Friday, January 31, 2014

Wrapping Up Week 4...

For the past two weeks, I have eaten somewhat healthy foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I am still working on reducing my portion sizes.  I have achieved an 18 lb loss since 1/4, so I cannot complain about that.  However, my scales show I have a 0.4 lb increase, which disappoints me.  I know - have patience!

Next week, I go back to doing shakes for breakfast and lunch, then healthy snacks and dinner.  I know I can do this.  Right now, I need to quit playing the numbers game and focus on the long term.  Rather than worry over things I cannot possibly control, I need to worry about the here and now.  I think that is too much of my problem with everything.  I worry over the things I cannot control.  I need to learn that life does not always go the way you want, no matter how strict you were with something or the fact that you did everything you could.  I must learn to leave it in God's hands and trust that he will help me see what is really best for me.

Last night, I went to the Dallas Stars game and felt incredibly guilty for having bought a small popcorn (well, what they consider small) and a diet Dr. Pepper.  I felt I was cheating on my diet when I still had a load of calories to eat.  I kept telling myself that it is okay to have popcorn every once in awhile.  The goal for this lifestyle change is that I can eat whatever I want, but in moderation.  This is the key.  What I should do is pat myself on the back for not having bought the large pretzel or the cinnamon roasted nuts.  I by-passed those items last night without even a thought.  Usually, I will think about how good the nuts smell.  I do not think it even registered in my head.  In fact, I do not think I even smelled the hot wings being floated into the arena.  That was definitely a first.

I should see some difference in my pocketbook for the upcoming weeks.  I won't be spending quite so much at the grocery store.  Also, I am not spending very much cash out of pocket, either.  I like that.  I feel the life style change will do more than just get me healthier, but also save me a bit of cash.

Overall, I feel that I have had a very positive attitude with these changes.  I have not cared for the low blood sugar drops, but I think that over time, that will sort itself out with decreasing the medication.  I still get cranky with work issues, but you know, there is not one thing I can do about someone's decision making process.  I can only do what I know to do and go with the punches.  I just wish that others had a bit more fore thought put into their decisions before laying it down in concrete.  I hate to say it - some people never change and expecting them to change is insane.

Off I go to try to work hard to make something happen.  Following that old mantra, if you work hard enough, your dreams will happen.  I certainly hope so.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Getting Past Feeling Stupid...

I do not mind the cold, but the bitter cold is really annoying.  I walked the dogs this morning and decided not to walk down to the apartment gym to walk on the treadmill.  I did pull out the walking DVD, where you do a 2 mile walk.  As I see it, 30 minutes of exercise is 30 minutes of exercise.  I was going to sweat either way.

I find it interesting that when I walk on the treadmill vs doing the DVD, I get a more rigorous workout from the DVD.  I was looking at what the FitBit registered after doing both and found that I burned more calories from doing the DVD workout.

Now, what I figure is that I may need to up my game on the treadmill.  So far I have been walking about 2.5 mph on the treadmill for 30 minutes and doing a 2 mph warm up and cool down.  Perhaps, it is time to increase it to 3 mph and see how I do.  Most people can do a mile walking a lot faster than I can.  I am not trying to compare myself to others because everyone is different, but after seeing the results on the FitBit, I may need to increase the pace a bit.

I am not sure why, but my biggest issue with following along with a DVD is that I feel so stupid.  For example, if someone were to watch me, they would probably think I was crazy.  In the gym, where people sign up for a class and such, it does not seem quite so crazy.  Why is this going through my head?  I am just trying to get the exercise into my daily routine.  As I said, 30 minutes is 30 minutes.  I am trying to do it every day, so that I can get the most benefit from the activity.

In other news, I had my review at work.  It was as I expected it, but the latest on my move to the new group is 3/1.  Now, that having been said, that date comes with strings attached. (Of course!)  The manager needs to feel comfortable about the software upgrade that will happen on 2/22.  *sigh*  Let me just add, the manager has thrown in a bucket load of changes that he wants to see implemented in production that were never suggested before this time.  Some things just never change and it is probably best I move elsewhere.

At least, I am making it through week 4 of this lifestyle change.  I just need to get the exercise habit solidified.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Conflicting Feelings...

Briefly, I did not get on the treadmill for two days to exercise.  I allowed the bitter cold to convince me to stay home and try to get my extra steps via "happy dancing."  However, I was fraught with so much guilt for not going to the apartment gym.

I made it a point to get up early this morning and head to the gym to walk.  My motivation that made me sick enough to stop eating last night:

No sporting events on TV.  I should have known better than to turn on the TV without putting it on Netflix or Amazon for some quality shows like MI-5, Breaking Bad, and others.  I flipped through the stations and came across "My 600 lb Life".  Nutshell - reality TV about people whose weight just has gotten away from them.  Getting weight loss surgery and losing the weight. 

What bothered me the most about last night's episode was not the weight the person had.  It worried me that I would be like the subject's wife.  She was overweight, but not to her husband's extent.  She thought to give him a chance knowing how difficult it was to get a date being overweight. 

While that sort of thing is kind, her husband just did not really seem to appreciate what she was doing for him.  She was constantly doing things for him because he could not move.  He did not have a job and promised to take care of the house and such while she worked and went to school.  Add to that - the couple had adopted a child.  That is a lot of work for a woman to handle.

He got his weight loss surgery, but did not seem to really quit the fast food and extreme eating.  When she got angry with him for not helping more around the house, he complained about having lost 100 lbs and that did not seem good enough for her. 

His wife decides to get the weight loss surgery.  The only flower she got was from the hospital.  He did not get her anything.  She had to nag him to put things together for her to leave as she could not move much.  When it came to getting her medication, he got upset that he had to make a special trip.

I got physically ill.  I was eating dinner and simply stopped because I was so sick to my stomach.  It hit me - I do not want to get myself straddled with a man like that.  I realize that beggars cannot be choosers, but in this case, I would rather do without that.

I feel so much guilt because I understand not finding someone to love you due to your weight.  Then, again, I get what I need to do to rectify that situation.  I am working on it.  I want someone in my life not to do things FOR me, but with me.  I want a partner, not someone who relies on me and my job to get them through day to day or someone who just ignores me.  I want someone who would love me and be my moral support.  Someone who is a "strong man", but also sensitive. 

