Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Yeah, d@mmit, I gained three pounds. Know what's funny? I'm more upset about that than about losing my job. How is that possible? Well, with losing my job, I could see the axe about to fall. With the three pound weight gain, I have no explanation. I know it's water weight and it's not even close to that time of month. So when I weighed this morning, I was, like, WTF?
I'm an extremely intuitive person and I knew I was screwed when they put me on a performance improvement plan 90 days after my date of hire. I had already gotten most of the grief out of my system and launched a quiet job search. So when my boss set up a monday 4:30 pm meeting two weeks in advance, I knew what time it was. The meeting went like this:
Bad Boss: "How are you coming along on the eight goals I set for your 60 day performance improvement plan?"
Me: "I've made progress. I will brief you on my progress for each goal." I start to discuss my activities and the progress I've made.
Bad Boss: "Sounds to me like you're making progress. Still I'm concerned about..." (starts to bring up things that do not appear on my performance improvement plan.)
Me: "Here are the strategies I've developed to address those items." I start to brief him on my plan and philosophy. I read the expression on his face, so I pause and ask the magic question: "Do you see me here in 30 days?"
Bad Boss: "I don't think you're going to make it."
Me: (Pause) "Then let's discuss my severance."
At that point the conversation shifts to negotiations. I negotiate two month's severance pay. Bad Boss looks like he's going to cry. He asks when I want my last day to be (seriously???) I tell him, "Today."
I handled myself calmly and professionally. I don't cry, complain, argue---none of that. It's not for him to see because my response is the only thing I can control. Besides, I had been there less than a year and the pay really sucked considering the scope of the job. Bad Boss offers to help me find another job, says he's willing to make some calls and be a reference. My only response is, "If you need an independent contractor--call me." I extend my hand, look him square in the eye, and shake his hand firmly. Who knows, he might have to call because I made a conscious decision to wrap up three projects and submit them the day AFTER our meeting. I'm the only one with the online userids and passwords to all three projects. Without my information, they can't access the work.
When I walked out of the office, I was surprised to see that they had sent most of my co-workers home. Probably because they thought I'd go off on everybody and create a scene. I must've been a major disappointment. I joked with a former co-worker as he helped me carry my boxes to my car. I told him that I had enjoyed working with him and that I knew that God was not going to give me any more than I could handle. When I pulled out of the parking lot, my co-worker/friend/Soror followed me. We drove and parked in a lot about two blocks from the job. I got into her car and it was only then that the tears started to flow.
When I told my family and friends, about losing my job they were like, "How did you figure out what was happening?" I told them, so I'll tell you. Here are the classic signs:
1) You are no longer "in the loop" on decisions
2) You are not even "in the loop" on decisions affecting the department you run
3) You have a major philosophical difference with your boss about how your job is to be performed
4) Your boss starts to avoid you--no small talk, no feedback positive or negative, no response to your emails
5) You are blamed for things that are beyond your control
6) You get little or no credit for your ideas or a job well done
7) A co-worker with major power in the organization is openly competing with you
8) You have a conversation with the office pariah about the organization's dysfunction and discover you agree with them more than you do with your team
9) The organization is a bad cultural fit. In my case, the overt religiosity within the organization made me uncomfortable---and I'm a christian.
10) Your subordinates and your boss start breaking the chain of command
So now, for the first time in decades, my entire future is a blank slate. I have NO idea where I will be working or living a year from now. The changes in my life are happening so rapidly, my head is spinning. Before I can start filling in the blanks, I'm giving myself a week to lick my wounds, hold pity parties with my friends and family, and just feel sorry for myself. After that, I'm launching my job search. I am actually thinking about going into business for myself. I'm getting tired of Bad Bosses and Crazy Bosses.
The only thing that's keeping me sane is my faith in God and my SP program. Okay, so maybe I can't control losing my job or finding three pounds, but I CAN pray and maintain my eating and my exercise habits.
Onward and Downward.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
For the first time I can remember in a while, almost every area of my life is in transition. My relationship with my child is changing, my job is uncertain, and I've lost touch with one friend of six years and ended another friendship of five years.
I'm not clear why all this change is happening at once, but sometimes that's how life is. Still, if I were to compare this time in my life to the weather, I'd say it's like a light drizzle in cold weather. Depressing but not devastating. I've survived many storms and this is no comparison.
