Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Going to hell in a handbasket

I haven't blogged for so long that when I went to sign in this morning I hesitated for a moment because I couldn't remember my password. I've thought about blogging, but when things aren't going well, I don't like to blog about it.

I had been blogging for months about how poorly I'm doing with trying to lose weight. Same shit, different day. I know it must be boring to read, and it sure is boring to write about too.

I was called this at 3:40 a.m. today with a severity one work issue. Sev 1's mean it has to be resolved within 30 minutes or a conference phone bridge is opened, and managers and directors from several areas of IT get on the bridge. It's not at all fun. In fact, it's downright stressful to the bone. Especially when you're the one in the hot seat trying to resolve the problem. In the past two weeks, I've had five Sev 1 calls, and several sev 2's (almost as bad, but not quite). That's unheard of, but it happened. The problem this morning turned out to belong to another team. Thank you Jesus. Really, I mean it.

About the diet and exercise, well, since I haven't been blogging it should be obvious that it's not going well. In fact, it's going horrible. Each day I get up with new resolve, and each day I fail. A lot of my problems are coming from work. I have added responsibilities since two people left our team (without added pay, I might add). The responsibilities aren't temporary until more people are hired, they are permanent (did I mention no additional pay). It adds a whole new layer of stress at my work, and I see it coming out in my eating and exercise habits.

I don't have time for snacks at work. I barely have time for lunch and definitely no time for a walk at lunch. I'm so exhausted that my six days of working out have fallen to three. I haven't tracked my food, although I try to eat healthy most of the time, I'm still eating too much. I have eaten candy and cookies in the last week, which is something new for me. In the past three and half years my binge foods have been chicken breasts or too much fruit or something else relatively healthy.

The only thing that might save me is I have vacation starting Thursday. I'm going to Fairbanks to see my sister (and the rest of the family, but mainly my sister). My niece (my brother's daughter) and her family are flying up from New Jersey on July 4. I haven't seen her in over twenty years. Long story about my brother's first marriage, and now his daughter wants to reconnect with the family. I've talked to her and her husband on the phone several times in the past two weeks, and I'm really looking forward to seeing her and meeting her husband and 10-year old daughter in person.

I spent a lot of time one summer in 1974 with her mother (my brother's first wife and his best one...he's on #3 now) while my brother was working up on the North Slope in Alaska (trans-Alaska pipeline days). We had a blast together that summer. Tammy, my niece, sounds exactly like her mother.

Anyway, the good thing about the trip is binge eating isn't an option at my sister's house. Plus it'll be a distraction from work, which I desperately need. I'll be gone for twelve days. Woohoo!

In the meantime, starting today, I'm going to get back on the straight and narrow. It's 4:40am and I'm going to get off the computer and get dressed for the gym, and be there when they open at 5am.

Today I'm going to drink all my water, even if that means I'll have to go to the bathroom a lot. I've even stopped drinking water because I don't have time. Wow, that sounds really crazy and insane when I write it. Too busy to drink water? This has got to stop. Now. Here. Today. I have to come first, the job has to come second.

Last thing, I haven't weighed in days. That's never a good sign. I'll get on the scales this morning, and document my weight. I'm pretty sure it's up since my size 16's felt snug yesterday. A sure sign things are amiss.

Tonight, I'll make time to read some blogs. That's another thing I stopped doing. Another sure sign things are going to hell.

New day, new attitude. I'm not going down without a fight. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Buck up Buttercup

I'm starting to get over the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I know I'll get through this thing at work. At least I have some time to figure it out. It's not like I'm suddenly out of work. I really do love the company I work for and the thought of leaving it hurts my heart. Leaving is just one option, there are others. I just have to figure it out. It's at the very top of my list of things I'm worried about. Like I needed another one.

My husband and I talked about it today. He kept telling me it would be okay, that we'd figure it out (I think he meant "I'd" figure it out, but he said "we" out of kindness). Even though I know that's true, it will be okay, it's hard to believe it at the moment.

I made it to the gym today, after I made a new playlist on my iPod. It wasn't my best workout, but focusing on how fast I could go on the StairMaster really helped, at least for the thirty minutes I was on it.

I didn't do weights because all three weight rooms were packed with men. Usually I don't mind that much, and usually it's not that busy. It was 6pm and I couldn't understand why all those young men weren't out on dates on a Saturday night. Anyway, today I just didn't feel like lifting weights surrounded by men. I always wonder why there aren't more women at the gym on Saturday nights.

