Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It seems to be working ...

So I went to bed late last night (technically this morning), almost 2 hours later than I had intended. As I was getting my stuff ready for today, I realized that the code sheets for my research project had not been updated; this is critical as I cannot add anything to the stats program for analysis until all the code sheets are updated. If I had realized this a couple of days ago, I would've printed the revisions and worked on them before today. My plan for today was to use a friend's pc (to download the trial version of SPSS) to enter the info and do the analysis. I went to bed knowing that I'd have to make a trip to the library to print out the revised code sheets and then spend time manually updating them before I could even think about SPSS.

I fell asleep thinking that I'd just give up and work on all of this some other day, however, that day would not be until next week, and I really can't spare another week. The new semester starts in 3 weeks and I really want/need to have this paper done by then. So I did what I never do: I got out of bed on time, showered, put on makeup, and started my day. Not only would I normally not do this, but typically I'd be upset and stressed about the oversight and extra work. However, because I'm learning to live in the moment, I'm not stressed at all. Amazingly, I just feel really good, probably because a) I got up and showered earlier than normal, and b) because I'm doing it, getting it done.

Yay for me!!

LL xoxo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

... Part II

... continued

I'm noticing things about myself, like how I never, ever live in the moment. I'm always focused on the future, be it an hour or a week. On the extremely rare occassion when I'm able to stay in the moment, I feel calmer and my mind has peace and clarity. I've been trying very hard to do that all day today. It got better as the day went on. My man came over for a bit and while he was doing some homework, I cleaned the kitchen. The house is fairly disorganized and messy (by my standards of course), and typically I would get very upset when I'd start cleaning due to how much I was focusing on the mountain ahead of me rather than on the fact that I was actually taking steps to reduce it to a mere molehill.

As the evening went on, I was able to get a few things done in addition to enjoying some downtime. Not bad. I had actually shut off the laptop so I could get to bed when I felt the urge to press on a bit and do a couple more things (such as work on this blog), so I fired the laptop back up and here I am.

It's 1:08 a.m. and I'm very tired, so I doubt this is all going to make sense, but I wanted to share my current emotional state.

Something clicked in me yesterday that caused me to step down from the high horse I've been riding and embrace my man. He has trouble concentrating, sometimes for more than a few seconds, and I became very frustrated two days ago because of it. I gave up and begrudgingly accepted the fact that he will never be any different. I decided that I had no choice but to deal with it. Now this wasn't a good thing, it was born of bitterness. I am a very logical, analytical person, and to be with someone who is the complete opposite drives me batty. Earlier that day he had gotten lost twice while driving to some stores. I refused to help him even though he kept asking for my help. I couldn't believe that I was riding in the car with a native of this city who somehow forgot how to get around. I even admonished him for failing to read the highway signs which resulted in him heading south instead of north.

Fast forward 18 hours (give or take a few). He mentions quite randomly that I had been upset the day before. I calmly explained that I just didn't understand how he could do something for years on end and still need help (driving, putting away dishes, etc.). This is the moment that did it for me--he said simply, "I don't know. You're right, I do blink in and out. I don't know what's wrong with me." Therre was something in his admission as well as his sadness that melted the ice wall I've had up for nearly the past year. He said that he was just not good with directions, and I told him that from now on, I will help him (inside I was saying that I would help him without saying things to make him feel badly about needing my help).

Add to this that on the same day he was taking me to dinner, one of his Christmas gifts to me, to a restaurant I had never been to before. It touched me that all he wanted was to take me out, show me a nice time at a romantic restaurant, and do it without any expectations of getting anything in return. He was happy simply by doing something nice for me.

The admission of confusion over his forgetfulness and his dining-out gift somehow showed me what an amazing person he is becoming. This is not the man I got together with on August 16, 2008. That man was selfish, self-centered, and didn't care about anyone but himself. He had no conscience, didn't care if his actions hurt anyone, and his moral level was almost as low as it could go. I've fought him tooth and nail to be a human being and to treat others the same. He's done a major overhaul and has successfully modified the beat-up, rusty clunker to a shiny, solid body with warm, plush interiors. He's done it for me, and he's given me all the time I need to be sure that this is now the real him.

I missed him today while he was at work. That's something that pretty much never happens. I hugged him sincerely before he left to go back home tonight, and when he kissed me (a series of pecks), I didn't tense up like I usually and turn away after a few seconds. I relaxed and allowed him to lead me through his ritual good-night pecks. I told him that he's amazing, in part because he loves me even when I'm unlovable. He laughed alot at that! Then he agreed with me :-D

I really hope that this is a sign of things to come, not just with us but in my outlook on aspects of my life (and there's certainly alot of 'em).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where to go next

My disappointment in myself (a.k.a. lack of weight loss) has kept me from blogging, but it's the day after Christmas and I'm feeling a renewed sense of self, so here I am.

There have been a few times in my life when I was able to diet and exercise to a point of losing quite a bit of weight. The key factor in each of those was that my life followed a set schedule, one in which I could easily plan for working out a few days a week. The first time was when my child started prexchool at the local YMCA. I would take the little one to the top floor for a few hours of play time and education, and I would head to the basement to exercise. It was great! I then supplemented this with step aerobics at home when I felt the urge to jump around when she wasn't in preschool.

The next time in my life was when she started at a different preschool and I was a nanny for other children her age. After taking everyone to their respective preschools, I would head to my neighborhood community center to exercise. I then went home (we had moved back in to my mom's where my brother also lived) to a quiet, empty house to spend an hour pampering myself. I'd crank up my music, shower, curl my hair, and dance. At noon I'd pick up the kiddies and start the second half of my day in very good spirits.

The third time was a few years later. I'd drop my child off at school and then head to campus where I worked and studied. Arriving a couple hours before my first class, I'd head to the gym to work out and then take time to shower. It was great. The rest of the day was filled with energy and a strong, positive mood that was useful for all the things I was juggling.

