Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 10, Round 2

Set a realistic goal.

I stepped on the scales this morning and was disappointed to find my weight up. Somehow I seem to think that a couple of days of exercise and clean eating will drastically change what I weigh. Tisn't so. I hadn't weighed in a while, so I don't know the extent of the the damage of the week off of dieting and exercise.

When Meg was visiting we were having a discussion on happiness versus peace. Meg was voting for happiness and I was voting for peace. Are they different sides of the same coin or are they different concepts all together? Right now I seem to be devoting a good deal of effort and time to beating myself up because I can't/won't lose 10-15 pounds. Jesus Christ - it's just a few pounds. Did I feel any worse about myself when I was 100 pounds overweight? I don't know. Somehow things have gotten out of whack, out of proportion, out of peace.

Losing those pounds won't change a damn thing about my life, really. I'm healthy, very healthy. Bick and Pebbles won't love me more. Why have I let this thing take up so much of my mental energy? Is my life so drama-free these days that I want to create over something so inconsequential as these few pounds? It would be easy to blame a society that sets an unrealistic expectation of women and their bodies - and that would be true. However, I've been not-giving-a-real-shit about what society norms are for quite some time. At least I like to think that I move against the stream in my outlook on life, spirituality, materialism, simplicity, etc. Granted, it's not OUT THERE, but I've held on to my beliefs and desires and rarely depart from them. So my feelings about my thighs are all my own. My own disordered thinking.

Being thinner doesn't gain me anything, really. I'm healthy and I've got a bunch of really good things going on in my life right now and I am tired of feeling like some sort of failure because the scale doesn't reflect back to me some number.

Set a realistic goal.

I'm shifting my focus here - it's not on hitting some number on the scale - or rehitting it, actually. When I achieved my current weight and the trend was downward, I was on top of the world. Seeing it from an upward arc feels like failure. How can the same number on the scale evoke such different feelings? It's just a number. My focus, my new goal, is to make sure that I'm doing all I can do to feed all areas of my life - my emotional and mental health - which for me means using regular exercise to help reduce my stress, get adequate sleep, using meditation techniques to help quell my life-long buddy, general anxiety, and taking steps to make sure that my boundaries are respected. Learning to say Oh, well to those things that I can't control.

As to my physical health, the same things apply - again with the exercise and eat a balanced, moderate diet of whole, real foods. Do all I can to ensure that I get adequate sleep.

For my spiritual self, I need to feed and nurture that as well - again, more meditation, making it a point to feel and express gratitude for how good I really have it, and some more charitable work.

If I can feed these areas of my life, then I will curb my emotional/disordered eating tendencies and the scale will be what it is. So if this is fat acceptance, then count me in.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find peace.

-Roxie

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 9, Round 2

Select an exercise plan.

There is a part of me that is so pissed off at the physical education system in our public schools. I hope to god it has changed over the years - it left me, a clumsy, heavy kid with such an extreme distaste for exercise that it took me twenty-five plus years to develop, if not a love, at least an understanding and acceptance of the good exercise does for one's health and well-being. I'm hoping that the focus has shifted from competitive crap (dodgeball? wtf?) to fitness as a lifestyle for the girls coming behind me. All of that isn't to say that I wasn't fit as a child/teenager because I was. I broke horses, I bucked bales and did a lot of manual labor - I was strong and toned, just not skinny. I played tennis in high school - certainly wasn't fast foot-speed wise, but very, very powerful. I was not graceful or bendy or fast and hated every second of every PE class I ever had.

So decades later, here I am. I guess I started exercising about four years ago, as an attempt to spend time with MerryWidowNowNewlywed as her then-husband was dying of cancer. Turned out, that with a different goal and focus - just to spend time with her, I backed my way into fitness. Then came the running, of which I am very proud and now the not-running, which I am struggling with. I'm trying to find a new definition of success as I struggle with a kindler, gentler, but consistent form of exercise and the way my body has changed now that I'm not pushing it so hard. Balance. Balance. Balance.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take a walk.

-Roxie

Sparkles: Went to the gym twice yesterday. Did some elliptical, treadmill and threw some iron around at the Jesus Gym last night. On tap for today, a spin class and maybe just some treadmill work at the JG, as the spin class usually kicks my ass.

Ate well yesterday. Avoided the cookie plate that someone brought into the office yesterday afternoon.

Huge damn sparkle: Best night of sleep I've had in ages - two nights in a row of decent sleep.

What appears to be working:

black cohosh seems to have stopped/slowed my night sweats. Thank you Suz and your super-smart kiddo.
earplugs - always wear the damn earplugs. Yes, I miss going to sleep listening to tv, but so what. Be an adult. Wear the damn earplugs.
Midnight meditation to calm the monkey brain. Just recognizing this and practicing some deep breathing/meditation techniques seems to have helped.

Cavelettis: Spat with Mom over money. Says my bank shorted her and that she should have more money than she does. I just flat don't believe her. She's got what she's got. Told her again to get her own accounts.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Weekend in Review - Van Halen concert

The concert was amazing. I've pretty much avoided all reviews, excepting Jill's, because I wanted to come into this experience without expectation. Of course, I had some expectations. This was my band from my youth. Me, in 1978, with my ears pierced 5 times, wearing black, hopping into the truck and popping VH into the 8 track. Get on with my bad self.

This concert was for the forty and fit and fabulous crowd. We all had good haircuts, reasonably fit, many of us had been through some sort of rehab or another, we all wore our stylish black leather coats, some of us brought our kids, we all brought our wallets and we all looked damned good for the shape we are in.

