Wednesday, November 30, 2016

See ya, November!

November has been a mixed bag. I ended October on a excellent note (289!), but not too far into this month, things just got bad to worse as far as my eating and stuff went. Looking at the logbook portion of my Happy Scale app, I can see clearly that the whole month I've been hovering right around 300 pounds fairly consistently. Argh. Not what I had hoped for.

But, I have been determined to leave this November behind me and on a positive note. I started working out again, and tonight I am going on my first Wednesday group run at Fleet Feet in a long time, as well as it's the first in a line of Wednesday runs after work that are on my calendar. I'm excited! I little scared, too, but I know after doing Rick's intervals on the treadmill that I can still run, if only for a few minutes at a time. I'll do intervals of my own tonight as well.

Sitting here at the third day of the new week, I can say that I have had a good run on eating as well. Rick had suggested dropping down to 1600 cals a day, which I initially balked at; but I've been doing just that since Monday with relatively little trouble. I'm also still doing the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting thing, and I am generally keeping an eye on my carb level as well, trying to keep it between 50 and 100 each day. Today I happen to be higher, but I'm not going to fret over it.

After being up up up on the scale (I skipped weighing on Monday but suspect I was at least 304), I am back down to 300 even today, and hope that by the end of the week 300 will be but a memory again. The trick is now, can I keep it going and not revert back like I've done over and over again the past few months?

Well, I have to if I want to reach my goals. That's all there is to it.

I like what one of my MFP friends responded with on one of my posts:

Fall seven times. Get up eight. – Japanese proverb

(Even though it's been closer to 100 times, I'm still getting up.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tight Pants Suck

Need I say more? If I don't watch it (but don't worry, I am), I'm going to bust out of the pants I've been wearing. Today I wore the size 20 jeans that were starting to get big on me not too long ago, fresh out of the laundry and... well, if it wasn't for the slight spandex or whatever gives it some stretch, I'd be in trouble. I could zip them up and I wore them OK today, but they are definitely tighter than I'd ever want.

The good news is... I am working with my trainer Rick again regularly! He's been inviting me for a complimentary session at the new gym he is associated with, so I finally took advantage of his offer on Saturday morning, kind of on a whim.

I'm SO glad I did. I met Rick when I had a membership at LA Fitness and when my regular trainer went on vacation. I really liked him right away and he ended up being an awesome support and cheerleader! He's a super nice guy, 50-ish, and a bodybuilder – he competes and everything. But I have always felt like he really GETS me. When I was at LA, I had to commit to six months of training sessions and pay for a month's block of sessions at a time all the time, no exceptions. It was OK, and I really loved those sessions and felt they were worth every penny, but when the six months was over, I admit it, I was relieved, if only for the rigid financial commitment.

This is a different story now. The gym we meet at is a small, locally owned place and pretty no-frills – but has all the things I need to get a good workout. And because I am dealing directly with Rick, things are totally flexible, payment-wise. I am actually really super excited about this.

My first workout on Saturday went well. I've definitely lost some of my fitness, as is to be expected, but Rick was impressed with how much I did retain, and of course how much I have improved since we first started working together in mid-2015. Well, me too, I guess! He's having me come in on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings, and maybe one other day during the week, though I want to take things a little slower to start. Plus I have to get running in there sometime!

Talking about goals with him, I almost surprised myself with my response: To gain strength and endurance in order to be a better runner, and to just have better fitness overall. Weight loss came last in the equation – of course I want that, too, but working out has a new meaning to me now than it did a year or two ago. That REALLY pleased me. At last night's session, he had me do some intervals on the treadmill and while I was mad about the endurance level, I was also feeling pretty strong and capable, things like: I know I have good running form, for instance. I learned a lot since last year. I feel it. We did some stretching and some core bodyweight exercises, all kinds of stuff.

Then we went over to the weights area where I got to see this kick ass young woman doing some lifting. I don't any of the technical terms, but all I knew was that I wanted to do that one day, too. And I loved that she was the only lady in the room and seemed to have total respect of the "lunkheads" in the room (just teasing, guys!). I won't start on that stuff yet, but Rick is going to help me build up to it one of these days.

