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So where do we begin?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

There's an album called, "A Pleasant Shade of Gray" by the band Fates Warning. It's one of my favorites, certainly among a top 20 all time on my list, and possibly in the top 10 (that's an exercise I haven't undertaken in a long time). I love it for its dark moods, and general sense of introspection, and reflection, which is encapsulated in the album's opening lines:

So where do we begin?
And what else can we say?
When the lines are all drawn,
What should we do today?

the ~2 minute first section can be viewed here:

Those are words that cross my mind often enough, as I use them as a starting point when up against new situations, whatever form they take. And so it was this morning, waking up after last evening's fun, that I thought of these lines in the context of the new year. 2012 will be a year of changes for me, that's already certain, but exactly what form those changes will take, I don't know yet. So I'm looking forward, with some trepidation, but also with anticipation.

I'm hoping, though, to take care of myself better than I have in years past. That will include continuing to use the spark people site - the fact that I have visited it on a more or less regular basis the past three months suggests that it's not just a fad in my book, like so many sites I take an interest in, but eventually just stop checking in on. I don't make resolutions, but I'm planning on ending 2012 weighing less than the 198 pounds I carry into the New Year. I've made it to the initial 195 goal weight twice so far, so it's certainly possible, but holidays have conspired to keep me from legitimately breaking through. Now that those are out of the way, let's see if I can get there, get under, and stay under (and hence, give me a relatively easy win on my not-a-resolution :)

I also resolve to stop smoking, which should be pretty easy, as I don't smoke, and never have. I suppose that might be cheating, though.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOITLE 1/2/2012 9:18AM

    I must look up that band. I am woefully out of date with music (by about 2.5 decades). It sounds very interesting. I agree with BACKUPAGAIN that the real changes will take place when the inner scenarios get changed. My particular bugaboo is getting stuck on a number I wish to achieve by March 2012. The unspoken wish is once I achieve that number, I won't have to do all this hard work of shopping for and cooking healthy food or walking my feet off. DUH, maintenance hasn't registered as I'm still in the middle of the forest.
I need regimen of thought workouts, then the rest of it will fall in line quite naturally I suspect.

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BACKUPAGAIN 1/2/2012 2:40AM

    Hahah, love that final resolution, and I'm with you in making that one... mind you, I don't smoke either, but I won't tell if you don't, ok?
Wishing you lots of determination, motivation and dedication, because with those you can't help but succeed in the 'other' goals, the non-cheating ones... I gained the 4lb I managed to lose in December in the period between Christmas and New Year. This year though, I am determined not to do what I've done so many times before - just tell myself it's never going to happen, so I may as well just give up and quit trying. This year I am going to make sure I keep trying, because I am determined to reach my goal weight, and stay there!
We can achieve anything we want if we're determined enough to work towards it!

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Suppose I could edit that last one...but...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Feel like that thought should stand alone (even if it was prefaced by other stuff). Oh well.

Point I think I was going to make is that the end of a year, which certainly had high points (the aforementioned nephew being highest among them), is coming on with promise of changes in the new year, possibly ominous, definitely going to cause stress. I managed to get through the holidays basically at the same weight, but have let myself pig out the three days I've been back, excusing choices as being too tired to prep even simple, i-can-pretend-this-is-somewhat-healthy things like soup-from-a-can at home, instead opting to grab fast food...because it's there.

The musings on death are a part of it. Things left undone this year are weighing a bit. The coming changes, which I deliberately didn't focus on while in Michigan, as a way of preserving the ability to relax, that likely played a part. The issue is that all those things can possibly linger. And have been cause for overeating before and can be such again.

And even knowing, and realizing what I'm doing isn't necessarily a practical defense against that doing.

Not looking for sympathy, or even encouragement here, just putting this as a reminder to myself for a while from now that I'm aware of it, and should not succumb to it. Maybe if I revisit this in three months time and realize I've completely failed to heed the warning, then maybe pity would be welcome at that point. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOITLE 12/29/2011 6:32AM

    I ran into an unexpected trigger watching a documentary on DVD yesterday morning. Suddenly I was eating anything in my path. I identified the trigger but couldn't control the eating until I physically distanced myself from the DVD by watching it from the kitchen while doing some housework. Knowing your triggers IS important, how to defuse them is another story - probably a work in progress for a while. Keep chipping away at the mental stuff, and you will gain control over it.

I know the importance of those outstanding teachers whose iinfluence follows us throughout our lives. Very sorry for your loss.

Ms. Potato Head

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Wit optional

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The fun thing about this blog thing is that they don't all have to be gems. I'm not writing for you, this is all about me, meee, meeeeee! And about me feeling like me wants to share me thoughts often enough so me keeps caring to check in to this site and continue keeping me accountable to meself.

So yeah, been feeling a bit down lately, despite just coming off a nice ten days vacation, getting to see a couple of fantastic concerts (why the exercise tracker doesn't have "mosh pit" as a cardio exercise, I don't understand, I get some of my best exercise mixing it up with the little kiddies at metal shows...although, the Fair to Midland show in Flint was the first time I'd indulged in that for quite a while), relaxing with my little (7 month old) nephew, chilling with the parents. While al that was happening, a high school classmate died in a car accident, and a prof I knew at the University of Wisconsin also passed away. I'll be heading to his funeral in a few hours (I haven't been to an actual funeral in many many years, though I've been to 'memorials') and though it will be nice to see some people again, you wish it were under different circumstances. This prof was definitely one of the good guys, and yeah, I know that everyone who passes away is memorialized as such by someone or another, but in this case, this was a person that went beyond that cliche, and actually fit the bill.


