Saturday, May 24, 2008
For my cousin, K___, who went to Vietnam.
For my father, and my father-in-law, who guarded the home front during the Korean conflict.
For my uncle, A___, who guarded the Panama Canal during WWII.
For all of the others I did not and do not know, thank you for your service and sacrifice.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I learned yesterday that I didn't get my original #1 choice. And I had a dream about that last night, I guess it was the last vestige of subconscious kicking it to the curb (I was in a play but the lines were different depending on something that I had no control over, and of course I was saying the wrong lines. Go chew on that, Sigmund Freud).
And, you know, I don't care. While it would have been a very, very nice job, I'm also really troubled at how I (and probably the other people who didn't get it) was treated once the interviewing process was over. As in, no one bothered to actually say anything to me and already they were going to second interviews and whatnot. It took a month from interview to rejection and I ended up calling them a good five times before I got a response. Delays are one thing, but they had told me that they expected to know something in a week. If there was going to be a delay, I dunno, COURTESY, would have dictated at least saying boo about that.
Instead, I had to essentially hound them to get a definitive response, and I hate being put into that sort of a position. The shoe can sometimes get on the other foot, but I think a jobseeker being more vague is more to be expected. Not that it's fantastically right, but I think it's a given that a jobseeker such as myself would occasionally string an employer along a little in order to gain some negotiating leverage with another company. But I never do that for more than maybe two weeks and when the time comes to make a decision I do cut them loose (if that's what I'm going to do). Heck, the first offer I got, I tried to turn them down and they kept throwing cash at me.
Anyway, I've mourned and now it's time to move on. Why was it such a siren song of a job? Well, its upsides were an amazing commute, incredible benefits and a good salary (although I've been offered more at other places, actually). Plus the work looked interesting and it was the kind of position where I could network extremely effectively and make good future contacts for myself.
There are plenty of other places out there, just like that.
They ain't all that.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Patience. It's the right thing to do. It's a virtue. It's ... not so easy to come by.
And I think I've figured out, specifically, why patience is becoming so difficult for me to come by these days. There are four main reasons.
1) I have to be patient with my job search. When I've just taken the first thing, I've ended up either with a lousy job or with one that could have been improved if I had stuck to my guns a bit better and maybe negotiated more bucks or vacation or whatever. Technically, I've been laid off for only about 3 weeks but I have been looking for close to 2 months, plus with all of the phone calling, emailing, meeting and interviewing, it feels a lot closer to 6 months' worth of effort. It feels as if I should be there already.
About the only thing I can do about that is what I have been doing -- look for work diligently and carefully, matching myself to the closest and best matches possible. No sense in sending out 1,000 resumes unless they are for jobs I want, but also no sense in not doing anything. Of course I have to do something -- it's required for you to get Unemployment -- but there's a difference between going through the motions of looking and actually looking. No motions here, and that's how I've been doing it all along so I'm set in that area.
2) I have to be patient with my ill relative's treatment. It will take months and while of course I want it all done yesterday (and I'm sure my relative does as well), the disease does not know from timetables, nor does it -- or should it -- care. Nothing I can do but hang in there and think happy thoughts. To me that is a lot like praying. I do pray but I consider it to mainly be very formal, you go to synagogue, you speak or sing in Hebrew, it's all very stylized. An acual conversation or a wish or a hope is much, much less formal and I've definitely been doing those things. Hard to feel helpless in that area but that's exactly the case. The only thing I can change, really, is how I feel about it. I take my cue from my relative, who is optimistic, so I work on that.
3) I have to be patient with the weather. It's 5/22. It should be consistently in the 70s during the day. It's after 10:30 AM and it is currently 52. It's not supposed to get above 61 today. What's up with that? I'm sick of it but so is everyone else (and no, we won't move; we love it here despite the chill). I am also tired of it because I remain stuck with my Winter clothes, which are bigger anyway.
4) This also leads up to having to be patient with size loss. As I had mentioned yesterday, I'm only down one size yet the scale says I've dropped 50 lbs. That's ludicrous but it's reality. I keep waiting for the day when the bottom (heh, literally) begins to drop out of everything. So far, not yet. I can measure my progress not only by the scale but also by my fitness level. Despite today feeling a bit of tenderness in the quads (I'll do leg lifts as an alternative to squats as I think my knees are not happy right now) I am generally in far better shape than I've been in years. I can walk much farther and faster (and uphill!). I can lift. I can stretch. I know I'm doing stuff. It would, though, be a kick to be able to dump the biggest clothes already. Hand me a chainsaw, I need to take a few inches off my hips.
It all stems, the real root of it, is a lack of control. I can't make employers call me, or make them love me (despite my best efforts). I can't suddenly become a doctor and cure my relative. I can't move the clouds to improve the weather. About the only thing I can do is work to lose weight, although I also know that working out harder means that more than my quads would be barking, and cutting calories is really a bad idea when you consider how low I am in caloric intake anyway. Any lower and I'll hit starvation mode. So I can't do that, either.
It's a soldier's right to complain. I'll take that as mine, too. I will look back on this, eventually, I know, and shake my head at my frustrations. But not yet. Right now, I shake my fist and bellow to the unforgiving (and cold! Argh!) sky.
Calgon, take me away ... :)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Thanks to Chris Kirkpatrick of 'N Sync, who must be an incredibly good sport (that's his voice on the video).
Anyway, I'm off to the dentist today, but not before I give a little perspective about how things have gone so far. May 19th was actually my four-month anniversary on alli but I was caught up with getting back into the swing of things after vacation. But I'm here now.