Anyway... I am really happy.

I have had a couple good eating days after way overindulging over the weekend. I'm still just over 300 but I don't think I will be for long. I'm hanging in and hanging tough.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Gratitude Catch-Up

It's been days and days since my last gratitude post. I have some catching up to do!

(Related but not on the list, today I am super grateful to have off from work tomorrow until the following Monday! Hooray for long holiday weekends. I have worked at jobs where I was required to work holidays, so I never take this for granted.)

Day 17: What knowledge are you grateful for?

I think the better question here is, what knowledge am I NOT grateful for? I am like a sponge and love learning new things, always. If I could go to college forever, I would, which is one of the reasons why I still teach (online) – I always learn something with every new set of students I have. I don't mind getting older because I know I am only getting smarter. Give me all the knowledge.

Miro's painting at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

Day 18: What piece of art are you grateful for?

Oh wow – as many of you may know, I am an artist. So while this is kind of an easy one, it's also a hard one because there have been so many works of art that have been important to me. However, I always come back to this one sculpture that has been in my life since my first visits to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery as a child in the 70s – Marisol's Baby Girland also The Generals by the same artist. Oh! But then there is Nikki de Saint Phalle's Nana. It's funny, because I've really never done any sculpture myself, and these pieces are pretty different from anything I've made... but maybe they aren't really. Anyway. They all made a big impression on a young girl from a nearby farm town. Oh, oh, sorry – I can't leave out Miro, either. His Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit was an early source of fascination for me. All of these art experiences helped shape who I am at my core. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an artist.

Day 19: What touch are you grateful for?

It is easy to say I am always happy to be near my partner of almost 17 years and feel his touch. Aw!

Day 20: What in your life are you grateful for?

Really? Some of these questions, sheesh. To me this would be a summation of everything I've been and will be writing about as part of this exercise. Come on.

Day 21: What song are you grateful for?

There are too many to name. Questions like this send me over the edge, like "What's your favorite band?" Argh! I don't knooooowww!

Day 22: What story are you grateful for?

Ugh, I don't know.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Waste Of

HI! Hi hi.

I just want to bitch a little bit about today's choices so far.

I skipped breakfast but ate some Swedish fish I bought a couple days ago. They weren't even that good, to be honest.

Then... lunch. I have been pretty bad about lunch the past couple weeks, in both regards to what I am eating and how much I am spending. I think I have to set some rules after today. I ended up going to Wegmans again because I wanted more Halo Top with raspberries (more on that later). Well, I got those things but on top of that, some mac and cheese from the hot bar and two italian rolls. The rolls were the least of my problems – 130 cals and like 60 cents each or something. Add up the rest of it, though? Lunch added up to over $18.00, which is STUPID. There is no other word for it. Just plain stupid. A pretty small container of hot bar mac and cheese cost over six dollars. *tsk* But also the Halo Top and package of raspberries was about $10.00 alone! Ugh. And now I am full and while I have a decent amount of calories in my day, I feel shitty about lunch and overly full and just yuck about the whole thing. Out of control. Helpless.

A note about Halo Top: Well, they say it about themselves, too – let that sucker sit on your counter for a while so it melts a bit. THEN it tastes pretty darned good. Today I had the strawberry flavor, which was fine. You know why I like Halo Top, though? I see it as a vehicle. A creamy, ice creamy vehicle for other stuff like fresh berries. So what I do is let mine melt a bit and then I start dropping in raspberries, one berry at a time, and mix it in. Then the amazing happens. It tastes really good and it is really filling. I don't know why I thought I should also have hot bar or even rolls. The rolls were super fresh and tasty, though. The mac and cheese was OK, but not six + dollars OK.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Well, we have our plans for the days leading up to Thanksgiving, food-wise. I'm making a big batch of burritos that will feed us for at least tonight, tomorrow, and maybe into the next day. I make a pot of doctored up black beans and just fry up some ground beef with taco seasoning, pretty simple. It's not the super healthiest meal as we tend load up the cheese and sour cream on 'em, but they are easy and filling, which is fine for my busy week ahead. On Wednesday, I'm working at home and also going to be picking up the farm-raised turkey; my partner is coming along for the long drive so we decided to just get something while we're out. Done and done. It's nice not to have to worry about stuff.

