Monday, December 26, 2011
I've always loved the gentle, intricate hook of this song. And a part of its beauty is the great lyric that I am using for today's blog entry.
For the days, truly, ARE getting longer.
But sometimes it doesn't feel like that, because it's cloudy for too long, or something or other is falling out of the sky, or we are up too early and back too late to even see the light. It can be a tough row to hoe, the last few weeks of December, beginning of January.
It is no wonder that both Christmas and Chanukah hold light dear in celebrations. It can be just so hard to go through this time. It can be very, very easy, as you hear the siren song as it gently sings to you -- "Give up."
Give up, it says, even as it has not struggled and worked like YOU have. It sings to you of pie and hangin' out, and staying under the covers instead of going out to meet the day. It complains that the weights are too heavy, that walking is BORING, and that eating right is just such a heavy and horrible cross to bear.
Or it tempts you, with its promises of fun and frolicking and socializing. It tells you that you cannot be a good guest unless you eat a great BIG chunk of something horrendously fattening because, of course, a smaller chunk or even just a taste could not possibly do and your host or hostess is a slave driver who DEMANDS that you grab at least a good 90 degrees (that's 1/4) of whatever circular dessert is plonked in front of you because, somehow, the success or failure of the party - nay, of the very day itself! - is hinged upon your intestinal capacity.
It's not always easy to tell that little voice to go scratch, but that is, truly, what must be done. I have seen, oh so many of the topics posted here, where people ask how to handle temptation, or how to get the whole family exercising or whatever, and the truth of it is, I know that some people (hell, I did, in the beginning) need a script to get through some of these moments. But I think I have been doing this long enough that I already have the script in my head. And it goes something like this -
I worked damned hard for this.
I will not allow it to be sabotaged.
I will eat right and work out and drink water even if others don't. They are not responsible for me, and they need not live in my skin. I live here, and I am going to treat this body the way it should be treated.
Onward to the light and the warmth.
Monday, December 19, 2011
This is for everyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. You know who you are.
The Solstice is in two days. Two!
And then it will begin to get brighter. So, yay on that.
But in the meantime, man oh man.
It suddenly got colder here. A LOT colder. We had been skirting around in the 50s, and it was lovely, but you also knew it was a lie. I mean, this is freakin' New England! It gets cold here during the winters. We have hard freezes! Every year! So, it was out of place and wicked bizaah.
I held out, in terms of wearing my winter jacket, until last week. And that was somewhat good, as last year I had gone to DefCon 5 with my bundling a lot earlier in the winter. This time, I held out, but it was the warm weather that helped, of course. If it had been in the 30s, well, then of course I would've grabbed my winter jacket earlier.
My winter jacket is also a lot less forgiving in terms of size than my autumn things. And so I was reminded that 2011 has been less than optimal in terms of weight. While things are not horrid (I weighed in at 216.6 this morning), they could certainly be better. I fear the subtle creep back on of weight, and I think that may be starting again. But it's hard to get enthusiastic about being vigilant right now. Life just feels cold and ugly and drab and draggy.
This is not a license to eat gobs of cake and I don't. Plus I do get the working out in. And I do it by lying to myself. The bus, you see, it gets on the highway to Boston. But there are numerous stops after it leaves the highway (this is in terms of the evening commute) and before it gets to the stop closest to my home. So I get off at the first stop after it gets off the highway, and I walk. This results in either 25 or 30 minutes of walking, with the differential dependent upon whether I take one bus versus another. It may not seem like a lot, but it is how I am getting it done these days.
As for the weekends, I make an effort to do the big walk on at least one of the two days, if not both. Last weekend, it was planned out for me as I ran the last 5K of the year, the Somerville Jingle Bell Run. I did not do so well, and could tell, but it is rather difficult to get anywhere near a PB when it's less than 30 degrees F out and you are mainly just trying to keep warm. I also totally forgot to take my performance enhancing drugs (Advil), so the aches and pains and slowness there was also caused by that oversight. But I did finish, and I got another nify finisher medal. :)
In the meantime, the light will come back, you know. It will come back incrementally, and sometimes we can lose patience with that, just as so many other things come back incrementally, and it can be tough to hang in there and wait for it all to happen. And as we goose it along, even then it may not come on our own personal timetables.
But it will happen.
For all of you SAD sufferers, there is a light, and it never goes out.
And that light is in you.
Enjoy the Smiths. :)
Monday, December 12, 2011
So, a big thank you again, as I was chosen as Motivator of the Day last week. :)
It turned into a very busy week, as I was not only thanking folks but also doing reporting, as we hit the first five business days of the month and a boatload of stuff is due. Kinda tired at the end of the week. I had been concerned that I did not have enough to do during the days and, at least last week, I did. So that's better in some ways, as I hate just sitting around, but not so wonderful in others, as I truly did not want to be filling my days with that stuff. Eh, it's okay. These are the cards that were dealt.
In other news, holiday shopping is done, including the Yankee Swap gift for work. Er, actually, I take that back as Mr. Jay's folks aren't done yet, but they will be soon. And then we can relax and start to think of gifts for each other. For me (and I know Mr. J reads these), I would like new unmentionables. Size 36C. Thank you. :)
Oh yeah, for those of you who are not New Englanders, I will now explain the Yankee Swap, in iambic pentameter.
Working in New England, it's holiday time
to not participate would be a crime
the Yankee Swap is the method for the madness
to banish Seasonal Affective Disorder sadness.
