Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When the Guitars Scream, I Don't Have To

I'm turning into quite the metal-head in my old age. Choreboy and I were hosing down the house the other week in preparation for the Gum Zombie's 9th birthday party, both jamming out to our MP3 players.

He? Was listening to Air Supply.

I? Was listening to Iron Maiden.

We're twisted, but it works for us.

I'm sick today, and when Choreboy came home there I was, resting in bed listening to Bullet for my Valentine's Scream, Aim, Fire album. Not something restful, no no no... no, an album labeled "Explicit" on iTunes.

I'm going to lose my Sainted Mother trophy. I just know it.


I had jury duty a couple of weeks ago, and of course it was the week that overlapped the 15th of the month, which is payday/ bill paying time at the office. Now if I died, they'd figure out a way to pay everyone, but as I'm not dead yet (I feel happy!!!), the plan was that if it came down to it I'd just come in the night of the 14th and run everything out for payday, then come in the night of the 15th and run out all the AP checks.

My group of jurors was slated for a felony trial. We were trapped up on one of the top floors of the courthouse for over 3 hours with no access to caffeine (speaking of cruel and unusual punishment), and right as we were about to be taken in for voir dire, the bailiff came out and said, "The trial has been continued. The judge said to tell you thank you for your service."

Most of our group agreed that this was, indeed, proof there is a Santa Claus.


Christmas was a frenzy of cooking, baking, and dining insanity. A week prior was the Gum Zombie's afore-mentioned birthday which included a Bakugan cake -- NOT made by me, thank goodness -- and a warm bacon blue cheese dip that was. Then we had the office Christmas party, then Christmas Eve at my house featuring Death By Lasagna and a cream cheese pound cake. The entire insanity-fest culminated at my parents' on Christmas day with more Bacon Blue Cheese dip, crazy amounts of cheese, beef tenderloin, Super Taters, and a triple-decker gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting studded with crystalized ginger.

My stomach hurts just typing all that.


Speaking of weight... I'm not speaking about it. Or maybe I am. Since the ablation I've been off-kilter. Cravings have been out of control, and adding to that I'm having severe bloating in my chest which isn't helping matters at all. I don't know what I weigh right now because I'm sick of getting on the scale even when I'm doing everything right and seeing it go up, and frankly, since I have not been doing everything right for the past couple of weeks or so, I shudder to think of what the results are now.

I'm getting back on that bad boy in mid-February and not a minute before. I'm picking that date because my GYN says I should know the final results of my ablation at that point, and I'm hoping that means the chestal insanity (I just went down a bra size, people -- and now I swear I'm up one! at least! and this is not a positive, kids) will have abated. Until then I'll eat and exercise as I should without the shriek-fest my recent weigh-ins have engendered.

Now all I need is for someone to start texting my lazy ass next week* at 5:00 AM ET so I'll haul my butt out of bed and knock out my cardio before I can come up with an excuse not to do it. Any volunteers, please hit me up in email and I'll shoot you the number.

Accountability is a good thing.

*I have a very bad cold on top of everything else right now, so this isn't an "I'll start in 2012" issue, so much as it is the "I can't breathe through my nose and it's dripping anyway" type.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Activity -- Huzzah!

I finally made it back onto the treadmill today. Hooray! It was the first day I actually didn't feel too gross to sweat (recovery from the ablation involves ****TMI ALERT**** discharge in varying quantities and NO tampons, which leaves me feeling like a huge pile of ick ****END TMI ALERT****), and it was good to actually move myself just for exercise sake again. I only did 30 minutes on the treadmill at a rather low 3.1 MPH, minimal incline, but bear in mind that on Friday I pitched myself over the dog gate yet again, resulting in two horribly bruised and otherwise damaged already-iffy knees.

Sad thing is, on Thursday I'd just been thinking how neither knee hurt finally! And wasn't that great? And that if I were smart and cautious, maybe I could start back to running...

Uh-huh. We all know where this is going. You know that old saw about "If you ever want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?" I always get hit by that one. Good grief.

So anyway, 30 minutes on the treadmill, hooray! Both knees were slightly displeased with me when I was done (they'd prefer I never walk again as I appear to be rather bad at it), but they've already gone back to their pre-walk distant throb, so it's all good there.

If I didn't know better I'd swear my orthopedist has set up a system to raise the dog gates at random intervals to help me trip a bit more frequently so I'll push up the arthroscopic procedure he has in mind for when I can't stand my right knee anymore. There's no one damaged structure, just general degradation of the joint and "debris," in his words. Chondromalacia patella is the actual diagnosis, which I believe is accurately translated as Damn you're old, and your knees sure know it!


Anyway, I can let him go in and "clean it up in there" if I want, and part of me does want, but the other part of me says "Six weeks of no weight-bearing? And this is on my right knee, which means no driving? Uhm... no. Thanks just the same." I get 2 weeks of sick leave per year which I use up by October at the outside thanks to the kids, so nothing is banked. And beyond that, the transportation issue is huge. Public transit isn't an option (it's non-existent for folks in my end of town -- we're outside the city limits and even inside it's iffy), and even though I know my family and Choreboy would pitch in where they could, there are also the boys to consider and again, SIX WEEKS. It's just not feasible.


In other news, I made my first tart! This one was a browned butter tart topped with cranberries that I found at the Food & Wine website: linked here. Sucker took over 4 hours out of my life, but it was good.

The crust isn't gorgeous visually, although it was very tasty because I was careful not to overwork the dough and kept it chilled, but it was my first homemade crust, after all. Usually I figure the Publix refrigerated pie crust is sufficient. Practice is a marvelous thing, and I suspect this is a recipe that will have to be repeated.

Okay, enough! Must finish reading my book of the moment, Tim Dorsey's When Elves Attack. Any book with these opening lines:

"My name is Edith Grabowski. I'm ninety-three years old, and I've decided to stop having sex.

I guess you just reach a certain age,"

has my vote. Hee! Have a good one, y'all :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recovery Notes

What freaked me out most after the endometrial ablation wasn't anything I'd anticipated. The cramping has been minimal-to-nonexistent, all after-effects as far as bonding with absorbent devices is concerned has been minimal. All in all, it's been negligible... that is, except the weight gain. The first time I got on the scale post-procedure it was up near 145.

That's 8-10 pounds higher than it was pre-op. YIPES!! And yes, it was all fluid retention. Holy cow.

I guess because most of my recovery has been a non-issue, part of my brain has been thinking that the ablation was more or less a non-procedure. Nope, not true. My body at least recognizes that it's been traumatized, and from what I can figure it's been recognizing that by bloating like crazy. And not only was my abdomen bloated, but also my chest (I almost outgrew my bras -- eeek!), and additionally my lower back.

I think that last was the weirdest part. I'd put my hands on my hips, but sort of toward my back, and I realized it felt different. Fuller. I kept poking and poking at myself and wondering, "Huh... maybe I just didn't realize how much padding I have back here," even though I knew that something was off.

I should have trusted my gut. Because this morning, after having a weekend of having to run to the potty every hour or so, most of the bloat has vanished (including the majority of the back bloat) and put me at 137-ish.

Back bloat. Huh. Who knew?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hooray, I'm Conscious!

Followed by School Chicken News

Hey there everyone :) Yes, I'm alive and well after the endometrial ablation yesterday. My procedure was scheduled for noon, but because my veins behaved in their historic fashion by running away thus requiring the services of the nurse who is, apparently, magic with IV insertion, I ended up going in after the person who was supposed to go after me, but I did eventually make it in. First I was in the OR, chatting with the nurses, and next thing I knew I was waking up on the recovery side of the center.

The only thing I felt was dizziness and nausea after I woke up -- no pain whatsoever. Everything went smoothly, with no surprises found during the hysteroscopy portion of the procedure. YES! Choreboy and I left the surgical center in late/mid afternoon and went to my parents' house to pick up the Gum Zombie (who's been sick, bless his heart) and to feed me a little bit of my mother's homemade macaroni and cheese. It was good, but the dryness in my mouth (I figure it was caused either by the anesthesia, the fact that my mouth was cranked open with a tube in it, lack of oral fluid intake, or a combination of factors?) made it kind of stick. Still, nothing a little Diet Coke couldn't cure.

