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Week 2, gaining control of my life

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm well into week 2 of my restart, and only one fairly minor slip. In fact, I need to get in an additional 200-300 calories by tonight, and I've already eaten dinner. The only slip was a McDonald's bacon, egg and cheese biscuit on Monday morning. I was half-way to work, and realized I hadn't eaten breakfast (hit the snooze alarm too many times). I've exercised every day, and may hit 750 minutes for the month, after all. I still need to get that in today, but I knew if I didn't come home between work and choir practice I was going to lose control, and not only eat everything in sight, but pay out money for the dubious privilege of being in a position to berate myself for my lack of self control.

So, this week, I'm still avoiding spending extra money on food, trying to eat at home most of the time, the exception being tomorrow, when I won't have time between work and rehearsal to get home, and exercising at least 10 minutes everyday. I read the article about how to find and extra hour a day, and was struck by the amount of time I spend Sparking, so I am trying to keep my Spark time down to no more than an hour each night. That means that you aren't going to be hearing as much from me. I have also decided that I can't allow myself to go read blogs that friends happen to have responded to, no matter how interesting they sound. It not only takes time, but then I collect more friends, who I then begin to follow, and it becomes a never-ending stream of blogs that I don't have time to really savor.

My hour is almost up at this point. I am going to leave the computer in sleep mode so that I can track my exercise and whatever I am going to eat for those extra few calories when I get home tonight. Then I will need to shower and get in bed--sleep also continuing to be a challenge, since I have so many other things I want to do with my time.

So, I'll be seeing you, just not as much. Bye for now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 8/30/2012 4:52PM

    I, too, am limiting my Sparktime b/c of trying to meet my own goals, so I get ya sister! In fact, I stopped even joining teams, and basically only springboard off "friend feed" instead of doing the blog-web thing that you described. I wish I could be there for everyone, but it just spreads me too thin to be able to nurture myself. It sounds like you're in the same boat.

So, ship ahoy, matey, sail on, and have a fantastic rest of week 2.

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UMUCGRAD 8/29/2012 8:55PM

    Fantastic! I love those kinds of reports. They motivate me, too. emoticon

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NORASPAT 8/29/2012 8:08PM

    emoticonThe McDonalds choice could have been worse except for the sodium. If it happens again and you walk in there do try the oatmeal, it does have to stand to thicken but it tastes great and so many less calories DH and i order it often when we travel ho swollen ankles that way.
The Biscuit Breakfast has 440 calories in it so if you ate no apple pies or fries you are good to go. 18 grams good protein so you see it is not so bad. I am proud of you. Stay with it till it once again becomes a habit. You can do it HUGS Pat in Maine emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEARGODDESS 8/29/2012 7:34PM

    You're doing great Oak! emoticon emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/29/2012 7:31PM

    Great job! Keep it up and come back when you need to. Sparking should always be on your terms.

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Made it through a whole day. So proud of myself!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I've gotten through this entire day without spending a dime, and especially not spending that dime on food I didn't need.

I started this morning by taking a fruit smoothie with me when I left home for breakfast, then left my wallet in the car so I wouldn't be able to give in to temptation at work. Since we park nearly 1/2 mile from my office, once it is left in the car, it stays in the car.

Had a Fiber One bar before leaving work so I wouldn't be starving on the way home, and took off for the gym. Did an hour on the treadmill, including (get this!!) going from a 5% grade to a 10% grade for 5 minutes. I couldn't do more than 5 minutes, but I did that with a little bit of a struggle. Felt really good about turning it up a little.

Managed to get past all the restaurants near the gym. Managed to also get out of town, and past the two convenience stores and two small restaurants that are on my way home after I pass the city limits. I actually had my dinner planned out and tracked before I left work, and stuck to the plan. Go me!!

I was on a roll at that point, and decided I wasn't going to let myself sit down until I had accomplished something around the house. I went out and mowed down the ragweed that is the only thing that is still growing in this drought, and which was ready to bloom out. Then I took the secaturs out and took down some other woody plants that seem to have survived when all the grass and gardens are long gone. Came in, and decided to get something done there, too. I had cleaned the carpet in my craft/catch-all closet about three weeks ago, but hadn't gone back to re-vacuum or put the stuff back in it. Did that, and am happy to report that I can again walk through the back room.