The one reason I'd stop, every time, is because I'd start a relationship and give up myself to the new man. However, the second time (as listed above) I was already in a relationship, and I felt myself drawing away from him. I felt so good about myself (exercise does wonders for my mood) that I started to not care about the relationship based on the fact that he wasn't giving me what I needed; I felt myself pulling away from him. When I realized this, that I no longer cared about being with him, it scared me to death, and I gave up working out so I could refocus on keeping him near me. Which brings me to a much deeper problem, how I find myself in relation to my relationships. There isn't one relationship that I've had, since childhood on, that hasn't proven to be highly conditional. This applies to parents, a grand-parent and siblings. Even when I've done nothing wrong except break the dysfunctional rules laid down by the other person (e.g. refuse to keep lying in order to even have a relationship), even when I've played their games to the best of my ability, every relationship has turned on me. So I guess it makes sense that the only time I could feel good enough about myself to focus on my health is when I've been single.

I've been in a difficult relationship for over 2 years now. Because he has done a LOT of work on himself, it is much better than it was, but I still find it impossible to let go and get lost in the zone that is necessary for dedicated weight-loss. Between that and my absolutely insane schedule, which doesn't allow for regular workouts, I just don't know what I'm going to do.

To be continued ...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Here I go again

261.2 (+2.2)

Frustrated. I've been hovering just above 260 for a while and anytime I dip below into the 250s it's only for a day. I have not eaten perfectly but I don't think I did so badly as to deserve a 2.2 lb. gain. :-(

I sat in bed last night with my book "The Beck Diet Solution" which consists of an daily to-do item for 30 days, each item taking the unhealthy eater closer to a permanent lifestyle change. The first step is to write down on a card the advantages of weight loss and healthy eating. This is to be kept in my wallet and read several times a day to remind me why I'm choosing to pass on the sweets and fried food. Many things I thought of really touched me, like wanting to be able to reach my feet. I have a hard time putting on socks and tennis shoes, and I can't even come close to doing my own pedicures.

So I'm committing myself to eat better, but honestly, I'm at work right now and I forgot my healthy lunch, so I have to go to the cafeteria. I already know that I'm going to get the chicken strips. They are fabulous and I haven't had them in weeks since I've been working from home so much. But, tonight I'm going to eat healthy. My man is staying the weekend with me and he's going to make burgers and fries, but I'm going to have a baked sweet potato (so yummy!) and a salad. That really sounds good to me whereas the burger and fries do not. Again, it's not perfection, but 3 chicken strips truly should not make that much of a difference. When I've lost weight before I allowed myself to enjoy small portions of less-than-healthy food.

LL xoxo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I did it!!



I am pretty thrilled about losing 2.6 lbs this week. I'm not going to say that I did nothing, but I didn't do too terribly much. I've stopped eating so close to bedtime, and I've stopped eating 2nd helpings. I went out to lunch with my mother at Denny's a few days ago and none of the fried food (98% of the menu) looked even remotely appetizing. I did the Pick 4 breakfast slam and chose all of the healthier options, including a cup of fruit (I hate ordering fruit from restaurants because it's rarely ripe). I've been stopping eating (is that grammatically correct?) when I feel satisfied, and I've greatly reduced my intake of sugar while increasing fruits and veggies. Wow, now that I've typed all that out it looks as if I DID do a lot.

Let's not forget exercise. Last weekend I wanted to do The Biggest Loser's 500-step challenge so last Monday morning I did just that. I was soooo sore for the next few days, but I did it again Thursday and again today. I'm thrilled!!

My writing is going slow but I have been making progress and meeting my deadlines. I was a day early on my 20-page paper and spent all day Thursday peer editing and critiquing the papers of fellow students. I just finished another paper for tomorrow and I have one more to do before 3pm tomorrow. Then, oh boy, then I get back to my thesis.

Overall I had a great, successful last week. Let's see how the next one goes :-D

LL xoxo

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gettin On Track



I took a couple days off because, believe it or not, writing this blog actually takes a bit of time and ends up taking me away from schoolwork. I've had a rough time this week. I've been home every day but have found it hard to stay focused on the oh-so-many tasks at hand. Monday I was able to finish the 20-page paper that took far longer than I expected--12 days! The good thing about it is that I used the same paper for two classes (the professors were aware of this). Today I was VERY focused and worked ALL DAY on assignments for one class. I just finished it all and am totally done with this course. YAY!!

As for eating and exercise, as you know I've been watching The Biggest Loser Season 10. At the start of the season half of the contestants had to compete in a 500-step challenge using a stepper (as in step aerobics). It was really hard for them and I was wondering if this li'l couch potato could do it. I have a step that I used to use regularly, so I brought the cob-webby thing up from the basement and went to work. It was hard but I did it without any trouble.

I've been very sore the past two days but I didn't exercise. That's not good. It doesn't do a thing to just exercise once every three months, so this morning I did it again--500 steps. This time I added arm movements to about half of the steps. I'm already starting to feel better and I honestly wish I could've done it again tonight, but I decided to work instead.

I've been making better choices with food too. For one, I'm doing my best not to overeat. Monday night I met my man at Subway. The sandwich wasn't very healthy but I went for the baked chips and iced tea to reduce calories (I realized later that the chips did nothing for me, so I think I'll pass next time). I ordered a foot-long because I was starving, but I didn't eat the whole thing. I saved some for lunch the next day. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to NOT finish really tasty food? That was a big step for me.

Additionally I've started tracking what I eat with the notepad on my phone. I'll add them to my food log on when I get some time.

So I weighed myself and I'm 260.6. After my shower I took a hand mirror and held it to my right to see the profile of my body. My abdomen is huge and is further out than my chest. This isn't just my stomache, this is my entire abdomen. What's odd is that it's the uppoer part that is so far out. The lower "gut" part is not sticking out as far. I tried sucking it in and it barely made a difference. I didn't feel badly though, wich is great. I did it so that I can face my body for the first time in a very long time. The only mirror I have is the medicine cabinet mirror and the hand mirror, so I never see below by shoulders. Doing this little exercise simply reinforced why I'm making changes.