Maybe I am asking for too much, but when I saw today's message from God, I thought it struck a bit too close to home:

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

it is also important to know what you do not want.

Sometimes when you go through a period of great difficulty and struggle, it is so that you can finally realize what you do NOT want in your life. Then finally, at long last, you can embrace what you DO want.

Monday, January 27, 2014

How Music Enhances Your Past Memories...

The other week when Random Cathy and I decided to get Starbucks for the evening, I bought a Fleetwood Mac CD.  She mentioned she was not a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac, ELO, or other similar 70's type of bands.  The music during that time reflected upon some bad memories. 

Now, here comes "Mel - The Rocker Chick" persona.  I know exactly what she is describing.  You know how you go to the movies and there is a soundtrack that plays in the background.  Well, there is always music that is part of our background.

For example, I associate The Eagles with the time I spent living in Phoenix, AZ.  My father was sent there for a 4 month training school and my mom packed up a bunch of stuff and me and we headed out there in October 1975.  The music played there was The Eagles.  I loved Phoenix, but I hated being away from my elementary school friends in West Monroe. 

Fleetwood Mac represents that time period that my father bought a boat.  My mom would pack a picnic lunch for the family and we would spend the day at the lake.  It was loads of fun.  Queen represented the time that part of the elementary school I attened, Kiroli, burned down and the 3rd grade and one 4th grade class was bussed to another school for about 4 months.  I remember listening to the various songs from "A Night at the Opera" on the school bus from the high school kids.

During a bleak period,  I had developed a soundtrack.  A friend of mine loved it because it truly captured how beaten down we were with work:

  • Back in Flesh - Wall of VooDoo
  • Whip It - Devo
  • Working In a Coalmine - Devo
  • Do the Brown Nose - Dead Milkmen
  • Big Time Operator - Dead Milkmen
  • I Walk the Thinnest Line - Dead Milkmen
  • Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails
  • Happiness in Slavery - Nine Inch Nails
  • Help Me I Am in Hell - Nine Inch Nails
  • Homicide - 999
  • Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck - Prong
Granted, it was not the best of times, but I always laugh at it because we just took our anger out by listening to the list.  That was over 10 years ago.  My friend mentioned that he listens to the XM station for hard core punk for that reason.  I always laugh - Yep - banging my head at the desk.  When you are frustrated and feel caught like a caged animal, sometimes, music is the best outlet.

I embrace the music.  I know there was a time when music was not on my high list.  I was burned out when playing clarinet.  I decided to quit my senior year as situations were getting pretty stressful.  My band director called me a "quitter" and said he had already planned on putting me into the concert band, rather than the symphonic band.  I no longer cared.  I hated the situation and he obviously was not very understanding.

That whole "quitter" business has been a huge thorn in my side.  I loved playing clarinet and probably would have continued, but I was not planning to be a musician - I was a tech geek.  However, to be called a "quitter" for letting something go that was causing a great deal of stress was wrong.  He never understood what was going on in my life and never cared.  I had better teachers than that, so in the end, I was better off.

Today, I am not so much into what is being played on the radio.  You will find me listening to alternative music stations still, but I seek old music as well.  I love to listen to classical music when I am working on something or reading a book.

Quote of the Day:

Of course, I talk to myself.  Sometimes, I need expert advice - Anonymous

God's message to me for today - I truly believe this:

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

you are strongest when you are humble.

Only the weak act with arrogance. They put their pride on display so that others may think they are powerful. But those with great strength are humble because they have no need to prove it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Chaos Continues...

I have decided I know what I want for my birthday.  I would flip over the world to find this man standing at my door:

Richard Armitage

I am a bit nutty, but hey, that is the secret to my so-called youthful appearance!  I will admit, I would love to find a similar man with the same voice.  O-M-G - his voice sends me into a whole other world.  He is a fantastic actor and love his work.  I am sure we will see more of him here, which is great. 

Now, that I have that out of my system.  Everyone can get a good laugh at me and feel good.  :-)  That is why I am here, folks - have a good laugh.  It really does fix what ails you.

Speaking of youthful appearances, I decided to try a new facial system for my skin.  I love those mini kits you can get in the stores.  That way, you don't waste a lot of money on the separate products.  With the crazy Texas weather, my hands are dry and cracking.  Not a good thing.  My face is drying out a bit as well, so I figured, time for the moisturizer.  

Yesterday, I went to the apartment gym and made a huge mistake.  I got on the treadmill and tried out the walking course.  Oooooo...poor choice.  I am so not ready for that!  My legs were killing me after about 5 minutes.  I finally had to switch the treadmill back down to manual and just walk normally.  The point is to be active, not kill myself. 

I toyed with not going to the Stars game last night.  On one hand, I was tired and just wanted to kick back and relax.  However, it was the Stars vs the Penguins - I needed to be there!  I am so glad I went - the Stars shut down Sidney Crosby and I enjoyed a great Stars win!  Wooo-hoo!

It is so funny.  Everyone tells me they can tell how much I am really enjoying the season tickets for the hockey games.  I know the men at work think I am a total hockey nerd now, but I do love watching the team play.  As I have said, I also like the sense of community amongst the crowd.  It is really awesome.  We hate to watch the team lose, but we are in the seats cheering them on at every home game.  Next year, I am considering upgrading my seats down to the second level.

I did notice that I do not feel so crowded at the games.  There is a bonus.  I talked to the wife of the family of four that sits next to me.  On Tuesday night, the account managers invited everyone in our section and others next to it for a free drink in the Platinum Club.  I asked her how the cakes were - I had seen her daughter and her making the purchase while talking to my account manager.  She said that the brownie was out of this world, but cost $7.00 and the carrot cake was bleh, but it cost $8.50.  We both laughed - for that cost, it should have been better than the brownie!  Food at the AAC is so stupidly expensive.  Last night, I did not even buy a bottle of water.  I have obviously made some progress there.  Still, I can smell those "crack" cinnamon roasted pecans/cashews calling my name when I get there.  It smells so good!  I have to keep telling myself - keep moving - damn things are like a bad drug.  However, I highly recommend them to anyone who does not have to watch their waistline.  They are da bomb!  (Seriously - I would eat those over popcorn, pretzels, and the hot wings.)

