Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I know it's the day after Christmas, but I wanted to wish you all the merriest and happiest of holidays this year. Even if I don't post, I still read blogs and try to keep up with you all. Over the years, many of you have become like dear friends. Your support has meant so much to me, really.

I miss blogging sometimes. But, as I've said before, I would like to change the focus of my blog from weight-loss to something else, but I can't quite figure out what. I've lost 45 pounds since September and plan to continue losing until I get to a weight that feels right. My energy has improved and I feel like doing things again, for a change. So, for 2012, I'm hoping to get busy doing the things I've been wanting to do for years but allowed my weight to hold me back.

Anyway, I hope your holidays are good ones and that the new year brings you more love and happiness than you ever expected!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Checking In

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post. I've been reading blogs, but haven't felt inspired to write a word on my own. I'm focused right now on really, seriously losing weight and sometimes when I talk about it, I trip myself up. That may sound strange, but I think I get over-confident and that leads to thinking that I can slack off and give myself carte blanche, then I get off my plan and can't find my way back.

My plan is working for me and I've lost a good amount of weight, so far. I'm feeling good and I think that has to do with the fact that much of what I'm eating is gluten free. If you haven't tried a gluten-less diet, do as Anne suggests and just give it a try. I know what you're thinking, you can't imagine ever giving up the stuff you love. But if it improves your health, you can always find something else that you love just as much. Really, you can live without whole grain bread if it means feeling great :-)

Things have been rocking along here in my corner of the world. Work has been stressful again because the co-worker that out for two months in April and May has been out for two weeks with some mysterious "low blood oxygen" with no known cause and I've had to do her job again. This is beginning to be a real pain in the arse. The invalid dog, still lives on. When we take him out we have to use a harness on his front part and a lift strap on his hind legs. It makes for kind of an awkward way to walk a dog, but it works. The other day I was bringing him back in and tripped over the dog bed which sent him flying and I landed on the hairy dog bed! Yuk! After making sure the dog was alive, I laughed so hard I could hardly pick myself up off the bed.

Got a new toy to try and help motivate myself to move more. BodyMedia FIT had a special running for one of their armbands and I just couldn't pass it up. I wore for a week to see how active I am on a daily basis and it was pretty interesting to see how many steps I take and calories I burn. When I get to exercising regularly, I think this will help me see if I need to step it up. The only complaint I have with it is, the part that touches your skin is metal and I'm very allergic to some metals. My arm got a little red and warm while wearing the first few days but I moved it every few hours and that seemed to help. Oh, and of course right after I buy mine at the huge discount, they come out with a new model that's smaller and lighter. Oh well, I am a technology geek and this is helping me see what areas need work. Like sleep, I need more of it.

We're having fall-like weather today. Well, at least this morning it's cool with a little breeze blowing and the sun shining. A welcome break from the hot weather we've had for months. I think a bike ride is just what I need today.

Have an awesome week!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Loving it

I made it through my third day of Medifast and I feel pretty good. I was really hungry the first day but drank lots of water to fill in the gaps. Yesterday and today I've been mildly hungry and forgot to eat one of the meals *gasp* Imagine, me missing a meal, haha.

Anyway, today I went out for dinner and had grilled chicken and some spinach. I was a little nervous about going out so soon after starting my new plan, but I was in control and made good choices. It was nice having a 3-day weekend to have a chance to eat on plan at home for a few days before doing this at work. There are several people at work doing Medifast (MF) and they keep a single serving blender at work. I bought a Magic Bullet yesterday and think I will take it tomorrow. I made the soft serve tonight with it and it was awesome.

It's a three day week for me at work this week as I have to go out of town Friday and return Saturday night. I will take my MF meals with me and make good choices when I'm faced with eating out. I'm determined to make this work - no matter what.

We had a touch of fall in the air today. Yay! Well, let's just say it was cooler than it has been in months.

Have a great week. Make good choices! Oh, and don't forget to drink your water!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Motivation

I haven't been blogging much because I haven't felt very successful at my diet. I know that dieting isn't the "be all, end all" but when you are very overweight, it kinda occupies your every thought. At least, it occupies my every thought. I'm so tired of losing a few pounds only to gain them right back. Thinking about what to eat, what not to eat just makes me want to eat. I don't want to give up and I won't give up, but it's time to try something different. So, I ordered Medifast and started yesterday!

