Thursday, January 27, 2011

Long, Cold Winter....

New York City was hit with another blizzard and I've been hit with another cold. It's getting pretty ridiculous. I think it's because of the way our new office space is set up. We're all in cubicles in an internal area with no windows, and they keep the heat cranked up really high. So we've all been passing a cold around in this hot, stale air. At work, people are sneezing and coughing all day. It's pretty awful.

I am feeling better, though, and have lost about five pounds! See, being sick has advantages. Seriously, I've been eating a lot more veggies and have cut back on bread. I now only eat bread for breakfast on the weekends, which seems to be making a difference.

I still have a lot of work to do, but my back has been feeling better, which is really good news. I'm slowly getting my mobility back to where it was. I feel like I'm not so fun to hang out with since I can't do all that much and I want to change that.

In other news, I've been watching this new show on A&E called HEAVY. Each week, they feature two morbidly obese patients and follow them for six months as they embark on a weight loss program. The patients go to this ranch for a month, where they work with trainers, and then have to follow the program at home. So far, I like it, though I wish they'd give us more information on what the people are eating. But the trainers are reasonable; they don't yell at them like they do on THE BIGGEST LOSER and have them do workouts that are appropriate for the obese, like water aerobics. And the patients lose an achievable amount of weight. I sort of wish I could do this program, though I would not want to be on TV. I give these people credit for being so brave!

Well, a week from today is my birthday. I have some celebrations coming up, but am confident that I can lose another five pounds if I push myself. Then I'll reach my birthday goal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting Away Was A Good Thing

We just got back from a really nice visit with my in-laws. I know that a lot of people don't get along with their spouse's parents, but we have a great relationship. They recently moved into a new apartment, so we came up yesterday, took them out to dinner and then stayed over. They only live about an hour from the city, but I feel so relaxed having been away for a day.

I did pretty well with eating, too. For dinner, we just went to the diner, so I had an egg white omelet with broccoli, spinach and cheese, chicken noodle soup and whole wheat toast. I ended up only eating about 2/3rds of the meal. Then for breakfast today, I had a bagel, a banana and orange juice. They had my favorite cereal, Cheerios, but it was in box form, so I stayed away from it. I'll eat Cheerios if it's served in an individual portion-sized bowl, like the kinds they sell at the deli, but I can't be near an entire box of it because I will eat it all. I was proud of myself for steering clear of a trigger food when it was right there in front of me.

After, we hung out in the living room and I ended up taking a nap in the rocking chair. But once I woke up, I felt happy and energized, not groggy and deflated. During the week, I get soooo tired -- even when I go to sleep early -- and I feel zapped of all energy. But being away from home and work, and with my family, I felt a lot more alive.

Speaking of which, my birthday is in three weeks, so I've made a mini goal for myself: I'd like to lose 10 pounds by then. For someone my size, that's actually quite doable. I'll continue to eat healthy foods and a lot of vegetables, and want to get back into using the BowFlex, too. I need to do something if I want to enjoy life the way I'd like to.

That doesn't mean that I can't enjoy it in the meantime, though. I'm looking forward to a year filled with more visits with family and friends, which to me, is the most important thing. I'm glad I've made some more close friends in the past couple of years. I still don't always trust my relationships. I've been burned before, where I gave my all in a friendship and the person didn't reciprocate. Happily, more people in my life are reciprocating so I'm feeling a little more secure.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

So You Had A Bad Day....

Today was one of those days where nothing seemed to go right. It started with the bad news I received last night: my uncle is in the hospital. He's unconscious and they're not sure what's causing it. That said, I already began my day on a stressed-out note. As an update, he's showing some response now, so that's a positive sign, but it's still touch and go.

Meanwhile, I went to work and it seemed to be business as usual, only I'm awaiting an imporant e-mail with information that I absolutely have to get in tomorrow (and it still hasn't arrived). But as I was sitting and working, I got a note from my boss that scolded me for playing with a video game during office hours.

Just to clarify, I work really hard and am not playing games all day. But when I'm talking on the phone with a source for a long time or just need five minutes to get over some writers' block, I like to play this mindless game called Eggz. It helps me clear my head or gives me something to do with my free hand while I'm on the phone. But I get all of my work in on deadline and have a reputation in the office for being reliable.

