Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The race is on!

I must be crazy or stupid or both. A girlfriend of mine has been doing Medifast for the last 14 weeks and has lost 47.6 pounds. She needs to lose 25 more pounds to lose to reach her goal of 160 (she's 5' 9"). I've been doing Weight Watchers for 14 months, and I still have 20 more pounds to lose to reach my goal of 135 (I'm 5' 6 1/2").

She hasn't exercised once in 14 weeks (she's never been into exercise). She eats all pre-packaged liquid food (soups and shakes), and gets one "real" meal a day consisting of 6 ounces of chicken or fish and 1/2 cup of vegetables. The diet is about 800-900 calories a day. It sounds horrible to me, and I would never do anything so extreme to lose weight (okay, the old me would, but the new me, no way!).

The reason I'm crazy/stupid is because I agreed (actually suggested) a little friendly competition. Whoever gets to goal first wins. The prize is to pay the other person $1 for each pound lost. That will be $104 she'll pay me if I win, and about $75 I'll pay her if she wins.

The reason I feel like this was an idiotic idea on my part is because how on earth can I win when she's only eating 800-900 calories a day? Even if I really cut back and just consume my 19 Points a day, plus five extras, or 24 Points, that's still 1200 calories. I do exercise a lot. Lately I work out 1 1/2 hours in the morning, and if it's not raining, then an hour long bike ride at night (but I live in Seattle so it rains a lot!). I'm burning about 800 calories in exercise a day when I go to the gym and bike at night, if my heart rate monitor is correct. It usually displays half of what any machine displays so I think it's accurate.

I guess it doesn't matter. I made the commitment and there's no backing out now. I know it's going to make me be very diligent about tracking my food and drinking water so maybe this is a good thing. At least it'll get me back in the game and with any luck, $104 richer.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I hate it...I love it...I hate it...I love it!

That's what I was chanting this afternoon during my first bike ride in four years. The trail was only eight miles long, I was sure it was eight miles one way, but that was round trip. I added a four-mile ride through my neighborhood, but the fear of cars put an end to that rather quickly.

The trail is incredibly hilly. The "I hate it!" chant was during the long, painful uphill rides, where the self-talk went like this..."Oh my God! I'm doing to freaking die on this damn hill!" I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor, but I'm sure it was well over 140. I felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest because it was pounding so hard.

It's a gorgeous day of sunshine here in the Pacific Northwest so everyone was out and about, walking, running or bike riding. I was too damn proud to get off my stupid bike and push it uphill like I saw a lot of people doing. I gave it all I had and was able to get up every single hill and these weren't sissy hills, these were real hills. Damn near mountains if you ask me.

The "I love it!" part was the downhill coasting. It's so fun to just sit on a bike and go flying downhill. I totally and completely loved it. I felt like I was 10 again, riding down the hill that was in front of our house in Alaska. I spent many summers going up and down the hill in front of our house, riding as fast as I could go. It brought back some really great memories of my childhood.

I felt a little reckless because I couldn't find my helmet. I was the only person that wasn't wearing one. I had a tiny fear I'd hit a rock or something and go flying through the air and land on my head and die of a smashed head. It didn't happen, and I made it home safely (obviously).

It was the most fun I've had while exercising in a while. It beats the gym all to pieces. I loved the sun on my skin, the wind on my face and the bugs in my teeth (okay, maybe not the bugs). I was wearing a tank top and bike shorts and was completely comfortable. The temperature is about 65 degrees so perfect for biking. My tank top was totally wet with sweat so I know I got a pretty good workout.


I went by myself which is a first. Usually my husband doesn't let me go on this trail alone, but he has the flu and I guess he figured I could probably out run or out bike most people, plus I think he's too sick to argue with me (he swears he has the Swine Flu...um, I don't think so but that's a story for another post). The trail is well traveled by families so it seems really safe even if I'm by myself. Plus, I'm pretty fast on my bike.


The only bad thing about biking alone is that there's no one to take pictures of me. I took a few scenery pictures, so they're not very interesting. One thing that sort of freaked me out is that part of the trail goes under these huge electrical tower things. If I touch the metal on my bike I get a strong electric shock. I'm sure it's not very healthy. Probably causes cancer or something.