As for my mood and focus ... Monday was good, Tuesday was pretty good (got up earlier than normal but I avoided work and just played online most of the day), but yesterday was not good. I woke up and was exhausted physically and mentally. I'm sure it would've been legit to take the entire day off but I can' afford that at this point. I sat and watched t.v. and played online for hours. I got up at 8a.m. and didn't start working until 2p.m. Terrible, I know. Of course as soon as I started I got a call from my child that a tire had blown on the highway. I had to go and change it (I was within a few feet of cars wizzing past me ... I felt kinda brave for doing this) and when I got back I made something to eat cuz my child had to go to work. I did just a few minutes of work before my man came and got me at 6:30 to go to the store. I hadn't changed out of my bed clothes (which are regular clothes I wouldn't be caught dead in out of the house) all day (not even when I changed the tire) and I was embarrassed. I washed my face and brushed my teeth and changed my clothes but that was all. My hair was not clean and I hadn't showered. We went to the store and had dinner. I started doing more work while he was still here and later continued working until 2a.m. It was past the time I should've gone to bed, but I had started the day wanting to accomplish this one thing, so I pushed myself until it was done.

I felt so good about this that I started off today feeling much more dedicated. I got up at 9a.m., did the dishes, straightened the house, had breakfast and exercised. Then I got to work. I was distracted for a bit by talking with a friend online but I didn't avoid the work for long. I started working at about 1p.m. or so and I didn't stop except to eat until 11p.m. Ten hours of work time is not bad at all. It's about what I want to accomplish at this point in the semester, so I'm really proud of myself.

So tomorrow I plan on doing it all over again: dishes, straightening, breakfast and exercise, then work.

I can't wait!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Falling Short or Moving Ahead?

I'm doing my best not to panic about my schoolwork. I'm getting very little done each day, partly because I allow myself to be distracted by things at home (cleaning, laundry, T.V., netsurfing) and partly because things demand my attention (cleaning, laundry) or force my attention away (child gets home from school 5 hours earlier than planned, child fights with friend in my living room). So yesterday I headed to my favorite coffee house because it's a place where I can focus. I worked on my paper for 3 solid hours, but guess what? It's still not done *sigh* Hopefully today will be it.

Last week I started watching the current season of The Biggest Loser and I just can't get enough (hmm, distraction). My man has stayed at my house during his time off from work so he's been watching with me. Last night after an episode ended he told me I should try out to be on the show because he thinks I'd really kick butt at it. He then said that he knows the show is an inspiration to me and I had to force back the tears becuase he's right. Last spring I watched TBL and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and I started to eat better and feel better. I really need these positive things in my life.

I've been thinking a lot about my weight and what got me to this point and how I've allowed it to overtake my life. I am a very active person and I enjoy getting out and living, but I found out last summer that I can't do that anymore because I don't fit in certain public seats (live theater, airplanes), other things would be too difficult for me to do (hiking, sitting in a canoe, walking long distances while on vacation) and yet others would just be to embarrassing (swimming, rock climbing, riding a bike, roller blading). I've noticed that I have trouble getting off the couch or out of the recliner now, and my jeans are so uncomfortable when I sit that I have to unbutton AND unzip them. I've never been this big before, close but not exactly.

One of the contestants said that after being voted off of TBL, he scheduled 3 workouts per day--one before work, one after, and one after dinner. Each one was at least an hour long. He said that it was a tough commitment to stick to but he knew it had to be done. I can't say that I can do three a day, but I should be able to work out once a day. I spend a lot of time sitting around being unproductive so there obviously is time in my day.

The second part to getting healthy is food. Our food stamps were cut by 25% recently. What we used to get was perfect for us and came to $100 a week. It's hard for two people to eat on just $14 a day. That's 3 meals for two people which comes to about $2 per person per meal. A jar of spaghetti sauce at the discount grocer is $1, past is about the same, and then there's a salad ($4), bread ($2) and parm cheese to put on top. That's more than half of a day's budget. Now imagine that I start cooking really healthy meals with fresh produce and I leave out processed food (canned goods, boxed meals and frozen meals)--the cost will double or triple! What I have to do is make 3 weeks worth of food stamps stretch to 4 weeks, and then stretch it even more so that we can eat healthy food. I'm fine with paying cash for the difference but right now I don't have any to spare. I had to borrow $300 from my man in order to get through until mid-January when the refunds roll in.

So it's 1:30 and I need to eat so I'm going to have lunch and get back to my paper. Wish me luck.

Goals for today:
  1. Finish my paper, one way or another
  2. Start writing the "methods" section of my thesis
  3. Email Chris the coding system
  4. Be kinder to my man
What I am thankful for:
  • Having a man who really, truly loves me regardless of how I look or act
  • Having a warm safe home for my family and my kitties
  • Being blessed with a really good writing ability that helps me earn high grades
  • Learning to really love myself, no matter how I look

LL xoxo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Thanksgiving ...

... and I am home alone so that I can work on my papers. Every day I think I'll finally be done with the 12-15 page paper but it stays just outside of my reach. So I've canceled every plan I have so that I can put in as much time as I can. I'm actually fine with it because a) I'm used to it and b) I'm happy to have the time to get to work.

That's all for today.

LL xoxo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pushing through the struggle

Time and lack of money are beginning to press down on me. I spent the majority of the day yesterday working on Paper #1 (the 12-15 page paper) and thought for sure I'd have it finished, but no, not yet. My plan was to do housework today amid working on Paper #2 (5-page book report) and Paper #3 (5-page journal), and possibly sending info to a classmate who has graciously agreed to double check my coding system (to see how valid it is). Well it's already 11 a.m. I've done the dishes, started the laundry and had breakfast. That's it.

