Friday, September 30, 2011

Episode 11: Trike-a-thon!

... which I probably spelled wrong.

I don't think I had ever been to the military base that my sister works on until today.  I didn't get to see much of it, just the preschool, but it was nice, what I saw.  The preschool is a low-lying one story building with a chain link fence surrounding it, where my nephew makes friends. He is easily picked out by the shock of red hair glows copper in the sunlight, and the big goofy smile. This kid is awesome.  He has this excellent sense of wonder, and since he is 2 and a half, he is just learning about the world.  Since he is just 2 and a half, he doesn't quite have the vocabulary or the linguistic skills to fully detail what he is thinking, but the other day, I walked around with him and he told me the colors of everything that he could see.  It was a nice walk.

Today was especially nice to see the outpouring of support for my sister, which came after a great outpouring of support for me from a lot of outlets after my fairly whiny post yesterday.  My mom and her husband were there, video-taping and taking pictures of all of the kids gathered.  My sister's best friend came over and watched for a while.  At first, there were about 20 kids, altogether in the 3-4 age group. Their tricycles, or sometimes even bicycles with the spindly training wheels which are never on the ground at the same time, riding around like a NASCAR circle, and causing just as many accidents, as they spontaneously decide to abandon their tricycles and go for the watermelon and water bottles that the preschool teachers offer them for refreshment.  Being around children all day seems to me that it would be so exhilarating, but also so incredibly exhausting.  Not a job I think I would be very good at.. at least not that age group.  I asked one of the teachers if she often went home with bruises on her shins, and I think her answer was something like "You have no idea", after she rolled her eyes.

When my nephew's (IN from now on.. for Incredible Nephew) group came up.. the 2-3 group (or possibly younger.. he's getting to be such a big boy), IN brought out his shining blue tricycle, which I am sure had been newly washed, and shone brightly in the sun.  It was the most resplendent of all of the tricycles there, the wheels painted to match, and the wooden board on the back.  My brother-in-law could step on the bike and make it speed to incredible speeds (for a tricycle) and I could hear IN laughing with that cheerful childhood abandon that we seem to lose and only find when in the presence of close friends and lovers.  No times were taken for his age group, and my only complaint is that they didn't give them longer to ride, and instead went back after 15 minutes.

Altogether, a good day, followed by a good (if pointy) lunch, followed by a wonderful evening of killing stuff with AH and then a good conversation and a Haunted House roam in SL to cap off a really great day.  Even after all of that eating, I only had 4 points more than my daily allowance, and I am keeping on track.  I am trying to make healthy choices for myself, not just in what I eat, but also in the people that I share my life with.  I think I am doing pretty well so far! :)

Thanks for reading, and thank you all so much for your love and support!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Episode 10.5: My sister is wonderful!

Hehe.. quick update as I go back to cleaning my floor... My little sister came and cheered me up by bringing me flowers and eating bugs on my front porch and talking to me a little.  Yay for my wonderful little sister!  I feel better... now for some cleaning, and maybe yoga!

Episode 10: Emotional Eating

I'm depressed today.  Recently, I have been on this huge upswing, riding high, sort of on a giggling manic, but today my mood took a dive and I feel horrible.  Part of me wants to chuck this diet and head straight for the ice cream that is in the fridge.  Part of me wants to rip open the bag of Creme d'Menthe bits that AH bought me to make cookies out of - once I had a few extra points - and devour the entire bag.  I hate being depressed, but what I hate worse is being an emotional eater.

The problem with being an emotional eater is that I may head for that bag of chocolates, or down that half gallon of ice cream and it will make me feel temporarily better with the sugar rush and the endorphins that make my blood go whee!  But in the end, I know it will make everything worse. I will end up on a sugar high, an artificial mood, for a little while, and then I will crash worse than I started.  I will look at the empty container and the guilt will creep in.  I will think "Oh! I was so awful!  Look what I did.. I am never going to get thin."  This will, of course, build on the cycle of emotional eating.  I will get even more depressed at the thought of gaining back all the weight that I just lost, at my deteriorating health. Everything I do or think will have a black cloud of doubt and gloom cast over it and I will get even more negative than I already am.

