Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Water Weight

So, to answer some questions: no, yes, too much, don't know yet, and thank you.

Seriously. My car is permanently disabled. Well, it's still running, but it's not fixable for less than $1,500 and for a car we only paid a grand for in the first place, it's not worth the investment, especially since the transmission isn't the only thing wrong with it. Thanks for all your concern and commentary. Our plan now is to run it into the ground and see how much money we have managed to save up by the time it goes kaput.

It must be nice, I think, to be in a job where you get paid just to diagnose a problem. Doctors get office visit fees, whether you end up treating the problem or not. Garages get fees for hooking up a computer and driving the car around the block. (I ended up shelling out well over $100 just to find out that the car's not worth fixing...) I give advice to a lot of people. I need to start charging for it, even if (especially if!) they don't follow it.

Sunday, I went for a distance building walk. Toby joined me again. Ug. I do like him, most of the time, but really, spending 7 hours of my weekend with him is starting to be a bit much. Also, he has a revolting habit of chewing with his mouth open, which makes lunch time a trial. Maybe I can find some way to tell him nicely next week that I'd prefer to walk on my own once in a while. I like having company, sometimes. It does make the walk go by faster, and at the same time, I don't want to "wimp out" in front of someone else. On the other hand, it seems like I never get to spend any time... alone. I'm either the go-to guru on food and diet; or I'm "wife" or "mommy" or the romance expert (I cannot tell you how many people come to me for dating/relationship advice... numbers that large don't make sense. I further cannot count the number of people who actually listen to me about it... numbers don't come that small.)

It was a nice enough day for a walk, and we walked most of the way to Leslie's house and then back. Leslie wasn't home, she had plans... So we stopped at the BP station about a mile from her house, had lunch, and then headed back. According to my pedometer, we walked 16.8 miles in about six and a half hours. That's not very speedy, honestly; about 2.5 miles an hour, but we did stop for breaks and...

Well, then it rained.

At first, the rain was nice; kinda light and scattered and cooling.

And then... it rained harder.

And harder.

I couldn't have been any more wet if you'd tossed me in a lake.

Water, by the way, is really, really heavy.

My shoes were completely soaked, enough so that it no longer was worth the effort to try and walk around the 3 inch deep puddles. Water poured through my baseball cap, down the back of my neck, and into my shirt. It was raining so hard, literally, I couldn't see more than fifty feet in front of us (and only that far until my glasses started fogging up... after that, I could barely see at all...).

We walked the last two miles in that downpour.

And soaking wet clothes are really heavy. Between pushing through puddles and how sticky I became (well, the legs of my shorts were drenched and they rubbed together and wow, that slowed me down a lot...) we lost a great deal of ground.

Just as we were getting to my apartment, it stopped raining.


"Well, at least it stopped," Toby said.

"Yeah, so instead of looking like troopers," I rolled my eyes, "we just look stupid."

As a note, my weigh in was the suck this week. After losing 4 pounds last week, I was back up .6 this week. My weight loss for this year is the suck. I have ~8.4 pounds left to lose, and at the rate I'm losing, it's going to be 2010 before I'm not paying for meetings anymore.


(And yes, while you're wondering, Thomas lost another 2 pounds this week. Yes, by all means, kill him.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Burning through my Good Karma

Well, this week has barely started and already I'm neck deep in "owing someone a favor."

See, this is the thing... my car is not being happy with the world. Sometimes it doesn't shift. Not all the time, just sometimes. (It's an automatic, not a stick...) The tach thing will rev up and up and nada. No shifting. Now, sometimes when this happens, it'll sort itself out in a few minutes, and sometimes it has to be manually downshifted, and it'll sort itself out, and sometimes you have to turn the car off and back on and it'll be fine. Until it happens the next time.

Now, I took the car up to the Firestone yesterday (and got a ride back to my house from Leslie...) and this morning they called to say they have no clue, couldn't find the problem, but here's another $350 worth of maintenance they recommend we do to the car in the meanwhile.

