Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the season

I get really emotional in December...I haven't quite figured out why, but I find myself just so darn a kid waiting for Christmas. And I also get a little weepy sometimes when I get reflective about the year that has past...

This Christmas we will be having PD1 and three of her kids with us for Christmas. And this leads me to finally write about the lowest of lows that happened this year. You all know that the highest of highs was our wedding. What you don't know is that two weeks before we left for the wedding, we learned that our oldest granddaughter, Princess, was being molested by her stepdad (father of PD1's other three kids). Four months after that horrible day, it makes me sick to type that. When I got the call from DB, I couldn't stop crying. It is the worst thing I have been through since my dad died.

PD1 got all her kids out of the house as soon as she learned about this. She took Princess to the cops. They interviewed Princess and believed her. The next day, PD1 threw The Molester out of the house. The day after that, we took all four kids for a week so PD1 could do all the work necessary to get herself into the social services system (she hasn't worked outside the home in about 8 years and is completely without income without The Molester to support her). We got her a very good attorney for the paternity action (they were never married, thank goodness!).

It is a very long story, but the DA ultimately declined to prosecute (it's her word against his) although it appears that Child Protective Services will issue a report soon in which the charges will be deemed "substantiated". This will help minimize the visitation he gets with his kids. By the way, I don't understand why he gets any, but that's another story...

In October, the court ordered him to get 2 hours supervised visitation per week. DB and I are the authorized supervisors along with his mom. So, every other weekend, we have to see his ugly false face and pretend not to hate him with all our hearts while he enjoys being with his kids. In the past months, I have come to the decision that this is one of the cases where kids would really be better off without a dad than with him. But that's, unfortunately, not my decision.

Of course, this is all a mess for Princess...she has to be in the car when her brothers and sister are ferried to this...person. She is getting some therapy, but since the family is on public assistance, it's not a lot. However, her whole demeanor changed when this all came out. She had become withdrawn the past year or so and we all noticed, but put it down to adolescence (she's almost 12). As soon as The Molester was out of the house, her normal sunny disposition was back. This, maybe more than anything, makes me know that she is telling the truth. My sweet Princess is back. :-)

This whole thing has brought up a lot for me because I was molested as a little girl too. Not by a family member and I never told anyone about it until I was in my 30s. I had blocked it out completely. I am proud that my Princess was brave enough to tell. I am proud that my PD1 believed her and has shown such great strength in the past months. I know that it will all be ok. But nothing will ever be the same.

So, now, on the eve of Christmas, Princess is in the Midwest with her dad and his family and we will have PD1 and the other three kids at our house for Christmas. I would be lying if I said I wasn't EXTREMELY excited about this. Since I never had kids of my own, I never got to play Santa. That will all change this year and I can't wait! We will have four generations in our house: my mom, DB and me, PD1 and the kids. It will be wonderful.

I have had the privilege of being treated like a parent by PD1 through this whole nightmare. It warms my heart when she refers to DB and me as her "parents". I went with her to her last court was hard, but it felt good to be there to support her. I so much want to give her a good "mother" experience since she has never had that from her real mom. It's not easy though...DB is giving her money to supplement her public assistance since she hasn't been able to find a job yet (even though the public assistance is actually more than The Molester was giving her to live on...we've learned so many ugly things about him...she was skipping meals last year so the kids would have enough, for example)...and we talk about how we can encourage her to get more and more independent.

On top of all this, I am maintaining my weight loss and am about 20 pounds less than I was last year at this time. That feels really good.

And my husband is the best man on earth. I am a lucky Mrs. Santa.

So, all in all, life is good...happy holidays to all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

On the eve of my favorite holiday, topping my list of the things for which I am thankful this year:

- Beautiful DB. Husband, lover, friend, partner, playmate, The One. Every year is better. I am aware of it and I try to make sure he feels it always.

- My mommy. So happy that she is healthy and will be joining us tonight through Friday for our celebration.

- NYC family. I missed seeing them this year, but am so looking forward to a long visit next summer for our next wedding. My sister will be my matron of honor -- 25 years after I was hers. :-)

- PD1 and PD2. Such amazing women who I am allowed to pretend are my daughters. They are in my heart.

- 6 grandkids. Each and every one a joy to me in so many ways. The smiles (and hugs) they give tickle my heart.

- Dear darling friends. I am blessed with a plethora and some will be with us tomorrow to celebrate, yay!

- My job. After 18 years, it is still challenging and I work for and with the most amazing people.

- My house. With the economy as it is, I count myself extremely blessed to still have our house. Although home is wherever I'm with DB, it's nice to have the house we have now.

- My yoga. I write enough about that here so no more details necessary.

- My lower weight. Today I weigh 12 pounds less than I did on Thanksgiving morning last year and 2 pounds less than the year before (when I last was in a good range). I am grateful to me for making this a priority this year.

There is so much more...I am lucky and my heart is full.

May anyone reading this feel the same joy I do...Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hovering in a lower range

By last Saturday, the scale actually showed a pound and a half below my previous low so I had broken new territory for a few days in a row. This, of course, feels great. I, however, have trouble resisting weekend treats all the time. Most weekends are pretty good, but...

We went to a birthday party last Saturday night for one of our best friends which morphed into an engagement party for a couple we know well who had just gotten engaged that morning. The party started at 8:30 so we went out to dinner at my new favorite place where I can get a good dinner of protein (amazing deviled eggs) and delicious veggies (a kale salad and brussels sprouts which make my mouth water). DB and I felt good after dinner -- we remarked that we were full, but not too full. Then we went to the party.

I figured there wouldn't be a lot of food since it was so late (which is why we ate before). I was soooo wrong. There was a ton of food. And the food at this friend's house is always always bad (again, a reason I had eaten before...just in case). I ate too much. I had salty chips and cheese and a few crackers. I managed to stop myself before diving into the cake, but it was too late. Sunday morning, my scale showed a gain of 5 pounds since Saturday morning. :-(

Now, you and I both know that this happens with me fairly frequently. I can put on a huge amount of lbs in just day. They come off quickly, but not as quickly as they go on. DB and I made a bet about just how long it would take for them to be gone. We both lost (he said Monday, I said Wednesday). This morning I am still a pound over what I was last Saturday morning.

It's amazing how fast my sabotage causes damage and how slow I am to recover. I'm not mad about this...just trying to become aware so maybe, more often, I will stop before my hand lands on that salty chip.

The good news is that:

- people continue to remark at how "skinny" I am getting.

- a friend gave me a pair of jeans the other night that are gorgeous and I said "well, these will fit me soon". I went home and they fit (I could wear them, but they are tight). They will be awesome in 5 more pounds. They are the size I was when I was at my best (10), not skinniest (6 or 8 -- which, for me, is too thin).

- when I have these UP days, the high weight is a LOT less than my low weight used to be so I'm hovering in a lower range.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

New low (by a teeny bit)

After a surge of weight on the scale during Halloween weekend (too many carbs), today the scale officially is lower than it has been since I started this part of my journey back in 2006. I am 0.8 pounds lower than my lowest back at Halloween 2009. Yay! I have been wondering what's going on that's making this finally (apparently) happen...more on that later.

I am so happy that I weigh myself every day and write it down no matter what. Because of that, I know that I maintained my previous low for a grand total of one day and never saw that weight on the scale again until yesterday. Nevertheless, I did manage to keep within 10 pounds of that weight for about a year. Then the scale started to creep up. As you may remember, I tried from about last December through May to lose the (almost 20) pounds I had gained to no avail. In May, I made some tiny dietary changes, started some new supplements and medication and the weight started to come off. Since August, I have mostly been maintaining within a few pounds (up) of what I weighed before the wedding. My weight this morning is merely 2 pounds below my pre-wedding weight. But, psychologically, since this is a new low, it's big to me.

Why is this happening? I was just talking with DB this morning about why I think the scale has started to inch downward again for me and he said (in a complimentary way): "you are always working to figure this stuff out". Yes, I am. And I try to be mindful of even the smallest changes in my exercise, diet, medication. I have to be. I don't have the luxury of just eating whatever I "want" like some people do (and, yes, there are those people -- DB is one to some extent). I am not SURE yet what is low day is not enough to make me go crazy...but I think there is something happening. My current guess? From May, when I started my early morning yoga and morning (rather than evening) showering, I have been careless about doing my estradiol cream in the evenings. I noticed during the past month or so that I have been waking up hot in the night and I figured that was because of skipping my evening dose. So, during the last week, I have concentrated on taking it again. I am sleeping much better and, perhaps, this regained balance in my system is allowing my body to shed some more lbs. We'll see.

