Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The run continues....

Super quick checking in - Day 5 is under my belt and I'm 3/4 way through day 6.  Pretty exciting, and I'm definitely feeling better.  Tomorrow morning I will weigh and post it before we leave for the airport.  This morning when I got up and hit the bathroom, the scale was looming large - almost mocking me.  And it worked...I felt scared of it and pondered not weighing before I go.  But I've had the best week of healthy eating in...get this...a year.  I was losing last summer for sure, but my food was looser and had more refined carbs and convenience food like Luna bars, South Beach Bars, and other stuff like that.  This week it's been all real food.  In measured amounts.  No way I can not get on the scale in the morning...out of curiosity.

I am trying to have no expectations about the scale.  Expecting anything will mess with my head.

Off course, the other big thing looming is my weekend in San Antonio....I'm thrilled to pieces about it.  I'm not sure what I'm going to strive for foodwise - staying as clean as possible given essential absence of control over options, or just relaxing a little and trying to stay sane.  Clean vs. sane vs. reasonable vs. unbridled vacation eating.  This may sound sick or wrong, but the scale verdict will inform my intention for sure.  Whatever, I love Mexican food and hear it is great in SA.  I will partake to some degree.  Can you believe how I'm ruminating over this stuff?  Last thing I'll say is that I'm committed to having an awesome, fun, amazing, spiritual and guilt free time.  I will not allow my eating issues to interfere with a once in a lifetime event!

See you around the butt-crack of dawn!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A tad of withdrawal

Hi friends - I'm now through 4 days of entirely clean food plan based eating that has included no sugar, no white flour (or any flour as yet)!  Mainly lean protein, plain Greek yogurt (with splenda), veggies, big salads with tons of stuff chopped up (only veggies), olive oil, eggs, oatmeal and fruit.  I'm talking squeaky clean.  Yesterday afternoon I felt just drained and tired...even a little sad.  A book I have on food addiction says I'm right on schedule with "withdrawal" from sugar and refined carbs.  Good to know I'm on schedule - hah!  My remedy was a glorious 1 1/2 hour nap from 3-5:30. 

When I woke up, the thought of cooking for hubby and myself was just too much, so I asked him if we could each do our own thing for dinner (Mark was working).  Hub was fine with that, so I just had my salad, veggies and shrimp immediately because I was feeling like a caged animal about food in general.  I wasn't really hungry, but the whole food prep/eating/keeping-it-clean was muddying my mind.  Another sign of withdrawal.  I was finished by 6:20, and ate nothing else for the night.  That's pretty radical for me, and what I've been doing for the last 4 days...nothing after dinner.  However, it hasn't been that early other nights.  I had a couple of thoughts of "healthy" things I could eat - like a cup of yogurt or fruit or something for a snack or dessert, but I knew it would play with my head.  THAT is the nature of addiction in early recovery...obsessive mind that can't deal with anything other than black and white thinking.  I know it'll get better.

Regarding the head piece of all this (and it's almost entirely a headgame, btw), I'm aware that part of what is keeping me on the straight and narrow right now is that I want to see where my weight will be on Thursday morning IF I stay the course.  It's a little twisted I think...4 days in and feeling pretty strong and without cravings or even much hunger thanks to the complete omission of carbs, I can sense myself wanting to restrict intake even more.  I think that was why I needed to go ahead and eat my meal last night so early...I was toying with just omitting it and knew that was totally disordered thinking.  So I robotically did the right thing and ate.  Good grief - how did I get this way? 

The other thing is that I am extremely emotional - mainly tearing up or blatantly crying at the drop of a hat.  Flooding feelings that are usually tamped down very nicely, thank you, by mass quantities of crap food.  What's coming up now is nothing compared to what I suspect is buried deeper, but at least some of it is beginning to emerge.  I'm feeling darned decent for now, and can just feel my body less puffy and a little leaner.  I can always tell.  This morning I did a 45 minute walk from 4:30-5:15 a.m. with the dog that felt really good by the end.  But in the beginning it was a constant argument with my lazy ass mind..."knees stiff, foot hurts, tired, turn for home here..." and I just kept thanking my mind for sharing and trudged on.  Normally I'd have caved, I think, but my new found committment and motivation bolstered me to keep the ass in gear.

That's it.  I'm halfway into day 5 and feel pretty sure I can see it through to bedtime.  It's truly amazing how leaving out the sugar and refined carbs so quickly starts to diminish cravings.  I did Atkins several times over the years, and my body always went into ketosis and absence of cravings very fast.  I guess I'm lucky.  And about OA...there is no way I can get to a meeting before San Antonio, but when I get back I'm committing to one a week for a month to see how it goes.  But that isn't until next week so won't worry about it now.  Thanks as always for so much bloggy kindness and support.  I'm going to miss it while I'm in Texas, but the lap top isn't making the cut on what I'm taking.  That's why I'm saturating the blogosphere in these days prior, esp. with my current status of having uncovered a bit of willingness and acceptance to deal with my stuff!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling good feels good

Just touching base and first want to thank my wonderful blog buddies for support and bloggy love.  Honestly, I got excellent comments yesterday to my conundrum about whether to revisit a 12 step program - many views thoughtfully expressed.  I see how honesty is as important in commenting as it is in posting. I love when people I've come to respect call me on my stuff gently call me on my stuff or just say what they really think.  Several blog friends have done that - daring to say what I might not want to hear, but caring enough to say it anyway.  This has been invaluable for me in the last few days, and makes me want to be as good a blog friend to others.


I'm thinking I will probably give OA a try again, and steer clear from the Food Addicts in Recovery.  The latter is just too crazy rigid.  I think I can negotiate OA successfully, esp. given some great feedback I got from a fellow food 12 stepper...Linda P.   No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to seeking help and community. 
 
It reminds me of being in the Recovery Room after my 2nd knee procedure last February...I woke up so relaxed and peaceful that the nurse kept having to remind me to breathe!  Of course I was breathing, but not deeply enough to really keep my oxygen saturation up.  I'd take one big breath and then sort of zone off, I guess, and she'd call it out again..."breathe, Leslie!"  The air was available all around me, I just had to access it fully.  So it goes with help, guidance and support...it's out there.  I just need to avail myself of it amd not let one bad experience color my opinion and prevent me from what may be an excellent resource.
 
I'm going to update my status here...I now have 3 entirely clean days.  I have not yet returned to the scale, but can definitely feel the physical difference after 3 clean days.  I'm not wanting to introduce the mind f*ck the scale brings me into my calm clean state, but I do plan to weigh Thursday morning, which I'll explain in a sec. 
 
My clothes are more comfortable, my head is SO much clearer, and I feel as though my inner motor has idled down... a lot.  I actually was feeling like I was almost vibrating at times - hyper, racy and foggy brained...probably from sugar and other carb crap.  This morning was the first I've noticed this, and it feels wonderful and blessedly, familiar.  I feel optimistic and hopeful, and enthusiastic for the first time in months about weight loss.  This makes me scared sh*tless of foods off my plan for now, seriously.  I ain't cured, but I feel good today.  Better than I have in a long time.  But I've known this Nirvana before and STILL lapsed back to the dark side.  Temptation will present, and sooner than later, I expect.
 
I haven't yet mentioned it here, but this week (Thursday) I'm leaving for 4 days in San Antonio, Texas to attend the AA International Convention.  It only happens every 4 years, and I've wanted to go forever and finally this time I am.  I'm thrilled, delighted and can't wait.  I'm going alone, though know people from my area going and we'll link up there.  I'll fly into Houston and drive the 200 miles to SA in a rental car.  I love going to places I've never been!  I can't even imagine what eating options will be or how I'll manage them, and for today I'm not thinking about it.  I'm not there yet and am not going to waste my good feeling today obsessing about food plans and fat 3 days away.  One thing I am planning, though, is to weigh Thursday morning before I leave town and post my weight.  The thought scares me, but again I'm just going to stay in today and pray to surrender whatever the scale tells me that morning.  Given the big 212.4 I saw last Friday, I think it's prudent to check my progress.
 
But here's the rub for this addict...trying to not have an expectation of what I might weigh, assuming I stay clean for the entire 6 days prior.  This kind of Leslie Thinking has screwed me over again and again, and I need to be prepared for my mind to start obsessing one way or another.  Addict reality - the mind is a dangerous place.  In AA you hear that the mind is a dangerous neighborhood - best not to go there without adult supervision.  SO TRUE.  But again - I won't have a close encounter with scale until Thursday a.m.  I can prepare, be aware of my tendencies and pray for soundness of mind in the face of whatever the scale has to say to me.  Given all this mindplay, I really see the wisdom of weighing monthly.  Don't know if I could do it, but I get it.  Just takes a big mental noisemaker out of the picture.
 
