Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday shortie

Weight stayed the same this week. I know why. And I know what I have to do to fix it. DOING it is another thing.

I actually FEEL good today though...found a great new cardio machine at the gym last night and my abs are feeling really strong from straight-up crunches I've been doing at the new gym. At least my exercise is really good...I did something every day this week except Horrible Monday, so that makes me feel good. :-)

Hope everyone has a fun weekend...mine is packed as usual...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun anniversary, then rain on my parade

I had a GREAT day on Saturday for my non-smoking anniversary. Got up early (too early after being up late at some friends' on Friday night planning a camping trip) for a teeth-cleaning and it was cancelled...after I was up, had coffee and was dressed! But that was ok. Crawled back into bed until 10. Yay! Then went to the gym, then to get my tax returns from my accountant, then went shopping for a new cell phone (I won $100 in our firm's Oscar pool and thought I would spend it for a new phone -- mine is old-fashioned and doesn't hold a charge well and I want something that I can be on-line with -- and on Facebook!) Went to Verizon and they were awesome. I got a great deal on a phone for my mom (I handle her account and she hasn't been able to see her old phone well a cool phone specifically designed for seniors) and a gorgeous pink Blackberry Pearl for me...all for $86...I was so excited!! More on this later...

I ran down to my mom's to drop off her phone and visit for an hour or so. Then went home to get ready for our special dinner. We went to a new place and it was fantastic! Delicious healthy food (well, except for that persimmon clafouti!). Loved it. Then we went home and watched "Milk" (excellent film) before bed. Just a great day!!

Spent most of Sunday when not at the gym putting info into the new 'berry. I loved it. LOVED it. Did I mention it was pink? ;-)

The Good One arrived on Sunday to spend some time with us and I always love that. :-)

Then, yesterday, I had to take my phones back... :-(

The long, sad story:

10 plus years ago (probably at least 12...more like 14): I signed up for cell service through this company which re-sells Verizon product (who, at that time, provided cell service for my firm). They gave me a "free" phone in return for my signing up for a two-year contract.

Intervening years: I added my mom to my account and they continued to give me free phones every couple of long as I signed up for a 2-year deal with them. I tried to "get out" a few times, but the hassle just wasn't worth it.

The last time I signed up (in late 2006), the phone they "gave" me broke within 6 months. They refused to replace it for free...unless I signed up for 2 more years!! At that point, I realized what a racket this is and refused their offer. I got my own phone and determined to wait out the remaining time on the contract then switch to get a deal directly with a nationwide provider...not this cheap "re-seller".

I called this company a few weeks ago to investigate and they offered me a Blackberry for $300+...signing up for two more years, of course!! No, thank you! They confirmed that my contract was up (unfortunately, I don't have the name of the man I talked to in their customer service department and, of course, they claim to have no evidence of this call).

Rather than pay that, I decided to look into getting service directly from Verizon (I like their service). I have no problem with the 2-year commitment they require to get a good deal on phones. Since The Evil Re-seller doesn't have weekend hours, we couldn't switch the service right over, but we were all sure it would be dealt with yesterday.

I called The Evil Re-seller yesterday morning to make sure they were porting my numbers to Verizon and they told me I needed to speak with their "records department" mentioning that their contracts automatically renew for ONE YEAR if you don't give written notice of termination 30 days before the current term expires. I couldn't BELIEVE this (yes, I guess I should have more carefully paid attention and kept a copy of my contract, but I never had a real problem with them all these years...). But I left a message for the "records department".

No one called me back so after a few hours I called THEM back. Miraculously now the person in customer service had access to the documents that allegedly only the "records department" had access to earlier in the day. They told me about the automatic renewal portion of the contract and I asked them to fax me a copy., yes, the contract says what they say it does, but I think it could be construed EVEN WORSE for talks about terminating before the end of the "initial term"...could they actually think they can hold me for THREE MORE YEARS after the first two if I don't terminate?! Yikes. After the events yesterday, I wouldn't put it past them.

