Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I have felt like crap all week because my lower back is chronically hurting and, whether it's the pain or something else, the nausea has been worse than the pain. I usually head for carbs when my tummy feels off, but I did not take the full plunge today.
More goodies today, including more of the fabulous sourdough-raisin-cranberry bread. It is a good thing the bakery, in San Francisco, is about 40 miles away or I would be broke and a blimp! I had a piece of the bread but left the brownies, tarts and other sweets. I did not go back - I would have grabbed more bread!
At lunch today, I still felt like crap but I took my walk. The walk did not make the discomfort go away, but I am glad I went. Ever since I was a child with my leg brace, I have always had a mental race either with myself or someone in the vicinity or a car or....If I would see a car coming, I would try to pass a pole or get in a certain number of steps before it passed me. Today, I heard a group of guys walking behing me and I was determined that they were not going to pass me (I am a turtle). Their voices got louder, I walked faster. I turned the corner and started up the incline. They were going to pass me! Faster! Faste! Heart rate is up! I look over my shoulder and they went straight instead of following around the turn and up the hill. It took a LONG time for my heart to settle back down, but it felt really good. My blog was going to be about the walk, but this evening happened!
I was hungry all day, all day, all day! When I came home, BF decided he had to go to the corner store. He came home with armloads of whole wheat super healthy bread. A guy donating bread to the local food pantry broke down. While waiting for the AAA tow truck, he started passing out the bread. I live in a very poor community surrounded by communities of great wealth. It was truly a blessing! Years ago, I bought a freezer that is both taller and wider than me and it had room. This guy was an angel and his generosity stretched my food budget for several months. The fact that it's good-for-me bread is fantastic! I could not afford this quality product.
BF went back and saw the guy driving to the food bank. A neighbor said he had just delivered at the homeless vets home at the VA.
I definitely have an attitude of gratitude tonight!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I mentioned a few blogs ago that the season of layoffs has returned. I have not been counting, but I would guess about a dozen people have been let go. I don't know that they are all layoffs or how the departures are characterized, but it's hard not to be cynical. This does not include the students who are leaving.
One of my friends and coworkers called me this evening to say she has been fired or thinks she has been. She was pretty upset and the connection was not great, so she was hard to understand. She has been supporting her brother who has renal failure, she has been overwhelmed with two sisters who have cancer and has been having an unbelievably rough couple of years. There are few jobs where she is, so she is going to have to think about moving, but into that calculus is making sure her brother can get the care he needs.
I was absolutely thunderstruck and speechless when she called me. I don't know what happened, but I know Wendy and just cannot imagine what happened.
Yesterday, I passed up on all the treats. Today, I had 3 quarter-sized pieces of sourdough bread with raisins and cranberries and a small chocolate rice krispie type treat. It tasted good, but I am not sure what made me dive in today after skipped all the temptations that have surrounded me since Thanksgiving.
I have had a really awful lower back ache for days and so have not done much exercise. Somehow, I got in over 9K steps, though...
Tired, not sure I can sleep. I have hated seeing people leave and would be less than honest if I did not say I am scared about being next.
I am going to miss Wendy!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Today was a "moderate" day - nothing about it was particularly exceptional, good or bad. Early in the morning, I discovered the reason for the lower back pain, moodiness and unreasonable hunger. (TOM).
Everywhere I went at work today, the counters were covered with treats. Among others, our exec admin in the finance department brought in a spread. She is retiring and is the motherly, gracious type of person everyone will miss. She must have baked all weekend. In addition to that, she brought in chips, dip, a crockpot of hot apple cider and fresh veggies for the dip. I skipped everything except the veggies.
Am I virtuous? No. I could have just as easily plowed in and taken some of everything. It would have triggered a sugar binge, another round of self-hate and a scale consequence that I would not like. Today, I was not even tempted by chocolate brownies (home made!).
Tomorrow could be very different.
I did not do my usual longer walk at lunch, just a short one. Still, over 8K steps and almost 3 miles, so that was a nice surprise.
Today may have been the first day in which I was completely within range for all nutrition metrics. Closer to the top of calories than I want, but...wow!
I received the SparkPeople exercise DVD I ordered. I have not broken the seal on it yet. Belatedly, I remembered that I had not ordered it before because I have no room to move at home! Hmmm. I will have to work on this next week during the break.
I read an article on SP yesterday about setting micro goals. I want to join the Red Hat society ($20 is the cheapest level). I have to figure out which goal to set in order to earn that. Perhaps X minutes strength training every day (Different areas every day, of course) for a certain period of time.
Someone commented on a recent blog about how it's not good to track fragments of pounds. Well, for me, not true. I lose weight so slowly that a quarter of a pound can represent a victorious week. I hit a very long plateau in the spring when I did not even lose that! So, yes, I do count them, but I am not married to my scale either. What's more important? My energy level, attitude, how my clothes fit...But each thing contributes to the whole.