So, I'm into day 4 and feel pretty confident that I will see it through until bedtime. I forgot how good it can feel to be clear headed and remorse free.  I literally feel better in my skin and I don't want to give this up.  Just for today. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Checking in

This will be pretty short.  (Yeah yeah, she says that all the time..)  If you've read my last couple of posts, you know that I'm at a pretty serious point in my weight loss journey, having hit some kind of new low emotionally juxtaposed to (and likely resulting from) a new high at the scale, at least a new high since last summer.  I simply can no longer deny that I really am a food addict, and have been in relapse mode for awhile.  I've hit this place before over the years and sort of slammed through 12 step food programs for a few weeks - finding fast relief and weight loss by following strict and austere food plans.  But the way I've always used those programs is for the addict's most highly coveted commodity...the quick fix.  But for true recovery and healing from an addictive process, there just is no quick fix.

My new "bottom" has awakened me to some realities about how I've been operating lately when it comes to weight loss.  First, I've gained weight. 'Nuff said.  Can I be a weight loss blogger and gain weight?  Obviously I can, but I prefer to not be the poster child for "Don't let this happen to you."  Second, I've used the scale as my barometer of what kind of eating I can do on any given day.   Also the scale determines my mood.  Down a few pounds - happy happy joy joy.  Up a few - foul and irritable, and jolted into cleaned up eating.  This cycle has been going on for months.  (I almost said weeks, but that would have been a Leslie Lie.)  Third, and this starts to get a little deeper into the nature of addiction, I've had food on my mind almost continually.  Events, such as a party at work, or a celebration, or a meal out - is about food before anything else.  It's hard to admit that.  True obsession of the mind.  And once I feed the obsession, the compulsion insists I continue until I'm "done", whatever that means.

An example: I had a clean food day on Wednesday and woke Thursday already churned up because I had an anniversary party for an AA meeting that night.  This annual event always has a huge tantalizing spread of food.  I wanted to go, but knew if I went I probably couldn't abstain from "tying on the feed bag", so to speak.  I decided to take it one minute of the time over the course of the day and keep my food on plan, exercise, all the usual good choices.  But my mind was obsessed all day to where I finally ended up having just a handful of nuts at work.  This could be a benign and even healthy choice...except that my frame of mind was in food obsessed mode. The handful became another, which morphed into a "couple of cookies", and the rest is not worth repeating.  As this was unfolding, I was thinking, "Now I can just eat what I want at the party tonight, since I've already blown it, and begin again tomorrow.  Turns out that was the evening we had the bad storms and I ended up not going, but I did continue to overeat at home.  A lot.

That is a terribly embarrassing story to recount, and there will be readers who have weight problems but aren't food addicts who won't get it.  I may lose followers.  I've already lost one in the last 2 days as I've begun to get honest about all this.  So be it.  Hopefully this will help someone who's like me at the other end of the weight spectrum and can't get a handle on the eating.

I'm at a place right now where I feel ready to accept this and deal with it once and for all.  And not in quick fix mode.  It will be a gradual and probably long process.  The weight loss may happen a lot faster than the emotional and spiritual healing does.  But the emotional and spiritual maladies I have as an addict are at the core of my eating, and if left untended, relapse will continue to be a frequent visitor.  What I'm reflecting on now as I face this revolting state of affairs is whether I want to return to a food 12 step program or use the principles I've learned from them in the past and try to do it by blogging as the means of not doing it alone.  Addiction can't be addressed in isolation.  I've learned that well in AA.  I can't do it alone.  I need others to help me, and I need to help others who also suffer.  In order to keep recovery, I've got to give it away.  But first I've got to get it for myself.  Talk about paradox.  Anyway - I know the rigidity of food 12 step programs is profound - nothing like AA.  I know myself and that I can't sustain absolute rigidity over the long haul.  So starting going back to their meetings would be a temporary measure that I'm not sure I want to do.  Meetings are for support - giving and getting.  And for learning.  Can I find those aspects of meetings through blogging and talking to close friends?

I have several friends in real life (as opposed to virtual) who have similar issues with whom I can and do talk about difficult stuff.  I have a therapist I trust, love and who knows me well.  And I have every book ever written on the subject.  So - to cut this off sort of abruptly due to time constraints, I think I have what I need to succeed.  The key factor is me staying honest.  No more half-truths.  No more trying to sound better than I am.

That's where I am for today.  I have 2 clean days behind me and am in process for a third.  I am literally scared of  "offending foods" for now.  I have no morsel of denial left regarding my ability to have one compulsive bite of anything and thinking it won't send me off to the races.  I'm grateful for that today.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Telling the truth

Thank you for all the excellent comments to my post yesterday.  I feel better for having said it all.  One commenter,  (Vickie) mentioned that I should go back in and put my weight yesterday in large bold type.  She likened it to standing up at an AA meeting and acknowledging...having had a drink, or that I'm an alcoholic, or am in full relapse or wanting to drink.  My initial reaction was a major eye roll at that suggestion...(I just read the comment prior to starting this), but very quickly felt a stirring within that said, "Do it".  My withholding my horrific weight yesterday is not about you guys...it's about me.  It's ego - wanting to sound better than I am. 

Looking back at my life schtick, this is a common theme of how a I tend to approach certain unsavory truths about myself.  I did it with booze in the beginning.  I was seeing a therapist who I'd begun to trust JUST A LITTLE so started dropping hints about drinking...things like, "I'm so hung over today..." on a Tuesday morning...stuff like that, rather than saying I knew I was in trouble with alcohol.  Who would be hung over on a random Tuesday when they had 3 little kids and hadn't attended a gala the night before?  Anyway - finally she took the bait and inquired about my drinking.  That began the process, and within about 4 months, I'd had my last drink up through today.  There were plenty of false starts in AA along with continued decisions to drink...but I was finally talking about it, beginning to own it, and opening my mind to the possibility of change.

Here on my blog, I've had the same tendency to leak out just a little of my food struggles - have an occasional vomit post, as dear Tammy calls them, and then move on and try to be funny or profound because "I'm really OK."  Just enough honesty to be almost humble but not quite enough to really be humble.  It's the old shame game playing in my brain.  Several aa friends and I were talking about this this morning.  The old, "if you really knew the truth you would reject/not like/not respect me.  Or in this case, stop reading my blog.  I love being read and having people comment - it's just awesome to have people read what I write.  You all must feel the same way about blogging, else why do it?  It's plenty easy to blog privately or just write in a pink diary with a lock and key.  Whoa - tangenting into the hinterland again!  There I go trying to dilute the truth with humor, lightness, alleged profundity.

In AA there is YET ANOTHER brilliant phrase, "If nothing changes, nothing changes", along with "If you keep doing what you're doing you'll keep getting what you're getting".  Dammit - these things are true.  I know it, I've lived it. 

With all this in mind, I will post my true weight from yesterday.  I know this is a non-event in the history of the world, but it's a biggie for me.  But not admitting it doesn't change reality.  And not admitting it is a pathetic ego-saving strategy that clearly is no longer working.  Not admitting it is non-change.  And you know what they say about change...(please glance up one paragraph if you've missed the connection).

I was 204.1 last Friday.  Yesterday I was 212.4.  See why I was not wanting to post it?

Another thing Vickie asked in her comment was whether I'd reconnected with the therapist with whom I'd terminated several months back.  The answer is yes.  I've seen her twice and will continue for awhile.  She knows more about me and my story than any other living person.  That piece is in place.  I'm reverting to my very plain but adequate foodplan from the 12 step food program I went to 2 years ago.  I've intended to do that foodplan recently and posted about it awhile back.  I did it for a couple of days and was miraculously cured!  NOT.  I got the instant result of pounds down fast and decided to try AGAIN at reasonable eating in moderate amounts without restricting certain items that always trigger me.  And this is how I have arrived at the place I am today.  Make a note...2 days of healthy clean eating does not cure one of a food addiction.

