Monday, September 24, 2012
You'd think, with all this "leisure" time I have, not working and all, that I'd be happily relaxed and not pining for a vacation.
A part of it is the inevitable worry, not just about money and bills, but also, a small, nagging voice saying, "You're never going to work again!"
I hate that voice.
Yet it is talking to me, and it gets louder at times, and softer at others. Yes, folks, same old, same ole - I can't find work.
It is not through a lack of effort on my part, nor is it due to a lack of prospects out there (although over the summer, it was dead, dead, dead here). Last Friday, I had a phone screen. It all sounded lovely. The woman I talked to was pleasant and liked my questions. And whenever I'd ask, "Now, let me see if I understand ...", I would be right.
And here we are.
Now, I am well aware that these things take time, it doesn't happen overnight, yeah, I know all of this. I know the lyrics to this old song because I sing it every freakin' day.
And of course I sing it about my weight loss journey as well.
Important things take time.
You didn't get heavy overnight.
Maintenance is harder than losing.
Long-term losing is especially difficult.
You're 50 so, by definition, losing is a pain in the patoot.
And on and on and on.
I am awfully tired of the song.
And I am so tired of it that, truth be told, I've been ignoring other still, small voices.
On Sunday (er, yesterday), I got out a pair of jeans and put them on. Now, this is not remarkable in and of itself. However, this was the first time I'd put on something longer than capri pants (other than sweats) since early June or so, when Massachusetts decided to become as hot as the surface of the sun.
Size 16, dontcha know.
And they fit.
No tugging, no holding my breath. No cursing the day I was born.
Yes, I have been smaller. During this weight loss journey, I flirted off and into size 10 territory.
But I am fine with this. For the voice that tells me I will never work again and that I am a 16 and should be a 10 is trying to drown out the other voice.
The other voice says, yeah, you're a 16, but less than 5 years ago, you were a 26.
It says you walk every day and you lift weights and you have stamina that other people of your age can only dream about.
It says you make good choices and you don't let a brownie pulverize your willpower and your desire.
It says this ain't easy but you are doing it pretty damned well.
Now I just need to get it to talk about my job search.
Monday, September 17, 2012
This is yet another pic from my birthday party. Oh, and the song? There's, erm, a few swear words in it. Enjoy but maybe with earbuds while at work.
Incredibly, I am on my second week in a row of losing.
What magical, mysterious thing am I doing?
I have no freakin' clue.
I am just doing my usual thing. If anything, I am doggin' it more when it comes to exercise. Hence it's possible that I was undereating before, and by working out less, I am actually fixing that issue instead.
I am still six (yes, you read that right) pounds down from two weeks ago.
Lower body measurements are up slightly, but otherwise, everything is hunky dory.
And so, dear readers, as I wonder wtf is going on (but am not complaining, mind you), I continue to attempt to focus. Last week I wrote about focus. Well, there is of course more to focus on.
I am starting to wrap my head around my mother turning 80. This will be in January, but of course one must plan for such things. With little disposable income that isn't promised to something else (like mortgage payments and the like), I am getting a little concerned about getting something grand enough, or making a grand enough gesture or the like. It is not that I don't care and it is not that I am reluctant. It's more that it's just a ton to do. And what I hope was made somewhat clear last week remains the case - life is busy. Hence getting from Point A (thinking about doing something) to Point Z (actually doing whatever that is) just looking daunting.
I will think of something, I am sure. But right now I am at the "it looks like a really big cliff" stage of things. I need to get that cliff to diminish, but only time will do that. Ah, well. Can we fast-forward to December, please?
In the meantime, I suppose I will keep doggin' it (hey, it's working!) and perhaps I can rope my brother into stressing about our mother's birthday! Enjoy the Hooters. With earbuds on.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Another pic from the birthday extravaganza! :)
Anyway, things are going considerably better as the heat has broken (for now) and it's easier to get outside and actually do stuff. As a result, I have shed all of the gain from last week.
And I am coming to the realization that I need to divvy up my life in a way that makes sense to me. I've come up with 5 areas where I need to concentrate (in no particular order) -
1) My family (friends are included here, as of course online pals are, too)
2) Looking for a job
3) Making and saving money however I can before #2 becomes a reality (I currently have a gig where I get some $$ for internet SEO research, plus I am paid for some blogging and also clip coupons and otherwise watch our pennies).
4) Health stuff (exercise, water, food, doctor, etc.)
5) Artistic stuff (I write fiction in my spare time)
It easy to rationalize other things into this, e. g. I should play a boatload of Words With Friends on Facebook 'cause that's #1. Er, no, it really isn't that interactive with people. I need to cut back on it. Or I'll just write, write, write 'til the cows come home. That's nice (and it's fun) but I can't just drop looking for work while I do that. I need to be more efficient with exercising (heavier weights and faster walking) so that I can get more out of the time I have.
All of this needs to be managed better. Because I find myself getting out of bed at 6:30 and then suddenly I am done with only one of these things and it's noon. That's gotta stop. I need more balance in order to, well, truth be told, combat stress. Yes, even when you're not working, there can be boatloads of stress.
And I am determined to do my level best to defeat that.
So sayonara to the flakiest, weirdest of it, and adieu to things that don't work for me or take too long. And in the meantime, I'll continue hunting for ways to be more efficient all around, and slap away procrastination when it rears its ugly head.
