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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Half way through December

November disappeared in a swamp of disinterest (that being said, Thanksgiving was nice)  and December is scrambling by as I try try try to hold up my end of the holiday season. Dance recital, check. Christmas shopping, check. Decorating, check.

My wished for lentil soup is warming in the microwave as I type, some of the leavings of the mornings juice dancing about between and admongst the little green lentils; the fiber of the beets, carrots and greens blended into submission along with the caramelized onions and all of the left over cauliflower making a thick and wholesome stoup. A quick taste test confirms the resulting dish will be rich and satisfying once a bit of salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper has been added.

The wished for storm is a catastrophe of dead leaves and mud as the wind  and rain wreak havoc in the branches of the winter trees before landing on dirt instead of grass, in much part due to the continuing drought. Not that one can think much of the drought today as the water pours down and down and down making my trek to the green waste bin most uninviting and the idea of snuggling in front of a fire most desirable. Maybe later, collecting dry wood is also not high on my agenda for the day. Having already juiced, made soup, and folded the laundry from yesterday I am feeling more like a nap than another task.

I should mention that I am eight weeks out from hand surgery and, well, recovering. A trip to PT Friday was most enlightening as I have been doing my stretching and massaging entirely wrong. I anticipate a quicker recovery now that I have what I hope to be the correct data for such.

Work  goes on, same challenges, more growth. I really don't want to talk about it. I am grateful to have a job, to be able to earn my keep, and I am looking forward to a new roof being installed sometime rather sooner than later; like maybe after this current storm blows through.

Enough. It feels good to type, but empty in a weird sort of way, as though I should be typing something lasting rather than ephemeral.

Time to stir the soup.

ps  The doctor says a year before I should push my hand against a bow. I wish this could be a goal - lose weight, get strong, start hiking, and at the end pick up my bow to shoot. I wish.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Warm Nights and Warmer Days

I want Fall, I want the crisp Autumnal air to breeze through my bedroom window and raise goosebumps along my arms and feel the delight of snuggling into warm flannel sheets. I want to smell dead leaves and candles and fireplace smoke. I want to wear a sweater to work and boots and make rich savory soups full of greens and lentils and caramelized onions.

Instead the Summer lingers as it always does in September, barely 20° between day and evening temperatures; sweaters in the mornings only, too tired to shower at night and going to bed warm and sticky and cranking the AC down to feel some relief as there is no mitigating breeze from outside. I wonder, is it worse to watch the weather or whine about it. I have obviously pitched my tent in the later camp.

But I do need to spend a moment to express the awe of watching a super moon set the day after our recent Lunar Eclipse. So large and delicate, pale and charming as it races towards the foothills; there I will turn North and lose her company on this most auspicious of mornings.

Here is her Pic.


But any further thoughts I was wanting to share on that day were forgotten and now it is the First of October. The weather is still in the 70's and still too warm at night but that is not what propelled me to write on this particular night. 

I tend to sit at night and scroll through the movie channels and set to record anything that catches my fancy. Then I have 'go to's' on sleepless nights or early mornings like today. Prelude To A Kiss was the catch of the night and I caught my breath at the following point in the movie.

“Never to be squandered.....the miracle of another human being.” 
If only we could all embrace that simple message it would solve so many challenges we face as a world community. There I go dreaming again. Silly me.
On that note I exit stage left.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Days Eight and Nine of what was supposed to be Fourteen

I'm laughing at myself in a moronic sort of way at how hard I can pretend I will do better the next day, that I've only slipped and not tumbled headfirst down a rocky slope. Maybe that false hope keeps me from sliding all the way to the bottom. Perhaps pretense is a sort of safety line one can cling to and eventually drag oneself back up to whatever plateau it is that we dream of. Such fancy.

But I am ready to let this go, I am ready to close the tracking sheet; it just doesn't work, it never has. Well, not exactly, it did help awaken me to the importance of nutrition and micronutrients rather than dwelling on macronutrients.

A birthday party to prepare for and attend, then two girls to watch while the 'rents attended a wedding, and finally digging a big fat sleeping bag out of the garage to make up a double bed in the living room for an impromptu sleep over. I tracked nothing, ate too much bread for my own good, and ended my day with a mini ice cream bar from the freezer. So Saturday went.

And now it's Sunday, and I began my day with a fried egg on buttered whole wheat toast and mustard. I cannot write YUM in large enough letters to express how this breakfast delights me.

What, after all, is the point of continuing to track? Because I said I was going to write everything down for two weeks? I know from experience that counting calories doesn't work, that my tracking sheets are just part of the endless loop of frustration I have re-entered this year. It's so simple; more greens less bread; more seeds less mayo; more water and no caffeine.
This morning I finally juiced the pineapple with lots of spinach, and ginger, celery & cucumber. Then another day of rest interspersed with dishes and laundry; limping along my well worn paths between kitchen, bed, and laundry closet. I did go outside once to bring the garbage bins up the driveway but that was it. This cycling between 100's and 80's is confusing to my natural rhythms; I wonder if it's contributing to all of the sleeping. Most likely it's just depression and Joey's upcoming birthday. I hate to think that I am still stuck there, but if that is the case then I need to lighten up and let myself sleep it off. But then come the holiday's, and there is a sweet darling child to celebrate with and there is no place for sadness there. Memories, yes, sadness, no.

I wonder if I will sleep tonight I've had so many naps today.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Day Seven of Fourteen: 1500 Calories

The last day of the first week and so far so good. Part of my plan for these three weeks was to wean myself off of caffeine, and decaf green tea is the next step in the plan. But half way through my cup has left me shaking and hot and irritable. New Plan! Cold turkey on the caffeine. There is still a mild stimulant (guarana extract) in the Mind Works my daughter is having me try out, but I am accustomed to by now I should think. So water and herbal tea will be my only drinks if I stick to it. I probably take enough pain meds for my back to keep any headaches away, but I can always add more.

I spent some time this morning updating my tracking sheet so that I can grab a week at a time and show totals with the same breakdowns as I do by day. Focused or compelled? Who knows.

Much later, as in Saturday the 19th later.

I can't explain the last week except to note I have been coming home and sleeping. (Well, after spending time with A, cooking and reading and playing.) I realized this morning I hadn't been tracking or writing and upon opening my tracking sheet I realized it had been an entire week. I also saw that I had not tracked last Sunday's stats but had entered Saturday's on the Sunday tab. The summary is below. NOT a shining example of good intentions fulfilled. Not at all, instead a testament to my continuing failure to take charge of my health,

I'll begin again today, as I always eventually do, but to make it easier I won't track whole foods, just the dressings, anything processed, you get the drift. But the greens don't add up to much except for tracking calcium, and I never eat more than three or four fruits a day. I need to find a balance between trying to be accountable and not wearing myself out. So after skipping a whole week I am resuming at week 2 in the next entry.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day Six of Fourteen: 1500 Calories

The weekend has arrived, and so far no bad decisions. Just water and meds and supplements. I absolutely have to use up the pineapple today, so a quick trip to the store for cucumbers and a lime will need to happen fairly soon. First, a trip to the front yard to repair the hose so I can water the trees out there. I would have gone out earlier but there were over a dozen robins and two jays enjoying pecking in what used to be the lawn but is now a brown wasteland to the human eye.

Once again I am posting the stats for the previous day on the next one. Below is the rest of Saturday. I'm confused by what is going on right now. I just want to sleep and eat - a bear preparing for the winter hibernation. While this is not unusual for me at this time of year, I am still disappointed in myself. I guess the difference is that I am continuing to track and post. I really feel the need to see the damage I am inflicting on myself reflected in hard numbers. Basically I ate enough for two days -half a pound gained in one day. Have I referenced CRAZY enough times to describe my eating? Probably not.