And I thought the concert was sweet. I know. What a reaction! I don't know if I'm in an especially broody mood, but I teared up through a good deal of it - and not in a bad way, more of an awesome, this-is-so-cool way. It was Eddie's birthday - I need to check to see how old he is - Bick and I were arguing about this. Valerie is our age, but Edward is a bit older, I think. Anyway, he's doing this amazing, amazing guitar solo and he's shirtless - guy looks good - and you see the ink on his left upper arm - and her name is blacked out, which just struck me as so sad. And then the camera changes and you see his right upper arm and he's got Wolfgang's name tattooed there and I just started to cry. I don't know why, but I just thought it was very sweet. I certainly don't know any of the details of any of it, the marriage, the rehab, the band bustups, but (and I'm projecting here) I got the feeling that Eddie was just a little bit grateful to be doing this - to be lining the couffers again, to be playing to sold-out arenas again, to be playing with Wolfie and able to let go and get over whatever issues that kept David Lee Roth from touring with the band for all these years. And damn, Diamond Dave was in fine form. You know, he's a showman and he knows it, accepts it and seems to have some gratitude about all of it, as well. And I must admit to being worried about Wolfgang - is he doing his algebra homework? Is he eating his vegetables? Are the people that should be looking out for him really, really looking out for him? Can this please be as innocent for him as I want it to be?

Anyway, an amazing, awesome show - Bick now understands my affection for the band and he grudgingly admitted to Eddie's prowess. Live shows are rarely, rarely this good. It was worth every cent.

ETA: I just read some concert reviews and stuff, so I feel better. It does appear that Momma and her new guy attend concerts and were backstage.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 8, Round 2

Create time and energy.

Damn, I wish I had the time to create some energy. Today's lesson is very appropriate, as it seems like I've run out of steam. My sleep problems have ground me down to a nub. So right now, my main focus is getting a good night's sleep. Last night was divine, but it followed a night spent at Pebble's place that was more Dante's than divine, so I came into this with a large, large deficit.

The meditation techniques have been working pretty well and I just have to wear the damn earplugs all the time. No more falling asleep watching TV, well I can watch TV, I just can't hear it. I'm too sensitive to light and sound. I did something yesterday about someone with "mini-dreams" that startled them awake a good deal. I need to retrace my steps and do some more research. I have decided, however, to stop all the OTC treatments that I've tried - the downside of being sleepy is worse than being tired. The hangover just drains me and I will fall asleep damn near anywhere and for the next entire damn day - even with taking only 1/4 of the prescribed dosage. Gah!

Sparkles: Threw away food that I didn't need to be eating.

Cavalettis: Back to the gym today. If the weather is nice, I may spend my lunch hour outside in the sunshine walking through the neighborhood, followed by some sort of session at the Jesus Gym tonight.

Black cohosh update: Night sweats seem to be slowing down in intensity. Definitely a sparkle!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Retreat

I had a lovely time with Meg yesterday. It involved near-strippers, BBQ and lots of driving, but it also included quiet visits and a cup or two of tea. She brought up something that I'd been thinking about for a while. Retreat. I'm feeling the need to spend some time alone. It has nothing to do with Bick, but I've always, since childhood, had the opportunity to spend time by myself. Sometimes I had no choice and was lonely, but I just feel like I don't have any time to just sit, read, reflect and be really contemplative. So for the last few days, I'd been looking around trying to find some sort of retreat - not just a fun weekend of shopping or sightseeing with girlfriends. I wanted some sort of meditative, spiritual component, maybe some yoga or tai chi thrown in. I don't care if its with monks, quakers or candlestick makers - I'm just looking for a couple of days to be with my own thoughts.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 7, Round 2

Arrange your environment.

I still do a pretty decent job of this. I make it as easy as possible on myself to stay away from foods that are very tempting for me. It is still a battle, however, between my frugal nature and my fat ass. We seldom bring bread into the house, as it is a serious trigger for me, so when Sandy is coming over, I try to buy bread in the smallest possible portions and then grind up whatever is left for breadcrumbs. Thank god Bick doesn't demand a lot of snacky stuff around. He doesn't even LIKE baked sweets, etc. So the bottom line is that I can't use anyone else as an excuse. My house is as good as it gets - it's not the problem, I'm the problem.

Sleep is still a problem. I've been sleeping, with the aid of chemistry, but it leaves me very groggy and aching for a sugar fix, which is well outside the normal range for me. I did do some research the other day and found that I suffer from what the Buddhists call "monkey brain". Once I read the description, I almost laughed out loud. It exactly explains what my mind is like during those fitful hours between 2 and 4 am. Hopping from one thing to another, just like a bunch of monkeys in a stand of trees. I also learned how to use some of my limited meditation techniques to help stop it. I'm hopeful that I can get this back under control. It has been some better, although with vast room for improvement.

I've got the day off today, waiting for the lovely Meg to land for a day-long visit. Then tomorrow, it's off to Dallas and the long-awaited Van Halen concert. Followed by brunch at Fearing's on Sunday morning. Ma and Pa Kettle dine at the Ritz! I'm looking forward to it.

On Sunday, Bick and I will choose our beach cabin for our week/vacation/music at Crystal Beach in April. We've got a couple of places picked out. We've shelved our plans for Taos and decided to head to the gulf instead. I've never really been to that part of the country, and it's been a few years since Bick has been back. He was born and spent some of his early years and then returned to go to college in that part of the state, so we are going to pack up the dog and spend a week in April walking the beach, crabbing, listening to music and revisiting Bick's old haunts.

Sparkles: none to mention. Gah.

Cavelettis: Get my butt back to the gym. After such a great start to January, I've just tanked.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Valet Park.