New music really helps with my workouts and my mood. The top five songs are new as of today, then down to 22 were on my May playlist, and the last eight, well, they're from my top 25 most played on my iPod (and yes, Poker Face, Hot Mess and Fake It are there). Fake it. I guess that's what I need to do for now.

June 2011 playlist:

I know it's probably not what most almost 56-year old women listen to, but this music really helps me keep up the intensity of my workouts.

Now if only I can sleep tonight. It's past midnight, and I'm wide awake. For the past week when I do actually fall asleep I've been plagued by nightmares. Last night I was killing animals. I smashed a baby turtle's back and decapitated him (I was crying in my dream), and then I tried to killed an old raccoon with a brick. If you know me at all, I love animals. I would never, ever harm an animal. I'm the one that stops my car on the street for a squirrel to cross, backing up traffic. The dreams are vivid and horrible and feel very real. After the baby turtle dream I woke up crying. It was just a dreadful dream, one I can't get out of my head.

I guess I have to try to sleep. I wish I could just turn off my brain.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Struggling with life / 189.2

This continues to be my theme for the last several months. Today is no different.

Yesterday something really awful happened at work. It has to do with me and my future with my company. I'm not fired or anything like that, but my current position will be phased out in about two years. This means I absolutely must make some major decisions about my future. A different career path with the same company (almost 28 years here) or perhaps a different company. I'm almost 56 years old and this is very scary.

I've known this was coming for about a year and even though I knew it, I tried not to think about it. Yesterday I decided to have a heart to heart about it with my manager and talk through what we'd briefing touched on in a meeting about a year ago. It did not go well.

I left work early and cried all the way home. I still have a lump in my throat and continue to feel I'm right on the edge of crying. She only stated the truth, so I don't fault her. It's something I have to figure out. I have options at work, but I don't like any of them.

My sweet husband called me as I was on my drive home. I was stuck in horrible Friday traffic. When he called, I'd been crying, and then burst into tears again. He was very sweet and tried to comfort me, telling me it would all work out. I appreciated it, but this is really my problem, and it's a huge one. I have to figure it out.

He came home with flowers and Chinese takeout for dinner. I haven't eaten Chinese food in over three years. It wasn't delicious and even though I ate some of it (beef and broccoli and some chow mein noodles, two steamed pork stickers) it was like I couldn't taste it. I followed it up with two sugar-free Klondike bars. Again, the food was just tasteless.

The only positive side effect of me being extremely stressed out and worried is that I don't want to eat. If it's just a little annoyance or general sadness, I want to eat. If I'm happy, I want to eat. If it's a horrific, life-changing event (and this feels like one to me), then I don't want to eat at all. I just feel like I want to curl up and die.

It's almost 2pm here and it's 56 degrees with dark skies. It rained all night and looks like it's going to start again any minute. This weather perfectly fits my mood.

It's almost like I have analysis paralysis. This situation seems so overwhelming that I can't seem to take the steps to figure it out. Number one of course, is to update my resume. Number two is figure out what the hell I want to be when I grow up.

I have to get really serious about losing weight. The thought of looking for a job at my current weight of 189 is horrifying. At least I don't have to start looking today, but I need to start working on a plan now, not two years from now.

I'm going to the gym now. I'm sure that will help. First I need to download some new tunes on my iPod.

I'll be okay.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blue Monday

 Why a blue Monday you ask? Well...

1. My eating was a off this weekend. I felt like I was starving all weekend and overindulged in healthy foods. I gained almost two pounds. 189.2 this morning. Ugh!

2. After an awesome workout Saturday and a lazy day afterwards, I had a ton of chores to catch up on yesterday. I ended the day with some sort of hay fever attack (probably from all the dust as I cleaned like a maniac).

3. Because of the hay fever, which I couldn't get under control with Allegra, I took Benadryl (aka knockout drug). When I woke up this morning after a fitful night of nightmares, which included a continuing saga of dead and live mice, I woke up exhausted at 4:45am (my normal get up and get to the gym time). I skipped the gym this morning (shame one me).

4. The battle with the slugs continued yesterday. My two hanging baskets by the front door (purchased at Costco), look pretty good. The two I made myself that were pretty when I first hung them actually looked hideous. The flowers were getting smaller instead of larger. I took them down, had a look and they had slugs! Slugs in hanging baskets? I guess I planted slugs with the flowers unless they climbed up the side of the house and jumped into the baskets. Somehow, I don't think so. I replaced several of the flowers (after a trip to the nursery) and right now they're gorgeous again. I also added a dose of the organic slug bait, just in case. The flower beds look good, although I noticed the slug bait has what looks like fuzzy mold growing on it.