I'm really excited about the simplicity of it. I just choose which five (yes, five) of their meals I want to have for the day and then I have a "Lean & Green" meal once a day. I'm mostly having shakes and bars but they also have these awesome Parmesan Puffs that I love. I have been reading the boards over at the Medifast website and checking out what works and what doesn't. So far, I'm very encouraged that I've made the right choice for right now. I once thought that doing a weightloss program like this was too unrealistic, but I'm desperate to lose this weight and aside from weightloss surgery (which worked for Janell), this looks to be doable.

I'm still working on setting some goals. One I know for sure is kayaking some time next year. And blogging more. I know it helps me to stay accountable.

Take care. Have a safe and happy Labor Day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Closed and Protected

That's how I've been living my life these days. It's safer. There is no risk of rejection. No chance of being hurt. It's a lonely place to be.

I've spent a lot of time trying to lose weight. I know all about dieting. I know what foods to eat, what foods to avoid. I know that exercise is key. But even when I lose a few pounds, I still feel like I'm in the "swampland of the soul." That's a phrase from The Gifts of Imperfection by BrenĂ© Brown, Ph.D., LMSW. I just got my copy and can't wait to get into it. I'm hoping to learn how live a wholehearted life. 


It's time to stop trying to be everything to everyone. I need to stop looking for acceptance from others. I'm tired of trying to change myself to "fit in." I want to be enough and believe it. This may be a long journey, but I feel like it's going to be worth it.


Photo: taken in Venice a few years ago

Monday, August 1, 2011

Veg'd out

I've been veg'd out on my vacation. It could also classify as lazy, but that has such a negative tone to it that I prefer to say I'm veg'd out. It's hotter than blue blazes here in Houston and sweating seems to be all there is to do. Not really, I could find something to do I guess, but lying around, reading, and watching movies seems to be high on my list these days. I was so stressed the last part of the school year that I think I'm still putting myself back together.

I got a new dvd, Heavyweight Yoga 2: Change the Image of Yoga. I've watched some of it to see if it's something I really can do. And just from watching a little of it, I felt more relaxed and calm. The people that are doing yoga on this dvd are all sizes, ages, and abilities. I tried going to a yoga class at the Y last year and felt like an elephant compared to all the tiny (and very young) people in the class. Needless to say, I could hardly do any of the poses and the instructor wasn't very interested in helping me. So, I told myself "when I'm thinner, I'll do yoga." Well, this dvd shows me that I can do yoga with the body I have now!

For so many years, I've told myself that "when I'm thinner" phrase. Honestly, I'm tired of waiting. My life is surely passing me by and I am sick and tired of not having a life. I am making a plan of attack to get back on track to losing. Low carb is my plan of choice, but I am going to try The Belly Fat Cure for a few weeks. This plan is very restrictive on sugar and carbs but giving up all carbs in the past has proven too restrictive for me.

I'm working on posting some goals, too. I think that is something I need to help me stay committed.

Anyway, hope you are keeping cool and hydrated!

ps  Here is a video of Abby Lentz showing how to sprinkle some yoga into your day even if you are in a hotel.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wallow, then move on.

I haven't had a lot to say these days, and so I haven't posted in awhile. Well, I take that back, I have had things to say, but much of it might come off as whining.  Now that I've taken some time to wallow in it, I think I can move on.

A few weeks ago I discovered that sitting in an ill fitting chair can really screw up your back. I worked with summer school at the beginning of summer so I wasn't in my office and instead of taking my own chair to sit in, I sat in what was available. Bad idea. At least it was a bad idea for someone like me who has a bad back and I'm over 50. The chair threw something out of whack and for a couple of weeks I walked like a crooked old man. I noticed after the first day of sitting in the "other" chair that I was feeling some stiffness, but me being the mule-headed idiot stubborn person that I am, was determined to ignore that this could lead to a total back blowout. So, after a week of denial, I stayed home for two days in severe pain.

Then, my son needed to go out of town and asked me to care for his dog. What timing, huh? This dog is old and pretty much an invalid. He can't walk on his own anymore. We have to use a lift harness on his back end and lift him off the bed to take him outside to go potty. Thankfully, he has control over his bowel and bladder as long as we take him out regularly. He weighs about 30 lbs which doesn't seem like much, but he can't sit up on his own and just feels so heavy. He is a wonderful, sweet old dog. We've had him for about 14 years and he's still there, if you know what I mean. We've had the talk about putting him down, but it's so hard when he looks up  in recognition and wags his tail. Some days I think we need to do it for him, but usually it feels like we need to do it for us. I hate facing this kind of thing.

