Sunday, July 21, 2013

Work It!

Spending some time watching the final stage of the Tour de France while cleaning the apartment.  I have been following the TDF for a good part of July and it simply mesmerizes me.  The beauty of the French countryside and how incredibly fluid the racers glide through the various twists and turns.

I realize that many people have decided to quit following such races due to the "doping" issues.  Perhaps, it is just the underdog mentality I have, but people should continue supporting such events.  Every sport has its issues and cycling has its own.  The organizers just have to continue sorting out all of those issues and how to address them properly.

Still, watching the race has been very interesting for me.

Yesterday, I did not get much done because my dog, Chloe, became very demanding for attention.  Bo, in his own way, had some physical issues that had started on Friday evening.  Therefore, he was needy in a different manner.  I spent most of my time in bed with the dogs sleeping.  I would end up falling asleep from time to time.  All in all, nothing got done in the apartment that needed to be done.

Technical Geekiness:

Somewhere in my brain, I had the idea of getting an iPod Nano and leaving it connected in my car.  I purchased one and got my music loaded on it.  I was very fascinated with how much the Nano has changed since my first iPod Mini.  The one thing I did not realize was that the new Nano was using the "lightning" adapter.  This is completely different from the 30 pin connector that all previous iPods, iPads, and iPhones had used.  Well, crap - did this mean the ending of being able to use the new iPod? 

I tried connecting it directly using the USB port, but the only music the radio picked up was the MP3 files.  Those had weird names attached to them and there were only 3.  I did some research and found that I could get a lightning to 30 pin connecter device.  I knew there was a cable when the iPhone 5 was released, but this little device was not a cable - it allowed the user to plug in the lightning adapter connector into the device and the 30 pin adapter cable could plug into the other end of the device.  I found those and the cable at Best Buy.  I purchased two devices and one cable.  Once I busted open the device and connected it, life had returned back to how it should be.  I could see all of my playlists as well as being able to switch songs via the controls on my steering wheel.  It was great.

Another device that I have found very helpful in both kitchen and bathroom cleaning is the Sonic Scrubber.  I have two , one for the kitchen and the other for the bathroom.  When I have trouble getting a spot clean, I get the sonic scrubber and it takes care of the issue.  I have been very impressed with the device for years.  It is amazing how well it really takes care of cleaning those hard to reach areas.  You can get the Rubbermaid equivalent from Target and it works just as well.

Time to get back to working on the apartment, then run over to the grocery store to get some extra items.  I plan on roasting some salmon with potatoes and mushrooms, then have a salad with that.  I also need some more eggs.  The most of the eggs I had in the refrigerator went bad - I can tell as I put them in a pot of water and they floated to the top.  I had only 5 eggs that were still good.  I am so glad that my mom shared that trick with me.  It really helps when I have had eggs for awhile.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Realizing You Are Getting Old...

Being overweight most of my life, I was never the fast runner or even walker.  I spend a majority of my time doing "catch up" with others.  However, in 2001, I began to realize that with my extra weight and lingering age, I started feeling incredibly stiff when sitting on my bed.  Most of the time, I would sit on my bed with one leg under me and one dangling or bracing the bed frame.  When I would get up, I could not just start walking with ease.  I was so stiff that it would take a few steps before I could achieve fluid movements.

Christmas of 2006, my father and I drove down to Houma, LA to visit my grandmother.  Not sure if it was how I was sleeping or the weather, but my left hip was so stiff it was painful.  On the trip home, I took two hydrocodone pills for the pain.  Honestly, it never eased the pain and made me incredibly loopy.  I slept most of the way home.  A few days later, I absolutely could not stand the pain much longer, I went to the pharmacy and got Tylenol for arthritis pain.  Within 20 minutes, the pain was gone and stayed gone.  Another slap in the face that I was getting older.

Over the past few years, I have found that if I sit for a very long period of time, when I get up, I am so stiff that it takes awhile before my walking is pretty fluid.  People have started to notice.  My director saw me walking very stiffly the other day and I saw the questioning look on her face if I was okay.  On Tuesday, I had lunch with a friend.  When I got up, she thought I had hurt myself because it seemed I was limping.  I just said, "I sat for too long."

