Friday, February 26, 2010
Life is full of small victories. I lost 4 pounds in February, a pound a week, which is my goal. I lost 1 inch off my waist and 1 inch off my hips, so that was another small cause for celebration.
Next, I had an appointment at the doctor’s office this morning to have blood drawn. My doctor keeps a close eye on my blood sugar, cholesterol, liver and kidney functions and other measures, so I go in every 4 months or so to get blood drawn for lab work. I won’t get the results until next week, so the lab work wasn’t the victory (yet). Ever since I gained weight, people have had a terrible time finding my veins to draw blood. It was not unusual for me to get stuck 2 or 3 times on the back of my hand in order to get enough blood for the tests I need. (I think 5 sticks was the record.) My good veins were just buried under a layer of fat and hard to reach, so the back of the hand was the only option, and that hurts. Well, this morning I was apologizing to the lab tech about my poor veins and she said “No problem”. Then, instead of tying her little rubber band thing around my wrist and poking the back of my hand with a tiny “butterfly” needle, she wrapped her band around my upper arm and stuck me once in the crook of my elbow with a regular sized needle. Next thing I knew she had four tubes of blood and she was done. Apparently losing pounds of fat uncovered my previously shy veins and made the whole blood-drawing thing much easier and less painful - a small, but significant victory.
This is one of my favorite poems because is it so joyful: It was written by Siegfried Sassoon.
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark green fields; on, on, and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted,
And beauty came like the setting sun.
My heart was shaken with tears, and horror
Drifted away…O but everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Thinking back on my previous diet sins, one of the biggest was a lack of color. I mostly ate white, beige or brown foods, with the occasional yellow. Those colors are fine for decorating your house, but not so good on your plate.
I ate potatoes, rice, bananas, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, bread, chocolate, milk, cheese, and butter. Not much color there! So I am making a real effort to get more colorful foods into my diet. I'm going for baby spinach rather than iceberg lettuce. I'm choosing sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes or rice. I'm loading up on blueberries and strawberries and melon. I'm having green beans, tomatoes, and carrots rather than corn.
Colorful foods have more vitamins, and usually less calories, so I'm definitely making a colorful diet one of my goals!
I haven't seen purple cow on the menu anywhere, but I find this poem amusing, so I'm sharing it.
Purple Cow: Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who's Quite Remarkable, at Least
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
Frank Gelett Burgess
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I wanted to go to the mall today. I've been cooped up in the house for more than a week. My consumer confidence was feeling really healthy and I felt it was my patriotic duty to boost the economy by spending money. We got down the drive way without much trouble, then got stuck in the road. And I mean stuck. Not going anywhere. The road was a mess of slush with ice underneath and that car wasn't moving. Another car finally came up the road towards us and stopped. The driver helpfully got out to push and we got back into the driveway. No mall for me today. My husband didn't mind. He shops on line, but I hate to shop on line. I like to see things and touch them before I buy them.
What was I wanting to buy? Well, maybe some new underwear. I'm going on a trip in March and I need more underwear that actually fits me. Or maybe a pair of boots because I don't have any. Or maybe just a latte at Starbucks (skim, of course) or a new sweater. My urge to shop is sometimes stronger even than my urge to eat. It's one thing to not be able to get out to the office, but to not be able to get to the mall, now that pisses me off. I would pay more taxes for more snow plows. I really would.
So I vacuumed the rugs and did my 2 miles on the treadmill.
Maybe I'll check out the Victoria's Secret website.
The following poem was written by a Seattle doctor and writer. The title, Oniomania, is a word for compulsive shopping.
Not so much the desire
for owning things
as the inability to choose
between hunter or emerald
green, to buy
just roses, when there are birds
of paradise, dahlias,
delphinium, and baby's breath.
At center an emptiness
large as a half-off sale table.
What could be so wrong
with a little indulgence?
To wander the aisles of fresh
new good things knowing
any of them could be hers?
With a closet full of shoes
unworn back home,
she's looking for love
but it's not for sale —
so she grabs three of
the next best thing.
By Peter Pereira
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I woke up this morning feeling thinner, but the scale said I’d gained more than a pound this past week. That can’t be right. I watched my food all week, and I got plenty of exercise over the weekend. Oh well. Sometimes the scale is like that.
The Federal government was closed again today in D.C. because of the snow, but I worked again from home. At least half my employees were also working from home. We all have laptops with special encryption capabilities and access cards so that we can work securely from any spot with internet access. One of my employees actually had to call 911 during the snow storm to take her husband to the hospital because he was having a seizure. When I talked to her Monday she was waiting for her husband to have some tests done and she had her laptop with her at the hospital so she could keep up with her work. Next time you complain about lazy government employees think about the thousands of us who give our heart and soul to protecting the public interest. Sometimes the government isn’t so bad.
So I worked at my laptop, reviewing work, running reports, and feeling hungry all day. My husband says cold weather makes him hungry, but truthfully, some days I am just hungry, regardless of the weather. So I had a substantial snack about 3 pm that threw off my calorie count for the day. Sometimes that happens.
After I closed up my work laptop for the day I got on the treadmill. I tried to listen to Nora Jones on my iPod, but it refused to play her songs. I’ve no idea why. The iPod was quite happy to play Billy Joel’s “The Stranger”. Well he’s cool, too. I had a good relaxing walk. Sometimes exercise is the best cure for a bad mood.
I love the following poem. It was written by a British poet and novelist. I checked her website and she says she doesn’t even like this poem anymore, but she doesn’t mind if people use it on personal blogs as long as they don’t use her name, and don’t change anything. So I am respecting her wishes.
Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave a stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Some times I eat and I don't know why - maybe just because the food is there. I get up to let the cat out and stop by the pantry on the way back to grab a couple of pecans. No rhyme or reason. It just seems like a good idea at the time. (The difference is that now I stop at 2 pecan halves instead of 2 handfuls.) But a whole day of unmindful eating can lead to big-time regret.
I found the following poem by Connie Bensley in my collection and decided to share it for all of us who ever made a poor decision.
Wake, for the dawn has put the stars to flight,
And in my bed a stranger, so once more,
What seemed to be a good idea last night,
Appears, this morning, sober, rather poor.
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