(I did finally roast a head of cauliflower I had from weeks ago, though! I cut off the black spots and drizzled it with olive oil and salt and pepper. It was yummy, and I should have brought it for lunch today.)

I haven't run since Election Day. Last night I had a dream about running a 5K, which I will be doing in the early part of December... in the dream I ran just fine but got snagged in a restroom. I couldn't go even though I really had to. Well, I plan to get a 5K something in on Thanksgiving day as my personal Turkey Trot, something I skipped doing last year and regret to this day. I also want to see where I stand as far my capabilities... can I even still do it? I'm going to have to finish no matter how I execute it.

Anyway... lots on my mind. I'm still hovering around 300 pounds, more than 30 pounds more than what I weighed a year ago. That makes me mad and disappointed. Talk about a waste of, right?

I want this coming year to be a losing year, not a gaining year like 2016 was.

I just discovered Casey Neistat today following the announcement of his quitting his daily vlog. I'd never heard of this guy before, and ended up getting sucked into watching several YouTube posts. There's a lot to like about him and I will be following what he does next for sure, but one thing I took away in one his episodes was that the only thing standing between YOU and ALL THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO IN LIFE is DOING IT. It is such a simple concept which now seems obvious to me, but I think it's something that can really serve me well in the coming months. How do I get the things I want for myself? I do them.


And I definitely stop buying eighteen dollar lunches at the supermarket.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Day in Review (Almost)

Well, it's not quite the end of my day, but I wanted to check in while I still have the chance to – I have a company dinner that I am attending and won't get home until late.

News on the scale was a little better this morning – 301.8, so down a couple few pounds. But still not where I want to be.

Today I planned on a more or less low carb day, kind of. I went ahead and had the free work bagel (every Wednesday!), so that was a whole day's worth of VLC right there. Lunch was a little better and I focused on lean protein (roasted turkey breast) and low-carb veggies (cauliflower and sauteed kale) from Wegmans' hot bar. Very delicious and very satisfying.

But then I was also hell bent on trying one of the new Halo Top ice cream flavors, too. I ended up with the Oatmeal Cookie flavor, which was quite good, especially when mixing fresh raspberries into the slightly melted pint. That really made it. Unfortunately I made the mistake of thinking that the whole pint was 12 carbs, when it is 12 carbs per servings. Of course I ate the whole pint, so there went another day's worth of VLC. *cue sad trombone* I'm still under 150 grams of carb at this point, which is still considered to be low carb by some, so... whatever.

Cals-wise I should be right around goal if I was just calorie counting for the day. I guess today has ended up being a hybrid of the two! Just plain looking at the eating... I didn't need to eat a pint of ice cream after having a satisfying lunch, even if it is really low in calories, right? Especially looking ahead to later when I'll be eating on the company dime and would want to indulge a little. At this point I'm going to go the route of either a steak and vegetable, or salad. I'm planning not to drink alcohol.

Now, for some gratitude:

Day 16: What about your body are you most grateful for?

Oh gosh. This one is easy. I am so grateful for its resiliency and its power. I still don't feel like I'm 100% OK with it, but I give it a lot of credit for what I've put it through, all the abuse... and it still functions pretty darned well and MORE. At close to 300 pounds it will run a mile plus. That impresses me. I'm still working on honoring and respecting my body more and hopeful that it forgives me for all my transgressions. My body is the only one I'll have. She is wonderful.

P.S. I got a haircut! It turned out very similar to the last one I had. I like it, but it's a lot of inches off and there is always an adjustment period.

Hairs cut! This is just the rolled-out-of-bed version. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oh Well, What??

You're probably sick of me by now. I'M sick of me. All this up and down, up and down. Total roller coastering, can't keep my weight down long. It's getting really boring.

Last I left you I was 295. Today I got on the scale after kind of a heinous weekend, and I'm the heaviest I have been in a long, long time: 304. I gained nine pounds in half a week's time.


Yeah. OK, I know that some of it is water weight gain, fast gain of junk that will (hopefully) come off fairly quickly, too. But really, how many freaking times do I need to go through this? Why can't I just stop this vicious cycle and just continue on the path I need to be on?

