Friday, June 28, 2013

New Pool

I didn't eat all day, not one bite until 8:00 pm, and I worked all day.  Who knew I had it in me?  Well, I thought I might have a heart attack at one point when I was so out of breath, but I lived.

My mom called me this morning mentioning the hot weather that's coming up, and she said, "I thought I'd buy you all a pool."

So, we all got out the door, went shopping, came home and set it up, and started filling it, at which time we discovered what I thought was flat ground had a nice slope.  So, we drained the pool, which took the rest of the day, and took the pool down.

I can't imagine what our neighbors think.  It looked like a circus over here.

We did all of this in 80 degree full sun, which compared to Texas, is not hot, I know, but for us it's HOT.  (My sister called us all wimps for sweating in 80 degrees.  We were not complaining, mind you, but apparently the mere act of sweating is enough to qualify us as wimps in the eyes of some Texans.)

It wasn't until all of that was done that I realized I'd walked out the door without eating breakfast and hadn't stopped for anything to eat all day.  I didn't even really feel that hungry.  I'll call it a day of fasting. 

Tomorrow we are moving the pool back a few inches and crossing our fingers that the ground will be flat enough.  If not, we'll have to look at doing something to level it. 

That was my day.  I hope it counts for something good.  If we have a pool to splash in this Summer, I'll call it good.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Slowly Moving in the Right Direction

I weighed 4 lbs. less this morning than I did yesterday morning.  Ah! The magic of menstruation!  That makes 3 lbs. lost in 2 weeks. 

Instead of just one round of sun salutations this morning, I did three.  I'm still not very fluid with my movement, and some of the poses are awkward, I think, because my body is simply too bulky to accomplish them nicely.  I'm getting better, though. 

I almost took a walk today.

I didn't sleep very well last night.  What is it about my body?  As soon as it gets horizontal and my eyes close my brain switches into high gear.  I itched like crazy last night too.  I don't know what time I fell asleep, but I didn't get out of bed until almost noon.  More menstruation magic. I never sleep well the night before my period starts or the first couple of days after.

I close with a little surprise from my garden.


I have a pepper!  I didn't know jalapeƱos could grow in my climate, so this made me very excited today.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Checking In

I babysat again today.  Does that count as a workout?  My tired body says, "Yes!"

My period started today.  This is good news because it means that the .5 lb gain on the scale is possibly an actual loss because I usually gain more than half a pound right before my period starts.

I did my 5 minutes of morning yoga and drank my breakfast smoothie.  I did those things around noon, but whatever.  Yay!

I have dinner in the oven, and my husband will be home soon.

I think I'll sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another Weekend, Another Bump in the Road

Well, once again my weekend indulgences have shown up on the scale.  BUT the jump up on the scale was a half pound less than last week's jump up.  SO, overall, I'm down a half pound, sorta, in a way.  I do need to approach weekends differently than I have been, and that's not new for me.  Weekends have been a problem for me for years.  I break my sleep schedule, I overeat, and I drink on weekends.  I basically undo all of the good things I've done for my body during the week.

Wait.  I just caught myself in a negative thought process that isn't helping.  I don't undo every good thing I've done.  I don't think that's true.  I do disrupt some of the systems I've begun to put into place, though, and until I get those systems firmly embedded into my life, it's not helpful to take such a drastic departure from them.

Or maybe I'm being altogether too hard on myself.  My period is due any second now.  That could easily account for the weight gain.  How about this?  I will count the overeating I did this weekend, and there was one night of out of control eating, as a learning experience.  Next time I'm in the same situation, which I certainly will be, I will handle it differently.  I already have a plan.

That said, I'm trying to gear myself up to start an exercise program.  I need something more than 5 minutes of yoga in the morning.  The yoga is very helpful.  It gets my blood circulating and deepens my breathing, which really wakes me up.  I'm also noticing better flexibility and less pain in my feet in the morning.  (My plantar fasciitis is back, resolved previously with daily walking and stretching.) I think it's time to add something more, though.

Three times last week, from three different sources, I got the message that exercise is daily medicine, not just a means of losing weight. (This article was one of the places the message appeared.) Exercise is a way of improving my mood and reducing stress, something that is as necessary to my well being as a pill that a doctor may prescribe for a medical condition. 

Instead of thinking of it as something I need to do every day so that I can achieve the desired result of being a certain weight somewhere in the distant future, I'm going to shift my thinking.  I will think of it as something that provides an immediate benefit.  It immediately improves my mood and my self esteem.  There are immediate and cumulative physical benefits, but the mental benefits are just as important.