Money, what can I say. This is typical for this time of year. The money I had set aside for the semester is gone (I only had 70% of what I needed to begin with) and now the money is coming in bits and pieces. While I'll have enough to get through to my next student loan refund, every little bit that comes will have bills arriving alongside of it, so buying pet supplies, toilet paper, etc. ... I'm not sure how that's going to work.

I'm frustrated with:
  • myself for not staying as focused as I need in order to succeed with my academic endeavors
  • my boss because she doesn't seem to get that my job is not THE top priority, and lately she has stopped listening to the things I say to her (I've been involved with campus for many years, have been in student organizations, and have worked a few jobs--I KNOW what goes on, how to handle things and who to talk to). I've started ignoring the phone when I'm busy there because if it's her, she'll talk for as long as an hour. This has caused me to have to work on weekends to make up for the time I lost on projects. WTH?!?! I'm only supposed to work 20 hours per week (work study rules) but there have been several weeks in the past couple of months when I've worked off the clock. I've even brought my man in to help me out (not so fun for him). I've had to explain to her that I am flexible in what days I come in, but that I have to take time off to make up the lost schoolwork time. I was also offended when she told me last week that she can only count on herself. What the heck have I been doing all this time? I typically work 13-15 hours a week but lately I've been putting in 20-23 in order to make sure everything is getting done. It seems like I've done it all for nothing and I'm a bit resentful.
  • all the things that require me to take time away from school: Thanksgiving, running errands, keeping house, dealing with people who can't take care of things themselves (I love caring for people, but goodness there has to be time for me to care for myself). I'm pretty resentful right now of the holiday coming up because it's taking me away from my work for an entire day, and there's NO WAY to make that up.
I'm also doing what I can to face my weight. On The Biggest Loser you see contestants with the flap of belly fat that hangs below their shorts. I don't have that but I do have the folds on the sides of my stomach which indicates that it is starting to happen. I don't want to be this way. Right now I don't have time but I'm trying, I honestly am. I have a really good treadmill that I'm trying to figure out where it should go: my bedroom or the basement? I'd hate how it'll look in my bedroom, plus the floor shakes when I have it upstairs, but the basement floor is not flat; when I use it, the tread creeps to one side (rather than staying centered) and starts to rub on the plastic (which will wear it out), so I'm constantly having to push it back by twisting my feet as I walk.

As I write this, I'm thinking that my weight is a serious issue and needs to be a priority. When I have homework, there are books and papers on the table and desk. When it's time to eat, the kitchen gets messy because we need sustenance to survive. When it's time to do laundry, there are dirty clothes, towels and sheets in a pile that need tackling. That which is most important to us is not hidden, so neither should the treadmill. It may not look nice in my room, but right now this is what I need to get better.

I obviously need to view my weightloss as the serious situation that it is. I often say that I'm thankful for being healthy, but I don't know what's going on inside of me. Do I have high cholesterol? Do I have diabetes yet? If not I will very soon. My knees and hips hurt when I get off the couch, I can't breathe when I bend, and I can't do things that require me to kneel down or sit on the floor. Last summer my friends and I had to sit in the handicap seats at the local outdoor theater because I couldn't fit in the regular seats. There was an indoor theater show I really wanted to see but I passed because I assumed I wouldn't fit there either. I won't fly anymore because when I did last March, I barely fit (didn't fit but somehow made it work). During the layover (I stayed on the same plane) I didn't join the other passengers who got up to stretch because I was afraid of having them see how hard it would be for me to get back in my seat.

I realized yesterday that my man loves me so much that if I were to continue gaining weight, he'd put my shoes on for me and do other things that I no longer could. That is not fair to him. We are planning on being together for many years to come (forever?) and I'm sure he'd like to enjoy life with me without having to limit his activities simply because I couldn't do them.

I'm not sure how I'm going to make these changes, but I know it starts in my head. My weight is a critical health issue that needs addressing right now! I don't need to feel bad about where I am, but instead I need to feel good, strong and positive about the future and what I'm going to do to get healthier. I forgive myself for ignoring how bad it really is.

Goals for today:
  1. Finish Paper #1, Paper #2, Paper #3 and email my classmate
  2. Finish laundry
  3. Shower
  4. Exercise (someway, somehow)
  5. Plan a schedule for today so I can accomplish all of this. It can be done, I just have to remain on track.
  6. Keep the television off.

What I am grateful for:
  • Having been blessed with a wonderful man who truly loves me
  • Having a great daughter who is transitioning very well into adulthood
  • Having a safe, warm home that we all feel comfortable in
  • All of the animals are healthy and happy
  • Having the strength to stay the course when things get tough, and to be able to change things to meet specific needs
LL xoxo

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tic, toc, tic, toc ...

So here I am on Sunday night with only a couple of hours put into the paper that I wanted to have finished at midnight (it's 12:16 a.m. right now). I've had two days and I've done almost everything but work on it. I think I have to go to the campus library to work on it because there are just too many darn distractions at home, and being at the library is inspiring, what with all the thousands of books and journals there. The place reaks of intelligence and hard work. So I think that's the plan for tomorrow--go to the library to finish this.

I'm going to have to take a night off from seeing my man so that I can get as much work done before the holiday takes me away.

That's all for now.

Goal for tomorrow:
  1. Finish first paper
What I'm grateful for:
  • Living in a warm, comfortable home
  • Being able to take care of my daughter
  • Being loved by one of the greatest men in the world
  • Taking care of my cats and seeing them live good, safe lives
  • Having the knowledge, experience and fortitude to get through the next few weeks even though I am literally broke right now (I have $2 in the bank).
  • Being healthy
LL xoxo

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sigh ...

So I started another blog entry yesterday but wasn't able to finish it because of all the stuff going on at work. I thought that it had automatically saved but I can't find it. Oh well. I've got new stuff to talk about anyway.