I don't really know, but I do know *cue the refrain* I'm not giving up. Not by a longshot.

OK, I am clearly in dire need of some gratitude reflection.

Day 13: What abilities are you most grateful for?

I am grateful for ALL my abilities. I am grateful that I am physically able to do many, maybe even most things. I am grateful for the power to think for myself. I am grateful for my artistic abilities. I am grateful for my ability to give and receive love.

Day 14: What sight are you most grateful for?

This one is so hard, but I will say seeing loved ones, especially those I don't get to see very often; also smiles on anyone who comes across my path. Smiles rule.

Day 15: What season are you most grateful for?

I love all the seasons for different reasons. As a gardener and nature appreciator, I am so grateful for spring and the time of growth and renewal. But I also love the autumn and also see it as a time of renewal and fresh starts (probably because of school ritual). I love the colors of fall, the smells, the crunchy leaves under my feet, the apples, the time for comfort foods and not least of all Thanksgiving!

Maybe I need to turn some gratitude toward myself and my physical being, and honor my body more than I have been doing. I should want to nourish it and feed it with things that make it thrive and feel good. I should want to exercise it and test its power.

One nice habit I have gotten back to is moisturizing my face every day. I know it seems small, but I've been thinking about self-care a lot in the wake of this horrible election cycle and the promise of what seems like it will be a less than golden future as a country. So, I have been making sure to slather on some lovely cream each morning, which makes my skin feel nice and protects it throughout the day, too. I try to remember in the evening as well, but don't always – I find myself skipping evening hygiene rituals often because I don't think to exercise them until I'm about to go to bed and am so tired that all I want to do is flop down in bed. Maybe I can shift that script so that I make sure to do things like wash and moisturize my face and brush my teeth well before that, like after I've finished eating and cleaning up from dinner. That sounds doable.

Another thing I am doing to treat myself is getting a haircut today after work! It's been well over a year and a half since my last one, so I am long overdue. I'm still not sure what I'm going to try this time – but I am working with a woman I know through the local art scene who calls what she does "intuitive" haircutting and I think it's going to be a really nice experience. I will definitely post photos when it's done! It's exciting. I'm ready for a change.

I am ready for a change. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Move On Up

Yesterday I fasted for most of the day, broke it at about 3:15pm with a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter in advance of a night out with my friend Amy F. – fish fry and some beers at a delightful relic of a bar in downtown Buffalo, the Swannie House. It was so nice to catch up with a friend I don't get to see as much as I'd like, and to experience a new place for eating and drinking! This fish fry was pretty phenomenal, by the way. I have zero regrets.

The result was that I was down another three pounds this morning, to 295.2.


Today I am more or less doing an intermittent fasting day, with my eating window from 10:30am until 6:30pm. I'm kind of eating crappy today, I admit – KFC for lunch, too many Swedish fish Oreos.

Anyway, I'm about 10 pounds heavier than I'd originally hoped to be this week, but at least I mitigated the damage I did. I'm heading back down in the right direction.

Now, more gratitude:

Day 12: What texture are you most grateful for?

This one is so easy, hands down: my cats' fur. I don't think any explanation is needed.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Good News!

Hooray, I have some good news. I weighed myself this morning, and was more surprised than anyone to see that I actually lost a little bit – down to 298.2. Wow. PHEW. I'm not sure how it happened considering the damage that I was certain I did on Wednesday, but I will take it.

Yesterday I ended up changing plans a little bit. Instead of straight fasting I ended up doing 16/8 (well, it was more like 18/6), and eating very low carb – my net carbs ended up at around 37 grams, well within the 20-50 gram range for VLC. I had a Panera Green Goddess salad and a fruit cup for lunch – I even walked there and back for a nice and easy 1.5 miles! I decided that I wanted to grab some olives and salami to go with some of the delicious cheese we've been accumulating, and had that as a light dinner.

One thing I must always remember, though, is that I cannot take walks without having the proper footwear. I had sneakers on yesterday, but they were a vintage-styled Nike that just doesn't have the support I need when I go out for anything more than a stroll. Plan: Always have a decent pair of sneakers at my desk at work from now on. I have plenty of retired running sneakers that will do the trick. Unfortunately, today my left foot hurts a little bit but hopefully that will go away.

