Wednesday, January 30, 2008


A lot - and I do mean a LOT. A metric crapton, even - of people have been telling me that my workouts have probably been building muscle, and that I shouldn't worry too much about the lack of weight loss.

I've been sort of cynical about this; seriously, how much muscle can you build in a few short weeks?

I guess quite a bit, really.

I did my measurements today. Remember from last time?

I got the tape measure down a few minutes ago to try to encourage myself (Ok, who the hell am I fooling here? I got the tape measure down so that I could say "See, told you, no muscle, you're full of shit, now shut up and let me sulk, goddamnit!" Also so that I could skip today's workout and feel good to myself that I wasn't really missing anything. Yes, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm wallowing. Just a bit.) and this is what I got.

New Measurements

Right Upper Arm: 13 (loss of 1 inch)
Waist: 44 (loss of 2 inches)
Hips: 50 (loss of 2 inches)
Right Thigh: 25 (loss of 2 inches)

Now... where is that workout DVD?

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hello Curb

Have you ever actually sat in a gutter? I mean, I know we talk about it sometimes. Kicked to the curb, mind's in the gutter, feel like you've been dragged through the gutter...

I actually have.

I fell, crossing the street - this is like seven or eight years ago at this point. It was raining - that coldish, unpleasant rain of early spring. And somewhere, several blocks away, the city had opened a fire hydrant. Lynchburg, you understand, is called the City of Seven Hills. It really ought to be called the City of Uphill, BOTH WAYS! Anyway, several blocks away, there was a hydrant open, and it was raining. Between my office building and the parking lot, there was a rather substantial amount of water running down the street. About ankle deep.

The first thing I remember about falling was that I was now completely soaked. My sweater was drenched across the front of my chest and up to my elbows. The second thing I remember was Thomas half-carrying me out of the street. I couldn't seem to help him. I didn't know why, but my legs weren't working at all. The best he could do was get me to the side of the road. Where I'm sitting in cold, dirty water that's running under my butt and around my legs and I'm so cold. He's shouting for one of the security guards and some strange woman is talking to me, cooing in my ear practically.

I'm completely confused, bewildered, even. What the hell? I want to get off the road. I try to push back with my legs, I can feel the sidewalk at my back. A sticky-wet piece of newspaper comes hurtling down the gutter and splat! sticks to my leg.

"Oh, honey, you're soaked through," says this strange woman. I can't even seem to look at her. What is wrong with me? Why am I sitting here? Where is Thomas? "Here, take my sweater..." She pulls off this horridly ugly lime green and tangerine orange concoction and drapes it over my shoulders. Then she tries to put my arms into it.

Lightening pain races up my arm. Sickening black spots swirl around my vision, and everything goes gray. The strange woman nudges me again, which hurts worse, but clears up the black spots, just a bit.

I scream. Thomas runs back from where he's talking to a security guard in urgent tones. "Don't move her, damnit! She's broken her arm!"

I did what? When did that happen? I don't remember that. All I know is that I'm cold and wet and some annoying woman keeps touching me. And more people are gathering around, staring at me while I'm sitting cold and wet in some gutter somewhere. I want to get up. But the most effort I can manage is to not fall over, to not cry, and to not yell at some woman who I suspect thinks she's trying to help.

Later, at the hospital, it's determined that I've broken my elbow in four places, including chipping off a bit of bone - I might actually need surgery to reattach it, but they'll see if it heals on it's own first. Fortunately, it did. I was in a sling for almost eight weeks, and ended up the proud owner of a lime and tangerine sweater because I never could find the lady who'd given it to me.

That was eight years ago.

I've been following the Weight Watchers Flex plan. I've been following it accurately. I've been not cheating. I've been exercising. I felt really good about myself, and about my weight loss.

Then yesterday, I stepped on the scale at my meeting. The receptionist didn't quite meet my eyes. "Well, at least it's not a gain," she said. "Exactly the same as last week."

In that instant, I was right back in the gutter. Cold and wet and using every bit of my energy not to cry in front of a couple dozen strangers.

Hello, curb. Nice to see you again. Been a while, hasn't it? How've you been? Me? Oh, all right, I guess. Not as good as I'd like, but it could be worse. Yeah, can't say I expected to see you again either.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Picking My Own Problem

There is a fable whereby God gives each person the option to rid himself of his most pressing difficulty. Everyone places his or her problems in the center of a circle. In turn, each then inspects the travails and challenges of the others, and chooses what he or she would prefer. As the fable goes, everyone opts for his own problem. Human nature is to always consider oneself less fortunate than others - until presented with reality.

Michael J. Fox considers himself to be a "lucky man." As I watched him on TV try to contain uncontrollable tremors and twitches inflicted by Parkinson's disease, I was astonished - and awed - to hear him describe himself as "fortunate." He admits he would not have opted for this disease; yet as long as it is his path, he feels it is a gift because he's able to help others.

Shall we compare? Fox describes Parkinson's as "a gift;" I complain when I have to say "no" to a second scoop of ice cream. Maybe rethinking my position is in order.

Shamelessly stolen from here

There exists, between my best friend and I, an imaginary rivalry.

I couldn't tell you when it started: maybe it started when I slept with her boyfriend. Maybe it started when she stole mine. Maybe it started that day when we walked into the same room after not seeing each other for over six months and we were wearing exactly the same clothes. (Light blue slacks and a black vampire t-shirt)

We even look a lot alike. Same brown hair, blue eyes, round body-types with the overdeveloped chests. We both even wear glasses. We like the same things; earrings, boyfriends, clothing, hobbies. We got married within two months of the other (neither of us attended the other's wedding because we were still getting over the whole 'she's marrying my exboyfriend' thing.) and gave birth to our children within two months of each other. (Did I mention that - independently of each other - we each chose to get sapphire engagement rings??) Most people think we're sisters.

Doesn't matter, really.

I know that this is all in my head.

Given my self-esteem issues, I've always tended to view myself as the lesser of two. Not that I'm not smart, or talented, or likable. Just... a little less. Not quite. Because of this, I often view Carole as having a rather charmed life.

From an outsider's view - even only as far away as the best friend's point of view - things seem to come so easily to them. Thomas has worked his ass off for every raise and promotion he gets. Carole seems to fall into a new job without effort, and gets one where she doesn't always have to do very much work. They have the house, the new cars, the home improvement projects. We have a used car that my dad didn't want anymore; a rental apartment that's about 500 square feet too small, and my idea of home improvement is trying to find new and creative ways to shove more junk into a smaller space.

A lot of times, it just doesn't seem fair.

I still haven't told her that I'm doing Weight Watchers. We saw them last week at a party, but I just did my thing. I don't think they noticed. Especially since we ended up having to leave early because of the snow, so my resolve wasn't tested by having to go out to eat with friends.

Remember what I said earlier about that rivalry? Part of why I didn't want to tell her about the whole lifestyle change thing is because she's also overweight. She's been on and off diets since we met, back in the early 90's. When I had to go on the diabetic diet while pregnant, she wasn't particularly supportive. We were pregnant at the same time, and she was constantly saying things like "I don't know how you can do it, I'm SOOOOO hungry" and promptly go eat an ice cream sundae. We would go out to eat, and she'd eat an appetizer, an entree, dessert, and eat half of her husband's dessert too. And she wasn't discrete about eating either... she'd do the whole food-gasm thing and throw the occasional "poor Lynn" in my direction.

Intellectually, I know she probably wasn't doing it as much as I imagined she was. And that she probably didn't know how angry I'd be by the time I got done with my side salad and baked chicken and no dessert. And gave myself injections in my stomach. I had a nice belt of bruises going from one hip, across my belly to the other. My fingers constantly ached and bled from having to stab myself four times a day. Yes, I resented the hell out of her. My best friend, and I still wanted to slap her in the face with a tire iron.

