TCEDEROTH's Recent Blog Entries

So Close

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I was so close...
to a calm, quiet, next couple of months. My son was all set to go back to school on Sunday morning. He had even cleaned up his room. Not much else, but the room was clean. Just one last night out with his girlfriend before he went back to school. Then, he got arrested Saturday night. Pretty much just an unfortunate series of events, and I'm pretty sure all will turn out well. But he is an adult now. I can only give what aid I can from the sidelines. The battle is all his. Not that I would have necessarily fixed this for him if he weren't an adult. I believe in paying the consequences for your actions. He's gone back to school now, and the logistics nightmare is all on him. But I'm a mom, and will always worry.

I was so close...
to having my finances completely in order for the first time in a while. Even with tuition bills and Christmas bills, I was getting set to plan a couple of long overdue vacations. But, my son is a student, which means broke most of the time. I am willing to loan him the money to pay his attorney. We all screw up from time to time, and as they say, Doo Doo occurs. I'm not angry about it. But there is also a matter of a very large burn in the center of my living room carpet. This is unrelated to the above incident, and this was an accident that should never have happened. This one has me perturbed, to say the least. And the cost of replacement will be added to his bill.

I was so close...
to booking a trip to Vegas last night anyway. On top of those two incidents, the radiator in my truck blew yesterday. Initially, I thought it was the heater core, but the service man called me and told me it was only the radiator. Finally some good news! It only costs about 1/3 as much with parts and labor. I figured what the hell. Might as well take the rest of the money and take a small vacation. I need it. But I need to pay the bills too. They won't go away just because I do. So common sense prevailed.

I was so close...
to making an offer to someone last night that goes against my resolution to just say no. Offering my help is just second nature to me and is a very difficult habit to break. I bit my tongue at the last second and kept my mouth shut. Later, after closely examining my motives for even wanting to help, and if the need is still there, I may still go through with it. But at least I kept the impulse in check, and it will be a decision based on rational thought.

I was so close...
to a box of chocolates that I asked someone to remove from this house a week ago. Not only were they NOT removed, but they were opened. They were sitting on a counter in the kitchen, which fortunately, is so close to the trash can that I only had to touch the box for 1/2 a second before they disappeared forever.

I was so close...
to making my goal weight by my goal date. The goal was 50 lbs. by Jan 26th. As of today, I have 4.6 lbs to go by Saturday. Not going to happen. I could try, but I am not allowed to do more than 30 minutes of cardio per day. Who knows though? This week's weigh in surprised me. I've only been losing about 1 lb. per week for the last few, but this week resulted in 4. I am still very pleased with my progress, and it doesn't matter that I won't make it in time. I will make it soon though. Perhaps even next week.

And close is good enough for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRUMPYGRAMS 1/25/2008 1:39AM

    Wow Tracy-you have a lot on your plate right now! I think you NEED that trip to Vegas! Who knows, maybe you'll hit the jackpot. I know how it is being a mom--no matter how old they get, you still worry about them & want to help any way you can. I hope everything works out well for your son. He's one step ahead--he's got you for a mom! I'm proud of you for not binging on those chocolates! I don't know if I'd have been so strong. Good girl.

You lost 4 lbs this week!?!?! WOW! That's proud of your accomplishments, you've worked really hard to get to where you are. You'll knock em dead at that wedding--you're gonna turn some heads, that's for sure!!!!!!

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THINMOM5 1/23/2008 1:32PM

    Boy, you have a lot going on, but I agree you have a great attitude. Good job on the chocolates and saying no and all that. And you may not have reached your 50 lb mark by the date you set, but I am still SO impressed by your weight loss. It's something you can be really proud of. I hope everything turns out okay for your son.

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CIAMOM 1/22/2008 3:32PM

    Close IS good enough sometimes, I agree! The point is the getting there, not the when. You have such a great attitude, Tracy!! Thanks for sharing this blog!

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Tactful suggestions

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is tact? An instructor in high school said that tact was the ability to tell someone to go to hell with so much finesse that they were actually looking forward to the trip.

I’ve always been a person that says what’s on my mind, and I never really mastered the art. I try to use tact when the situation warrants it, but it doesn’t always come out right. If I have the opportunity to think before I speak, it usually comes out alright. If I don’t, then I try not to say anything at all. I’m not a mean person, and it is never my intention to hurt anyone. I just call things as I see them. If people ask my opinion, then that’s exactly what they’ll get.