So, wow – second day this week that I got a little exercise in! On Election Day, I actually ran the half mile to my polling place and back. It was my first run since I started getting sick, and it was pretty OK, especially since I had a little respite while I voted. I did take it pretty slowly since I wasn't sure how my body would react, coughing and sniffling-wise. I was fine during the run, but once I was done, I did have a little bit of a coughing fit. It wasn't bad. I'm hoping to get another short run in over the weekend.

Today I am going out with a friend after work for a much-needed and long overdue catching up. I think I am going to fast throughout the day and then just enjoy whatever I want to eat for dinner, as opposed to VLC. I am still considering that – I can get chicken wings and a salad, for instance – but we're going to a place I've never been and I'd kind of like to not feel restricted. I guess I'll see how I feel later, but it looks like it'll turn into a 22/4 kind of day, which is fine by me. I'm hydrating lots and feeling pretty OK.

It's time for some for gratitude!

Day 11: What holiday are you most grateful for?

This one is super easy – it's Thanksgiving! I love all the anticipation for a much more extravagant meal than we usually have, with special foods that we wait most of the year to eat again! I also quite enjoy the shopping and prep for the meal. It's a lot of work, but after so many years I have my routine down pretty well, not to mention, since losing the weight I have, makes the activity SO MUCH easier. It doesn't exhaust me and make me sweat like it used to! Usually, it's just my partner and I celebrating together, but once in a while we'll have a special guest or two. Either way, I like to do everything myself and take immense pride in my Thanksgiving skills. Last but not least, I am extremely grateful that we have the ability to indulge in such a meal in the first place. I know that not everyone can. That's the biggest thing.

If you are interested, here's what's on the menu so far (everything homemade, of course):

• farm-raised turkey (we get ours from a local place and their birds are amazeballs)
• sausage stuffing (recipe/technique passed down from my mom and grandma)
• mashed potatoes
• orange-ginger cranberry sauce
• cheese bread
• southern-style green beans (simmered all day with ham hocks)
• broccoli-cheese casserole
• a NEW side dish, as yet undecided
• apple pie with cheddar crust
• a NEW dessert, as yet undecided
• cranberry juice and ginger ale mocktail

I already have my grocery list started! Really looking forward to it, as always. I also want to revive a tradition of my very own 5K walk/run/whatever later in the day... I skipped it last year.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trying Something New, Again

I keep going back and forth about how I can reach my goals, especially with weight loss. I've been doing different things and have had good success with simply counting calories, which is how I lost 100 pounds in the past two years. But lately I keep getting either stuck or derailed, having to start over and over and over again. One way that I am keeping myself on this is by mixing things up – a lot.

Anyway, I have toyed with the idea of going low carb and getting rid of sugar in my diet (i.e. what I eat on a daily basis) for a while now. I have dabbled here and there, mainly with the sugar reduction/elimination, but haven't kept it up in a meaningful way. I do think that my body responds well to it, so I think it is worth revisiting.

Doing some light research, I wanted to collect some reference links. If you have any suggestions, by all means, share them!

21 best low carb vegetables

Losing weight fast based on science (low carb)

Carbs guidelines for weight loss

44 healthy, low carb foods

Low carb in 60 seconds

About Last Night

OMG, Sad Ghost Club! Ack.

So, I'm not going to go all political on you here. I do that enough on Facebook, and get into plenty of... shall we say... discussions over what's been going on in our country. I will tell you, though, that I was pretty devastated by the results of the presidential election the other night. I stayed up until it was obvious what was going to happen, I cried, I went to bed.

Because it was such a late night and because I'd been drinking through my despair, I had put in for a vacation day from work yesterday. But, last minute and with a (somewhat) clearer head in the morning, I went in anyway, albeit late. It was hard to focus and I was feeling pretty angry, disappointed, despondent... all the feels. I had decided that I was going to eat whatever the hell I wanted to, because why did any of it matter anyway?

