Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Up or down on The Rollercoaster?

I was going to say I'm on my way up on This Rollercoaster meaning that I am having trouble with losing again, but maybe the UP side of The Rollercoaster means things are looking up and I'm losing? I guess it's a bad analogy for me because I don't know which end is UP...but I DO know that my (rear) end is too big! ;-)

Camping over the weekend was a ball, if less full of exercise than I anticipated. We arrived at our beautiful spot (Facebook friends can see photos on my profile) around 7 pm on Friday. DB and Dave had set everything up for us and it was really pretty...wooded, hilly, close to (miraculously flush) toilets, etc. We settled in and had Trader Joes Indian food and rice packets for dinner around the campfire.

Ahh, the campfire...that was VERY necessary this weekend! I wore a knitted hat most of the time, coat at night around the fire, slept in gloves, hat, scarf, long underwear and sweatshirt both nights. But I love the snuggly-ness of a sleeping bag when it's chilly...yum! :-)

Saturday we had eggs and bacon (I know, boo, bad!) for breakfast with lots of strong and delicious coffee (food just tastes better out in nature, doesn't it?). Lunch was sandwiches and low-fat chips. Beer was ubiquitous. We played marathon games of Uno. The teenagers and I took a walk (probably only about a mile) to find the river (which was beautiful). Zeph and I went for a short walk with the baby around the campground. Other than that, no exercise except laughing.

We planned dinner for before it got dark on Saturday -- Dave and Zeph had brought huge pork (which I never eat) steaks (not sure what you call them, but they were like filet mignon!) and corn on the cob. We never got to the salad, but we did snack on raw snap peas. Then we all put on glow-sticks and danced around then sat around the fire until bed. It was lovely. :-)

Saturday we got up late (well, those of us who don't have a baby who is a year and a half old!) so had to jam to take down camp before we had to be out at noon. We then stopped at a great old stagecoach inn for brunch, then DB and I stopped for a few minutes with The Evil One in Nearby Town (we were very close to there).

We finally got all unpacked by 7 on Sunday night and were so happy to have showers and our real bed! :-)

I love camping. Don't know how I lived without it for so much of my life. :-)

I was back on perfect food and exercise yesterday, but today it's the 50th birthday of my friend/colleague who just got laid off so I took him to lunch (had a salad, but I'm sure there was soy sauce involved) and we're going to his birthday dinner tonight (Indian food...I have checked the menu on-line and know that I will have a salad and tandoori chicken, no rice). Even though I am careful, I feel fat. And I'm pretty sure I am.

I'm feeling very frustrated with The Rollercoaster. Last week, this week and next week are all heavy social weeks for us...and those are just damn hard. :-(

Friday, April 24, 2009


When I weighed this morning, I thought I had lost 1/2 pound which, for a week when I was only perfect two days and ate way too much sodium, I was happy with. Unfortunately, when I went to look at my weight log, I was instead up a pound and a half. That makes more sense, but I don't feel so happy about it. But it was not "possible" for me to do better than this this week -- I had a lot of social plans and a black-tie dinner on Wednesday night that I had to attend for work. I guess I could just not eat or drink at these things (and I'm sure some of you would do that), but it's not realistic for me to expect that.

The past few weeks I have been observing myself again (as usual?) and I have realized that I can lose if I have 3 or more perfect days with food and keep my usual 4 days a week exercise going (I nearly never miss that so it's a given). I think three or more perfect days a week is totally maintainable for most of my life. When it goes down to two like it did this week, I pay the price. And when the perfect days are at two or less it's a LOT harder to BE perfect, i.e., the more slips, the harder to stand firm. All good info for me as I continue my investigation of me and learn to deal with my weight...

I'm leaving work early today to go camping for the weekend. We were headed to the mountains until we heard that nighttime temps were going to be in the low 30s. Brrrrrrr. Much as I like tent-snuggling and campfire-cuddling, that just sounded a wee bit too much. So we're headed to the hills above Nearby Town (about 2-hour drive away) where the lows will be in the 40s. We are going with our friends Dave and Zephyre Microwave and their 4 kids (3 teens, one baby). DB and Dave are already on their way up there -- they should have camp ready when Zeph and I and the kids arrive (hopefully around 6 or so...we're leaving town at 4 after she and I get off work). Should be a fun time...we love the Microwaves! :-)

Food and drink will be bad this weekend, but I hope to get in some hiking and hula-hooping along with all the rest.

