Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend update

Another headache
I can't believe I haven't posted since Thursday morning. I guess I just wasn't in the blogging mood or something. Or maybe it was the headache from hell that took me down again.

Saturday is a blur. All I remember doing is going to Weight Watchers, weighing in, sitting through the meeting with an excruciating headache, then heading home and back to bed.

Nothing can stop these headaches when they come. Aspirin, Aleve, Tylenol doesn't phase them. All I can do is curl into a fetal position in a dark, quiet room and wait it out.

Today I was fine. The headache is gone, although there's a lingering feeling of tenderness behind my eyes. Like it could come back any minute.

I don't know what's up with these headaches, but I'm getting a little concerned. That was my third one in three weeks, and sometimes during the day I have a stabbing pain on the left side of my head that lasts for just a few minutes.

I have my annual physical in two weeks, and I'm going to ask my doctor about it. It's just the strangest thing. I rarely get headaches and when I do, nothing like these last three. They're literally debilitating.

The weigh-in
Okay, enough of the headache talk. About the weigh-in. Not exactly a stunning loss, but it's a loss:

Saturday 2/27/2010 Weigh-in

Last week's weight:  176.6

Current weight: 175.4

Week loss: -1.2

Total loss:  -63.8

My workout
Because of the headache from hell I skipped working out Saturday. I could barely stand up so working out was out of the question. However, I made up for it on Sunday.

The Big Book of Exercises by Women's Health says you're only suppose to do one exercise per body part per workout. I've never heard this before, but it makes sense.I usually try to do at least two exercises per body part. For example, I always do two bicep exercises back to back, two triceps, two shoulder, two deltoids, etc.

What I've noticed is that I don't do as well on the second exercise for the same body part. My form isn't as good and I struggle with the heavier weights.

It also suggests not doing the same exercise for each body part during the week, to mix it up. Even changing how you hold the dumbbells makes a difference in how you work the muscle group you're focusing on.

The book also says you should do 24 reps of an exercise. For example, three sets of 8, or as set of 12, 10, 8. They said more if you're up to it, but 24 was the optimum number. A a few more is okay if you're up to it, but three sets of 15, probably not a good idea (I've done that a lot). If you can do three sets of 15 then you're probably not using heavy enough weights.

One thing I've learned, every author of strength training has their own opinion of what's right. They all think their way is the right waym, but none of them are written in stone. You have to figure out what works best for you.

Here's the page from my exercise log for today. I planned out my workout before I got to the gym. It took me an hour and 45 minutes to complete this workout. It  was definitely one of my best workouts.




Tulips that I bought for myself. As long as I try the best I can with working out and trying to eat right during the week, I buy myself flowers on Saturday. I love tulips. They remind me of spring, my favorite season.


It was a full moon on Saturday night. I did ventured outside with the raging headache at about 8pm. Just to get some fresh air, hoping it would cure my headache. It didn't, but I did get to see this gorgeous full moon. The picture doesn't do it justice. It was spectacular.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tracking Thursday AND following the rules

Yesterday I ate healthy all day and tracked every bite. I wasn't paying much attention to how many points I was accumulating because my meals were what I normally eat, so I was sure it was all good.

When I got home I logged on to the online tracker to see how many Points I had left for dinner. I was shocked to see I'd already eaten 21.5 Points for my breakfast, lunch and two snacks. My max is 21 with some weeklies, depending on how hungry I am. I couldn't believe I'd eaten all my Points. I went back over every item, but it was all correct.

I evaluated what I'd eaten all day and realized I'd been adding in a few little things here and there that really added up. They seemed harmless at the time, but they're why I haven't been losing weight (and slowly gaining).

Sugar-free creamer in my coffee when I use to always drink it black. Hummus with my raw vegetables when I always ate my afternoon snack of raw vegetables plain. A few extra pieces of fruit, when I was limiting fruit to a maximum of three a day. Cutting back my vegetables from five servings a day to two or three. I wasn't drinking my non-fat milk or eating my healthy oil.

The bottom line:  I haven't really been following the Weight Watcher plan. I've been squandering my Points.

Just like I budget money to pay the mortgage, the car payment and the utility bills, I need to budget to make sure I get in my healthy oil and dairy. If I have to cut out the hummus so I can have a cup of milk and a yogurt, it's what I have to do.

Today I'm focusing on tracking, but also following the healthy eating guidelines. I know that's one of the keys to successfully losing weight. I've accepted exercise as part of my life. Now I need to follow through on the healthy eating and limiting my food.

When I saw I'd already eaten 21.5 Points by 6pm I considered skipping dinner, instead I had dinner and some fruit. It was about 8 Points, but I thought that was better than starving.

Today will be better, I promise. Tracking and following the rules.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tracking Wednesday

It's almost 1pm and I've tracked my breakfast and lunch, as well as my activity in the online tracker. This is a huge improvement over every day the past week.

During the past few months there's been a direct correlation between me not tracking my food and my weight slowly going up.

Every day I make up some silly excuse of why I can't do it, the best one is that I don't have time. I'm on the computer for work a good portion of the day. It took about two minutes.

The real reason I don't want to track my food is because I know I've been going over my allotted Points every day. That makes a failure in my book.

