Friday, September 14, 2012
(Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
2. How did you pick your goal weight? Did you pick an ultimate goal weight at the beginning of your weight loss? Did it change? Did you set smaller goals along the way?
I've talked about parts of the process of picking a goal weight before in other blogs. Several things played into the goal weight I set.
1) Charts with ideal weight ranges
2) Past weights I remember
3) I didn't want to think I needed to lose 100 pounds
Yeah, that last is silly, but it actually factored in.
Charts for my height usually start at around 125 to 130 as the bottom end (or small frame for those charts that take bone size into account) and top out at 156 to 172 as the top end (or large frame). I have a 7" wrist, so generally I'm considered a large frame, but the smallest size that counts as such.
I remembered weighing 150 in high school and not being fat. (I raised my hand without any concerns of being "heavy" in a Driver's Ed class when they wanted an example of someone who weighed 150 when discussing blood alcohol levels.)
To say 150 was my goal would have meant I had 100.5 pounds to lose. It might be only a 10 pound difference, but saying 90 pounds to lose felt so much more comfortable than saying 100 pounds to lose.
So from all that I originally put 160.
I felt kind of pushed to pick a goal weight by SP actually. It wouldn't let me just set that I wanted to lose a pound a week. I had to pick a weight and a date (used the calculator to work out pound a week loss to get to the goal weight). I didn't really care to know how long it would take me or to be that specific.
I've changed it once since to 155. Part of the change was trying to remember if I was really a healthy weight at 150. I hadn't done P.E. that year, wasn't particularly active other than lots of walking. Clothing I wore was full, so I could easily have been chubbier than I realized. (Being large-busted, it's also hard to judge because I look curvy no matter what.)
I don't focus too much on weight except as a trend. If it's going down over the longer term, that's all that is important. So I haven't really set smaller goals in that sense. I do set a general monthly goal, but as long as the trend is down, I don't care if I meet the goal or not.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Overlapping everything else I'm doing, but why not? There's always something new to learn about myself and external questions are a great way to start me thinking.
(Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
1: Your stats. Starting stats, current stats, goal stats. Are you currently trying to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain weight or something else? Do you have a goal for the month of September?
Well, this one has information all over the place since I'm a tracker and am in BLC#20, so I've got lots of stats posted in past blogs, but here's a short summation:
Age: 43.5 years
Height: 5' 7.75" (172 cm)
Weight: 177.5 lbs (80.5 kg)
Starting weight: 250.5 lbs on 15 Sept 2011
Goal weight: approx. 155 - 160 probably to be reached early 2013
Waist = 34.5
Hips = 42.5
My Waist to Hip Ratio keeps bouncing from just below to just above the "healthy" point (0.80 = Low Risk and 0.81 = Moderate Risk). I can see and feel the thickness in my waist area, but know it's just a matter of continuing to burn excess body fat because abdominal / organ fat seems to like being the last to go.
Currently I'm losing weight, though my focus has been and remains on becoming more physically fit and building strength. I'm the rare woman (okay, maybe not-so-rare ) who couldn't give a flip if I look "bulky" as long as that is muscle rather than fat.
My goal in weight loss is a pretty general "1 pound per week" and my monthly goals are usually to be stably in the 5's range (as in 180 then 175 then 170) below my weight at the start of the month. I use the word stably because I weigh myself daily, then use a graph with trends to judge my progress and don't really pay attention to the specific day's number. So a sudden drop to a lower weight isn't my stable weight - the trended average is.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
One of the next areas of my life that I want to make big changes is my job / career / education.
I graduated from high school with no college plans or prospects. Not because I would have been incapable. Far from. I took two Advanced Placement course, taking the test for the English one and getting top marks.
But being raised as a Jehovah's Witness, it was simply inconceivable that there would even be a need for a higher education. Nor was a job of any value unless it was unavoidable. The sole purpose of a worldly job was to provide shelter and food so one could live and witness to others. The ultimate goal for a woman was to be a pioneer (essentially a full-time volunteer witnessing door-to-door, instructing in one-on-one Bible studies). Armageddon was around the corner, any day now, so any secular education would be wasted when Jehovah laid waste to governments and the work to turn the Earth into a paradise would begin. (NOTE: This may not reflect more up-to-date thinking. I am talking about an 18-year-old's vision of things in the mid-to-late 80s.)