I had a long lunch with my good friend Megan and we commiserated over delicious wood oven pizza (I had the portobello mushroom white pizza, by the way. Yum!). I also had some delicious creamy potato sausage soup with greens... the ultimate fall/winter soup indeed. The pizza was big, but the crust super thin. I was just like, whatever. I ate half of the pizza and the soup. Not too big a deal, honestly.

Later things ended up being more of a disaster. I ended up going back to the same restaurant on the way home to pick up more pizza for my partner, and decided to get another pizza for me because the pizza I'd had earlier was a white pizza and I wanted sauce. So what ended up happening was that I ate that whole pizza PLUS the pizza leftovers I had from lunch PLUS a huge, thick, iced cut-out cookie in the shape of a pumpkin.

Man. I just kept eating even though I was totally full. I really did. I ate in a way that I haven't done in a really, really long time. It was awful. I mean, the food was wonderful. I should have saved it so that I could truly enjoy it. What I was doing was just shoving it in my pie hole, just because.

Does Trump care that I did that? No. Sometimes our method of thinking is completely irrational. "I'll show that jerk, and all those jerks who voted for him... I'll eat whatever I want!" Oh my god. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard (well, aside from the actual election, of course), but that was my train of thought. I'll show you!

This morning I did not get on the scale. I fear that I put myself well over 300 now. Today, I feel a little better, or at least a little more rational, and I am giving my body a break by taking a fast day – lots of water and green tea. It's also giving my brain a break from not having to worry about food, just as I have mentioned in the past. Thinking about food and choosing what to eat can sometimes cause me a lot of stress, so choosing not to eat at all once in a while is a huge relief.

Just – breathe in... breathe out.

Be kind to yourself, Amy. Self-care, not self-harm. Bring yourself back to a better place.

Putting a smile on and giving myself a hug!

How do YOU deal? How are you doing? I'd love to hear from you (unless you're a spammer).

Gratitude Marches On!

In the light of recent national events, I need to think about what I am grateful for more than ever.

Day 8: What book are you grateful for? 

The first book that popped into my head was Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, mainly because it is a fantastic book that has stuck with me in a profound way ever since I read it the first time. It is one of those go-to books that I can read again and again, and recommend to friends without reservation.

This was the version I owned as a child. I still have it!
BUT, the other book that I thought of right away has been with me for many more years, and is probably more important in the scheme of my development as a person and as a reader: Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. It opened my imagination up to new worlds quite literally, and while I was already an avid reader when I read this (I am guessing I was probably 9 or 10), I became totally hooked on anything and everything L'Engle wrote. I always spent my pocket money at the bookstore and spent hours at the library over the years. Today I have my own little library at my house, with shelves and shelves full of books.

Our house! This is an old photo, but it still looks a lot like this. :)
Day 9:  What place are you grateful for?

It's not perfect, but we have lived in our little 1927 bungalow in Niagara Falls, NY for almost a decade now (it'll be 10 years next July), and I am so grateful to have a roof over our heads. It belongs to us (or, at least, we share it with the bank of course), and it's a pretty little specimen. I wish we had more money to put into it, but we do the best we can. It's comfortable and cozy. Last week my partner was outside collecting our garbage can when a woman walked by and introduced herself as the niece of one of the former owners of the house. She said is was a hidden gem, and she is absolutely right. Though – to my mind, it's not exactly hidden. To me, it is the cutest house on our block and the one with the most character.

Day 10: What taste are you grateful for?

You know what, not to be a cop-out, but I am grateful just to be able to taste things, period. A few years ago, my dad had surgery on his sinuses, and one of the terrible side effects to it was that he has lost almost all his sense of taste. Can you imagine? So now he seeks out the most extreme tastes so that he can at least get a hint of something on his taste buds, and he has a new focus on the texture of foods to help him feel satisfied. What's also interesting is that he actually has to watch his weight more now because instead of eating less, which is what my first thought was, he tends to eat more because he's always searching for that thing that he can taste. So hell yes, I am super grateful I can taste food at all.

Monday, November 7, 2016

More Gratitude

I have to say, these gratitude prompts are strange indeed. But I've gotten this far, surely I must stay committed to completion, yes? (Yes, for this and so many other things! More later.)

The sound of purring is heavenly. Our baby Nico!
Day 5: What sound are you grateful for? 

Not to get all Garfunkel on you and stuff, but I really, really love the absence of sound. I love quiet. I wear earplugs to bed most nights. I value that most of the time, the office where I work is quiet as a default.

OK, OK, but as far as sounds go, I am always happy to hear (and indeed, grateful for) the purr of any of our cats, especially when it's right against my ear like when our grey cat Nico lays against my head on the pillow in bed. Bliss.

One of the bird-watching places we have visited in our region. Gorgeous. Early morning.
Day 6: What in nature are you grateful for?

I am grateful for ALL nature. I used to never consider myself an outdoorsy person, but in the past few years especially I have grown to have a deep appreciation for undeveloped land. I grew up in the country and happy I did, and I'd love to get back to living in the country as an adult, one day. It is utter bliss to go on a hike through the woods any time of the year.

Day 7: What memory are you grateful for?

What? Really? So weird. But, now that I really think about it I am very happy to be able to remember distinct moments or characteristics of those in my life who were important to me but who have passed away. I can picture their faces, the way they walked or did things, I can hear their voices quite clearly! In that way they are always with me.


So, with that out of the way, let me check in about stuff that is more pertinent to this blog – that is, my weight and eating and all the rest. Well, it's not good news at all.

I totally stopped paying close attention or making care in my choices the past week. I didn't even weigh in on Saturday because I just couldn't face what I knew probably happened. I did, however, weigh in today, and my suspicions were confirmed. The scale read 300.2. Fuck.

I've gained more than ten pounds since last Saturday. The good news is that this morning I was ready to face it, and I am ready to deal with it. Some points:

• This is not what I want for myself.

• Eating indiscriminately is fun, but you know what? It doesn't feel good.

• I have been getting rid of all the clothes that were becoming too big on me, so if I don't take care of this now I will literally have nothing to wear. I refuse to buy anything new that is bigger than what I already have. (By the way, if you are in the process of losing weight, I highly recommend getting rid of your bigger clothes – don't give yourself something to fall back on!)

• I have been avoiding going to see my doctor because I've gained weight, which is stupid.

• My partner is in a similar boat and is on board to start eating better again, so I will have built-in support at home.

• Now that I am on the mend from the cold and sinus infection, I am going to ease back into exercise. Today I'm going to try light walking again, and we may go on a walk together after I get home from work later.

• I am mad at myself but know what I need to do to fix this.

• It can't be great for me to keep losing and gaining the same ten pounds over and over. BREAK THE CYCLE!!!

• I am ready to do this again.

ETA, mere hours later: Am I really ready? Come lunchtime I was paralyzed about what to eat. The plan had been to get a Panera salad, but I didn't. I ended up at Burger King. It wasn't the worst thing ever, and the food is logged and I am holding accountable and still have some calories left for later... BUT the universe saved me from myself. After I ate the food, I decided that fuck it, I just wanted a shake or something sweet, too. I didn't care for a good ten minutes while I tried to hook up. First: drive down to Wendy's for a Frosty. Drive-thru line too long. Hmph. OK, try McDonalds where I ordered a chocolate shake AND a pumpkin pie (Really???). Got to the window to pay, and the cashier tells me: "I just found out. The shake machine is down."

Wow! I told her to forget the whole order and I drove away, shaking my head, and then immediately thanking the universe. It became SO OBVIOUS that I wasn't meant to do that to myself today.

Talk about grateful. I was given a second chance to stay on track today.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Days 3 & 4 of Gratitude

Seen in Toronto, Canada last week. Stay-Puft is so joyful!

OK, after yesterday's shit storm of a post, I need to get back to a more grateful mindset. These prompts are kind of funny/odd to me, but I'll go with them.

Day 3: What color are you most grateful for?

I've actually been thinking about this since I saw what was ahead, and I still don't have a good response. I suppose I am grateful for each and every color I am able to see – I guess it is more about being grateful for the gift of sight that I do have (even though I am blind as a bat without glasses, my sight is still correctable!). As a painter, I am most grateful for ultramarine blue, perhaps, the color I use to start almost every painting.

