Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A quickie I am...

...It's time for a quickie.

It's been crazy as all get out and all sorts of things going on.

Austin was awesome!  How could it not be awesome when I got to spend the weekend with my kids!?!?!

The wedding was good.  It helped a lot that I was the designated drive for my daughter.  The reception lasted 10 hours!!  10 full hours!!  On the drive back to Austin, I stopped at Whataburger to get food for my daughter - she needed to eat, so I ate.  Then on Sunday, we ate at Chuy's - my favorite Tex-Mex in the world.  I had a cup of tortilla soup and fish tacos.  The downer there was dessert, but it was split three ways.  Not a killer and I felt it was a good compromise.  I can remember a time where I ate the entire dessert by myself.  This time it was three or four good bites that I enjoyed and then it was done.

When I got home Sunday night, it was back to the routine and it's been on point since then.

Other things this week are that I got the results of an overnight oximetry test I did Monday evening.  Over an 8 hour period, I had 262 deep desaturation events.  In plain speak, my oxygen levels drop more than 5% in a two minute period.  The other ass-kicker is that my average oxygen levels are 84% and it should be 95% or greater.

No damn wonder I live my life tired!  Even when I try to get a good night's sleep, I can't!  I've become well-versed in the affects of sleep deprivation in the last few days.   I'm more than willing to fix this.  I don't know if the doctor will want a formal sleep study, another oximetry test with a CPAP, or go straight to a CPAP. 

Hubster and the kids all complain about how horrible I sound when I breathe at night and how terrible my snoring is.  As the kids so indelicately put it, " sound like two Orcas having sex."

I just wanna know how they know what Orcas having sex sounds like!

I'm excited at the prospect of having this issue taken care of.  It will have all sorts of little positive effects throughout a lot of areas of my life from just sleeping better to improving my blood pressure and yes, even to helping with my weight.  Not earth shattering improvements, but I'll take them!

On another front, I've done something to my hip.  It's been "catching" since Monday and when it catches, it knocks me almost to the floor.  A nerve gets hit or something and I just can't predict when it's gonna happen.  When I woke up this morning, I could feel it in my foot before I even got out of bed.  If it's not better by Friday, I'm gonna have an x-ray.

The food front has been good this week.  No freaking out and nothing overboard.  It helps so much that we've been eating at home.  I think hubster is back on board with what I'm trying to do.  Funny how hubsters are.  In my hubster's case, he really is an "action is louder than words" kind of fellow.  He feels like words get him in trouble.  In any event, I appreciate his actions.  For example, we had steaks the other night.  We had gotten back in to the habit of having a big ol' steak each.  This week, he took one steak and cut it in half.  The very thing to do.  Of course, it could be because the doctor told him to lose 30 lbs.

Anyway, I wanted to touch base with myself here.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

A New Doctor I am...

I had a visit with a new doctor yesterday.

Given my medical history and my permanent need for thyroid medication, I have to keep a doctor around.  And just let me say, it can take time to train a new doctor.  I've been known to walk out on a doctor when they don't realize that we're partners.  I'm not of the mind that doctors are necessarily smarter than the patient.  Besides, no one is more invested in my continual breathing than me.

I was a bit nervous about how the new doctor would react when he found out he had a two-time cancer patient on his hands.  He handled it well and didn't over-react.  He's only the second doctor I've had that's done that.

Hubster had seen him the day before.  When I asked him how it went, he told me the doctor said, "Look fatty - you've got to lose 30 pounds in the next six months."  Shit - I damn near went apoplectic.  He didn't tell me he was joking until yesterday morning.  Bonehead.

When I weighed yesterday morning, the scale was up 1.4.  The increase was totally due to dinner out the night before with a girlfriend - chicken wings and curds.  Not particularly bad, but not the norm.  Eating out regardless of what it is always leads to a short-term increase on the scale the next morning.  I believe it's because of the sodium because I can feel it in my hands.

So here's the mind game.

I knew I had to weigh at the doctor's office, so in the morning, I thought that I would eat breakfast and then not eat/drink anything for the rest of the day so the scale wouldn't be so heavy.

What kind of horseshit is that?  How many times have I done that before?  How many other people do the very same thing.

There are times that I don't eat until very late in the day but it's because I get busy and things get in the way.  Purposely planning to do it because of a number on a scale and the doctor will go "tsk tsk"??


I realized that it was a true emotional reaction and I so don't want to be emotional about weight anymore because it's a big contributor to why my ass is the size of a barn.  I want to be normal.  Just normal - nothing more, nothing less.

It turned out the day way busy, but I got a bowl of soup from the cafeteria.  Normal size - not super-sized or anything.  I'm a big drinker, so I drank throughout the day.  And on the hour drive back to town to see the doctor I still drank.

When I got to the office, of course I had to pee.  I pee 5042 times a day because I drink so much.  And when I weighed?

Well when I went to get on the scale I pre-set it up about 6 pounds from what I weighed in the morning.  It was later in the day, I had clothes on, and I had eaten and drank throughout the day.  It's natural that the number on the scale would be higher.

But the scale was a little bit less than what I weighed in the morning!  The nightmare number I had expected did not materialize.

It was a good lesson to a good time too.

The doctor was just about right.  We had a good conversation and he seemed to be more of a helper/partner than a dictator - always a good thing.

He obviously asked about my history and my current diet.  I told him about the previous weight loss and the total regaining.  He simply asked what happened.  I don't think I totally understood...totally realized...totally GOT...why I gained the weight back until I told him yesterday.

I gained it back because everything else became more important.  On the list of importance, I was #158.  There are other things that contributed of course, but they're all secondary to the root cause of not making myself #1.  I have no defense other than it's sometimes hard to juggle everything.

Anyway, we talked more and he didn't offer a diet, but rather asked me about my diet.  I told him I was not eating processed sugar at all, at least 30 g protein at each meal, and not worrying about fat content at all.  He said - and I quote - "You clearly know what you're doing."

WHAT??????  A doctor who's good with not worrying about fat????  AWESOME!!!

I think I may love this doctor.  I so appreciate that he's not scared of fat and protein.

We talked a bit about fruit.  Last time, I didn't eat any fruit except for strawberries/blueberries.  This time I'm eating about one piece of fruit a day.  He said the fruit wouldn't hurt anything.  I commented that sugar was sugar.  He countered that you get more from fruit than just sugar and that the fiber and other nutrients were good things.  That may be true, but I still think that cruciferous vegetables are better for you than fruit.  But OK, I'll concede....a little.

I see him again on December 15 and he said he thinks I could lose 20 pounds by then and 50 pounds over the next year.  So...there's a challenge.

On another note, I'm leaving this evening for Austin to attend my daughter's best friend's wedding.  It's going to be a challenging weekend and I'm still figuring out how I'm going manage and keep on track.  Oddly, I feel like I have a block and I can't think clearly about what the challenges may be - almost like an avoidance mentality.  I think it's too soon in this restart to have to restart again, so I've got to figure it out.  I'm going to try to keep it all in sight without fixating.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Clothes Shopping I am...

...I've been clothes shopping.

...and it sucked.

I'm heading to Texas next weekend for my daughter's best friend's wedding.  It's amazing to see how these little giggly girls have grown into such beautiful young women.

I checked my closet and because of the weight gain nothing fits.  My work clothes won't work well because they're all black. I went.

It was incredibly frustrating because the sizes are up again - 22's.  As if shopping wasn't bad enough, all I could think of was how I've failed.  I was in 18s and XLs in January and now I'm right back where I started.  I was getting to the point where I had options and could find clothes that looked good.  And now, there are few options.  I felt like I was just settling for something that fit.  Actually there was no feeling to it - it was exactly what I did - I settled.

I hate it.  Flat out hate it.  Scream at the top of my lungs hate it.

The day just made me think of everything in negative terms and reminded me of how far I've fallen and how far have to go.  It's hard to get out of that mindset sometimes with one negative thought leading to another.  You're so fat, you're so ugly, you only got so far and couldn't do it, people are gonna stare at you, you're the fattest person in the room, you must be stupid to be this fat, etc. etc.  AD NAUSEUM

It was quite sobering.  I'm a bit bent out of shape about it, but I do realize that these negative thoughts won't do me a damn bit of good.

The important thing about buying these clothes is that it means I'm going to witness a wonderful young woman get married and I get to spend the weekend with my kids.  Those are the important things.  Further, I don't think my fatness is going to be on anyone's radar.

The week was good.  It wasn't perfect, but it was definitely an improvement over previous week.  I even had one day that was totally on.  I'm trying to get back to the place where my diet consists completely of non-processed foods.

Another thing that got me to thinking this week was something I said.  I was in a meeting this week and someone said, "I hope we meet this deadline."  I immediately commented, "Hope is not a plan.  We will make this deadline."  Anyway, a fellow who works for me came to my office afterward and said that he really liked what I said.  I'm sure I've heard it before, but don't remember where.  But it's true - hope is not a plan.

So in like fashion, I can't hope to lose weight, I can't hope to be healthy, I'm gonna have to plan both.  I've gotta watch for curves in the roads and the bottlenecks, but I've gotta plan.

And besides dammit - I'm not giving up.  IT - whatever IT is might have won the battle, but I WILL WIN THE WAR!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A day on point I am...

...I had a day on point.

The didn't start out differently than any other day, but it turned out that I had the best "on point" day in a long time.  There was no obsessing, I effortlessly made the right choices, and I just basically kept my ducks in a row.

