Tuesday, May 31, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 24

Breakfast:  Eggs with jalapeno
Lunch: Japanese place, pork, vegetables, 4 sushi, lots of wasabi, pickled ginger, soft roll, sesame ball/plum, pineapple, watermelon, 3 lychee, 5 maraschino cherries, diet cola, tea
Dinner: 2 cuts from a veggie sub sandwich, 2 really nice dill pickle wedges, SunChips, 2 diet white soda

Not too bad for having to eat out twice today.  The best part is that there was no waste...yipee!!!  Not a single shred of eatable food was garbageized.  Yeah, not too bad.

Still, I ate more than I should be eating for losing lots of weight.  On the other hand, I am eating much less than I used to eat and it is all food that I will find myself eating for the rest of my life, most likely, except for the sub sandwiches.  They were the dinner provided to those of us who were conducting interviews for job placement in a grant sponsored youth summer green jobs employment program.  It has been happening for several years, but this is the second year that I have been involved.  I really like it.  I love it.  It is fun, useful and very satisfying. 

Tonight, as I left the building, my second to last interview candidate was outside, talking to his friends and I overheard him saying that he was feeling tense and was not smiling or able to relax in any way and that his interviewer talked to him about other things and helped him to be more comfortable and that he could feel himself smiling.  Then, he saw me and stopped, so I told him that he did just fine, really fine, and kept on walking.  Man, what a nice feeling to know that I helped him to survive his first job interview and that he actually learned something helpful from it.

A very long day, but nice.  The only problem is that it was not until I returned home at 10:30 p.m. that I realized that I had forgotten to toss a load of laundry in the machine before I left.  Now I have to wait until next Tuesday to do any laundry and I am so irritated, so pissed, so totally pissed at myself for forgetting. 

My memory for regular things is completely shot.  A few weeks ago I put a large, compartmented box of beads on the roof of my car so that I could unlock the damn thing and then drove off with the beads and some adhesive still on the car. 

I kept leaving my cane all over town and now I am clumsy as well.  I must have dropped or knocked down at least 6 or 7 things since I got home tonight.  First a bottle of shampoo, then the other bottle of shampoo, next a small box of paints and brushes, then the frying pan, then my bottle of water and finally 3 CDs on which I burned a radio program for a few of my clients.  O.K., that is 8 things.  Lordy.  By the end of the day, my close vision is completely shot.  Crappy vision sucks.

Throat and left ear still fluid-y or infected or some damn thing.  Whatever it is, I am losing interest.

Today's GP is kind of dumb, but I like it very much.  The fluid part got away from me and then it got blurry with no way to fix it.  It is named, How to play soccer:

Monday, May 30, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 23

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Corn, butter
Dinner:  Smoked pork chop, iceberg and celery salad, dressing, green beans, butter

Man, all the damn butter.  Too bad, I love it, try to use it responsibly and refuse to give it up.  So, there!

I learned something today.  Well, I actually learned several things today, but the first one is that if your lunch is four ears of corn over a period of slightly more than three hours, that is still too much corn.  At least I do not have to take any fiber tablets today, or even tomorrow, I am guessing.  I wish there were smileys or emoticons here, because I am still cracking up over how this all happened.

You know, I intended to have an ear for lunch, but it led to a second one 40 minutes later and then sort of went downhill after that.  I tried to resist, but all that I did was to stretch it out until the accumulated carbs made me drowsy.  I slept for nearly three hours and finally had dinner late.  It was like a carbohydrate avalanche, for heaven's sake.

Now, dinner is the way that I want to eat all the time.  A small portion of flesh and a lot of vegetables, filling, tasty and the good kind of carbohydrates that will keep me going and metabolizing well and not being so drowsy after.  I think that corn is measuring up to be my sweet craving.  I must resist buying it whenever it is cheap enough.  Gods help me when the harvest comes in this summer and the corn is local and ambrosiatic.

Back to feeling like crap, but I am determined to overcome this mess, especially the ear pain.  Allergies must surely be a part of it, so decongestants are always on my market list.

In addition to avoiding the lovely, golden corn, I think that I have to add romantic films to that list.  Today's torture was Tangled.  I love children's movies, but when did they become so...so...adult-y romantic?  For some reason, my longings to have someone in my life who gives a whit about me have been ignited somehow.  I am lonely in a more personal, intimate way that I have been for decades and decades.  I remember the early years of our marriage and how it was fine.  I felt loved and cherished.  That it was all in my head is irrelevant, and that he only cared about what I could do for him means nothing because it was my belief that there was true love, caring and affection coming in my direction.  Sometimes that kind of self-deception is just fine and it works for as long as it work, often a very, very long time.

Eventually I smartened up.  I did not like being wiser about any of this, but another eventuality is that I became accustomed to it, refused to think about anything other than just making it through whatever happened, and transferred my energies to our daughter, other people and lots and lots of work.  That has been functioning well.  Well, until recently. 

It is probably a year now that the status quo ante here is not working quite so well.  And, that film tonight, well, an adult woman, ancient really, should not be gently weeping, or feeling sympathetically parallel to the loss and yearning of an animated character.  She simply should not.  But, I am, and it totally sucks.  I am going to die without anyone loving me, not even in the way love manifests in a freaking Disney film.  I get it, you know?  I know that the chances of an ugly, useless person like me just does not have any chance in the realm of adult relationships.  I should be happy and satisfied that I have an amazing life, full of family and friends and truly kick-ass and meaningful work.  I am.  I am happy and satisfied and clearly grateful for every damn thing that I have.  I understand how seriously ungrateful I am to want more, when there are so many people who would give just about anything to have the wonderful life that I have.  I wish that I were not so greedy.

The coincidence of the GP is just, plain sad:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 22

Breakfast: 2 small peaches, eggs two hours later
Lunch:  Scallops, grilled vegetables, spiced apple ring, baked potato (butter, sour cream), roll, mint ice cream, decaf coffee
Dinner:  Steak, cherries

Wow, when I look back over this diary, I am kind of amazed at the kinds of foods that I am eating.  They are, almost to a one, of higher quality than what I was putting in my body three weeks ago.  I mean, good seafood and a steak, not bad.  It is taking funds away from my big travel plans, but I am happy to stay home and eat great food in the business of becoming healthier.  A fine trade-off and plan, all around. 

My previous diet was heavy on carbohydrates, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bread, oatmeal, beans, lentils, popcorn, with only the occasional meat.  Lots of soups and slow cooker meals, still mostly carbs.  It was cheap and filling.  It was also terrible for someone who has diabetes, and that someone would be me.  I have been having problems with dairy for a long time.  Milk, ice cream and cheese nearly always gave me serious gastrointestinal distress.

Factor in all of the drive-through meals, taken and eaten on the run because it really is difficult to plan ahead for carry along meals based on my old, regular diet, and it is a wonder I had just the one heart thing.  You know, eventually I will find a way to say and write the real word for what happened, but for now it is the heart thing.  I should be troubled by an inability to move beyond being so vague and indirect and avoiding about it, but I am not.  Troubled, that is, not in the least.  I am curious about why that is, but not enough to actually get any forward movement going there.  This attitude is likely to come and bite me in the ass, but not today.

Even though I am not keeping track, anyone could see that there were simply and plainly too many calories eaten today.  The portions were good, but there was a serious glut of butter, and there really is not any excuse for the ice cream.  Lunch was at 2 and dinner at 9.  Both late and both times I was hungry.  I will have to return to some kind of snacking when meals are going to be late like this.  Carrying around a zipper bag of raw almonds should help there.

So, I finally figured out that writing here and saving as a draft is, oh, I do not know, like saving as a draft.  There have been a couple of times when something caught in my craw and because I am dedicated to writing in this diary at the end of the day, most of those things or issues are long forgotten by the time I stumble in here to spew.  Granted, most of them are best left forgotten, but there is the occasional something or other that is worth reminding myself.

Anyway, I called my chatty, story-telling friend yesterday (one of the ss women) to ask her to lunch.  I had decided that keeping our outings short, as in less than the usual 10-12 hours would go a long way to reducing the problems.  Now, this part seems awfully manipulative, and that is probably because it is.  But, if I limit the time I spend taking her places to a reasonable length, then there will not be sufficient time for her to feel the need to fill the time with the same stories, and the same demands that I chime in with opinions.  I estimate that 3 hours is long enough for lunch or dinner and a stop at the market so that she can get some groceries.  The market could be replaced by the pharmacy, it is totally her choice.

We are trying that this afternoon.  She was not sure that she could make it today, so we spoke again this morning.  She really want to do this on Thursday, but that means another very long day.  I am going to stand firm on not doing that anymore.  All right, maybe I will cave and do that with her once a month or something.  But, not every week and certainly not twice in a week.  Today I told her that I had 3 hours for lunch and/or shopping and that she could choose what we did and where I took her.

It should have worked, but I underestimated her dedication to staying out and about as long as possible and her ability to stretch events to their fullest.  We did not have the 3 hours.  It was 4 1/4 from the time I picked her up until I dropped her off.  It would have been longer, but I finally walked away from all of the last minute things she needed to share with me.

