Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post Thanksgiving update

Alaskan Snow Puppies (my sister's two Bichon Frises)

View from the road my sister lives on - the Tanana River near North Pole, Alaska (at 3pm)

Tanana River

I'm back home. I had a really good week with my sister and her family, and my brother. A lot of visiting, remembering the good times with my brother-in-law. A few tears, but more laughter than tears. Although leaving was really hard it was wonderful to sleep in my own bed last night. I'm glad to be home.

I weighed on my home scales this morning. I'm up .6 pounds. That's slightly over 1/2 pound. Instead of beating myself up for not losing weight, which was my goal, I'm actually kind of happy it's only 6/10ths of a pound. It could have been so much worse.

I worked out on the treadmill and with the weights for at least an hour five of the eight days I was in Fairbanks, and went for a two hour walk on the last day (it was 30 degrees - spring time weather!). I ate healthy every day until after dinner. Then the cookie, candy and ice cream monster took control, and I made some really poor choices.

Unfortunately for me, all the treats on hand for the grandkids are all my favorite things. Ranger cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies with frosting, cranberry cookies with oatmeal and white chocolate chips, every kind of candy imaginable, as well as several flavors of ice cream (we're talking about at least six 1/2 gallons of different flavors). Also, the pièce de résistance is my sister's homemade whole wheat bread. It's healthy, but eaten in large quantities with butter, it's not so healthy.

Where does this put me in my plan to get to my goal of 135? Obviously I'm not on plan at all since my plan was to get to goal by the end of the year. Today it's back to counting Points and back to the gym. Even though my weight has been going the wrong direction, I'm not giving up, and I'm not beating myself up. I feel more determined than ever to get back on track.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The top picture is what I see while walking/running on the treadmill at my sister's house. The picture was taken at noon, and you can the sun is barely above the trees. Total daylight here is now at 5 hours and 14 minutes.

The second picture is what I see when I lay on the floor by the windows to do my floor exercises, and look up. It's so pretty here, it looks like a Christmas card when I look outside.

I've exercised three of the last four days, 50 minutes on the treadmill and only about 20 minutes weights. I don't have my iPod, so I watch TV. It's kind of like torture but I've been doing it.

My food has been pretty good, lots of vegetables and fruits, except those darn cookies, ice cream and candy that are here for the kids are getting me almost every night. I'm perfect all day, then ruin it each night. I'm hoping the exercise is helping. I haven't dared step on the scales all week even though they haunt me every day.

It's early here in North Pole, Alaska, 6:30am. The temperature outside isn't too bad, it's a balmy -5 degrees (it was -42 earlier this week so that feels warm!). I love that they have radiant heat in the floor so it's warm and toasty on my bare feet.

My sister and my husband are in the kitchen fussing over the turkey. Today will be a day of food, fun, and family. There will be 18 people here for dinner, eleven adults and six children. It'll be a crazy, loud day, with a lot of laughter.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Greetings from Alaska

Yes, they kill animals and stuff them, then put them in airports up here in Alaska. These are polar bears in the Anchorage airport, where we changed planes on our way to Fairbanks. A rather barbaric custom. The first picture is of some mountains on our way to Anchorage. Mountains are everywhere up here. So beautiful.

The memorial service

Yesterday the memorial service yesterday for my brother-in-law was really beautiful. The picture boards my nieces (his daughters) had put together brought tears to my eyes, but at the same time emphasized he lived a very full and happy life.

The little chapel was filled with people that had worked with him or known him for many years. Everyone had warm, funny, or loving memories to share. It was -34 degrees yesterday, but people in Fairbanks don't let the weather stop them. They were all there and it helped my sister a lot to hear the stories about her husband. There were tears and laughter as we listened to people stand up and share their memories of Bill. It was a good day

The diet and exercise
I'm trying to eat good, but darn it's hard with all this food around. Today we're having another big family dinner. I'm eating a lot of vegetables but a lot of other stuff I shouldn't be eating (like cookies). I'm staying out of the ice cream because I bought some Weight Watcher ice cream bars but my 7-year old nephew saw me eating them and wanted to try one. Of course he loves them so now I have to share with him.

