Be It Resolved?

It’s All About Me

I know, I know – another post about resolutions? Well, yes and no. I don’t sit down and write out a list of things I resolve for the new year because I’ve done it so many times before and failed miserably at accomplishing any of them. And then, having failed, I managed to work myself into self-loathing and resentment that I needed to accomplish those resolutions in the first place.

Losing weight and working out more are naturally two of those failed resolutions. Been there, done that, more times than I care to count. So instead of resolving things this time, I’m looking at what I want my winning outcomes to be. Yeah, I know, WW talk. But for me, it works.

There are really two big things on my mind and heart as I go into 2008. To be healthier and to live with grace.

To be healthier is the stuff I already know about but am, for whatever reason, not doing. Living with grace includes not beating myself up for who I am and the choice I make, and also making better choices because they are the right ones. It means accepting failure without whining and success without gloating. Living with balance.

And yes, it means doing the things I know I should be doing to be healthy. To eat less and move more, without complaining or trying to find ways to cheat and be lazy.

I read on someone else’s blog today about looking back over the year, finding herself 60 lbs lighter than when the year started, and I was hit by a wave of sadness that I wasn’t the one to say that. Not jealousy, just sadness, because I haven’t done anything to deserve being 60 lbs lighter. I do have the power to do something and my fresh start begins tomorrow.

My mom came home from the hospital late today and starts the new year in her own house, much to everyone’s relief. She will have her little vacuum bag and pump with her 24/7 for the next 6-8 weeks but can get out and do things as she has energy to do them. Just being home is big medicine and I’ll see her for myself next week. Good for all of us.

I have my food planned out for tomorrow and activities lined up to keep me out of trouble. Though if I wake up to snow … ah, well. It’s winter and some things just come with the territory.

May your new year get off to a happy, healthy start.

Nugget within the TWOP Snark

Television Without Pity LogoOne of my favorite websites is Television Without Pity, where you can catch up on those TV shows you miss and chat (or follow others chatting) about those same shows. Lots and lots of snarkiness going on as well as trivia mavens who amaze me with their powers of recollection and analysis.

If you venture into the Non-Fiction and News Shows section there’s a forum dedicated to Shopping Chanel Shows, principally HSN and QVC with some ShopNBC and others thrown in for good measure. I’m not sure why most of these people actually bother to watch the programs they comment on since they mostly think the products are crap and presenters are ugly but clearly they get enormous pleasure in it. Reading this particular forum is a good antidote to shopping the channels themselves.

Today there was this exchange:

“Soon, it will be the beginning of a new year and I know we are going to be watching a lot of Pilates, Nutrasystem and all the items related to “a new you”…it’s going to be even more boring that it’s now, but get ready my friends because 2008 it is here! I will be here with you to post and snark to our hearts contents.”

“What bothers me about that the most, is this great assumption that we’re all so dissatisfied with ourselves. If we’re not and we listen to them long enough, then perhaps they think they’ll convince us we should be. I hate those shows.”

Woman on a treadmill It made me think of all of the commercials we’re already seeing for WeightWatchers, Nutrisystem, LA Weight Loss, Jenny Craig, Miracle Burn and other magic potions, not to mention every gym in your local area. The media eagerly feature stories and snippets about how fat we all are and how to stick to that resolution to lose weight that they just know we will all be making.

There are things I want to accomplish next year but I don’t want to do them because the media makes me dissatisfied with myself to the point that it dictates my choices. Sometimes resolutions are about dissatisfaction; other times they are about dreams and new beginnings.

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In other news, my mom is still in the hospital after all. They couldn’t do her vacuum procedure because they were short a vacuum pump which does seem to be pretty central. So now they’re hoping tomorrow will be the day for the procedure and her discharge. I’m flying down on Jan. 10 for 5 days and am interviewing a pet sitter for Tessie in a few days. Just keep your fingers crossed that the weather behaves.

Mom’s Coming Home

Angel in the snowThe plan was for Mom’s incision to be stapled yesterday before they released her from the hospital. After waiting all day for the doctor and the procedure, when he finally arrived my parents learned that her skin tissue was too thin for them to be able to staple after all. Somehow I don’t think my skin would have that problem but she is 77 years old and that probably was a factor.

Instead they’re doing a different thing this morning: a vacuum closure procedure that we’re all a little iffy about. If any of you know about it, please add a comment and I’ll share with my parents. Here’s what I know:

During the V.A.C. procedure, surgeons place a sponge into the wound and cover it with an occlusive dressing. A suction device is applied and removes fluid from the wound. This procedure reduces bacteria in the wound, draws out stagnant toxins and stimulates new blood flow, decreasing the wound healing time dramatically.
Source: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

The dressing has to be changed every three days for up to 2 months in her case, which brought home to us how long her recovery will actually be. The good news, though, is that she’s coming home today!