I feed myself everyday.  I sleep everyday.  And now I resolve to move more everyday in an intentional way.  That's the best promise I can make myself.  I can't lock myself into a certain number of minutes or a certain type of activity, but I can promise to think about exercise differently and intentionally add more of it to each day.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Scale

Since Wednesday my weight has remained unchanged.  Not even up or down a tenth of a pound.  That seems really weird to me.  Again, I was thinking my scale must be broken, so I grabbed a couple of books nearby and got on the scale.  My weight went up by 1.6 pounds.  So, I confirmed that my scale is sensitive enough to recognize that I'm holding a couple of books, one of which needs to go back to the library today.

I just don't know why my body is insisting on holding on to every single ounce of fat right now.  I think early next week I'll have to do something to shake it up a bit. Wake my body up a bit. 

Tonight I'm meeting three of my girlfriends for a little BBQ and birthday cake, which I'm baking today, for one of us, the one of us who is having a birthday, that is.  I couldn't have found a more clumsy way to say that could I?  Well, you know what I'm trying to say, right?  I'm trying to say that I'm afraid my scale will see what I've done tonight in the morning.

Oh well, at least I'll know it cares enough to keep an eye on me.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Well, Look At That...

The sun did make an appearance today.  I had decided to make this a better day, anyway, but the sun showing up sure was nice.  We had lots of clouds too, but they kept floating across the sky, which left time to sit out on the deck and relax in the sun for several minutes at a time.

I did my morning yoga, had my smoothie, and got dinner (beef stew!) simmering on the stove all before noon.  Well, noonish.  I've also noticed I've been sleeping pretty well the last few nights.  I still wake up a few times, but I roll over and go back to sleep, and I'm still getting to bed later and sleeping in longer than I'd like, but it is an improvement.

Today is definitely an improvement over yesterday.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bad Day

My energy level is pretty low today.  It's chilly and there is no sun.  I think that may be part of the problem.  My face is all itchy and broken out too.  Oh! and I just remembered it's getting pretty close to THAT time of month.

I was sitting on my bed earlier about to pull a tarot card for the day when I looked over my shoulder at the big mirror on my dresser.  I saw a fat, fat woman.  She was fatter than I've ever seen myself.  I almost started crying, and I muttered, "Please, God, help me."  Sometimes I get low.

Anyway, I thought, "I need a pep talk," and I pulled three cards instead of one.  Click here to see what I drew.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


That weekend water weight I gained was gone this morning along with .3 pounds.  Hey, it doesn't take much to encourage me! It was enough to get me doing my little bit of yoga (It almost feels like I shouldn't mention it because I only spend 5 minutes right now.) and blending my smoothie.  I've done both of those things every day for almost an entire week.

I'm babysitting again today.  It's something I plan to do on a regular basis.  A friend of mine is having a health crisis which could be life threatening.  He's a stay-at-home dad, and his condition along with the medication he's taking makes him dizzy and tired.  It's a lot to handle when you're also taking care of a busy one year old baby.

I learned the last time I babysat that I wouldn't feel like making dinner after she goes home, so today I'm starting dinner before I go pick her up.  That way I'm committed, and I'm also half-way done. Smart, huh? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Food Day in Pictures

I'm going to snap a picture of everything I eat today.  This won't be a daily thing, but for today it's a guarantee I'll keep it light.  There is no way I would have taken pictures of my food yesterday.  I'll confess here, though.  A cup of coffee with half and half and stevia powder, a bowl of boxed macaroni and cheese, and way too many slices of pizza.  (If I had been snapping pictures every time I grabbed a slice, I know I wouldn't have eaten until bursting, and I know I wouldn't have opted for more as a snack before bed, which resulted in me having a horrible night.)

I'll upload pics tonight,...

I start my day every day with a cup of coffee with half and half and 1/4 tsp. of stevia powder.

I made my breakfast smoothie.  This is the good stuff that goes inside.

 For lunch I ate a grilled cheese sandwich (Colby-Jack and Provolone cheeses inside) on whole wheat with a half of a dill pickle.

My water bottle with a squeeze of fresh lemon...

For dinner we had Potato Kielbasa Skillet.  I didn't eat everything on my plate.  I was proud of myself for noticing when I was full and taking my plate away, even though it tasted SO good.