Oddly enough my percentages for the day's macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) would be on track if I had eaten healthy carbs instead of wasting them on sugar. But still, two days worth of calories. Plus no activity. I literally watched tv all day after spending the morning outside. I repaired the hose as planned, and kept moving a slow drip from tree to tree and then a soaking for all of the roses. So I did accomplish something, if very little.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Day Five of Fourteen: 1500 Calories

I am not quite to the 'Oh Bother' stage of this new endeavor yet but it's getting close.  I am posting this a day late because I came home tired, and just plain forgot last night. Not much to report from yesterday anyway. Just another failed attempt. I suppose the good news is that I am staying under 2k, and being made aware of how quickly bad choices add up in a day.

Here are the awful stats.

While it was a day beset with occasional bouts of sorrow, it wasn't really any more stressful than usual. I did realize that the data I have been keeping hidden is that in a couple of weeks Joey would have been 32. I have imagined him as he might have been as each year passed by, so it's easy to pull up a picture of him as I type - so much like some of his cousins in build and like his sister in face. I miss that man that we never had the chance to meet. Of course I am thinking of the strong healthy version, not the addict he may have still been. Big sigh - on to the new day.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Day Four of Fourteen: 1500 Calories

Almost the same day as yesterday except that I did NOT drive through for dinner. I did eat a bag of chips a co-worker had stashed in her overhead and rumour had it she did not want them. I did. I asked, she gave, and the next 300 calories became history as I wended my way home in heavier than usual traffic.

Arriving home I heated up the rest of the Hoppin' John for dinner and settled in to watch the end of Gattaca. What a relief to be home. Would I be happier if I was pain free? Of course. But at least I am able to move and stretch as much as I want instead of being tied to a workload that relies on me being tied down to my computer. "You must pay the rent!" Or mortgage, whatever.

So here is the day's damage. Better than yesterday ONLY if I can stay out of the kitchen tonight. I don't think there is anything left in there but veggies so I should be fine. 'Should' being the operative word.

Gots to take out garbage and then get off these poor feetsies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day Three of Fourteen: 1500 Calories


What a blowout today was. I am hot and irritated both at myself and at the weather. Blech. This is what a few bad decisions can do to a promising day:

321 Calories over and none of them good. All of those red numbers are BAD stats. Look at the fricken sodium in the fast food - my trigger fingers will be frozen in the morning. All because of an impulse buy when driving through for a semi-reasonable burrito dinner and has thrown me off by more than I anticipated. Then having eaten so early I was ready for a snack three hours later and there was one lemon yoghurt left just calling my name. And of course I answered. With gusto.

So tomorrow will be better, well, at least it usually is but given my ups and downs lately (fourty years?) it's not a guarantee. So busy at work, and then accidentally working some overtime after working through lunch had left me a bit grumpy. I forgot about HALT. You know, never let yourself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Let's say the whole shebang hit me at once on the way home. Not that I recognized in the moment what was happening. Hey, the picture just looked good - I shouldn't have been there in the first place.

At least I tracked it, instead of checking out and giving up on my two weeks and apologizing later.

Yep, living in the moment here. Doing the time. Recording every little crazy bit of it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Day Two of Fourteen: 1500 Calories

"When I am overwhelmed, I eat until I am numb." Rachel, Extreme Weight Loss.

When I heard her say that I thought yep, the story of my life - eat until I am numb. Moving on here...

The weather forecast is at three digits all week, but that didn't stop me from walking to Sprouts at lunch today and then carrying a heavy bag back to the office. I had to keep switching the bag between hands and favoring my left leg (which is intent on being recalcitrant this fine Tuesday) but I walked slow and made it back without my lungs feeling like they were on fire.

Grocery List
One small organic cauliflower and a not so small organic orange bell pepper. Both a Bolthouse Daily Greens and a new green, help! Liquiteria? Anyway, continuing the list, two plastic boxes of organic lettuce (BOGO); one a kale blend and the other romaine, and finally a bottle of Bolthouse ranch dressing and a bag of roasted pepitas. Oh, and a bag of Kiku apples - a new variety for me so I accepted the offer of the nice gentleman to slice me off a taste; the apple was crisp, juicy and not overwhelmingly sweet. Nice. So, a heavy grocery bag on the return trip. These will be my lunch salads for the next three days, and then the leftovers will come home for the weekend.

I had cashews for a snack before I walked down in hopes of not shopping hungry and it worked, I only picked up the items on my mental list. I am drinking my lunch today as an act of repentance for my earlier breakfast of yes, a sausage muffin. I have a headache and am determined this is the last week of caffeine. Tomorrow my decaf will be a small instead of a medium, and after doing that for two days I will switch to decaf green tea from home.  I have a plan.

I need to juice tonight as there are apples, cucumbers and a pineapple that need to be used up. We'll see. Probably tomorrow morning. I'll be hungry after the low calorie lunch and won't want to cook and juice. Back to work, lunch is over.
No juicing tonight, I forgot it was 'Tuesday dinner cooked by A and Grama!'  We are doing this for six weeks in lieu of her cooking class that was cancelled at the Parks and Rec center. R had immediately ordered a couple of online kids cookbooks and tonight was our first foray into the Princess recipes; we made Mulan's Hoppin' John. I pulled some generic nutrition stats from online, and as I didn't eat any ham I am forgiving myself the fifty some odd calories I was over for the day. It was delicious though with the ham flavour and fat in the dish.

I need to mention that R also printed out an apron pattern and made A her very own apron to wear while we are working in the kitchen. I'll have to get a picture of her cooking next week - too cute.

I was also fooled at Sprouts. I had been comparing bottled green juices and the first couple I examined were 1 serving per bottle. So I picked two with the lowest calories not realizing they had 2 servings per bottle. My bad, but still within my calorie budget.

I am so tired, my dogs are barking, and it's time to finish up the day; dishes will have to wait until later - maybe tonight but probably not until tomorrow. I plead pain and not laziness. Really.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Day One of Fourteen: 1500 Calories

lol, OMG, here I go again. I have the tracking all set up, I may as well use it.  R has a wedding to attend in a couple of weeks, so I may as well try to be inspiring and supportive. And Summer is ending and I probably should lose a few pounds to make sure my Winter clothes fit. I also need to get the caffeine out of my life again - it's detrimental and disruptive to my brain. So my good goals are my previous mix of Fuhrman and McDougall, in other words, basing my meals on starches and greens.

We are planning to do some furniture shuffling, so I started packing up books in my room and ran across "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery; a favorite author since childhood better known for the "Anne of Green Gables" series which is also dearly beloved. I couldn't resist, I had to read it. So I have been changing positions often leaning the book up against various props as I can't actually hold it for more than a minute before my hands go numb and my neck begins to hurt. I love this story for so many reasons, and it is so wonderful to be actually reading a story instead of listening to one. But I digress. Holding a book in one hand (hence the scheduled carpal tunnel surgeries) and snacking with the other is the oldest and most destructive bad habit (again - surgery) that I have engaged in over the course of my life. If I could return all of those ill-gotten calories I imagine my life would have been a little different, for the better I think. In any case, a bad habit it was and so it remains. I wasn't two chapters in before the itch to eat came upon  me. But as I was searching for something to eat (remember there is left over home made carrot cake in the fridge) it occurred to me that I shouldn't do this - eat mindlessly while reading - and commenced to find something that if not healthy, could at least be measured.

I know that a healthy 'diet' does not exclude fruit - most of our antioxidants are there and we evolved (imho) on a diet of antioxidants. So I am ignoring the 'sugar' in fruit. For the same reason I am ignoring the sugar in starches.  As I don't plan on eating any more processed foods in the next two weeks keeping refined sugar to zero shouldn't be a problem. Ha.

And so it begins, my two week goals: Keep under 1500 calories and get the furniture reorganized.
Day's recap: My percentages are way off, but I stayed under my goal of 1500 calories. This will improve as I keep fighting. As I keep choosing Me. As I learn to calm down instead of shut down when I am overwhelmed. As I continue to practice on focus. On 8/15 when I first began to really analyze myself, I was 233.4, and this morning I was 233.2. It's not much, just a fluctuation in water, but it's lower and even if it's only the teeniest smidge, I'm taking it as a win. I don't plan to weigh again for two weeks. 