My boss's issue wasn't with my performance. She was actually very nice about it and joked that she's addicted to the game, too, but feared that corporate would see me playing it and not think I was busy enough. I promised to stop and apologized, feeling like a child who's been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. The thing is, my boss is almost never in my area; we always go to her office for meetings. This means that someone ratted me out. And THAT pisses me off. I'll agree, I probably should've thought twice about going onto a recreational site at my job, but you don't go tattling to the boss if no one is getting hurt. It seems so petty. I know plenty of "wrong" things my co-workers do -- like getting smashed at what are supposed to be professional events, for one -- and I don't go around blabbling. I have an idea of who the culprit is, though I'll never be able to prove it. Let's just say that karma has a way of biting people in the butt.

Later that day, my suspect threw a hissy fit over the edit I did on her file. The sentence made no sense; it was clearly missing a word. She was all pissy and huffy, though, at the change. Whatever...

Finally, I had an interview which pissed me off to no end. I had to speak with a well-known professional matchmaker about her service, which I was excited about. She was very vulgar -- as she's known to be -- but she also made some cracks about how she didn't know how this "fucking fat" woman could have men interested. Excuse me! First of all, the "fucking fat" woman in question is over 50 and maybe 20 pounds overweight. Second, she's attractive, even with the extra pounds. Plus, she's successful and vivacious and funny. No, she's not a beauty queen, but how many of us are? As I've said over and over again in this blog, I HATE the idea that some think that overweight people aren't deserving of love or attention. I realize that complaining about it isn't going to change people's perceptions, but it still bothers me. I hope that if -- no when -- I lose weight, I remember this and take it with me. I used to be prejudiced and think that overweight people were "less than" and it makes me ashamed to know that I shared opinions with the likes of this person. In some ways, gaining weight has made me a more compassionate person, I think, because I now understand both sides.

Speaking of which, I've been doing well with my eating this week. I've been having a lot of fruits and veggies, and have ben cutting out starchy things like white bread. I'm feeling a lot more energized, I have to say. Today I was especially energized since anger and frustration tend to do that to me.

Tomorrow we're supposed to have another blizzard, which means I'll probably be working from home. I'm going to think good thoughts about my uncle and try to stay positive about my job and the year ahead. My work may be frustrating at times, but I'm in a place where I now have several backup ideas in my arsenal. No, I haven't lost the weight in the past year, but I'm in a much better place.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Night At The Opera

Well, not really. Jon and I actually went to see Chinese dancers last night at Lincoln Center. But it was really nice. There were some things that we liked and disliked about the show, but we enjoyed getting out and doing something interesting in the city. I know that it was good for me because even though we got home late, I felt energized and ended up staying up for another hour. I was happy and didn't want to just crash as I sometimes do when I get home from work.

I've been doing pretty well with food this week. I've cut bread out of my breakfast and have been having fresh veggies and lean meats for lunch. For snacks, I've been having two pieces of string cheese (each at 80 cals). Last night, Jon and I went out for dinner, but I had a light entree of mushroom ravioli with vegetables. They didn't serve a huge portion of pasta so I wasn't completely stuffed when I'd finished and there were plenty of chunks of squash, asparagus, mushrooms and onions in the dish.

I am frustrated that I'm finding it very hard to walk at this point, but that's looking up, as well. Amy, who's done a few walking events with me, has suggested that we start training together again. I explained to her that I can barely walk two blocks at this point without needing to stop and sit down, but she was okay with that. She even suggested that during the winter we walk around the mall so there will be plenty of places for me to stop and take a rest.

I like this idea, but out of curiosity, I decided to count how many steps I can comfortably take before needing to stop: it's about 300, pretty sad. But now that I know this, I can add to it. I want to get to 350 soon, then 400, then eventually a mile -- what is that, about 5200? I just have to work up to that. By the time I'm able to do a mile, I'll be so much more functional. I'll be able to stand in line or walk around a museum or go shopping -- do all of that stuff that most take advantage of.

Thinking of walking a mile is hard right now, but if I break it down into steps, it somehow doesn't seem as bad.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Looking Ahead

Now that the new year has taken off, I'm making a point to be more active --even if it just means going to a movie or getting out of the house. I discussed my plan with my counselor and she agreed that forcing myself to do more stuff is a good way to get my energy back and then get into shape. So I started writing descriptions of all of my jewelry pieces so I can finally get my store going and also ordered tickets to a concert for Friday. I like having something to look forward to and I think by doing these things, it'll keep me out of "hibernation" mode. I also put on some jewelry and a new shirt when I returned to work. It's a small thing, but it made me feel good about myself to be a little more dressed up than usual. My counselor thought that this was a good idea, too.