As soon as we got home I fell into bed and crashed. I woke up about midnight, still a little wobbly and "ooky", but nothing remarkable, and by 2:30 AM the wobbliness and residual nausea had mostly gone away. I was back asleep around 4:30 AM, after eating my microwaved Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and woke up for good around 7:00 AM today.

For the record, about my doctor saying all I would need would be aspirin: she was right! I haven't even felt a twinge of a cramp. From purely anecdotal reports I've read online (like on this endometrial ablation discussion board), easier recoveries tend to be more the norm with the NovaSure procedure*, which is what I had. Not every woman has as easy a time as I'm having even with NovaSure, and I know I'm under 24 hours out so things could change, but I have to say that at this time I'm tickled pink.

*Disclaimer: this applies to my experience only, remember "anecdote" is not equivalent to "data", and that any decisions regarding your health care should not be based on my experience or that of any other layperson, but rather between you and your chosen medical professional. I received nothing from NovaSure for this statement (although if the fine people at Hologic® want to change that I'm open to compensation :P).


Now what's that chicken stuff about in the subtitle? Well, here's my Facebook status from about a month ago:

I live in central Florida, and contrary to popular misconceptions the entire area isn't one giant theme park. I'm in one of the larger towns, but we still have our rural touches especially in the unincorporated areas:

Charlotte (no, not that Charlotte!) is now the Gum Zombie's elementary school's official pet chicken. Yes, they love her so much the entire school voted on her name. Hee :)

Near as we can figure out, she wandered over from the pasture next door (which also contains an assortment of goats and two donkeys), decided she likes it just fine where she is right now, thankyouverymuch, and is not leaving. It's really kind of fun, as you don't know where Charlotte is going to show up next! Kind of like "Where's Waldo," with bonus chicken droppings.

Only in my county, folks. Visit Legoland, and see Charlotte the School Chicken! Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hey everyone, just a quick heads-up to let you know I'm alive and all that happy stuff. Still 135-136 on weight, it's just so depressing that I'm not bothering to record it even though I weigh in every other day or so.

The last 5-ish pounds sucks.

I have the endometrial ablation in the morning (Friday) and I'm freaking out at the moment. I hate general anesthesia but, in spite of my insistence on deliberately birthing #2 son at home, I'm not hardcore to the point where I just want a local and a bullet to bite on.

So on the one hand, aspirin only?* Am I to take this seriously as a surgical-ish procedure? But on the other hand, general anesthesia. Riiiight...

Freaked out would definitely cover it. I'll update tomorrow after I get home. Or sometime this weekend. Here's hoping I'm like the women I've seen who've had the EA (Novasure is the exact procedure I'm having) who barely even cramped, rather than the ones who woke up in the middle of the night for pain meds to stay on top of it.

Nite, y'all. I hope someone sleeps tonight. It isn't going to be me. If the anxiety doesn't get me, the Cytotec will. Yippie.

*edited to add, this is what my doctor is recommending for post-operative pain relief. No prescription, which is fine, I'm just scared that she's too optimistic and I don't want to be curled up in the fetal position praying for death.

Friday, November 04, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 35

Weight: 135.75
Mood: weirdly relieved

Because it could have been worse.

And for the record, I did weigh myself yesterday and I even posted the weight in my sidebar. Unfortunately I ran out of time to get up a blog post. But the weight was entered.

Now I just need to stay on track as much as I can, and get my exercise in for the next two weeks because I'm going to be pretty sidelined after that for a bit. No, not forever, but I don't yet have word on how long I'll be out of commission for anything more than light walking (research tells me 2-6 weeks, depending on ablation type and physician preference). So best get it in while I'm able, and and afterward pay attention to what goes on in the kitchen because I'm not going to have much else to help me!


In other aging news, today's whine is my current Facebook status:

One of my friends suggested coloring in the hair with an eyeliner pencil. Not that she's ever had to do this herself...

Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Let's See if I Remember to Weigh In Tomorrow...

And why would I, a perfectly rational, sane adult forget to weigh in tomorrow?

For the exact same reason the Gum Zombie "forgot" his math book after I told him Tuesday morning that every night would be Math!Night here at Casa Justice. That is, until he nails multiplication/ division facts into his amazingly gyrating brain and tops it off with a heaping helping of fractions.

Poor kid. It took me until I was almost 30 to figure out that math is just another language. And I'd like for him to finish 3rd grade in well under twenty years.

So... yeah. Remembering to weigh in, and to put that number up here. Post-Reese's and post-vacation.


Oh, and just to cheer everyone up endlessly with more of Amanda's TMI-Fest, I finally have my ablation scheduled. Yay! It's set for November 18th, which means I'm both relieved and freaking out. My period or whatever it was this last time lasted 26 days. Sheesh, I should update my sidebar. So... yeah. I'm about done with that. We'll see how bad the recovery is. I have an appointment to get my roots touched up on the 19th, so I'd better be minimally functional the next day.

I am not missing that hair appointment, y'all. I had 3-month-long roots last time I went in for a touch-up and there will be no repeating of that travesty. Bad enough I'm feeling like some dried up useless husk of an aging female (and the kicker is that I know better than that! And I'm done having kids anyway, so what do I care that fertility is out the window? And... and... and... *headdesk*); I will NOT be some useless old husk of an aging female with multiple months of grey hair growth at her roots.

If I'm going to be a husk, at least I'll be a blonde one. Dammit.

So there.

Now I'm going to shuffle off and remind myself that chocolate* isn't going to solve this.

*Problem is, I'm pretty sure that the combination of chocolate and peanut butter might.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

It's good to recover from vacation.

And I know the last entry was rather "blah". Seriously, though, after the events at the end of vacation (followed up, might I add, by the Elder wanting me to commit his Lego Wish List to memory -- EXCUSE me?) I think my brain finally fried.

All in all, we had a great time, the boys most especially. Choreboy and I plan to go back by ourselves to one of the parks (either Epcot or Hollywood Studios) and just enjoy rather than running willy-nilly from line to line. He's not into thrill rides too much anymore -- they're making his stomach leap about -- and I figure I can forego a rollercoaster or two in the spirit of marital cooperation :)

I'm having a bit of trouble getting back on track food-wise. I don't usually keep much tempting stuff at home, but with the holidays looming I've got it around every corner. It's even invading at work, and honestly it's driving me batshit crazy. I lost the vacation bloat pretty quickly, but I couldn't tell you how much I weigh right now because I'm totally avoiding the scale.

Until this coming Thursday, that is. November 3rd. I have a feeling -- okay, a certainty -- I won't make the 130-lb goal by then (official goal date was 11/2/11). But what I can do is eat well this weekend and in the upcoming days and be as close to it as I can. Exercise is good, but ultimately weight loss comes from the kitchen.

Speaking of exercise, I was right back on the ball with my Jillian Michaels circuit training. Yeah, see the past tense there? Yesterday morning I got distracted while stepping over the doggy gate into the kitchen, and managed to faceplant myself right on the extremely ugly, hard, mid-eighties vinyl floor. I was carrying my iPad and a Diet Coke at the time and am happy to report that they escaped without injury (I'm such a Diet Coke fiend that I manage to keep them upright when I fall). My right wrist and right knee -- the bad one -- are extremely unhappy, however. So it's back to just watching the food here, at least for a few days.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vacation, Home From


We went to Disney for a few days this week. Left home on Wednesday, and got back about half an hour ago. We visited four parks in two days and the boys had a blast. The highlight of their trip (outside of the resort's pool -- we stayed on the Disney site at Port Orleans - French Quarter) was getting to ride the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Animal Kingdom five times in a row during the "Extra Magic Hours" timeslot for resort guests and pass holders. Meanwhile I lost my new glasses and my sunglasses case, so I couldn't see after dark (because I was wearing the sunglasses but had the regular ones in the sunglass case). Then I was sick all day Saturday, which to be honest could have been worse -- at least we were done with the parks and were having a planned "rest at the resort" day. Then one of the children has a massive systems malfunction of the intestinal variety Saturday night...

