gearing up

First things first. WATER.

Tomorrow, the only change I'm going to try to make is to get back to drinking water. 67.6 fl ounces (or two Dasani bottles).

Just that 1 thing, that one little thing, is usually enough to get me started on making other healthier changes.

I wish I knew why I'm having such a hard time this time.

Maybe it's just the accumulation of time.

Whatta ya gonna do?!

Here it is, Saturday afternoon on a 3-day weekend. And I'm parked on the couch (surprise!) crying my eyes out over Shallow Hal.

It's the part where he goes back to the hospital and realizes that all those lovely children he was playing with are on the burn unit. And he's hugging the little girl. And I'm crying because it's so sad. Why can't people look like they really are? Beautiful inside, beautiful outside. Why not? And how perfect would it be if all the ugly-inside people had to look ugly-outside too.

That would be fair.

Although, to be truthful, I know I'm not exactly beautiful inside. I have fairly good intentions, but I lack direction and . . . follow-through. (I know, another shocker, huh. Overweight, lack of follow-through . . . what a contradiction!)

I don't actually picture myself as a supermodel, trapped in the body of a fat jasminelive woman. I have no illusions that if I ever lose all the weight I want to lose I'll suddenly have shiny perfect hair and lustrous (sagless, stretchmarkless) skin. Or longer eyelashes.

I have a mental picture of myself, of what I hope I look like, sans poundage, but I've been overweight for years and the vision I've got is from somewhere back in my teens. LOL. 16? That would be my last pre-pregnancy year. So really, I have no idea what I'd look like.

And yes, my thoughts are all over the place here. I can't quite bring myself to declare, This is it. This is the first day of the New Me.

I've said that before. And I can tell (thanks to the 3 pieces of leftover pizza I had for breakfast) that today is not one of those New Days. But I'm warming up to it, I think.

This online journal thing being a step in that direction.

It's very weird for me, writing this stuff down. My weight is not something I like to think about. (Yes, I do have a gift for stating the obvious, thank you for noticing.) It's certainly not something I've ever felt safe writing down someplace where a significant other could come across it. Which means, basically, that I've spent the last 26 years or so getting heavier and heavier and not really examining the process. I thought about it. Deeply. Almost constantly at times. But not from this angle.

That's a very small step in a different direction, isn't it? But right now it's all I can manage.

This is why I'm fat . . .

It's not because I don't exercise.

I don't, for fun, but that's not why I'm fat.

I'm fat because I eat too much.

And that doesn't mean that I eat like a normal person, only more. But it doesn't mean that I have an Eating Disorder (caps intentional) either.

I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. In the big, flabby stretch-marked expanse that hangs out between Normal and Eating Disorder. I'm not anorexic, I don't binge and purge. I've never abused laxatives or put my finger down my throat or worked out obsessively.

But I do occasionally, okay recently, okay THIS MORNING, spontaneously eat like a maniac. I do it because I'm stuck in traffic. I do it because it's raining. Because the CD player in my car is broke and they don't play music on the radio anymore. Because I live 14 physical miles from my office and I've now been on the road for an hour and a half. And oh, look, here I am in front of 7/11! So I go in and buy a big bag of pretzel & cheese Combos and a thing of hostess donuts, the crumbly kind, and 2 real full-strength Cokes.

I'm not hungry, you understand. I ate breakfast. But I know that the food, THIS food, this salt and crunch and sweet and thick, will medicate me. Will calm me so that I'm not sitting in my little Kia screaming at the idiot in front of me. "It's just RAIN for fucks sake. DRIVE."

It anesthetizes me. It chills me out, it levels me off. The remorse that comes after is preferable to the sharp screaming thing inside of me. The remorse that comes after is softer, more comfortable.

Familiar.

It's a damn good thing I've never tried heroin.

Full

Had a great weekend. First, The boy passed her driving test! Yay for her -- more gray hair for me. LOL. She was soooo nervous before, and soooo happy afterward.