A number is selected - you really want one
'cause two has the least amount of fun
an example, here, we'll go with twenty
unmarked gifts, you see, the selection's plenty
number one picks first
the gift might be the worst.
Two then picks, unwraps a present
and can trade it for one's, which is kinda pleasant
three comes along and opens a third
and can trade it for one's or two's - my word!
And four and so on, until all are done
and then it comes back to number one
who can trade his gift for any other
so he gets the best, oh brother!
Spending limit is small, but don't be sad
if you pick my gift, you'll get colored pencils and a sketch pad :)
I always give either crayons or colored pencils and an unlined sketch pad. That way, I figure, if anyone needs to give a last minute gift for a kid, they can always regift mine. Scratch tickets and Starbucks gift cards, and cheap alcohol, tend to be favored, so it's often a contest to see who gets the best of the booze. Last time I played this, I actually got my own gift back (I did not have the best of numbers).
Our holiday party is the 22nd. I'll let you know if I get anything good (Yankee Swaps are also, often, a place for people to dump weird stuff from their homes. I could end up with an old picture of Carl Yastrzemski). C'mon one (the numbers are generally picked out of a hat)!
Monday, December 05, 2011
So, kids, it's December 5th. This means that the darkest day o' the year will happen in 16 days.
It also means that things will start to brighten up in 17 days.
It's all in the perspective, yanno?
I weighed in this morning at 211 and change.
Oh, my God! I'm 5'6"! I'm supposed to be 156! As in, 55 lbs. lighter.
Oh, my God! I used to be 346! As in, I am 135 lbs. lighter.
I will be 50 in less than 9 months.
Oh, my God! I'm getting old! I will never be bouncy again!
Oh, my God! I'm so much bouncier than I was when I turned 40!
This morning, I went into my less than optimal job.
Oh, my God! It stinks! I hate it! This is not what I wanna do for the rest of my life!
Oh, my God! I'm making money! People are nice! I'm making contacts!
My lower teeth are crooked. I've been going grey since I was 20 something. I can't sing. I don't go on awesome vacations.
My eyes are pretty nice. I do a good job coloring my hair. I can write. I stay home for vacations 'cause my house is almost paid for.
... And there you have it.
We can pick apart our own flaws, and the flaws of others, until the cows come home. We are all observant enough people. Surely we all see the flyaway hair, the slightly smeared makeup, the jiggly butt, the uneven fingernails. Or we can see the eyes that are like a window to the sky. And the smile that lights up a whole city block. And the proud stance. And the confident walk. And the wisdom in a look, or in words.
And we can see the essence from within, yes?
Can we see that in others?
I sure as hell hope we all can.
And can we turn that mirror inward, and see it in ourselves?
I sure as hell hope we all can.
Get out of that state you're in.
Slip into a better one.
Monday, November 28, 2011
I had a lovely Thanksgiving. And how 'bout yourself?
We did not go overboard, but one thing is clear - they don't sell small turkeys. I found the smallest one in the store, and it was still a good 12.7 pounds. This was for two people. Hence, we have many turkeyesque leftovers at home. But that's fine; it'll help to keep us going over the winter. There will be weeks when we want chicken soup - so we'll have turkey soup instead. It's all good.
The remainder was, as this holiday always is, painfully carb-centric. A yam (yes, just one, and sans seasoning, just nuked), mashed taters (also sans seasoning; I took very little of these as we have them every week so they are not a once a year treat), homemade cranberries (just an ounce or so of boiled berries with sugar, which is a necessity because otherwise I'd be puckering until 2057; the remainder were frozen), mixed veg, salad, smoothies, homemade stuffing (just cubed bread, chestnuts, sage, onion powder and it was tossed into the turkey pan drippings - probably the fattiest item on the menu. Maybe three ounces of this), and stuffed mushrooms (hollowed-out portabellos, the insides chopped with oyster mushrooms and mixed with a breading mix, then baked, no other seasoning. The breading mix was a bit salty. Again, around three ounces or so).
Aside from the turkey, we also have leftover stuffing (we'll freeze the remainder tonight). Everything else is gone.
Plus we walked/jogged every day of the long weekend, for over an hour each time, and I got writing done even though I did less cleaning/decrapifying than I had originally planned. I also winterized my closet and had good calls with the family.
All in all, I consider it to be a success.
Oh, and I gained 1.4 pounds.
Now, there are folks who would have totally led with that little tidbit. And it is well within their rights, of course.
But yanno something?
It is freakin' Thanksgiving.
As in, it comes but once a year (or at least it should). And, as you can see, we did not go overboard (notice there are no desserts? That's right; we didn't make any) and we worked out every day. 1.4 pounds is easily within the ping-ponging that I have now been doing for a couple of years.
I am past beating myself up over every blip on the scale. I would get upset if the holiday had been pie-centric. Or if the portions had been seconded and thirded in an endless stream of carbs and fat and salt. Or if we were planning on doing it all again tomorrow.
But it wasn't, and we're not.
Now, keep in mind that we do not celebrate Christmas. And Chanukah is not, aside from latkes, a huge foodie holiday. It is certainly not the feast that Christmas is.
So - guess what?
Life is grand. Most things went well. A few were less than ideal. But the world continues to spin and I am feeling pretty damned awesome about the whole weekend.
Except for the fact that I'm back at work today .... :)
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