Monday, March 07, 2011
I went to my folks for the weekend.
My parents are downsizing and are looking to get into an apartment/condo. This means clearing out their house, which they've been in since 2 weeks before I turned 10.
I'm 48 years old.
So there's a lotta stuff.
But there's less. They've been clearing out for a while. My stuff was long gone, just a few small things and I already got 'em. I was there for kinda moral support and to see the condo they've picked out for themselves.
My brother was there to clear out more of his stuff (after 14 bags of trash, 3 boxes of recycling and a box of stuff to take home with him, he is now down to just the stuff in his old room -- that was after doing this one time before and going through the cellar. He has a lotta stuff). And he was also there to see the proposed new place.
The place is, eh, it's okay. It's important to recognize that this is, by definition, going to be smaller and have far less character than the old house. And a lot more stuff will have to be deep-sixed. As in the living room and den couches are probably toast, the dining table may never have its leaves in it again, etc. The kitchen is oddly configured and, unless they put a freezer into a kind of satellite area, there will be no freezer. This is odd for two people who lived off freezer food (and frozen food) for decades. It's a big adjustment.
But the area seems fine, the people are friendly and the place is kept up pretty well.
It is a life transition. And they are often hard.
I also spent time with my mother. Because I didn't need to clean anything out, I figured I'd give her a break, so we went out clothes shopping for me (I needed some interview/work clothes) and to lunch. This left my Dad and my brother to clear stuff out and hammer or whatever it was they were doing.
And my mother told me that, well, if things turn out a certain way, I will be doing their finances. Don't want to get into details, of course.
Anyway, for those of you following at home, I live in Boston. My parents are on Long Island. My brother is in Maryland. If I end up doing the books, it will be, shall we say, a challenge. This is a downside to living away.
I was also asked -- what's your fondest memory of the house? And the truth was, none of us could think of one. Not that it was an unhappy place, it was more, I think, we were kinda put on the spot, plus we were tired. And, well, nothing leapt out. I remember a less than optimal Sweet Sixteen party. I remember years as an isolated, depressed teenager -- if it had been now and not the seventies, I suspect I'd've been medicated.
It's a transition.
Not unlike the ones we are voluntarily attempting to do to our bodies right now.
Life changes. We adapt as well as we can. We move on. Or we cling, and we cry and we wail against the inevitable. But it doesn't matter what I think about aging -- it's still going to happen. My views on death are meaningless -- it is still everyone's fate. What I feel about weight loss isn't, truly, vital -- it's going to happen, or not, and not because of my mind.
Or will it?
We talk about attitude here, and about feelings a lot. And there is an enormous emotional component that goes along with this. What we feel DOES matter -- but the truth is, it does matter less than whether we move our bodies, and make good food choices, yes? All the happy sunshiney thoughts will not will the pounds off us if we're not working out and eating right, and eating less.
Last weekend, there was very little exercise unless I made it happen. The eating was generally abysmal and done in restaurants. Out of six meals (Friday dinner, Saturday all day and Sunday first 2 meals), I had them either in restaurants or composed of leftover restaurant food for all but 2 of those -- and those were the 2 breakfasts. Exercise was resistance bands and maybe 10 minutes of walking/day, unlike the usual 60.
And yeah, I've gained, although some of that is also TOM.
And I see how my life was, and what my teen years were like and, perhaps, a part of why I was such an isolated and depressed teenager.
I am no teenager. Isolation, if it happens, is my own doing. I take full responsibility for same. And I don't blame them.
Every now and then, I suppose, I need a reminder. But I don't look back there. It's not the house that made me happy (and it didn't).
Look forward, or you really will fall down like a domino.
Monday, February 28, 2011
In order to provide more or less maximal contrast to last week's song, I offer Billie Holliday. :)
So, I attended a Spark gathering last night. W00p! Here is one of the photos taken:
Don't we clean up nice?
There were six of us -- Lab-Lover put it all together. Also attending were -- eek, I am gonna get userids wrong -- Malcontention and aaaccckkkk I am totally blanking on the user name of this lovely gal.
Oops. Totally my bad. I blame the ahi tuna.
Anyway -- we did have a blast.
And yanno, the funny thing is, no one gave us any kind of weird stink eye of -- oh, that's a buncha dieters and they should not be doing whatever, or eating that, or whatnot. I doubt anyone cared, or batted an eye. Would you? Would you care what we ate, or talked about, or wore, unless we were somehow bothering you?
Would you even notice?
I think we can all get caught in this rut of -- I don't deserve this -- or, one of my faves (and I have been on SP for a few years and have seen this in a few separate guises -- everyone will be watching while I'm exercising, pointing and laughing.
No, they won't.
Really, they won't.
And here's where the tough love comes in.
We need to get over ourselves.
Unless we are honest-to-God celebrities (God help Oprah Winfrey and Valerie Bertinelli and Kirstie Alley and all the others who've had rather public struggles with their weight), no one gives a damn.
So go out there.
Exercise. And do it in whatever way works for YOU.
Eat what works for you. Hell, make sure the server gets it absolutely right, and fight for your right to better food in the supermarket (or take your dollars and vote with your wallet at some other place if they are more accommodating to your needs).
Sleep as much as you need -- TV schedule be damned.
Drink the water, even if someone comments about you heading to the bathroom or that they think it's weird.
Who asked 'em, anyway?
Do what YOU need, with who YOU like and love.
The rest will follow.
PS We split a humongous dessert. And I'm down 2.6 lbs.
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.
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