The only thing I can think to do about the stiff situation is to get up and walk around every 45 minutes.  Just loosen up the muscles and such, so that it is not so bad when I get up and start walking.  It is just sad to realize my body is getting older.  I would like to think my mind is still young and active, but I have my days of memory loss.  I usually attribute that to the constant information overload - Too Much Information!

When I turned 40, I did realize that marriage and children were probably not in the cards for me.  However, I would like to think I am wiser than I was when I was 20 years old.  I still have a lot to learn in the world.  There will never be any doubt in that area.  However, I refuse to grow too much into an old fart.  :-)

Health Update:

For the past two weeks, my blood sugar has remained under 200.  That is truly progress for me.  There have even been a couple of days where I only had to increase my dosage for fast acting insulin by one to three units. 

I have yet to crack below the 300 mark on my weight.  I am getting close.  I got on the scale and it read 301.4 on Thursday.  I just have to keep trying.

As for my FitBit flex goals, I keep striving to reach my 10,000 step mark, but never quite get there.  Most days, I can make about 60% of my goals.  Yesterday, I was about 1600 steps from making the 10,000 step mark.  I was bummed when I did not reach it, but not depressed.  I just figured - try again.  That is all you have to do - try again.  When you get it, then try to do it again. 


Tonight, as I was driving to a new pizza place, I was thinking - I probably have missed my true calling.  I should be a food critic.  I know - I laughed about it myself.  My co-workers and I love to try new restaurants and give our critiques.  For example, Fuzzy's Taco stand.  I enjoyed the huge salad I got one time, but other than that, it is like any other Tex-Mex restaurant.  Rusty Taco - I love their shrimp, brisket, pork, and various breakfast tacos.  Not a slam on the place, but was not a fan of chorizo.  However, Rusty's Taco is strictly about the "taco".  You can get chips, salsa, queso, and guacamole, but no rice and beans.  I am good with that.

The new pizza place, Palio's Pizza Cafe, I had heard it was pretty good from a co-worker and a friend of mine.  I went to check out the pizza.  The pizza had the crispy, thin crust that I like.  I also saw that the place provided gluten-free pizza crust.  The pizza tasted fresh and I enjoyed that.  I also had their garden salad with the house salad dressing.  The dressing was really good.

This week, my plan for meals is to make sure I cook.  I had to run some quick errands this morning and picked up a few items from the grocery store.  I noticed that the store had packaged up three small salmon pieces, so I picked that up.  I found a recipe for roasted salmon.  I figured I could make that tomorrow night for dinner with some rice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and a salad.  In consideration for my co-workers, I will eat the leftovers at home.  That way, I won't smell up the break room with a fishy odor.

I do have a back up plan for lunch.  I plan on making tuna salad and can also have a green salad with soup.  I know - SOUP????!!!!  In the middle of this Texas heat and humidity?!  Are you crazy?  No - soup and salad just fills me up in a good way and it is very quick to make at work. 


Thursday night, I went with a co-worker to Studio Movie Grill to see Red 2.  It is your typical "shoot 'em up" movie about a group of assassins, but it is just so funny.  If you have not seen Red, rent it first.  I absolutely adore Helen Mirren and she is my favorite in this movie.  John Malkovich just makes the movie because he is so funny and crazy.  I loved the movie so much that I went to see it again last night with a friend.  I have only done that with two other movies:  Vanity Fair and Mr. and Mrs. Jones

I had planned on going to see Despicable Me 2 tomorrow, but I just have way too much I need to do in the apartment to do that.  I would like to get a lot of that "home" stuff done first, then go sometime during the week.  I may do that.

For my personal birthday present, I bought myself a new iPad.  I have had the first generation iPad for awhile and it still works.  I figured it was time to invest again and look at the new iPad and all of its new capabilities.  I may blog and write more on it.  I found some really cool apps for writing and programming.  It would be interesting to see what more I can do with it.

Let's see what sort of things I can get into this coming week...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Re-evaluating Goals, Life, and What It All Means...

