Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We made an appointment to put down our oldest dog, Brynn. The appt is for tomorrow evening. She has cancer & is starting to show signs of suffering. It is a terrible responsibility to decide when another being's life will end. Last fall, with my Bojangles, it was my decision when the time was right... and hubby thought we left it far too long. This time, with Brynn, it's his decision. I wonder if it's not too soon. I feel like I have shards of glass in my lungs every time I look at her. I am profoundly sad.
I've been dealing with this grief and pain in some constructive ways. I have been logging the exercise minutes like a fiend. I have allowed myself to experience these emotions, cried a lot and allowed others to see that pain and comfort me. I have been concentrating on making Brynn's last days enjoyable - walks, treats, extra love. I have been focusing on the wonderful life Brynn has had.
I've also been dealing with it in some non-constructive ways. Specifically, an entire pizza, 4 cookies, 2 chocolate bars, 6 marshmallows, pasta and cheese. I'm aware of what I'm doing, but so much energy is being directed elsewhere, I haven't had the energy - or truthfully the will - to stop it. I find myself saying "This is not the time to be hard on yourself." Even though I know the food will make me feel worse, not better. Most of the time now, I don't comfort-eat... but these emotions are so intense. I am cutting myself slack here.
I am purposely deciding to not track my food until Monday. I am going to accept whatever weight gain this week without regret. At the same time, I will continue to try to care for my body's needs for good nutrition and plenty of exercise. At least the exercise part is easy.
Monday, August 23, 2010
As I was recounting my day to hubby, I realized that without animals, my days would be uneventful. Today's blog will be (hopefully) funny, but not weight loss related....
Today, I got caught with my pants down, literally. Dooley (my in-laws water-crazy dog) escaped the leash and made a mad dash for the swamp. I swear to you that he turned and laughed at me as I chased crazily after him. He knows I don't have a chance! In the water he goes & immediately swims the 100 yards to the other side. He's thickheaded, but he's not stupid. Resigned to going in & retrieving that rotten dog, I decided to strip off my clothes so I wouldn't have to walk home wet. Just as my pants were around my ankles... a big old dump truck comes barreling in (the swamp is just beside an old sand pit). Yikes! Long story short... I ended up going in fully clothed, but called MiL to pick us up & bring towels!
But my day isn't over & the animal adventures continue.... CAT (pronounced si-ah-ti) is our 5 year old cat & a huntress surpreme. CAT isn't just a hunter, she's like an Olympic champion of hunters. We should have named her "Ecological Disaster" because I'm certain that is what she is to the rodents, birds and snakes in our area!
Now, I have a rule. If whatever is in CAT's mouth is still alive - even if it's a mouse or a snake - I try to give it a second chance at life. As you can imagine, CAT does not appreciate this philosophy & does what she can to thwart me.
So, I'm sitting at the computer, near the door, when I hear the very particular sound of CAT meowing with something in her mouth. I hear this sound nearly every day & it immediately gets me into action! You have to understand, I have spent countless hours of my life scrabbling around under beds and over couches trying to convince some hapless mouse or bird or squirrel to exit the house... all the while, blocking the deadly advances of not just CAT but also the other cat & the dogs who think this is a great game!
Today, I am lucky. I head her off at the pass and block her from getting in the house. I see that today's hapless victim is a little squirrel & I can see it's still alive, so I go into action and reach down. CAT quickly evades me, but drops the squirrel about 10 ft away... the squirrel runs around in terrified little circles and then right on top of CAT's back.... where it STOPS for about 3 seconds and catches its breathe. CAT looks back at it, but doesn't even seem interested. I stand there dumbfounded at this bizarre little scenario. But as soon as the silly squirrel jumps off her back, CAT is back into action and so am I! The dogs rush past me... and the squirrel starts running directly at me. I hop up on one leg so it won't climb on ME! But as soon as it's past, I use my body to block CAT & the 2 dogs who are in hot pursuit. All 3 sniff around me looking for the squirrel - they lost sight of the lucky creature... and the squirrel safely escaped into the trees. Whew! Another life saved.
For your viewing enjoyment, two pictures of CAT
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Me with fresh cut chantrelle mushrooms
I've become fascinated, on my hikes in the woods, with the variety of mushrooms that grow here. I started taking pictures and doing internet research keeping an eye out for possible edible species. I was sure that I had found a stand of chantrelle mushrooms, deep into the woods... but I was reluctant to pick them because some wild mushrooms are deadly poisonous. I started spreading the word in my community that I was looking for someone who ate mushrooms from these woods - and today I found her!
Angela is a 90 year old German woman who has been collecting mushrooms in these woods for over 50 years. She looks just as you would imagine - small, white haired with spritely blue eyes. Hubby & I collected a large sample of the mushrooms and went & knocked on her door. She invited us in and was happy to confirm that these are chantrelles - and was even happier when we gave them to her! She explained that she isn't physically able to collect mushrooms anymore, so this was a real treat for her. When I asked if I could bring her other samples, she seemed really pleased. She says she's alone a lot now & always home... so I think I'll start dropping by with treasures from the forest. A little company for Angela & a mushroom mentor for me! We're going to have the chantrelles tonight with whole wheat pasta, prawns and white wine sauce. Yum.