I've made a deal with myself. Just for today, and today only, I promise I will track every bite, AND I'll eat within my Points limit. Maybe I'll make every Wednesday "Tracking Wednesday", just to see if I can do it.

A couple pictures I found on my work computer. I may have shared these last summer, I'm not sure. They're from my visit to my sister in Fairbanks, Alaska in July, 2009.

The public restroom in Nenana, Alaska. I thought this was really pretty and very unique. It even had a flush toilet. :)


Me at Chena Hot Springs, near Fairbanks.


Another day one or this is NOT maintenance

KCSARC
Normally I post the night before, but yesterday was kind of a horrific day for me. One of my dearest friends and I ventured out on the new light rail from the airport to downtown Seattle to attend the King County Seaxual Assault Resource Center's fundraiser breakfast.

Although it was a kick to ride the light rail and catch up with each other, the intensity of the speakers at the breakfast was difficult. It's always like this for me when I attend their functions. They have guest speakers that were raped or sexually molested as children, some are still teenagers. One of my best friend's daughters was sexually molested when she was five. We sat at their table and as I always do, I cried when I listen to the stories (as did almost everyone, even the men were wiping their eyes).

KCSARC is an amazing group of people and if  you live in the Seattle area and are looking for a great organization to donate some spare money to, this is the group. I've seen the results their counseling has had on a very scared and frightened five-year old that had the terrible experience of being sexually molested by a 21-year old neighbor. It would have been called rape but they have very odd definitions of rape. Penetration of one inch. I won't go into details, but it was beyond horrible what happened to her. She's now a vibrant, beautiful and well-adjusted 11-year old. KCSARC helped her get to where she is today.

It was still a hard day and even though I took a lot of pictures of Seattle on our ride, I didn't feel like posting them.

Not maintenance
I had an epiphany while on the StairMaster this morning (which by the way, we only have one and no ever uses it but me - so weird). Every day is day one, which we all agree is true. So I only have to get through today, not worry about tomorrow. One day at a time, literally. That's all I'm focusing on today. Track my food, eat within my Points. Just for today.

The other thing is that I seem to think I'm on maintenance. When I put on my size 12 dark gray dress slacks yesterday I felt like a sausage. They had a little stretch and by the time I got to the Westin they felt better, but still, I remember buying them about six months ago when my size 10's didn't fit and I had go up a size. They were baggy. I haven't tried them on for about three months because I gained another 10 pounds.

I've been holding steady at 176, as if that was the weight I wanted to maintain. It's NOT my goal weight, I shouldn't be in maintenance! It's time to buckle down and get serious.

Today is my day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Okay, maybe not stupid, just struggling

Maybe I'm not totally stupid, but I swear there's something deeply wrong with me. I'm sure I could benefit from therapy or drugs or maybe both, but I'm from the old school of I can fix this myself. So far though, I'm not being very successful.

The thing that makes me kind of nuts is how hard I work out at the gym, almost every day, then I turn right around and throw away all the hard work by overeating. To make matters worse, I eat crazy stuff. Like too many strawberries or blueberries. Or a couple bowls of oatmeal with walnuts (that was last night). It's healthy stuff, but too many calories.

Maybe someday I'll figure it out, but for now I'm continuing the struggle, some days are harder than others.

Tomorrow is going to be a killer day. I have to get up at 4am, be on the road by 5am and head up to catch the light rail from the airport up to Seattle and be at the Westin Inn by 7am for a fundraiser. I get roped into this thing every year and just can't seem to say no.

It's for the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC). It's a center that provides therapy for sexually abused children and their families. It's a great organization it depends a lot on the funds raised at the fund rasiers they have throughout the year.

I started going about six years ago when my girlfriend's daughter was five and was sexually molested by the next door neighbor's "uncle". It's a horrible story and caused a lot of trauma for the child and the family. They always go every year to the KCSARC fundraiser. The little girl is now 11 (or maybe 12) and she speaks in front of the group (1,000 people tomorrow) about her experience. It makes me cry every single time.

So even though it's for a very good cause, I don't want to go. For lots of reasons, hearing the tear jerker story again, feeling the little girl's pain as she tells what it was like to be forced to do something against her will when she was only five years old. I know I'll cry.

Then there's the traveling to downtown Seattle at 6am. Another girlfriend is going with me, so we're going to try to make it an adventure. Neither one of us has ever ridden the new light rail from Seatac airport to downtown. I feel like a country mouse going to the big city. I'm more a suburbia girl than a city girl.

Of course, I'll miss my early morning workout which makes me a little uncomfortable, but I'm dealing with it. I can miss working out on a normally scheduled day, and I won't die. Trying to roll with the punches here.

Today's pictures brought to you from my walk at noon with three friends. It's was another glorious day here in Seattle.

The trailhead - Des Moines Creek Trail, near by office at Seatac, WA



Des Moines Creek runs next to the trail


Ferns on the hill next to the trail


My friends decided not to wait for me as I as taking so many pictures. I had to keep running to catch  up with them. Talk about interval training!


The dog guy. Every time I walk this trail at noon I see this guy. He has three of the sweetest, friendliest dogs you've ever met. They know me now and always run up to greet me, with tails wagging.