5. It's Monday and even though I'm not really dreading work, I have a ton of stuff on my plate. I'm just sort of dreading how busy it's going to be today. I'm exhausted from the Benadryl hangover and would really rather go back to bed.

6. I want to eat my egg/Canadian bacon/2% sharp cheddar cheese combo on a sandwich thin. I'm going to have a 300 calorie green monster instead. The life of a fat girl I guess.

7. It's 52 degrees right now and it's 7:30am. Seriously, I'm so freaking sick of this weather I could scream. The sky is dark gray and of course, we have the promise of "precipitation" today. I want to move back to San Diego. Yes, we have pretty mountains and it's gorgeous green in the Northwest. When the sun shines, it's the prettiest place you've ever seen.  WHEN the sun shines, like almost NEVER.

8. I credit the above ranting about the weather and this looney tunes post to the Benadryl. It makes me tired and sad, but it stops the allergies when they go into overdrive like they did last night. I think I need a different drug for hayfever, which I'll ask about at my annual physical in July (which is about five months late).

9. Speaking of physical, this isn't going to be fun. I have to have my third mammogram in a year in a half (every six months whether I need it or not due to something they found almost two years ago). I have to have another ultrasound of my thyroid because of the nodules they found a year ago. My blood pressure is up because of my weight so I suspect they'll want to put me back on blood pressure medicine. It's been running around 149/90. Yes, I know, that's terrible. Lastly, I know I'm going to get talked to about my weight. I have a wonderful doctor but she doesn't mince words. Which I actually appreciate that she doesn't pretend the weight is okay, like a lot of doctors do. She'll say something.

10. I need to put a smile on my face and get over this feeling. None of this stuff is life threatening (although that blood pressure might kill me). Trying to think happy thoughts. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend update / 187.4

It's Saturday! I love Saturday. It's my favorite day of the week. It's the first day of the weekend, with thoughts of relaxation and doing what I want, when I want to do it. Well, sort of. It often turns into housework, laundry, shopping for the week, and then collapsing at the end of the day.

Last weekend, by the end of the weekend I was drop dead exhausted from cleaning, normal weekend chores, and yard work. Sunday night at 6pm I decided to wash my car, which turned into a two-hour chore. This weekend I plan on doing the bare minimum of housework, and a lot of relaxing.

Speaking of  yard work, can someone explain to me why my poor little flowers look stunted from the cold weather, lack of sun, and an over abundance of rain, yet the weeds are more prolific then ever?

My hanging baskets, that are usually in their full glory by now, look pretty much the same as when I bought them three weeks ago. I know it doesn't do any good to complain about the weather, but can we at least have a little sunshine and warmth? We've suffered through nine months of dark and rain, and I'm starting to think summer is never going to come to the Northwest.

With the nasty weather, the slugs have gone to crazytown. Last weekend I bought some organic, all-natural slug bait. It's not toxic to humans or pets, but it is toxic to the slugs. Later I read to use beer, which I was going to try if the slug bait didn't work. It did and we seem to be free of the little beasts for now. Although I had already picked about 30 of the slimy monsters off my Gerbera Daisies (slugs are so gross!). I put them in the recycle bin where they can much to their hearts content.

Great book
I'm reading a really book, Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. At work I get sent boxes of books every two weeks that were left on board our aircraft by our passengers and were unclaimed. I set them out on a table at work for people to purchase. All the money goes to an employees assistant fund at work. I limit my own purchases to two books per box (there are usually 20-30 books per box).

I've seen Lovely Bones come through several times and each time I'd read the back of the book. and think, this sounds way too depressing. It came in again last week and someone saw me looking at it and told me it was one of the best books they've ever read. So I bought it, and I could barely put it down. I'm about three-fourths of the way through it and I don't want it to end. Really good book if you can get through the first chapter (no details, but it's a little disturbing--but the rest of the book makes up for it).

Diet and exercise
Since this is a "weight-loss blog" I should say something about how I'm doing in this area of my life. I'm doing pretty good, not perfect, but much better than the past several weeks. I seem to have pulled out of my depression/pity party I was having for myself. I've been waking up happy and feeling like life is good. I'm not dreading my days or hating my job. Things are much better in all areas.

I only tracked my food one day last week, but I ate better than I have in weeks (no sugar). My weight this morning was 187.4. Not fabulous, but at least I'm finally going the other direction.

I seem to have gotten a handle on the night eating. It sounds sort of silly to say this, but I made up a rule for myself that seems to be working. When I go to bed, I don't allow myself get up to go eat. In fact, I try to not even go near the kitchen after I go to bed.