O.K., there were two times today when I felt like a jerk, a heel, a selfish bitch, a terrible person.  The first was after two hours at the restaurant when I mentioned that there was still grocery shopping to be done.  The second was during the shopping when my protesting joints would not leave me alone and I checked out my crap and waited at the front of the store for her to finish.  Now, in my defense, I did not tell her about the pain and I did tell her that she should and could take as much time as she liked to finish.  She was another 30 minutes and I sat and read a magazine.  She wants to do this again on Thursday and Saturday.  I just cannot.  They will be longer days and I just do not have the energy and time now.  Yeah, the selfish bitch rears her terrible, jerky head again.  Too bad.  I cannot keep doing this.

What else...I guess that is all.  Oh, I heard the best linked stories program today on NPR. Had I been wearing socks, it would have totally knocked them off.  I am trying, right now, to download the mp3 version so that I can listen to it over and over.  There was so much information that I could not grasp all of it.

To the best of our knowledge
The Examined Life
Examined Life - James Miller
Growing Up Jung - Micah Toub
Bipolar Memories - Aubrey Ralph
Science of Self - David Eagleman
Life of Montaigne - Sarah Bakewell

Then, tonight I watched the screen adaption of Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.  Holey-moley, what an amazing film.  Certainly, not exactly the book, but that movie did not a single thing to disgrace the original version.

Those two experiences, in the same day, were, still are, amazing.  Got to pay better attention to the stuff coming into my life.  I can be a better person if I just pay attention, listen, learn, take it all in and manifest it back out again.  I am also feeling marginally better, but that is preferable to moving backwards.  Fersure.

GP, yesterday's bran muffin.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 21

Breakfast:  Eggs, steak, fruit, freaking bran muffin
Lunch:  Lobster, cauliflower, yogurt dip
Dinner:  Cauliflower, yogurt dip

So, anyway, Saturday is coffee and breakfast with my friends.  It used to be just coffee, but we ran out of just plain coffee shops and started going to places where they serve more than muffins and bagels and stuff like that.  I think that I am quitting the group because two of them are so rude to the wait staff and all complainy and generally being pains in the ass. It is uncomfortable all of the time, and downright embarrassing some of the time.  No one will say anything to either of them, and I am no exception, mostly because I do not want anyone else to call me out on any of my crap.  One of them is late for everything.  Really, everything.  Yet, each week she complains to us and sometimes to a waiter about how long it takes for her to get her food.  This one makes me laugh...a lot...because she groused about how it took ten minutes for her to get her pot of tea, even after the waiter shared with her that it was taking a little longer to be prepared.  Yeah, she is mostly amusing; so is the other woman.  I like them so much, but really, the Universe does not revolve around any of us, particularly in a busy restaurant.  Yes?  Aw, more likely I am being too critical, to judgmental, to much of a bitch.  Either way, staying home will be better for everyone.

I guess that will eliminate the muffin issue I faced today.  The place they chose does not have any à la carte items.  You have to order a whole, pre-designed meal.  You can try to ask to not have some of the items, like fried or hashed potatoes, toast, English muffins and regular muffins, but they sometime bring them to the table anyway.  I am guessing that bringing everything eliminates any fuss from their customers about paying for a whole meal and not ordering all of it's components.  So, they give you everything and you get to decide if you want to eat it.

Yeah, great solution to bartering customers, but there is that toast or some kind of muffin sitting there, a little glossy on top, raisins poking out from the branny and delicious smelling goodness.  My goodness.  I offered the muffin to the table, but because all of them got their whole meal, there were no takers, not even to take it home for later.

I ate my eggs and the tiny, rare, tender steak.  I nibbled at the sliced and diced fruit, then ate most of it.  I drank cup after cup of coffee (easy to do as they leave pots of it at the table), hoping to fill myself up so that there would be no room for muffins.  Man.  There was room for muffins.  I ate nearly half of it.  It was wonderful, nice and crumbly because of all the bran, just enough raisins.  But, it also had sugar in it, and some regular flour to hold it all together.  No bliss there.

Even worse than eating half is that I brought the other half home and ate it mid-afternoon, although I am counting it as breakfast.

Why, after three weeks of this do I have such a ridiculously low amount of self control?  I suck.  Really.

Alrighty, then, the lobster.  I have been tossing out too much food that has gone bad waiting for me to cook it.  I could pack those things away in the freezer, but I have only a small, bottom of the fridge freezer and it is already full of food that I never cooked and have socked away in there so that I would not have to throw it in the garbage.  Now, if I would actually thaw some of that crap and cook it, there would be room for more potential garbage, but I do not thaw and cook for the very same reason that all of that stuff ended up in the freezer in the first place.

I run out of energy to do much actual cooking.  For a while, I was buying frozen meals when they were on sale and eating those.  It was great.  They start off in the freezer and they eventually get eaten and there is no waste.  But, then I decided to eat more healthy food and that is why the freezer is at full capacity.

My solution is to shop for just a couple of days at a time.  So far it is working fine.  I have thrown away only some leftovers and some greens that went all wonky.  It means more stops on the way home from work and stuff, but that is not a problem, except when my energy fails and it is too difficult to stop, shop and haul my sorry behind in and out of the store.  For those days, I have filled a small shelf with canned soup, microwave popcorn and crackers.  There is iceberg lettuce, apples and some kind of hardy vegetable in the refrigerator almost all of the time, just to give the healthy food thing some credibility.

Got all my bases covered.

The  larder here was pretty empty.  Condiments, sugar-free syrups (for making plain water more appealing), pre-cooked bacon, and some cilantro is what was in there.  So, I stopped at a market on the way home from coffee this morning.  They were having a sale on lobster.  You paid $10 for one, about a pound each I guess, they cooked it for you in these huge cauldrons in front of the store, chilled them in ice water and you were set to go.

It was really good, that poor dead creature.  It was perfectly cooked and I ate everything edible, including the coral, which I really like.  It was a late lunch, after 3:00, but so filling and satisfying, juicy and, like, perfect.  So, not hungry much at dinner, and more cauliflower and some yogurt with ranch dressing powder was fine.

I have to take one of my ss women to lunch tomorrow, but for the next few days I am all set.  I have individually portioned, frozen beef patties, a couple of smoked port chops, green beans, the rest of the cauliflower (a bit more than half), peaches for breakfast or dinner tomorrow, 2 dozen eggs (some of which I will hard cook), celery, a tomato, asparagus, lemon juice for making rosewater lemonade, plenty of yogurt, blueberries, and the iceberg lettuce.

You know, I do not want to eliminate all sweets and other pleasurable foods from what I eat.  I do not want to make this about sacrifice so severe that I am afraid to enjoy myself and what I eat.  I have several trips scheduled for next month, August and October, and I want to eat the meals they provide and not get all angsty about what I am eating or not eating.

What I am doing now has to be a way of eating that I can comfortably follow for the rest of my life.  That is supposed to be the path to healthful eating that can last a lifetime.  Anything else will not work, and I have decades of proof that drastically changing to only certain foods is an exercise in failure on a grand scale.  I have already lost enough weight to notice it.  My clothes feel slightly looser and there is a reduction in the bulge-age in a certain area.  My bra is too big and some of my big girl panties are in danger of dropping when I least expect or desire them to do so.

So, this is working, and I would like to keep it that way.  I do not want to deprive myself of yummy and delicious alternatives to the junk and carbs that have been the mainstay of my diet for so long.  I am spending more money on groceries, but the quality of food has dramatically increased.  So, it is all good.  No one knows how much longer they will live, I am no exception to that, and I would very much like to spend the remaining time that I have not being fat.  I would like that very, very much.

Maybe every incidence of slippage in the whole will-power failures has been an opportunity to examine what food means to me beyond something that keeps you alive.  Maybe I need to pay closer attention to those incidents.  Not let them discourage or define me.

There are moments when this seems too difficult.  A month ago I would have sworn that I was not a person who ate in response to emotions.  An emotional eater?  Not me.  Now I know that I eat according to how I feel, particularly when I am feeling frightened, threatened and lonely.  That is such a difficult thing to accept.  Yet, if this is going to work this time, I have to find a way to deal with this, understand and resolve it and then get rid of it, once and for all.  Oh, maybe not completely, I know myself fairly well, but I would dearly love to leave most of that baggage behind me, along with the flab.

That would be so lovely.  Finding a way to care about myself enough to make choices that are truly in my own, best self interest.  I help my clients manifest that in their lives, perhaps I can do it for myself, too.  I had no intention to get all serious about this process. I wanted it to be easier than that, more like, well, just easier.  I am avoiding the scale, which has never been my friend.  I am not measuring and weighing portions, allowing my tummy to alert me when it is full, or at least satisfied.  I am still walking without my cane.  I lost count of how many days, but is is more than a week.  I did too much last Tuesday and took it in to work with me, concerned that a twelve-hour day at two locations might prove more than my knees and hip could handle on their own.  I will admit that I am taking more pain medication, but I think that cane made it possible for me to walk with less energy and certainly much less assurance.  By the end of the day my knees are not too bad, but my hips are, only sometimes, an agony.  This, too, will pass, yes?

