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Success of a sort

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I haven't weighed myself in three weeks. Partly because of the holiday, partly because I hate bad news and partly because it's impossible to find a place in my old house with level floors so a body can get a consistent reading, I just let it slide. But I do have a secret weapon that I avoid - the stand-up Health-O-Meter in the bathroom. It's too old to be digitally unstable, and it doesn't do body fat percentages or remember your weight (unless you slide the little plastic doohickey around), but it does tell the pounds. Oh yes it does.

So I figured, what the heck, I'm starting this get-healthy deal, I may as well get it over with, get the reality of the situation. So I got on - and discovered that I weigh exactly the same as I did at the doctors' office Dec. 15th. I may even have lost a little bit (clothing, water, etc.)

I still need to lose a little ( *cough* 60 pounds*cough*) but at least it didn't get any worse while I had my head buried in the sand. (Do ostriches actually do that? Doesn't seem likely...wouldn't they suffocate?)

But anyway, bravery is rewarded! Now on to the rest of the day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Maintaining over the holidays is a good thing. I usually gain.

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NIKEOFSAMO 1/4/2012 9:57AM

    Awesome! You survived the holidays without gaining, that's a big accomplishment!

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JRSWHIMSY 1/3/2012 3:42PM

    Yes, ostriches do that. And yes, sometimes they suffocate

*hugs* Good for you!

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CEKER9 1/3/2012 2:26PM

    Life is good! I seem to be with you... stable. That's certainly better than gaining!!! New year new goals... we'll get it right this time!

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SHERYLDS 1/3/2012 1:13PM

    sounds like we both have a slight cold
( *cough* 60 pounds*cough*)
Would you like me to send over some cough medicine

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HIPPICHICK1 1/3/2012 11:31AM


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EMRANA 1/3/2012 10:38AM

  Great surprise!! emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/3/2012 9:35AM

    Woohoo! Good for you! Have a wonderful day.

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WORKINGSTIFF 1/3/2012 7:34AM

    Ugh--the scale!

You and I must be living in the same house with the uneven floors...oh, well, but at least there are floors and a roof and all that stuff inbetween!

Here's to great new year!


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    I breved the scale today as well. At least I am the same 3 lbs I gained. Back to work.

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Fix for Body Media armband and new (Lion OS) Mac

Monday, January 02, 2012

They say you can't synch it, but you can. Plug in the armband. Restart your computer while holding down the 2 and the 3 keys. When the BodyMedia greeting pops up, disconnect the USB cord, then plug it back in. Voila!

I suspect the Lion OS was rushed into production for the holiday season before it and the rest of the industry were quite ready. I've never seen so many technical patches for a Mac product.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SVIETOR 1/28/2012 3:10PM

    Thanks for posting this!!!! This has been driving me CRAZY!!!! emoticon

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It begins....

Monday, January 02, 2012

I made and printed out Spark People menus for the rest of the week (I'm finishing the holiday leftover soup and stuff tonight.) I've never done this before. Man, they have you eat some weird combinations of apparently random items. It took me an hour (mostly because I just went to the grocery and don't intend to go again until next weekend) but I switched around and modified and left room for the occasional dirty martini. Next week, I'll start on Sunday with what coupons are available in the paper, make the menus according to what I actually want to eat and work backwards into the menus.

Yesterday I started the 60 minutes of exercise per day for 365 +1 days and I already feel like blowing it off, but even I'm not that ....whatever you call that. Lacking in resolve, perhaps. Anyway, I feel certain I can do the 60 minutes today (I have actual work - pile the wood - to do outside, so that takes care of half of it right there) and I hope it'll become routine as the days go by. It'd be a heck of a lot easier, though, if all the cats and the dog didn't want to participate in all the lovely hopping around and/or lying on the floor.

I've decided that this is the make-it-or-break-it year. I'm going to give this whole Getting Healthy deal my best shot, no cheating (well, no serious cheating, like blowing off an entire month) and at the end of the year I'll see where I am. If I'm still 200+, I'll accept that and move on - I don't need or want repeated failure. I'll also learn where my true priorities lie. But I"m hoping that this time next year I'll be back to my old self again, at least physically.

Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, while nothing on earth could have made the last couple years okay, I suspect they would have been a little less difficult had I not responded by gaining sixty pounds and drinking like the proverbial fish (only, of course, not water.) I now realize that even though you never know what's coming at you around the corner, if you're in a body you recognize and respect, you're better able to do what needs to be done, whatever it may be. I'm hoping that being in control of my own body will help me feel more in control of my life (even if that's an illusion - I haven't worked this out all the way yet. I'll get back to ya.)

So there we are. SP menus printed and workout schedule in place. I'm gonna have to call on my inner Highlander to get this one.

(This one's for you, sweetheart)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGNAZIA 1/10/2012 10:07AM

    Awesome plans!

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    It sounds like you are on your way. Good luck!!

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SHERYLDS 1/3/2012 1:11PM

    Sounds like you've caught my cold ( *cough* 60 pounds*cough*) .
Would you like me to send over my Cough Medicine emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 1/3/2012 11:30AM

    If you did 60 mins everyday you would wind up with 22,000 fitness mins by the end of the year! That is my goal. Let's get to it!!

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EMRANA 1/2/2012 9:19PM

  Wow, that's a lot of fitness! Good for you!!

I don't use the Spark meal plans, I've worked with a vegan nutritionist so I use her recommendations plus my own creativity. Let us know how it goes!

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/2/2012 6:56PM

    I hope you enjoy the meals. I thought they were really random too at first but then I started swapping out for other options on the plan that worked more for my taste.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/2/2012 6:12PM

    I'm with PUDLECRAZY about breaking up those 60 minutes into as small chunks as you can. Like half an hour walk, half an hour rock hauling, half an hour sweeping, half an hour feeding and caring for the animals, etc. It all adds up.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/2/2012 5:52PM

    "...even if that's just an illusion." I was thinking about that this past few days. How we humans set all these goals, plans, etc. as though we are in control. I think it is our way of trying to stay sane in an out-of-control world. Not that I think we have none (control), but I don't think we're as powerful as we think we are.

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BETHGILLIGAN 1/2/2012 4:46PM

    Love your determination and resolve! Don't let those furry friends get you off track!! LOL My dogs love to lick my face as I do yoga. Makes it difficult to concentrate on my breathing! emoticon

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STARLASUE 1/2/2012 4:35PM

    Remember to reward yourself for the goals you hit and be gentle with yourself when you miss. Hop back on track if you stray. It is a journey. You can do it.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/2/2012 4:15PM

    I found that doing my 60 minutes in 15 minute increments was a good way to work my way up to not having it too odious. Then went to two half hour sessions. I still like to break it up into two half hour sessions unless I am taking an hour class or on a hike.


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AWESOMECAROL55 1/2/2012 3:37PM

    Good for you..sounds like a great plan! I measured & weighed my food for an entire year when I was trying to lose weight....It worked!


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Insomniac: It's quarter to three, there's no one in the place

Monday, January 02, 2012

'cept me and a half dozen cats and dogs, all of whom are annoyed at me for keeping them up. So, as much as i loathe setting rules for myself, I'm going to have to tackle this one. I admit that in my wildly misspent youth, I did a lot of diet pills and...other stuff...that kept me up for days at a time. But I aged out of all that nonsense.

Ten years ago I could fall asleep literally in under a minute. My husband used to think I was kidding him - I wasn't. I was always a really light sleeper, though - the tiniest sound, the dimmest light would keep me up. I had to tape over the light on my computer case because it bothered me. The supposedly calming white noise generator kept me up.

I made a few rules for myself a while ago - if I'm fussing about something, instead of lying in the dark and "awfulizing" (imagining the worst possible outcomes), I'd get up and read. If I kept it up, I'd get out of bed and potter around aimlessly until I wsa tired, then give it another shot.

However, I just read the Healthy A-Z article on insomnia, and i'm going to try incorporating a few of the suggestions.

- no more drinking alcohol before bed. That one may be the death of me, but I'll try it.

- read in a chair or in another room. I've been reading in bed since I learned how to read. Again, it's going to be tough, but I'll try it.

- I thought a hot bath before bed was a good thing. Apparently not! Who knew?

- No more daytime naps. I thought of naps as a way to keep the lack of sleep from killing me, but maybe its instead making it worse.

- a clean and comfortable bedroom - well, I can work on that while I'm Not Napping.

- Melatonin. All I know about that is that it governs skin color, but apparently has something to do with diurnal rhythms as well. What the heck, I'll give that a shot too.