So, more later. Right now, I'm definitely on the "I need a vacation from my vacation" train.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 32

Subtitled: Really, you'd think this would be going better...

Weight: 135.25
Mood: "..."

I'm so frustrated.

[TMI-fest begins here... just so you're warned.]

On the plus side, I got the results of my ovarian cyst rescan and all is well. Well, the specifics are that the cyst on the right side, which was 3 cm diameter, has gone down to 1 cm. But now there are 3 cysts on the left ovary, two at 1 cm each, and one at 2 cm diameter. Entertaining, no? But from how it was explained to me, the fact that the cysts are flip-flopping sides and decreasing in size over time means this is just more of the hormonal hullabaloo that accompanies the perimenopausal shift.

We also did an endometrial biopsy, because as of yet my period has not started. Or maybe it has. I can't tell at this point. It's been 75 days... or so? I do know that I'm bloated as all get-out, and I'm really aggravated that I cleaned out my bra drawer last weekend. I tossed the larger cups, and right now I NEED THEM.

Oh, and I have a zit right below the right corner of my mouth. It wouldn't be so bad except it emphasizes where gravity is pulling down and is making me Google "face lift".

Anyway, I have an appointment for a week from Monday to review the results of the endometrial biopsy and figure out where we're going from there. Apparently the cystic madness changes things to a degree. Or maybe not. I'll worry about it later. I'm on vacation this week, so the heck with all of them :P

Of course, I'm going in to work today. I know, I'm on vacation. And it's Saturday. But some things just don't wait. It's all good, though, because at this point I need the extra hours to make up for all these blasted doctor's appointments.

Food-wise, I've had a rough time of it. It's not what I used to describe as a "bad time", and I catch and stop myself from making less than awesome choices -- sometimes I catch myself and kind of look the other way -- but I swear I feel like I'm losing my mind. Give me greasy food and give it to me NOW! Preferably super-sized. Thankfully, Ann wrote an awesome post over at Dr. Fat to Fit that really helped me get my mental mojo back. Lady seriously rocks. My goal for this next week is to NOT use vacation as an excuse to consume mass quantities. I plan to have fun, but I'm going to maintain my focus on whole foods and movement, and hope to come out of this with a decent weigh-in in a couple of weeks.

Have a good one y'all!

Friday, October 07, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 31

Weight: 134.75
Mood: I don't want to talk about it.

Okay, it's hormones. At my weight I can claim that and with the insanity my body is committing against me at the moment*, let's just say that if anyone dares to argue with me on this front at this time, they're going to get a big, whopping dose of Krayzee upside the head, mmmkay???

*TMI ALERT - skip to picture below second set of asterisks to avoid TMI!!
I've been spotting since Sunday, but only spotting and just barely. So tell me, does this count as a period? Or not? I can't tell to save my life. I'm fluid-y, in spite of being well-hydrated enough to withstand a month-long drought. I'm a teensy bit cranky... but it's not what I'm used to, considering that my usual state of affairs period-wise tends to be more "tsunami" than "meh". Yanno? If it's not a period, I'm at 67 days and counting. And I'm still waiting on the call back on my cyst rescan. It's been a week and no news tends to be good news. Dr. Google keeps calling, though. Damn his hide.
Okay, TMI-fest over. Now y'all know I love SparkPeople and almost everything about it, right? That said, check out this screen capture from my food log:

You know, there are some things I just assumed were a given. Apparently I was wrong.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Before & After

If you click through the slideshow you'll see a few familiar faces. If you get all the way to slides 17 and 18, you'll see mine.

What kills me is the Diet Coke in my "before" picture. Because that makes it all better, yanno? Sheesh :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 30

Weight: 133.5
Mood: vindicated

Now that's more like it, and bears out my theory that last week's spike was fluid retention of some sort. It might have been because I was coming down with a nasty cold though (snotty nose, moving to chest congestion, but at least it's improving to a degree), because "our little friend" still hasn't shown up after 59 days as of today, which makes this officially the longest I've gone without. I'd be dancing in the streets if it weren't for the other concerns. Oh well, repeat ultrasound is tomorrow so I'll have something more concrete soon. Yay!

Average daily caloric intake over the week was right at 1300 calories. I had a higher calorie day on Saturday because Choreboy and I went out to dinner at the local "We Try To Serve Cajun Food And Don't Do It Too Badly (But It's Still Not Real Jambalaya)" restaurant, and I didn't hold back. The chocolate bread pudding was awesome, by the way. After that higher calorie day is when the cold finally hit (in fact I was getting stuffy nosed at dinner which was decidedly unfun) and since I couldn't work out I kept my intake around 1200 a day. So it all evened out and resulted in a loss. Yes!

I also realized that my exercise wasn't as intense as I thought it was. I ended up joining the Jillian Michaels website and did two of her circuit training sessions before The Cold hit; holy crap, let me tell you, that's some serious stuff! The first one I was drooling and feeling ill... it wasn't pretty. The second one I felt only mildly less like death afterward. But I will note that it was an improvement. So the plan is to continue with her circuits 4 days a week, my own cardio on the 5th day (or at least I think it is -- I may have to clarify with my coach), and go from there.

That is, after I shake this chest congestion. Ick. My mother's just getting better after a lovely round of pneumonia, so my brain is naturally (for me) going into overdrive. Gotta love it. It's only sheer willpower that keeps me from another consult with Dr. Google.


On another note, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read and comment here. It makes me feel a bit less like a voice shouting in the wilderness, you know? I try to reply to all comments and it just doesn't happen some weeks, but I wanted you all to know that I really do appreciate that you take time out of your lives to come by and drop me a line.

Y'all seriously rock.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 29

Weight: 136.25
Mood: *snort*

Food intake for the week? Good. Daily caloric intake averaged 1364 for the week, which is right around my supposed BMR not accounting for any activity over basically breathing. Burned 2000 calories with cardio. Also lifted 3x this week. Water intake was superb -- minimum 64 ounces per day, most days over 100. Protein intake was excellent. All whole grain bread. Very little refined intake. Basically, it's what I did the two weeks prior when I lost weight. Perhaps even better on the water intake front.

With all this, I'd expect a loss. Just a teensy one, perhaps. Maybe drop down to 134? I'd even take maintaining. But NOOoooooooooo... instead I gained almost two pounds.

Tell me about the math, people. Oh do.


Now that I've vented, most likely I'm dealing with more hormonal joy. As of today it's been 52 days since "that special time" showed up. And although this isn't the longest I've gone (58 days), it's long enough to definitely count as a "miss" since I usually run on a 26-day cycle. I still don't have any updates on the ovarian cyst. I don't even know the size of that sucker. Maybe it's growing? Could be. I have the repeat ultrasound on the 30th, so I should have some news within a week after that.

And because I'm a masochistic freak, I keep googling "ovarian cyst". Like that's going to do any good. All it does is make me flip through the boatload of errant information I've now got floating through my brain, worrying about causation, malignancy, potential abdominal scars... yes, from the legitimately worrisome (though unlikely) to the petty. I don't have any scars on my abdomen as of this time and I'd like to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch. Not that anyone much sees my gut, but still. It's the principle of the thing.

So what do I do now? I wait... at least until I get the ultrasound results back. And I contemplate joining Jillian Michaels' website. Or a gym. Or both. It may be time to shake things up a bit more.


In other news, tonight is the Elder's Open House. Middle school, insufficient parking, zoo-like atmosphere, and no time to eat between work and the time it starts. The offspring will be munching granola bars, and I'm going to hope my afternoon apple-and-yogurt (Fage rocks, for the record) holds me over.

Pray for us.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 28

Weight: 134.5
Mood: I feel like Tim Conway's "Little Old Man" character...

Slow-moving much? I know, I know, it's going in the right direction. And yes, I'm definitely happy about that! Better down than up, even if it's only a quarter of a pound. That's a stick of butter. And at my weight, I'd better remember that. It all adds up. Although I will say that at this rate, the last five pounds might be off by January.

Of 2013.