"Will that fix my problem?" I ask.

"Um, we couldn't find your problem, so I don't know." This is mechanic-speak for "No, it won't. But we'll get more money out of you!"

So, now I have to go get the car, pay them $75 for being annoying and unhelpful, and then take the car down the street to a transmission-specific shop and pay them another $75 to see if they can make heads or tails out of the issue.

Now, on the plus side, the new guy says it sounds like the sensor to him (based on my description) because if it was the actual transmission, it wouldn't be an intermittant problem... but he's not sure and he still needs to do diagnostics on it...

However, we only have one car, so an additional problem is, when there's a mechanical issue, getting from hither to yon is... a real pain in the ass.

Last week, we took the car in for inspection; or more exactly, I did. And I walked out to get the car the next day...

This week, we've had to bum rides from Leslie and Toby... and I had to get Leslie to cart me around yesterday to get this problem taken care of with our bedsheets. (Which is to say, I accidentally bought the wrong sized pillow cases. Standard pillow cases do not fit on King Sized pillows... ) And then there was an issue because I accidentally left my credit card in my other bag, so we had to go back to my place, pick up the card, then back to the store... what a pain...

Thomas is going to have to walk to work tomorrow, since it's unlikely that we'll get the car back today.

Tomorrow or Thursday (if we don't have the car back by then) I'm going to need to bother one of them for a ride to the grocery store. How exciting. Just what I want to do, my grocery shopping while someone else waits around for me.

95% of the time, I don't care that we only have one car.

This... is the other 5%.

Regardless, I'm sure you all didn't come here to listen to me whine about my car trouble.

Yesterday, I was very stressed out (today, I'm still stressed, but there's a limit to how long I can carry around incredible stressyness, so right now I'm in the "sort of resigned" phase of it...) and when I get really stressed out, I tend to scratch my legs. Don't ask me why, it's just a nervous thing. But since I don't really want big gaping holes in my skin, I decided I'd wear a pair of tights, so that I could keep myself from doing too much damage.

So I put together an outfit that I thought looked okay with tights.

And it really, really did.

I think I looked intensely cute yesterday.

And... those pesky 2.6 pounds that showed up last week decided to go away again. And they took with them another 1.4 pounds as insurance.

So, I ended up with a 4 pound loss yesterday, which moves me over 80 pounds total lost. (81.2 pounds lost, to be exact, but who's counting? Oh, right. I am.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Big Fat Zero


This weekend there was a "software" update at Weight Watchers. My leader and receptionists were busy trying to get their computers to actually work... and they weren't working particularly well.

I don't know if this botched up the calibration of the scales or not.

However, last week, the Wii Fit said I was up over the week; not much, just .2, and my losses at my official weigh in ended up being -1.4 pounds. This week, the Fit said I was down 1.4 pounds from last week, and my official weigh in was up 2.6 pounds.

Combined with my gains and losses, that adds up to a big fat zero loss for the last month.

And yes, before my faithful readers plaster the comments: water weight, salt, time of the month, too much exercise (I did walk almost 13 miles on Sunday), I'm sunburned, I didn't overeat but might have undereaten again. I know. Believe me, I'm 18 months into this weight loss journey, and I do know all the various psuedo-reasons that I had an unexpected gain. Plateau... etc. Yep, check check check.

I really, really need a vacation. I'm so tired of everything. I'm tired of my housework; I'm tired of my husband; I'm tired of my child. I'm tired of listening to my friends and their complaints about the stupid places they work. (Silver lining; three of them work at the same place and while I get to hear the same complaints three times in a row, I don't have to try to keep track of more than one set of stupid office policies...)

And after spending a good deal of time yesterday trying to get my points tracker lined up for 19 points, I'm NOT going to change it back to 20.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Ballet

So, Thomas took me to the ballet this weekend; it was sort of combination birthday/mother's day gift.