The electric bike ride - touch the metal on the bike under these wires and get a nice shock!
Going down, fun! Going up, torture.
The name of the trail is the B.P.A. Trail in Federal Way, WA. I have no idea what B.P.A. means, obviously it's an abbreviation for something.
My bike, on my way home and back up this hill from hell.
Another electrifying bike ride trail picture



Deal of the century
Best deal for workout tank tops - Walmart! Personally, I detest Walmart for many reasons. They built a new Super Walmart about three miles from our house about a year ago. I've been in it twice. Each time I swore I'd never set foot in that stupid store again. The people who shop there annoy me, the children that run rampant and cry and whine drive me crazy, and the checkers that work as slow as molasses in January drive me right over the edge. The lines are usually ridiculously long and they barely move. However, they have one thing I can't buy anywhere else. Blue Bunny no sugar added butter pecan ice cream. I love this stuff. So once about every six months I venture into Walmart. Every time I curse my stupidity and leave with my ice cream saying that's it. NEVER AGAIN!

Last night I decided to look around the store since usually I rush in, grab the ice cream and get out as fast as possible. I have found if I buy it in the electronics section (up to 15 items) I can usually escape without a mental breakdown. Last night I found the cutest workout tank tops for $5 each. They look just like the ones I buy for $20 at the sporting goods store, except they're cuter. They have cutout shoulders in back, that fit right over a workout bra perfectly. I love them, and only $5 each. I bought one in every color (so I don't have to go back for another six months).

Friday, April 24, 2009

I've never been so happy about a Friday

I really need this weekend. I need to be away from work for at least a couple days. It's stressing me out big time.

Next week I have to start the traveling again. It makes me laugh now that I thought this was going to be fun, flying off to exotic locations like Oakland and Dallas and Miami. Seriously, all I see is the inside of the airport and the hotel that's the closest to the airport. Usually it's the crew hotel, so it's not the fanciest hotel, but clean, safe and comfortable (like a Marriott or a Doubletree). So far the hotels have all had gyms, but my 12-hour work day plus travel isn't really conducive to me working out. Last time I was on the road for four days and only got in two workouts. My plan for next week is to allow myself a little more down time. I'm really too old for 12 and 14 hour work days. Maybe in my twenties, but not in my fifties.

This weekend I have a bike ride planned. I can hardly wait. There's a trail that's near our house and is eight miles one-way (I think, but need to check it out on mapmyrun.com). That would make for a 16-mile bike ride and there are some killer hills along the trail. I'm thrilled to get out of the gym for my workout.

The whole gym experience is starting to bore me. I went last night for an hour and half workout. I had a good workout, but I find myself doing the same exercises. The elliptical and treadmill, the same weight machines and the same free weight exercises.

I recently read that if you do an exercise for six weeks that your body becomes accustomed to it and you stop getting the results you were getting at the beginning. I know that's true because I don't feel like my muscles are responding like they did in the beginning (even with the 20-pound dumbells). I'm just maintaining my muscle tone, not building more muscle. Of course, I'm pretty sure if I'd drop this last twenty pounds, my muscles might pop out a little more.

Totally off topic---but I'm doing something different with my hair today. I'm letting it dry naturally, going in to work with my wavy, curly hair. Almost everyone telecommutes on Fridays so I don't have any meetings or presentations to do, so I'm just going to let my hair down today. I usually wear it this way on the weekends, so guess I'm getting in the weekend mode early. It's a jeans day too, woohoo! I love Fridays. Even my manager is taking the day off. The only person that will be at work today in my group is my best friend on the team. It's going to be a great day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ouch! That one hurt.

I had an interesting comment left today on my post "confessions of the scale obsessed". It was left by "anonymous". I just read it after a very long day at work (I just got home and it's 10pm). The comment made me cry, in fact, I'm still crying over it. Perhaps I'm too sensitive to let an anonymous comment get to me like it did, but it really hurt my feelings. Apparently anonymous doesn't like me very much.

The comment said 1.) that I seem stressed out all the time and 2.) that I put other people down if they have different opinions than me and refer to those people as "them" and 3.) that I seem "kinda" hostile.

True, I am a bit stressed out. My work is out of control right now. There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. That part didn't hurt. Although I think they were referring to my stress about my weight.

However, saying that I put people down cut me to the quick. I have honestly never meant to put anyone down. That's never been my intent. Usually I put myself down. When I said others aren't weighing themselves but that I couldn't do that, I really meant that I admire "them". I wish I wasn't obsessed by the scale,and that I could just not weigh myself and not be worried about it.

hostile: having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature

Hostile? Me? Wow, I didn't realize I appeared hostile. I certainly don't think of myself that way, and most people I work with and are friends with would never say that about me. At least I don't think they would. I'll have to ask around tomorrow if I appear "hostile". Maybe I just appear hostile on my blog, although I'm very puzzled by being called hostile.