I am a bartender, and a pretty darn good one at that. I used to do it as my sole income and made a darn good living at it. I took an office job when my son was younger because I needed insurance, retirement plan, etc., but it was a significant cut in pay compared to tending bar. I went back to it on weekends because now that the boy is in college, there are tuition bills to pay, and it’s getting the job done.

When you are a bartender, all of the customers think that they are your best friend. They tell you all of the details of their life and give you their advice and opinions, and expect you to do the same. Unlike a true best friend though, they want you to tell them what they want to hear, not necessarily the truth.

I get a lot of comments at the bar about the weight I’ve lost. And the conversations are always the same. The first statements are not “You’ve lost weight” or any other observation, but “Are you sick?” “Is everything OK?” I tell them I’m fine. THEN they say, “You’ve lost weight. Is it intentional?” Well, yeah. “How much have you lost?” A bit over 40 lbs. “Wow, are you sure it’s intentional?” Yes, it’s intentional. “Are you on a diet?” Only a healthy diet. I found a website called that has helped me learn how to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle. “Oh, but I don’t eat much” etc. etc. etc.

I won’t go into the whole dialogue, I’ll just get to the point. This conversation is held most frequently with customers who are also overweight. I tell them all about SparkPeople and the food tracker, the fitness tracker, and the support and motivation available from others on the site. These customers are also the same ones that are sitting on a barstool when I get there in the evening (and have been for some time), and they are STILL sitting there when I close. You get my drift.

The whole point of this long winded blog is, what do I say to someone like that? I just had this conversation with a man on Saturday night. He has been a customer of mine in other bars as well and I have known him for almost 25 years. He is one of the people of whom I speak. There when I get in, and still there when I close. He drinks Jack Daniels and Coke. Regular Coke. He eats from our restaurant menu every night. He has always been a big man, and now weighs around 400 by his own admission. Frankly, I was surprised to see that he was still around when I went back to bartending 2 years ago. He asked me what I recommend for him to lose weight. I told him he should check out the website. It would help him with a diet and exercise plan that will get him on his way. I got a blank stare, and then he told me that he usually drinks hot cocoa when he goes home at night before he goes to bed. He asked if I thought he would lose weight if he stopped drinking the cocoa. All I could say was that it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

You all know what it is I really wanted to say though, don’t you? We’ve all been in denial about our weight issues, but that issue is one that we had to wake up to ourselves. His issue is much bigger than that, and one that he has to wake up to himself as well.

But this is not the first time he and I have had this conversation, nor the first time he asked my advice for losing weight. And the conversation is much the same with others, except it’s not cocoa, it’s eating too late at night, or a weakness for chocolate, or sweets, or whatever. It’s never about the 6-8 hours on a barstool doing those 12 oz. curls.

My father was an alcoholic, as is one of my best friends. Those people you can say something to. Because you love them and you care. I care about the customers too. I’ve known most of them for a long time. They are all nice people.

But I can’t tell a customer what’s really on my mind. Not even the ones where I care about the person and not the tip. It would always be the person over the tip anyway. If I didn’t have one single customer left because the alcoholics quit drinking, nothing would make me happier.

But they don’t want to hear the truth. They wouldn’t believe it anyway. Frankly, it’s getting harder to hold my tongue. I “spread the spark” as much as I can, whenever I can, but I have the same conversations with the same people every week. It’s getting to the point where I try to avoid talking to these people, because sooner or later, I’m going to say something I shouldn’t, and because I do care, I’m afraid I won’t use “tact”.

So does anybody have any tactful suggestions for what I can say when the inevitable question of “what do you think I should do” comes up?

The situation is awkward and painful, and I’m seriously thinking of quitting and going somewhere where nobody knows that I’ve lost weight. For them I would have always been this size, so they won't ask questions. Although some of these people would follow me anyways, as they have for the last 25 years.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRUMPYGRAMS 1/19/2008 10:40PM

    Tracy, I was going to suggest the business cards to pass out, but Lynn already said it. I'd give them one of those, if you're able to do that at work, & tell them that WHEN they're ready to lose weight, go to this website! Then walk away. Or, tell them to go to to learn more about how to lose the weight!! I've written the website address on pieces of paper for many people, plus passed out lots of the business cards that I've printed off.