I made a good choice this morning and skipped the cookies for breakfast and had my usual low-fat egg mcmuffin thing I make every day at home (except I used my sister's homemade whole wheat bread instead of the multi-grain muffin I usually use--which is so much better).

As soon as I finish this post I'm heading upstairs to the treadmill and my sister's weight set. Maybe I can undo some damage I did on Saturday (cookies, cheese, ice cream).

I'm trying but it's not easy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a crazy life, but it's my life

Quoting Jon Gosselin (who would of thought??).

My life is going to be a bit nuts the next few weeks, not that is hasn't been pretty crazy for several weeks, so really it's just the saga continuing.

My husband and I are leaving in about two hours for Fairbanks for Thanksgiving week with my sister, nieces and their families, and my brother and his wife. It'll be a bittersweet week since the patriarch of the family won't be at the dinner table Thanksgiving day. Here's the link to my brother-in-law's obituary. He lived a good life and I'm sure he's in a better place right now. It's just the rest of us that are suffering.

The Monday after Thanksgiving I'll be heading to Oakland for a week for work. Then a week in the office. December 14 I'll be off to Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) for a week. Immediately after that we're going to Denver to spend time with my husband's sister and family, and his dad. After that a week in Arkansas with my mother-in-law and her husband for New Years.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it all, but we both decided we need to spend more time with our loved ones. We chose to live far away from them mainly for financial reasons because this is where the jobs are in our field, not in Fairbanks or Denver or Arkansas. Tech jobs are here in Seattle. We're lucky in that we really like our families. I like his and he likes mine. We all get along really well.

As our relatives are getting older we want to spend as much time with them as possible. They won't be around forever and we want to be with them while we can, not regret having been too busy to travel to be with them.

My blog will be neglected for the next few weeks. I'm going to try my best to stay good with the eating and exercise. I'm at 175.4 this morning. Not great and certainly not where I want to be. My goal is to at least maintain until the end of the year. I'm not setting any unrealistic goals for myself. I know how this works when I travel. Exercise is difficult, although I will hit that treadmill at my sister's house and the hotel gyms when I'm on the road.

Happy holidays to everyone. Enjoy your families and your loved ones. Be kind to each other. You never know when it'll be the last time you see someone. Settle old grievances, nurture relationships.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It beats the alternative

It was almost impossible for me to get to the gym this morning. It was dark, pouring rain, windy and cold. At 5am it took every bit of energy I had to get out of bed, dressed in my workout clothes, get into the car and drive to the gym.

How did I do this all last winter? Even after I got to the gym this morning I had to force myself to work out. Maybe it's because I worked out late yesterday, 4pm-6pm, or maybe like so many others, I'm just tired of it all.

I was on the StairMaster thinking to myself, would it be so bad to die at 73? Let's say I stopped exercising today, stopped watching what I eat and just forget about being healthy. I wonder what would happen?

1. I'd be tired, sad, depressed, miserable. My self-esteem would plummet.

2. I wouldn't be able to do my job to the best of my ability.

3. My marriage would suffer because I wouldn't have any confidence and wouldn't want to go anywhere or do anything. I'd take it out on my husband.

4. I'd probably suffer a premature death, if I was lucky. More likely I'd get diabetes or some other dreaded weight-related illness and be in a wheelchair or go blind. I'd probably have to move into an assisted living home because I wouldn't be able to care for myself.

5. None of my clothes would fit. This doesn't sound like a really big deal, but having lost and gained a large amount of weight several times in my life, this would be really difficult for me. I'm already back into a size 12 and not happy about it. To gain any more weight would be devastating.

6. If in #2 I suffered a premature death, my husband would be left alone. He would be very sad. Even with the marital difficulties we've had over the years I know he loves me to pieces. It makes me sad to think of him being hurt because I was too stupid to take care of myself. Or worse yet, he'd have to take care of me if I became ill.

7. I would be walking around in a fog from the crappy food I was eating. A sugar-induced, refined foods fog. I don't want to live in a fog. I want to be awake for my life. Whether it's sadness or happiness, I want to experience it.

8. I would be in pain. When I was at my highest weight of 240 my knees and ankles hurt like hell. There was also something that hurt. I hate pain. I don't do it well. If I can prevent it then I will.

