Friday, July 27, 2012

A little pledge, a little tide, a little coldplay

So, even though work is imploding around goes on and I'm taking today off.  We are hosting family gatherings for the next few days and also next weekend and I just thought I ought to make the effort to add "house" to "wife" for a little while and get the joint in order.

Unlike my lovable sister who likes to tear up a floor and refinish it 48 hours before welcoming family for a holiday, I'm surface cleaning only.  To get started, I'm making a list and checking it twice (the Franklin-Covey working habits in me required ABC 123 lists) and then I'm going to plow through it all quickly. forward to 5PM

Somehow managed to get all my tasks, play, and least good enough.  House is clean and presentable.  Kitchen is gleaming.  Pool is swimmable.  Patio is set.  Now its time for me to kick back and enjoy family time tonight.

And Pizza!!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ride, Sally Ride

This is a photo of my high school yearbook.

The year I was editor, was the year Sally Ride went into space as the first American female astronaut. I admired Sally. Not because she was the first woman, but because of her grace and calm in the wake of it. So, as editor, I exercised my power and prerogative and squeezed in a great photo and quote between our memories of such groundbreaking moments of 2 feet of snow paralyzing our city, musical pioneers The Police, Journey, Men at Work, Duran Duran and rising star Jennifer Beals of the immortal Flashdance.

Yes, the 80s were a shallow time. As compared to the 2010s...obviously a deeply historical decade.

The quote...just in case you cannot read it, was:

"It's too bad that society isn't to the point yet where the country could just send up a woman astronaut and nobody would think twice about it."

Ride, Sally Ride. And rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Waiting Game...Courtesy of My Boss

So...I'm sitting here at my laptop...jumping back and forth between real work, personal "work", and time wasting.  Why you ask?  Well....because my boss and I were supposed to have a conference call at 5PM.  Then he called and said...can we do 7PM...Sure, I say.   Then he texted and about 9PM?...Sure, I say. And at guessed it, new text: "Just sitting down to late can I call you?"  So here I am....trying to be productive, trying to be focused, trying to be "on" for his call whenever it may come.

What's new here since my last post, you ask?  Not that anyone is still listening to my once per month news, but here goes.

I have buckled and joined Facebook.  Never thought I would do it, but I'm there.  I blame my niece.  I could not be left out of the loop of her adorable pictures and updates on her and her kids any longer.  I've jumped in and am doing all those stupid things I complain about.  Posting boring status updates.  Being self-involved with my own little face and little life.  Probably informing the general public of way too much of my business.  But there you have it...the new social media life.

I've continued my fitness/weight loss efforts with my husband.  As is the typical male-female situation, he continues to double my pace...but that's ok.  I'm at 21 pounds down...he's at 41 pounds down.  Sweet.  We are getting younger as well as slimmer (or at least feel like it).  I'm still walking...although not every day like I did in April.  Today I even managed to run around the track 1.5 times before nearly collapsing in a heap of heaving huffing heart pounding nausea.  Not really...I walked it off...but I don't believe I will ever enjoy running.  Power walker....that's me.

Work is tougher than ever....without my colleague of 18 years who moved on to another opportunity I'm a little lonely and a little overwhelmed with needy staff and unending workload.  I'm actually getting better about shrugging it off and going home - only so much that can be done after all - but it's always hanging over me like a boulder on a piece of dental floss.

Summer is going along swimmingly.  Literally.  Our pool is getting more use than usual with the lovely hot weather and sunshine.  I even manage to sneak in a dip on some of my mornings before work after my Power Walk.

So...all in is pretty damn simple.

And I'm actually ok with that.  Even if it does make for some boring blogging and Facebooking.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lost to couple, one small child

Before you call out the troops let me explain. At this time hubby and I have lost the equivalent of a five year old from our waistlines. Yeah!!! Hubby has surpassed me greatly (as usual), losing 27 pounds at last check, while I have lost 14. According to the averages chart, that equals your basic 5 year old munchkin.