All in all, a successful day. Now to do it again tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EATVEGAN 8/21/2012 12:12AM

    That is an emoticonday. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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TUBLADY 8/21/2012 12:04AM

    That's the way to do it. Plan ahead. If you're not starving you are less likely to make those stops for food.
It is one day at a time. But now that you know how to manage a day, it is easier to make the next day and so on and so forth work the same way.
That is awesome workout on the treadmill.
I know you an do it.
Take care, stick to planning ahead.
Be strong, stay positive.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 8/20/2012 11:26PM

    Good for you! It's truly about one day at a time.

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AAAACK 8/20/2012 11:02PM

    Sizzle! You really cooked today! (feels good, I'll bet).
I love how much you got done - what a fantastic day!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/20/2012 10:26PM

    Go Oak! Woo hoo!

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NORASPAT 8/20/2012 10:24PM

    emoticon emoticonYes of course you can do it, It just takes thought and time and persistence, Now you have done one make it a three streak, let's see you do that. I am so glad you are trying to do this and succeeding today, Way to g o Oak.
Pat in maine. ((((HUGS)))) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOULDSGRANITE 8/20/2012 10:00PM

    I am proud of you too!! One day at a time. We can do this thing! emoticon

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Thinking about goals and how to stick to them again

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I just realized that it has been TWO WEEKS since I last posted a blog. Time to catch up with myself. When I last talked to you, I was concerned about retirement and realizing that I spend way too much money on restaurants, and I had gotten new shoes at the behest of a podiatrist, and was feeling much better.

Since then, I've basically been fooling around, doing a little one day, a little more the next, then nothing at all on another day. This has got to stop!!

I know that if I try to do it all at once, I am going to fall off the wagon again, so I am trying to make goals that are low key and maintainable.

The first one has to be the whole restaurant thing. Even when I eat well at them, it isn't as healthy as eating at home would be. So, I am going to make a promise to myself to eat out no more than two times a week for the next two weeks. That includes NOT buying breakfast at work. It is expensive (about $4-6.00 each time) even when I talk myself into eating well. That consists of a boiled egg, a couple bacon strips, fresh fruit and some yogurt. What in that could I not make at home? None of it. The real problem is that I have a job that does not fully occupy my time or my mind, and eating breakfast at work is a way to "kill" 30 minutes or so. I have realized that there is no reason I can't steal a cup of coffee from the Emergency Room (freebie for the patients, but used more by the staff) and go hide in the back of the cafeteria. Serves the same purpose, but is a lot cheaper, and avoids the temptation to get the "breakfast casserole" or "breakfast pizza", both of which are very high calorie and high sodium.
Just skipping those "bought" meals should not only save money, but allow me to eat healthier.

Exercise had been going pretty well until this week. Still having musculo-skeletal problems, but I need to get back in gear. For some reason, I am feeling very lazy about even going for a walk, even though I enjoy doing that. The weather has moderated, and there is a LOT that needs done outside, but I can't seem to get myself going on that, either. Twice this week I have told myself that I was going to skip the gym and go out and walk or go out and take down some of the Autumn Olive and Honeysuckle that are taking over my little part of the world, but then when I get home I don't do it. I really need to just stop at the gym. Once I get there, even if my behind is dragging, I will usually do at least an hour of cardio. I think what I am doing here is the same thing I do with sleep: I get home and that is "my time", and I literally don't want to do anything. The annoying part is when I don't do the things I enjoy because they are included in "anything". It isn't just exercise. I can't even get myself working on needlepoint and crochet projects or on a writing project. Better get to the latter--have promised two things will be ready in the next month. Neither is a major project, but they do need some time and thought. I'm going to try the "putting a positive spin" on it thing and remember that when I do these things, I enjoy them and feel good.

Since the money thing is looming large on the horizon, I am going to start on Sept. 1 and write down every cent I spend, and every cent I don't spend. I think doing that will help me to think about whether I am getting my money's worth out of what I am buying. I mean really, breakfast at work? Is that really worth even $4.00? It is not all that flavorful!!

