Checking in and Catching up

I forgot to get on the scale this morning. That sounds so small a thing to have thrown me off but it did. Almost every day since I started Noom in January 2020, I start the day by peeing and then getting on the scale. It’s gotten to just be habit, as a way to get information, instead of a judgment. But today I just forgot. I slept badly because of neck and arm pain and too many things parading through my head, and was awake before 4am. Instead of getting on the scale, I went right to the living room and started guzzling water while updating the scheduled church newsletter with something I remembered while in bed trying to sleep. And then it was 6am. After drinking 50 oz of liquid, there’s no way I’d get on the scale. But it threw me off.

It’s been a while since I checked in with my body. My right side is kind of a mess from top to bottom: neuropathy in the foot, torn MCL at the knee, sciatica, neck and arm pain. The left side has a weak hip and more sciatica, but that’s not much. Two days ago I went to the hospital for a steriod injection in my right SI joint and a right knee genicular nerve burn (neurotomy). The meds to help me relax and not remember what happens didn’t work as advertized; there was no relaxing and lots of remembering. The burn itself was a new kind of pressure/pain but if it makes the knee happier, it will be worth it.

Now that I have been fully vaccinated and am 3 weeks past my second shot, I’m starting to get out more. I ate out in a restaurant with a friend last Friday, the first time I’ve done that in a year. I got antsy from being around so many people after a year of limiting exposure, but the food was great and it was a window of normal after a very long time of isolation. This weekend I’m off to my brother’s house for a weekend, my first trip there in 9 months. As he said, it’s time to unbuckle the seatbelts and start to move around the cabin. I’m taking baby steps and we’ll see how it goes.

In other news, I bought an air fryer and have been having fun trying to figure out how to use it. Mostly so far this has been cooking frozen foods such as prepared chicken and salmon, egg rolls, or reheating leftovers. Tonight I’m trying a new air fryer recipe of marinated chicken thighs (remember, I found a whole bunch of those when I cleaned out the freezer). We’ll see. But so far I think it will be a good tool and will help me do my small-scale one-person cooking without heating up the whole oven every time.

I’m also planning additional work on the house. Two years ago it was replacing half the windows and my renovation. Last year it was replacing the other half of the windows. This year I’m hoping to replace all or most of my landscaping, swapping out a very dated set of “solid green wall hedge” style with something shorter, cleaner, and more spaced out. I’m excited about making some changes and having time to enjoy them, as well as adding value to the home. I hired someone to draw out a plan and come up with plant options that will work with me making final decisions. So many plants were killed in the long freeze in February that nurseries are having problems filling orders, so that may be a factor. But at least I have a plan.

And on the inside of the house, it’s time to get my air ducts cleaned out and the carpets cleaned. I have no idea when the ducts were cleaned last but know it’s been at least 10 years, and the cats throw up a lot trying to get rid of hairballs, so both cleanings are past due. This home ownership game is expensive.

To Do Lists With Lots of Things

How To Write A To Do List That You'll Actually Stick To

It’s been a rocky month or two, food wise. Oh, I know all the things to do. I just don’t want to do them. I want to eat things that have no business being in my house but inexplicably are. Well, of course there is an explanation: I bought them. A year ago I wouldn’t have been tempted by them, flying high on successfully transforming my eating and my body. But that’s come to a standstill and I’ve been up and down the same few pounds – which seems worse when you weigh every day than it probably actually is.

So what’s going on? I’m stressed on multiple levels. And I’m comparing myself to friends or even strangers in my Facebook weight loss groups who are doing great. I know it’s not a competition and that comparisons are odious. We’re each on our own journey with ups and downs that don’t match up with another person’s ups and downs. But it’s depressing to see them doing well when I’m not. There are a couple of options: eat better, own up to what I’m doing and stop beating on myself, stop following the Facebook groups if they are making me nutty.

But mostly I think I’m bored. I’m really, really bored. I’m tired of wearing masks and staying alone, but I’m also not quite ready to get in groups and party. I’m tired of eating the same foods all the time. No one is making me do that, I can make different choices, but I’m not doing it because same is easy and I know how to fit those foods into the calorie allotment I have each day. I’m ready for a vacation from work which I haven’t had in longer than I can remember. But I don’t know what I’m going to do with it other than not go.

I like lists and structure and plans. So I’m making some to help me move forward and feel in control.