I know. She wasn't doing it to be hurtful to me, and that I was unduly sensitive about it. Especially given my whole view on how much... less I was. Less important. Less wealthy. Less worthy.

But my experiences have scarred me a bit. Watching Carole be on and off diets most of her life, and how discouraged she'd get, and how much she hated it, and how much she cheated. And how little she ever actually lost.

When I got done with being pregnant, and lost so much weight, Carole was jealous. She made a few cutting comments one time that I probably wasn't meant to overhear.

Most of this is in my head. I know that. I accept it.


Yesterday, Carole got some news that makes me think I'd take back my own problems.

Her four year old daughter, Anne, is diabetic. She'd been listless and groggy for the better part of a week, and they finally took her to an Urgent Care yesterday. Who sent them on to the ER. Who sent them to the Children's Hospital's ICU.

Comparatively, my being in a diet is such a small thing. And I felt inordinately guilty about having kept secrets from her, or thinking bad things about her. Her life is so easy, I always thought. She gets everything she wants without half trying.

And yet... my problems with Carole are just that. My problems. And I know that most of it - 90% of it, even - is in my head.

Dieting (or lifestyle changing, or whatever the FUCK you want to call it) is also 90% mental. And I don't think it is a bad decision to stack the deck a little bit in my favor. I have to take care of myself, and if I'm spending all my time worrying about what she thinks and what she's doing, then I'm not paying attention to myself.

All things considered, I'll keep my problems. And deal with them. And there's nothing wrong with the way I'm dealing with my problems.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Price of Honesty

I've been plagued with bad days recently. Not diet bad days, just emotional ones.

Starting with the argument with my mom the other day. Which really wasn't an argument. That's the worst part of it, you know, is that I just can't bring myself to tell my mom to piss off, stop being a bitch, could she possibly think before she opens her damn mouth? Just once? Maybe? Get off the cross, build a bridge and get over it. (Yeah, yeah, I know. I should just get a stepladder and get over myself.)

Then I'm on my MMO of choice and find out about Heath Ledger. I'm sure you've all heard about that already. Well, I was devastated. I've always really liked him; The Order is one of my favorite movies. Brothers Grimm is fun, and I was really looking forward to the next Batman movie. Anyway, despite the fact that the coroner hadn't even started an autopsy and there was no note, someone in my guild decided he must have committed suicide, and was very, very virulent about how he was a waste of space and suicides are idiots and selfish and...

Argh, I'm not even going to go into it in detail, but that really pisses me off. Suicidal people need help, not condemnation. Unless you've been there, with the pills or the razor or the gun, and you know what it's like, you've got no right at all to judge.

Anyway, I ended up logging off in a huff, and apparently said individual made a vile comment to Thomas about me having the hots for gay cowboys (... aside from the fact that I DO! And what's it to you, anyway? Did you hate him so much because he might have been a suicide, or did you hate him because he makes you question your masculinity?) and he logged off too.

Doesn't matter, but too many of my friends and people I talk to are being complete shits about this, and on top of losing a great actor that I admired, I have to deal with assholes? Come on, people, give me a break.

And then Darcy's being very hostile about learning. I've been trying to do some pre-K stuff with her and she's really fighting me about it. I know she can count, and I know she knows her alphabet, but getting her to actually answer questions, or try to write, or anything, and she starts this weird Exorcist routine. She's not usually a hostile or violent child, but yesterday she was just insane about not wanting to work with me. Not on counting or alphabet or colors or anything. She ended the lesson with throwing her crayons across the room and declaring, "I don't like anymore ONE. I don't want anymore TWO! I hate THREE! I can't be happy anymore!" and started sobbing so hard I thought she was going to throw up.

I'm completely at wits end, and she can't seem to explain to me why this is making her so upset.

By the time Thomas got home, I was so frazzled I couldn't see straight. And yesterday was supposed to be my RELAXING day. Fuck.

I had my shoes on by the time he was home, ready for our walk. We've recently upped our walk to 2 miles, and - much as it pains me to admit it - I was really looking forward to it. I actually wanted to walk in shifts - it was cold as all hell yesterday and I didn't think Darcy should be out in it. But she insisted on coming with me, so we may as well make it the whole group of us... (which sucked, because I really, really needed some alone time.)

About halfway through our walk, she wanted to be carried the rest of the way, so Thomas put her up on his shoulders and walked that way. On the plus side, we could pick up our pace quite a bit when she wasn't weaving a line around us and making both of us pull up short every few steps. We finished 2 miles in just a smidge over half an hour.

I still wanted some alone time - of course, I didn't get it - but I did feel lots better after the walk. Cold. And my legs hurt around my thigh and the back of one calf. But better. Less angry and frustrated. Maybe walking helps, maybe it only gives me a channel for my anger and frustration. Does it really matter why? It did help.

It's hard to admit that, you know. That little cynic, he doesn't really want me to feel better. He doesn't like that - while the lifestyle changes are hard, they're not impossible. I'm a little hungry, I'm a little tired. But I'm not cheating. I'm not lying. I'm not prevaricating, or putting off, or making excuses. Or even when I am, I'm not doing it anyway. A little taste of Darcy's chocolate milk won't hurt anything. But I don't steal a sip. Oh, who would know if you ate that? I would. I did snitch a bite of hamburger the other day, when I was grilling them up for Thomas. But I wrote it down. I gave into a snack attack yesterday. The cheese and crackers? But I wrote it down. I compensated for the rest of the day.

My inner cynic is not happy with all this. He wants - desperately wants - to be able to say he told me so, that he was right all along, that I can't be thin, I can't exercise, I can't do this. And god forbid that I should ever actually want to.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Back in high school (you know, when we still used oil lamps and walked to school in three feet of snow. Uphill, of course. Both ways...) a teacher once said to me that I needed to stop carrying my mom around in a backpack with me all the time. I had this sort of demented vision of a tiny mom-doll that I was carrying around with me like some overly critical Polly Pocket.

I love my mom. Which doesn't keep me from hating her. Or resenting her. And, unfortunately, the truthful and perceptive comment from a long-ago teacher hasn't kept me from carrying all that baggage.

My mom. Who was so angry with me when I got pregnant. She claims that she was afraid my health wasn't good enough for carrying a child (my asthma had finally gotten mostly under control, but to give her credit, it had barely been 18 months since I was in the ICU and most everyone was convinced I wouldn't be leaving again.) She says she couldn't care less about a grandchild who wasn't born yet, but she didn't want me putting myself at risk. Who has breast cancer and has chosen to NOT do chemotherapy. Excuse me?

My mom. Who never went to college. Who used to mock my desire for new clothes that actually fit me, instead of three year old ratty preppy clothes that I'd resewn the buttons on eight times already with the "if everyone jumped off the brooklyn bridge, would you?" and then turn around at report cards and say "Jenny up the street got straight A's... why can't you?" Jenny, up the street, who was in REGULAR level classes... and I was in College Prep... who hounded me all of my high school career about how I was going to go to community college and probably be a failure in my life because I got a C on one math test... and when I graduated. FOURTH. in my class... with a 3.7 gpa (and a 1590 on my SATS)... didn't bother to go to my high school graduation.

My mom. Who used to snark about my writing or my little craft projects. I always wanted a doll house. You know, one of the nice ones, where the little pieces of furniture might cost $12-30 each. With small wallpapered rooms. And tiny little candlesticks that actually went in candle holders. My mom always decided it was too expensive and I wouldn't take care of it, and she would go out and buy three pairs of new shoes... so I made one. I used saltine boxes and sweet-n-low boxes. And I bought leftover ends of fabric to use as rugs, and glued it painstakingly to the walls for wallpaper. I cut out chair rails and painted them before gluing them into place. I checked out books from the library and learned to make tiny doll furniture and upholster it myself. My mom took one look at my doll house and said "gee, if you spent half the time on your homework as you do on this CRAP, you'd get straight A's." My mom... who spent tens of thousands of dollars on 18th and 19th century clothing, tents, cooking supplies, so she could run around and play camp follower on the weekends.