In other news (this is getting to be a pattern, no?) I've had some totally phenomenal non-scale-victories this week! For one thing, I ran an entire quarter mile straight. So it was on my treadmill, and in this realm of actual 5K runners -- forget marathoners -- I know that's not a big deal, but in my little "Amanda Tries Couch-to-5K and Develops Stress Fractures in Both Legs" world? It's freaking huge! In fact, running for distance seems to work better for me mentally than running against a clock does. Somehow, watching a distance-oriented goal approach enables me to run longer than staring at the stopwatch counting down.

And for the record, Ke$ha's "Blow" rocks for getting that energy back up right when I'm flagging. Yes, I'm 41 and listening to a girl who spells her name with a dollar sign in the middle of it. Voluntarily. You can't possibly be more shocked than I am.

For another NSV, I'd mentioned the other week that I moved up to 15 pound dumbbells. Well, I was feeling really pansy-ish for only being able to knock out 10 reps or so with them when I'd been able to do 15 reps with the 10 pound weights without much strain. So yesterday after I did my set of 10, I picked up my old 10-pound weights and they felt like feathers! Whereas before if I went much beyond 15 reps on those weights I was struggling for it, last night I was able to do 25 reps with good form. Hah!

That totally makes up for the fact that I scared myself when I was putting on makeup and saw the cuts at my bicep and deltoid. Or this morning when I was turning the steering wheel and a flexing muscle (my own) distracted me. My visual ADD-esque issues better not get me into a wreck. "What distracted me, officer? Well, see, my forearm muscles were flexing and..."

Yeah, that wouldn't be good.


And if you'll let me indulge in a brief Mommy Brag moment, the Gum Zombie has tested into the gifted program at his elementary school. I am a combination of unsurprised, pleased, and mildly appalled. But mostly tickled pink. Yes, sadly my ego is partially tied in to the accomplishments of my spawn, even those as base as inborn intelligence. Actually, this has been slightly challenging to deal with as the Elder didn't qualify for the gifted program when he was the Gum Zombie's age, but Mr Problem Solver soothed his ego by reminding all of us (repeatedly) that he took the test at the beginning of second grade, whereas his little brother took it at the beginning of third, so obviously the child had an entire extra year to prepare himself.

The kid might have a point, actually, because the Elder is the child who figured out how to escape his crib at 19 months, and one month later worked out how to unzip the crib tent I'd installed over it to keep him confined. He's the child who built a ramp to climb over the gates I installed to keep him alive. He's the child who, when confined to his room for some misdeed or other at age three, decided he wanted out and since I had told him he couldn't come out the door, he worked out how to unlatch his window and had removed the screen and was carrying it into the hall to put it down when I caught him.

He's the child who caused me to utter the words "We don't use the ice dispenser as a toe-hold."*

Not gifted? My happy asterisk.

But all that said, I am truly tickled for the opportunities this will open for the Gum Zombie at his school. Hopefully he can be convinced to use his powers for good and not for evil. Because yesterday, Choreboy caught him doing flips off his elder brother's bed.

It runs in the family. There's a reason I purchase my haircolor.

*This involved Oreos and a Mommy who thought putting them on the side of the fridge top AWAY from the counter would keep a determined child out of them. Silly, silly Mommy!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 27

Weigh-in: 134.75
Mood: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Looking at my sidebar, my enthusiasm is perhaps a little more tempered than my mood above would indicate. It's been seven weeks since I was last below 136, and that 7 weeks included a spike up to 138, so in light of the hormonal insanity that rules my life I'm going to try not to hold my breath for a repeat of this downward motion next week.

Operative word: try. Because in spite of reality staring me in the face, I am still so psyched! I haven't been this weight since I was in my early twenties, albeit on the way up the scale. My calories for the week averaged again in the mid 1400's -- 1430 this time -- and that includes Labor Day when I was viciously attacked by a casserole dish filled with cookie dough and cream cheese.

In my own kitchen.


Obviously I won the encounter, although I did come away with a few... "injuries." Heh. But outside of the Labor Day festivities, the cookies and cream cheese bars were successfully off-limits, and the boys finished them off for me last night. Bless them, because I'm not sure how much longer I could have held out. Cookies and cakes are admittedly my Waterloo.

Food was good overall for the week, with moderation in place even on Labor Day. Exercise was also good edging toward awesome. Target was having a clearance sale on some of its exercise equipment last Saturday and I picked up a few resistance pieces while the boys scouted out the toys. I came away with two different resistance band options, one called a "Fit Stick" and one adjustable height fixed band device that is now attached to my door. I also picked up two variable weight dumbbells, which can weigh from five to twenty-five pounds depending on what setting is selected.

The Elder hijacked the Fit Stick and accompanying DVD. They disappeared into his room and in all probability won't be seen again until I next dare venture in there, which will likely be the twelfth of never as I value what is left of my sanity. The Gum Zombie and I tried out the door resistance bands on Saturday and although I did a light workout, the change in exercise actually worked out my hamstrings to the point where they were mildly offended. Score! I've also moved my weight up on the dumbbells from 10 to 15 lbs, and dropped my reps from 15 to 10 or 12. By the end of the second set of curls I'm definitely working for it.

I haven't tried out the upper body options on the door resistance yet, but that's in the works for Friday or Saturday.


In more hormonal news, That Which Shall Not Be Named still hasn't shown up. We're now at Day 37. The record was set last August at 58 days, so we'll see how this one goes. My back is aching in PMSsy-fashion, but it could be due to the fibroid or the ovarian cyst so that's possibly a complete non-sign of anything significant. On the other hand I'm still moodier than blazes, which is so freaking fair to Choreboy. Poor man. There's a reason he's listed as "tolerant" in my sidebar! Fortunately we're good at talking over things, and I'm not always in full-on lunatic mode which is A Very Good Thing.

I'm also not craving chocolate at the moment, so I'm going to run with my good eating streak and see where it takes me. September 15th, I'm looking at you!

Enough with this "peri"menopause. Just freaking pause already and we'll be good.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 26

Weigh-In: 136.5
Mood: Exasperated

Can we discuss saintly here, ladies and gentlemen? Because I was. I baked and cooked nothing inappropriate. I ate nothing inappropriate. My calories averaged at 1450 a day, and I burned through over 2000 in exercise this week. I'm not expecting speedy weight loss at my current weight and proximity to goal, but at least a vague gesture in the correct direction on the scale would be appreciated.

Bueller? Bueller?

Adding insult to injury, That Which Shall Not Be Named was supposed to show up last Saturday, the 27th. Has it bothered to rear its unwelcome head? No it has not. So here I sit at thirty-one days and counting, bloated and seething with hormonal angsty-ragey ick, glaring at the scale, and wondering if there are enough absorbent products in the Lower 48 to contain the monsoon that will surely be incoming. It's only a question of when.

It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the ridiculous moodiness which has now extended far beyond its "welcome" (assuming there ever was any). For example, last night I was trying to delete a corrupted audiobook file from my iPad. In my understanding, Apple products are supposed to be all user-friendly and even close to idiot-proof, so this shouldn't have been terribly difficult. Well I'm here to tell you I'm one idiot they haven't met. I searched the web for instructions. I followed them to a "T". Nothing. I was only rescued from chucking both my desktop and tablet out the window by Choreboy who, through a complex series of gestures and incantations, was able to make the problem go away.

When he suggested I just let him fix these things before I reached the boiling point, I wailed "But I was trying to be a grown-up!"

After recovering from a mysterious coughing/choking fit, he responded, "Uhm... you weren't doing a very good job of it?"

Then for some reason, he ducked.



In other news, the forced marches continue to go well. The last two hikes this past Saturday and Sunday didn't net us any gator sightings (thank goodness), but the Gum Zombie regaled us with his knowledge of birds ("Oh yes, that's a juvenile glossy ibis") and the Elder managed to develop some sort of allergy to grass.

We're now stockpiling Benadryl.

I moved up from my little leather "going to a theme park and want to keep my hands free" backpack to my actual, real, orangey-rust-colored "I need room to carry a lake's worth of water with me" backpack. This was necessary, because the previous week I'd run out of water before we finished our hike and it was only my forethought in packing an emergency backup can of Diet Coke that kept me from being totally parched for the last 20 minutes. So I'm now carrying not only a larger water container in the first place, but also 3 backup bottles to refill the first one, and a container or two of coconut water to round out my re-hydration sequence.