I'd been working in a pet store for a couple years before I graduated and worked there until they closed the local store. For a while I commuted an hour by train to their other store, but it just wasn't viable.
Next I worked a couple of retail jobs. It wasn't too terrible, but low-paying and big time demands (up to a point I was dependable and available, so some days I worked opening in one store, then went to another store and worked until closing, to cover people who didn't show).
I moved from that into temp jobs in reception, filing, data entry, and the like. All secretarial positions which I was equipped to handle. About 13 years ago I started with the company I'm still at as Receptionist and Shipping. A year later I moved over to Tech Support and some years ago adding Software Testing and slowly eased out of Tech Support.
It was never the field I wanted to be in, though I do well enough at it. I've always been good with computers and software. I excel at finding ways to crash software (not just ours). Even better, I'm good at remember what steps I was doing and duplicating it, which makes for useful reports to programmers to fix bugs, as well as understanding computer logic enough to think of things that might be related to changes and test them.
However, it's not a field I really see being viable for me long-term unless I go to college and get a B.S. And if I'm going to do that ANYWAY, then I might as well really take the time to think about what I want to do.
My original skill-set, as it were, is pretty close to obsolete these days. Unless it is at a level of Executive Assistant, most people type their own emails and documents. The days of hand-typed letters and envelopes are pretty much gone. Nor do I really want to go back to dress-up expectations which reception has.
So I've been bouncing ideas around here and there trying to figure out what I might like to do, what I think has enough life that I could work until I'm 75 (because me retiring sooner is highly unlikely unless magic happens to social security or my retirement account).
I love to write, but I've never had some "next great American novel" idea that I just needed to get written. I have numerous unfinished chapters that are simply the spur of the moment ideas transferred to paper and no driving urge to be an author.
That sort of ties into Technical Writer, but somehow the idea of pouring something I enjoy creatively into a "job" mold does not appeal.
I love math, but a few looks at accounting convinced me that its a field too many people are training for given how few new positions are created.
I love science, and really ... if I had the money and all the time I'd want, I'd study meteorology or cosmology. But I have no real idea of useful career directions those would go. Weather and space are just two areas of fascination that I'd love to study.
My best friend, when asked, actually suggested being a psychologist / counselor. I honestly didn't think he was serious at first, it was so far out of the realm of what I'd consider myself doing. I absolutely know I couldn't deal with the "drug 'em first" side of this. I could see myself sitting in an armchair working with the person lying on the couch, except for one key thing. It's not what the movies portray and one of my big issues in jobs is when my success depends on the actions of someone else. If the ONLY measure of my success was through the progress of others, it would drive me up and down the emotional scale.
All leading to one of my fall goals. Talk to a career counselor / college counselor. I haven't done this yet. (SCARY! Fall starts on the 21st or 22nd, doesn't it?)
But part of the discussion when I went to lunch with DDb and her mom and dad was college - her brother's progress to being a science teacher, her likely major and direction being law, and then asking me about what I've done and hope to do.
Yesterday I went searching for career assessments. I didn't find that nearly as productive as I would like. I can say pretty solidly that I'm INTJ on most variations of that particular personality test, but very few of the professions it thinks I'm suited for really do much for me. Worse, a lot of those tests have very clear biases. When they're offered or backed by particular online universities, they lean toward those careers they offer courses for.
I don't care if there's dozens of Medical or Dental Assistant courses out there. Not really interested, thanks. Computers, engineering, systems analyst, IT - certainly computers are here to stay, but the plethora of education doesn't promise the jobs will be here (and the education in most of those is fleeting as new developments completely overthrow past knowledge).
Okay, sorry, SORRY! It really sounds like I'm making lots of excuses and whatnot at this point. I don't mean to. I'm just walking through a lot of the thinking that brings me to now.
Tonight I went a different route. Who can I trust to be a little less biased? Government reports. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( bls.gov ) was a good starting point, particularly their Occupational Outlook Handbook.
In the process, I've discovered at least one possible career direction to look into - veterinary technician/technologist. The median wage isn't necessarily great, but that may easily be from the perspective of the higher cost of living where I am (which also means the wages for that type of position here are probably higher). Furbabies are continuing to grow in importance for many people, so being in a field focused on providing the necessary health care to animals is one that isn't going to shrink in coming years. It's also a profession that fits pretty much anywhere. If I decide to get out of the Bay Area, it's the kind of skill that translates just about anywhere residents might have animals. I'm not sure I'd want to go for a Doctorate to be a vet (something that is very competitive), but it would be an option.