Obviously I struggled today, and I'm blaming it on the book. But I just finished it and tomorrow is work so I should be able to do better. I realized booking my dessert that I was using a 1600 calorie spreadsheet and had to update it to 1500 calories.

Day One:

An online weight calculator estimates that at this calorie level I can lose 33 pounds before my Birthday next March. That would be totally wicked! Damn all the sugar I ate today. But at least it was actual 'food' and not junk.

I did make a nice dent in my room before picking up the book, and should be able to make the furniture swap next weekend. Now to keep moving until bedtime to make up for the reading; at first I was glad to be diving into a book, but after the day of snacking and not being able to move - not so much. So back to audible books and ear buds for me! God I need to stretch, I'm outta here.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

'Grant me the strength'

Well that was a few days struggling to keep my head above water.

    I ate chocolate at work for the first time all year
    I added white sugar to my coffee one morning
    I gorged on cashews one afternoon

I could go on but it's ugly and I don't want to travel those nine yards ever again. Instead I will just get on with it.

I was browsing through the blogs listed on Sean's site when I caught the subject line, "Throwing in the Towel" and thought, that could be me. Has been me, so many times. But I am not ready to give up. I have a plan, a list of issues I need to address, and I have already checked off one of them. I'm going to keep going until there is no longer a list, and I am going to figure out a way to keep my focus alive while doing it. I am.
On this night we celebrated R's birthday. I can't begin to explain what this child means to me. She was my first, the child I dreamed of years before she was born, and the beginning of the woman I would become while realizing the responsibility of raising children. I am so grateful she was born to me, that I can see both Joey and their father in her beautiful face as well as the strong woman she has become on her own. As A would say, I love her to the moon and back. I guess most of us feel that way about our children, and just like most parents I think she is the most special of all. My thanks go out to the universe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Binging Day

Driving to work having eaten a sausage biscuit I was horrified to discover that I wanted to keep eating. Out of nowhere I felt empty and had a desperate desire/need/compulsion to keep eating. I talked myself down from stopping anywhere else for a second breakfast almost all of the the way to work, and at the last turn into our business center turned left instead of right and ended up driving through CJ's for yet another sausage biscuit. Good Grief. I did stay away from the leftover carrot cake, cream cheese stuffed sandwich cookies in the kitchen at work, but made up for it triple at lunch. First stop, Taco Bell, nachos no meat. Second stop, Micky D's for an oreo frappe. Really? This is how I choose me?

No stopping on the way home to eat, and once here cut up half of a small seedless watermelon and ate it all. Then I finished the last half cup of Cheezit's leftover from our road trip. And next had a cup of noodles with hot sauce. Is it laziness? Is it forgetting to take my thyroid pills two days in a row? Is it backlash from a couple of good days? I really make myself crazy sometimes, and wish I could figure out how my switches work so I can keep the toggle on 'awesome' instead of 'eh'.

Hopefully the eating is over for the night. The intense 'need' has subsided and I am pretty tired. I should make myself do something productive, like go out and repair the front hose so I can set a drip on one of the trees, but just thinking about it my brain steers the idea onto the Saturday list and won't even consider that task as a possibility for today.

So was it really a binge? Time to Google calories? Hmmm. Do I really want to know?

Nachos 362
Frappe 540
1st sausage biscuit 430
2nd 480
Noodles 290
Watermelon 170

No, I didn't really want to know. But this should help me fight harder should this happen again. I can't remember the last time I did this. CRAZY.

So, just another whiny day. If I had a quarter for every one of those....

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Choose Me

I did watch another episode of Extreme Weight Loss last night, and I realized that in the beginning of each new story they begin by making a production of letting the new client know that they have been selected, they have been chosen  to experience a transformation. I remember realizing this before, that I could choose me, that I didn't have to wait for my prince charming to save me, that I could save myself. But one has to be in the right place. Whether that's hitting bottom, or having an epiphany I guess it doesn't really matter. Maybe it's just the last drip of water on the stone of your being that triggers a survival response. But whatever it is, I feel like I am changing. It's probably just a slow start to another 'manic' episode, but today I am still calm and determined to change my work environment back to something positive.

Back when I was the Administrative Mgr. of a multi-million dollar corporation I had a sign on my door, "The quality of life should not change when entering this door."  It was true then and stays relevant today. Maybe even more so as I have a much shorter life expectancy now than I did then. Say another good 20 years if I start taking care of myself, and then another 10-20 after that? I had two grandmothers who lived until their 90's, and lived well,  not bedridden or senile. And they didn't have Orenda's O'Tropin to take like I do. In any case I don't imagine there is another desk job in my future, and I refuse to keep working under stress at this one.

One more note and then I am off to get ready for work. The kids have decided to have another baby; A has been asking for a baby brother for years, R's best friend is due with her 2nd in November, and she is going to be 35 in September. It's a now or never decision, and if all goes as planned I'll have another grandchild in a year or so. All I see is love, the rest will fall into place.
Today went well; no drama, lots of work, and an unexpected show of confidence from the Boss. I had a short conversation with my 'challenge' at work and I am still calm. I know that I have it in me to replace her if I have to, and this time there will be no backsliding or she is gone. Simple as that.

R also looked up the names of the convicted killers of her brother and they are both still inmates from 2008 when sentenced. Next will be to visit the site.

I have a mental list, and I am going to confront everyone on it. I am going to be healthy and happy, and I am going to be those things sooner than later. Because I choose Me.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Better Day

Today was not just another another Monday. Today, today was different. I don't know if was the exposure over the weekend to many episodes of 'Extreme Loser' and how each contestant was given a goal to directly confront someone in their life that was causing anger or pain, or if it was just me reaching the end of my rope. I have whined many times over the past couple of years about a co-worker, co-manager actually, that has caused me many a stressful day. Friday I had approached the Boss about one specific thing I needed to handle with her, and today he gave me some support which was new and unexpected.

 She didn't make it in today despite my email to her Friday that we needed to meet this morning; for her it was just another typical Monday with another crazy excuse for not being there. It doesn't even matter if the reason was valid or not, when I got her text it was like falling over a waterfall I had been on the brink of for a really long time, like I just gave up fighting to stay aloft and let myself fall.

My return text to her was to check her email when she arrived home. (She had been driving to work and had to pull over to the side because her meds were making her dizzy.) While she made her way home I typed a very detailed note to her about making sure she came to work Tuesday because we needed to resolve some issues. I apologized for the slightly 'Monday Bitchy' tone there may have been, but I was, all in all, polite.Thereafter ensued an email exchange in which I was clear about the problems her lack of attendance and attention were causing the team as a whole. I didn't hold anything back while being courteous and professional. I was not entirely pleased with any of her responses, but my final message to her merely said we would need to have a planning meeting in the morning based on what she decided to do. In a nutshell I requested she either choose to be there in body and mind, or to decide what she would rather be doing.

I'm not anxious or mad, I'm just ready to make this problem go away once and for all. Interestingly enough I had no interest in getting food on the way home, and I had a green smoothie for dinner once I reached home, and then a small bowl of leftover rice and kung pao. AND, R made some awesome buttermilk brownies last night, substituting some orange oil for part of the fat, and I was happy to have only one normal piece for dessert tonight. So far there is no desire or intention of helping myself to a second piece. Instead I have a cuppa chamomile tea brewing to take to bed with me. Oh! And no nap after work today. Thank Heavens!

If this feeling is just a small taste of what confronting something that is dragging me down can do then I think it's time I address the bigger issues. Molested as a child, the men who killed my son, I can only imagine what I might be like if that emotional baggage was off my back. Food for thought, so to say.