I must say, cleaning out closets and getting rid of too-big clothes is much more satisfying than tossing too-small clothes.

Off to walk. Blogging is too sedentary an activity.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Procrastination

Today I got up and out earlier than normal (yes I did walk today - this was my 4 week anniversary of DAILY WALKS!)...and when I entered the highway...I stopped dead.  An accident ahead, apparently, was going to start my day off with a major delay.  After 45 minutes I had not even progressed 1 mile to the next exit.  So I commiserated with my fellow drivers by catching their eye, smiling ruefully, shrugging and shaking my head. 

Oh well. Best laid plans.

I finally arrived to my office 1 hour 45 minutes after leaving my house (typically a 30-40 minute ride).  So, having missed the first hour of my 2 hour conference call, I decided to quit it entirely and spent the morning instead starting a long ignored task. 

The result?  My desk is now spotless. 

THAT?  was not the long ignored task. 

So the cycle begins....

Ain't I just the procrastination queen? (drawing below courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half)

I convinced myself that the long ignored task required me to unearth some old notes that were...somewhere...and it required a minor archeological dig to discover them. 

Once I started, I couldn't stop and I found myself cleaning not only the top of my desk (which was starting to look like an episode of HOARDERS), I started also cleaned out the drawers, the boxes (from our office move in 2010) and the shelves of my bookcase. 

As always, I find cleaning and purging to be a rewarding activity.  I found several things that inspired me to revise my task list for next week...other things that will help with ongoing work...and still more that didn't matter at all in the scheme of things that could be tossed with glee.

Three full trash cans/recycling cans later....

Clean desk.  Breathing Room.  Organization.  Ahhhhhh.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could walk out the door now with my feeling of accomplishment, and start fresh with my clean desk and my updated task list on Monday?

No such luck.  My task list and more conference calls require me to continue. 

But first, let me just go and talk about this on my blog (and the cycle continues).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Apologies to Allergy Sufferers

...but this is such a great time of year!  Every April I say to Hubby, if and when we ever list this house for sale it MUST be in April.  And then, in my head, the song starts playing....

If ever I would leave you,
How could it be in spring-time?
Knowing how in spring I'm bewitched by you so?
Oh, no! not in spring-time!
Summer, winter or fall!
No, never could I leave you at all!

Gotta love Robert Goulet in your head.

In April, our yard brims with color and freshness - dogwoods in white and soft pink, bright pink flowering cherry and crab, fresh burgundy leaves on the japanese maple, brilliant yellow forsythia, stunning fuchsia azaleas, and soft green grass.  Even the scattering of dandelions seems more festive than frustrating at this time of year.

As I walked this morning, the landscaping crews were out in force in the neighborhood and the smell of fresh mown grass (one of the best scents in the world) was everywhere.  I really feel sorry for folks that have to greet this time of year with sneezing, coughing, sore throats, and headaches.  

Going outside and taking several deep breaths of fresh clean spring air, filled with sweet scents and a brilliant kaleidoscope of flowers in golden light is one of my greatest joys.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Post NOT About Weight Loss goes...what ELSE is my life about other than absolute obsession with weight loss right now? 

Let's talk about moods.  How they affect us, how they affect others...the sheer contagion of them.  Lately, I've made a concerted effort to respond to my boss with a very "can-do" tone of voice.  In the last few years I have definitely exposed my stress monster to him - which he is ok with - but I know he is in love with when I answer, "Ok, we'll figure it out" and then come back with a plan. 

Essentially, this works for me too, because the former process was me answering, "When the F? are we supposed to get this thing done and how can we accomplish our scheduled work, when we keep having to do this BS stuff that some guy in a vacuum came up with?"  And then...after spouting that...I have to come around to "Ok we'll figure it out" and then come back with a plan.

So...why go through the venting which gets me nowhere and gets him to sighing loudly...when the end result is exactly the same thing?  And usually, when I come up with my plan?  That's where I brilliantly curtail the level of effort, shift it to another team, postpone it based on the schedules of OTHERS we need to involve, etc.  So I usually get close to my own way (and he does too), if I just move on to the plan stage.

