Sunday, June 30, 2013

Getting Out There and Doing It...

Yesterday, I gathered up my courage and headed out to my father's neighborhood pool.  Yes, I was very self-conscious about how I looked in my bathing suit.  I felt like a white whale in a dark green bathing dress.  It started to sprinkle outside once I was in the car heading to the pool.  Looking at the sky, I figured it was something only very brief.  I was right on that one.

No one was in the pool - bonus points for someone already nervous to be there.  As I began my descent into the pool, the water felt initially cool, but very welcoming.  Memories of when I used to get into a pool came rushing back to me.  Pretty soon, I was swimming across the pool - from one end to the other.

While the pool is not a very "big" pool, I felt winded after a couple of laps.  I would lie on my back and let my arms guide me to the side of the pool.  I tried to go under water a few times, but without goggles and a nose plug, that was not working.  Still, I just swam and swam.  A small family came to the pool, but mainly stayed in the shallow end due to their young son.

I kept swimming in the pool until my fingers were wrinkled.  That actually worked for me because it took an hour for that to happen.  What I came to find out later in the day, I have one heck of a sun burn on my shoulders and heat rash on my shin area.  Time to moisturize and look for something to kill the burn.  Still, I want to go back - even more so since I got some swimming goggles after the swim.

As I was preparing to head over to Fort Worth, I realized how much I was the "Queen of Misplaced Things."  I could not find the crown that came off last weekend, my fitbit, or my gambling money.  In the end, I found the first two and figure the third is somewhere in the apartment.  However, I hate it when that happens.

Because I figured I missplaced my fitbit, I picked up a FitBit Flex.  This device not only tracks your steps, but it also tracks your sleep patterns. I wore it last night and was amazed by the level detail the bracelet got on my sleeping.  I went to bed at 2:30 AM and woke up at 8:28 AM.  The Flex showed where I had woken up 4 times.  Also, even though I was in bed for 5 Hr 58 Min, I only got 3 Hr 40 Min of actual sleep.  Man, small wonder I am so tired!!!  My sleep efficiency is about 74%.  That was amazing data to receive.

I continue to try hard to log what I eat.  Every day, I am always over my limit.  I never thought that this part would be easy - it never is in the beginning.  The focus is just to do it.  The data will be completely enlightening and helpful in figuring out where my pitfalls are.

The FitBit is definitely a very interesting device to use for these lifestyle changes.  I am still wearing my FitBit Zip because I like seeing how many steps I have made.  The Flex does not show this data.  That is a downside to the device.  Still, it is encouraging for changing one's life.  If you happen to be competitive, there are badges to achieve and you can keep up with your other friends.  I am not competitive.  I only want to focus on my goals.  If I get too wrapped up in trying to beat someone, I miss out on my personal goals.  That is more important - focusing on me.

After watching Tour De France, I wonder about getting a bike.  I think I will give it some thought and research, but not going out to buy one outright just yet. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another Reboot...

Last night, I went to bed feeling pretty disappointed.  Not seeing much change in my weight and I know I have got to change that.  Maybe the dogs knew this was going on in my head or God, but I was up at 6 AM this morning.  I walked the dogs around 6:30 AM.  When I returned, I sat down and got my FitBit sync-ed up.  Next, I took the FitBit Aria scale and downloaded the software to get those readings uploaded to the FitBit website.

I admit, I was not happy to see I have gained another 2 lbs since my initial weigh-in of 307.  Good grief!  So, within the FitBit website, I set up my fitness goals.  I am starting small - just 10 lbs.  I reach that goal, reset for another 10 lbs.

Next, I set up my food goals.  Luckily, the goals here fit what the doctor wants me to work into my life.  Today's calorie goal is 1887 calories.  I just need to quit being OCD over numbers - no need to be exact. I need to get close to that goal.

