Monday, March 21, 2011

Catching up with intent to stay put

Thank you to the blog friends who have checked up on me this last week.  I'm doing fine.  It's occurred to me that one of the reasons I've found blogging harder lately is that I am so much busier at work than I used to be that I simply don't have time at work to dream up profound wisdom fresh and interesting things about which to pontificate - much less type them out.  We have admitted about 10 new clients in the last 3 months who are more medically complex than we've previously had and they keep me quite occupied. 

I've almost always done my posts at work - either first thing before our clients start rolling in (literally, as we serve a mostly wheelchair bound population) or while I'm eating lunch.  Once home I generally get caught up in other stuff, like the visible 1/8 inch of dust that rests on virtually every horizontal surface within.  Sadly "getting caught up in" doesn't necessarily mean cleaning, but there are always things calling to me at home.  Weekends are different but I haven't even settled in them long enough lately to post. 

The way I have usually operated since starting the blog is that thoughts percolate constantly and I begin writing in my head before I get near the keyboard.  But the muse, whoever she is, has been out of pocket lately - at least out of my pocket, and I just haven't been thinking/mind writing in the same way.  Until the last few days when I realize that several things have been going on that I want to tell you guys.  And I'm very happy to do so as I'm missing the blog community a lot.  I haven't even done much reading of your posts in the last week.

I'll give you a scintillating boring update of what's going on in Leslieland:

1)  My weight has been exactly the same for 3 weeks - a couple of midweek .4-.7 gains, but by the Sunday scale tribunal, I've been the same.  Not bad, definitely not good when I want to lose 40 lbs.  I have had some very good on-plan food days, and some where I'm over my points enough to have stopped counting.  Siiigh.  Thus the "plateau", which is a euphemism for I've not been doing so hot.  I don't know whether the absence of blogging has impacted this and tend to think it hasn't.  Recall that for the last 6-8 months, other than the 9 pounds I've lost since January with WWP+, I've been sort of maintaining this state of just not getting it together like I had it together over a year ago.  Everyday it's my intention to stay within my 29 points and have a peaceful day with food.  I'm still at it and will never quit.

2)  My power walking has been great since it's possible to be outside for more than10 minutes now without freezing off one's cojones - or the equivalent female parts (I just love the word "cojones").  A couple of times I've walked the 5 mile loop at Ridley Creek State park that I love so much and have posted seasonal pics of over the last year and a half.  Also have begun some weights and strength training at home with a program I got off the "Friends For Weight Loss" site, so exercise-wise I'm doing well.  Most walks are ~3 miles.

3)  While exercise is going well, my arthritic knees have been talking to me - rather popping and snapping at me quite a bit - occasional when I shift positions at a meeting or something, my left knee pops so loud it's heard round the table, to the uneasy surprise of all in attendance!  The popping doesn't hurt, but they're also stiff in the mornings and with damp weather and achy at times.  Nothings keeps me from being able to walk or move around;  in fact the knees feel much worse when I don't do some concerted exercising.  It's really true with arthritis that movement is key.

However, because I'm planning to walk a half marathon at the end of May with some friends and hopefully my daughter, I want my knees to be in the best possible shape.  So this morning I began a series of 3 weekly injections into each knee of a substance called Euflexxa - which is a brand of a substance extracted from bovine joints designed to cushion, lubricate and protect arthritic joints.  I know several people who've used it and had good results, so I decided to give it a try.  Other than being stuck in each knee with a 2 inch needle, it was basically a non-event this morning getting the first week's worth.  The next 2 Mondays I'll get the rest of the treatment, and hopefully will get 6-9 months of improvement in all aspects of knee function.  And the shots really didn't hurt much at all.

4)  Recall I got a Kindle for Christmas and was so excited about it.  While I have it loaded with many free classics Amazon offers plus a few other purchased books, I just used it to read a whole book (the Girl Who Played With Matches) about 2 weeks ago.  It was fine to read it that way, but turns out I like the tactile rewards of holding the real book in my hand - the ability to easily flip ahead - not to read what's coming but to see if certain characters are still figuring in, or what REAL page I'm on, etc.  It's funny - I just feel like I'm only getting a partially satisfying reading experience with the Kindle.  I'll still use it, but my default preference will always be an old fashioned book.

5)  I started attending a meditation for group that just began last Wednesday evening.  It's for people in 12 step recovery who are interested in deepening their practice of meditation, and includes a Buddhist perspective on the 12 steps.  I'm really excited about it, especially to discover that I was able to stay awake easily the first night when we did a 25 minute silent meditation at 8 p.m.  Often I'm in my jammies and starting to head-bob by that time, given my early rising (~4-4:30 am).  I think it's going to be a wonderful tool for me to find more ability to sit quietly and attempt to not let every thought that bubbles up hook me and send me down any number of "what if" paths.