Next week I'm shooting for three perfect days again (it would be 4, but I've got a b-day party on Tuesday and going to see David Sedaris -- yay! -- with some friends on Wednesday.) :-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Two nights in a row of sushi for dinner and I feel like I have gained 5 pounds (too scared to get on the scale to confirm or deny). The ring I wear every day is tight on my finger. I hate what sodium does to my body. But I love soy sauce. Dilemma. :-(

Monday, April 20, 2009

REAL exercise

Well, today DB and I have sore bodies. Not from going to the gym, not from boogie boarding, not from biking or any other leisure exercise. No, we WORKED our bodies yesterday. We feel good because it feels like this is what our bodies were made to do!

DB built an amazing rack for us to hang our (many) bikes from in our (small) backyard. He designed it, bought the materials and made it all yesterday! He also fixed something in our alley so it's padded so he doesn't hit it with his car bumper every time he backs out of his garage. Yay!

I regrouted some cracks in our showers, then planted and organized our (teeny) patch of "garden" in our front yard. It has been an ugly patch of dirt with a few stunted palm trees ever since we moved it. I put some containers out there (jade plant where my cat Jack is buried moved from back yard, two others that I planted with jade and some nasturtium for pretty and to eat). And I planted ground cover thyme all over. It looks amazingly better. I even got out of bed last night just to go look at it again! ;-) I also cleaned out some "ground cover" (i.e., weed) around our gas meters out back.

I love love love gardening...both planting and cleaning out. We have such teeny yards that there is not much to do at our place except container gardening. But I found out from a friend this weekend who has a huge yard that she will let me help her clean it out and replant!! We start in a couple of weeks. I can't wait.

All the good muscles hurt today: legs, butt, arms. None of the bad places hurt: back, knees, shoulders. I count this a very successful day! :-)

After we finished, we took a walk on the beach at sunset. It was an amazing day here -- hot like summer -- the beach was more jammed with people than I remember all last summer. I wonder if it is because the beach is a good recession-cheap thing to do for families. The bad thing is that people are PIGS. The trash they leave on the beach is enough to make you cry. DB and I have decided to take trash bags next time we walk on a Sunday night.

All in all, we had a really nice relaxing weekend. After I took my mom to the bank on Saturday and I went to the gym, some friends dropped over and we hung out with them and their baby for a little while. Then DB took a nap, I took a shower and had dinner and we watched Vantage Point (good ride of a movie) before bed.

This coming week is very busy for me. In addition to work (oh yeah, one of my colleagues was laid off on Friday...shouldn't affect me too much, but it's tough), I've got plans every night. Then we go camping this weekend. Whew!! ;-) Will be a challenging week for eating well since we have dinner plans tonight and I have a black-tie event on Wednesday night honoring one of our clients. I'll try to be good...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Creeping down

It is nice to be back reporting losses every Friday again. I am down a little over a pound this week, which is not too bad considering the Martini Night the other night. I am doing The Drastic a little different this time considering I have more time to lose and less to lose: I am being a bit more liberal (read: beer is allowed) on weekends, but still very strict during the week. The weekday evenings are very very challenging still...I struggle and I am almost always hungry in the evenings. But I'm doing it. I'm thinking that maybe this is the way I can maintain once I get down...very strict during the week and less on the weekends. We'll see. Exercise, of course, remains constant.

To answer Vickie's last comment: my friend does have people to take care of him. In fact, his soon-t0-be-ex-wife will be handling those duties during the surgery time (mid-May). I offered to go up (he lives in a state north of me), but he thinks he will be fine (and DB is looking at hernia surgery sometime in mid-May too, so it's a good thing 'cause he's my first priority, of course!). He also has a VERY good attitude: he said to me "after the surgery, the cancer will be GONE. Something else is going to have to kill me.". ;-) I am hoping that I can convince him to fly down here this summer for a little vacation and fun...

As to his marriage, I think it's kind of a mystery (as these things sometimes are). I know they have had trouble for a few years (drifting apart, she's out of town on business a lot, etc.). And, frankly, I am not horribly surprised at this. As he admitted to me the other day, she doesn't seem to be the kind of person who really is self-reflective and, therefore, may not be able to really articulate her feelings. That is a huge problem in a relationship, I think. And my friend is quite the opposite (although sometimes I think he is too good to be true in his acting all grown-up and mature...I need him to come down here and make him get good and angry about this!). I told him that I can't be around her. I can't forgive her (I blame most of this on her...HE doesn't, however). I reminded him of a boyfriend I met at their wedding who I was with for a few intense months afterward, totally in love, and who broke my heart. I reminded him that he and another male friend of mine who were friends with that boyfriend NEVER forgave the ex-boyfriend (I am now very good friends with that ex-boyfriend...we talk all the time). It's easier to forgive people who hurt YOU than people who hurt those you love.