9. Sex wouldn't be as fun (maybe this should be #1).

10. I would kind of hate myself for being so stupid to let the nine things above happen to me.

Overall, it would be a miserable existence. Even though getting my butt out of bed and into the gym every morning isn't exactly a joyous experience, nor is counting my Points in everything I eat, it sure beats the alternative.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I now return you to my regularly scheduled programming.

Being home for a day has done wonders for my attitude and outlook on life.

During the past few weeks I was eating a lot of bad food in excess. Just for the record, I believe there are "bad" foods, things that probably shouldn't even be eaten in moderation. Unfortunately for me, I don't seem to have an ounce of moderation or control when it comes to these bad foods.

I was eating a lot of processed foods high in sugar, white flour and fat, and very little exercise. I've been in a fog for weeks. My brain hasn't been clear, and I felt like I wasn't really living in the here and now.

Perhaps it was the stress or laziness on my part, but my eating was very unhealthy. I could have and should have made healthier choices.

After just one day of being on plan and 90 minutes of exercise where I really pushed myself, I feel a hundred percent back to the old me. It's a really good feeling. It's true, we are what we eat.
I'm going to bed now. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow, to going back to work where things are normal. Back to the gym in the morning. Back to my life.

Life is for the living

I took today off from work and stayed home, alone. I'm so exhausted from lack of sleep, stress and overwhelming sadness that I couldn't stand the thought of going back to work and explaining what happened during the last two weeks.

I'm actually doing much better. I went to a 10am Weight Watcher meeting and feel like I'm back in touch with life, and back to eating healthy and exercising.

I went crazy with the eating the last two weeks. The hospital cafeteria was only open three hours a day (and the food was horrible!). The other option was Subway, which was right next to the cafeteria. We usually only ate two meals a day, and I had to force my sister to eat anything. I, on the other hand, was on some sort of feeding frenzy, eating my emotions.

I ate a lot of vending machine candy, cookies, and ice cream (Dove bars). I managed to gain 7.2 pounds since my last weighin on October 10. I'm back up to 176.4.

The WW meeting was great and I feel totally back on track. I've barely exercised in the last seven weeks due to traveling for work and being in Anchorage and Fairbanks with my sister. I used her treadmill the last two days for a couple good walks. Today I'm going to the gym for a couple hours.

Now that I'm home and really thinking about Bill (my brother-in-law), it makes me want to get healthy. Seeing him connected to 23 machines to keep him alive was a real eye opener. He was 73, which is only 19 years older than me.

Athough he'd been a smoker for 40 years, the doctors said they've seen these same type of heart problems (clogged arteries, collapsed valve) in people who had never smoked. It was a guaranteed death sentence if you were a smoker. Even though he'd quit for 12 years, the damage was done. It can still happen if you have a bad diet, don't exercise and are overweight.

Since I really want to live longer than 73, I need to get back on track and get to my goal weight. I know the holidays are coming, but I feel in control again.

Even though life sometimes is full of sadness, it's also full of joy. Life is for the living and I want to live it to it's fullest. I can't do that by being overweight and out of shape.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Death is part of life

In spite of all the prayers, even my sister the atheist going to the hospital chapel and praying several times a day, my brother-in-law passed away last Wednesday. My sister, his wife of 51 years, and I held his hand and each other as the life support was turned off. He was gone within a few minutes.

This is just something we have to go through. Death is part of life. I don't like it but I accept it.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Please pray

My sister's husband suffered an extremely bad heart attack yesterday, while he was working out at the gym. They've been going to the gym five days a week for the last two years.

My brother-in-law had open heart surgery last night, a quadruple bypass, and mitral valve replacement. They've given him a 15% of survival. His heart is very damaged, his kidneys and lungs are shutting down. If you believe in God, please pray for him and my sister.

I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, staying in the hospital hotel with my sister. They've been married 51 years and this is breaking my heart.

Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In your life how efficient is your energy?

Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul by Deepak Chopra

In your life how efficient is your energy? Quiz on pg. 48.

My score: 17

17-25 points. Your life is barely your own because so much is out of your control. Daily life is a struggle just to keep things together, and most days you feel that you are losing the fight. On the periphery something very wrong is probably happening. You are being held back either psychologically or by bad circumstances. To get back on track, outside professional help will be needed.