On another note, the picture above sparked a discussion between hubby & me. I said that I was surprised by how small I look in this picture. The angle of the camera must be distorting the image. He snorted and said it wasn't the camera angle that was distorted - it was my image of myself. He said "You look just like that. THAT is what you look like." Really? I feel much larger than that. Much larger. I may be wearing size 14 - but I still feel like a size 22. C'mon brain - catch up to the body!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Earlier today, I literally & virtually stomped my feet, p***ed off at the scale and the unfairness of the world in general.
Fortunately, I have some new tools in this old toolbox... so I put on my running shoes and dealt with my emotions the best way I know how. I ran hard. Faster than ever before. Pounded those feet into the earth. Ran until my breathe was ragged.
And then I felt better. Nothing, nothing, nothing beats running for stress relief.
After the run part, the dogs and I carried on hiking through the woods, stopping at the swamp so the dogs could cool off with a swim. I have Dooley (my in-laws dog) with me as my FiL is still in hospital. Now, Dooley is insane about water. If you let him off leash, you best expect to swim in to collect him because there is NO WAY that he will come when he's called. I am not wearing a bathing suit & I'm not planning on skinny dipping either!
So I create a long rope with 4 leashes (I carry leashes for my dogs - but hardly ever use them), tied one end to a tree and released Dooley to the water. I'm standing there watching him thinking "You fool. If you'd only learn to come when you're called, you wouldn't be frustrated with the confines of the leash."
Then pops up and says "You could learn a lesson from this dog. HE isn't capable of looking at the bigger picture and gaining a new perspective. He can only see what he wants right now & can't see how he's hindering his own desires. You have a bigger brain. Don't be a twit. Change your perspective, girl!"
Here is a pic of water-crazy Dooley in his favourite toy... his swimming pool!
I started thinking about what had led to my loss in perspective - the scale. You see, I'm soooooo close to being under 200 lbs that I can almost taste it. 203.5 today. 203 last week. All week, I've been thinking about getting into one-derland. Of how it will feel to pass that milestone. I used that desire to really be strict with myself in diet & exercise. Then to see I was moving backwards... I was devastated.
So how to change that perspective? How to change the focus? Where have my gains be made? How can I measure them to see progress?
One of things that came to mind was finding out if the changes I've made have had any impact on my "virtual age" or life expectancy. When I got home, I did a quick search on "real age calculators" and ended up here :
34 questions to determine your virtual and biological age. I did it twice. The first time answering the questions based on my CURRENT lifestyle & the second time answering based on what I recall of my lifestyle FIVE MONTHS AGO.
Biological Age: 40
Virtual Age: 29.9
Ave Life Expectancy: 75
My Life Expectancy: 85.1
5 MONTHS AGO:
Biological Age: 40
Virtual Age: 50.5
Ave Life Expectancy: 75
My Life Expectancy: 64.5
I needed a change in perspective and I just got it....
By changing my lifestyle - eating, exercising, de-stressing, sleeping - I have
ADDED TWENTY YEARS TO MY LIFE EXPECTANCY!!!!!!!!!!!
Holy Smokes! That is utterly freakin' AMAZING!
In my last blog, I calculated that I had spent at least 600 hours of concerted effort, in the last 5 months, for a weight loss of 30 lbs - and questioned if it was worth it.
This blog, I have a new calculation....
20 years = 169920 hours
169920/600 = 2832
For every hour I've invested in my health, I have gotten 2832 more hours of life.
Now that's worth it!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I am so ANGRY. I've been swearing and stomping and sitting and glowering. I am so mad and frustrated and there's no where to put it or anything to do with it because it is all seemingly out of my control.
Stepped on the scale today. Up 0.5 lbs. No biggie right? Wrong!
I have pushed myself to exercise, even when I didn't want to.
I have stayed within - or under - cal range on a consistent basis
I have tracked and blogged and read articles.
I have worked to find low-cal recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I have made healthy choices.
I've improved my attitude and stayed consistent.
I drink my water.
I get enough sleep.
I basically eat, sleep, dream healthy eating and fitness and tracking.
SO WHAT IS THE POINT?!
Every day, I focus on getting healthier and losing weight. On average, I spend
1 - 1.5 hours exercising
1 hour food prep
2 hours tracking, blogging, reading articles
and every other minute of the day THINKING about all of this!
So roughly a minimum of 4 hours a day for the last 150 days = 600 hours of concerted effort for 30.5 lbs weight loss. Is it worth it?
My sparkfriends will, of course, tell me that it IS worth it. I've written the same thing to support others. What is the alternative? Go back to the way I was living? No, I don't want to go there either.
But I'm so pissed off that I'm sitting here in tears. Am I defective? All this effort, barely any result. I can focus on all the positives all I want. But the truth is I'm working my ass off, feeling like a freak because I'm the only person I know right now (in real life) who is exercising and watching what I eat consistently. And the f***ing scale still won't move.
No choices today. I can't go back. I can't seem to move forward.
STUCK... and ANGRY... and SAD... and FRUSTRATED... and FED UP.
I've come too far on the fitness front to stop now. There is that, at least. But, SERIOUSLY, I can not continue to give it my all and not see results. Why bother? I'm sure I could be finding a much more PRODUCTIVE use for my time.
I am SICK AND F***ing TIRED of exerting all of this focus and energy on something that just isn't happening.
Get An Email Alert Each Time TEMPEST272002 Posts