-Roxie

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Incremental

As I approached the two year anniversary of my quit, I also reflected on the two year anniversary of Bick's decision to end our then-fledgling relationship. I went back and re-read my writing from that time (I need to move my archives) and realized that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. That had we not taken the time to stop, step back and regroup, with no intention of trying it again, that we would not have the relationship that we have today. Hell, we both doubt that we would even have a relationship without the break. I was gearing up to cease having any contact with him, as it was keeping me from moving forward with my life.

In the aftermath of the breakup, I came to understand that my reaction to it was very, very unhealthy and I took steps to deal with more of my own issues. The knowledge and skillset I gained during those talk therapy sessions are, and will continue to be, important steps in my journey.

I/we now know what was going on with him and me at the time, although he didn't fully realize his issues at the time. I know that I/we felt this great connection to him at times, but then at other times, he was so "whatever" that I had a really hard time knowing where I stood. I can remember after some dates thinking that would be the last date, only to be surprised when he would call again.

He later told me that he realized that he wasn't completely over the woman he had been dating before and just the other day I said something like "I knew that you liked me very much, and yet were pissed off at me that I wasn't her" - and he said that I had nailed it. So while I was having this strange reaction to him at the time, it wasn't without merit. What I did wrong was not figure out what was going on and walk away myself until he got his stuff together, if and when he ever would.

So he forced us both into some rethinking and our relationship is on a far different trajectory than it would be if we had kept at it as it was two years ago.

Sometimes it's hard to see the incremental progress in the journey.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Is it Monday?

Where did my weekend go? We ended up with dinner company Saturday and Sunday night, with Bick's sister staying with us Sunday night. She's still here - Bick didn't get the day off today, so he hit the trail bright and early and I'm just sitting here waiting for her to wake up so that I can get on with my day. I didn't mean that as bitchy for I am glad she came to visit. We had a nice enough visit, lovely dinner and played board games, which was nice. It's just that I had my long weekend all planned out, including time home alone without Bick and her visit happened to change my plans. Oh well.

Still not sleeping. I'm going back to the store to try one more OTC solution and then I'm off to the docs to get a script before I let myself get too far in the hole. I've been troubled for well over a month and I can let my lack of sleep and anxiety really get me in more trouble if I don't watch it.

Passed my two-year anniversary of quitting smoking over the weekend. I continue to remain hopeful that this time I've got it licked. This quit certainly feels different than the two other long term quits that I had before this one. And this is the longest quit I've had. So, go me. I think statistically I'm still facing a 20% chance of contracting COPD, which, according to a NYT article I read a month or so ago, affects women at a much higher rate than men. Also, the article predicted a surge in lung cancers/diseases in women in the coming years as women of my generation move into elderly status. It's a bitch what we've done and continue to do to ourselves. The best I can do is to try to be as healthy as possible to try to counteract what may already be in the cards for me based upon my thirty years of smoking.

Sparkles:

Stayed on plan on Saturday. Not so on Sunday and not so today. Exhaustion has my trying to grab any energy from any source possible. Sigh.

I've going out to Reata South at some point today - I'm sure that will be stress filled. I've got to don my teflon t-shirt and just do the best I can. I want to spend time with Mom, but it's tough sometimes as it tends to push all my buttons.

Take good care of yourself. That's it, just take good care of yourself. Everything else really is secondary.

-Roxie

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 6, Round 2

Find a diet coach.

I've got a couple of people upon whom I rely, but not often enough, so I will try to do a better job of both asking for help and offering assistance. One of the particular areas that Beck covers is using your coach to preplan trouble spots or potholes - and I think I've got some coming up. I'll take it to them to see what they suggest - or more importantly be personally accountable for what I say I will do.

Sparkles:

Did a restorative yoga class yesterday that I dearly love. Stopped by the Jesus Gym on my way home and put in a bit of time on the treadmill. Stayed well under calorie wise, but that was not my intention - I would like to stay right at 1500. I ended up not being able to get enough food for lunch and did some substitutions at dinner time, but it came out okay. Today I'm doing a combo spin/pilates class. Not my favorite, but I'll do it. This evening my plan is to stop by the Jesus Gym and do some lower-body weight work. I'm not sure how my legs will feel after the spin class at lunch, however.

Weight is dropping, some.

Cavalettis:

Bad sleep night. Hot and cold all night. Not enough sleep contributes greatly to me not being on an even keel, which contributes to anxiety, overeating and any number of icky things. Heard an interesting story on NPR yesterday morning about sleep deprivation and the impairments that it can cause. Unfortunately, I don't remember much of it. I think I'll take some time to review that today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Ask for help if you need it.

-Roxie

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 5 Round 2

Eat slowly and mindfully.

I'm still not very good at this. The part that I am getting better at is finishing my food and thinking that I'm still hungry and telling myself to give my body some time to know it's full. It's still not unusual for me to never put down a utensil even once after I pick them up to start eating a meal. I think the appropriate term is scarfing. I don't eat, I inhale. I will attempt to match my pace with Bick's, who is a very slow and deliberate eater. I need to learn to savor the food and experience - this isn't a race!

Sparkles:

Even though I got a good workout at lunch yesterday, I stopped at the Jesus Gym on the way home and did an upper-body weight lifting workout. I hadn't lifted in a while and it felt pretty good. This semester's exercise classes are heavy on yoga and pilates and that just isn't going to get me where I need to be, so I'm trying to figure out how to get it all in.

The really great thing about stopping by at the gym, even though I'd had a full exercise session at lunch was the discussion I had with myself - based upon something C had said basically about doing something today that will make tomorrow easier. That really struck a chord with me. No, I didn't need to lift weights yesterday, I'd already had my workout, but if I did that, boy was I going to feel good about having done it - both for the rest of the evening and into today. Do something today that will make tomorrow easier. I'm all for making things easier.

