Monday, February 13, 2012
I wanted to write a little bit about the woman singing this song, as she recently passed, but I also wanted to write about myself, and all of you. I am the woman in the pic, which is from 2 summers ago.
This is not her biggest hit. It is not even her first hit. It's just, a sweet, danceable song.
And it's funny, because you talk about a celebrity death (and I am talking about Whitney Houston, if you can't access the link) and a lot of people project themselves onto it. I have seen her death as a railing against drugs, but also used as a justification for taking them. I have seen it as a lament of a wasted life and thanks for getting what we did, that we should somehow be grateful that we were graced with her presence for as long as we were, as if 48 years old (over a year younger than me) was somehow enough. I have seen it as people worried for the well-being of her daughter and railing against her ex-husband.
And amidst all of it is a big mirror. We see a mirror, and it reflects what we want to reflect, and so often that mirror is distorted.
And it got me thinking about our own demons. And while they are less flashy, and they don't act as quickly, they are still there. What if she had died of some obesity-related illness? Would we be reacting in a similar fashion? Would we be railing against Bobby Brown for leading her down the path of too many Snickers bars? Would we be worried that Bobbie Kristina would take to too much fried chicken? Would we be using her death as an excuse and a rationalization for our own overindulgences, or as a motivation for kicking ours to the curb?
One thing that isn't talked about too often here on Spark is that this is your lifespan we are talking about. It is its quality and its length. And I say that 48 is too young. I am not demanding more songs from someone like Whitney. Rather, it is that I am demanding more life from her, more surviving. Because, aside from things like HIV and cancer, a gunshot or a drowning or a poisoning or a car accident, well, 48-year-olds generally don't just up and die.
She committed suicide with a pipe and a needle and a spoon.
Are we committing it with our forks?
I know, I know, that was over the top. It's not the same. And that's true. I totally get that and you're right. It is not the same. But we can stop it, yes? We talk about food addiction but, truth is, I doubt it's on a par with the kind of drug addiction that Houston battled.
I believe that we can put it aside. I am well aware that it is not the only reason for weight gain or for the stalling of weight loss. Oh, I know that all too well, my friends. But a part of this journey is the food that isn't eaten, the calories that don't have to be burned off as they are never consumed in the first place. I am not talking about starvation. I am talking about having enough, and knowing when it is enough and knowing when and how to stop.
For that is what I take away from her death. I take away a thought of – she did not know when to quit. But I do.
And so do you.
Monday, February 06, 2012
The picture has naught to do with the blog entry; I just liked it. I'm a Trekkie so it amused me.
Anyway – what's up in the land o' jes, you ask.
But I am coming to, really and truly, my fourth anniversary of being here. It'll be on the 21st, but I am getting a jump on it 'cause, well, I dunno.
Actually, I DO know.
I am getting a jump because today we were talking a bit about goals for the month of February. Now, it is a short month (despite the extra day thrown in there - er, why isn't that day in July or some other, warmer month? But I digress), so goals maybe need to be curtailed slightly.
Wanna know what my goal is for February?
It's not a weight loss goal. It's not a water drinking goal. It's not a tracking goal. It's not a strength training goal. I will do all of those things (except for the first one) without thinking - they are already ingrained into my life. So I don't need to set 'em as goals 'cause they're habits. As for the first one, it will happen, or it will not, and I will do whatever I can to assure that it will happen but sometimes such things do not happen and I will not beat myself up if such is not to be.
Anyway, my February goal is ...
... wait for it ....
to walk 90 miles.
Last year, I walked about 75 1/2 miles in February, but it was a very, very snowy winter, so most of my cardio was spent shoveling snow. In '10, I walked 85 plus miles. So this year I want to up that to 90. I am, so far, at 22 and change, and I have not gone out yet today. Hence I should make it, exceed it and blow it out of the water, but I am being conservative about it because serious snowfalls (still a very real possibility here in Nueva England) could throw a wrench into that.
That's it? Yep, that's it.
But, but, but, where's the drama? Where's the amazing weight loss goal, the fifty races, the foreswearing of fried beets or whatever?
Been there, done that, kids.
And one thing I have found, as I wend my way to my fourth anniversary, is that most people don't really live their lives as defined by goals. Sure, goals are helpful and sweet and they help to shape our behaviors. But what happens when our behaviors are already shaped?
For me, now, goals and aims and desires are not so much about changing my lifestyle as they are about individual achievements, and attempts to do things better. Do I want to lose weight? Sure. Do I want my arms to be less jiggly? You betcha.
But in all of this, what I really want is to live a normal life, as I define normal.
In 2010, per my pedometer, I walked 970 miles. That's about from here to Ontario.
In 2011, per my pedometer, I walked 1234 miles. That's about from here to Springfield, Missouri.