Also, I think I've been a nicer wife lately.  No reason, I've just generally been less snappish about the little things.  I think it's part of that contagion effect.  Less battling at work, means less taking it out on hubby at home. 

Maybe it's even the walking in the morning.  It is nice to start my day committed to something that is just for me.  As much as I hate the alarm going off...I am loving walking around listening to my favorite tunes or podcasts for 30-45 minutes....strolling back in the house -- knowing I'm soooo late for my work day to start -- and saying the hell with it and eating a bowl of special k with fresh blueberries while I check and return some emails. 

Then I climb the stairs with the "zing-zing" feeling still in my leg muscles and jump in the shower.  I take the time to shave my legs AND shampoo twice AND use conditioner.  I emerge in a bathroom filled with steam and casually check and return emails again.  I dress, make-up, and style hair and then one more email check before heading out.  By now, I'm REALLY late, but hey, I've already read and replied to about 67 emails, so if I show up at 10AM, just in time for my first meeting of the day, I've technically put in an hours worth of work in between my me time, right?  Well, that's what I've convinced myself of at least.

And you know, I think it is working for me...and my moods. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Two Weeks Gone, And a Few Pounds Down

Hard to believe it has been two fast weeks since I last posted.  Both Hubby and I are super busy and happy to report we are staying on track.  It is slow going at this age...much slower than when we were in our 20's and seemed to lose almost as easily as we gained.  (So yes, despite my challenge in my last post to find something other than weight loss to we go again).

Drum roll please.  As of today I have managed to lose 6.4 pounds and have walked at least 20 minutes - usually 30 - every day for 24 straight days.  According to all the pundits, if I make it to 30, I've created a new habit.

Habit or not, yesterday's walk became a small adventure when I decided to take one of my optional turns for an incline and then another turn and another and suddenly I looked around and realized I wasn't quite sure where I was.  Those people who know me, know this can happen to me each time I leave my own property...and sometimes I can get turned around in my own house (but that's usually because I forgot why I ended up in a room, not that I can't find my way back to my bedroom or something).  I kept walking and turning and suddenly looked up and realized I was looking at a landmark I knew.  The landmark was the Sheraton the next town over from mine (and across the state line).  Now it wasn't like I was standing at the foot of it or anything, but I could clearly make it out and realized I was about halfway between my house and the Sheraton.  Hmmm.  I was now at about 50 minutes of hard walking and realized I had to completely reverse my direction.  And how is it, that although the turns I had been making were taking me up inclines, there seemed to be an equal number of inclines on the route back and not enough downhill runs?

Anyway, an hour and 20 minutes after leaving my house I was back.  I collapsed in a chair with my yogurt and water and felt I had earned Sunday off if it was going to pour rain all day as predicted.  But I awoke Sunday to clouds and intermittent drizzle so out I went again.  I did try my "rainy day plan" which was a set of DVDs I purchased called the "10 minute workout" because I figured...for 10 minutes I can do just about anything.  Turns out, not so much.  I've repacked the box for now, and I am considering making a swift return.  This 10 minute workout is great for someone ALREADY IN TOP PHYSICAL CONDITION!  Trying to lift my hands into position using the resistance band...just into the starting position...proved near to impossible.  Then the trainer wanted me to extend my hands upward stretching them another 1.5 - 2 feet.  Um.....yeah....

So back to the low-tech walking - and I even jogged a 3/4 track length today before my lungs nearly collapsed....tomorrow maybe I'll make it full cycle.

