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Decision Made, Dressing Up, and More

Sunday, February 24, 2013

So, I've made my decision on the race on my birthday. I'm going to pass it up this year. It's annual. It isn't new. I can make much better plans and work my finances a lot better looking ahead than rushing to fit it in this year. Patience means I can make the most of a stay in SF, too. Far wiser than painfully squeezing myself money-wise for the next month or so, especially with my portion of the hospital bill to pay and a paycheck short one day (that I spent in the hospital).

On that note, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has an Ability to Pay Determination program - a low income health care program. I apparently qualify, which means I will have a co-pay amount rather than the full bill to deal with. (According to the hospital's financial counselor, that will be about $300 compared to the approximately $14,000 the bill comes to. emoticon ) In addition, once confirmed / approved / whatever, I'm on the plan for a year. Which means I can do routine appointments and prescriptions on a co-pay thing as well. Without paying any insurance premium.

Oh, there was one thing that made my jaw drop then started me laughing about the whole meeting with the financial counselor. I didn't actually need my bank statements because the assets section wasn't checked. The counselor said that would really matter unless I had at least $250,000 in assets. I would be deliriously happy to see a TENTH of that in my checking account. (Well, assuming it was legitimately obtained and not going right back out.)

Lost another pedometer. I'd been having trouble with the belt clip thing holding properly, but thought I had it in a secure spot when I took Buster out this morning. I didn't realize it was missing until we'd gotten back and I was enroute to the gym. Oh well. Steps are fun to track, but I don't need that to walk - walking is natural to me. It's one less thing to have to remember in the morning.

Went shopping today. There was a possibility of going to the club with someone and I need more than the four sweaters and five dress shirts I wear every week to work.

This is me in one of the tops and ... a SKIRT?!?!?! that I tried on. I haven't worn a dress or skirt in years. That had nothing to do with weight, either. It has to do with the maintenance involved. Leg shaving, for one. Yuck. Nylons, for another. Double yuck. Such a ridiculous expense over time and as naturally klutzy as I am, runs are pretty much a given, which makes them look less than appealing.

I have to admit that a skirt (at least that one) fits my shape better than pants. Most pants feel very snug on the hips and loose in the waist. My solution of a belt is okay, but doesn't mean the pants fit better - just that they don't feel like they're sliding down all the time.

Seventeen months went past without me paying any attention what with everything else going on. I was back down to the 168 / 168.5 range again, but then had another couple days of eating well over my range following a weekend challenge in which I did a lot of cardio. I really need to learn this lesson, I think. My metabolism is already high. When I do a LOT of calorie burn and eat in range, after several days I end up rather hungry. Once I go into eating mode when I'm that hungry, very little seems to satisfy the hunger for long. (Though I did find that, to my surprise, a coffee cake from Starbucks worked - I don't consider 400 calories with minimal nutrition a good solution.)

Solving it -- there's two sides to this. The first is that I really HAVE to break the tendency to push for max points in a challenge if it will put my body out of balance in either nutrition or fitness (getting a 500 deficit or doing more than 60m of cardio all four days). What's funny? I can so easily say nope if the challenge said to eat clean or avoid sugar or sleep 8 hours every night. But I'll mess with my food and exercise. Blue, Blue, silly Blue. The second is that I need to decide on healthy additions to cut off the hunger at the pass. One that comes to mind is frozen veggies that steam in the bag. They're usually 3-4 servings worth, but things like corn, peas, carrots and maybe some other options. I'll stock up this week and take some to work and make that what I grab first when I'm hungry.

I actually upped my expected calories burned. Even having cut back on the gym cardio, I've been burning 1000-1500 more than planned most weeks. In fact ... even with the week I went to the ER, I still managed to exceed it by 500. Upping the calories did, of course, knock my caloric intake up, but I'm not planning to change much. It went from 2200-2550 to 2360-2710. Since my regular eating days are in the 2400-2500 range, that's still within my range but lower in it.

Starbucks was becoming a habit again. I don't mind having it occasionally, such as when I meet up with DDa. But when I printed out my bank account statement thinking I needed it for the financial counselor, I noticed a trend I didn't like ... a dozen or so charges from Starbucks. Those add up, both in dollars and calories. Even if I can make them fit, I don't want to be doing that more than once a week at most, ideally less. (I'm not a coffee drinker at all. I get a hot chocolate and a chewy chocolate meringue cookie. Rarely I get the coffee cake instead.) So as my status said, that ended.

One thing I noticed today while walking Buster was flowers. Daffodils in one spot, some little lavender buds in another. It's still relatively cold, but spring's promise is there.

I owe another blog. There's been a lot of mental ramblings going on, but not enough getting to a fully coherent point.

One thing I've been doing the last few days is finding reasons why I deserve to work to the best body I can obtain. Something weird I uncovered is that I have an antipathy toward overly "perfect" bodies. Not that I hate the person with a very nice body. It doesn't affect my attitude toward them as a person. More like ... in my head I'm nattering about how much of their life they waste in working for that body. Or shrugging it off as air-brushed if it isn't in person. And more.