I will have to log the foods I eat and enter in customized information.  For instance, I usually eat Sara Lee's 45 and Delightful bread.  That is not always in every calorie dictionary.  I am fine with that.

I also started logging my blood sugar levels here as well.  I figure - Why Not?  I have to poke my finger several times a day.  Put that data there so I can see it.

So, time to reboot my daily activity life and get more active!

(Whoa!  As the day progresses, the number of calories decrease!  LOL)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Feeling Rather "Blah"...

I am going though the "blahs" again.  Food does not taste right or it is not what I want.  No real feeling of accomplishment and constantly feeling I am behind in what needs to be done.  Totally disgusting.

Sunday, I went to WinStar to do a bit of gambling.  I played mainly slot machines, but only lost about $50.  Perfectly honest, I just walked around the casino a lot.  I played a few machines, but I just liked walking and looking around at everyone.

People watching at a casino is pretty entertaining.  Some people just sit there in front of the machine and tap the "SPIN" button while smoking their cigarette.  Others will play two or more machines at one time in some hope of hitting it big.  My favorite are those who like to play the "High Roller" area.  I feel that it takes a lot of guts to say "Sure, I will put a $100 bill into the machine with at 50-50 chance of getting money back."  Chances are - you will lose it all in one shot.  Sucks, but that is how it goes.

The problem with slot machines - you have NO control or decision about the outcome.  Seriously.  You simply put your money in, pray you hit a set of wheel turns that will provide you your money back along with a little extra.  Playing cards - you have no control over the cards you are dealt, but you play with the hand you are given.  Granted, the "house" has the upper-hand, but if you play the game right, you can come out ahead.

That is why playing slot machines tends to bore me quickly.  I might as well go to an arcade and blow my cash there.  LOL

While I was at WinStar, my father had plenty of "comp" points with the casino, so we were able to get a free dinner from the buffet.  I had finished with most of my meal and started to eat on a cookie.  After biting into it, I felt something in the back of mouth give away.  Darn it - it was the crown for my back tooth.  Luckily, I was smart enough to spit out the contents of my mouth before swallowing.  I was able to retrieve the crown and wrap it up in some napkin.  It did not hurt, but I was left with this weird feeling of vacancy where the crown had been.

Monday, I tried to get into the dentist, but he cannot see me until this coming Monday.  Definitely a busy man.

I was a bit bummed about the crown.  I was also a little bit angry.  It had been a couple of months since I had my cleaning and I mentioned some foul odor/taste from that area.  I was told all was well.  After Sunday, I would say that was not the case.

I hope to go swimming at the pool this weekend.  I have not been swimming in eons.  I usually avoid it due to being so self-conscious about how I look in a bathing suit.  I just need to ignore that and get on with it.  I loved to swim when I was younger.  I quit swimming around 16 or 17.  In Louisiana, I was able to go swimming all of the time when I reached 11.  I moved to Texas and the age increased to 14, so I had to get my father to go with me - my mom did not know how to swim.  That was difficult to get him to go because he was either busy with work or tired.  When I finally reached 14, the age limit went up to 15.  Ugh!

Finally, when I was of age to go by myself, I would go a lot more.  When we took trips to Houma, LA, we would stay at the Holiday Inn and I would go swimming in the pool for hours.  On my 15th birthday, we were there and everyone got onto a shrimp boat for a fishing excursion.  My cousins and I went to the island and swam around the area while the adults went fishing.  That was a lot of fun.  By the time we got to the hotel, washed off all of the salt and sand off of me, I fell asleep on the bed while my parents went out to get my birthday presents.  The family dog slept on the other bed.  LOL  (BJ loved to travel and he was on the boat ride the entire time.  He never got sick, but held having to pee until we got off the boat.  Once on land, he would pee and pee and pee.  Felt bad for the little guy.)

I had to share that since it came to my mind.

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

your gut instinct is usually correct.

We have these feelings in our body for a reason. Listen to your body.