I'll also try to blog more frequently, but I am having trouble finding the time to read all of my friend feed, track, and blog as well. Still haven't gotten around to trying the SparkCoach thing, even though I did sign up for it. Guess I need to go take a look at that as well sometime soon--before it expires!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 8/20/2012 3:58AM

    Do you have a Trader Joes near you? They have a ziptop bag of boiled peeled eggs in the egg section. Some regular grocery stores do now too.

And as far as those tasks you are tired of putting off, what about 1 minute? If you want to stop after 1, just stop.

And your 30min you need to kill at work in the morning? You answered your own question in the next paragraph. Get your cup of coffee, and take a walk down the halls (or steps if the musculoskeletal issues let you). It's cool in the building, right? And you can walk and sip hour coffee and think how good it feels to stretch your legs!

I know you'll figure out the perfect combo for yourself! You're such a smart woman.

Have a great day!

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NORASPAT 8/19/2012 11:19PM

    emoticon Oak i posted a comment on here a long time ago but it has gone the way of the blogs who fly.

I had it all organised in my head. I suggested you boil 4 eggs at a time and use them one a Day as your breakfast. Take a sandwich thin, they are already split and maybe some salsa or hummus to round it out. Finish with a yogurt or a piece of fruit. Just do the breakfast part till it is a habit then move on. You can do it I know you can.HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I found this as I went to log off emoticon emoticon

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NORASPAT 8/19/2012 11:10PM

    I have lost my response twice now and they were both long I will write it tomorrow I am so annoyed with myself. I guess I am tired sorry dear Oak. I will get back to you my butt is aching from work and sitting Hugs PAT. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TMCK-40 8/19/2012 8:14PM

  Gosh that whole financial staying on top of things is absolutely exhausting sometimes. You are wonderful and can do this.

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501 Hey, I put some new shoes on.... 276

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

It's ridiculous how much I have spent on shoes in the last few months. First there were the fancy running shoes, now four pairs of steet shoes (actually, 2 pairs of shoes and 2 of sandals) that cost just as much for each pair. Even more ridiculous: after wearing those expensive shoes for the last few days, my feet not only feel 100% better, but I feel better in general. I didn't realize how much having that low grade pain with each step was affecting my general health and well-being.

In the meantime, I overate last night for dinner, including (wince) a turtle sundae (but yum, yum), but otherwise have been on track for four days now. In fact, I am so low on calories today that I really need to go eat something else.

Got to the gym today, and every treadmill was in use. Decided I would do 30 minutes on the stationary bike (not a favorite) but got watching MASH reruns and did a full hour. I know that is a strange motivator, but if I can find something entertaining on the TV I can keep going a lot longer.

Went to talk to the benefits office yesterday. The guy was very helpful and knowledgeable, but the news wasn't great. In order to maximize my retirement income, I need to work until I am at least 66 (I will turn 64 in October), and it will be less than I had thought and hoped. Basically, retiring is going to decrease my monthly income by about half, and I really don't have that much in savings. I have an IRA and an annuity, but both are small, and both were hit hard by the recession. Guess I need to concentrate on getting my budget under control. It isn't so much the shoes and stuff like that. It is the food. I am back to eating out almost every night. I have to get that under control again. I am spending a fortune on it, and while I am doing better keeping the calories at restaurants under control (grilled trout with vegies tonight), I could certainly cook and eat the same things at home for a lot less money.

After the benefits office, I went over to my doctor's office and got a "spot" removed. It has been there for years, but had started changing, and she thought it should come off. Believe it or not, that was really rather enjoyable. The doctor and nurse and I were chatting about clothes and clothes shopping. We all patronise GoodWill a lot, and had a long discussion of Bargains I Have Found. It was what is called a "shave biopsy", and hasn't hurt at all. It will also be nice to have the "spot" gone. It was really pretty ugly.

Of course, by that time it was after 6PM, I was over-hungry and tired, and was a little stressed about the news about my pension realities. That doesn't excuse the mini-binge (gyros, fries, and the turtle sundae), but it does explain it. I did get myself stopped after that, though, so it could have been worse.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 8/8/2012 3:58PM

    Great about the shoes if they are helping the feet they are worth it for sure.

Sore feet and today sore butt frtom doing hours of photo blog and lost it at the last minute I have been here from 11am and you will see my post time is almost 4pm. Wnat awaste of a day i did learn a little bit though HUGS Pat in Maine.