Breakfast was a single scrambled egg with two slices of bacon and a piece of breakfast sausage.  Lunch was a salad - grilled chicken, a little blue cheese, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  It was such a pretty salad that I took a picture of it.

I didn't get to eat said salad until almost 2 pm and I was actually hungry.  I added some dressing, but I'm not a slobbery dressing person - I like it to accent, not drown the salad.

I shared my strawberries during a mid-afternoon meeting, but kept those dutch cocoa sunflower seed bite thingies - Somersaults - to myself!

I had a meeting that ran late, so I didn't leave until after 6 and got home close to 7.   This would normally mess up my day, but hubster made dinner - steaks and asparagus.  I was glad of it too!

I bought a Takeya Flash Tea thingie at Sam's last night.  I'd seen them before, but thought they were too expensive for my tastes, so when I saw it for less than $20, I bought it.  It's gonna make it much easier at work to have tea instead of soda.  I like soda, but I don't feel bad if I don't have it.  The cafeteria doesn't have tea and I don't always takes the time to pour a thermos of tea.  Water doesn't quite cut it for me.  Unsweetened tea is a much better option for me, so this is a good route.  I'm sure I could have gotten a regular old container and done the same thing, but that's not quite the point.

Overall, it was a pretty good day.  I'll take it!

And...I'll try...yet again...tomorrow!


Self-created frustration I am...

...thinking about self-created frustration.

So the day started off well.  The scale was down 3.4 lbs from last Tuesday - not quite a week.  I don't know that the week was particularly good, but I tried.  Still a lot of things in the way.

Breakfast was half and half in my coffee, one scrambled egg, and three thin slices of bacon.  Reasonable.

I also packed a chia seed-type snack and a bunch of strawberries for work.  I had them throughout the day.

Lunch was an awesome salad - grilled chicken, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, asparagus, radishes...and that was it.

Good day...

Well....I had to pick up a prescription after work, so off I went.  While waiting, I decided to take my blood pressure on those stupid machines they have there.  Yup - blood pressure is still high.

What else did this stupid machine have?

It could also weigh me.

So what the hell did I do?

I weighed.

BIG mistake.

The scale was up 6 pounds from this morning.  It knocked me for a loop and really dampened the success I had up until that point in the day.

And the thing is - it shouldn't have at all.  NOT AT ALL.  First of all, it wasn't the same scale.  Secondly, thirdly, fourthly, was 14 hours from when I weighed in the morning, I had eaten throughout the entire day, I was retaining water, I was fully clothed.  Hell, I was even wearing my shoes!!!  I know better than to even compare different scale.

It took me a little bit to recoup from the number on the scale.  And while I did recoup, it still left a little nagging, little bit of something - still a sense of failure.

We still had more things to do in town and hubster and I were tired.  We got hung up at one store.  We thought we'd be in and out in no time, but it ended up taking much longer than we anticipated.

On the way guessed it...we picked up dinner.  Quick Mexican food - burritos and tacos.  I tore off all the extra tortilla I could, but it was not an ideal dinner.  I had an extra crispy taco, but I was full, so I told hubster it was his.

It wasn't a perfect day and while it wasn't a complete disaster, it could have been better.

I'll try again tomorrow.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Moving along I am...

...moving along.

It has been a perfect week, but it was an acceptable week.  I'm getting back on track and developing some discipline and awareness.  The scale is down over the week.  I'll start posting my weight again soon.  It's still higher than my original starting weight, but headed in the right direction.

Hubster was out of town for most of the week on a trip I had forgotten about.  Actually, I'm thinking he forgot to tell me!  Anyway, the first night was rough and was fast food.  Normally, I'll do something in the crock pot and just eat it all week, but we had just returned from Memphis and I was unprepared.  However, for the rest of the nights I ate unbreaded chicken wings - I'm the most boring eater.  Good decisions at lunches - salad bar each day and the cafeteria guy will give me a chicken breast off-menu, so that was good to know.

Last night was a steakhouse - I ate half and had the other half for dinner tonight.  Lunch today was in a town south of here with some friends.  I had a chicken panini and tea.  The serving was quite reasonable, so I think it was okay.  Afterwards, we walked around an art show and I bought these two pieces.

I dunno what it is that I like about either of them except I do - one is red and the other is different....and both of them "talk" to me.

We also picked up two kittens from a co-worker while we were in Pokie today.  We have a vole problem and while it's cute that hubster looks like Carl from Caddyshack as he walks the property, it's too much for him particularly when we have grain fields in front and behind our house.  These kittens are adorable!!  The kids are saying they are gonna be indoor cats in no time, but they will have to remain outdoor cats.

In thinking about this past week, dinner last night stands out.  I ordered a 16 oz steak with salad and sweet potato - actually it was a yam - none of that caramel stuff and marshmellow stuff though.  I couldn't eat more than half of it.  There have been times in the past where I felt almost obligated to eat the entire thing - clean plate and all that bullshit.  And while I ate a little past full before I realized it, I'm glad I stopped.  I didn't feel deprived or negative.  I can remember a panicky-type feeling in the past - like if I didn't eat it all, I may never get it again.  Intellectually, I know it's silly, but sometimes - oftentimes - the emotion overcame the reasoning.  I'm glad it didn't last night.  I had a good feeling about it last night and again when we ate the leftovers tonight.

The coming week should be good.  I can't see anything on the horizon that is going to be difficult - I hope it stays that way.  I'm going to work to maintain an even keel regarding food.

I'm trying.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Memphis I am...

...hanging out in Memphis.

We came to Memphis on Thursday night to surprise my father-in-law for his 80th birthday.  Because of various family dynamics, this was the first time all the siblings had been together in more than a decade.

The buildup to the visit - the anticipation - was a bit stressful wondering how it would all go.  Hubster and I just kept thinking that it was for his dad - who really deserves a wonderful time.  So far, so good.  Everyone is low-key and mostly behaving - there's a few odd behaviors, but they're being ignored and overlooked.

We arrived really late Thursday and are staying in a hotel.  They have made to order breakfasts in the morning, so I had an omelet in Friday morning - good choice.  Actually the breakfast choices have been on point - so no worries there.

Dinner on Friday was bbq - ribs, pork, beef, and chicken in Friday.  Good choices there and very reasonable portions of potato salad and slaw - seriously perhaps a 1/2 cup each.

Last night's dinner was the shindig - Ruth's Chris steakhouse.  I did okay there.  I ordered a ribeye and it was only okay.  But what was I doing?  I was eating it past the point of nutritional need...and it wasn't even "all that".  When I had that realization, I stopped and gave the rest to hubster.

As for the rest of the meal, my daughter and I split a baked potato and I didn't have all of it.  I dunno - they're not my thang.  Then hubster and I split the spinach au gratin and there were leftovers of that too.

For such an expensive restaurant, I was surprised at the size of the portions.  I *love* to eat and I thought they needed to show that the portions were big enough to share.  While others said their food was really good, I thought it was just so so.  Given the bill - over $1000 for 10 people - I didn't think they lived up to their reputation.  I wouldn't choose to go there again.

The other issue is alcohol.  There's a lot of free-flowing alcohol.  While I have had wine, I've sipped slowly or else had tea.  I've volunteered to be the DD for my family, so it's working out okay.  But it will  still amount to an entire bottle over these 4 days.

This particular post has been a bit interesting.  I'm typing it from my phone - it's felt a little more diary-ish.

There's a lot more I want to say - but it will have to wait.  It's my turn to shower!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What a week I am...

...what a week.

It seems my days are packed, but I don't feel like I'm getting anything done.  Today was one of those days.  I think part of my verklemptedness is how the day is starting.  With all the work being done in the house, we're just every where.  I shower in the basement, but get ready in the half-bath upstairs and dress in the laundry room.  I'll be so...

Actually...this is just an excuse.  My days are packed and I don't feel like I'm getting anything done; however, I'm just flat out not making the best choice when I have the opportunity.  I mean, sometimes I have no choice and I have to make do, but even then I could plan better.  Sometimes, I do have a choice, but I don't always pick the lesser of two evils.  That's fine to do sometimes, but not with the regularity I have.

The only really good food choice I made today was when I told hubster that I just flat out did not want to go out to dinner.  There were a multitude of good reasons for it.  At the same time, it brings up another subject for me though and I understand the issue in my head, but I'm not sure I can explain it.  It only happens at the end of the day as well.

I was running late this morning because my schedule was off since I was spending the day in meetings at another location.  So what did I do?  I ran by the gas station on the way to work.  What the hell is it with me?

At lunch, it was the cafeteria.  I had a choice between a corn chowder with lots of corn and potatoes or shepherd's pie with broccoli.  I chose the pie since it was the better choice - there was very little potato.

So - after work, I had to run across town for a manicure and the traffic was on my side.  I passed by Dairy Queen and saw that there was no line, which meant I had extra I stopped for a medium blizzard.  It filled me up and I ate it on the way to the nail place.  The time was about 5:45...right at dinner time.

After the manicure, I ran by the mall to see if there was anything on sale.  We're going to visit the in-laws this weekend and I thought it would be nice to have something new.  As usual, the plus-sized clothes have no style.  I was SO CLOSE to regular sizes not that long ago...*sigh*

On the way home, I called hubster and told him what I'd been doing.  He asked what I wanted for dinner and gave me some restaurant options.  From the frustration at the store and the full feeling...or rather the realization of the full feeling...I told hubster that I didn't want to go anywhere for dinner, but just stay home.  I did not tell him about the visit to DQ.