I have often relied on my gut feelings and others thought I was foolish for doing it.  I think those were the best decisions I could have made.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Another Birthday and Pondering Mortality...

Today, I turned 47.  To celebrate, I basically lounged around and tried to just enjoy the day with no stress.  Okay - my dog, Bo, has been a constant source of a headache with his off and on barking all day.  I feel I have had my fill of that garbage for the day.

I baked a coca-cola cake and headed over to my father's girlfriend's house for barbeque country pork ribs and catalina grilled chicken.  I cannot find any restaurant that makes that sort of food, so I just ask him to make that one time a year - my birthday.

I spent some of my time thinking of what I have done with my life.  I was reading other friends' postings on Facebook this week when I came across one that saddened me terribly.  I knew of this girl in high school and she is pretty nice.  She has talked about having a lung diease for quite some time.

This woman went to some specialists this past Friday to get some hope.  Instead, she came home realizing that her diease was rapidly advancing and there was nothing that the specialists could do for her.  In a nutshell, she is dying.

I posted that I would be sending many thoughts and prayers her way that her situation would improve.  It reminded me of my own mother.  You want so badly for the situation to improve or achieve a stage where you have some sort of life.  I am sure this woman is experiencing all of the stages of grief and there is nothing, absolutely nothing any of us can do for her.

The woman has had family issues in the past.  I told her she needs to live each day to its fullest.  Those who cause her pain in her life must be eliminated.  She cannot live these days worrying over petty arguments.  One just cannot do that.

The whole situation made me think of my own mortality.  Have I accomplished those things that I would like to do?  Was I able to achieve the dreams I had for myself?  Nutshell, sort of.  In one sense, I have a job that I am successful at doing.  I make fairly good money and am able to support myself.  Do I have the husband and children?  No.  Do I feel happy with my life?  In all honesty, there are some aspects I would like to change.  I want to be happy with life.  I allow too many things to weigh me down and that has to change.

I need to see each day as a gift, not just another day with the grind.  There is something to relish in each day - I am certain.  My goal is to look for those things.

I am not happy with myself physically.  Yeah, yeah - I say it again and again.  However, the truth is:  No drug is going to change my physical side.  I have got to be more active.  I do not wish to deny myself anything because that only makes one sad.  Enjoy those things that are lovely in moderation.  Look at the chores as challenges to overcome and win.  Make life count for something because when you leave, you need to be able to say "I lived a good life!"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Slow Recovery...

Pulling all-nighters for whatever reason is a physical strain.  As I have gotten older, I have noticed that it takes me longer to recover than when I was in high school/college.  It is almost as if you got wasted and your reflexes are not so "hot."

I made the mistake of going to get coffee and breakfast before heading to bed yesterday.  As I tried to enter my apartment complex, the key FOB was not signaling the gate to open.  As I tried to go in after someone came out, I did not put my brakes on quickly enough.  My car pushed the gates off of their rails and the gate made a loud sound. 

It was not one of my better moments.

Luckily, there was no damage to the gates or my car.  The maintenance guy got a ladder and put the gates back on the rails.  He said no damage was done and all was well.  In fact, he told me about someone who had hit the brick columns, so this was no big deal.

Well, it was no big deal to him, but it was a big deal to me.  I was thankful it was not damaged, but it left me really worrying about what I had done.  I had not had any drugs or alcohol, but with lack of sleep, I did something really stupid.  (Not that I don't do stupid things when I am alert, but that is beside the point)

I did manage to grab a few winks of sleep yesterday, but I felt really drained all day.  That is why I hate pulling all-nighters.  I hate the drain it puts on my body.

As part of my own personal rehabilitation - basically, getting more exercise into my routine and cracking down on calories - I bought the Fit Aria scale.  It is part of the FitBit program and will measure weight, BMI, and other data.  I also bought a small iPod Nano and an arm band for carrying it.  I am pretty impressed with how the consideration was made for creating a place to put a key.  I am working on putting all of this together in order to start getting some of this weight off. 

