  • Got out of bed (after a three day weekend, this is not to be discounted).
  • Remembered to buy cat food during lunch hour (we will be permitted to live another day).
  • Balanced all bank accounts at the office (first try, thank you very much).
  • Cooked dinner when I got home (Pizza Hut misses me).
  • While supervising the Elder's homework, did NOT fall into the trap of doing the assignment for him (took twenty minutes instead of two).
It's the last one that inspired the title.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

News and Events

First and most importantly my niece, the Divine Miss M, was born at 4:04 this morning somewhere in NYC. 7 lbs, 13 oz, 9 APGAR.

My baby sister is a mommy. Her adorable husband is a father. Those two had better get over the birth rush fast, because auntie wants pictures STAT. And yes, I'm grinning from ear-to-ear.

---------------------------------

In other news, I'm taking a scale vacation this month; next weigh-in will be October 1st. I've noticed that whenever I get below 150 I seem to go a little nuts and invariably react with a "Hey, I can eat whatever I want now!" attitude. Considering I won't be at goal until 130? That's simply not a good idea. So instead, during September I am going to focus really closely on my eating and exercise (cardio subject to my knee not being a pain in the... well, knee) and ignore the scale. I will still be tracking everything that goes into my mouth, and recording everything I do physically.

I just finally reached the point where I realized something had to give. There is truth in the old saw, "Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity." For me to continue on that cycle would be utterly counterproductive, so a switch-up is definitely in order. I also freed myself from the last weeknight commitment under my control so that I have more flexibility with my family time and exercise schedule.

I'm already breathing a bit more easily.

Okay, time to tell the boys their newest cousin has arrived and field any questions about "Just where does the baby come out, Mommy?"

Hmm. Maybe coffee first...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Opting Out

Occasionally I wonder why I left the teaching field. I loved the actual teaching, nutty as some situations could get ("Yes sir, your son really did cough the words 'bullshit'. No sir, I am not making this up. No, I would not agree that children always try this stuff at home with their parents first. Yes, your precious snowflake really did curse outright in my class, and the fact that you coach soccer with the vice principal and called him (because your dear boy called you on the pay phone on his way to the office) means nothing. So sorry!"). I mean, if I were still teaching I'd have the summers to be with my children, the daycare issues involved with school holidays that don't match up with my office's holidays would be minimal. I'd be nearly ensured of employment, with reasonable healthcare available as well as a state pension. What in the world was I thinking by leaving?

Then I run into idiocy with my children's schools, and it all comes back to me.

The Elder started middle school this year -- at the same school where I used to teach, no less -- and so far it's been great. He's in the accelerated program, he enjoys his teachers and classes, and overall I'm pleased and relieved.

So the problem isn't academic. No, the problem is a couple of the endless forms we're to fill out at the beginning of every school year. Now I'm not going to bitch about all the forms -- that's a separate post in and of itself, and really, on the whole I'm accustomed to them after my years of indoctrination (although WHY they can't at least make them fillable PDFs available on the school website so we could just type in the info and print those suckers out, then edit for subsequent children/ years is beyond me). What I'm not accustomed to is being told I must fill out an opt-out form...

...when I'm not opting my child out of that particular, erm, option.

Yes it hurt me to type that.

But that's what I am told I must do. See, there are three pages at the back of the Code of Conduct with space for a parent's signature. One is an acknowledgment that we have received and read the Code of Conduct and agree to be bound by it regarding our children's behavior and consequences for same. No problem. I signed it.

The other two forms are "Opt-Out" forms, one for directory information (controlling who may access information to your child, such as colleges and the military) and the other is for technology (can your kid use the school computers? appear in the yearbook? etc.). Initially I didn't fill out either of these forms, as I wasn't going to restrict the Elder's information or his technology access.

Then the child comes home with the Directory Information Opt-Out form and tells me his teacher said I had to sign it. I figured if she was pushing it this hard then perhaps I should look at it more closely. I decided I'd require that I be contacted if colleges or the military wanted his information, because hey, if the teacher is pushing this it seems perhaps I was too hasty in leaving his information available.

Okay, fine.

So yesterday I get the Technology Opt-Out form back from this same teacher, with a post-it affixed saying "To Elder Offspring's Parents: You must fill out the top of this form and sign the bottom. Pick one of items 1-5 only if you are interested."