This week is also (as my assistant put it this morning) "Helen's New Dress Week". In the past month, I realized that, while all of my clothes now fit or are too big, I am totally sick of my work clothes. I don't think I have bought substantially anything new for work in maybe 8 years. So I have been shopping a few times the past few weeks -- determined to buy things that don't just fit, but look good on me too. It has been hard -- I am used to buying something if it fits and I like the color or style regardless of how it looks on ME. I have now gotten three new dresses that fit those criteria and have started wearing my older smaller work clothes again (so they feel like new) and I feel pretty this week. Feeling pretty feels good. My mood is fantastic. :-)

One more fun thing: I have become totally addicted to curry and think this will be a huge winter go-to dinner staple. Some friends brought us back a special curry powder from a recent trip to Indiana (go figure!) and it's AMAZING. I heat up some ghee in a skillet, add a bunch of curry powder, then saute veg for a bit (I use cauliflower, green beans, onions, red pepper and mushrooms), then add a little lite coconut milk and cook until the veg are cooked through. Then I add some frozen chicken breast cutlets on top. They cook in about 10 minutes and, voila, yummy one-pot dinner. Plus this powder has a slightly sweet kind of cinnamon taste that feels (and smells up the house) like fall/winter to me. YUM. We use leftovers in our egg product scrambles the next morning(s).

Finally, yoga continues to make my body feel more itself. I feel the effects just walking around. Posture is better. Muscles are stronger. Attitude is happier.

So, despite some continuing challenges with our family (yes, I know I haven't written about it...someday), I feel good. :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Today I am wearing a pair of absolutely gorgeous Donna Karan leather pants that I think I have not been able to wear in at least 8 years (since before I quit smoking -- and even before I met DB!). They are a teeny bit tight, but they are comfy enough to wear all day and tonight (going to see Roger Daltrey do Tommy tonight). Whooo hooo. So glad I didn't toss these...I kept all my old rock n roll leather since it's lovely and expensive.

Funnily, the scale is still not going down. But everyone still thinks I am losing. Maybe again soon... ;-)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shorty about maintaining

For the past month (since before The Wedding), I have been maintaining, not losing. Maintaining on me looks like a few pounds up, a few pounds down every week. I tend to go up on the weekend and down during the week when my diet and exercise are more rigid. I don't love this, but I am happy that, at least, I am still at my lower weight range and in most of my skinniest clothes (on good days). I still want to get to a range 5-10 pounds below where I am, but we'll see when that happens.

The funny thing is that people (many of whom see me every day) continue to remark on how much weight I am "losing". Since my scale doesn't lie, I think it must be that yoga is redistributing how I carry the weight. When I am full-on into my yoga practice like I am now, my posture is better, my tummy is flatter, etc. Even I see the changes...but weight not going down. And this is, while not ideal, fine.

Most of life is maintenance, so I think it's a darn good thing to have a handle on. :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Handfuls of salty, carby treats and eating at home

I don't know what came over me last weekend. I usually have a LOT of discipline when it comes to what I can and cannot eat...if I have something "bad", it's usually only a little and I get right back on the wagon. But last weekend, I completely lost it with Salty, Carby Treats. And I paid the price.

Saturday night we were at a party and there were bowls of chips and other SCTs. For some reason (probably drinking too much), I ate HANDFULS of them. Not only did I not stop, it didn't really occur to me to stop. Yikes. The next morning, in addition to a hangover (which I almost never get), I had gained almost two pounds. I actually thought that I got off easy with that. And I did.

Then, on Sunday, I ate way more carbs than usual (pita with salad for brunch and low-carb low-fat frozen yogurt treat in the afternoon). Again, I don't know what came over me! But, even though I noticed that I was eating that stuff, I still ended up eating MORE: sushi (with rice) for dinner (although I skipped the soy sauce as I now do). And, the piece de resistance, when I knew I had really LOST it? At 10:30 pm when DB went across the street and bought a bag of tortilla chips...and we ate THE WHOLE THING. This was wrong on so many levels and I paid the price the next morning -- FOUR more pounds.

It has taken me all of this week to get those 4, yes, they were "water" weight, but that is still REAL pounds. I feel my clothes and out of them.

It took me about 3 days to make the scale move down at all -- I was eating perfectly back on plan and exercising as usual, but we went out for dinner on Tuesday for a friend's birthday. As I usually do, I checked the menu before we went so I knew what I could order and stay "good"...this way, I don't look at the menu when I'm actually at the restaurant and's one of my mechanisms for coping with my limitations. It was a Mexican place and I managed to not eat ANY chips (I think I've had my quota for a while!) or margaritas: had ceviche and salad with grilled chicken and a pinot grigio. It was tasty and I was satisfied. But, the scale still did not move the next day. And I am CERTAIN that it's because of SALT since the food itself was perfectly fine.

The scale started to move when ALL my meals were food I prepared. I am glad for my new awareness about the dangers of eating out...even when I choose food with good ingredients, it doesn't matter if they salt the heck out of it.

Eating out is part of our lifestyle...I just need to minimize it if I want to see the scale continue to move down. Oh yeah, and NO MORE HANDFULS OF SCTS!!!!!!! ;-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


How do I love my yoga practice? Let me count the ways!

I marvel that I get up two days a week at 6:15 (this morning in the DARK) to go to yoga class. I have never done this...SO not a morning exercise person! But I love my current teacher so much that it is worth it -- when the alarm goes off, I hate it, but after I start my practice, I am so happy. In fact, I was thinking this morning that even if he taught at night (my preferred exercise time), I might keep up these early mornings instead...they have freed up my nights and I love that.

After practicing for years and years, I have done pretty much every kind of yoga there is. I have my favorites and my least favorites, but I've always thought for a person like me with my injury/body issues that Iyengar would be really nice to get to have on a consistent basis. Despite searching over the years, I never found a place to get that...until now. Yes, my teacher is Iyengar-based hatha yoga -- we work hard on specifics of placement and holding poses -- we do NOT do lots of "vinyasa" or "flow" (which is so popular in L.A. that you can almost find nothing else). It's not very woo-woo, but I have gotten enough of that in the past that I can breathe and meditate on my own during class without someone telling me what to do. What I cannot do is see myself (unless I look in the mirrors, which I try not to do)...and a good teacher is key to this. (This morning, in headstand, my feet were apparently doing something weird -- no way could I have seen it and I couldn't feel it even when Teacher moved my feet to the correct position -- I needed him to show me with his hands so I could SEE.)

What prompted my ahhhhh here? Last Saturday I went to my regular 1:15 class and (gasp!) my regular awesome teacher was not there and (gasp again!) the sub was the horrible teacher I tried once before and swore never again. I had met a friend and she said "do you want to just go and get a cup of coffee?". I declined because I really needed yoga -- whatever that was that day. And it was NOT what I like, what I needed or what I want. But I stuck it out. I sweated a lot. And it was yogaerobics, not yoga. I CAN do all the poses in the universe in an hour and 15 minutes without holding one for more than a few seconds, but I don't WANT to.

After that debacle, I decided I had to get on Teacher's mailing list so I wouldn't have such a disappointing experience again. I tracked him down through a new Facebook friend who is in my class. And, voila!, I am now saved. ;-)

I love yoga (when it's good...and sometimes even when it's bad) so much. I have time to empty my mind and focus on just being in my body. And, in addition to being quite a bit thinner than it was in May, my body is stronger and healthier. My knees and back are giving me almost no trouble (although I have to modify some poses). My disposition is, I think, much happier. And this feels like HOME.

[Side note: I gained about 4.5 pounds at Burning Man due to eating total crap for a week and it could have been A LOT worse. All but about 1.5 are already gone. I am reminded how important it is to get back on that wagon quickly after a vacation.]

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back from our first wedding

It was perfect. Not perfect as in no flaws, but perfect like we are perfect for each other. It was non-traditional and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Here are some photos but the video is better -- e-mail me if you are not a friend on FB so haven't had access to the video.

Now for The Forever Honeymoon...and our next wedding next summer!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Numbers

After two of the most stressful weeks ever (which I will write about someday), and racing off to Burning Man wedding, I had an appointment with my gyne this morning. The numbers speak for themselves (first number is May reading, second is early this week):

Estradiol: 53 (too low), 113.5 (great)
Progesterone: .6, .6 (both ok)
Testosterone: 35 (too low), 137 (too high -- explains irritability that DB has noticed)

Thyroid is still low (now T4 is 1.07, and it was 1.69) but better...heading toward healthy range.