I don't do caffeine other than a mug of coffee in the morning, and I don't exercise at night. I try to keep regular hours, but when I'm with the kids, as I have been for the last two weeks, they get me all turned around, and I don't want to go to bed at my regular time and miss the time together.

This one wasn't suggested in the article, but I remember reading someplace that a protein snack before bed will help blood sugar levels keep from crashing, which wakens lots of people. So I'm definitely going back to that. And I know I can't have the bedtime cup of tea, tempting as it sounds. Trips to the bathroom are chilly and long.

One thing I know will help is getting the excess weight off. I'm a back sleeper, but once I passed about 180, I started to snore. Being a light sleeper, I woke myself up constantly, Now I have to sleep on my side or on my tummy, which is okay, but not as comfortable (or, according to my chiropractor, as good for my alignment.)

I do sleep with a cat or two and a mid-sized dog, but there's room for all of us, and we're more of a comfort to one another than a hindrance to sleep.

I've never been a "night owl". I'm one of those disgustingly cheerful people who are up with the sun eveery day, even if the night was sleepless. Once the sun's up, so am I.

If it's post-menopausal, then I'm just SOL. I dearly hope that's not the case, but if it is, well, think of how much more I can do in a day (and a night....)

Anyone with any suggestions, please feel free to tell me. I'm not miserable, just tired and I know I can't bring my A game to anything if I'm not well-rested.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It sounds like you know what to do.

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CEKER9 1/2/2012 11:00PM

    Thanx for posing the question and all the suggestions you've had and getting all the suggestions that have been posted. I'm one of the ones that has the problems with sleep also... but according to my doctor, my adrenals are not functioning correctly so the cortisol is staying at high day-time levels which keep me awake at night! ARGH!!!

I will say that melatonin is *very* good... I like it better than any other of the choices as there is no hangover the next morning, no matter how late you take it.

I wish you, me, and all others that have problems with sleep problems find their own special solution and get a good night sleep on a regular basis.

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ONEWEIGH 1/2/2012 11:38AM

    OK, I just have to mention--melanin is the pigment, melatonin is a hormone. My doctor told me to try melatonin and it has helped me. It's a cheap thing to try. I laughed at your saying that the animals resented you keeping them awake. Last night I had to move two cats to get out of bed and when I came back after folding a load of laundry and taking an OTC sleeping pill, they were right where I'd left them.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/2/2012 10:45AM

    You're sure to get a lot of suggestions on this one. Of course I have a couple. I agree that it's really hard if you start "awfulizing" when you're supposed to be falling asleep. My worst nights' sleep are the night before work starts up again after a lovely long weekend, so I'll have to let you know how my techniques work after tonight!

From Andrew Weil's new book "Spontaneous Happiness," a breathing technique that helps calm and focus you anytime, particularly when you're falling asleep. Deep breath in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. (At first this had me practically hyperventilating, but it is easier when you're lying down resting.) I'm usually asleep before I do very many of these things. The other technique is this weird mantra I acquired. Breathe in slowly, thinking "Ham" (pronounced "hahm"), exhale slowly, thinking "shah." This reminds me of "New Hamsha," so it's easy to remember, but mantras are good anyway.

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AWESOMECAROL55 1/2/2012 10:24AM

    Wow..we have a lot in common! I'm not an insomniac but also a very light sleeper & it has to be pitch black in my room! I am also an early riser..up most every morning by 4:30am to go to work. When I am off from work I sleep in till 6! My problem is when I wake up in the middle of the night & start thinking....I have trouble getting back to sleep! There were some good suggestions in the SP article..thanks for sharing!!


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EMRANA 1/2/2012 8:44AM

  I don't have insomnia but my husband does. He hasn't come up with the perfect solution either. Not napping doesn't work for him though ~ then he gets overtired and he gets into that "wired" phase and he can't fall asleep at all, plus he's jittery.

I'm glad you make room for your furkids ~ they're the best!

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BETHGILLIGAN 1/2/2012 7:48AM

    I've heard good things about melatonin. Lots of people swear by it!! I'd definitely give that a try. My hubby takes half a Benadryl and that works for him. Good luck!! I hate insomnia!!

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SUNSET906 1/2/2012 5:34AM

  You may not want to take anything to help you sleep, but ambien has been the best nights sleep I have ever had. A low dosage helps me fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/2/2012 5:24AM

    Good luck with this goal. I have such a horrible problem with insomnia and feel like I have tried everything.