When I was talking with Random Cathy about when we have "crashes" during the day - the ones where your body feels like it has no more energy - I had suggested a snack of peanut butter and some fiber fruit like apples.  As I was walking the dogs yesterday, some other suggestions came to mind.  Try eating some almonds for protein to get you over that "crash".  Edamae is another good source of protein as well.  I have some frozen edamae that I am going to steam and lightly salt for a snack today.  I plan on bringing my lunch because I know exactly what is there - nothing out of the ordinary.

By the way, on the almond front, if you crave chocolate or a touch of sweet, there are cocoa dusted almonds along with toffee and coconut flavored.  Definitely a new kick to plain old almonds.  Planters had an olive oil and sea salt package that I just loved.  That helps getting over those low energy moments.

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you learn what you do.

If you worry a lot, then day after day you are learning how to worry even better. If you think about doing something a lot, then you are learning how to think about doing. Every moment you are happy, you are learning how to be even happier. Every time you act, you are learning how to take an action even better. What is it that you've been learning today? What is it that you want to learn tomorrow?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Doctor Update...

On Thursday, I went to the endocrinologist's office at Diabetes America.  My weight had not changed, so that was a downer.  The nurse asked me if I was taking blood pressure bills - I had taken my meds before going to bed.  Apparently, my blood pressure was a bit high.  Also, my blood sugar was 198 when they measured.

Apparently, that monthly deal started and when it does, everything goes up and I have tried everything to bring the numbers down.  At least, the nurses and doctor agreed - that really messes with your blood sugar.

After checking everything, the nutritionist/diabetes educator wants me to change my eating habits so that I have between 1500-1800 calories a day.  (I refuse to say "diet".)  Also, I really have to try harder to get exercise into my daily routine that will raise my heart rate.

The doctor increased the unit dosage for my 3 insulin pens.  Also, I will start a program of checking my blood sugar before eating and adding additional units when necessary.  It is a process that the doctor called "correcting."

So, I have checked Roku/Samsung/Sony streaming functionality for various fitness programs.  I was able to locate many that are free.  Again, rather than spend money on a gym membership, I need to take advantage of those things that are free and easily accessible.  I see no reason to spend additional dollars that will only be given out freely if I do not really use the memberships or watch videos.

I am not due into the doctor's office again until August.  This is going to be a long, hot summer.  I hope that I can see some definite changes by that time.  That might help me feel some accomplishment.

Today, I was fortunate to spend some time with Random Cathy.  I always leave our meetings on such a positive and high note.  I love meeting with friends where I can come away from it not only learning something new, but looking at situations and such in a different light.

Today's Message From God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

a new beginning is always possible.

Let the greening of the Earth in springtime be a sign for you that a new beginning is always possible, even after the longest, coldest, darkest winter.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What's Going On...

Last night, I fulfilled a bucket list item.  I went to see Fleetwood Mac.  Actually, I probably killed two birds with one stone.  I got to see Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.  It was a wonderful show and it was great to see the band playing so well.  I think the song that captured the evening for me was "Landslide", in particular, the following chorus:

But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too

It is true - we are all getting older.  Still, it was a great way for me to go back in time with the memories associated with all of those songs.

This morning, I pondered why we even plan anything when people do no planning at all.  I get a bunch of messages about how something has to be upgraded.  My first question is "What are the timelines?"  With that, the reply is "There are no timelines."  Seriously?  You get a phone call and discuss things that need to be done, but you do not even properly plan?

I remember a time when I was working on building new production systems and my lead's manager was sitting with the DBA and me.  The DBA and I were joking about something during the planning session and the manager got upset.  She started in about how this was like building a house and it needed to be inspected and the such.  I explained what we had laid out for our blue print and went over it in order to show that we were not blowing off the planning.  We had discussed what needed to be done, how it needed to be done and such.  The manager relaxed once she realized we had been serious and planned.