Then, Saturday, Bea and I got together to rip apart my book. A book I wrote eons ago, and had come to refer to as The Doorstop.

But first, we went for a walk in the park near her house. We got a little lost, because the trails wind around all over back there, but not lost enough to be scary. Mostly not scary because, it being the first really nice weather we've had this year, EVERYbody was out, and even when we weren't sure where we were, we could hear the chaturbate people. We estimated we did about 4 miles altogether, at a fairly slow pace, but much hill-ier (if there's such a word) than we're used to out by the canal. The canal path is, of course, very even terrain.

After that, we picked up lunch at a little cafe. I got the sesame salad, dressing on the side, with grilled chicken and it was one of the best salads I've had in a long time. Or I was just really really hungry. LOL. Then we spent the rest of the day pulling apart The Doorstop, a 500-page medieval romance I wrote back in '95. She had alcohol and chocolate on hand, in case of emergency, but I managed to get through without it, then we hit Outback where I got more salad (dressing on the side, no cheese), steak (about 3/4 of the Outback special), and half a baked potato. Oh, and some of a Blooming Onion. I figured I was low on calories without the onion, plus the exercise, so I went ahead and ate some. And when I entered everything into calorieking.com, it came out fine. (Not to mention, The Kid scarfed the leftovers.) In fact, I was in the negative calories range. Which still confuses me. But oh well. We didn't wrap up until 1:45 a.m., when I headed home and I didn't fall into bed until 2:30 a.m.

But we were back at the canal on Sunday, by George. :-)

We did 7 miles, and I didn't feel like carrying my camera so of course there were all kinds of wildlife sightings. All in all, a group of 9 great blue herons, fishing on the rocks, 4 turtles, 1 deer, 2 salamanders, 1 small green heron, lots of turkey vultures, 1 damsel fly (through a scope that someone had set up along the trail and was kind enough to let us look through -- it was cool!) and 1 Koppel. As in Ted. Who was headed out with a couple of people when we were on our way back in. We didn't gawk -- until he'd passed.

Added up, that's 11 miles for the weekend. Go us!! I was under on calories yesterday, too, after enterng the exercise. But this morning the Scalegod still says 197.2. I know there's that whole thing about your body going into starvation mode if you eat too few calories -- but really. At 200 lbs (more or less) my body should damned well know better!

Still, it was a good, full weekend, and I'm going to take the 11 miles I logged as a nonscale victory.

Back to work . . .

Happy Friday!

197.2 -- HooRah! 16 days of healthier eating. 8 pounds gone. I'm under 200 lbs, that was my first big goal. Now I'm heading toward the next one. To lose 5% of my starting weight. Just 2.3 pounds away . . .

And it's Friday!! And the sun is out this morning. And I got to be a Fan Girl last night . . .

I dragged Bea into DC to see one of my favorite authors -- Alice Hoffman. She was there promoting her new book, The Probable Future. I have loved Alice Hoffman ever since I picked up Illumination Night at the library -- incredible language, unique characters, deep POV. I devoured her backlist and have pounced on each new hardcover as soon as it hits the streets. One of her jasminlive characters was named Vonny (which is what Scott calls me). And later, she came out with Second Nature, which is about a boy who gets lost in the wild forests of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I grew up in the U.P.! I'm telling you, we have a cosmic connection. LOL.

Anyway, Bea held the camera and as I stood next to Alice and leaned in for the picture, one of the other women in line said, "You two could be sisters."

The picture is blurry, but I love it anyway.

I won't mention the fact that after the signing Bea and I hit La Madeleine for Diet Coke And. As in, Diet Coke And Peach Tart. It's the And that gets you. LOL. But I CHOSE to eat that, and maybe I burned off some of it, running through the metro and up and down the escalators.

All in all it was a great evening.

Today is another matter. I'm leaving work early to take the youngest for her first attempt at the driving test. Think good thoughts in our direction . . .