I haven't been taking care of myself lately. I've been eating too much sugar and exercise is just a random thought that crosses my mind occasionally. My body is paying me back, too. I feel like an old woman riddled with aches and pains and lethargy. This year I haven't felt in control of my life and it's showing up in how I treat myself. I've been scanning the internet looking for some nugget of wisdom to help me turn this boat around and I read this article. It has helped me realize this:

"Self discipline is doing something even if you hate it or don’t feel like doing it. Doing something because you enjoy doing it is NOT discipline. 

I'm on vacation this week and I'm reading, relaxing and talking myself into taking back control of my life. Not much of a vacation for most, but it's low-key and that's what I need for right now.

I know I haven't been very active in blogging lately, but I hope I still have a few blogging friends out there. It makes such a difference for me when we connect.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's Over

School is over, that is. I'm done doing my co-workers job. I'm just hoping she comes back this fall and is ready to go. While I enjoyed getting to know the students a little better this year, I am looking forward to only doing my job.

We ended the school year with a dinner at the Downtown Aquarium. It was nice to get together with faculty and staff and their families in a different atmosphere. Everyone was relaxed and enjoyed themselves. I snapped this photo while riding the ferris wheel. Since it was right at sunset, the view was just beautiful.

I've been gone so long, I doubt that I have any readers out there. I've missed reading blogs and blogging. I hope to get back in the swing of things now that summer is here and our hours are shorter. I've missed the daily contact with all my bloggie friends.

Food has been steadily getting back to pure low-carb. I haven't been out on the bike in months and I really do need want to get back to some regular riding. I'm thinking of signing up to do the Tour de Pink (again) on September 18th. The only hitch is I may be in Dallas that weekend for a planning meeting.

Have a great weekend and take care.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

All work and no play - boring!

Wow. It's been like forever since I posted here! Life has been all work and no play for weeks now (6, to be exact, thanks for the reminder Janell!) Before spring break, as I mentioned in my last post, a co-worker had surgery and I was asked to take on her duties. Well, I'd filled in for her before, but filling in and doing someone else's job daily for weeks is a completely different deal.

The first two weeks I honestly thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Such long hours and so much stress. I had my own work and then her job, which is attendance secretary. Let me tell you, I hate that job. It's a whirlwind of chaos with kids coming and going and it never stops. Of course, the overtime has been nice. One pay period my overtime came to almost the same amount as my regular pay. But all this work has left me frazzled and tired and I've been sick for a couple of weeks now. I'll be so glad when school is out.

While handling Job 2, I was trying to finish the planning for the trip to Albuquerque with 60 students and 10 adults. Usually, I look forward to planning these trips, but this time it was more complicated because we wanted to do some sight-seeing in the area, including Santa Fe. I was really looking forward to this trip and after I'd seen some of Albuquerque back in September of last year, I couldn't wait to get to Santa Fe.


So, April 6th, we boarded our plane and except for a few lost tickets (before we even boarded), everything was going smoothly. We got there and I picked up the rental car, the buses took the students to their first stop and I followed in the car. One student was not feeling well, so for an hour or so, I sat on the bus with her while everyone else toured the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. One of the teachers came to relieve me so I could make a quick razoo through. Then, they headed over the Old Town and the Albuquerque Museum of  History and Art. I'd already been there, so I headed to the hotel to get us checked in and get room keys. I met the adults later for dinner, then we went to the hotel.

The next two days were spent at the festival which was held at Albuquerque Academy. A lovely school with the most beautiful campus I've ever seen at a school for 6th through 12th grade students. I wish I lived there. To work there would be ideal. The kids were having a great time. I spent a lot of time stuck in the homeroom watching over everyone's stuff. Then Friday afternoon, a student began to complain that she was feeling ill. She said she threw up and felt achy and just lousy. This is one of the reasons I always get a rental car, just in case someone gets sick, we can go to a clinic or to the hotel. So, off we went to the hotel. I got her some stomach meds and Sprite and crackers hoping that would help her feel better.