Now I am tired, and ready for bed. Maybe one more episode to bolster my resolve to be strong, fair, and imperative tomorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Focus on the Positive

I had slipped into a funk, and after so many good days it took me by surprise, as it always does. I decided not to write about it, I was not interested in whining. Instead I waited for it to pass, focusing instead on the absolute fact that I would cycle into 'up mode' shortly. I am hoping that might be today.

Favorite breakfast this morning; cold pizza and hot coffee. Of course this time there was no sugar in the coffee, and it was only one small piece of pizza. I had thought that this weekend would be about getting 'back on the wagon' after not making good choices for a couple of days, but in the end opted for common sense and moderation. Denying myself something I love is a recipe for disaster in the long run; this is experience talking, better a small slice this morning than a large gooey costco slice for lunch at some point in the upcoming week.

Goals for the day? Clean out the fridge, clean sheets on my bed, and either swim, bike or walk. Weather forecast today? 97 and light rain. Sounds tropical to me! I have been lollygagging this morning, watching an episode of extreme loser and playing with A. Time to "move it move it."
Well, I never made it outside today. I did catch up all of the laundry, rotated a load of dishes that had accumulated in the kitchen over the three days of my funk, and...and...hmmmm, that's about it. The day just disappeared as I worked during commercials instead of fast forwarding thru them, and all of a sudden the day was done. I ate too much, and feel no compulsion to track it, so maybe today is not the day. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never. Who knows. Certainly not me, and I am sure that is part of the problem.  I'm just tired; I got nothing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Just Tired

I have been overcome by a sense of lethargy that cannot be denied.  The last two days I have risen from dreams, worked my time, and then crashed upon arriving home. At the store I had not been inspired to cook this week and instead of meal planning had picked up a few of Amy's light and lean entrees and that has been my dinner both nights; five minutes in the microwave - too many noodles and not enough veg.- but nice for a change to not have any dishes except for a fork and a cup to wash.

Maybe fighting off a bug, or having an emotional dip in reaction to all of my semi manic food tracking. Who knows. What I do know is that all I can think about while standing here typing is going to bed and calling it a day. I'd better take some extra Immune tonight - that's the ticket. Tomorrow will be better.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Counting Day

Home from our trip and after all of the salt yesterday I am ready to eat clean and keep track. Here is my lunch salad. Two servings of salad dressing, but I know they are calories well spent as I ease back into this after vacation. Not that I ate badly most days, but there were a couple of choices that could have been better! Anyway, from years ago I have a spreadsheet already formulated to weigh out veggies in my wooden salad bowl so I can get in a full pound each day. It's also easy to zero out the greens and weigh in the seeds and dressing after adding my beans. I use to do this a lot when losing weight before; after a while the eye adjusts and I won't need to weigh, but for now I need to - eating the full pound is the key, and this is the first half for the day.

This morning I cleaned up the dog messes, vacuumed the front of the house &picked up A's room before vacuuming in there. Today is her first day of 1st Grade and she is so very excited; I wanted the school desk in her room cleaned off and ready just in case she brings work home and ended up fixing her bed and organizing a little while puttering in there.

Time to shower, finish cleaning out the fridge, and get ready to run errands later.  Move, move, move!

Well, I didn't get all of my veggies or fruit in, but my calories are under goal for the day so I will call it a good step in the right direction. I had lots of greens, a healthy fat, and too much sugar thanks to the Lemon Noosa Yoghurt I had for dessert. I did rest this afternoon after a shower and laundry so I will be ready for work tomorrow morning; I hate that I have lost my enthusiasm for the job.

I know from experience that each day will be easier getting in the veggies, and that each day I will feel better. Time will tell.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Driving Day

Today we head for home. I have walked around the house picking up the odd bits of stuff we had strewn hither and yon, stripped the beds, washed the beach towels, and packed up both A and my bags. I have had my cuppa decaf, and now I am just waiting for everyone else. It's a lovely cool morning, and this morning bird is enjoying every bit of it. That being said, I will be glad to arrive home later this afternoon knowing I have one more day of vacation before heading back to work; I miss my little dog!
Home! The dogs were exuberant and greeted us with crying, licking, jumping, the whole shebang. A and I crashed for a bit in front of the tv then we treated her hair with ketchup and foil to remove some of the green from summer pool swimming. Tomorrow she starts the first grade and everything must be perfect! Now she is showered, shampooed and double conditioned, dressed for bed and watching dragons. I am beat.

What a nice trip, and how thankful I am that I have tomorrow off.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Pool Day

I spent the morning puttering, then relaxed with Mom per directions of my darling niece K. She had arranged a family pool party and everyone was expected around noon. How fun to see the littlest cousins, the children of my nephew R, niece K, and A in the mix as they frolicked together in the pool. The competitions included the largest splash, the best belly flop, and the cleanest entry. A almost won the last, just edged out by C who was the star of the pool this sunny awesome day.

There was a moment that caught me by surprise, the cousins all lining up on the tall back wall of the pool for a photo op, mimicking the one 21 years ago of their parents at the same place. It was wonderful, and then R used an app on her phone to add the previous picture, and while admiring it and comparing the likeness of the faces, grief crept up and attacked me without warning. One moment I was smiling at Joey in the picture and the next I just lost it. I turned to sneak away but was thwarted and held by loving arms until my sobs ebbed. Some cold water to my face, a small amount of quiet alone time, and I was back at the party, maybe a little subdued, but glad to be there watching all the kidlings.

Lunch was a buffet of fruit, sandwiches, chips and salads. Then a surprise bottle of wine from R&M's wedding venue (Rios Lovell) from some twelve or so years ago, and while a little fruity, it was also complex and lovely to swirl and contemplate the flavours.

The younger generation went out to dinner together, and Mom and I stayed home to finish up leftovers from the Mexican dinner the evening before. Washing platters and making several trips to the recycling bin during the commercial breaks of 'Evan Almighty' put the house to rights, and the kids showed up with chocolate ice cream for our dessert. I ate every last drop of my half of the pint - so decadent!

I think everyone had a wonderful day; I know I did.

A Beach Day

I began my morning by trimming back a wayward tree in the back that was pushing up against the arbor. I filled up the green waste bin while adding water to the pool, and then it was time to get ready for our trip to the beach.

It was another beautiful day in Ventura; basking in the sun and soft ocean breezes, crashing through the waves with A by my side, or our side depending who was in the water with us. Such great exercise, bracing our legs against the power of the ocean, or going in deep enough to swim while the swells push us around, sometimes jumping into the incoming wave and laughing at the salt water going up our noses. So wonderful. I even got to close my eyes and relax for a bit, not worrying about A with other eyes on her as she covered herself with sand, chatting away to the world at large and keeping a smile on my sad old face. Down at the water I noticed that I was not the only grandma there with a grandchild; apparently it is quite the thing to do.

We had deli sandwiches for lunch, and stopped to bring in Mexican food on the way home. (Cheese enchiladas for me!) It was really nice this morning to see a pound gone, a real one this time, the number read from the same scale as the day before. And in a frightening sort of way, good to see 230 again but this time on the way down.

Family is coming over today, and it's time to go help A with her bowl of cheerios and get ready for the day. This visit has flown by exceptionally fast, and we leave for home tomorrow. But first....getting through today.

Friday, August 21, 2015

To the Beach!

I am ordering Deli sandwiches from Sprouts this morning for our picnic at the beach. D is bringing her boogie board and the weather will be a perfect 78. I can almost taste the salt just thinking about it. I added chocolate milk to my decaf this morning, there being no cream, and it just didn't do anything for me. Oh well, it's just a day. It was fun this morning stepping on the scale here and seeing two pounds down; but this scale always weighs lighter than my one at home so I am not surprised. The feeling is a good motivator though, to remember what it feels like to lose weight; it's been so long I think somewhere inside there is a deep seeded belief that it can't be done, and it's that feeling that probably sabotages me more than anything else. I need to be reprogrammed! I am looking forward to the day when I have more interesting things to write about than all of this whining about being fat. It really is tiresome, no?

