Monday, November 01, 2010
The name of this song is "Blue Monday", but this Monday is anything but blue. Even though my knee hurts.
Many lovely things to tell.
First off -- the song is not only because it's Monday but also because it's now in my running rotation. I used it for the first time on Saturday, when my husband and I ran the Oak Scare 5K. This one quite literally goes right past our house. It made perfect sense to do it as an extra race this year.
And it was a good run. My final time (44:27) does not look too awesome, but there was a good twenty seconds or so in there where I had to wait at a street corner for a cop to let me cross and continue (the whole race takes place on the streets of Brighton). But I won't shave that off the "official" time.
The running felt good. Really good. In fact, there was a downhill part that was so much longer and more delicious than any downhill we normally have in 5Ks. And I was hearing a song where I'm normally going UP a hill. Once I realized that, I started to really go. FAST. So fast, in fact, that I bounced enough to have a, heh, sports bra malfunction. Nothing showed, but I ended up with the bra under my armpits. I will not draw you a picture, dear readers. Suffice it to say there's a good reason why I wear it with a tee shirt and not by itself. Heh.
But the whole thing (despite that) felt good. It felt, not like when I normally just kinda jog along, barely getting my feet up. Instead, it felt like, ha. It felt like I was running like a child. Now, I am well aware that I was assisted quite a bit by gravity. And that's fine. And, I am totally paying for it today as my left knee in particular is asking me why I flat out ran for about 3 1/2 minutes two days ago.
But it was still great fun. It was still a YAY moment.
And here's another YAY moment.
My company is in the finals for a business plan/presentation competition. As in, the top three of a field that was originally some 46 or so companies. The actually final is on November 9th, when we will all get totally dressed up (I have a black velvet dress that I will probably choose) and the boss will present and we will all hand out business cards and smile and be on our absolute best behavior.
And there will be some $$ awarded. Even the company that comes in third will get something. Plus, since we have to finish the business plan for November 9th, that will free up other things. We have some other things coming that will only come with a completed business plan, so da boss and I are working on it this week.
This week's plan is: I will go to the gym three days. Starting today. And I will then shower and head on over to da boss's and we will type and confer and figure out what we're doing. Plus we'll continue to work on his presentation. He knows it really well already but needs to talk a bit slower. There are places to pause and let certain comments sink in so we need to practice the timing.
When the money comes -- for I am feeling it is no longer if, but when -- I will go permanent, full-time with them, most likely in Q1 of '11, as the VP of Marketing (yes, I am getting a promotion or at least a fancier title).
Oh and yeah, the weight loss thing? Down another .8 today, and almost all of my measurements are down. So fat is going back to muscle. Another YAY moment.
Oh, I see a ship in the harbor all right. I do believe it is, as they say, my ship coming in.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sometimes, I just need a fix of some 80s silliness, hence the song.
I am kinda tired from the weekend. It was a two-day company event and I was mainly on my feet, and not in the best of shoes. Despite how I generally feel, it is not easy to do that much meet and greet and not feel the aftereffects. Gym will be either today (after I see a potential customer who I think just wants to flirt with me) or tomorrow, plus Wed. and Thurs. That seems to be paying off -- a nice loss this week.
This weekend is one 5K, next week is another, then that'll be it until December, and the December one will be the last one for the year.
So I am on track for exercise, and it paid off with a two and a half pound loss. I am going to have to keep this up, despite fatigue, despite everything. There is always some place where it gives, where you push down hard enough and it's like a game of Whack-A-Mole, something else comes up and you try to clamp down on that as well. And, for me, going to the gym is actually close and easy and relatively fast! It's the aftermath that kills.
But it's gotta get done.
One of the things Spark advises is, make yourself an unbreakable appointment to get your fitness in. I have a schedule for blog entries. Friday I go into the office. Events spill into evenings, weekends and, like today, lunchtime. Cleaning is all but abandoned. Somewhere in there, we go food shopping, pay bills and get the laundry done. And, in the middle, I get in the fitness minutes.