Saturday morning everyone was getting ready to go to Santa Fe. I went to breakfast and found out that the sick student was still sick. I put someone else in charge of the buses and stayed behind with the patient. I was more than disappointed. I really wanted to cry like a baby. This was the one single thing I had looked forward to all school year and now I wasn't going to get to go.

Anyway, the kids bought me a beautiful pendant made by local craftsmen and the photography teacher gave me a few prints from a couple of the students. The prints mean more to me than anything.

Whew. Long post, huh? I've been so tired that the thought of trying to put together a post that made any sense gave me more stress. And, I feel like my life is so boring right now that I have nothing to say. I read a blog or two and realize that I really do lead a boring life. I haven't even been reading my books lately. I just come  home, eat dinner, veg in front of the TV for an hour and then go to bed. I hate it and while I know it's not forever, it feels like it's forever. And, see, I didn't want to go on like this is a pity-party-post, but it kinda sounds like it.

Not riding my bike, eating sugary/starchy stuff, and being stressed has me feeling crappy and cranky. Come.on.May 27th! School will be out and I can do my own job for a change. I have to get back in the healthy groove soon.

I want to thank those of you that have been checking on me. You all are just the best!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Breakin'

I've been off work this week for spring break. Just enjoying being off work. Riding my bike most everyday. Taking Sydney for walks and doing a few DIY things around the house. I think I'm going to get some flowers today for the yard. We have been having the most perfect weather.

On the diet front, things are moving along pretty good. I've lost 14 lbs since January 18th (the day I decided to get back to low carbing). And, while some days I still have a few too many carbs, the next day I cut back so it seems to be working. As long as I stay active I believe the scale will keep moving in the right direction.

Next week at work, I'll be doing the work of two people for about six to eight weeks. (A co-worker is having surgery and will be out.) Going in at 6am and leaving...whenever I get most of it done. I may even be working a few Saturdays. I am looking forward to the overtime (cha-ching) and I'll be too busy to snack, but I'm worried about being too tired to ride in the evenings. And getting to bed early for me will be a stretch. I'm a night owl, so going to bed before 10pm is unheard of in this house. Add to this the fact that we are being moved into temporary buildings this week while we are all off, and you can see the stress meter rising.

I have noticed something lately. Since I've been eating less carbs, I don't feel out of control around food. Well, that's not saying I'm not tempted. But I feel in control. That's what's important.

I hope you are having a great week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Somewhere, out there.

I'm trying desperately not to stress-eat. I feel like I have no control over my little corner of the world. And you'd think that since I can control what I eat, that I'd be good with that. But for some reason, I just want to dive into crap food and eat, eat, eat.

Bosses are making decisions, co-workers are making situations, and someone put too much crap down the disposal (at my house) and now I need a plumber.

I feel the call of the wild and I just might have to answer. I went for a bike ride, and that felt good. The only problem is I ended up back at home. Wish I could ride away. Far away.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Keepin' On


Just a quick note to say hello and hope your week was a good one. I've been moving right along with the plan to stay low carb and low cal. The weather has been so perfect, except for a few windy days, so I've been on my bike every day this week. The number on the scale is slowly moving in the right direction. Not as fast as I'd like, but I am aware daily and I will keep doing what works and scrap what doesn't.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

Hooray for unexpected days off! Thursday morning, at 5:30 a.m., I got a message from the school that we had a massive power outage and they would send an update if we were to come in later in the day. Well, the update said "no school today due to no power on campus." Woo Hoo! Can you tell I'm trying to tone down my excitement?! True, I'll be a little behind on some things, but I work well under pressure :).

A note about the power outage - we are having some construction work done on campus and I'm pretty sure that has played a part in our outage. The building that I'm in now will be torn down and a nice new one will take it's place. During Spring break, we'll be moved from our offices into some temporary buildings and they'll start on tearing down the old to make way for the new. We're all excited and yet a little apprehensive. And, my co-worker that I've been filling in for (a lot) is having back surgery right after we come back from break. I feel the stress pulling my shoulders up already but the bike riding is helping me keep it in perspective. I can't control the changes but I can control how it affects me. I'm just going to keep calm and carry on.