My mom. Who knows I'm doing Weight Watchers. She called yesterday to ask me the recipe for some high points value casserole that I made for her once. I gave her the recipe at the time, and she was planning to make it for dinner last night, but she'd not bothered to print out the copy I'd emailed her, and she was on her way to the store, and could I just rattle it off for her. Who - after I told her I'd lost nearly 5 pounds - said "Oh, that's all?" and then proceeded to talk about how fat and ugly she was. When she weighs 136 pounds. She thought she'd go ahead and pump me for information about WW points systems and then she wouldn't have to buy anything, and I could encourage her to lose weight instead of going to the meetings, and really, she just looked so awful these days, how anyone could want to be seen with someone who was a whole twenty pounds overweight...

Yeah. Is it any wonder I have self-image problems and eating compulsions?

I don't know how to let it go.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sunday Brunch

I really liked the presentation here, so I took a photo...

1 egg, 2 white omelet - 2
cheese - 2
cup mixed fruit - 1
special k waffles - 3
turkey sausage - 4

12 points

(This is Thomas's breakfast. Mine had 1 waffle, and 1 sausage for 3 less points.)

The List Rules

Anyone who knows me well will probably scoff at this statement, but it is, nonetheless, true...

I am a stickler for rules.

Ok, go ahead, you can laugh. That's fine. I know the impression I give off is that I spend a lot of time breaking rules... but that's not really true. Well, not entirely. It's more like this - I like rules with authority behind them. If I can break the rules and there's no consequences, they're more like guidelines. And guidelines are very mushy.

I've also got two ways of doing things: either tell me what you want, and leave me alone to get it done, or tell me exactly what you want and how you want it done. I had this problem with an old job where the Supervisor wanted a report on breakdowns... he couldn't tell me what he actually wanted the report to look like, but the five or six I turned into him weren't it. "Nope, this is wrong." "So, how would you like me to do it, then?" "Not like this." "What about this one?" "Nope, that's no good." Argh.

But that's all beside the point...

I do make my own rules a lot. I'm okay with that. And Roleplaying books always have a line in them about "You're the GM, if you don't like these rules, change em." I take that particularly seriously. It's a rule that I can change the rules, so that's good. And it's a basic 'rule' of cooking that you try the recipe exactly the first time, but then you can start working on variations. (If you're a VERY good cook, you can work on varieties without ever tasting the original, but I wouldn't advise it.)

So, around the beginning of the year, Thomas and I had a long talk about the things in our relationship that weren't... exactly working the way we'd like them to. I've got serious issues with his anger resolution skills, and he was starting to get pissy with my lackadaisical housecleaning.

He's promised to work on his issues and I'm working on mine.

And thus was born the List.

My to-do list...

Which has certain rules that I've set for it.

  • Writing the List is the first thing we will do. Before we do a single thing ON the list, we must write it down.
  • The list will be NO LONGER than one page in a notebook. Writing in the margins is okay, but flipping the page is not. If there's more things than will fit on a page, it's more than 1 day's worth of work, and it won't all get done.
    (I have a thing for notebooks, by the way. If you ever don't know what to get me, a nice journal-sized notebook with an interesting cover is a great plan. I always need more notebooks... )
  • There will always be one thing on the list For Me. Whether this is baking something (I love to bake) or taking a bath, or watching an episode of Firefly, or reading for an hour... It's part of my plan to Take Care of Myself.
  • There will always be one thing on the list for Darcy... sitting down to play a game with her, or work on teaching her to write, or giving her a haircut.
  • Anything not done (except for making dinner) by the time Thomas gets home from work will be moved to the Next Day's List.
  • A task can only be moved to the Next Day three times. After that, it goes to the top of the List and must be done first.
  • Every item done must be scratched off when completed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Just a Quickie

The meeting was good, but I don't really want to talk about it right this second... more on that tomorrow...

I weighed in today at 2.8 pounds down.


The ANTs Go Marching...

I don't really know what I want to say today... all my thoughts are all tangled up. It's... erm... that time of the month for me, so I know my Weigh In isn't going to be good today; not because I'm cheating or I'm over points, or I haven't done my walks... I have. There's just not much I can do about biology and I'm afraid that's going to reflect in the scales. (as a note, I have some pretty bad PMS today. Not the stereotypical angry going to kill someone hate all men sort, but the moody, gloomy kind. So, you can just skip this entry if you want to, since I don't think I'm doing anything aside from letting the ANTs go marching... two by two...)

I've been reading a lot of other blogs and looking at weight loss videos on You Tube... and I'm just not feeling encouraged. Everyone else is losing 4.2 pounds a week, or whatever... Not that I'm not happy for them, I am... but it's not me and it's not happening. The first week, I lost 1.2 pounds. and Thomas gained .4... He was angry and discouraged and I made a huge big deal over the fact that .4 pounds wasn't a huge gain, and that we were just starting, and it was going to take him some time to find out what worked for him. So of course, the second week, he lost 3.2 pounds (for a total loss of 2.8) and I only lost .4 pounds. Well, I tried to encourage myself, at least it's still a loss. But that .4 which was so insignificant last week seems just as insignificant this week.

I seem to be spending a lot of time focusing on the "I Can't..." (I'm reminded - somewhat macabrely - of Johnny Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexico... "So, are you a MexiCAN or a MexiCan't?")

I can't exercise vigorously.

I can't stop thinking about food.

I can't be perky and positive.

I can't get encouraged by small gains.


Listening to myself, it's getting annoying.

So, just for today, I'm going to think about those things I can do.

I can walk for a mile.

I can write down everything I eat.

I can stay on points for three weeks.

I can chose the better snack.

I can get and keep my house clean.

I can plan points-friendly, family dinners every night for a week.

I can do everything on my to-do list before Thomas gets home from work.

I can do this for one day. And then I can do it for one more day. And then I can do it for another day after that. Eventually, all the days I can continue to do this will add up.

I can do this for myself.

I can do this for the people I love.

I can.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Splurge Interupted by Snow... We now return you to your regular diet

Honestly... you save up points for a good splurge and what happens? You end up driving home early with a cranky toddler through blinding snow, to get home to nothing but rain and eat three pieces of pizza and end up spending only one flex point on it.

Hmph. And somehow, I'd had it in my mind that I'd eat something tasty and sinful and lovely and use up some of these weekly 35 points that I just keep managing to not spend.

And... I had a handful of vegetables and fruits while I was over at Leigh's and maybe 4 points worth of cheese cubes... and I'd expected to go out to dinner with 'the gang' and have something lovely that I could come home and have kittens about how many points it was... and...

It started snowing. Weird, that. And it KEPT snowing. Finally, we left, not really more than two and a half hours after we'd arrived. Not so much because I was worried about the conditions of the roads but more because Virginians can be really stupid about weather and I didn't want to end up driving down in snow in the dark. Just past the tunnel, snow turned to rain (much to Darcy's dismay... "I want my SNOW BACK" she howled in complete misery)... and Thomas started commenting that we could order out...

So we got pizza. 1 pizza, where we usually get 2 pizzas and breadsticks and chicken strips with sauce... and we each had three pieces, adding up to 18 points...

I'm only down -1 point for the day... and somehow... I'm just not impressing. I don't feel like I've cheated, exactly... but I do feel sort of let down.

Friday, January 18, 2008

In Which Mall Security is Made Unhappy

I can honestly say I hope the weather improves...