The other part of depression is the lethargy.  I do not want to move. I do not want to think. This slothlike feeling goes hand in hand with the depression and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch sappy romantic movies and cry my eyes out. (The Notebook being the movie I cannot watch during these downswings as it will leave me a pile of sobbing goo on my couch.)

In my head, I know I just have to wait for it to pass.  I know that my mind is just playing tricks on my body and I have to wait it out, don't do anything drastic, and try to surround myself with positive thoughts and influences.  I need to accomplish something that will make me feel better about myself.  

Writing is out of the question. There is nothing more depressing than sitting down to write when I'm in one of my "moods" and finding all the poetry coming out of me, or even writing, being about heartbreak, sadness, and death.  As a former recovering Goth kid, this was the tenure of much of my teen angst writing.  I could work on my novel, but my mood will inevitably shift to that of my characters and they may do something drastic.  I'm all for editing, but really often, the characters run the story and I just write down what they tell me to do.  Right now, they're telling me to go eat all the ice cream in the fridge and write them into torrid love affairs that will all end badly.  Not an option.

Instead, I think I will go clean something.  Empty the dishwasher, clean up around my desk (which has the detritus of probably 3 weeks of lack of cleaning surrounding it), maybe even get up the nerve to finally sort out and clean off my dinner table... but I wouldn't hold my breath about that.  

Altogether, writing this made me smile a little bit, which is good and I can feel my spirits picking up.  I had better go clean something while I still have the energy.

Thanks for reading!  (and to my followers! I have three now! How awesome is that!)  I hope you have a lovely everything.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Episode 9: Vitamins and Vegetables

So, I am supposed to take a multivitamin every day and I have been neglecting it out of laziness.  I finally found my bottle of Woman's One-A-Day (which, oddly enough are called petites and you have to take 2 a day), but I am finally adding vitamins to my weight loss regime.

You know, I'm surprised that I made it to nine posts.  Twelve to go until I feel that I have really made it a good habit.

So, today I made Weight Watcher's Garden Vegetable soup.  It smells divine.  My refrigerator looks like a farmer's market, full of greenery and color and 4 identical containers of soup in beef broth.  Some things I learned today while making soup...

1. We do not own a vegetable peeler.
2. Carrots still taste ok with their skins on.
3. If you mix garlic and onion together in a pot with carrots and saute them, the air will become filled with a thick vapor of onion-garlic essence that makes AH's eyes nearly swell shut.
4. Spinach is remarkably easy to cut into soup-making bites.
5. Carrots are not so easy to cut...

The soup tastes pretty good though. I'm looking for ways to make variations on it, like figuring out some winter veggies that would go well in it, or finding a way to make it perhaps a bit thicker, like a stew, and add some points and meat pieces.  Figuring out how to make it in my crock pot would be great, as I want to make it on Sunday mornings and package it for lunches for school.

I am trying, and I am keeping up with it.  Exact points used today, though I didn't get all of my veggies in like I should have, I did get all of my low-fat milks in, which was always the hardest part for me before.  I am feeling gorgeous today, and my confidence is amazing.  I feel good about myself because I know I am loved.

Speaking of being loved, AH has the evening off for the first time in about 2 weeks.  I am going to go spend some unconscious time with him.. though in reality, I'll probably just fall asleep on the couch!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Episode 8: Stress sucks!

Got a call this morning for the cardiologist who has been trying to get in touch with me for the last week to schedule a treadmill stress test.  I finally agreed to come in, and the nurse decided to pin me down then and there and tell me to come in that afternoon and that I wasn't allowed to eat anything at all until the test.  Suddenly I found myself getting very incredibly hungry, and stayed so until after I was done and finally got something to eat.