How ya doin' in this cold weather? On my computer right now, it says it's -3 degrees in my town!!!!! BRRRRR!!!! Stay warm!! I hope you're doing good, & everything's going well for ya. TTYL

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HEALTHIERLYNN 1/16/2008 3:02PM

    Eeeek, what a quandry! How about something simple like printing out the SP business cards? Then when someone asks you about losing weight, etc. you could just give them the card and tactfully walk away to curb further conversation....? Would the bar allow that kind of advertising?

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Thoughts on the LBD Choice

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Okay, here are my own thoughts on each of the possible LBD selections, and then I'll tell you who the winner was (Fun and Games thread, General Discussion Forum, 80's Music Lover's Team, who rock, by the way).

Choice A
Black - This dress was exactly like the purple and red choices, except the neckline was just a slight bit different. In the picture, it doesn't look too bad from the front, however, in real life I felt it accentuated the ta-tas way too much. It also showed my upper ta-ta area flab. It was very tight across there, and a larger size actually made it worse. I really wasn't thrilled with the view from the back either, as it draws attention to my broad shoulders. Side views are always gross, although this one wasn't too bad. In this particular picture, the dress was a size 12 by the way.
Who chose this dress? Paul and June as to what I chose, and June had voted it her 2nd choice during the voting.

Purple - This one was tried in a size 14. As you can see, the larger size actually accentuates the ta-tas more from the front, and interestingly, minimizes them from the side. The back shot doesn't make my shoulders look so big, but I think it's the hair. I think it makes my hips look wider.
Who chose this dress? During the vote, only my ex husband. His exact comment was "it shows off the stuff you have in front, and doesn't show off your wide shoulders as long as you keep your hair in back". Guess we know what attracted him, don't we? Nobody chose it as my choice.

Red - Same exact thing as the purple, plus the color was no good. Not many people can pull off red. I can in small doses like a sweater over dark jeans, but not all red. Doesn't work for me.
Who chose this dress? Nobody

Choice B
I didn't like this dress in real life at all, however, looking at the pictures, I have to say it may have possibilities. It has a classic looking "toga" like style to it and might be OK in another situation. The high waistline though, makes me look a bit disporportionate. Once the tummy is flatter, I may be able to pull this style off, but not right now. This dress was a size 12.
Who chose this dress? In the voting, Tami did and Becky chose it as her second choice. Paul said he thought I would choose B Black, but this choice wasn't in black, so I'm not sure if he meant B or not. Becky thought I would choose it. Sorry Becky, but almost.

Choice C
Black - You can't see the buckle on this dress as it is not covered in rhinestones like the red one is. This is a simple dress that would be appropriate for any occasion, be it wedding, funeral, or business function. It pretty much hides everything in this size 12, however, I wasn't confident that I could tuck in that tummy in time and bought a 14. The tags are still on it, so I can exchange it if I need to.
Who chose this dress? During the voting, My best friend Anita (who didn't know what I purchased until she made her guesses either), my ex boyfriend, another male friend who first suggested I ask fashion advice from someone who wears more than just grease covered jeans and racing T-Shirts, and a guy that I date occasionally. All of them people who know me, and I found it interesting how conservative these three men in my life are. Lynn voted it as her 2nd choice. As for which of you thought I would choose it? Lynn. You score 1.

Red - Ick. All around ick. And this one actually was in a size 14.
Who chose this dress? Nobody voted for it, and nobody thought I would pick it either. I didn't.

Choice D
Black - This was in a size 12. I wisely chose the 14. It has just enough "sexy" for a wedding, and can be used for a cocktail party as well. It comes up high enough under the arms in front to cover that "problem area" that big chested women have, and the cut in back shows the shoulders, but doesn't emphasize them while also coming up high enough in the underarm area. The waistline is wide enough so that it falls on my natural waistline and defines it a bit more. The extra rolls showing on the side view is a problem I'm addressing, but was exaggerated by a troublesome under garment.
Who chose this dress? Lynn, Becky and June voted for it, as well as someone else I know who doesn't know me very well. Who thought I would choose it? Lynn, Becky and Pauline and June. You guys all score 1.