All of this, the entire process, just seems right.  I am not stressed about it, well, except for my problems with the damn sweets.  I always believed that I was not a fan of sweet stuff.  Given a choice, I would always choose something salty, crunchy, and if you could put sour cream on it, that was even better.  I am simply going to trust that this works out the way it is supposed to and that this weakness for sweet stuff will pass.

I have three new GPs.  This is one of them.  It is named, Karma-O-Whirl:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Diary

O.K., I pulled up my big girl panties and thought that I was fine, but I am not.  More action from that friend that fucked me over last week.  I am so sad.  I feel kind of weepy, but not like actually crying.  My heart hurts too much to allow any liquid to escape.

If I could cry I might be able to get beyond this.  Maybe I am not sad enough to shed any tears.  Maybe I am not surprised enough to be as upset as I think I should be.  But, it is not as though I have so many friends to not miss having one of them.

Fine.  What am I, 12 freaking years old?  Lordy.

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 20

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Huge salad, greens, vegetables, little bit of roast beef, no dressing
Dinner:  Crab legs, broccoli, 4 pieces of sushi, some pickled ginger, some wasabi

I did fairly well, considering the cravings that yesterday's first two meals brought.  I guess that I cannot eat off plan without paying some kind of consequences.  I am fine now, but slipping like that kind of scares me now.  I am being foolish, even for me, but I was thinking during dinner that maybe even a little bit of the right-now-wrong-foods might make me stroke out or something, especially this early in the whole weight loss thing because getting to reasonable health is a long way away.  I did not want this to be about losing weight, although becoming healthier hinges on exactly that.

I have to wonder why the concept and admitting that shedding some serious poundage is what I need to do and why I am so reluctant to just own up to that.  It does not help that two things, one last evening and one today, reminded me that I am just one, ugly person.  I guess I must have been feeling too self assured there for a few moments and forgot that.  For some reason, I need to keep reminding myself lately.  Should not be so hard.

I still need to sleep, although I wonder how possible it is to catch up on lost sleep, even in the very short term, like over a few days.  I think that I read that lost sleep cannot ever be regained by sleeping more or longer on subsequent days/nights.  It makes sense.  Not like a bank account or anything.

Speaking of which, my credit card company bumped me up to a higher level of membership, or whatever they call it, and sent me a new card, with an extended renewal date.  Cool.  Except I never received the new card and found out that it was all messed up when I called them for something else and was reminded that I had never activated the new card.  Uh, what new card?  Then the explanation, then the explaining that it was a security issue and now, on a long, holiday weekend, I am without a credit card because I authorized them to cancel the current one, create a new card number and overnight the new one to me.  The account stays the same, everything carries over, so no problems there.  But, with the holiday, the chances are excellent that the new card will arrive next week.  Still no problem, but I and my CC company are wondering what happened to the other one.

One funny thing from my conversation with their representative, or whatever they are called :), happened when she was explaining my options.  One was to do the cancel and reissue, one was to hold on until next week to do it and the third was, "Well, the other option is for you to activate the card you never received."  I started laughing and had to tell her why.  O.K., tiny, lame joke, but it still is funny to me.  Wonder what happened to that card?

I made reservations for three more day trips, which is how this whole thing with the CC started.  They are little excursions to fairly interesting places, but the main focus and energy for me is that I will be out of town and out of contact for three, lovely days over the next month or so.  Paradise.  Bliss.  And, I did not have to be left behind during the Rapture to experience being left alone.  Like I said, bliss.

Well, off to look at a few web sites, bother some people and an early bedtime, hopefully to pretend that I am catching up on all of that lost sleep.  Oh, and I am feeling better health-wise.  Less ear pain, less coughing, less goo clogging up/coming out of me.  More bliss.

Today does have a GP.  It is a thunderbird.

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 19, actually

Breakfast: sandwich and soda at McDonald's
Lunch:  Big Mac, you guessed it...McDonald's
Dinner:  Sushi, red velvet apricots, blueberries, root beer

It was a very long day.  Three nights of not enough sleep, although there was nothing I could do about any of it.  Early commitments, late nights, all culminating in yesterday, spending the day with a friend who had minor surgery.  You know, sometimes you just do what you have to do, and that is what I did.  She lives an hour or so away and whilst I took apples, whole grain crackers (not homemade) and raw almonds with me to serve as breakfast, I have to say that by the time I had driven twenty minutes and was about to enter the interstate, that McDonald's, incandescent and beckoning in the misty dawn was more than I could resist.

Well, I could have resisted, but I did not.  Got me a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit and a quart of diet cola (only for the caffeine, of coursesmiley: tongue) and I was ready to meet the challenge of driving amongst the people who do this drive every day and who know exactly how to do it and were zipping around me like knights seeking the grail.  The sandwich went quickly, and it was perfect, probably because I was hungry and they truly are yummy.  The soft drink did not last the drive, but it did perk me up a bit.

I was there to watch her small children and when her husband showed up at lunchtime with more take-out, I ate my sandwich like a big girl, but I did not have cola or fries.  They looked really good, though.  Dinnertime found me on my way home, and starving.  Those quick, drive-through foods are nice and all, they taste fine and fill you up, but they do not have any staying power.  For me there is too much refined carbs, lovely though they may be, but just do not work for me.  So, I stopped at a nice grocery, kind of a high-end one that I use to treat myself, and that is exactly what I did.  I bought freshly made sushi, some of those amazing apricots, peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, peas and some diet soft drinks.  I ate in the car and then drove home.

So, I kind of redeemed my good intentions at the end of the day.  I do worry about taking the easy way and going back to my drive-through glory days.  It was so easy to justify doing it yesterday.  It would be easy to do the same just about any other day when I am not eating all of my meals at home or am rushing around doing errands or from job to job.  I have to prepare better and stick to eating the foods that I haul around with me.  But, man, those apricots were delicious, practically drip down your arm juicy and just sweet enough, the way that apricots rarely are.

I got home at 8:00, checked in on the computer, intending to make this confession last night, but could hardly stay awake, partly because of the carbs.  Slept more than nine hours and am just now feeling awake and ready to get going.  To be honest, I would have slept longer, but I had the beginnings of a headache and know that more sleep would not be all that helpful.  My plans are eggs for breakfast, taking a salad of lots of greens, vegetables and some left-over deli roast beef for lunch at the gallery and then meeting a friend for dinner at that Japanese place. 

Well, we will see, I guess.  I am seeing and feeling some small changes in my body.  Encouraging.  Last night I felt like weighing myself, but that would likely set me back on my old dependence on what the scale shows for the whole self-esteem thing, so I am going to continue to resist doing that.

I am off to make my eggs and get going here.  A new brochure from the travel place came yesterday.  I have already seen two day trips that look interesting.  My fast and junk food money is being spent on these trips.  Good for my health, body related, and for keeping my brain juiced up and keeping my body moving, with all that walking.

Gods, I really want to go back to bed.  Lordy.  No GP.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 19, but not really

Two long days in a row, with little sleep for the past two nights...or is it three?  Still daylight here and I am going to bed.  Not feeling well at all.  Catch up tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 18

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Roast beef sandwich, whole grain bread (homemade), lettuce, mild pepper rings
Dinner: Taco Taco

Today was one of my long days, 12+ hours working, so this will be short because I have to be up and out of the house by 4:30 in the morning.  Long story, boring.

By the time my day was finished, it was nearly 8:30 and I was starving.  Fine.  I was not actually starving, mostly because I have enough flab to keep a small village going for at least a couple of weeks, were they so inclined.

But, I was hungry.  Stunningly so, headache and everything.  It must be because there is absolutely no snacking or between meal eating going on here.  Had I had dinner at a reasonable time, all would have been well.  I stopped at McDonald's for a couple of the dollar menu cheeseburgers.  I love those little squashy burgers.  Thin meat, smashededy buns, fake cheese, all hot and greasy, oh, yum.  Took one bite and spit it out.  Took a bite of the other one.  Chewed a bit.  Swallowed.  Took another bite.  Spit it out.

Oh...my...god!!  I do not like them anymore, Sam I Am.  What the hell happened?  They were fine, just tasting the same as always, but having it in my mouth was revolting.  After that first swallow, even the smell of them made me queasy. 

Alas, poor squishy burgers, I knew and loved you well.  But, it is clear that you are not on my top taste hit parade anymore.  So sad.

So, I sat there, in the parking lot, looking at my bag of never to be eaten smasholiciousness-filled burger buddies.  But, I was still hungry and very far from my home, which, by the way, does not have any easily eaten foodstuffs anymore since I decided to go all healthy on myself.  After yesterday's mistakes in walking too much I knew that I could not just stop and get something quick at the market, especially if it needed any heating or cooking at all. 

So, I did the next best thing.  I went to Taco Taco, got two tacos and a small meat and bean burrito.  I have to say that I took the first bite with some trepidation.  Was this going to be a repeat of the blasted burger bungle?  The tension built, my stomach grumbled, my hand shook, dribbling bits of cheese and teeny-tiny chunks of tomato on my lap, or where a lap will be when I get more healthy-er. 