Last night, I was looking at YouTube, watching various video clips of a Stevie Nicks interview done on the OWN network.  She discussed her life, lessons learned, and the ideas that were important to get across to others in their lives.  One video, Stevie mentioned that she writes every day.  She had been writing since she was 15 years old and the purpose of that is to maintain the memories.  If you do not write them down, then the memory fades.  For Stevie, this was one way to hold onto those memories and keep them fresh.  I was inspired by that idea.

Another video clip, Stevie discusses how there is never enough time.  The basis of that discussion regarded the loss of her mother and how there were so many things she wanted to ask her, but that was taken away from her.  As Stevie discussed growing up, I realized a few similarities in our lives.  Both of our mothers grew up poor and when they were older, they managed the money that was brought into the home.  I remembered mom handling the finances and would get angry with how my father would manage it. 

Also, similar to Stevie's mother, my mother never wanted me to grow up to be dependent.  My mom wanted me to be independent and tried to instill in me that my life was complete whether or not I got married.  What was the traditional for many women, that did not have to be me.  Unfortunately, I never really saw that until after she was gone.  I was too caught up in what was "supposed to be."

The past week, I did a lot of reflecting on my life.  I visited the same doctor that discovered my mom had colon cancer.  My visit was the initial visit for getting a colonoscopy.  I shudder at the very thought of that process, but it is something I have put off for seven years.  I gave every reason why I did not have time - mainly due to work.  After my father's examination, the same doctor told him that I really needed to go in and be checked out.  Had my mother had the check up 10 years before, she may still be alive today.

I know that is a huge "IF", but at this point, we will never know what could have been for my mother.  For me, however, it is a different story.

As I sat in the examination room, I thought about how this was the beginning of the fear and hopelessness for my mother.  She knew at the time that there was something horribly wrong.  All I could feel was how alone she must have felt at the time.  Here I was - alone in this room with so many thoughts running through my mind.  The one positive thought going through my mind was that right now, as far as I knew, I was not experiencing anything that my mother had been experiencing.  Unfortunately, that was not a very good way to comfort myself.  Something could be wrong and I do not realize it.

I had to grab some kleenex to wipe away the tears.  I moved myself over to look at my work pager, so I could and push all of that out of my mind.

My weight has been bobbling up and down for the past week.  At the doctor's office, I weighed 306.  When I got home, I weighed 300 on the FitBit Aria scale.  This morning, I got on the Aria and it marked 304.  *sigh*  I am trying, but the numbers just frustrate me.

While I was at my father's house, I did go walk the neighborhood as I had about 17 years ago.  I could barely make one lap around the entire mobile home park without having to slow down a few times to catch my breath or ease some of the tension in my thighs and glutes.  One lap around the entire park and a small lap around a section near the house was a good 30 minute walk.  I did this twice, then work started interjecting.  I had started something right around when I needed to be on-call and I should have waited.  However, I kept saying that if I put it off and off, I would never just do it.  I had to get off my butt and do it.

As I sit here today, I look at the disaster of an apartment I call home.  I know it is a disaster because I barely have time to work on keeping it tidy.  It seems overwhelming, but today, just today, do something to clear stuff out - achieve something and make myself feel good about it.  Make the time to go swimming and do walking, but don't strive to get everything in at one time.  I know I am trying to get my 10,000 steps per day in, but when I can get more steps into my routine over 2500, I feel I did pretty good that day.

Today's Message From God:

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

your unspoken prayers will be answered.

Yes, God knows you, God hears you, God loves you, God is there for you. You are blessed.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Past Memories...

I have so many thoughts and such running through my head.  On Saturday, I will sit down and organize it all for here.  Right now, this song came to my mind.  I have loved it for so many years...

Stevie Nicks - Sara

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!!

This morning, when I woke up, I found myself feeling pretty good.  My Fitbit Flex tells me that I was awake several times during the night and did not get all of the sleep I thought I should.  Oh, well, I am sure that as I lose weight, that will probably change.