This week will be the last week that I get to eat regular food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Next week, back on the shakes for breakfast and lunch.  I bought some fresh veggies to carry with me for snacks.  I have also enlisted the help of an old high school friend for fitness tips.  We had talked about his being my personal trainer a couple of years ago and it just fell through the cracks.  Now, since I am actually doing something, we are going to meet up in FTW next Saturday.  I haven't seen him in a while, but he told me to show up with pencil, paper, and my beautiful smile.  I am sure that he is being nice before he starts kicking my butt - only kidding, he is a great guy.  He does have quite a few success stories on getting people into shape and besides that, he is already in great shape.  I remember him telling another high school friend at a get together what he needed to stop doing to lose weight.  The other guy was like "No way I am cutting out the ice cream at night."  It was hilarious to hear.

I am sure in the upcoming weeks, you will hear more about this.  I am excited.  Maybe by the time the 30th reunion rolls around, I will look different, but in a good way.  However, I am more worried about being healthy than the vanity aspect - that is just the icing on the cake.  Also, there is the self-confidence business.  Let's be honest, losing weight or not, I need to go with my gut and quit second guessing myself.  That seems to be my stumbling block.

Today's Message From God To Me - rather interesting:

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

no matter how good you try to be to others, you will occasionally hurt them. Forgive yourself for it.

The same will happen with them. Forgive them for it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Letter Writing: The Forgotten Art...

Not too long ago, I watched a news report on how cursive writing was being phased out of our schools.  Really?!  I know I have left my own cursive writing off to the side - I only use it for writing checks these days and even those are few and far between.  However, I think it is still important to know how to write in cursive.

Handwriting tells so much about a person.  Heaven only knows how many articles and books are written on the subject.  I just know it is like giving up that rite of passage.  Most of us have been through that process when we were in grade school.  It is a fine art.  I suppose cursive handwriting will become more like calligraphy - a hobby for those who like doing beautiful things with writing.  I hate to see that happen.

I suppose in this age of fast technology, we just have forgotten the art of writing a letter.  Sure, you can sit in front of a computer and quickly pound out a a note to a friend, click "Send" and your friend gets it within seconds.  However, just like with e-mail, somewhere deep inside, we love visiting the mailbox for that something special outside of the bills.  You get that package or even more, a hand written letter someone wrote for you.  It makes you feel special because someone sat down and took the time to write the letter.

As I begin that "Spring Cleaning" process within my apartment, I am going to look for the note cards I have bought and never used.  I think it is time to show various people how special they truly are and in a way, I hope, make their day a bit special as well.

Funny side note in regard to technology advances - a high school friend of mine was recounting a conversation her daughter and friend were having.  The friend needed to get a paper done and her computer was not working.  The friend suggested that she type it out on the typewriter.  Neither the daughter or the friend knew what a typewriter was.  Apparently, it is some ancient piece of equipment.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Time to Reflect and Confess...

Today has not turned out as I would have liked.  With the weather so cold, I did not venture out to the apartment complex workout center.  I should have done it, but it is so bitter cold.  I should have pulled out my physical activity DVD and did not do that, either.

I ended up sitting at my computer with work stuff to do from 7 AM until 6:45 PM.  I did manage to catch lunch with a friend, but could not go into the office due to smoke alarms going off in my apartment.  I had to take the dogs to the vet for day boarding while that situation rectified itself.  Both dogs were highly upset over it.

I over did it a bit a lunch.  Furthermore, the rich food really messed with my system afterwards.  After eating, I really had no desire to eat anything else.  I was that full.  Not so full that I was aching, but just "full".  I look at that as a good sign. 

I feel guilty because I had some food that I probably should have skipped.  In the end, I made up for it by having a light breakfast and decent supper.  I did Boston Market for dinner and I remembered a nutritionist telling me for healthy food, Boston Market would be as good a choice over other fast foot places.

I also feel guilty for not getting the amount of walking in as I had really wanted.  It reminds me of the time when I would go walk around the neighborhood 4 times at night for my exercise.  If I neglected to do it, it would eat at me until the next evening when I made it a point to get back out on that street and get it done!  I had some major will and determination.  This time, I hope that what happened last time does not happen again - I got stood up on a date and it crushed me.  I went back to eating and quit exercising.  My mother wanted to kill the guy for doing that to me.  It was not his fault.  Maybe, this is where I forgive him, so to speak.  He did not want to date a fat chick.  Okay - then don't.  However, don't lead that person on - be honest about how you feel. 

I get that no matter what we all say - it is not always about the beauty inside a person, but the beauty on the outside that really attracts people.  Your friends, you see their beauty inside.  A potential partner, one tends to look for the pleasing beauty on the outside.  I know that has been what I have faced for the past 30 years.  It is sad, but it is what it is.

I noticed on my scale that my BMI keeps getting a bit higher.  I am losing weight according to the scale, but I will have to work on the BMI.  Not sure if that will change as I get more and more active.  I would think it should, but I need to be patient.  God did not create the world overnight and I cannot drop over 100 lbs that quickly, either.

I guess I want to be thinner so badly that I want it quickly.  I know that it is not the right thing to do.  Losing weight very quickly can have some negative effects.  I feel that by losing the weight the healthy way, re-learning portion size and adapting to that, that will serve a better purpose for keeping the weight off.  I feel wonderful about the fact that I can actually push the plate away with food on it still.  That is such a huge step.

Another thing I really noticed about myself was that I would have a tendency to "inhale" food.  I have no clue where that behavior came, but I do it.  Now, I try to make sure that I take time to really savor the flavors of the food and enjoy it.  Not just woof it down to see if I beat everyone to finishing their dinner.  I think it is very important to notice these things.  They could be keys to righting the wrongs I have done to get me where I am today.

Interesting Message from God to me:

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

vices can be turned to virtues through awareness.

Look for a daily practice to cultivate your awareness.

Nearing the End of Week 3 - Still Alive...

I feel I am moving forward both emotionally and physically.  This week, I managed to eat healthy meals that were low in carbs, calories, and tried lower fat.  I am still losing weight, so that is a great thing.