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MIWOLFF 8/8/2012 12:49PM

    Sorry to hear about the retirement benefits. It really hurts to think you worked so long and there just isn't enough there to retire. I am sure though that you can work on that budget and get a few extra dollars saved.

Congrats on the exercise bike!! Hats off to you of making the best of it (no treadmill) and getting it done anyway.

I know you can do this and stay on track!! Looking forward to congratulating you on Day 5 accomplishments!!


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TUBLADY 8/8/2012 12:40PM

    Sorry about the retirement, know how that feels. I retired in 1995 had myself set for life, was only 55. Took a big loss in the stock market, loss big on a business I had sold, found I needed to supplement my income or I would be in deep trouble. Worked for a while, then invested in a business, still putting in hours working, but office in home so not so bad. Waited till 67 to start SS. But SS only pays about $1900.00 month and I don't want to use up my savings.
I shop exclusive at Goodwill and Thrift store, I have a lovely wardrobe. The boots and shoes I have found are lovely. And I am a clothes horse, and collect shoes like people collect baseball cards. When ever I have to buy at a regular store ,which I did for my athletic shoes, at 150.00 a pair it was torcher.
I blog about my clothes finds, i am the Queen of bargain shopping.
I hope you can cut out the eating out expense. Cooking at home is cheaper, plus better for you. You know exactly what you are eating.
I wish you well in curbing your tendency to binge too. I used to do that too. But it's been a few years now and I am glad. One or two binges can undo a weeks worth of good healthy eating and set you back.
Stay strong, be positive and believe you can and you will.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/8/2012 12:16PM

    Wow, great that the shoes are helping that much!
That's an excellent point about eating out. Spending that money does have an impact for a long time. I hate it when I go out to lunch and everything on the menu is something I could easily make at home. Sorry your retirement funding doesn't look as good as it really ought to be. I'm impressed that you controlled yourself so well, a turtle sundae would set me off on all kinds of binges.

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KANOE10 8/8/2012 9:28AM

    I am sorry about your pension. It is scary to have to cut back on your money.

I like shoes also and am glad your new ones make you feel better.

I also like the tv when I exercise.

Have a great healthy day.


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ROCKINMOM776 8/8/2012 8:42AM

    Sounds like you did a good job of controlling what could've turned into an all-out binge! Having some unhealthy choices now and again are actually good for you in a way, I think (though some heavy-restricted dieters would disagree). As long as it doesn't turn into a binge and it isn't every day, I don't see a problem with it.

Sorry about your pension. Money troubles suck. We've been one-income for awhile now, but I did have a little coming in from unemployment. Now that's gone, and we're certainly going to have to re-do our budget. We don't spend a crazy lot on stuff, but we eat out more than we should (seems we have that in common, yes?). Sigh... we just need more money!

Way to go on spending an hour on the bike! I get so bored on those things, I have to watch tv or I just watch the clock. Sometimes I still get bored even WITH the tv. I haven't found something I love to do yet. But honestly, I haven't really been earnestly searching for an exercise I love.

Have a good day, and make good choices!!

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The week that was

Sunday, August 05, 2012

I've done a lot better this last week than I had been doing. Got to the gym several times, and while I haven't precisely eaten well, I have kept it down to a dull roar.

Went to the podiatrist last week (I blogged about that), and he said I needed better shoes (read: expensive) and recommended a specific local shop that sells European made shoes. Went in there, and I have to admit the ones I bought feel better than any I have had for years, even though I spent $500 on them. I was spending so much already that I left two pairs that I had considered there, but think I am going to go back and get them. I feel so Imelda Marcos, but it is worth it to have my feet not hurt. These shoes are so well made, I think they may all well last me the rest of my life.

I've conceded that I am not losing weight, and my clothes are worn out, so I spent some time shopping at real stores this weekend as well, since it was tax-free weekend in Missouri. Didn't find a single thing I would spend that much money on. None of it fit that well (either too small or too large, with nothing in between) and all of it where I was looking (admittedly "low end" shops) well made. Guess I'll hit GoodWill and the Sally Army again this next week.

