Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Stuff

It's the week after Christmas, and of course there's new stuff. I got
some attachments for my sewing machine, which will ensure that I never
ever have to make ruffles by hand ever again (and there was much
rejoicing), and I got some gift cards to my favorite scrapbook supply
stores, so that's a happy thing too. But this week, I've done more
purchasing - stuff I NEEDED. And this is the kind of thing I can't
ask for as a gift. And it's the kind of thing I get very little joy
out of shopping for.

Need #1: a new treadmill. I had a treadmill - the same one that's
been in my basement for the better part of 15 years (it took a brief
hiatus at a friends house, but ultimately came back home). It works,
and isn't really showing any signs of being non-functional. But I
could use something with an incline, and a better display for how fast
I'm going and how far I've gone. Old treadmill had such a display,
but it was flaky, and the speed control was on a slider thing - not
offering very precise control. And I've actually been using the
treadmill 3 times a week for the last month. So it was time - I've
earned the upgrade. I picked up a ProForm 400 CT from Sam's, and
I'm extremely happy with it. It has plenty of incline, and far more
precise control of the speed. There are also built-in speakers and a
cable that plugs into my phone so that I can play music without having
to wear headphones. It's nice - but it's not very loud. Good if the
kids are down there - it allows me to hear their argument before it
escalates into disaster. But most of the time I wait until they're
asleep, and I want to drown out everything - including any type of
independent thought I may want to have. So I still have a need for
headphones. Anyway, it's really nice (especially considering that I
only parted with $500 to get it) and I'm very happy.

Need #2: new pants. I'm down 18 lbs, and my pants are finally baggy
enough to look bad. When I started JC, the pants were tight - as in,
time to go up a size. But I couldn't handle that idea. By around the
10lb mark, the pants fit the way they should and were no longer
cutting off circulation or threatening to split up the back. Now, at
18lbs, they're not in any danger of falling off, but they're looking a
little saggy in the back, which is probably just as unflattering as
the tightness that was there 12 weeks ago. So last night I purchased
pants. CJ Banks (a plus size store) was having a pants sale, so I
lucked out. I was able to get 4 pair for the money I was planning on
spending, and I had only figured I'd be able to get 2. So that's a
happy thing. They're only one size down, and a little tight around
the middle still. But at least I'll have a frame of reference as
these (hopefully) start to get less snug.

My hopes are that by spring, these pants will start to be in the
too-big range, and it will be time to do another round of shopping.
But at that point I can shop for skirts, which have a much larger
range for weight - the right style skirt could probably cover a range
of 3 sizes without much more than the move of a button. I really
don't enjoy shopping for clothes. The now-baggy pants were purchased
during my maternity leave 4 years ago, when I realized that there was
no likelihood that I'd be dieting or exercising and getting back to my
pre-pregnancy clothes any time soon. Perhaps by spring, my
relationship with my new treadmill will have produced enough results
that I'll change my mind. But for now, this week's purchases were
about as fun as shopping for a new set of tires for my SUV. But it's
done, and should hopefully sustain me for a while. Now I can
concentrate on my fun shopping - spending those Michaels and Archivers
gift cards.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mid-week diet reflections

So, it's only Thursday, and with my weigh-ins being typically on Mondays, this is really about mid-week. I think this week has been a good week for the weight loss efforts. I figured out something critical for making the food thing work. I'm sure that Erica (the Jenny Craig consultant) would not approve of my methods, but once I have my weigh-in on Monday (assuming the numbers go the way I think they will), I will be convinced that my way is better and I will continue doing things that way.

According to the instructions, one is supposed to follow the menu fairly exactly. As in, if they say that I should be having such-and-such a cereal for breakfast, then I should also be having exactly such-and-such a sandwich for lunch and exactly such-and-such an entree for dinner. It's all perfectly nutritionally balanced that way. And it drives me perfectly nuts. I hate it. I tried to stick with it last week, and look at the food prescribed for the entire day before I selected breakfast. Way to start the day on a sour note. Trying to figure out what I might like for dinner at 8am is just not something I can do. And honestly, when it then came time for dinner - I didn't want what was on the menu, and rather than choosing a different JC box, I chose Taco Bell. I somehow doubt that was the right choice.