So, Thursday morning, with the threat of rain in the afternoon, I went for my bike ride. It was a little cloudy and very windy. I worked up a good sweat fighting the wind. Then I took Sydney for a walk. I've been taking her for a walk after I get back from riding. She needs a lifestyle change, too. I took her to the vet last week (that's her in the picture buckled up for safety) for a check up and some shots and was told she needed to lose a few pounds. She loves going for walks and it motivates me to get out there and walk more so it's a win-win thing. I'm planning on repeating the ride and walk today, too.

It never did really rain yesterday, except for a few sprinkles but I'm glad I got my ride in early. I've been doing good with my food. I'm still doing low carb, but I've had to count my calories and watch my portions. I tend to think that since it's low carb that I can have as much as I want. Hah. What was I thinking? I'm also logging what I eat, which I don't like because I get a little obsessive, but I MUST be strict with myself for a while until it becomes habit again.

So glad it's Friday and I am so happy to have the day off. Hope you have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hope Restored - Thanks!

Let me first say thank you for the wonderful support I received yesterday after my depressing post. It meant so much to me. Seriously, it helped me more than you can imagine. I began to feel better immediately after reading your comments. Hope restored.

When I got home yesterday, I took the dogs out and then put some air in my tires and went for a short ride. I hadn't been on the bike since January 7th so I took it slow and easy. When I got home, I felt great. Riding seems to be the best exercise for getting me out of the dumps. And what great spring weather we're having down here! It's awesome.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for being there. I'm taking the advice you shared to heart and focus on one meal at a time, pick myself up and dust myself off and get back on the wagon, think positive, give up "dieting" for lifestyle changes, and know that this too shall pass.

Wagons, ho!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Losing Hope

That's not what I expected of myself, but that seems to be where I am with my weightloss. I've been trying to stick with my diet for a few weeks now and lately I just can't do it. I'm very upset with myself, too. I'm going on a trip in April and had hoped to lose twenty pounds by then. Now, I'd be surprised if I lose five.

I know it's all about what you put into it that counts. I always feel like I'm ready to give it 100%. Then, out of the blue, I just cave in and eat stuff. I'm beginning to feel like I'll never be able to stick to a diet again. I've been dieting since my teens. All the time, year after year, my thoughts are about what I can and cannot eat. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my inability to lose weight.

Sorry, this post is down and out. I'm depressed about it and feeling hopeless. I feel fatter than I've ever felt before. Maybe it's just time to give up. I don't even feel like blogging anymore.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day - sans snow

Yesterday, we were all abuzz here in Houston about the possibility of 1 to 3 inches of snow falling on our beloved city. The decision was made at school Thursday that we would be closed today. That made everyone happy! (Doesn't take much) I woke up at 6:30 this morning, looked out the window and saw...nothing...no snow. What a let down.

All we got was a lot of ice. Black ice (not to be confused with the once abundant black gold in these here parts) all over the roads, freeways, driveways, etc. So many accidents reported around town. Some fatal. Its too dangerous out there people. Stay home if you can.

My mom decided to make vegetable soup last night. I was excited about it at first, then found out what was in it - cream style corn, white potatoes, carrots. Normally I'd be okay with that, but since I'm doing low carb, I was a little upset. I kept it to myself though and ate a bowl. It was really good, too. I didn't have any cornbread with it, but I know it was still a lot of carbs.

I'm going to clean house today and get it over with. I usually clean on Saturday, but tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 50's and sunny. Hoorah. Now I just need to stop munching. This cold weather makes me hungry.

Hope you're keeping warm and toasty and safe.

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Good to be Queen

Comment Queen, that is. Whatever, it's good to be Queen of anything, eh?



Blog Award!! From Anne H at Carb Tripper
Thanks, Anne!
This is a new award created by this lovely blogger:
(A Lap-Band Story)

Here's how to play:
List 5 goals that you have/had while on your lap band journey*. 
Comment on each blog you nominate and list your top 3 nominees for the award. 
(*well, since I don't have lap-band, I'll just call it a weight-loss journey)

1. Think, eat, and live like a thin person. This whole weight-loss thing is all about lifestyle changes.


2. I used to want to be able to wear heels again. Now, I just want to be thin enough that my feet don't hurt. Then, any shoe that fits will be perfect.


3. Ride my bike on a long distance ride. Adventure Cycling has some great routes. 


4. Fit in an airplane seat with room to spare. Flying right now is not enjoyable. I feel like I take up way too much space and forget going to the bathroom on the plane. It's just confirmation of how big my butt is.