Now that the snow has melted somewhat, it's a little easier for me to walk. I no longer have to take shuffling steps as I avoid ice patches and snow drifts, so I can walk more like a normal person. Just being able to do that has made me feel more optimistic. I'm also feeling less run-down, now that I had a three-day weekend. I heard on the radio that we're getting a minute more of daylight now and that will keep increasing. Yeah, winter has just begun, but the idea that spring isn't too far off and that we'll get more daylight is making me feel better, as well.

As for my eating, I've done pretty well over the past couple of days. I had cereal with milk and a banana for breakfast and then for lunch today, I had low-fat bison meatballs (really good!) with spinach, squash, brussel sprouts and carrot soup. Tonight, I'm having chicken. I can definitely sense a difference in my body when I eat "clean." I'm trying to get rid of all of the salt and sugar and carbs that I took in over the holidays.

For Friday, I'm trying to choose a restaurant, but I don't want it to be about the food: I want the night to be about spending time with Jon and enjoying an activity in the city. We're always talking about attending more concerts and shows, so why not? "Have more fun" is a good resolution to work on!

I know that I need to get back into exercising, but I really just want to lose some more weight first. My counselor has suggested that I try Tai Chi because it's supposed to give you an energy boost. I've never done this before, but I'm going to look online to see if there are basic videos. I'm kind of a klutz, but she swears that the moves are simple.

So this is where I'm at today. I'm in a much better place than I was a few days ago, mentally and physically, and am glad that I've started blogging again. It helped me deal with my broken leg last year, so I'm not sure why I stopped in the first place.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Year Of Ups And Downs

Happy New Year! Hope you all did something fun to ring in 2011. This New Year's Eve, we actually did something rather unusual: we stayed in. We almost always go to a party or out to dinner with friends, but after the year I've had, it felt appropriate to relax. So we settled down and watched the annual Twilight Zone marathon and hung out. When midnight hit, the cat jumped up on Jon's lap, so all three of us rang in 2011 together.

I can't say that 2010 was a BAD year because there were some highs, but there were also some pretty significant lows. It's been a terrible year for me health-wise. Aside from breaking my leg, I contracted a horrible bronchial infection this fall, which lasted about a month. That's why I haven't blogged much since November. I'm feeling a lot better now, but the illness wiped me out. I seriously didn't feel like doing anything, even meeting up with friends, and that was depressing. Happily, I began to come back to life in December. This is why this entry is so long; I have a lot to say!

Of course, there were many good things about 2010, as well. Breaking my leg could've been so, so much worse, but it wasn't and truth be told, I enjoyed having a long break from work. During that time, I became close to a friend of a friend, Karen, who's also my neighbor, and who helped me out a lot while I was temporarily disabled. Jon and I also celebrated our 10th anniversary with a lovely party and we took a few small trips this year.

And then, I began my jewelry making venture. I unfortunately haven't put a store together (that's one of my resolutions), but I have learned a lot about making jewerlry. It's something that I really love to do. I've made necklaces and bracelets for friends' birthdays and for holiday gifts, and it's great to see people getting so happy over receiving my handmade presents. I've also received compliments when I've worn my own pieces. But what I really like about making jewelry is the challenge and creativity involved. I'm always so excited when I pick up a new skill. I used to feel this way about music, but I've been playing the flute for so long that I feel as if I've reached the pinnacle of what I'll ever achieve with it. I still love music and hope to eventually record another album, but right now, creating beautiful jewelry is the thing that's making me happiest.

As for my weight loss efforts, well, I think you can guess that they haven't been going so well. I started this blog about a year ago (on January 3), so I'm disappointed in myself for not taking better care of myself. I don't really know how to get up the motivation, which is a bad thing, because it's reached a point where I can't live the way I want to. We had a blizzard here this past week and the snow affected me so much, more so than it did a lot of other people -- and I know that it's because of my weight.