On another exercise note....a good ab workout can be had by reading a few chapters of Jenny Lawson's book "Let's Pretend This Never Happened."  Saturday morning I took my car for service and they told me it would be about 2 worries...I popped Jenny's book out of my bag and settled in to their waiting room.  Twenty minutes later I'm sure my fellow auto owners were wondering if I was insane as I had been trying to suppress laughter until I had tears running down my face, which generated more tears as I got mascara in my eyes, and then more laughter as I looked down at my hands covered in liquified mascara drops.  My abs were burning by the time the 2 hours were up.  To share the joy, and the workout, Saturday night I read some of my favorite passages to Hubby.  He I rarely hear him roar...and then he bent over clutching his abs...and then he cried and laughed some more.

I figure Jenny helped us burn about 150 calories a piece.  Yes, that's only like an apple or something, but it was more fun than sit-ups!

I'm off for my reward now.  Some carrot sticks, apple, and yogurt.  Maybe a popcorn cake with a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter for a treat.  And I'll enjoy every bit.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Day of Challenges

Today I took my walk...and took it up a notch to challenge myself.  It's all about the inclines you know.  We live across the street from a large condo complex...done more tastefully than most...that has hundreds of units and dozens of buildings in a criss-crossing maze of streets.  The advantage of this is they also have a park and recreation area with bocci court, tennis court, basketball, and playground that they eventually gifted to the town park system and it is directly across from our house.  I love watching the neighborhood kids out having fun on the courts, and the senior gentleman who come every day to play bocci and, if I'm outside, flirt with me.  The property as a whole rambles up and down these hills and typically my path doesn't take me on these inclines but along a flat road pattern and over to the gravel walking track (another benefit of the complex proximity).  Today, if I saw an incline...I took it...and when I arrived at the gravel track I promised I wouldn't depart it until I had spent 30 solid minutes circling.  Then on the way back...while I seriously considered my usual path home...I took the inclines again.  Feel the burn.

This helped to offset our later indulgence....Sunday dinner out with Carl's parents.  We went to one of our favorite local  restaurants.  This was another challenge...eating out and not at a chain restaurant with menu items (Thank you Applebees) aligned with WW.  I had already been burned once last week when I miscalculated my points and realized I should have doubled my count for a Panera meal. Today, Hubby and I shared an appetizer of mozzarella, tomoatoes, onion and balsamic vinegar (otherwise known as Caprese Salad)...yum.... and by splitting it we helped to manage our portion. Then we each got a house salad with vinagrette, and a fish entree. I'm quite full...but craving a sweet before planning on a WW dessert in a short while.

Tomorrow I had back to Denver for the week and am happy to see very positive weather forecasts for the area. This will be my first week-long business travel while working the program.  I'm packing my walking shoes and comfortable walking clothes...a new addition to my usual packing list and looking forward to early morning walks with views of the mountains beyond.  I'm also packing some food...just a few things to be sure when I need a snack I don't head for the candy machine.  I have a few lunch and dinners out with colleagues, so the challenge will be staying on track and understanding points when dealing with restaurannt prepared foods.

I promise...more myself than anyone else...that this is not going to become a weight loss only blog.  But it is a bit all consuming right now as we try and learn our new lifestyle.  So for my next and discuss something beyond diet and exercise!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Don't drive angry...

...and don't grocery shop hungry. Two rules to live by.

Today's weigh in went well. Down 2 pounds and 3.8 total. In true WW style losing 1-2 pounds per week is the average expectation. And my reward? A little pop up on my iPad saying. "good job!! Keep up the good work." AND???? One less point per day allowed.

Did my walking today...another gorgeous spring day...and then headed to grocery store. Oh me oh my. To be in the A&P when you are starving. Don't get me wrong. I had eaten sensibly today. But man I was hungry.

Nearly $300 later, I departed the store with only those foods that suit a healthy lifestyle...but hungrier and crankier than ever. As I reluctantly put all the food in the cupboard and fridge instead of in my mouth, I carefully made my selection. Thinking about all the times that a candy bar grabbed at the checkout line was my typical post shopping snack, I placed my selection on the coffee table for us to share.

And we chowed down. Like two starved refugees we dove into the food.

A tray of cut veggies with a tiny amount of ranch dip.

Such a treat.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad