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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reclusive Behavior

I haven't meant to go this many days without posting, but I am missing my laptop.  Every time I sit down at my desktop, Cas whines the whole time I am on the computer.  Work has been so busy since I got back, I haven't had time to do a post from there.

Anyway, I lost 1.2 pounds last week.  That was good.  But I kind of crashed and burned after that.  I didn't do well at all with my eating on my days off and I was very reclusive.  I did get some cleaning done, but the list I got through the most of was my list of DVR recordings.  :p

I am trying to pull it back together with protein bars again.  I have to stop doing this, but I can't seem to make myself right now.

One realization I came to today -- I tend to hide when I am not living up to some standard I have set for myself.  I don't feel good about myself, so I hide.  I don't answer my phone, I don't want to leave my house, etc., etc.  Since I didn't have to go to work, I didn't make myself get out to do much of anything else.

I need to work on this from 2 angles.  I need to do things that make me feel good about myself -- working out always helps with that.  Plus, I need to learn how to cut myself some slack.

I have about decided I am going to ask my doctor to put me on an antidepressant for a few months while I am working through these things.  This is a big time of transition for me, since I finally have an empty nest.  I don't have anyone else I am having to "do" for and I am getting kind of lonely, but then the above behavior gets in the way.  Antidepressants help me in that I cope better with things and I am not so hard on myself -- my self-talk is much better.  So I may use it for a few months while I actively work on behaviors.  Once I get going and they are not so difficult for me, I don't think I will need it.  Now I just have to find time to go to the doctor -- and make myself get out of the house to do it.

I am going to make a list each week of one thing from three categories to work on.  (1) exercise, (2) socialization, (3) improving household habits.  I need to stop expecting myself to be able to do it all at once.  These are big changes for me.  So I need to work on smaller steps.

That's all for now.  I hope I can at least squeak out a small loss this week (or at least avoid a gain).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5 Days Off, Here I Come!

It’s another busy day and I have a lot to get done so I don’t have to give up my weekend off.  The attorneys don’t want to work this weekend either, so hopefully we are pretty safe.  Anyway, I wanted to get a few thoughts down in the midst of all the busy-ness.

I’m pretty sure I’ve had an almost non-stop headache all week (and longer).  It seems I am never completely without one.  I am taking my muscle relaxants, so hopefully that will begin to get it calmed down soon.  I will use them more regularly on my days off.  When I am working I just take a half of one, which helps a little, but I really need to take a whole one every 8 hours until this calms down.  I have a lot of tension built up in my neck and shoulders.  Comes from sitting a computer so much.  That is one reason I am missing my laptop so much.  To be on the computer at home, I have to sit at a desk and I already spend so much time doing that, that’s the last thing I want to do when I get home.  It’s different when I am on my laptop, sitting in my recliner watching my favorite shows.

People ask me sometimes how I am able to function with having a headache so often.  The only answer I have is that I have just learned to cope over the years.  I have had them going on 20 years now.  They are better, and not as chronic, as they were before.  I had a breast reduction in 2011 that helped some and I had neck surgery in 2011 that helped some (but obviously the problem that caused me to have surgery was not the cause for all those years).  It has taken a long, long time to completely come to a conclusion as to what causes them.  And it is pretty much what I always thought it was.  They are tension headaches caused from tightness in my neck and shoulders.  I have learned that taking a muscle relaxant for a few days will get a bad spell of them to clear up.  They will be better for a while after that (not so chronic in nature), and then the tension will build up again.  Massage therapy helps some too.  If they don’t improve in the next few days, I will go get some massage work done.  It just takes so much time to do that.  Headaches were a big reason over the years why I was so tired and unmotivated so much of the time.  I cope with them so much that getting through my work day is all I can do, and when I get home, I have no energy left for anything else.  I suffered with these without fully understanding them during my marriage.  I was so down on myself because I was like I was, but I would like to challenge anyone to go through life day after day after day with a headache (that normal medication does not really help) and then tell me how motivated you are to get up and clean house, work out, be social, etc., etc.  I often just want to stare into space (or the TV screen) or go to sleep to get away from them.  Now that I am learning how to treat them, I will have spells of them, but if I do what is necessary to get things calmed down, I will have a time when I don’t struggle with them so much, until the tension builds up again.  I think not having to sit at a computer all day would help immensely, but unfortunately, this is the way I make my living and I don’t have the luxury of quitting.  So I cope.  If I stay home from work because I have a headache, it is not because the headache is so much worse than usual, it is just that I have lost my ability to cope, so have to have a day to regroup.  The muscle relaxants help, but they are hard to take day after day because they make me so sleepy and draggy.  Exercise does help some, but not completely.  It would be nice to marry someone who made the bulk of the living so I could venture out and find some other way to help financially that did not involve sitting at a computer all day.

I am feeling a little more motivated today.  I am doing protein bars again to eke out a loss in the midst of my lack of motivation.  I plan to do that today and tomorrow, and then work really hard starting Saturday to get on a regular WW  plan.  But I don’t want to lose the week and not have a loss.  Every time I do that, I look back with disappointment that I wasted a week that could have brought me one more step toward my goal.

I have a lot I want to get done on my days off.  I have decided to devote at least 2 hours a day to getting my loft like I want it, until it is done.  Hopefully it will not take a full 10 hours (2 hours a day for 5 days).  It is not just cleaning, but organizing and getting rid of stuff I am not using.  I want to have less clutter.  Might as well make a list:

1.     At least 2 hours of house cleaning and organizing per day (averaged out) until everything is done.

2.     Clean out my car and have it detailed.

3.     3 walks with Cas per day each day I am off (he needs the exercise – he is acting up from being cooped up too much, since I have been working through my lunch all week).