For more than the fact that my gas bill is going up, and I'm cold all the time (my desk is right by the front door and the door is Not Well Insulated), and Darcy hates the wind, and her gloves are too big, and she keeps losing one and we have to backtrack to figure out where it fell, and my joints ache and my head is stuffed up.

Last night it was both cold and raining, and that was more than I really wanted to expose Darcy to. We've made her come with us on our walks despite the cold - since what else are we going to do? Can't very well leave her alone in the house for twenty minutes... I'm not calling a baby sitter for a 20 minute walk either. And I don't want to walk in shifts.

So, we drove over to the Mall last night to do our walk. I haven't really measured the mall (I'm afraid of having the FBI show up if I ask the mall for their dimensions, like they did to some poor fifth grader who asked the state for information about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel for part of his class project and they decided he must be a terrorist, looking to blow up the bridge.) but decided that if we walked for twenty minutes, that should be just about right.

Miscalculation #1: While it was cold and wet outside, it was hotter than the inside of Satan's pants in the Mall. So, walking was both more difficult and more uncomfortable while I'm wearing a damn 14 pound winter coat and it's plus 9,000 degrees.

Miscalculation #2: You wouldn't think Thursday would be a big mall day, and it wasn't too bad, but there were an awful lot of brat packs walking five and six abreast, teenagers who are all either yelling at the person farthest away from them, or talking on their cellphones (to the person 4 people away from them?) or telling the cellphoners to shut up... or telling the yellers to shut up, they're on the phone do they MIND?

Miscalculation #3: Two adults wearing trench-style coats and not actually going into any shops appeared to make security nervous. After our first circuit of the mall, we actually had a security guard following us around.

Miscalculation #4: There are still shops in the mall - although not as many as there used to be (at least 6 shops were gone out of business and another 5 or so were going out of business) - and we ended up stopping a few places to get this and that, or look at sales (After we finished our 20 minutes of walking, since shopping doesn't count as an AP) Which meant our little 20 minute walk turned into an all-evening affair. We got home around 7:15 or so, after leaving the house at 5:20.

So, I hope the weather gets better. Or I'm going to need to think of something else, because honestly, this just ain't working...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Liar Liar!

Whoever said eating healthy is cheaper was a DAMNED LIAR.

You know, just in case it's on your list of why you should go on a diet... "Well, it's cheaper to eat healthy than it is to eat junk."



Try comparing the prices of a McD's double cheeseburger ($1 menu) and a McSalad (any variety, ranges from $3.50 to $4.99). Chicken? $4.99 a pound and rarely on sale. Ground beef? $2.99 a pound, and I almost always manage to find a packet or two that's on sale. Bell peppers are $3 each, where a candy bar is sixty-five cents. 12 ounces of fat free butter-flavored salt water is as expensive as a pound of butter. The low fat and no-fat cheese? More expensive than it's full fat cousins, with less in the package to boot! Fat bread? $1.29 a loaf. Tiny half sized slices, cut paper thin? $3.99 a loaf.

Previous to starting our 'healthy lifestyle', Thomas and I were running up grocery bills of about $80-$120 a week for a family of three. Now that we're on Weight Watchers? $250, $190, and $220...

And yesterday I found out that our rent's going up by $40 a month this year.

You know something is seriously wrong with your life when you consider strangling your housepets as a way to save $30 a month in pet-rent and $40 a month in pet food.

I really hope Thomas's company doesn't do pay-raises freezes again this year. I don't think we can afford it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Turn Train

Week Three: Think First.

There's this little habit profile, which my darling Thomas goes through and applies his years of training in corporate America and says "Hmmm. I don't have any bad habits." Because the statement doesn't apply to him ALL THE TIME, then obviously it's not a habit he needs to worry about. If he can think of any circumstance during his entire life in which he didn't do X, then he doesn't mark it off. (He marked 1 box in B, E, F and H, and two whole boxes in A.) Heh. My husband has discovered, through Weight Watchers, that he has absolutely no flaws whatsoever.

Does the phrase horseshit occur to anyone else? So we had this little discussion about it last night... the goal of the exercise isn't to say you do something all the time, it's for you to assess what situations might arise that are going to hinder your weight-loss effort. It certainly isn't there for someone to say "Oh, look, you have a bad habit, you're a bad person." The only person who cares what's on your quiz is your wife, and what she's saying about it is "Okay, Mr. Perfectman, why, then, exactly are you SO FAT??"

But, again, I'm rambling. I do that... you should stop me, you know...

(You know, it's really hard living with someone who thinks he's perfect when 1) you know he's not and 2) you really know that you're not.)

Little quiz. Right. Back on target. This is about me, remember?

Well, obviously, I'm a fairly flawed individual. Of all the things listed, I have the least amount of marks in D (Manage your emotions) and H (Learn from Experience). One checkbox each... (I often give in to food cravings... and I'm very strict with myself and if I slip up a little, I give myself a hard time.)

I got two marks each in A,Prepare Yourself and F, Manage your Environment. And three marks each in B, Ask for Help, C, Manage your Thoughts and G, Monitor Yourself.

And the, most damning of all, I got four marks in E, Take Care of Yourself.

Well, this is nothing I didn't already know. I'm a diagnosed CoDe (Co-Dependency Issues). My feelings of worth are intrinsically tied around what other people think of me. I've known that for a long time. I was even in a support group for it, for a while. Although I find a GROUP of CoDe's to be just a stunningly bad idea on so many levels, I can't even begin to express it. I know some people have good results from it, but somehow, the little cynic in me (remember him? He says hi!) goes "Wait, wait... we're getting together with a GROUP of people who all show the tendencies to ignore their own problems to try to fix other people's... how is this supposed to work again?"

My happiness is all tangled up in the needs of the people around me. If my novel was to get published, and Thomas was to be jealous and angry about my success? Then I would feel absolutely no pride in my accomplishment. I probably wouldn't write anymore, either... This is, I think we can all safely say, Not Productive Behavior. Over the years, I've worked on the issue, and I think I'm no longer quite as bad as I used to be. But it is still a pretty strong pull... as a further matter of fact, it's one of my other goals for this year. I am sick and tired of being walked all over by the people in my life who have started taking for granted that what I want and need is less important than what they want.

But really, that's an entirely different post.

You know, I really don't know how to take care of myself. Well, not in the mom-still-does-my-laundry sort of 40-year-old virgin manner of not taking care of myself. Physically, I'm mostly set (well, aside from the too fat thing...). I know how to cook and clean and do laundry and that sort of thing. But emotionally? No, I don't really know how to do that. How I feel is so wrapped up in the people around me...

I have lots of friends, you know. I'm a social butterfly, able to connect almost immediately with people. I'm interested in people. My little cynic is jumping up and down right now, complaining about how people are stupid and selfish and annoying, but on this particular issue, I ignore him. People are fascinating. I love meeting new people, and I love having friends. How people tick, what they think, what they do, how they cope with their lives... all of this is interesting, and fun, and wonderful. I like to listen to other people's problems... and I love to offer advice. I like to think I give good advice, but then, I take entirely too much of my own self-worth from what other people think about me... I'm happiest with the friends that need me, that rely on me. And at the same time, some people do take advantage of it.

There are people who know that - no matter what - I will drop everything to help them deal with a crises. There's nothing wrong with that... but there is something wrong with the people who dump everything on me. And there's something wrong with me, that I'll pick it all up and carry their baggage around with me as well as my own. Honestly, I'm getting a little overwhelmed, here.

Again, that's a different post.

But how, then, do I take care of myself? I don't even know... The little Weight Watchers booklet isn't really helpful, either. The 'case study' for that model... goes rock climbing. Oh, that's helpful.

So... while I'd like to ride the My Turn Train, I don't really know how...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Smart and Healthy!

Brr! It's freezing outside...