On Christmas Day her dinner was mashed potatoes, soup and jello. Yesterday it was chicken-fried steak (which I’ve never known Mom to eat but she was hungry), mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie. I was reassured that her tummy was able to handle regular food, which will make it easier when she gets home. Of course, there is no fresh food in the house because Dad’s been eating out, mostly at the hospital. So I urged him to do a grocery run before he went to the hospital today.

My brother and sister in law are heading up again today and will stay until Monday. He has work that has to be finished by Monday but with a laptop and Internet connections, can work anywhere. They’ll help take down and store Christmas things, probably do some cooking and shopping, and mostly just visit and help with the transition. I’m very grateful that they’re able to do it, especially since we didn’t know for sure until yesterday that today was the day she was coming home.

I’m researching flights and trying to figure out when I can get there for a long weekend visit. Flying in winter is always a bit iffy but I think I’ve found some options. My next assignment is to find, interview and hire a cat sitter for Tessie. It costs the same to pay someone to come here and feed and play with her as it would to board her at the vet’s, where she would be in a cage. Staying at home is infinitely better. I’ve never had to worry about child care before and admit I’m fretting about leaving her — but being with my mom is worth it.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. They mean the world and I know made a difference.

Weighing In After Christmas

Tessie with Empty BoxesThe bad news is that I gained 2.4 lbs this week. The good news is that I went to Weight Watchers and got on a scale knowing that it would probably be up 3 lbs. Considering how much I ate this week, it’s not a surprise. I am a stress eater and worrying about my mom has been majorly stressful, plus I’ve been sticking close to home because I wanted to stay near the phone. FYI, she’s doing better and we think she’ll be heading home this weekend.

But let’s get real — I haven’t exactly been hanging out at the gym even before Mom went to the hospital. And I haven’t walked much at work because the sidewalks have been covered with ice and snow because the good people of New Haven don’t shovel or plow particularly well. And I haven’t been to water aerobics in two months because the water was so cold. Well, that’s a pretty stupid reason and who’s to say that they didn’t warm it up when we started wearing coats?  Not in the pool, of course, but still.

I have, however, been faithfully going to my Weight Watchers meetings and collecting the new materials. Every year they reinvent the program slightly (sometimes hugely) and get ready for the swarming hordes who repent the pounds gained over the holidays and, armed with new year’s resolutions, set out to Lose The Weight.

We know how hard that is to do. But it IS doable. The hard part for me is not so much following the program I’ve chosen but in remembering my motivation. It’s easy to slip into “I’m fat anyway so what does it matter?” and then it’s easy to eat the extra cookies or skip the chance to walk an extra 15 minutes. To feel deprived and then entitled.

The Shrinking Knitter had a great post a few weeks ago on “living as if I was already where I wanted to be” that I haven’t been able to forget. Erin had another valuable post on Just Being the After. I recommend both to you heartily as food for thought about ways to approach new year’s resolutions and refocusing motivation.

This last week, if I was actually living as if I was already where I wanted to be, I would have eaten a little of everything I actually ate but in very moderate amounts, with more vegetables and fruits. Walked some and gone to the gym once or twice. Been more self confident in my own skin and happier in the clothes I put over that skin.

But I did and do and will love my family and my friends. I did and do and will enjoy selecting presents that speak to who they are and what they like. I did and do and will celebrate Christmas and love my cat and yak on the phone with people who matter, just because.

This week’s assignment is to reclaim my motivation for my physical self. I wrote down reasons for why I want to lose weight back in September and most still apply but I want to think about this and really get focused in a realistic way. Not only why but what I’m willing to do to accomplish it.

2007 is almost over and I’m in a very different place in so many ways than I was last year at this time. Another year older and wiser, with a new job and a new state and a new cat, and only 10 lbs heavier. It could be worse. It will be better.

God Bless Us, Every One

Me at Christmas 1962It’s Christmas morning and I’m watching Patrick Stewart as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol while Tessie plays with her new catnip mice amidst the wreckage of wrappings and ribbons. She made out like a bandit with cat toys to keep her busy for days and treats just because.

My family made a pact to cut back on Christmas this year, to spend less on presents, but that doesn’t mean being miserly and there were plenty of presents under the tree for me, too. They were smaller things that spoke of really knowing me and not just presents to have a present. Yanno the difference? It’s being remembered that matters not how much is spent on a present or how many of them we get. After all, I’m not 5 years anymore.

The big present this year didn’t come from a store, it’s having my mom alive and recovering in a Texas hospital. She was moved yesterday from the ICU back to her original floor with the same nurses, and I got to talk with her last night for the first time since her second surgery. Mom knows that she was really sick and that she almost didn’t make it and is grateful for every moment; even when she hurts, she knows she’s alive.

Opening my presents this morning and seeing her handwriting on the package labels almost made me cry. I’m so lucky to have my parents, my family, even when I live far away. But I’m also really lucky with the family of friends that is woven around me, too. Christmas cards and emails and blog comments mean as much as gifts because they connect me to people who matter – all of you.

Enjoy your day, your presents, your family, your activities – and your food, too. If you eat it, enjoy it and savor the flavors.

Merry Christmas!