At this point, I have lost a total of 15 lbs and finally under the 300 number.  That is a good start for me and I will take it as an achievement.  The FitBit has really motivated me to get up and move around more.  Yesterday, I woke up early and hit the treadmill for about 40 minutes.  I did not walk so fast, but that is not the point.  The point is that I did get in there and walk.  I just needed to do more.  I need to walk 2 miles on the treadmill and not 1.5 miles.  So, that is my goal - get in there and get my 2 mile walk done.

This morning, it is so cold.  I am not sure I will be able to walk outside around the building at work for very long.  I do not mind cold, but I do not like the bitter cold.  We will see what happens once I get to work.

Here is to sticking with good habits!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Late Night Musings...

This evening was very interesting, to say the very least.  Last week, I had received an email from my Dallas Stars account manager.  There would be a special "season ticket holder" event held tonight for those in my section and others around me.  Basically, it was an invitation to go to the Platinum Club area and have a free drink.

I went, with everyone else in my section, to see what it was all about.  That section in the AAC is very interesting.  So many restaurants and bars.  Then, again, I felt I probably should not be in that area due to my people watching.  There was a coffee bar with these huge cakes I have only seen at The Cheesecake Factory.  The family of four that sit next to me were getting their share of the cake.  LOL  I figured I may have picked up 5 lbs from just looking at the display.

I saw my former account manager while I was standing and watching the game.  He is a handsome guy who is incredibly sweet.  He remembered me because I was easy - I never made any trouble or caused any headaches.  We talked about the team and I said that I know they were going through a rough patch, but I can see the potential in that group.  The team probably won't make the play-offs, but I know that they just need a bit more time to gel and they will get there soon enough.

Next, he told me that he would be getting married soon.  (Too bad for me!  LOL)  He had just bought a house and with the games going to every other day, it was pretty hectic.  I could sympathize - the schedule is a bit of a beating right now.

I did find out that there were some other extra things that season ticket holders could get.  With that knowledge, I asked him about the day where a friend and her son will be attending with me.  I thought since the poor boy was sick the first go around, maybe I could manage something special for him.  It was so great to hear my former account manager tell me that there were things that they could do to make it special for him that day.  I was so very grateful.  I just have to email my current account manager and copy my former account manager with that information.  That is why I miss my old account manager.  He was a real sweetheart and so very nice.

I left the game early.  I know the dogs probably needed that potty walk as I was unable to get them out the door before I left for the game.  I managed to get home, walk the dogs, then fix myself some soup and a salad.  Overall, I did well with my meals today.  I am trying to watch my carb and fat intake.  I hope that I can keep up the weight loss and continue to feel better about myself.

The one thing I need to work on is my self-confidence.  I was reminded tonight that I constantly second-guess myself.  A friend said that I really need to go with my gut and stick to it.  I was a smart woman and if I fail, just remember the lesson learned and do not do it again.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things That Make You Go "AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!"

Tonight, I was called upon to look at an issue.  I identified the problem was a data submission issue.  Basically, I cannot change the data sent into the system - it is whatever the caller sends to the program and it forwards the data elsewhere.  No one wanted to hear that - they wanted me to fix their problem.  Another situation where it is believed that I can fix anything.  As I thought about it, I wish I had Harry Potter's wand - that would fix everything.

I received my 2014 planner calendar refills today.  All of the quarters are neatly shrink-wrapped and such.  However, you cannot tell which quarter each one is for on the outside of the packaging.  Argh!  Now, I have to open each one.

When I got home from work tonight, my legs were still aching from the long walk I took during work.  Of course, I needed to walk the dogs.  Chloe has to stop and sniff darn near every place on the walk.  It is so frustrating, especially when you are trying to get those extra steps.  What really irritates me - when she needs to go potty, she will worry me to death over it until I take her.  Once she is out there, she piddles around during the walk.

Patience is a virtue - I need to get me some of that!

...and yes, I am choosing to be happy.  I did some happy dancing this evening, even though inside, I was feeling a bit like garbage.

God's Message to Me:

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

you can let yourself be happier.

Happiness is a choice, although often it might seem otherwise. And it starts small. Today do something that makes you feel happy, and tell your friends about it.

...I just did that!

Week 3 - Turning Back to Eating Real Food...

So, here comes the true test - for the next two weeks, I will be working on eating healthy food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I hope I do not break the trend I am on now. 

This morning, I had 1/2 a cup of cottage cheese, no sugar peaches, and a hard boiled egg.  Oddly enough, my calorie intake came just over the usual 180 with the shake - 188 to be exact.  Not bad.  I am going to try to work in some oatmeal and mix it up a bit.

For lunch, I am going to try to wrap up eating the smoked meat I picked up at Cousins BBQ in Crowley.  The brisket is so good that I picked up a pound of it and the turkey breast the other day.  This should end that meat today, so I will have done well in that aspect.

For dinner, I am going to boil some shrimp.  I love to have boiled shrimp, rice, and a small salad.  The leftovers are always good for the next day.

I am trying very diligently to make sure I keep my weight loss rolling right along.  I am working in various walking exercises.  I just get frustrated with walking the dogs because they tend to stop and want to sniff around.  I need to just get over that and let them do their stroll.  Once they are done, then, I really need to head off to the apartment gym and get my own work out done.

Time to fix the lunch and get the day started.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How Much Age Changes Us...or Doesn't...

Last night, I attended a wedding for two people that attended the same high school as I did.  Oddly enough, both of them showed up in our yearbooks next to one another all of that time and 35 years later, they were marrying one another.  It was funny and so very sweet.  Both of them appear to be so in love and as I write this entry, I wish them the very best life has to offer them.

I sat down with a group of girls I graduated with in high school.  Mostly a lot of chitter-chat about husbands, kids, and other family topics.  I felt so out of place in those conversations as I have nothing to add of my own.  No husband, no children to dote about, but I am happy to hear about their lives.

Once the vows were exchanged and the happy couple were announced as "Mr. and Mrs.", everyone filed into the reception area.  Our little group sat together at a back table, where more conversation continued.  One woman, who graduated when I was a freshman, was singled out for never having been married, but she had children.  I never got married, either, but that did not seem to matter.

