Monday, February 27, 2017

I'm still here!

Once in a while I hit a lull in the old blogging, and I guess February was the month for it!

Well, I am still here and actually, things have been going well since we last left off. I've been working with my trainer consistently, and even though I had a "bad" eating week just after my last post, I recovered in time not to do too much damage. I was back up to 308, weight-wise, but motivated enough to turns things around AND keep up on my exercise. Today I came in at 301, a number I have not seen since December. It feels good! I am finally back in a good eating frame of mind, trying to get in more fruits and veggies, and watching portions. Generally I have been doing Intermittent Fasting (16:8 or so) and that's working out fine.

I'm not doing anything hardcore or absolute (except maybe the strength training). I am just taking it day by day and seeing how well I can do without thinking too much about what lies ahead.

I do really hope to be sub-300 by the end of the week, though! I got to see 300 even on Saturday, post-workout, which was very cool. I knew it wasn't a true weight, of course, but still. It definitely buoyed my spirits.

Keeping it short for now mainly because I have also been pretty busy lately! Will be back with more soon – just know that I have been at this for almost three years now (May 2014), and I haven't given up on myself as I have done so many – too many – times before. I love that.

(Oh, and PS – my trainer said that once I hit 280 again, he'll have me working on the real barbell instead of the trap bar! Exciting!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Still Feeling Good

Two days into the week and I am still feeling good.

Today is, of course, Valentine's Day, but I've never been one so big on it. At my house, we're going to split a Whitman's sampler (my share over several days, no worries!), and I'm making homemade heart-shaped pizzas for dinner! In advance of this, I had a Panera Green Goddess salad that was very delicious but happened to be missing the chicken – not a disaster, of course, but I was looking forward to the protein. (Yes, I chatted with their customer service and got credit for a free something or other next time, so that is good.)

I really do feel like I have a much better handle on food lately. Again, I don't know if it's the medication or a mind shift, or both... I'm riding this wave with a big smile on my face. It just feels good to not be so out of control, you know? I was getting desperate.

This week I have regular activities planned, as ever:

Monday: Training with Rick (mostly upper body strength, and some core)

Tuesday: PT (lunges, squats, ladder work, bridges – I was sweating!); I also took about a 15 minute walk at lunch

Wednesday: Training with Rick (probably more of the same in variation)

Thursday: REST

Friday: PT exercises, plus a walk

Saturday: Training with Rick (ad infinitum)

Sunday: PT exercises, plus a walk (maybe go to the gym?)

Today at PT – oh, it was pretty great! I am now down to once a week for the next couple weeks and it sounds like next week he'll be letting me do some run/walking. He had me do a little test today involving the agility ladder (see photo). This was really fun because I got to do a little bit of "running" – the first go through was a step from each foot in each section; the second was one foot in each section (like regular running). I had to go up and down the ladder three times for each variation. It was a little tiny workout that had my blood pumping for sure! Apparently I passed, right, with the modified schedule? Yeah! I am blown away by how quickly Steve helped me through this, and how much stronger he is making me for running. So great!

(Also a shout out to PT student Jessica who worked with me a bit today! She was very nice, and made me feel great. At one point she told me that I was her inspirational quote for the day – "Just everything!" she said. I had been telling her my story. Also, she couldn't believe I was almost 47, which is always nice.)

photo source
That said, on that little bit of a walk today on lunch break, I realized how much of that kind of fitness I've lost a bit. Sure, I've been going to the gym and doing short bits on the treadmill, but it's a whole different thing when you're outside walking. I felt a little discouraged, but at the same time it was great – just to keep on keeping on, not giving up on myself at all.

I'm just soaking up the positivity my own being is generating over here. 

Even better is that Friday is a designated work at home day, since our office is moving to a new location (I get my own office, wow!), AND holiday on Monday! I'm so looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Good Week!

Finally, a good week to report about. I still don't know if it's the medication I am now taking that's made such a dramatic difference in my mindset, but whatever it is, I am happy. I feel much more even-keeled, much less food-obsessed, maybe a little less anxious and definitely less depressed, if at all.

As a result, I:

• Ate fairly well, or at least had an easier time balancing the good and not-so-good stuff, i.e. I had a donut one day, I had a couple chocolate bars, I had a large take-out lunch yesterday, etc. but I didn't really go overboard overall (though I definitely ate more than I really needed to once or twice, and I felt it).

• I lost a few pounds after being up to 308 at the beginning of the week.

• I had a busy week of activity!