I have some 85,000 fitness minutes or so. Which is insane. But I have it because I've been here nearly three years and I record just about everything.
But I also have that figure because, without fail (some exceptions for when I was right outta surgery), I have done ST and at least tried to pull on resistance bands. The day doesn't start, not officially, until ST and resistance bands are done. There may be no other working out. I may spend the rest of the day lying back and watching TV. But at least that part gets done. It's the least common denominator.
Which is funny, because the least common denominator used to be, of course, doing nothing.
Now it's getting harder and harder for me to envision doing absolutely nothing. Hmmm.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Gawd, I have not had a great time of it lately when it comes to weight loss.
I have been gaining, mostly. Today, I am up over 5 pounds since last week. Yep. Almost the same weight as April.
So, that sucks.
Mr. J and I figure at least a part of it is little ice cream cups we've been eating a lot of. While I am still tracking them, they are not doing me any favors. So we'll finish out the last ones (he is, after all, not on a diet) and not buy them again until next Summer. No need now, when it's 40-something degrees in the morning anyway.
And, it's frustrating. Despite little ice cream cups, I HAVE been in calorie and nutrient ranges. I've kept the salt in check. I've gone to the gym twice a week. I've done weight training every morning. I've gotten enough sleep at night. My measurements are meh, could be better, could be worse. So I am not really building muscle with the weight gain.
I'm just, for whatever reason, gaining fat.
This is helping to spiral into the thing that I admitted to him yesterday, which I will tell you all as well -- I can feel I am getting depressed again.
So I'm back on St. John's Wort. I don't love medicating myself, and SJW is mild. It's not really a happiness pill. Hard to describe -- you just stop giving a damn about certain details. So that helps. You just let some things go. And, by the way, I've been through therapy before. Not interested in it this time around.
And I am well aware that losing weight does not bring happiness, per se. I understand that a size does not define my mood. It does not define ME.
But it's still hard to be on this end of things.
It's not like I've never gained weight before. It's not like I've never gained seemingly inexplicable weight before, either. But it doesn't really get any easier. It continues to suck.
Another thing, though, I know, is that this time of year (which prompted the first song on the video, and then the second one fit in rather nicely, so I went with both) is a transition and I don't love transitions. I have patience for a lot of things, but transitions tend to take a lot out of me. And weight loss is one big, fat (heh) transition. I just want it to be over with already, and it's not.
Some of it feels (and this is absurd, but it's the truth) like it's unfair. After all, I was doing my thing, then I relaxed, then the old scale broke way earlier than I knew, and I was lured into a trap of too much food, not enough exercise, and then the evil was done and I was 40 pounds up and now I'm approaching fifty up from where I thought I was, even though the reality is that I'm probably more like twenty up.
But, ha, that's stupid.
No other really good word for it. It was a scale, a piece of equipment. It didn't define me, and neither does the new one. And it does not decide whether I eat more, or worse foods, or exercise less. Only I decide THAT.
So, one other thing Mr J and I also decided is that there is an aspect of work that is giving me stress. Not the robotics company. There's a much smaller company that I also blog for. And, while I am more reliably paid there, I just don't like it. It does not interest me, and it splits my focus too much. It is a chore to do it, and now the guy from there wants to talk long-term strategy and I just plain feel trapped. So I am going to draw that one to a close. I don't really get a lot of $$ from it and it's not worth the dissatisfaction. Plus I suspect that the robotics company is going to be going places, and soon. I'd have to quit the other place, anyway. Hence I may as well ditch this company. I barely make enough to cover my gasoline expenses. It's not worth how trapped and stressed I feel.
I don't know where all of this is going to lead, and that's a real chore when I am feeling like this and stuck in the middle of a transition. I hate not knowing, hate feeling out of control and lost. And I don't even know what's good for me. Tough love? Sympathy? Helfino.
I do value honesty.
My body has not caught up with my brain or my wishes. The company where I work has not caught up to my hopes and dreams, not yet.