The school board itself doesn't appear to require that I fill out this form unless I wish my child's access to be restricted, and I base my belief on this line, which appears at the top of the form in question:

"Students will have the privileges listed below unless this Image and Technology Opt-Out Form is submitted by the Parent/Guardian."

In spite of this line, I'm being told I must fill out this opt-out form, sign it, and leave it blank. Doesn't matter that I am not choosing to opt my child out (the double to quadruple negatives necessary to even discuss this are making me crazy). Nope!

Have I completely lost my mind? Because seriously, this isn't a hill I would normally choose to die on, but holy crap. I know this isn't a school board requirement because I haven't ever had to fill these forms out before (and leave them blank!!!), and I've had kids in the public schools for years.

So I wrote the teacher a nice letter explaining that I couldn't in good conscience fill out an opt-out form when I did not wish to opt my child out of anything, and due to my time as a legal secretary I was extremely uneasy signing an essentially blank form (which could then be checked off willy-nilly and then waved around as proof that I'd chosen to opt-out my child when I did nothing of the sort), and I hoped the attached Affidavit of Receipt, which I personally composed and signed, would do in its stead. I also attached all my contact information for their convenience in case they felt this matter merited further discussion.

Hopefully they'll just look at the letter with its myriad attachments and decide arguing with me about this would be more trouble than it's worth.

What a way to start off the year. I'd better toss a few more bucks into the Elder's therapy fund...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Holding Steady

Well, in spite of this week's earlier lunacy I'm holding steady at 149.999999999999999999. I'll take it.

Physical activity has been off. The good news is that on Tuesday I managed 20 minutes straight on the elliptical for the first time. The bad news is that my right knee is now giving me fits -- not from the workout but from some repetitive motion stuff at the office -- so I've had to give it a rest since. So because my ability to do cardio is compromised, I've actually been even more careful with my food than I would be. In light of the Steak & Shake and Denny's events earlier, this is likely a very good thing.

Other than all that, I've been a bit distracted of late. Choreboy's job has been... erm, well I think the technical term is "ooky", so we've both been stressing over that. Fortunately he's got two good leads on alternate employment and we're hopeful one of those will pan out in short order. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't on edge, though. I'm about ready to chew a hole through my cheek. I'd love to self-medicate on a dozen or so cookies (or alternately, a vat of wine) but have thus far restrained myself to a judicious intake of dark chocolate.

Oh, but on the good news front both boys seem to be doing well so far this school year. Hooray! The Elder is settling into sixth grade well, and the Gum Zombie (outside of already being noted as "talkative"... there's a shocker) is enjoying his year so far as well.

Let's hope all this continues.

I'm hanging in there. We'll see what the next week brings. Have a good one, y'all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ponderings and Plans

It's unbelievably dark outside. Practically twilight-dark. The air is too heavy to move... too wet. It's the kind of day when I'd like to be at home, curled up on the couch.

Instead I'm sitting here at my desk at work. But I've got a window. That can't be discounted. And it's a spectacular showcase for the incoming storm.

Bring it on.

-------------------------

I need to get back on track with my weight loss. I have essentially twenty pounds left to lose before I hit goal. It's the same fifteen-twenty I've had to lose since the fall of 2007, after I'd lost my initial fifty-five pounds (from August 2006 through November of 2007) bringing me down from a high of 200 to a low of 145. Now it's fall of 2010, three years later, and I'm at 150 pounds (149.999999 actually... but give me a break). I still haven't even breathed on the 130's, let alone 130 itself. There is a reason for this.

Saturday I did well with my food.

Sunday I did well for breakfast and lunch. Then we went to see Nanny McPhee Returns and I ate:

1/3 bag of popcorn
1 box Reese's Pieces
1 box Sour Jacks

The movie was followed by a trip to Steak & Shake (because obviously I hadn't eaten enough):

1 southwestern chicken grilled sandwich with guacamole (hey, it's chicken? Sigh... I know)
1 serving fries with cheese sauce (adding insult to injury)
1 peach milkshake

We got home, and I finished the day's debauchery off with one Reese's mini peanut butter cup. Over 3000 calories consumed.