This year, I hope to have walked 1570 miles, if the annual mileage increase of about 27% holds true. That would be about from here to Arlington, Texas.
See ya in Arlington.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Today is the start of an experiment.
I am back on alli for 30 days, to see if it makes a damned bit of difference.
I suspect all it will do is force me into stricter portion control. Which is fine for losing, and I may very well lose a bit during these days. But I know myself. I'll also get a bit nuts.
My husband asked me - what will you do if it works? Will you stay on alli? And my answer was, probably not, even if it does work. For, right now, I don't see the virtue in making myself insane for sustained periods. But we'll see. Perhaps I'll change my mind. There's also the question of the expense. But I've paid for this course. Let's see if it works before we go jumping into another one.
The other thing, which is very odd to me, is that, if I get through all of today and tomorrow, I will have gone through all of January without TOM. And that would be the first time that had ever happened since I was about 11 1/2 years old (I'm about 49 1/2 right now). Perhaps I am good for 38 years of fertility. I dunno, and have now hit my ovarian expiration date. I know, for sure, that menopause is a game of fits and starts. I may very well be back to it in a month or so. No celebrating yet, no symbolic burning of the Kotex box or anything. Wacky.
Life's been meh. I am looking for work, and so that's what I do with my time. I send in resumes, I accept recruiters' calls and I try to remain positive throughout. I tweak my resume whenever I'm feeling that no one's paying enough attention to me. And I try to network on occasion, but I truly despise that game. And I have found, over the course of my life, that networking hasn't done squat for me, except get me an essentially volunteer gig at the robotics joint.
I am also a walking fiend these days, going a good 80 minutes or so every day, rain, snow or shine. I'm mainly going two routes, which are partial mirrors to each other. I've found, in my area, those are the best routes, in terms of giving me a serious hill to climb, enough space to get 80 minutes' worth in, and they also maximize the potential for seeing pettable dogs or cute bunnies and chipmunks. Hey, I've got my priorities, although I may go elsewhere today as the bunnies and chipmunks have been on vacation for a while.
So, life goes on, as I await my first Unemployment check, I work on our taxes and make sense of my world as best as I can. One of the ways that things make more sense to me is by scheduling 5Ks. I've got eight set so far for this year. The other two just aren't up yet for registrations. Plus we may hunt around for another one, for April, as that month is oddly missing a race (the race that would've been in April is, instead, on March 31st this year). Two hundred plus dollars for registration fees. When the other two or three come in, I think it'll top $300 for the two of us for the year. Plus we get tee shirts and snacks, the occasional finisher medal and a boatload of entertainment and focused conditioning motivation.
Onward, ever onward, ever pacing, ever doing, ever thinking, ever analyzing, ever yearning.
Monday, January 23, 2012
And lo, I am off to the races.
I have already met with a recruiter. I find those to be utterly useless meetings, but the dude told me, "I place maybe 5% of the people I only talk with on the phone, but I place over 70% of the people I meet in person." So I trudged over to Wellesley. And ... whatever. It was lovely. I was bubbly and sparkly like I try to be for interviews, and they promised this, that and the other thing and when I got home I called my four biggie references and they all said, "Sure, we'll recommend ya."
And then, of course, nada, because, like I indicated, for me that sorta stuff never seems to work. But - nice try. 'Course it may work later. I have, after all, gotten jobs during the last dozen years, and almost all have been through recruiters. Plus it counts for job search-y stuff when Unemployment checks up.
So that is my life, following up on leads, dealing with Unemployment, trying to get ahead with certain in-house stuff (I'm on a decrapifying kick, plus I do the wash now, I clean up more these days, that sorta thing) and also walking around the snowy streets in order to get some cardio. We had our first snowfall where there was anything appreciable to shovel, and Mr. J and I were out for an hour to take care of it. I feel totally fine from it - these days I am, I kid you not, in awesome shoveling shape.
As for weight loss, I am doing pretty well. Right now I'm a pound down from the first of the year and, while that ain't much, it's still going in the right direction. One thing I am endeavoring to do is to make the number of loss weeks exceed the number of gain weeks in 2012. Last year, it looks like I had about 6 or 7 more gain weeks than loss weeks (plus there were 2 weeks where there was no change). That's not good. Of course, if I have 6 or 7 more gain than loss weeks, but the overall gain amount is less than the overall loss amount, then life is grand, right? Well, yeah, but I am looking, right now, not only for an overall loss, but also for some consistency. So far, this year, I've got 3 loss weeks and 1 gain week, so, yay me.
Anyway - life at home isn't awful; it's just kinda dull. But I stay upstairs, where there are few snacks, drink my water, deal with the consequences of said water drinking and hang out online, doing Sparky stuff and also looking for work, until I figure it's time to go out and walk around the neighborhood.
