Monday, February 21, 2011
For those of you who don't remember this one-hit wonder (or, gulp, you weren't alive then, eek!), the song is called Driver's Seat.
And, well, we all know what that means. It means having control.
I think a lot of us got here because of a lack of control of some sort. Or, someone took it from us. Or we gave it away.
How many of us have sat down with a full bag of chips and then, suddenly, miraculously, it was gone, or half-gone? And there was no one there but you. So unless you've just violated the laws of physics (you know, matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed), well, you know where those chips went.
Or you went to a party and they had all sorts of stuff. And suddenly your plate was full of that stuff, whether or not it was good for you, or you wanted it, or you were hungry, or you even liked it. And then that plate was empty and, again, unless you were pulling Einstein's leg, there was only one place where those hors d'oeuvres could have possibly gone.
Or you were over at your inlaws and they were serving whatever, and you were told -- either directly or indirectly -- that to refuse would be a grievous insult. So you took whatever you were given, and you smiled and said please, may I have some more? And maybe it got you brownie points although those were forgotten a lot faster than the consequences lasted and, once again, somewhere that stuff disappeared and it wasn't the dog who was responsible.
Or it was raining. Or, like today, snowing. And you just couldn't get your stuff in gear. So you didn't work out, and didn't find the time and it slid away and just as surely as E = MC2 you let the day go by without seizing it.
Or you were late, and couldn't find the time. But it wasn't a one-time thing which could certainly be understood. It was an all-time thing. Oh, I've gotta care for the kids. Oh, I've gotta do the wash or whatever. Oh, my favorite program is on and I must see it, even though it's a repeat. And midnight comes and you've lost another day on the way to, well, we all know where the road eventually leads, now, don't we?
Or you allowed someone else to dictate your life to you, long after you turned eighteen and were legally capable and responsible for it. You let your man tell you to not lose your curves, even though your curves included a 55" bust. And lest you think I am pulling that figure out of thin air, I'm not. for that's what my own bust measured, three years ago this week. I see this kind of manipulation more times than I care to enumerate. It is one thing to not want someone to turn into a stick figure and be malnourished -- it is another thing to be actively sabotaging someone's efforts. And, sorry, guys, but I see men doing this to women far more often than I see women doing it to men. And whether it's through love or fear or inertia or whatever, it doesn't really matter, for those women have allowed someone else into the driver's seat.
What I am asking of you, today, is -- shove the other drivers out of the way. Yeah, you don't have to be sweet and cutesy-pie polite about it. This is YOUR life, YOUR body, YOUR health I am talking about. No one should be driving the ultimate decisions that you make when it comes to those things. Perhaps I am a Boston driver after all, but no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- sits in my driver's seat. Not anymore.
Pull over, and switch.
Don't let things just happen to you anymore, no matter what they are.
You are a grown-up. You have far better judgment than you may think. You have the right to your own selfhood. Don't let anyone else take that away from you.
And I think you'll find that the inhaling of chips slows down, if it doesn't stop altogether, for you have become mindful and you are beginning to understand that the brake pedal is under YOUR foot -- and it's been there all along.
And the exercise will start to happen more, too, because you'll begin to thumb your nose at the weather, no matter what it's doing outside, and you'll become better organized and you will fit in exercise because it's become important to you, and you wouldn't miss it anymore than you'd miss a dental cleaning. Because the gas pedal is under YOUR foot -- and it's been there all along.
And you'll find that, as your bust goes down to 39" (what mine was this morning) or lower or wherever YOUR comfort and health levels are, that you're still desirable and still beautiful and still awesomely curvy and sexy. Because that steering wheel is in YOUR hands -- and it's been there all along.
Just take your place in the driver's seat.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Happy Valentines' Day.
But this entry isn't going to be about love.
Rather, I want to write about more, more, more.
Just plain too much of whatever.
I eat well -- I usually have throughout my life, and not just now. Sure, I've inhaled bags of chips and the like. But I have tended to have good meals and am not a big drinker or desserts person. I was not much of an exerciser, though, which is one major change in the past few years.
And the other major change, which I struggle with a lot, still, is that old chestnut: portion control.
It's hard, even with a set of measuring cups and spoons, to get it right.
And it's not just in the case of food. It's for everything.
I have shorter hair than I've had in years. It's not super-short (it's just above my shoulders), but it's still a significant difference from a couple of years ago. Do I take less conditioner? Nope. I take the same amount, and over half of it bloops down the drain.