MOST interesting though are the cholesterol and glucose results -- my doc said when she saw the results she said to herself "what is she doing?!" -- without further ado:

Cholesterol: 242 (bad), 186 (MUCH better -- now in healthy range)
Glucose (Hemoglobin Alc): 5.8 (bad), 5.0 (great)
eAG (estimated average

My good cholesterol also went up and bad went down.

My calcium is still too high, but I am continuing with less vitamin D so hopefully it will keep coming down too.

And, drum roll, please: I am down 20 pounds from my (brief) highest weight in May and a good solid 15 pounds less than the plateau that I was struggling with early this year. About 3 more pounds to go until I hit a new low (which, to be realistic, will not happen on vacation next week -- although I plan to be as careful as I can).

So -- red rice yeast, no yolks, cutting down on red meat, no cheese, and some other supplements REALLY seem to have worked.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's still working...and I'm still working it

Each week lately I hit a "new low" for this phase of my journey with weight. It's usually at the end of the week and early in the week I "gain" back a bit. But the trend remains downward, week after week. I am so happy that I have been writing my weight down every day for a few lets me see the patterns...and how they change.

Almost all the clothes in my closet fit and look good. At my current weight, I feel and look healthy. 10 or 15 pounds more than this, I don't. I wore a pair of jeans last Friday that I haven't worn in over a year and that felt really good. I have also worn some things that have NEVER fit (because I bought them too small...thinking I'd keep losing...and didn't).

I am 5 pounds or so above my lowest weight from October 2009. And, yes, I would like to lose those 5 pounds too and 5 more for good measure.

I am more fit than I was a few years ago, I think. I feel strong and graceful getting back into my Yoga Body. I still am getting up at an hour I never have before (voluntarily) for yoga twice a week (class starts at 6:45). Getting up is hard, but once I am there I am so happy.

Trying on my wedding dresses (I have 14 -- two for each day of Burning Man -- my art project = me = The Bride!), my arms look toned and strong. And wedding dresses are seemingly engineered to look and fit better than any clothes I have ever worn before -- I swear I look, well, beautiful in every one! What fun!

I am still going to therapy but am considering quitting -- the One Big Thing that I wanted to deal with doesn't seem to be coming up with this therapist. Some weeks it is useful, but mostly I feel like I'm wasting time and money.

We are heavily into pre-Burning Man preps, but I think we will be good and ready by the time we leave on August 28. It will be a special year, for sure! DB and I are determined to stay healthy.

I go in for blood work and gyne appointment the week before we leave. I am excited (and hopeful) that the meds, supplements and small dietary changes that I have made show in the blood work. Right now, I am using my scale as a gauge of health -- seeing my weight go down the past couple of months with minimal diet and exercise changes has made me realize what a useful tool it is for that. I should have known earlier this year when my weight was weird and I couldn't fix it that something else in my system was too.

Work continues exceedingly busy...but I am taking deep breaths and trying to remain calm! ;-)

A friend signed off an e-mail recently with something I really love and am going to start to use:

If anything can go well, it will.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two pieces of body/weight knowledge reinforced

The colonoscopy turned out fine. Doc was very happy that I had cleaned out for two days ahead of time instead of just one. I was too because it made the "prep" much less unpleasant. I had one polyp that he is sure is ok and it was removed (they biopsy it anyway). Now, here are the two things reinforced:

1. All calories are not created equal. I am certain that I "ate" less calories in my two prep days than I normally do. But they were all sugar and/or salt liquids (even though I tried to stay low sodium and lower carb). Did I lose weight? No. I actually "gained" a couple of pounds which are still lingering. I have no doubt that they will melt away after a couple of days back to my normal low-carb, low-sodium eating. So, if you think it's just a matter of calories, I say it's not. Food composition is, in my opinion and my experience, equally important.

2. Everybody's body is different. DB made the same anesthesia choice as I did. He was awake and ready to eat on the way home from his procedure. I was woozy and unhungry for HOURS after I was awake. I literally could not make my brain work to do any work that afternoon from home (as I had planned). Felt fine the next day, but the day Of? Nope. My body processed the anesthesia differently. I extrapolate this to most everything with how individual's bodies work -- there may be similarities, but it's important to know YOUR body and listen to it.

Fun yoga thing: this morning in class, the teacher said "hey, look back here, this is a perfect plank hiding in the back of class". Yes, that was me. I felt good because I work on form HARD. And that is something that this teacher really works on too. Of course, we're all perfect, but I still felt kinda extra-perfect today. ;-)

Going away this weekend for three days for our last pre-wedding anniversary (7 years on Saturday).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quick prep update

First to Sharla: my gyne recommends Designs for Health brand and I use them quite a lot. Your doc can set you up with an account and you can buy direct from their website although my acupuncture doc also carries it if I need to pick up locally.

Interesting colonoscopy prep observation: I usually do not eat a lot of salt or sugar. Pretty much the only calories on this liquid diet prep are from sugar and, unless you are REALLY careful, the broth you buy is VERY salty (what I bought at a regular store for DB last week had like 100% of RDA in one box). Starting on liquid yesterday, "eating" these things I am not used to anymore, I noticed that the first taste wakes up my taste buds like "wow, a party in my mouth", but after about 3 sips, I literally cannot taste the flavor of the "food" AT ALL. It kills my taste buds. So, no, this is not fun. ;-)

I don't love the sugar spikes either...but I've got to have something in my system because I am used to eating every few hours and get nauseous and weak if I don't.

For those of you doing prep in future, try the Trader Joe's low sodium broth: it's got less than 1/5 of the regular grocery store's sodium and, otherwise, the nutrition information is identical. I'm looking forward to that for lunch and dinner.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The changes are still working

I still don't know which of the meds or supplements is the thing (or things) that kicked my body back headed to a more comfortable weight, but it's still working and so I'm happy!

Tomorrow I start my clean-out for my first colonoscopy...oh fun! DB had his last week and it was no big deal because he started cutting out hard foods a day early so I'm going to do the same thing. My body is ready for a cleanse so I'm actually kind of looking forward to it even though the only (all liquids) things I can eat over the next couple of days seem to have a lot of sugar or salt. DB didn't lose a single pound during his process so I'm just going to be happy to stay the same.

Today I reached a new low for this last couple of years...just a few more pounds until I'm at my all-time low from October 2009...less than last year at this time so that feels good. I am happy I write down my weight every really helps.

Laura asked about supplements. I love them and take a, here's my list, with NO recommendations for ANYONE else...this is just what I do each day:

women's multi with low iron (I get overloaded on iron easily)
vitamin C (builds immune system)
berberine (helps body process glucose)
alpha lipoic acid (ditto -- powerful antioxidant)
glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM (joints)
vitamin D (hmmm...all docs say to take this now...I was taking too much, so have halved)
DIM (helps body process bio-identical hormones)
cranberry (protects from urinary infections to which I am prone)
ubiquinol (helps liver process the red rice yeast, which is a statin)
(and, at night) red rice yeast (cholesterol)

I've noted above what I think each helps...your mileage may vary. And, of course, am taking the natural thyroid prescription.

I'm excited to get my blood tests next month to see if this all shows up in the blood as well as on the scale.

Yoga feels so good -- I can't believe I'm getting up so early twice a week for ANYTHING. My yoga body is coming back. Showing someone a photo of my wedding gown (strapless) yesterday, they said "wow, you have a great upper body". YOGA, BABY!

And it goes on...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finally taking a few minutes to catch up here

And there's A LOT to catch up on over the past month so this is going to be in list-form and not elegantly phrased (no time to edit, just typing away to get things down before too much time has passed and I forget things):

Weight loss: I am down between 10 and 13 pounds from the highest weight in the range I've been in for the last 6-8 months. How and why did this happen after SO MUCH trying and frustration? I changed my diet VERY little since getting the medical results at the end of May: stopped egg yolks and cut down on meat and animal products (goodbye cheese and morning turkey bacon). I added a veggie (onion, mushroom and/or whatever remnants are in the fridge) to my morning egg product. But, MOSTLY, I think it's something that I've added: either the thyroid medication or the supplements to help my body digest (specifically glucose) better. I even managed to keep my weight in the lower range over vacation. I like seeing the scale go down. Or even hover in a lower range.