Just from a "favorite" standpoint, the colors I gravitate toward are orange (the whole range!), Tiffany blue, and burgundy. And, black, if that counts, because I will always, always be an art student at heart.

Day 4: What food are you most grateful for?

These prompts are really tough! Again, I am grateful for the fact that I have easy access to just about any food I could possibly want or need, and that I always have enough money to feed myself without much trouble. That obvious point aside, I am so grateful to live in a culture in which pizza is so pervasive. It is hands-down my favorite food, so much that I even like bad pizza. I mean, is there really any truly bad pizza? (OK, yes – I am looking at YOU, George's in Niagara Falls, NY. Holy cow, it was bad. Like a Chef Boy-ar-dee crust and canned tomato soup for sauce. Really???)

Also, ice cream and homemade bread.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

SO FAT. Yes, I said it.

You guys, I am SO FAT today. Jesus.

I just went off the rails, just like that. I guess starting on Tuesday. God, and I just keep doing it. Today, I was OK and doing the whole 16/8 thing again, and come lunch I ended up... I can't believe I am going to admit this here to the whole world...

I got a brick oven 12" pizza from Delta Sonic (I know, weird, right? But pretty good!) and then I freaking drove down to McDonalds for a chocolate shake, oh, and why not pile a medium fry on top of all that, right? (I also bought a bag of Cheetos at DS but ended up only having three.)

I ate it, all of it, maraschino cherry and all. It doesn't feel good, of course. It feels disgusting. I hate being in my skin today. It feels wrong.

This is a continuation of yesterday, during which I did NOT do 16/8, but had the weekly FREE bagel with cream cheese at the office for breakfast, then bad Subway choices for lunch (including a whole meatball parm sub and three of those stupid m&m cookies), and THEN had a local take out joint's massive steak hoagy and fries, I mean, seriously?

I don't want to be so fat anymore, so why do I keep doing this?

I let being sick and being sick of being sick get to me, ultimately. The frustation of not being able to run or walk for exercise pissed me off. The house is a mess. I have nothing to wear (or at least it feels that way). Thank goodness the antibiotics are working. I am on the mend, but I still cough and I still have congestion and so even a little activity sends me into a coughing fit.

Just feeling really, really down right now after such a wonderful couple weeks.

It's hard to take.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November: 30 Days of Gratitude

Today I spotted this chart on a friend's Facebook post and decided that I would grab it and post here about what I am thankful for throughout the month. I need something this right now – being sick for so long is throwing me off and getting me down. (I finally went to Urgent Care last night and confirmed what I suspected, that I have a sinus infection! Antibiotics should do the trick.)

Anyway, here is the full chart (click to view larger). I will post here every few days to share what I feel grateful for. I would love to hear yours,  too – please post a comment to share!

Day 1: Thankful for all the delicious scents at the LUSH store! I went to the mall and the movies with my pal Lara yesterday after work, and indulged in a bunch of bath stuffs as well as a little bottle of my favorite LUSH perfume, Karma. I am wearing it today and it makes me happy whenever I catch a whiff (especially as opposed to the usual lately – the smell of being sick! YUCK). Sidebar: Also grateful that my life is not a fraction as crazy as the trio of women in The Girl on the Train, which is the movie we saw. Holy cow. But, can you say plush reclining seats in the theater? Niiice.

Day 2: The technology question. This is a hard one. I can still remember the thrill of watching a music video on a desktop computer for the first time (Cat Power's Cross Bones Style in 1998). There is so much, but I guess in my own life I am really grateful that I have the ability to work at home when I need to, because of remote server technology and email. Yay!

In other news, I won't be weighing in until Saturday but fear that I have gained everything I lost again. I feel crappy still, from being sick, and haven't been super diligent about my eating in the past few days purely out of laziness and frustration and just "deservedness", I guess – you know when you're feeling bad for whatever reason and you just don't want to have to care about your eating, that gosh darn it, you deserve to be able to eat whatever and however? Yeah. That's been me, more or less.

It will be very disappointing, but if that is what is happening, weight-wise, the good news is that I can keep trying and that there is no deadline. I have to keep reminding myself of this fact!

Argh. Onward!