Thursday, March 13, 2014
Well – it has been a year and a day since I hit my Weight Watcher’s goal range of 152 lbs. The actual goal is 150 but you are still considered “at goal” within 2 lbs. It took forever to get there as my weight flitted around but never quite landed on the magic number. The average weekly loss of those last 2 lbs was about one ounce a week. Once there, though, I managed to hold it tight all the way into December when I slipped back over the line … I can’t help but think of it as my personal Maginot Line. The line isn't a real defense – but sometimes I can pretend it is … until the enemy is knocking at the door – which he did in mid-December with Things and Issues and Weather and Health and … and I am still not back at the magic number, 2 and a half months later. Worse yet – If I am not At Goal, can I claim to be at maintenance on my one year anniversary?
Yesterday I received so many compliments, comments, and spark goodies and I am wondering if I’m a fraud and if I should, plus how I should, ‘fess up. So I thought I’d let Left Brain and Right Brain do the talking. Here’s what they have to say.
* * * * * * * * *
La la la la la pretty day look a bird think I’ll draw here’s my knitting chocolate
Yeah – and that’s what got us where we are now, thank you very much. You know how much I wanted to be at goal last Tuesday.
Huh? What? Oh. You. Boy, you sure look grumpy.
I guess so. Do you know what we weigh right now? DO YOU?
What do I care what we weigh laaaa la LA la la la la.
Stop that. I know when you’re lalala-ing you’re hiding from truth. We weigh 154.6 pounds!!!!!
Oh good grief. You and your nasty old numbers.
Well – you’re right about the grief part so shut up and talk to me.
Oh my. Isn't that just like a crazy thinking brain, wanting me to do two opposite things at the same time.
You know what I mean. What gives? How come you couldn't stay out of the kitchen for two measly weeks so we could get back to goal?
You went into the kitchen too. Why is it always my fault?
Because - I knew we weren't hungry on Sunday – but you wanted ice cream. You had to have pop corn. You just had to eat all day long.
Oh thanks. As if you weren't doing the chewing too. If you’re so smart why couldn't you put up some good reasons for Not eating.
Well I did the best I could. I tracked every bite. I guess the truth is – I’m not all that smart.
big of you.
smiling) Well – the truth is: I’m not all that brave. I’ve been feeling pretty bad about that Sunday grazing. I guess I was counting on your accurate tracking and I knew there were some extra wiggle room calories. I guess I forgot about the fact that from Friday through Monday we were hurting too much with sciatica pain that we didn’t get any exercise.
Yeah. That lack of exercise has been hurting us all winter, really. Before Christmas we were burning calories out the wazoo – for nearly a year we averaged 1500 calories a week on top of an active life. We sure haven’t done that this winter.
. I haven’t felt like exercising. It’s been too dark and too cold and I’ve been too deperessed.
I know – I have been right there with you. And besides – I’m not going to let us do more damage by trying to exercise through sciatica. Don’t feel bad about that – that was the smart decision. Eating extra ice cream was the stupid one.
(hanging her head) yeah. It was fun to eat but even I knew it was a mistake – probably – maybe – but you know – the scale had read On Goal all week. Who knew our weight would zoom up 3 lbs in 2 days.
(nodding) Yeah. I was surprised too … I might have said something if I’d realized how dicey it all is. Trying to hit an exact number is hard. And even when the exact number is just a part of a range of numbers – it’s still hard. And buying ice cream in a box instead of pre-portioned stuff wasn’t very smart on my part.
Oh but I was SO tired of those 2 point ice cream bars. They’re good but .. gawd that’s ALL we’ve had to eat for 2 years. I was sooooo wanting something different.
(nodding again) Yes, but once something that’s basically a bulk purchase comes into the house – it’s just … well … it’s too hard for US to measure. At least, for now, we really ought to only have pre-portioned stuff in the house. What do you think about that?
I don’t think. I FEEL. But I feel okay with that now. I’m okay with the same old same old for a little longer.