I would much rather write about the beach, because 'It's going to be a good day!"  First all of the trudging through the soft shifting sand and then getting up and down from the beach, squatting and shifting to build a sand castle, bracing my legs against the pull of the ocean; exercise doesn't get much better than this, although hiking through the forest to shoot my bow comes to mind as soon as I type that. Sigh, one day I will be able to do that again too. I swear. In the meantime, I'll be basking at the beach, in the curve below the seawall below.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This and That

The drive down was nice consisting of light traffic,  a sit down Cobb salad for lunch, and thank heavens for air conditioning. I remember summer trips when the kids were small and driving home at night with the windows down so we wouldn't fry. A quick dip in the pool (97) and then later for dinner a piece of pizza with yummy roasted veggies and a couple of servings of a Cartwheel salad. I did indulge in a drink, diet ginger-ale and tequila, as I needed to relax and, well, visiting here is what it is sometimes.

Today we have errands planned, nothing much, and then to putter in the library and try to organize some of the clutter. It's a lovely room and deserves the attention, but we'll see how much Mom will agree to. I can see that at some point this will turn into a 'caring for an elder parent' rant, but not today. It's funny to think of myself in the middle of the generations we represent. 6 - 35 - 60 - 83. I'm the 60. Just weird, that's all.

As anticipated we have been puttering, me and my poor exhausted mother, but as she says, she wouldn't do anything if not 'bullied', my word not hers. A daughter of the depression, it's hard for her to throw anything away, but with some encouragement we are making progress. It helps her and keeps me moving; we would both rather just sit and watch tv today but we are not doing that.

All in all a quiet day interspersed with errands and sweating. We had left over pizza for a late lunch and salads for dinner. I needed a little more so PB on a graham cracker it was. A last treat was a small glass of chocolate milk for each of us. Now it's Wheel of Fortune and probably an early bed time. I'm not sure how I became such a positive person coming from so much negativity, or maybe that is why. Who knows.

Looking forward to being back at the beach tomorrow, and can hardly wait for that ocean breeze and a visit with my sis.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A quick note

Now that the furniture is back in place it looks pretty darn good around here - well, the front of the house anyway. I can leave to visit Mom with a clear conscious and come home to a clean house.

I am packed and ready to go, still unsure about tracking during my visit, and will probably just journal and then log everything when I get home. Maybe. In any case I am heading out knowing I will make good choices and come home a pound lighter.

That's right.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Job well done

My trip to the keyboard this morning is a way of reminding myself that I need to be careful today. I have already been working out back, and the sweat I worked for is still drying. I stopped for a couple of cuties as I finally felt hungry, and when logging them in my food journal I realized that while Fuhrman promotes breaking our fast with fruit (and usually only fruit) I am not quite there yet and with the tasks I have in mind for the day 80 calories was not going to cut it. Sure the oranges satisfied my immediate hunger, but I can see that later, after shampooing the carpet, I would be ravenous and there are still cookies in the kitchen, cookies I do not intend to eat.

So as a preemptive strike I made a vegan protein shake (ugh, I miss the Orenda Shape) with cashew milk, a splash of organic vanilla, and a small handful of cold red grapes from the fridge. Not too bad after the adjustments, and not bad nutrition wise. But by it's very nature it is too high in protein but I will skip the beans in my salad at lunch. Maybe, as they are so very important to balancing blood sugars and keeping me full. But that's later.

For now I am going to take a brief break, puttering around picking things up inside while sipping my shake and cooling off from the mowing, raking, weeding and stacking of wood that I have just accomplished out back. Then I'm for cleaning the carpets in the front of the house, making a salad and watching a show while I rest a bit, and then finally a quick shower before running errands. I need to stay focused, and not become a couch potato cookie monster. I am going to rock this day.
Back yard - check
Shampooing the carpets after a vigorous vacuuming - check
Salad for lunch - um, no.

At 12:30 after working on the carpets for an hour and a half I decided I needed stronger shampoo so I ran out to the drugstore and picked up some Oxy Clean since they had no actual carpet cleaning shampoo. I was so hungry (which I often don't fee) and BK was right there, and yes I drove through for a veggie burger. No soda, no fries, no dessert, just extra pickles and mustard on the burger. But I watched my calories the rest of the day and while my percentages were way off the total calories were fine. But I know not all calories are created equal - a discussion for another day - and I don't feel great about the BK choice.

I really exhausted myself today, sweating often and moving most of the day, but I accomplished what I set out to do, ending with cleaning the kitchen. And now I am DONE!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fresh juice and lots of sugar

Wow, I knew it wasn't low, but seeing this in writing really makes me confident that my decision to limit sweet juices to an occasional treat is a valid one. Normally I would have used cucumbers to lower the sugar content this morning but I am out. I did add celery, but didn't want it to overpower the taste so I added the red grapes and my blend came out really nice; refreshing, a bit of gingery spice, and I am sure my brain will love the sugar infusion. And lets not forget all of the wonderful micro nutrients! My skin will be happy too.

Bottle in bag, decaf in hand, I will be off to work in just a bit, but had to take the time to look up the nutritional values of the juices; carrot, apple, celery and red grape. The ginger is so minimal I didn't add in the calorie, but all in all I made 8 cups of juice which filled three and a half bottles - so that is my serving size above. Three days worth of sugar in a single serving, but it's from whole foods, not refined cane, so I am not sure how to count it. Besides being a LOT.
I guess I am stressed by work, or the commute to get there I should say, and ended up driving through for a sausage biscuit this morning. Yes, I eat when I am bored. This meant having my juice for lunch with a handful or two of whole unsalted cashews and it worked out great. A veggie stew for dinner with bisquick lite dumplings completed the day's meals. And then M showed up with a bag of homemade oatmeal cookies. My guess is butterscotch chips were in them and so that is how I calculated the nutritional value. All in all my three days are spot on ratio wise, but way too high in sugar and sodium. Damn processed foods. But averaging about 1649 calories per day is great.

As those numbers glare up at my from their boxes on the spreadsheet I imagine I will eat more and more whole foods to get the sugar and sodium numbers down. I feel better this evening than I have been lately, not so bloated and a little less stiff; this is exactly the encouragement I need to keep going. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rotten Bananas

"Waste not want not!"  I learned this in spades working alongside my mother in law in the restaurant business years ago and I carried the lesson home. But a large banana no matter how close to being over-ripe and needing to be eaten up is too much sugar in the morning. However, my compulsion to eat them before they go bad can be tempered by common sense and I am going to cut the remaining two into halves and freeze them for future smoothies. Here is this morning's breakfast.

I am very peased about the cashew milk. No sugar, a healthy fat, low in calories, and my smoothie is super creamy and satisfying.  I did think about picking up fast food (I had been invited to breakfast with M and A but declined wanting to stay here and putter) but only for a moment. I had already had my decaf - oops, forgot to log my cream this morning; i'll add it now so it's in the daily totals later - and it was already getting warm out; it will be another triple digit day. So a cold smoothie seemed like just the ticket for breakfast, and I am glad I did. I know I burned out on them a few years ago when I was in losing mode, and I will moderate my use this time around in hopes that doesn't happen again. We should chew our food as much as possible, and a smoothie is still 'processed' no matter how healthy the ingredients. I will say it is a great vehicle for a blast of greens in the morning, as are roasted potatoes but that is another breakfast for another day - like next weekend when I am visiting Mom.

Back to sipping and puttering on a quiet Sunday morning.
What if my perspective is slightly skewed? I know from my favorite critical thinking class in college that we all look at things differently based on our personal experience. What if the trait I think of as obsessive and therefore avoid, is actually focus and I have misused this ability my whole life? What if I let myself go and become 'obsessed'  with my eating for a few weeks? Realizing that perhaps it is just me focusing on something important. Interesting. So in a flash of inspiration I created a summary sheet in my tracking file letting my 'focus' take hold and drive. Below is a sneak preview; i'll just copy and paste the totals from each day's record into the summary and post that each three days. In the meantime if I feel the urge to share something daily I will, and it won't be about me wasting time being obsessive, it will be about spending time to focus on something that really matters to me. Like my weight and how it relates to my health, so I added a weight column. Hey, I am down .2 pounds from the last time I recorded my weight on January 1st. Ha!