Do I squeeze too much antibacterial stuff on cuts? You betcha, and I end up cleaning half of it off.
Do I stuff too much lettuce into a pita bread (lettuce, folks, a good 8 calories per cup or so)? Yep, and it all falls out.
I continue to struggle with personal greed. With portions that, to me, don't even necessarily look right. But I see a plate and think -- I should fill this or that. And, yeah, I know about the trick about using smaller plates. Know what I do with smaller plates? I pile vertically instead of horizontally. Yeah. It doesn't matter, not significantly. I still make sure I fall within caloric and nutritional requirements. I'm not chowing down on 8,000 calories per day or anything. But I do, always, see the plate with greed on the mind.
So, what to do?
Oh, and exercise? I'm in a 100 days challenge right now. The challenge is to work out for 30 minutes/day, every day. I've done, hmm, I think it's over 40 days by now, something like that. But my average isn't 30 minutes -- it's a lot closer to 60. SP routinely yells at me for burning too many calories/week. But working out more is a good thing, right?
Well, kinda, sorta. It's good that I'm enjoying working out. And it's good that I'm still in on the streak. All of that is fantastic. But it's also, partly, a competitive streak that I didn't have before I started. Not that I want others to fail -- it's that I want to succeed MORE than they do. And it's also just plain overdoing it all. And so today I am exhausted, after 90 minutes of walking last night.
Oh and by the way, all this added exercise? I gained almost half a pound. It didn't, in the grand scheme of things, matter much except in the sense of building muscle (which I know I am doing as I am, again, seeing positive fit differences in my clothing). But I ain't seein' it on the scale.
Again, what to do?
Chill out? Eat less? Use smaller plates? Deprogram myself?
I think we are all conditioned these days, in the US, to feel that we have an enormous sense of entitlement. We DESERVE lots of wonderful stuff. And while my house isn't filled to the rafters and I make an effort to clear out my closet, I do, still, even after these years, have issues with telling myself -- enough.
More, more, more? How do I like that? Too much.
Time to let some of it go, and not just to bloop down the drain, wasted.
Time to take, and to do, less of it in the first place.
Methinks I need to take a chill pill and relax a bit.
Monday, February 07, 2011
This song -- and songs by the actual late, great Alex Chilton -- has been living in my head for a few days lately. So I figured I'd share.
Plus I love today's lyrical title.
Things have been up and down and all around for several months now. A few mornings ago, I saw 206, for the first time in, eek, maybe a year. This is not a positive number.
And then this morning I was under 204.
My measurements are good. I am a snow shoveling machine.
So I figure it's, mainly, that I'm just building muscle/my Russian-based body is hunkering along through winter. I am doing what I'm supposed to. But the scale is being a pain in the patoot. And so it goes.
But I think of you all! I do.
And you all do help -- quite a bit. More than, perhaps, you will ever know.
Recently, some very old pictures surfaced on Facebook. I don't know, someone must have been going through my FB pics and they decided to comment. And then suddenly a bunch of other people (not all are SP folk) commented, and I was reminded of just what I had looked like in July of 2007, and just how much I have overcome.
So you, my Big Stars, you have helped me to remember that there was a before time, and it was not a good time.
... that what I am doing, even if it does not have immediate scale gratification going on, has a purpose and an end and that it actually freakin' works.
But I have to be patient.
I thank you.
Enjoy The Replacements.
Monday, January 31, 2011
So I know the title of this blog is weird (it got you to click on it, though, right? See, my plan is working ....). But the song works because we had -- oof -- a bit of fun in the house a few days ago.
I will set the stage for you.
My husband and I live in the Brighton section of Boston, which is the West end. The house, depending upon who you talk to or where you look it up, was built in either 1896 or 1921. Either way, it's old and creaky. It's a Victorian one-family and, as they say in the real estate biz, it's a fixer-upper.
We have lived here since 1995 and have done some fixing and, er, upping, but time and money tend to prevent same, and often those two things do not arrive together. The first few years we were there, we would leave an upstairs window open. I do not honestly know why as, like everywhere else on the planet, there are bugs in Brighton. We are not talking about a big opening here, but still maybe an inch up. But it was the third floor. When there are only two of you, and you live in a six-bedroom place, the third floor tends to be forgotten. It could fly off in the next hurricane and we'd probably notice about four years later, as one would turn to the other and say something like, "Do you feel a draft?"