Yoga: I'm very addicted now to my twice-weekly 6:45 am yoga class that I substituted for my twice-weekly nighttime gym workout. This is in addition to the Saturday class I've been taking for about 6 months. I am just totally loving this teacher and this class -- you know it's true because I am SO not a get-up-early-and-exercise person! It's wonderful to feel my yoga-body coming back. I get stronger every day. So I miss 45 minutes of sleep twice a's worth it!

The Big News: DB and I are planning a couple of weddings. Oh yeah, you knew that one wouldn't be enough for us! ;-) While we have considered ourselves married for years, when we heard the Burning Man art theme for this year was "Rites of Passage", we started thinking about having a wedding. And, when we realized that a lot of our family and friends couldn't or wouldn't make the time and money commitment to go to BM, we decided we'd have another wedding next year too. This is perfect because I so cannot decide on just ONE wedding dress! I've been ebay shopping like crazy and am planning to wear (short, cute) wedding dresses and veils EVERY DAY at BM this year. It's my costume: The Bride. You wouldn't believe how cheap you can get GORGEOUS dresses on ebay. Anyway, the one next year will probably be at the lake that we went to on vacation with the PDs and their families in mid-June (near Yosemite). We loved it there and it's where we told our family about the weddings. My sister will be matron of honor and all the girls in the family (my niece, my PDs, my granddaughters will all be bridesmaids!). It's been fun to see everyone's reaction: ALL thrilled and excited.

Work: HORRIBLE heavy workload. Having a meeting in an hour to discuss with bosses what to do before I have a breakdown. I am not going to be modest: I am fantastic at my job and even my super-powers cannot handle the load right now. Thank goodness for therapy right now...although it takes time out of my workday that I do NOT have. on Sept. 1 at Burning there. :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Frustrated and depressed, but with sassy hair

Hopefully, the above will be a photo of my sassy new hair. After the initial panic at how much she cut off, I kind of love it. :-)

I danced hard at Prince last Sunday night and got a great quad workout. I had my best weigh-in in AGES on Monday morning. By Thursday, the scale showed me up EIGHT pounds. I just do not think this is normal. I eat great, I exercise (although, after a great yoga week last week, I wasn't able to do yoga this week -- knee blew up after Prince-dancing -- my bad). But EIGHT pounds in four days? Seriously? The only bad thing that I ate that I don't normally was 5 cubes of pineapple and about 4 bites of birthday cake and ice cream on Wednesday night. THIS causes 8 pound weight-gain? Yes, I am depressed. I am angry and I am sad. I watch people eat scones, chips and other CRAP every day and no effect. I am mad that my body doesn't react the same way. It's not that I want to eat crap all the time, but I want to be able to eat something "bad" once in a while...maybe even once a week. I used to be able to do that and I apparently can't now.

I had therapy on Wednesday evening and it was good although we have not gotten into the weight thing yet.

I had a very interesting appointment with my acupuncture doctor this morning -- I am so lucky to have his insights to help me navigate my western docs! :-)

We went over all the (sometimes contradictory) test results I got from my gyne and my main MD this week:

Calcium: He agrees with MD that it is too high and it's probably caused by the high level of vitamin D I've been taking. He agrees that I should go down to 5K mg rather than 10K (which is what I have done, contrary to Gyne's recommendation that I maintain at 10K). Sounds like she should have checked my calcium when having me on such high doses of D. The calcium elevation could exacerbate the other heart-endangering things going on. And it's probably related to the thyroid stuff below too.

Glucose: He agrees with Gyne that it is too high (top "normal" level is 100 -- in range from 65-100 -- and I'm at 92) -- MD was totally unworried about that level. Acu Doc thinks the reading I got from MD on hemoglobin AIC (5.2) is wrong (Gyne's was 5.8, 6 is pre-diabetic). He agrees with the supplements Gyne told me to take and, contrary to what I planned, thinks I should take both unless I am going to cut out alcohol from my diet entirely (which I am not quite ready to do). Interestingly on booze -- he suggested vodka and tequila might be better than champagne. I told him I don't like that they make me drunk.

Cholesterol: It's up to 240 with bad cholesterol up to 152. :-( Probably exacerbated by all the other stuff going on. Acu Doc agrees with MC to cut out egg yolks and cheese and suggested cutting out red meat too (which I told him I have already done since getting these test results). MD is going to re-test me in two months.

Thyroid: Agrees with Gyne. TSH and T4 are apparently in acceptable range (although TSH has gone up which indicates the body is trying to stimulate the thyroid...unsuccessfully), but T3 (only tested by Gyne) is rock bottom. He says this means that the conversion from T4 to T3 is not working so agrees I should take the quarter grain of Naturthroid (which I started this week).

Weight: He thinks that my difficulty in getting it off despite nearly perfect diet is related to glucose and thyroid. I need to remember that challenges are opportunities for growth and SURRENDER to the fact that my body is different from others, i.e., I can't eat/drink/be-merry like others and still maintain my weight. This SUCKS, but I think he is right and I need to meditate on it to get peaceful, and not sad and angry, about it.

I told him that all this, along with my injured knee/back, etc., is really depressing me. He gave me a good pep talk -- I'm fixing these problems BEFORE they become problems unlike most people, etc. He says he has a lot of the same problems and understands...they happen to a lot of people as they age.

This is really a struggle for me on so many levels. But I keep trying. And this weekend, we have four of the grandkids coming to stay with us (yay!) so that will cheer me up.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My monthly round-up

As Vickie has reminded me how long I have been absent here, I am dropping in with my monthly round-up of FB status updates for your reading pleasure:

April 28: The dog on Steve Carrell's Office finale looks like Doglet...and I'm feeling so nostalgic overall about this.

April 29: Prince for the second time in 6 nights? Heck, yeah!

April 29: Mint Condition opens...

April 30: Gorgeous summer-like day in our little beach town. A great day for some yoga and a pedi. :-)

April 30: Loving home. Where it's warm enough to sit in the yard in my jammies with the breeze in the trees, candles burning, chiminea later.

April 30: Sounds like all the neighbors are out enjoying the warm evening with us...not noisy, just sounds like happiness. And we've got a fragrant fire. And my sweetie is strumming guitar. Kinda bliss.

April 30: Smudging the 'hood.

May 2: I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

May 2: I hear my MLK quote was not MLK. However, I still completely believe what it said. Just wish i could give attribution to the actual author.

May 4: At this time of night it's vewy vewy quiet I guess I have no choice but to go to sleep.

May 6: That's my Mommy! Happy Mother's Day! :-)

May 6: This week my sweetheart surprised me with gifts of music and art. I am an incredibly lucky woman. :-)

May 7: Time to get sassy! [I got my hair cut -- 12 inches plus to donate for wigs for people battling cancer -- done in honor of my friend who died last year. Hair is shorter than it has been since my early 20s and, after a brief freak-out, I kinda love it!]

May 7: On the way to City of Hope benefit at Universal Studios. :-) [This benefit was so much fun: we saw The Eagles play and then had the run of the park for free!]

May 8: Happy birthday to my sweet nephew, the fantastic superlative J!! I love you. :-)

May 9: Ouch ouch ouch. 4th day of leg, arm, head pains. I think it's a nerve in my back. :-(

May 13: Joshua Tree Music Fest, here I come!

May 14: Dr. Bronner's foam tub isn't just a bath, it's an amusement park ride! And I have a weekend pass. :-)

May 17: Celebrating The Friendaversary in The Bunker. [with our best "couple friends" while the rest of our house was having its floors redone]

May 18: Does anyone need a set of extra small dog booties (for paws about 2 1/2 X 2 1/2 inches)? Unused, but tried on so unreturnable. They're yours (free) if you want 'em!

May 21: Being optimistic...heading to giant costume sale. My rapture? Bargain costume shopping. :-)

May 23: Yoga tomorrow morning, 6:45 am.

May 24: Who LOVES Prince and wants to go with me on Sunday night to the last show of the Forum series? [PD2]

May 24: It's so obvious to me that Scotty is the star...why are they manipulating otherwise? Oh well, could be wrong.

May 25: Trying to be blase, but very excited to be going to American Idol finale today!

May 25: Rob Halford just walked by...have never seen so many studs on a leather outfit. And that's saying something.

May 25: All the Idols just walked by us. Lauren hugged the kids I'm I like her better. And Scotty is a sweetheart.

May 25: Four rows in front of Ryan right now on camera

May 25: James has on almost as many studs as Rob.

May 25: Loved Casey with Jack Black. Fun!

