Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blurg

I had this great post all composed and ready to go in my head. Unfortunately I was pretty much completely asleep when I composed it, so all I remember is that it was great and it was about something I wanted to tell y'all about.

It's soooooo gone now.

Mea culpa.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weight Watchers: Week Two

I had a much better week this week on Weight Watchers. As in, I actually lost some weight! I lost 2.9 pounds this week. YAY! Progress is good.

Nearly three pounds is actually a bit more than I expected. "They" say that in order to lose weight healthily and to keep it off long term, you should try to never lose more than two pounds in a week. Which makes sense. If you are posting Big Loser losses every week and you aren't on the show (where they are very carefully monitored), then you are losing too much too fast. You are either under-eating, over-working out or both. Which can be very harmful to your body.

We forget when we're on a diet that your body actually needs food. When you're watching your weight, food becomes the enemy. Eat too much and your progress reverses or stops, but the less you eat the quicker the results. That starts a negative reinforcement loop that ends almost inevitably with a junk food binge and you feeling like you've blown the whole thing and the weight goes on even faster than you lost it.

Not that I know from personal experience or anything.

The reality is, I maybe lost a little too much this week. I mean, it's not like I lost 10 pounds or anything. But I was discouraged last week at only losing .2 (um, premenstrual anyone?). Plus, I had a big dinner date this past Saturday and I wanted to be able to eat anything I wanted so I saved up my Points.

Saving up your Points is not a bad thing, but last week I took it too far. I ended up not eating enough on Thursday, one of my work days. I didn't bring in enough to eat, and by the time I got home I was in a bad state. It actually took me two days to recover food-wise from that mistake.

I need to constantly remind myself that unlike former journeys with Weight Watchers when I was a desk jockey, I cannot hoard my extra Points for something special and still be okay. I have a demanding job and I need to eat an appropriate amount just to get through the day. I can still save up for something special, but I just cannot save up quite as many Points as before. And there is nothing wrong with that. Work the program and it'll work for you.

But still, 2.9 pounds! Yay! Just two and a half pounds left to goal. That makes me happy. My clothes are fitting again.

LOVE THAT.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flip Flop

I've been obsessing about this menu thing for a couple days now.

Okay, since Sunday.

Really going back to my old perfectionist tendencies. I want this to be just right. I want it to be good. I WANT TO BE THE BEST.

Yeah, way to put the pressure on myself.

But as a wise friend said last night in my belly dance class: Simple is better. The reality is, the menu I posted yesterday is a pretty damned good menu. But I don't have time to pull it off. I'd be scrambling and frazzling myself out trying to make everything work. And the risotto-in-the-crockpot idea is completely untested. It's better left for a day when I have more than an hour or so to pull it together.

So the menu is now going to be the tomato/basil crostinis (because they really are easy and a good idea), veggie lasagna, salad, crusty bread and chocolate cake for dessert. Easy, simple, delicious, and 90% of it can be made ahead of time.

Which will leave me a spare moment to pull myself together over a glass of red.

Or - knowing me - freak out about something else over a glass of red, but let's try to think positive, shall we?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Menu Planning

So, I'm having someone over for dinner this weekend. Of course, I'm going insane trying to plan a menu that is filling, delicious, and shows off my culinary skills without being show-offy. Also trying to figure out how to fit two people in my mousehole of an apartment, but that's another story.

This is the menu I've come up with, after much debate with one dear friend who is probably ready to kill me (Hi, Marie!):

Appetizer
Two kinds of crostini: tomato/basil, which will be served room temp and walnut/arugula/gorgonzola, which will be served warm

Entree
Green pea and lemon risotto from Veganomicon with steamed asparagus, white wine

Dessert
Baked pears stuffed with brown sugar, walnuts and raisins, coffee

Because of the size of my "entertaining" space (my living/dining/kitchen area is squeezed in to a 9'x11' room), I really want to keep the clutter and mess of preparation to an absolute minimum. Plus, I'm going to be busy with other things until about an hour before my guest should arrive. So, I'm going to prep as much as possible Friday night. I have tweaked the risotto recipe to work in a crockpot so I don't have to spend an hour ladling broth, stirring, and making a mess when I'd rather be hanging out.