As I do more research, it may not pan out - but at least now I've got a starting point of interest.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
I stumbled across a photocopy taken of an old ID card. It's dated December of 2002. I find it interesting for a couple of reasons.
One is that I hadn't updated my weight yet at that point. It still said I was 175 pounds. A rather strange coincidence it was to see that with my weight currently bouncing between 176.5 and 178. I know I was heavier at that point. In fact, the visible double chin makes me think I was just over 200 at that point.
The other is that I was wearing makeup. It has been "forever" since I even wore lip gloss or lipstick, let alone spent time and effort to put on makeup. I haven't really had any reason or desire to get back to it - and thankfully don't work where it is expected.
I was smiling comfortably. I didn't look like I was horrified to have my picture taken for it. It's actually not a bad picture at all for one taken by the DMV.
I can't see that I look much different other than the weight difference and the growing crows' feet at my eyes. I'm quite happy with the evidence I smile that much.
Leaping in a whole different direction - music. I've used both Pandora and Rhapsody. I really dislike the ads on Pandora, but I like how it adds songs I don't know but might like based on what songs I've liked and disliked in the past. Rhapsody doesn't annoy me with ads, but somehow is much more of a chore to find music I like unless I know the artist in advance. Their "radio" offerings are just odd sometimes.
Tonight I was tired of listening to the same songlist and decided to just poke around some genres.
I have certain genres that I just cannot get into, but every once in a while I'll try again just in case some artist, some song, will interest me in listening. One of those is Jazz. I know others love Jazz, but every Jazz song I have ever tried to listen to sets me on edge. I started off with Jazz and only got through three songs (well, no, not through - I skipped after about 20-30 seconds of each). Nope, no jazz for me.
Other genres I'm just picky with - some artists do fantastic and others are horrors who should never have been recorded. Opera fits into this category. The first song sounded interesting, and then I saw it. William Tell Overture. Now, I honestly didn't know that was an opera. It brings up some really old memories, though.
My father had a record, LP or long-playing, of the William Tell Overture. It was a see-through yellow or golden plastic instead of the usual black vinyl. As young kids (early teens for me, siblings were all younger), we loved that particular record. One of the songs was familiar ... used in the Lone Ranger show. When that would come on, we weren't allowed to gallop around the living room because the record would skip, so we spun in place through the entirety of the song, collapsing dizzily at the end.
Another amusing coincidence that, since I gave ONYX OUTLAW masks out - and the Lone Ranger was always seen with that sort of mask.
More memory lane thoughts then followed on other records we had. My mother had a varied collection. Peter, Paul and Mary had "Puff the Magic Dragon" and another song I mostly remember with "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring" and a game of hide and seek going on. She also had lots of Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Pink Floyd. Without knowing any of the dances, we loved spinning and dancing to songs like "Let Go to the Hop" ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6EeObPCMR8 ) and "Locomotion" ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5OoQadZTPk ).
So true that what adults tend to call "working out" was just play and fun when little.
Friday, September 07, 2012
Follow-up on the prior blog - they were still working on the whole gas leak thing when I went to sleep, though they were done with the jackhammer. I saw it today. It was literally the place next door (which happens to be a convenience store), so I'm glad it all seems to have gone smoothly once discovered.
The closed window / open window thing - I am very antsy about fresh air. I only close my window on the coldest nights of winter. (And here's where I ~LOVE~ where I live because it doesn't drop below freezing more than once or twice in the entire winter, so I get to keep it open - even if just a crack - most of the year.) I do not have A/C or a heater, but where the room is positioned in the house doesn't tend to overheat and I have a comforter, a heavy quilt, and a thick plush blanket when it gets cold.
So for me to have a closed window on a very pleasant evening is definitely unusual.
Seriously beat. I am so so so glad that I have two days of recovery (from strength training) at last. Getting it swapped from M-W-F to Su-Tu-Th has meant almost three full weeks of ST every other day, and I can definitely feel the need for a rest. The muscles aren't sore, exactly, but there's a sense of them just not wanting to pull as strongly. Well, most of the muscles aren't sore. My shoulders and triceps have certainly let me know I worked them well the last couple times.