I don't know why this is working for me or what prompted me to just say enough with the night eating. Stop it. I actually listened to the voice in my head and haven't gotten up in the middle of the night to eat for several nights. I'm not saying it's a guarantee that I won't do it again, but I feel like I'm breaking the cycle I was in.

I didn't make it to Weight Watchers today, but I'm going tomorrow morning. There's a 9:30 meeting I plan on attending. It's not my favorite leader, but at least it's a meeting and an official weighin.

My exercise was good last week, and it got better as the week progressed. Yesterday was the best workout I've had in weeks. Even though I've been going to the gym or walking almost every day, my heart hasn't been in it. Last week I could feel myself getting my old enthusiasm back. I had a great workout yesterday. Thirty minutes on the StairMaster and a full forty minutes up upper body weights.

I've added a little twist to my workouts. I have to try out a new exercise or a new machine at least twice a week and add a challenge for myself at least once a week. Yesterday my challenge was to increase the dumbbell weight for my concentrated bicep curls from 20 pounds to 25. I had been completing three sets, 15 reps each set with the 20-pound dumbbell. I knew it was getting too easy, but I've been lazy and not interested in challenging myself. Yesterday I tried three sets of 12 reps each with the 25-dumbbell. It was hard, especially by the third set, but I did it!

I'm feeling very hopeful and happy. Life is good, and it's getting better.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

There is light at the end of this dark tunnel

For the first time in weeks I woke up feeling like life is good. I'm not dreading going to work. I'm looking forward to heading off to the gym in a few minutes. Even though the sky here in the Northwest is dark, there's a promise of "sun breaks" today (a popular Northwest phrase that  means it might rain, but we might get to see the sun too). I feel...well, happy. For the first time in what feels like forever.

We had a new guy start on Tuesday. I'm mentoring him. I'll admit that I was dreading this task. This was going to be the third person I've mentored in the last five months. It's a challenge to mentor someone, and one of my mentors didn't turn out well.

This guy is great. He's easy going, funny, laughs at my jokes and he's super smart (much smarter than myself, but that's not really saying much). It's only been two days, but so far, so good. I have high hopes this one will work out.

I've eased up on myself about the weight thing. I went through a bad few days that included sugary, junk foods. Something I haven't indulged in for quite a while. Thankfully that only lasted a few days, and I've been back to healthy eating for several days now. Although the scale isn't going down, I'm hanging steady at 188.

I decided to give myself a break and stop beating myself up so much for my 30-pound weight gain. Yes, it's horrible, but it's not the end of the world. It's just something I have to deal with, and recently I just couldn't deal with it and my work situation too. 

Now that I've calmed down a bit about work, I feel able to tackle my weight problem. Number one is back to Weight Watchers and back to tracking. I haven't done either for over a month. My best friend has dropped out of Weight Watchers. She just gave up after months of not really trying. I've had months of not really trying too, but I refuse to give up.

Number two, back to reading my favorite blogs and commenting. I've been reading a lot of your blogs, but I wouldn't comment a lot of the times because I felt empty inside. It's hard to encourage someone else when I was feeling hopeless myself.

I'm finally seeing the light again.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm feeling fluffy / 189.0

Feeling fluffy for a human being is NOT a good thing.

I don't wear 189 pounds very gracefully. It's doesn't feel comfortable. I've passed the point where I'm a little overweight, now I'm into the obese category again.

My left knee hurts, I get out of breath easily and my blood pressure is up to hypertension levels (149/ 90--physical next month). I don't like this one little bit. I'm miserable.

I wrote a really bad post Wednesday night. I only left it up for about five hours. Only a few people read it before I got up at 5am and deleted it. As my 14-year old nephew said after he posted something awful on Facebook a few weeks ago (he sounded very angry and depressed)...he said "I'm sorry...that's not me. I didn't mean it." I'm saying the exact same thing.

It's strange how life slaps you up side the head one day, and you just think you're going to die from unhappiness. Sometimes that day turns into weeks. Then one day you wake up and it's like "oh well, that's life. Stuff happens. I'll be okay." That was me this morning. Whatever that thing was that I was going through seems to have passed for now.

My change of attitude came about early today. I had a really good workout at the gym. I didn't want to go, but I had to make myself go to the gym at 5:30am. I've been going, but not as often and not working out as hard as I was a few weeks ago. Today it was different. I felt the old me coming through. The woman that wants to be healthy, and actually gives a damn about her life.

Pretty good day today. Even if I am fluffier than I'd like to be. :)