It's been four months (120 days) since I started alli, 130 days since portion control started and 140 (!) days since I started exercising every day. There's a long way to go, to be sure, but a lot of great accomplishments.
Weight and Measurements
Current weight: 296.8. DOWN 49.2 LBS I am close to 1/4 of the way there
Bicep: 15.75" DOWN 3 1/4"
Bust: 50.5" DOWN 4 1/4"
Band: 44.5" DOWN 3"
Waist: 44.25" DOWN 4 1/4"
Belly: 57.5" DOWN 2"
Hips: 51.5" UP 1/2"
Rear: 50.5" DOWN 12 1/2"
Thigh: 29" DOWN 3 1/4"
The hips being up and the rear being down so much may just be a factor of how I do measurements. Those areas are tougher for me to get right. In any event, I doubt that I actually gained any inches anywhere, plus the loss in the rear is so dramatic that it's more likely that it's an inch or two in the hips and closer to 10" in the rear. Overall, my average loss in all eight areas is about 4.19"
I started at a 26/28. Now, all of my 28s are gone, as are some of my 26s. I'm pretty close to being a 24 up top but the issue is that my hips and rear (despite all of that loss) are still large, so while I am generally a 22/24 up top I am a 26 from hip level down so I'm forced into not only skirts and pants in size 26 but also blazers and longer tops.
I went from maybe 2 or 3 reps in a day to 50. My resistance bands went from 0 reps to 120. Walking went from 2.5 mph to 3.5 mph. Weekend walking is getting to be more of a habit. We generally do one day/weekend; should do two but one is still good. Walking is also more than just the one block; we now do more like eight blocks, including some uphill. Calf stretches are up to 100 - 200/day from 0. Weekday walking exists and is done about three days per week but admittedly I've been dogging it lately as I've had to concentrate more on job hunting.
My arms are mainly toned except for the triceps. Thighs are getting toned. Belly (on the sides) is showing signs of cuts and toning. My rear is definitely firming up.
Food and hunger
The weekday routine is pretty easy. Water intake is 64 oz/day every day. Weekend eating is harder but manageable. All junk is out of the house. Vacation was handled well. Hunger is okay except for PMS week.
Issues and Disappointments
I had hoped that I would be down another size by now. It's frustrating being stuck at a 26 even though I have lost so much weight. I recognize that it will come and that I have to be patient, plus there's no such thing as spot-reducing. However, it is annoying to be 1/4 of the way there and only down one size. At this rate, I would be down only three more sizes by the time I hit my ultimate goal, or a size 18! That's absurd as I would be at the high end of normal BMI then. I should (and I've been that weight before as an adult, so I know from whence I speak) end up a size 8 or 10! While it's possible that I could push and prod myself into smaller sizes, the blazers in particular do not lie. If I can't button them at the hip level, I can't wear them to job interviews. Equally frustrating is that I'm the same size that I was last month when I did a milestones post like this one.
Another issue -- and I suppose this is true for most -- is a lack of spontaneity. Everything has to be planned. Restaurants have to be researched, etc. Over the weekend, we (or, rather, I) could not just pull over and stop for ice cream, because it hadn't been accounted for. I understand that I am hypervigilant and that inevitably I just won't be this way, plus it can't be sustained during maintenance, but there is a very tiny (and I mean tiny) part of me that mourns that just a bit. I know that there's plenty of spontaneity to be had in the world, and it's not like I'm totally in lock step. If melon isn't available, I'll eat an orange. If salad isn't available, I get mixed vegetables without sauce.
I can be flexible, but not too much.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Heh, what an odd video I've linked to. The song, well, I know the song; I chose it because I'm back from vacation and really getting back into the swing of things. But the images are from the video game Final Fantasy. Let's just say that's not my fantasy, final or otherwise. Then again, neither is Steve Tyler.
But I digress, and I haven't even started. Vacation was excellent. The weather was far better than anyone had predicted and since we were pretty much the only people at the motel, we had the hot tub to ourselves. And it was fabulous.
We went walking only one of the days (my husband actually went running every day, plus that one walk). The walk was 35 minutes and almost 1.2 miles. Last year, I was incapable of even doing 1/4 of that -- had to stop and turn back. This year, no problem, and we also did another 10 minutes later that day.
Otherwise, the days were pretty lazy but I did bring weights and resistance bands and made sure to use them every day. We also brought breakfasts, lunches (my husband got himself a small pizza) and snacks (fruit and rice cakes). I also made sure to drink the water every day. The only thing I had to worry about were dinners.
Dinner the first night was actually pad thai. It was a tiny portion which was fine. The second night was sushi as planned. The third night was broiled swordfish. Everything was fantastic and I did not have any treatment effects, so I know it was all within the proper fat ranges. As for calorie ranges, probably not. I was not super-careful with the dinners. But that's fine.
I figure the areas where I was not stellar (0:-D) were calorie-counting and probably sodium. In the end, I had gained a pound, but by the time I weighed myself yesterday, I had already had a meal plus nearly half of my water and it was about 6 hours after I normally weigh in.
By this morning, the pound -- and more -- was gone. I'm actually coming up on my next goal. Once I hit it, I'll be down 15% of my starting weight.
In the meantime, I'm waiting to hear on some job stuff and am also getting back into that swing of things. I've made up my mind to be pickier, even when it comes to going to interviews. If I'm not going to take a job or if I don't want to go to the town then why waste everyone's time?
And so I wait, on the new #1, the old #1, the place in the sticks and my potential other place (no interview scheduled yet but allegedly they want me to come in). I'm grateful for what may turn out to be a quiet week. I could use one, to keep the vacation feeling alive.
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