It is flat out amazing what a difference a little sun can make. I headed off toward Subway, and as soon as I left the office this blanket of warmth descended and settled over my shoulders. It was sooooo wonderful. I stood for a moment or two, adjusting, before I walked down the street, and on my way back, I grabbed a spot on one of the benches outside.

I sat. And soaked. I swear, I felt that whole cranky vibe just shrivel up and disappear. And it had nothing to do with the high-carb food in my bag. :-)

Don't stop

This is not the first time I've tried to make healthy changes in my life. (Hell, I'm 40. This is not the 20th time I've tried to make healthy changes in my life. LOL.)

Looking back, I can clearly remember the beginnings of all those times in the past. But I don't remember how they ended. I don't remember waking up one day and saying, Well, I've had enough of that now.

I do remember how the last time ended. I went for a check up in early November and my blood pressure was up. The doctor prescribed a low dose of something to start it back down, but I'd had high blood pressure before and brought it down by losing weight (60 pounds) and working out. For some reason, though, I didn't think to check it when, a couple of years later, I started putting the weight back on. Duh. So I knew what I had to do.

And I did what I usually did -- started working out. I started with Leslie Sansone's walking tape because I had read about her on Robyn's site and it sounded good for someone that basically hadn't moved in the last 2 years. Then I worked my way back up through Jane Fonda's step workout, and into Gin Miller and Petra Kolber. I also started counting calories and keeping track of them online with caloriescount.com.

I went from 212.5 pounds to 191.0. My blood pressure was much better and I was feeling really great.

Then we moved. And in the midst of packing and painting and moving and unpacking, etc., I stopped all of it. I stopped working out. I remember a couple of times thinking, I should get my step out tomorrow, but I never did. And I was eating junk, often thinking, I'll be better tomorrow . . ., and I never was.

So that's how the last healthy attempt ended. And that's probably what happened all those other times, too. I got into a groove, things were going well, then something happened to shake my routine up and I never got back to it. Just let it go.

What worries me is, what's to stop that from happening this time? Here I am, 6.4 pounds over the 191 I was down to in February. RElosing weight. Again.

What's to stop me from stopping this time?

On a personal note -- in case it's not evident here -- I'm cranky as hell. And it's nowhere near PMS time, I'm just cranky. Work is a grind lately -- it's that time of year, when everybody's taking vacation. Everybody 'cept me, or at least, that's how it seems. My office is often the only one occupied down this hall, and frankly, Scarlett, I'm sick of holding down the fort.

My time will come, however. Looks like I'll be vacationing from Aug 21 all the way thru Sep 1. First, me and Daughter2 will be flying out to Nevada to visit with Daughter1 for a few days. After we get back, I'll have one day at home, then Scott and I will head out to Maine to visit his folks.

I haven't had that many days off in a row in -- well, it's been years since I've had that many days off in a row. Probably not since my mom died, which was in 1996.

Plus, I've put myself on the calendar to have the Monday after July 4th off, too, so that'll be a 4 day weekend!

Wow. This entry meanders, doesn't it? And while I was in the midst of typing it, I decided to have the Uno's mandarin chicken salad for lunch. So I logged into calorieking.com and put that in. Logged out. Did a few other things, came back to writing. Then I changed my mind -- decided to go to Subway, instead. Have a tuna sub (1 scoop, not 2) no cheese, on special bread (either the monterey cheddar or the italian herbs & cheese, I never know which one they'll have), and a bag of baked lays. So I logged back into calorieking.com and deleted the previous lunch and figured out how to put the new one in -- since I modify the sandwich, the tuna sub in their database isn't accurate, so I had to enter it as a new food.

This is how my mind works lately. Seems like I spend more time thinking about food when I'm trying to lose weight than I do otherwise! I know this is only because I'm just starting. It'll settle down, after a time. But the problem is that once it settles down I stop being mindful of it. And that's how I get into trouble . . . there -- this whole entry kind of does tie in together!