I truly don't understand the point of leaving an anonymous comment that's so hurtful. I may appear to be a bitch to you, but I would never in a million years do that on someone's blog, regardless of what I thought of them. Really, what is the point? If you don't like someone it's really easy to just not read their blog.

Whoever you are, please know that you were just the icing on my cake of an absolutely shitty day. Hostile? Perhaps I am now. I wasn't feeling that way until I read your freaking comment. Oh, and I especially like the part that I put people down, that I seem hostile, and then you say "but you're probably a nice person". Yeah, right. I'm sure you really think that about me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Confessions of the scale obsessed

Yesterday's post was me posting under the influence of my happy syrup (codeine cough medicine). If I'm really honest about my weight, I want to get to goal. I want to see that 135 number in my Weight Watcher weigh-in book. I want it so much that I can hardly stand it. I wish I wasn't so obsessed by that number, but I guess it is what it is.

I can't change how I feel. I read a lot of blogs yesterday about people not being obsessed by the scale. That they weren't going to weigh themselves anymore. It sounded like a good idea. Then I woke up this morning and thought what the hell was that about? I've weighed every day of my entire adult life. I'm not going to stop now, even if it does sounds like a good idea. Who was I kidding? 

So as much as I want to be like "them", the people that are free of the scale, I can't do it. I'm obsessed by the scale, whether I like it or not and I have no intention of changing.

Exercise:
Great workout - 1 1/2 hours and now I'm going to be late to work!

Marriage:
All is good.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy days

For some reason, I felt happy today. Perhaps it's the Tussionex extended release (12 hours) cough syrup I've been taking for my bronchitis. If I don't take it, I sound like I've been smoking for the past 40 years and that I'm hacking up half a lung. If I do take it I have to pop a caffeine pill so I can keep my eyes open (and then they're very open). I've noticed it puts me in a very good mood. I call it my happy syrup (I could totally become addicted to codeine). 

Or it could be I heard from an old and very dear friend today. That always brightens my spirits, to know that someone I care about was thinking of me too. Or it could be the killer workout I had this morning, or the eight hours of sleep I got last night (love telecommuting days), or that I decided I'm not going to be overly concerned about my weight anymore.

I'm not saying I'm not going to work towards losing that last 20 pounds. I am saying I'm going to be more accepting of my body. Wearing size 10's and mediums is an okay place to be. It's not perfect (size 6 would be perfect), but I can live with where I am right now. If I never lost another pound, I'd be okay. 

I'm still counting Points, still working out every day, still trying to lose weight. It's just that I'm not obsessed by it like I have been for the last fourteen months. There's more to life than being totally focused on what goes in my mouth and how many Points I've consumed. Frankly my dear, it's pretty damn boring stuff.

Summer is here, 76 degrees today in Seattle, and I have great plans for the coming months. Biking, kayaking, hiking, and camping. Yes, I've agreed to hike into the back country with a backpack, stay overnight in one of those fire-fighter cabins, and sleep in a sleeping bag. Go ahead, call me crazy, but it kind of sounds like fun, like when I was a kid. Remember, I grew up in Alaska and the outdoors is kind of my thing. 

I'm also getting out those two brand new bikes we bought three years ago and rode once. What the heck was that about? Time to put those babies to use.     

Kayaking in the Puget Sound is totally awesome. The last time we went  was about 10 years ago, then I got too fat to fit into the kayak seat. I remember the last time we went kayaking and my hips being wedged into the seat. It was so painful and really humiliating to be so fat that I didn't even fit into the kayak. I can't wait to get back out there on the water.    

I'll still be posting about what I'm eating, my weigh ins and my exercise, and all that other Weight Watcher stuff. It's always going to be a huge part of my life. If I start obsessing again about what the scale says, or if I'm up a few pounds and write a freaking-out post, you guys have my permission to slap me up side the head. I need to relax a little. I need to be happy in the here and now. I need to live in the present and not the future or the past. I need today to be my happy day.                                                     

Sunday, April 19, 2009

So much for that new plan

Taking pictures of my food was suppose to make me eat less. It worked until about 1:30am today when I woke up starving out of my mind and couldn't go back to sleep. Drat!

I got up and ate....34.5 freaking Points! Yes, I entered all the crap I ate into the online tracker. I had two ice cream cones with Dreyers Double Churned sugar-free vanilla (at least 2 cups), a chicken thigh and leg and a box of Kashi TLC brushetta crackers. Yes, I said a box, a brand new unopened box. Six servings at 130 calories/5 grams fat/3 grams of fiber...per serving. Which makes yesterday a 59 Point day. WTF?!