May 25: They wouldn't let me update anymore so that's why there was a break. Really fun show. Backstage now. :-)

May 25: I had the MOST fun at AI finale tonight and so happy for Scotty. :-)

May 25: My last AI finale thought: Simon Fuller smells amazing...even better than the previous best-smeller, Randy Jackson. ;-)

May 27: Seeing the new painting on the wall this morning gives me a big smile. [Went to art opening last night and bought an amazing painting!]

May 27: Available July 1: Our super-charming 1 BR, 1BA apartment at the beach! PM me for more info.

Well, that's it. Weight is going down SLOWLY. I have started to get up early to do two 6:45 am yoga classes during the week because I just enjoy yoga more than any other exercise and, therefore, I work harder at it. Got hormone results back yesterday and there are some problems -- plus glucose is too high (not pre-diabetic...yet). Have plans to work on all of it. Also started back to therapy last week and the new therapist is great: three excellent insights in the first 50 minutes! Yes, I'm excited for this!!

Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend -- I am still reading blogs, just not posting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FB status updates

As requested by you FB Luddites (!), following are my most recent FB status updates, i.e., mini-blogs (yes, I know there's not a lot of insight you can squish into short blurbs!):

April 22: [Wharf Town], Magnetic Zeros, Mumfords, interminable food and beer lines. But still lovin it. :-)
April 23: Excited to be on the way to see His Purple Majesty.
April 23: Chaka Khan opens for Prince!!
April 23: Photos tomorrow... This darn iPhone FB app. :-( [P.S. Wish it was easy to share photos here...sometimes my status updates are JUST some good ones at Prince show and next day...]
April 23: Sheila E totally KILLS Glamorous Life. :-). Whew, I'm sweaty. :-)
April 24, 12:22 am: Now THAT was a concert old school style. Totally worth $25 and $12 beer!!
April 24: Magical music weekend: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros/Mumford & Sons at the wharf in [Wharf Town], then Prince at the Forum, culminating with "A Pirate's Life for Me" chorus while riding with pretend daughter and grandkids in a bicycle built for 7 on [DB Hometown] waterfront and my granddaughter's original Christmas-themed composition from the back seat on the way home. :-)
April 26: Prince again on Friday!

Yes, we're headed back to Prince again...what a fantastic show. And the venue is 15 minutes from our house and you can't beat a $25 concert! This week we're taking a large (10 plus people) posse with us. :-)

I have buckled down this week after a horrible food weekend which culminated in eating the grandkids' french fries on Sunday...which I never do!! This was a wake-up call for me. We've got another bathing suit vacation (week near Yosemite) with the kids and grandkids coming up in June so I've GOT to do something. Cutting back on booze and ANY "cheats" (don't have a lot of those usually but last weekend I saw the slippery slope).

Buckling down has not made a difference at all yet. Disappointing, but I am focused. Ski season is over so it's gym and yoga...if only I could wake up and make the 6:45 yoga twice a week...I am determined to try SOMEtime.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's been EXACTLY a month again...

...and I am a very very very bad blogger. Naughty Helen!

Ski season may now be over for me (although I'm still dreaming of maybe just maybe convincing DB to go with me next weekend -- he is "done") so maybe I will have more time to write. We'll see. Micro-blogging on Facebook seems to be easier for me to maintain at the moment.

Speaking of "maintain", that's all I'm doing. I go up a few pounds, I go down a few pounds. I stay in the same range. Unfortunately, this is still a range 15-20 pounds higher than I want it to be. But, like my smoking addiction before I quit, it seems that I have plenty of excuses why I'm not just doing it.

The good news is that I am exercising regularly and getting fitter even if the scale is not going down. Skiing is so good for me. I will miss it a lot. But I will up my gym time to make up for it a little bit at least.

To catch those of you who are not on FB up, I'm going to copy my micro-blogs (statuses) from Facebook for the past month. Feel free to ask for details or comment!

3/23/11: Pre-[music venue] show, sitting at [restaurant] on Hollywood Blvd eating the best turkey burger I ever tasted.
3/26/11: I love a good spontaneous slumber party.
3/27/11: I am a lucky woman...too many reasons why...hope you all know it's you. It is.
4/1/11: Super random fun : just ran into someone in a McDs restroom in the middle of nowhere who I haven't seen in probably over 10 years!
4/2/11: Skied allll the way from [one side of the resort] to [the other] today!! I have done all the bits ans pieces before, but never allll the way across and back. Beautiful day.
4/2/11: Yay for my hometown team...go Butler! :-)
4/3/11: Another perfect ski day = boring status update. ;-)
4/4/11: Snowy warm Sierra morning, balmy Venice evening listening to the surf...and a cow on the roof. I must be home.
4/6/11: Just had my doglet's teeth cleaned at home, no anesthesia, in 1/2 hour...SO much better (and cheaper) than taking him to the vet. Happy to provide contact info to anyone who wants a referral. I am sold!
4/7/11: Food is love. Our chef friend just made us the most amazing vegan dinner...OMG, I can still taste the deliciousness. She is growing her business and we will be having her back for a tasting for our friends sometime soon. Let us know if you are interested and we'll put you on the guest list. Words cannot describe the yumminess (and this from a girl who had burgers every other night this week for dinner)!
4/7/11: We literally licked every bowl, plate and pan clean!
4/10/11: First FB post from new iPhone!
4/10/11: Lazy boardwalk Sunday.
4/11/11: To all my vegan, vegetarian & veg curious friends, please let me know if you'd like on the list for a vegan tasting party at our neighbor's on April 21st. The talented vegan/raw chef [name omitted] is putting together a multi-course tasting menu. There will also be a pop-up gallery for the [local art crawl] same night, same location, featuring pieces by our favorite Venice artist [gorilla painter].
4/11/11: I love so much about my new iPhone but...need to know how to sync Google contacts and calendar and find some good voice recognition software.
4/12/11: Homemade Moroccan tagine for dinner, hang drum by the fire with sweetie and friend...all yum.
4/14/11: Have I mentioned lately how in love I am with my iPhone?
4/14/11: I wish I could organize my life so i would get more than 7 hours sleep
4/15/11: My infomercial producer friend needs Hong Kong natives over 18 who speak Cantonese and have occasional acne. If you know anyone, please have them message me.
4/15/11: On the party bus to Ski Town.
4/16/11: Sticky snowga day.
4/17/11: The Eastern Sierra is so beautiful that it makes me want to a different way than skiing down my first blue-black today. But not really. ;-)
4/18/11: So [DB] says he is done with ski season but I'd like to try to go the weekend of April 29-May 1. Anyone want to come with? I've got cheap options (and you can get a cheap lift ticket via me since I have a season ticket). Let me know! :-)
4/19/11: Waiting at ER to get ultrasound to make sure this pain in my calf is nothing to worry about.
4/19/11: My femoral artery has a clean bill of who wants to go skiing the weekend of April 29 with me? :-)
4/22/11: Tummy so full of "amazing" "stunning" and "oh my God" delicious raw/vegan food. Thank you, Chef Kelly, for sharing your yummy gift with so many of us tonight at the [local event]. :-). Wish you had a fan page... ;-)

And there you have it. Mostly food and skiing (or "snow-ga" as I call it). ;-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's been a month...

...since I've written, but I have THOUGHT about writing and THOUGHT about weight loss (and worked on, at least, fitness)...I just haven't had TIME. Work is slammed and, with skiing every other weekend, the rest of my at-home time is slammed too. I am not is fun...just explaining my MIA status from here!

We just got back from another 3-day ski weekend and what a crazy weather weekend!! On our way up on Friday night, we ran into a wildfire that had closed the freeway (the ONLY way to get to Ski Town) for about 40 miles...and we were making such good time until then! We turned around fast and headed back to an earlier town to try to get a motel, but ALL of them were booked. So we headed back north and, by then, they were escorting traffic through the fire zone -- big wildfire -- I heard it started in the wood shop of the school and they had to evacuate all of that town west of the freeway. Damage didn't look too bad driving back, but it was weird driving up in the dark with the road signs burning as we passed!

This meant we got to the town where we stay on Friday nights at 1 am. Sigh. Oh well. We get cheapy motels there anyway since all we do is sleep.