I was thinking about that very thing on my way in this morning in terms like "What am I willing to sacrifice today to make myself feel like a million bucks tomorrow? What would it take? How long would it take?"

Today I go to restorative yoga class at lunch. This will be my one bendy/stretchy class and I just love being in the same room with the instructor. She has such a great energy. And I know that sounds all new-agey/crunchy granola/Stephenville and stuff, but she really does just make me feel good when I walk into the studio.

Didn't overeat last night. Ate what I'd planned to. Stayed on/below calorie counts for the day.

I reviewed my calendar on fitday for the month. I've been doing a pretty damned fine job of getting in some forced exercise almost everyday. I haven't been perfect, but I'll take it.

Based upon two recommendations inside of three days - one from Suz and one from another friend who swears by the stuff, I went out and bought some black cohosh in the form of Remiprinifemin - or some such. I took it last night and again this morning as directed. We'll see how I do on it. I suspect it takes a while to work.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get bent.

-Roxie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 4, Round 2

Give yourself credit.

Beck writes that non-successful dieters tend to be hardest on themselves. Boy, do I know that's true. I wouldn't talk to my worst enemy the way I speak to myself. It actually violates my fair fighting code. I don't fight fair with myself. When I'm engaging in self-talk, it's no-holds-barred, go for the jugular, scorched earth policy. Now why wouldn't I treat myself better than I would any other person? And as I've said, if self-denegration led to weight loss, I'd be a waif. If there was a competition, I'd be a contender in the heavy-weight division.

Becks suggestion is to give yourself credit and so I'm going to embark on a week's worth of giving myself credit for the things that I do right, even if I'm having a crappy go of things. I am doing some good things and I need to give myself credit (sparkles) for those. I promise this will be as dull and boring a list as ever appeared hear.

Recent Sparkles:

Went to spin class yesterday
ate only my planned foods
passed on the hazelnut/toffee candies at work (one of my favorites)
didn't eat everything on my plate last night at dinner - somehow managed to stop and think that I've already had enough and I didn't need the rest of it
took my vitamin
drank 48 oz plus of water
had my flaxseed cracker
passed on the girl scout cookies that Bick bought
passed on the brownies that Sandy made and brought over
passed on the ice cream in the fridge


The truth is, I'm much better at accounting for what I've done wrong.

Cavelettis:

The renters in the house in WA are moving out on Feb 1. Got a frantic call from Mom last night. I also saw that she had made another (unplanned, imo) withdrawal from her retirement fund. I don't know what she's planning on doing with it and it's really none of my business, so I've got to reiterate my desire for her to get her own banking account so that I don't have to see what she's doing with her money. It's not my business and it just upsets me. Of course, if I were to say anything at this point, the renters moving will provide the perfect excuse, although I know it would be a lie - she didn't know until yesterday that they were moving and she had to have requested a dispersement some time ago.

I just need to figure out a way to say "When the money is gone, it's gone and I won't bail you out. You need to figure out a way to make this last. If you need help with that, I'll be glad to help, otherwise, I'm done".

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Did the spin

Went to spin class at lunch. I'm glad I did. I feel more invigorated than I did before I went.

What I did

I stopped off at the Jesus gym on the way home (work was/is too crazy to go at lunch) and hopped on the elliptical. Put in my time and went home and ate a sensible dinner. Heavy on the veg.

I bit the bullet and took an otc sleep aid and went to bed at 8:30. Bick woke me up at 6am and I fumbled around with a sleep-aid hangover until nearly 10 am. I don't know if the shut-eye was worth it.

I'm taking the time to head out to a spin class today and I'm thinking about joining a coworker for an afterwork step class. We'll see about that.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What do you do?

What do you do when you are already over on calories for the day and there's a lot more day left?

mucking up the works

Pothole!

I need to be extra careful while I'm tired. Being tired is one of the worst times for me to moderate my eating - I know my body is trying to grab something/anything to run on and right now it's running on some unplanned yogurt and granola. I'd already had my eggs for breakfast. Oh well.

If that's my only slip today, I can recover.

Insomnia Watch

I've been awake since about 2:30 am for the nth night in a row. Didn't have night sweats, however. Don't know if it was the flax seed, but I'll take it. I'm wondering if now I'm just accustomed to waking up at 2:30, sweats or not?

Church was good. I wondered how Bick would react as there was meditation, chanting, a drum thingy as well as a guest speaker who was wearing a poet/pirate shirt. I've been exposed to some alternative worships through meditation, world religion study, etc, but I think this was a far cry from Bick's COC raising. There were words of wisdom from the Gospel of Matthew, some yogi, Yoda (in jest) and a Van Morrison song. Obviously a church for old hippies. We are looking forward to returning. I don't see us attending every Sunday - partly because it's an hour away, but we'll see.

The stock show was a blast. We crawled in and out of tractors and trucks. Played Dairy Trivia. "How are farmers paid for their milk?" Per 100 pounds. We got an impromptu informational session from a Braunveih breeder - we had stopped to admire a very pretty heifer, and commented to one another that we'd never heard of that breed. It looked like a Brown Swiss to me, but a bit different. Anyway, we got to hear the history of the "brown cow" in the US.

I fell in love with meat goats, little fat snausages of Boer goats. So incredibly cute, but I couldn't raise them as I could never take things to their logical conclusion. Saw chicks coming out of their shells and a woman knitting a sweater for newborn angora kid. The weather was spectacular and it was nice to feel the sunshine on our faces. All in all, a really lovely weekend. It was nice to have one of them again - we sort of felt like we were back to our old selves.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Pet a pig.