Monday: Training with Rick at the gym (these always last an hour and usually consist of about 15 minutes warm up on the treadmill and the rest in various strength training activities)

Tuesday: Physical therapy. I'm usually there for just under an hour, not constantly doing exercise but probably a good 30 minutes of it. Includes things like stretching, step-ups, squats, lunges, ladder work.

Wednesday: Gym

Thursday: REST

Friday: PT

Saturday: Gym

Today: PT exercises and a 15-20 minute walk, plus housecleaning

This coming week looks about the same. I'm excited to keep up the momentum and finally get below 300 again soon. I'm also really digging feeling strong and happy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What a Difference a Day (or Two) Makes

Today for the first time in a long time I had a relatively easy time waking up a little earlier than usual so that I could take a bath before work. As I went through my routine, I realized that my mind felt a little clearer, a little less grumpy... to be honest, I felt very positive, almost Pollyanna-like!

I've only been taking my new meds for less than a week, so I don't know if they are already having this effect on me, or if it is wishful thinking, or just my own "bootstrapping" or putting my big girl panties on... ugh, I hate that phrase. Whatever it is it is a welcome change and I hope it lasts! It's good to have a nice day that comes from within, you know?

Monday's evening workout was fine, but I was definitely feeling a little agitated, grumpy, I don't know. I was feeling really resentful of my body and hated that there were so many mirrors around to avoid. I know, this is a terrible way to be. Sometimes I am fine about it, and sometimes I just don't want to deal with the reality of what it is right now, is all. You know?

I am glad that I have two places where I can go to work out – one being the small gym where I usually meet up with Rick that is more weight-lifting focused, and the other being LA Fitness. We were at LA on Monday and it was crowded and we were trying to be discreet about our training, which makes things weird for me – he's not a trainer at LA anymore and technically he's not supposed to train people there independently, which I get. On the other hand, we're both paying members so I kind of don't see what the problem is if my friend (which Rick is) guides me through my workout while he does his own thing as well. Anyway. I'm one of those people who feel uncomfortable when rules aren't being followed (even though I am totally anti-authoritarian, by the way), and it just causes me anxiety. So we'll see how it goes tonight at my next session.

PT was GREAT yesterday and I am so glad that I decided to go back. My leg feels greatly improved and it sounds like I might not need many more appointments – Steve (the PT) said to wait and see how Friday goes and he'll decide what's next. I do know that he won't be letting me run the Shamrock Run in early March ("You can walk it," he said), so... well, I doubt I could have run the whole thing anyway, being an 8K and all. Fortunately, it is a very walker-friendly race. I am still feeling optimistic.

The third leg of this stool is my eating, of course. And so far, on day 3 of trying to shift back into a good place, things are going well. I'm logging food and trying to make better choices and trying not to get caught up in binge behavior and it's been fine. So strange how some days (weeks, months) can be SO HARD and others can just not even have to be thought about. Some things I have in mind for the coming however long:

• Getting back down below 300 pounds (6 to go right now) and staying there. If nothing else, just don't break that threshold again, no matter what. That's my focus right now. Then I'll move to what comes next.

• After a break from weighing, I realize that monitoring it on a regular basis is a helpful tool, as long as I can keep my emotions in check, which I generally can. It's too easy to bury your head in the sand and ignore the reality of how much weight is coming back on (though of course you can also tell by the way your clothes fit, which is very effective, too).

• My hair is driving me nuts today. I'm not sure why! I washed it this morning and I thought it would end up looking nice and feeling good, but the opposite happened. I just don't like the feeling of it on my head today, which sounds weird but it's the only way I can describe it.

• I need to remember that the key to the success I am looking for is to keep going. Looking back on things overall, I have had the tendency to slack off a day right after, say, a good week. Then that sets up for falling back into bad habits. So moving forward, I need to remember how important this is. No resting on laurels anymore! Keep doing the work!

• I love meditation, even just in the small doses I've been practicing (5–10 minutes at a time). I take it with me everywhere I go, if you know what I mean. I can always pull it out when I need some mindfulness or to de-stress. I'm going to continue expanding this practice!

Monday, February 6, 2017

One week later...

Well, it's been quite an extraordinary week. But not in a good way. It's been pretty tough, to be honest. I am just grappling with/against myself so much – feeling good about getting a label on what's been going on with me (major depression) and starting to take meds for it (no side effects, yet!) – but also having that cripple me a bit, too. I'm holding onto it for dear life and I'm not sure why.

So this past week I took a break from everything. From the gym, from PT, from worrying about calories, from caring about a lot of things. I took a personal day off work on Friday. I needed it.