Oopsie.

Then, because I clearly hadn't hosed things enough over the weekend, I broke 2000 calories yesterday. Again I was fine with breakfast and lunch and my snack. But dinner was at Denny's and because I'm a dolt I ordered the Heartland Scramble, which for the uninitiated includes two pancakes, butter, syrup, eggs scrambled with potato chunks, green peppers, bacon, and cheddar cheese, along with a side of hash browns (because the potatoes in the eggs aren't sufficient), bacon (ditto), and two links of sausage.

Cleared 1100 calories with that meal alone.

And did I get on my treadmill or elliptical either day? Nope. Too overstuffed. It would have been uncomfortable.

If I sound aggravated with myself, it's because I am. Yes I'm human and I'm going to make mistakes. I can live with that. I can live with the occasional off-plan meal. But when I sit and bitch and moan about how I can't get below 150 consistently to save my life, blah blah blah...

Yes. I. Can. But I haven't wanted it badly enough. That ends today.

Again: Bring it on.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Record!

Forty followers -- yay! Welcome, everyone :)

Note: there's a little "TMI" in here relating to girlie issues, although it ends quickly (blessedly). Then again, my "About Me" clearly states that I can bleed for 22 days and not die, so I guess the whole
caveat emptor thing has already been satisfied.

Now that no one can say they weren't warned:

58 days this time around -- that's a new record for me (just from start-to-start -- the 22-day record still holds for the actual "active" part of the cycle). So today I am vaguely considering the elliptical and treadmill, and I'm also more solidly considering remaining planted right here in my seat. I know I'll probably feel better if I bond with the exercise machinery, so I'm working on making that the more firm option.

I'm just not there yet.

This whole peri-menopausal thing can move into full "pause" mode anytime, in part because the stabbed-through-the-gut-by-icepicks thing I've got going on is so last century. Oh well, probably less than a year to go (thanks Mom for the genetics -- you rock!)

Anywhoodle...

I started the day well, with one of those 160-calorie Subway egg white breakfast melts. They're really pretty good all things considered.

Then I hit up the Hershey's Special Dark Kisses, for obvious reasons. 5 down, and several more to go before I hit my max. At twenty calories apiece I can afford it, and believe me my family doesn't want me avoiding chocolate this week.

In other news, the Elder and I got up early-early this morning and headed out to Walmart to do as much of the back-to-school shopping as we could. I think we'll make this a regular event, because let me tell you, doing that shopping trip at 6:00 a.m. is MUCH more relaxing than at 3:00 PM or worse. The only thing we couldn't find outside of some specialized art supplies was wide-ruled loose leaf notebook paper. Fortunately a trip to Publix -- also early as we were in and out of there before 9:00 a.m. -- netted us the desired paper (along with the afore-mentioned Hershey's Special Dark Kisses).

I don't think I've ever had a less panic-stricken school supply shopping trip. And you won't see me saying this much about spending money, but it was in fact freaking awesome.

Now, because I'm pondering what I'm going to eat the rest of the day, let's see:

Breakfast
Subway Black Forest Ham Egg White Melt - 160
2 slices tomato - 8
Total: 168

Lunch
Spicy Moroccan-Style Chickpeas - 173
Cilantro Lime Quinoa - 172
1/2 Haas Avocado - 140
Total: 485

Dinner
4 oz 93% lean ground beef patty - 170
1 slice cheddar cheese - 80
1 sandwich thin - 100
1 cup broccoli florets - 30
Total: 380

Snack
10 Hershey's Special Dark Kisses - 200

Total All Meals: 1233 calories

Hmm... that's livable, and I have some nice flexibility if the chocolate monster howls more loudly than it's currently bellowing. I've got a couple of tomatoes I need to finish off before they croak, so that will up my veggie intake nicely... and some grapes.

Okay. Cool. And yes, this is how I usually end up working my food. I find I do better if I figure out what I'm eating at the beginning of the day, because if I wait until right before my meal I end up doing things like finishing off the Gum Zombie's leftover Cuban sandwich.

Not that I did that anytime recently (like last night) or anything...

Ooops. So yes, planning and pre-tracking = good. Sucking down the children's leftovers? Not so much (although really, it could have been worse).

