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

Friday, April 6, 2012


What a whirlwind week I've had.  This is not really an unusual thing in my life...yet it constantly amazes me when I get to Friday and look back and think...that was only 5 days?  I'm not going to talk work right now though...because technically I'm on my lunch break....and I worked until 10PM last night...and I'll likely be working this weekend...and right now I just want to avoid all thoughts of it.

Morning Walks.  I'm proud to state that I arose this morning...still battling the start time goal...and took my walk.  This is a whole week of morning walking my friends...and a first in my life to prioritize myself and my activity goal over sleep, over work, over every possible distraction.  I would like to thank the goddess of Spring weather for cooperating.  Other than a little mistiness on Saturday, each morning was a glorious sunny day that countered any arguments I might have made to forego the activity.  I've met lots of nice dogs and their owners this week, smiled awkwardly when repeatedly passing the same people at the walking track 8 times in a row, and listened to some interesting podcasts.  I even managed to wear the track pants I bought several years ago that had never even had the tags removed until now.

Nightly Routines.  I think I have developed a new routine of lunch packing which should not only help my waistline, but also my pocketbook.  I was easily spending $10/day on food/drink at the $50/week is now reallocated to our grocery bill...which is definitely increasing with the cost of all those healthy foods.  I come in the door at night and before I even take off my coat I pull items out of the cupboard and fridge and pack them in our lunchbags with a list of the WW points values.  Hubby's bag is filled double to mine since he is allowed nearly TWICE the points I am.  Sometimes I hate men.  But then again, he also has a longer road to travel to get to his goal I'm here to support every point he is allowed to eat to keep him full and satisfied for the long haul.

Cooking for Dummies.  I hard boiled eggs this week.  I think it is only the 3rd time in my life I've done it.  I actually had to look up how to do it (I know Mom....I failed you in the kitchen genes that's for sure!).  I was proud that I did it when I said I would and loaded up a bowl to have in the fridge for breakfast or lunch options.  The first egg I peeled though I realized that although I had followed the directions in "Cooking for Dummies" (no lie) explicitly...the egg yolks were not fully cooked.  Now technically, this is not an issue, since I love me some runny yolks to dip my toast in...but when you are counting on a hard boiled egg..having a dark orange sticky center is not what you are expecting.  After gazing at it for a moment I had an epiphay.  Eat the whites! It is less fattening...and why would you spend points on something you don't want to eat?  Voila.

TGIF - PIZZA!!! Tonight is traditionally pizza night for us.  We catch up on movies of DVR'd shows...fill one another in on our week's highs and lows, plan the weekend, and chow on pizza and wings.  Tonight we'll go to the specialty brick oven shop again, get the small pizza, the grilled veggies, skip the wings and the extra large pan pizza, and I'm sure we'll be happy.  Because, have you noticed, how AWESOME things taste when you are actually hungry? 

What's your Hunger Level? While reading a WW article, I came across this neat little tip.  If, when you wake up in the morning, you are truly may need to eat more in the evening.  If, 30 minutes after you wake up you are NOT are eating too much the night before.  Ideally, your body should be looking for fuel about 30 minutes into your day.  Who knew?  All these years I've been claiming I'm not a morning eater because I'm not hungry, when actually it has been all about my bad habit of late night dinner and snacking?  Now that I'm doing WW and walking, I find I am often hungry enough to eat a light breakfast before work.  You learn something new every day.

TGIF.  And don't's also Yankees Opening Day!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is it OK to FEEL like I'm doing OK?

The title of my blog is Anxious Moments because, well, I have anxiety issues.  Nothing so far that I would describe as debilitating, or clinical, but it is definitely part of my personality DNA.  I have a lot of self-doubts...which sometimes rear their ugly heads and cause me a sleepless night, a little acid reflux, a little tension.

The last few days I've been having some back and forth communications with my CEO.  While he is always polite, he is also very direct, and I could tell he had some know those questions that come up that say, "What the hell????"  or "Why the hell????"   Questions you don't want your CEO asking. 

He has been traveling internationally, so with communications primarily by email, I spent time formulating some thoughtful replies.  Today, I arrived to office to see this:

From: CEO

Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:11 AM
To: Wenderina
Subject: RE: Company Store Update

You are just one of the best humans on the planet…You explain things so well…no wonder you have the job you do! Thanks! CEO

Wow!  I'm one of the best humans on the planet? 

So, feeling a little full of myself - unusual for a woman usually filled with doubt, not praise -- first thing I did was forward it to my direct boss.


From: Wenderina
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:06 AM
To: Wenderina Boss
Subject: FW: Company Store Update

FYI. Response from CEO today after I gave him answers to some concerns about company store.  Based on his note, I’m not sure you appreciate me enough.



And, as is the usual for my boss...he put me back in my place.