Who needs sleep, tell me what that's for?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I might have thought coming back from the Eastern Time Zone back into the Central would have made it easier for me to fall asleep at an acceptable time, but no dice. I got back to Madison at about 5 PM, after 7 hrs driving (including food break, gas break, etc) , and it's now 8 hours later, and I'm still wide awake. Something wrong with that, I think, I should have been wiped out, and passed out long before, but alas, I wasn't and I am not now, and I'm guessing I might be slightly less than effective in the early part of the work day tomorrow.

To be sure, this isn't a new problem, I have issues with turning off the ol' brain at a decent hour any given night. But one might think that 400 miles of driving, including traversing through Chicago and Milwaukee traffic (if only for the bit of extra concentration required by the greater amount of traffic in the cities) would serve to tire a body out?

Anyway, vacation's over and it's back to work. And, surprisingly, and gladdeningly (it's a word, I swear!), I haven't really gained much if any weight over this vacation period. Of course, there's New Year's and associated merriment yet to come, so I won't declare success, let alone victory, but it feels good to get back from the ten days back in Michigan without much more weight than I left Madison with.

If you notice hesitation in the language, it's because of conflicting signals given by my different scales. The analog and digital scales are showing me in the vicinity of where I left on 12/16, right around 195 lbs. But The Wii Fit insists I'm weighing in at 1.3 lbs greater than I did when I last used that, on 12/14. 1.3 lbs isn't a number I'm concerned about, but it's odd that that shows 198 when the other scales yield a 195. Not sure what to make of that. I've got a longer term weight goal plugged into that toy, of losing 18 pounds relative to where it thinks I now am, so its opinion will matter, eventually.

But for now, I'm glad for the stability over vacation. Maybe I should celebrate with some sleep, eh?

Oh, christmas yielded another fitness game for the wii, as my brother gave me the nfl training camp game. The initial phase of the MEDIUM level challenge was set for 24 minutes, I made it though about 6 before bailing. Looking at reviews only thereafter, I see people complaining about how difficult the EASY level is, so I think I might have jumped in a bit far. As if the burning quads and aching back hadn't already informed of the same. Guess I'm not ready for training camp quite yet...although I'll have to fire it up again tomorrow and see whether its possible to choose your own drill to try out, and use it as a game aside from the training aspect.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOITLE 12/27/2011 5:51AM

    Gladdeningly - what a fine word, may I keep it?

As a veteran of numerous cross-country road trips,I can relate to the wide-eyed phenomenon. Gentle stretching, yoga or some other noncardio physicial exercise can refocus your attention away from your eyes and onto the rest of the body and let it unwind, or so the theory says. Reading or watching TV or hopping on the computer just reinforces the eyeball mania.

Happy to hear that you survived the eating frenzies rather intact. As for scales, unless you are using an official weights and measures scale, they all have their own centers of gravity or so it seems. I go for general trends. I wouldn't be surprised if you had some fluid retention after driving so long. You might see that water weight drop quickly as you get back into your routine.

Let me know what Wii games you recommend. We have a secondhand Wii that I'm going to get eldest son to set up during winter vacation. We have extremely limited floor space, about the size of a coffin (no, I'm not kidding) with a ceiling fan just 6.5 feet above our heads, so we have to find Wii fitness games that can be done within those constraints. Any advice is welcome for nonrunning games. These old knees don't run, even in place.

Happy New Year!

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i blame all typos on the smartphone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is a first for me, creating a blog post on a phone. A bit surprised I haven't tried it in the two months I've had the phone. The novelty of it has somehow driven out the thoughts that led me to see if I could even do it. In part, though, they were triggered by the box of cheese its sitting next to me. You see, whenever I get stressed, I eat more stuff. Wish it were the opposite, where stress would make my appetite disappear, but no such luck. And, while the holidays are a time food family and all that, there is no guarantee that they are stress free. And so it is again, coming home being a stressful occasion, and thus a cause for stress eating.

I gave up within the first day of vacation, of any hope of maintaining weight. Just hope j don't give back most of the past three months' effort over these next ten days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIA091 12/22/2011 12:29AM

    I agree with everyone, and have something else to add:

Use (welll, you already are, :) ) sparkpeople to guide you away from yummy/ tooo bad foods!

This way, whenever the munchies strike, your spending your time away on an innocent blogger's web till the pain goes away.

Another hint is to just talk the time away- I find being busy on the phone doesn't include munching. ;)

Good luck! emoticon

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YOITLE 12/21/2011 8:36AM

    Any chance of mini escapes like walking around the block, so to speak, to relieve the stress of too much face time?? Offering to run to the store to get X, whether you go by car or on foot, could put you out of arm's length of food if you can not eat and drive. Hang in there.

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BLUE42DOWN 12/21/2011 4:21AM

    Instead of seeing this as a reason to give up, look on it as a chance to practice other stress-relieving behaviors (look some up in the numerous articles available). You'll be able to weed out the ones that don't work for you and find ones that do. What better chance than with pretty regular stressful situations to try that out?

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