I can already see that this will be a good tool for gauging my eating habits from a broader view. Isn't that what the weight loss 'experts' say? To look at a long term graph and not the daily ups and downs? I am already thinking about drilling down this summary sheet (which is set up for three days) to a 30 day sheet and then use that to graph my progress. See how fast it snowballs? But I will think of it as focus and not obsession or compulsion and see where it takes me. So, I have given myself permission to be crazy for a month. "There are worse things I could do." 

Good Grief, it's Eleven O'Clock and I am still in my jammies - better get moving!
And here is how a few bad decisions can turn a day bad number wise. Eating leftovers and saying yes when asked if I wanted anything from In N Out. Everything was over. Too much. Fattening.

But the  idea of tracking is waking up to how each decision impacts your overall success or failure. I was short a few calories yesterday so that will help, and my summary sheet is formatted to track weekly. I can see how doing this before kept me focused, having to look up everything new to add the sugar grams takes time and some level of dedication. Ugh. There is a voice crying out inside of me that I am above this, that I shouldn't be doing this, that I just need to follow the Fuhrman six week program and not count anything. And then there is the reality of my body and how even knowing that I have not been doing it, and maybe I just need to do this instead for a bit to get headed back in the right direction. Like for a month so I can actually use my summary sheet.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A good day despite a sweet ending

A and I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast, picked up dog messes in the backyard, and then picked up the front of the house. We did the dishes, and had salads for lunch together on the clean dining room table. We ran out to buy a new blanket for one of the puggles, then went to the pool for two hours. Anyone who has been to a pool with an exuberant child knows this was a good workout for me.

Left overs for dinner, lasagna and garlic bread, and then a movie, "Strange Magic", which was cute but predictable. I guess at my age an innovative storyline should be unexpected.

Then M arrived home with chocolate frosty's for us both from Wendy's and there went my sugar for the day. I had been spot on for the day through lunch, even after having a banana for first breakfast, but of course the frosty threw my numbers out the window.  I had been keeping track today, for the first time in quite a bit, and while the calories are good, there is much to be desired for the amount of sugar. Here is the summary section showing the breakdown by meal and daily percentages of macro nutrients. If the sugar had been carbs from whole foods the percentages would have been just where I want them, though the protein is a bit high. Tomorrow will be better, I am making carrot soup from the leavngs of my carrot juice earlier in the week.

Now it's time for PJ's, bed, and some Dr. Who. Kaylee is scratching to be let in after refusing to come when I called her earlier, and as always I will be glad of the company.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Well, the Dr. was self assured and a little condescending. He is also one of the surgeons so I was nice, just in case. After listening to him I agreed to let him enter the referral for surgery and I am to call Monday to set the date. I'll also be calling to find out the difference in cost between having or not having a complete anesthesia during the procedures (3) on my hand. He made it very clear it is my right hand that needs the surgery, and I was just as clear that it's the pain in my left hand that needs to be addressed right now - so we start there.

TGIF, and for two days there will be no traffic, no work stress, and the freedom to putter about at home. When R gets home she has in mind to implement a routine of food and gym that she can stick to, and I will do the same. I think six weeks of Fuhrman and bike rides for me, plus my stretching. But first I need to get through one more quick trip down south to see Mom and D.

Back to work. Wish I still loved it.
I have eaten everything in sight without nutritional value; leftovers from the week and not the green variety. I can't wait, I have to begin tomorrow. Especially since M just let me know he is bringing cheesecake for dessert. That is a fitting farewell to eating badly for a while. Tomorrow I will clean out the fridge, make a tub of chopped veggies, make a jar of cashew milk green goddess dressing, and begin my six weeks. A pound each of raw and cooked veggies, four fruits, a cuppa beans or legumes, a tablespoon of ground flax and an ounce of seeds or nuts as a snack or in my salad each day. I can do one day, and then I will feel like doing another, and then I will feel like doing a week. I know this, I have done it before.

It's going to be hot this weekend, back up into triple digits, so I will take my bike ride early, and then putter in the back yard while I cool down.

Fruit for breakfast, salad with beans/legumes for lunch/ veggie soup for dinner, and fruit or carrots. for dessert. I'll use flax meal to thicken my dressing, and the cashew milk I use to make the dressing will be the cheat that keeps me sane. I know that about me too, as long as I feel I am getting away with something I can cope. I would really like to know where that stems from because it drives me nuts. Like I can fool myself? Like my right hand doesn't know when my left hand is adding sour cream?

By the twitching of my thumbs...maybe the something wicked is the carpal tunnel. Interesting thought. Time for dessert and an episode of beauty and the beast.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mental games

I don't know if the electric charges they zapped me with during the testing yesterday have instigated today's zings and twinges or if I am just more acutely aware of they symptoms now that I have been diagnosed. But my hands are more tingly than ever and I'm getting little fire trails across the tops of a couple of digits. Fascinatingly weird. And damn the phlebotomist that drew blood a bit ago, I am still getting  pain along the nerve he hit; it's crisp and painful and I am about a day away from complaining to health services. What if this doesn't go away? Because as I like to say, I needed one more thing to complain about!

I'm still doing my finger stretches each day on the steering wheel while commuting, and my toes stretches while sitting watching tv. I've added mornings so the toes are actually getting stretched twice a day now and I think it may be helping the feet pain.

This has been such a long week with R gone. Today I left work exactly on time and arrived in town early enough to come home and take a quick nap before grabbing A, heating up a pre-made lasagna, and vegging out to Star Trek. M is home now and they are chilling together while I type; sending out a prayer to the universe - please give him the insight to see how it matters how he speaks to her and fill his tone with love no matter how tired he may be. I guess that goes for all of us.

So off to the Dr. in the morning to see what they have to say about my hands. I will remember to hear everything with a grain of salt and make no hurried decisions. I love and value my hands, I don't want to jeopardize their future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Typing in braces

Well the nerve conduction test today showed moderate carpal tunnel in one hand and severe in the other. I already have an appt. with a hand specialist early Friday morning to go over surgery options. Ugh. The Dr. today said to forget the braces they gave me and to go buy some soft slide on supports from the drugstore and I did. I think I will be able to sleep in them, they are soft and not as bulky. And so it begins.

On a different front, I pulled out a beautiful blue dress that I would like to wear to a wedding in December; lacey and fun it would fit me if I lost twenty pounds. With optimism peeking it's head around the corner I have hung it up in my room for inspiration. Partly this comes from speaking to the Dr. today who did the testing on my hands. Her daugher is taking archery at school so I bragged about my gold medal, and she went on about how awesome that was and how I must have the gift of being able to focus.  I wished aloud that I could focus on myself and my health and she looked me in the eye and said it would happen. She was so clear and definite I just wanted to scoop her up and put her in my pocket to take with me; how wonderful it would be to have someone telling me that everyday. I know that I could be that person, and that I need to start again.

Positive affirmations, reading articles, doing restorative exercises by Katy. I wonder what would happen to my body if I could do that for six weeks. To my feet and hands and hips. Not to mention my brain.

Cuz these braces suck, and I want out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Catching up and then diving in

I made juice Sunday, a bag each of carrots and apples, a couple thumbs of ginger and a couple of handfuls of dark red and purple grapes. So much for low sugar juices, but I had to use up the apples and I was out of greens. It is definitely decadent.

Monday was not so great. I had made a clerical error at work, and after all was said and done I had cost the client about $1k, and had to speak to the boss about it. He couldn't be more upset than I was, but telling him was awful, and I feel horrible. Felt horrible I should say and this morning I am suffering from swollen hands from the fast food fries I ate on the way home. Stress eater, how I hate that label no matter how fitting it is.