-Roxie

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mid-weekend review

Yesterday was a very productive day. We took SadieLou for a long walk on Saturday morning to an area that we hadn't walked before. She saw her first emu - it was the funniest thing - you could almost see her little dog brain trying to process what the hell that thing was. Bick and I wished for a camera, as she was was just so confused and didn't no whether to be aggressive, as this weird thing was going to eat us or just tuck her tail and run. She changed her mind about every 15 seconds.

We came home and decided to finish painting the den and hang the new drapes. That is until Bick looked out the kitchen window to see water bubbling up out of the ground. Water line break. So, the rest of the morning was spent digging up and repairing a water break. Actually, as those things go, this was the way for it to happen. He practically saw it happen, it was a daytime and it was a nice enough day. We did finish painting the other accent wall in the den and I put up the new drapes, but I'm just so-so on them. They are pretty and look very nice, but maybe are just a skosh too fancy for that room. But when you are trying to decorate around a Victorian-era fainting couch, too fancy may be just right.

It seems that Sandy has adjusted her spring schedule to generally follow my suggestions and has been in communication with her dad, so I guess that is the most positive news we could get at this point.

I've got a pan of flax seed flatbread in the oven this morning. After hearing all the magical menopausal symptom curing properties of flax seed, I bought some and will try it to see how it works. I ground up some to sprinkle on my yogurt yesterday morning and if I can create something that even remotely resembles bread, that would be awesome. I have a friend at work with a friend with gluten allergies (celiac?) and so I said I'd save her a piece to try. It just came out of the oven and it smells good, so we'll see. My guess is that it will be better later in the day.

Bick and I are going to make another run at church attendance today. We both feel there is something missing in our spiritual practice and so we are checking out some options - although my understanding (and hope) is that this church is very different than what we were used to as kids.

Then it's off to the stock show to get our farmer on and eat food on a stick. Yee Haw. Both Bick and I come from FFA, 4H, ag backgrounds - he worked and showed beef cattle and I did the horse thing and a person can only go so long without walking through a barn. The weather should cooperate and since the Cowboys play today, we should have the place pretty much to ourselves. If we don't poop out, we are planning to drop into the White Elephant to see RayWylieHubbard this evening. Music starts at 7 and there is no opening act - perfect for old farts like us!

I'm still struggling a bit with the carport decision at the Mango Hut. I need to spend some time putting all of this stuff in writing to establish a decision-making paradigm so that each time something comes up, I know what I need to do and my priorities are well-established and documented. The carport is kind of a tough one. She knew I didn't have a carport/garage when she moved out there and we talked about her putting something portable/temp up. Now she's decided that the neighbor should build it (for FOUR cars) and I should pay for it, after all, it is an improvement to my property and she says she can't afford it. And I could probably afford it - or at least figure a way to pay for it - but she will just blow her money on something else. She could have already paid for one, but she chose to get a wide-screen tv instead. So I would just end of feeling resentful when I paid for the carport and she bought the next big stupid thing that she couldn't afford. Gah.

I realize that I only have a few good years left with her and I don't want them to be strife-filled, but that doesn't mean that I can just give in to her wishes or I will be miserable. I'm not trying to be controlling here, but I'm trying to not be controlled either. Aah, balance, that very illusive thing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Pet a cow.

-Roxie

Friday, January 11, 2008

Put down the shovel

"That's unfortunate."

The rest of our talk went okay, if she was being truthful. She says she has a really difficult time taking tests. She said she attended class, turned in work, kept up, but just doesn't do well at test taking. My suggestion was to take a workshop in test taking offered by her school. I also suggested that she re-take this past semester while at least some of the content was fresh and to concentrate on learning some new test taking skills.

I did not tell Bick what she said. I'm not sure about that decision, but I do know that I don't want to get myself into a position as go-between. I spent enough years refereeing my own kin, I will not freely take up the whistle again.

I'd say the odds of her being successful are 50-50.

"You aren't doing any of the right stuff to allow yourself to get the hell out of Dodge. Your dad isn't going to pay for you to go anywhere if you are going to flunk out. If you want to go to school somewhere else, you need to get your shit together. You aren't hurting anybody but yourself. If you flunk out of junior college, there is no place else for you to go."
- paraphrasing Pebbles Stone, when Sandy told her of her issues with school.

I wasn't privy to the above exchange, as I was playing with Pebbles' cat. I took Sandy into Dallas so that we could talk en route, meet Pebbles at her very artsy, very cute and cool and hip apartment and have dinner at a place of their choosing. It was my hope that Pebbles could provide a little inspiration and insight. Pebbles worked in the office that assisted academically at-risk students at my university beginning with part-time summer work when she was 13 continuing through her junior year of college. Turns out, Pebbles was not particularly sympathetic. I hope that no relationship damage happened - Pebbles doesn't think it did.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished

"I'm pissed off at my dad. It's not fair that I have to stay in (hometown) and go to CCname. All my friends got to go away to school where they wanted. He should have planned better to pay for my college where I wanted to go."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The House of Bolt-on Boobs

I've waited too long to make travel arrangements for a conference I'm attending in Vegas. I'm now booked into Hooters. Oh the humanity.

More Tired.

Insomia in full bloom. I hate it when I get this way. I don't like taking any sleep aids when I have to work as they give me such a hangover that the cure is almost as bad as the disease. Work is an absolute nightmare right now, I need a damn clone.

I'm meeting a friend after work, then going out to the Mango Hut to try and talk some sense into Mom about her desire to build a carport. I've got to be strong enough to say that this isn't something that I can afford to do and still keep to my personal financial goals. Period. I'm not interested. She's already asked my neighbor to figure out what it would cost to have him build it, etc. and told him I would be out to talk to him about it. Fuck me.