Dammit I hate transitions.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Okay, that title is sure to alarm some Sparkers out there. That amuses me.
Anyway, a few things.
I went to NYC over the weekend. Now, I despise NYC. It's not that I don't like cities. I love Boston. I love Providence, I love Philly and Wilmington (DE), too. I love Charlotte. I like DC (not love). Hartford and New Haven are okay. Honolulu is meh (although the scenery is a delight). San Francisco is glorious. LA is fair to middling. Both Portlands are good. Seattle is great.
But I really and truly cannot stand NYC. It's possibly the combination of overly crowded streets, arrogant natives (I'm married to a native, BTW, and he doesn't like NYC, either) and a lack of basic services for any kind of a price or convenience level that approaches reason.
Anyway, enough of that.
Mr. J and I went for a gathering of people from the website we manage. And we had a ball. It's interesting, though, seeing people in their (semi-) natural habitat and not only interacting with them but also observing how they are when it comes to food and exercise.
Gatherings, of course, centerpiece around food and drink.
I had a grilled chicken sandwich. The woman sitting near me is a vegetarian so she ended up having a plain omelet. My husband had a pastrami on rye but he has those less than once per year. Our guest of honor had chicken soup and barely had a quarter of what was served (I don't think she realized how large the order would be). This was, of course, a kosher deli. As in, truly kosher, meat-style. No cream, no milk, no cheese and God knows no shellfish.
Those were the more or less healthy choices (oh and two guys did split a larger pastrami sandwich so I suppose that counts as healthy-esque, and another ate half and got the other half to go). Knishes (for those who do not know what knishes are, they are dough pockets filled with meat, buckwheat or potato -- most were potato though I did see one that was kreplach, which is ground beef), sour salty pickles, piled high sandwiches which were finished. One guy goy a turkey leg that looked like it came from a pterodactyl, it was so huge. He also got the only green vegetable -- broccoli -- which he promptly slathered with mayonnaise. Oof.
Walking? We actually walked a lot. Well, most of us did. Mayo and broccoli man left early and took a cab back to, er, somewhere. Three others took a cab to the next place although, in all fairness, one is asthmatic (but also a smoker. Huh?) so the other two kept her company. The rest of us hoofed it. And fast, too.
The leader of the pack was walking very, very fast. He was one of the half sandwich guys. He was a little hard to keep up with.
Yes, you read that right.
He is 74.
Now, we did even more walking later and after a while he finally said he really could not do any more. Understandable, but we had already walked a good four miles together!
I walked a total of five miles that day, all in about two hours or so. I came back to my inlaws' apartment exhausted but glad I'd done all of that walking.
And, it paid off, with the first loss since we got the new scale. I am almost back to what I was when we replaced the old scale! So, yay me!
Earlier that week, I had gone to the gym twice, which also helped.
So, to review: two trips to the gym during the week. Humongous walking on the weekend. Careful food choices all around. Water, of course. Enough sleep. Did my best to balance nutrients and not overdo it on the salt, despite what was around me. Plus fun and fellowship with good friends.
Result: 3.8 pounds off, almost three years after I started doing all of this. And a helluva great example in the 74-year-old. I suspect the guy with broccoli and mayo is a good 5 - 10 years younger but looks older.
This stuff, dear friends, this diet, this exercise, the water, the watching, the life -- it is not just for losing weight. Losing weight is an intended consequence, to be sure. But it's actually only a peripheral. The real prize is getting to 74 and being in totally freakin' awesome shape. It's in outrunning/outwalking people who are as young as less than half your age. It is in not being on oxygen. It is in not using a cane or a walker. It is in getting there and ruling your 74-year-old (or older!) roost.
We are all gonna die.
I know, I know, that is no great shock to anyone, or at least it shouldn't be. And some of us will be hit by buses and the like. But for those who make it past accidents and suicide and HIV and warfare and murder to our elder years, to the years that are eventually eclipsed by strokes, heart attacks, broken hips, cancer and, sadly, Alzheimer's, the best thing we can do for ourselves NOW is to put those days off as long as possible.