So today I am a little numb, mentally and physically, and as usual after a fall determined to have a good day. Sigh, off to work.
Kaiser made an appt for me, testing for carpal tunnel before they will do surgery on my trigger digits. Great. I needed ONE MORE THING!

The boss is still mad at me, I have a disgruntled worker on my team because of an ongoing problem with another (not so much) team member. Come on, can I get a break? No. Because we make those and I am too much checked out myself to apparently handle anything. Wow. This is a deep pity pool and must be drained quickly.

Positives. I am here with A, I made her and her dad dinner while the Mrs. is off to convention, there is love in my life if no passion, and there is a cool breeze stirring so I can open up the house.

Bottom line I am sad for myself because I can't seem to get a grip; I need American Ninja training.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

"Doing nothing seldom accomplishes anything."

It's a retro morning, my old original Gameboy DS, newly charged, is in the small capable hands of a six year old. She can read the instructions, has figured out all of the buttons, and is zooming through Crash Bandicoot like an old friend. Meanwhile I have spent a productive hour in the kitchen which was begging for attention after being ignored all week. The cleaning part, not the cooking, the cooking part we rocked. But sloth is one of the deadly sins, and while I don't think of dirty dishes as deadly, they are certainly a mood damper and must go.

Another beachy morning with clouds holding in the humidity and the promise of a warm beautiful day ahead. Apple pie for breakfast notwithstanding I have healthy intentions for the day. I will move, eat greens, and maybe juice some carrots. No more sugar, my daily allotment is more than gone with breakfast (at least it was a real pie from Sprouts without artificial ingredients) at about 5 tsp in my slice. But at least I am aware of what I have eaten and will take it into consideration when making decisions the rest of the day. Really...or I suppose I should say Hopefully.

Now A is on to Zelda, probably my first real personal digital addiction. I had maps, I had notes, I had hours and hours of mindless (well not quite) diversion and fun and a false sense of accomplishment. Okay, not so false, and not so mindless, but I would definitely disappear into the game just as I would a book. A living story if you will. Just hearing the theme music in the background makes me feel happy. Time to dress and work and take ibuprofen!
The idea of leftover spaghetti for lunch and having filled 3/4 of the green waste bin I am ready for a hydration break. An episode of Dark Matter is calling my name and the act of eating and watching tv remains a horribly bad habit. Eating and listening to a book is never enough, I have to be engaged three ways for it to work; eating, listening and driving or eating and watching tv (ears engaged) are the usual ways for me to take meals. Of course given a choice eating dinner at the table with the family is preferred but not often in the offering. Lately it's me and A in front of the tv for dinner, and while I know I am teaching her a bad habit, not even for her can I seem to stop. Not to say I'm a bad grama - I don't load her full of sugar and then get mad at her for acting out like some may do with their grandchildren.  We're all graded on someone else's scale, either in our mind or at the pearly gates, no?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A cool morning turned bad

I love these cool summer mornings, and being able to invite Kaylee to snuggle with me without burning up. On the way to work I skipped breakfast in order to stop at the Lab for my follow up blood work the Dr. had ordered to see how my thyroid meds were doing. Or rather, how I was reacting to them. Overall I don't see much of a change so it will be interesting to see the results.

Afterwards I stopped for my decaf coffee with cream and couldn't help but reminisce a bit over yesterday's sugar. But all it took was a brief moment of reflection upon what the sugar does in our bodies to make me content with my current cup. With the 'added' sugar portion of my life under control it's time to thin out the desserts that crop up at home way too often. Along with bread and cheese. But I am making progress, indulging less and less often. I can't remember the last time I picked up a loaf of bread. I do remember that I have been actively saying no to myself every time I think how lovely it would be to have cheese and crackers for dinner.

Speaking of dinner, A and I are throwing together a chicken pot pie tonight and I need to stop and pick up stock and a container of mirepoix on the way home this afternoon. Not that A cares about the veggies, she is all about the 'dough and gravy'. That's my girl. But I (we) are saying no to her sweet tooth more often and she actually ate a little broccoli with dinner last night. 

Sigh, I should be working, not blathering, so off I go.
A full afternoon has left me tired, and the results of this morning's blood work have me a little down. I went in to get massaged and stretched before heading towards home, picking up a few items at the store and three small children before I arrived. Two hours of swimming, then home to make chicken pot pie for the Fam's dinner. (A had two servings, veggies and all!) While it was cooking I headed back out to pick up dog food and I am more recently just in from taking out garbage. So yes, I have been moving all day, I am sore in many many places, and tired to the bone. I will not be doing any dishes tonight.

So I have some thinking to do. My bad cholesterol went up and my good cholesterol went down. That sucks, but given the amount of ice cream eaten in the past few months not really surprising. And my ATL numbers were back up - and OMG here I am venting about personal health problems twenty years too soon. I've been doing it all year, and it angers me. I need to channel this anger, but after writing here for almost ten years I have solved nothing, apparently learned nothing, and am in pretty much the same place as when I started.

I do have a better handle on being grateful, and I am gainfully employed, but in the long run it's hasn't helped my health or weight or peace of mind. I won't say what's the point, because the act of writing does give me a certain sense of release, and at times even joy as my fingers fly across the keyboard.

But I am disappointed on so many levels. Super Big Sigh.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

And watch god laugh

I slept hard, waking later than usual, and after quickly throwing myself together and taking care of my morning chores (yes, the dogs need their breakfast too) I headed out to drive through for coffee and a biscuit. My first sip of coffee slammed into my senses, all of a sudden taste and smell shifting into high alert. SWEET! OMG, they had given me someone elses order and there was sugar in my coffee. A lot of sugar, best guess is between 6-10 shots from their dispenser, and I froze with cup in hand as I waited for the traffic light to turn green. There was no impulse to throw the coffee out the window, just a wondering about how sweet the coffee was. A second sip and I was hooked, and I must say the guilt was minimal at best.

Arriving at work I was..hyped up? Scattered? Unfocused? Flying might be a good description, without a destination in mind I might add. I have just caught myself sitting here sorting through my options on what to begin working on when I realized I was flitting from one project to another in my mind without my body settling anywhere to actually begin working. This sucks. And I am suddenly afraid of the crash that will surely be coming. Wondering how long that may be my interest is suddenly not in doing the work I am getting paid to do but rather on documenting my sugar high. Well, this is productive!

Back to work. Effing sugar. So this is how the universe repays my rant from yesterday, "make plans and watch god laugh."
After work I picked up A and we went grocery shopping together, then headed home to make dinner together. I love working in the kitchen with her, my little helper. I think R has signed her up for cooking classes, and I'll be leaving work early to take her come the Fall.

I never did have the crash I was expecting this afternoon, but I had two pieces of fruit at work, probably defraying the expected damage. Now it's definitely time to hit the sheets.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

That sugar film

Unable to sleep last night I ordered a movie on demand and for $8, about the cost of a fast food dinner that I rarely indulge in anymore, I was reminded about why I no longer add sugar to anything and avoid processed foods. The information gleaned from That Sugar Film was not new, but presented in a way I hadn't considered before. Showing the effects in our body of how excess sugar contributes to a fatty liver, triglycerides in our blood stream, and a foggy brain was just the scientific data that I needed last night. It would have been nice to have seen it before I indulged in a lemon yogurt that has 7.5 tsp of sugar. It's no wonder I love this treat that tastes like lemon meringue pie. As an aside, the new guidelines for a woman in the US is six tsp of sugar daily to maintain health. Look at these ingredients, sugar in the fruit puree as well as a stand alone ingredient plus honey. Whew.