Then tomorrow night I'm meeting Sandy to discuss her academic abyss and see if we can't figure out something there. I'm not very optimistic. I got a good look at her transcript last night and she hasn't done well for a while (she was a concurrent student) and she doesn't strike me as being any sort of a go-getter - and these are not things that I can say directly to Bick. So, I need to have a discussion with him about how is going to feel about ME if she continues to follow this path she's on. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to offer any assistance that I can, but I need to make it clear to Bick that she's got to do the work herself. I know he knows this, but I want to make sure that his expectations of me are realistic. I'm not a miracle worker and there are many more issues at play than just some bad grades, I think. Again, Fuck me.

Got a call from my hairdresser yesterday. "Can you come in early to your appointment? My grandmother just died and I'm going out of town tonight for an extended period of time." I didn't want to go under those circumstances, but then I decided that perhaps she needed the money at this time, so I agreed. I won't say my hair is bad because it isn't. It's just drab. I had it cut, colored and highlighted and it looks pretty much unchanged. But you don't complain to someone in her situation. It's just hair, but I'm $106 poorer. Not the turbo-boost I was wanting from a sassy new cut.

Okay, end of the BMW - bitching, moaning and whining.

Hurdles: Go to the gym at lunch, as I won't be going to the Jesus Gym for the next couple of days.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep your head down and your butt up.

-Roxie

Monday, January 7, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: R2 Day 3

Eat sitting down.

I believe that I've improved in this area. I ate all of my cookies while sitting down yesterday. Sigh. Oh, well.

Eating while sitting down is important because I need to be conscious and mindful of every bite that I eat. No more sitting down at the computer while noshing. No more snacks in front of the television. Sit down and pay attention. Anything else is just a bad habit. I resolve to do better with this, even if I'm eating the wrong stuff.

This whole sitting down thing feeds into my sneaking food - and that's a pitiful thing to admit. I will sneak food if I think no one is watching and that somehow that food doesn't count. I was reading a blog where the writer mentioned the same thing and it really struck a chord with me. I do that to. Just what we all need, more shame in our life. I vow to try to stop all of that. Eat what I will, but be adult enough to acknowledge it by sitting down and eating in a proper manner.

It was a weekend o'drama at Reata North. Not as much drama as there could have been, but certainly more than anyone would have liked. I don't know if it was unavoidable - of Bick's decision on how to handle this, I'm not sure. After numerous attempts to contact Sandy stretching over days and days, we went over to her house on Saturday morning. I stayed in the car, as was agreed upon and Bick went to the door. He told her he was there to talk about her grades and school and she refused. Said she didn't want to talk about it. So he told her that he was taking back the car and he and the car would be available when she wanted to talk. He told her that she didn't have to show him her grades but he didn't have to pay tuition, car, books, etc. So he got in her car and drove home.

She emailed him Saturday night with the whole story. She hadn't earned 2 Bs and a C as she had told him at one time - she earned 3 Fs and dropped a class. He went and picked her up from work and they talked a lot about lying, deception and that he was most disappointed in the fact that she hadn't been honest with him. He came home relieved, I think. He asked her to contact me this week so that we could talk about ways to get her back on track, from an academic perspective. She came in when she picked up the car and I hugged her and told her that I was sorry she was having such a rough time. We'll see if she follows through.

I still think there could be some more to the story, but I am hopeful that she will tell me the truth. Did she just not go to class? Was the work too hard? Did she get behind early and just not ever catch up? I will encourage her to take advantage of any special help programs that her school has. I know that she's young - out on her own for the first time, etc. I just wonder if there are depression, alcohol or drug issues that might be contributing factors. My gut feeling is that she just wouldn't go to class, but I don't know that. But if that is an issue, hopefully she can set her schedule to mitigate that somewhat.

Her dad did tell me that she was unhappy going to CC, that all her friends were away at school and she was stuck here doing this. Bick told her this was all he could afford. I'm not particularly sympathetic to her plight, but that's my personal baggage, so I will have to keep my mouth shut if she plays that card with me, as I don't know that it would helpful for me to unleash the "life isn't always fair" speech on her butt - she is not mine to educate - on any level.

Her mother has seemed very unconcerned in all of this. I don't know if Sandy is telling her Mom the real story and her Mom doesn't feel any obligation to tell Bick the truth when he asks, or if she's keeping stuff from her Mom, as well. But the family dynamic between the three of them is definately NOT my business and I'll avoid that like the plague.

Our plans to go to the Mango Hut on Sunday to work were scrapped, obviously. I went out and hung out with my Mom and sister and to look at a few things around there that need to be worked on. I'm trying to work out a plan/methodology so that I don't get so stressed about stuff whenever Mom calls about something needing to be done about this, or that. I'm going to come up with a plan on projects in order of priority and that way it will be easier to say - that's not on our list of priorities to work on right now. We've already started this project and I want to see it to completion before starting something else. I think this will keep my sanity intact.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Develop a plan.

-Roxie

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tired

The insomnia continues. Bleh. This is about day four or five where I've gotten just three to four hours of sleep. None of this bodes well for my ability to get through the day in a safe and sane manner.