Right now, I honestly feel scared to death of anything that isn't on the food plan.  I am powerless over sugar, fried foods, breads, crackers, lite kettle corn from Trader Joe's, white flour items.  And more.  I just can't predict where a bite will take me.  That's the reality today.  I am praying for acceptance of that fact and the ability to just eat my food plan today.  I had a clean day yesterday which is standard procedure after the scale drops a heap'o' bad news on me like yesterday.  But I didn't get on the scale today because usually after a clean day with lots of water that follows the weight horror, I might drop over 4 pounds from the day before, thereby settling down my reaction to the horror (though from this new high of yesterday 4 pounds would not smooth things out much).  Thereby making "one bite of _______" seem safe.  Not happening today.  Hopefully not tomorrow either, though I can't promise.  I can really just work a day at a time right now.

So the weight is public, Vickie.  You were right that I should post it.  Other bloggers have the courage to be totally honest, as opposed to the "a tiny morsel of honesty" I'm so much more comfortable with.  But comfort has availed me nothing but out-of-control eating episodes and extra pounds.  This feels like jumping off a cliff, but I've been lifted up before when I was able to summon the ooomph to step away from the cliff into an unknown that can't possibly be any worse than the hell of an active addiction.  I'm so grateful that I have the experience of my struggle to sobriety to offer me hope that there can be a rich and full life without the crutch of a substance.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vanity vs. Sanity

It feels like I haven't done a real post in over a week.  Maybe it hasn't been that long, but it feels that way.  It's been a crazy busy week both at work and at home, and I just haven't felt like sitting down and tapping into the vast wasteland that is my brain.  Too distracted, too stressed, and very unfocused.

Then, beginning yesterday afternoon, Mother Nature intervened...a storm of just under Biblical proportions blew through our region.  Torrential rain, thunder, lightening, hail in places (not in my backyard - nimby!), all of which resulted in a lot of damage.  Trees down and on houses, cars and power lines.  Cars pelted and dimpled from hail.  Many occurrences of neighborhoods where one street sustained tons of damage and just a block over not much at all.  As so often happens, the National Weather Service "investigates" and swears on a stack of meteorology textbooks that there were no tornadoes.  Try telling that to my friend who watched 5 different windows in her house literally blow out.   She felt pretty traumatized being inside and watching as this played out over the longest 5 minutes she's experienced in a long time.

Across town in my neighborhood, we mainly got lots of rain, and many branches and trees blown down.  We lost power for 2 hours only, and then life returned to hot and slightly less humid normalcy.  But where Mom Nature intervened in my crazy overdone week was that this morning at 6:15, a surprise phone call informed that my work place was closed for the day due to a power outage.  NO WORK TODAY.  The summer equivalent of a snow day, only even sweeter because it wasn't anticipated or hoped for.  It was dropped in our laps.  And I've done everything possible to be a good steward of my unexpected gift!

I went to my morning meeting, came home after to pack up some bags for bloggers (sounds like the newest global charity effort), mailed them, and went to walk the 5 miles at Ridley Creek State Park.  It was glorious.  I used my ipod, which I haven't done for awhile, and the music added a festive feel to my walk, in keeping with this gift of a free day.  I was having such a good time walking and taking a few pics that I snapped a self sweat-portrait at mile 4.0.  (How crazy is that??) I even decided to give a wave to my bloggy friends.   Normally I'd look at this picture and hate the way I look with no make up, my hair all smooshed back by the visor, and several chins and fat arms evident.  But I decided to put it up anyway.  Vanity avails me nothing, and often keeps me from being fully honest and open about my occasionally imperfect self, which brings me
to my main topic today.

My food and eating have been pretty bad most of this week.  It's been a week of extremes - all good or all bad, and the bad has far outweighed the good.  Which has caused me to far outweigh my goal from last Friday to be at 200.0 this day.  (And I have to note...how surreal and perhaps horrific is it to have a goal of weighing 200?? Good lord..)  Where the vanity kicks in is that I honestly cannot bring myself to reveal my weight today.  Last week I was 204.1.  The week before 204.  This week was more.  A lot more, and it's entirely due to overeating and underexercising.  And not checking in with the scale.  Sure, it's a lot of water weight, but the baseline keeps rising.  A very bad sign.

I'm pretty disgusted with myself, but more than that, a little scared.  I understand completely that I have the capacity to weigh 500 pounds...that is how out of control my eating can get.  Vanity is the main thing that keeps me in check these days...I have a bad couple of days, the scale goes up like a saturn rocket.  I see the number, and pull it together for a couple of days until I'm back to a reasonable place.  But rather than using the reasonable place as a springboard from which to continue down the scale, it works to give me carte blanche to "relax" a little, which leads to relaxing a lot.  I've been in this cycle for weeks now, even though until this week my exercise has been increasing with the improvement of my knees.  Scale roulette.  I've talked about it before.  Many times.  Sorry to repeat myself, but my behavior is repeating itself, and I'm trying to honestly state my truth here. 

I see why many programs advise to weigh only monthly...so the scale does not become a factor in one's eating plan.  But when I know I'm doing bad with eating, it becomes necessary as a stopgap measure.  How crazy is this?  To weigh or not to weigh.  If I'm doing great and stringing together a lot of good days, I tell myself that the the scale's all important verdict will "motivate" me.  It has in the past, many times.  But at times it gives me the wiggle room that ensures I'm just going to yoyo up and down in a ten pound range, never making any real progress.   AAARRRGGGHH.  When I look at this, I see the wisdom of some of the rigid programs' rhetoric and philosophies.

In my daily AA reading this morning, the thought for today is:  

"One of the most encouraging facts of life is that your weakness can become your greatest asset.  Kites and airplanes rise against the wind.  In climbing up a high mountain, we need the stony crags and rough places to aid us in our climb.  So your weakness can become an asset if you will face it, examine it, and trace it to its origin.  Set it in the very center of your mind.  No weakness, such as drinking, ever turned into an asset until it was first fairly faced."  (from Twenty Four Hours A Day, published by Hazelden)
I really have food addiction.  Addiction is a progressive disease ands left untreated or acknowledged, it never gets better.  Only worse.  Guaranteed.  I need to face that I'm not just dealing with a simple lack of willpower.  And I do.  But hell, I've faced this for years.  Faced but maybe not accepted.  Oh, I've accepted my alcoholism, but my food addiction is a harder pill to swallow.  I don't like it and I don't want it.  But it's becoming increasingly clear that I really have it and that it's worse than it used to be. 

If I could carry on and stay at 204, as crazy as it sounds I think I'd do it right now.  But it doesn't work that way...each day the eating gets a little crazier, and that is not conducive to maintaining even a high weight.  Because addiction always wants more.  Whatever hole in my soul is being "filled" with addictive behavior continues to require more, and the backsliding, or in this case scale climbing ensues.  I was upset in early 2010 when I was hovering around 195 after having been as low as 192.  The bottom line has risen.  This has happened before.  It's how I hit my high of 234 a few summers ago.  I don't want it.  Vanity versus sanity.  Vanity keeps me from going to far over the top, but prevents me from fully accepting the seriousness of this in my life.

There's another concept in AA about having to hit bottom in order to finally come to terms with the truth about ourselves.  But the bottom has many levels - the elevator goes all the way down to death, with a lot of hell beforehand.  You can get off at any level.  When I was still playing around with drinking when I first started AA, I remember saying to a nice woman who was trying to help me, "Maybe I haven't hit bottom yet."  She gave me the spiel I wrote at the beginning of this paragraph, and then said, "You hit bottom when you stop digging."  I pray I'm there.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

AND THE WINNERS ARE..........!

Finally I have the results of the giveaway winners!  I'm excited about this.  Thanks to all who cut me slack on my own slackerhood, reminding me that life, afterall, does come before blogging!  But I love my blogging, and it continues to climb up my list of "Important Stuff".  The last commenter on my apology post was Linda Pressman, of Bar Mitzvahzilla, who noted that when she signed on for the giveaway, it occurred to her that it could be a challenge to tally the winners and such.  Well, she said a mouthful, and a very correct one at that!

To quote my old buddy Winston Churchill (actually we never met) in describing Soviet Union foreign policy back in the early 60s during the Cold War (and please note I'm paraphrasing and taking only one portion from the entire quote), "...a puzzle inside a riddle, wrapped in an enigma...".  That's how it turned out to be.  I had a plan for sorting it all out that had an intrinsic fatal flaw, so basically I did my best to be fair.  Thank you all for joining in on this.  If I ever do another giveaway, there will only be one possible winner!!  But this was great because I'm so grateful to all you bloggers who did and didn't sign on, and this feels like a fitting way to celebrate a year of Happy Blogging!