4.     Get my bike serviced.

5.     At least 1 bike ride.

6.     Some kind of workout each day I am off.  (I haven’t been doing it, so don’t need a vacation from it.  J)

7.     Outing with singles class to barbecue restaurant in Fort Worth Saturday evening.

8.     Singles class and church Sunday morning.

9.     Outing with other singles class Sunday evening (possibly).  (We are not required to bring any food, but I think I will take some to help my efforts.  They are having hot dogs, so I thought I would cook up some sautéed onions and peppers to put on the hot dogs and maybe a fruit salad, so I am sure there is stuff there to make my meal interesting.)

10.  Take Cas to the dog park at least once.  He needs a good romp off-leash.

11.  Make use of the pool at the loft community at least once (can be one of my workouts).

I think those are some good goals.  I don’t want to be doing something constantly every day I am off, but I don’t want to sit around all day either (which I have a tendency to do).  This list is just to give me direction and structure.  If I don’t get it all done, that is okay.  But I know getting some of these things done will make my everyday life more enjoyable.

I got a package at work today from Target.  I couldn’t even remember what I ordered.  Then I remembered I ordered some curtains for my living/dining area (I have 4 large windows down the exterior wall of my living space).  It was like Christmas – just what I wanted (since I forgot that I ordered it).  Lol!  I’ll post pictures when I get them hung.  Now I need a different rug for my dining area.

Headache is pretty bad this afternoon.  I don’t know what’s up with that.  Must.keep.working.  Ugh.  I did a little reading.  My high protein days might be the culprit.  Low carb intake acts as a diuretic and depletes sodium.  I put some salt in my hand and licked it and that seemed to help a little.

As I said, I am feeling a little more motivated today.  I was thinking that my next smaller goal is to get down to 235.  I am only about 12-13 pounds from there.  The thought of wasting a week with no progress, because I am slacking off, is motivating me.  I want to keep moving.  I will keep up with the high protein days until weigh-in.  Then I really want to get back with the program where WW is concerned.

I have to work late tonight, but am going to go ahead and get this posted.  5 days off, here I come!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Not On An Even Keel


Monday

This post is going to be very analytical about my behavior – emotionally and psychologically.

I decided to do a little looking online to see if some kind of medication might help with my somewhat reclusive behavior.  There is Paxil – I saw a recommendation for trying that – and I saw a recommendation for smoking pot.  Uhhhh no.  I don’t think my problems are severe enough for either of these alternatives and I think I just need to keep doing what I am doing now – pushing myself.  The goal of getting out and being with people at least once a week to start with is a good plan.  And I think as I lose weight, it will get easier (both mentally and because I will have more energy).  If you think about it, it is probably not surprising that I feel this way.  I was told quite often by my husband during my marriage that he was ashamed of me and that I made him look bad.  Why would I want to get out with that mindset?  Of course, I have had this tendency from childhood.  I can remember as a child of 5 or 6, as soon as church let out, while all the other family members stood around and visited, I went to the car and waited for everyone.

I was kind of watching myself yesterday as I interacted with other people – you would never know by how I “behaved” yesterday that I am this way.  In class yesterday morning, the teacher would discuss an issue and then throw up a question to be discussed at each table.  I have no problem giving my input in situations like this, and I have no problem speaking up in the larger group.  And, actually, I could tell people valued my input.  When we had lunch later, I was friendly and did not feel shy or show shyness much at all.  I am actually learning to draw other people out.  If I do not focus on myself, and tell myself they might need my help in being drawn into the group, I have no trouble.  This is a far cry from how I was a few years ago.  I would generally sit on the sidelines and observe.  If you talked to me, I was friendly and would respond (most of the time – occasionally I would completely clam up), but I did not initiate anything.  l still have a tendency to do that if I am by myself in a large group.  But it is improving all the time.

Part of my problem is I just like to be home.  If I am not home enough, I feel like I’m going to “go crazy.”  And anything away from home feels kind of like work.  I need to change my mindset so that other things – recreational things – are relaxing to me.  I don’t have to be at home to relax.  That is my big thing.  I have this little hole I want to crawl in – the hole being home.  One answer might be to invite people to my home more.  The problem with that has always been I feel insecure about my housekeeping abilities.  There are two things I need to change here.  One is the feeling that things have to look perfect for anyone to come over (my home almost never looks “perfect” so, therefore, no one ever comes over).  The other is that I am working on better habits to maintain my home so that I do not feel ashamed when someone comes over.  I am making progress, but I am not to a place I am comfortable with yet.

We were discussing at lunch yesterday some activities coming up and entertaining suggestions for more.  I told them about living in a loft in downtown Dallas and that we have a big patio with a Cabana bar and the pool, etc.  I forgot to tell them that we also have a 2-lane bowling alley and a small movie theater where you can watch any DVD.  We could also make use of those facilities.  So, we talked about getting together sometime this summer at “my place.”  This gives me incentive.  I want to keep things maintained so I won’t be in a panic when something like that comes up.

Wednesday

I have been working quite a bit this week.  That, coupled with losing my laptop, has caused me not to get any posts done the last two days.  I am struggling a little, but that is not really why I haven’t posted.

I am having a little trouble getting back on an even WW keel.  I don’t know if doing the week of all protein bars brought his on or not.  I really think that I am just going through one of those times that you go through every once in a while.  Motivation is a little low and it is easy to get into too much snacking, etc.  When I have an excessive day, I have been following it up with a day of protein bars only (with a little veggies or fruit, if needed).  After thinking it over, I don’t think this is such a bad thing.  I think I would be struggling whether I was doing this or not, and if this lessens the effect of my struggling days, I am okay with that.  I don’t think I am in any danger of preferring to eat protein bars all the time instead of a healthy, clean diet.  But if this helps me to keep moving, even during times of struggle, I am okay with it.