I don't know where that came from. I'm not depressed, and I certainly wasn't THAT hungry. It was mindless eating. I was totally out of control. It was a binge. Something I haven't done in months.

All I can do is get right back OP today and work my butt off at the gym. So much for the picture taking.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My new plan

I have another new plan for getting to my goal weight, plan #9,898. I'm going to take pictures of my food and post them here. A lot of people are doing it these days. I'm just late getting to the party, plus, it seems like a lot of work. If it helps, I'm willing to do it.

Several months ago I read this is suppose to help you eat less, and I'm desperate for something to help me reach my seemingly unattainable goal of 135 by my 54th birthday on August 7 (I still can't believe I'm so freaking old!).

That's just 16 weeks from now, and I'm about 22 pounds from 135. That means I need to lose 1.4 pounds per week, which sounds totally doable. I've been stuck in the 155-160 range for several months and I'm getting sick and tired of writing about it and thinking about it. I just want to get to goal and start maintenance. I started maintenance about 22 pounds too early.

This past week I went back to my old routine of counting Points all day, then eating too much in the evenings and not tracking my Points at the end of the day. Obviously this is a very bad plan and one that doesn't work for me.

It was a hell of a week at work, long hours, major stress, too many virus tiger team meetings, and a presentation in the midst of off this chaos. Only three workouts all week because by Thursday I was running on too little sleep and too many hours at work. Things are pretty much back to normal so I can't use work as an excuse for not staying on plan.

Breakfast: 6 Points
1 English Multi-grain muffin
1 slice 2% cheddar cheese
1 egg
4 slices Canadian Bacon














Mid-morning snack: 1.5 Points
2 Honey Tangerines
(picture is of one tangerine because I forgot I was suppose to take a picture)














Lunch: 5.5 Points
4 oz. chicken breast
1 Light Italian Flatout bread
2 T. non-fat mayo
spinach
1/4 cup onion
1/2 cup jicama
1 cup grape tomatoes














Afternoon snack: 2 Points
1 cup red grapes
1 Activia Light yogurt
1/2 cup Fiber One














Dinner: 8 Points
6 oz. chicken breast
1 T. barbecue sauce
1 cup roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
tomatoes/carrots














Snack: 2.5 Points
2 cups strawberries
1 sugar-free vanilla pudding cup













Total Points: 24.5

I'm allowed 19 daily Points, so 24.5 is perfect.

APs earned: 4 (1 hour workout)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today's NSV

In the locker room at the gym today I watched a woman struggling with bolt cutters trying to cut her lock off her locker. She was about 40, and she didn't have any muscle tone in her arms. She was a little overweight, but not much. I asked her if I could help her and she gladly handed over the bolt cutters to me. She said her lock had jammed and she couldn't get it open.

When I took the bolt cutters I thought man, this is going to be really embarassing if I can't cut this lock. Luckily, I snapped it like it was a toothpick. It barely took any effort on my part. I love having muscles! It's worth every minute I spend at the gym lifting weights.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My marriage

I'm discontinuing my marriage blog. I can barely keep up with one blog, much less two. So I'll post updates about my marriage here, as part of my regular blog, under the title of "The marriage". If people don't want to read about it, they can just skip it.

So how are things going with my husband and myself? They've never been better. I can't remember being happier in my marriage at any other time during the past 20 years, and my husband says the same thing. A little part of me is sad that we wasted so much time being so unhappy with each other. A larger part of me is delighted we seem to have found what works for us.

Contemplating divorce and almost losing each other has made a huge difference in how we treat each other. We're so much kinder and gentler and loving to each other. The book The Love Dare has also had a dramatic affect on how we act towards each other. We're only on day 25 because of me being sick with bronchitis, then the traveling, then this week my work was crazy, but we're still reading the book when we can and still doing the things from the past 24 days. I really believe this book has changed our lives.

We stopped marriage counseling. We went to two sessions and both agreed it was stupid. The counselor who is suppose to be really good and came highly recommended seemed to be an idiot. When she put that awareness chart on the floor and started explaining it, I knew it wasn't going to work. Then the Chakra shit, neither one of us could get into that. Too much hocus pocus junk.