5. Enjoy having my picture taken. Usually, I avoid being in a picture. When I was young and thin I never appreciated my looks. Now, when I look at old pictures, I could just kick myself for not realizing I was okay. Not fat at all.


Number one is really the key to all the others. I've tried for so many years to lose weight. I've lost and gained and lost and gained. I really want to put "dieting" to rest and get on with my life. 


One thing I can say about dieting and blogging is that if I didn't have my blogging friends, I would probably have given up a long time ago. Right about the time I'm feeling like a failure, someone leaves a comment that brightens my day. What a great community of givers you all are. You are awesome!


Now, for this award, I have to pick three bloggers to pass it along to. It's really hard to pick only a few, but here goes:


1. Kimberly at The Woman Inside Me
2. Tamzin at One Inch at a Time
3. Kelly at Happy Texans

Here I am staying up late again. Now I've cut into my reading time, dang it. Anyway, have a great day and stay warm!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not changing, for now.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts on the new title I was considering. For now, I've decided to stay with Shrink to Fit.

New Blog Title ?

I'm thinking of changing the title of my blog to "She Craves." (see it up there?) What do you think?

I still want to "shrink." But I want my "craves" to be less about food and more about what gives me joy.

I don't know, already I'm not sure if I'll miss my old title too much.

Monday, January 24, 2011

In Control

Last week I began to eat very low carb. I thought it would be really hard since I'd been practically mainlining sugar for a couple of months, but not so. I started on Tuesday and by Thursday, I felt in control. Now, I'm not saying that I'm totally rehabbed, but I can look a muffin in the eye and walk on by.

As a result of the low carbbing, I've lost 6 lbs. Woo Hoo! And I do feel better already.

On my drive home today from work, I had this thought:  I want to set myself free and throw my hands in the air and twirl! Well, maybe not twirl literally, but who knows? All this weight feels like a ships anchor wrapped around me, holding me down. I'm sick of that feeling. I want to twirl. Anyway, it sounds weird, but I get it. I think I finally get it.

We haven't heard anymore critters in the attic so we must have only had one raccoon. The wildlife wrangler came today to check the trap and he said it looks like nothing has been up there. Later this week they will patch up the screens that were missing and that should be the end of critters in the attic.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Caught!

Just a quick post as it's late and I'm already behind on sleep. This little guy got caught in the trap that the wildlife wrangler dude put in my attic a week ago. I'd heard a lot of movement up there which drives Sydney crazy and then I get no sleep. So Tuesday wrangler dude came out and put some sardines in the trap since, clearly, the nuts were not of interest to this critter.


Around 3:30 am I heard a lot of commotion and noise and that sent Sydney (the Brave) into a frenzy. I went up the attic stairs and was eye to eye with a raccoon. He kinda snorted at me and huffed and puffed and was cute as can be. I stayed up and then went to work, called the wrangler dude and he met me at the house to pick up the critter and take  him to a better place. We have another trap set in case there is mate. I just hope if they were a couple, they end up back together.

I'm low-carbing it this week and while visions of bread and sugary things are dancing around in my head, I feel strongly that I can say no to the white stuff and mean it.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feeling Empty (nested)

You know you're getting older when your birthday comes and goes and it feels like just another day. My son (who recently moved out) didn't remember to ask for Saturday off so he wasn't able to come by. I know he's young (26) and that he's busy with multiple jobs and school, but I have to say my feelings were a little hurt.

I sulked a bit this weekend then realized it might actually be my fault that he didn't think it was important to me that he be here on my birthday. I tend to act like it's "no big deal" and that we don't really need to make a fuss over it. And while I don't want it to be some big organized shindig, I do want to see his happy little face as often as possible. I'm taking a tip from Roxie and realizing that in this life we sometimes need to ask for what we want. If I wanted to make sure he was a part of my birthday celebration, I should have told him "plan on being there." To me, it goes without saying that if it's your mom's birthday - be there. But in this new day of texting and having too much on your plate, scheduling is important. So next year I will be letting him know - in advance - what my birthday plans are and that he's part of them.

So, I had a good cry and now I'm okay (sort of). But this separation from my one and only has affected me more than I expected. Being a mom has been my one true thing joy. For me, 2011 is about living life and finding new joy. I just didn't think there would be crying involved so early in the year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wild Kingdom

When I was a kid I never missed an episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins. Does any one remember him? My love of animals began with him, I think. Anyway, it's been feeling a bit like wild kingdom here at my house. More bumps in the night and a few squeals during the wee hours of the morning have made getting a full nights rest rather challenging. So, I called in a wildlife wrangler (actually a pest control guy, but the other term sounds more exciting).