I pulled out my juicer for the first time in a couple of weeks and made some fresh green juice for myself and my husband.

And because I got the munchies in the evening, I had some chips and salsa.  I could have opted for guiltier pleasures, but since my dinner was pretty heavy I passed on the ice cream, and hey, at least it isn't a couple of slices of pizza.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekends Are Hard

My weekend of indulgent eating finally showed up on the scale this morning.  Since weighing myself four days ago, my weight remained unchanged each day until this morning.  I was beginning to think my scale was broken, but today my weight was up 1.3 pounds. 

I know it's water weight at this point, but I do need to be more mindful.  I say this as I sit here with a belly full of pizza.  Sigh.  I did have a meal planned for the night, but I ended up babysitting for a friend today, which was delightful, but chasing and playing with a 1 year old baby all afternoon made me very tired, so when my husband suggested ordering pizza I only had to think about it for negative .03 seconds. I think I said, "Okay," before he even got the suggestion out of his mouth.

Tomorrow I'm going to eat light and drink lots of water and hop right back into my healthier groove.  I think I might wait until the day after tomorrow to check the scale, though.  I'm feeling sore afeared.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Progress Report

I'm getting closer to living one of those ordinary days in my perfect life. For the last four days I've worked in my garden, planting, harvesting, and weeding; I've had a breakfast smoothie, complete with spinach from my little garden, and I've done a little basic yoga, not outside in my backyard, but in the privacy of my living room, even though the weather has been perfect.

 I've gotten a much later start each day than I'd like, but better late than never. The yoga has gotten easier after just four days, which amazes me. The first day when I tried moving from a cobra position into a downward dog, which requires flipping my toes and pushing my bottom into the air, I couldn't do it. I figured I was too bulky and heavy, and that movement was just not possible for someone my size. I can do it now.

I've really been enjoying my garden this week too.  It's just a little one, but when I look at it, I make plans in my head for additions to it.  I love watching the things I planted grow.  My kids are loving it too.  This is the first vegetable garden I've ever grown, and it's gratifying to be learning something new alongside them. 

There are other positive changes coming, to be sure, but for now I'm going to rest with this new routine I've created and get very comfortable with it before I try to add something new.  It seems to be working.  I can feel the clouds of depression lifting and burning off with the sun, and I'm looking forward to the day when getting dressed and walking out the front door feels normal again instead of being a stress-inducing chore.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


This lady is such an inspiration to me.  She is 76, and began her journey to becoming a bodybuilder at the age of 71.  It just proves that it really is never too late to get fit, and that being 45 is no obstacle for me.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Not So Comfy in My Skin

I've had eczema all my life.  Eczema is sort of a catch all term for crappy skin.  Anyway, sometimes it goes away.  Sometimes it's hella bad.  A couple of months ago I noticed the rashes seemed to be spreading and occurring with greater frequency, but after I started drinking my berry/spinach smoothies with kefir and chia seeds it seemed that the rashes on my arms were clearing up some.  I don't know if the smoothies deserve the credit, but it was enough to encourage me to keep drinking them.

Starting a few days ago, though, the rash on my arms came back with a vengeance.  I was disappointed because I thought the smoothies were helping, but apparently something else was going on.  Then Wednesday night I was so severely itchy that not even a dose of Benedryl could knock me out and make the itch go away.  I became convinced that my sheets were evil and I wanted to rip them off the bed, but I didn't because that would have disturbed my sweet sleeping hubby.

My husband bought new sheets in the beginning of the week, and although we washed them I thought maybe they needed more washing.  Yesterday morning I stripped the bed and checked the tag on the sheets.  Mystery solved!  They are 47% polyester.  Polyester is not such a great thing on my bare skin.  My husband went out and got 100% cotton sheets yesterday, and I slept much better last night. Now I'm looking at my clothes and see that so many of my t-shirts are cotton-poly blends.  No wonder I itch all the time. I'm not sure what to do about it because I can't go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but at least I don't have to sleep in polyester anymore.

Anyway, I'm hoping that eating better, exercising, drinking more water and reducing stress will not only help me lose weight and relieve my depression but will also have a positive impact on my skin. 

Speaking of eating, today is grocery shopping day.  My menu for the week:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fresh Start!