So far, so good, in 2012.
Monday, January 16, 2012
This blog is, in part, a sequel to last week's, which was about The Fat Trap (just check out my blog called I Just Might Stop and Check You Out. The link is in there), a New York Times article about just how mf'in' difficult it is to lose and, even more importantly, keep off a boatload o' weight.
But it's also about news.
And the news is, I am on the prowl again for a new job. Not gonna put the reasons out there. I know that employers Google and connecting my userid to my real name is far from impossible. All that matters is that there was a parting of the ways.
And so I am looking again. I dislike looking for work but, fortunately, there is already interest out there. The economy here continues to improve, and this is a decent time to look, as employers have bright, sparkling new budgets.
My black blazer fits (although I probably wouldn't be able to wear it with a sweater on under it) and my nice pants fit and so, I presume, my black skirt fits and so I am ready to face the world of interviewing. I don't own scads of interviewing clothes mainly because I've been on semi-casual business attire for the last dozen years.
One thing I am in the mood to do is to get things a bit cleaned up around here, and decluttered. I had already started some of it, and now I've done more. Mr. J is pretty supportive with this as I think he is starting to see just how tiresome it is to pick through piles of junk. Plus sending most of this extra stuff to Big Brothers & Big Sisters means that we get a tax deduction. Too late for '11 but it's still helpful.
My mood is not somber, or even that reflective. It's more, just, get 'er done. We'll see how long that lasts, but right now that's how things are. I just have my list of what to do and am plowing through it, much like I do with the trappings of weight loss.
You don't have a daily plan? You don't sit down and figure out, either in the morning, or the night before, or even during the week, what you're most likely going to eat? You don't determine when you're going to sneak in exercise? You don't decide when water drinking will happen, so as to minimize the effects/product of said water drinking?
One thing I have been trying for quite a while is to plan out my life when it comes to weight loss stuff. Just, decide how things will be, and then execute the plan.
One of the things that I got out of the Fat Trap article was that, despite my best efforts, sometimes I couldn't plan and predict the outcomes. And that that was not a personal failing. I take some comfort from this. I won't tell you that I'm not annoyed that things aren't easier. And I also won't tell you that there aren't people who've continued to tell me - oh, you must not be trying hard enough. You're not being vigilant enough. Heh, no. Vigilance is important, yes. Making myself insane with food obsessions is not good, though. I refuse to make this a totally 24/7/365 project. Sorry, but it ain't happenin'. I have to find a job. I have a husband. I have ... a life.
Same thing with looking for work, actually. I refuse to make it my life 24/7/365. Sorry, folks, but I seriously doubt I am suddenly going to run into my dream employer when I'm out buying cod. And if I do, that person, I am sure, will not give a damn that, during obvious time off, I wasn't wearing interview clothes or prepped for trick questions or had a fresh copy of my resume available. You know, with my coupons.
There are folks who do that, you know, who answer every phone call with breathless certainty that this will be THE ONE, and are ready at 7 AM or 8 PM to yap on about paradigms and five-year plans and the like. But that is not me. You call me on my own time, guess what? Your call is going to go to voice mail. Because - surprise! - that's what it's there for. I will get back to you during business hours, like a freakin' NORMAL person. I will only answer if you and I planned to talk at that crazy hour. Then, no sweat, I am here. Let's do this.
If that works for you, awesome. Go for it. If eating a lemon wedge and a slab of raw tempeh wrapped in romaine make you lose like a house on fire, you go and you do that.
But don't expect me to.
The difference - and it is an undercurrent in the article, but not really spelled out there - is that, surprise, surprise, PEOPLE ARE INDIVIDUALS.
Amazing, but true.
See if you can spot some differences?
* Food eaten as a child
* Weight of parents
* Longevity of parents
* Body composition/overall fitness
* Exercise regimen
* Foods eaten today
* Foods eaten last year
* Foods eaten during the last decade
* Water drinking
* When water is drunk
* Access to and use of medical care
* Current weight
* Weight at heaviest
* Weight at lightest while current height
* Current Height
Some of these matter more than others. What I ate for breakfast on March 18th, 1997 is probably not that important any more. But I bet my genetics still matter. And my age. And my gender. And my current weight. And my ....
In both of these instances - weight loss and job searches - I think a lot of us tend to subscribe to a one size fits all mantra. And I think we do that because there is so much information out there, and it is so vast. It's difficult to get our arms around it. But we have gotta try. Because pushing out a bunch of generic resumes like just so many sausages is not going to get me a job any more than following a weight loss plan tailor-made for someone else is going to make me super-successful in weight loss.
Onward to greater glories, in both areas.
Get An Email Alert Each Time JESPAH Posts