For instance, when I go to the bus stop in the morning, I always sit on these steps as I wait for the bus to arrive. However, with the snow, the steps were covered and I had to stand in the street for about 15 minutes. This probably doesn't sound like such a big deal, but without having anything to sit on or even lean against, I was in PAIN. My husband came with me that day and let me try to lean against him, but it just wasn't working for me and I was crying. Finally, the bus came and I could sit and get the weight off of my knees and back.

It's also been difficult just to walk in the snow because of my leg. I'm nervous about slipping on the wet sidewalks, so I've been taking little, baby shuffling steps ... which are murder on my back and knees, and my ankle. With the snowy residue present, I could barely walk about 50 feet without having to stop. I met up with Scott for dinner the other day and I had to hold onto him as I shuffled my way to a nearby bus stop. I felt like I was an 80 year old. It was very frustrating.

Because I can't even stand for long periods of time, there's a lot I can't do. Obviously, I can't take long walks or dance at a club, but even just doing things like walking around the supermarket -- or looking at an exhibit at a museum -- are hard for me. I miss shopping, hiking and well, even just being able to stand at a bus stop without it being a big deal. At a friend's holiday party, a bunch of people were talking about their upcoming ski trip. Jon and I felt a little left out of the conversation because they were all going and we weren't invited, but realistically, I know that even the idea of me considering something like that is a joke because there's no way I'd be able to do anything active.

That said, I'm beginning to feel a bit trapped -- both in my apartment and my body -- but I am trying to make changes. After that holiday party, Jon and I walked to the train, which is over a mile away (this was before the blizzard). It felt great to be outdoors and to walk for fun, even though it took me over an hour to get there. I've also been taking fewer cabs in the city and have been walking to meet friends at restaurants and bars. Again, I have to stop at like every corner, but I'm making the effort.

Plus, I've been trying to eat better. There's this restaurant downstairs from my office called Pump Energy Food that serves healthy cuisine, so I've been ordering in from them every day. They have this great menu where you can choose fresh veggies and lean fats/meats, and have them in either a wrap, salad or platter. I've been getting the salad with spinach, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and bison meatballs. I then get a cup of carrot soup. The Pump has a ticker going that lists all of the calories and nutritional info in your order, so I've been keeping it to about 500 calories. That's a nice, hearty lunch and I'm getting several servings of veggies in.

In other news, I am no longer doing Weight Watchers. I've been on and off that program -- with some success -- for about seven years, but they recently decided to revamp their entire system. I'm not pleased with the new changes. They changed up their whole POINTS system so that I'm now supposed to be eating twice as many points as I was before. I figured that they'd just recalculated the points for foods, but the numbers seemed to be the same. It's all very confusing. Then when I tried to use the old grid for my food journal, it would no longer let me do that; my only choice now is to use the new version of their program. Needless to say, I'm annoyed with the whole thing and want to find a simpler and easier to understand program. I think I'm just going to go with the old-fashioned, "Eat 1500-1800 calories, making most of it from veggies and lean meats," system. I'd like to find another place where I can calculate my food and keep a journal, so if anyone has ideas, let me know. I'm not doing anything like Jenny Craig or Nutri-System or MediFast, etc. I know that these programs work for many people, but a big part of my problem is that I tend to treat weight loss like a "project" and stop trying when I reach a particular goal in a program. I liked WW because it wasn't set up to be a temporary thing and am disappointed that they decided to make all of these unncessary changes. I sort of wish I'd printed out the entire old points list so I could continue to use that, but I had no idea that they were suddenly going to switch things up. I'm getting pissed thinking about it, but it's not like I'd lost this great deal of weight, anyway.

I don't understand why losing weight is SO difficult for me. I don't even want to be thin anymore; I just want to be functional and normal. It's easy to say, "Oh, don't eat that," or "do this," or "drink water," but I seriously think that there's something wrong in my brain that makes me not know how to handle food. I'm not kidding. I'm a hard-working person who likes to chase goals and yet I just can't seem to do this. I know I'm the only one. I have a relative, who's also a hard-working person and is obese; she's gone on millions of diets, too, and she hasn't found success either. Some overweight people probably are lazy and do nothing but eat, but many of us aren't. I wish that more research would be done and they can just find a pill for me that makes me not think about food altogether.

I'm really going to try to lose in 2011, but honestly, I don't have a lot of hope anymore. I'm not being negative; I'm just being realistic. I think maybe I just need to accept that I'm going to be overweight and just try to do what I can with that.