6)  Finally, back in January I talked about starting to read Marianne Williamson's book A Course in Weight Loss.  I was going to get back to you and let you know what I thought of it.  Hope you weren't holding your collective breaths as I'm just now reporting on it.  Turns out I found it WAY too new agey, and with no really new material.  Each chapter is a "lesson" on some aspect of personal understanding and healing, with lots of questionnaires and work book type activity to help the reader get to the core of the emotional and spiritual pain that is driving their overeating.  While there were some great questions and exercises for helping the reader to discover shame, pain, anger, resentments, guilt, etc, there seemed to be a lot of redundancy in some of the mental and writing exercises she offered.

Having been in AA for 19 1/2 years and worked the 12 steps at depth, I think the material didn't offer anything I hadn't already worked at.  If working at "healing the child within" and finding spiritual grounding
is what is necessary to lose weight, I'd be emaciated.  The step work I've done over the years has brought me much healing, and there is much left to be healed.  Marianne's book is a good tool for someone who doesn't have other means of finding ways to change one's thinking and behaviors, but it is no substitute for the 12 steps of recovery that were offered first through AA and adapted by many other fellowships over the years.

Clearly my recent absence from the blogosphere has not left me at a loss for words!  This is pretty long, and I'm sure I'll think of other things to talk about in coming days.  It feels good to write and let some random and tangential thoughts pour out through my fingertips.  And I hope that the good food day I've had to this point continues until I close my eyes to this day.


  1. Re the Kindle, two questions:

    1. have you a cover for it? The cover ought to give you the sensation of holding a book, albeit a light one. :)

    2. what version do you have? If it's the newest Kindle 3, there is an update that provides you to now see actual page numbers. Might want to look into that.

    Good to see you around! Sorry the knees are acting up; hope the injections help. :)

  2. I am SO glad you are back. More later.

  3. "Ridley Creek State park"...holy live around Ridley Park, PA?!??!?!?!??! We're practically neighbors. My grandmother started her family there in the 1940s. It holds a special place in my heart. There's also a great place off of McDade Blvd that offers vegan pizzas and sammiches.

    I hope your knees start feeling better. Glad to see you back on here!

    P.S. I've gone private recently, but, if you'd like to follow me, just shoot a quick email my way:

  4. Hey you:) My mom buys hardcovers and passes them on to me and has so far resisted a Kindle, thinking she wants to experience the book itself. If she ever buckles, I'll have to follow. My son has a Kindle but reads books too. He is voracious reader and is never without one, even when sitting at the computer. His college admissions essay was about reading:)

  5. I'm so glad to see you posting! I have been absent as well. Doing fine, fortunately, but simply not feeling the words.

  6. My favorite part of this post is "with intent to stay put" - I've missed you and am glad you're back!

  7. :D Welcome back! :D Today is the first day of my Great Spring SlimDown for Summer. Come on along.

    Re: the inner child, etc, work. Yes. It is great stuff if you've never done it. And there is always a new wrinkle here and there, but the exercises, etc, do not have the same impact as they did at first realization and initial plowing thru.

    For me, and this may only be me, I've realized that my eating has almost nothing to do with all of those healing wounds stuff (and realize THAT kind of thing was my specialty when I was practicing psychotherapy so I'm a big fan) and almost everything to do with the fact that food is my go-to coping mechanism. Even coping with great things...only then we call it a celebration.

    I am psychically retarded when it comes to coping skills, apparently, as I seem to have only one. Well, two, if you count Xanax except I only take about 1 a month, if that.

    I am determined to get the majority of this weight off by the end of June--and to hell with my need to cope. ! I've had enough.

    You know, I wouldn't accept the exuses I use to eat the wrong food to justify getting drunk. I wouldn't say, "Oh, well, I really had my feelings hurt or was really worried about xyz, so before I knew it, I downed the whole bottle of wine."

    I would KNOW that that wasn't okay. (In fact, because my father was an alcoholic, I'm extraordinarily strict about not drinking when I feel like I 'need' a drink.)

    Oh, dear. Listen closely and you'll hear my brakes screeching as I bring this comment-turned-post to an abrupt end. Sorry. I guess I saved up. :}

    Welcome back!


  8. Dear God I've been having some SERIOUS Leslie withdrawals!! Seeing that you updated reminded me that I forgot to shoot you a text this wknd like I was going it's great to hear from you. And good job on maintaining...always, ALWAYS better than gaining. :)

  9. you need to go walk in some warm water! its time

  10. Welcome back dear Leslie!

    I'm totally with you on the book thing, so far. I look at screens all day: computers, TVs, phones. When i want to dive in and really read, I want to smell the pages and turn them.

    I'm also with you on that Marianne Williamson book. Along with Geneen Roth, definitely too new agey and not for me.

  11. Glad to see you back! I hope your knees get to feeling better!!

  12. Hi Leslie, I always love reading about what's going on in Leslieland. I guess you just have a way with words :)

    I hope the injection on your knee work. Please keep us updated as I have a friend at work who is suffering terribly with her knees and I'd like to let her know if this works for you.

    I'm with you on the Kindle; however, I have way too many books in my house so I must remain faithful to my Kindle - except for cookbooks and reference books. The meditation group sounds awesome. Meditation is highly under-rated. Sounds like you've been busy!