Finally, my headache could take no more and told me to just bite the bullet  taco, and I did.  It seems as though I have, at least temporarily, lost my taste for fast food.  However, I was able to eat the tacos and burrito.  I did not barf.  My tummy is happy, my head is slightly happy and I just took two antihistamines so that I can go to sleep soon.


Tonight's GP is, well, I am not sure what it is.  Kind of looks like an iris or something.  Maybe.  Has no name, though.  You know, now that I look at it, it sort of resembles the love child of an iris and a snapdragon.  Kind of creepy, huh?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 17

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Japanese restaurant, whole bunch of vegetables, some pork, sushi, two chicken wing parts, fruit, diet cola
Dinner: Sushi, toast

All right.  It is always cheaper to eat at home than it is to eat where you show up, sit down (mostly), and eat food that someone else cooked or otherwise prepared.  Well, if you give them money, of course.

Except, today I spent less on eating out food than I would have for staying home food.  Yep.  Especially when you factor in how much food I throw away because I never get around to cooking the stuff.  Oh, the shame of it all!  Yep.

I kind of wondered if I would have any self control, but I did.  This place has sushi, of course, and they cook your food to order.  So, I gathered together the same, as in nearly, practically, almost exactly the same ingredients that I use at home for dinner many nights.  Cool.  Plus, I had nice fruit.  Plus, I had as much diet cola as I wanted.  Way cool.  Plus, I bought some extra sushi to bring home for dinner.

So, it was not all that bad, but sushi is much better freshly made.  Just saying.  Yep.  I have some left, in anticipation of taking it to work tomorrow for lunch.  Uh, I think not.  Man.  More wasted food for the trash.  Shame redux.  Argh.

Between mentoring, lunch, Walmart and groceries, I walked nearly all day.  But, I refused to take the cane.  I am stupid.  I did redeem myself by buying a decent keyboard...smarter...which I would not have needed if I had not tried to be frugal when buying the other one...back to stupid.

Let's see if Photobucket works tonight.  Named, well, it does not have a name.  Does not need a name.  It is only a pumpkin.  Yep.


Monday, May 23, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 16

16Breakfast:  Yogurt, blueberries
Lunch:  Eggs, scrambled with jalapeno
Snack:  Most of an Atkins bar, some kind of caramel and nut thing; saving the rest for breakfast tomorrow. smiley: tongue
Dinner:  Artichokes, big salad with mushrooms, zucchini, tomato, cauliflower, celery, bacon, iceberg

Since someone asked:
Egg = 1 egg
Eggs = 2 eggs
I think 2 eggs is my limit, but if it changes, I will say so.
I drink a lot of plain water, a lot, at least a gallon a day, and sometimes have a cup of coffee or tea, except on Saturday mornings when I try to behave as though I am training for the Olympic coffee swilling team.  I have coffee divas all over the Midwest, willing and able to keep my damn cup full of brew as bitter as their restaurants will allow to be sold.  I am never happier than when I get the bottom of the pot.  Yum.

I did only a little cleaning today and some gathering of art materials for donation.  But, I am feeling better.  Hooray!  Much less coughing and I think that, well, I do not know what the hell I know, but I feel better.

So, anyway, artichokes.  They are so beautiful.  It seems a shame to cook them sometimes.  Their perfect globeyness, that mossy green...or is it artichoke green...with those sweet purple accents.  I think that most people do not eat the outer leaves, but I do, loving that bitterness.  And, that is my ode to artichokes and still one more proof of what an idiot I truly am.  Fortunately, I do not care a whit and am happy to embrace my dorkiness.  Really.  It has taken me decades to be comfortable with all of it, although I wonder, sometimes, how easy it is to be my friend.  Oh, well.

No cake today.  Man, that was a rough two days.  Cake.  Like it more than artichokes.  Eating that first bit of cake on Saturday created two days of cravings.  They are gone today, although I feel hungrier.  Tomorrow is lunch out with a friend and a test of whether or not I have completely brought down my self control.  They have sushi there.  Lordy.

Oh, even though I am not going many places, if I were, I would not be using my cane.  And one of the retinal wafer thing detachments managed to fold itself in half during the night and is almost half the size it was.  Maybe now it will sink more quickly.  After all this time, you would think that I would stop responding to it and swatting at the air like there was a huge bug in front of my face.  No new blood splatters in either eye since a week ago.

I bought bilberry to help with my eyes and turmeric for my nerve damage...or, is it the other way around?  Anyway, I will start taking them sometimes this week.  The fiber tablets are keeping my colon happy.  What else?  Nothing, I guess.  Oh, one more thing.  There was this gel mat at the pharmacy that you can put under the sheets and it is supposed to help you stay cooler at night.  I bought the smaller, pillow-sized one and tonight will try it.  If it saves me from having to buy a window air conditioner, it will be twenty bucks well spent.

O.K., one more critter GP.  Named, Cock-a-doodle-don't:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 15

Breakfast:  Yogurt, blueberries, 4 or 5 ounces of the roasted duck, 2.5 inch round piece of cake
Lunch: Green peppers, yogurt dip (a little powdered ranch dressing mix)
Dinner: 3 ounces of Snapea Crisps, two beers, conversation with two online friends

That freaking cake.  I managed to not finish the yellow cake from yesterday and I tossed the other sweets, but I missed that muffin-shaped one and I ate the damn thing.  Now, just for dinner, awfully late by the way, I started with a beer whilst on-line chatting with a couple of friends, one just across the little pond and the other in Australia.  I like them both so much and our conversations are always funny, and mostly irreverent.  I especially like the sassy parts.

Looking back on the day, I guess that I did not eat a lot of crap, just that cake piece.  It was so good.  It was so satisfying and if there is cake around her again I will eat it without any real guilty feelings.  It just tastes so good.  All of the homemade yogurt, fresh fruit and whole grains simply cannot hope to compete with a nice piece of cake.  Lordy.  Looking back on the day indicates that the only fiber I got was from the berries and peppers, which is not enough to keep my colon happy.  So, more fiber before bed.

It was a long and lazy day.  No energy for getting anything done.  Even a three-hour nap did not help.  Nor did resting.  I do battle with WW tomorrow and I hope I actually get out and do that.  My lungs are loggy or soggy or something.  Breathing hurts, even with using the inhaler.  More decongestants and more rest.  It has been a month since this last bout began and whilst I am slowly getting better, I still feel like crap.  This week has only the basics and I am hoping to visit my daughter and the babies.  Even to myself, I cannot make any promises.

You know, I look at my calendar now, with all of the past-their-usefulness-commitments gone and it looks so empty.  I am glad to have it so, and will be glad for the summer break, as well.  But, it looks so empty!!!  I guess that I am never satisfied.  I am yearning for travel, but the next time is a single day to an adjoining state and it is not for more than a month.  Maybe I will just take the little pond ferry over and then back on Thursday.  I cannot spend a week or even a few days at the place I could stay in town because, well, I shared that already and I do not want to add any sadness to the end of a respectably decent day.

Too tired today to make a new GP, so here is one that makes me laugh.  It is named, "What's up doc?":

Saturday, May 21, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 14

Breakfast:  Eggs, bacon, coffee, many, many cups
Lunch:  Pho, half a bowl, half of a spring roll
Snack:  Cake on the drive home
Dinner:  Rest of the pho, rest of the spring rolls, more cake

Holy crap, it is now two weeks since I decided, reluctantly, to become a healthier person.  I hope that this is not a pattern, a continuing two-week of pretty dam good and then a backslide where the cake is concerned.  But, it is not my fault.

Really.  After breakfast and taking my friend on her errands, which I enjoyed very much, finding a few lovely craft materials things for myself and my mentee and the grandbabies.  Then, I dropped her at home and went for pho.  The older man there took my order and encouraged me to try a spring roll with pork.  It was very good and I think that I might ask for more help from him sometime.

I did have a moment today, though.  At breakfast, the errand friend needed change for a ten dollar bill.  I gave it to her in singles and a dollar's worth of change.  Cool, yes?  Then, I went to pay my bill for lunch and the ten spot was nowhere to be found.  I had left it on the table at the breakfast place.  With the tip I had already left, our lovely (truly, I like her very much) waitperson received a 150% tip today, just from me.

I was like totally freaked for a minute or two and then realized that it was likely the least expensive lesson I have ever learned.  It was offset by the mind-blowing sale that I got for a tiny, wooden barn and animals that I bought for our newest grand-nephew.  It was on sale for 50% off and then for another 75% off of the sale price because it was damaged.  I have to replace the screws in the hinges of one of the doors and two of the animals are missing, although the tractor was still there.  My mind is still blown over that one.

Where was I?  Lunch.  After, I walked to the Asian market next door and shopped for treats for my daughter and the boys, including daddy in that count, some herbs and a whole roasted duck.  You can choose your own duck from the pile of carcasses in the case, but I let the guy do it and he then hacks it to pieces and puts it into two, large carry-out boxes.  He does not give me the head, but that is fine.  Having my dinner looking back at me, bill and all, makes it impossible to disconnect myself from that lovely, rich, meaty goodness and the abrupt ending of the ducky's life.  He sure is delicious, though.