Choreboy is blessedly off work tomorrow so we'll be heading off to see Nanny McPhee Returns for our last "hoorah" before school starts. It should be good -- the first one is now one of my all-time favorite movies. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Think I've Lost Count

This morning, scale survey says: 149.9...9999999999999999999999

Heh.

But YES! Under 150 again. Barely, but I'll take it. I wasn't even sure I'd make it this week, to be honest. I've been good with my food, but my exercising has been in the toilet the past several days and that combined with being on DAY FIFTY-FREAKING-SIX of my formerly-twenty-five day cycle has my hormones and body all freaked out (and yes I have an appointment to see my doctor, Mom).

Perimenopause is interesting. Or something. I'll leave it at that for the moment.

Good news is, it looks like I may not make it to day sixty. I'm retaining water in the... erm... chestal region, and other standard signs are there that we're about to set this particular counter back to zero again. No I am not pregnant. Choreboy is blessedly "fixed" and additionally I have a negative pregnancy test result confirming my non-gestational status because I trust nothing, not even a vasectomy that's got a good history of holding, so I double-checked to make sure there'd been no re-canalization flukes or anything else.

We're clear. And in another week, give or take six days (this is me we're talking about), the water retention should ease which should net me a few more el-bee-ess off the weight.

----------------------------

In other news, orientation for the 2010-2011 school year was today. The Elder is starting sixth grade which means he's off to middle school. I'm trying not to be traumatized. He made it into the accelerated program, which means more work for all of us, but it's worth it in academic gains. If he hadn't been accepted into the accelerated program I would have pitched a fit of epic proportions, because that child has had straight A's through most of elementary school, has always been in the highest reading and math groups, had an awesome recommendation from his fifth grade teacher, and rocked his FCAT scores (including maxing out in math).

Ahem. Sorry for the brief maternal brag there. On the other hand? Spider Farts. So it all evens out.

The Gum Zombie is entering second grade, and his teacher seems nice. We'll see how that goes. I'm not holding my breath as she's good friends with last year's disaster teacher, but just because two people are friends doesn't mean they have the same exact professional philosophies.

Anyway, it was a hectic day and my first handling two orientations at two separate campuses, but we survived.

Next goal (outside of making it through Monday and the start of school): 145 lbs.

Have a good one, y'all!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mum's the Word

No, I don't really have much of an excuse for the radio silence I've been observing on my own blog, other than that when I weighed myself two Thursdays ago the stupid scale said 152.5.

Grrrrrr.

Then this past Thursday it was 150.5. Which is better, but is still not thrilling me to death.

It's all attributable to how I ate on vacation, and I'm totally aware of it. Although I managed to injure myself two days in and was unable to do any sort of significant hiking thereafter, I ate as if I had been hiking. For the record, cheesburgers and fries are equally good in Canada.

I don't feel guilty about it. I am aggravated because I'd meant to do better, but my commitment level wasn't where it needed to be to carry that through. Lesson learned.

Good news is, I've found an awesome new recipe thanks to one of my local friends who I also know through the SparkPeople website. Here is the recipe -- it's a spicy chickpea/tomato mixture (it's not my friend's, but she made it for a covered dish dinner we had), and it is made of awesome. Bear in mind, I hate every whole legume on the planet with the exception of those which mimic nuts, so the fact that I'm able to eat them whole in this recipe is HUGE!

I've been eating a 1/2 cup serving of these on a bed of cilantro-lime quinoa.

1 cup ROOM TEMPERATURE water or broth (veggie or chicken)
1/2 cup dry, rinsed quinoa

2 TBSP concentrated lime juice (or you can use 1/4 cup fresh and reduce broth by 2 TBSP)

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro


Put ingredients into microwave-safe bowl and cover loosely. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes (times vary according to microwave power). Let sit in microwave for
at least two minutes.

Fluff then serve. Makes 2 servings.

It's good stuff.

Today also happens to be Choreboy's and my first anniversary. We're dropping the kids with my folks in a few, and we're going to just spend the day together running to Harbor Freight, bookstores, places that serve food, etc... it'll be nice :)

One year ago today:


And just this past vacation, in the lounge at Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park:

Here's to year 2!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Vacation Pictures


I was actually pretty impressed that the Elder permitted the Gum Zombie to keep his arm on him for several minutes!