We got up late on Saturday and the weather was wild -- snowing all day and blowing almost horizontal the whole time. The snow was also really wet so moguls were everywhere. I am a groomed-slope kinda gal! We started down my go-to blue run and I fell -- for the first time all year! I was very sad...when I am out of control, it is not fun and when it's not fun I usually stop skiing for the day. But I decided to go back up and try a long green run and that was fine -- even FUN -- I got to practice on moguls on a less steep slope than I usually ski these days so I now feel like I am less afraid of them and my skill set is better. :-)

We stayed at this motel in Ski Town that we got for $89/night on on-line cheapy site (SUPER cheap for Ski Town) and it was TOTALLY worth it. HUGE room with sofa and wet bar (and we were on the 4th floor overlooking the snow). Pool, huge hot tub, sauna, steam room, laundry room and even ski lockers and covered parking. Wow. We totally want to stay there again! It wasn't fancy, but it also had the most comfy bed we've ever had up there.

Apres ski, we always get a beer at the lodge, then go home for hot tub, shower then dinner. We usually go to sleep between 9 and 10 and sleep until 8 or 9...ahhhh... :-)

Sunday the snow wasn't as blizzardy, just falling softly and steadily all day (there had been at least a foot of accumulation overnight). We took the shuttle to the lodge because the roads were really covered. My expectations were lower as far as difficulty of slope I would ski...I stuck to the long greens and worked on speed and control while crouching down (I usually ski more up-right). AMAZING exercise for my quads and glutes. It was beautiful...could hardly see ahead of yourself, but the slopes were much less last run down I went for a long time without seeing a soul. Beautiful...I was in ski ecstasy!

Sunday night, DB took me out to celebrate my Re-Birthday (8 years non-smoking yesterday). We tried to walk over because it was so snowy to drive, but I fell about a block away and DB had already fallen (just walking) twice that day so we decided to inch over in our car. It was an awesome dinner...we had leftovers last night! :-)

When we woke up yesterday, we couldn't even see across the street, it was snowing and blowing so much! With DB's back hurting due to falling, we decided not to ski yesterday and just headed home early. Made great time. Another great weekend...and we're already planning to go back the weekend of April 1! :-)

As for my weight: the past two ski weekends, I have LOST weight. I have no idea how since I do drink beer when we're away and am usually not AS careful with food. The exercise must make up for it. But I have continued to be very good with food and exercise while at home too and I am still not really LOSING. I am stable, maintaining. I guess that is better than gaining. I feel fitter too. So that is all good. But, when ski season is over and I can focus again, I guess I'm going to have to change SOMETHING else.

I talked with my doc about this in early thyroid is very low...I don't want to take meds for it, but that might be the problem. She has me on iodine for the time being to see if it helps.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Family Ski Weekend

I love the ski times we have with PD2 and her family and we are just back from another one!! I changed my Facebook profile photo today to a photo of me this weekend where you can just see the glee in my face anticipating all the fun we were gonna have. :-)

Friday night we left (as usual) at 6pm from my office. It usually takes us about 5ish hours to get to the town where we stay before hitting Ski Town (no need to spend big Ski Town money to stay overnight when all you do is crash at 11pm+ and get up at 7 so we usually get a motel about 1/2 hour away). Friday night it took us SIX AND A HALF HOURS and it was raining and snowing the whole way. DB was totally cranky at the beginning, but was a wonder in driving the whole way himself. Big ups to my sweetie!

We got into Motel Town about 12:30 and were asleep by 1:30...with no promises of when to get up the next day. We got up late, grabbed breakfast (fast food, but the best option on the menu -- I have an app that shows all nutrition information) and were at the mountain by about 11:30. It was snowing and messy -- when the slopes aren't groomed, it's a lot harder to ski -- you have to fight your way through bumps created by your fellow skiers. I don't love this. It was also President's Day Saturday so the lift lines were a lot more crowded than we (spoiled) are used to. I think we managed maybe 6 runs by 2:45 and quit.

By that time, PD2 and her family (Hubby, Cutie Pie and Bon Bon) were at our motel in Tiny Ski Town (another resort where we can ski on our pass -- 12 miles from Ski Town -- we have this great motel that has kitchenettes in every room and is CHEAP -- and has a hot tub overlooking the GORGEOUS Sierra mountains). We had some errands to run so got to them about 5 pm. When we parked, Bon Bon (3) came running across the parking lot yelling "Papa and Helen!!" right into our arms. Oh yeah, that made us smile...and will always. :-)

They had been playing in the snow so we all hit the hot tub before showering and dinner. We went to my fave place in Tiny Ski Town for dinner...they scored big points by bringing the granddaughters kiddie cocktails right when we sat down. Cutie Pie kept saying "I like this place.". :-) I had some great conversations with Cutie Pie over dinner...showing her the map for where we'd be skiing in Tiny Ski Town the next day, etc. She was so shy as a tot...I love how we chat now that she's almost 8. We all went to bed early in anticipation of the next big day.

Got up early on Sunday with the plan to head up the mountain for breakfast at the lodge (you have to take a lift up quite a ways just to get to the lodge at this resort). Once we got up there, we had to get rental equipment for PD2 and Cutie Pie so it took us about 2 1/2 hours from parking to getting on the slopes. But we had FUN.

The first run, Cutie Pie got hysterical. It has been a year since she skied and she was scared. PD2 was awesome with her: firm, but caring. She got her down the hill and the next run and all subsequent ones were so fun with Cutie Pie (Hubby took Bon Bon back down the hill since he doesn't really ski and she's a bit too young). DB, PD2, Cutie Pie and I had a great day. I took both girls for souvenir shopping, of course! They love their Helen. :-)

DB got some time at the end of the day to do some difficult runs with PD2 and I am soo happy they did...they are both really good skiers.

Sunday night, after hot tub, we went to a casual place for dinner and, again, had a great time. After that, we had a slumber party with the granddaughters -- they stayed with us to give their parents a night off. We played Pictionary which was totally hilarious...and then they had been a big day.

Bon Bon woke up around 2 crying for her mommy, but we put her in bed with us and all was well. The next morning I learned about Umizoomi (fun!) while we got ready and then took the girls to breakfast while their parents slept in. Best. Slumber. Party. Ever.

After breakfast, we went back to the motel where we got ready to go ski in Ski Town again and they sledded and got ready to go home. We watched them sled for a while (so fun), then after goodbyes hit our slopes. WHAT A GREAT SKI DAY YESTERDAY. I did a new run and it was so new fave. It was very cold and the snow was perfect. Wonderful.

We left about 1 pm and were home by 6:30. No real traffic was great post-holiday weekend. And we're going back for another 3-day weekend in 2 weeks. :-)

Best news: I didn't take my scale this time but was totally careful. Gained only 2 pounds (from my pre-birthday weight) and I'm sure it's because I ate biscuits and gravy yesterday for breakfast (oops). No gym tonight protecting my knees, but will be there tomorrow. I'm busy, but I have to make this a priority.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's the exercise, stupid!

So I went a week without formal exercise due to the funeral trip and slam-jam-packed work/social life. This has got to stop. When I exercise, I lose. When I don't, I stay the same or gain. And I have not gotten rid of the 7 birthday pounds for good in the past two weeks. And that was in addition to 10 pounds up from end of last ski season. Only one pair of my ski pants fit...I've ordered more on ebay and they're all too small even though I measured me and got measurements for them. It's bumming me out.

I went to the gym on Tuesday and am going tonight. We are skiing this (long) weekend (hopefully, if the blizzard that is predicted up there is not too bad). I have started putting my gym days on out calendar as appointments just like I did back when I was losing The Big Weight and I have told DB that these appointments are UNBREAKABLE.


Valentine's Day was the best ever...DB cooked (healthy) for me, had a fire in the chiminea when I got home with two glasses of red wine, cheese and avocado ready when I got home. The lights were dim, our massage table was all set up (we never made it to that), the music was sweet and the air was scented with frankincense. It was awesome. I have the best Valentine. :-)

Work is slammed -- we have a new superstar client and I barely have time to breathe. I am working at home in the evenings a little just to keep up. I am afraid I may not be able to take my every-other-Mondays for the rest of ski season because of this. :-(

But I have skiing this weekend... :-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vacation update and more

Vacation was really great...I felt totally relaxed after two days! DB bought me amazing new skis for my b-day (used on ebay) and I call them my "magic skis". They are beautiful and make me feel much more solid while still being really "slippery" and forgiving. I totally adore them. Pretty much every day's schedule was wake-up, coffee and breakfast, ski for 3 or so hours, hot tub, dinner, bed. We went to sleep mostly before 10 every night so we got really rested. :-)

Our apartment is over the great liquor store in town and we've made friends with the guy who owns it and his fiancee (who also happen to live in the other apartment on the property). They had us over for birthday dinner on Wednesday and she even baked us a cake from scratch! They have an awesome dog and are just the sweetest couple. Who needs our L.A. friends to come with us (most never do) anyway? We have Mammoth friends now! :-)

DB baked me a b-day cake on Thursday night, can you believe it? Sweeeeet!