Today promises to suck mightily, as the whole Bick-Sandy school/grades issue looks like it's coming to a head. I think I'll try to duck and cover. Bick and I stayed up till nearly 2 am talking about options with a plan to discuss more today. He's actively asking for advice and I don't have any personal experience with this. This kind of thing was never an issue with Pebbles and me. I think there is a lot of past baggage tied up in this between he, Sandy and his ex - none of which I can fix. The good news is that he's acknowledging that he's really conflicted and is talking/working his way through it, wanting to do the best thing. I just don't know what the best thing is. I just need to keep good boundaries in place for this one - give the best advice I can muster when asked and don't develop any personal stake in the outcomes. They own this, not me. I did bring up the option of some counseling for he and Sandy and he's open to it - I just don't know that she is. But that's something for them/him to consider.

Hurdles: Know that I am more fragile than usual because of exhaustion. Be mindful of that fact as I move through the day. Eat what I've planned, get some exercise and perhaps the knowledge that I'm not strong will be enough to keep me from being sucked into a vortex of, well, suck and unhealthy behavior.

Credits: Went to the Jesus Gym. Ran 2 miles. Actually, I went shopping beforehand and tried on a million things that no longer look nice on lumpy me. It didn't really depress me, which surprised me, but it did inspire me just a skosh. Came home to an empty house, but I stayed on my eating plan. Go me.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Back from the gym

Got some very light exercise and came back and ate my lunch at my desk.

I'm still hungry. I know it will pass. I need to distract myself with some other task.

How the world eats

Bick just sent me a link to this photo essay on how different peoples in the world eat and what they spend to do it. I'd be really interested to see about the amounts as percentages of incomes.

I'm doing our weekly shopping tomorrow, I may set all of our stuff out and see how we compare. I know that we eat a lot less processed and convenience foods than depicted. It's interesting to see the differences between the whole, real, identifiable foods and stuff that comes in packages. However, I'd hate to see the mountain of Diet Coke that I routinely consume. Our grocery bill is usually about $100 per week for the two of us and the dog. All cleaning supplies household goods are included in that sum.

I am doing much better with my water consumption, however. I'm routinely downing 40 oz plus a day, which is an improvement of monumental proportions for me. Mostly it's been a matter of making it easy for me to do the good thing. I can see that our weekly allotment of 2 cases of diet cokes are lasting much, much longer. And I'm almost always caffeine free.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 2 Round 2

Pick two reasonable diets.

I'm still happy with my choices - the whole food, no white diet with South Beach as a backup.

The idea of eating whole, real, less-processed foods appeals to me at some very basic and profound level. It's not that I don't like that stuff because I do, but making the change to real, not fake foods has been the change that I've made that has been the most long lasting and has probably kept me from even higher peaks and valleys. Eliminating "lite" and fat-free, overly processed foods has kept my weight as stable as it's ever been, even given my recent weight gain. If I reduce my weight swings from 50, 60 or even 70 pounds down to 10 to 15 over a two year period, then I'm doing something right. Something very right.

I know that it is controversial, but for me, restricting or eliminating the white from my diet has made a huge difference in the way that I feel physically and I feel I can tie it to my emotional health as well. I'm not saying that my way is the right way for you, as everyone is different, but for me, keeping my food real is important. And I can feel it immediately if I stray too far from what is real.

I'm not trying to be too regimented (read obsessed) about what I eat. I know in general terms what I should eat - I'll plan for it, but I don't want to think about it too much. I am seeking a balance here - a "set it and forget it" mentality. I can fall very easily into the obsessive thinking, perfectionist attitudes and that way lies folly. I need to make some decisions once a day about my food and then move on to other things, like exercise and having a fullfilling, yet balanced life. Obsessing about the size of my ass is neither of those things.

Bick is leaving the office at noon to go to Maroonville and buy a new (to him) truck. He downsized to a smaller pickup before I met him and has never been happy with that choice, so when he called his cousin and found out that a 4 door full-size with 10K miles had just come on the lot, he made arrangements to make it his own.

He's still locked in a battle with Sandy and now conceeds that I was exactly right about the whole grades thing. Not a victory that I was seeking, but as plain as the nose on your face as far as I'm concerned. He still hasn't got the complete story from her and I don't know if he will. She's still stalling and not coming clean with what happened, which is what is really causing him some distress. He's pretty much okay with her having tanked her first semester, it happens to a lot of kids - he's just upset that she isn't owning up to what happened. I know that he's struggling with how to proceed with this one.

Pebbles is supposed to come out this weekend for a little Christmas-that-didn't-work, let's go exchange stuff shopping. I'm looking forward to that.

Hurdles: Getting to the gym today at lunch and surviving the weekend. Without the structure of work, weekends can go either way for me, so I'm concerned about how this will go. I'll try to spend some time on that tomorrow. Let's get through today, first.

Credits: 2 hours of exercise yesterday. I'm now trying reading while on the treadmill at the Jesus Gym - sure makes the time go faster, and I'm able to get some reading in. So, we'll see how that goes for a while. And my petty-bone is making a bit of a comeback - Bick has pretty much dropped out of going to the Jesus gym and in some strange way, that's motivating me to go even more. I'm not sure of the psychological ramifications of all of that, but hey, I'll take whatever shred of motivation I can.

Last Round is here.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get Real.

-Roxie

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 1 Round 2

Record the advantages of losing weight.

I've created a new response card for R2. Warning - tmi ahead.

Being at this weight adversely affects my ability to fully enjoy my sexuality. I obviously have some body image issues and I think too much. If I think too much, I get in my own way. I become less spontaneous and more self-conscious.

I want to learn and move past these issues as being the only thing in my life.

I want to sustain a balanced, healthy, full and thoughtful life.