Dog guy's dogs. The one on the left is 15 and had cancer two years ago until Mrs. Dog Guy starting making dog food for the dog. His cancer disappeared and now he acts like a pup (the dog, not the guy :).


These white flowered trees were all along the beginning of the trail. No idea what type of tree, but really pretty. Looked like snow (but it was 58 degrees today).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I wonder why some of us figure this out, and some don't

We went for our walk this afternoon, only three miles but the weather was perfect. The blue sky was completely cloudless, and it was 58 degrees.

Our trail is a little hilly, but we only did three miles of it (it's eight miles long). I wasn't even breathing hard on the steepest parts of the trail. My husband was having trouble. I think he's finally realizing just how out of shape he is these days. He's "only" about 50 pounds overweight, but that's still a lot of extra weight to be packing around. He's been reading books on weight loss for the first time in his life. He's determine to lose weight and get in shape. I say good for "us". I'm glad he's finally going to join me on my quest for health.

After our walk, we had a wonderful salad, made with blueberries, strawberries (the best ever strawberries) and a variety of three leaf lettuces, with six ounces of shrimp on each salad. I made a balsamic vinaigrette and it was a wonderful dinner.

Then I don't know what happened. I guess I always feel kind of cheated when a salad is my meal. It never feels like a real meal to me. This led to me grazing after dinner. Which resulted in going 26 Points over my target. I had the best intentions and poof!, all gone in just a couple hours.

I've been at this for a while now. February 19 was my two-year Weight Watcher anniversary. I should have this all figured out by now. I don't.

I read other blogs and so many people are doing excellent, week after week. The first seven months of doing this, I was pretty darn close to perfect. I guess that was my honeymoon phase.

The last seventeen months have been a struggle. I kind of think it's going to be like this the rest of my life. I'm never really going to figure it out. Sometimes I wonder if this means I'm just stupid. Too stupid to figure out how to make this whole thing work without it being the most difficult thing I've every done in my life. It really makes me doubt my intelligence. Others do it, why can't I?

I keep posting Mt. Rainier pictures and it's probably boring to most of you, but it's so beautiful that I just can't resist taking pictures of it. I love Mt. Rainier. Besides, there wasn't anything interesting on the trail today, besides a lot of people, which kind of annoyed me. The mountain looks so close, even when we're standing there looking at it, it's like we could reach out and touch it. It's actually about sixty miles from our house. Can you believe that sky? Seattle. February. Amazing.

My Saturday weighin

My weighin yesterday was 176.4. Up a couple pounds. It's okay though. I haven't been tracking and definitely eating too much healthy stuff. No junk or cake or anything that would be considered unhealthy. Just too many calories.

My exercise is back to each workout being my best workout ever. I'm crediting Women's Health "The Big Book of Exercise" for my new enthusiasm at the gym. Plus I've totally given up the treadmill. I hate it and it hates me.

Lately with the great weather we've been having in Seattle I've been walking outside every day at lunch this past week. My husband I are going for a walk in about an hour because the weather is once again totally spectacular. It's 58 and not a cloud in the sky. Did I mention it's February?!

I'm psyched up to get back to tracking and eating less. I tracked yesterday and ate 30 Points (I'm allowed 21). That's a little high but at least I tracked, and I already have 8 Activity Points in the bank.

I went to the gym twice yesterday. My husband decided to go last night so I went with him even though I went before my weighin for a last chance workout. I'm really sore today from doing several new exercises, but it feels good.

I'll try to find something to take pictures of today on my walk. I was so busy running errands yesterday that I only took one picture. Another picture of the mountain, this time from the SuperMall where I bought another set of Tanita scales for $100. I've gone through three Taylor scales in the last six months, and they were all a piece of junk (and at $40-$60 I was annoyed taking them back each time). I love my Tanita! She's worth every penny.

Mt. Rainier at about 2pm, 2/20/10 - from the SuperMall in Auburn, WA (that's why there's a streetlight right in the middle - gotta love suburbia).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great morning workout on Thursday

I had a great workout this morning. I added four new lower body exercises from my new book. I love this new book. It not only has hundreds of great exercises, but also some really good tips. I detest lower body workout days. If I could do only upper body workouts I'd be a happy girl. Of course, it's my hips and thighs that need the most work.

I was at the gym at 5:30am and left at 7:10am. When I was driving home (about three miles), I saw something I see every day if it's daylight and not rainy or cloudy. Usually that's a rare day this time of year, but not this week (57 degrees and sunny). Every day when I see this I think I should really stop and take a picture, and every day I don't do it because I'm in a hurry. Today I took five minutes, stopped and took a couple pictures (love my new camera!).

Mt. Rainier


I've always been fascinated by contrails. Probably from growing up in Alaska in the sixties. Very few jets flew overhead and when they left a contrail I thought it was really cool. This one is from this morning.