I am struggling with getting exercise.  I will admit that.  I have no motivation and I am struggling with some pain issues.  My knees have not been helped much (or maybe any) by the injections this time.  My right knee was hurting rather sharply yesterday (it is usually my left one that gives me the most trouble).  It felt like it needed to pop back in place, but I never felt it pop out of place.  It is not bothering me like that today, so hopefully that was just a temporary thing.  I am going to have to start pushing myself.  I am taking Friday and next Tuesday off (we also have Monday off for Memorial Day), and Friday I am going to make sure I at least get on my recumbent bike.  I know I will feel better if I do it.  I don’t know why I am having such a hard time making myself do it.  Honestly, I am behaving like I am depressed.  I am aware of it, and I know exercise will help it, but I haven’t mustered the motivation to work past it.  But I will.

As I said, work has been pretty busy this week.  I am actually okay with that, given I have extra days off coming.  I haven’t liked the reduced paychecks, so this will help.

We had a meeting about planning for retirement earlier this week.  I am not prepared for retirement at all.  I just got my kids out of the house.  I need to start working on that in earnest.  Wish I could find the right rich man to marry, hah!  The guy speaking at the meeting did say that people my age can probably depend on getting their social security benefits, but those in their 30s, for instance, probably cannot.  That was somewhat comforting for me.  I don’t have much in my 401(k).  Time to start socking it away.

Did I say something the other day about having to clean up after my pets?  Silly cat.  :)


I’ve been struggling with headaches all week.  I am taking my muscle relaxant, which gives the expected effect.  I still am having one pretty much all day every day.  I am so ready for them to let up.  I went into an extra office just to close my eyes and try to get away from it for a few minutes.  Of course, I almost immediately start falling asleep.  Now I don’t want to wake up.  I want to sleep.  But there is too much work to do.  It doesn’t help that I have woken up the last two nights with my head turned all the way to the side, with an awareness that I had been sleeping that way for a good while.  That is almost guaranteed to bring on a headache.  I will try to arrange my pillows tonight to try to deter that possibility.  I often wear my neck collar to sleep, but it didn’t keep me from turning my head like that.

It’s after 7:00 and I want to go home, so better this posted (or it probably won’t happen).  One more day and then I get 5 days off!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This Is My Passion

There are so many changes and improvements in my life I am trying to make.  Sometimes I get down on myself because I am falling down in some aspect.  For instance, I realize that that last week or so has been more about dieting than about lifestyle.  I screwed up one week, so made up for it another week.  That is not such a bad thing every once in a while, but I have had my eating stumbles this weekend and the temptation is to make up for it with more days of protein bars only.  That is not really the lifestyle I want.  I do want the results of losing the weight, but that is not how I want to live.  Also, I have not concentrated on being active the last couple of weeks.  I don’t know what is wrong with me there.  Just haven’t had the get up and go to do it.  I can think of all kinds of excuses, too.

However, I have made some positive steps toward the lifestyle I want in other ways.  For instance, I am getting out there and being with people more.  I joined WW; I went to choir at church; I went out with coworkers one night; and today, I went to the singles class at church, sat with some new friends during church and ate lunch with them afterward.  Those are very positive things.  But I came home and I crashed.  I was tired from all the doing.  I need to get out and walk my dog, but I am tired and it is “gale force” winds outside, so I’m not really feeling it.  So I am feeling down on myself. (I did get up and walk my dog.  :))

I need to celebrate the positive changes, while keeping on trying to make the other changes I need to make.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder how much cleaner my house would be if I did not have pets.  So much of the mess revolves around them, and if I was not having to deal with that, I would have more time to do the other stuff.  C’est la vie.

I am missing my laptop.  Sometimes I like to work on posts while I am sitting in my recliner watching a show.  Now I have to get up and sit at my desk and Cas whines because he cannot get to me.  I’ll have to train him not to do that.  The temptation is to go out and buy a laptop on a credit card.  But that does not get me where I want to go financially.

Yesterday, after my WW meeting (I got my 5-pound star!), I went grocery shopping.  The topic was “eating without distraction,” but particularly, taking some care when you have a meal to make it look nice, set the table, use the good dishes, light some candles – so meals are a pleasant experience that satisfy us more emotionally.  Even if we get take-out, take it out of the containers it is packaged in, put it on a plate and make it an enjoyable meals.  So, at the grocery store I bought some things to help with this.  I bought a couple of placemats, some water goblets, some flowers for the table and some candles.  I wish I could have found the contrasting colors I wanted to go with my dishes.  Next time I have a meal at home, I plan to “do it up right.”  I ate lunch on the go yesterday and later had to take my son back to Arlington.  He had been using my car and I had to take him back home.  I dropped him off at work, which is at a fine dining restaurant.  He told me I should come in and have a meal.  They have a big salad bar he has been enthused about.  So I did.  I had the salad bar and a baked potato.  Then I had some crème brulee (sp?).  I took out my credit card to pay for the meal and they told me “it had been taken care of.”  So I don’t know if the manager comped the meal because Jacob is my son or if my son picked up the tab.  Either way, it was very nice.  I was pretty beat when I got home, so didn’t do much else the rest of the day.