I am really bogged down right now with schoolwork. I have three graduate courses that I need to write for, ranging from a 5-page book report to a 30-40-page graduate thesis. The small assignments aren't too hard of course, but the thesis (it's actually a research project but that doesn't resonate the same as calling it a thesis) needs sooo much attention. I still have to enter a bit more data into the stats program so I can complete analysis, and I have to send the coding system to a friend so he can try it out (to see if the coding system is valid--if we write down mostly the same answers, then it's a sign that I've done well), and I have to write, write write until the freakin' cows come home. I have about 4 weeks to get this all done, and the smaller assignments are due in a couple of weeks. This mad rush of adrenaline, excitement and stress is how all of my semesters end up, and ever semester I experience a sort of academic overload that prevents me from all other logical thinking. I forget the names of certain things, I've locked my keys in the car (and really didn't care) because I was so exhausted--a friend told me that her roommate forgot how to use the microwave one semester! It really does happen folks, and it's nuts.

I've told my boyfriend that he should not expect very much from me until this is all over. This is his 5th time going through this with me, so he should be O.K. He wants to spend the weekend with me (which is not a great idea) and I told him he's welcome to be there but that he absolutely cannot talk to me or stop me for anything. I am in total academic mode and during these times it's sort of like asking a surgeon during a brain operation what he/she would like for dinner. I don't have time for that little stuff right now, and I can't afford the interruptions (since the work I'm doing is all in my head and I can't have those trains of thoughts cut off).

I'd love to hear from anyone else who has experienced this, with school or anything at all. I get like this with other things on a lesser scale, like when I'm running my home (cleaning, planning for the week, making calls and sending emails, etc.) or focused on work projects. It's just how I am, but I think it's a good way to be. I trust my judgment and organization skills enough to know that when I get like this, I'm working efficiently and successfully.

So let's talk about weight issues. I've been eating a LOT of junk this past week, and honestly, this stressful time is not the time to worry about changing it. I always give myself permission to set aside those thoughts because I really can't afford the added stress from feeling guilty about eating french fries. Funny thing is that by doing this, I sometimes choose to eat well anyway, but because I want to. See the diff?

I was watching T.V. last night (after a VERY long day) and I started looking at my stomach. It looks like the kind of stomach I've always said I'd never have. As I sat there, it jutted out from me, starting from beneath my chest and making a smooth curve into my crotch (sorry, graphic, I know, but I'm not posting pics, so .... ). I saw this and wondered what it looks like to other people, especially my daughter and my boyfriend. I wonder how they never get disgusted by me as I sit back in the corner of the couch looking like a beached whale. I hated how my mother looked (but then again, she thought she was all that and it just freaked me out when she clearly wasn't) so I don't understand how I'm not an embarrassment to my own daughter.

What was the most interesting though was that I didn't feel like I was looking at myself but somehow separated from it. I was there logically assessing my size and shape but I was not emotionally there. I thought at the time that I need to take pics of myself looking this way so that I can face it and get inspired to make changes, but that scared me. I would break down and feel hopeless if I really knew how I look. Of course I need to know because I do need to make changes, so I'm going to think on this for a while and work up the courage to do something.

Goals for today:
  1. work on my to-do list
  2. make significant progress with my 12-page paper (it's due Sunday night)
  3. have fun with friends tonight before starting a big, long weekend/two weeks of insane schoolwork
  4. be good to myself, love myself, and accept who I am and what I look like (it's the first step--hatred never works)
What I am grateful for:
  • being healthy
  • having friends and loved ones who do not judge me for my weight
  • having the ability to get through this tough (academic) time
  • having all the necessities for myself and my daughter even though I'm currently broke. I've been getting stronger about how I handle the money I get each semester and it has made a big difference for me and my daughter (car breaks down, I can fix it; cat gets sick, it goes to the vet). 
  • knowing that I'm going to see my ENTIRE FAMILY next week on Thanksgiving (haven't seen my sister for 2.5 years because she holds a grudge). My brother has a girlfriend with 2 kids and they are all coming too. There are 4 of us kids (3 girls 1 boy) and there has never been a time when we've all been together WITH significant others, so this will be great!!

LL xoxo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Eh ...

Wow, it's been a few days since I've written but I have avoided it because I haven't felt very positive. But what fun would it be to just read about all the sunny-happy-smiley stuff? If I'm opening myself up, I have to really do it, but it's scary exposing myself this way. Oh well, on with the show.

So I've been very tense from the stress of work and school. It's the end of the semester and I have a VERY full plate. I've been battling boredom with the work I'm doing, and let me tell you, I'm losing the battle. I have avoided working on school assignments which of course only makes matters worse, but that logic has not worked for me. Now I can see the deadlines fast approaching and I have no other option but to get to work. Funny thing is, even though I would be stressed out, this is the when I do my best work. Of course I could've done all of this weeks ago, but there wouldn't have been anything pushing me on, urging me to stay focused. Crazy, I know, and I've tried this semester to change it (have been successful in many ways actually) but I've hit a wall and have no desire to crawl around it.

Other than school I'm actually doing quite well. There are lots of fun things coming up at work and I'm really enjoying the creative freedom I've been given. I just have so much to do there that, in my mind, the ever-growing to-do list in my head keeps colliding with the mashup of schoolwork I have to do. My poor head, not exactly a relaxing place right now.

Yesterday I would've normally stayed home to (avoid) do schoolwork but I had to work ALL DAY to help with meetings. I was a bear and not very agreeable to my boss or other people. At the first meeting I sat in silence because I needed to, but at the second meeting I spoke up ... too much. My diagreements came out too aggressively and this morning I apologized to my boss for this. Of course I made yesterday worse on myself by a) staying in bed too late (a popular avoidance technique of mine), and b) not showering. I got up at THE LAST MINUTE with just enough time to get dressed, brush my hair and rush off to work, and that was NOT good. I have found that the simple act of taking a shower can lift my spirits in an uncanny way. I have hair that must be washed daily, so I went to work with unclean hair; add to this that I didn't wash my face or even BRUSH MY TEETH (I know, very gross) and it was a recipe for emotional disaster. I am kinesthetic (ie: I feel my surroundings), so being trapped in an unclean body made me very uncomfortable. But, I did it to myself. I was lying in bed ignoring the clock, knowing the consequences.