DB and I have an uncharacteristically quiet weekend ahead (so far). Tonight we'll go out to dinner then to a (music) show in our neighborhood that looks good. Tomorrow I need to take my mom to her bank to sort some things out, then I will go to the gym and then...NOTHING planned. Luxury! :-) Sunday, so far, we have absolutely NOTHING planned (although I hope we can take some time for more training for me in DB's business...he's trying to teach me some stuff so I can help out a little more and it's really interesting!).

I'm hoping maybe maybe to get some boogie-boarding in...cross your fingers!! :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I didn't overeat but...

...I did have two martinis last night. So I've blown my "perfection" this week. Of coures, I had an excuse (don't I always?):

Got a call late yesterday afternoon from a college friend who is the closest thing to a brother I will ever have. Like Vickie, I have known him for almost 30 years (gulp!). He said he had two things to tell me that were bad news.:

Number one: he has prostate cancer. Like me, he's 47. He is having surgery next month and is sure all will be ok, but his dad died of prostate cancer that metastasized and, frankly, just hearing that this dear friend has the Big C really freaked me out. I feel sick at my stomach just thinking about it.

Number two: he's getting divorced. He's been married for about 14 years and it's been bad for a few. This is not bad news to me really because I know he wasn't happy in his marriage, but it is very hard for him.

What is it with my friends getting cancer this year? This is the second one in 8 months. And it SUCKS.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter tales or the Day of 1000 Deviled Eggs

Not identifying with any one organized religion, I am not a huge Easter celebrator, but I've got some fun tales of the holiday weekend to share:

DB was away camping with some guys this weekend (I decided not to go because I wanted/needed to spend some time with my mom on Easter -- a holiday that DOES mean something to her) so I was on my own for a couple of days and it was generally fun although I did miss him! :-) I lived alone for a lot of my life so it is an adjustment living with someone who is also my favorite friend to DO things with...we are joined at the hip a lot! I love it, but some alone time is good for both of us...the whole time we have been living together, he has been gone to Nearby Town for a week per month so we're now in a new phase with us living together all the time. We both really enjoyed our two days away...and our reunion yesterday!

Friday night I went home, leisurely walked Doglet at the beach then had a martini and ordered in Chinese food from a great new place that has very light choices. I had shrimp and asparagus and asked them NOT to send the rice. I also had some steamed chicken dumplings. Yummy. Then I watched a movie (The Namesake...liked it a lot) before bed. DB was out of cell range so we didn't even get to say goodnight! There is only one other time in our whole almost-5 years that we've been out of contact for as long as this weekend. I don't love it. ;-)

Slept in on Saturday, then took the Coffee Walk down the beach. After breakfast I went shopping for some Easter gifts to take to PD2's kids (more on that later) and, of course, bought quite a few things for ME (work shoes, two bathing suits that look nice now and will look nicer in 15 pounds, two tops). After shopping, I headed to the gym and then to Home Depot for some gardening supplies. When I got home, I worked on planting some beautification projects around the house and fed our fruit plants. Then shower and out to dinner with a friend (whose husband was camping with DB) and home for lots of talking and wine-drinking (eek, I don't drink wine anymore and yesterday morning I remembered why!).

Sunday I got up early (ugh) and went to get my mom. Brought her back to our place for a little bit before heading to PD2's house. PD2 being DB's daughter (read: not the best planner-aheader in the world), I didn't know until late Sunday morning what time we were supposed to show up for Easter dinner...and I also didn't know that PD1 and her kids were coming too!! This was a happy surprise, but I had to get more stuff from the Easter Bunny to take to the 3 more kids that were going to be there! While shopping to get the veggie plate to take over, I found some amazing Easter stuffed animals...I got one for each of the grandkids....it was hilarious walking into the house later in the afternoon with arms full of snuggly stuffed animals! (No, I am not a pretend grandmom that will encourage too much candy-eating...that is ALL I remember from childhood Easters...candy. No Easter-egg hunt, no new dresses. Just Easter baskets full of candy. Oh yeah, we did dye eggs...that was incidental to the CANDY. I did not have a single piece of candy yesterday.)

At PD2's house, there were the most amazing deviled eggs. I had about 6 (not 6 eggs, but 6 half-eggs). I think. ;-) Needless to say, by the time we ate at 4 or 5 I was not hungry! ;-) The food was not healthy: roast, ham, fatty-Costco salad, fatty-Costco scalloped potatoes...green beans with garlic were the only healthy thing. Oh well. I didn't eat much of the actual meal. And had about 2 bites of lemon cake. Not bad, but I felt stuffed.