Saturday's hike was at the same nature preserve as the previous week's, but Sunday we hit the park with the fitness trail and it took until Wednesday evening for me to be able to move comfortably again. Did you know, you have muscles over your ribs? And if you work them after not knowing they existed for over forty years, those suckers hurt! Go figure.

On the plus side, now I have two measurable goals that don't depend on a scale: "be able to do ONE pull-up" and "be able to do ONE slightly-more-horizontal push-up". Because my upper body strength is pitiful.

At least I get to go swimming on Monday, and I get to show off my new bathing suit. Heh. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 26, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 25

Weigh-In: 136
Mood: Bemused

I have no clue what netted me a 136, especially considering my water retention is ramping back up. I give! I have determined, though, that I'm not going to go on any more baking frenzies for awhile. In five weeks I've managed to actually lose... well, nothing. Which is crap. And one thing I've been doing consistently over those weeks, except this past weekend, is bake evil desserts.

It appears I've found my trigger food. I can take it easy with chocolate bars, I can do just one serving of ice cream, but put me near a cake or cookie-like substance and I lose all sense of proportion... or portion. The same thing happens with potato chips. There's a reason I don't bring many of those into my house.

Fortunately I'm well back into working out, and I've been on top of it. I'm still sick unto death of my treadmill and my elliptical is possessed (really, it is) so after forcing myself onto the treadmill all week (I can at least read on the blasted thing) I'm going to repeat last week's hiking theme with the boys. We're heading to the same nature preserve for another gatoriffic hike tomorrow, and Sunday we're heading to a different park that also has hiking trails. This one even promises to have a playground for the boys for afterward.

And yes, there will be more alligators. It's Florida -- we can't escape them. The boys have been informed that if we see one at anything resembling close range the only instruction I have is "RUN!!!!!!!"

Gator cardio. Gotta love it.

I'm curious to see figures for the next two weeks' weigh-ins. There WILL be saintliness, and I'm interested to see if it will be rewarded.

Monday, August 22, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 24

Weight: 138
Mood: Relieved

Yep, relieved about sums it up. Honestly, I haven't been eating like someone who's trying to lose weight recently. My activity was spot-on for the week, though, and that's what saved this weigh-in to any degree despite what I crammed down my gaping maw.

I've reached that point where I'm bored with my food again. This time, it seems to be my lunch that's really getting to me. Breakfast is good, dinner is good, snacks are usually okay (yes, usually... some issues there although it's not the worst of it), but lunch?

Nope. There is no way that eating a Chipotle burrito bowl two times in two weeks equals a good choice for someone trying to lose weight, especially not when combined with an outing to McDonald's, a Cuban sandwich, and 2 oz. of Dirty Potato Chips Black Pepper and Sea Salt flavor. Again, I didn't consume this all in one day, but it's still not sane.

Don't ask me about the cookies-and-cream-cheese bars. I'm not talking. See veiled snack references above.

In spite of all this I'm at 138, which all things considered is good, and arguably maintaining. It's not goal, though, and I'd really like to see 130. I've got a new lunch plan which should take care of some of the cravings (must. have. peanut. butter. NOW.), so it's full speed ahead.


Mammogram results are back and normal. My re-scan on the ovarian issue is at the end of September. Meanwhile, I'm able to give myself numerous diseases and dire conditions (curse you, Doctor Google!), so the rational part of my brain is torn between trying to ignore the fact that I feel like crap (Silly Amanda, you're just talking yourself into feeling lousy!) and trying to explain to the anti-malingering gene that I really do feel sick (Really, Amanda, just because you're capable of talking yourself into feeling sick doesn't mean you aren't legitimately ill).

Good times.


I spent Saturday de-fleaing the house. Choreboy washed Teddy and put the flea meds on him Friday, so Saturday the Elder and I cornered all three cats and managed to get their flea stuff on them with zero bloodshed. Score! Then we locked down the cats and sprayed the bedrooms, followed by intensive vacuuming. After that, we moved all the cats into one of the flea-free bedrooms and poisoned the rest of the house, after which more vacuuming ensued.

I came close to freaking out when the Elder said later on that evening that he'd found a flea, but he followed it up quickly by saying it was dead. I tell you, four furry housemates in Florida during high flea season? Not fun for any of us.

Sunday I couldn't face the treadmill so the boys and I headed out for an 80 minute hike at one of the local nature preserves. The Gum Zombie spotted an alligator so he was tickled. That got my heart rate up (we were on a path called "Alligator Alley" during nesting season -- what was I thinking?), and it stayed up until we were well away from all vaguely swampy areas. Now I have shin splits because I'm so accustomed to the treadmill that I completely overestimated my ability to walk on normal ground. Genius.

But it was a good end to the last, perfect summer. This was the last year my boys were able to attend the same summer program because the Elder ages out once he turns 13. And he's not yet hit puberty big-time, so he and the Gum Zombie are still my little boys. But the hair over the Elder's upper lip is darkening, and I was just looking at our vacation pictures from last year and noticing how much older both boys now look.

My babies are growing up. They're supposed to, so it's all good. I just feel a little... lost. I'll snap out of it, but I miss my little boys. And I hated to see the summer end.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ultrasound Results, in Brief

I had a pelvic ultrasound the same day I had my mammogram, and the u/s results are in. I've got a small fibroid in my uterus, which is a non-issue. And I've got a cyst on my right ovary, which may or may not be a non-issue.

They'll be re-scanning me in 6 weeks, and we'll go from there depending on what the results are.

As for the mammogram, no results in on that yet. Word is that 70% of first-time mammograms need a repeat, and considering the whole fibrous-breast issue, I'd put that more like at 90% for me.

Looks like 2011 is Year of the Medical Tests. I tell ya, you get past 40 and the whole body goes downhill :P

Thursday, August 11, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 23

Weight: 137.7 (okay, 137.66, but I'm rounding up today)
Mood: Less annoyed than I was.

So the scale is creeping down again, albeit slowly. I've still got some weird retention issues going on, so I'm just going to throw it to the hormone gods and try to remember them when I have another super-impressive weigh-in.


The Elder had his 7th grade physical today, and I am happy to announce that not only can the boy hear perfectly, but I now have documented proof! Those of you who live or have lived with an adolescent understand my excitement.

Gotcha, kid. Heh.

He wasn't too happy about the turn-your-head-and-cough-fest, but I told him that I was the wrong person to approach to expect that to get him out of anything. I just had a pelvic ultrasound yesterday (with The Probe), as well as my first mammogram. No, I didn't share ALL this information with him, but I did make it clear that sometimes we just have to suck it up for our health, and it's only once a year so although I truly feel his pain (so to speak), he's going to have to deal.

Regarding the mammogram, by the way, it was totally no sweat. Even though I'm still retaining a bit of fluid, it didn't get above mildly uncomfortable. So ladies, if you're of that age, get out there and get those boobies squished! If a pansy like me can take it, anybody can.

Speaking of age, Choreboy turns 50 in a matter of days. I'm still working on getting him to go in for all those fun "I'm 50 and over!" medical tests. No, I'm not holding my breath. The man is cute, and that cuteness is equaled only by his hardheadedness.

Outside of all that, I got nothing. Oh, except a new bathing suit. But I'm not posting that on the web. Y'all will have to wait until we get back from vacation sometime later on this year and see if I allowed a camera near me while I was wearing less than full coverage. And my dears?

I just don't see that happening. But it's freaking adorable, and I have that on very good authority.

Have a great weekend, all :)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 22

Weight: 138.5
Mood: Resigned

You know how last week I mentioned that the emotional end of the PMS-fest wasn't off the charts? Yeah, that might have been a bit premature. Last Sunday night Choreboy and I were peacefully watching TV when something in my brain flipped and we ended up having a 20-minute "discussion" involving the TV, the air conditioner, and the number 77.

I never said I was logical. And if I had, that particular moment in time would have proven otherwise.

I also did indeed make the chocolate peanut butter cake.