Winners in order of bag # are:

1 - Helen - Doing A 180
2 - Biz - Biggest Diabetic Loser
3 - Journey Beyond Survival
4 - Lisa - No More Diet Drama
5 - Tiffany - Skinny Jeans and a Healthy Me
6 - Karen - Waisting Time
7 - Tricia - Endurance isn't Only Physical
8 - Roxie - Gravel and Rust
9 - Tammy - From Fat to Fab
10 - Steve  - South Beach Steve (you're gonna look pretty carrying this bag!)
11 - Dana - Fatty McButterpants
12 - Shelley - A Forty Something's Weight Loss Journey
13 - Linda Pressman - Bar Mitzvahzilla
14 - Spunkysuzi
15 - Clickmom

My next grave uncertainty and fear is that when you receive your bag, it may not be one for which you voted.  I did my very best to enter people for the bags they listed, and those who said "any bag" were added in the mix as well.  The only thing I can say about what to do if you get a bag you didn't want is, "I'm sorry!"  Regifting is an option, or Goodwill - or your church bazaar.  Whatever.  Mainly I thank you all for entering and hope get what you liked and like what you get!!

The all important PB2 winners are:
1 - Rettakat at Loretta's Journey...One Good Choice at a Time
2 - Katie J - Katie J is On Her Way

Get your addresses to me and I'll begin mailing the stuff.  I'll let you know when I actually put your prize in the mail - and it's coming the cheapest way possible so may take a little time! (anyone know if the Pony Express is still running?)  Congratulations, winners.  I wish I could do something for every single blogger I read and who reads me.  This is an awesome community!!!

I have a lot of other stuff to talk about but will do it either later or tomorrow, because I want to inform you contestants who haven't been able to sleep or do anything as you've been waiting with bated breath for this!  Cough, cough!!!  Please know, as I'm sure you do, that I'm kidding.  Lots of bloggy love to all!

Monday, June 21, 2010

From the Giveaway Slacker

MY HUMBLEST APOLOGY!!! 

Life since Saturday afternoon has unleashed, all in good ways but chaotic nonetheless, so that I have honestly not been able to tally up names of the Giveaway folks, do drawings of winners and post them.  I was going to have that by Sunday and I was so busy both days that I just couldn't get to it.  Today is another busy one as we're starting a huge renovation at my workplace that is displacing classrooms and yours truly's office, 'mongst others.  Think packing, rearranging and big-ass headache.  Chicago son flies home this evening and I'm his only way to the airport short of a taxi which I'm not paying for!  Hubby is travelling, I'm meeting with someone I sponsor in AA, a therapy appt. right after work, youngest son working odd hours, Fathers' Day feastivities and tons of other stuff!  Also a party on Saturday night.

All this busy-ness is not good for this blogger's eating.  On track today but once again I'm having to spend at least one day undoing the damage after a couple of good days at the end of last week.  This is a dumb way to work a lifestyle of healthy eating toward leanness and fitness.  Can I hear an AMEN...

I will have the results of the giveaway by Wednesday morning at the latest...hopefully by tomorrow.  I'm delighted to say I had a lot of people enter and list several bags they liked, so the tallying will take a little longer than a simple drawing.  I really appreciate your understanding that I'm a Giveaway Slacker!

Have a great Monday, if there is such a thing!!!  A guy in AA (who has sinced passed) used to say "Expect a miracle everyday, and you'll get one."  That's what I'm doing today...if you choose to do the same, let us know if it happens!  You may have to broaden your mind's definition of a miracle, but let 's try it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I met the challenge!

This will be short today.  Mainly I'm writing to say that 2 days early I have met Stacia's Pool Challenge, which was really a challenge to get into your local swimming pool at least 3 times before June 21.  Today I completed my 3rd pool workout by swimming laps for 35 minutes.  But it certainly won't stop now that I've actually met and completed a challenge in blogdom.  I swam twice this week, Thursday and today, and doing it in such close succession really "installed" into me how great it feels to swim. 

It's thanks to Stacia and her fantastic blog Swimming It Off that I actually fulfilled the "dream" alluded to in my blog's URL - willswimagain.  For too many years, including most of my children's growing up, I did not go into the water because I couldn't bear to bare the bod in a swimsuit.  Vanity is such a mixed bag of mental bullsh*t at times.  It can be a good thing in that we want to look neat, well put together, attractive....but so detrimental when it limits us from fulfilling not only potential, but joyful activities.  I practically swam into the world wearing flipflops, as swimming was a daily and often several times daily activity for me from age 4 on when my parents moved to Florida from New York and immediately joined the local swim club.  I was a total fish - loved swimming and how my body felt sleek and agile in the water. 

Prior to starting this blog, I hadn't swum since I was pregnant with my youngest son, who is now 21!  He was born on August 30th 1988, and that summer, a big 'ole pregnant woman, I joined the annual 1000 lap club at our pool.  It was a saving grace during that long hot humid summer.  Again - even at the end of my pregnancy, by body felt so fantastic in the water.  And that baby, Marky (Mom is still allowed to call him that when no one is around) was a natural unmedicated birth after I'd had 2 C sections with the prior kids.  I think my amazing VBAC experience was a success because I was in such good shape from the 1000+ laps of swimming in the previous 3 months.

Today in the pool, I could feel my freestyle stroke starting to really smooth out.  My 204 (maybe less, didn't weigh today) pound body felt agile and sleek in the water.  I finally got the nerve to try some somersaults in the water - forward and back.  Hadn't tried that before as I wasn't sure my brain wouldn't explode or something.  It all felt awesome.

So today's 3rd swim since Stacia offered up the challenge in May won't be the last.  It will be a several time a week addition to my workouts.  I'm so glad I finally put more than a toe into the water!

Tomorrow I will post the winners of the giveaway.  Probably won't be until late in the day, as I haven't even compiled all the entrants yet!  Need to get crackin'!  Good luck to anyone who entered - I hope you win!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Enjoyment vs. Endurance

*Remember the deadline for the felted bag and PB2 giveaway is tonight (Friday) at midnight.  If you haven't entered and would like to, there is still time!!!*  You can comment on today's post or the original giveaway post.  Winners will be announced Sunday, June 20th!!*

Weekly weigh in today is 204.1.  Last week was 204.  Give me a break, you bastard scale.  Sure, you were reading a couple pounds higher yesterday because of the Chinese food and other er, indiscretions, earlier in the week.  But prior I was 203 plus change on Tuesday and better than perfect with food yesterday plus a superior workout.  Don't give me your cheeky smack talk about how I ought to be on my knees thanking you for an essential maintain this week.  I'M SICK OF YOUR CRAP.  Okay, maybe I'm sick of my own crap.  I'm ready to get back into Onederland and never ever again leave it.  If I had an old-fashioned dial scale, I could at least set it 5 pounds below zero (to make up for the curvature of the floor, or sunspots or something) and see a Onederland number.

This is going out on a limb, and maybe I can't do it, but with God as my witness (call me Scarlet) I will be at 200.0 next Friday.  That seems a little extreme, but I know my body and if I toe the line, stay on course, and have only healthy clean eating days with exercise of 30 minutes daily, it can and WILL happen.  Let me add (listen up, scale) that a tenth of a pound below 200 is acceptable.  But not above.  Yes, dammit, I KNOW it's up to me.  But you have to not pull any shit like a battery malfunction in the meantime.

There.  I feel better.  And truly I am okay with no loss this week.  It really could have been a gain.  Also, I had a fantastic workout yesterday that included 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes in the pool swimming laps.  I felt like a million bucks when I walked out of the gym, and so very righteous!

A little while ago I read Katie J's post for today.  In it she talked about several things, including seeing her trainer, weekend plans, and that she will be going to PF Chang's for the first time next week.  She said she would review the menu and make her choices accordingly as she plans to have dessert with the meal.  In commenting, I found myself saying that her choosing her entree accordingly to accomodate dessert was a way of enjoying her "lifestyle" (the journey to weightloss and fitness) rather than enduring it.  When I read the words my fingers had typed, I was surprised at what they said, and realized I'd heard something at my meeting this morning that likely influenced my thoughts.  Somewhere in the AA literature, there is a little nugget of wisdom that states, "Life is to be neither mastered nor endured".  This sounds like it may also be a  Buddhist concept.  Wherever it originated, it's a beautiful phrase..

