Sunday, January 03, 2010
Last night while I was listening to the sounds of my hubby snoring, I had so many thoughts going through my head, that I actually thought of getting up and writing them down. I didn't, but first thing this morning over my cup of coffee, I started to journal. I kept thinking of what a difference this past year has made in my life, and how great I feel.
This is the first time in years that I did NOT face New Year's Day with a resolution to do something about my weight, because I already started back in August. So instead of feeling guilt or regret because of overindulging in holiday goodies, I feel pleased with myself for sticking with my plan and having an occasional treat. This is also the first time that I've approached the New Year without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of weight that I want to lose. To approach January 1st feeling like my weight is NO longer the issue it was for me in the past is REFRESHING!
There have been many changes over the past few months. As I see my face and body starting to change as the weight is coming off, the biggest changes are happening on the inside. These changes aren't visible and can't be measured on a scale or with a tape measure, but they are the most profound. As I'm discovering myself again, I'm feeling an inner strength that I haven't felt in years! I will no longer tolerate bad behavior or emotional abuse from so-called friends and toxic in-laws! Last year I ended two 'friendships' with people that treated me in a cruel or disrespectful way. I've also limited my contact with my MIL and see her only occasionally. She still does TRY to zing me with her toxic comments, but they have NO power over me! Instead of being hurt by her words, I see it for what it is - a pathetic attempt to make herself feel better by trying to put me down. This crap will NO longer fly with me - I'm DONE!!! I now actually laugh in her face when she says these things and/or firmly put my foot down - this shuts her up! And if this approach doesn't work, I AM prepared to cut her out of my life 100%! I deserve to be treated in the same way I treat other people, with kindness and respect!
Yes, I'm thrilled with the progress on the scale so far, but I'm also happy about how I'm starting to feel about myself on the inside. The clouds have parted and I see myself for the strong woman that I am. I really need to thank my Spark friends for helping me see myself again, without blinders. I know that the road before me is long, but I'm REALLY okay with it. To be honest, I'm actually excited about the journey before me. I'm not traveling it alone, I have my husband and my Spark friends by my side! I feel a quiet determination that wasn't there 5 months ago when I joined Spark, but I'm sure glad that I feel it now. What a great feeling to start the New Year with!
Saturday, January 02, 2010
The last couple of weeks have been hectic, and I haven't been on Spark that much. I was determined, however, to NOT dive headfirst into the calorie-infused goodies of the season.
Christmas Eve dinner is always at our house, and everyone had a good time. Even my MIL was on good behavior (for her). My friend Helen commented in front of my MIL on how much weight I've lost, and in true fashion, my MIL said... NOTHING. She called the next day, and the first thing out of her mouth was, "Have you lost a lot of weight?" to which I replied, "Yes, I guess I have." Her response? "Well, it's really hard to tell." Thanks for the compliment, witch (See below for pics of our friends and aforementioned witch and her companion).
Christmas Day was a relaxing, quiet day at home with Hubby. We hung around and had breakfast in our jammies, opened our gifts, and followed up Christmas movies with leftovers from the previous evening. My hubby got me some great gifts, some of which had a butterfly theme to go with my Spark page! He found a beautiful stained glass butterfly lamp at a local antique shop and a datebook adorned with birds and butterflies.The gift that really amazed me, though, was a pendant made from a real butterfly wing. Although it was beautiful, my first thought was that a butterfly was killed to make it. After reading the enclosed notecard from the artist, I was relieved to find out that no butterflies are harmed; they come from tropical butterfly farms and are gathered only after dying naturally. I've already received compliments on the days that I wore the necklace, but only Hubby and my Spark friends know the REAL significance and symbolism of the butterfly.
The last few years, we've also had a casual dinner for friends and family on New Year's Day. I usually make two kinds of soup, a huge salad, assorted breads, fruit salad and leftover Christmas cookies. I put the soup pots and all of the food out on the counter for everyone to help themselves. Our guests always let us know how much they enjoy the low-key, dressed-down evening -- my kind of entertaining! At the end of the night, I put out the remaining Christmas goodies, paper plates, and foil, and ask everyone to help themselves. This year it felt really good to get all of that stuff out of the house as soon as possible!
It's January 2nd and I've kept my promise to myself about weighing less today than I did before the holidays. I lost three pounds this week and two the previous week. YAAAYYY! I enjoyed the holiday season, yet stuck with the "everything in moderation" motto. It worked well for me, and I look forward to the new year while continuing my journey with the support and friendship of all of my Spark friends!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
We just spent the last 2 days up to our necks in Christmas decorations. UGH!!! Oh, the joy of the season! With the holidays quickly approaching, we knew that we had a dreaded weekend of lights, trees, balls, and other patience-testing Christmas chores! As my DH loads up the yard buggy with lights, extension cords, timers, and what not, I carry the big-@ss ladder out back. When I question him on his good mood with all of this work before us, he seems almost giddy as I look at him with suspicion. He told me that ever since he was the 'token' Jew at K-M@rt, on black Friday, at 6AM, buying a Christmas tree - he's in the holiday spirit! Yeah right, he's just afraid that if he's grouchy, I'll write a blog about it.