Not the healthiest eating today because of it, but I stayed under points, and if I needed to, I could have a banana with my corn chex "dessert" that will help build my fruits and veggies up to where I want them.

So, dressed in my comfy sweats, Nanowrimo T-shirt and tennis shoes, I wandered over to the doctor's office and was greeted by a form explaining that they weren't responsible if I had to have extra tests or if I had a heart attack as I was on the treadmill.  I skimmed the letter, signed it and waited for them to hook me up the machine.

The very kind cardiac nurse offered me a hospital gown made of stiff cotton and approximately 8 sizes too big for me. It felt like a tent, which is sort of impressive in its size.  She then wrapped a belt around my waist and proceeded to rub an abrasive lotion on my skin so that the test nodules would stick better.  She added an octopus looking device - a small black box with numerous wires extending from it- and began to attach the octopus to the indicators around my chest and under my breast.  Then a sock of a blood pressure cuff that wrapped around my arm tightly, and I was ready.

They asked me to sit for five minutes to get a "resting" reading. I read McEwan, barely noticing what was on the page.  My blood pressure was 146/70.. or something close to that. Heart rate at 76.  My target for the day was 157.  Not too bad...Then the very nice nurse practitioner came in, asked if I had any questions (I rarely do) and then stuck me on the treadmill.

It started off slow enough, and then rose to an incline.  I could feel the muscles in my legs begin to burn, and my left arm begin to tingle again, the numbness spreading to my fingers.  The speed increased and the treadmill continued to incline, and I felt my calves continue to burn and the air in my lungs constricting as I struggled.  Looking at the heart monitor, my pulse began to rise.. 100... 100.. 115.  In continued to huff and puff, breathing in deeply through my nose but feeling the pain with every breath.  My chest felt that familiar constricting feeling, but I kept going.  120... 130... 140...  My arm constrained against the blood pressure cuff and I watched the reading of that rise as well.. hitting 160/70.. 165/75.. Everything tingled and hurt and burned.

The nurse warned me that the treadmill would increase in speed and inclination and I can only nod, I cannot speak at all.  It begins to rise and all I can think is "I don't want to pass out... I don't want to pass out."  Breathing has become much more difficult and my lungs feel like someone is squeezing them  together. I can barely catch a breath.  The NP starts to cheer me on.. "Only 5 more.. only 3 more.. you can do it".

Finally... finally, they let me sit down again and start to measure my recovering heart rate.  I watch it slow down on the monitor, the little peaks of the EKG becoming fewer and farther between until my heart rate gets near to 100 again and my breathing starts to normalize. I am still wheezing and fighting a cough, but I made it through. Pink paper cycles through the printer and shows them exactly what my heart was doing.

The nurse explains that I am fine.  My heart is strong, but I still need to lose weight (duh!).  My 10 year survival rate is calculated at 99%. I think I'll be fine.

Good.  I never ever ever want to do that again!

Episode 7: Sunday Meetings

My first meeting was today.  I chose Sunday morning as my meeting time mostly because it is the only morning that I don't have anything else to do.  As I drove through the nearly deserted streets this morning, I noticed that there were cars lining the streets of otherwise deserted neighborhoods.  These cars grouped around the early morning services of the local Catholic and Presbyterian churches that I happened to pass by as I drove to the shopping center. Once I got to the shopping center, there were cars that were grouped around the small store front just as they had been around the church.  I park at the very end of the parking lot and walk in.

The voices inside are hushed, people milling around, standing in line waiting to see the cashiers and be weighed.  Again, images of church and a sort of communion occur to me.  The scale of weight judgement awaits and we stand there, practically naked in front of our confessor, in this case a nice lady who helps me purchase a food scale and talks about her own weight loss experience.

Once I have been told of my worthiness (I lost 3.4 pounds! Yay!), I wandered to the meeting area, where there was more milling and more conversation.  When I had walked in, I stood behind a young lady that looked familiar. Behind me came another one, and they talked through me, barely noticing I was there.  I was currently fumbling in my purse and didn't care to look up until I had my necessary paperwork that I needed, and when I looked up, I saw two old friends that I had gone to college with.  We all expressed joyful surprise at seeing each other and caught up about jobs and where life had taken us in the last 10 years.  We scattered off to weigh in, and one left early for work and I chatted with the other one before the meeting.