We've had a few fights, but we fight differently. There's a kindness in him I've never seen before, even when he's really mad at me he doesn't step over the line and neither do I. I haven't mentioned the word divorce once, not even in the heat of an argument when I totally disagree with him. Divorce just isn't an option for us anymore, and that changes everything. When you really believe in a lifetime commitment to one another, it changes your behavior. At least it has for us.

Two days ago I received the email below from a coworker and friend. It's from a guy I worked very closely with for five years. In fact, he was my mentor when becoming a developer. I read his email and started to cry. He's 39 years old, married 11 years, two boys, ages 4 and 6. His wife works for the same company as we do and is in senior management. He's getting custody of the kids. His email broke my heart. I don't understand all these disposable marriages these days.

Although, I was totally ready to throw my own marriage away a few months ago, so I guess I should understand it. Thank God I didn't follow through on that insanity. I really don't know what to say this friend. I guess "sorry" is the only thing I can say. I'll recommend Love Dare, but I have a sinking feeling it's too late.

Hi All -
I've worked for this company long enough to know how quickly gossip travels and it's also been a couple months since anyone has asked me "how's Lea", so I thought I'd put it out there and let you all know that yes, Lea and I are getting divorced.


There is no big gossip here, we just got busy with life and quit working at our marriage, we let it get to a point that it could not be salvaged. We did not reach this decision lightly and ultimately decided we needed to do what is best for both of us and our children. Of course this is a difficult time, but we are both fine and working at making this as easy as possible for our kids.

So, please feel free to talk about it, I don't mind talking, I just don't feel like it's necessary to tell everyone when they ask "what's new".
Thanks,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I want a divorce because you're fat.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday. A year ago his wife gave him an ultimatum, lose 100 pounds in a year or I'm leaving you. When he told me this last year I told him, oh, she doesn't mean it. She's just saying that because she loves you and wants you to get healthy. He told me then that she was serious.

It's been almost a year and she was indeed serious. It's been a year of hell for him. All physical contact cut off, even touching or kissing, until he lost weight. He's about 150 pounds overweight. He hasn't lost an ounce in the past year. My heart broke for him as he told me how hard he tried to lose weight, but that he didn't do well under pressure. His wife has found an apartment and is moving out with the kids (13 and 15). After 19 years of marriage, he says it's over.

I told another friend about this, that I just didn't understand how a wife could do this to her husband, an otherwise kind and gentle man. I was really surprised when he said he totally understood this guy's wife. He said if his own wife gained 100 pounds he'd consider it a breach of contract and would consider divorce if she didn't make a concerted effort to lose weight. What!? This shocked me. As a person who has been 100 pounds overweight more than once in my life, I just couldn't believe my value as a person and a spouse would ever be based on my weight.

What do you think? Is it a breach of contract? Would you ever consider divorce if your spouse gained 100 pounds and didn't lose the weight? Most likely if you're reading this, you have a weight issue yourself and can't even imagine such craziness. From what I'm hearing from normal sized people who have never experienced being overweight, this breach of contract seems to be a common thought. I know there's two sides to every story, especially divorce stories, but seriously, I don't understand this line of thinking.

Note: I gave him a copy of The Love Dare and he promised to read it and try the love dares. His wife sounds like she's totally opposed to a reconciliation, but you never know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My bubble burst

Too funny! My bubble burst today with an explosion. It came in the form of a computer virus that got into our system and on our servers. A self-propagating virus. Turns every machine into a spammer, then corrupts all the executables on the machine. Then the virus scanner sees the corrupted executables and deletes them. Then our software doesn't run. Then the world ends!

On top of all that, the virus scanners can't stop the virus because it's constantly re-inventing itself. Nice.The death penalty is too good for the person that came up with this one.

I somehow managed a 5 a.m. workout (after being up until midnight last night) before heading to work for an emergency tiger team meeting. I didn't wash my hair - first time ever after a workout, and I got tons of compliments on my how nice my hair looked today. Ewwww! If they only knew.

The rest of the day was a blur and tomorrow will be more of the same. So tired!

Oh yeah, and a presentation on Friday to the directors about my trip last week. Fun times.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nothing is broken today

It's a very rare day in my life when I feel like all is well with me. When life feels good, and I'm just happy to be alive. Today is one of those days when all feels right in my world...my marriage and my job are in good places. I'm in control of my diet and exercise. I feel like smiling, for no apparent reason.

I'm back on my exercise routine after my crazy trip last week. I've had two good workouts the last two mornings. I even got hit on by a 20-something year old yesterday at the gym (I'm sure he needed glasses). He tried to race me on the elliptical and burn more calories than me. He lost. He talked to me afterwards, something that never happens to me at the gym. Then he asked me out. Seriously. I'm 53, he was maybe 26. I laughed, told him I was old enough to be his mama and that I was married. I told him I was flattered, but no thanks. It was weird, but in a good way.