We're ready to knock the first job off of the list - erecting tall Christmas trees in the back yard. As he pounds the poles into the ground, I get busy stringing lights up and down into the shape of trees. We have a system in place and usually get this done quickly. 'Usually"being the key word here! Naturally we test ALL of the lights BEFORE we start, and they were fine. YAY! A couple of hours later, the trees are done, lit, and looking very festive. But wait, 1/4 of the lights go out on tree #1! Great!! We replace the bad lights, and as we admire our handy work, 1/4 of the lights on tree #2 go out!! Are you kidding me?? I feel the twitching starting as I fight down the profanity that's trying to spill out! My DH patiently removes the dead lights, we put up another new strand, and stand back and admire our work. Okay, one job down, a dozen more to go.
After it got dark, we check out the 3 grapevine reindeer covered in white lights in the front yard. My DH says that the lights on the back end of the largest deer are out! But of course it is - YES, sarcasm! With every ounce of strength I could muster, I fight back the urge to drop kick that half lit sucker across the front yard! As if reading my mind, or the fear of seeing me throw a full blown reindeer- kicking fit, my DH suggests that we deal with it later.
Thankfully the remainder of the jobs went smoothly and by last night we were enjoying the lights and all that we accomplished. As we're closing up the house and getting ready for some well earned rest, I make sure that all 3 cats are inside. Since the weather was so nice, I left one set of sliding glass doors open onto the screened-in lanai. As I'm doing kitty-roundup, I hear a strange 'SPLAT' sound behind me. In horror I see that Daisy brought a small snake INTO the house! The splat sound was the snake hitting the tile floor after she picked it up and dropped it. YUK, YUK, YUK! Instead of my usual snake-screech, I calmly (well semi-calmly) tell hubby that a snake got onto the lanai and she brought it inside. I was however, extremely grossed out! Hubby ran over, and armed with the LONGEST set of salad tongs we own, picks up the snake. We soon realize that the slithery critter is a goner, as we see teeth marks down the length of it. It looks kind of like a snake flute! I try not to barf as I run to the front door, with hubby right behind me, with the dead snake hanging from the tongs. I do semi-screech EWWW, as he flings the snake out the front door.
Despite the fact that we were not looking forward to a weekend of Ho Ho Ho-ing, we joked around, and were still laughing about it this morning. We took chores that we were dreading, and had a good time anyway. I learned a few lessons during the Ho Ho Ho-ing. Be grateful - for a pleasant, non-grouchy hubby to share the misery, I mean 'joy' with! Be thankful - for the fact that it was a small non-poisonous snake, and Daisy was okay! (DH is putting new sweeps under the screened doors to keep future slithery critters OUT) Be appreciative - make the most of everything, even half lit reindeer!
Friday, December 04, 2009
This morning when I stepped on the scale and saw that another 3 pounds bit the dust, I was thrilled. But something else happened, I reached the 1/4 of the way to goal mark. WooHoo!! And yes, I certainly did the happy dance. Heck, I may be dancing all day long, after all I can count it as cardio!
When I joined Spark in August, my motivation was at an all time low and I felt a bit hopeless. But I couldn't accept the fact that I was trapped in an overweight body, so I still had a glimmer of hope. Four months ago I had NO idea that I could be feeling this way today! Anything is possible if you're willing to do the work that it takes to succeed. With each passing week, I started to see glimpses of my strength and determination shining through. Looking back, I hardly recognize that beaten down, sad woman that felt buried under all those pounds. It's not just about losing the physical weight, but also dropping the emotional baggage that kept me locked in a place of self doubt.
So for any new Sparkers that are where I was 4 months ago, have faith in your ability to succeed and let the support of fellow Sparkers give you strength. Only 4 short months ago, I didn't realize what a life changing experience this could be. It's all about choices. It's one calorie, meal, step, mile, and day at a time. When I first joined and looked at my weight ticker, it felt overwhelming. Happily, today I see it in a much more positive light - as progress! When you begin any journey the road before you seems long. But taking that first step is changing my life for the better, and I'm grateful! As my journey continues, the road before me isn't quite so long, especially as I look back and see how far I've come - in many ways!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
This isn't going to be about weight loss, but about what I'm feeling thankful for today, which is sharing the holidays with my husband. As I'm sitting outside having my breakfast, I'm gearing up for a day of unpacking Christmas stuff (UGH!) and getting into the holiday spirit! Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the holiday season - but it's WORK! Since we live in Florida, and don't have a basement, everything is up in the attic. This is a two person job, so I need my DH for this one. I usually start preparing him about 2 weeks before hand by saying that we need to get the stuff down. And I always keep my fingers crossed that the day we do it, it's NOT 140 degrees in the attic! I think that he would rather have a colonoscopy than go up into the attic! I think that the memory of the time he was up there, stood up and hit his head on the exposed nails from the roof, still haunts him! He came down and I looked at the top of his head, which was covered with little red spots of blood from the nails, and he asked "does my head look like a colander"? I couldn't help myself, after I saw that he was okay, I bust out laughing! I know, I know, bad wife! But he laughed too!!