Realizing that I was probably stuck (although thinking I might be able to fight and win if I had the time), I called them back to see if they could offer me what Verizon did (they had said they could earlier). Unfortunately, they couldn't...they don't offer the Blackberry Pearl.

Anyway...long story short, I sent them a termination letter yesterday to terminate my term, but it won't happen until late this year. :-( And I had to return my phones to Verizon (Verizon kindly refunded me and was appalled about The Evil Re-seller).

I am SO SAD. I loved my Blackberry Pearl. I feel very shallow for being so sad about this (I actually cried yesterday over it...SO frustrating!), but there it is.

While they MIGHT be strictly in the right, I think that after I have been a client for over 10 years and when the last phone they "gave" me in return for my 2-year contract BROKE, they might be a little bit more accommodating.

I am a pretty smart, well-educated-in-legal-principles person...if they put this over on me, how do they treat less fortunate customers?

Luckily, I posted a status on FB yesterday that said "I hate my cell provider and they are holding me hostage". Turns out one of my "friends" works for a consumer rights organization so I sent them my sad story and maybe, just maybe, they'll do something about it. I don't think it will help ME, but this contract is unconscionable and, I think under CA law, unenforceable.

So look for my "I got my pink BB" post in December...

(I was really upset and used that as an excuse to eat popcorn for dinner last night. Not good.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Now We Are Six

When I was 1, I had just begun
When I was 2, I was nearly new
When I was 3, I was hardly me
When I was 4, I was not much more
When I was 5, I was barely alive
But now I am 6, I'm as clever as clever so I think I'll stay 6 now forever and ever!

(Thank you A.A. Milne.)

Happy 6th Birthday to me!

Six years and one day ago I would never have really believed that I would be where I am today -- 6 years clean from smoking!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quick Friday check-in

By some miracle, I only gained a half pound during the Funeral Food Fiesta (see below). This makes me very happy and inspired to keep trying, keep doing, keep GOING. :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back at it

We got back Tuesday night from Nearby Town and I am swamped getting back to life and work.

I did pretty well the first few days away -- walked away from bad food and got my own. As time went on, I lost my resolve a little (although still was MUCH better than I ever have been up there). Feeding 20-40 people for every dinner does not lend itself to healthy eating -- I think the best dinner we had was grilled chicken (soaked in soy!), boiled green beans and steamed rice (more soy sauce). There were also fiestas of pizza (I stuck with the veggie kind...not great, but at least not pepperoni or sausage), spaghetti (I had a very normal size portion, i.e., not a whole plate), and deli sandwiches (I stayed away from the bread). Most of the meals had salads...not with great dressing, but at least I got my roughage.

I also took our hula hoops up there and hula'd at least a little every day. Not a lot of exercise, but some. Playing with the kids must have used some calories too, right? ;-)

I took four little girls (ages 9, 5, and two 4s) shopping for two hours on Sunday...SUPER fun, but boy was I tired afterwards from corralling them! Big props to you moms... ;-)

Some of my favorite moments from the weekend:

- holding Princess as she cried at the funeral;
- a special talk with Princess when we went out to pick up ice cream for the whole clan one night;
- another special talk/shopping trip with PD1; and
- holding Smiley's hand as she got the hair she'd self-trimmed fixed by a cousin who is a hairdresser.

The services were very sweet and heartfelt. The whole family was there except one grandkid who is in Iraq and one grandkid-in-law who had to work. There were around 40 people just from the family there. I am from a family that now consists of 2 kids, 1 parent, 2 spouses and 2 grandkids. We don't, and never did, have much contact with our extended family. I am constantly amused and amazed by DB's family...but, I must admit, that after 5 days with ALL of them pretty much non-stop, I was tired and was happy to get home!! ;-)

Got back to good food's amazing how a little bit of time "off the track" makes it a real challenge/struggle to get back "on the wagon"! I feel good though. Went to the gym last night and overdid a little on a weight machine on my knees...I will have to skip tonight for caution's sake, but will do some yoga at home to get in my exercise.