Full disclosure: the need for two cakes was because the first was in part for my mother's bridge group, and that combined with my kids' intake wouldn't leave enough for the office. So of course I had to make cake number two (which I liberally decorated with Reese's Pieces on top of the ganache) to ensure the office got a complete cake rather than three rather tiny slices. Clearly this was entirely a humanitarian effort.

I'm avoiding mentioning the four slices I managed to consume on my own.

So the cake didn't nuke my weigh-in. Outside of the four slices I totally didn't mention in the fine print above, my food intake was on point for the week. What gave? Well, the hormonal water retention fest nailed me, probably in conjunction with the fact that I couldn't exercise. And I'm still retaining bucketloads of that water, which isn't improving my mood in the least.

And although the cake didn't necessarily cause the scale gain, I'm relatively certain it didn't help either.

We'll see what this coming Thursday brings. I'm not holding my breath. I am, however, going to pry my butt out of this chair and go get on my treadmill post-haste. I can exercise again, and I'm going to burn off every calorie possible before next weigh-in.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 21

Weight: 136.5
Mood: Meh.

I'm up 3/4 of a pound from last week. I'm mildly bummed because I'd like to have hit the 134 range, but I'm also not surprised because The Main Source of my TMI-Fests is due on Monday. Joy. So I'm retaining a lake's worth of water, basically, concentrated in my lower abdomen and my chest.

Compounding the hormonal misery, I also ate out for lunch on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I stayed within my calorie range both days, but I know the sodium probably didn't help my weigh-in. My hope is that next week I'll have less eventful lunch hours and less fluid hanging out in my torso.

Outside of that, my exercise has been good and I'm even looking at bringing in some heavier dumbbells or something because the 10-pounders I've been using for my curls and triceps stuff are getting less challenging. I also need to find something to give my quad work more "umph", but I'm at a loss on that one because my exercise equipment at home is limited to the treadmill, elliptical, a stability ball (I use it at my back for squats for my quads, and under my legs while I'm reclining on the floor for some hamstring thingies), and the 3, 5, 7, and 10-pound dumbbells. I can't have much more than that due to sheer space constraints. Clearly I need to do some research.

So all in all? Not bad. I haven't even put on a whole pound, and I've had months where I think I've loaded on five. And the emotional PMS-fest isn't off the charts (yet) either. So that's a plus.

All I have to do now is make it through the weekend without making a peanut butter pound cake with chocolate ganache glaze. Not so sure how I'm going to do with that*.

*Not so sure I'm that committed to not doing it, either. Heh.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Music to My Ears

Bet no one's ever said that about their annual girlie exam before. Okay, now that I've already squicked out half my readership, TMI-fest incoming. If you'd like to avoid it and get to my findings on The Great Publix vs. WalMart Pricing Wars, scroll down below the ruled line.

We're all clear then?

Anyway, as you probably figured I had my annual girlie checkup today. I have a new GYN and she's awesome, I'm happy to report. As far as these appointments go in general, I'm good with the results. I had to go in anyway because The Yeast That Wouldn't Die is back, so I've got new medications incoming for that which should nuke it nicely. You'll all be so interested to know that I have a "classic" yeast infection. Thrilling stuff, eh?

The music to my ears part of this was when she looked over my anal-retentive records of two-years-plus of my cycles and said, "I don't like your periods." Yay! I don't like them either! So we're going to roll with the oh-so-fun pelvic ultrasound, followed by the endometrial biopsy, and then assuming everything comes back benign, Amanda finally gets her uterine ablation.

YES. I swear, I've never been so happy about a surgical-type procedure in my life.

On the downside, I'm also being scheduled for my First Annual Boob Squishing. I have really dense breast tissue, so this isn't going to be fun. But I've seen more than one woman with breast cancer who has my same family history of zero breast cancer prior to her own case, so better safe than sorry.

Still, not looking forward to it. Luckily, my GYN understands that I reserve the right to whine about any test she schedules... and that I'll go, regardless of how little I want to.


Now for the grand price war results! I set my alarm like a good little price checker, and once the boys and I staggered around for awhile, we got out the door and arrived at WalMart at 5:50 a.m. Holy Jesus God that is early. This better be good.

It was, from the financial perspective. I did my grocery shopping, the boys waxed rhapsodic over the toy department, and then later on that day after I'd gone for a walk with my local SparkPeople team, I finished up the shopping with my Publix run to pick up sale items that were actually cheaper at Publix than at WalMart, as well as to cross-check my prices.

Some items were cheaper at Publix when on sale: Diet Coke was cheaper (3 12-packs for $12.00) and eggs were cheaper (2 dozen of my preferred type for $4.00). Overall, though, WalMart came out the clear winner.

Prices will vary from week to week at both stores, of course, and I'm far from crossing Publix off my list of places I'll go for groceries. I prefer to shop there even with the higher prices, to be honest. I like how they treat their employees and I want to support that as much as I am able. But the $13.75 speaks for itself. Over a month's time that's near sixty dollars, and with my income that's nothing to sneeze at.

Money in the bank, folks. And that, too, is music to my ears.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 20

Eating is good for you. Who knew?

135.75 lbs., yay! And now I've finally officially lost all my "baby" weight...

...from the 12.5 year old. Somehow I think after a certain point the weight became less about "baby" and more about "Doritos". Ya think?

I need to remember that 1200 calories only works for me when I'm not exercising. And for those who want to know how in the world I can forget that, bear in mind that I've been at this for awhile, and over time I've become well accustomed to what foods will both fill me up and provide my nutritional needs for a minimum of calories. I'm not starving by any means at 1200 calories, and even manage to get in a couple of scoops of ice cream.

Daily. Plus chocolate. So I'm not suffering.

But yeah, about that ice cream. Now bear in mind, it's Edy's Slow Churned Yogurt Blends Caramel Praline Crunch (With Live and Active Cultures!), so it's not as if I'm chugging down the Blue Bell. Plus I can even argue -- badly -- that it's good for me. I can guarantee you, though, that eating two scoops of it wasn't helping matters. I needed something a bit more nutritionally dense, so I switched one scoop out for a 1/2 cup of Cabot 2% Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt and a cup of blueberries.

I kept the other scoop, and they'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.

I've also thrown some avocado back into my life (love avocado!), and that combined with the yogurt and blueberries -- which run a bit higher calorically than one scoop of the ice cream -- plus a change-up to quinoa and chickpeas from my standard lentils or black beans has given me that extra 100+ calories for my day. So yep, going to keep it about 1300 - 1400 calories per day from here on out. Although 1200 calories is sufficient for the nutritional needs (see WebMD or a host of other legitimate and sound sources regarding the 1200 calorie threshold) of a 41-year-old sedentary woman who isn't gestating or breastfeeding or anything like that, it's definitely not sufficient for this 41-year-old woman, even though my activity level can be described as "moderate" at best.

I also had salmon twice this week, and tilapia twice, lessening the legume onslaught. So I may have to watch the seafood sales more closely and see what I can do to keep the fish consumption happening.


Along those lines, I'm actually going to brave WalMart for my weekly shopping on Saturday. Usually I go to Publix, which is a local chain down here in the southeastern US, but although they have good sales at times, their base prices appear to be markedly higher than WalMart's prices. In general I'd feel the markup is worth it for the atmosphere and the customer service, but in this economy I'm going to attempt to just suck it up and deal.

That said, I'm not dealing with the WalMart crowds. No way, uh-uh, ain't gonna happen, kids. I'm setting the alarm for 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, and I'm going to drag my bleary-eyed self out the door and get the shopping handled before the rush hits. I've done grocery shopping at WalMart during the day before on rare occasion, and it is a flat-out misery. Early morning* is the only way to go.

On the bummer side of this, I kind of thought my early rising meant I'd get to go shopping alone for once in my life. Nope! As soon as the Elder and the Gum Zombie heard where I was going, they excitedly opted in. The early hour was no barrier. It would appear they have some allowance burning holes in their pockets, and because I tend to avoid WalMart at all costs, this is like a trip to freaking Disney for them.

Hopefully they'll remember there's a real trip to Disney happening later on this year (four nights -- squeee!!) and let that guide their spending, because what they manage to save will directly affect Choreboy's and my contribution to The Offspring Souvenir Fund.