My marriage has never been better. My husband has been exceptionally attentive and loving, more so recently than he has been in years. Amazingly, I'm not a bad wife after all. I guess I just needed some TLC.

My job, although incredibly busy and stressful these days, is fun and challenging. For the first time in a long time, I feel like a valuable employee and that I'm doing a good job.

I haven't been night eating or binging or even really giving food much thought. I feel in control of my eating and in control of my life. Interesting how those two things seem to go hand and hand.

For the first time in many months, I don't feel broken. I actually feel happy. I almost didn't post anything today, because who wants to hear about a happy person that isn't struggling with some sort of challenge in her life. I realize when I don't have anything negative or bad to say about my life, I usually don't say anything at all.

Funny thing, you'll probably never read a post like this again from me. Because usually by the time I finish writing something like this, the bubble bursts and my real life comes crashing down on my head. At least it's nice while it lasts.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday's Weighin

I wanted this to be a postive post about my weight loss. But I looked at my weight loss chart at the Weight Watchers web site and got depressed about the whole thing. I mean, seriously, -1.4 average weekly weight loss during the past 60 weeks. It should be better. I know I'm being overly critical of myself, but I should be at goal by now. I can't figure out what's stopping me, other than me. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I don't really want to get to goal.



I hadn't weighed in since March 25, when I had gained 11.8 pounds. This is my loss for the past 18 days, not one week. So don't get too excited (although I did and was dancing around the room at Weight Watchers this morning).

Today's weight: 156.6

Pounds lost in last 18 days: -9.8

Pounds lost in last 424 days or
since 2/12/2008: -82.6


Am I happy? Yes, pretty happy. Could I be happier about my weight? Oh yes! Most definitely. I wish I weighed 135, my goal weight. That's another 21.6 pounds.

I'm happy I didn't go crazy while eating out and ordering room service. I'm a closet over eater and room service would have been perfect for me to overindulge. I knew I had to weigh in when I got back so that helped to keep me honest. Plus, believe it or not, I actually tracked everything I ate those four days, in the little paper journal. I was usually over 10-14 Points every day, but I still tracked it. That really helped.

Today's Weight Watcher meeting was one of the best I've ever been to, and it seemed to be aimed right towards me. It was a leader I don't usually go to, Janis, but I really like her. Maybe Saturday mornings will be my new meeting time.

Janis said there are three types of dieters:

1. Dietary Restraint - all or nothing. 100% willpower. Perfectionist. Great at losing weight, impossible to maintain weight loss. This is me!!!

2. Dietary Disinhibition - zero willpower. Don't follow anything. Throw out the baby with the bathwater. Can't lose weight. This is me too!!! When I gained my 100 pounds that was exactly me. I didn't even try to restrain myself. Ate whatever the hell I wanted. Gained 100 pounds in a year, after losing a hundred pounds in a year.

3. Flexible Restraint - livable limits. Have a treat now and then. Have willpower but not 100% all the time. No one can live like that and makes it impossible to maintain the weight loss. This is where I want to be. This is what I consider normal people who maintain a normal weight. I think I'm getting a handle on it.

I have a treat now and then, even stuff with sugar in it. At lunch in Miami, the waiter brought me a piece of German Chocolate Cake, compliments of the house (note to self, don't flirt with the waiter). It was really good and I ate three bites of it, then stopped. I offered it to the people with me, but they had already ordered desserts. I felt a tiny bit bad not eating it all, but I told the waiter I was really full (from that shrimp salad with three shrimp in it).

It was a really good Weight Watcher meeting, and I'm so glad I stayed. I always learn something when I stay (so why do I weigh in and then leave so often?). My new goal is to be flexible with myself, not so hard on myself, and to consistently attend meetings.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Finally home again

The business trip
My two-day wonder trip turned into a four-day wonder trip. Station assessments have been completed on Miami and Dallas/Ft. Worth. WHEW!!!!!

Twelve and fifteen hour days just about broke me. My entire body is in protest today. Most of those hours were on my feet, running around the airport. Out to the gates, back to the counter, the back office, the gates...over and over.