So this week, I'm trying something different. I have 7+ breakfast options, at least 10 lunch options, and probably 15 dinner options (Taco Bell wasn't the only diversion). So, before leaving for work, I grab whichever breakfast seems the most desirable, and whatever lunch item strikes me. When I get home, I select a dinner. I'm sure my days are not nutritionally balanced, especially when you factor in all of the prescribed snacks. If I feel like yogurt instead of popcorn, then I have yogurt. Not the same, but I'm not angry about the food. Last week I was angry. Last week I was ready to quit. Last week, I gained half a pound. This week, I think I'm down about 3 lbs.

I think the lesson here is that restrictions are bad for me. The more restrictions and rules, the less likely I am to succeed. Apparently, I need to do things on my own terms. Clearly I need help (like in the form of portion controlled boxed food), but all of the other rules and restrictions and requirements are nothing but a barrier and do little more than piss me off.

So, we'll just see how the week pans out, but for now, I think I might have stumbled on to a compromise that might just work. Come Monday morning I'll know for sure.

It's nearly over....

Christmas, that is. I really don't like the fact that I detest Christmas more every year. I don't mind the giving - I actually emptied my purse of cash because of the bell ringers, and we sent in gift cards or supplies to every adopt-a-whatever that anyone we knew was sponsoring. Tomorrow I plan on taking the kids to a toys-for-tots dropoff location. I already have two things, but I'm considering taking the kids to a toy store first and having them choose something for the drop box.

But I wish that there weren't so many other obligations. And I wish I could convince myself that it would be OK to get my children one gift each and call it good. Not because we can't afford it - but rather because they're entirely too spoiled. And regardless of all of the things that will be under the tree, there will probably still be disappointment. This is why I'm looking forward to this all being over.

Tomorrow is the work holiday, and the day care is closed too. And I'm trying to figure out how to spend the day without feeling the need to sedate my children. They're bound to be bouncing off of every wall. I think we definitely need to do the toys for tots thing - at least it gets us out for a bit. I've also considered having them select some neglected toys from their rooms and take them to Good Will. Maybe we can go get some cash from an ATM and visit a few red kettles. I'm sure it won't help ground them as much as I'd like, but maybe it will help me feel better.

Or maybe we can just make cookies. Oh wait, but then there's all the wrapping that still needs to be done. And I've still got a calendar to make for the swap at my mom's house. Oh, and we need to drop off gifts for all of the neighbors at some point. Oh, and the holiday cards need to be made (I guess I should limit my designs to Happy New Year - or maybe Valentine's Day). And Rob wants me to make some earrings for Nicole to balance out some cars he found for Jake. Dammit. I hate Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The undeserved gifts

I'm feeling like an evil mom right about now. Neither of my children appear to grasp the Santa Claus "naughty list" threat. Their behavior has been in a downward spiral since Thanksgiving. I'm not surprised - it's been this way every year. And of course they're going to ultimately win, because I don't keep receipts and I'm too lazy to do returns anyway. Besides, I actually sewed some stuff for Nicole this year (photos here) and it's not like I can take that back to the store.

So here's why I'm feeling evil - both kids have decided to change their story about what's on the top of their list. Everything had been at least ordered, if not wrapped, and none of the ordered items are the things they're now talking about. Nicole is telling everyone who asks that she'd like a DSI (a souped up version of a Nintendo game thing she already has). Jake has been asking for a "Cleaner Truck". No one really knows what that is. So I've decided, that when the children ask why Santa didn't bring them a cleaner truck or a DSI, I'm going to tell them those items came out of the sled due to some naughty time. They have to learn somehow, and it gets me off the hook. There may be some tears this Christmas, but I'm beyond caring. My children often fail to realize just how spoiled they really are, and this year they're going to have to start figuring it out. It's not like they're going to be hurting. They'll still have plenty of packages - and packages that represent things that were in fact on their mile-long lists at one point.