The meeting reminded me of many of the church services I had been to.  It started with an affirmation, discussed our reason for being there and how we can make ourselves better. She preached about her own experiences with weight loss, made reference to the holy book "Points Plus Getting Started Guide" and passed out manna in the form of weight loss strategies and an anchoring technique.  Altogether, I felt very positive about myself as I walked out the doors and towards my car.

Afterward, I went out and bought a car load of healthy food and groceries. Fruits and vegetables now overflow my fridge.  I will wake up tomorrow, clean my kitchen and make myself a great Garden Vegetable soup and prepare for another great week of weight loss.

Thanks to all of my support and friends and thanks for reading!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Episode 6: Moms are amazing

Went with my Mom and my sister to a jewelry show today and picked up a lovely necklace.  It was very pretty. My niece's mother was hosting and we had fun.  I am also exhausted and hoping to get to bed soon or I am going to fall over, as it was such a busy day.  The jewelry was beautiful, and I felt quite stylish as I played with the jewelry and new ways to wear it, but.. I also felt really really out of place.

Unfortunately, I'm sort of a glass is half empty kind of girl and soouhen I looked around at the people who were at this party, I felt really out of place.  Maybe I was looking for a reason to feel like an outsider, but that wasn't a very difficult thing to do.  It wasn't regionalism, or racism or even classism that made me feel sort of disassociated with all of the women there.. it was Mommyism.

Don't get me wrong! Mom's are wonderful amazing women who, in my opinion, deserve medals for just being there and doing so much for a small life that they are given to protect and cherish.  Mom's have some sort of superpower to hold together everything and not go berserk, especially when you have more than one kid. I realized this today as I watched my sister literally trying to feed her 2 year old macaroni and cheese with one hand and hold a pacifier into the mouth of her one month old with the other hand, completely neglecting, of course, the fact that she had her own meal to eat and was hungry too.

(BTW, Strings Restaurant is pretty good, low fare food, but you really have to watch it, as I literally went over my points by 17 today.  Now I have 14 left for the week, which technically is tomorrow, but since I'm starting my week on Sunday's those points didn't really count.)

Anyway, here I am, surrounded by superwomen at this party of mom's. All of them women from ages 20-59, seemed to have it together and almost all of them had baby stories to tell, or babies in their arms, or funny anecdotes about their babies.  My mom was there too, so she is now basking in grandchild glow with the baby stuff, but she earned it.  So, here I am, standing in a room full of Mommies feeling like Lois Lane at a superhero convention.  It was almost like they were speaking a different language! Some Krytonian dialect that I would only learn once I myself had been added to their League of Superior Women, but I was not one of them.  I did  not have a snotty nose to clean, or a set of lost shoes to find.  And I almost found myself wanting to be one of them.  There is a certain badge of honor that comes with the burping cloth and the diaper bag.  I was in awe of these women.

A child may someday be in my future, but that is not foreseeable.  I'm 35 and I'm barely able to take care of myself.  I think I'll stick with just being a mild mannered English teacher and leave the superhero to the women who can seem to handle everything.

On the weight loss front, I took my measurement's today.  It's sort of a sad state of affairs when your hip measurement is very close to the same as your height.  Not good at all, actually.  I talked to my doctor and he said that I can start exercising any time I want, and now that the threat of the thunderclouds has passed, I think I may start going for a swim once in a while, until the weather forces me inside and to my Wii Fit. :)

Weigh in tomorrow!  I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading...

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, September 23, 2011

Episode 5: Purple Valkyrie needs energy badly

I promised myself I would blog every night, but I'm exhausted.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm not eating as much energy, or if it's just that today was a really hard day at work, but I am nearly falling asleep.