Anyway, open window = critters come in. And Mr. J had to deal with him. The man kills the big bugs and does critter removal services with aplomb, often clad only in a towel. It doesn't make the critters depart any faster if Mr. J is only clad in a towel but, for whatever reason, it often works that way. Once that window was closed, the number of Close Encounters of the Critter Kind diminished significantly, and we had last seen this particular type of critter (which I will tell you of in a moment, gentle reader) in a good thirteen years or so.
Anyway, it was a work night. Thursday, I think. We were sitting in the Computer Room, doing computer-y things. And he says, "There's something flying around in here." And I'm thinking: moth.
I look out of the corner of my eye and it is bigger. And it's black. And it's flapping.
Yes, folks, it's a bat.
Now, the last times we had a bat in the house, I shivered, got under a desk or table or covers and screamed incoherently. I am proud to say that, in the past thirteen years, I have matured considerably. Yes, I still cowered, but this time I was able to actually say a word. Which was, of course: "BAT!"
Mr. J sprang into action and followed all normal protocols. These involve the following steps:
(a) Get bat out of current room and into hallway
(b) Close off current room
(c) Turn on lights in hallway
(d) Close off all other rooms
(e) Get the Bat Persuader 9000 (an old tennis racket)
(f) Proceed to persuade guest down the stairs
(g) Repeat steps a - d as needed downstairs
(h) Open front door or back door as is most convenient (in this case, it was the front door)
(i) Persuade guest out of front door
(j) Close front door
(k) Begin breathing again
Now, Mr. J was normally clad and not only in a towel. There simply wasn't enough time for him to get into his standard critter removal gear. We will, of course, allow him to slip and be out of uniform for this particular incursion. He performed admirably, despite the fact that he was fully attired as for work (and he does not wear a towel to work -- he's an Engineering Draftsman, not a model advertising saunas. Or is he? ;D).
Me, I also followed normally protocols. These, for me, are:
(a) Cower in fetal position
(c) Repeat a and b as necessary
Everyone performed above and beyond the usual and our guest was persuaded out to wide open albeit chilly Western Boston spaces. Mr. J wore a towel later. And I eventually got a chance to say something other than "BAT!" although that took a while.
I wonder how many calories that all burned?
Monday, January 24, 2011
So, it's 9 AM and it's still in the minuses in terms of degrees. These are Fahrenheit temps, not Celsius. We passed the freezing point of water quite a while ago.
It is COLD.
I selected this song because, let's face it, beach scenes are coming one of these days but certainly no time soon. I wanted to look at beaches, swimsuits and people with tans. Bright colors. Cute guys never hurt, either (hey, I'm married, not dead, folks).
As for weight loss, it is stalled. Again.
I am back where I was two weeks ago, exactly. Now, for those of you who have followed my exploits in snow removal and the like, you'll see that I have -- I kid you not -- done at least 60 minutes of cardio every single day. And, a lot of times, it's more like an hour and a half. For those of you who are following my nutritional exploits, you'll see I've been keeping within range.
So, heh, WHAT GIVES?
Actually, I know the answers:
(1) Probably too much cardio. I suspect I could use a rest day somewhere in there, but the fact of the matter is, the snow's gotta be removed. And another major storm is coming on Wednesday. As for non-snow removal cardio, I have NEEDED to get out and outta the house. This tends to be either for a walk or to the gym. So reducing the cardio is not, heh, in the cards right now.
(2) Probably not being absolutely perfectly honest when it comes to portion sizes. This is not a big lie, like a half a twelve-pound chicken and say it's three ounces or anything. It's more like I'm saying something is a quarter-cup when it's closer to a third. I do need to watch more closely, and I could stand to measure more. I don't love doing that -- about the only thing I measure is, of all things, cereal. I admit I need to get more on the stick with that.
(3) It's winter. Yeah. It's freakin' winter, folks. The body, I feel, has a lot of biorhythms that we do not understand. But one of these appears to be clear -- we gain or maintain in the colder weather. Why? It should be obvious. It keeps us warm.
So, while I will redouble my efforts to do a better job at measuring, I won't go insane with everything. My own personal measurements are actually pretty good. A blazer that felt tight a few months ago is better. Things are improving. I suspect there is muscle coming on, and we all know that it weighs more than fat does.
In the meantime, though, I need to be somewhere warm, and a vacation is NOT gonna happen right now. Maybe I'll just get in my swimsuit, throw a towel on the floor in the plant room, get a trashy novel to read and pretend.
Ground Hog Day will be here in 10 days.
Stay warm, folks.
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