I've been doing a fair job of keeping up with my first couple of goals that I set for myself.  I have had a morning smoothie,...most days,...and I've made dinner out of real food for myself and my family,...most days.  There has been some pizza and potato chips, but it has never been my goal to cut anything I enjoy out of my life entirely, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

I finally got around to trying sun salutations today.  I just found a quick little video on Youtube and gave it a go.  I felt a bit like a beached whale trying to move from pose to pose, but it is my goal to memorize and practice these few poses each morning until I master them.

Also, I had a moment of bravery today and hopped on the scale.  Ack!  I weigh 5 pounds more than my all time high, but it's 5 or 10 pounds less than I had feared, so overall it's good news for me today.  I'm glad I finally faced that monster (the number on the scale) that has been lurking and keeping me scared. 

I'm trying really hard not to hate myself for gaining back all of the weight, plus 5 pounds more, that I had previously lost.  Water under the bridge, right?  No use crying over spilled milk, and all that rot, yeah? Yeah! Okay, 30 second pity party over.

In honor of my new goal and having a number to measure my progress I'm posting a new "before" picture:

It feels more official and less wishy-washy now that I've posted actual stats.  While weight loss isn't my only goal, being overweight is one of the biggest factors keeping me from living joyfully and healthfully, which is my ultimate goal.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

For almost two months now nothing but elastic waistbands have touched these hips and this waist of mine.  The last time I wore a pair of jeans was on April 16th when I met a couple of girlfriends for dinner.  I remember that night well.  I grabbed my fat jeans, which, come to think of it, have elastic in the waistband.  I put them on only to discover they were too tight, despite the elastic that was stretched to the breaking point. Do you know how depressing that is?  I wore them anyway because I didn't have anything else that was suitable for a night out.

As soon as we finished dinner I ducked out.  I couldn't wait to get home and out of those torturous jeans and back into my friendly pajamas.  When I got home and took the jeans off I saw that  they had left angry red imprints all around my middle.  It hurt, inside and out.

The most comfortable jean?  Not when they are two sizes TOO small. 

Well, today I decided to try them on again.  It was really scarey because I've been feeling vulnerable, but I had a good night's sleep last night (Halleluia! Asleep around 1:00 am and up at 10:30 am.) so I wondered if maybe I was making tangible progress anywhere else.  I put on the jeans and they fit comfortably.  Now, I'm tempted to think that it could just be that I'm in the right place in my monthly cycle to try on jeans, but I do think maybe I've lost a half inch or so around the middle, just enough to make the jeans wearable again.

Anyway,...yay! :-)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ugh.  Another night has passed with no sleeping.  I fell asleep somewhere around 5:00 this morning.  Even then I didn't sleep well.  Maybe this will tell you what kind of sleeper I am.  I need to go out and buy new sheets because I have rubbed two holes in them; one where my foot digs in and one where my elbow digs in when I roll over, which is probably a hundred times a night.

I did a sleep study once.  I didn't sleep.  I told the doctor I wouldn't sleep because I know I never sleep the first night in a new place.  Anyway, in the morning, I learned from the technician in charge of me for the evening that the staff made fun of me all night.  She had to make a note on my chart every time I moved, and I guess she didn't get much time to rest during the evening either.

Sleeping pills do not work for me.  I've tried every kind, prescription, over the counter, natural remedies, you name it.  There was one thing my doctor prescribed that worked really well until all of a sudden it started causing me to have upsetting jerky muscle spasms.

Wine works. I'm trying not to drink wine so much though because it also helps make me fat.  Besides, when I drink wine every night I need to drink more and more to actually sleep.  I wake up hating myself.  Wine is not a good sleep medication.

You might think that after enough nights of not sleeping eventually I will start sleeping again if I just keep getting up at my regular time.  Not necessarily.  I went through a period of not sleeping once, and I made myself get up every morning and not take naps.  I was sure that my body would get into a rhythm, and I would sleep again at night.  It didn't happen, and my mental health deteriorated badly.  I had, what I guess would be called in the old days, a nervous breakdown.  I ended up on anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants, and I started seeing a therapist.  I've learned that when I go through a period of insomnia, I need to catch sleep whenever I can, even if it is in the middle of the day.

My skin is also broken out right now.  I've had eczema my whole life, been to countless doctors, tried countless therapies, both medical and natural, and I've never found a cure for myself.  I've had long stretches where its gone into remission, and I've had extremely bad flares.  Right now it's just annoying.