I told him I saw a raccoon on the telephone pole a few nights ago and after he looked around he confirmed that we do have raccoon activity in the attic and around the house. He specializes in catch and release so he put a cage in the attic. Now we wait and see what we catch. The little buggers will be released somewhere north of Houston in a nice location with water nearby and lots of trees. I hope we get them soon.


The picture isn't great, but here's the little critter on the telephone pole.


Here's his/her little footprint.

Of course, the reason they've been able to get into my attic is because I have procrastinated about getting the screens replaced in the soffits and my attic has become grand central for anything wearing fur. The wildlife wrangler will begin to replace the rotted screen with something more durable as soon as we catch a couple of critters. Then when the attic is free of the little varmints, all the soffits will be neatly covered and they will no longer be able to get in. Yay!
Now that we are two weeks into the new year, it seems I've hit a few speed bumps in my intentions for 2011. I wanted to start doing more with my life besides working and sitting at home. But living with my mom has it's own circumstances and I don't always have control. She fell last week and had a terrible wound on her leg that became infected. The antibiotics (two rounds) are working but she's had to be off her feet (which is difficult for her since she's a mover and a shaker) and so I've had to be close by to help her more. Which is fine, I'm glad I'm available. Then she fell again Wednesday and it took us 25 minutes to get her up. Of course after we assessed that nothing was broken, we got tickled and laughed for about 5 minutes at the situation. Still, I'm worried that something like this could happen when I'm not here. I think we need one of those things you wear around your neck for times when someone has (help me, I've) fallen and can't get up. Sorry, but humor is how we get through somethings in this family. I'm thankful we can laugh :)

I've tried to be low-carb, but haven't really succeeded in keeping it low enough to make a difference. Now, tomorrow is my birthday and I'll probably go out to eat and will just eat whatever I want because, again, I have no control over the days events. My mom's friend hasn't made in town yet, but miraculously he will be here tomorrow. I think she planned it that way thinking I'd be excited about his being here for my birthday. I mentioned this to her (that he'd be here on my birthday) and she got all freaked out that I wasn't exactly keen on it. (don't be jealous of him, she said) Really, jealous has nothing to do with it. It's just that it's my birthday. Maybe I'm being selfish or anti-social. Or maybe this is part of the "doing more with my life" thing and I'm just uncomfortable with it. Oh, well. It will be a good day regardless, as long as no one falls down.

Have a great weekend. Don't procrastinate on the big things in life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Going

Getting back in the swing of things this week has had its ups and downs. Monday night there was some kind of hanky-panky going on in my attic. Tuesday I found a hole in the screen where they must have gotten access to their love nest. I'm thinking it was possums. I find them in the garage eating the cats food sometimes. Anyway, Sydney was so excited about the commotion so all during the night she would whimper and cry and bark. Needless to say, Tuesday at work I was pretty wall-eyed. I haven't heard anything else from the little varmints so I hope they're gone. (please just let me hold on to that thought)

It is nice to be back to work. The regular routine of things is beginning to set in and it's nice to have lunch provided. I just stick to the salad bar and get whatever lean protein they have over in the line for hot food. One of the perks of working at a school (and this is not your public school food).

Went for a bike ride Wednesday and Thursday. Let me just say that my legs and hind-end are in shock. I should have never let two months go by without riding. My first ride was only 5.5 miles and it felt like I was hauling a trailer around the neighborhood. I have gained 5 lbs since Thanksgiving, but geez, that shouldn't make that much of a difference. I think it's just that fitness flies the coop much faster when you're middle aged crazy.

My mom has a friend coming to visit next week from out of the country. That means I get to clean like a mad-woman this weekend and try to be cordial next week. Actually, it will be fun to see him again. I guess I just resent that it means more work for me.

Still working on my "intentions for 2011" list. It's been fun pondering things and getting my mind around doing something strictly for me. One thing for sure that I'll do is go to the museum once a month. It's free on Thursdays. I do like free. I've also been thinking about a new name for my blog. I like the name, but this year is not just about shrinking. It's about actually living.