Saw a sports specialist about my shoulder injury of last fall, and he gave me some exercises to do. He also gave me a prescription for physical therapy if they don't work. I am trying to find time to fit those into my already crowded schedule. The shoulder doesn't bother me most of the time, but cramps up at times, and is definitely weaker than it should be, which stops me or limits me in doing a good many strength training moves.

My SIL's grandfather is still with us, although he got up in the middle of the night Thursday and fell. DD, SIL and GD get back from their cruise today. Had a message from DD that they were in Atlanta waiting for their connecting flight, so they should be almost back by now.

Got thinking about what I know of nutrition, and started myself on Vitamin B6 and fish oil a couple weeks ago. Think my energy is improving some, although I still got so tired shopping that I couldn't do it all in one day. So annoying. No more than I like shopping, having to go back again is just not pleasant.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Benefits at work to discuss the ins and outs of retirement (want to be sure I am understanding the process and what I can expect to have as income in retirement) and then have an appointment to have an "age spot" removed from my breast. It has been there for years, but the doctor says it is beginning to change in a worrisome way, so going to go get that taken care of.

Haven't exercised the last two days. Friday, I was too pooped from shopping, yesterday I was just plain lazy, and today I was pooped from shopping again. I have promised myself that I am going to go for at least a short walk this evening, even though it is still hotter than the hubs of Hades here. (How many H's can one put in one sentence?)

Finally went back and tracked today, yesterday, and Friday. Today is excellent so far, and yesterday was pretty good until I let the munchies get the best of me after dinner last night. Friday--let's face it, I lied to myself about how much I was eating, and it was not pretty. Over 2200 calories for that one day. Jeez Louise. On the other hand, I took myself out for breakfast and got a low cal vegie omelet, then had lunch at a vegetarian restaurant, and am well within my range so far today. Think since I have been doing vegetarian all day by accident, I'll continue the trend and do vegie for dinner as well. Meatless Sunday instead of meatless Monday. It works.

Anyway, if I am going to go for a walk, I have to eat first, so I had better get to it. Have a baked sweet potato with Greek yogurt and some green vegies planned for the meal, followed by a nectarine or some grapes.

See all of you tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 8/6/2012 4:54PM

    OUCH on those shoes what make are they. We have to use COOMBS for DH and $225 is often the price. We usually use new balance and he does use orthotics. I hope you know your podiatrist well. I know a great pair of shoes is a special treat for the feet. Clarks are very good we can buy them at LLBEAN the good thing is you cam return them and get your money back. New Balance allows us to wear them in the store and take them home to wear in doors and still take them back. At that price I hope you can do that. it takes a while for new shoes to talk to your feet .
I hope the family comes home and Grandfather is recovering . HUGS Pat in Maine
Keep up the good work I use Krill oil since the regular fish oil tastes in my mouth for hours. I also use a B complex so i can get them all. i often do not eat any bread. Keep up with the walks too! great job and goals HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/5/2012 9:58PM

    Great job this week!
Sorry about the retirement shoes being so expensive, but as someone who's feet are a wreck, I agree, it's worth it. As far as the energy, shopping sucks the life out of me too. I hope the supplements help feel like the rest of your life isn't being sucked. I hope your shoulder eases up and your age spot gets taken care of quickly and easily too.
I bet SIL will be a bit relieved to be with his father. My heart goes out to him, that couldn't have been an easy vacation to be on.
It wasn't as Hot as the Hub of Hades here because it was 85, but exercising in 85 today made me feel like I was there. Holy Heat!
2200 cals - you coulda done a lot worse. I usually do. Nice recovery with all the veggie matter. I had plain goat yogurt on some potatoes the other day and now it's my new favorite thing.
Have a successful week.

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AAAACK 8/5/2012 8:18PM

    you're having a good weekend, it sounds like! And shopping burns many calories, so don't be too hard on yourself for being pooped afterward.

Have you looked at Clarks shoes? They're generally good for people with bad feet (I have plantar faciitis as long as I remain over a certain weight), and don't cost $500 a pair. They're not cheap, but compared to $500, they seem like it! They have good sales and a frequent buyer program (buy 10 pair, get one free). A sale pair can run $50, and non sale anywhere from $100 on up. But they tend to last a long time, and are cute, to boot! (yes, cheesy pun intended) emoticon

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