However, the outdoors venture was a good plan, as I'd overheard yesterday at our WW meeting one woman telling another one that the Food Lion had SmartOnes on sale for half off. I also had a $1.00 off coupon from some of our start-up books, so I brought that with us.

We got several tv dinners at $1.49 each and the desserts at $1.25 each, for a total savings of $14.01 for things we were planning to buy anyway.

So, if you're doing Weight Watchers, you like these meals or desserts, get to your own Food Lion; the sale looks to be at all their stores... and if your freezer is bigger than mine? Stock up!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Second Weigh In...

Down another .4 pounds... so that's 1.8 pounds all together. Thomas lost 3.2 pounds this week... and he liked the meeting leader this week, so it looks like Mondays are going to be our nights from now on.

Like Thomas was last week, I'm upset about things that have nothing to do with my weight loss - or lack of appreciable difference, in any case. One of my friends, Jeanne, sent me a Christmas present; she's sort of notorious about the lateness of her packages... at least this year it didn't come in March. And she was very thoughtful, keeping in mind that Darcy has a peanut allergy. But it was a BIG box of cookies. And dark chocolate truffles, which are one of my favorite things. And I can't imagine how many points are in some of those things. One of the cookie recipes she pointed me out, I calculated the points. 5. Each. I ate five bloody points as my entire LUNCH today.

I've been in that weird stage of emotional problems that makes me feel like I'm always on the verge of tears... I'm not even really sure why. But I really lost it when I opened up this package and found the cookies.

I didn't eat any, though, and I guess that's good. My WW leader thought it was. She gave me five 'Bravo' stars for resisting temptation.

So tell me, why am I feeling guilty and upset about food I didn't eat?

The Problem with Not Telling People...

... is that you get a late Christmas present from a friend that's got a HUGE container of cookies and chocolates in it.


It's sitting there. On my desk. Mocking me.

An Odd Moment

One thing about this 'lifestyle change' is that it's eating into my (pardon the pun, it wasn't intentional) leisure time. Generally speaking, I cooked dinner 3 - 4 times a week and the rest of the days, Thomas and Darcy were "on their own" for food. Which is to say, generally fast food, eating out of a can, or heating leftovers.

Since we joined Weight Watchers, I have cooked dinner Every Single Night except for the one night we ate out. I have also cooked breakfast and lunch on weekends for Thomas. Now, sometimes cooking lunch doesn't mean anything more than making a tuna wrap and prepping some soup and salad... but still, these things take time. And I'm also calculating point values for my meals and his. I know, I know. I should make him do his own calculations. Except that he's not preparing his own lunch, so how the heck is he going to know what the point value is unless I tell him? And I'm NOT letting him in my kitchen... since we've been married, he's torched one perfectly good stock pot, three frying pans, broken the top of the crisper tray in the fridge, busted two blenders and nearly set the kitchen on fire. You see why I worry? Good.

I've also done the dishes Every Single Day. And gone for a walk three times this week.

On the weekends, that's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner fixing, one load of dishes done. For a total of one hour, twenty minutes of activity per day added to my schedule. On weekdays, that's sixty-five minutes of added activity. That's eight hours a week, plus the hour of the meeting itself. (As a note, Thomas took it on himself last week to complain that the housework wasn't getting done. ... )

That wasn't exactly what I wanted to talk about today, though.

I have been less hungry this week. Since I complained about it last week, I thought it only fair to admit that it was getting better. Sort of. I can be not-hungry when I'm not eating, although eating often makes things worse. I'll eat all my dinner or lunch and for the next hour or so after I'm done, I'm still hungry. Or at least, I feel hungry. Like 'that wasn't enough.' Sometimes it's actually more painful hungry than the 'I don't really need a snack right now' hungry. My various sources tell me that this is normal, and that I'll gradually be able to read my actual food intake needs a little better. Sigh. Yeah, whatever. It's still annoying and sometimes downright painful... and I understand why people quit dieting after the first few weeks.

Remember what I said a few days back about the "I had more energy after a few days..." Well, I'm not sure this counts, exactly, but my lord, has our marital activities stepped up quite a bit. Not that we were ever in a rut (yes, ok, that pun was intended. Sorry, move along.) mind you, but I'd say that has increased by at least 50%. We'll see if that keeps up (yes, yes, pun. I know...) because you know, I'm not complaining...

Which is still not what I meant to talk about. I'm sort of rambling a bit here...

The moment I had was last night.

You know the Crisper, right? That drawer in your refrigerator into which you put things specifically for them to rot? Does a crisper actually do anything? Aside from give you a closed place to let your fruits and vegetables rot peacefully? I've never noticed that it saves fruits and veggies for any longer than leaving them on a shelf. But then, I've always lived in an apartment and had shitty appliances. My friend Leigh has a gloriously expensive fridge and I'm willing to believe that her little hermetically sealed drawers might actually do something, but mine... nah... just puts a solid lid over the garden mulch I'm cultivating in cold storage.

In any case, I'd put out a fruit bowl on the countertop - a nice arrangement of apples, pears, peaches, lime and avocado - on Thursday because the crisper was a little overfull. Yesterday, there was one apple, a lime, and the avocado left in it. I bent down to pull out some more fruit for the bowl... and the crisper was almost empty.

There were two roma tomatoes, a half an onion in a little ziplock bag, and half a bag of baby carrots.

Nothing was turning into a suspiciously watery black lump. There were no shapeless grocery bags full of splotchy tomatoes, or sprouting onions. The bottom of the crisper was clean.

Well... how about them apples?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Eating Adventures Outside the Home


We survived our first time 'eating out'.

Of course, we cheated. Not that way, mind you, but in making our lives easier. We went to Applebee's, which has a deal with Weight Watchers and offers a full page of menu options (only one dessert, tho, boo!) that already have the points value figured up.

I did some research yesterday, however, before we went. My normal favorite, the Chicken Fajita Rollup, wasn't too bad, clocking in at 5 points per half, with another 4 points for 2 tablespoons of the mexi-ranch dressing. The problem is, the dressing is mostly what I get the sandwich FOR, and I usually eat most of my fries by dipping them into the dressing. And while I could probably get a vegetable in place of the fries, I still thought the dressing might be too much for me to resist.

Thomas asked me what the points value would be for his normal - the Cowboy Burger, Onion Rings, and a dessert. Of course, most restaurants don't post their Nutritional Information, so what I came up with was a 'best guess.'

7 points for 8-9 onion rings
21 points for the cheeseburger
12 for chocolate mouse


We decided not to order the things we usually got, even though we both had plenty of Flex Points left over.

I got Confetti Chicken (7) with a side of steamed broccoli, and Thomas got a bowl of French Onion Soup (3), Portabello Mushroom Chicken Sandwich (7) and then we both had the Raspberry Chocolate Cake (4) as a dessert. I really enjoyed the chicken... it was just mexi enough to satisfy my southwestern thing - although I could have really gone for a few lime wedges to bring a little zest to the rice and broccoli. The broccoli was, at least, not overcooked, nor dredged in butter. I ended up using the side-salsa to dip the broccoli in. The portions were good-sized too. Just enough to be one serving, although I miss the idea of having something to re-heat for lunch today.

Thomas said that his soup was good, although the low-fat cheese was a "little rubbery", and he was not really happy with the sandwich, although he said some mustard would have helped the situation enormously, but our waitress was not great about coming back with any frequency.

I was pretty impressed, too, with our friend Toby, who came with us to dinner. Toby's always been thin, and he's one of those weird sorts who never had to unlearn bad habits (well, at least as far as eating goes). As far as I know, he doesn't actually like soda, and naturally eats carrot sticks as snacks (from some other planet, really). He's also religiously inclined towards not eating bacon cheeseburgers. This being the case, I was sort expecting a snarky comment or three from him, as he's got a sometimes brutal sense of humor, but he was actually very encouraging.