Er, maybe later. There's a squirrel outside.
Monday, September 03, 2012
Well, it's not the end of the century.
It's the end of the HALF-century. Yes, folks. I turned 50 (yesterday).
The day before, there was a small celebration. Grand fun. My folks were there, Mr. j of course, and seven of my pals, mostly local folk. My poor pal Kris was the only female friend there. But the truth is, my friends tend to skew male. It was a funky, eclectic group. I was particularly pleased at how well everyone got on, even people who had never met before. I think the best part of it all was that there was a lot of laughing. A LOT.
And there was food and all that, and it was good, but it could have been lousy and I would have been fine with it.
Yesterday, I got to celebrate my actual birthday by - egad, guess what??? Well, the menopause gods apparently do not yet have their collective act in gear. Hence I got cramps, you name it, the whole nine yards. Delightful. NOT.
It was a day of three (yes, three, cripes) restaurant meals. And while they were all okay, honestly, I could have done without two of them. I neither needed them nor wanted them. But, you know, we had company, yadda yadda you know the drill.
This morning I am up 4.4 pounds. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised that things are no worse. I was truly expecting an EPIC disaster.
Oh and I also ran my 32nd 5K. My time was nearly identical to last time - 48:02. Not great, to be sure, but not horrible. And certainly it was something! I went out and I did it, despite the fact that I was continuing to feel less than awesome, due to food, TOM, the stress of having company, etc.
My brother gave me a Timex heart rate monitor. I tried it out today. I am sure I am not doing it right. It got the time down correctly, but it decided I had burned 144 calories. Spark says over 300. My pedometer says over 400. I'll go with Spark, thanks (the monitor does not have anywhere to input weight, which absolutely affects caloric burn during aerobic exercise). So, the verdict on the monitor is meh, although it was easier to check than hitting the pedometer and it has a funky purple strap.
Other highlights (I'm rambling, er, well, I'll claim age is doing that to me. Coherence be gone!) included not one but two bouquets o' flowers. Plus a pink tiara with maribou trim and fake jewels so that I could be a princess. It was made (and sized) for ages 5 and up. There are also various cards and a book called _The_Victorian_Internet_.
Plus there was a huge onslaught of greetings here and on Facebook. A topic was opened up for me on the site that I manage and on a Trek site I go to. Another Trek site I frequent sent a note directly from management. There are e-cards on the other computer - I'll get to them, er, eventually.
It's been great fun, but for 60 - please -
* fewer restaurant meals. Really, I could have done without a few of them.
* good lord if I am still getting TOM, kindly shoot me by then.
* a slightly larger tiara would stay on better. I'm just sayin'.
Otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for being a part of it all.
Monday, August 27, 2012
I guess we all were. 'Cause we were sold a bill of goods.
What?! you say.
Well, we were told that we were supposed to have flat stomachs. Hell, not just FLAT, but CONCAVE. We were told that that was the only way to be sexy. We were told that it was the only way we could bare our midriffs in public without embarrassment.
HA! HA again, I say. BULL. Allow me to present Exhibits A and B.
Those two BEAUTIFUL women are Venus and Serena Williams. They are two of the best female (hell, either gender) athletes of our time.
AND THEIR STOMACHS ARE NOT FLAT.
They (not the Williams sisters, God bless 'em) LIED to us.
They told us we couldn't be pretty.
They told us we should hide away.
They said we should be ASHAMED.
I call NONSENSE. I call BS. I call stuff that they won't let me post on Spark.
Yanno what's the truth?
Strength training WORKS. Being on program WORKS. Getting out there and doing it WORKS.
Scales mislead. The truth is in the measurements.
Here are mine, as of this morning.
My weight this morning is 229.2.
I keep my measurements and there have been 20 weeks where the numbers have been more or less comparable, ever since I started doing this. The weight for that time period has fluctuated between 209.2 and 235. Sometimes the butt has been bigger. Sometimes the bicep has been smaller. But through it all, it's been 20 weeks of this, in a time period spanning January of 2008 to the present. About the closest I was with all measurements to today was back in March. Of 2009. When I weighed 212.8.
But wait! There's more!
Numbers go up, down and sideways. In the 9 weeks since the middle of the year, my weight has bobbed up and down between 222.8 and 230. But my measurements, overall, are pretty close. Overall, yes, they tend to be less when I weigh less. But there's probably less of a difference than you would think.
And here's another thing. My bicep has been this size many times before. At my lowest weight, I was in the 160s. My bust and belly have been this size many times before, too. Those aren't quite so dramatic - they've been this size when I've been in the 220s, but with one outlier in the 210s. For the band, waist and thigh, once again, I've been this, done this. But I've been in the 200s. And for my butt, I've actually been down in the 180s at this size measurement.
What does all of that mean? It means that muscle replaces fat. And it makes the scale say nasty things that we don't like. It messes with our BMI, too, as that measurement is far from the panacea that we all grope for. After all, traditional quickie BMI measurements are just weight versus height but fail to take into account just what your body is composed of.
Lift weights, people. Grunt, sweat and strain. Eat protein. Limit carbs (but don't eliminate them). Drink water. Use a tape measure and keep records.
And for God's sake listen to your body.
And if you want to bare your belly, have at it.
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