It was super-fun to watch the kids do the egg-hunt and be all dressed up in their finery. We also found out that Grandchild Number Six (arriving in July) is going to be a boy...and we learned his name too! I am hoping that by then Cry Baby will look at me (he's stopped crying, but he hides his face when I look at him!)...on the way to loving me! When he gets a little brother, maybe... ;-)

The funniest story (I was going to just send this to Vickie, but I realized you all would enjoy it too):

On Friday, I was looking in the cedar chest that I have in my office to store my personal stuff (mostly files, but other things too). I remembered that I had bought some baby Easter stuff for a friend who was due around Easter one year and had never sent it...I thought that I might use it to give to one of the grandkids this year. I found the stuff (chick booties and baby stuffed rabbit -- all with tags on) and packed it to take home. Then I started thinking about how long I had held on to that stuff...and I realized that I got it for Vickie's middle child...who just turned 15!!!!!! LOL Vickie, please tell Middle Child that the New Grandchild is going to enjoy her gifts. ;-)

Back on the food wagon today. I didn't do great over the weekend, but it could have been worse. And I was thrilled that one of the bathing suits I got is a size 10! :-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Self-Control and Other Thoughts

This article is hugely resonant...probably for all of Us! Aha, we say: I can't help it. I guess my genes just aren't as evolved on the chain as some people's. I am close to my wild and desperate ancestors. I just CAN'T have self-control. My body is wired to survive in much harsher circumstances than exist for most of us in the modern world.


From the teeny bit that I have read so far in "The Crack" book, I see this actual physical reality described there too.

So how do we overcome "nature"? That is a damn good question. But this article talks about how humans have had to adapt to living in communities...that takes self-control. I manage to do THAT. (Although living with a partner is definitely often an exercise in self-control, right?!). :-) I guess this is just another hurdle some of us have to jump.

And, this week, I did it. I had self-control. I had it perfectly for three days and pretty perfectly for the rest of the week. And my reward is 2 more pounds off. I have now made a good dent in the "holidaze" lbs that I gained. And I can now see the possibility in the not-too-far future of being back where I was in a happy weight range. Whew.

The self-control is NOT easy. I think about it every single day. I am confronted with things I want to eat and drink and I have to self-talk myself out of it at least once a day (usually at night...work days are pretty easy). Sometimes I can do it. Sometimes I don't have the strength. But I realize that this is just something that I have to ACCEPT and DO. Or else I will balloon up again.

I said to DB the other night: I have kept a huge amount of The Big Weight off for almost 15 years. In order to do that, I had to change my life. Since I started losing The Big Weight in 1994 I have never stopped exercising (before then, I never exercised, period). I have had periods of enforced inactivity, but I never let them go on longer than I was forced to. And, while I have had periods (and still do) where food and drink seems to take over a little bit, I still can't imagine sitting down and eating (for example) a bag of Doritos and not, at the very least, THINK about it...and try to make up for it. This is SO NOT the me of pre-1994. And I am proud of that.

And I see a friend of ours who had liposuction on her hips, a tummy tuck and arm lift last week. While she is not a skinny person, she was NOT what any of us would call fat. And she is thrilled with her "boy hips". But all I can think of is that this WILL NOT LAST (similar to what I think when people get the gastric bypass -- sorry, I know this is a hot topic and I am NOT judging anyone else's choices). I don't see how anything can change permanently unless you change the behavior that got you to where you were...permanently. I don't believe in quick fixes. I have never seen them last.

So, today, I guess I'm tooting my horn a little. Feeling good. Feeling like I have made good choices with my body even though I am not totally pleased with how it looks and feels some days. Feeling like I am on a journey. Feeling like I am continuing to learn about me and what works...for me. It's a never-ending process....

And it's not ALL about self-control.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekend of Fun with Princess

Tried to get to write this yesterday and got pulled off for work emergency...trying again: :-)

We had a ball with Princess over the weekend. Friday night we went out for dinner to our "local", then Princess watched a movie with DB while I looked on-line to try to find a Klimt on exhibit in L.A. to take her to see because she had a great art class on Friday, learned a lot and LOVED his paintings. Unfortunately, I came up empty...guess we'll have to take her to NYC with us when we go next. It was very exciting to me to see her excited by art...I love art museums so that is something we can hopefully share as the years go on. After the movie we played Uno then went to sleep.