Well today I did the exact opposite. I was out of bed at 8 a.m. (1-2 hour earlier than normal for days when I'm working from home) and took a shower instantly. I did some light cleaning, and while eating breakfast I read a book for school instead of watching T.V. I've done very little productively since then, but I feel great! :-) LOL

My goals for today are:
  1. Do whatever I can for school (I can't handle specifics right now)
I am grateful for:
  • Having the opportunity to catch up on my work
  • Knowing that I will get all or almost all of my work completed and turned in on time
  • Being a hardworking employee
  • Successfully running a home in spite of having practically no help
  • Still having a little bit of money to fall back on until our next student loan refunds
  • Having excellent friends who love me
  • Being surrounded by good people
  • Accepting myself
Interesting note here--I didn't want to do the "I am grateful for" because I don't feel particularly grateful right now, but the point of doing it is so I FEEL grateful, and today it worked. I had to stop myself cuz once I got started, more and more things popped into my head to be appreciative of.

LL xoxo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Sunday!! What am I Going to Do Today?

Most days of the week for me lack routine but Sundays ... yeah, I know what to expect on Sundays. My man spends the night on Saturday, and Sunday morning I get out of bed anwhere from 8a to 10a, and if I don't wake him up, he can sleep as late as 2p. I don't do anything noisy or leave the house, so that means my day doesn't really get started until he's dressed and ready to go (which takes at least 1 hour but closer to 2 hours after he wakes up). This means that sometimes my day doesn't begin until 4p.

As I write this, it's 12:15 and I've been up for almost 4 hours. I was going to read my book for class but instead I've been Online reading blogs. I've only now started becoming interested in blogs and I'm glad that I have--I need a Facebook distraction LOL (I had such a game addiction that I spent at least 2 hours a day playing FB games, but in order to advance through challenges more quickly, I made up 5 fake FB accounts, so if I played each game in each account, I could easily spend 4+ hours a day just updating my games--I've recently deleted all the games and have turned to non-real-time games through a different Website), and reading blogs is educational and the opposite of mind numbing :-)

Anyhoo, to get back to the point here, I started to panic last night when thinking about what I have to do today. I had originally planned on staying home all day so I could focus on school, but I have to go into work for about an hour to take care of the things I didn't do Friday (the day when I decided to just chill and NOT work at all), I need to go to the grocery store and I have to hit another store to get some non-grocery items. I also need new clothes, so I might hit the neighborhood thrift shop to see what they've got.

So yeah, I'm a bit sporadic right now and not feeling as elated as I have been, but certainly not feeling bad either. I've had a fabulous weekend. I got out of the house Friday night and last night (which is very rare for me but something I'm actively trying to do) and had a fun relaxing weekend, but as with any Sunday, it feels like the weekend is already over. I have to get ready for the week and the fact that school days are just around the corner starts to freak me out because I don't want to wait until Monday to get back to schoolwork. Additionally, I've only got about 3 more weeks to get EVERYTHING done for this semester, so between that and it being Sunday, it's like a double whammy. However, I'm aware of it and I hope that today will go relatively well.

Goals for today:
  1. Go to work for about an hour: clean up, send emails, order food for Tuesday's meeting, fill out evaluation if there's time, print fundraiser sign, check budget, start list for Tuesday's meetings (get schedule of next year's show), change phone message
  2. Do laundry
  3. clean kitchen (clean floor)
  4. buy groceries
  5. do other shopping (buy a mop)
  6. Read some of my book for my report

What I'm grateful for:
  • Being alive to help my daughter
  • The fact that I'm alive and my friends and family are all healthy and safe
  • Being able to attend college
  • Being successful in so much of what I do
  • Being loved by family, friends and a sweet man
  • having pets who are loving and a joy to have in my life

LL xoxo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time to Relax (or, Not Much to Say)

Yesterday's goal:

1. to enjoy the day and do whatever made me happy I did this and of course it was easy! I didn't get any work done, but I wanted to just have a fun, chill day. I went to dinner with my man after work and we visited a friend and went out for dessert (a small one).


I went to my termination session of counseling yesterday and it went so much better than I had even imagined. I told her how good I've been feeling lately and that the reason why is because I've FINALLY shaken off the one person in life who has always held me down and made me feel bad about myself. I don't miss this person at all. I knew he/she was bad for me but I had no idea what the effect on me was until a few weeks after letting the relationship go. I wish this had come sooner in my life, but I think the way it happened was exactly how it HAD to happen in order for the break to occur. I'm certain it would not have been a clean, effective break if events had occurred differently.

I know, I know, I'm writing very cryptically, and for that I apologize. At some point, when there's no chance of retaliation for complete open and honest writing, I will open up about this. But this person has had a control over me my entire life and any time I've stood up for myself, the punishment has been cruel and harsh.

I just want to make it through the next couple of years so that I can earn my degree and move to another state, far enough away to (possibly, hopefully) never have to see this person again. It really is the only way because even now he/she could pretty easily suck me back in. For example, if there's an emergency, I'm certain I'd be called upon. If I said no, I won't help, the backlash would be insane, and I would not be the only one to suffer (and I don't like seeing people I love suffer), so it was be very difficult.

Anyhow, I'm starting to get an overwhelming negative/angry sort of feeling from writing about this, so I'm going to move on to today's goals:

  1. Be active, physically and mentally (sit around less, and when I am sitting don't just watch T.V.--do homework, pay bills, sew, etc.)
  2. Relax emotionally

Things I am grateful for:
  • My personal strength
  • My ability to truly love and care even though I was never shown how
  • My close friends who rejoice with my accomplishments and hug me when I need it
  • Being alive
  • All of my loved ones are healthy and alive as well
LL xoxo

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happiness Found?