Especially pertinent to me in the file was the data on fruit juice, and of course I thought about using fruit in my juicing, and why the ratio of veggie's to fruit is so vital. No more Sunday morning rainbow juices of oranges and apples except on very special occasions. It's a liver killer. I vow to myself here and now that the fruit will always be used sparingly as an accent to the veggies that predominate my juices. I mean, I do know that food in it's natural state is always a better choice, but somewhere along the line (think fat sick and nearly dead) I started thinking of juicing as a way out of my own personal hell. And I am sure that those who can abstain from all other choices and only intake juice for six weeks or more would benefit from all the streamlined nutrition. But I don't think I am (and therefore am not) one of those people. Not right now anyway. And while I do need the nutritional blast I enjoy from juicing while I am in this cooking slump, eventually I need to use it as mostly a vegetable supplement and occasional treat that I mix into a life of whole foods.

This film reminds me of how important it is for me to look outside myself for nutritional support from those I admire and look to for guidance. The three years I spent eating for nutrition I would google something everyday, or read from a Fuhrman book, or use a favorite McDougal recipe. This was my way of creating a supportive atmosphere in a hostile environment, and I need to get back to that survival practice.

I don't expect tonight meeting to deal with nutrition, but hopefully it will be support for my addictive nature. Attack on two fronts - it seems logical, and I seem ready.
No, no and no. I may be ready for something to change, but it is NOT going to be attending OA meetings. I left so depressed by all the negative vibes, but on my way out I also knew that my path forward would have to include laughter and camaraderie, not phone calls to let a sponsor know I had or hadn't eaten something. So at least I learned something. Not to disparage anyone who chooses this path, but I knew within five minutes I was in the wrong room. Rather than feeling a connection it was more like I was planning my escape from the moment I walked in. I stayed for the hour, took my turn reading, and listened thoughtfully trying to find some morsel of hope or inspiration. There was none, not felt by me anyway, just painful memories of Al Anon meetings rising up to haunt me from my past. Visions of empty vodka bottles stacked under the bed are a memory I could live without - at least they weren't under my bed, but in another bedroom of the house we were sharing with outlaws.  Those days are reserved for an especially psychotic section of my imaginary scrap book - I so loved taking care of the two little girls while at the same time dealing with the three adult addicts in the house. Four if you count me - I wasn't long in that atmosphere before I was doing shots of gin before noon and sewing with large glasses of red wine as my companion in the evenings. But I wasn't drunk, just stressed out and coping. How I digress!

So back to the present (okay, I typed future and then replaced it with present) and the current challenges. The sugar film really opened my eyes to the fact that sugary food really does have the same impact on our brain chemistry as love - so how does one get around that? I'll tell you how - greens and omega 3's. The challenge for me is to get started, which is why I went searching for support. But it looks like I need to ..excuse the phrase.. just do it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Monday....

I loved the Mamas & the Papas when I was a little girl. Visiting my Aunt Beth who lived next door I was enchanted by her records, and loved any excuse to spend time with her. For some reason listening to this particular album with her carved a lasting memory into my brain and to this day I love the songs.(Monday Monday: listen here). I also think about spending a seventh of our lives on Monday and usually resist the urge to contribute any additional stress or moodiness to the day. Today's strategy was  working through lunch and heading home early; the traffic was still tiresome but the cool breeze that awaited me at home was lovely and brushed aside the slight irritation of the commute.

Now it's almost eight and I am berating myself for not making it out back to do some more work; there is some more deadwood from the tree to fit into the greenwaste bin. The reality is that I obviously needed a day to recoup after working hard yesterday. Most daily chores I can moderate my work, but outside I forget I need to do that and just go for it. My Bad.

I am so grateful for the cool air coming in through my bedroom window, for the sounds of a disney movie drifting back from the living room where A is watching while her Mom (I am guessing) is browsing away on her phone while keeping her company. A quiet domestic evening - a simple pleasure but the kind I especially love being of a mostly quiet nature.

I had yesterday's leftover juice today, and there is a bottle left for tomorrow. I'm thinking carrot juice  on Wednesday for the next base as I picked up a huge bag of organic juicing carrots not long ago and want to use them while they are fresh. I'm thinking spinach, apples and ginger will be wonderful additions. Just keep it simple and use up what I have.

As I have noted before I recently discovered and became hooked on Mike & Molly. On a whim I searched locally for an OA meeting and found one not too far away; it's tomorrow evening at seven and if I remember I am going to drive over just to give it a once over. If there is anyone or anything I connect with, even just an inkling, I will give it a try. Years and years ago I searched and the one meeting listed at that time had been closed down, but this looks active and has a posted topic so I am a little hopeful. Some support in a social setting would be nice without having a specific eating program attached to it. And now I am shushing the bratty little voice in my head suggesting I am above this sort of thing - because obviously I am not.

Time to find something to fill an hour so I am not in bed too early; I want to sleep well and dream sweet.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pineapple Grapefruit Juice

Yesterday was a typical reboot day; laundry, dishes, picking up, too much tv in between loads. Today I filled up the green waste bin again after chainsawing off a couple of more limbs, this time from the privet tree at the back of the yard.

Juice today was spinach, pineapple, grapefruit, ginger, lemon, sweet potato, carrot & cucumber. The grapefruit is dominant, with a slightly sweet back taming all the citrus. The kind of juice you think, oh, too tangy, but then can't help going back for sip after sip until your bottle is gone.

Breakfast was homemade wild blueberry pancakes by R and lunch was a banana with peanut butter. I want to get cleaned up and have something nice for dinner but I suspect I will be too tired for the 2nd part after accomplishing the 1st objective. Showers are tiring, especially after sweating away in the back yard.

Looks like it will be back down in the 80's for the week, so hopefully I will get some more work done out back. That's my goal, to keep chipping away at it until I actually want to be out there. To have my morning coffee on weekends and a drink come friday prevening. It's a shame I have let it go so long, but it is what it is and I'm making progress. Of course I will do practically anything in lieu of cleaning the bathroom.

Speaking of which, it's time to go wash all these tiny flowers and sawdust out of my hair.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Super Blue (belewe) Moon

Tonight's moon is 'blue' and huge and gorgeous and the man in the moon is intent as he watches over us; weird to have loved him my whole life while still thinking of the moon as feminine from my studies in the Humanities. I suppose a man can live within the orb of a woman; happens all the time.

M called for us to come outside; I had forgotten and on his cue we all migrated out to the driveway to ooh and aww over the immensity of our satellite. The three of them walked to the end of the court with A in the lead hoping for an unobstructed view while I stayed put in front of the house enjoying how the trees framed the ascension of this glowing tangerine miracle.

And once again I am reminded that there are some things that are beautiful enough to make this whole living in human form thing worthwhile. As my eyes feasted on not just the moon but the dark shadows of my little family strolling along at the end of the court I was filled with the much sought after but elusive shade of contentment. The cool evening breeze quickly cooling off my bad mood, I lingered waiting for them to return, to hoist A once more into my arms for a better view, and then head inside with my tribe. Primal, that is what I felt for one glorious moment. Connected, worthy.

I think I must go have one more look before turning in for the night.


I ended up getting A early from daycare yesterday and the two of us made dinner together last night; her grandpa Jim's favorite chicken recipe (how I wish they could have met) mashed potatoes, caesar salad, fruit salad and corn on the cob. We rocked it. And Lemon Oreo's for dessert.

Tonight they are going out for kabobs and I am taking some time off. I've been fighting something off at work all week, maybe just a bad case of aversion, but I am relishing the idea of waking up in the morning, then stretching & turning over to snuggle back in and go back to sleep. I've put in a long week of trying hard to be helpful and I need a break.

I have got to tend to the roses this weekend before they die. I know most plants thrive after a period of stress, but I think this is cutting it close.  I had to drop by the water district on business today and saw they had a link posted to which reminded me I wanted to get started on a pilot program for our HOA. Maybe. But at the least I need to irrigate around the base of the roses and get some bark or something down to help hold in the moisture. I miss the colour outside my bedroom window.

Time for some Friday evening coffee ice cream and a movie while the house is quiet. My Bad. And I am feeling the need for a weekend reboot; too many dessert lately and not enough greens. Again, My Bad.

God I wish it would cool off again.