There are three stages of being old. Young old, middle old, and old old. Young old are vigorous and alive. My 74-year-old pal. My father. Middle old are slowing down. Grabbing canes and walkers. May have had cancer or strokes. Old old need more active care and may be close to bedridden. These definitions overlap and are not set in concrete. When I was a child, my father's mother was old old, never really younger than middle old. Wanna know how old she was, by the calendar, when I was born?
Yep. And she'd already resigned herself to the end, her fate. Oh, poor her. Oh, the suffering.
She lived another 22 years but never seemed to be truly happy or pain-free.
My father will be 80 next year.
He still walks faster than I do, and I'm pretty damned fast these days.
So I ask you.
Which one do YOU want to be?
Monday, October 04, 2010
I have been thinking lately about anger.
Anger at myself. Anger at others.
I spent -- hell, I wasted -- many, many years being an angry person.
I don't show it online, never really have. Perhaps it was the combination of knowing that it would be more or less permanent, along with the fact that the written word can have some reasoned delay behind it. Plus I'm such a nitpicky speller much of the time, so I look over most long posts (including this one). I have a chance to think things over, so the fuse is lengthened and I don't explode as much or at least I tend to temper it with some reason. I often read long posts out loud (not in public of course). Does it sound conversational? Then go. Nasty? Then put on the brakes, regroup and rewrite.
My brother and I did not get along for the longest time, and it is still a struggle, at least on my end, to assure that we do. There is nothing wrong or very little wrong with what he says or does. I know that it is me. I am too impatient. And, we are different. We grew up apart (although we lived in the same home), uninterested in one another's lives. We are now geographically apart and still not too interested but we try. I know of people who contact their siblings -- even of the other gender -- on a weekly basis or more frequently. With my brother and me, if less than a month goes between phone calls or emails, that's amazing. And usually if there is an email, it is him sending me something work-related. There are few personal or family-related things but, we are different. I have no children. I am really not religious at all. I work wacky freelance. He has a steady job, a wife and son. He's Treasurer (maybe he still is -- or maybe he isn't any more; I truly do not know) of his synagogue. He knows all the holidays. Me? I remember if I remember to look them up. Maybe I should set a reminder for myself.
And then there are our parents, who have to navigate our disparate personalities. I was rather PO'd at them last week. They came up and through a combination of bad luck and inertia, ended up staying here, even as we explicitly kept telling them -- the house is a godawful disaster area. But it all falls into a particular place and I bite my lip and pretend like it's all hunky dory for this to be happening even though, inside, I am seething.
And yeah, this is online, and somewhat permanent, and yes, I've put THAT out there.
But, yeah, I was PO'd.
See, anger isn't an awful thing, not if it's wielded with some discretion and, dare I say it, grace. There is nothing wrong with being angry. It is as valid an emotion as happiness. In fact, they are all valid emotions, and I get ticked off when I see people so hell-bent on everyone drinking the happiness Kool-Aid that they will push everyone to smile, smile, smile even when life is just not dictating that.
I well recall a funeral. This was over fifteen years ago. My great-aunt was telling the fresh, new widower, oh, just, you'll feel better soon. Well, no. He didn't. And while I think mourning for a decade and a half is excessive (and he isn't), if you can't feel sad at a funeral, when the hell CAN you?
And if you can't feel angry when you've been wronged or hurt or slighted or ignored or trampled on, when the hell CAN you?
I think fuses that are super-duper long get trampled on. I am not saying to walk around every day with a chip on your shoulder. I am not saying to alienate the people you love, or engage in violence or get yourself fired or arrested.
What I am saying is: give yourself permission to be angry. Permission to be sad. Permission to not get along with everyone. Permission to not always see things someone else's way.
A big part of this journey is seeing, and understanding, your own value. The wealth that is YOU. And that wealth comes with things that are sometimes not so nice. And they are as real and as important and valid as the things that are nice. You have to let those in, too.
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