Good Morning!
First, let's see how I did with my goal list from yesterday:
  1. Finish tonight's homework by noon (it's 10 a.m. now) I did!!
  2. Eat mindfully, particularly at the event tonight. I will enjoy the food but not go overboard. My goal is to not leave with pain in my tummy from overeating. I enjoyed the food from the event, but I did not go overboard. I enjoyed some appetizers over the course of 2 hours, and this worked as my dinner. I did not stuff myself but was comfortably satisfied. When I was done I was done (I'm so proud of that) and I didn't take any of the leftovers home (first time ever!!).
  3. Feel good about myself. Feel pretty regardless of the beauty conventions that I may not currently meet. I felt very good about myself all day :-D
  4. Love my man. I hold back a lot of myself because until recently our entire relationship has been painful (more on this another day) I loved him very much and honestly so. He wasn't going to be able to make it to the event but he surprised me, and my reaction was so genuine about how happy I was that he was there. He didn't even get any food when he arrived, he walked past it and came to see me in the office :-D 
I feel really good today. I feel myself getting better every day, particularly with my emotional health, and I'm sure you know that it doesn't matter how well your doing in all other parts of your life--if you aren't emotionally healthy the rest just doesn't seem to matter.

I'm keeping this short today because I'm just enjoying the good feelings that I have right now. I have a lot to do today with my job and schoolwork, but first I'm getting something to eat and will watch last night's episode of The Office. I love Fridays for different reasons than most people--not because it's the start of the weekend but because I love the time I have at work. It's like a quiet time with no pressure and I have the entire day to do whatever I want (work, chill, play). 
Oh yeah, I'm 261.0 today ...

Today's Goals:
  1. Enjoy the day and do what makes me happy (schoolwork, job-work)
What I'm thankful for:
  • Really great friends who have always been there to listen, who trust me enough to let me listen, and who freely share their love and happiness
  • A fabulous boss who listens to my ideas and respects me to the point that I feel we are equals (despite our titles)
  • A wonderful man who loves and adores me (he truly does). I think I'm going to experience with him the love that I've always wanted to set free :-)

  • A safe, comfortable home. When we have no money to spare, we still have all the creature comforts and every necessity to survive and survive well.
  • To be alive another day to enjoy all the gifts I have and to do something else to make a difference in someone else's life.
  • Feeling good, so wonderfully and truly good, for the first time in years
Love to everyone,

LL xoxo

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bright and Sunny

Yesterday I didn't do anything with my paper until 4 p.m., a mere 2 hours before my man came over for dinner and a movie. I completely avoided it alllllll day, and I'm just not sure why. I've been seeing a school counselor for a couple of months trying to figure it out. I thought it was just procrastination but it's much bigger. There are no deadlines to use as stepping stones to the finished product, and I'm having a very difficult time self-regulating (any suggestions would be much appreciated). I'm overwhelmed with the size of this thing too. Finally, I think I'm just bored with it. I've been working on this for over a year and I'm sick of it. What's a gal to do?

I worked on it from 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. and had to stop because it just was not making any sense any more LOL. I spent the next 75 minutes doing dishes and getting ready for today. Today is going to be a long, full day but I'm looking forward to it. We have an event at work tonight which is our time to shine. I love entertaining and part of that is the food that's served. I always want to WOW people with a creative spread, so at work I oversee the catering. Anyone who loves food understands the excitement that comes from planning a menu and seeing it come to fruition, especially when others are doing all the work LOL.
I weighed myself and today I'm 261.8 which is .2 lbs more than I was three days ago, however I am retaining water because I sat at my computer all day yesterday. If I'd remember to get up once an hour and move around this wouldn't happen, but it's too darn easy to get lost in whatever I'm doing at the time.
I feel really good today, and for that I'm extremely thankful. I've been sleeping better and sleeping less. I think this blog is helping me get my thoughts and emotions in line with where I want to be: positive, energetic and uplifted. At this point no one is even reading the blog and that's OK. I have to wait for strangers to stumble upon it because I'm not sharing this with family and friends. If I did that, I'd be editing my true emotions, thoughts and weight and I don't want to do that. This really is a public diary and I think that's really cool :-)
Goals for today:
  1. Finish tonight's homework by noon (it's 10 a.m. now)
  2. Eat mindfully, particularly at the event tonight. I will enjoy the food but not go overboard. My goal is to not leave with pain in my tummy from overeating.
  3. Feel good about myself. Feel pretty regardless of the beauty conventions that I may not currently meet.
  4. Love my man. I hold back a lot of myself because until recently our entire relationship has been painful (more on this another day)
What I am thankful for:
  • Being given another day to enjoy my life, to be with the people I love and do the things I enjoy
  • Being healthy enough to have the above
  • Living in a home filled with windows that bring in the absolutely magnificent sunlight. It's November 11 and it's as bright as summer and nearly as warm! :-D
  • Although I'm not where I want to be in terms of weight and academic focus, I'm not letting it get me down and I'm facing the day with hope
Wish me luck!

LL xoxo

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How I did today

How did I meet my goals for today? Let's see ...
  1. complete tomorrow's homework before 2:30 p.m. Now way, not even close. Didn't start until 4p.m. It's 9:30p.m. and I'm still working on it
  2. take a shower Didn't do it
  3. eat mindfully I did this very well! I had lunch, a snack, dinner and popcorn. I made some slightly better choices than normal too.
  4. find an activity other than eating while watching T.V. (like sewing) I watched less than 3 hours of television today, and every time it was while I was eating a real meal or snack. During dinner my man and I watched a movie. We had popcorn about an hour after dinner. The movie was our relaxing activity. The T.V. is off now and will not be back on again until tomorrow.
Not perfect, but not terrible either. Tomorrow I have a very full day and won't be home until almost 8p.m. so watching T.V. won't be an option. I'm attending an event tomorrow evening and there will be some terrific food there. I will try to eat mindfully when I'm there, but it's going to be nearly impossible to pass up all the fabulous desserts. We'll see though.