As always, I'll be more than happy to see December draw to a close. It's the worst month of the year for so many reasons. And when it's all over, my children might go back to becoming reasonably behaved human beings. At least, until Mother's Day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stat Post - week of 12/20

Monday: 10 minute walk through building (twice); 40 minutes on the treadmill
Tuesday: 10 minute walk through building (twice)
Wednesday: 10 minute walk through building (twice); 40 minutes on the treadmill
Thursday: 10 minute walk through building (twice)
Friday: (xmas eve - off work) no exercise at all
Saturday: xmas day - totally off-menu - no exercise at all
Sunday: Two trips up and down the street (probably no more than .5 mile), 35 minutes of Zumba.

I gave myself a total pass on Christmas. Christmas Eve the kids and I went out to see if any last minute shopping items spoke to us. They didn't. And the stores were surprisingly non-busy. After shopping, we went to IHOP. They have one or two decent choices on the menu, but none of them qualified at all as what I wanted, and what I wanted was real eggs. Egg substitute is yucky. That lunch was probably an entire day's calorie allowance. Oh well. I left happy. And for dinner, I had nachos - the same nachos the rest of my family was having. So there.

Christmas morning was at my parents' house - where there was not a single good choice to be had. The only available options were donuts, and fried breakfast food. And I sampled it all, because it wouldn't have been Christmas without it. The primary difference was that I only had one plateful. That's usually not the case.

Skipped lunch, and once home, opened a bottle of wine which I finished entirely on my own by the end of the night. And that might explain why I'm not entirely certain what all I ate for dinner. I know there was a cold cut sandwich, followed by some pizza. There were also some dessert items, and chips and cheese dip. Can't even begin to account for how much of that stuff I ate.

Today was back on menu. And I have no idea what to expect for the weigh-in tomorrow morning. If I gained, I doubt it was any more than last week. I may still hit the treadmill tonight after the kids are in bed. Just to totally make sure I expend more than I took in today.

Time to check the freezer to see what's available for dinner.

Resurrection, part 2

Yeah, it's been two years. Life isn't quite what it was, because the baby is now a pre-schooler and the big sister is in 2nd grade and involved in Girl Scouts and taking piano lessons. So it's slightly busier than it was before, but at least she's not involved in sports - that kind of schedule might just kill me. But even just the minimal involvement she has in activities, combined with her homework, mixed in with only about two hours total of "family time" (whatever that is), has led to some very unhealthy habits.

We can't change everyone at once - that just won't fly. So I decided to start with me. Two months ago, I joined Jenny Craig, and have been largely eating microwaved boxed food ever since. I don't find it particularly pleasant, and I don't do a very good job of sticking to it. We still go out to dinner any night that we are out as a family anyway - mostly weekends, but not always. And of course there are the holidays and nights out with friends or family. I try to make good choices, but seriously.. it depresses me. Having grilled chicken with broccoli when fettuccini alfredo is on the menu is just not something I have the willpower to do.

Enter exercise. I loathe exercise. Truly, I do. But given my inability to make good choices when presented with food items that cause me utter bliss, I have no choice. So in the last month I've dusted off the treadmill, and braved the zumba DVDs on occasion. I've even popped in the Wii fit disk a few times. But doing that and avoiding kicking or tripping over Jake is all but impossible. Neither child comprehends the need for personal space while exercising. So it typically waits until they're in bed - and it typically only happens during the nights when Rob puts them to bed.

My consultant has also encouraged me to start taking the stairs at work. All the way up to the 4th floor. Well, it's been nearly a month, and it still nearly kills me. So I modified. I take the steps all the way down, and then wander the hallways in the building until I reach a different staircase. Then I go up one flight, and wander the halls some more. I'm still going up all of the steps - just not all at the same time. And I have the benefit of being able to speak by the time I'm back at my desk.

So, if I can manage it, I'm going to log my exercise successes here. And maybe just journal about whatever interests me at the time. It probably won't be that interesting. But whatever. So far, I've lost 17 lbs. I have at least 40 more to go before "goal". If I make it, I'll want a log of how it happened. If I don't, I'll have a list of excuses. My first goal - post tonight before going to bed.