So.  The cake.  In this market you have to pay for the duck separately, as it is in the deli section.  No problem, except that today the corner of the place was packed, and I mean really, seriously packed, with sweets.  Asian sweets are not like those in any other part of the world.  They are made from sugar, of course, but also a stunning variety of starches, beans, rice and who knows what else.

I chose a wedge of this yellow cake that seemed strangely resilient in it's Styrofoam  and cellophane package.  Then, there were these rice things and those bean things and before I knew it, there were four small packages of sweets joining the hacked-up meat pieces, formerly known as ducky.

I sampled each one in the car on the way home.  The first taste is almost always the best, no matter what something is, and these were no exception.  Except for the cake.  Goodness.  And goodness does describe it.  It is moist.  It tastes of egg and not too much sugar.  It is sort of the airy, chewy texture of angel food cake, but more dense.  Lovely.  Charley and I have been snacking on it all evening.

I never should have bought it.  I will not buy it again.  I should not be eating it, but I am and the rest will be put out for the critters in the morning, along with the other sweets.  All of them, the sweets, cost only $6, so added to the lost $10, not a completely horrible day of wasted money, especially when I remember the huge meat waste I had a month or two ago.  Shudder.  That was shameful, but today's lapse is just a lapse.  Gonna move on.

I tried the new decongestants last night and have felt a little better all day.  Still not using my cane, and using less pain meds.  I bought fiber today and my colon is very happy.  It is a good day when your colon is not sad.  I am personally less sad today because I managed to get over the fact that my friend sort of stole my place to live in town.  At least I think that I am over it.  At this moment I no longer feel the need to stop helping at the gallery and I will try my best to not be upset and all grudge-holding with him when we next meet, which will be Friday.  Yeah, I am pretty sure that I am not upset about it anymore.  Pretty sure.  Maybe I do need a little more time to grieve the loss of that safe place, but I do not plan on using more than a few days for being sad about it.  Yeah, I can do that. No, he did not sort of steal it, he wrangled, pushed and punched my sorry ass right out of that place.  Bastard.  O.K., I am fine now.  Yeah.  I am, but that felt good.  Smiling now.

Tomorrow is back on the healthy wagon.  No cake for anyone.  I have some sewing that I would like to do and I promised to make some doll clothing patterns for a friend and, oh, there looks like there will be time for a nap in the early afternoon, altogether a fine prospect for a Sunday. 

On Monday I call the travel place and plan another short trip or two for the summer and I still have to join WW.  I am ditching the whole getting a new checking account and debit card thing and opting for paying the higher week-at-a-time fee for each week that I go there.  Maybe the extra $3.88 each time will help me value it more and make better use of the program.  That is an easier solution to the other stuff, and it is certainly much better than forgetting to keep enough money in that extra account so that I do not get hit with overdraft fees.  Now, that would seriously amp up my cranky-factor.

So, tonight's GP is one that makes me laugh.  A lot.  It is named Come here often? and there are several interpretations of what this depicts.

It might be:
  1. Two of the microbes/germs/bacteria/bugs in my ailing body having a conversation whilst my white blood cells wander around taking long breaks, getting hyped on coffee and angsting about the meaning of life instead of doing their jobs.
  2. A couple of citizens of other planetary systems, meeting out at Area 51, in honor of the couple of new books about the place.
  3. Two Eastern European countries, redistricted by the machinations of their inbred leadership.
  4. Two people from around here, transformed by the Rapture (or is it Raptor, I cannot ever remember),  making connections with the other left-behinds.
  5. A pair of new lifeforms found in my refrigerator.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 13

    Breakfast:  Eggs, toast, butter
    Lunch:  Subway foot-long, roast beef on whole grain (not so sure that it really is, you know?) bun/roll, spinach, green peppers, mild peppers, tomato, cucumber
    Mid-afternoon:  My tummy was rumbling and the second half of that sandwich was happy to provide relief
    Dinner:  2 ears of corn, butter, salt

    I had intended to have the sandwich be lunch and dinner, but I ate the second half at around 4:30, and then just had the corn; it is after 8:30.  So, more food than I planned or wanted to have, but it is what it is.  I bought the corn and some other groceries on the way home from the gallery.  I have a nice rib steak, salad stuff, a couple of apples, blueberries, a nice as in really nice cauliflower and those artichokes from Sunday's shopping.  Oh, and the rest of the turkey necks. 

    I have to say that shopping when hungry is not supposed to be a great idea, and it was doubly so today.  Every lovely, refined carb in the store called my name.  They had a special on dark chocolate pound cake, and those crazy muffins with the cheese and jalapenos.  I actually looked at the ice cream section and dairy makes me, you know.

    It was not such a good day and I suppose that contributed to my yearnings at the store tonight.  Two people stopped in, regulars and one is a good friend, the other is a crazy guy that is a doctor who does not practice medicine anymore, and for very good reasons.  The friend is using me and I would rather just not be a friend anymore than address the issue.  Totally the coward's way out, but it is the best I can manage, at least whilst I am still sick.  The insane doctor blew in, paced and ranted, insulted the gallery owner (a truly dear friend) and blew out.  Good thing, because I was this close to opening the door and thanking him for dropping by.  All right, I would not have done that, but I was thinking about it in my head and enjoying it very much.  A very satisfying fantasy.

    I no longer want to be the person who makes nice and makes everything fine for the crazy people.  Hell, I am crazy enough in my own right and no one does that for me.  It does not help that most of my craziness stays in my head, fueling my exceptionally rich fantasy life, but that is beside the point.  I am fairly certain that if I manifested my inner, firmly straight-jacked self that, first, no would would believe it, mostly, and secondly, no one would cut my any slack and make all nice and fine for me.  I am pretty certain of that.  I am.

    So, subjecting myself to the grocery store was a big mistake.  I knew it as soon as I walked through the doorway.  I got what I needed and avoided all the good stuff that I really wanted, even some dark chocolate.  That I caved on my way to the checkout and bought the corn is bothersome, but, really, it could have been worse.  At least the corn was good.  And buttery and salty.  Good.

    I am going to bed right after I finish this because my goo kept me up again last night.

    I am too tired to make a GP, so will use one of the ones I made yesterday.  It is named Cream in my coffee:

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 12

    Breakfast:  Eggs
    Lunch: Toast, butter, turkey necks
    Dinner: Small thing of yogurt

    I sort of crashed today.  Too much stuff on two busy days.  Man, this should not knock the beans out of me like this.  I coughed, gagged and hacked all night.  How anyone got any rest here is a mystery.  My guess is that I got the most, but I am not asking because I do not want to be chided for disturbing everyone.  The cats do not care because it got me up early and they had their breakfast early.

    I had just the eggs this morning because I figured that the protein would have more staying power whilst it decayed  digested in my gut.  Lunch rolled around, despite my dozing and resting, and by the time I was hungry enough to get up, I discovered that I had never put the turkey necks on to roast.

    Now.  Turkey necks.  One of my all-time comfort foods.  The market chops them into 3-inch lengths, and put in a pan, sprinkled with a little salt, and roasted at 425 degrees for about an hour, they are little hunks of chewy delight.  They are so good.  They are also the kind of food that you never, ever can eat in front of anyone else.  Well, the cats do not mind because they get their own share, but other humans simply do not want to watch another human bite, tear, chew, suck and gnaw on those bony bits of heaven.

    Anyway, they did not get bitten, torn, chewed, sucked or any of the rest until 2:30.  I kept my tummy satisfied with a piece of toast, then another piece of toast.  Later, there was one more piece of toast, and then I ate six pieces of neck, with three times that many now in the fridge.  I had the yogurt for dinner and am not hungry.  Mostly.  Either I am actually reducing my appetite with these smaller meals and no snacking, or I am still too sick to care about eating.  I am kind of concerned that this eating less food is so easy because I am so ill and that when (or if) I ever feel better that my old appetites will return.  Man, I hope not; I really, really hope that does not happen.  Would that not be, oh gosh, one of the most wonderful things ever?  That I could be satisfied with something approaching, approximating normal portion sizes?  It could happen.  It could.

    Speaking of appetites, I have been thinking of another human one that is not so easily satisfied.  I have been without the benefits of a partner for a very long time.  Like really long.  Like bats in the belfry, cobwebs where there should not be cobwebs long.  Honestly, that long.  Most of the time I never give it a thought.  Sometimes, when my friend, D, the ancient horndog is lusting over some young woman (one whom, by the way, he has not a chance of getting even a tiny taste, although that does absolutely nothing to deter him), I do think about it and have had the occasional yearning for someone nice in my life.  However, I am a realist of the highest order and know that there is not a rat's ass chance of that ever happening.  It makes me sad, right this minute, just to think of how that is never going to happen for me.

    Anyway, I am hoping that I can continue to eat less and get healthier when I finally return to more immediate health.  My dentist called to remind me of my appointment on Monday morning and it is a good thing, as I could cancel and not create an empty space that some other patient could use.  And, by the way, she called not because I forget, but to remind me that I was to hang around because we had plans for lunch.  She is an amazing dentist and an even better friend.  She is great.  Me, not so much, because I had completely forgotten. 