More another day, but for the full collection you can check my album on Facebook. It's set to friends only, so if you want to send me a friend request, here's my profile.

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Return

Back from vacation. Just out of Choreboy's mouth:

"If I put on six pounds during vacation, it doesn't bode well for you."

Thank you honey. Because that wasn't the first thought that flashed into my head or anything as soon as you shared your gain with me.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

More later (MUCH later on the weigh-in -- yipes). I am hopeful I can at least get up some vacation pictures along with a bit of commentary before Thursday.

For now, suffice it to say that it was a great vacation and I could sure use another day or ten to recover.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Made It.

Well, we made it through the funeral without incident. Dad's eulogy went so well the minister came up to him afterward and said, "Okay, you teach me how to be an architect because I can tell there isn't a thing I can teach you on how to preach!"

This will help a bit with some closure. The whole week we've been in limbo, so at least there's that. And thank you, everyone, for the kindness, sympathy, and support. It means alot to me, and you are all awesome.

Now, in less than twelve hours (in theory) our plane will be taking off, heralding the beginning of our journey to Glacier and Waterton National Parks, in the U.S. and Canada. Our bags are packed, all I lack are my comb, brush, and toiletries.

And the kids' toothbrushes. I know I'm going to forget those, and am pretty much resigned to just buying more when we touch ground.

We're off! See y'all in a week (hopefully with some good pictures!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Passings

"Inoperable tumor -- consult in the morning -- comfort measures"

That's the phone message I keep seeing on my desk. One of the founders of the firm where I work, and have worked off and on for the past twenty-plus years, had what they thought was a benign cyst on his pancreas. It had grown a bit too much and was encroaching on his bile duct causing some jaundice, and that and other digestive issues were why he went in for a Whipple procedure last Friday.

So he was going in for surgery. Major surgery, not minor, and very serious at that. He said himself that his doctors told him "Well, with a Whipple, yes we pretty much are telling you that you'll have this or die."

They didn't mention the "and die" possibility. But with surgery under general anesthesia, that's a given.

The medical team went in and instead of the benign cyst, there was an invasive malignancy. They closed him back up after putting in a shunt to drain the bile and relieve the jaundice.

"Inoperable... comfort measures..."

He had a second operation on Saturday. He was bleeding out.

My parents visited him in recovery. He and Dad have been business partners since 1975. I grew up with their son. I've never said "He was like a second father to me," because my own father has always been more than sufficient. But he was.

His liver was failing, and so were his kidneys.

Dialysis failed.

He passed away Sunday. We've been shell-shocked all week, both at home and at the office. My last entry was beyond disjointed, and I know it. I wrote it after I got the news, and was just striving for some sense of normalcy. Bombed that.

The funeral is tomorrow. My father will be delivering the eulogy.

I told my dad he's not allowed to go the route of this gentleman, or of the other firm founder who passed away earlier this year. He smirked a little, and said that there might come a day when I wish he would.

Nope.

"Comfort measures."

My grandparents are all dead. Now the people of my parents' generation are passing. I'm moving right up in the old mortality chain.

I don't like it. At all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted...

Well, it's coming. It'll get here.

For now, life goes on. I weighed in on Thursday at 147.25; then on Friday I was at 147 even. I really should never ever weigh in multiple times, because even though my "official" weight puts me at 147.25, I now consider my weight to be 147, which means if I'm at 147 this coming Thursday too I'll be bummed because The Scale Rules All.

*headdesk*

BUT... I think that eating a more even (yet higher) calorie distribution is working at the moment. My goal is to eat 1500 calories per day, and I've managed to range right in between 1400 and 1600 all week. I'll have to see how that goes this week as well, since it's intake over time that's more important than just what I've eaten immediately preceding a weigh-in. Looking at my past patterns and the big drop this week, though, I think I wasn't eating enough considering the exercise I've been doing. That prompted my body to hold onto every ounce it could make an excuse to cling to. Eating more is training my body to expect food, so it feels free to let go of some of the fat in return.

Eh, it makes sense somewhere in my feeble little brain.