Anyway, this was the first time I think in my entire life that I realized that having something that substantial that close to meal time should count as the meal itself.  I'm making no claims on the nutritional value of it - just really the caloric value.  I mean...a dinner meal is supposed to be eaten at a table with meat and vegetables.  It doesn't count if it's ice cream eaten in the car.

So I didn't eat "dinner" - though I did have 3 chicken wing drumettes - just trying to be honest here...and it's effing hard.

I didn't do well today, but I'm not giving up.  It's what I did and I can't undo it, but I will keep on going. 

I don't know that I'll be able to post while we're out of town.  I might just try - it's gonna be stressful as hell.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Failing to plan I am... was a case of failing to plan, but I think I did okay.

I've been trying to get to work quite earlier for the past few months.  It's a quieter (more quiet?) time of day and the parking is MUCH better.  If someone had told me six months ago that I'd want to get up at 4:30 am, I'd have told them they were crazy.  Now...I'm the crazy one!

And...I didn't make it today.  I slept until 5:05 and then felt rushed to get out the door.  I didn't make up the time, so I arrived later than usual - still early but not early enough.  I did take the time to make my breakfast, 4 ounces of brisket with a very high fiber tortilla - 12 grams!

That worked fine until lunch.  There was no combination in the cafeteria that I could make work.  Wait - let me take that back; there was a salad bar, but for some reason I couldn't deal with salad today.  There was a bean and bacon soup, so I had that instead.

That worked fine until mid-afternoon when I got hungry.  There's a vending machine, but I haven't bought anything from a vending machine in YEARS and I wasn't going to start today.  The secretary had some trail mix-y/popcorn-y stuff, so I grabbed a handful of that...then I grabbed another.

On the way home, hubster called to tell me that he was going to be working late - like 9 pm late, so that alters dinner - though I didn't have any particular plan for dinner.  After talking to hubster, I realized I had to stop and get gas because I forgot to fill up over the weekend...rather, hubster forgot to fill up my car!

Anyway, I stop to get the gas and go in to get something to drink.  They have prepared food there.  They had hotdogs, so I thought I'd just get a plain ol' hotdog and be done with it.  I ate the hotdog on the way home.

When I pull up in the driveway, the front door is WIDE OPEN.  WTH?  I have folks in the house for the remodel, but I left specific instructions to not EVER leave the door open because I didn't want Maggie the Cat to get out.  I was pissed and walked in fussing.  I think the poor guy is still scared.  However, I'm confident that he will not be leaving the front door open any more.

I putter around the house and then decide to eat the leftover slow cooked pork I made last week.  After eating the pork, I decided to check the nutritional information for that stupid hotdog.  According to the company's website, that stupid hotdog was 770 calories.

Now, I'm not much of a calorie counter, but holey pajoley.  I would have estimated about 400 calories - I was off by HALF!!  To top it off - the sodium content was almost 2000 mg!!!

So - this day was a bust on a bunch of levels.  I was really only conscious about what I was doing for the first half of the day...okay, okay...only for breakfast.  I should have had a more substantial lunch to stave off the munchies in the afternoon or else I should have had something suitable at work to munch on later.

There was a part of me saying that the day was still less than 100 g carb, so it's okay.  That might be so, but they were shitty carbs with little to no nutritional value.  Yup - that bs justification floating around in the wings.

I know better.  So why don't I do better!?!?!  That's the $64,000 dollar question.

I will have the brisket/tortilla thingie again and then I'll take some brisket for lunch and get a small salad from the salad bar.  I'll also take some almonds with me for the afternoon.

Call me Scarlet...tomorrow is another day! 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Signs I am...


Clearly I've been absent.  And in this case, my absence means that I've not been doing all.  At least weight-wise.  Many other things are going well - I'm doing things I never thought I'd do - both personally and professionally..

But there's that big ol' fat fuckin' failure in the back of my mind - I've regained almost all the weight I lost.

So there.

As the scale was climbing, I kept thinking that I had to get this in check and I started making all the ultimatums I'd made before.  Ultimatums never work - know that.  And the harder I got on myself, the worse it got - to the point that I felt...and still do...feel like an utter failure and a total fake.  As a consequence, I stopped writing as often, and then quit writing at all because I didn't want to talk about my lack of success or how I felt - that would just really make it real.  Diva had recommended a book, "The Diet Fix"; I started it, but didn't finish it.

And then it just got worse.  I don't need to rehash what I did.  Suffice it say that all the old behaviors came back in full force.

And then I started feeling like shit.  My knees and feet started hurting, my ankles were swollen at the end of the day, I was tired all the time, I couldn't move as well, and I was really beating myself up with an awful lot of negative self-talk.  I couldn't face writing anything down.

But then one day, I was able to recall the resolve I had at the beginning.  I thought to myself that I would just do the best I could at the time and not beat myself up when I screwed up.  It's taken me a while to get in the groove - and while I'm not in the trenches yet, I think I might be getting there.

Fast forward to the weekend - the house is a wreck.  The renovations have taken on serious scope creep so I'm always trying to stay a little ahead of the mess.  I have my own home office that was never fully unpacked and was in danger of becoming the catch-all for everything that didn't have a place - exactly what I didn't want.  And like my weight-loss efforts, I hadn't tried to tackle the mess, so it only got worse.  At the beginning of each weekend, I would say to myself that I was going to get that office in order "THIS WEEKEND". Of course, "THIS WEEKEND" never came until this weekend.

The office looks amazing and while my books aren't sorted - they're on the shelves.  I finished most of it yesterday, but then had a few boxes left over to finish up today.  While I unpacked the last boxes this morning, I came across a book of mine that I swear I've never seen before.  The title is "Take It Off and Keep It Off" by Anonymous.  It says it's based on the successful methods of Overeaters Anonymous.

I have never seen this book before and don't remember ever buying it.  Was it a sign?

After getting my office in order, I decided to get my email in order.  I have 3 email accounts - one for junk, one for my personal stuff, and one for my weight-loss stuff.  I don't bother the junk one and didn't consider checking the weight-loss one.  By mistake, I pulled up the weight-loss email account and saw an email sent at the end of July by a lady named Barbara.  In short, she wrote:
"...Your writing is great and interesting...Thought you would like some feedback.  So whether your weight is up or down it's still very interesting and helpful to read about your experiences."
I thought it was awfully nice for someone to notice that I'd been a no-show.  It was even nicer for them to take the time to find my email address on the blog and send me a note.

Was it a sign?

So I go ahead and start clearing up my main email account.  It's got over 15000 emails.  Yes.  15000!  Was it indicative of how other areas of my world have gotten out of control as well.  As I'm deleting emails, I come across an email from a dear friend in Maryland who also struggles with her weight and read the blog.

I noticed that she had started making entries on FatSecret - how cool is that?!?!  She's doing it!!!  Then I came across an email she wrote me on 8/20 that I had not seen at all!  In short, her email said:
"...OK, you have not written for months- what's up with that? is time to buckle back down to writing before you get side tracked...I just started this week, so I'm not seeing much progress yet.  but misery loves company, so how about joining me?"
Was that a SIGN?!?!?!  Now, I'm not superstitious, but holey moley!!!  All roads are leading me here today, so here I am. 

I just started crying for some reason - don't really know why.

All I can do is try.

Thank you Barbara, the kind email-sending lady.

Thank you Hilary.  Thank you for being such a good friend.  Love you!  Miss you!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A death in the family I am...

...we've had a death in the family.

As I wrote...what...two weeks ago, I had a killer toof - which is still bothering me even though I've had a root canal.  Directly after that, I had to do some business travel.

On either side of the trip, I had planned to visit my parents - my dad and his wife and then my mother.  My stepmother had Alzheimer's, scleroderma, and primary pulmonary hypertension, which is a rare lung disease.  In any event, she was quite ill.  Hospice had been called in to give my stepmother and father some help for which I am incredibly grateful.

Anyway, my son and I arrived on Thursday evening, spent the night with mama, and then went to my dad's for the weekend.  The plan was that we would return and spend a day with mama after my work had concluded.  When we got to my dad's, I was truly shocked at how quickly my stepmother had declined.  Two weeks ago I was talking with her on the phone.  Now - she had few moments of clarity and seemed to be in constant pain.  I knew when we left on Monday that I wouldn't see her again.

At 1:00 am Wednesday morning, I got a call at the hotel that she had passed away.  I sent an email to cancel my participation in the meeting and made my way back to Charleston.  It was sad enough going back given the horrific events that had just occurred - God Bless the Charleston 9 - that felt personal.  This really was personal.

My son and I spent the rest of the week going back and forth between my mom and dad's - an hour drive each way.  My stepmother's children stayed at the my dad's house and really had no other place to stay, so it felt like the thing to do.

It's funny how folks react to death.  Obviously, I shed some tears.  Both my kids were there and I'm glad for that - they always called her "Sugar Granny".  I think my daughter's eyes will be swollen for a while.  My son is like his father and was rather stoic.  The adults were quiet, but like lots of southern funerals, it becomes a family get together where there's lots of stories and laughter.

I was fine until the funeral on Sunday.  My dad went up to the casket by himself.  It was at that moment that I realized how much he was hurting.  He tried to straighten her hair in the way she always wore it and then patted her.  When he touched her hand and felt how cold she was, you would have thought he had touched fire.  After that, he touched her hair and kissed her hair.  Seeing him standing there in his grief, in the gentle way he was taking care of her still was almost more than I could bear.  I had a very difficult time keeping it together when I saw him there.  When I went up to the casket, I saw that he had placed a ring on her finger.