    Staying home today meant that I did no errands.  I still have not had time to get the things I need from the pharmacy (including some fibery stuff,, which in another day I am going to need more than oxygen), find and buy a window-sized air conditioner, get any fresh vegetables or open that freaking checking account, get a debit card and finally be able to join WW.  This is insane.  You cannot hear this, but I am screaming in my head because this is so much more difficult that anything of this sort should be.  I have thought this before, but I am a bit O.K. with myself at how determined I am to do this.  So, I will get going early tomorrow, do all that and get to the gallery on time, where the ancient mariner horndog will likely show up and tell some damn story that will make my own longings manifest one more, damn time. 

    I really suck and have a relatively suckly life right now.  Oh, the work and family and friends aspects are fine, but I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I cannot even add today as one without using my cane because I did not go anywhere, but I can count tomorrow, and I think, in celebration of not using my cane, actually getting dressed and leaving the house, and not being able to take my leftover turkey necks to have for lunch, that I will get a sandwich from Subway.  Hell, if that TV commercial guy can lose weight and get healthier eating those veggie subs, they certainly cannot hurt me.  That will be fun.

    Since I did nothing useful, except for roasting the turkey necks, I had plenty of time to play mahjong, take a rest here and there and make some more of my current guilty pleasure/GP.

    I made six, I think, with several of them primitive and silly, which is fine because I am primitive and more than a little silly.  I like this one.  A lot.  It is not silly.  It is named Mermother:

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 11

    Breakfast:  eggs, toast, butter, tea
    Lunch:  Roast beef sandwich, whole wheat bread, grainy mustard, mild pepper slices, romaine lettuce
    Dinner:  Last of the chicken, last of the pea pods, last of the rice that I had cooked and frozen, last of the mushrooms, last of the strawberries (2) and pineapple (1 cup)

    I am so tired.  Eleven and a half hour day, with the last client running three hours.  We were on a roll, he was doing his part of the work, he laughed at my lame jokes, I mean, how could I just end the session and go home when the time was up.  He was entirely too humble, but I nagged that right out of him.  More on him another day when I can keep my eyes open.

    Oh, and it my eighth day walking without the use of my cane.  It hurts like a bitch, but I keep telling myself that every step that I take without it is a step towards greater strength.  Yeah, I guess I am the only person gullible to believe that.  Well, could work, unless I finish off my liver with the OTCs.

    I need to get more fiber in my body.  Colon not happy tonight.  Need that goopy powder stuff. 

    My ears are taking turns with holding fluid.  When I turn my head, I can hear it sloshing around in there.  How nice that they share so nicely.

    We who are about to do battle with WW salute you.  Please remember us in your prayers.  Maybe the fourth time is the charm.  Fuck.

    Thank goodness I did two GPs yesterday (It is one of my lotsa dotsa and I lurve it):

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 10

    Breakfast:  2 eggs, over-easy, 1 toast, buttered
    Lunch:  Stir fry, pea pods, celery, onions, mushrooms, jalapeno, pork, 1/2 pineapple, 3 strawberries, tea, pickled ginger
    Dinner: Microwave popcorn, 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup frozen raspberries
    Lots of water.

    Well, today was the day to get back to the Weight Watchers place, which I did after mentoring and lunch.  I had called their toll-free number to get my ducks in a row, but when I got there, the two women had conflicting views on how members could make the weekly meeting fee payments, and when I factored in the wrong information that had been given to me via the telephone, well, I had filled out the forms, but could not join.

    So, they let me stay (oh, bless their stoopid, little hearts, my god) for the meeting and it was pretty interesting.  The meeting leader played a game that embarrassed the volunteers, then gave only one of them a prize.  And, there is still that whole giving out the tiny star stickers.  She also passed out these little, hand-shaped clicker things that everyone was supposed to use to "applaud" for the people who had reached milestones of one kind or another.  It is the same cheer leading, get a sticker for saying the right thing or saying close to the right thing but with a whole lot of enthusiasm process.

    Now, I need them more than they need me.  Frankly, they do not need me at all, but I am trying to salvage some self-respect here.  Lordy.  Anyway, I need to join this thing.  I will go to the bank on Thursday, open a checking account dedicated to paying the fees and just get over myself.  It will be a while before I can go back to a meeting because they will not accept an actual check, but need you to give them the account information via a debit card attached to that checking account, and it will take a couple of weeks before that comes in the mail.

    I lucked-out in one respect.  They are again waiving the joining fee, so I have to get this done in the next two weeks or so, or I miss that damn opportunity again.  The meeting leader also tried to get me to buy a $45.00 member kit with some books and a points calculator.  Yeah, babycakes, like I can barely afford to join your tribe, much less buy your crap.  She told me that the kit is essential to working with the program, but too fucking bad.  I am not buying it.

    So, anyway, then, I said my goodbyes and started to leave.  I turned back and asked them if any of the extra stuff was necessary and how much I would be spending there aside from the weekly meeting fees.  They assured me that all I would have to pay is those fees. 

    There has to be an easier way of doing all of this, yes?  I think not, actually, but it does give me pause to realize that I am going through all of this to help me become healthier. 

    This is the third attempt I have made to join WW.  The first was a wash because there were too many current members who needed help after the meeting period and not everyone was helped, me included, or excluded, I guess.

    The second time was a couple of weeks ago and I did not have enough money with me to join because they had placed the joining fee back in there.  Plus, the woman who took care of me was rude.  Still I went back.

    Today, I was able to talk to this new woman and she was really as nice and helpful as could be, given that I had three versions of their process to confuse and confound all of us.  I wish that I could remember her name, so that I could leave a compliment somewhere for her.  Ah, someone will help me figure out how to do that.

    I know that I am going to have significant problems with their emphasis on portion sizes.  My plan, and it is an excellent one, is to lie about how much I eat until I am able to comply with that aspect. 

    I am also going to have difficulty with the dietary balance they require.  I do not eat much fruit, but am willing to do lots of vegetables, which I already eat, so no problems there.  But, they are big on complex carbs and I am just not going to eat as many as they suggest.  I also cannot eat most dairy products, and that was a huge part of the discussion today.  I can eat yogurt a couple of times a week.  I have been trying, or thinking about increasing that to every day and that might help with the whole portion size thing.  If I eat less, my colon is not happy, but if I eat dairy, things move more quickly through my system, although I might get crankier than usual with the cramping.

    I am barely keeping my blood sugar at levels that will protect me from losing my sight or any toes, so eating carbs at every meal is just not going to happen.

    And, I do not even want to get into the exercise issue.  Inflamed joints and terrible vision make even short walks tricky.  Whatever.  I am going to do my best to do something, just now sure what.  I thought about Curves, because it is the least expensive exercise-related thing around here, but that means practically eliminating any summer travel. 

    Yeah, I know, how stoopid that is, that I should just let it go without being so whiny and childish about it, but, gosh, I really need to get out of here once in a while.  I just really and truly need to find some inner balance about all of the life crap.  There are days when I think that I simply cannot go on another moment, but, so far, I am managing to pull myself out of that place.  I read or take a walk around the yard, or call a friend, all of which seem to be working.  So far.

    Anyway, that was my day.  I finished it by getting a few groceries and coming home to play mahjong.  Now I am going to bed.

    But, first, another GP:

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 9

    Breakfast:  2 corn dogs, 2 mugs of instant cocoa/no sugar
    Lunch: Nothing
    Dinner:  2 cans of chicken soup, 2 slices of whole wheat toast, buttered, 2 mugs of decaf green tea, 3 RS sugar-free chocolates

    It was a slow day, although it began at 2:00 a.m., when I woke gagging on mucus and then kept up by hunger.  I finally gave in and had the corn dogs and cocoa because they were the most quiet and least scent-creating things to make at that hour.

    Went back to bed and slept until eight, back to rest, read and mostly doze at eleven.  Finally got up at 3:00 p.m.  Ate dinner at, around 7:00 and am ready for bed again.  I was not hungry, even after not eating, but made myself heat up the soup.  Then, heat up another one and have toast with it.  On a roll for twos, I guess.  The Russel Stover chocolates were for medicinal purposes only.  Honest.  The sugar alcohols are slightly, ummm, well, they help you, well, I just have to say it, poop, and with so little fiber in my body today, my colon will thank me tomorrow, fersure.

    It was nice to sleep so much today.  You just cannot discount the benefits of naps.

    I am taking all of my meds.  I have stopped with the antihistamines because I think they are blocking the fluids in my middle ears from draining.  Just popped a couple of generic decongestants, and hope that works.  I really am not fond of waking up with the whole mucus gagging thing.  Enough fun already.

    Off to bed.

    Oh, og, oog, I called yesterday's friend.  As assertive as I was with her at lunch about making a big freaking deal about who pays, she is just the same old person today again.  We have an agreement that we each pay our own whatever, lunch, snacks, beverages, stuff.  And still she creates a little scene each time, dragging in whatever poor, hapless clerk, waiter, salesperson is stuck taking care of us.