*Looking at my weights from last August, which is when that link was located, I'm over 10 pounds down -- yay!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 19


No tenths or hundredths... just flat-out 138.

I should be more excited, because hey, I finally dropped a whole pound after FOUR WEEKS of this 139/ 139.25 stuff (yay!), but because I'm a moron I weighed myself on Monday and was 137.5 then, so now I'm wondering why I gained a freaking half pound.

I know, a half pound fluctuation is well within normal limits. I just wish it had been fluctuating in the downward direction today. Oh well. Good news is, the near-plateau is busted!

Now I just have to figure out what to eat when I'm actually, say, exercising. Because I'm thinking the big reason I haven't seen much movement in the past 8 weeks (just over 3 pounds down) is because during most of that time period I've been exercising more while keeping my food intake right around 1200 calories/ 29 Points+.

By "exercising more" I mean just the mere fact that I've been exercising, by the way. I burn between 1000 - 2000 calories per week with cardio, along with whatever unknown number of calories I'm burning with my 2-3 20-minute resistance sessions a week. Clearly I'm not killing myself here. It's a moderate effort at most. But it's also the one thing that really changed that correlates directly with my weight loss slowing down to a dead crawl.

However, during the past two weeks while I've been marginally out of commission due to The Illness, I've actually lost a pound. Still eating 1200 calories/ 29 Points+ per day. So... I'm thinking I'm going to go up a hundred calories per day (and up by whatever number of points corresponds to that) for the next two weeks and see what that does for me.

And if the scale won't budge, I'll go up another hundred. Like they say, if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got.


In other news, Choreboy is made of awesome. I know this comes as no shock to regular readers of my blog, but he really is.

My refrigerator gave up dispensing water and making ice back some time in 2008. Or it's not so much that it gave up as it is that the water dispenser refused to shut off and poured water all over my floor, and the ice dispenser refused to dispense, which caused the entire ice maker to freeze up... it was ugly. Eventually, we just shut off the water to the blasted thing.

Then last weekend we took it into our heads to clean off the top of the fridge. And by "we" I mean "he" and by "our" I mean "his". During this bit of family fun, his interest in the dispenser was piqued, which resulted in me coming home to a functional water dispenser and ice maker on Monday. Yay! The ice dispenser portion still wasn't working, but only for lack of a part which arrived yesterday, and now we have full functionality for a financial outlay of $40.

Excellent. The man seriously rocks.

And then there are the cats. Three of 'em, to be precise. I brought the cats into the home knowing fully well I was allergic to them, and Choreboy married me knowing I had cats and that he was also allergic to them. What can I say, we're gluttons for punishment. Anyway, allergies must run in the family because the largest of our cats, Daniel, is allergic to fleas. Kind of inconvenient when you're a cat, especially when you live in a house along with a tiny, yappy dog who will insist on going outside to go potty rather than using a litter box like a civilized creature. Even one flea will drive Daniel into a frenzy of scratching and hair loss, resulting in a mostly bald, bloody, pitiful, angry feline. Needless to say, this is unacceptable both to him and to us, so we take the cat in every three months for a steroid shot which helps immensely with the itching.

And this is another time when by "we" I mean "he". Historically, Daniel has made resistance to getting into The Box nearly a pathology. He runs. He hides. He braces himself against the box. He shreds any human attempting to put him in the box into bloody ribbons (did I mention all the cats are fully clawed?). This makes transport somewhat... iffy. And since our vet's office has only limited office hours on Saturday, which is the only day I could get him in (assuming I didn't bleed out in the process), it usually falls to Choreboy to do the deed.

He hasn't needed a transfusion yet.

Monday was The Day for Daniel. He'd actually gone quite a long time without a shot this go-round, due in large part to a change in his diet which appears to have greatly lessened his itching issues. But it's summer, and with summer comes more fleas, so into the vet he went.

And this time. This time, the super-sekrit-cat-whisperer-who-is-my-husband got Daniel into the box without bloodshed.

Not only that, but when they arrived home from the vet's office, Daniel walked right out of the box as calmly as if he did it every day.

Made. Of. Awesome. Truly, I am wowed. And grateful, both for the functioning fridge as well as for the change in The Daniel Cat's behavior. Yay, Choreboy!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 18

Followed By Bonus Overshares!

Week 18: 139. Ish. I'm not entirely sure, because I'm still running a fever so I'm not yet back to work. This means that I don't have access to The Official Weigh-In Scale, located at my parents' house (plus they'd really prefer I didn't spread The Plague over their way). So instead this morning I got on our little floor scale, which has an accuracy best described as "quixotic", further aided and abetted by the fact that the dial is way way far away from my aging eyes, and even with my glasses on my reading of it is... iffy at best.

It looked like 139, give or take the wiggle of the dial as I struggled and squinted, so 139 it is.

Oh, and if you want the entire numbers rundown, check the sidebar under my Followers widget. Once I passed 12 weeks it started getting a bit unwieldy; I finally caved and just made it a page element. It is to be hoped that I have a more accurate reading for next week.

Preferably lower as well.


Okay, next is the overshare part. Anyone reading who doesn't want to be exposed to information about yeast infections, menstrual cycles, ice cream or chocolate needs to go away now.

You have been warned.


So it's not enough that I'm sick. Oh no. On top of that, I developed a charming yeast infection. I held off asking Choreboy if he'd please pick up an over-the-counter treatment pack for me for two days because I kept thinking surely I'd be better in the morning and could get it myself before things got too bad.

Needless to say, that didn't quite pan out. Bless Choreboy (best husband in. The. World. Bar none.), he went out with my detailed description of the particular pack I needed -- the one with the inserts, the ointment, and the wipes, thankyouverymuch -- and after only a little struggle due to labeling issues, he returned home with the goods.

I raced to the bathroom for some desperately needed relief and quickly discovered that the degree to which I was hosed had just doubled. Nay, quadrupled. Because not only was I dealing with yeast infection treatment (which is sticky and ooky and just plain aggravatingly messy at best), but my period had started!

Ah, good times.

See, you can treat a yeast infection while menstruating, but tampon usage is not recommended. I bleed like a stuck pig for the first 24-48 hours of my cycle which is bad enough with a tampon/ backup pad combo. With only a pad? Basically, I get to sit here and pray I don't spring a leak.

Then to top it all off, my pads were in short supply because my usual weapons of choice in the period wars are tampons, preferably of the "suck up the volume of a lake" caliber. Since I had to drag myself out of the house anyway, the boys got their dearest wish and went to their summer program for the first time this week and I then went straight from their daycare site to the grocery store one block away.

My plan was to buy pads and two cans of soup.

I walked out of the store with two boxes of "Shamwow is Jealous" absorbency pads, two cans of soup, one box of Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters in dark chocolate, and two 2-for-$7.00 1.5 quart containers of Edy's Slow Churned Yogurt Blends -- one of Caramel Praline Crunch, and one of Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Chocolate much? I am such a freaking hormonal stereotype.

I'm just grateful tomorrow is Friday so if I go to work I can wear jeans.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Weigh-in for Week 17 was a solid 139, without the point-two-five. I had excellent intentions when it came to blogging, but I got hit by company coming into town followed swiftly by the 4th of July holiday weekend, which was then followed by the post-4th-of-July gastro-intestinal virus.


The Fourth of July weekend was actually a blast. We went to my brother's house on Sunday for swimming and sloppy joes (nine Points+ -- yipes!), then repeated that process on the 4th itself, sans sloppy joes for me (I packed some of my lentil soup instead). And for dinner that night I made burgers, oven fries, and broccoli, followed up with Edy's Slow Churned Yogurt Blends Caramel Praline Crunch, which is made of awesome.

My stomach started feeling a bit "off" after dinner, but I chalked it up to two days of being in the sun for hours in the heat of the day, along with the attendant pool chemical inhalation. By the time Choreboy and I got to bed, though, my entire stomach was cramping up. I spent the night in and out of the bathroom, and by morning when I felt like if I could just hurl (I never did -- I was spared that aspect, something of a mixed blessing) I might feel better, but then again maybe not since again with the gut cramping and toilet-sitting...