Something clicked. I have never hated my body. Heck, I have nude pictures I took in a mirror when I was over 230 pounds. I'm obese, no question, but I don't hate the way I looked. I just know it wasn't healthy. Self-esteem has never been an issue. I can't explain how or why, but I've always accepted myself as I am - many flaws included.

But deep inside, there's some resistance to working for the best body I can have. It will mean I am one of "them", though what that is supposed to mean is unclear. Body isn't the only place I do this. There's other points where I "sabotage" myself to avoid excelling, holding myself back to just okay.

I deserve to have a body free of excess fat.
I will not settle for less than I can achieve and I will push for more.

I've been looking carefully at my body and seeing the areas where the excess fat is most notable - the "problem areas" as it were. What I have reminded myself in doing so is that the ONLY way that is going down is if I focus and lose the excess fat. I know the weight work I do can't do squat for it. (In fact, one thing I've noticed with my abdominal fat is that my stronger core simply lifts my gut higher and more noticeable and the muscles beneath may be firm, but no one but me will feel them. All these muscles I'm strengthening and toning are hidden under a bulky winter coat.)

Oh, one last thing. While at the mall, I used one of those health-food store height, weight, and body fat machines. In my sneakers I was 5'8.9 inches. Fully dressed I weighed 174.5. Via hand sensors it measured my body fat at 28%. Not bad at all. As far as I know, I'm 5' 7.75" in bare feet, weighed 172.5 on my scale this morning, and my scale using foot sensors gave 33% for body fat. All close enough.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great news on the hospital bill! And another entertaining, thoughtful blog.
    1792 days ago
    You look wonderful. New clothes are fun. We need to take a walk! Nuff said!
    1793 days ago
  • 1EMMA2011
    The pictures are awesome and you look fabulous. I so agree about Starbucks - I do so love it so and have to "pencil" it in on some days ... tracking the calories, etc really helps!

    God Bless you, your blogs are always a joy to read. Hang in there!

    1794 days ago
    I think you should befriend some SF sparkpeople. Surely there are teams. You could meet up next year at that race. The skirt looks nice. I almost wore a dress today. Legs were shaved,but I didn't want to wear hose either!
    1794 days ago
    I just happened to read your blog - the skirt looks very nice, but the main reason I'm commenting is that you mentioned you'd lost another pedometer because the belt clip wouldn't stay put. - A problem I've had in the past. I bought an Omron pedometer - this one is a model HU-303 and I also have another one which is a little larger, can't remember the model number. But the point is that you can just put them in your pocket and they will accurately measure your steps. Now, they aren't fancy, but basic and I've had very good luck with this particular brand and they last forever it seems (unless of course you abuse it).

    Just thought I'd throw that in - I think they make others too at various pricing..
    1794 days ago
  • TANYA602
    You look fabulous in a dress! And your ramblings are full of great life lessons! I'm glad it was easy to make a decision about the race (and that it's an annual that you can do in the future - I think it sounds like a cool one!). I will have to look for one of those scales -it sounds intriguing!
    Have a terrific day, and keep that positive frame of mind!
    1794 days ago
    Thanks for the info regarding the billing! You look great!
    1794 days ago
    Glad you are happy with your progress!

    Cute outfit! I can relate to the pants not fitting....the "modern" fit pants that fit slightly below the waist work pretty well for me...
    1794 days ago
    That skirt looks great and I love the top too! I know what you mean about maintenance. I hate shaving my legs too, and I utterly DESPISE pantyhose. I feel like my legs are encased in plastic and I just want to rip them off my body. Unfortunately, where I have to work, bare legs are really not acceptable, even if they are in fashion. The other issue is that I have a tattoo on my left calf, which must be covered at work. So I always wear pants. Fortunately, pants are acceptable. I have been wearing skirts and dresses in the summer for casual wear, with sandals when it doesn't matter what shows.

    I love watching for those first flowers of spring! I'm going to go for a walk this morning, and I will keep my eyes open, although it's really too early here. If I do see any though, I will take a pic!
    1794 days ago
    That was so great reading how self esteem has never been an issue for you. So great and so important to have when working on any goal in life. You look fantastic in that skirt and top.

    I'm so glad you qualify for the ability to pay program. Medical costs are so rediculous. It's not fair.

    I hope you have a great day today. Thank you for sharing!
    1794 days ago
    emoticon for sharing, I want to check with a financial counselor ,too and see if it will help me with my finances.... emoticon
    1794 days ago
    Right choice about the race, whew about the hospital costs!!! Beautiful photo

    Have a lovely week emoticon
    1794 days ago
    "Self-esteem has never been an issue. I can't explain how or why, but I've always accepted myself as I am - many flaws included. "
    Me too!

    1794 days ago
    wow your looking so skinny good job. its nice to see you still at it.
    im actually opposite of you i love wearing dresses/skirts i like them. but nothing beats jeans or sweats especially in the winter, i mean yuck who likes to shave. luckily ive been blessed with hair that doesn't grow often lol

    1794 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    Sounds like you have been doing a lot of self-analysis!
    1794 days ago
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