I'm not complaining or whining, just documenting what I'm experiencing right now because these are a couple of health issues that have plagued me through the years and contribute to my depression. I'm wondering if healthy living would create a spontaneous healing of these issues. I hope to find out.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Well, my morning routine experiment didn't happen.  I couldn't sleep last night because of both a sick little girl and mind chatter.  Mostly mind chatter.  So, when my alarm went off at 9:00 am, not 7:00 because I decided to be gentle with myself since I have not been up before 11:00 am in a long time, I turned it off and rolled over.

I'm going to have to work myself into an earlier waking time.  I really would like to see what listening to morning bird song and drinking fresh hot coffee on the back deck feels like.

I'm also going to look up how to do sun salutations because, although I can envision myself doing them every morning in my perfect life, I have never actually done them.

I did get some really good ideas for my novel, though, and I got some gardening time in.  For lunch I had a salad made with fresh spinach cut from my very own garden.  That's the first time in my life I've ever done that.

I'm not giving up on the morning routine experiment, just delaying it until I can get a good night's rest.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I've been thinking about conducting a little experiment.  I have this version of my perfect life in my head, but it's a cloudy and vague version.  That could be because I have many versions of the perfect life, a lot of ways I could be content, or it could be because I've never really solidified my vision.  I wonder what it would be like to live an ordinary day in my perfect life. 

I wonder if I could wake up tomorrow and go about my daily routine (which is currently non-existent) as if I were living my perfect life.  I already know one thing that would make it difficult for me to do.  In my perfect life I sleep well, and I definitely get out of bed earlier that 1:00 pm, which is the time I got up today.  Still, maybe if I make a plan and then try it out for a day I could see if I would even enjoy living this perfect life I think I want.

An ordinary day in my perfect life:
  • 7:00 am - Get up, wash my face, moisturize, get dressed, etc.
  • 7:15 am - Do Yoga Sun Salutations (outside if the weather is as gorgeous as it is right now)
  • 8:00 am - Coffee on the deck (again, weather permitting...trying to break the sit-in-front-of-the-computer-upon-waking habit)
  • 8:20 am - Make a  breakfast smoothie
  • 8:30 am - Putter in my garden (I actually do have some neglected gardening to do and the weather is perfect right now.)
  • 9:30 am - Work on my current novel (In my perfect life, I would already have a published novel or two out there in the world.  In fact, I do have a couple in the works that I'd love to finish.)
Around noon I would make a yummy lunch and sit down with my kids or maybe I would meet my mom for lunch somewhere.  I'd start dinner in the afternoon, make time to tidy up the house, have dinner with my family in the evening.  Later in the evening the kids would be off with their friends, doing their own thing and my husband and I might sit down together, watch a movie or maybe we'd have a few friends over to play Texas Hold 'Em or Rock Band.

I have other versions of this that include working in my glass studio...rehearsing with my band,sitting on the deck and writing a new song on my guitar or heading off to play rehearsal where I have the female lead.   Those are dreams I gave up on already, though, but I can still tinker with my glass and play my guitar for fun anytime I like. I could audition for a part in a play at the community theater downtown. 

What a lovely life I could have if I just let myself do it.    I think tomorrow I'll get up and at least try out that morning routine up there.  My body may have different plans at 7:00 in the morning, but it would be fun to give it a try, and I do have some gardening to do...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

After running out of planned menu items, I fell back on the old standbys of Chinese takeout and pizza because I didn't make it back to the grocery store earlier in the week like I had promised myself.  I did continue to have a berry/spinach with kefir smoothie every morning.  I'm back on the meal planning wagon again today, though.

Dinner menu for the week:

  • White Chicken Chili
  • Steak, Baked Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli
  • Tacos
  • Taco Rice Casserole (using leftover taco meat and brown rice)
  • Tuna Melts and Tomato Soup (I'm going to cheat and use the canned garbage, er stuff because I have a can in the pantry, but I do want to try and make this from scratch next time.)
I also managed to get some more sunshine today.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The sun came out today!  It's been a long time.  Last time we had sun it stuck around for a whole week.  I made a point of getting fifteen minutes or so of sunshine everyday, and I felt so much better.  I promised myself I would go sit on the deck in the sun every day that it shows up, which is not enough for my taste, but I'll take all I can get.

Vitamin D deficiancy has been linked to depression, and I live in a state that is pretty far North of the equator.  That and the fact that if I'm going to get depressed, it almost always happens in the Winter, makes is seem likely that Vitamin D is a factor for me.  So, I put on a tank top and some shorts and went and caught me some rays!