Hopefully it'll work. My back-up plan is to order Chinese takeout.

You can tell what I've been thinking about all day, can't you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Well, Frak.

I've been on Weight Watchers for one week as of this morning. I've followed the plan - we'll ignore last night - and for the most part it's been easy to follow. Because this program doesn't allow for very active work days, I've been giving myself Activity "points" for massage work: one point per massage performed. Apparently I need to stop doing that. Because I lost a whopping .2 pounds this week.

Point fucking 2 pounds.

What the hell?

So, I'll try it again this week, without giving myself activity points for massages and hopefully I'll lose a whole .4 pounds next week. Or maybe even - and this is a pipe dream - a whopping HALF POUND.

I am trying to keep myself positive and tell myself that things are very different from the last time I lost weight on this program. First and foremost, the first time I used this program so effectively was a whopping 10 years ago. I was in my late 20's back then. The weight just slid off. Just the fact that I've been able to keep off most of the weight is a triumph in and of itself.

Secondly, I'm going to be 37 this year. I am officially -gulp- middle aged. Holy farking schnikey. So, I have to keep in mind that my metabolism is not what it used to be. I'm going to have to fight harder to lose each ounce and harder still to keep it off. Thirdly, I'm supposed to get my period in a couple days. I'm lucky I lost anything and didn't gain four pounds in water weight.

All things considered, I am in better shape now than when I was 10 years ago, both physically and mentally. Losing that weight was a catalyst for a lot of inner and outer changes that went on over the course of the last decade. It gave me confidence in myself that I didn't previously have and helped me to grow into the person I've become.

And you know, despite the fact that I want to lose 5.4 pounds, I still look pretty damned good for my age.

And that's something.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back, Back, Back...

Yeah, so I am back on Weight Watchers again. I don't have a lot to lose, but I am not happy with where I am at the moment and I don't seem to be able to lose on my own. Well, maybe a 1/16th of a pound a week. Which is not losing, it is damned frustrating.

I've got to admit, I like their new Points Plus program. The old Points program worked while I was losing my initial 30 pounds, but did not know what to do with people who only had like five or ten pounds to lose. By the time you got down to your final few pounds, you were eating so little as to not be entirely healthy, in my point of view. At the very least, it wasn't enough to sustain me.


This time, they've completely changed the program. They now reward you for choosing whole, unprocessed foods. You don't have to count points for fruit anymore. Which was always a sticking point for me because when you only have 18 points a day (less than 1,200 calories with the old system) every point counted and the last thing you wanted to do was "waste" a point on an apple. AN APPLE. Which is friggin' ridiculous.

I know I'm on the lowest rung of the point scale, and I already feel much better about things. I'm not terrified I won't have enough to eat. I don't have to choose between an apple and a slice of bread now. This is my second day doing the new plan and I am feeling good about it. I already feel lighter.

Although that could be the fact that the sun is out and the temperature is actually above freezing...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What a difference a day makes

So, all the weather advisories finally expired yesterday around 5pm (four hours after when they were initially supposed to end). It took me three attempts to dig my car out, and nearly an hour to finally get it out of its original spot. Thankfully, the landlord's son came late yesterday afternoon and gave me an alternate option for parking for a little while. That should help with the worst of the mud and snow.
Our plow guy needed to rent a full-sized bulldozer.  Sorry for the window screen.

The final snow tally for where I live is about two feet. My mom - who lives to the north of me - ended up with a little more. They are calling this one of the Top Five Worst Storms in Vermont. Everyone was prepared for just 8"-10" of snow, which is manageable and pretty much nothing in Vermont. But two feet of unexpected snow will stop even us.

I went out to take a walk around 5pm, mainly to get out of the house but also to check things out. I brought my camera along and attempted a few shots, but really all you see is a LOT of white.
There is a house in there somewhere...