As I said, this morning I got up and went to the singles class at church.  They were very friendly and went out of their way to include me, which I appreciate.  That is one thing I did not like about my other church --  people, individually, were not terribly friendly.  (But I guess I would have to include myself in that.)  Since I have a hard time breaking in to a group, to start with, I have never been very good about building relationships.  Plus I spent many years “hiding.”  I really have to push myself to get out.  There have been a couple of friends who tried to draw me out and would ask me to do things, and I always found an excuse.  Granted, I was working a lot, which was often my excuse, but as long as I had my kids at home, I was pretty content to just be with them.  I know that is not entirely healthy.  I need friends my own age.  So now I have to push myself to break out of that mold.  Anyway, they invited me to sit with them at church.  I wasn’t sure what time to be there for choir and I didn’t have a choir robe yet, so I decided to do that this Sunday.  Next Sunday I will sit in the choir.  They also invited me to have lunch with them.  This is a big church and they have a little café on the church campus, so we had lunch there.  There was to be a big gathering in the downtown park after church, but I didn’t know about it in advance and was not dressed appropriately (like 4-inch heels), so I didn’t do that.  There are a couple of events coming up with the class that I will probably attend.  Saturday they are meeting at Union Station downtown and taking the train to Fort Worth to go to a famous barbecue restaurant there.  The train ride will take about an hour, so there will be time for getting to know people then, plus dinner and the train ride back.  It should be fun.  I will have to plan my schedule, and my menu, accordingly.  There is also a gathering on June 2 where a Christian comedian is going to perform, so they are going to get together for that.  I will do that too if I am not doing something with my kids (that is the day before my birthday).

Breakfast this morning was a Jimmy Dean Delite breakfast sandwich and a banana.  Lunch was a grilled chicken sandwich (unfortunately on a white bun) with some sweet potato fries.  The fries were fried, not baked, so I only ate a few of those.  I did some eating when I got home that was not on plan, so I will try to go light for the rest of the day.

So, I have had an active weekend and a fairly social one (for me), which is an improvement.  But I am not being active enough physically.  I know that.  I am having trouble motivating myself right now.

I have given some thought lately, as much trouble as I have making myself get out of the house sometimes (even if just to walk Cas), if some kind of antidepressant would be good temporarily to help push through these feelings of wanting to just stay home.  I am not happy when I do it, but I still have a hard time making myself push through, as well as working out.  Anyone have any input?  For now, I will just keep pushing through and hope that as I do it more and more, it won’t be so difficult.

My knee is still hurting, even after the injections.  That is not helping anything.

Through many years of my life, I often have this paralyzed feeling.  I spend too much time sitting around, feeling guilty about what I should be doing, but this paralysis takes over so that I still don’t get up and do what I am feeling guilty about.  I was feeling that way this afternoon.  I was tired, for one thing, which is often the case.  And I often have a headache, which was also the case.  But I know if I get up and do things, I would feel better.  So as I was sitting watching my DVR lineup, I started getting up during the commercials and doing chores during those two or three-minute intervals.  Soon, I would be going on a task and wouldn’t be through with it by the time the commercial was over, so I paused the program until I finished the task.  I have gotten a good amount of stuff done tonight.  And I was right – it made me feel much better.  What I hope is that, someday, it is not so difficult.  I don’t want to have to spend so much energy making myself do things I need to do or want to do.  I really am happier when I am doing them.  Why is it so hard for me?  Is it just old habits, or is it depression or what?  I don’t know.  But it has been going on a long, long time and I want to be different.

The pastor’s message today was on knowing where you going.  If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up in the wrong place.  His message provoked me to think about what I am most passionate about right now, as well as where I am most gifted.  I am most passionate about the things I am writing about now – overcoming these lifelong struggles that have held me prisoner for so long.  And losing this weight so that I feel better physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially – in every way.  And I could become pretty passionate about helping other people who struggle with the same things.  I am gifted musically, but I am not completely passionate about that at this point.  But if these two things could be put together, who knows?  Maybe I could someday write (and perform) some songs that speak to these struggles and the healing I have reached and am still reaching for.  Something to think about.  I am going to sit down and write down some goals in the different areas he suggested.  I not only need dreams, I need plans.  I know one thing.  I have to be very proactive to overcome all these things.  I spent many years wishing I was different.  But the changes really came when I decided on steps to take to BE different.  And that is the journey I am walking right now.  I truly believe God is in the midst of it, leading me even when I don’t know it is Him.  This is my purpose right now.  This is my passion.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weigh-In Day

I had such a bad week last week I decided not to weigh in.  I didn't want to discourage myself.  But I worked very hard this week to make up for last week and show a loss.  I was down 1.8 pounds at home this morning.  We will see what the scale says at WW, but the official weigh-in weight for my blog is at home, since that is where I started.

I am now fully into a size 18, and some of them are getting plenty roomy.  Not enough to say they are too big, but enough to know I will be moving on down in the not-too-distant future.  I tried on some clothes in my closet I haven't been wearing yet and ALL of them fit.  (Not the ones in the bins, but ones I had hanging in my closet to be getting into soon.)  One dress, because of the material it is made out of, will have to wait a bit until I lose a few more or until I get better undergarments for it.  It is very clingy and shows too many bumps and cellulite.

I am posting from my desktop computer at home.  It feels so different.  At work I have am ergonomic keyboard, so it feels very different and I have to be very careful not to make typos on this one.  It feels different from my laptop too.  So hopefully I will catch all the mistakes I make.

I am going to do a little cleaning and then head out for a WW meeting in a while, do some shopping, etc., then come back home and clean some more.

I will post more later this weekend.  Have a great one!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

I Can't Believe It!