I've read in blogs about how the journey to health and fitness needs to be a lifestyle rather than a "diet".  Many of my most successful weight loss efforts have been the result of "dieting" in the strictest sense of the word meaning restriction of intake.  I've spoken before about the rigid 12 step program (Food Addcits in Recovery) I did a few summers back where the only food I was "allowed" to have was from a food plan given to me by a sponsor.  Literally every bite was weighed, measured, reported and carefully selected.  The only variety of food on this plan was my choice of the one fruit I was allowed per day (excluding bananas and cherries), and my choice of what uncooked veggies to put in my 2 daily 8 oz salads and what vegetables to cook for the 2 daily 6 oz servings.  The philosophy of the program is "We keep the food black and white so we can *live our lives in color*."  And let me say right here I'm not criticizing this program.  It works, and works great for many people who have never been able to lose weight or maintain loss once they've achieved it.  With booze, it's all black and white for me.  If I have one drink, there is no telling what will happen next.  But one thing for sure - the *quality of my life* (*living it in color*) will diminish.  People I cherish may slip away.  But food is not so sharply silhouetted against the background of life as is booze for an alcoholic.

From day 1 of working that program, I knew that I didn't want to do it over the long haul.  The absolute rigidity of the food plan worked - and fast - while I followed it, even with my few modifications I didn't tell to my sponsor, like putting skim milk in my coffee.  I dropped weight like a snake sloughing scales.  But this way of eating wasn't sustainable for me.  Today when I wrote the comment on Katie's blog about her being able to enjoy her journey to fitness and health, a light bulb went on as I realized that living that rigid food plan removed the aspect of enjoyment of eating and food.  It was something I was enduring.  For some folks, it's great and provides the first relief ever from the vicious cycle of overeating, gaining weight and hating the prison of food addiction.

I'm fortunate that while I did have great success with that plan for the 6 weeks I was able to endure it, I also have plenty of examples in my life where I've been able to eat a more normal array of foods and still lose weight, or maintain it.  Within that, I also know full well that certain "foods" (are junk food, cake, chips, fries... really food?) are extremely likely to trigger cravings for more and lead to binge eating.  But not everyday.  I'm pretty self aware, and when I have a day where I'm thinking about bingeing all day long but trying to abstain from it, a handful of nuts or chips WILL inevitably lead to epic overeating.  I know that when I take the first compulsive bite, even if I'm telling myself that "it'll be different this time".  I know it.  And recently when I've encountered this exact scenario, I've forced myself to acknowledge the DECISION before I ingest the "handful".  At least be honest with myself.

But there are also times when I can have a piece of cake, or an extra serving of mac'n'cheese or whatever, and not get triggered to eat more.  Rigidity for me breeds dysfunction and sets me up for FAILURE.  I have both an emotional component to my eating and a physiological one that is beyond my metabolic needs for nutrition.  The whole high carb/insulin malfunction that Drs. Atkins, Agaston and others have explored is definitely a piece for me.  Yes, I'm a food addict.  But I also am sensitive to sugar and other high carb items.  I know it and can work with it when I'm exercising honesty and prudence with myself and my "appetites".  Sometimes I will screw up and eat too much or binge...yet I can get back on track right away without the punitive measures offered me by a rigid plan because I've "relapsed",  lost my "time" and now have to start all over, even losing my privilege of sharing at meetings.

The old bartender's line, "what'll you have with that?"  applies here.  I can ask myself that question before I opt for a "handful" of something I know damned well will lead me to epic overeating.  On a vulnerable day, the choice to go ahead and have that handful that becomes a gut full will fill make me feel sick.  I'll awaken the next day with regret, remorse and shame.  I'll think, "Shit, I did it again" just like I did with the booze.  All that is "what I'll get with that" to answer the bartender's question.  Maybe I don't really want it.

I do want freedom to think, choose, and grow emotionally in a way that unfolds into more good choices.  If my progress has been slow and seemingly non-existent at times, it's by the scale's verdict only.  Because I'm getting deeper and deeper along this journey to my best Leslie and her truth.  I can acknowledge that the handful is going to turn into a bellyful and for a moment pause and decide if it's what I want.  I don't have to have all those negative things mentioned in the above paragraph.  I'm making more better choices now, lying less about my eating to self and others.  Kind of weird NSVs, but given that this is the last "diet" I'm ever going on, I better own every bit of progress I can. 

Life is to be neither mastered nor endured.  It's to be enjoyed.  And Lived.  That's what I'm looking for.  Peace with food, peace with eating, peace with self.  It's coming.  I'm feeling it more everyday.  Each day is a new beginning, and if necessary, I can start my day over at any time.  And endurance does fit into the picture as we keep on getting back up after falling, moving ahead when we're maintaining, and staying motivated when we're winning.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday potpourri

Look what came in the mail yesterday...the book I won in Helen's giveaway a few weeks back when she was celebrating getting 100 followers.  I'm thrilled to get this book - I have the original South Beach book and really think it's excellent sound information.  So I'm sure this one will be equally informative, plus I know it has good recipes!  Helen talked about a good dip recipe awhile back, and on the cover of the book when I opened the package was a PostIt note with the page number of the dip.  Thanks Helen!

Once again it's Friday eve - or little Friday as a teacher friend calls Thursdays.  This is especially nice this week as we don't have clients at work tomorrow...just staff.  Our building is undergoing a huge rennovation starting next week and so tomorrow is a packing and clearing out day.  This week has flown by between busy-ness at work and having the extra kid home.  Tomorrow he's driving up to Hartford for a wedding and will be back Sunday for Fathers' Day...yay!  Tom will love having both his boys home for the ever popular Hallmark holiday.  We've been missing Jean this week a lot but have Skyped once with her and hopefully will get another session in on Sunday.  Steve heads back to Chicago Monday evening.  What a treat it's been to have him home.

The Mister is in Shreveport, LA this week on business, so last night I took the boys out to the Chinese restaurant we've gone to forever.  It was okay, but they've been taken over by new management and the quality has diminished in proportion to the increase in prices - substantially.  Why can't things stay the same?  One thing that hasn't changed is that I feel a little water-logged today from the increased sodium content of Chinese food.  So I'm in fluid-forcing mode to try and get it all flushed out for tomorrow's weigh in.  Also, I didn't make it to the pool yesterday but today is a definite.  Once again I'm VOWING to swim today and if I don't, feel free to yell at me or call me on my crap.

Stacia, our Midlife Swimmer (whose blog has a fabulous new look I just discovered when I went to grab the link) told me once in an email that being in the pool is a natural diuretic because the pool's water pressure forces extra on-board fluid out of the cells and on into the kidneys!  Isn't that cool?  Makes sense, and I've certainly noticed that whenever I swim, I do have to pee more just after and beyond.  So I'm pulling out all the stops to get this fluid OFF board!
I wanted to post some pictures today.  This is a gorgeous hollyhock I mentioned last week that is blooming outside the local library.  The color is what really blew me out of the water.  Also, I love tall plants - like delphiniums, foxglove, poppies and such.






I took a walk in Ridley Creek State Park over the weekend and took a couple of pictures.  This is such a gorgeous trail that has differing terrains throughout...it's most beautiful in the fall, but this park showcases every season beautifully.


You get the idea.  I've posted pictures of this loop before.  Lots of lush greenery and then the path parallels the water for awhile.  I'll get more shots of the water next time I go.
Next picture is my oldest son who's home this week.  He wouldn't let me just take a normal picture of him, so I had to sort of sneak this one.  He's my 100th follower!

Following is a quickie stir fry I whipped up this morning so I had some vegetables to take to work for lunch.  It's Vidalia onion, snow peas, red pepper and zucchini sauteed in just olive oil spray with a tiny am't of low salt soy sauce and some garlic.  It's pretty yummy.  I have enough for dinner tonight as well.

That's it from me today.  I'm making Lyn's low-carb meatloaf for dinner tonight, which I've made before is wonderful.  Only the visiting son will be home for dinner, and he is a total carnivore so is sure to love this meatloaf.  BTW, when I just went to grab Lyn's link, she has posted that she is in Onederland for the first time in a long time today!!!  This is amazingly exciting and inspiring.  Hop over and give her a well-deserved attagirl! if you get a chance.

See you manana!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ridiculosity

I've had another whirlwind busy day, starting with work.  My heavens...work is starting to get in the way of my blogging!  I usually have at least a free hour (totalled) to do my posting, but things have been hopping and I've had a few emergencies to tend to along the way.