The elliptical machine is doing marvelously. I've been doing 20 minutes on it per day since we brought it home. I started out unable to keep moving past two minutes and 30 seconds, so I'd dismount after that time, pace back and forth for one minute, then hop back on. This past week I got up to 5-minute stretches. And now this week I'm moving to 10-minute stretches... at least one*, which would be followed by two five-minute bursts. But still, the progress is good and I'm pleased.

It's a weird machine.. I don't use too much resistance, but even over the past two weeks my arms are showing more definition and I could swear that yesterday I actually glimpsed a hint of a quad! Now only a hint, mind you... I carry most of my weight in my hips and thighs, including some very unfortunate "saddle bags." Those suckers have been the bane of my existence since I was fifteen years old, and it appears little has changed on that front in the past twenty-five years. I don't think that particular fat deposit will leave regardless of how much I exercise or how little I eat. When I was sixteen I was severely ill with pneumonia, and after it was all said and done I'd dropped to 108.5 pounds. I was hollow cheeked, flat-chested, and still I had those blasted saddlebags!!

I threaten lots of plastic surgery, but the one I can most see myself eventually caving to is some lipo to just smooth them out. Finding pants that will fit without accentuating them is a flat-out misery, and one can only wear Spanx so long before beginning to feel a bit like a cased sausage.

Oh shoot, I totally got off track there. Where was I? Oh yes, exercise! Anyway, after 20 minutes of on-and-offing the elliptical, I've then moved to the treadmill for the final 40 minutes of my daily cardio. I was doing 10% incline work for some weeks, and have now moved to a more solid 5% stretch as the elliptical appears to be my higher intensity work. I've done both the 10% and the elliptical in one day, and from the after-effects it appears that isn't a good mix for my legs which are still recovering from the stress fractures.

Slow and steady does it.

I have definitely bombed out on the resistance this week. There's only so much time in a day, and I've made choices that haven't included it. I need to re-evaluate and figure out how to work it in because with my bones being as fragile as they're acting, I need to do everything I can to increase their density. On the plus side, I'm tracking my calcium intake and since I started taking a calcium supplement I'm up to the levels I need on that at least.

I'm still tracking every bite. Without tracking what I eat, I slip. I've been on this path since August of 2006, and history has taught me that if I don't write down my intake in some form or fashion (currently I use SparkPeople's Nutrition Tracker and have been since January of 2009 -- I'm AmandaJCD over there), I will lose my perspective on how much food is going into my mouth, and from there I'll start climbing right back up to where I started, if not beyond.

So, the goals for this week are to keep at 1500 calories per day, keep the daily cardio going, drink my water (I flunked water yesterday, but there's still time to get today's in!), and try to get this family packed for vacation.

Speaking of cardio, it's about that time. The Evil Elliptical is hollering at me. Have a great week, folks!

*Did it! Turns out I can do 10 minutes at a stretch on the elliptical... who knew? :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cause and Effect

Conversation between Choreboy and me, following my latest heart rate measurement:

"Hey, my heart rate's at 54 beats per minute!"

"Is that good or bad?"

"Uh... good. It's low."

"Are you dead?"

"Noooo... Lance Armstrong's heart beats only 32 times per minute."

"Well that's cuz he wears that little rubber bracelet."

Alrightie then...

In other news, the weigh in weight was 150.25. That could be either due to standard weight fluctuation (hey, at least it's a lower 150?) or it could be related to the fact that for some reason I felt called to bake not just one, but two pound cakes in the seven days preceding the weigh-in.

Yeah, not my best or brightest move, considering my inordinate pound cake love.

Good news is that they came out great -- both taste/texture wise AND in their release from the bundt pan. So I have that going for me.

And I also am developing a scary low RHR... hee!! My recovery rate is coming along as well. Five minutes after I'm off my treadmill I'm back down around 60 BPM. So progress is being made, just not necessarily of the scale variety.

This week I've got a few things I'm working toward. I'm going to get my water in (and hey, check in to Sean and Kenz's Positive Effect Water Challenge!); I'm going add one additional serving of complex carbs (brown rice, whole wheat bread, sweet potato, etc) to each day; I'm going to stay within my calorie range and not have an "over" day; and I'm going to lift my weights three times this week.

Oh, and I'm not going to bake any pound cakes. That might help.