Friday my knees were really hurting and I debated whether to ski or not but I really wanted to. On our second run down, I ended up crying in the middle of the hill because I knew I was going to have to stop for the control when one knee doesn't work! I was frustrated. :-( But we went home and went shopping at the outlet mall instead which was fun. DB bought me a gorgeous Coach purse (marked down to $70 from $400) and we both bought clothes.

For dinner on Friday, he had made reservations at the cross-country lodge which we had visited earlier in the week. GORGEOUS place -- very rustic, built in 1924. I can't believe we have never been there before! The restaurant there was amazing...French chef and adorable atmosphere. We really feel like we discovered something new and great!!

Saturday we had planned to try cross-country skiing and it seemed like the perfect time to rest my was really really fun and a huge workout...we were sore for a couple of days (until my trainer helped me stretch it out last night). It sure made me appreciate how "good" I am at downhill skiing though!! ;-) And "learning" along with DB was a bit of a challenge...he knew it all even though it was his first time too. ;-) Ahem...he was the only one who fell down out there.... ;-)

Sunday, I was so happy to get back on my magic skis. I skied great (if I do say so myself). On the lift on our way up for our last run, DB got an e-mail from one of his sisters: the estranged husband of one of our nieces was found dead (not sure if drugs or alcohol or both). She has two little kids (3 and 6). We drove home pretty much in damn sad. We are leaving tomorrow for the funeral -- about an 8-hour drive and we are renting a van so we can take PD1 and her four kids. This is a horrible time to have to miss work after being out for a week but it's important to do.

I took my scale on vacation, yes, I did! :-) Everyone laughed at me, but it is important for me to look at that number every day. And it was good until my birthday. Since then it's gone up A LOT. And I really don't know why. I have been exercising like a maniac (including trainer butt-kicking last night). I did eat b-day cake. I had some ice cream on Sunday. And I had some chips last night. These should not equal SEVEN POUNDS since Friday. :-( Literally other than those three things, I have been eating PERFECTLY and exercising. Grrrrrrrrrr.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When the weight creeps on...'s easy not to notice 5, 10 or even 15 pounds just from how your body feels. But last weekend I had an experience that reminded me how much pounds really WEIGH:

We went with PD2 and her two daughters to a great place that rescues abused farm animals. The kids loved it and so did I. To get from one of the areas to another there was a long series of very shallow steps. The first time I went up, no problem. Not out of breath, no knee pain, etc. Later, I was carrying Bon Bon (now 3) and she probably weighs around 25 pounds or so. Holy cow, how that made a difference climbing those very same steps. She feels light to me when I pick her up (for a while), but that extra poundage really made me have to work a LOT harder.

This experience made me think how much harder my body is working carrying 10-15 extra pounds on it...a very good thing for me to be confronted with.

I have lost a few pounds, but it's not falling off me this time. I am doing well at the gym and am really liking my trainer...even though she makes me sore! ;-) My body is already feeling much more toned and strong and I like that.

Tomorrow night we are having a big party for DB's birthday (and mine too 'cause we will be out of town on my actual b-day next week). DB has taken over a local bar/performance place for the night and all his friends are playing gigs (including two bands he is playing in). I baked two carrot cakes last night. It should be fun -- DB is SO looking forward to it!

Work is still super-stressful and my life seems to be scheduled down to the nanosecond...I'm glad that one of those scheduled things is gym/yoga. And I really REALLY need our ski vacation next week... :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Part of my intake process at the new gym was filling out a pretty extensive questionnaire about goals, lifestyle, etc. I didn't take it too seriously at the time but there was a list of things you want to improve and you were supposed to rank them in order of importance. I made almost all of them equal (lose weight, get fitter, tone, relieve stress, etc.). But, as I reflected over the past week, the truth is that what I really want is to feel fit again.

The scale IS important to me. It is an outside objective observer. Only it's not really. At my new gym, there are women who I am sure weigh a lot more than me...but they are large and HARD. They are hugely muscley and probably what everyone would call FIT. Now, being at THE muscle-builder gym of the universe, they are NOT what I am working toward. But they do show me that the scale, while VERY important, is not ALL.

Maybe I'm just saying all this to myself to make myself feel better that, while I've had little 2-pound-down fluctuations, the scale goes back up and I have not lost any weight since starting to work out again almost two weeks ago. I am still perplexed by this - how can I be working out SO much more, eating the same and having the scale stay the same? I don't know.

What I do know, though, is that I want to keep working toward FIT. I remember feeling STRONG in my body. I want to feel that way again...whatever the scale says. trainer kicked my butt tonight...almost literally!! I have never worked with a trainer before...because, as I said before, I wanted to WORK while at the gym, not chat. Well, my friends, tonight my little 2% body weight trainer showed me that you can talk AND work HARD. There got to be a point where I literally couldn't lift my leg. The things we did were simple, but (I hope) effective. She gets it that my weight goes in my middle -- from upper leg through lower belly. I don't gain substantially elsewhere. So we worked that area...a LOT. I think I will be good-sore tomorrow. While we did work legs, my knees tonight are feeling ok. Hopefully the quad work helped and didn't hurt.

But there is another little story as I chatted with my trainer -- this girl has won competitions for fitness -- she told me that, if she doesn't wake up sore, she wonders what she did wrong the previous day. Yes, you know what's next. She's into addictive exercise behavior. She told me tonight she's ready to be a mom...I wonder how she will handle those body changes. She is really a sweetheart and I will learn stuff from her, but I do worry about that. She looks great and is fit but she is as weird about her body (in another way) as We are.

I'm excited about a new exercise adventure. And I just want to be FIT, dammit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another new gym relationship

I joined tonight. I am kinda in love. I know this feeling and it is totally like falling in love...and not being sure if he/it is the right one...exciting, but hopeful.

I did the 4-session trainer join-up thing. I ran into "my" trainer tonight and she gave me a big hug. We have scheduled our first 2 sessions for this Thursday night and next Monday. I am excited to learn what she can teach me...and I know I will have to teach her some stuff about my challenges too. ;-)

Of course, the "salesman" (who was not the one I had talked with before), tried to get me to agree to their "usual" three trainer sessions for $195, but I stood my ground: the other guy promised me 4 for that price AND I had talked with this SAME GUY at lunchtime today to make sure the deal was the same. Shady. Just be sure to READ WHAT YOU SIGN. I got the 4 sessions. :-)

After I signed up, I did the elliptical for 11 minutes (lucky number) to warm up. Then did an hour yoga class that I am still, an hour later, wet with sweat from (yes, I'd better get to a shower soon!). Gym Yoga is not Studio Yoga. But I can live with it. It's cheaper and I have less expectations. And it's STILL YOGA. Tonight's class was more vinyasa-y, but not bad except for a lot of repetitive knee motions which I just didn't do. I am very good at taking care of myself in yoga because of my training. Not so much with other forms of exercise, but I'm trying.

Ski Weekend was great!! I remember how!! I skied the intermediate runs (well, not all of the ones I could do at the end of last season...from fear...but I can still ski the harder runs!!) We took it pretty more than 3 hours per day. DB was totally sore, but I (thanks to workouts the prior week, I AM SURE) only felt good-sore in my quads. Yay!! I worked my legs and core and THAT IS WHAT I NEED MOST. And it's FUN (and scary sometimes). Oh yeah, and romantic with DB up there in those mountains and snow and hot tubs. ;-)

We are JAMMED with plans until we leave for week-long birthday ski vacation on January 29. I am VERY VERY VERY stressed at work right now. I need my exercise for balance. I will hang onto that.

And now I need a shower.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More on exercise importance

First of all, I think Vickie's comment was right -- somehow my body was "holding" while it healed from hard work-outs/ouchy knee. Today I am not sore, knee is much better and the scale finally moved down! Whew.

From my workouts, I feel my core strength coming back. When that happens, I feel so much better in every way...something about feeling my muscles (and seeing them -- my arms look great today) makes me feel strong and not just physically. I noticed that feeling this morning as I drove to work, working my abs...

I have decided to join the gym. It doesn't require a long-term commitment -- I can terminate at any time. I have two options:

- pay $29.99 every two weeks; or
- pay $195 for 4 hour-long trainer sessions, then $19.99 every two weeks.