While I'm sad my stepmother passed, she had no quality of life and was in constant pain.  My grief is really for my father - that he'll have to go through the grieving process - I hate that he even has to feel these feelings.  I wish there was something I could do to make it better for him, but there isn't.  I hated it when my mother's husband passed away and I'll hate it now.

One nice thing about the situation is that my kids got to see some step-cousins she's never seen.  She told me later that they all had the same stories about Sugar Granny and Papa - they were just 15 years apart.

And so it goes.

I have no idea what the scale says.  I didn't go off the rails or anything - though there were some Sonic stops and some alcohol.

I got home last night and there's no cooking at home as the kitchen is torn apart with the remodeling - no stove and no microwave - so a peanut butter sandwich it's been today.

I'm back to work tomorrow and home until the middle of the month when we leave again for Vienna.


RIP Sugar Granny

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Killer toof I am...

....I had a killer toof.

I was in terrible pain from a tooth this past weekend and ended up with an emergency dental appointment on Sunday.  CT showed an abscess and that I needed a root canal.  However, a good chunk of the tooth had become sclerotic and made it very difficult for the first dentist to even find the roots.

A second dentist came in and FOUR HOURS LATER, I had a completed root canal.  The pain from the abscess went away pretty quickly, but then I felt like I'd been hit in the mouth with a hammer.

The first dentist had assured me the pain medicine he was giving me wouldn't bother me.  Well...he was wrong...VERY wrong. During the sick days, it seems I became quite sensitive to a large variety of pain meds and that sensitivity hasn't waned.

They made me sick to my stomach until it was almost all out of my system and triggered a migraine.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  I stayed home from work again today and I just now feel like I'm coming around.  I can't chew on that side of my mouth - it's still worryingly sensitive, but it was a pretty rigorous experience for that side of my mouth, so I'll give it a few days.

I've not done anything else at all except this.  I'll be back to work tomorrow though and then off on travel on Thursday - not a good week for all this to happen.

I hope to be be back to my regularly scheduled programming soon.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

A quickie I am...

...felt I needed to check in for a quickie update.

It's been a tough week.  LOTS of eating out since our son and his friend are home, but I'm handling it fairly well.  It's not optimum by any means, but I'm leaving off the white stuff and loading up of veggies.


I had an emergency visit to the dentist today.  I have horrendous pain in my upper left jaw.  The last time I had this type of pain, I had a tooth that had broken in half in my jaw - lots of awfulness.

Anyway, I have a CT - of all things - scheduled for tomorrow morning and then a doctor's visit where I will either have a root canal, a tooth extraction, or nothing.  X-rays today were not definitive and I'm not willing - even with the pain - to have anything drastic done until I know.  Sundays aren't good days for this sort of thing I guess.  Plus finding a new dentist in a new town for an emergency when you're not an established patient was a bit of a challenge.

I've got painkillers that I haven't had since the cancer days.  Doc wanted a Z-Pak, but I refused until an infection is confirmed.

I hate this happening with my son and his friend here.  They are so witty, lively, and sassy.  Looking at my son reminds me of his father at that age.  He's young and has time on his side and he's making the most of it - I'm proud of him.  Graduate school starts in the fall.

Anyway - I'm loopy and off to bed.  Even with these painkillers, the sunuvabitch hurts.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A jumble of stuff I am...

...Today has been a big ol' jumble of stuff.

First, I got up and walked...AGAIN!...this morning.  It was a bit tougher this morning even though I got more sleep last night.  We walked to yet the next post this morning.  I'm going to measure it at mapmywalk, but I think it's right at 1.5 miles now in about 23-25 minutes - I'll take it.  I was quiet on the first half of the walk this morning, but enjoyed hearing the other two ladies talk.  I'm comfortable enough with them that I don't feel compelled to talk and can remain quiet if I feel like it.

Lots of stress at work today - nothing went the way it was planned with a few zingers thrown in for good measure.

Then I got some bad family news - my father's wife has been ill and I was told that her life expectancy is "a few months".  Incredibly sad news.  I feel helpless to help them, especially from thousands of miles away.  The end of life shouldn't be full of illness for anyone.  I have a business trip next week and will get to visit them on either side of the trip, so I'm thankful for that.

On to good news, my son and his friend arrived and got here just before I got home from work.  It was good to see them and they both had a good trip across the country.  Youth - don't you just love it??

Fun fact:  My son was with me when I wrote and posted my very first blog post.

Food today was okay until dinner time.  Burgers and beer.  A single beer for me.  It was interesting though.  My son and hubster were sitting across from me and my son's friend was sitting next to me.  As we sat there and talked, my mind flashed back to two 11-year-old boys who loved blowing up stuff in the back yard.  They would love to put dry ice in a plastic bottle, close the lid, and then put an aluminum trash can over it.  The sublimation of the dry ice would cause the pressure in the bottle to REALLY build up and then explode with a big ol' loud BOOM!  The trash can just added to the loudness.  They would delight and giggle just like boys at that age.  I loved it.

And here I am drinking a beer with them.  It was just odd.  Particularly on the heels of the news about my step-mother.

Anyway - that was the day.

I'm not walking tomorrow since neither of the women will be at work tomorrow morning.  However, we'll be back to it on Thursday.  I'm glad that I'm sticking with the plan we're setting out.   I'd thought about just walking alone, but I'm not there...yet.

Monday, June 8, 2015

This exercise thang I am...

...thinking about this exercise thang.

And yep, I got up this morning and walked.  And yes, I still detest it and I'm sure I will for a while.  I'm inherently lazy unless there's a purpose.  However, a few years ago - 2010 time frame - I was walking at a pace of 5 miles/hour in the humid DC summer weather.  There were several Saturdays that I walked half marathons just for the hell of it.  At the time, I had a higher goal - a higher purpose.

But I hated it then too.  While I got into the habit of it, it wasn't a part of me.  I wish I could get the essence that Crabby or YumYucky have regarding their love...or at least strong like...of exercise.

Fast forward to now.  I know exercise not gonna help me lose weight, but I feel that now, more than ever, I've got to somehow incorporate it into my life.

That is something I really believe.

And I'm going to fight myself every step of the way.

So, which "me" is going to win?  I dunno - like a lot of things, I'll probably have lots of starts and stops.  This time is indeed yet another start, but it's better than not starting at all.

Several folks have commented that if I hate it so much, I should find something different or a different time.  At this point, that won't work for several reasons.  I mean - should I attempt to exercise after I've been up for a while and have worked at least a 10 hour day?  I *KNOW* that's not gonna work.  Lunch time won't work because I'm usually cramming in lunch between meetings or working while eating.  So morning time seems best

As far as some other activity - I gotta work in to something more rigorous.  Since regaining weight, my knees and ankles ache more often.  Something is wrong with my shoulder and I really do need to get an MRI - I don't know if I tore something in my shoulder or if the vertebra in my neck are all wonky again.  I'm still dealing with the swelling from the cellulitis infection in my left leg - that is quite the story.

So walking seems to be the thing.  Walking in the morning really seems to be the thing.  I'm fighting myself with excuses to NOT do it every morning, but I know every excuse is just a lie in a pretty package.

One good thing is that I'm really tired at the end of the day - I mean really tired, so I'm not staying up late and trying to get more sleep.  And getting more sleep is a good thing.

I'm often feeling negative about this whole weight thing lately and feel that it's coming through in my writing.  I'm trying to work through it and regain a healthy perspective.

Food was good today.  Yeah me.

That's about it for today.  My son and his friend are supposed to arrive tomorrow - I'm one excited mama!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

At the end of the weekend I am... the end of the weekend.

It's been a really busy weekend.  Friday was super busy and food sucked.  Fast food for breakfast and lunch and then a restaurant for dinner.  I wasn't off the rails at any of them - just the main food with no fries, etc.  But still, it was 3 meals out in one day.

So - the scale is up.  I don't even need the scale to know it's up.  I can feel it in my feet.

Yesterday was fine because I didn't the house.  Today we were out and about and had lunch.  I ordered a salad and everything was fresh and good - it really was a good salad.  I'd thought about ordering a sandwich, but thought better of it.  So I was doing alright there.

And then came the "blast".  We stopped at Sonic for Happy Hour to get a drink.  Mindlessly, I ordered a mini blast, but got a medium instead.  It was a mistake on their end, but really it was a mistake on my end.

Sonic is difficult for me.  Period.  We didn't have them in Maryland, so it was out of sight, out of mind.  However, there are several in the local area and I pass one of them about half the time.  I've got to learn how to handle it better.  It's not like I go every day or stop every time I pass it, but it's just easy to do.  The big reason?  Honestly - it's the ice.  I *love* their ice!  If I could just keep it at the ice, it'd be great

Tomorrow is Monday and I'm supposed to get up at 4 am to walk.  I will do it, but it's still incredibly difficult.  I wish I liked it.  I wish the positive aspects would override my right now, but I suppose it will take time.  Dedicated exercise has always been difficult for me.

Oddly enough though, in Vienna last year, I was walking way over 10K steps each day with no problem and enjoyed it.  Maybe I need to pretend I'm in Vienna.

