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Wild (sacre) Blue Extinguishes Spark

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rural living has it's drawbacks and one of those is a satellite internet connection. We use WildBlue or as I've renamed it, "Wild Sacrebleu!" Of course this commentary is based on my own personal experiences and opinions of said experiences. I'm sure my experiences are an aberration of their typical service, so if there are any 'Defenders Of The Blue' out there, don't sue me, just stop reading.

How, you might be wondering, did my Spark get extinguished? Well it was all quite puzzling to us as one minute our internet connection was doing fine, next few minutes it was slowing down (all this happened while I was on Spark BTW) then after twenty or so minutes of agonizing page loading I got the oversimplified message: "you are not connected to the internet."

"Well, that's silly," I thought to myself...of COURSE I'm connected to the
internet! See the little bars in the upper right of my screen? They're all black! Then I thought: "Don't quit me now! I'm trying to respond to the spark lady on the swimsuit bootcamp team who loves crunches and wants to know where the crunch challenge is!" Vital communication in process!

So, a day later we call Wild Blue costumer support which is 24/7 (gotta give them credit there). The very nice and chatty support lady tells my husband that she is looking at a weather radar screen and, by god, there is a big green 'weather disturbance' all over northern california! We glance out the window and see nothing but, pardon the pun...wild blue.

My husband tells her this but she insists we are experiencing inclement weather and our service will come back online once it's passed. Well, this invisible weather disturbance put a halt to our trouble shooting because she could not pass us along on the 'trouble shooting check list ' until her little screen showed clear weather. The buck stopped there. How long would this mysterious, unmanifested green cloud hover over all of N. Cal or, more precisely, hover over their computer image of N. Cal?

A day later we call back. We are experiencing the first symptoms of IWS (internet withdraw syndrome) But alas, a different not so nice support person says we're still having weather despite the sunny 80 degree day we're enjoying. We protest, the lady says 'well, all we can do is send someone up to look at your dish. That'll be 92 dollars, please." Sacrebleu!!!

So, a week and a half later and 92 bucks lighter we're back online and I'm catching up on my Spark. The problem? Not weather. A corroded part on our satellite dish that had to be replaced with a weather protected model. Duh, satellite dish exposed to weather should probably be weather proof. Of course their poor design is our problem because we apparently have to pay for it.

It was amazing to see how the lack of my Spark program impacted my choices. I ate more, exercised less, and totally bombed on the Swimsuit Bootcamp Challenge since I couldn't download any of the videos! But I'm back on track now and firing up that Spark!


2 Pounds to 'Over'

Monday, April 28, 2008

You know those moments when you catch the image of yourself in a mirror or in a photo and it makes you want to call an optometrist? I had one of those moments today at the gym. I was putting my bathing suit on and glanced over my shoulder and saw a really overweight woman with the same suit. Of course, a quarter of a millisecond later I realized that woman was me.

How can I look at myself in the mirror every day and not see how overweight I am? Why does it take an unexpected odd-angled reflection or photo for me to see it? Is there some conspiracy between my eyes, brain and stomach that camouflages myself from me? Or do I have a case of a backwards body distortion disorder because I swear I have always thought I am skinnier than I truly am.

To compound all this I did my BMI today and according to my results I am OBESE! Me? Obese? Really? Isn't it just that those BMI creators have unrealistic expectations of a mature woman's body? No, I have to begin to accept how seriously overweight I am. Granted, after two more pounds of weight loss I'll be on the 'over' category but I am mystified at how I've been trucking along for years thinking that 'yea, I'm overweight but it's not that bad.' Well, it is that bad and it's time I acknowledge it and make my health and weight loss a priority!


Ten Pound Shoes

Monday, April 21, 2008

I have the best husband. He just came up with the most fabulous reward system to help motivate me to loose the weight: Shoes.

I love shoes. Nice shoes. Comfortable shoes. Dansko, Rogue, Simple, El Naturalista, Ecco, Keen, Chaco. You get the idea. Not a high heel wearing, foot torturing kind of shoe fetish here. More like a 'my feet have a long way to carry me yet, best outfit them for the jouney' kind of attitude. Really, I just despise being physically uncomfortable.

Yes, it's an extrinsic reward and it runs contrary to a grounded perspective on the goal of becoming healthy. But, dag namit, every girl has an inner magpie and sometimes we need a shiny something to keep our feathers preened.

This all came about this afternoon after spending an embarrassing amount of time online looking for a pair of good summer shoes for our daughter. Absolutely out of the blue my husband says, "why don't you buy yourself a new pair of shoes for every ten pounds you
loose?" Needless to say I was shocked and could hardly contain my feelings of satisfaction for having married such a sensible man.

I came clean on how long it may take me to loose ten pounds; how much total weight I aim to loose and how many pairs of shoes that would amount to. We negotiated things like money and weight gain relapses and came to an agreement. This challenge is made all the better with my husband's involvement and enthusiasm. Of course, his first thought of a material reward may have been more in line with a Victoria's Secret catalogue but he no doubt quickly realized that would just piss me off. (I've loathed VS ever since I went in one of their stores looking for a maternity/nursing bra and was told by a perky 20 something dressed in black with a little pink ribbon that "oh, nooo we don't sell those kind of bras." Jerks)


Motivation Age

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I've tried so many times to loose weight and 'be skinny'. I've dieted and exercised sensibly and when that failed, recklessly through 15 day long juice fasts. I've had moderate and outstanding success but I've always gained the weight back.

Finally I'm at a point (or maybe it's just age!) where the goal has changed from 'skinny' to 'healthy'. I hear news reports on the correlation between weight and health and I think of my 75 year old father's struggles with heart disease and diabetes.

Now that I have children who look to me as they form their life-patterns with nutrition and health I am motivated to be their teacher through example. But it's not enough for them to sit back and watch me.

As a child, my own mother should have been my perfect role model. She walked 7 miles every weekday and 12 miles on the weekends. At age 60 she climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park with greater ease than me, trailing behind her. So if she was such a great role model why do I find myself 50 pounds overweight and edging my way into obesity? The only thing I can think of that makes sense is that I was never personally involved in physical activities when I was a kid. I watched mom and was proud of her but it just wasn't part of my own routine. So, it looks like this is going to be a family endeavor!