 
When I can't figure out what a vanity plate means it makes me a little nuts.  I saw the one below on my walk during lunch today. I asked a few of my coworkers if they knew what it meant. No one had a clue. It was on a shiny, bright blue PT Cruiser. I thought maybe "kill American Airlines too". Honestly, I'm not a terrorist and love American Airlines (well, kind of). It was the only thing that came to mind. I know, totally stupid

I once drove twenty minutes behind a big, red pickup truck with RDFRTRK plates. I was going crazy trying to figure it out. Obviously it was a red -- truck. A red "fur" truck? When I got close enough I could see the Firefighter's emblem decal on his back window. Oh...Red Fire Truck.

This one stumped me:


I finally Googled it. It's the name of this guy, from The Day the Earth Stood Still. The guy on the alien ship. Keanu Reeves played Klaatu in the 2008 remake (not anywhere nearly as good as the original). 



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Settling for good enough

We all settle for things in our lives that are a little or a lot less than what we wanted or expected. If you've ever settled, it's something you've accepted as part of your life. You made the decision that it is "good enough".

That's what I've done with my weight. I've settled into this 176 range and accepted it as good enough.Yet it's a completely unacceptable weight for me. It's ridiculous that I've gained 20 pounds in the past six months. What's even more ridiculous is that I've tried to fool myself into thinking this it's okay. I use stupid logic with myself, telling myself that I'm a "little" overweight and that's okay. Most people are a little overweight.

Well, it is really isn't okay, and I'm ready to do something about it.

I complained yesterday about my exercise, that it was lackluster and boring. Last weekend I bought another strength training book. I cracked it open this morning and it's a really good book. I already own about ten strength training books, including NWLR4W (which I hate). This book is great because it's doing different variations of the same exercises I've been doing.

This morning I tried a couple new things. Bicep curls using a slanted board (much harder than my concentrated bicep curls). The other doing the lat pulldowns while on my knees. It's suppose to work the glutes in addition to the lats, and mine have been sore all day. Just small changes in old exercises made all the difference in the world. I highly recommend this book ($14.99 at Costco).


I bought new workout shoes on Monday, Asics Gels (GT-2150). I've had three pairs in the last three years and love them. These are a new, improved (and more expensive) model. I wore them Tuesday and wanted to amputate my feet after my workout. I tried them again this morning and they were like wearing pillows. I think I had the laces too tight on Tuesday (stupid me!).

I also made the decision this morning that if I really hate the treadmill (and I do!) I don't have to work it into my cardio routine during the week. I try to mix up my cardio, a couple days of the StairMaster (my favorite!), a day or two of the treadmill, the spinning cycle, crossramp and elliptical. On treadmill days I'm miserable.

The reason I hate the treadmill so much is that I can't jog anymore. I've never mentioned this because it makes me feel so old, but since I twisted my knee last year it's never been the same. Running is just out of the question. I can slowly jog (4.5 mph) for ten minutes then it starts to ache and hurt. I really don't like getting old, but this is a sure sign of becoming elderly. Bad knees. That damn treadmill rubs it in my face every time I get on it. The young twenty-somethings are running up a storm next to me. There I am, the old lady, walking (uphill, but it's still not as cool as running).

My decision this morning was to hell with the treadmill. I hate it, and I'm not doing it anymore. If I want to do the StairMaster seven days a week, then I'll do what makes me happy.

Now I'm back on track with the exercise, and I'm actually looking forward to trying some new lower body exercises tomorrow.

The next step is to figure out how to get back to tracking my food. I'm not settling for 176, that means I'm going to have to track my food. 176 is not good enough.

Pictures from my walk at lunch today...

This is so strange, but a lot of the flowering trees and bushes are blooming. It's still February. We've had snow in March in past years. I hope winter is really over, but like I said, it's February in Seattle (and sunny...a total freak of nature)!


View from the parking lot at my office, as I was leaving at 5:30pm. Just beyond the trees is the condemned trailer park, and to the right is the county detention center. It was still a pretty sunset.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My day and a few pictures

My eye was back to normal by last night. I even put on some mascara and went to the gym yesterday afternoon. The magic (expensive) salve did the trick. You've got to love modern medicine is all I can say.

Not a whole lot to report today, just a hell of a day at work because I've been on call for the last six days. Being on call is the worst thing ever. I hate it. Our team of nine has over 100 applications we support. For one week every nine weeks, I have to carry the on-call phone and if there's an emergency, I get called and have thirty minutes to respond. It's a bloody nightmare when something goes down because often it affects the operation of the airline. There's always a lot of pressure to get it fixed quickly. I had three calls at home over the weekend, and by noon today I had nine new trouble tickets assigned to me. Today is my last day of being on-call for another nine weeks. It's been a tough week!

I was at the gym by 6am this morning for another lackluster workout. My heart (literally) just isn't into working out any more. I go, I do my thing for an hour or an hour and a half (sometimes two), but I'm really fighting with myself about it. Every fiber of my being wants to stay in bed in the mornings. So far I haven't given in, but it's sure been tough lately. I have to have the conversation with myself every freaking morning...get up - get up - get up! One of these days I'm afraid I'm going to lose the battle and the fat chick in me is going to take over again. It's not easy making her shut up, especially at 5am.