I basically wallowed a lot in nothingness.

Over the weekend I was getting a little bit sick of it and took little steps toward positivity and taking care of myself in the way I need to. Just stuff like going to the grocery store and cooking meals, cleaning in bits and pieces – doing laundry (not last minute!), cleaning out the medicine cabinet, making the bed each morning, stuff like that. It doesn't seem like much as I type it out, but at the time it felt like I was busy and productive. I guess that is how deep I was.

OK, I did go to the gym on Wednesday. I dragged myself there and I told Rick I didn't want to do anything. He put me on the treadmill for my easy walk warmup (15 minutes) and by the time I was done with that, I felt a little better. He had me focused on upper body with dumbbells, and (since I was doing them in PT) some squats, too. While doing those he reminded me of back when I first started doing those under his training and how I needed to be near a bar for stability, and now how strong I am. That felt good.

I'm going back today for my regular Monday appointment after work, and I've determined to go back to PT, too. I've been going back and forth about my feelings about running but I think that has been more about the depression creeping in with its negative thoughts rather than really not wanting to do it anymore. It's been easy to get down on myself about it, but the truth is I really miss doing it regularly and improving steadily. I was on a real roll there last spring in particular! I can get back there, and beyond.

Oh, and I've been wearing LuLaRoe leggings an awful lot lately, which is not really good when you want to lose some poundage – your clothes always feel comfy! I wore pants today fresh out of the washer and... they are the tightest they've been in a long time. Thankfully they have a little stretch so they're not uncomfortable, but to me this really says, "Move it or lose it!", i.e. do something NOW so that you don't outgrow your friggin' clothes, girl! I can outgrow them if they fall off me, but not if I'm bursting out of them. I wanted to feel good about myself today, so I wore a comfy black jersey shirt, the black pants, and my Fleuvog boots. If I feel confident in my clothes I will have a better day. It's just a fact.

I'm just trying to hang on to myself, more or less.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Lately.

Since I last wrote, I have mixed feels. On one side, hopeful and grateful; on the other, completely devastated and ground down and unable to do anything.

I told you that I scheduled an appointment with my GP on Friday. Well, I went, and I am so glad I did. That man, Dr. Sonjoy Singh, is one of the most compassionate and kind and supportive people I have ever encountered and I feel so very lucky to have him on my side.

Basically, aside from the weight gain, it was all pretty good news. My blood pressure is still a bit high as I suspected, but nothing was said to me about it (Well, the nurse said, "Not too bad!" It was 140/80, if you were curious. When I was in the 270s last time I was at the doc, it was completely normalized in the 120s). My blood work was still all in the normal range! I was really happy about that and felt lucky more than anything. One thing that was noted was that my thyroid levels were borderline low, so doc wants me to have another blood test in about three months to see if it's just a blip, which is often the case, or something that needs to be looked at more closely. He said that it is something that could be contributing to weight gain and depression symptoms... though since this is the first time it's shown up, maybe not. I guess we'll see!

Another thing that we talked about was my depression as of late, which includes my frustration and sadness about my weight gain, and what to do about it. For the first time maybe ever I am relieved to have been prescribed medicine that I will take on a regular basis – he is trying Bupropion on me, to treat both the depression and to possibly aid what I described to him as a "voracious" need to eat lately. Bupropion (also known as Wellbutrin) has been known to give you a little more energy, lift your mood, and for some people, diminish appetite. So I'll be really interested to see how it works for me and will keep you posted once I start taking it tomorrow.

That gives me hope, like a little yellow life raft in a big, raucous sea of chaos and stress. I won't go into it here, but there are several factors (including things much bigger than you and me!) contributing to this and I have more or less just been trying to hang on to my sanity.

In fact, when my doctor first walked into the exam room and asked cheerily how I am doing, it took all of a minute for the waterworks to start. I didn't really know how much I'd been keeping locked up inside me – basically I've been trying to hold myself together, like I said. So when I felt like I was really able to open up to someone and be completely honest about how I was doing, well... I bawled for several minutes while he listened patiently.

We ended up having a great chat and I left the office looking somewhat forward to the next three months, and what I could potentially achieve for myself during that time. Thank you, Dr. Singh.