I wouldn't call it fun, but it wasn't awful either. Maybe it was a little bit fun. I'm a lot more of a people person than I ever realized. The agents were a blessing, and extremely helpful, as were the managers too, and our contractors that handles our hardware and installs our software on the airport machines were great to work with. They all thought I was a big manager of something, when in reality I'm just a flunky doing a job that no one else wanted to do. I let them think I was important, that way they bent over backwards trying to help me.

Unfortunately a lot of the hardware that belongs to the airports and our software isn't working correctly. My job is to make sure everything gets up and running the same as our proprietary stations (where we own everything). I don't actually do the "fixing", but I coordinate the right people to get things fixed. The hard part is determining if the problem is ours or if it's the contractor or the airport. I'm caught in the middle of "it's not our problem, it's their problem". I have to figure who owns the problem and get them to fix it. Turns out that's a lot more challenging than it sounds.

The assessments are done for these two stations, but now there's a lot of work to be done to get things running smoothly again. That's why the extremely long days, and why I have many more long days ahead of me.

The food
It was difficult just finding time to eat. I ate really healthy, no junk, but I ate stuff I normally wouldn't eat - like raisin bran, cheerios, fajita salad, 2% milk. Wednesday was a bad day because I worked 14 hours without sitting down, not eating a bite of anything, not even a glass of water until 9pm that night (I started working at 6am). I know that was stupid, but I was trying to leave on the 2pm flight, then the 6pm flight. If I skipped eating I thought I could finish everything. As it was, I had to stay another day and things are still a mess in DFW.

Exercise
Sadly, since I didn't have time to eat, I also didn't have time to work out much, until Wednesday night. That hotel had a fitness center that didn't close at 10pm (stupid hours at the other two hotels). It was open 24 hours so I worked out at 11pm Wednesday and again at 5am on Thursday.

My health
Honestly, I'm sick as a dog. Monday before I left I went to a walk in clinic. I'd been coughing non-stop for two weeks (since my cold). Sure as anything, I had bronchitis, sinus infection and an ear infection. It was too late to cancel the trip so the doctor gave me some powerful cough medicine with Hydrocodone (synthetic codeine), and antibiotics. The cough syrup worked miracles. I stayed awake (and a wee bit hyper) by popping caffeine pills during the day while taking that cough syrup. It would have knocked me out otherwise.

When I got home last night my husband insisted I go to a real doctor today. Apparently I looked like death (according to him), and sounded like it too with a deep, hacking up a lung kind of cough (but only when I stopped taking the cough medicine).


I saw my doctor this morning, and I'm sicker than I thought. When she did the oxygen saturation test (how much oxygen is in my blood) it had a reading of 92. It's suppose to be 99 or 100. My doctor had a fit. She told me a horror story that a lot times these readings aren't very inaccurate and when it's 92 it could be as low as 60 (then what's the point of the test?). It's the little machine you clip on your finger. She said if I didn't watch out, I could die from the bronchitis. Whatever. It's not the first time I've had bronchitis so I know it's not that big of a deal. Just inconvenient.

She put me on Prednisone for five days and gave me another prescription for the cough syrup (which if I'm not careful, I could totally see myself getting addicted to that stuff). I'm still taking the antibiotics. The wheezing in my chest is already much better from the Prednisone so I don't think I'm going to die after all.

I weighed at home this morning and I'm exactly what I was three weeks ago, 161.8. I'm going to Weight Watchers tomorrow for an official weigh in, and I'll post it here this weekend.

Anyway, that's been my week. I can't even begin to tell you how very glad I am to be home. Oh - and my renewed passport came in the mail while I was gone. Now Canada and Mexico are in my future very soon. Lucky me.


NSV on my trip
There were actually tons of NSVs on this trip, but I almost forgot the most important one. It was the highlight of the entire trip. I knew I was going to be hot with all the running around I had to do so I work sleeveless tops. In Dallas I wore a really cute black top with a scooped neckline that had a band of white around the neckline, and a new pair of loose fitting black slacks (size 10--I'm sure they were cut on the large size). Everything was from the White House Black Market store, my favorite store these days. I didn't have time to get a picture of myself so here's what the top looks like on a model (of course, my arms aren't as skinny as hers, but I actually prefer my arms over her arms).

The cut of this top really shows off my shoulders (I do have some nice deltoids, if I say so myself, and I've worked very hard to get them). A guy that was a supervisor on the ramp, about half my age, came up to me when no one was around and asked me what I did to work out. I thought it was an odd question and asked him why he was asking me that question. He said, and I quote, "because you are in really good shape, and I can tell you work out a lot. Are you a marathon runner?"