Diet is still going well. I am eating what I'm supposed to be eating as far as I can tell.  I am trying out different pedometer programs on my Droid and finding that one of them eats my battery like crazy, but I can't figure out which one is the one that is draining my battery.  Here is a quick run down of all of the apps so far:

Noom Walk Pedometer wasn't very good. I walked 50 steps and it recorded only about 8.  I tried to set the sensitivity up, but it didn't help at all.

I tried Walk Me, which is really cute. Basically, there is a very small pet thing that you're supposed to please by walking more and more until you make your goal.  I wanted it to work, because who can stand a sad monster, but it wouldn't stay on while the phone turned off. In the end, it only recorded about 300 steps all day.

The one that seems to work, but also seems to be draining my battery is Accu-pedo.  It's really good, but isn't free, as I only have a seven day trial. It recorded 2400 steps for the day, which isn't too bad, but I could do a lot more. I have to figure out my stride length to make sure that I really walked the 1.3 miles it said I did today, but I'm pretty sure, as I have short little legs, it probably wasn't that much.

So, another stepping stone onto my journey to fat freedom.  I'm tired and I'm still hanging out in SL talking about writing.  I love writers!  Back to it then!

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Episode 4: The Death of the Secret Eater

A long while ago, at the Short Story Discussion Group, we discussed a story by Joseph Conrad called "The Secret Sharer".  We debated about the title, whether it was about someone who shared secrets, someone who shared in a secret (meaning, they were part of the secret) or someone who shared, but had to be kept a secret.  My post title sort of made me think of that today, and the meanings of secrets.

I'm not a very private person, but I am good at keeping secrets, unless they are my own. Then I tell everybody! I'm kind of an open book.  But one of the biggest secrets I have been keeping about myself most recently is that I am a Secret Eater.  This doesn't mean that I eat secrets, though like I said, I'm ok at keeping them, most of the time.  I try to be trustworthy.  But here is one of my biggest secrets...I used to sneak food.

 I've done it since I was a kid.  I would surreptitiously climb on to counters as a child and spoon Quik Chocolate powder directly into my mouth.  Mmmm.. powdered chocolately goodness.  It was sugar, I was 9.. it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Looking back, I realize how gross this is, but at the time, it was chocolately bliss, made even better by the fact that I was doing it on the sly.  My mother would be asleep next to her boyfriend, or the babysitter was engrossed in her soap opera. I would slide myself into the kitchen, and hoist my fairly rotund frame onto the counter, reach onto the top shelf of the cabinets, pull it down and happily slip one spoonful of chocolate flavored sand replica into my mouth.  I would shut the lid with a pop, put it back where it came from and slide off the counter with a thump.  If someone asked what I was doing, I would say I was getting a drink of water and turn on the faucet long enough to make it believable. Then I would skitter up to my room at the top of my townhouse tower and read my afternoons away.

If it wasn't Quik, it was something else. It was Cool-Whip, or chocolate frosting that was left with incriminating fingerprints in it. (It was a while until I learned to smooth it out with a knife first).  But it was always something sweet, and always surreptitiously stolen.  I thought I deserved it. Those extra calories, that little morsel of sugary bliss was exactly what I needed.

Once I became an adult, I no longer needed to sneak food.  I could go buy whatever I wanted to eat and nobody could stop me, but then it wasn't much fun. Leaving sticky fingerprints in a cake that also had AH's sticky fingerprints in it wasn't as much fun as the idea that I had taken something that may or may not have belonged to me in the first place. But I still found ways to feel sneaky about food.  I would get an ice cream cone from McDonald's and try to have it finished before I got home, so AH didn't see it.  I would buy an extra dessert and hide it away from him.