Physical therapy was going well. My leg has been mostly feeling better already. But the very early morning appointments are killing me, and with the other stuff going on in my life right now I just can't do it, not this week anyway; same with gym appointments. So my plan is to continue doing the PT exercises I've already been given on my own, see how I feel next week... and I may try to meet up with Rick on Wednesday just because. But today, I just can't do it. It was triumph enough to get myself up and off to work. I feel totally flattened.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Poison



Listen, things have felt impossible lately. Truly. I've been so frustrated with myself, but apparently not enough to really try to change how I've been behaving.

I guess I will start with the positives, because there are some:

• I started going to PT to get my leg fixed up. Turns out it's my hamstring and probably the sciatic nerve causing me trouble, so it'll be appointments twice a week for 4–6 weeks. I'm so grateful it's not something more serious. I've only been to two appointments so far and already the exercises (stretching and strength) are kicking my butt – but also making it feel better, too! I also asked Steve, my physical therapist, whether it is just ridiculous for someone like me (i.e. my size) to even try to run or do the things I want to (like the half marathon in October). He said, no, definitely not, but that it would really benefit me to continue to work on my fitness, and that yes, weight loss would help (though he seemed hesitant to say that straight out despite my encouragement, that was the gist). And that I have to train smart, of course – NOT overdo it like I did at the Winter Warrior race. It's obvious that six miles, whether walking or running, whether divvied up into two segments, was just too much for me at that point.

That made me feel better. Kind of. It means I am in control of my fate – which I suppose is always true, but still.

• I got my blood drawn for testing ahead of my annual physical with my GP tomorrow. Hopefully the test results come in before my appointment. I am really curious to see if things have taken a backslide and if so, how much. It is my hope that a chat with the doc and some cold, hard facts might not snap me back into taking better care of myself again. I have a feeling that my blood pressure will be up again, just because of my stress levels affected by things at home but also in our cruel, cruel world. It is no secret to anyone who knows me how freaked out I am about the turn of events in our country. It's a lot to worry about! It's true that I have kept up with a decent activity level, and that I meditate pretty regularly these days, but I don't know if that's enough to counteract the other factors and my poor eating as of late. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

I'm not sure what else to say about what's going on with me that won't sound like rehash. It's just all rehash of the crappiest crap I have posted about before. Weight-wise, I'm probably headed straight for 310 which pisses me the F off.

Ha! I say it like I am an innocent bystander who has no control of the outcome. I also say it like it's inevitable and even permanent.

It's not! Of course it isn't. I don't want this for myself, and I can stop it.

Here's why I want to lose weight again, not gain it:

• I don't want to outgrow my clothes. I refuse to buy bigger ones again, and I already tossed all my too-big clothes. (Smart move, I'd say!!!)

• I. Want. To. Run. I want to run more easily and safely and fun-ly.

I don't have to lose 100 pounds to have these things. At this point, losing just 20 pounds would put me in a good place. 20 pounds, if I do things right, would just fall off me.

That's why this is all so ridiculous. Every day I have a choice to make about how I am going to treat myself, how I am going to honor my body. Lately, every day, I choose crap and I choose to (what feels like) poison myself. I stuff myself beyond what my body needs.

I'm really not sure what it is going to take to get back to a good place again. I'm really hoping the support of my doctor will help. I will continue exercising at least 3–4 times a week, and I will continue meditating and trying to calm myself the F down already.

Please, will you think good thoughts for me? If you regularly read but never comment, I sure would appreciate a shout out today. Thanks in advance, my dears.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Help Yourself

I'm trying to help myself out of this murderous slump.

Step one: Made a doctor's appointment for my annual physical – I had one last year in April, but didn't go for my follow-up in October. (oops!) Not "oops". I did that intentionally because I was embarrassed that I gained more weight. Well, fuck that now. I should have gone. Maybe I wouldn't have gained even MORE weight like I have. Maybe I need to feel a little embarrassed in front of my doctor, who has been so supportive and awesome the past couple years. So yeah, I made an appointment for next week.

Step two: Make a PT appointment. I filled out the on-line form for the guy I have heard countless amazing things about from fellow runner friends. This knee-now-leg thing is worse today, so that stairs are quite painful. Enough! Until I can see him, I'll rest and/or adjust my workouts so that I'm not doing more damage to my leg, which means no running. Not even walking right now, to be honest, because it hurts that much. &%$#!!!

Step three: I picked up my new talisman, an old cross country team hoodie from high school, from a former teammate last night (thanks again, Nanette!) Surprisingly, I could actually get the thing on!

At left, from the team yearbook photo in fall 1984 – me on top, Nanette below. (She doesn't have the same
hoodie on in that photo as the one she gave me, how funny!) I was originally #12. 11 is just fine. 