This week was so-so.
THE GOOD: I cooked twice this week; kept my kitchen clean, bought some new exercise clothes and shoes, logged in all my food and exercise, and worked to increase my fruits/veg/water, even hitting my goals on two days this week.
THE BAD: My weightloss is stalled again. I won't repeat all the whining that I did last month. I know it's water weight, but it's frustrating. Still have work to do on fruit/veg/water intake. Still ate out several times this week because I've been watching college basketball at bars and grills. I'm hopeful this will change once the college basketball season is over.
THE UGLY: My dog chewed up two of my fitness books, including the one by Tosca Reno. I am just disgusted. I only exercised on sunday, tuesday and today. I am drinking way too many diet cokes.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Today I spoke to my "son" who is a division 1-NCAA football player. I told him about my new eating and exercise habits and he was very supportive. During the course of conversation, he mentioned that he maintains an "in season" weight and an "off season" weight, which is 11 pounds higher. The depressing part is this; BOTH of his weights are more than ten pounds less than what I weigh now and he plays football!!
All the conversation did was motivate me to work hard in the gym this evening and eat a sensible, nutrient-dense dinner. I don't like the idea of weighing more than my "son".
Monday, March 14, 2011
The newness of my eating plan has totally worn off. I've now settled into a day-to-day routine built on weeks of habit-forming behaviors. To stay engaged and motivated, I'm focusing on strengthening the areas I've identified as weak:
1) Dirty dishes in the sink that render me too lazy to cook;
2) Not drinking enough water;
3) Not getting enough fruits and vegetables.
Here are my planned solutions;
1) 10 minutes cleaning the kitchen daily;
2) Keep a QT 32 oz cup on my desk and drink two cups while at work;
3) Drinking 1 glass of orange juice lite (50 calories) in the morning, eat fruit or a vegetable for morning and afternoon snacks, eat one fruit/veg at lunch and one at dinner.
Ain't nothin' to it but to do it. Onward and downward.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Okay, I admit it. I confess. I dine out entirely too much. I spend too much money and eat too many dishes with calorie counts that are nearly impossible to figure out. I live alone, I work full time, and I'm prone to procrastination and disorganization. I also hate doing dishes and other mundane housework. Because I live alone, no one is going to call me out when my dishes pile up.
I know this habit is costing me calories and money, so why is it so difficult to break? I think it's because eating at home requires PLANNING. Being the disorganized, no attention-span having woman that I am, planning is a foreign word to me.
The root of my problem is this: IF MY KITCHEN IS A MESS, WHY WOULD I WANT TO SPEND TIME IN THERE?
Usually what happens is I go to the store with a list. I've mapped out my recipes for the week. I pick up my food, put it away in the kitchen. During the week I'm busy so dishes pile up in the sink because I failed to put away the clean dishes in the dishwasher. Now one evening, I come home. I have things I can prepare, but because the kitchen is a mess, I don't wanna bother having to clean it before I start cooking. So I don't cook. Days go by and I still haven't prepared the food I've purchased. It goes bad, so I have to toss it.
I do get around to cooking. The recipe makes six portions. It's a new recipe and the results are mediocre. I eat one portion, then refrigerate the rest. The next day, I take a second portion to work for my lunch. That evening, I come home to the same leftovers, which I have for dinner. By day three, I'm busy again. The dishes are piling up. I don't want to cook, but I'm tired of mediocre leftovers. So now the remaining three portions go bad, while I grab something to eat from Boston Market or Chipotle.
The answer is brilliantly simple. I'm pledging to spend 10 minutes in my kitchen every day. That's it. 10 minutes a day. I think that's all the time I need to put dishes away, load dishes in the dishwasher, sweep the floor, clean out "science projects" from the fridge and stay organized. I'll even set a timer. Whatever I don't finish after 10 minutes remains until the next day.
I am also going to focus on making sure my pantry is stocked and organized. I have a list of kitchen staples tacked to the door of my freezer. Anything that I need is checked off. By the end of the week, I have a partial grocery list. I add in the ingredients to my recipes and that's the list I bring with me to the store.
See, I have a system. But it doesn't work if my kitchen's a mess. Time for the dine-out diva to retire.
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