Thursday, March 06, 2014
I was thinking this morning about how this week, for no apparent reason, I suddenly have a lot of momentum and energy, and am finding it easy to track, eat the right foods, and stay within range, after several weeks of struggling with these things. And I was thinking, I'm the kind of person who goes through a lot of waxing and waning cycles. I can't think of a better word for this off the top of my head, but it's just the way I am. And I was thinking, instead of trying to turn into a person who is more the slow-and-steady tortoise type (and constantly failing at transforming myself), maybe I should just work with who I am.
What would this mean? Mostly, recognizing when I'm in a high momentum period and milking it for everything I can get out of it, then understanding that it will at some point be followed by a period where I just maintain. And of course the occasional period where I totally fall off track. But I don't really have many of those any more, and they don't last long. That's probably been my biggest accomplishment at Spark, to have moved from being a person with a big binge-eating disorder to person who spends too much time in neutral gear. And that's nothing to sneeze at.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
My plan to retire at 64 is not looking as good.
We met with a navigator for the Affordable Care Act, and it turns out that for us, health care would not really be affordable. Estimating our joint income for 2014, assuming that I don't work at all the second half of the year and that my husband continues to collect SS and work 32 hours a week at a low-paid job, we would make $3,000 too much to qualify for the actually affordable plans.
We would be looking at at least $500 a month premiums in order to buy plans that have between $7,000 and $9,000 deductibles, with out-of-pocket caps ranging from $7,000 to $12,500. So it sounds like we'd be paying monthly premiums in order to have the privilege of paying for all our health care out of our own pockets, and the policy would only kick in if we had a catastrophic event. or spent more than $7000 a year on doctor visits and lab tests, which we currently don't come even close to.
So now it looks like I would be crazy not to stick it out another year and a half until I qualify for Medicare. At least that's what my husband thinks. But I just feel deep in my gut that it's time to retire from this job. What to do... I'm mulling this over for a while, but very disappointed.
On a brighter note, I'm back in a groove this week with my tracking and calorie ranges, not so much on the exercise but doing it some days.
And, I opened up my computer case, removed some fans and cleaned them without destroying my computer! I'm really tickled that I finally got up the courage to do it.
Monday, February 24, 2014
So, after 10 days of eating only my Wheatbelly foods but not tracking them, I find that I kind of miss the tracking. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy my little holiday, but overall I think I feel more in control when I know how many calories I've eaten.
Exercise, didn't do as well. I keep thinking spring and outdoor walking are just around the corner, so why keep battling with myself to do it indoors. I did make it to the gym for my usual weekend workouts and I did indoor tapes a few times, and one day it was actually possible to walk outside, but there were a lot of days where I just didn't push myself.
I went down and talked to our benefits manager today about details of early retirement, next stop is to meet up with an Affordable Care Act healthcare navigator and see what kind of subsidies we'd qualify for once my income takes a dive. At this point I think it's a certainity that I'm retiring sometime in the next few months. Except for the part about wondering if I'm being unrealistic and am going to run out of money, I'm very excited.
Another thing that I've never mentioned on here, a year or two ago I actually asked my doctor to prescribe me a low dose of an antidepressant, just so I could muffle my emotions enough to make it through this job every day. Over the past month I've weaned myself off it, and now it's just naked me again. I don't have to drug myself any more to fit my quirky, somewhat subversive being into the corporate mold, now that I know it's almost over. My child is well-launched into the world, my husband's ready to go on Medicare in six months, I no longer have to be the workhorse holding things together.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Those of you who follow me know I've been all over the place lately, trying out different strategies, ever since my labs last fall said my blood sugar, which I'd gotten all the way down from diabetes to normal, was back up to pre-diabetes.
I tried joining Weight Watchers, I tried committing to 10 minutes of exercise every day, and each of these got me initially super-motivated but then I didn't sustain it. I was supposed to return for new labs this month, but I postponed it a month so I could do better. But I don't think I'm doing better. I go off plan and skip exercise about the same amount I always have, and my weight is standing stock-still in the high 150s.
But when I really think about it, the truth is I'm perfectly happy to weigh this much, to be this size. I'm 63, relatively fit, getting into clothes I hadn't worn in decades. The truth is, my only reason for trying to lose more weight is to get my blood sugar down. If it wasn't for that, I'd just continue exactly where I am.
So, I've decided to try a new strategy from now until whenever I go back for my next labs: I'm going to forget about weight loss for now. I'm going to concentrate on two things and two things only: exercising as much as possible, and sticking very strictly to my low-glycemic food plan. I'm not going to count, I'm not going to weigh. If I find that I'm really overeating, I'll add tracking back in to the mix.
Also, I'm seriously thinking that it's time to take the early retirement I've been considering for the past year. I'll be 64 in July, so at least I'd get better benefits than if I'd done it at 62. When I weigh the difference between that amount and full benefits, and what it would cost me stress-wise to stick it out for another two and a half years, it doesn't seem worth it. This is a difficult decision but I'm definitely leaning towards getting out of the ratrace now. I've noticed my blood pressure is quite a bit lower on weekends. My father had high blood pressure and died at 68. It makes you think....
Monday, February 03, 2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman's death has had me thinking about addiction, and how those of us who self-medicate with food are luckier than someone addicted to heroin. We injure our health slowly over a long period of time, but at least it's not going to kill us on the spot.
This weekend, about the same time Hoffman was embarking on his last drug binge, something went wrong inside me. I came home from work Friday evening with good intentions, but as the evening wore on I went over my range and then just kept going. This is not that unusual for me on a Friday night - I have an ongoing problem with wanting to unwind with food at the end of my workweek. (When I was younger I went out drinking and dancing on Fridays - at least I got exercise!) I try to plan and track special meals/treats, but it doesn't always work.
Then on Saturday I get up and get back on track. Always. Only this time I didn't. Sometime around midmorning I became aware that I was not willing to track my food any more that day, and it felt like the impulse was coming from a place too deep inside me to fight. I overate all day and into the night. I overate after I was full and it didn't feel good anymore and I wanted to stop. I just kept eating, like a robot. I finally fell asleep and woke in the middle of the night sweaty with indigestion and unable to get back to sleep. I had literally eaten myself sick.
Sunday I had lots of water, ate only vegetables and light protein, and am pretty much back to normal now. But it was startling to realize how much of an addict I still am.
Here I am walking around all limber from the gym (which I actually went to on Saturday!), looking better than I have in years, sporting my size 12s and inching into 10s/mediums, generally a pretty successful Sparker. And yet.
Was there something in the stars that day? I went to a dark place, but at least I was able to come back.
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