Okay, so that was an insane comment and he probably needs glasses, but he seemed sincere. I don't look like a marathon runner, but it made me feel good. Especially because he was in really good shape, and I could tell he lifted weights. He was just a kid, so that made it especially flattering. And no, he wasn't hitting on me. I'm old enough to have been his mother. That was Wednesday and that's why I went to the gym Wednesday night and again Thursday morning, even though I was dead tired (and sick). Honestly, I think that was one of the nicest compliments I've ever received in my entire life, that I look like I work out.



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Welcome to Stressville

Tuesday was a 15-hour day for work. I had a post about it, a long, rambling thing which I deleted, accidentally. I was deleting several old drafts of posts I had started but never completed. I got delete happy I guess. That was just one of many stupid things I did this week.

I locked my keys in my car - three freaking times in three days. Okay, so it's not really that big of a deal because it's a Nissan and if you lock your key fob thingie inside, it unlocks itself and beeps at you, indicating that you're an idiot.

Funny thing about that feature, I've never trusted it. I'm paranoid about making sure I have my keys with me when I lock the doors, which I do by pressing the button on the door. That stupid honking sound annoys me when you use the key fob. This week, running on very little sleep, majorly stressed out by work, I couldn't seem to focus on anything, much less if I had my keys on me when I locked the door.

This morning on my way to my workout, I drove right past the gym. I was thinking about the crazy long list of things I have to do before I leave for Miami on Monday, then Dallas on Wednesday. I was about a mile past the gym when I suddenly thought, where am I going? Oh yeah, the gym, and had to turn around and drive back a mile.

Last night I worked until 9 p.m. - it was a Friday night. Who does that? I had to get my project status report sent out to God and everyone by last night. I got it sent, but it was 9 p.m.

When people tell me they're stressed out, I always tell them that life is just stressful and you just have to learn how to handle the stress. So why can't I follow my own advice? Exactly how is one to "handle stress"? I wish I could take back all the times I've given that stupid-assed advice.

This week has been horrible for eating too. I'm not eating junk, just eating too much of everything else. I've been unusually hungry.

I was at the hair salon today, paging through Elle magazine (where they think people would actually pay $1,600 for a pair of shoes), I came across an article about emotional eating and stress. It was surprisingly insightful for Elle magazine. It was written by April Long, their senior beauty and health editor. You know she's probably thin as a rail, but I won't hold that against her. It was a good article, and you can read it
here, but the most important part for me was this:

The desire to eat between meals is wily and complex, and the human will is weak. But knowing that there’s no magic bullet (or pill) only strengthens my resolve. This is something that will require focus and time, and I’m prepared to begin with a few small steps. I’ll get more rest, try not to mentally pressure-cook the minutiae of my job, and even if it’s just for a couple days a week, I’ll convince myself that GG Bran Crispbreads are both satisfying and food-of- the-gods flavorful. The other days? You’ll see me striding purposefully down Seventh Avenue. And if I look like I’m running away from something, well, that’s because I am.

I couldn't have read better advice for myself today. That's exactly what I need to do, "I’ll get more rest, try not to mentally pressure-cook the minutiae of my job". It's a stupid job, that's all, nothing more. I need to stop letting it stress me out so much. Slow down. Pay attention to what I'm doing. I know it's why I'm eating too much, I'm even in a hurry to eat. I don't really think about it, I just eat. It's time to slow down, breathe deeply, and stop stressing about every little thing in my life. Life is stressful, we have to learn how to deal with. Failure not to do so is not an option. Plus who knows, the next time I lock my keys in my car, that sweet little feature of unlocking itself just may not work.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On the road

A quick post before I head off to the airport. I read my post from last night. All I can say is what a whiny baby I can be at times.

I'm actually looking forward to today's trip. It'll be fun meeting new people and getting out of the office for the day. Airline employees are notorious for being a fun group of people to work with. It's something about the industry that attracts a certain kind of people. So in actuality, I know this is going to all be okay.

I'm not worried about the food. I'm more of a closet over eater anyway, if anything, this will be good for me. The exercise, I'll fit it in somehow. I'm taking my gym bag with me and hoping I'll have energy for a workout tonight before I come home. It all depends what I feel like after my 14-hour day.

Right now I'm more worried about the lines at security because I heard Mt. Redoubt blew again last night and flights going to Alaska were canceled again (over 300 flights canceled in the last week, not good for business). I can always use my badge and bypass the line, which is probably what I'll have to do. The joys of air travel.

Also, I tried on my size 10 pants last night and they still fit, even a little loose. Woohoo!