I haven't been to the ballet in a long time; not since my best friend in high school died. (She fell asleep at the wheel graduation night and drove her car off an overpass. She hadn't been drinking or anything, she was just worn out. And as she was a brilliant, witty, friendly, pretty and talented sort, the whole event went to cement my opinion of the general completely unfair nature of the universe...) Anyway, Tracy used to be a ballet dancer and we (my mother and I) went from time to time to see her in various performances...

A few weeks ago, I was paging through the paper - have I mentioned I subscribed to the paper in an attempt to start being more frugal by clipping coupons? Thus far, it's been a good investment. In three weeks (the paper costs me $10 a month) I've clipped over $18 worth of coupons; and not coupons that I have to stretch to use, either, but ones that are stuff I would have bought anyway - (Ok, that was a very long aside...) Anyway, I was thumbing through the paper and there was an advert for Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.

Further investigation (Small bit of trivia about me; I am a russophile. I love all things Russian - well, except politics - decorations, art, music, history, culture. Love it. I minored in Russian History in college sort of by accident. I was just taking classes that I was interested in and my advisor pointed out that all I needed was one speciality history class in a field aside from Russian Studies and I'd have a history minor already completed. My primary professor who taught most of my Russian Studies classes was enomoured of me, said he'd seldom met someone who understood Russian culture as well as I did, and I was the only student in the last decade to whom he'd awarded an A+ on a term paper. This did not, I might add, endear me to my classmates.) yielded the information that this would be one of the first performances of Prokofiev's intended ballet.

"Living people can dance; the dead cannot." This was the rather utilitarian explation offered by the freat 20th centure composer Sergei Prokofiev as to what possed him to alter the fate of literature's most celbrated loves, Romeo and Juliet.1
Simon Morrison, a professor at Princeton University and famed musicologist, discovered in 2003 that Prokofiev's original score included different music and a surprisingly happy ending. Stalin-era censors edited out twenty minutes of music, thickened the orchestration and restored the tragic ending, resulting in a performance that was almost unrecognizable from Prokofiev's opus.

The Virginia Arts Festival is one of the few openings for this new ballet; a master's dream restored. In fact, the performance we saw actually preceeds the ballet opening in New York. For me, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity...

So, I asked Thomas, "If I wanted to go see the ballet, what might you say?"

Thomas frowned for a moment, then shrugged. "I've not been to a ballet since I was in high school, when my sister used to dance. I've no idea if I like it or not. Sure, we can go."

So, we went.

As I'm not a professional reviewer or familiar enough with the ballet to accurately describe the performance, I won't. I'll simply say I enjoyed it immensely, and Thomas's comment was "It wasn't the worst thing I've ever done, and the music was good." That's hopeful enough that I might be able to persuade him to do this once or twice a year.

Also, I got to dress up, and that was good.

This is my new dress; a size 6!! My shoes, while they do match the dress nicely, were unfortunately, a half-size too large, and made walking a bit dicey... why did no one tell me that losing 80 pounds would make it so that I lost two complete shoe sizes? I'm now wearing a seven, and all my old shoes are 9s. (Fortunately, I wasn't much into shoes when I couldn't wear heels, so I didn't have to replace too many pairs... in fact, I own more shoes NOW than I did a year ago...)

In any case, I had a good night... I felt pretty and thin for the entire evening, even after the dancers came on stage. And we were very, very close to the stage, so I got a very good look at how thin they were, and while they might be more muscular than I am, I don't really think that Juliet was all that much smaller than I am.

I found myself playing the Fattest Woman in the Room game again, but it was oddly different. I wasn't the fattest, nor was I the thinnest. And strangely enough, it didn't matter. I felt pretty, I looked pretty, and that was all that was important to me.

1. Leona Baker, Romeo and Juliet, Alive and Dancing

Friday, May 8, 2009

Decked Out

My birthday was last week (Happy Birthday, me) and as usual, my enthusiasm for this fact was at an all time low. I don't know, really, why my birthday bothers me so much, but it does.