Blue - The color wasn't right. I thought the color emphasized the very things that the black one de-emphasized.
Who chose this one? Becky's husband voted for it, and Becky voted it as her 2nd choice

Choice E
When I tried it on, I couldn't get this dress off fast enough. I hated it. In real life, I thought the spaghetti straps made me look like a Marine in drag. However, looking at the picture, this one has grown on me as well. It comes up higher on the back and I think that with 10 more pounds off and a flatter tummy (and less arm and back flab), this is a perfect dress for a night out at the downtown clubs. Add some spiky, strappy heels and I'm ready to go. Not too sure about the color. The blue is cute, but who wants cute at 43? I would try for a darker color. Navy or a very dark green maybe. Then there's always black.
Who chose this dress? My best friend Anita voted it as her 2nd choice. Pauline thought I would choose it as the 2nd dress.

So in case you didn't catch it, Lynn chose both dresses correctly. It's her ESP thing I guess. Amazing how she knows me better than my best friend who's known me for 30 years. OMG. 30? I never should have said that. I'll have to bring that up to her tomorrow. I feel so old now.

I did have a hard time choosing between C and D though. It was my intention to only buy one dress. Dresses have not been my thing, and I'm still not used to clothes fitting right, so my first instinct is not to buy. I bought Dress D because of the wedding, although it was hard to put down dress C because of the multi-functionality of it. It just didn't have an ounce of the "hot" factor in it though, which is what I need now. I was trying to conserve funds, but I got as far as the entrance to the store, then decided "what the heck" and turned around and bought dress C anyway. So Lynn was even right about the "treat myself" mentality, although she figured it would be a different color. How does she do that? I'm still pretty conservative when it comes to dressing. I'm not used to the new bod yet, which is good, because it's not finished.

I will very likely have occasion to wear each of these dresses only once before they're too big on me, but that's the last time that will happen. I'm still amazed that even though I didn't actually purchase the size 12's, I at least managed to get them on. And who knows? I just might be exchanging the 14's after all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRUMPYGRAMS 1/26/2008 3:45PM

    Have fun at the wedding! Can't wait to see the pics.

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CIAMOM 1/8/2008 2:28PM

    Good going, Lynn! And excellent choices, Tracy! You are gonna blow them ALL away!! :)

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    First of all, YAY FOR ME! LOL Second of all, you're gonna look hottttt, Tracy! The dresses are both classy and conservative, yet the hemline says "I'm fun and I'm gonna dance all night long...wanna join me?" I can't wait to see pix of the full ensemble and the big smile on your face while you're whooping it up! Woo hooooo!!

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What I Deal With Daily

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our office is in the basement of our building. The landlord calls it the Lower Level, but it's still a basement. It's quite comfortable and roomy, and I really don't mind the lack of windows. When it was time to enlarge our space, my boss charged me with finding the new location, and there's been no complaints. It's really pleasant.

The washrooms are on the first floor. As is the water fountain. We have a kitchen in our office, with a sink, but the water doesn't get cold enough for me, and the fridge isn't big enough to hold a big bottle, so I go to the water fountain upstairs to fill my bottle. I am also a vile smoker (no comments necessary, I'm not ready yet), so all of this amounts to several trips per day up and down the STAIRS. No elevator for me baby!

It would be a wonderful scenario if I didn't have to look at that infernal machine every time I went up or came back down the stairs. It is there, right in front of me when I walk down the hallway towards the stairs to go up, almost like a goal that needs reaching, and it giggles when I pass it on my journey. It whispers my name as I'm coming down, and cries out to me as I pass it by and walk back to the office.

I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm a Coca Cola addict, and his sister is actually in the intersecting hallway. I walk past her as well, but she is getting my daily affection again now that the vending company has added Coke Zero at my request. He took out Grape Fanta to make room. Seriously, this is a building with only adults. Grape Fanta? Barf oowwwtt! :)

I've been behaving. Bringing my lunch and snacks to work. Ignoring "the machine's" wails of lonliness and neglect. But I stayed at my friend's last night unexpectedly, and didn't have any snack mix left there for my snack. I use several different varieties of snack mix, ranging from 130-150 calories per serving. Caloric intake isn't my problem and I always have plenty of room to spare. So today, I checked the calories on various snack items in "the machine" and what do you know? Relatively the same. AND, certain items don't have wheat in them. I can eat all the chips and Cheetos and Fritos I want as far as that goes.