The interesting thing about a storm like this is, the people you run in to out while you're walking about are all really nice. It's like you've been brought together over this crazy event. One person spoke of how it used to always be like this when she was a kid, but now these events are rare. Another told me he heard of a car on fire earlier in the day, and the plows had initially been keeping just the ambulance routes clear. Which would explain why many of my side streets were unpassable.
A barely passable side street

There were cars getting stuck in the snow on the streets, and then the trucks that tried to help them would inevitably get stuck as well. At one point, I looked out my front window to see at least three trucks trying to help a stuck car while an ambulance was trying to get through. Luckily, the siren wasn't on so at least it wasn't dire and the trucks were able to move so the ambulance could get out.
What the slightly better roads looked like.  Passable, but anything without
4-wheel drive or heft to it risked getting stuck or going off the road.

I was in contact with work throughout the day. Crazily enough, people were ready and willing to keep their appointments! In fact, the 9am appointments had to be told not to come in because the therapists couldn't get out of their driveways! One of the reasons I was trying so hard to dig my car out was because of work, but they ended up canceling the evening people and closing early. Frankly, I'm not sure if I could have given a decent massage yesterday anyway... after all that shoveling my arms were jello!
If you wanted to walk on the sidewalks, you had to get over your claustrophobic tendencies

What a wild and crazy day it was yesterday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring, My Ass


This is the view out of my window this morning. Supposedly, this is my car. I don't even know how to begin to dig myself out of this. The wind has been blowing nonstop for two days now, and it's still going strong. They are telling people to stay off the roads unless it is absolutely necessary to travel.

All this started yesterday morning with a great deal of rain. I nearly did not get out of my parking spot yesterday, because I park on grass and all the rain and melting had nowhere to go. When that happens... mud. 6" to 8" inches of it and my car just sank in. And of course, I had to park there again last night because of the snow (my city has parking bans on the street when it is this bad). So, not only can I not find my car, if I do happen to be able to dig it out, it may be glued in place by frozen mud.

I am so moving to Florida.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There is nothing quite like...

There is nothing quite like
Holding hands for the first time
There is nothing quite like
being told he has to kiss you now
There is nothing quite like
Being called pretty
by the one person
you hope thinks you're pretty
There is nothing quite like
That stupid grin
I wear all the way home
Yeah, there's nothing like it

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No!

What is it that makes it so hard to say no? Even when you know it is in your best interest to do so?

I am finishing up a three-day weekend. I asked for an extra day off because I was on the verge of burning out. I was exhausted, my energy levels depleted, and I was not giving good massages. At least, I did not feel as though I was.

A little while ago, work called to see if I could come in an cover someone's shift this evening. I have learned the hard way that having an evening shift followed the next day by a morning shift is disaster for me. I don't have the recovery time I need and I end up doing poorly all week long. I know they wouldn't have called unless they had no other option (and they said as much), but I said no.

I do my best to help out whenever I can. I try to cover shifts for coworkers who need their own break. I try to cover when there is an emergency and they need someone to come in. I try to be accommodating, because I know that if our positions were switched, I would be thankful that someone was willing to help out.

I said no because I needed to say no for me. Because I can't be all things to all people all of the time and not expect it to take a toll. Because it is OKAY to put yourself first every once in a while. You know the old adage - you can't take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself first. And sometimes that means saying no.

And as I'm a people-pleaser and a nurturer, saying no when someone is asking something of me is very difficult. I feel like if I can say yes - as in, no one's dying, I don't have any immediate plans, etc - then I should say yes. But really? That's just setting myself up for burn-out and exhaustion in the best of cases and to be taken advantage of in the worst of situations. I know work wasn't trying to take advantage of me; they aren't like that there.

But I just. Couldn't. Do it. Which is a very good indication that I needed this last day to myself.

And yes, this whole post is basically me trying to convince myself that it was in fact okay to say "no" and to get my three-day weekend.

Thanks for listening. :-)

Better Kate Than Never

As you've probably noticed (all six of you), over the last few months my contribution to this blog has dwindled significantly. In trying...