I have decided that the second option is best so am going to sign up next Tuesday when I'm back from skiing. Even though the trainer session the other night was not spectacular, I did learn things, I do like the trainer, and I've already started teaching her what works for me and what doesn't. ;-) I think I'll do one training session a week for four weeks, do at least one yoga a week and do one other day (at least) at the gym.

For cardio (other than cardio from weights, floor work with trainer, yoga), I will probably do elliptical. That is my it a lot more than a bike or treadmill. (In SoCal, I have found almost no gyms have pools, go figure! When I used to do aquaerobics, I went to the Y and they are almost the only "gyms" that have pools.) I might try spinning...trainer is also spinning teacher...she says you don't have to stand up and I can cycle sitting down because that doesn't put too much pressure on my knees.

This gym has EVERY machine you could ever want. It is THE bodybuilder gym of the world...I have never seen so many ENORMOUS muscles in one wouldn't believe some of the women!!

We're off for first ski weekend of the year tonight...I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trainer appointment

Although my right knee was (and is) still totally swollen from the Zumba fiasco, I kept my appointment with the trainer at the gym last night. She was a sweetheart and I actually learned some stuff from her (floor work, ball work, glute and rowing machines), but:

- She seriously was clueless about people with injuries/challenges. I had to keep telling her I couldn't do repetitive up-and-down motion with my knees in their current state (or ever, really). She kept looking at me like "huh?".
- I am not a trainer person. I want to WORK at the gym, not chat. I could have gotten what we did in an hour and a half done in an hour without the chit-chat.

I am still pretty irritated that the guy "selling" me the membership (which I haven't bought yet, didn't hear a red flag when I mentioned "Zumba" and "bad knees" in the same conversation. I think I'll talk with him about that when I join. Yes, while not perfect, I think I'll join the gym. There are class options that I MIGHT be able to do in addition to yoga and it's always good to have a place where you can go to work on cardio and weights.

Frustration over my weight is really getting me down. I haven't changed anything about my eating in the past week and have worked out 3 times HARD and I weigh almost 4 pounds more than I did last week. Seriously? I am puzzled and frustrated and starting to really get depressed about this. I am not perfect with food and drink (need to drink less champagne and more water, mostly), but I am good and very consistent. I really cannot believe that I can't lose weight eating the way I am and working out. It's weird and very upsetting.

And I can't wear my smallest (and favorite) ski pants this weekend. I'll have to lose 10 pounds for that to happen. At least I have some others, but... :-(

Monday, January 10, 2011


Well, THAT's something I'm never going to try again! :-(

At least at this gym, Zumba class was literally CONSTANT impact. I can certainly see how it would be fun for many people but, with my knees, I was terrified the entire time. I slid out of the room about 3/4 through the class...and I hope that, even though I didn't do almost any of the impact (jumping jumping and more jumping), I didn't hurt myself.

I am a person who is very aware of my physical limitations and can usually adjust to compensate and not hurt myself. For the life of me, I have no idea how I could do that with Zumba. It's ALL impact. Reminded me of an old-fashioned aerobics class. Yuck. And I love dancing and can usually do it without hurting myself.

Good things:

- Even avoiding impact as much as I could, I got some good cardio exercise and got very sweaty.
- I am so scared that I hurt my knees that I am not hungry for dinner.

I'm very disappointed. But I still will probably join this gym to be able to take the occasional yoga class and use the machines. Hopefully the trainer I am meeting with tomorrow night will have some good ideas about how to strengthen my knees, not damage them further.

DB is out of town on business this week, so I'm focusing almost entirely on getting my exercise back in gear. (NOT that it's his fault in any way that I'm not in gear.) I may even get up and do the 6:45 am yoga class on Thursday... ;-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The "new " gym

Yes, I did go check it out on Thursday night, got my 7-day free pass and took my first class yesterday! :-)

The gym is huge...looks like little to no line for cardio machines (a huge plus in L.A....I hate wasting time waiting for machines). I actually will probably use the machines only a little since I'm looking at this place for mostly classes but who knows? Machines are a great option to have when you can't make a particular class at a particular time.

Yesterday I planned to check out their yoga class. Walked over to the gym (about a mile from our house) and arrived in plenty of time. The class was full, but not crowded. At first, I wasn't sure about the teacher -- he was a little too into making funny voices and this is a GYM (a serious body-builder's gym), not a yoga studio, so i was feeling that he was catering to the body-builder/non-yogis in the class. However, as class went on (it was an hour and a half which was 15 mins more than it was scheduled for...which was fine with me!), I kinda loved it. It was a straight ahead old-fashioned hatha yoga class. In L.A., many (if not most) classes tend to be "flow" type...students seem more worried about what they perceive to be cardio exercise than in what I would call real YOGA.

The weirdest thing with this class was that it ended with NO savasana (final resting pose). I have never had a yoga class in my life that didn't have savasana. Maybe it was just a one-time thing, or maybe it was the gym-not-yoga-studio atmosphere.

I ended up really liking the teacher -- he was older and was really good at adjusting and teaching in general. It always bothered me at my last yoga studio that the teacher didn't really adjust students during the class. Being able to do that is a huge part (in my opinion) of being an effective yoga teacher -- you have to SEE the individual student and be able to communicate how they can improve/get more out of their practice. I do think this teacher has the potential to be that kind of teacher for me.

But, it's just the first class and the only other classes this teacher teaches that I could attend are at 6:45 AM two days a week. Oy. I am not a morning exerciser and this would mean getting up REALLY early and changing my whole morning and showering routine. But I might do it...we'll see.

I don't love practicing yoga in a room with mirrors, but yesterday I actually was able to use them to my benefit without being too judgmental on myself. And this room is fairly quiet for a gym...and it has a water fountain IN the room which I find to be really great...particularly if you sweat like I do (my hair was sopping wet at the end of class yesterday!).

Today my body is sore all over...not in a bad way, but in a "well, it's been a while, Helen" way. ;-) It's good to feel my muscles again.

Tomorrow night, I'll try the Zumba class (will have to leave work early and JAM to make it, but this is the big thing I want to try at this gym). Tuesday night I have a free appointment with a trainer to learn some of the machines, then will take the evening yoga class (different teacher).

This afternoon we are doing Xmas/birthday with some of the kids and grandkids...I'm really looking forward to it even though we're meeting at a Chuck-E-Cheese. ;-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


(Copied from comment to Laura:) Like I've said before, I really really think that, for me, it's lack of exercise that starts the spiral into food. So today I went on-line and found a gym that offers yoga and Zumba (yay!) that is close to me. I am going over there tomorrow night to check it out, then am doing the 7-day free trial they have. Assuming I like it, I'm getting back on that exercise horse. I miss it. But somehow it's so hard to make myself take the time to DO IT. Grrrrr.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Yeah, well, when I'm not posting, it's often because I am so bogged down in "life" and that is YES when weight problems arise. I have now officially gained back 15 pounds of what I lost last year and I feel like crap. I got to the point over the holidays when I had the "who cares?" attitude...and THAT is death to good eating.

So, yesterday, after pizza and birthday cake at Bon-Bon's third birthday party, I told DB that I am back on the SERIOUS program starting today. Not only are my skinny clothes not fitting (I haven't been brave enough to try them in over a month), I am afraid to ski next week with an additional 15 pounds on my body. And my new ski pants from last year most certainly won't fit.

I attribute most of this gain to my absolute total lack of real exercise for the past six months. I have a lot of excuses...starting with not feeling well really since August. It has been hard for me to contemplate exercise when that makes me cough. Then, just when the coughing was down to only early mornings, I got a cold the week before Christmas and it still hasn't gone away. It is draining me. Finally, I had the D&C and polypectomy on Thursday. The general anesthesia seemed to quiet the cold for that whole day and I was so excited...then the congestion and coughing came back on Friday. I have slept innumerable hours the past few days and am so tired still today...I could go home and go to sleep with no problem (and I am NOT a napper). I'm back to close to where I was two years ago. Not happy, but armed with tools to fix this problem. I want to lose 20 pounds and stay there. I won't be skinny, but I will be healthy and comfortable in my body.

And now to catch up on micro-blogs from FB:

December 28: San Sai spicy sashimi salad just made me a whole lot happy.
December 31: ‎40 fingers and toes up for Exit Through The Gift Shop!
January 1: We just watched a half hour ad for a Time Life compilation of 70s music. And I really enjoyed singing along.
January 2: Happy Birthday, [Bon-Bon]!! So happy you were born three years ago today. I love you. :-)
January 2: Finally cooking the Christmas ham ... not that we need any more food...

And above is us on New Year's Eve...Happy New Year to all!!