Today, I am just going to enjoy the day.  I am not going to spend the day fretting over things I simply cannot control.  I have been doing that a lot lately.  Many people consider that giving up.  I feel that I can only do what I can do and that is all.  Everything out of my control is someone else's responsibility and I am tired of badgering people to do right.

When I woke up, I thought I would use the Roku to help me with some exercise programs.  Ack!  To my horror, you have to pay for membership in order to get the programs.  Dang it!  Nothing is for free, is it?!  Well, I will just have to think about it and make some decisions on what I feel is appropriate - maybe do some free trials.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and remember those who gave their all for the freedoms we enjoy today!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Progress Report...

According to the FitBit Aria scale, I have lost 5 lbs.  FitBit has given me two weight loss badges:  One is for Lifetime weight loss for their system and the other for the 5 lbs loss.  Last night, I decided to check FaceBook for any friends who are using FitBit.  I found only one, a co-worker from my IBM days.  Next, I joined a couple of communities, in particular, one for those who have over 100 lbs to lose. 

I also looked at getting a bike.  I think I will wait just a bit on that.  The cheapest bike I saw for overweight people was over $700.  I figure I will just wait before making that investment. 

I am trying to stay a little strict on not putting in a lot of money into things that I may not do regularly.  That means, do not rush out and get a bike, then leave it in the garage to rust.  That goes for joining gyms.  A co-worker had told me about joining the Plano Recreational Center.  When thinking of paying the LOADS of money I did in the mid-90s through 2009 for the various gyms, I would say joining a community recreation center would be your cheapest deal. 

The first time I joined  a gym in 1997, it was with the IBM discount and the monthly cost was about $40 a month.  It was a nice gym and I got a personal trainer for a day.  Pretty soon, I left IBM for my current job and going to that gym was out of the question.  Luckily, I was able to drop the membership without penalty.

Next, I joined Bally's.  Worst decision I ever made and I suffered with it for 2 years.  I was never happy with Bally's.  Main reason I hated it was because I could not go to other Bally gyms without paying extra and to make matters worse, that particular location was a meat market for the single people.  Women wearing skimpy workout clothes and the others looking down at the who were not in the same great shape.  It was daunting to go work out there.

In Fort Worth, I joined Fitness Connection.  I did their weight loss and personal trainer programs, but with my new job, I just did not have the time to go.  Luckily, my membership there was month to month, so when I quit paying, that membership was done.

I joined 24 Hour Fitness when I moved to Plano in 2001.  I got a company discount, but it was $40 a month.  I was able to go to other branches, but only certain ones based on my membership level - similar to Ballys.  Another situation where I never seemed to have time to go to the gym to work out.

Once that contract was done, I canceled it and in 2005, I joined Curves.  I used it a few times as well.  When I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I got a bit better with going to exercise there.  Curves is based upon circuit training.  I remember this when I was taking P.E. courses at TCJC in the '80s.  If I was not going to Curves every other day, I was doing the Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home videos.  Those videos actually can make you sweat.

Soon, I started running out of time to devote to exercise.  In the end, that Curves location closed as did my membership.  If you wanted to go to another Curves location, you could go to the ones that the owner had with no issues, but others, you had to go in and get a pass for that many days.

Financially, it makes no sense for me to invest in a gym membership ANYWHERE at this time.  I have a bad track record.  That is why I am trying to take advantage of those things that I have easy access. 

In other news, I was invited to be substitute at my friend, Laurie's, monthly bunco game.  I can never keep up with score keeping, but the rules are easy to remember.  Ever since I moved to my current apartment, Laurie would invite me to sub whenever someone could not make it to the monthly game.  It is $5 to enter.  Last night, I was lucky enough to have the most wins, so I won $20.  Another person got the most "buncos", which is getting the number you are supposed to roll on all three dice, so they get a certain amount of money.  Next, the person with the most losses gets the original $5 back.  I am not sure if someone with the most junior "buncos" gets anything - that is when you get the same number on all three dice that is not the number you are trying to roll for in that round.  I always have fun attending those parties.

I took my winnings and added that to my gambling money.  I figured that is the best policy.