Speaking of shoulders, a little NSV. I always thought I had sloped shoulders. Very recently I was noticing my shadow in the afternoon and they didn't look all that sloped. Looking through some of my pictures (not the swimsuit ones because those have my arms up, but the others), I most definitely had a double+ chin, but also was thick around the base of my neck and the top of my shoulders. My neck now looks longer and my shoulders look mostly level. I've noticed for quite a while now how "bony" my shoulder joints feel, but there's also the toning of all those shoulder and back muscles to credit as well and the simple loss of over 70 pounds of excess fat.
Oh, I'd forgotten when I wrote that bit about Mr. Miracle what the exact thing in the video / ad was that set me off. I remembered this morning. Photographs. I've never been good about taking pictures of family and posting them.
I noticed recently that I don't even have pictures of my kids on my phone. (Amusing little aside - after noticing and going to take a picture of my DDa who was with me, my phone shut itself off when I pushed the trigger and by the time it got restarted her bus had come and the opportunity was lost. DDb is up at college now, so it will be a while before I can get a shot of her. DS is just a matter of timing with his classes and job. DDa is looking for a job and didn't get the finances dealt with for school this quarter, so more time available.)
I've joked with my kids before that I need a house-husband - a guy who cooks, cleans, loves caring for the home. My DDa way back when came back with the witty remark that what I needed was a wife and a boytoy. Ah, I raised them well.
But, yeah, watching that had me thinking how much I'd love having someone who wanted to just take pictures of us and put them around, who could make a house feel like a home. Because that is just something I have never had a real knack at. I can make a place look lived in. That's easy. But I lived in a place for around 12 years and only ever hung three pictures on the wall - one of DS, one of DDa, and one a family portrait of my mother and we 9 grown children. I had one with my father, stepmother, 4 full siblings, stepsister, my kids and stepsister's kids, but never hung that.
More than pictures on the walls, I almost never collect knick-knacks or curios. Looking around my room, I have the plants I've been buying lately, a porcelain doll, two stuffed animals related to WOW, and a scented candle. I'm just not a material objects kind of person.
What I ultimately think it comes down to is actually not even about a Mr. Miracle. It's more about my sense of disconnection. I have yet to find something that inspires me so much I want to collect it.
When I was young it was horses. I had so many model horses they filled a couple of shelves in addition to the dresser top. I couldn't take them when I moved. By the time I could have started collecting again, I'd "grown up" and didn't see the point in spending the money.
I've lived like that since. There's nothing out there which inspires that level of passion.
I walk 5ks, sure. But I don't especially take care to keep the bib or the shirt. I'm just looking forward to the next one.
I enjoy watching football, baseball, and hockey. We have the Sharks right here, the 49ers new stadium is coming to Santa Clara where I've lived almost half my life, the Raiders are an hour away in Oakland, the Giants in SF and the As in Oakland. I have no real team loyalty in the fan sense. I'll root for the LA Dodgers because they're fun to watch. One year when I was pregnant and watching every game, I rooted for the Cincinnati Bengals (Boomer Esiason was QB at the time and they went 6/6 in pre-season). With all that ... I don't even own a team shirt.
I used to watch a lot of anime with my brothers. One had a wall of VHS, Laser Discs, and DVDs along with the cute otaku stuff many came with. I enjoyed the shows, but other than a couple of T-shirts he didn't fit and gave me, I didn't "buy in".
I list a healthy number of hobbies and interests, but none of them really inspire in me any sort of passion. I'll head outside to watch a meteor shower, download an app to identify constellations, ooh and ah over three planets in the sky aligning as a triangle (which was neat, for sure) ... but then go months without really looking at the moon or sky.
I'm content. I'm happy. I'm successful at the things that matter to me.
I'm not lacking, just ... I think the only clear thing I'd put on a bucket list is sky-diving. And even that is something I just want to try at least once - not something I think would be a regular event.
I know part of what I claim bothers me is how many passions are commercialized and/or legislated. I don't want to feel like I'm being fleeced in following a passion. When I see someone with hundreds of useless trinkets, I shudder. I don't want to have to worry about whether something requires permits or special locations to do. I don't know if it's a convenient excuse or a legitimate gripe ... because I've never been passionate enough about anything to push past it.
On which note, I started reading the next chapter in 7 Habits - "Begin with the End in Mind". I'm hoping in the process of figuring out a Mission Statement for my life, I can find something that helps fire up a passion in me.
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