    So, yesterday I took a stand, one that I have taken twice before, but she is such a backslider about this stuff.  The stand is that if she fusses about paying for my meal, that the meal (or snack or whatever) about which she is fussing and making a scene will be the last one that we have together.  Today I had to make the same standard for telephone conversations.  Lordy.  It is too much.  My guess is that, from her relating familial things, this is the way they all do business.  Everyone having a long, torturous scene over who pays for whatever.  Same thing for where to go or what to do together.

    It is too much.  I cannot have this keep happening.  I just cannot.  And, it is not because I am feeling so crappy.  Hell, even when I am well, this just wears me down all the time, all the long days that she needs for all her stuff.  I am certain that this makes me a selfish, opinionated freaked-out brat.  So be it.  Fuck.

    Today's GP (You know, I think that making one of these is the highpoint of each day.  How sad is that.):

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 8


    That was me falling off the health wagon.  I made a nice splat.

    Interjecting here to say that I just read this and whilst it might not seem to be strictly about food and all that, it really is about the process of becoming not only healthier, but closer to the person that I want to be, which can only be a good thing.  If I do not change some of the other stuff in my life, then just eating well, exercising (yes, I intend to do more than think about that...eventually) is not going to mean anything.  Have to work on being healthier in body, heart, soul, spirit and in relationship all at the same time.

    Breakfast:  Nothing
    Lunch:  Salad, lemon wedges for dressing; scallops, broiled, 6; baked potato, butter & sour cream, ate half; fresh roll, ate half, with butter; grilled vegetables, ate all; 6 oz. glass of wine, yep, all of it, approx. 1 cup creamed rice and chicken soup, sigh, all of it, with lemon.
    Dinner:  2 ears of corn, butter, salt

    In my defense, if you spread out everything that I ate for lunch over the entire 24 hours of today, it does not seem so bad.

    This friend is the one from yesterday.  Last evening's phone conversation went well and then today's conversations went all to hell.  It is like a toddler testing you.  She gets all agree-y and then goes back full force and then some.

    So, anyway.  I pick her up and she immediately begins with the weird stories, which I love by the way.  She either has known everyone on the North American continent, or reads enough of the tabloids to know just enough about everyone famous or infamous to weave stories about them.  I quail to know what she would know if she had computer access.  Past chats have included surprisingly intimate details about the Macy dynasty (or any other large, industrial or business enterprise) and all of their paramours and extended families, the movers and shakers on the entire Eastern seaboard and most of the players  cooks  chefs  celebrities on the Food Network, including the one who lives just down the street from one of her sons in the Hamptons and who was rude and selfish as a pig about helping out a Make-A-Wish sick kid.  Hmmm, I always thought that pigs were extremely generous, especially when it comes to their bacon.  Yeah, but what do I know.

    Oh, and there are those stories that she keeps telling me about some diet doctor who was killed by his mistress, who was sent to jail and my friend just happened to be her cell-mate.  All right, I am making up the part about the cell-mate, but the story is very long and detailed about all kinds of other stuff about those people, whoever the heck they are.

    It just occurs to me that she does not seem to know anyone or about anyone west of the Mississippi.  Ooooh, that was fun to type!


    Big Picture-wise, none of this matters.  Really.  Except that she keeps asking for my opinion about what one of these famous people did and when I eventually am forced to reply, she brings in some other information that nullifies my opinion, you know, like it really matters anyway, but it is tiring to constantly be told that I am wrong about everything.

    So, I keep asking myself why I spend time with her and it is because I like her and most of the time her stories, true or not, are amusing, but only if I manage to avoid replying.  So, for the past month or so, whenever she mentions anyone or anything I just say that I know nothing about who or what that person or thing is.  She then throws up her hands, literally, and says something like, "Oh, why am I asking you, why would I think that you would know anything."  I just smile and offer her a french fry.  It is mostly working.

    Except for today.  Today she would not be denied.  I kept smililng and she kept insisting and I had trouble not letting any giggles leak out.  But, by the time our waitress finally came over, I was worn down sufficiently so that I ordered a meal like the ones I used to order before I decided to get healthyier.  Alrighty, let me be honest and rephrase that...before I decided to get healthy.  Yes, it is true.  I have no backbone or will power.

    This is a small family restaurant, where you can order just about anything, but they have these meal things that include appetizer (like salad or soup course), entree, sides, wonderful homemade breads, dessert and wine.  I ordered.  Whilst I always refuse the alcohol, I asked for a glass of red today.  My friend asked me if I would drink her wine, I said "no."  She asked if I would eat her soup, I said "no."  She asked if I would eat her dessert.  I said, "No."  So, she ordered soup, wine and dessert right away, and then told the waitress all of the other things that she did not want, finally ordering the lamb.

    I ordered my favorite.  I got the most wonderful scallops, perfectly broiled, which she criticized because they were not brown enough on one side, her lamb because it was too salty, her soup because she forgot between the time she ordered and when it was brought to the table that it was a cream soup and it was too salty, and on and on.  I called the waitress over, asked her to bring a bowl of the other soup for my friend and to put it on my bill.  It is a tiny place, with excellent accoustics and she patted me on the shoulder before she dashed off to bring the other soup.

    The entire meal was complaints and stories and more complaints.  I ate every morsel of my meal, which was very healthy, by the way, but should really be a meal and some taken home for a light dinner or breakfast.  I did not lick the plates, but I did think about it.  I drank my entire glass of wine.  I ate nearly an entire roll.  I ate the scorned cream soup, which was amazing, especially when drizzled with the fresh lemon our sweet waitress brough for me when she saw me eating it.  I ate nearly half of my baked potato.  It had butter and sour cream on it; not a lot, but it should have had none.  I ate my entire salad, very healthy, lemon instead of salad dressing.  I did leave something, though, a 75% tip.  Well, she earned it.

    However, since I have been eating so reasonably this past week, it was way to much, which I would have realized had I been eating more slowly, you know, like a normal person.

    I was exhausted.  Can you deplete your adrenals in an hour?  Even if you cannot, I think that I did.  At least I declined dessert, although I am kind of wanting it right now.  Alas.

    I also had an upset stomach from eating all of that stuff and barely made it to the restroom, where I left most of it behind.  Literally and metaphorically.  Was not so funny then, but it makes me laugh now.  

    My friend wanted to go to the mall.  I declined, but had earlier agreed to take her grocery shopping and we did that.  An hour and a half later, we loaded the car and started for home.  She wanted to go out for coffee, which she kept talking about all day, saying that she could not have any because her doctor put her on a special diet.  I declined, reminding her that we both had fresh meat that needed to be refrigerated soon enough.  The ride to her house was punctuated by her thoughts that it really was not that warm out and that raw meat could be left out for hours without danger.  I kept driving.

    Today's lessons are many.

    Do not think that you have learned or relearned something about how you want to be in relationship with someone, because you might be closer, but you are not fully there and the Universe will bring you back to that lesson as many times as is needed.

    It is in your best interest to not use food to self-medicate unpleasant feelings or uncomfortable interpersonal issues away.  If you do, you have to buy a bottle of Imodium and take some right away so that you can finish shopping for groceries.

    If you are already feeling like crap, allowing yourself to get all tense about anything is not going to help you feel better. Even when you try to make it appear that you are playing 'nice', if you really do not have your heart in it, the other person might never notice or know, but you will and you will feel guilty and ashamed for not being your best self.  Although, acting all nice and everything is certainly preferable to acting as bitchy as you feel.  Truth be told, acting like a nice person is never a wasted effort.

    Sometimes you just have to accept someone for who they are and get over yourself.  And, that means accepting the other person.  You can accept yourself for who you are, but that sounds like a very bad habit in which to indulge; it is much better to try to be a better person.

    I cannot tell if I feel better, infection-wise, or not.  I guess that is a good thing, though.

    And, speaking of guilt, another pleasure for the day:

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 7

    Goodness.  A week.

    I am better today.  Feeling more sick, but with a greatly improved outlook.  Maybe a better attitude, as well, not sure.  But, more hopeful, at any rate.

    Breakfast:  2 eggs, over easy; 3 strips of well-done, although not too crisp, bacon, fat blotted off; tiny bowl of fruit, small cubes of cantaloupe, watermelon, 2 slices of some kind of red apple, not the crispy kind and two red grapes.
    Lunch:  Pho, with the works, flank, brisket, tendon and tripe; 3 spring rolls; can of diet coke.
    Dinner: The spring rolls leftover from lunch.
    Lots of water.

    Today was morning coffee with my friends.  It began as coffee and maybe someone would have a roll or a muffing or toast or something like that, but it has morphed into actual breakfast.  So, breakfast was at a restaurant, the second time we have been there.

    The group likes to try new places.  Some are worth a return visit, some not.  This place, today, is kind of weird.  The staff runs hot and cold and you would think that you could not tell such a thing from only two visits, but apparently if the staff is just weird enough, you really can tell, even on the first visit.