In retrospect, I am a very selfish person.  As I was picking up Subway for dinner tonight... (Mmm. Turkey Bacon and Avacado that I had saved my points for).. I looked longingly at the cookies sitting on the counter.  I thought "Oh, who would know if I just ordered an extra cookie and ate it on the way home.  I could toss the incriminating evidence into the garbage can and all would be well." And I realized just how selfish that idea seemed.  If I wanted a cookie, why couldn't AH have one too? Did I have to keep this sweets thing a secret? Was it the inherent guilt that I felt, that thrill of knowing that I could get in trouble if I was caught? Though the most trouble I would probably get into was a stern look and a frown from AH, this private guilt thrilled me like a teenaged Catholic boy knowing that he certainly had something to confess, but deciding to keep this little bit of guilt harbored away.

In the end, the cookies stayed behind the counter, encased in their plexiglass house waiting for someone else to claim them. They did not go home with me, and I savored the delicious dinner I had with AH without having to sneak around.  I'm even writing down every little thing that goes into my mouth.  There is no more sneaking, and no more secret eating. The rolly polly girl that climbed up on the counter and came down with her mouth ringed in chocolate dust is no more.  I am hanging up my spy gear and headed to a much healthier place.

McEwan awaits. Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Episode 3: Can't get ahead for being nice

Hehe.. checked out my stats for yesterday... I got a lot of hits, but I think a few of them were me doing the updating and rereading, but I think it's cool that people are actually reading this. I saw a few read from their iPhone, a few using Macs...and one from Germany (/me waves at Morgue, probably).  So yay!


I was sitting on the couch, petting my husband's cat.  She is a beautiful calico who is usually scared to death of me so I was surprised when she literally crawled into my lap and curled up like a ball. I pet her, she seemed interested, and we had a few minutes of bonding time as she cooed in her mewling little purr way.  It was soothing, and I thought maybe she finally was coming around to like me, since AH is so often away lately working hard to earn Christmas money.  I thought, "This is getting good! She likes me". She nuzzled my hand, she rubbed on my arm.  It was really peaceful.

Then, without warning, she turns her head like a freakin' Python  and sticks her teeth into me!  OMIPU!! What a reward I get for being nice to her!  Seriously, his cat is obviously insane.  I swatted her on the behind and she left the couch, and I watched the blood well up from the two snake-like bites that were swelling on my left hand, and it hit me that cats are much like people, at least a lot like the people I seem to come across.

I am a teacher. This isn't a secret. I try to be a nice person, try to help people out, and I am learning that when you are nice and help people, they tend to take advantage of you.  They may not mean to, they may not even realize that they are doing it, but they do... and it sucks!!! They don't say "Thank you" for helping them, or show some sort of reciprocation or gratitude in a kind gesture returned. They don't smile and offer a hug, or even a polite hand shake. Very often, they will say thanks in a half-hearted way and then within the next few breaths, find some way to ask for more help, or find some way to insult you in a way that truly truly hurts.  The little bite marks on my hand today sort of brought that lesson home today.  You try to do something nice for someone, like my cat, and all they do is turn around and bite you in the ass - well, the hand, in my case, anyway.

However, we find our little rewards where we can.  I know that, being on Weight Watchers and all, you're supposed to find rewards outside of food, but I have watched very carefully what I have eaten today.  I ate all of my fruits and veggies, had a nice salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette, and now I have 5 points left for today and 35 points left for the week.  I may treat myself to a cup of ice cream, especially since I have been having a difficult time getting milk products in.  Eventually, I will find a way to reward myself in a way that is not food.  Maybe every time I feel I want to be rewarded with food, I will put a dollar in my piggy bank and save up to buy myself a new pen, or a new bottle of ink... or even an extra large Moleskine soft cover notebook in black (mmmm.. my favorite).

But for now, I feel the need for a nice bowl of ice cream, maybe even 2 servings, just to make sure that I get that extra little bit of milk in that I need (excuses, excuses).  I will curl up with McEwan, finish my point counting and be happy that tomorrow is the last day of finals.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful everything!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Episode 2: So.. I can't do math

This tracking my foods thing is easy, but not as easy as I had thought.