My son and his friend will arrive here on Tuesday.  They've taken a slow vacation ride from Texas to Idaho and have seen some awesome things - I'm happy they had the opportunity to make that trip.  My husband and I took the same trip 31 years ago when we moved to Idaho the first time.

I applied to renew my passport Friday - had to expedite because the Vienna trip is next month - so that's done.  I would be some kind of pissed to spend all that money on a ticket and then not be able to take it because I didn't have a passport.

The house is a wreck.  We're having the entire house painted and there is stuff covered and crammed everywhere.  The bedrooms are in good shape since we're having company throughout the summer, so that's a plus.

There's so much to do, I've gotta get my ducks in a row!


Friday, June 5, 2015

And I did it again I am...

...and I did it again.

Yep - that's right, I got up before the crack o'dawn and walked.  It was a bit tougher today - it took 3 slaps on the snooze alarm before I got up, but I did.  That extra 10 minutes was good for the sleeping, but tough for getting there on time.  I really had to hoof it to get ready and get out the door.

We walked to the next post today, so just a little further, but we walked a little faster and got back a few minutes earlier than yesterday.  I still didn't like it.

I'm looking for and trying to internalize the positive aspects of this walking at the crack of dawn thing.  So along with getting this *THING* done before 6:30 in the morning, I'm getting an awesome parking spot, so there is a plus to that.  As well, by the time 8 am rolled around, I'd been up for hours and had gotten lots of work done.

The good thing about all of this - I don't have to get up way before the crack of dawn again until Monday.  I know I shouldn't look at it like this, but I do and I'm working on it!

Food today wasn't good.  There was an event at work and a buffet lunch was served.  I hadn't taken my lunch, so the buffet it was.  I've avoided buffets for years because I've never handled them well - like a pig to a trough.  It was a bbq pork sandwich with beans, cole slaw, and salad.  While the food wasn't the most nutritious, I also took too much of it.  Not good.  Then I swiped a mini Snickers mid-afternoon.  It's interesting because I feel my behavior at lunch was much worse than my behavior about the Snickers.  I did stop at one with the Snickers and I did savor the taste - I think that's okay.

So, hubster was out for a work dinner tonight and asked if I wanted to join them, but I declined and came home.  When I thought about dinner, my thoughts strayed to all sorts of things and I considered a lot of options...all of them bad.

And why did I consider them???? Because I was actually saying to myself, "Well - you've already screwed the day up.  Might as well go ahead."  I caught myself before I tossed in the towel and ate trashy stuff.  I wonder how often I've done that without realizing it?  I'm gonna have to keep an eye on that.

There's painter's tarp all over the house - folks are here painting.  They'll paint the dining room tomorrow - it's a beautiful red.  We've painted the ceiling a light yellow to remove the starkness of the red/white combo and to remove the Christmas feel.  I'm excited.  I've not posted about all the house renovation/remodeling we're doing, but we're making good progress and the house is looking mahvelous!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I did it I am...

...I did it.

I got my ass up at 4:20 am this morning after 2 snooze alarms and got to work in time to start walking at 6 am with two women at work.

Just let me be clear about it.  I DID NOT ENJOY GETTING UP EVEN EARLIER.

At all.

However, I enjoy the two women I walked with quite a bit.  They're quite intelligent, but very down to earth and funny.

We didn't walk for distance, but rather walked for time.  In this instance, it was 30 minutes.  We'll probably keep this time for a bit and just try to walk faster as time goes on and then extend the time, but there is only so much time and I do not plan to get up any earlier!  Period!  I do think I have somewhat of a chance of continuing - else I'm sure they'll make fun of me if I don't and I expect it would be brutal!  At this point, I'll take whatever reinforcement - perceived or real - I can get!  Besides, can't let the new friends down on such a positive activity.

The walk itself was fun.  We talked and laughed and just had a good time.

There were a couple of benefits.  After the walk, I realized my commitment was DONE for the day and it was only 6:30 am.  The second was that I was already at work and ready to go.  The third was that I did enjoy it - the weather was cool, the surroundings were pretty to look at, and I did a lot of laughing.  So all in all, it was a good thing.

Of course, this will all go to hell when the alarm goes off at 4 am tomorrow morning, but I will get up anyway.

I was thinking about it on the way home tonight and I'm gonna try to be realistic about this walking at the crack of dawn stuff.  First, I'll have to get up an hour earlier and only for four days a week - and only on the days I work.  I don't have to do this on my days off and I'm not going to commit to doing it on my days off.  Second, I will walk when at least one of them walks, but I'm not going to go to work early to walk alone - I don't love it like that at all.

So while walking for half an hour isn't earth-shattering by any stretch, it was a positive "thing" for me and I'm proud of myself for following through - particularly since I don't have a stellar exercise record.  I hope I continue.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Walking...or not I am...

...Walking or not.

At 3:09 am this morning, I received a text message that the woman I was going to walk with was staying home because she was ill - she's been fighting it for a few days.  I read the message, said "Thank you Jesus", rolled over, and went back to sleep.  I didn't regret it for even a second.

This is not a good attitude to have.  It's something I'll have to work on.

Food was good today - no going off the rails.

One awesome thing that happened today is that I made our reservations for Vienna.  We went there last year for our anniversary and had such an awesome time that we're going again this year.

All the more reason to be good - so my fat ass will fit in the seats!  Perhaps not a perfect goal, but it's definitely a realistic, short-term one!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weakened resolve I am...

 ...thinking about the weakened resolve of the last few months.

It's interesting when you write.  Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard.  One thing I hate about writing here is that I have to have a post title.  I've spent the last five minutes trying to come up with a title that's suitable for what I want to write.  I don't know if the title I've written is suitable, but it'll have to do.

And right now, I don't have clarity.  I don't know what to say or what to write - I just know that I need to write something - try to figure out the mush in my brain.  Things are just all jumbled in my head.  It's an interesting feeling.  I mean - I had clarity earlier in the week - I could see the path forward, but at this moment, I don't have any clarity or confidence.  I just *am*.

The weekend was okay.  Food wasn't perfect, but it's on a forward track.  Hubster and I found ourselves at a fast food place yesterday.  We had tons of chores and places to go yesterday and what do we do?  We slept late!  Once we got on the road, we realized we were really hungry. 

I felt like I was going in the wrong direction, but it was the situation I was in.  I tried to change the feeling and decide what on the menu was reasonable - and yes, it was the word "reasonable" I used.  I ended up with a hot dog and shared fries with hubster.

One thing I haven't done is discuss my renewed efforts with hubster.  It's an odd situation.  He'll try to be supportive I'm sure, but he's not going to believe it until he sees it from me, so he won't go out of his way to accommodate me.  That's fine - I can deal with that.  Besides, he's not the one with the problem.

I've been thinking about walking at work - though I couldn't figure out when I could do it.  I mean - when I get to work, I work until I leave and that includes lunch.  4-10's are a different beast, but I do like the 3 day weekends.

Anyway, I was telling female co-worker about perhaps walking and she said she'd walk with me.  I asked her what time she got to work.  5:30 am!!  Hell - she's there before me!  So I've committed to being at work tomorrow at 5:30-5:45 am.  Without a doubt, I'll bitch my way out of bed in an even louder voice - we'll see how it goes.  I hate getting up earlier and here I am to committing to getting up even earlier!

I'm going to read a bit more of TDF tonight - can't stay up too late since I have to get up early.

I'm planning for a good week.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hanging in there I am...

...Hanging in there.

I really appreciated the comments of my other blogger buddies.  Funny how all that works.  I didn't want to post because I didn't want to admit/let folks know that I had crashed and burned because I wanted to be an example and I didn't want to be judged and on and on.  What do I find when I do fess up?  Nothing but support - and I appreciate it more than you know.  It makes it easier in a way.

Gotta say though - my first thought tonight was to not post, but writing has been an awesome vehicle for me to CTFO about my efforts.  Interestingly enough, I don't like talking about it with folks - not friends, not family, not anyone really.  But writing and interacting here is a positive thing.

While it does seem counter-productive, and maybe it is, hubster and I went out for dinner tonight.  It's been a taxing week.  Hell - every week is taxing.

Anyway - I did good at dinner.  Steak, salad, and veggies.  I started to order a beer, but then I realized it wasn't something I needed to do.  So I ordered tea instead.  And I was just fine - no angst or anything about it at all.  I also left off the bread and potato as well.  The steak wasn't all that good, so I brought half of it home.

I've been thinking a lot about the last few months.  I had been struggling for a while and then we add all the stress of the move - even though it was a positive move.  A lot of upset in the normal routine and then developing a new routine that's a lot different than before.  I've not slept well.  I've had a few injuries/illnesses - more on that later.  All of this along with the new job - I guess I was just overwhelmed and lost the internal focus on myself. 

The bad thing is that it wasn't too difficult to fall off the wagon.  There's got to be some meaning there - something to learn - but at this point I don't know what it is.

Diva recommended The Diet Fix.  I downloaded it several months ago when I first heard about it, but never read it.  I will start tonight.  I'll be interested in what the author says.  I know Gwen recently read the book and seems to be a fan.  Both are people, among others, whose diet advice I'd take.  They've both shown their "realness" and I appreciate it.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Missing in Inaction I am...

...I've clearly been missing in inaction.


I've gained a LOT of weight.  There.  I said it.

I haven't gained all of it back, but I'm close.  I've been knocking myself, beating myself up, chiding myself, making bets with myself, making promises to myself, BREAKING promises to myself.  I've been embarrassed because I've gained weight - I've been upset, pissed off - all of those feelings and emotions that others have felt.