There is something about having this that makes me so happy. I tend to hate on my hometown a lot, but things like this – and the limited memories I have about being on the team – remind me that I had a pretty good time and place growing up in many ways. That team had the best coach and the best teammates. Even back then I always came in last, but they always, always had my back and made me feel good about what I was doing. You know, I wasn't fat back then (though I thought I was), but running was just about as hard for me as it is now. I was just never particularly athletic, despite my best efforts. 

Step four: Find ways to stay active without hurting my leg more. I have plenty of options. I'll still meet with Rick twice a week and we'll do modified workouts. I can go swimming. I can do upper-body focused stuff or even seated workouts! I can do stretching!

Another photo at Winter Warrior that popped up since my last post about it! Photo by the lovely Barb Boutillier. 

Step five: Remember the joy I experienced getting back out and doing a big race like the Winter Warrior, and how bad ass (or stupid???) it was to be out there despite frigid temps pushing myself out of my comfort zone... I just need to remember that I have limits, and that that's OK. I have to do right by my body and where it's at now, even if that means NOT doing all the things I want to do at the moment. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Feeling Low

You guys, I've been having a super hard time so far in the new year. I had such high hopes for myself, and it's like I've headed in the totally opposite direction. The one thing that has been fairly consistent is exercise, but I feel like that has been slightly curtailed because my stupid knee has been bothering me again since the race.

Let me talk about that a little bit more. I am glad that I challenged myself to doing what I did, but looking back and knowing how things turned out well, I'm sorry that I felt like I had something to prove – to who? I guess mainly myself but truth be told to everyone else, too. 300 pound woman CAN run and do races! You know?

But all I ended up doing was hurting myself. Ever since then my usual knee has been bothering me more intensely again. It's in a different way than it used to – more in the back than at the top – but it is still bothersome and discouraging. I'll be honest. I really, really don't want to go back to physical therapy. It's time consuming and hard and tiresome and... ugh. I know I sound like a baby but it's how I feel. So I've been trying to take it easy and haven't run since Wednesday. On Saturday I did have a gym workout, but Rick took pity on me and it was a lot more easy-going stuff and talking things out than anything. In fact, I ended up crying about half the session. I told you, I'm having a really hard time! It all came rushing out that morning!

My eating has been, frankly and in a nutshell, shitty. One of the things that Rick and I talked about was what I needed to do to get a better handle on that, like meal planning and prep, and smart shopping. If it's not in the house, I can't eat it! I also talked about my issues at work and sometimes getting out of control there if I don't bring my own lunch. I can really be my own worst enemy and end up with twenty dollars worth of fast food that makes me feel like total and utter crap. There are many days when I make much better decisions, like walking to Panera for a salad, but man. My mind was really not in the right place last week.

I haven't gotten on the scale in at least a few days, and I am scared to. All I can do right now is try to get hold of myself and do the best I can each day. I can check in with my partner about lunch when I am at work, and I know he will be encouraging and supportive to do what is best for me. That will be the biggest challenge.

It's been a long time since I have dealt with such down feelings for this long a stretch and I am not sure what I should do about it. I've been toying with the idea of seeing a therapist but at the same time I'm not sure if I want to go there. I'd like to work things out and maybe see this as a chance to think about what things I do (and eat!) will make me feel good and go from there. I understand that if I am really dealing with depression, it's not something I can just pull myself out from on my own – I guess I just want to wait and see.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Notes on the Struggle

I suppose it is not unusual for me to tell you in this blog that I have been having a hard time. But when I really am having a hard time, everything feels impossible and horrible, and that's what I've been going through especially in the past couple weeks. Basically, I'm my own worst enemy these days.

The one difference this round is that I am working through it anyway. As in, I'm getting out there and getting the work done, when it comes to the physical stuff. I'm doing the best I can (mostly) with the food and eating, but I am basically kicking butt when it comes to the activity part. Ever since Rick challenged me to dedicating myself to six days a week, I have been on a mission to make this a "full time" endeavor. This was based on a convo we had the day of my half marathon relay race, during our session together earlier in the day (the race started at 4pm), where he was saying that at that point, I was doing it like a part-time job, maybe 30 hours (metaphorically). He wanted to see me at full time. That really stuck with me and got me very motivated. So full time it is as much as I can. As I have mentioned before, my schedule now includes three days of running and three days of cross-training (two days with Rick and one day on my own).

Representing the Fleet Feet with the splatter! Also, glasses pretty much always fogged up.