I bought this three month planner to keep track of all of my food.  This is what I've eaten today with the corresponding point value and how I had it figured out. I get 45 points a day

0 Banana (power food! yay!) 45 left
6  Lemon Treats (yummy!) 39
8 Cobb Salad 31 (more powerfood!)
0 Grapes from Frank 31
0 Clemintines 31
3 lemon chiffon cookies (sugar free) 28
3 chocolate chip cookies (sugar free) 25
6 wendy's chicken nuggets 19
12 Wendy's homestyle chicken 7
11 Wendy's medium fries -4
3 Wendy's BBQ sauce -7
0 Banana (power food again!) -7
4 chocolate chips -11
1 creme d'menthe -12

So.. 45 + (-12) = 57.  Right? I'm not insane?  But when I put all of this into the food tracker for weight watchers, it tells me that I've used 65.  Huh?  OK.. recalcuate... Still not getting it. Recalcuate again. Hrm..

I'm confused.  So.. look at the meal points...

Breakfast = Bananas, Lemon treats and Cobb Salad.
Lunch = Cobb Salad.. wait.. um.. ok.. my eight points off.. is right there, I'm too much of a math doofus not to see it and I'm stressing over numbers. BAH!

So go back to the tracker, check all the foods, it says I've used 57 points... I'm all right now. Just a little bit of stress, but hey.  I can handle it.  I add in a few of my activity points (6 earned) and that leaves 51.. so I take 6 from my left over weekly allowance of 42.. and I still have 35 glorious points left for the week.

I should take a few of those off, since I decided that my weigh in and meeting time will be on Sundays and I technically started on a Monday, but I'm not going to.

This might be a bit difficult for me to do, what with all the math, but I know I can do this.  It will just take time and patience and the ability to add and subtract numbers.  I can do that (maybe).  I think I just have to be a bit more careful about adding in foods and keep everything in my written tracker (which lets me use my fancy pens anyway), and then add it into the computer tracker every evening.  Then I blog to you fine folks, which really is just for me, since I am writing this mostly to keep track of my journey for myself.  If I happen to inspire anybody on my way through, even better!  I can accept my musey glory, even if it comes in delicious treats.

I know I can't post the weight watcher's recipes here, since they're probably all copyrighted and everything, but any new recipes I come up with that I think are scrumptious will go here with a point value and everything.  Maybe even pictures, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself. Hehehe.. food blog. How awesome would that be. (/me Imagines paparazzi following her around asking her about her latest fabulous low-calorie recipe, NBC on the line to discuss a new hit cooking show, cookbook signing tours.... hey! It could happen!)

The downside of all of this exercise and lower calorie regime is that my energy levels have dropped to seriously declining levels.  I am *exhausted* most of the time... and an exhausted TL is a cranky TL!  So, I am off to curl up with a good McEwan novel and listen to the beautiful voice of my favorite executive transvestite, Eddie Izzard, as he lulls me into hilarous, happy dream filled sleep.

Goodnight all!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Episode 1: I hate Hospitals

It took me forever to name this blog.. but here I am, starting a new journey into a new phase of my life, all because this weekend, I got the scare of my life and it opened up my eyes.

Friday I was sitting in my reading group, getting ready to discuss Dostoevsky's short story "Dream of a Ridiculous Man" (interesting story, by the way. I recommend reading it).  With midterms coming up, my grading system not working as well as I like, and after losing one of my best friends, the stress just got to me.  I was sitting there, struggling without a voice in Second Life and then it happened.  A stabbing in my upper left abdomen made my whole body freeze.  It felt like someone was trying to take apart my ribs with a crab cracker or something.  As the pain started, I breathed in deep, thinking of every lamaze class video you ever hear about where they talk about "breathing through the pain" as I didn't want to deal with it and had better things to do. But then... it got weird.