So I had a rather pleasant evening, came in under my points count by 1, which while I'm not recording it as a net-even for me with my mathematical error the other day, mentally I am happier with my goof.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Math Sucks

I dipped into my flex points last night for the first time since we've started this plan...

By Accident.

The annoying thing was, I got to the end of my day and said "Hmmm. I'm short a few points? How'd that happen?" So I didn't think much of it, had a glass of milk to finish off the last bit of points and went to bed.

This morning, I added up my points to stick them in my side bar, and found the discrepancy. Towards the end of my lunch, I accidentally added 1 point instead of subtracting them.

On the plus side, I did make an Activity Point yesterday - we're getting back into the habit of walking around the block, but I'd already promised myself that I wouldn't use Activity Points until I was getting at least three in per week.

And this was, incidentally, what I was most afraid of, for the Weight Watcher's plan. I'm terrible with numbers.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Problems with the Hen House

I didn't want to write about this last night with Thomas prowling around the house like an angry tiger.

I think I'd mentioned that he'd been having problems all week meeting his point-goals. Not going over, but just getting to them. I checked his Quick Tracker and the closest he's gotten to his point totals was 4, and the most he's missed it by is 8. That's a whole other meal, for me... I was trying hard not to be mad at him about what's essentially not his fault, and I think I was doing a good job, but I did leave those extra points to be his responsibility. (He doesn't cook and he tends to forget to eat for long periods of time before he'll eat a whole box of moonpies... )

Well, apparently that's not going to work.

He was up .4 pounds from last week. Now, honestly, a .4 pound gain really isn't a big deal, but I think it was depressing for him as a first week. Usually it's the first few weeks that things go well, and after a while that things don't go well. Of course, he's not been eating all his points either, so chances are very good that his body went into shut-down/starvation mode.

The meeting for me, which started out good (lost 1.4 pounds!) and got better; won prizes, talked to people, had a good time... for him, started out bad and got worse.

The receptionist handing out the leis handed one to me, then glanced at Thomas. "Oh. Are YOU actually going to be staying for the meeting?" I blinked, confused. Well, I figured that a lot of guys don't stay for the meeting, and she needed to save Leis because they had a lot of people who were new.


We moved up the lines to get our Weigh Ins. Unlike last week, Thomas and I split up... so I missed a lot of the conversation between him and the receptionist.

He was up .4 pounds. He asked the receptionist about this, since he'd been short on points all week, and here he was gaining weight rather than losing it. The receptionist said "Well, make sure you eat all your fruits and veggies... and no, fries don't count as a vegetable." She didn't give him his Week 2 literature and tried to shoo him out of line. He refused to budge. "I haven't been skimping on the fruits and vegetables and I'm having trouble meeting my points anyway. I mean, I don't want to have a cheeseburger just to fill out points." Receptionist: "Well, when you get to 20 points like me, you won't have that problem, will you?"

I heard that last bit and my eyebrows went way up. The receptionist dismissed Thomas from consideration by getting out from behind her desk to greet someone who'd just walked in...

While we were waiting in line, the leader had started up the little Leis game. Thomas pretty much pushed me out of my chair to go play socialite, saying he'd stay with Darcy and make sure she didn't get into trouble, so I didn't really think much about it.

During the meeting, after the game was over, the Leader talked about how her son and her husband were trying to emotionally blackmail her and sabotage her eating, and her son had bought a deep fat fryer for her as a Christmas present and then invited all his friends over and asked her to make chicken wings for them. She made several mocking comments about "husbands" who she often called "shadow members" who didn't actually attend the meetings.

Thomas, already smarting from the weight gain, and the receptionist's dismissal of him, viewed the entire meeting as an exercise in man-hating and was rather grouchy.

So he came home and consoled himself by eating a six point chocolate we had left over from Christmas and ranting for the better part of three hours. Last week, while I was complaining about being hungry and being constantly in a bad mood, he kept saying we had to stick with it for at least ten weeks, and etc. This week, he's talking about turning in his meeting stickers for a pro-rated refund.

I know he's angry and I know he's upset. He hates reverse-sexism and I have to admit that he's very good about not being sexist himself, not even casually. He also tends to notice when other men are being casually sexist and he often calls them on it. But he expects the same respect from women, and a lot of times, it's just not there. Watch commercials for a while if you don't believe me... a lot of commercials are the smart women telling dumb guys about sales, or a product... or the dumb dad is doing something and the mom corrects it...

I've offered my suggestions: I got lots from the Weight Watchers message boards. Adding cheese, adding a protein serving, upping the fat content in his milk, drinking some juice instead of water, etc. I suggested that he join the message board for men, and see what they had to say... I suggested that we continue to browse meetings until we find one that we're both happy with. Finally, I shoved him out the door to go grocery shopping and buy himself some higher points snacks.

We'll see, I guess...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

At Weight Watchers, Everyone Gets Lei'd

So, we go in to our meeting today - we decided that Tuesday 5:30 was going to suit our schedule a little better - and the Meeting Leader is handing out cheap little plastic Leis... this week's 'theme' is "going to Hawaii".

Fortunately, she didn't really stick with this theme much, which is cool because I don't like tropical islands or beaches or pineapples.

She decided to do a motivational 'fun' activity instead. She passed out these little scraps of paper with a list of 10 things on them. "Does Core Plan.." "Has met their 10% goal" "Loves pineapples" "Has been to Hawaii" etc.

And the idea was that we were to run around the room (well, walk/mingle) and check out with our meeting neighbors who had what... and when you got a name, you got a lei. When someone got you as a name, they got your lei with a prize going for who had the most leis at the end.

Oddly enough, I won. First off, I'm very sociable, especially in a situation where there's a lot of people I don't know in a small area. Secondly, there wasn't a thing on that list that anyone could check me off for, so while I got many leis, I didn't have to give any out. So, with six leis, I got a free snack box of 2 point weight watcher snacks. I grabbed Chocolate Caramel, and those are Just For Me. Thomas cannot have any!

So, I'm sure you're all weight-ing (bad pun, sorry) for my scores, so I'll tell you...

First Week: 218.2
Second Week: 216.8 for a loss of 1.4 pounds.

Go me!

Monday, January 7, 2008

All the Things They Don't Tell Ya...

I'm just a cynic at heart. Down where it counts. No matter how many times I get told what a nice person I am, or that I'm friendly, or a good listener... or whatever. I'm a cynic. Not that I don't believe that people are sincere in their compliments. Just, I have a really good editor between my brain and my mouth.

At the heart of the matter, I'm all about the "yeah, right."

The cynic in me, which is usually imprisoned within a tiny cage of tact, good manners, and a great deal of snarky mental comments, has gotten loose since we started this healthy lifestyle. I don't always know what he does in his little cage, but right now he's going through all these Weight Watchers books with a lot of "Hmmph, haven't noticed that," (I had more energy after just a few days....) and "What planet is this idjit from?" (I countered that cookie craving with a walk around the block...) and "What the FUCK does 'typical' mean?" (Sarah Jane lost 140 lbs in 16 months. Results not typical...) and "You have GOT to be kidding me" (I never felt deprived. In fact, I was astonished by all the food I was supposed to eat...)

I haven't noticed having more energy. Physically, I'm tired all the time. I have a low-grade headache. All the time. I am sleeping harder, though, which I guess is a good thing. I'm not waking up four times in the middle of the night. I am also going to the bathroom ALL the time... probably every thirty to forty-five minutes. Also, all the skin on my face is drying out. I used moisturizer last night before bed and it actually stung, my face was that dry.