This will be whirlwind quick and I'll do one on my usual blather blah blah posts tomorrow.  But I just have to first thank you all for the positive response to my giveaway!  I'm delighted that so many of you have signed on and hope for more before the deadline Friday at midnight.  I'll definitely do 2 PB2 jars in the giveaway as many want to try it.  I'm really excited about it now and glad you guys are interested in the bags.  It will be great to find happy homes for them, and then I can get back to doing some new ones, thereby using some of my rather extensive yarn stash.  I'm addicted to more than just food, folks!  I've also been hankerin' to do some sock knitting again, so moving this inventory is win win for blogger and recipients.

The only other thing I want to say tonight is that I just hit my 100th follower!  This is very exciting, but I have a confession to make.  Recall that I have an extra bird back in the nest this week, as Chicago based Stephen is here for a visit.  He heard me say something to hubby about my blog, and said, "Mom, I look at your blog every once in awhile.  I'd probably look more but the subject matter doesn't interest me that much."  (I guess not, being that he is tall and skinny - think string bean-esque, plus I'm his mother and of a certain age...)  But an idea was planted..."Hey Stephen, why don't you become my 100th follower??"  He was as enthusiastic as if I'd asked him to drink a cup of hemlock laced with H1N1 virus.  But with continued cajoling, and finally holding him at gunpoint, he acquiesced and put me into 3 digit territory!  Thanks Steve!  Even though I know you'll probably never look at this blog again!  Now I'm trying to get Mark, #2 son, to be my 101th, but he's a hard sell and I'm not counting on it.  Why do I get obsessed with these numbers??!!??  Does hoodwinking my son make me a blogger cheater?

My food has not been very good last night or today.  Dinner out both nights and a homemade cake at work for someone's birthday today...baked by a co-worker's mom who makes the most amazing cakes ever.  If you're going to over-ingest, one of her cakes is ecstatic moaning and groaning calorie-worthy.  (Reminds me of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld determining if dates were "sponge worthy", when those contraceptives went off the market and she was bogarting a supply for only the most premium men.)  Anyway, tomorrow will be better, and I'm swimming for my work out tomorrow.  Can't wait!

That's it for tonight.  If you haven't checked out the giveaway, you can do so here.  Sleep tight everyone.
Hugs from the blogger cheater :-]

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Giveaway to celebrate 369 days of unbrilliance!

I have been so busy and had so much stuff going on that I literally couldn't get enough time to post yesterday.  I started and was going to do my anniversary post with celebratory giveaway that involved uploading pictures, and blogger gave me all kinds of sh*t interference when I tried to move the pics and put text around them.  Good lord!  I need a class or something.  Before I continue into "official anniversary post", I just want to thank all of you for your suggestions and instructions regarding changing things on my blog.  Obviously I haven't done it yet as your looking at the same stale template I've had for awhile.  But a new look will be coming soon!

June 12 of '09 was my first post.  I'd had another blog for a couple of months that I just did for myself and ultimately folded because... I'm not sure why.  Actually I am sure...I wanted someone besides myself to talk to and hadn't figured out that to get readers you have to go out and read and comment.  My then 25 y/o daughter clued me into that one!  (Actually she and a couple of her friends from college read it and gave me good feedback and told Jean she has a cool mom!)  But it was more random musings about stuff like how eff-ing darned expensive it is to get hair colored and such.  Also about my search for genuine meaningful spirituality. 

What got me officially started with weight loss blogging was stumbling upon Pasta Queen last May.  I was so enchanted with her writing, humor and amazing weightloss story that I spent a week reading her entire archive, which was essentially like reading a fantastic memoir.  I still read her, and she's been through a lot of stuff on this journey...ups, downs and all around.  But always with head (and headaches!) staying above water and keeping on keepin' on.  Occasionally a comment on her blog would intrigue me and I'd follow the link...find another blog, and the rest is magnificent  very mundane but personally meaningful history.  I started this blog, wondering if it would last longer than my first, and voila!  The first time I got a comment from a human I DID NOT spawn, I was beyond thrilled and delighted.  You'd have thought I got an manuscript accepted from a major publishing house.  It's been a great experience.  And now, as of today (thank you most recent follower) I 'm at 99 followers!  Maybe I'll hit the ever coveted by greedy me only 100 followers before the next milennium!  Slow and steady it's been for this blogger.  Just like my evolution in life.

Anyway, I've said many times how much this blogging community means to me.  Wonderful people, wonderful writers, inspiration, motivation, support, direction, advice, great humor, honesty, bloggy puffy heart love, REALITY and the ever popular food pictures!  It's all here, all the time and being a part of if has greatly enhanced my life. 

To shamelessly promote my wares share my gratitude, I'm going to do a giveaway.  Figures that one of the least successful (so far but just wait!) weight losers is doing a giveaway that does not include any weight loss material, but it's going to include a food item....let me hear and AMEN!

I'm an addicted knitter (something more positive than the booze and food addictions!) and one knitting kick I got on several years ago was felting.  This is where you knit with 100% wool, then wash the item in HOT water with agitation, and the knitted product turns into a dense heavy felt.  I'm a purse and bag freak, so I got into making bags.  I sold a lot of them, gave some to friends, and still have a lot of them.  So I'm going to give away the bags. 

I'm putting up pictures of the bags and in order to be put in the drawing, you need to comment that you'd like to be entered and which bag you'd particularly like.  If you have questions about size, you can email me and I can give you specifics.  Also, one lucky person will also receive a jar of PB2, the peanut butter that has 45 cal/2 Tbspoons that TJ and other bloggers have written about.  I finally broke down and bought some - but you have to buy 4 jars minimum!! So If you'd also like a jar of the peanut butter, indicate that in your comment too!  It's pretty darn good.  This morning I put 1 tbsp. into my steel cut oatmeal just when it was done cooking, and it tasted fantastic!!









I've already confessed to a blog friend that I'm a little nervous doing a giveaway, esp. this one, in case no one is interested.  The old core of low self-esteem rears it's ugly head, even though that piece of me has been largely healed.  Bottom line, if no one is interested it's okay.  I'm sure someone will be interested in the PB2 and if enough people are I'll give away 2 jars.  Anyhow, if you want to be entered, comment or email me by midnight Friday June 18th.  I'll do a drawing and announce winners on Sunday, the 20th.

Finally - My food has been great the last few days, as has exercise.  It's more of a challenge with #1 son home along with son #2.  I made a huge amount of stuffed peppers thinking we'd have 2 dinners out of them.  Well, we got one dinner and they had lunch and snacks with the rest before the next dinner!  I only got one serving!  Does a mom's heart good.   Have a good day everyone.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'd like to THANK the academy

*added at least 2 hours after publishing* - DUH...just edited the freaking title of this post. How many people screw up the title??? I had written "I'd like to THE THE academy". OI-VAY.

Happy Saturday fellow bloggers. I'm a wee bit irritated with myself because I left my camera cable at work yesterday and so can't load some pictures I wanted to post today. They will have to wait until Monday.

Today is the one year anniversary of my blog, and I had a plan of posting pictures of some stuff to do a giveaway to celebrate my wittle blog's birthday. I was going to be all expansive and excited, but realizing the cable is attached to the hard drive in my office took some of the shine off the whole thing. It's no big deal. I'll do an official anniversary post Monday, unless I get a Pulitzer or something tomorrow, in which case the blogiversary will be bumped again so I can post my acceptance speech on Monday instead. Bottom line - go with the flow, Leslie. I didn't used to do that too easily. I took great pride in going against the flow...swimming stubbornly upstream against strong currents in my hyperdriven self reliance. This is the easier softer way. (Big shock...that's an AA phrase:))

But speaking of awards, I have been given 2 in the last week, and while neither may be quite as prestigious (or lucrative) as a Pulitzer, I am thrilled, delighted and honored to have been given both. The first is this:
and was given to me Karen at Mom, Me and Alzheimers. Karen is awesome - the full time caregiver to her mom who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Karen writes about her mom and what it's like to be spending her days in this kind of service. She's a remarkable woman to be caring for her mom, and I'm inspired by her generosity of spirit every time I read her blog. Thank you, Karen - for bestowing this award to me. The rules are:

1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award ever! Done - I'm delighted!

2. Choose one of the following options of accepting the Oh My Blog! award:
(a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight,or for as long as you can focus.
(b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.
(c) Write a “soundtrack of your childhood” post.
(d) Make your next blog a ‘vlog’/video blog whereyou’re basically talking to the camera about whatever. It's all I can do to publish a post. Vlog a no go...
(e) Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning,before you do anything else (hair, make up, etc) and post it.