    The first time there, I was the first to arrive.  Another woman and I live way south of everyone else, so we get to drive the longest distance.  We live on opposite sides of the county and cannot ride together, but we are always the first to get wherever we are going.  So, I get there and the hostess welcomes me and asks something like how can she help me and I reply that I will be dining with five friends.  She stares at me.  She looks down at her desk/counter.  She looks back up at me and asks, "Do you mean now?"  I mumbled something like, "Ummm, yes."  However, in my head I was saying, "Nah, I was thinking sometime in August, maybe on a Thursday.  And, maybe you could pick me up, because this is a heck of a long way to drive." 

    Anyway, she huffed and puffed and tried to blow my house down, but my house was in another county and she failed, which did nothing to improve her mood.  She did, however, lead me to a table that would accommodate five people and said to let her know if all six of us showed up and she would find another chair for us.

    Today was slightly better, but just as amusing.  So, anyway, I had this great, hardly carby breakfast and then went shopping for stuff to do with my mentee and stopped in for fat quarters and some other fabric at a friend's store.

    Then, I went for pho.  Oh, man, I love that stuff.  A huge bowl of steaming broth that cooks the meats and the extras, pure and unadulterated bliss.  Comfort food of the highest order.  The noodle shop I visited today (one of three that are my favorites) tosses in a couple of perfectly crafted meatballs, fine textured, strangely spiced.  Ahhhh.  Just one more reason to visit Vietnam.

    It was too long a time walking and doing and looking and talking to my friend.  She sent me home with a Michael Cox book; I think it is Glass in Time, but I cannot really remember.  I took the book and myself to bed, got 21 pages read, then the drowsing cat beside me drew me into my own nap.  Waking, I felt much better, still do.

    Feeling too ill to do much of anything useful, I checked all the computer stuff and one was a link to the Peace Pilgrim.  I read the article Steps Toward Inner Peace.  You know how things come into life, awareness, just when you need them?  This was one of those occasions for me. 

    One area with which I have been struggling is one of the older (than me, even!) women for whom I provide social contact.  Actually, I consider her a friend, but that is how our relationship began, gosh, maybe eight years ago.  Wow.  Anyway, she has her own special personality and I have been feeling drained and weary the past dozen or so times I have taken her out.  She does have another friend, and is close to her family, even though they live far away.  They talk on the on the phone and her sons are always sending her photos via their cellphone.

    But, I am the one who takes her for most of her shopping, particularly to the mall.  This mall is a near-hour drive from here and the days we do that are long, often ten or twelve hours.  It is great and we have a good time, but the days are just too long and I am guessing that it is because I have not been feeling well for a long time.  I feel stressed just thinking about how a simple lunch turns into an eight hour ordeal. 

    I mean, how selfish can I possibly be?  Yeah, that selfish.  However, reading that article, well, it was like a reinforcement of all of the stuff that is important to me, stuff that I have not been practicing very effectively.  Anyway, I called my friend and had the nicest, and shortest, conversation I think that we have ever had, at least since the early days of our friendship.  I had the opportunity to be exactly what she needed.  Man, that feels nice.  We can go to lunch, walking in the mall and get her some groceries tomorrow without me feeling all ashamed of myself.

    I am hungry, so I will have a couple of snap pea pods and go to bed, to read and more dozing with the kitty.

    I even felt well enough for more guilty pleasure:
    And, what the hell is wrong with the label function?

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 5 and Day 6

    Thursday, May 12
    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 5

    Breakfast:  Yogurt and strawberries
    Lunch: Another one of those chicken thighs, roasted asparagus.
    Dinner: Cheese crackers, three sugar-free chocolates, the little kinds
    Lots of water

    Only the fifth day and I am wavering.  Oh, my commitment is fine, but my old body is just not up to the task today.  I dragged out the calendar and figured out that I have been unwell for nearly seven months.  There were several bouts of infection that required 2-3 weeks of antibiotics, but I mostly am just tired and sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

    I am sticking with the healthy eating.  Dammit.  I really am.  I expect that my body will take as long to adjust to the lack of refined carbs and other junky kinds of foods at it needs to take.  This stuff takes time.  It must be like detoxing or something.  You try really hard to stop doing some thing and you feel worse for a while.  I know that happens when I have a really bad infection.  I have to keep reminding myself about this so that I do not lose heart and give up.  Because, you know, I really do not want to, well, you know.

    It is only that I wish that I had more energy.  I did not do any of the errands and other household stuff that I needed to accomplish today.  I kept taking to my bed, reading and resting.  The new fiction is titled You Believers.  It is good.  Gritty, but good.  The first part had my heart pounding, honest, and by the looks of things, I am not going to read about the resolution of that part until the end of the book.  Good thing I am not inclined to skip to the end.

    I did get a half-hour nap, but that kept me alert only for a couple of hours.  The only reason that I am even writing now is that I have to find a way to stay awake until it is closer to bedtime.  A six-hour nap during the daytime does not do anyone any good, no matter what you may think otherwise.  So, I am trying to stay awake for another two hours, at least.

    I have another upper-respiratory something.  Dark clouds in and escaping from my upper sinuses, wheezing, coughing and general malaise.  However, I am not going to the doctor because all that happens there is more meds that only depress my system.  Exactly what that system is, I have no idea, but it is there and it is depressed.  Maybe it needs some chocolate to pump up the endorphins or something.

    Patience...where are you?  I just need to get through these first few weeks.  On a brighter note, I did not succumb to the siren call of the maraschino cherries.  Score one for the exhausted, ooey-gooey bod.  Snort...hack...leak.

    More guilty pleasure...

    O.K., so I made the hope cloud image a few days ago.  Then, early this evening (Friday, which is when Blogger would finally allow new posting) I was reading my latest library book and one of the characters was gazing up at the sky and another character said something like she was looking at the sky as though she could read hope in the clouds, or something like that.   How freaking cool is that!!

    Friday, May 13

    100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 6

    Breakfast: Nothing.  Shame on me.
    Lunch:  Half of a Subway roast beef sandwich, no dressing, lots of vegetables, a little Provolone cheese
    Dinner: Stir fry, pork, tons of celery, pea pods, mushrooms, onions, 1 big jalapeno.  Pineapple and a cookie for dessert.  Tea.
    Lots of water all day. 

    Since this began, I have been drinking at least a gallon of water each day, and will be able to have more when I get the water filter going.  I have a Britta pitcher and finally found filters for it.  They have to soak for a while before you can use them, and I keep forgetting.  Our tap water is icky and I know I can drink more when the pitcher is ready.

    So.  Breakfast.  Did not have any today.  I felt so icky yesterday and had no energy.  I took a walk around the block, hoping to get something going in my body, but it did not work and I had a short nap.  It sort of helped, but by the time I went to bed, I was at the point of being overtired and not able to sleep.  So, I read until nearly 4:00 a.m., fell asleep and was up at my usual 6:30-ish waking up time. 

    I fed the cats and went back to bed.  When I next woke, it was just after 11:00 a.m. and I had a hour to pull everything together and get to the gallery.  I made it, and stopped at the Subway place for a foot-long roast beef and veggie.  I ate half of it on the way to work and then forgot about the rest.  Oh, well, such a waste, though.

    I was just hungry enough to eat well at dinner.  After, a friend stopped by with ice cream and I had a scoop of chocolate and a half-scoop of strawberry.  I made him take the rest home with him, so I am safe for the moment.  I should have been able to say 'no' to it, but I did not.  This is only the sixth day and I had better get more effective control over my appetites and my ability to restrain myself, or this hundred days will seem much longer.  I thought about making myself begin over again, at day 1, at each fall-down, but that means that I would likely being finishing the hundred days sometime next decade.  My health cannot wait that long.

    I was sitting in the gallery this afternoon and the day was going so slowly, so I had a lot of time to people watch and think.  Whilst that was happening, the detachments in my left/good eye kept bothering me and I had this notion that it may be too late to save my health, and it was so alarming a thought in that moment I felt afraid that I might really just freaking die.  Then I started to worry about having another heart attack thing and I was spiralling all over the place, shame, anger, fear and a sense of loss that took me beyond tears into such a hopeless state.

    I have no one to blame for the sorry state of my health but myself.  I alone am responsible for getting to this point.  Only I can do what needs to be done to get back on that path to health, but I am so afraid that it might be too late.  What if I have done irreparable damage to my body? 

    I know that people come back from devastating heart damage or crippling strokes (another concern as per my internist) or horrible accidents.  I find no comfort in any of that, because I may have too many critical health issues at one time. 

    You know, I was sitting there and those vision issues were what started the whole spiral thing and I thought, well, maybe I will be lucky and will only lost most or all of my sight.  You know, maybe that would not be so bad, at least it is better than dying. 

    But, I do not want any of it to happen.  I want to get healthier, lose weight, take care of my heart, not have strokes or lose any toes or end up with seriously compromised vision or anything.  I want to be strong, dedicated and faithful and fix it all.  I am taking all of my medications and walking and eating well, or as well as my stupid human nature will allow.  I am now, finally, doing what I should have been doing, what I knew all along I should have been doing.  I am doing it.  But, what if it is too late?

    I do not have the heart for any guilty pleasure today.