My laptop messed up on me last night and I couldn’t post.  I wrote most of this at work yesterday, and had to wait until today morning to get it posted:

Thursday

I can’t believe it!  I made the list of The 100 Most Inspirational Weight Loss Bloggers of 2013!  I am #47 on the list.  They even put my picture and a little paragraph about me on there:

47. 500 Days to Where I Want to Be

500daystowhereiwanttobe.blogspot.com

Sheryl’s story is a touching one. After spending 21 years in an abusive relationship and battling obesity her whole life, Sheryl decided it was time for a change. She started her blog back in April of 2012 at a weight of just over 300 pounds, and gave herself a deadline of 500 days to get her body (and emotions) to a place where she’s not only comfortable - but confident as well. A year later, she’s down almost 50 pounds - quite the feat when you consider that she suffers from many health issues - including chronic headaches and severe back and knee problems. Sheryl is still fighting every day to get where she wants to be, and she is sure to trust readers by putting herself out there in a completely honest and open fashion.

One thing is not accurate – I did not give myself a 500-day deadline, it was just a way of inspiring myself by thinking if I could do what I needed to do for 500 days, I would get where I wanted to go.  It is true, I do put myself “out there.”  But this blog is for me.  I am working through many emotional and physical issues and I needed an outlet.  It helps me to read back through things sometimes, too.  I am so amazed.  I knew a few people were reading, but I had no idea I would make a list!  Totally inspires me to keep going!

Can I say, I am really getting tired of protein bars?  Lol.  But I am determined to make up for last week and really get moving.  I am on the verge of getting into all the clothes in my closet shelves!  Lol.  I am almost back to my low weight, according to the scale this morning.  Hopefully one more day will make the difference.  (I have just been eating protein bars, with some vegetables here and there, and a little fruit today.  I certainly don’t recommend this all the time; it was just a way to bust my plateau and then make up for my out-of-control eating last week.)

I have a doctor’s appointment to get my knee injections today.

I think it will be time for pictures soon.  I have not posted much since my birthday last June.  So I will try to get some on this birthday for comparison purposes, then will try to update more often.

I was just checking my weight loss chart I keep to see where I was when I last went to the doctor to get knee injections.  I told him that I was working on losing weight, and I hoped I would be able to report progress.  I have lost about 17 pounds since then.  Not bad!

I am now back from the doctor’s office.  What an afternoon!  I got there a little early – my appointment was at 1:15.  I sat and waited over an hour and finally went and asked if something was wrong.  They said no, my chart was “back there” and I should be called any time.  I sat another 30 minutes and then checked with someone else.  They went looking for my chart, and it turns out someone had put it in the wrong place, so if I had not had them look, I never would have been called.  I got the injections in my knees.  He sounds like as long as it is working I can keep doing that, as long as I wait 3 months between injections.  I don’t know how many times they will let you do that.  I think at the level of pain I am in now (which I don’t think is enough to put myself through knee replacement and 5-6 weeks off work), I will just keep doing that.  I had almost no pain in my knees for 2 months, so 1 month of moderate pain out of 3 is not bad.  If I get to where it keeps me from increasing my fitness efforts, I will rethink that.  To finish telling about my afternoon – I got out to my car and started it and started to back out and it died and I couldn’t start it again.  My son had borrowed it and brought it back today and I didn’t think about looking at the gas gauge when I left.  I was out of gas.  The transportation department at Baylor brought me a little gas (bless them) so I had enough to get to a gas station.  I filled it up, and judging by how much gas it took, I have never gotten it really close to being empty.  I expected it to cost about $60 and it cost $76.50!  I finally got back to work at about 4:30.  I thought the appointment would take an hour total (including getting there and back).  Wrong.  At least Jerry was in mediation today.

I meant to have my protein bar for lunch before I left, but I walked out without eating it.  So by the time I got done with my appointment, etc., I was hongry!  I got me some fresh strawberries at 7-Eleven when I was getting gas.

I have been struggling with a non-stop headache all week.  I need to take a muscle relaxant regularly for a few days to get it to settle down.  I just hate how sleepy and draggy it makes me.  But that’s better than a moderate headache, all day, every day.  I took a half of one this morning and another half this afternoon.  I will take another half before I go home and hope it has a little time to wear off before morning.  But it doesn’t usually work that way.

I was noticing the pants I am wearing today are getting pretty loose.  Soon they will be too loose to look good.  When I get to the next size, I will really feel like I am making progress.  I’ve been waiting to get into those clothes for a long time.

I’m glad I don’t have anywhere to go tonight.  I am tired.  I still have to decide if I am going to the Rangers game tomorrow night, however.

Friday

As I said, my laptop is messed up.  I had gotten up to do something when I was working on it a couple of days ago and set it on the floor by my chair (closed).  The corner of my rocker/recliner came down on the cover and did something to the screen.  It wasn’t broken – like glass broken – but you could see some kind of fracture on the inside.  It still worked for 2 days after that, but last night, once I logged in, I could not see anything on the screen.  But I could see the log-in screen.  Strange.  I really need a laptop, so will have to look into replacing it soon.  I do have a desktop computer; it’s just not as convenient to sit and work on the computer and watch television.  But at least I still have one.  I will have to get it up and going this weekend.  Maybe I can rearrange the position of my desk so I can use the desktop and still watch television, etc.  Hopefully I can hook a monitor up to my laptop and get anything off of it I need.  Like my Quicken records, recipes, etc.