At noon I went for a walk by my office and realized there just isn't anything very pretty by my office. I wanted to take pictures with my new camera but I'm about a mile from SeaTac airport.It's a rundown, sad area. We have a state detention center on one side of us, where they keep the prisoners before they go to the real jail. On the other side is a trailer park full of single wides that they've condemned because a new road is going to be put in. They're all boarded up and look scary. I started to take pictures of all the new graffiti I saw today but decided it wasn't even pretty graffiti.

So here's what I did see that wasn't too awful. :)

A tree in the parking lot of my work place. Please note the beautiful blue sky, in Seattle, in February and it was 52 degrees!


A tree on the street near my work, the street I like to walk because there's hardly any traffic. It's like a street to no where...they never finished it (but that's why they condemned the trailer park, they're going to finish it some day).


My most favorite airline! Check out that sky. The bluest skies are in Seattle!


The trees think it's spring time and are budding already..it's February!


A flag in front of an old house.


Same flag from the other side through the budding cherry blossoms.


The view from the county detention center, about 1/4 mile from my office.
The detention center doesn't have any windows. Sad but true.


That's all I could find to take pictures of today. Actually, looking at the pictures it looks a lot prettier than I thought.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Valentine owie

Valentine's Day from hell
Valentine's Day 2010 will go down as my worst day so far this year and probably my worst Valentine's day ever. I had some sort of allergic reaction and my right eyelid swelled up so it was almost shut. In addition, as soon as my eyelid started swelling, I started sneezing uncontrollably for about twelve hours.

I have no idea how what happened, but my eyelid felt like it had acid on it and it hurt like hell. Not to mention I looked like a one-eyed monster with a red nose. Yesterday wasn't my best day.

The only good thing that came out of this is how sweet my husband was about the whole thing. He was really concerned, and kept checking on me after I took a couple Benadryl and passed out at 3pm yesterday.

This morning when I woke, my eye was even more swollen. It wasn't just my eyelid, but the entire socket around my eye was swollen and puffy. Without me even asking him, my husband called the doctor and managed to get a 9:30am appointment for me to see an eye specialist.

He drove me there, waited for me, took me to the pharmacy, got my prescription filled and was a carring and concerned spouse. I really appreciated this because I wasn't in any condition to drive and I felt awful. The sneezing had turned into a sinus headache and my entire head hurt and felt like it was going to explode.

The doctor didn't have any idea what was wrong with me, just that I was allergic to something. He rolled back both of my eyelids to look at the underside (which by the way, hurt like heck). He said I had eyes prone to allergies, they were "cobble-stoned" on the underside of my lids. Nice to know but this has never happened to me before.

My prescription was a tiny tube of salve, 3.5 grams (about 1/8 ounce), and it was $126.00 without insurance. Luckily I have insurance so it was only $25. Highway robbery but I would have paid just about anything for it. It seems to be working and the swelling has gone down considerably and the sneezing has stopped.

I'm even thinking about going to the gym, or maybe a walk outside. The sun is shining and it's 47 degrees. I got a new camera for Valentine's Day that I'm dying to try out. It's a red Panasonic Lumix and very cool. It even has a "food" picture taking setting. I love it but haven't had a chance to play with it yet.

In spite of the eye thing yesterday and Valentine's Day being a bust, I'm in a really happy mood. Not being in pain is always a good thing. Having a caring and loving husband isn't too bad either.

Thank you

I don't say this often enough, but I really appreciate everyone out there in blog world. Your caring comments mean a lot to me. I haven't been commenting as much as usual on your blogs, because I was so self-absorbed in my own sadness and throwing myself a daily pity party I just didn't have the time nor felt very like I had anything worthy to say. Those days are past me now (thank God, and I mean that literally). I feel like I can be supportive and caring about other people again. Just like you always are for me. :)

Picture of the day
I'm thinking about adding a picture of the day since I'm so in love with my new camera. I'm copying this idea from a few people's blog. I love pictures and taking pictures.

In the picture below, the white and orange cat is my cat, Mickey Mouse, the only cat I've ever met that comes when he's called and loves me the best. The other cat is actually our neighbor's cat, Bear. My husband let's him in the house all the time because he's so cute and the neighbor recently decided to make him an outdoor cat and they won't let him in the house anymore.

My husband has a bad habit of bringing home strays. I told him Bear isn't a stray, but even I feel sorry for the little guy when he's standing out in the rain, hovering on our front port, dripping wet.

Mickey Mouse will sit and watch Bear for hours. He doesn't touch him or hiss at him, he just watches him very intently. I often wonder what Mickey is thinking when he's staring at Bear. Probably something like 'who the hell let you in here?' or 'one wrong move and you're history!' or 'remember, I'm numero uno around here and don't you forget it!'or 'ummm, excuse ME, but that's MY pillow you're touching, they're all MY pillows!'.

"I'm watching you"


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Days: Kicking depression's butt

Depression
I woke up this morning with a new attitude. I believe I'm responsible for my own happiness. I can't expect someone else to make me happy, just like someone else can't depend on me to make them happy. It comes from within, we can each control our own emotions. At least I believe that applies to most of us, but not all of us.

Some people have true depression, not just a few weeks of being in a funk, but months or years of deep sadness. They need mind-altering drugs to get through each day.