Have a great Friday and weekend! Don't forget to drink your water and get some rest.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Making Plans for 2011

Thank you all for the wonderful comments/compliments on my new 'do. It was so nice of you and it made me feel great! I'm still adjusting to the newness of it. I washed it and it seemed to fluff up a lot. I used the blow drier with the diffuser attachment but I think next time I'll let it air dry. It may just be that I need to train it and it needs to train me, lol.

Today (Monday) was the first day back to work after a two week break. Sunday night I could not get to sleep. While I was off work I stayed up very late (which I love) so going to bed at 10pm seemed like punishment. I am going to work on making getting to bed early a habit this year. Since I'm older, not getting enough sleep is much harder on me. And, if I go to bed earlier that means less chance of late night snacking! Yay!

I keep trying to make a profound post on what my plans are for this year. Apparently, my attention span is somewhat like that of a gnat lately so thinking about this has my mind in a twist. I know my goal for this year is to continue to shape my life around a more fit lifestyle. Losing weight and becoming more active is the key combination to get that goal met. But another goal I have for this year is simply to find joy. I feel like I'm wasting a lot of time just doing what is expected of me: going to work, taking care of responsibilities, being there for others. I need some "me" time and for some reason that is a difficult concept for me.

So, I'm working on a list of things like: take an art class or photography class, take a dance class, go the the museum once a month, go see a movie (by myself), etc. I need to get out of this rut I've made for myself. Already, I feel anxious excited about it.

For years now I have told myself that when I lose all my weight, then I'll get out there and do things. Well, life is passing me by and who knows, maybe if I get out there more, I will be more motivated to get the weight off.

No more excuses. Make things happen.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year - New 'Do

I know I've mentioned before that I've been growing my hair to donate to Locks of Love. I started letting it grow about a year and a half ago and last Thursday I decided it was long enough. It was getting to be a hassle to take care of and my style was reduced to one look: a ponytail twisted up in the back and held firm with my hair-thingy from 1970, lol.


I mean, I love long hair, but letting it all be one length (for donation purposes) wasn't all that flattering on my 50+ face.



When I was a kiddo, I had very straight hair. My mom wasn't pleased with it and so began the years of perms and curlers, etc. I was a tender-headed tot and so it was always a tearful event. I think that's why, even to this day, I feel the drama coming on when I need a haircut.

A little hair history!

Me with a perm. I don't believe it was my first either!

And more curls! Long and short versions.


Then, as I got older, no more perms.





(Then there was the whole "blonde bombshell" era. But that will have to be another day!)

Anyway, back to the new 'do. So, I went to get my haircut on Thursday. The first salon I went to, the stylist barely spoke English and had never heard of Locks of Love. Now, I know they don't need to do anything special about cutting my hair except that it needs to be at least 10" in length and cut in a ponytail. But I got too nervous trying to explain this to someone who didn't understand me...so I left. On to salon #2. It was a Supercuts, they said they don't do cuts for Locks of Love at that location. What? It's a haircut for crying out loud. So, they referred me to the Supercuts that I used to go to and that made me happy. I got there, the stylist was awesome! Her name is Afelia (probably not spelling it correctly) and she knew exactly what to do. It was kind of a neat connection, too. Her nephew is going through chemo right now and that gave us something to talk about. She divided up my hair into four ponytails and a few snips later, it was all done.

Here's the before:



Here's the after:

And here's what's going to Locks of Love:


I think this is the shortest my hair has ever been. It's an adjustment, but I think I really like it. Very easy to style, just scrunch and go! And it was for a very good cause, so that makes it worth it.

The rest of today will be spent planning for the week. I'm going back to low carb. It's what works and I am ready to focus on getting myself healthy this year. I'm working on my list of goals for this year. A big goal is to be more creative. Get the pencils to the paper, so to speak. 

Hope your Sunday is a just what you need. It's sunny here today in H-town and cool and crisp! Perfect.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Last night my son came over. That sounds so weird (he recently got his own apartment) but it's fun to say, too. I made King Ranch Chicken and Outrageous Chocolate Cookies. We had a nice time watching the ball drop in NYC and then watching Houston's own first celebration down at Discovery Green. We don't like to get out on New Year's Eve so staying home is kind of a tradition.

Hope you had a safe New Year's Eve and I wish you all the happiness you can stand in the new year.

Love and best wishes,
Tena