So how do you feel we can lose those 2.6 lbs? How do you feel we ought to go about it?
(looking thoughtful even if she’s all ) Well, I feel like you ought to make us a list for the next week – for eating and exercise – (a pause, then a cackle of laughter) - and then present it to me for approval.
(laughing out loud) Oh ho! Still want the last word, do you? Well. Okay. Now let me float this one past your emotional little self. What would it feel like to you if we actually planned out the meals for the next few weeks – and the shopping?
Oh. Well. You know – it sort of makes me feel safe. Besides, don’t you think we’d save money if we did that? Money that could be spent on US as a reward?
I was thinking exactly that – We could go shopping as soon as we are back inside that sacred goal range.
LOL – what could we buy?
Clothes? Garden stuff?
Why not both?
Fine with me if we have enough $$$ in the Other Secret Stash Fund. And I’ll even throw in the Spend it Like a Man money.
Oooooooo! Goodie! We could have a fantastic time. When? When can we go shopping?
Soon if you stick by the promise to stay within the 26 weight watchers points for 4 days of the week and get in 25 extra points of exercise every week.
(taking a deep breath then letting it out swiftly) Okay. Deal.
One last question. Are we at maintenance if we’re 4.5 lbs over the goal.
You've got to be kidding. Of COURSE we are. What do you think – the scale hit squad is going to take you down for 4 and a half pounds?
(laughing out loud) Yeah. What was I thinking?
(laughing back) How would I know – I only have a heart.
* * * * * * * * * * *
So that's that. The Brains think I'm still maintaining and they've got a plan and they've got the spirit - so I guess they're right! So thank you one and all for your kind words yesterday. On to Year II of maintaining my healthy weight.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Time for those New Year's Resolutions.
Huh? What's that? It's March? Well? So? Who says you can't make resolutions as the world is beginning to emerge from the misery that was the past 2 months? Heck. It was all I could do to put on shoes and go to work every day. There wasn't anything left to help Make Plans for Better Times.
But that was then and this is now. This morning I woke up with this old Lovin' Spoonfull song playing in my head. Something about the light, the angle of the sun, the sounds outdoors, seems to have magically opened up the cobwebby windows in my head and I can see clearly enough to actually make plans. But in thinking about those plans it dawned on me that, this year, at least, I don't want to plan too far forward. Perhaps it's because, to quote Susan Miller from AstrologyZone, "Mars has been tearing through my earned income sector since December 7, and it seems I've needed to spend it as fast as it has been coming in." No duh after a heart attack at Christmas just in time to wipe out the deductible of 2013 and suck up the 2014 allotment. And things Financial don't look any better in April when: "Next month, we will have two very hard eclipses, April 15 and 29. The one that will affect you more will be the one April 15, and it will affect the source of your income." Ouch!
Oh well. C'est la vie - et c'est l'argent. Guess I won't buy any frivolous stuff for a while. Thank goodness I don't need any new clothes, either. Mental note to self "Do Not Look At Elann dot Com's March Specials".
Anyway - back to the New Year's Resolutions and planning ahead and all that stuff. It dawned on me that I don't really feel like tracking down and tackling any Big Things this year. What I have is a whole bunch of little tidying up things that need to be done, in no particular order. So for the rest of this Has To Get Better year, I plan to tackle one small tidying-up chore a month. One irritating bit of sloppiness in my life will be eliminated. One corner of messiness will be made into a retreat of serene and pleasurable organization.
And No. I'm not assigning all 10 of them right now. I will pick one each month - the one who's completion would make me happiest right now. And Right Now that chore is to update the address book. We have a hideous Rolodex that Himself wants to keep. That's okay, but I'm going to take that, the bag of Christmas cards with envelopes, and the drawer stuffed with Other Correspondence, and create my very own database. Yes. Yes. I know how to do this. I even think it's fun - it's such a Virgo thing to enjoy - like filling out forms. Just thinking about being able to print address labels for Christmas Cards makes me happy.