What Food Means to Me

Today's weight is 260.0, same as yesterday, which is fine. Yesterday I had two servings of the leftover casserole (one for breakfast, the other for dinner), and I had some popcorn and the rest of the cookies (about 7?) for an afternoon snack. Those cookies ... what is the pull they have on me? I'm glad they're gone because I won't buy any more, but while they're here I can't ignore them. Throw them away? Are you kidding? I'd rather gain another pound than do that! Yes, this is a sickness.

After dinner I felt like I should have a Drumstick ice cream cone, you know, the one with the fudge at the bottom of the cone? I LOVE that last bite, and if I didn't feel like I was wasting it, I'd simply throw the rest of the cone away just to have that bite. Good news is that I battled that temptation. The weather here is be-u-tee-ful right now, so me and my man took a walk after dinner. I put my money in my pocket and told him we were walking to the store to get an ice cream. BUT, when it came time to turn down the street leading to the store, I simply didn't. I told my guy why and he was cool with it. In lieu of the ice cream we walked further than we ever have: 2.25 miles! We left the neighborhood for a main road and even stopped in at a computer store we've been curious about. As we left that store, my man says, "There's Dairy Queen." We had to cut through the parking lot to continue our journey. I asked if he wanted anything and (luckily) he said no.

When I got home though, I spent the next 3.5 hours watching T.V. How does that happen? The entire time I was thinking of food, and eventually I ate two PB&Js. Better than the ice cream, yes (the bread was multigrain, full of nuts type of bread), but not good in general. See? It's a real battle.

I looked up Overeaters Anonymous because I'm looking for something that will help, but they use the 12-step program and I don't like that. I went to Pre-Alateen as a kid and a few years ago I dated a man who atteneded AA meetings. He said what I had always felt--that the meetings are such downers. Everyone talks about how hard life is and how sucky the struggle is. I want to get to a point of joy about food and life. I don't care what anyone says--this will not be a lifetime battle. It may rear it's ugly head from time to time, but it will not be a daily, ongoing issue. I've battled this before and felt great, but the problem was that I had PTSD for 20 years, and counselor after counselor did not correctly diagnose me. Therefore, I'd start feeling good about life and then BAM!! something would trigger me. I handled it by having raging anger outbursts (destroyed many items during these times) or hiding with plates of sugar and fat laden foods. Luckily I was invited to participate in a study two years ago that ultimately eliminated all the symptoms (that story is for another day), and I've found that now my attachment for food is just that: an attachment. Food has been my closest ally for half of my life. I could always depend on the comfort it would bring me. On dates, during family gatherings, or with friends who also relied on food, it was my silent little buddy letting me know that I could get through another putdown by family, and that even though certain people ignored me, it never would.

Some say food is the enemy, but I don't see it that way. Food has brought me peace when I couldn't find it anywhere else. It has been the centerpiece of entertainment and activities shared with real friends and loved ones. People walk into my home smiling because they see me at the stove creating wonderful things. I'm simply having a hard time redefining my relationship with food, but I am honestly trying.

Goals for today:
  1. complete tomorrow's homework before 2:30 p.m.
  2. take a shower
  3. eat mindfully
  4. find an activity other than eating while watching T.V. (like sewing)
Postivie thoughts for today:
  • I may be overweight, but I'm alive. I can walk, talk and care for myself.
  • I have the joy of caring for people and creatures in my life who love me very much
  • Although I'm behind in schoolwork, I will catch up and be just fine
  • Our cars are all running
  • I have enough money to pay the bills
  • The people I love are all healthy, safe and pursuing their dreams in one form or another
  • I have a big heart

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope?

I weighed myself this morning and I'm 260.0. Not exactly sure how that happened, but it's possible that I was still retaining some water from last week. Whatever it is, I'm happy to see the number drop. That alone gives me the encouragement I need to make better food choices.

Ah, food choices. I started off very well, but after class I came home and sat on the couch for 5 hours. Did nothing but watch T.V. and snack. I had made a casserole around lunchtime so that dinner would be available to all of us; I had a serving for lunch and another for dinner. Not too bad, right? Well, I hate watching T.V. without eating, so I had some low-fat popcorn. When that was gone I had 5 cookies. I didn't want the cookies, but I ate them anyway. I had a bowl of apple slices in the fridge but I forgot about it.

My food goal for today is to eat better snacks when watching T.V. Elimination is not the key; replacing unhealthy food with healthy food is the key because not only do I eat lots of junk, I rarely eat anything good for me. I am so lucky to be relatively healthy, but as I age my body will face unnecessary difficulties if I don't change this.

Another goal for today is to put in a fair amount of work on my paper. I'm having LOTS of trouble following through with the work I should be doing (as a grad student, there is only one deadline--papers due at the end of the semesters). I have three days off each week from work so that I may focus on school, but instead I play Online (yeah, smack my hand now LOL) and watch T.V. I'm avoiding the work because it's like trying to push a mountain, and turning to face the mountain puts me into a panic. I've been working on overcoming this for the past few months but I haven't made any real progress. So, I'll work on it again today.

In closing, I want to end with some positive thoughts, for myself as well as my readers:
  • I am alive today. I've been blessed with another day to see and hug the people I love and take part in their lives
  • The sun is shining and it's going to be 70 degrees! I can open the doors again :-)
  • I'm healthy. It's difficult to do certain things at this size, but difficult is not the same as impossible
  • There is plenty of food in the house to sustain us
  • We have heat, water, electricity, internet and cell phones. I think that's better than something like 75% of the world's population (a stat I read last year)
  • I feel safe at home and when I go out. That's so important for a woman.
  • I am loved by a very special man. I've searched for love for 20 years and have a man who does it unconditionally. Maybe one day he'll say the same about me :-D

  • We have the joy of caring for wonderful pets who bring us love and happiness every day
  • I have not been to a funeral for a friend or relative in several years.
  • There is a relative who absolutely refuses to speak to me, but she's alive, healthy and doing very well from what I understand. I am happy about that.
  • I no longer have PTSD :-D
See you tomorrow :-D