It sucked seeing photos of me this weekend looking poochy. And there are a lot of mirrors and windows up there in which to see yourself. I want to be happy seeing myself again. And I have to remember that when I want something bad in my mouth...

Thanks again to everyone for your condolences...while not unexpected, it has still been a tough few days on DB.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weight down quite a bit this week

So even though I wasn't perfect, PAYING ATTENTION and GETTING BACK TO NORMAL HOME FOOD had an effect. Clothes already feel better...although I still can't stand to see myself in the mirror at the gym. Yuck. The next few days are going to be difficult with Funeral/Irish Family Wake eating. But if I can just PAY ATTENTION and play with kids and take some walks and maybe swim a little at the motel I hope to be OK. When we're back on Tuesday night, I'll get right back on it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting ready to go celebrate a life

We're leaving tomorrow for Nearby Town for the Irish wake/life-celebration festivities. We'll be gone until Monday (the funeral is Monday). I'm a little worried -- have been doing really well with food and exercise this week, but there will be no gym for me up there (maybe pool if it's warm enough) and I can't go to yoga still and I know the Irish wake food and drink is NOT healthy from when we did this last summer. I will try for moderation...but mostly I will enjoy being with my family and celebrating the matriarch.

Thank you to everyone who expressed condolences...DB and I really appreciate you so much!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A life-changing day

DB's mom died today. All bets are off for a while.

I celebrate Loree...her dreams made so many of my loved ones reality.

Sending love to her as she is free.... :-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Today starts The Crackdown

No more is the first day of The New Drastic a/k/a The Crackdown.

I know what I have to do...I just have been having a helluva time DOing it. But today that all changes. I may not know how to do this forever, but I will do The Crackdown until I get to the point where I start to figure out The Maintenance...again. And then I'll do that. It may (and probably will) take me the rest of my life. I don't love that idea, but I clearly don't have a choice...I must keep up The War (see post two weeks ago) least for now.

This weekend was very so-so...but I did TRY (and DB is trying too). I didn't have time to go to the gym yesterday so I will go tonight (usually "off" night).

We took Princess for a little shopping yesterday -- we wanted to reward her for some recent improvements at school without FOOD. As soon as we got into the car, the first thing she said was "can we get a snack?". Sigh. I told her that I forget about being hungry when I'm shopping and said we should see if maybe that would work for her too. It did. But as soon as we were finished shopping, she started talking about how hungry she was. Not hungry enough to eat an apple or even frozen yogurt (which we figured would be ok for her)...she wanted a burger. We didn't get it for her. We went to Starbucks to get a small snack and she chose chocolate milk...maybe not perfect, but at least not a burger from Wendy's!

I have NO idea how to help Princess and that makes me feel so bad. I so don't want her to have to fight The War like I have for my whole life. But I don't know how to help me so I don't know how to help her. It sucks. It breaks my heart. Maybe I'm overreacting because I sympathize so much...or not.

Tried to talk with DB about some stuff about food yesterday so he understands that what works for him might not work for me and vice versa, but that was a disaster. Although he has not had to fight his weight for his whole life like I have, he is certain that he knows all the answers about how to lose successfully (uh, yeah right...). I know what works for me...while I am struggling right now with a relatively minor gain, I've kept off nearly 100 pounds for almost 15 years...I don't presume to tell him what will work for him (he would disagree with this, by the way!) but I admit I DO suggest things that have worked for me. He says he wants to lose 30 pounds (which, in my opinion will make him too skinny, but that's up to him)...we'll see. At any rate, it's good to have him focusing on health might make things easier for me if he's not ordering the cream and nut-filled entrees for dinner (like he was looking at last night)!! ;-)

The Weight is SUCH a fraught topic for's hard to talk about with DB...but I am trying.