I noticed that all the testimonials don't talk about that sort of thing... they don't emphasize at all that this is hard and iritating. That might hurt sales, I guess. Typical people - of which I have never been one - don't want to be told that something is hard, that it's aggravating, that it's (god forbid!) work. Doctor: You'll feel a little pinch. Little pinch my ass. It hurts, and fuck it all, I want to KNOW that. A healthy lifestyle is WORK. I'm HUNGRY, dammit. Stop saying how easy it is, or how satisfied you are with your cup of carrot sticks. It's not, and I'm not.

It's the cheese that's getting to me. I can live without chocolate. I've never eaten much chocolate. My friends even joke with me about how I'll open a box of chocolates and eat so few of them that they go bad before I finish the box. It takes chocolates a long time to go bad, you know... but I've always had a cake-and-eat-it problem with chocolates. If I eat the chocolates, then I won't have any for later. It's cheese. I love cheese. I add cheese to things that don't come with it (tomato soup, for instance, is lovely with some grated cheddar in it) and 90% of the dishes I make for dinner have cheese of one sort or another in them. And points-wise, cheese is sooooo expensive. 2 points for 1/4 cup.

I'd love to know what "typical" means, according to Weight Watchers. I think I'll ask at my next meeting. Because the motivational stories have these little * next to them... And it doesn't matter if the person lost 33 pounds or 78 pounds. * Results not typical. So, what's typical? I mean, obviously they track everyone's weigh-ins and weight loss and continued meeting attendance. So they must have SOME idea of what "typical" is. Is "typical" that people lost 5-10 pounds and stopped going to meetings? That 75% of their clients quit after six weeks? That 50% of their clients actually gained weight? I daresay, no one's going to actually tell me that. But I'd love to see what spin they try to put on the answer.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Decisions and Changing (Never say Never Again)

You know, I didn't want to do it. But I did. I knew I wouldn't be happy with it, and I'm not.

I don't really want to share it.

But I've discovered something in my life; the decisions I made and talked about the most were the hardest ones to back away from. Even when I was wrong.

A lot of people who didn't know me fifteen years ago don't know that I'm on my second marriage. The summer after my freshman year of college, I met a boy who really interested me. He was good look and more physically fit than anyone else I knew. He had those little ridges in his belly and everything. And for some reason, he was interested in me... even then, when I wasn't exactly fat, I was already deep in the middle of bad habits and weight gain. And I'd always thought of myself as being unattractive.

We didn't know each other for very long before he went off to Boot Camp, so I couldn't tell you really if he was psychotic before that, or if the Marines just brought something bad in him out. We got married the weekend I went down to visit him to tell him I wanted to break off our engagement. I thought after he bought a $700 diamond and we'd been distance-dating for the better part of 18 months that I owed him a personal explanation. I drove 6 hours down to South Carolina to break things off and drove home married.

Never again, I swore to myself, as I filed for divorce not even 6 months later. My parents were already divorced, and my mother had a horrible boyfriend who was married to someone else. (When he finally divorced his original wife, he bypassed my mom completely and went on to marry someone else.) Marriage sucked. Never. Ever. With Extra Capital Letters.

I was 19 years old and a divorcée.

It took a long time for me to change that decision. I touted it to everyone I knew. Marriage was evil, and I was Never Doing It Again.

I was also a baby-hater from way back... I can't remember when I decided I didn't want any child to be as miserable as I had been. My parents weren't very good parents. I try not to blame them for this anymore, and it's not always easy. But I swore. I hated kids. I especially hated babies. No children. Even when I fell off the No Marriage bandwagon, I didn't want children. Living where I did just reinforced it. In the months after my marriage (which I still felt mildly uncomfortable about...) people would ask me "So when are you having kids?" "Fucking never, that's when." I didn't say that, but I wanted to.

When Thomas and I had our infertility struggles and difficulty in getting pregnant, I didn't tell anyone. I didn't want anyone to know how badly I was failing... both in failing to be consistent about not wanting children, and failing to accomplish it after I'd changed my mind.

I thought what I'd learned was the value of being flexible. That by not stating my goals, I was leaving myself open to coming around to a different way of thinking.

On the other hand, a promise made to yourself doesn't have a lot of value. We change our minds half a hundred times a day and no one ever knows it.

So... in limited stages, I want to talk about my weight problems and (hopefully) my losses...

And because I really don't want to post this... I will.

Right Upper Arm - 14 inches
Waist - 46 inches
Hips - 52 inches
Right Thigh - 27 inches


I seem to be writing here an awful lot. If you're reading, don't get too adjusted to it. I'm sure, once I get a better handle on what I'm doing and why, I'll slack off as a writer. It does seem to be my habit.

Yesterday I prepackaged a bunch of little salads to use... mostly because I'm lazy. One of the reasons I don't eat salad on a regular basis is that it's a hassle to make. You have to buy lettuce and carrots and celery and cucumbers and peppers and... then you have to chop it all up, and it wilts fairly quickly, so if you're not on top of things, more than half of it goes to waste. So, by doing it all yesterday and packing it in easy-to-use containers, I hope to be able to eat more salad without being quite so grouchy about it. Of the 10 (or 11?) packs I made yesterday, we've already eaten three. Depending on how things go, I may have to buy 2 monster packs of pre-cut lettuce (which has always been the biggest thing I hated about making salad was cutting up lettuce...) per week. We'll see.

Today's 'self-assignment' is to spot tag all the food in the house. I bought some sticky-dots at the Office Max yesterday in 8 colors. Light green, medium green, dark green, blue, yellow, light orange, medium orange, and red. What do people have against purple or pink? Really!

I've assigned them out thus:

  • Light Green: 0 Points (free food)
  • Medium Green: 1 point
  • Dark Green: 2 points
  • Blue: 3 points
  • Yellow: 4 points
  • Light Orange: 5 points
  • Medium Orange: 6 points
  • Red: 7 points
[If things go past 7 points, 1) I probably shouldn't be eating them anyway and 2) I can just add a second dot. Two red dots is Right Out.]

The idea is to make things simpler. Rather than having to look up everything I want to eat when I want to eat it, I can check the serving size, and eye the dot. Obviously, this will be a lot of work at first, and will add probably a half-hour to grocery trips as I 'put away and label' rather than just 'put away.'

So far, I've managed to tag everything I've eaten today and everything in the freezer.

That's good, I guess. I have 2 cabinets, the fridge, and the pantry to go... might take a while.

The problem I thought I was going to have with Thomas; I already have. Yesterday he went to bed 5 points down. And I was hungry, after using all my points.


And there's just, really, nothing satisfying about having a cup of carrots. I can eat it, yeah, and maybe I'm not hungry afterwards, but I don't want to eat them. They hold absolutely no interest for me.

I wonder if I'll ever get past that.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Too Much Thinking

Gah, what IS it with me....

I ate breakfast at 10:00, so decided that a 1pm lunch wouldn't be a bad time to have something to eat... so at 1, I got up... while I was up I decided to make salad packs.

I bought a HUGE bag of shredded salad, carrots, and cabbage. Basic dinner salad stuff. $3.99 for the bag. I dumped the whole thing into the biggest bowl I had (and it heaped over the top in all directions.) ~11 servings. 20 calories a serving. So that HUGE bag was 230 calories. Cool.

I got out some other veggies: carrot sticks, baby tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and the last remaining quarter of a yellow bell pepper. I filled 11 sandwich bags with 1 1/2 cups of greens, added three baby tomatoes, one slice of bell pepper (chopped up), three small slices of onion (also diced), three slices of cucumber, and three baby carrots (slivered). I smushed the air out of them and lined them up neatly in the bottom of the fridge.

And then I came back to the computer... and sat down... and realized that I hadn't actually fixed/figured/or gotten...



Tips for Regaining Motivation

Copied pretty much directly from one of the fitness/diet sites I've been reading recently.