Jerry called at about 5:30 last evening and said the case did not settle and he was coming back to get out a trial assignments list this evening.  So I ended up working until about 8:00.  That’s okay, since I missed a good part of the day on the doctor’s appointment.  But this has been a busy week with not much time at home.  I am tired and I don’t think I will be going anywhere tonight.  Rangers games are very taxing, and I would usually rather tackle one on a Saturday.  I need some time at home to rest and catch up on household chores, etc.  The cat’s litter box was out of control this morning, so that was a fun chore I had to take care of.

I don’t have any big plan this weekend.  I was supposed to have a jewelry party, but the invitations from the consultant went out late and we are going to postpone it.  I do want to get things all spiffied up around the loft again.  It was looking good before last Sunday when the kids came over, but it has been so busy since then, I haven’t kept everything up as well as I would like.

There will be a little shopping on my agenda – groceries, etc. – and my Weight Watchers meeting.  I need to get out and get Cas some more exercise.  He needs a good romp.  I am actually not too low on groceries, since I didn’t eat many “regular” groceries this week (or last).  Just need to replenish some fresh stuff and a few odds and ends.

Someone brought scones and cinnamon rolls this morning.  I really wanted one of those scones, after living on protein bars all week.  But weigh-in is tomorrow, so I wrapped one up and put it in my bag to take home.  I can heat it up for breakfast tomorrow (when I can use some extra points).

Someone warmed something up in the kitchen that smells really good and the smell is wafting down the halls.  Have I mentioned I am tired of protein bars?

I just got back from my lunchtime walk.  I may have to rethink my walking schedule.  It was hot!  Of course, it is extremely humid from all the rain we have had, so that makes it 10 times worse.  I may have to walk in the evenings as it stays light later.  Plus the cement will be too hot for Cas’ little paws at lunchtime.

Cas and I had a big breakthrough today.  I have been working with him for several days to turn and sit and look me in the eye when I say “Hey” or “Cas”.  He has been doing really well at that.  Every time I would see another dog coming, I would have him do that and, although sometimes he would start his usual behavior of barking and snarling at the other dog, he would stop as soon as I would say his name or “Hey” and turn around and sit and look at me.  Today we were walking and 2 big dogs were approaching.  I had him turn and sit and look at me and I was waiting for the other dogs to pass.  He was doing that beautifully and, after a minute, even lay down, looking me in the eye.  The other dogs were taking too long (they found a tree and were making long use of it), so I decided I was going to have to go ahead and pass.  So I was starting to approach them and Cas just stopped and greeted them without a sound.  He allowed them to smell  him and he never snapped or snarled or barked or anything.  I was so proud of him!  That is exactly what I have been wanting him to do.  Yay!!!

I am going to get this posted, since my laptop is down.  Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Texas Storms

Wednesday

I am still thinking today about how I don’t feel like I look as good as I did before when I actually weighed a little more than I do now.  I am wearing an outfit that I haven’t worn in about 3 weeks and I definitely see it fitting looser.  But I don’t feel it.  I guess that’s pretty common.  I expect that people who haven’t seen me for a while will notice more of a difference.  I will be glad when I get 10 or 15 more pounds down the road.  As I have said before, getting under 250 is when I really feel like I am beginning to make progress, since I haven’t gotten down this low in a long, long time.

I am planning to go to choir practice at the downtown church tonight.  I will at least check it out and see if it feels like a fit.  At church on Sunday (which was at my old church, since I went with my daughters), our pastor’s wife gave the message (since it was Mother’s Day).  She talked about going through a time when she felt like she lost her “voice.”  She had dreams and goals and they seemed to get swallowed up when she married her husband.  After years of struggling with that, she began to find her voice again and is being used in ways she never thought possible, alongside her husband.  She talked about how different things in our lives can cause us to lose our voice (meaning literally, or our realm of influence, our dreams, etc.), such as hurts and abuse, trauma, etc.  I think that is definitely true with me.  And for me, voice is not only figurative, but literal too.  I have always been a singer.  I have a solo singing voice, and used to sing in churches and for special occasions all the time.  I have sung on TV, even.  I was singing in a “gospel” music group when I got married.  My husband had his own dreams and ambitions, and it seems like who I was and what I was doing got swallowed up pretty quickly.  Then I went through raising kids and all that was required of me then.  Then my marriage got very rocky, and I lost my heart for singing, at times.  I got very beaten down in my marriage, from verbal and emotional abuse.  Then my marriage broke up and life was all about making a living (really was before my divorce, too), so there was no time (or heart) to pursue that much.  I did sing in some community choirs, including the Dallas Symphony Chorus, during one year.  Then I had the neck surgery, which messed with my voice for a while (still does, to a degree, but it is getting better).  So what had been a big part of who I was seems lost.  Most people now don’t even know I can sing.  And it seems like there is a part of me that can only be expressed through my singing.  Like it opens up a river of expression that is not released any other way.  So, that message meant a lot to me.  I think I need to start singing again.  I think this choir may be a better fit for me, too, since I have a more traditional sounding voice (at least, that is where I excel).  I can sing other styles, to a degree, but that is where I do best.  (Maybe if I work on the other styles, I could get better at those, but I haven’t had time to pursue it in the last few years.)

John has been encouraging me to join the choir.  He thinks it will be a very good fit for me, both for the purpose of using my voice again and to make friends.  So I am going to try it.  I really had not planned on doing it quite yet, but if I don’t feel ready after going once, I can wait after tonight.  I don’t need to let him push me into what I am not ready for.  But, he may be completely right and this may be just the thing I need.

After writing the above, I went to lunch.  I walked Cas and coming back, I stumbled on the steps going from the parking garage into my building, and cracked my knee and kind of strained my back.  I decided since my boss was gone for the day, I would stay home and not try to walk back to work.  I had a project I could work on at home.  I didn’t end up working on it much, because sitting there in my chair, after taking medicine for pain/muscle relaxant, I got sleepy.