My company has had a well-being program all year. They got some rate consideration on insurance for instituting it. It was announced that we could earn points for various activities and get a cash incentive. When it was announced, I was focused on that reward. Very soon, however, (Thanks, SP!) I looked at it as a support for the life changes I needed to make. I got points for the "age appropriate" exam when I had my colonoscopy this summer, for drinking water, for eating fruits and veggies etc. Every month, there were different challenges. The charity walk earned some points. I registered my final points today and send a thank you email to the HR rep who's handled the program. I copied her boss and her VP and recommended that she be given an award for her outstanding performance. (We have Excel awards, but I am not in a position to give one). She thanked me and said that it was not a successful program. Presumably not many people participated or had the results that were desired. I told her that, while I did not lose as much as I thought, I had the best year ever in terms of making sure I had the preventative care, making lifestyle changes etc. I achieved the gold level in points, so I will get the maximum reward. But, as I told her, what I gained may be a healthier lifestyle, a better quality of life and, maybe, a longer one. This is only the first year of this journey. Next year will be even better.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
This morning, I discovered that I made an error when I entered my weight last week. When I recorded it this morning, an email from my friend feed showed I had lost over 1K pounds! I went back and looked. I had forgotten a decimal! Unfortunately, the correction created a different error. The tracker says I lost a pound when the scale says I gained a pound.
Nonie_C saw her beloved Nisa cross the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. I lost my Bug 2 years ago right before Thanksgiving. I can still feel him resting against my shoulder while I am on the computer and sleeping on my hip at night. He was 19.5 when he died and I'd had him for about 18 years. My BF's cat, Cilantro, will be 16 next May and we know her days are numbered. My heart is with Nonie_C because I know how that loss of a beloved cat feels.
I spent most of the day working on something that has a court-imposed deadline. I am only halfway through it but I had to stop for the day. My brain could not handle more! So I logged off and spent a while working on my Christmas cards. I usually have them done long before now, but this year it has not worked out that way. And I am going to bed early so I can start tomorrow early and get to the Post Office before they close tomorrow evening (package notices).
I did not feel well today and was a couch potato. Not only that, I ate. I was stunned to see I had eaten over again today........GRRRRR!
I am already thinking about my New Years resolution(s). I am going to make it something about strength training. Exercise is still the weakest of the elements of my SP journey. But I actually feel good about this resolution. I had stopped making them because they had no teeth behind them. This time, it is something I need to do. I need to exercise for me. For my other goals. For my health. For my life. I must implement this change and not play around with it.
I also need to think about how I blew the sky off my calorie limit today (& 2 other days last week). I have been on the edge of a depression and I am not sure why. Writing my cards did not help because there are so many new names in my address book that I cannot send cards to because they died this year...I was not prepared for the reaction of seeing the names there...
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tonight was TNT's broadcast of the digitally enhanced version of The Wizard of Oz. I did not see all of it, but what I did see was gorgeous. Every time I see it, I get something more out of it. It's hard to believe that it was first released in 1939. My parents were not even in school yet!
Before SparkPeople, I was the Cowardly Lion. I did not think I could lose this weight again. Even now, I am still sometimes not sure. But I will celebrate my SparkVersary on January 27, 2011 and that will be like receiving the medal of courage. While I have not lost as much as I wanted to or thought I "should" have by now, what I have gained and learned has been worth more than the number on the scale. What have I gained? Knowledge about nutrition, exercise, life. Confidence that, if I have a rough day, I do have coping skills that do not include stuffing my face. Confidence that I can reach this goal.
I was also like the Tin Man. I had the heart and compassion, but not the validation. In my SparkPeople community, I find that. When I have rough days, at least one of you will pick me up. And at least one of you will remind me to be grateful for my situation because your challenges are greater than I could handle. I have been amazed, moved to tears, laughter and day-long joy as I celebrate your victories with you. I pray for you and I think of you often. I carry thoughts of you in my heart and, as I go through my day, whether walking at lunch or choosing my lunch. Your interactions with me help me think. "What would ___ say if I blogged about this choice?" "What would _____ choose?" You help me be accountable for those choices and, most of all, you have opened my heart in ways in which I could not have imagined.
While the Lion is my favorite character, I have always identified with Scarecrow. Before I started school, I had to take an aptitude test of some kind. Back in those days, children did not usually read much if at all before first grade, so the test was mostly something based on eye-hand coordination. I did not have much of that so I scored very low. Mother believed the results that said I was retarded. That was her favorite name for me. There. I said it. Even now, decades later, I can't breathe. But my first grade teacher did not believe it. (She had been my brother's teacher the year before, so she knew the family a little.) She refused to put the test results in my permanent file and told the principal that, if she did, it would follow me all the days of my life. I am not the smartest person in the world, but, like the Scarecrow, I have reserves heretofore untapped. My SP journey is revealing a freedom I could only vaguely imagine.
In my SP journey, I am learning to integrate those Wizard of Oz characteristics into the new me. As I said in a previous blog, the chrysallis is cracking and the butterfly will emerge.
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