So Sunday was to be attic day. I thought that if I could entice him with something that he could look forward to, then he wouldn't mind SO much. Okay, so he's a man, which means that there are 3 options; TV time, sex, or food. I opted for food because there wasn't time for the other choices! Up into the attic he went, as I stood at the bottom of the steps, prepared to catch the boxes and totes coming down. Okay, note to self - the **** totes are too heavy, so remember this for next year, as I almost fell on my @ss trying to catch the stuff flying out of the attic! As I lift, carry, and stack all of this stuff, I realize that I'm getting a workout.
So as thoughts of going out for breakfast the next morning were swirling in his head, my DH happily starts getting ready to decorate the front yard. We have 3 large grapevine reindeer, which we've had for over 20 years, that we covered with white lights and that goes in the front yard. I always think of that scene from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, where Chevy Chase throws a fit and kicks the decorations across the yard - as we check the lights on the reindeer. I can actually visualize myself kicking those suckers clear across the front yard when the lights don't cooperate, which seems like every year.
There have only been 2 times that I've been know to curse like someone with Tourettes Syndrome. Watching Tracey on The Biggest Loser was one, and the other is when half of the Christmas lights go out! Last year my DH sat in the driveway and put all new lights on the 3 reindeer, yes, he has patience! He's such a sweetie!! This year I held my breath as he plugged them in, and they LIT! YAY!!! Okay, so no reindeer kicking for me - this year anyway. Before we decorate, hubby trims the shrubs as I wash the windows and front door. On to the lights. As he wires the evergreen garland around the front door, half of the lights are NOT lit, naturally! By now I'm starting to feel the twitching and cursing coming on, but I hold back. As he strings new lights around the windows and door, I'm starting to feel better and getting into the holiday spirit.
Last years, a couple of days before Christmas, 1/4 of the lights on our pre-lit and decorated tree decided to go out. Ornaments had to come off and DH added new lights to the tree. Since it's a pre-lit tree, and the dead lights are wired on, we knew that we would need a new one for this year. I told DH that K-M@rt had tall, slim trees for 1/2 off on of all days, Black Friday! I told him that there was NO way I was going there at 5AM and deal with that insanity, that I would go later in the day. At 5:15 AM on Friday, I woke up to my DH getting dressed for work. When I asked why he was getting ready SO early, his reply was "I'm going to get a new tree". I asked him "are you nuts, it's going to be a zoo in that store"? So off he goes to experience his first Black Friday!
Oh, did I mention that my hubby is Jewish, of Russian decent?? At 6:30 he calls and tells me how horrible the crowds are, and that the trees are on the TOP of the shelves (Yeah, great place to put them), and how he couldn't get anyone to help him get them down without a ladder. He went into the aisle with cleaning supplies and grabbed a broom. Armed with the broom, he made sure the coast was clear, and pushed the box off of the top shelf. With the tree in the cart, he happily calls me back, feeling good about his accomplishment. As I tell him "make sure it's white lights, not multi colored", there is silence, followed by "OH CRAP"!!! He called back again at 6:45 on his way to work, with the tree (with white lights) in his trunk. He told me "I can guarantee you that I was the ONLY Jew in K-M@rt, at 6AM looking for a Christmas tree!! We both laughed!
Our system is that we decorate the outside together, he puts up the 2 trees (one in living room, the other in the family room), I decorate the trees and the house, and a few night a week, he'll do something Christmas related. Tonight he told me that he'll put up the evergreen garland and lights on the mantel. When everything is decorated and lit, it's worth the effort, and we BOTH enjoy it. His favorite is Christmas Day, as it's just the 2 of us. I always make a nice brunch which includes a baked egg dish, like a strata. And every Christmas since our first, 26 years ago, we have croissants. Wait until I factor in the calories on that sucker! We hang out in our jammies all day, listen to Christmas music, and open presents. Followed by watching Christmas movies and have leftovers from Christmas Eve dinner. It's a relaxing, enjoyable day!
Last year we had a house full of people for both Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. This year we're going to have the usual big Christmas Eve dinner with everyone, He wants it to be just us for Hanukkah. I get out the menorah and candles, and light it every night. I always bake some traditional cookies, Greek cookies, baklava, and those for Hanukkah, such as rugelach and mandelbrodt (like biscotti). This year I'm not doing all of that baking, and told my DH to pick out a few of his favorites, which I'll bake for him and our holiday guests. And for a Catholic girl of Greek/Polish decent, I make a mean matzo ball! I make chicken soup with matzo balls, brisket, and potato pancakes (AKA. Latkes) for him, for Hanukkah.
As I prepare for a day of unpacking Christmas stuff, I'm feeling very thankful. Despite the fact that our faiths are different, we are like one person, and I feel blessed to have him! HE is my family! This time of year can be a bit sad, as I miss my parents and sister, but I try to focus on what I DO have. As I'm feeling the spirit of the holidays, I'm thankful for all of life's blessings! Well, the Christmas totes are calling me- HO HO HO! I hope that everyone is enjoying the spirit of the upcoming holidays!
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