By evening I was feeling some better and I thought it would probably do me some good to get up and move a bit so I wouldn’t get as stiff.  So I went on to choir practice.  I walked there.

I really enjoyed choir practice.  I think it will be a good fit for me.  The people were friendly and I know I can make some friends there.  My voice got tired, because it is out of shape, and I tend to get hoarse after singing for a while.  But that is much better than it used to be and I think will keep getting better.  Plus, as I use my voice more, the muscles and vocal chords will get back into better shape.  I have a very high voice and I noticed that my voice gets much more tired in my lower range.  In my really high range, the tone is projected above where the problem in my throat is and it feels free and clear.  That is good to know.  Anyway, I really enjoyed it.

As you may have heard, we had some big storms in the Dallas area last night.  I really did not know it was going on until, at the end of choir practice, they told us extremely severe weather was coming and we should probably hurry on home.  But if you lived in certain areas, you might want to wait a bit.  It was pouring outside with lots of thunder and lightning.  John, who plays the bass guitar, was playing at church last night, and so took me home.  It was a good thing, because I would have had to bum a ride with someone.  I had an umbrella, but no way I could walk home in that.  There was a supposed to be a little fellowship time after choir, but they postponed that because of the storm.

The worst of the storm hit in a little town southwest of Dallas called Granbury.  My sister moved to Granbury last August.  Fortunately, before I fully knew what was going on, I heard that she was okay.  At least 6 people in Granbury were killed last night, and last I heard, 14 were “unaccounted for.”  They may have been found by now.  One subdivision was completely devastated.  As it turns out, that are is where my sister and her husband were looking to buy a house (they are still living in an apartment, since she moved there at the beginning of the school year last year and he had to stay where they were to close down his law practice, etc.).  He lives there now, but they are still trying to get their house sold, etc.  I’m kind of glad for the delay now (bet they are too!).  Made for an exciting evening.

So, this week I am doing circles around my goal to get out and be with other people at least once a week.  It has been fun, but I am tired.  At least I got a little rest yesterday afternoon.  I am supposed to go to the Rangers game with the singles group tomorrow night, but I don’t know anyone yet, so I’m trying to decide whether to go.  I would know some people by the end of the night, I guess.  If I can push past my shyness, this will be a fast way to meet people.  There is only so much visiting you can do at a Sunday school class.

Just heard from my sister.  They are having school today – probably because a lot of kids need somewhere to go besides just a shelter.  But they are being encouraged not to lay much academic stress on the kids for a few days.

I’m going to get this posted and get to work. I go to the doctor this afternoon to get injections in my knees.  Good timing, what with my stumble yesterday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Busy Tuesday


Tuesday

I had a good day Monday and that definitely makes me feel better.  I admit that I am doing a kind of “catch-up” week to get back on track.  I know if I get on the scale and I gained a bunch last week, that will be discouraging, so I hope to put myself near to where I left off week before last with this high protein, lower calorie week.  I seem to be able to do these pretty well when I need to.  The only exception was dinner last night.  We had a celebration dinner at a fine dining restaurant and, although I didn’t plan to go “hog wild,” I did plan to enjoy it.  Glancing over the menu for this restaurant, I thought I would probably get a steak, which I did.  There were some shared appetizers, so I had bites of each of those.  And I got key lime cheesecake for dessert (a pretty small serving).

The rest of the week (through Friday) I will follow this high protein, low calorie plan.  Saturday, I plan to get back on regular WW (although I am counting points this week, just not eating as I typically would).

Honestly, I have not been trying to work out this week.  It has been a busy week so far.  I am also pretty flared up right now, so I am hoping that will calm down during this week.  I was really tired Sunday night from so much activity over the weekend, so I went to bed early Monday night, but I had trouble falling asleep.  I finally took a sleep-aid and dropped off a little before Midnight.  Last night, I got home after 9:00, and then my date from weekend before last (I'll call him John) called and we talked until after 11:00.

I was thinking yesterday afternoon, for some reason I feel bigger than I did 3 years ago when I had lost down to near this weight, even though I weigh less than that now.  I guess since I have been near that weight on and off through the last 3 years, the new wore off.  I am so ready to get moving.  I have to get right back going on my high protein/lower calorie plan today.

I’m going to get this posted and will probably post again tonight.  Happy Wednesday (it’s payday)!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Today is Important

Today is a very important day.  Today is the day I need to get totally back on track.  I am going to do a high protein week this week.  But today is the most important day because it sets the tone for the rest of the week.  Of course, when tomorrow gets here, it will be the most important day.  I totally lost all focus last week and I don’t like the way I felt.  I know how I feel about myself should not be totally dependent on how much I am eating, but I do not feel good about myself when I am out of control.

