Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Received the path lab results today: there was a benign haemangioma (collection of blood vessels gone wild) under the toenail -- but not (thanks, SP Friends, for all the good wishes beamed my way) a melanoma.
It was not nothing at all, and the growth was indistinguishable from the melanoma possibility without biopsy which means enduring the procedure was necessary. That makes the months it will take for the toenail to grow back more tolerable, somehow. Still raw but it will gradually toughen up.
So now I can segue back into exercise again as the tenderness permits -- first step will be to get back into my running shoes AND my golf shoes!
Further good news: even though I haven't been able to exercise -- I haven't put on ANY weight at all. Eternal vigilance worked fine in the short run, although it doesn't do a lot for the muscle toning . . .
Whew! I'm pretty much wagging my tail and smiling like Charlie!!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
I posted this comment on GEODAWG's blog, in which she describes making 70 sandwiches for a graduation party (and regrets, no kidding, not having been able to lose a pound this past week):
"It's so tough to be the lady having to deal with food -- buying the ingredients, preparing, making sure it's tasty, presenting it, cleaning up after -- and not getting to eat much of it!! No wonder women in general have way more "food issues" than men!! By and large I've "retired" from food prep: I buy groceries, stock the frig, make myself oatmeal or yogourt with berries for breakfast, veggie and fruit salads for lunch, soups for dinner but. . . rarely do anything else. I generally entertain by taking people out so they can choose the fish and chips off the menu while I order a . . . salad!! Maybe not very nurturing or sociable and I think it irks some folks but for me it's akin to an alcoholic who can't drink: I just can't do a whole lot of food prep without falling off the wagon!!"
To add to this concept: the more choices I have (four varieties of appetizers before dinner means I'm going to want to eat at least four ; if there are two varieties of cookies for dessert, ditto) the harder it gets.
The "variety" that works for me is variety in my oatmeal variations (chocolate brownie oatmeal or raisin cinnamon flaxseed oatmeal) or my berries (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries); variety in my lunch salads (arugula or spinach or mesclun; grape tomatoes or yellow tomatoes or Romas; radishes, snow peas or sugar snaps; yellow wax beans or green beans; red peppers or green ones; broccoli, slivered brussels sprouts or cauliflower ) and variety in the salad dressings and lean protein sources (shrimp, chicken, chickpeas, low fat feta); variety in the supper soups (generally a huge pot using up any fresh veggies I didn't finish in my salads during the week plus broth, diced low salt canned tomatoes, some kind of legume, and a huge range of ethnic type seasonings, warming up a bowlful every evening till it's gone . . . ). No two salads are ever quite the same, no two pots of soup have ever been identical . . . This is the variety within constraints which has by-and-large worked for me (with just a few blips) since 2002.
I know there are times in almost all women's lives when we really do have to cook: and I did prepare regular healthy meals for my kids when they were small, and I did the "young married" dinner parties competently and reasonably well; and I did take care of my parents when they were elderly, including moving in and meal preparation for them (bacon, bacon, bacon!!!) during their final months.
But that's part of the reason why I weighed 230 pounds and wore size 18s. And 20s. It wasn't working for me.
Is it possible to stop cooking without being entirely ungracious and inhospitable? When I recently served a work colleague mixed melon chunks with grapes and kiwi at a business meeting for the mid-morning coffee break instead of donuts and danish, he was actually very appreciative. My husband is way more of a carnivore than me, so I'll sit with him and sip my soup while he chows down on a huge steak with baked potato and icecream (or occasionally make him a dinner of fish, steamed veggies, fruit!!) and so far no complaints from him!
Even occasional "entertaining type" cooking and eating are problematic for me -- I'll feel sick after a typical high-fat "formal" dinner-party type meal for days, just like a hangover. AND even one such meal also tends to trigger the old food-cravings and make it hard for me to return to the pattern that helps me maintain the weight loss. The SP Nutrition Tracker has taught me that I really cannot eat even at the midpoint of the SP designated maintenance range and actually maintain my weight loss; I have to eat much less and be diligent to ensure there are no empty calories if I'm going to get the nutrients I need to feel healthy.
I really can resist anything but temptation . . .
Whaddya think? Given all of the above: does there come a time when it's OK to retire from cooking??
Friday, June 04, 2010
The next line, as I recall, reads
"Then if ever come perfect days."
This is one of those poetry frags which sticks in my head -- and I can't find the source with a quick internet search. Or I'd credit the author of course! ( If any SP friends know it, please provide, because I'd love to find the rest).
But as Charlie and I sat on the verandah this morning -- listening to the song sparrows, inhaling fragrance from the mock orange blossoms, and admiring today's brand new watermelon pink poppies -- this literary earworm came to mind.
What makes it memorable for me, probably, is the ambiguity of that "if ever", the deft deflation of the rather exalted tone preceding.
Raising the possibility that there are no perfect days?
A bit like the ambiguity of Robert Frost's "And that has made all the difference": the bit we don't quote, even though Frost was so clearly aware that the choice of one road over another in that "yellow wood" may or may not have turned out to be a good thing. . . he is, after all, "telling this with a sigh" which could be a sigh of relief or of resignation.
But as for today: excellent coffee; comfortably fresh temperature; blue sky and sunshine; very obedient dog who did not race off after an intrepid baby squirrel, only looked at me and smiled and wagged indulgently -- at the very least, it was a string of perfect moments.
And who knows: maybe this whole day will be perfect! It's June. If not now, when?
Sounds fair to me. So I'm proceeding on the assumption it's going to happen. Creating the best possible opportunity for a self-fulfilling prophecy. One excellent day in June coming right up! You have one too.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Canadians honour our colonial past this weekend with a wink and a nod towards Queen Victoria on the occasion of her "official" birthday. Our May 24th long weekend is commonly referred to as the May two-four, and for many involves at least that much beer. Queen Victoria quite possibly would not have been amused.
For those who have them (I don't) Victoria Day is traditionally "open the cottage" weekend. It also triggers a mad dash to the nurseries and planting out of annual flowers: generally speaking we don't get overnight frosts in most of Canada after May 24, and this weekend has been positively balmy.
I've played a little golf Friday and Saturday with more coming up tomorrow: done the usual laundry/groceries thing: hung up some baskets of bright red geraniums but done no serious gardening at all: and lounged on the verandah with Charlie, sipping coffee and reading reams of newspaper followed up by some Joy Fielding.
("Charlie, would you like to sit on the verandah?" I ask. And Charlie picks up one of his stuffed toys -- his lamb -- and immediately trots over to the veranda door: so clever!! Lamb likes sitting on the verandah too, apparently.)
The tulips and lilacs are just about finished; there are lily-of-the valley and tall purple iris and woodruffe in bloom, all smelling wonderful, with Oriental poppies soon to come. And life is good. No blackflies! No mosquitoes!! OK, I know they're coming but -- none yet!!
I'm certainly very keen on the notable and splashy occasions, the turning-point celebrations of life -- they matter, no kidding. Our son's graduation is coming up (a small miracle), and our 31st wedding anniversary. (Bride NOT so radiant this year, which would also be a good thing.) But pretty often it's this relentlessly ordinary stuff that gives me the most pleasure, the most contentment.
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