Creativity? Where is the creativity in my house? Well - there actually has been some and there's quite a lot more up ahead because, in fact, some of my Other Messy Corners involve Drawing and Knitting, Prayer and Writing. In the darkest days of late January I picked up a copy of Knitters Magazine and fell deeply in love with Fiona Ellis' pink cabled sweater. (Shush. Do NOT ask me about my oatmeal Aran sweater. We aren't ready to talk about that yet.)
You can see it on the web page - with the number 58 beside it - that's the page number where you'll find it in the magazine. I love and admire Ms. Ellis SO much. I feel blessed to have taken a class from her and have longed to knit at least one of her designs ... which is a rare desire for me as I tend to only knit stuff I've made up myself. Of course, with finances hijacked by Mars and, even in the wretched month of January, the budding desire to tidy up the clutter here, I didn't want to buy any new yarn. Diving into the stash, though, I found a bag of, now discontinued, Louisa Harding Jasmine - in this pretty coral color. It's a blend of cotton, bamboo, silk and polyester and there is probably only enough to knit this sweater with short sleeves - but it knits to gauge and will make the best warm weather sweater to throw on in chilly air conditioned offices come this summer.
In an effort to cheer up his deeply depressed wife, Himself has been reading Tolkien out loud and this has proved to be a wonderful project to knit while listening. I almost never knit flat pieces but I'm following the directions on this project. Slow going, a little sloppy, with guttered purl rows, but I'm okay with it and definitely not in any hurry.
And here's where I'm going to end up. (back view) I'm just about ready to start the decreases and to knit that little flourish of a cable at the top.
There has also been drawing - for pencils and pens have called out to me in a sad lament. Well - they did a few weeks ago and I responded. Though creaky - my hands are starting to feel more confident with each day's practice. Yes. Lots of faerie stuff - and we can just pretend it's inspired by Tolkien. If there is more to say later - it will be said.
Mostly it's just fun.
So. That's the state of all things Resolved. I'm moving forward into 2014 at last, with a lighter heart and sunnier outlook than the cold drear of January would have predicted. It is now Tomorrow - and we are all At Tara.
Friday, February 28, 2014
When I rounded Pity Party Point last week and saw the safe harbor of March only a few short days away, it was as if I'd left all the gloom and doom behind me. The weekend was better, the work week was better, even my sleep has been better! Yippeee!
So there are LOTS of reasons to write about but I'm going to limit my final February blog to 8.
My house got sparkly clean in February. It was too cold and gloomy and depressing to really give everything the white glove treatment in January. When you heat with wood, weekly cleaning is extremely important but if it's cold enough you really only feel like curling up next to the heat source and letting the rest of the place go to wrack and ruin.
The author for our coming book launch party, Brad Parks, came to town to do a radio interview and then we all went out to breakfast. (Don't I have the coolest job?)
Mercury is ending its retrograde cycle - not beginning it!
In February the Friends of the library bought the library a P. A. system and Yours Truly had the foresight to set it up and test it this week - BEFORE the author event next week. Yay for being awake and on top of things.
On Sunday - February 23 - the first of the crocus bloomed. The rest of them are still sleeping underground, but those first 2 intrepid ones opened up their pretty purple throats. And daffodils are budded - and will be singing to us any day now!
As February progressed, we managed to dodge every serious snow storm - there is nothing like living south of the 38th parallel. In VA, that is. We miss most of the heavy snow so every storm that's fallen for the past 2 weeks has been rain or light flurries.
Looks like I'm going to breeze through the budget process smoothly. This is not something we've had much luck with for the past 3 or 4 years. This year ... I'm feeling strong. Yay!
In February I got my groove back and can feel gratitude. To rush to say thank you for everything, including mornings, noons, evenings and nights, for friends and pets and meals and memories, for love and laughter and books and stories, for all the rich and wonderful things that fill my life - Man - that's a high that beats anything else.