Thanks to all of your for your comments on Friday...I was in a very dark place...but maybe it's darkest before the dawn, ya think? :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

This morning I cried

I am so depressed. My weight is up again this week. And I really TRULY did not overdo. And I went to the gym my allotted 4 times. AND did a bike ride on Saturday with short beach walks Saturday and Sunday. Now, I was NOT perfect, but I was what I would consider to be "normal". OK, I can think of two times (chips on Saturday night and crackers on Wednesday night) that I overdid. But that just doesn't seem to be enough for me to deserve this.

My clothes are tight (although oddly feel and look ok to me today). I feel an uncomfortable jiggle. I have gained back almost all that I lost last year in just a couple of months. It is horrifying how fast that happened. And, I must admit, I am angry.

I am angry at me for letting this happen. Despite the fact that I am CLEARLY not "normal" when it comes to metabolism, I could have deprived myself. I could have said "no" to birthday cake and Xmas fun and vacation drinking. I could have. But I didn't.

I am angry that I have to watch almost everyone I know eat "normally" and not exercise and they do not gain weight. Ever. Today I feel mad at these people even though I know it's not their fault.

I am angry that my lot in life appears to be to have to fight this battle FOREVER. I don't want to have to watch every morsel that goes in my mouth. I don't want to have to live on The Drastic forever. While it's not a bad way to live for a short time, the idea of that as a perpetual way to live just is way too depressing. I love food and drink too much. I can't think of anything to replace their place in my life (sad, but true).

[An aside: PD1 told DB that the only thing that seems to motivate Princess to do anything is food. No negative grounding or anything works. But offering food as a reward does. This scares me so much for her. She is getting set up for a lifetime of the pain I'm feeling today. I wish I knew how to help fix this. It makes me want to cry more.]

I feel alone. This morning I tried to bring this up with DB but he cut me off when I said "you wanna know what's depressing me today?". When I called to his attention that he shut me down, he tried to make me tell him, but it was too late. It's my problem, true. I will handle it. But it hurts me when he cuts me off like that. (By the way, he just called as I was typing this to apologize. He's a sweetheart.)

I am not stupid. I know what I have to do to lose this weight. Again. But right now it's just depressing that I have to GIVE UP so much in order to get that. I am feeling like this part of my life is pretty unfair right now.

And I'm facing a weekend of social activities that mean food and drinking. I don't want to give that up and I don't want to sit there and drink water and eat celery while everyone else drinks beer and eats chips and pizza. Yes, I know it's MAYBE not that drastic but it feels that way to me today.

Why bother to "suffer" and lose to just gain it back when I act like a normal person for a few months? :-(

The problem is that I do not feel comfortable at this weight. But, right now, I am feeling pretty hopeless as to how to fix it for the long-term. And there is no point in yo-yo-ing in the short term. What I need is a long-term solution that doesn't make me feel too mad or deprived or sad or resentful. I had that long-term thing worked out for a long time -- over 10 years. Something body? I think that's a lot of it. It's why I see so many of us at our age here railing against what is happening with our bodies.

Right now I'm also not able to exercise to my fullest because of babying my arm. This means NO arm exercises, no yoga classes, limitations on certain other machines at my gym. This is not the reason though because I maintained last year for a LONG time when my arm was hurt.

While I think I am really watching what I eat and drink and am certainly exercising, I guess I'm just overdoing on what goes in my mouth. And it doesn't really feel like that. Except on Fridays when I get on the scale and feel like crying.

Here's what The Universe said today...for once, I am not feeling my positive self and am having a hard time believing it, but something in it makes me think it's important for me to listen:

Oh yeah, regarding your ancient spiritual contracts, Helen, that outlined every facet of the life you now lead? Well, just wanted to remind you that they're all re-written every dawn, and perpetually updated as each day unfolds.

Proving yet again that nothing is meant to be, that you are truly unlimited, and that anything can happen next, if you choose it.

The Universe

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Week before The Weigh

It's been a really fun week...but has it been a good week for my weight? I'm afraid the answer tomorrow morning will be "no", so I'm going to write happy things today and just report the sad facts tomorrow.