I was thinking about how I needed to just get back to writing - to begin again with being an active partner with myself about getting healthy, staying healthy, and being healthy.  But those old, familiar negative feelings crept back in and just surrounded me.  Of course, it didn't all.  And then the games I play with myself.

It's all so much bullshit.  Why?!?!  WHY?!?!?!?! Why do I allow these negative thoughts and feelings about my weight to become so consuming?  How did I let my weight become ME again?

I've been struggling really hard over the last few days and have thought hard about those early days last year.  Last year this time, I was SO excited for my daughter to come home so she could see the weight I'd lost.  I remember the comments my son made when he saw me when he came home from school.  Well, we saw them this past weekend - son's graduation - and neither of them said anything about my weight at all even though I'm sure they can tell I've gained.

At some point during the weekend, I realized that they don't see me as my weight - they see me as just their mama.  That calmed me down a little.  But still, it's not about them, it's about me.  It's funny how you feel like you're so alone in all of this some times.  I mean - I am the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO HAS LOST WEIGHT ONLY TO GAIN IT BACK.

It's such a shameful feeling - I hate that feeling, but I'm not the only person this has ever happened to.  I thought of dear Diva - she lost a whole bunch of weight a few years ago only to gain it back.  And what did she do?  She got back on the horse, learned from her experience, and is doing better than ever.  If she can do it, so can I!

So far, this week has been good and I've been sticking with the new old ways.  There's a renewed sense, though quite tenuous, of strength.  I've not been tempted and I can see the goal in the future.  At this moment, my path forward is clear.

Having said that, I weighed this morning and was quite disappointed.  I expected it, but I'm still disappointed.  But it is what it is.  The only thing I can do is just try again tomorrow.

I read Diva's blog this evening - seems like it's karma.  Diva - I AM HERE!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Holding Steady I am...

...holding steady.

I'm loving our new place and the new job, but the combination of all the newness is kicking my ass.  I'm working a lot of hours each week with Monday through Thursday basically devoted to nothing but work; Friday is like a recovery day, Saturday is house stuff day, and Sunday is chill day.  While I'm not losing, I'm not gaining - so that's a plus.  At this moment, I'm happy to just maintain.  Having said THAT, my 18s are WAY too tight and I'm firmly wearing the 20s again.

At first, I couldn't figure out how the hell that happened, but then I realized that I'm rarely wearing jeans anymore; whereas before, that's all I wore.  But after moving here, I bought all new clothes.  It would have been a good sign/measure, but I surely missed it.  On the weekends, I'm wearing long dresses.  It's little changes like that that I'm not catching.

Hubster left today for 2 weeks - he'll get home Thursday for just the night and will fly out again on Friday.  One old reliable I fell back on was to get the crock pot out and cook a big ol' pot of meat.  This time it's pork with a bunch of onions.  It should last me through the week.  There's something comforting about it.  Who knows?  Perhaps it'll kick start a new downward trend.

I've got folks coming in to redo the bathrooms and the kitchen.  The bathroom is huge, but is so poorly laid out that it looks crowded.  I've got to decide on walls and floors and stuff - decisions I hate making, so that's gonna be stressful because I don't have a decorating eye at all.

I'm by no means giving up, giving in, or any such thing.  I'm just trying to figure out how to make this new life work the way I need it to work.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Settling down/in I am...

....I think I may be settling down and settling in.

I'm not 100%, but my level of awareness is increasing and the good decisions are greatly outweighing the poor choices.  The excuses are happening less often - the last several days have been on point.  I just have to make sure tomorrow is too.  And yannow what?  I'm pretty sure it will be.

Crabby McSlacker commented on my last blog about how effort/stress in one part of your life can lead you to putting others areas that require willpower on the sidelines.  That's clearly what I've done.  The problem - the thing that pulled me up - was I had the "it can't happen to me" attitude.  Then when it DID start happening that evil little voice of "it'll be okay, don't worry about it" became a regular occupant of my inner voice. 

Crabby's comments really struck home with me and caused me to think a lot about how to put all my shit in one sock.  It was, it is, and it will forever be - a work in progress.

And that's okay.

I've been working to notice and take heed of those moments and decisions that can lead me down the wrong path.  For instance, I finally had some alone time yesterday with hubster doing his own thing at home and then going to see some guys at work for guy night.  I was invited to hang out with the spouses, but didn't want to. 

So yesterday morning, I had an egg and cheese omelet and then went on my way.  There was a local craft fair that I wanted to check out and then I needed to do some clothes shopping.  After the craft show, I realized that I was *really* hungry.  It had been about 6 hours since I had eaten.  There were a lot of fast food places around and I decided on Chick-fil-A.  When I got in the drive-thru and looked at the menu board, I thought of all sorts of stuff.  I thought of how I used to take my grandmother there to get a chicken sandwich - I can still see her eating it in my mind.  She enjoyed them so much and had an odd way of holding the sandwich.

Then I started looking at all the options on the menu board and it all looked appealing.  Then I thought, "AHA!  This is exactly NOT the way I need to be thinking."  At that moment, it was my turn to order, so I told the girl to wait for a second.  Finally, I asked her for the smallest nugget order with no fries and a drink.  I was in a situation - that I put myself in - that could have gone dramatically different.  I realized that what I needed was just enough to not be hungry - and 4 nuggets was it.  Kinda interesting how a good memory momentarily fogged my decision-making process.

After doing some serious damage clothes shopping since I need to dress professionally in the new job and I've kinda been limping along (yuck - I do miss my jeans-wearing days at work), it was another 5 hours later and I was hungry again.  Hubster wasn't home for dinner, so I was left to my own devices.  I got takeout from a steak restaurant and came home to eat.  I had ordered a side house salad and plain sweet potato with the steak; however, there were also 4 rolls that they had put in the bag.  And kudooz to me - yes I know I spell it rong HA! - I put those little puppies in the refrigerator for hubby to have later.

Both those decisions came from a place of awareness and consciousness.  While those decisions by themselves aren't earth-shattering by themselves, it's the sum of all those little decisions that are, indeed, earth-shattering and are gonna be the difference and make all the difference in my eventual success. 

I also think about all the other folks I've been reading over the last year or so.  Each time I go to the salad bar at work, I think of Gwen writing, "NO CROUTONS".  I think of how successful Diva has been on her journey and how much fortitude she's got.  I think of Crabby and imagine what she'd say to me.  I think of Karla and how she's struggling, but sticking with it.  I think of Lori and how she stays with it even when she's frustrated.  I think of Kitty who is finally at a weight she likes.  And doggone it, every time I read Sean Anderson's blog, I feel like he's been spying on me or something - he always hits home!

Finally, I really don't want to have to re-lose any more weight.  This shit has been hard, but so very worth it.  I can either lose the weight I've re-gained and keep going from there or I can continue to gain the weight I lost - I don't want to do a 360 - just a 180! 

It's a simple choice.  And I'm a smart woman.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hello...I'm new here I am...

...and just want to say..."Hello - I'm new here."

At least that's what it feels like.  It seems that I'm running about 50 degrees from what I used to and I can't seem to get it straight, but I'm trying.

The scale tipped 270 at the end of the day the other day and that pretty much scared the shit out of me.  This is the wrong direction...clearly.

While I'm loving living here and am enjoying the job - it's a total 180 from what I've been used to the in the past.  Our schedules are totally different and in an upheaval relative to what they were before.  We're getting up earlier, getting home later, working longer hours, not working together, and getting used to a whole new way of doing damn near everything it seems.  Getting sick so soon after getting here knocked me off base as well.

With all the changes we made, everything pretty much fell apart eating-wise - and I let it.  Reincorporating the good habits in a new schedule has been challenging because I've taken the easy way out, but I feel I'm making some strides in getting back on track.

My schedule is officially 4 10-hour days, but they're more like 4 12-hour days.  Along with an hour commute - which is beautiful, we're dog-tired by the time we're both home.  Who the hell wants to cook then?!?!?  To try and take care of that, hubster and I bought a bunch of pre-cooked meats that aren't loaded with sodium and additional ingredients.  Add a veggie and we're doing okay. 

At least once each week, we have some work-related thing we have to do.  It's fine, but I've been drinking at these events - not over-the-top or anything - but two drinks can indeed wreck havoc.  Given that I don't really give a shit about drinking, it's not a hard thing to not do.  But let me be clear, it's not been at just the work-related events.  If hubster and I go out to eat, I've been drinking alcohol at least 30% of the time.  That stopped as of last night.

Breakfast has been an omelet at work - freshly made, but it's too much.  I've gotten friendly with the chef and he makes mine bigger...a lot an act of kindness.  Either that or he figures the fat lady needs more to eat.  *smacks self*  I've got some smoked salmon and cream cheese now, so I'm gonna see how that works out.  I may try for my old stand-by smoothie, but time is precious in the morning and I'm still bitching my way out of bed.

Lunch has been a salad from the cafeteria that I make myself.  It's usually lettuce, radish, asparagus, pickled beets (but not sweet), broccoli, eggs, cheese, and blue cheese dressing.  It's good, but probably too big - do I need to worry about that though?  I don't know.  The bad thing I've been adding on the salad is croutons - not one or two, but a bunch.