3. Pass the award onto at least three, but preferably more, awesome bloggers and let them know.

# 1 was easy and is done. I've laughed everytime I read these #2 options on other folks' blogs because of option (a), the getting drunk one. Do you know there was a time I seriously would have chosen that, even though it's a joke? (i think) What I'll do is a "soundtrack of my childhood" post in the next week sometime. I'll have a blast with that, being a total music person. I've already sort of written soundtracks for what I want played at my funeral (you know I have a death thing) and other key events, so this assignment is right up my alley. Lots of songs, and the reasons they're on the list!

Finally, as far as passing it on - it seems like I might be one of the last bloggers in my village to get this and don't want to give it twice to anyone who's received it. No lie - every blog I'm checking out already has it, except I didn't see it on Karen at Waisting Time, who actually gave me the 2nd award I'll post about today. I love every blog I've posted on, so if you haven't gotten this, please grab it for your blog and do the requisite "assignment". And thanks again, Karen. This award is for you (unless you've already done it!)

The second is from the aforementioned Karen, whose blog I'm really loving. She's very honest and open about her feelings and struggles with weight loss and self image and all that jazz. I like reading her mental musings!
I'm supposed to tell you 7 things you don't already know about me. What with my diarrhea mouth when it comes to self disclosure, this could be a challenge...
1. I love HGTV and watch way too much of it.
2. I watch more tv than I want to, so am trying to wean myself off most of it.
3. I got kicked out of the Brownies in 2nd grade for pulling someone's hair, displaying an early rebellious spirit. (The girl was a bee-atch.) (This story goes over great at AA meetings!) I got reinstated the following year but then quit because my troop was lame.
4. In all of my formal education, including through college, I never read a single piece of Shakespeare. I think that renders me almost culturally illiterate, but when I've tried to read said Bard on my own, I glaze over. Love the movie versions!
5. Favorite celebrity chef - Ina Garten. I want her house in the Hamptons. And I love that she's zaftig (yiddish word, I think, for pleasingly plumpish),in a good way.
6. #1 dream destination - Australia/New Zealand
7. I used to play low level competitive tennis for about 6 years - double only. Utterly loved tennis - got totally addicted to it. (I think I've told that before)

Again - every blogger I read has already gotten that award, I think, but for any who haven't, please take it and have fun with it. Thanks again to Karen for sending it my way. I love awards! Here that, Pulitzer committee?

Finally - I want to redo my blog for a new original look. No idea other than the boring blogger templates. You all always can teach me some tech stuff - suggestions? I got lots of help and now know how to delete comments! Thanks for that. Who knows, maybe I'll figure something out before the anniversary post. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekend sendoff


This morning my weight was 204.0.  I'm good with that.  It's 1.6 down from last Friday, though .8 up from Wednesday morning when I weighed.  Whatever.  I'm going in the right direction.  The weekend is almost here and I plan to stay mindful of my goals when the inevitable food choices present themselves.  I spoke earlier in the week about adding the goal of not abandoning my program on weekends to my 101 Days Of Summer Challenge.  I haven't done that officially by emailing Biz, but when I do my weekly update tomorrow, I will.

The funeral yesterday was ultimately uplifting, though unbearably sad at times.  It was untraditional with no format other than a number of the man's family members and friends speaking about their memories of and relationships with Tom.  Both his sons spoke, and the one who was with his dad at the time of the heart attack had a beautiful talk that incorporated his dad's interest and love of astronomy as a sort of theme.  Human creativity knows no bounds.  Twice in his comments, the younger son noted how he couldn't believe he'd never see his dad again.  It was a lovely, fitting and heart felt service for a fine human being.  Still, it is so baffling and hard to accept that someone so healthy and vital could be gone so suddenly. 

This week, both my boys are in Manchester, Tennessee working at the Bonorroo Music Festival - an annual event that gets bigger every year.  I have a friend who, with her husband, owns a concession business that sets up opening gates (cattle shutes) and manages parking for lots of huge events like this.  She got both boys and a friend a piece in last year, paying for their flights down and back, all food and a $12.00/hr wage while they're "working".  I put work in quotes because what they did and are doing this year is "supervising" the entry gates and ticket takers to make sure no one gets in without paying, or brings in contraband of any kind.  Last year the boys said it was easy, fun and there is constantly amazing music surrounding from any of several stages...think Bruce Springsteen last year on Saturday night of the 4 day festival - playing for over 3 hours!  This year Stevie Wonder is the "biggest act", with tons of other great bands and comedians.  Conan O'Brien recorded a bluegrass album (of all things!) there last night with his band for an audience of only 300.  I'm hoping my boys were among the 300, because they're huge Conan fans.  Last year each boy made over $500, not including the flights, food and music, so it's a pretty lucrative endeavor for them!

One funny note...when they got home last year, one of the things Mark said was how cool it was to see "real hippies".  He noted, "I've read about them but didn't know they still existed!"  I love that - since I was part of the hippie generation - though never really dressed the part.  Did align politically with them in many ways though!

Anyway - they will be home Sunday, and #1 son, the 23 y/o who's living in Chicago will be staying for several days next week before going back.  I'm so excited to have 2 of the 3 back in the nest, even if for just a few days.  #2 son (21) is home all summer and will return to Atlanta for his senior year of college in August.  This weekend I'm going to be getting Chicago son's bed all freshly made and the room cleaned, as well as cooking up some of his favorite foods, like spaghetti and meatballs for one.  Daughter Jean (26) who is living in the Dominican Republic is insanely jealous that 4 out of the 5 of us will be together.  I wish she could be with us too!  But we'll have a group Skype call sometime so we can actually lay eyes on each other!  We really have fun when the whole fan-damily is together.  How lucky am I for that??


Couple of quick pictures - yesterday a package came in the mail that is directly related to my blogging... 4 jars (the fewest # you could order via mail so I hope it's good) of PB 2, the powdered peanut butter that TJ talks about. Here's another picture :  The big deal about this peanute butter, besides the fact it's supposed to be good is that it's 45 calories for 2TBSP, compared to 190 for regular PB.  The instructions say to take 2 T of PB 2 and add 1 tsp of water to make it the consistency of peanut butter.  I'll try it this weekend and let you know what I think.  If it's good, maybe I'll do a giveaway of a bottle with some other goodies to celebrate my one year blog anniversary which is tomorrow.  Toss in some hand knit socks and a felted bag - could be a tidy little gift!


 
I hope everyone has a great weekend.  I've got a lot of exercise planned, including a walk of the loop at Ridley Creek State Park.  I'm going to take pics to share.  When I dashed out at lunch today, I saw the most GORGEOUS hollyhock bush in full bloom, wich flowers so deeply darkly purple they were almost black!  And I didn't have my camera!!  I'm going by on the way home to record it for all eternity.
 
I'll leave you with a couple more pics - the last will be one that I have titled "Don't tell me dogs don't smile!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Not much

I'm going to be brief today as I have a lot to do and will be leaving work an hour early to attend the funeral for the man I wrote about on Monday.  I've been thinking of him a lot this week and feel so sad for his family.  It's almost as if a pall is resting overhead.  This man's death at age 56 (my current age) has stirred up a lot of old thoughts and feelings, and definitely fears, about death.  Losing both parents by the time I was 23 defined my life in so many ways, as did being an only child.  This summer I have a birthday that will be (assuming I see it) extremely significant personally, though not one of the big ones that end with 5 or zero.   As it  gets closer, I've already been very emotional and on-the-surface with feelings and awareness of some of my "stuff".  I've contemplated writing about it, maybe even on the blog, but it's so serious, self-disclosing and navel-gazing that I'm not sure if my blog is the right place to put it.  We'll see.

My food has been pretty good this week, and yesterday's positive scale reading boosted my momentum and determination to keep it as good as it's been and even better.  Yesterday my eating was excellent.  I made a recipe from Biz's post yesterday for Enchilada Soup, and it was really good  It was perfect because I had all the ingredients on hand.  We had salad and pita chips with it.  My husband is enjoying all the new meals I'm trying from bloggers' inspirations and ideas.  He kept asking, "where did you get this recipe?"  He knows about my blog but doesn't read it unless I tell him I wrote something extra brilliant which virtually never happens.  I don't think he really gets the whole blogging thing.  He's one of those folks who was probably born a century too late - the "new-fangled contraptions" like computers are one thing he's fine with.  But all the new methods of social networking and telecommunicating pretty much leave him in the dust.  The endless befuddlement makes him all the more lovable!