Saturday I had to get up early for a teeth-cleaning, then went to the gym on the way home while Princess and DB took the traditional Coffee Walk down the beach for coffee and breakfast. By the time I got home, they were ready to go to the beach...and Princess wanted to boogie board! The water is brrrrr freezing right now (it's never very warm out here), so I put on my wetsuit (9-year-olds don't need wetsuits...they run hot!). We hit the beach and boogie-boarded for about 2 hours. SUCH fun exercise...and I wasn't cold at all with my suit on (and the suit isn't TOO unflattering...it's like a huge skin-tight girdle). :-)

After showering, we got some lunch and then got ready to go to...the Dodger game! I won my firm's amazing seats for the Saturday night pre-season game. We also got DB's son-in-law and Cutie Pie (next oldest granddaughter) to come with us. Princess hadn't been to Dodger Stadium before and DB had only been a couple of times (I used to go ALL the time...huge baseball fan). We had a ball...and were only about 10 rows back from home plate. I know how to eat well at the Stadium since I used to go there during The Big Weight loss period. I realized back then that the thing I like about hot dogs is the mustard and onions so I get a soft pretzel and a huge pile of mustard and onions and dip away. I get my same flavor for way less calories and fat! They also have fat-free frozen yogurt at the Stadium and that's a staple too. I didn't do badly even among the rest of the family eating typical fatty stadium food...until DB bought the peanuts. I had a few which is a few too many, but oh well...

Sunday we got up, did the Coffee Walk, then Princess wanted to boogie-board again and I was up for it so off we went! DB was our official photographer because he doesn't have a wetsuit or a 9-year-old's tolerance for cold (I just remedied the wetsuit problem by buying him one at lunchtime today so he can go b-boarding with me!). Much more fun ensued. Then we ran home, took showers and went for a mani-pedi while DB got stuff ready to take to a BBQ at some friends' house later. We ran out of time at the nail salon so just managed to get pedis, but it was fun and funny to see Princess bouncing around in the spa chair when it was on vibrate! ;-)

We had a fun time at the BBQ and were home by 8...for more Uno!! DB took Princess back home yesterday morning. We all had a great time. I miss the times when Princess was young when we used to have her for a week at a time... :-)

Last night we went to our monthly local experimental theatre thingee and that was (as usual) fun. Now back to The Normal...

DB is going camping this weekend with a friend...I'm staying home because I want to see my mom on Easter. I think I'll also go over to PD2's house for Easter dinner. Too bad that DB will miss that, but I'll have fun! :-)

Time to get back to work...

Friday, April 3, 2009

HAPPY Friday

Getting back to The Drastic (even if only for three full days) this week really helped: I'm down 2.5 pounds and that gives me encouragement to keep going. The Bathing Suit Vacation Diet works for me! Of course, I'm going to have to figure out how to maintain this kind of commitment when I don't have a Bathing Suit Vacation looming to incentivize me. And that's a LOT harder.

I realize that I have kept a huge majority of The Big Weight off for over 15 years. But I am struggling with keeping The Lesser Weight off. I find myself saying to myself either (a) "20 pounds is fast to lose, you already lost a hundred more than that!", or (b) "20 pounds is a huge amount, it will take months and you don't seem to have the will power to be "good" for months (sometimes a DAY seems like a mountain)". It's a constant fight with my "monkey mind" (as Vickie calls it). I'm starting to think that, rather than fight the monkey, I need to accept the monkey, stop fighting the monkey, love the monkey and...teach it who is boss.

I feel better already and I think that I LOOK better already. FEELING good is actually the most important thing to me...it has an element of looking good in there, but that's not all there is.

Like a few of the rest of you, I am seeing summer looming and remembering how good it felt to wear my smaller size and to feel good in shorts and more revealing clothes. This helps too.

Finally, I have to figure out what to do about my arms -- I haven't been exercising them for many months now and my shoulder isn't completely better (although it IS substantially better). And now my other shoulder is starting to hurt -- and I think it's from atrophy. This weekend I am going to try VERY low weights on my arms at the gym and hope that doesn't exacerbate the pain...if it doesn't, I'll work my way up slowly.

We're having Princess with us this weekend (and possibly one of the other grandkids)...I'm looking forward to it a lot! :-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New reason to DO IT

We're going to St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands) for our anniversary in July!!! Bathing suit vacation!

We realized a few days ago that we could fly there, rent an amazing house and a car for a week for the same amount of money we would spend to just rent an apartment in Catalina (off the coast of LA)...unbelievable. So we've canceled our place in Catalina and are now going to the Caribbean!

I am so excited. Neither of us has been there before. The majority of the island is national park so there is not a lot of development. And, of course, we chose to stay on the LEAST developed side too! ;-) The view from "our" house looks amazing and there is snorkeling (my favorite) galore all over the island.

So...every time I want to eat or drink something "bad" now, I think "bathing suit photo". It's amazing how powerful that is to get me to STOP.

I told DB maybe we need bathing suit vacations twice a year to keep in shape... ;-)