Those are the obvious things.  The less obvious - and the more harmful - are the bowls of candy everywhere.  The day I arrived, we started a major reorg.  That meant a ton of stressful meetings - and the admin folks brought out the bowls of candy - and not the inexpensive, cheap stuff either, but rather the stuff that I didn't say 'no' to.  What is it - candy and stress-soothing?  Shit.

I've also not kept up with posting because by the time I get a bit of time, I want to do other stuff.  In thinking about it - this really is the most important thing.  While I don't know, I wonder if, subconsciously, I wasn't writing because I didn't want to deal with the shit I was doing to myself.

We've also been eating out on the weekend.  I showed hubster my weight graph today and he said it was all the eating out and the desserts.  I immediately became defensive and told him that we rarely had dessert.  He calmly pointed out that we were out for a work function on Thursday, then went out to dinner on both Friday and Saturday - and had dessert at all of them! hell did I miss this?!?!?!?!  He was absolutely right!  Honestly, it's like it just slipped right by me!  How did I allow this to happen?

So tonight was dinner at home...baked boneless center loin pork chops and sauteed spinach with pecans.  I also had the rest of the Cobb salad from last night's dinner.  Yeah - the dinner where we had dessert!

Hopefully, I've got my stupidity under control...or at least am on the right road.  My awareness went to shit, but hopefully I've got that on the right track as well.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.  Feel feel to smack the shit out of me.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quick Update I am...'s time for at least a quick update.

Things have been incredibly busy.  The trip across country was good and everything has gone relatively smoothly.  I came down with pneumonia right after we moved in and that slowed everything down for me.  It will take forever for the house to be totally unpacked - it's a little cluttered and a bit chaotic - but it'll do'll do.

Work is also kicking my ass, but I'm enjoying it.  The new environment the new work schedule - 10 hour days with a long commute is taking a bit of getting used to it.  Our entire routine has changed - a routine we've had for close to 20 years - and it is a big adjustment.  Interestingly, it's the first time hubster and I have NOT worked together in the same building.  We both off in different directions.  I think we'll overlap in time, but at this point I never see him.

With the new change in schedule, we get home late and are too tired to cook, so it's a quick pickup somewhere.  When time off comes, I've been trying to rest and get back to 100%.  I'll get there.  Failing to plan...well, we know what happens then...and it is indeed true.

As a result, I've had a difficult time.  I can feel that I've gained a little bit of weight and I'm trying to get it under control.  Today was the first day I kept my ducks in a row.  Both breakfast and lunch were in the cafeteria, but none of it was boxed food.  Breakfast was just sides of bacon and lunch was a salad with all fresh veggies and boiled eggs.  Dinner was meatloaf that hubster made since he got home an hour earlier than usual.  Sweet thing he is - he said that he didn't put any bread or oatmeal in it, but used cheese, onions, and mushrooms instead.  It was really good too.  That was the only thing we had for dinner.  We both appreciated the bit of time to just eat a meal at the table.

I came to bed this evening and thought I HAD to post something.  Writing about stuff helps.  I think my posts may be a little shorter, but I think that's fine - it's the conscious effort that matters.

I'm going to try and remember to weigh tomorrow morning.  I am NOT a morning person and really pisses me off that I have to get up at 4:30 a.m.  Hubster has the coffee ready the night before and brings me a cup before I bitch my way out of bed in the morning - bless his heart.

Anyway - that's it for now.  Sorry for the long absence.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Second leg - Memphis to Kansas City, MO I am...

We've finished the second leg of the trip...going from Memphis to Kansas City,  MO.

For the most part, things are going well.  Food today wasn't so good.  Started out with a great breakfast of bacon, but lunch was a burger and fries in the car

I felt guilty about the burger, so when dinner rolled around and we got settled in the hotel with the menagerie, hubster volunteered to find dinner.

I knew it would be fast food and I was tempted, but I told him to get a salad for me.  He came back with a chicken salad - fried not grilled, but he was tired I'm sure and I wasn't going to rag on him for that.  We are definitely tired.

This morning, we're heading for Cheyenne.  Btw, the La Quinta lets animals stay free.  Being that we are traveling with 3 dogs, 1 cat, and 2 birds, we're thankful.  The room was good - no animal smell at least not when we arrived.

My only problem was the breakfast - no protein at all - all empty carbs, so that was a bust.  I ended up with a meat lovers taco at a taco place.  Not the best, but better than Danish and doughnuts.

We're listening to 70's music as we drive down the road.  Did you know that hubster and I are award-winning Grammy   singers???  In our head of course!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

First leg - MD to TN I am...

We've completed the first leg of our move...going from Maryland to Tennessee.

We ended up packing for two days and loading for two days.  Let me tell you, those fellas worked their butts off.  We filled up a 53 foot truck and a 20 foot truck to the brim!  We have too much stuff!

Originally, we were going to leave early Saturday morning, but ended up leaving early Friday evening because of impending bad weather.  It's the first time in many years that either hubster or I had been up for 36 hours.  We were exhausted!

My feet aren't faring very well, so I'll be wearing compression socks for the rest of the trip.

It is quite uncomfortable to be honest.  Food is only okay.  I'm avoiding bread and sugar, but it seems almost unavoidable on the road.  I ended up with pork rinds and a small can of mixed nuts for the ride.  So far, so good.  I've either been trying to sleep or trying to keep hubster from falling asleep if he's driving.

I'm cooking at the in-laws tonight so I'm in control of the cooking...I think that's best all around.

Tomorrow...Kansas City, MO!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

This last week I am...

...this last week has been packed!  The movers are coming tomorrow and I think we're about ready.  I guess the thing about it is - we're gonna have to be ready regardless of whether we're ready or not!

We have not succeeded in emptying the freezer, but have gotten all the good stuff.  Funny thing is - the good stuff is all vegetables and meats from down home - vegetables from my dad's garden and bbq from my mother!  The not good stuff is all store bought stuff - we'll be donating it to the local area food bank - they actually take frozen foods.

There were several parties this week and I'm glad I got the first one out of the way first.  It was big and had a smorgasboard of everything.  I had too much sugar - funny how I justified it at the time.  But let me tell you triggered a migraine that I don't ever want to have again!!!

They always affect the right side of my head, make me nauseated, and I don't even want to hear movement.  This made it much easier to not succumb to sugar temptation for the rest of the celebrations.  We've got two more this week and then we'll be on the road.  Avoiding sugar for the remainder of the parties and while we're on the road won't be difficult - that migraine scared the shit out of me and I'm positive it was from too much sugar.

One thing we've eaten this week that I've never had before is black bean spaghetti.  My son wanted it when he was home, but it was Costco-sized so there's plenty left over.  Anyway - it's dark and shaped liked spaghetti.  It's only got two ingredients - black beans and water.  The best part is that it's got 11 grams of fiber per serving - that's awesome.  While it doesn't taste like spaghetti, it's got a good texture and is one of the few semi-processed items that I will buy in the future.

Back to packing!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Jekyll and Hyde I am...

...feeling a little bit like Jekyll and Hyde.  I'll explain in a minute.

Needless to say, we're getting down to the wire and I'm stressing.  Our son heads back to school on Tuesday.  I can definitively say he's been "on break".  He's ready to go back as well - he misses his girlfriend - exactly who is this girl??? - and he's bored here.  I'm happy to see that he's making his own life, but I kinda miss the old days as well.  Of course, there is that part of hubster and me who's ready to have the house to ourselves again.  Did my inner voice just leak out again???  ;-)

Instead of getting cleaner, the house seems to be getting messier; but there is a method to the madness.  I'm really clearing out a lot of stuff and organizing things into groups.  The new house is a lot different that this current house and I don't have the transition of things from the old house to the new house completely clear in my head.

Things are winding down at work, which is also sad.  We've made a lot of progress and I'm leaving in a transition.  However, I'm leaving on good terms, so that's always a good thing.  My boss told me the other day that I didn't have to leave and that I'll always have a position there if I want to come back.  It was very sweet of him to say that, but once I'm out the door things will move on.  No one is irreplaceable - even me.

With all that out of the way, I've gotta say that I'm struggling - struggling and stressing about that four-letter word - F-O-O-D.  I feel a little Jekyll and Hyde-ish about it.

Two things are happening:  1)  I am eating out almost every day at lunch with someone who wants to spend time with me before I leave, and 2) We're trying to clear out the refrigerator and freezer.

Generally, at lunch-time I've been eating in the cafeteria with whoever I'm with since it's a bit of a hassle to leave campus at lunch.  There is a salad bar that's a little on the slim slide, but it has all the basics.  Then there's another 40-some-odd selections from the buffet.  There's other made-to-order items, but those are definitely off-limits for me.

Even before starting down this road, I avoided buffets - they're just too much, but I could handle them on occasion.  But it was starting to wear me down with the cafeteria - it's such an easy default so just go with it and worry about it later.  I've got so much shit going on at the moment, it's okay.

That's just it - IT'S NOT OKAY.  My ass will still feel the weight if I eat poorly.  My ass doesn't give a shit that I'm moving and have a lot of stuff going on.  My ass will just get bigger.

What do I do?  I do seem to be shuffled in to this cafeteria thing for the next two weeks, so when I went last week - Wednesday I think - I looked at it with a different eye.  Instead of saying to myself that it was a crappy salad bar - just because it didn't have a large selection - was no reason for me not to select some of the items they did have.  So when I looked - wonder of wonders - there were two kinds of lettuce, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, peppers, cheese, fake bacon bits, sesame seeds, and a variety of dressings - including full-fat blue cheese. 