Uh, yeah.

So. In light of the fact that in the past forty-eight hours I've consumed precisely one piece of toast topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter, who knows what tomorrow's weigh-in will bring?

I think I'm doing better, as evidenced by the fact that I've actually eaten something and it's stayed where it was put with minimal ill effects. I mean, my stomach feels a bit worse for having eaten, but I'm not screaming and I haven't lost it, so that's a plus. The worst thing right now is the achiness (body and head) which may be caused in part by being in bed all day yesterday. So I'm up and vertical today -- even did some typing from work that they brought over -- and my hope is to be back in the office on Thursday.

Prayerfully without a bucket.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 16


Start: 150
Week 1: 147.25
Week 2: 150.25
Week 3: 148.12
Week 4: 145.25
Week 5: 146.5
Week 6: 144.25
Week 7: 143.25
Week 8: 143.99
Week 9: 142.66
Week 10: 142.33
Week 11: 141.125
Week 12: 140.7
Week 13: 140.25
Week 14: 140.9
Week 15: 139.25
Week 16: 139.25. Yes, again.

Actually, maintaining this week isn't a bad thing. Father's Day was Sunday and we went to a massive brunch buffet late that morning. I still ended up the week with a positive activity Points+ allowance, but it was a close thing. It does give me some concern about when I'm actually on maintenance, though, since my metabolism appears to be on the slower end of average.


On the end of speeding up the metabolism, though, I've been working on running more again, both with Tabata sprints (two sets of those in one evening had me this close to puking) and with some longer but less "balls to the wall" running intervals. Tonight I managed to run 10 minutes, divided into 2 minute bursts. And so far my right knee, which is usually the one that gives me fits, isn't objecting. Well, it's not objecting any more than it was before my workout, which is saying something.

Okay y'all, I'm going to cut this week's entry a bit short. It seems it's a bit difficult to compose a blog entry when one's spouse is giggling like a maniac watching Wipeout in the same room. Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em... hee!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WW Weigh-In, Week 15

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, Kids

Start: 150
Week 1: 147.25
Week 2: 150.25
Week 3: 148.12
Week 4: 145.25
Week 5: 146.5
Week 6: 144.25
Week 7: 143.25
Week 8: 143.99
Week 9: 142.66
Week 10: 142.33
Week 11: 141.125
Week 12: 140.7
Week 13: 140.25
Week 14: 140.9
Week 15: 139.25!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh. My. God. FINALLY. Yay!!!!!!! Okay, only 9.25 pounds to go...

Looks like I'm at the part of this whole weight loss thing where I basically lose half a pound a week when averaged out over a few weeks. So if I keep it up at this rate, I should hit goal right before my November 3rd weigh-in. As far as the theory of it goes, I'm good with that. Intellectually I know that I'm at a healthy weight and have been since I got below 160. My body is perceiving these last 20 pounds (now less than 10 -- HAH!) as "vanity weight," and is pretty hesitant to let them go. So I'm having to kind of sneak them out. And it will happen, in time.

Meanwhile, out here in reality-world, it's a royal pain. I keep going because my knees will thank me (the less I weigh, the less strain on both of them, particularly the right knee). And I keep going in part, too, because I gain weight in the "saddle bag" style, which means that I'm not only a pear shape, but a lumpy one at that and less weight overall means the saddlebags get proportionally smaller making it easier to find pants that fit well enough to pay for the price of having them tailored.


At some point, when the scale gets extremely stingy with the rewards, you have to buy into the whole lifestyle aspect of weight loss. Sure, we can parrot on about how "it's a lifestyle change, not a diet!" all we want, but it takes a long time to truly internalize that concept. That's one reason why the whole deprivation angle of "thou shalt not eat items X, Y, and Z" never worked for me. It's just not sustainable, and there comes a time where it has got to be about what you can live with.

It's about activity.
I walk 10,000 steps minimum 5-7 days per week. On a weekday, that means I hop on the treadmill at the end of the workday for 40 minutes. Even at only 3 MPH, that puts me above 10,000 by the time I'm done. Anymore I'm at a minimum 5% incline and pushing up both that and the speed, because for me walking on a level surface at 3 MPH is just... sauntering, really.

I'm also working on my resistance training 2-3 times per week, 20 minutes per session. I'm once again maxed out on my weights at home (granted the highest I have is a 10 lb. dumbbell). Muscle memory is a marvelous thing.

And I've also been researching the hiking paths around my area. There's only so much one can do on a treadmill. Besides, the boys will enjoy forced marches... maybe?

It's about food.
I had a major NSV (non-scale victory) earlier this week. My parents have been away and in their absence I've hijacked their minivan, in large part because their fifteen-year-old-chihuahua-on-Lasix is staying with us and I need the back of the van to transport her and Teddy back and forth to their daytime location during the week. Well, Monday when I put the key into the ignition I heard an ominous "click-click-click-click-click".


So Choreboy gave me a jump and I got to work. About 4:40, I went out to check the van.


Oh dammit all to hell. So once again, Choreboy rides to the rescue. I picked up the boys and we met him at the local auto parts store where I then replaced my parents' car battery for them.

You're welcome.

By the end of all this, the last thing I felt like doing was going home and cooking a new batch of lentil soup, so we went to the local family-sports-bar-like place, conveniently located in the strip center right behind the auto parts store.

I scanned the menu. If I were on the Deep Fried Items Only diet, I'd have been in hog heaven. Finally I found the grilled mahi sandwich, which looked fairly okay. I ordered it without the bread and with a side of steamed broccoli. The sandwich toppings were basically a Caesar salad and tomatoes, so salad + broccoli + grilled fish = win, all things considered.

I did, however, snag a couple boneless wings from Choreboy. They were good.

And yes, I logged them.

It's about consistency.
I have set myself up for success. For me, that means having my lunch-of-choice already stocked at the office. Apples, grapes, hard boiled eggs, reduced fat cheese (I usually eschew reduced fat cheese, but I've found two kinds I actually like -- Cracker Barrel 2% cheddar, and Babybel Light), whole wheat pitettes, and Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter -- these are what keep me going during day.

It means making a GINORMOUS pot of lentils or black bean soup. Yeah, I flaked out on the lentils Monday, but Tuesday night I was in the kitchen chopping carrots once again. And I think I'll set the black beans out to soak Saturday night.

It means getting into the habit of choosing wisely with both activity and food, so those times when a truly outstanding food opportunity comes along (hello pound cake/ chess pie/ vanilla bean cake/ REESES!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I can indulge with a clear conscience. Honestly, I'm not going to live a life without certain things (full fat cheese, desserts, guacamole, chips, cheese dip), so it behooves me to find ways to live with them now. Reasonably.

And then I log every bite of it. Because that's what works. For me.

It's about persistence.
I've been at this since fall of 2006. At 5'-7" tall, I weighed 200 pounds which gave me a BMI of 31.32. Technically I was categorized as "Obese Class 1". And I wouldn't have known my weight if I hadn't followed my kids onto the scale at Publix on a crazy whim. They weighed themselves, then I climbed on.

You know, you can tell yourself that the scale is off, that the dryer is shrinking your jeans, that you're bloated... you can say these things for a certain amount of time. And they may even be right. But there's nothing quite like the reality check you get when your seven-year-old announces to the entire freaking store, "Mommy, you weigh 200! Isn't that quite a lot?"

The now-twelve-year-old is very proud of his role in my wake-up call, as well he should be. Since that fateful day I've used just about every method out there to lose weight, and I've learned from each one of them. I started with NutriSystem, which reset my brain for standard sized portions. It also helped me realize I needed to get this weight off once and for all because no way was I going to eat that crap long-term. When Lean Cuisine tastes like a gourmet treat? Something's gotta give. I read The Hacker's Diet (free online!), and that's what finally kicked the calories in/ calories out switch. I got under 160, which officially put me at a healthy weight. I joined SparkPeople. I tracked my food. I exercised. I joined Weight Watchers.

I've had my ups and downs, but over time the trendline has continued to point in the right direction.

And in just a bit more time, goal.

November, watch out.