One of my nieces has been on a mixture of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics for several years. Unfortunately, her doctors have never found the magic potion to make her a happier person. Today she's a shell of the girl I knew twenty years ago. It's heart-breaking to watch, and I often wonder why she can't just "get over it", but after watching her suffer for the last sixteen years I realize she can't just shake her sadness. It has consumed her.

I, on the other hand, can do something about this sadness I've been going through. I've been in an unhappy place since before Christmas. I thought it was kind of a post-traumatic stress thing from my project from hell I was on at work. However, it had been two months since that project ended and the sadness seemed to get deeper and darker.

I'm not sure what happened overnight to make me realize I don't want to go through life wallowing in self-pity, but I woke up feeling optimistic and positive today. Even when it seems like things are bleak and happiness is impossible to find, half the battle is still having the resolve to fight back. I have the resolve to fight this depression. It won't consume me any longer. Life is short. I can choose to be miserable and sad, or I can choose to find the good in this life and build on it. I chose the latter.

Valentine's Day
I started the morning by  downloading a Valentine's Day card for my husband. American Greetings has a cool website where you can add pictures and customize the card. Since he gave me roses and a romantic card yesterday I thought I should at least give him a card. He said I seemed kind of down lately and he wanted to surprise me early. This from a guy that last year ran to the store at 4pm on Valentine's Day to buy a card and flowers.

I was going to make buckwheat blueberry pancakes in heart shapes for breakfast but my husband is on a new health kick and opted for scrambled egg whites and fresh strawberries.

Finally, after living with me all these  years and watch me count calories or Points for most of those years, he's getting on the bandwagon with me. Although I'm finding it a bit annoying to hear him tell me what he can and can't eat, especially when milk, bananas and olive oil are on his do not touch list. I keep telling him you can't believe everything you read, but he tends to not listen to me.

We don't have anything big planned for the day except I finally get to see the second Twilight movie. It's my turn to pick the movie, although I loved Blind Side, even though it was kind of about football. As far as Twilight, what can I say, guess I'm just a teenager at heart and still believe in young love (vampires...not so much).

We're also going to hit the gym this morning. My husband is starting to go to the gym with me. The only problem is on the weekends I tend to workout longer, usually about two hours. He's done in an hour and wants to leave. The solution is we go in separate cars. It's not environmentally friendly, but it's only three miles and it keeps me from resenting him going with me.

Food tip of the day
Did you know one teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4.3 grams of sugar? Did you know one Weight Watcher orange sorbet and ice cream bar has 20 grams of sugar, or almost five teaspoons of sugar! It's only two Points, but that's a lot of sugar. Not exactly a healthy snack (especially if you eat two in one sitting!). A Weight Watchers don't.

P.S. - By the way, if you think Jesus was just a man, check out this email I received. It was sent four days ago, but I didn't read it until today, after I posted this morning. I know this wonderful person has been praying for me. I'll leave the author anonymous, but wow, a rather profound statement!

Here is something that it took me years to learn. NO ONE is ever going to make us happy. Happiness comes from inside ourselves. No man, woman, or child will ever be able to 'give us the attention' we crave. My husband still comes home from work and sits in his recliner and falls asleep in front of the tv. But I now know that he isn't really ignoring me. It is just how he is. I know he loves me completely; and he knows I love him. How do I handle it? Eating was always something I did to 'fill the void' and I am struggling, as you are, to break THAT one. But I can now find joy, happiness as it were, in simply being me. Imperfect as I am. I am a special creation of God. That should be enough. It isn't always, but I am growing and getting better. The only one who will never fail you is God. He can, and wants to be your source of happiness. All you have to do is let Him.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Silence is not always golden

I haven't posted since Monday. That's very unusual for me. I've been posting almost daily for two years.

It wasn't because I didn't have anything to say this past week. I had a lot to say, but all of it was negative, sad, and depressing. I felt like I'd fallen into a pit of despair and self-pity. For some reason I just couldn't bring myself to share it with the world. I've never really suffered from depression for more than a day or two, then I'd always bounce back and all would be well with my world. This time it feels different.

I can't even watch the news without crying. Tonight at the gym I was on the treadmill trying to run, seeing if my knee would hold up (it did). CNN was on the TV in front of me, a special report on Haiti. Just what I didn't need to see. I was literally in tears and had to get off the treadmill and head to a different area of the gym (sans TV).

I'm short-tempered at work lately, which is totally unlike me. The co-worker I work with the closest pointed out to me that I was rude to him in a meeting last week. I didn't even realize it, but I remember he irritated me, and I said something I probably shouldn't have said.

It's been a string of things in the past few weeks that seem to be weighing heavy on me. Nothing specific that I can blame for this darkness in my soul. It's like a shroud of despair is hanging over me. I feel a deep sadness that I've never experienced.

I'm not suicidal but I do wonder about the purpose of life, specifically, the purpose of my life. Do I really matter to anyone?

I'm married but I really believe my husband would be happier with someone else. Someone who shares his same interests, his same beliefs. Somewhere along the way in the past 21 years we have grown apart. Sometimes I fear it's too far apart and we may never be able to fix our marriage.