  • Why do I feel this way?
  • What’s the point?
  • Is all of this worth it?
  • Why did I start this program?
  • Why do I feel like quitting?
  • What has brought me to this point?
  • Why does it bother me that other people haven’t noticed my progress?
  • Why does it bother me when people DO notice my progress?
  • What can I do to boost my motivation?

I'm not actually doing this right now, I just want to mark it so I don't forget...

(PS: Not quite ripe nectarines are vile.)

That's a Wrap

I've figured out the secret of how people lose weight on the Weight Watchers diet... it's that they have so much frigging supplementary materials to read that they stop eating for a few weeks while they read it all. Then, as soon as they started eating, they gained it all back.

I'd like to think I was kidding, but HONESTLY, the amount of reading material I brought home is of the quantity (and almost quality) of what I used to bring home from COLLEGE. Jesus.

There is a substantial gap I see in the plan, at least as far as it's going to work for Thomas and I. The big one is that he gets 38 points a day and I get 27. That's a whole frigging extra meal a day he gets. He says he's concerned about it because he didn't eat any differently yesterday than he normally does. I say that he hasn't stuffed an entire dozen doughnuts into his stomach recently either. Maybe he doesn't eat any less regular food on the plan, but he's also not buying box of moon pies (they're on sale!) and eating two or three of them while watching tv. He says he doesn't even want to know how many points a moonpie is. (It's 5 points for one, I looked it up...)

The other problem I'm personally having is obsession. Healthy or otherwise, all these plan materials are OBSESSED with food. Every single picture in them has someone eating or drinking. I don't want to have to think about what I'm eating every single time I pick up a fork. Now, maybe that's part of my problem. I don't think about what I'm eating very often. I'll sit down with a box of crackers and without really being aware of it, I'll eat almost the entire box. We'll see how it works out, I guess... maybe I need to be more aware of what and when and how often. It does, however, seem slightly counter-productive, as when I look at or think about food, I get hungry.

Last night, our grocery bill was about double what it normally is. $239. Holy jumping Jesus... but we had to restock a lot of basics. I suspect we also overdid it quite a bit and next week we'll only need to get Thomas's frozen lunches and refresh on fruits and vegetables.

(As a side note, I find it mildly amusing that Darcy is underweight for her age group. The doctor said we should move her back to whole milk for a while.)

While I'm bitching: I'm not big on this whole grain thing. I HATE wheat bread. Like, with a passionate hatred not unlike that I feel for the slimy things that run out from under a sock that fell on the laundry room floor and you didn't notice until like a week later. I'm probably going to have to get used to it, but for the time being, I'm still eating white bread.

Anyway... let me move back to the basics.

I'm weighing in at 218 pounds (I've been guessing and poking at my diet since Christmas, but I'm not sure how accurate my dad's scale is, so it's either off, or I lost 2 pounds already.) My '10% goal' is to get down to 198...

I'm not sure how I feel about the meetings yet. But there were a LOT of new people yesterday (shocked! I'm shocked, I tell you, that the 2nd of January had a lot of new members) and I might be a little more comfortable as things settle out. I'm committed for 10 weeks, at least... My dad said he wouldn't buy anymore of the 10 week passes unless we used all of this one...

I am planning to commit to this for at least 26 weeks (6 months...) and we'll re-evaluate once we get there.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pre Meeting Thoughts

We're going to be going to our first Weight Watchers meeting today, after Thomas gets home from work. Wednesdays are usually our grocery shopping days, and we're still planning on doing the shopping today, after the meeting. The meeting is at 6-6:30 and we're supposed to stay for a 'first timers' meeting after that, so I don't expect to be home from the shopping until maybe 8 - 8:30, which means I probably won't be inclined to write anything immediately after the meeting.

I hope Darcy won't give us too much trouble. She had to go to the doctor today for her year 4 checkup and various shots and stuff, and she's really PO'd at me now. (I did warn her that the shots would hurt. I always hated it when I was a kid and the doctor would say "Oh, you'll feel a bit of a pinch." Bit of a pinch my eyeball! Fracking hurts, is what it does.) And the Weight Watchers building is in the same industrial park area as the Doctor's office.

Today, Thomas took all of the leftover Christmas chocolates into work and dropped them off in the food bin. I doubt they'll last long. But from now on, we are on... a diet/food plan/health regime... whatever the fuck you want to call it.

I know that Weight Watchers (and really, all of those diet programs) don't want you to call it a 'diet.' That diet implies that eventually you can go back to eating whatever you want, and a health change is a better way of thinking about it... bah. Semantics. It's like saying someone who is dead is 'presumed to be having a bad day." It's a diet. With all the suckiness that goes along with dieting. And I know, I'll never be able to go back to eating whatever I want.

Does anyone really want to eat a damn carrot stick? No one I know would want to pick some lowfat yogurt over a chocolate bar. Do be serious. It's like saying someone would chose a $3 coupon to B&N over a check for $1 million. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating here a bit.

I'm in a bit of a mood, though. I'm not even really sure why... stress probably. The whole household was sick with some bronchial thing during the holidays, we were short on cash and barely made it to our next paycheck... and of course, my best friend, Carole, had her baby... which is all nice for her and everything, but makes me really fucking jealous, and I don't want to be. I want to be happy for my friend, with her son and all, but... at the same time, I really want another baby, I really do. And we just can't. (Also, some other friends are getting separated/divorced and while that shouldn't affect me... it still is. I'm not happy about it, and it's not fair of me to be angry that they're doing it, since it's certainly not about me... but I'm happy and comfortable in my world where marriage is not the great evil, and I don't like it when someone butts in and makes it wrong. And so help me god, if Ed says anything about it, I will kill him. He's always been really anti-marriage and it drives me nutso!)

But, hopefully, the meeting will go well, and then we'll do our grocery shopping, and then I'll clean out the cabinets of all the stuff we really shouldn't eat anymore. Fun fun. I think I'll donate any unopened food to the families who were in that fire last night. That'd be a nice thing to do, I think.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

hack n slacker

Yeah, I've been slack about writing here, but hey, what's to say...

Thomas, Darcy and I have all had some horrible Mongolian Death Virus for the last two weeks. You know, that always happens... Thomas takes vacation from work and one (or all) of us get sick. Or injured. Or someone on his team at work has to have surgery, so while he's 'on vacation' for a week, he's still working half-days that he doesn't get to take later. We're all on the mend... just in time for him to go back to work tomorrow.


Anyway, I did eventually tell my dad that we wanted the Weight Watchers for Christmas. Woo, exciting Christmas this year... he got us each 10 week passes to the meetings, and if we use all those, he'll get us 10 more, and then 10 more after that, for a total of 30 weeks (leaving 22 weeks for us to get, if we want to... )

And my stepmom got us 2 boxes of those 100 calorie packs popcorn. I hate microwavable popcorn. It smells weird. When it doesn't burn. But whatever. (as a note, the stuff tastes weird too, for the 100 cal packs. sweet, somehow. Like popcorn doesn't have many calories to begin with, so they had to add sugar to make the right calories fit into their snack pack size? I dunno. Tastes weird.)

So, we plan to start going to our meetings this week... and we haven't been walking because we've all been sick as hell... it's one of those things, really... I mean, hard to walk when you're coughing every other breath. So, while I wish we could have kept up with it, it wasn't possible. So we'll start that again this week.

I also got a Weight Watchers cookbook... why, tell me, is dieting so freaking expensive? Half the things in this book take weird, esoteric ingredients that I do NOT have laying around the house. What the hell is Wheat Germ, anyway?

I popped on the scale while I was up at my dad's for Christmas... 220 pounds. So, with my 'ideal' weight being around 113-135 and my 'goal weight' being 145, that's between 75 and 107 pounds to lose. Yeargh.