Who knew about the hot bath. That actually helps me get drowsy, so I'll have to read the article to see what the negative effects are. My acupuncturist has said no computer time for up to 3 hours before going to bed. That is a tough one for me, as I like to track my activities at the end of the day. Not having my evening glass of wine is tough too.

Please let me know if you find the magic bullet.


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SLIMMERKIWI 1/2/2012 4:21AM

    The protein snacks before bed are a MUST for me! Warm/Hot milk with some cinnamon in it helps with sleep. My Psychologist actually TOLD me to have regular day-time sleeps. I would set the alarm so that it went off after an hour or hour and half, depending on how tired I was, and then when it went off, I would get up. THAT helped me a lot. Warm baths are o.k. for some - put some lavender into the water or rub some on your temples. That helps to get to sleep, too (tried and true:-) I occasionally read a magazine until I get too tired and then put the light out, but couldn't read a book now even if I tried. (Can't concentrate on them and keep forgetting what I have read.) Also, sometimes books are actually stimulating - who-done-its. NOT a good idea with sleep issues. Mind you, I bet if you took a phone book to bed and started at the first page and read through it, you would soon be sound asleep - LOL!

Good luck.

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New Year's non-resolution

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Someone, I forget now who it was (that's last night's dirty martinis talking), said that instead of a list of "resolutions", she had learned to take a yearly theme instead. I like that. I'm no good with rules and regulations, even if I make them myself (that's why my Tumblr and livejournal both are named "mumsananarchist", courtesy of the daughter who answered that way when asked whether her parents were Democrats or Republicans.) So I spent most of yesterday in silence - not difficult, since I broke the tv - and decided that my theme this year was to be (insert drum roll here) FEARLESSNESS.

I forget, once again, who said that there are only two emotional states - love and fear. I started rolling through lots of the events of the last couple years, and realized that most of my reactions had to do with fear: fear of being alone, fear of being penniless, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of new things, fear of loss, fear of hard work, fear of looking silly, fear of change in general. Many of these fears were masquerading as sensible things - I mean, who wants to fail, lose their investment and look like an idiot? - but at base, they were still fears.

If we're not acting out of love, we're acting out of fear. If I try to tie my daughters, both in their 20s, to me, that isn't love, that's fear of loss. If I refuse to spring for some new art supplies, or make some changes to my house, that's not love of the way things are, that's fear of penury or of trying something new. If I don't work at the novel or the Other Book, that isn't because I'm busy, that's because I'm afraid to invest the time in something that may not work out (another fear.)

So this year, I refuse to be afraid. If something doesn't kill me...well, Friedrich, it may not make me stronger, but it will make me wiser. And braver in the future. I joined a team that centers on doing an hour of exercise per day, based on some Irish legend. I don't have any Irish blood in me that I know of, but I have lots of Highland Scots, and that sort of challenge appeals to me.

I've been leery of quitting the evening alcoholic beverages - what if I can't sleep? Well, then the next day I'll be tired, but I imagine I'll survive just fine.

What if the book flops? At least it made it into print - even if I have to print it myself.

What if following what I truly enjoy doing leads me into (another) bankruptcy? Well, the first one didn't do me any harm - in fact, I learned things from it I would never have known otherwise. Meanwhile, I've been having fun.

There's nothing and no one holding me where I am now, in terms of employment (got none, lol), family (ditto, at least within 400 miles) or any other yardstick I can think of. I may be 56 and significantly overweight, but I can lose the weight ( I can't get any younger, but I can feel and maybe look younger), get my physical strength back, and find new passions (arts, my friends, not men) to pursue. Hell, I suppose it's not totally outside the realm of possibility to marry again - I suppose I shouldn't rule it out. I've only ever traveled north and south (PEI to Key West), but there's no reason why I can't go west. Or east, although that gets wet fairly soon.

A quick Rumi quote:





Wise words.

So that's the plan for 2012. And if I show any signs of fear, any Fraidy-cat bull!@#$, I expect you, my friends, to call me on it.

Best wishes for the best year of our lives!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMRANA 1/1/2012 7:29PM


Love it!

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    I LOVE this! As your friend, I will do my best to call you out if I see any fraidy cat in you. Please do it for me, too!


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    Be fearless. I like it!

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/1/2012 6:25PM

    I love this blog and will be back to read it a few times. You've covered some great topics here.

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