So, what gets me is why is this behavior being accepted today?

Sometimes, I think I am too OCD for my own good.

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

God accepts even the smallest offerings of your devotion with great love.

The size of your offering does not matter to God. It is the attitude with which the offering is made that matters.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Feeling All Techy, Geeky, and Nerdy...

Past few days, I have this vicious circle of paranoia begin on me.  I examine what is going on at work around me and wonder where I fit in or am I being left out in the cold.  When that happens, the paranoia starts.  Today, I am forcing my mind to forget it all and "crack on."

A couple of days ago, I was getting frustrated with my keyboard at work.  I had bought a Logitech keyboard and mouse combination that worked well for me about 2 years ago.  Now, the keys were beginning to stick and causing me havoc when typing in passwords.  So, off to OfficeDepot I went in search for a new keyboard.

I fully admit I am a Logitech bigot.  I prefer their products over Microsoft.  I figure I feel Microsoft has their hands in too many pies, if you ask me.  Sort of like Oracle having WAY too much power after acquisitions of SUN, BEA, and etc.  Now, they can make demands like, we won't support anything but our software on our hardware.  Bottom line - ridiculous.

Anyway, while looking at the various keyboards, I noticed that Logitech had created a solar powered wireless keyboard.  The slogan for the new keyboard - no more cords and batteries.  I have to admit, nothing like trying to work on something and have the batteries drain and you do not have the right ones within immediate access.  So, I picked it up, then looked for a mouse.  Having thought about that situation, I figured the mouse I had was still good and since the previous keyboard and mouse used the universal USB receiver, then the mouse should connect to it and still be usable.

My co-worker, another techy, geeky type, was mildly interested, but began to dismiss it.  His commentary was "I bet you have to wait for it to charge up before you can use it."  I popped the box opened and showed him what the keyboard looked like.  At the top of the keyboard, two solar panels, then lots of additional keys to use for short-cuts to access email, other windows, and programs.  I plugged in the USB receiver and voila!  The keyboard started working.

I did note to my co-worker that the company claimed that the keyboard would still work even after being in the dark for 4 days.  We will have to try that, but really did not have time.  LOL

Since that time, my co-worker picks up the keyboard box and keeps looking it over.  I just smile and say, "Hey, I am doing my part to be more green.  Not sure how in the world they are going to create a solar powered mouse, but I bet it will probably just be a touch-pad."

This weekend, I will be going back to clear more stuff out of my storage unit.  After that, I am going to look at my father's Ubuntu (Linux) server he set up.  He was going on about how he cannot get X-Windows started and not get access to the internet.  I think he is missing some stuff with the installation, so I will probably reinstall the software and see what happens.  Also, I have brought my old Toshiba system to back up, "crater", and rebuild.  I have some ideas on what I want to do with that.  Mainly I want to document the process, so that when I do this again, I have the correct links and information to make it all work.

Last night, while waiting to pay for a CD case to hold some software/game CDs, I noticed that Duracell has an instant USB charger.  I thought about that for a bit and picked one up.  When I got my iPhone, I had purchased a charger that came with a battery that you attach where you would normally attach the iPod data connector.  I have LOTS of iPod/iPhone data connectors lying about and I seem to have misplaced all of the batteries for the charger.  So, I figured I would give this a shot and see how it works out for me.

When I start getting this "techy/geeky" behavior going for me, it helps to relieve the paranoia I get with work.  As I read in one of John le Carre's forwards describing how he became a writer, I find myself bored at work.  Not the listless type of bored, but bored with the same routine and trying to sort out something new and different to shake things up a bit.  Production issues and the corresponding drama does not interest me.  Learning something new and gaining a real understanding of the inter-workings and how to break it sends me into an excited frenzy.  The reason for that - I understand the entire process and I know what makes it tick and how to keep it going.