And it's one of those weird, contradictory sorts of things; I don't want people to make a fuss about it. At the same time, if people forget about it, I'm grumpy. I do apologize to all my friends for whom I have been ungrateful, annoying, and otherwise cantankerous about it.

(My husband theorizes that it's my mother's fault, because my birthday parties as a kid weren't for me so much as they were for her to show off the amount of money my dad made, and frequently involved inviting people I didn't like to my party. Seriously. The girl who wouldn't let me wait on her porch for the bus, even when it was pouring down rain while everyone else from the block sat inside and watched tv? Came to my birthday party - sans present - every. single. year. My birthday parties tended to be pretty fancy for the time; my mom did things like rent out the local video arcade, or took everyone to the movies, or Kings Dominion... and the cakes were fantastic. The one year we did the video arcade? My cake was a giant pacman, with a smaller cake as the power-dot and cupcakes as the point-dots. Pretty nifty... and yet, I'd spend the whole party sulking because Donna was there, making sure my guests didn't actually talk to me, breaking my presents, and telling me how ugly I was. Or that so-and-so CuteBoy from school thought I was a slimy, diseased little gecko. Oh well, at least she was creative.)

Anyway, I did get some really spiff stuff for my birthday and I'm quite happy with my gifts...

From one friend, I got a heart-rate monitor/pedometer watch. This thing has some serious bells and whistles... I'm still figuring it all out, but it does record my steps, check my heart rate, keep track of milage, displays my calories burned, etc. I've had a couple of problems with it, the first of which is a design flaw and the second of which is my inability to actually remember how to use any sort of complicated gidget.... the first problem is that the step-meter turns itself off after 15 minutes of inactivity; which means if I'm sitting at my computer desk for a bit, I have to remember to turn it back on. The second problem is that I'm constantly, accidentally recording my current heart rate as my resting heart rate. I think (I'm not sure, but I think) that this is botching up my calories burned number, since if my "resting" heart rate is recorded as 120, it doesn't think I'm working very hard when my heart rate is 150.

She also gave me a bottle of sunscreen (yes, thank you for the hint, my sunburn is much better...) and a flashlight for my walk.

My other friend got me a waistpack for my walking that carries one water bottle and has a multitude of pockets and straps. I'll be road-testing that on Sunday, but so far is seems pretty good. If nothing else, it'll STOP me from hurting my collarbone with wearing my shoulder-bag incorrectly. (I've got a nice wear-spot on my chest... dang, when did I get these bony things just under my neck? weird! weird!)

So, I'm all decked out for my walking!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I think my Wii Fit Scale is on crack, since last week it told me I was up, and my official weigh in ended up being down, and ditto this week. I expected to go in to my weigh in and have Fran make that terrible little face; I call it the Weight Smile. She sort of tilts her head to one side, take a deeeeeeep breath, then lets it out with a very quick, "You'reupalittle,notmuch,tho,just.6
andthathappensyouknow." And then she smiles. It's a painful grimacing mockery of a smile, and honestly, in the last 18 months that I've been a member of weight watchers, I think I've grown to hate that smile more than anything else.

But instead, I was down 1.4 pounds. This is good; and at the same time, bad.

I have lost another daily point.

(On the plus side, this should be the last point I ever lose, since I don't intend to try to lose more weight than will take me to 130 pounds. Or at least, I don't intend, officially, to get my weight down below that...)

Down to 19 points a day. That's approximately 950 - 1,330 calories a day.

I don't know why moving down fifty calories a day is worrying me so much.

Maybe it's because I don't know many people who are down in that weight range. Most of the people I know who are at their goal weight are lots taller than I am; Thomas, for his maintenance range, eats about 38-40 points a day. (I know, he doesn't really count...) Other people I know in maintenance weigh in around 140 - 180 pounds... (lucky tall people!) and are eating 22-27 points a day, or have given up on points...

Sometimes I feel like I could pile all my food for the day onto one full-sized plate and a "normal" person could eat that as an entire meal. (You know I used to...)

It's a little frightening.