Bye Bye February
We're gonna miss you so
Bye Bye February
Glad you have to go
Thursday, February 20, 2014
This week has had lots of early morning (think crack-0-dawn) starts that kept me away from the computer during my regular blogging time - and then - it was a little hard to come up with 8 more things that were better about February. Till yesterday when I had one of those fabulous exercise induced epiphanies and knew I had rounded the depression corner onto joy street.
And just how many of you ever read Joy Street, by Frances Parkinson Keyes? It's the sort of novel you'd find at your grandmother's house when you were a girl visiting during the summer and slip on up to the bedroom you were using, the one your daddy used to sleep in with his big brother, to lie on the bed and escape between its covers.
La - I am thinking the library needs to do a Featured Author corner and push her. We still have my favorites of hers on the shelves ... all except Steamboat Gothic, with its cracked binding ... it's on the "Can't Part With It" shelf in my office.
Okay - back to February - which, in spite of all it's difficulties, is better than January. Why? Just let me tell you.
Baby Puppy Juno has stopped scratching on the door - which makes us feel less besieged and assures the safety of the very expensive new front door we will be putting in come springtime
And the annual valentine poem from Himself ...
Still so darned glad there is a Himself still alive to write me a valentine poem - (Just thought of that one. Never ever ever forget to say "Thank You, God" for that one)
Finally was able to hire the new employee at work (the terrible shiftless employee was fired in January - which merely added to the gloom of that month) so the workload has lessened on us all. Everyone is happier.
A day of blue skies and 60 degree weather flashing across our lives, allowing us to walk about town in shirtsleeves, smiling at people we passed, feeling the promise of daffodils and lilacs and soft fluttery new baby leaves on the trees. Not here yet - but coming.
30+ minutes on the stationary bike before work yesterday - 38 to be precise - but long before reaching the half way point of my workout I realized that this high intensity routine that makes me breathe hard and sweat a lot is an essential part of my life. No. It is an ESSENTIAL part of my life. It's what makes it possible for me to stay on an even keel - to look at life as full of possibilities instead of crowded by threats. The long quiet slow hikes across country are also valuable for me - a hike through White Oak Swamp can also ease my soul - but not in the same way this intense, hard, but brief, physical effort does. One is like a good night's sleep - the other is more of a brisk shower. And I absolutely need both.
And I just had the sudden memory of my crazy father - the world's most difficult and challenging (and wonderful and horrible and magnificent) dad. He really was a terror till he retired, bought 3 horses and rode like Gerald O'Hara for the next 20 years. All those years he worked in his desk job he was an unpredictable misery to us all. Once he could burn off hundreds of calories by pushing his body hard and fast he became so much happier, so much more fun, so much more the man he wanted to be.
So obviously the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. For the past 18 months or so I've had the best weekly routine - with 4 days of hard sweat at the gym, usually all in a row. There would follow 3 days of continued activity - but more of the long slow ramble across country type, or the day of puttery window shopping in the city. That combo of hard fast and furious followed by nice 'n' easy ambling, week after week, made life so sweet - and helped me keep my weight in check. The events of December, January and even early February seemed to prevent me from getting the workouts I need so badly. But ... is that true? Did they really? Sometimes, to be sure. But other times I just yielded to an old routine.
Time to rethink things. I've always looked at weekend days as belonging to home and family and in particular, to Himself, who can be a little clingy - especially if he's just had a heart attack. And I don't mind staying home on the weekend and giving someone extra attention. But not at the cost of my own happiness - that important deep inner core of joy that makes giving to others a pleasure - not a burden. It looks to me like going to the gym is as important to my health as taking lipator. And if I can't get to the gym during the week - I am going to have to renegotiate the weekends.
Happily, I can. Himself wants me to be happy and healthy too.
So. So far, of all the Reasons February is Better than January - learning how vital my hard driving workouts are for my deep inner joy is surely the best of all.
Off to the gym for me. Yippeee!
Get An Email Alert Each Time BESSHAILE Posts