I way overdid (activity-wise) this weekend.  It was quite busy.  Bethany had to work, but needed someone to pick up her car from the body shop and turn in her rental car, since yesterday was the last day insurance would pay for it.  Steph was babysitting, but she brought the kids and we went to pick up the car.  She was keeping 3 little boys, whom she used to nanny for full-time.  They used to be at my house a lot and they were almost like my grandchildren.  Particularly the oldest of these three boys, since she kept him from the time he was born until he was 3 years old or so.  I loved the look on his face when he recognized me (I wasn’t sure that he would, since it has been a while since I have seen them).  He looked so happy to see me.  J  The boys are very close together – 5, 3 and 2.  We took them to a park at White Rock Lake.  There is a road going around the lake, and parts of it are for bikes and pedestrians only.  Stephanie bikes around it a lot and she thought she remembered where the playground was, so we parked the car and were going to walk a little ways down to the playground.  It turned out, she parked a lot further away from it than she thought (maybe ¾ of a mile).  She had brought the boys’ Big Wheel tricycles, etc. and they were riding down the road and we were walking and carrying their food for a picnic, etc.  The two older boys kept getting away from us (boy, they can move on those tricycles!).  So it was a challenge to keep up with them and keep them far enough to the side of the road to stay out of bikers’ paths (and sometimes cars’).  I had to do a little running to catch them one time.  We finally got to the playground and decided I would walk back and get the car by myself and bring it closer.  So the boys sat down and ate their lunch and then played and I walked back to get the car.  I didn’t know I was going to be doing all this, and all I was wearing was my orthotic flip-flops.  My feet were hurting by the end of it.

After that we went to another part of the lake to feed the ducks.  It was a little nerve racking there to watch over them and make sure no one fell in the water.  They wanted to go back and play after that, but we told them we were going to go to a different park.  I have been wanting to visit a new park downtown.  It is pretty large compared to the other downtown parks, and there are all kinds of activities for children and adults.  We had to park a ways from this park too, so there was another lengthy walk (especially with 3 little boys).  They had a really cool playground there, though, and the boys played in the fountain and really had a good time.  I had been wanting to go there and check out the food trucks.  I got kind of a gourmet hotdog with spicy mustard and a homemade relish.  I figured that was enough points, so didn’t get anything to go with it.  It was good!  I again went back and got the car myself and picked up Stephanie and the boys.  So I got lots of walking Saturday!

I got home at 4:00 or after and was pretty worn out, so rested a while.  I had mentioned earlier in the day that I sure needed to get my hair done and maybe I needed to find a different place to get that done than where I had been doing it, since the place I usually go to is not open on weekends (it is in the lower level of the office building across from mine and they close the building on the weekends).  Steph called a little before 7 when she was done keeping the boys and asked if I wanted to get it done.  She called the place she had gotten hers done and they said they would take me if I hurried.  So she picked me up and I ended up getting a cut and highlight Saturday evening.  While I was doing that, Bethany came by and left me her car and Steph and Beth went on home to their apartment.  I was going to drive Beth’s car home and she would pick it up the next day.  The thing is, I had left the keys to my loft in Stephanie’s car (you need them handy to get in and out of the parking garage) and she had taken them home with her.  So I had to go to their apartment and get them (the opposite direction I needed to go) and then didn’t get home until after 10:00.  I ended up staying up until 1:00, just unwinding and spending a little time at home with my pets.

I got up yesterday morning and walked Cas first thing.  He needs to be getting more exercise on the weekend than he does during the week, but he is getting less.  I’m going to have to remedy that.  I went to church with my daughters yesterday so I could meet Bethany’s boyfriend for the first time.  So they picked me up and we went to church.  After that we came back to my place and Bethany cooked dinner for all of us, including my son, who came over.  She made Eggplant Parmesan.  It was so good!  However, it wasn’t very points friendly.  Bethany’s boyfriend had bought tickets for all of us and his family to go see Iron Man 3.  So I and the kids visited for a while and then we went to the movie with Tom and his family.  We had a great time.  We got home pretty late and this was a much busier weekend than I usually have, so I was really tired.  It sure was tempting to try to find an excuse to call in this morning, but I hate calling in, so didn’t.  But I could have made an excuse without lying.  I am hurting all over and feel like I got run over by a truck.

My daughters gave me the coolest Mother’s Day gift.  It is an herb garden.  Bethany’s boyfriend helped her put it together and the girls potted all of the plants.  They also gave me a bunch of jars with flowers, which are sitting on my window sill.


I am always looking for a good way to get Cas more exercise.  There are different problems at different times that keep me from doing as much as he needs.  For instance, this weekend, I had so many other activities and had already done so much walking, that I didn’t have it in me to do much more.  Other times it is a time problem.  Sometimes it is pain problems.  Today I am hurting enough that I only did a short walk at lunchtime because my knees were hurting so much.  When we were at White Rock Lake Saturday, I saw this guy on a seated scooter.  My first thought was, I could do that!  It was a light-weight looking thing that just had a little seat to sit on (not like a handicapped thing, but a recreational thing).  I looked online and could find one kind of like the one below for around $300.  I wouldn’t mind having one for times when I need to give him some good exercise, but I can’t walk or skate, etc. for whatever reason.  It would go fast enough where he could get some good exercise and I could stay on sidewalks and not have to worry about traffic or other people as much as when I am on my bicycle.  Since we are about to go into the Summer, I could do it pretty late in the evening and still have some daylight (and the streets would be cleared out more).  Plus, in the Summer, I am going to have to get Cas some little booties if I walk him during the hot part of the day.  The cement would burn his little paws.  I could also use it on Katy Trail or at White Rock Lake.  (Probably only Katy Trail, since Cas gets so car sick.)  I think this would be a good option, so might save up for one.


As I said, my knees are really hurting today.  And I stepped off the curb when I was walking Cas at lunchtime, and I felt a jarring in my back (almost a spasm).  I am supposed to have injections in my knees on Thursday, so hopefully that will help the knees, anyway.

I have stayed on track today and that makes me feel better, just because I have been under control.  We are having a celebration dinner tomorrow night for the successful conclusion of our case.  I will enjoy it, but not go too overboard.  I am going to eat protein bars until dinnertime.  I’m just trying to get my weight down again and then will pick up where I left off.

I’m really tired, so going to bed early tonight.  Night all.