If I accomplish all this and the scale doesn't move, so be it. I know my fitness is improving because my RHR is dropping like a stone and my recovery rate is right behind it. At 150 I am at a healthy weight (I have to keep repeating this to myself because in my high school mind even breaking 120 was appalling -- and I am NOT in high school anymore!). That said, these last twenty pounds are not simply vanity pounds -- a goal of 130 pounds with a very small bone frame is quite reasonable -- but being so close to goal it's also reasonable that my body is going to want to hold on to every ounce it can manage.

I just have to outwit it, and I plan to do that by eating sufficiently and making up my calorie deficit through exercise.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with my elliptical... or as I like to refer to it, "that bastard." Have a good one!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Less than Perfect...

... and feeling a bit less than laudable, really.

I work out at least 6 days per week. And I've been telling myself that I really don't like it. Like, at all.

Turns out I've been lying to myself. I may not like the physical exertion too much -- although I'll admit I am getting hooked on that feeling of accomplishment -- but I've learned tonight that I really relish the the solitude I have, like when I'm on that 10% incline in the 4th minute of a 5 minute interval, and the only thought going through my mind outside of "I'm pretty sure I'm about to die" is "My brother is going to pay and pay for reminding me about interval training."

Yeah, that's the stuff.

Because tonight, the Elder wanted to exercise with me. And although I felt some weird resistance to the idea, I shoved it to the back of my mind and told him of course. After all, I want him to like physical activity, and of the two of my children he is the most like me in his potential ability to permanently root himself to the couch. So hey, the boy wants to sweat it out with Mom? Bring it on!!

Except... well, not. The first twenty minutes were actually okay. We just got an elliptical this weekend because I needed another air conditioned cardio option and the price was right, and I hammered away at that for my first event of the evening. Since that's a newer "thing", I don't have a rhythm down yet really -- mentally or physically. It's new, and I'm learning about the machine and how my body handles it.

It's when I switched to the treadmill that the problem started. It just felt wrong. And then when I hit up the 10% incline, I was getting extremely frustrated because my rhythm was being affected by him gliding his leisurely way along on the elliptical.

And this might win me a total Bad Mommy award, but I finally ended up stopping for a bit so he and I could rework his "Sweatin' With the Oldie" session to be just the first part of my workout. Part of me feels terrible. He's disappointed that he can't do my entire workout with me, and I feel like The Most Unnatural Mother Ever. But part of me is also relieved, because my blessed solitude has returned and I can once again ponder my pending doom while continuing my mental bitch session at my much-maligned baby (6'-1") brother in peace.

I'm going to go pour the poor child a nice drink to attempt to salve my conscience a bit more, then it's back to the treadmill for me. I'm not going to let feeling guilty also cheat me out of a workout. I've just got to find another way to work around this.

Edited to add: The boy appears to have recovered. He just delivered a five minute dissertation to me about his Darth Maul character on the Wii Lego Star Wars game that Choreboy brought home this weekend. Whew.

Friday, July 02, 2010

What Week is it Anyway?

Oh yeah...

Week 13 Weight: 150.75
Week 14 Weight: 152
Week 15 Weight: 151.5
Week 16 Weight: 149.5
Week 17 Weight: 150.25
Week 18 Weight: 149.25

Yeah, it's a quarter pound up from Monday but with the standard fluctuations during the week, I'll take it. I've been killing it on my treadmill -- 40 minutes @ 3MPH, 5% incline, and 20 minutes @ 3MPH, 10% incline. I can feel the difference when I'm done. As for my weights and resistance stuff... well, I'm thinking about it more. It's just that after a freaking HOUR of cardio, there needs to be time for the family, and this week hasn't been conducive to being able to work both resistance and family time in.

With the holiday weekend coming up my goal is to simply maintain this week. Sure I'll work for a loss, but I'm good with strictly maintenance.

Hoosier Sugar Cream pie. It sounds good. We'll have to see how the recipe works out...

Happy 4th, folks!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Updated Weight

149, even.

I'm guessing overage was water weight, but I'm not taking any risks. I'm keeping a tight grip on the eating and a firm eyeball on both cardio and resistance this week.

I'd just feel a leetle bit more comfortable if I were further away from 150... yanno?