Not sure why, but as the pain increased, the urge to laugh became uncontrollable.  If I tried to sit up, the pain worsened, so I leaned back in my computer chair and laughed to the sky.  I couldn't stop laughing it hurt so bad. My Adorable Husband (AH) turned around to look at me, asking me if I needed to go to the hospital, but I just waved his concern away and kept laughing.  This went on for probably a steady 3-5 minutes. Just laughing. It felt good to laugh.. it felt real... and sitting up wasn't a possibility.

The pain passed, eventually, and I grabbed my cell phone and immediately called the Urgent Care nurse on duty, who asked me a bunch of incredibly mundane questions to try to determine exactly what was wrong with me. After determining that it wasn't indigestion, and probably not a heart attack, she told me to call back if it happened again or got any worse.  It didn't and in fact, the pain sort of faded away.

Until Saturday night.

My left arm has been - and is still - kind of numb.  Not like I can't feel it or anything but it prickles from time to time.  Then my chest started feeling this weird crushing tingly stabbing pain. Not the same as Friday, but still really uncomfortable nonetheless.  I went to bowling with AH to work on some lesson plans and review the tests I am giving for midterms.  AH comes up and asks me if I'm OK. I say I hurt a bit and ask him if my lips are blue. He says go check for myself, so I did.  There was a slight purplish tinge along the lower ridge of my lips and my chest felt like it was being crushed.  AH nagged me a few more times until I gave in and finally went to the E.R.

I hope I never ever ever have to be in an ER at Dameron Hospital again. Ever.

It was gross, it smelled funny, the woman in the next bed kept vomiting and the man one curtain away from her was groaning with a broken nose since he got his butt kicked at a liquor store earlier in the day and damaged parts of his face.  Oddly enough, this all made me feel better, as I wasn't them.  What made me feel worse was that they wanted to keep me overnight, which wouldn't have been so bad, if they had let AH stay with me.

The prospect of staying in the hospital alone, in a weird uncomfortable bed next to a woman who snored and moaned alternatively and also talked in her sleep scared the bejeezus out of me.  It scared me so much, I began to sob so hard that warm salty tears ran down my face and into my ears (I was laying on my back), pooling in little weird eddies in the hollow of my ear.  AH was concerned, and kept asking why I was crying, but I could not articulate the utter despair I felt at a night alone in that place. I just shook my head and kept on crying. They gave me sleeping pills and made AH leave with all of my stuff except my writing notebook and my wedding ring.  I did eventually succumb to a drug induced haze and was only woken up by the beeping of some monitor on the woman behind the privacy curtain.  It was 5am. Damn.

When the doctor came later, after AH came back with extra clothes, I insisted that I was going home that day - right then - if possible.  The doctor dithered in her really thick Asian accent and told me that they wanted to keep me an extra day, as the treadmill stress tests were never performed on a Sunday. I told her in as polite a way as I could that I would not be spending another night in the hospital, that I wanted to go home and that I had better things to do than sit around in a room and watch crappy cable television.  It was really really hard not to start yelling and crying. Finally, they let me go.

A birthday party for a one year old... some video game playing.. sub plans made.. Sunday passed.

Today I decided to change my life (again, with my prodding from AH). I went into a store front and promised, once again, that I needed to change, but this time... I needed to change with a purpose.

Today I joined Weight Watchers... again.  But this time, it will be different.

This time, I am ready to change my life.
This time, I am scared to death of being in a hospital bed again, staring at a ceiling hoping that the pain goes away and I get to see AH again and feel his hand in mine.
This time, I go in knowing that I want to watch my nephews and niece grow up and become who they are.
This time, I want to be a good role model for my students and get my self-esteem and confidence from being a good person, but also from the way that I look.
This time, I am ready to change my life, because if I don't, I may not have any more life to change.

This time, it will work... because it has to if I want to keep living.

In case you were wondering, so far my EKGs and enzymes came back fine. I have to schedule a stress test with the cardiologist and start taking medication for acid reflux just in case it was just really severe indigestion brought on by anxiety and overload.  I have a two week break coming up.  I am going to start using it to change my life... for good.

Thanks for reading! -TL

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