I'm still hanging steady with my weight at 176. That's depressing me. I feel fat. My size 12 jeans are very snug. My size 10 skirt barely zips, and I can't even wear it in public. My size 10 blazers feel tight across the shoulders. Yet I seem paralyzed to do anything about it. I want to lose weight but I'm barely able to not gain any additional weight.

I guess you can see why I haven't posted all week. Who wants to read this kind of crap? It's not uplifting, it doesn't inspire or encourage. If anything I'm probably pulling you down with me.

Maybe I'll figure this out. Maybe it's just a phase and it'll pass. Maybe I should shut up about it now. Maybe silence IS golden.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Guess I'm not normal after all

I had a run-in with that damn cake last night. I know I said I wasn't even interested in it yesterday, but as soon I hit "Publish Post" last night, I thought, cake...yummy. (that's not the cake, but it looked very similar)

I fought the craving until about 11:30pm then thought to hell with it, I'm having a piece of cake.

It's not the chocolate cake I'm crazy about, it's the stupid frosting. It's a vanilla butter-cream recipe I found on FoodNetwork.com (5 stars by about 57 people). It's made with 2 cups of butter, heavy whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar. All for just one cake. It was the best frosting I've ever eaten in my life.

The big difference between me last night and me two years ago is that I didn't eat the entire cake. Just one piece. Seriously, in the old days I would eat an entire cake in one sitting. I was kind of sick that way.

I weighed myself this morning. 176.6. Up a couple more pounds. Drat!

I may as well face it, I'm not ever going to be a "normal" person that can have a "bad" food in my house. There is such a thing as a "bad" food. Vanilla butter-cream frosting on any kind of cake is a "bad" food for me. I can't resist it and it's nutritional bad for me.

The rest of the cake has gone to cake heaven, otherwise known as the garbage disposal. I'm referring to the garbage disposal in my kitchen sink, not my stomach.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I know who the Saints are now

The Saints are only the greatest football team in America!

We made it home from the 5th Avenue Theater by half-time. Downtown Seattle to our house, about 24 miles, in less than 20 minutes. A record.

The last half of the game was amazing!

Speaking of football, we saw Blind Side on Saturday. I agreed to go to it because I'd messed up about the Super Bowl. Best movie ever! I'm usually not into football movies but this movie was really good.. It's a must-see. It's based on a true story which makes it even cooler. I cried a lot and laughed a lot, my requirements for a great movie. A++

My husband and I had an interesting conversation at brunch this morning (where I ordered scrambled egg whites with as little oil as possible, and sliced tomatoes). I told him I felt guilty about dinner Saturday night. I had a large piece of prime rib, a twice baked potato (with lots of cheese), Marsala mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts where I didn't even measure the olive oil, champagne and two pieces of cake. I didn't like the chocolate cake, but I loved the homemade buttercream frosting.

He didn't understand my guilt about eating food. He seriously didn't get what I was talking about. He told me why would you feel "guilty"? It's just food. I told him it was because it was so many calories and it made me feel bad that I just ate whatever I wanted and didn't even think about the calories and fat. It was the champagne that made me nuts...when I drink I lose all common sense.

Something he said really hit home with me. It's not anything I haven't heard before on other blogs or in comments, but when he said it, it made it finally made sense.

He said, "It's not like you eat like that every day. You always eat healthy. In fact, when is the last time you had prime rib or a piece of cake?"

I really can't remember the last time I had prime rib, maybe three or more years ago. The last time I had a piece of cake, a real piece of cake and not just a bite, was probably at least two years ago too. When I weighed 240 pounds.

Today I'm completely back on track with my eating, and I worked out an hour and a half at the gym. I didn't have any sugar cravings or cravings of any type today. The big dinner with the cake for dessert didn't send me down some path of food debauchery and gluttony. I'm not even interested in having more cake. I had it, it was good, but I'm over it.

Is this what normal people feel like? It's a new concept for me--to actually eat a meal I would consider "bad" and not deeply regret it and beat myself up about it. Like he said, it's just food. What is there to feel guilty about?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What is a "Weight Watcher"?

Quote from my former Weight Watcher leader:  "Just because you're in a garage doesn't mean you're a mechanic, and just because you plant your tiny hiney here doesn't make you a Weight Watcher."

I didn't make it to my meeting today. I had all kinds of good intentions, but it's my husband's birthday "weekend". Yes, we do birthday weekends. I started it a few years ago that during the weekend of your birthday, it's YOUR weekend. Whatever the birthday person wants, the birthday person gets. It's really fun on my birthday, and a hell of a lot of work on my husband's birthday!

Between preparing him breakfast fit for a king, baking his favorite cake* from scratch and taking my cat to the vet, all before 11am, I missed all the Saturday morning meetings. I even forgot to step on the scales here at home. Tomorrow, I promise tomorrow I'll weigh in here at home.

I've been really good about my eating, no junk food at all (not that I ever eat junk anyway), but more importantly, no binging. I don't know what happened or why, but since I posted the Secret post, I don't have this crazy urge to eat at night. I'm tyring not over-analyze the situation and just let it be.