Talk about getting off on a tangent...That's why it's hard for me to be brief.  But today I gotta do it so I'm signing off.  Offical weigh in tomorrow, and I didn't get on the scale this morning.  Something (a little birdie) said not to, and I listened.  That soup was probably a little salty as I didn't have low sodium broth.  No need to get all cranky over water weight!  Have a good day before Friday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuna truth revealed amidst random meanderings

First the truth on the tuna talley:  By far the respondents to the very serious question of whether pouch or canned tuna tastes better...drumroll please....Tuna In A Pouch.  DareIsay I told you so;-)

I noticed something rather revolting today...in a good way, if that's possible.  Or about a good thing? 

I got on the scale and was pleased with what it said.  Also a little surprised.  I'll post an official weight on Friday, but like many other sneaky bloggers, I do jump on that would-be fortune teller most mornings, just to keep it real and not let a bad trend go too far.  When I saw the more-pleasing-than-I-expected number, I did a double take.  I even stepped off and back on and shifted around to see if it's verdict would change, being ever the suspicious gal.  But it held it's ground and my weight. 

I quickly showered and coiffed (don't you love that archaic word?), put my lunch together and headed out to the 7 a.m. meeting I go to before work.  I stopped in Starbucks (because someone had given me a card) and was having chatty little upbeat conversations with people (strangers inc. the Barista), totally enjoying myself and "working the room".  While adding milk to my coffee, it dawned on me...I was feeling extra happy, outgoing and expansive because the SCALE GOD rained good tidings on me a half hour earlier.  UGH.  I know that if I'd gained or in general didn't like the too important number, I'd have been quiet and self-contained at best, or crabby at worst.  Me thinks the scale should not have that kind of power.  Actually me knows it. 

I guess recognizing it is something - a little progress and awareness of how the whole food/weight issue is out of proportion in my life.  I don't want it to be that way.  I want freedom and peace from the endless dominance that my eating disordered mind has over how I regard myself.  I think I want that as much or more than I want to be lean.

On to another observation - at the same time I was pouring the aforementioned milk into my coffee, a guy next to me took the lid off his cup and poured a good ounce or more into the trash to make more room for his dairy product of choice.  He looked at me and shrugged sheepishly, and I speculated to him that they probably had a huge urn worth of coffee poured in over the course of the day.  And it occurred to me that maybe it's only in America where we pay premium bucks for coffee, only to pour some into the trash to make room for milk!  I've done it a zillion times, even when I've asked for "room at the top", if it wasn't roomy enough.

That profound thought thread got me thinking about a couple of questions for fellow bloggers today:

1)  If you drink coffee or tea, does your "food plan" or "diet"  dictate whether you use skim, whole or 1/2 & 1/2 in your brew?  Or do you use whatever you like best regardless of the fat %?   I vary depending on the day.  Usually I use whole milk in coffee only.  I never EVER drink milk as I hate it alone.  On the rare occasions that I have dry cereal, I use exactly 1 ounce (a medicine cup full) of 1%.  For the milk drinkers at home, I get 1% and they are happy with it.  When my daughter was home at Christmas, hubby made the grave mistake of getting whole milk and she carried on as if he'd bought battery acid.  Glad I was innocent on that one!

2)  Do you "count" the dairy/soy/whatever lightener you use in your daily intake, or leave it out as insignificant or not enough to worry about?   I do not count coffee dairy as I don't use much at all.

3) In general, are there things you may have every day, like a few hard candies, gum or other little stuff that you don't count?  (Someone else posed this question many months back and I don't remember what people said...it was when I first started blogging.)  See #2.  Also, I don't count gum or the occasional Root Beer Barrel or Butterscotch.  If I have more than one, I do count it.  Normally this wouldn't come to mind except someone gave me a bag of gourmet root beer barrels, so I've had recent exposure to this complex issue...tongue inserted into cheek.

4) Do you have a standard "default" breakfast that is mostly a daily thing?  Mine is 1 cup Trader Joe's non-fat Greek yogurt (22 gms of protein!), with 1 cup berries, plus 2 hardboiled eggs minus one yolk with a 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese and yellow mustard mixed in.  Makes it taste like egg salad.  If I didn't get out of the house so early for my AA meeting, I'd mix up breakfast a lot more.  But this is fast and easy.  for 2 years it was the yogurt, fruit and 1/2 cup oatmeal, but I definitely OD'd on the oatmeal.  Now I can only eat steel cut, which takes too long for weekday mornings.  Weekends there is much more variety, and I eat b'fast out at least one of the 2 days.

5) Any favorite b'fast food you limit?  Bacon!  I LOVE BACON.  Uber crisp but not burned.  I have it once a week.  It is one of the true pleasures in life.  I read a survey asking vegetarians what they missed most, and bacon topped the list!

That's all from me today.  I'm still happy about the scale, but if I don't watch my p's and q's, I might not be.  SO here's to a good sane healthy day for us all!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday topics

I'm keeping things light and breezey today, just like the beautiful weather we're experiencing after a week of high heat and humidity.  Seems I have mainly random and unrelated issues percolating in the old bean, so will just float down the stream of consciousness.

Item 1 - How do you delete comments?  Yesterday, Karen at Waisting Time left a perfectly lovely comment on my post, and blogger managed to vomit out her comment not one, but 4 times!  She noted it and told me to feel free to delete the "extras", but I had no idea how to do it, and a journey through the bowels of blogger revealed no hints.  I know I'm very low on the blogger IQ scale, but it seems there should be an easy way to do that.  I was happy to have Karen's comment 4 times, but if someone had commented that I was a big stupid poopy face (like my 21 y/o son loves to call me), I'd want to be able to jettison the comment into outer space.  Any hints welcome!

Item 2 - At the risk of being harangued by people more tree-huggy than I (I'm pretty crunchy but convenience and pet peeves occasionally guide my choices of product use more than does the size of my carbon footprint) , I confess to having become a user of tuna that comes in pouches over cans.  The pouches are not recyclable, and I'm sorry about that but there are serious and valid reasons for my choice.  a) the tuna tastes better, fresher and moister in pounches, and b) I HATE little cans where sizeable amounts of fancy white albacore can get lodged under rims and have to be coaxed out with fork or fingers.  Also, the cans require a can opener, unless they are the kind where the top pulls off which renders one's fingers in grave danger of requiring stitches to stop the bleeding.  I know.  It happened to me on a can of Brunswick Stew.

My question for you is:  Have you food loving bloggers found pouch tuna different than canned?  A friend suggested that I am perhaps delusional in this assessment  so I decided to survey the masses to prove her  wrong in pursuit of tuna truth.

Item 3 - Regarding word verification in blogger - do you  love it, hate it, know you can disenable it by going to settings?  And are you ever entirely amused by the almost-word that you are required to type in order to leave a comment? 

Finally, I've finished reading this book I spoke about a couple of weeks ago.  I definitely recommend it for people who feel their weight issues are more than a lifetime of bad choices...i.e. addiction or eating disordered.  The girl who wrote the main text of the book is recovering from a bingeing and purging eating disorder (bulimia), so usually when she was struggling with the entity of her eating disorder, it was in a way of not wanting to eat at all rather than continual struggles with bingeing and emotional eating, though she did have her issues with bingeing.  The strategies this gal found through group and individual therapy for dealing with the "voice of the disease" were really excellent.  I've been able to employ them in my own struggles since reading the book.  At the end of each chapter written by the author is a small section written by her therapist, suggesting exercises and techniques for dealing with the behaviors and symptoms of the eating disorder when they present.  This author has a new book out called "Goodbye Ed, Hello Me", about her life in solid recovery, whereas the first book is about lengthy process of finding recovery by separating (divorcing) from Ed, her Eating disorder.  I haven't read the new one yet but will when I can get it either at a library or used on Amazon.

The main premise put forth is to come to view your eating disorder (if you think you have one) as a separate being from yourself.  Working on severing the relationship between the eating disorder and oneself is the goal of the strategies set forth by the therapist and author.  The book is well written, funny, real and honest.  And full of hope.

Yesterday was a good day.  I got a long walk in but wasn't able to get to the pool because of car issues with my son and hubby.   I had my 2 hot dogs at the strawberry festival and NOTHING ELSE!  I looked forward to those nitrate-ridden charred-to-black-in-places bad boys all day and they didn't disappoint.  I also worked at the used books sale for an hour and managed to pick up 8 books I hadn't read - including The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.  That ought to keep me busy for a few months! Or years, knowing me!  Have a good Tuesday, all.