I loaded up my plate with salad.  This accomplished three things:  1) It set the tone for the rest of my meal, 2) It loaded up my plate with food that was good for me, and 3) It minimized the amount of space on my plate for the stuff that's not so good for me.

I ended up getting some chicken and some hot squash and zucchini.  It kept me from getting a little taste of this, a little taste of that.  I can "little taste" myself to a big weight gain. 

I'm reminded of that quote from Peter Attia on the right of the blog - it's the little things.  He's totally right too - it's the little things that are gonna make me successful and it's also the little things that are gonna totally fuck me up too!

Having described this success - just let me say that it was not easy.  The lure of all those tasty little things was difficult.  That devilish voice saying, "Oh this little bit won't hurt", "Remember how good that was", "It's okay, you're having a tough time", "Don't worry about it - you can be good next time."

It's a tough thing to tell your own self to fuck off but that's what I did, because that's what I needed to be told.  I think I'm gonna have to tell myself that a lot in the coming weeks.

The other thing that's also a pain about eating out is the sodium.  Even when I'm spot on, it seems there's too much sodium and I can feel it almost immediately.

We're clearing out the freezer as well.  My favorite so far was when I found a pack of collard greens that mama and me put away, so we cooked those along with some field peas and sausage - how southern is that???  It was awesome.  So much better and tastier eating at home. 

I'm trying - I'm working it.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Snow Day I am...

...having a snow day.

Snow fell last night - more than predicted - so there were a bunch of traffic snarls today.  Hubster and I decided to go in late, but when we heard how bad the roads were, we decided to stay home.  It worked out just as well.  I went back to sleep and woke up to a beautiful omelet under my nose.

Hubster woke me up and said, "It weighs 6.8 ounces and has two eggs."  How sweet is that?!?!?!  It was a really good omelet too!

I got a lot done today.  I've got the basement almost completely sorted and I have another two 33 gallon bags of shredded paper.  I'm glad to be getting rid of the paper.  It's a bit freeing.  The Goodwill pile is getting quite large though.

Also got the call today that they'd like to close on the 29th because of all the end of the month activity.  This means we may have to hustle a bit more.  We'll try, but who knows what the roads are gonna be like.


I was going along my merry way in the basement today and realized that I was REALLY hungry to the point of not feeling good.  I rummaged through the refrigerator and had 4 chicken wings - that totally took care of my hunger.

Hubster made crab cakes and beans for dinner tonight.  They were particularly good because I didn't make them!  I've generally been the crab cake maker around here, but I just didn't want to make them tonight.  Hubster did a good job!

I said before that this month is gonna be a challenge and it is.  I ate out twice yesterday.  The first was lunch with a co-worker.  It was only the cafeteria, but the cafeteria is buffet.  It was a bit different this time because I started out with putting salad on my plate.  It was a little thing, but it made a big difference because it filled up the plate and limited the amount of space remaining on the plate for OTHER food.  I will do it again since I will be eating in the cafeteria with a different co-worker tomorrow!

We also ate out late night.  It wasn't intended as we're trying to eat all the food in the freezer, but my son forgot to take something out to defrost.  We ended up going to a wing place.  I got medium wings - about 12 - and a regular-sized salad.  After I had eaten about 5 wings and half of the salad, I realized that I was full and really didn't have any more appetite.

So guess what?  I quit eating!!  What a NOVEL concept!!  I've got to figure a way to make this work since it's gonna be happening a lot.  I hope to maintain that awareness of being full throughout the coming weeks.  I also hope to maneuver the food situations as well as I did yesterday.

And by the way - I didn't have the macaroons at the races on Saturday night - I forgot to mention that before.

I keep going back and forth on what to do about the drive across country.  I thought I'd buy a big ol' bag of Costco nuts, but then I think I'd just eat out of boredom.  Then I thought that we'd just get something when we stopped to stretch, but that will be expensive.  I think I'm starting to settle on buying individual-sized snacks from Costco - it will be cheaper and perhaps keep me from boredom eating since it's individual-sized.  Thinking about beef jerky too, but I need to find some that's light on the sodium.

That's what's in the ol' noggin today!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

One year in I am...

...One year in.

Yup - that's right.  It's been a year since I made my first post.  I can't begin to say how proud I am that I'm still here - through all of the ups and downs of the last year - I'M STILL HERE!!!  Better yet, I'm 30 lbs down for the year.

I don't know what made 1/4/14 different, but I think I can come up with a reasonable guess.  First, I think I realized that I just couldn't keep going down the same path I had been on.  It was endless disappointment with everything - but mostly at myself.  Like so many others, I had been looking for that elixir that was going to help me lose 100 lbs in a week, that potion that was gonna make me a size 6, that spell that would make my body fit.

I wanted off the hamster wheel...and that's exactly what it was.  Spinning my wheels and not making any progress at all.  Oh - I could stick with it for a few days, but at the first sign of weakness, whether it was me wavering from whatever the plan was to not losing weight fast enough - or just plain giving up, that plan would be thrown to the curb because obviously it didn't work.  I mean seriously - if the plan worked, I'd be on the plan and would be losing weight like gangbusters, right?

Something was seriously missing.  There were a lot of things missing actually.  Objectivity for one - there was always a new plan, a new miracle.  While I feel that I'm reasonably knowledgeable and actually know quite a bit about biochemistry and nutrition, it seems that I'd jump on any bandwagon that promised miracles.  Why the hell a normally reasonable person would fall for that shit is beyond me, but fall for it I did.

Personal accountability was also missing.  The diet was responsible for my success or failure - it couldn't possibly be up to me to determine the success of the plan.  It wasn't my fault if I strayed from the plan.  I worked late, I slept late, I was tired, I was busy, I was in the wrong place, I was with the wrong people, it was too late to cook, it was too early to cook.  It was always something other than me being accountable for myself and my actions.

There was a weird sense of perfectionism going on as well.  I had to be perfect - I had to be the poster child for whatever diet plan I was on at the moment.  With that mindset, I was doomed to fail.

It all came to a head and I knew there had to be a change.  And I knew that change had to come from within.  I didn't know how I was going to do it and I didn't have a formal plan - I still don't - I just knew that I had to DO IT!

I had to start somewhere.  So I made four commitments to myself.  The funny thing is that wrote that I was going to "commit to or change over the next few days".  Lord help me - I'm still committing and changing!

Those four things were the following:
  • Mindful of everything I eat
  • No added sugar
  • Breathe, stay calm, and don't beat myself up.
  • Don't give up before I even get started.
After a year, I can honestly say that those four commitments are in order from least important to most important.  Yes - the most important not giving up before I even get started.  The only difference is that now, I can't give up before I'm done.

The other three things are very important, but it's that stick-to-it-iveness that stands apart.  When I'm not mindful of everything I eat, it would be easy to give in and give up; but I can't, I've gotta get up, dust myself off, and keep going.

When I eat sugar when I shouldn't, I've gotta get over it and look at it as something that happened, not as a nail in a coffin.  I can't give up - I gotta keep going.  Shake it off and move on.

When I get anxious about lack of progress and start berating myself for not being perfect, I've got to realize that THIS IS THE PROCESS - and that there's no giving up, I gotta keep going.

I've learned an awful lot about myself this year - and I'm a hot mess - lol!  I'm not all bad, but I am incredibly human.  I don't have super powers, I'm sometimes weak, and I'm often frustrated.

The fear of failure is always present and I'm realizing that it's such a destructive fear and serves no useful purpose.  I've got to change it up - what did I read recently?  It's not failure, it's just 100 ways not to do something?  What a powerful way of turning a negative around.

I'm proud of the fact that even when I wasn't strong and not making progress, I logged my weight every day.  I might not have posted it every day, but it eventually made its way to the blog.  That was a big help to me.  I know it's not for everybody, but I need to be a daily weigher.  Interestingly, when I'm being good and following my own tenets, the scale is just a data point with appropriate importance.  When I'm screwing up, the number on the scale goes up in importance and causes me a lot of angst.  I think it's guilt because I know I'm screwing up and the scale does have its way of keeping me honest.  The scale reflects my effort, not my intent.

My weight graph shows a lot of progress.  Today's blog - one year later - shows a lot of progress.  I've kept at this for a year.  YEAH ME!!!  When I started this, I knew I couldn't reasonably make a number goal, but internally I did - and that was to have all the weight off - about 110 pounds.

Obviously that didn't happen.  But ya know what??  30 lbs is HUGE!!!  If I hadn't started, I could have been 30 lbs heavier - and I was on track to do that.  So really - I'm 60 lbs down for the year!  lol  However, the faith in myself that I can do this and continue on is even HUGE-R!!!!

I'm excited for the coming year and I hope it will be as successful as the past year.  Having a year of this process under my belt, I know there will be some successes, some failures, and some frustrations - but I'll be here.  I'm not giving up.  Remember Rule #4!  As I said before, I've got some experience in creating success now.  I just need to build on that success now.

Finally, I now believe that writing things down helps immensely.  Who gives a shit if you have proper grammar anyway?  I wasn't always such a believer in writing.  There was a weird fear of writing - where would I start?  wherever I damn well please.  What would I write about?  whatever I want!  What if no one reads what I write?  Who cares?  I'm writing it for me!  What if someone does read what I write?  Good!  Perhaps they can help me!  For me, writing is helping me become more honest with myself and helping me to understand that I'm not perfect.  Giving an outer voice to my inner voice - my inner self-talk - is huge.