I was talking with the MerryHoneymooner yesterday about my critical times with staying on a healthy life path - right now, there are really only two real danger zones. 1. Getting to the gym at lunch and working up a sweat and 2. the witching hour when I arrive at home and feel ravenous. So this all boils down to two hours a day where these issues become important. I need to quit bitching, whining and moaning, deal with my two hours of stuff and be done with it. Find the balance between what I am willing to do/work at/give up and how I look and feel. What is a reasonable maintainable weight for me? I think I reached my lowest attainable weight a little over a year ago and I've bounced higher than I should, but I'm not exercising like I was and I've become lax about my eating. I need to find the optimal balance that enriches, not detracts from my life as a whole.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Balance.

-Roxie

D1R1 here

Hurdle: Going to the gym today

Caveletti: Remain teflon to Mom's mutterings about money. Just because I have an opinion, doesn't mean I need to share it. The fine art of doing nothing.

Don't let your brain hold your butt hostage

Insomnia can produce some interesting reading.

The Derailers

I was brave enough this morning to step on the scales. Ouch. The real danger here is whether I let this bother me enough to derail me. I put in a really good day yesterday - on target for exercise and on target for food, but today shapes up to be fraught with potholes.

Number one, I've been awake for nearly two hours, so by the end of the day, I will be exhausted. Work is crazy busy and stressful, so no possibility of relief there. Today is the kind of day where fatigue coupled with stress can quickly bring me down. My hurdle today will be getting to the gym at lunch. I won't have any accountability there, as my gym partner, the MerryWidowturnedHoneymooner, isn't working today. So it will just be me and I need to go. I've pretty much got my food planned out - it will be my emotions that get in the way.

I've got dinner planned - a crockpot curried chicken concoction that I'll throw in the slow cooker and set the timer here in an hour or so. I'll serve that with a garden salad and probably some sort of whole grain side dish for Bick.

On the good news front, Pebbles is letting me try out her video ipod that she got for Christmas last year. I may end up buying it from her so she can use the money to upgrade to a bigger (80g?) one. I have a tough time keeping up with her latest technologies. She got an iPhone for Christmas and bought herself a new Mac.

Comments:

Suz, just about everyone I talked to at work yesterday spoke about being glad to be back in the rut/routine/groove. Said this vacation was just a bit too long. Bick made the same observation - that he didn't think he could retire, as he was bored out of his mind during twelve days off. I know that I sure didn't feel like I used the time productively.

Hmmm, productivity. That's something that I've been thinking about recently. I feel so unproductive - I've got no good projects going, really. It's not like the Mango Hut where there was always something that NEEDED doing - here pretty much everything is new and fine. And in the winter, there's nothing much to do outside. One of the keys for me to stay healthy and in a good frame of mind is to stay productive - not just busy. And I haven't felt productive in a long time. I'm just sort of floundering around these days. Bick knows he has some issues with SAD and has suggested that I may be influenced more than I realize. I know that we lead a pretty staid life here at Reata North, but maybe it's time I bump it up a notch. Something to ponder, for sure. I'm nowhere near depressed, just a little "flat".

Jill, you asked about my lunch "hour" - well, as you may have guessed, I can pretty much set my own hours so my lunch hour is routinely about an hour and fifteen minutes long, plus when I get back from the gym, I can shut my office door and scarf down my lunch at my desk. I can get to the gym, exercise for 50 minutes or so, grab a quick shower (no hair washing, though) and walk back to my office in a bit over an hour. And I have the freedom to take more time, if I cared to. There is/was a culture at my job where the guys always went to the gym to play basketball at lunch, so at least for the men, taking a longer, healthier lunch was accepted. I just chose to play the same game, well, sans the hoops. But yes, I realize that I am very, very fortunate to have a great facility at a great price practically at my back door. So I've got no excuses.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get out of your rut and into your groove.

-Roxie

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Update

I went to the gym at lunch. Came back and ate my lunch and I'm still hungry. I know that the feeling will pass, but it would be nice not to have to fight this battle every damn time.

I think I'll make an appointment to get my hair done.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 42

Practice, practice, practice.

One of the most important skills one can learn is getting back on track.

It's the new year and like almost everyone else under the sun, I need to get back on track. And I'm not pumped about it. I'm unmotivated and pessimistic at the present time. I don't know if that's a short-term feeling or a long-term feeling, but I don't feel all gung-ho about any of it. Holiday hangover, I guess.

So for today - my big hurdle will be to go to the gym at lunch. I've got my food planned out, so it should be okay and I'm meeting Bick at the Jesus gym this afternoon and I'm really good at doing that. So just go the gym at lunch - crawl on a treadmill or elliptical machine and watch some HGTV for 50 minutes. Just for today - go to the gym. That's my goal.

Credits:
Throwing away the remains of what may have been the best red velvet cake I've ever made. I made it for the rather impromptu NYE gathering that Bick organized. I had a piece that night and I intended to send more pieces home with guests, but didn't. So after hanging around tempting me all day on NYD, last evening I just threw it all away.

NYE I had Bick drop me off at the Jesus Gym for a quick bit of exercise while he ran into town for fireworks. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and I ended up walking on the treadmill in my jeans, but hey, it was exercise and it was better for me than shopping for fireworks. I need to do more of this.

I did get in some activity, as Bick and I painted (one wall for now) our den a pumpkin orange. I'd been wanting to do it for a long time, but Bick was extremely reluctant. But he got bored and agreed, so off we went to get some paint. It turned out beautifully and he said that had he known, we would have done this a while back. I told him to trust me and he reminded me of the fence fiasco, the rat bastard ;-) . So yesterday, I ran out and got some new drapes and some more primer and we plan on painting the whole thing - two walls pumpkin and two walls a more golden/Tuscan yellow color.

I'm sort of glad to be back at work. The routine/rut is good for me if I can find that groove to sink in to. It's amazing how fast and easy it is to drop all one's good habits.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Add some color to your life.

-Roxie