I've been enjoying the challenge and pushing myself out of my comfort zone a bit – of course, not so much as to hurt myself! This past Saturday was the biggest example of that when I did two 3.3 mile legs of a half marathon relay with my friend Amy F. First of all, I haven't done that many miles on foot in a while; second, it was really, really cold – in the teens (degrees F) cold. One advantage I had was that I did legs 1 and 4, which meant I had a good hour and 20 minutes or so in between while Amy did her two legs in a row, and I got to hang out in a warm car for most of that time. BUT that still didn't negate the difficulty I had finishing. In fact, when I came in after the first leg, I told her that I wasn't sure I could do another one, and I really meant it.

Once she came back in, though, I felt determined to complete what I came to achieve and not disappoint myself like I did back in July at the Tuscarora 10K (DNF) – see, I still dwell on that! Never again unless I am really hurt, I tell you what. No more DNFs if I can help it. So, I strapped on the relay bib and made my way to finish the last leg. By that time it'd been dark for a while, but the course was well-lined with enthusiastic volunteers, and since it was in a business park, it was mostly well-lit, too. I had finally got my music to work (I ran without on the first leg, much to my disappointment) and I was just ready to get it done so that we could all go someplace warm and eat and drink to our heart's content. I was definitely slower the second time out, but I did run/walk both times and still fell well under the recommended 18:00 pace to complete the race in the time allotted. It turned out that the race had plenty of walkers participating, so I was in good company.

Long story shorter, I finished. I finished! I did 6.6 miles total. I cried at the end! Drama! Excitement! Etc. etc.

Finishing up the first leg at just under 55 minutes, which is right around what I expected. (photos by Barb Boutillier)

The next day, I could almost barely move until much later in the evening. Oh, my aching bones. By Monday, I felt relatively normal again. I had my usual appointment with Rick even though I really didn't want to go. On Tuesday, I had a rough morning for various reasons and ended up taking a sick day from work; but I ended up going to the fancy gym I used to go to as a guest of an old friend after much napping and much hemming and hawing about not wanting to go because I felt so shitty (mentally, physically, everything). After texting my friend a bit, I decided that going to the gym would definitely make me feel better, so that's what I did. (And yes, I felt really good afterward as predicted.)

Me and some of my gals! (Clockwise from center top: Amy F., me, CeCe, Angela, Kathy, and Ginny! Angela and Ginny did the whole half marathon on their own. Kathy was part of a team and CeCe (Angela's daughter) was our support gal!)

I'm making what feels like some progress, even if it is just doing the work, you know what I mean? Yet I have still been beating myself up massively. I've been really mad at my body for being what it is, to be honest. Yes, I know that on one hand my body is super amazing and can do lots of cool things, but all I seem to be able to focus on lately is all the things about it that I don't like and all the resentment I have for the way that it can't perform – like not being able to run faster, or having a very big belly that gets in the way of many things and just looks stupid (sorry, I know it sucks to say that but I am being totally honest here!) and bounces too much, blah blah blah. I feel like it has been impossible to lose weight lately. I am still hovering just over 300 pounds.

(Rick did tell me to stop using the scale to measure my progress, but it is a hard habit to break! He said, no scale for January except a food scale! Have I listened? Not as much as I should. When I see a gain, it pisses me off and throws me off track, and when I see a loss it makes me lose focus a bit for some reason – hasn't always been like this but has been lately. It's poisonous.)

It occurred to me after reading a post on the blog Runs with Cookies (see sidebar) that I might just be dealing with an acute bout of depression. It all adds up when I think about what my frame of mind has been and how I've been feeling both mentally and physically. I've been here before and I have been doing all the right things to battle it, so there's that. I am aware and I have support.

OK. Let me leave off with two positives for you. I had so much fun going to the gym with my friend (awesome treadmills that function well, and with TVs even!, unlike the ones at the little gym where I meet my trainer) that I looked into what kind of deal I could get to rejoin. I scoured my email archive and found a "We want you back!" email from last year that offered no initiation fee and just $20 a month, so I tried out the link – wouldn't you know it still worked? Now I have a place to go for fitness classes, a pool!!!, and all the machines I could want again. It will be nice to have yet more options as I battle various weather and other potential obstacles. I'm very excited.

The other good thing continues where I left off telling you about setting up my yoga/meditation space upstairs. It is still in progress, but I am more and more happy about the prospect of having it and the various things I want to have in it. I'm going to get some mala beads and some new incense and create my altar... I'll have rugs and pretty things and it will be my refuge. I'm going to try to finish it up this long weekend ahead. Namaste!