At one point, the conversation turned to age.  It was a hilarious conversation regarding how so unsexy everything was and a competition we make to keep up with those younger than we are.  One turned to me and said, "If I were to look at you, you do not look like you are going to be 48.  You look like you are still in your 30s."  I told her that I see the same lines and wrinkles forming on my face and my body tells me every day how I am actually aging.  However, I do not think of myself as being almost 48.  My mind still resides in that wonderful time of my life when I was 25-26.  I was much thinner than I am now and I had this wonderful vision of how my life was going to be.  I figured by my 30's, I would have been married, a child or two, and had a job I loved.  That must be where my "youth" still resides - I remain young looking because I just have not grown up in a "life" sense.

Reality - I never met the man for me.  Sure, I have these wonderful crushes on various men, but they never see "me".  I always fall victim for the other woman who, for whatever reason, wins their hearts and then, they tell me of their despair in their relationships.  Men I am not attracted to seem to scare me to death.  I made my mistake with getting involved in a married man.  I knew he would never leave his wife and I had no aspirations of anything more than that.  I knew I liked this man, but I did not "love" him in that manner that I am looking.  I really wished I had never made that mistake, but I was going through a lot of mental anguish and it happened when I was weak.  I am stronger now and won't make the same mistake again.

My children are my dogs.  Sure, they are furry, but I love and care for them as if they were my children.  I feel such a pang of guilt when I have to leave them at home or the vet's office.  I might enjoy a day off from the responsibility, but I miss them terribly.

My job - right now, that situation has not been what I had expected.  Times have changed as have the values that corporations take for granted.  At some point, there will be a wake up call, but none of us have time to wait.  The interesting piece regarding work was that another gentleman, who was 50 and did not look like it, stated that he was looking to change his career as being an engineer was being phased out and sent to other countries.  I resonated that by saying, today, by the time we reach 50, we have to recreate ourselves because the work goes elsewhere.  We have to decide what it is that we really want to do with our lives.  I figure, you work the less paying job until you reach your high point, then you have to do it all over again.  When you do, pick a vocation that brings you joy and not pain.

While our bodies may show our age, I think you are seriously as young as you wish to be in your heart.  That is what keeps you young!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Freedom of Mind...

I got an alert that I had a new "Today's Message From God" on FB.  I read it and it bothered me a bit:

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

no matter what happens to you, you always have freedom of mind.

That means you always have freedom to choose the path of virtue over the path of suffering, to choose being one with God over being alone.

I do not necessarily think that one "chooses" to be alone.  I find this message interesting in that I prayed for someone to come into my life.  I have always believed that God has been there in my life.  I know there are so many lessons to learn, but I have always thought of God being in my life.

On the subject of "Freedom of Mind", I believe that we do have the freedom to choose right from wrong.  That can be whether you decide to have that piece of cake or not, when you are on a diet.  Or choosing not to say what you really feel vs a sugar-coated politically correct version.  That is our freedom of mind.

I have had an utterly crappy day with work.  All I can say is that no matter what I do, for some people, it is never good enough.  I am so fed up with guessing what to do or how to go about getting what is needed.  I feel that someone else needs convey this better or let someone else run these types of things. 

I contacted the new manager and asked about setting up a cut over date.  I think the change will do me a lot more good.  I have had my fill with what I am doing now.  I do not even want to force myself to concentrate.  That is just not like me and I know it.

Last night, I truly enjoyed a great dinner at PF Chang's and getting some fabulous friend time with Random Cathy.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful friend back in my life.  I was incredibly nervous to show her what I had done with the book idea, but it really bolstered my confidence when she gave me some great advice and suggestions.  All very positive.  I hope I can do the same for her!

I am still trucking on with trying to get my 10,000 steps.  Two days in a row, I have gotten to 10,000 steps.  Tonight, I may not make that, but I am fine with that.  I think a slow day is needed, then crack on with getting my steps in per day.  I am very close to making my goal and that makes me happy.  I get under that 300 number, that is the first step.  Next major goal, get under the 290 number.  Just a little bit at time and whittle the weight away.

I really want to lose the weight badly.  I am just afraid my patience won't hold.  That bothers me a lot.  Maybe what is bothering me is the drama from work.  I just wish I never had to mess with that.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Keep Calm and Concentrate on the Goal...

Having one of those days where the scale shows you gained a pound and that internal frustration kicks at you.  Not fun. 

So, today, I must remind myself - Keep Calm and Concentrate on the Goal!

I can do this and I will do this.  I did not get here overnight and I cannot expect it to melt off overnight, either.  It can be done and it will be done.

The FitBit program is reminding me that I need to up my game a bit.  For the past several nights, I get a text message telling me that I am just 1500-2000 step away from meeting my 10,000 step goal.  By the time I get that message, I am already too exhausted to expend anymore energy.

The positive thing I do take away from that is the fact I am that close!  That is great!  Now, I know I just need to work a bit harder at getting there.  Once I am there, I need to make sure I can make the 10,000 steps per day for a month, then raise the bar by 2000 steps.  All the while, making sure my diabetes stays on track.  I have to admit, the blood sugar numbers remain relatively low and that is great for me. 

Just keep marching on!

Today's message from God to me - I suppose I may have a hearing problem, but I am afraid it is probably more a case of cannot see the forest for the trees:

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

you've been talking to God too much, and not listening enough.

Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you become quiet and listen to God. You've learned how to talk and ask well. Time to learn how to listen and hear, because God has been answering you.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 2 - Plowing Right Along...

So far, the scale is trying to tell me that I have lost 10 lbs.  Now, I know most of that is water due to having started this change right before that big time of the month (ugh).  My GP and Endo both know I gain about 10 lbs of water right before and never quite sure why.  It happens, then it flushes out.  I have been making sure I drink plenty of water - most days over 64 oz.

So, rather than be discouraged, I will that that 10 lb loss as a good thing.  Just remind myself - stick to it!

Last night, I went to the Stars game.  I got there early enough to check out the "Fresh Market" at the AAC.  If you have not been to the AAC lately and looking for some healthy options, check this kiosk out when you go.  Again, the prices are going to be like anything else there - too high.  However, I found fruit cups, various wraps, and salads.  I bought a grilled vegetable wrap last night and it was delicious!  I am not even kidding on this one!  It surprised even myself.  The wrap was a flour tortilla with cabbage, shredded carrots, grilled onions, zucchini, and squash.  It was crunchy and savory - which really filled my snack need at the time.  I also bought a 20 oz bottle of water to drink.  For those interested in cost, it was $10 to both - $6.00 for the wrap and $4.00 for the bottle of water (insane - I KNOW!).

Having said that, I could have spent more on just getting the bottomless popcorn and soda for $12.00 and still been over the hill nutrition wise.

For the rest of the season, I will be probably hitting this kiosk for any food or drink items.  I am glad that there is such an option there.  It really helps me with my decisions and curbs my desire to get the cinnamon roasted nuts.  (Ahhhh...I just love the smell of those roasted nuts!  Reminds me of a cold Christmas no matter what time of the year it is.)

God's message to me today:

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

animals and children can be incredible role models.

Even 'roll models'. Watch them as they roll around on the grass, scratching their backs, feet gleefully kicking up in the air. Notice the freedom they enjoy and the obvious joy they feel in that freedom. This freedom is very important for adults, too. Don't get stuck in ruts of seriousness. Let your wild spirit run free once in a while.

Ah - yes.  I realize I have not been quite so serious lately, but you know, I always want to make people laugh.  I agree with so many - laughter cures what ails you.  Nothing brings more joy than laughter, whether it is a dirty joke or telling a story about something you did that was silly.  The other truth - actual stories make the funniest tales to tell.

I will say that there are some people who may think I am a bit too silly.  That is okay - they are just wrapped up in being too serious.  Give us all a break - cut loose today!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Making Positive Choices...

The hardest part of changing one's life style is breaking bad habits in favor for good ones in the beginning.  I believe, as time goes by, the decisions to make become easier when you make the right choices and see the desired results.  In the beginning, one *knows* the right choice to make, but it is easier to succumb to the wrong choice out of habit.

Last night, I had dinner with a friend.  I had never been to La Hacienda Ranch restaurant, but had always wanted to try it.  At first, we were to meet at the Outback for dinner.  I was pumped because I knew Outback had a under 600 calorie menu - choices of steak, chicken, and salmon with steamed fresh vegetables.  Bonus for me!  The place was packed when I got there, so we decided to go to La Hacienda Ranch.

Luckily, I got there before my friend and got a table within about 5 minutes.  Here comes my first weakness - salsa and tortilla chips.  Yes, I did have some tortilla chips, but I made sure I only had about 20 chips at most and only a small bit of salsa.  Both were very good, but I worked on savoring the chip and salsa I would eat, so that I would eat less of them.

My friend arrives and we order.  Rather ordering a ribeye steak, as I usually do, I opted for the 7 oz tenderloin with skillet potatoes and a salad.  The meal was supposed to come with Texas Toast, but it did not - I am actually happy about missing that piece!  The salad was delivered with the dressing on the side, so I only put in a little bit and mixed up the dressing with the salad.  That way, I did not use up all of the dressing.  I like that.

Overall, I only ate part of the potatoes, which I considered more roasted as I do them.  I loved that the potatoes had bits of onion - I love roasted onion for some reason.  By the time I finished the tenderloin, I was pretty much full, but I had room for a few bites of apple pie.  We shared that and I did just have 3 bites of the apple mixture and very little crust.  I figure a little moderation helps curb cravings along the way.

My friend tells me of how she never used to eat tomatoes until a friend of hers came to dinner after his father passed away.  She would fix her friend dinner every night and her friend always had sliced tomatoes with his meal.  I have heard this story for years.  The thing is that having sliced tomatoes is not a bad thing.

When I first started middle school in 1978, I got sick and had my first trip to a new doctor here in Texas.  At the office, I weighed 232 lbs and I was only 12 years old.  The doctor told my mother I needed to lose weight.  He put me on a 1500 calorie diet and knew that I had to take PE, so he knew I would be getting some sort of exercise.  My mother, not wanting me to feel alone, made sure everyone in the family went on the diet as well.  Both my mother and father were overweight as well and I was not going to go through it successfully on my own, so she made it her job to get everyone's calories counted.

One of the food items that my whole family loved was fried catfish.  There was a restaurant in North Richland Hills that had this beautiful fish tank.  I loved going there and getting a chance to look at the beautiful fish swimming in the tank while waiting for a table or food.  The fried catfish was absolutely wonderful, but with all great dishes like that, it came with fries.  We all could only have about 10-15 fries and it was a temptation that just could not be tolerated.

My mother asked the waitress if we could substitute something else for the french fries.  The waitress checked and said that sliced tomatoes could be substituted.  From that point forward, until the restaurant went out of business, we would get the fried catfish, salad, and sliced tomatoes.  While I admit, I would have rather had the fries, I loved sliced tomatoes as well, so I learned it was a better choice.

By the time I went into 8th grade, I had lost about 52 lbs.  I weighed 180 lbs. The problem was I never could *really* see the new *me*.  I knew I could wear smaller clothes, but I was still fat. 

I remember at the time, the popular girls had been away from the skating rink that summer and I continued to go every Friday and Saturday night.  When they returned, one actually pulled me aside and told me that she noticed I had lost weight and how great it was.  I never really hung out with the popular crowd, but I was happy that one of them actually noticed me. 

As I think back to that time in my life, I wish I had been able to see it for myself.  This time, I will make the right choices, so that I can see that change.  It will be hard because I see myself every day.

Today's message from God to me - I have to admit - I believe this with all my heart:

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

every moment can be made glorious by your realization of God.

That does not mean praying incessantly or reading holy book nonstop. What that does mean is going about your everyday life with an awareness of communion with God in your heart.

Lastly, I saw this posted and it really resonated with me:

"I don't have an amazing figure or a flat stomach.  I'm far from being considered a model, but I'm me.  I eat food.  I have curves.  I have more fat than I should.  I have scars because I have a history.  Some people love me, some like me, some hate me.  I have done good.  I have done bad.  I love my PJ's and I go without make up and sometimes, don't get my hair done.  I'm random and crazy.  I don't pretend to be someone I'm not.  I am who I am, you can love me or not.  I won't change!!  And if I love you, I do it with my Heart!!  I make no apologizes for the way I am."

Friday, January 10, 2014

Keep On Keeping On...

As a friend of mine put it, that is what I am doing.  I have been trying to be as strict as I can possibly be on this meal substitution plan.  Sometimes, I sneak in some additional snacks to get me past my occasional hunger pangs, but the snacks are either nuts or some meat.  No candy, cakes, cupcakes, or the like. 

Today, I did end up having to drink some Dr. Pepper.  My blood sugar was 66 and I was feeling the shakes.  After about 15-20 minutes, my blood sugar was back up to 118.  Still, the Dr. Pepper cost me a few calories.  I figure it makes some sense since I missed my mid-morning snack.

I find that I really need to eat about every 2 hours.  Maybe not *huge* meals, but I do need to get those snacks into my plan.

I passed up a donut offered to me today.  That showed some will power because I would have normally gotten just one.  I explained that I would have loved to have the donut, but I am determined this time.  I want to follow this through to see how well I can do.

It is very important to me to lose this weight.  I want to reduce the amount of medication I need to take day by day.  I also want to feel better about myself.  That is why this is so important to me. 

I try to keep reminding myself, in a positive way, that by losing weight, I am doing this for me.  I cannot buy into the fantasy that by dropping this weight, the man of my dreams will come and sweep me off my feet and everyone will love the new "me."  I am sure people will be happy for me, but the honest truth, I want to lose this weight to feel better.

In my effort to work on liking myself, I make sure I put on some make up before heading out.  I think I have finally found a nice daytime look that is professional and not too wild.  I do like the wilder side of putting on make up.  Maybe that is where I am most creative - playing with make up to play up those features I think are my best.

One look is from Two-Faced Naked Eye palette.  Using the "Day" colors provides a really soft and natural look.  I sweep a bit of "Who's Your Poppy" blush across the cheeks.  I have not quite found the right lip color for this look, but I will keep looking.

MAC has a great "nude" collection.  I have tried it and it is awesome.  The colors blend so well to provide a soft, natural look.  The "Morning Rose" lip stick and "Hell Bound" gloss work perfectly for a nice lip combo.  I have been pleased with that product line.

I admit, I am so very thankful to have discovered Too Faced Lip Insurance.  No more feathering and the color stays in place. 

Next, I have been putting together all of those thoughts and such that have been running through my mind.  I have been using the "A Novel Idea" app for the iPad.  That application is so great.  I put together several "chapter" descriptions quickly.  The cool part, I can expand on those ideas and flesh them out later.  That should help considerably.  The application has really helped me with thinking through my various characters.  Who are they and what makes them tick.

Everything is plugging along and I work to stay positive, even though there are times I get a bit unnerved - like when I took the selfie and really looked at it.  As a friend and I were discussing last night, this is probably the best thing I could do.  Otherwise, I will never see the change myself.  I see myself everyday and even when I lost a great deal of weight, all I saw was the large me.  I could not see the smaller version of myself.  I just had to keep telling myself - you are not going to look like this for long - you will see change and you must stick with it.

For an ending laugh and smile - this would so be me:

Dawn French Kisses Hugh Grant

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Adding Incentive to Sticking With the Plan...

After the morning craziness died down somewhat, I decided that as I go down this path, I should document how I look physically each week, so that I actually can see it.  I took a picture of myself today and thought "OMG!  You look horrible!"

I started to get really discouraged.  Then, it came to me that again, this is my starting point.  Take a picture each week and you will see a difference if you keep trying. 

During the lunch break, I got on Amazon and did the Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds:  30 Minute Walk.  Talk about increasing my number of steps on the FitBit!  I may actually make 10,000 steps for today.  That part is exciting.

Still, I feel a bit bummed with the overwhelming sight of myself.  Sheesh...that is going to change!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 3 - Meal Substitution Plan...

So far, I have not lost it and just thrown in the towel and that is a good thing!  The Glucerna shakes are not too bad.  Vanilla is a tad too sweet and chocolate is fair.  I am making a point to log the food I eat on the FitBit web site as well as blog how I am feeling at the time.

My biggest problem is making sure I eat my snacks when I should.  I tend to get wrapped up into what is going on and forget or push it aside.  Just after these first couple of days, it is becoming more important to make sure I get those mid-morning and afternoon snacks.  Otherwise, I get this incredible hunger.  That part is not good because I will reach for just about anything.

Keeping that in mind, I started drinking my morning shake at 9 AM, so I need to get my mid-morning snack in at 11 AM, Lunch at 1 PM, mid-afternoon snack at 3 PM, and work on getting my dinner in between 6 and 7.  Luckily, I have had leftovers for dinner, so that has helped with cutting down the prep work.  I think the best approach is probably to consider making larger meals over the weekends, then putting the leftovers away for dinner during the week.  Also, I have a lot of salad makings and soup.  (When satisfying my craving for La Madeleine's tomato basil soup and chicken caesar salad, I got some jars of soup.  I do love a good soup and salad.)

When I get off of this two week stint with the shakes, I will have to work on healthier meals for breakfast and lunch.  I honestly feel I have a handle on this.  I remember in 2006/2007, I would make sandwiches and use grape tomatoes and carrots as a substitute for the chips.  Worked really well.

Bonus side on all of this - savings in the pocket book as well as less groceries to buy.  If I lose weight within this month and keep it off, there are bonuses everywhere.  I just need to resist the urge to fall back into bad habits.

My message from God:

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

faith soothes all suffering.

Nothing is that difficult when you have God on your side.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Today is the 4th year that my mom has been gone.  Quite honestly, not a day goes by that I do not think about it.  I sometimes weep because I no longer have that person I depended upon for advice.  I spend a lot of time thinking of what she would say to me in order to find solace in this crazy life I live.

I look at the angel I bought for her the Christmas before she passed away.  I did not know what I could get her that Christmas - everything at that time was so bleak.  I was in the Hallmark store and saw the angel.  I noticed that the figurine allowed for a charm to be attached.  I got the silver heart shaped "Mom" charm.

When I gave it to her, she just held it for hours.  I felt awful that I could not give her more, but I had no idea of what to give her.  Today, I am pretty sure she just wanted for me to be happy.  That would have made her very happy in return.

As I start this new year by changing myself, I know she is with me and wants to see me happy.  I know she could not bear the thought of me being alone and that troubled her the most.  So, together, we will make this work.

I love you , mom!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Food Logging...

Every time I attempt to lose weight, I found that I did well when I logged the food I put in my mouth.  I also know it is a difficult habit to start because it can be so frustrating.  I am working with the FitBit web site and trying to use their system to log the food I eat through out the day. 

I have my FitBit account set up for some short term goals.  For example, first weight loss goal is 10 lbs.  Activity goal is to reach 10,000 steps per day.  I also use the account to give me a better view of my other health related measurements, such as how much sleep I am getting, blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rate.

In the beginning, the information is not going to be great.  That is fine because that is my starting point.  We all have to have a starting point to understand what needs to be tweaked.  No matter how good we are doing, there is always something that can be improved.  For me, I know it is my activity and food consumption.  As I increase the activity and level off my food consumption, the other numbers will reflect those changes.

Last night, I went back to my Kindle and started back to reading on Walking Your Butt Off!  Go from Sedentary to Slim in 12 Weeks.  I saw this in Prevention magazine last year and got the book.  I like Prevention magazine and a lot of the information there is great.  Going back to my statement about starting points, this book will help guide me with a 12 week plan on getting my butt in gear and walking. 

When I lost a lot of weight back in 1996, I used to walk every night.  Most of the time, it was after eating dinner because I wanted to get that walk done before it got too late.  However, I made it an obsession - I had to get out there and walk.  Sure, I was taking weight loss medication, but the walking helped in more ways for getting the weight off. 

Unfortunately, since I did not have a trainer or a "plan", I would fall into the "plateau" and not know where to go from there.  Having this plan that has been tested with other people, it should help me find ways to get over the "plateaus."  Heaven only knows how horrible it is to reach a plateau and bang your head against the wall trying to sort out WHY am I just sitting at this weight - or even worse - I GAINED WEIGHT?!  HOW!!!

I am excited to start doing this.  There is something that feels really good about all of it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

"Trying" Times...

I have had to correct my behavior decisions a couple of times.  Perhaps, being honest is NOT the best idea.  My problem is becoming quickly annoyed at decisions people make.  I need to work on my patience.

Other than that, I am actually "trying" different things.  Tonight, even though I wanted Tex-Mex, I opted to get a Paradise Chicken Caesar salad - half salad - and a cup of mushroom soup.  Both were very good and satisfying.  Last night, a friend wanted to go out to eat dinner at Carrabba's.  I did well there, too.  I tried the cedar plank roasted salmon with crab meat topping, roasted asparagus with peppers and mushrooms, and the Italian salad.  I would love to figure out how to make their Italian dressing and have a bottle of it available.

I am in the process of trying to clear out the refrigerator in preparation of the meal substitution plan.  I have already started back on using my FitBit Flex and checking the number of steps I take and how well I am sleeping.

I do not feel bogged down by all of this, which is a good thing.  I am staying positive about the process.  I need to only compete and challenge myself on this adventure.  The main motivation here is to find out - what is going to really happen if this works?  I have to give it the old college try.

I was in the kitchen looking at the outside of the refrigerator.  I have one of those wipe-off calendars.  To this day, it still says "June 2008" and all of the events that went on for that month.  I guess life came to a halt that month.  It is time to change it and for the better.

Gotta keep this wheel turning...

Something for me to keep in mind with today's message from God:

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

you do not see things as they are. You see them as you are.

When you look, you see reflections of your being. When you listen, you hear echoes of yourself. If you don't like something about what you see and hear, no point in smashing the mirror, change who you are becoming.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014 - A Year to Re-make/Remodel

This past 2013 has had its ups and downs and not just weight-wise.  I suffered through some pretty dark times and fought through those times quite a bit.  As the year was winding down, I realized there were several things I did not care for in my life.  I made a decision that only I can make those changes, so my theme for this 2014 year is to "Re-make/Remodel".

I admit, I stole the title from a Roxy Music compilation CD, but it actually describes what I need to do this year.  I need to re-make myself.  Find out what it is that I really want in life, what would make me happy and keep me out of the dark times.  Remodel describes the physical changes that need to happen.

The other day, I was watching some videos of Dawn French, a British actress/writer/comic that I have admired for years.  She had lost over 80 lbs (granted she has gained some back), but what touched me the most was how she never looked at her physical appearance as being bad.  She is truly a lovely woman who made me realize that I was not loving myself as I really should.  My weight should not matter and either out of vanity or how others think, I was not really loving the person I am.  That has to change.

Considering my situation with the type 2 diabetes, I have to carefully consider my weight.  People have suggested weight loss surgery of one type or the other.  Bottom line, I have seen the good and bad side, but the one thing that people keep saying is that they could eat anything they wanted without making huge changes.  That statement I have found is very untrue.  If you did lap band, you could not eat bread, pasta, rice, and other foods.  With gastric by-pass, you lost the ability to absorb the vitamins and such your body needs.  The short cut methods to weight loss do not allow you freedom, but take away.  I am determined to lose and keep weight off this year, but I intend on doing it slowly.  I did not get to this weight overnight and it won't be overnight for me to lose it.  I will have to gain a new level of patience for myself and quit beating myself up over mistakes.

This year, I am going to make a better effort to dress up more often and make the effort to put on make up.  Not too long ago, a friend stated that there was a time when she would not leave the house without any make up.  Now, she had her hair covered with a hat and watching a parade while wearing her pajama pants and a coat.

I thought about that vision for awhile.  A few days later, I saw some women walking their dogs in pajama pants.  I thought - no - that is not where I want to go with that.  I need to make the effort to at least put on make up and look nice.  If I can start wearing more flattering dresses, then even better.  Basically, dress it up.  I see too many people at work wearing work out clothes and I feel that I need to step up my game.

I think this will be an interesting journey.  Who knows - like Geraldine Granger, I may meet my handsome stranger this year (and he is just as sweet and wonderful as Harry Kennedy).  Now, wouldn't that be interesting?

I saw this and believe that this applies not just to the end of the year, but always:

My daily message from God was interesting as well:

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

you can live in assurance and calm.

You don't need to look over your shoulder all the time, waiting for the next crisis. You don't have to spend your days hiding from the next ambush. Live in the light, God's got your back.