So, I did it. I fed "the machine" and "the machine" fed me. I could hear his whoops of glee as I inserted the first coin. After all, what difference does it really make? Same amount of calories per serving. I was only having one serving.

I'll tell you what difference it makes boys and girls....


I logged it into my food tracker and freaked out when I saw what it did to my nutrition balance. 10 grams of fat! Over half of the calories of the serving is fat! My normal stuff is only 4-5 grams, which is a third. Obviously much better for me.

Now deep down inside, I knew this, I'm not an idiot. I just denied it. I temporarily told myself it was only about the calories, and since it wasn't any more calories than normal, it was OK.

But it's not just about the calories. It took a huge, dry baked potato with dinner to balance that out. Even with all the carbs. Counting the calories is the easy part. Good thing I've got the SparkPeople website to help me with proper nutrition as well.

What I could use is some Spark Friends in my office with me to keep me in line. But don't worry. "The machine" is a goal on my way down the hallway. But it's a goal that I tend to shoot past, without stopping, repeatedly. Daily.

The elevator is NOT an option.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRUMPYGRAMS 1/8/2008 12:41AM

    I was going to suggest requesting certain snack, but you've already got that one covered! I hope he grants your wishes Tracy! I also like Lynn's idea! I love the way you worded your blog--it's a great read!!

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NOVAJEN 1/4/2008 5:14PM

    Feelin' your pain! I work on a college campus with machines, vendors, the bookstore and lovely coworkers that bring treats all the time. If only I could take a willpower pill every day. The calorie tracking helps me (I do it on Fitday because I have been for so long) so that I know whether I can afford that treat. You're already bringing your own snacks, which is great. Maybe the pledge on the machine is the way to go!

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TCEDEROTH 1/4/2008 9:34AM

    The difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero is taste. Zero tastes almost exactly like the real thing, with no icky after taste.

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TCEDEROTH 1/4/2008 9:31AM

    I liked the idea too, and plan on doing it today. It never occurred to me before. I swear, Lynn must eat, breathe and sleep SparkPeople to come up with that idea. What am I talking about? Of course she does. Also, other people in the building will see it and maybe be inspired to join too. Spread the Spark! I have asked the machine guy to put in some healthier choices and there are a few "better" choices, such as breakfast bars and such. I'll keep working on him. I'll get specific and give him a list of particular items. He just took over and he's pretty eager to please.

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CIAMOM 1/4/2008 1:58AM

    I think Lynn's onto something there! I think you've proved yourself to be very strong in passing it by all those other times, slap an SP pledge on the front of that thing and I bet it never happens again! Make sure you put it right above the coin slot. Okay, here's a silly question... what's the difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero?

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HEALTHIERLYNN 1/3/2008 11:44PM

    You Go Tracy! What a vile evil thing that machine is! Here's an idea...print out one of the SparkPeople Pledge and Membership cards and tape it to the front of the have to sign it and date it agreeing to make healthy choices, etc. so if you do so and post it right on the machine, I'll bet the Pledge Card will speak louder than the Fat and Cal Machine can!! Keep taking those stairs, Girl! Woo hoooo!!!

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Holiday Healthy Eating Pic

Monday, December 31, 2007

I didn't think one existed, but here it is. It was just emailed to me this morning.

The other in the picture is my ex-boyfriend. We're still friends, and I still love him.

100 bonus points for me, yay!

I used the one with the broccoli instead of the one with me drinking a shot of Jack Daniels right out of the bottle. For the record, it was only a little sip, (and yes, it was logged) and we were drinking TO our health.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Oh Becky, I would definitely allow the JD to count as health food! LOL I've never been a big drinker, but alcohol is at the top of my I Miss It The Most list! Tracy, the broccoli is a better choice, though, and I love the pic! Congrats on scoring those points!!

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TCEDEROTH 1/1/2008 6:37PM

    :) Why, the only one of course. If you remember, the other one is technically not an ex.

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CIAMOM 1/1/2008 1:59PM

    Broccoli - what a good girl you are. Good choice in pics, I don't think Lynn would let the JD count as health food! ;) Now, which ex-boyfriend is this? I can't keep track!! :) Happy new year, Tracy!

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GRUMPYGRAMS 12/31/2007 8:38PM

    Yay Tracy! You got that pic emailed to ya just in time for the challenge!! Good going getting those points!

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