 I've cut back on the exercise just a bit, working out only five days a week for an hour or two hours, depending on how much time I have and if I'm in the mood for a 2-hour workout. I still feel like I'm cheating, but I feel so much better physically. It was getting where I was sore all the time, my muscles always ached and hurt. Now I'm giving them some recovery time. My workouts are stronger, and I'm not exhausted all the time. I'm even sleeping better. I'm trying to ease up on myself a little and not be such a nazi about the exercising.

The weekend
I screwed up royally on one of my husband's birthday presents. Several weeks ago he saw a commercial for the musical South Pacific playing at the Seattle 5th Avenue Theatre. It looked pretty cool and the reviews are great. He mentioned he'd like to go to see it, but we never discussed it any further. Last week as I was scrambling to get his gift (a really nice camera that I totally want for myself), I thought the play would be a fun thing to do together.

I looked online at tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The seats for Friday and Saturday were horrible, way in the back where you'd need binoculars to see it. Sunday however, had great seats at the 1:30pm show. Right up front, perfect view of the stage. I bought the non-refundable, non-exchangeable tickets. Over $100 each.

Yesterday my husband started talking about Superbowl Sunday. I asked, "oh, when is the Superbowl?" I'm not a big football fan unless it's the Seahawks or the Broncos. If it's not one of those teams I could care less. I almost fell over when he said this Sunday. Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Then  I asked, "you're not watching it, right?" He looked at me like I'd grown horns. His response was something like this..."are you kidding?! Of course I'm watching it! The Saints are playing!!!" My response, "who are the 'Saints'?

I got an earful about the Saints and how much he likes them. I honestly don't know where I've been the past few months when he was watching the Saints play, but I had no idea he was a fan.

Surprisingly when I told him the tickets were non-exchangeable and non-refundable, but maybe I could find someone else to go with me, he said no, he really wanted to go. Then he got excited about the show. He's actually a pretty understanding guy when I do this kind of thing, and I seem to do it a lot.

We're going to record the game, but I doubt it'll be the same for him.

*About the cake. It's chocolate, his favorite. I hate chocolate cake so I'm okay with it being in the house. No worries of me binging on chocolate cake. Now if it was carrot cake or German Chocolate cake, that would be an entirely different story.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The hard way is the easy way, the easy way is the hard way

lackadaisical

1. without interest, vigor, or determination; listless; lethargic: a lackadaisical attempt.

That pretty much describes me this week in regards to trying to lose weight. It's been a weird week. For the first time in two years I completely lost interest in tracking my food, measuring everything I ate, weighing myself every day (something I've done almost every day for two years) or even reading blogs. I certainly had no interest in posting either. I was losing interest in everything. A dangerous thing for a girl like me.

I've still worked out every day, tried to watch what I ate, even when I ate out at a pizza place and an Italian restaurant this week, but my heart just wasn't into it.

Then I watched Oprah tonight. I rarely watch Oprah but I kind of like that Dr. Oz guy. He was on tonight talking about diabetes. Scared the holy crap out of me. If you didn't see it, you need to see it. Here's a link to a clip where Dr. Oz talks for a few minutes about diabetes, but Oprah show isn't online yet.

First they showed how diabetes works, what it does to you. Then Dr. Oz shows what too much sugar does to your insides. It's like shards of glass going through your body. He wasn't just talking about white table sugar, but carbs like white bread or processed foods that turned to sugar.

Dr. Oz interviewed a patient of his, a 40-year old woman with diabetes. She was on dialysis because her kidneys were destroyed and half of one leg had been amputated, as well as part of her foot on the other leg was amputated. You could she'd been a beautiful woman at one time, but she looked terrible. Much older than 40 and so very sick. It was absolutely horrifying.

I keep thinking, well, I'm not that fat. Techinically if I was to go by my highest acceptable weight according to Weight Watchers I'm "only" about 20 pounds overweight. I don't want to weigh 155, I want to weigh 135, but I play that stupid game with myself that 155 would be okay, and 175 isn't so bad.

Dr. Oz burst that bubble for me. He said measure your waist at the belly button. I always measure my waist at the smallest part, which is about three inches above my belly button, so it's 32 inches. I already knew that your waist should never be more than half of your height. I'm 5' 6" so my waist shouldn't be more than 33 inches. I thought I was okay, but at my belly button my waist is 40 inches! I'm high risk for diabetes! Yes, I'm just a little bit freaked out by this little fact. I can't remember how much it increased the odds of me getting diabetes, but it was huge.

This means it's time to get off my lazy butt and get serious again. It means the end of my lackadisical ways. Back to tracking, back to measuring and weighing and Weight Watcher meetings.

In high school my best friend's dad use to always say 'the hard way is the easy way, the easy way is the hard way'. It took me years to understand that, but basically it means if you do the hard work now, it'll be easier for you in the long run. If you take the easy way out now, it'll be hard for you in the long run.

Let's see...which would I choose, have my legs cut off or do all that other stuff to get healthy? I choose the hard way (which in the long run will be the easy way!)

p.s. - my girl Pink is on Oprah today, and I have today off work. Woohoo!

I made my 10% lost today!

Since January 9, 2017 I've lost 21.4 pounds, 10% of my body weight. I feel like I've found the secret to life. I haven't poste...