From: Wenderina's Boss
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2012 11:58 AM
To: Wenderina
Subject: Re: Company Store Update

That's over the top praise!
I think you are terrific but I would fall short of suggesting you are one of the best humans on the planet:)  
Rockland County, I'm sure! 

And about 20 minutes later, I looked at my pile of work...and became suddenly ANXIOUS that I wouldn't be able to deliver on my promises and would lose my "best human on planet" status.

I'm sick, I know.

SIDE NOTE:  Still on WW and have made it through 6 consecutive days of walking in morning before work!  Not getting up any earlier...and some days it's been a real argument inside my head...but doing it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

So apparently, there's an app for that

After railing and ranting about having issues posting from my iPad, I smartened up and everything in life nowadays...there is probably an app to solve all my issues. And 4.99 later I'm testing my new blog app to see how it works.

Here's me adding a photo.

Ok. That worked. But doesn't appear to have an easy caption option. This is a photo from the BBC series Merlin. I love it when the young Merlin transforms into the cranky old bugger most of us Arthurian legend lovers recognize.

Here's me changing fonts and font colors. .

Won't know if that worked until I post because that HTML code is like Greek to me.

Hopefully this app will make mobile blogging easier for me!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's official.


I just accidentally deleted two posts while trying to make simple edits.

ARGHHHH. Must be time for bed.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In the Zone?

Yesterday was Day 7 of the return to WW.  I refuse to call it a diet...because it is truly a way of life.  I've tried this way of life before....found success in getting lighter and healthier...but never successfully changed my total behavior.  But, as one of my WW leaders used to say, "You only have to come back one more time than you quit".  So here I am again.  And after 1 week, I was down 1.8 pounds. 

Was I pleased?  Relatively.

As a comparison, the first time I joined WW I was in my 20's and lost 8 pounds in the first week.  Age, hormones and metabolism are not a fun thing.  But I am still motivated...because I didn't feel I had been deprived of anything...and I did feel better - more energized...than I have in a long while.

I have to remember my goal is to stick with the program and get to my goal weight by the end of 2012.  That is 25 - 30 pounds down (i.e., extremely happy with 25, thrilled and taking bows for 30).  I want a realistic weight that I can maintain and that makes me feel good.  Not like I have to eat cardboard every day to keep.  So...assuming 25 pounds total, I need to lose an average of about 2.7 pounds per month....or 0.8 pounds per week.  That is SOOO doable!

On Friday, Hubby and I split a pizza - yes a WHOLE PIZZA.  Of course, when you get it from the brick oven specialty store on the corner instead of a regular pizza place, you will see the difference in that.  It is about 1/3rd the total quantity of food...and yes double the price. But let's talk ingredients...fresh tomatoes (not tomato sauce), fresh buffalo mozzarella, thin lightly oiled crust...yum yum yum. Hubby accompanied it with a side dish of roasted veggies that looked scrumptious.  Not knowing how to differentiate this gourmet pizza with regular, I used the points for regular pizza and counted them all. I think it is an overestimate, but honest.  

On Saturday, we got Panera.  I big time heart Panera.   There are loads of choices there and their menu board includes calories, but with WW counting, you have to look up their full nutrition guide because calories have nothing to do with points.  It's about balancing fat, fiber, carbs and proteins.  I always have to calculate because I've never gotten the hang of looking at a label and winging it...must be the I calculated my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices.  Strangely enough a panini and cup of soup was less points than one of their signature salads.  It's got to be the dressing, because a salad is almost always a better choice than bread.  So, I went with the panini, I even had the chips.  And you know what...I counted all the points and ended my day RIGHT ON TARGET.  

It also helped that on Saturday, I began my day with another walk.  In the past, I have walked to music and tried to work the beat to help my pace, but right now I'm taking advice from the WW activity site and starting with creating a daily habit and just enjoying the walk.  So even though it was rainy and cold, I buttoned and hooded up and went out anyway.  My iPod?  It was set to Podcast mode.  All of those many podcasts I never seem to make time to listen to now have a scheduled opportunity to be heard.  Right now I'm fascinated with Alec Baldwin's "Here's the Thing".  He can be quite full of himself (insert comment from Hubby - "you think???")  but  he has a great mind, a beautiful voice, and most importantly - fascinating guests.  

Sunday morning?  Scale was down another .6 pounds.  I am trying not to fool myself this time, so I face the honest truth. That can be misleading because you go up and down a lot between weekly weigh ins...but I take it as a reward for HONESTLY planning my day, my points, and my activities and trying to live the lifestyle instead of treat it as a diet to endure.  When you start to sneak and cheat, the battle is lost.

I'm about to head out for Day most experts will tell you it takes 30 days of repetitive activity to make a new habit, so I have a ways to go.  Weather is cloudy, but dry, and iPod is charged.  I've made a shopping list full of healthy foods that Hubby will take to market...and we're planning one of his delicious roast chickens tonight.  I'll be calculating points on that this afternoon.

Here's to the Zone.  May we always live there.