Monday night we went to our monthly local "experimental" theatre experience with our friends (and The Good One who was visiting us for a few days). I didn't eat dinner before but had a martini. Afterwards I was famished but I made sure we went to a restaurant that had relatively healthy choices instead of Mexican (where we ended up late on Saturday night...ugh). I had a beer and some sushi. Not too bad, but I know the alcohol calories really add up...

Tuesday I ate great during the day and then went to New Gym for elliptical and weights. While I love the ab machine there (I really felt my abs a lot after the weekend), it seems to irritate my shoulder because of how you hold your arms so I am going to have to give it up and do sit-ups on the slanted bench instead until I feel like my shoulder is really better. I am trying really hard not to have to go to the doctor or get surgery. The New Gym is very very crowded and the equipment is very very old next to my old gym, but for the savings I will deal. :-)

When I got home Tuesday night, DB wanted to take me to dinner to celebrate the progress he has been making turning his office into a music studio/office. So we went to our "local" (behind our house, has great Happy Hour cheap food) and had sushi (again) and I had cucumber salad. And a martini (we've convinced ourselves that martinis are less calories than beer...yes, we're both worried about our beer bellies or "beer babies" as I call them!).

Last night was the first night of our subscription to the Mark Taper Forum (famous professional theatre downtown LA) that DB got for me for my birthday. This is SUCH a fantastic gift!! Every other month through next January, we have a play. DB picks me up at my office early and we head to a beautiful and yummy restaurant downtown. We have dinner and then the restaurant shuttles us to the theatre (and back after the show). We found out last night that we also get 15% off our meal since we are subscribers...great! I had two martinis, 1/2 ceviche for appetizer, a seafood stew thing (light) for main course. All in all did well...except for the yummy crackers they put on the table. Oh well. Anyway, I love going feels like a real "New Yorky" night out on the town.

The performance last night was Pippin and I was so excited to see it! My college did it during my freshman year. I'm not a singer so I wasn't in this one, but a lot of my friends were and I just loved that show. I know all the songs by heart, but I don't think I've seen it since then. I thought this production was uneven (some great stuff, some not-so-great), but DB thought it was one of the best he's ever seen. It was produced with a deaf theatre company and the signing was incorporated into the show in an amazing unobtrusive way (even though there were actually two Pippins on stage -- the deaf one and the talking/singing one -- and several other deaf actors who had to have others speak for them). I loved the concept and several of the performances. What I didn't love was that there was no intermission and the seats in this theatre are WAY too close together so my knees were all scrunched up for over 2 hours...OUCH. I'm still hurting today from that. I hope there are intermissions for the rest of the shows! ;-)

We were so jazzed from the performance that we went to sleep very late last night. After we watched American Idol (on fast forward...what the hell are they thinking bringing that obnoxious Tatiana back?!), I kept singing the songs in bed even after we turned out the light. DB was amused...for a while! ;-)

DB brought me to work this morning since I had left my car here...I really like this part of these "dates" and different and it lasts until the next day! Did I mention how much I love this birthday gift?! :-)

Today I've been perfect (as I usually am during the day on the workweek). Tonight going to the gym and salad at home for dinner. This weekend we have more social occasions so more food/drink challenges. It's never-ending...

And Fridays come awfully fast...and I am feeling uncomfortable in my clothes and out of them. :-(

Monday, March 2, 2009

Still in one piece

Don't worry, all...I didn't not attempt rollerblading yesterday. NOT because I think I can't do it or might hurt myself, but because my knees were a little over-tired from gymming at the new place (amazing how different gyms machines impact the body differently!) and then a long beach bike ride on Saturday. Yes, my eastern friends, it was a beautiful weekend. (But I am jealous of your snow...wish I could go ski, but can't afford any more this year.)

But I will be blading soon...and I will be super-careful, don't worry!!

So I did well with food this weekend and particularly exercise (2 times at new gym). Now if only my shoulder pain would go away...then I can hit yoga at the new gym (it's included in my $30/month -- down from $130/month!). :-)