Things Already Done or Scheduled:

  • Unfollowed the two weight loss Facebook Groups until after Easter; will reassess then
  • Threw out snacky food in the house
  • Made haircut appointment
  • Scheduled Mah Jongg group lunch and game day
  • Scheduled landscape designer visit tomorrow to come up with redesign plan
  • Scheduled Pain Management procedure for SI joint injection and right knee nerve burn

Things to Do in the Next Week:

  • Work out menu options for meals that can be swapped out.
  • Eat three different breakfasts and three different lunches during the week.
  • Make a date to go to visit my brother at the ranch in the next month.
  • Schedule times three days a week to go to the gym.
  • Schedule a session with the gym staff to get oriented on new equipment.
  • Check the April calendar at work and decide when I can take three days off to make an extra long weekend.
  • Weed closet of clothes and jewelry to take to consignment shop.
  • Take 2 boxes of papers to be shredded.

Other Things To Get Done:

  • Call electrician to fix broken outlet and check out porch ceiling fan
  • Get front exterior faucet fixed
  • Buy and plant flowers in pots for front of house
  • Talk with TIAA to rebalance portfolio
  • Clean carpets
  • Take cats to the vet for shots

Baby steps

Yesterday I weeded out the pantry of a whole boatload of things that I had no idea were there – and it didn’t look that crowded! But there were plenty of outdated canned veggies, enchilada sauce (why did I have that?), chopped olives, packets of oatmeal from boxes tried once but that I’d hoped would taste better another time, and too-old cartons of chicken stock. I think I’d planned to use them back when I started Noom back in January and then forgot they were there.

I pruned 30 cans of cat food left behind when the cats moved on to another kind of fishy food and turned their noses up at the old stuff, and hauled it today to Petco to be donated to a shelter. Then I consolidated half empty boxes of Ziplock bags and reorganized the shelves. It looks beautiful.

Then today I went grocery shopping, but not much went into the pantry. I bought broccoli and apples, sweet potatoes and meat, milk and lemonade, protein drinks and carb-balanced spinach tortillas, and of course, cat toys. The pantry still looks beautiful but now the fridge is super-crowded until I get organized on what to next with stuff in there.

I have plans. Tonight I’m cooking pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes, serving with steamed broccoli. Adding 1/4 C. of unsweetened applesauce to the potatoes, I will be 100 calories under my calorie budget without feeling hungry or deprived. It will be Day One to be strung together with other days to come to get myself back on track. Today I listened to my body and ate differently, and I feel better about myself and my choices.

Tomorrow I’ll do chicken teriyaki in the crockpot, with added onions and peppers, pineapple and water chestnuts. It’s one of my favorite meals served over a small portion of rice. I’m throwing out that frozen riced cauliflower; I’d rather have a smaller bit of something I actually enjoy.

After running around all day and spending money like water, it feels good to be still for an hour. Time to write, time to read, time to rest. I have Noom articles to read but I also have a book that’s almost finished. I think that’s up next.

A Week or So in the Life

Have you missed me?  I seem to be spending more time living my life and chatting in short little spurts on Twitter and Facebook instead of posting here.  Let’s see if I can catch up.

I’ve been busy with work, learning new responsibilities since on 11/1 my job changes.  My best work friend is retiring at the end of November and her unit and mine are being merged into a single Acquisitions & Continuing Resources department, with me in charge. I’ll miss her like crazy because we’re good friends and I enjoy her company, knowledge, and wisdom.  We’ve been backups for each other these last 3 years and it will be hard to fly solo, but it’s also an opportunity to rethink job responsibilities and descriptions, and workflow.

I’m off to Chicago on Tuesday for a few days visit with my best friend and then a committee meeting over Halloween weekend to select the programs for next year’s annual meeting.  I’m in charge of it all so am feeling a bit stressed that we don’t make any false moves. But we will and it will all be okay. Trust me, though, I’ll be happier next Monday when the decisions are behind us and I’m home again.

Tessi went to the vet on Friday, much to her dismay, to get her claws clipped and have her anal glands checked. She’s had problems there before and I’d noticed she was licking her butt more than usual.  It seems that the glands were fine but she had some hard crystals in there that were irritating. Now she has a small shaved bit and short claws.  So far she hasn’t retaliated by throwing up but I’m sure she’s biding her time.  I’d better warn the cat sitter.

Weight loss has slowed down to a stop and to be quite honest, I don’t really care that much.  Except I do.  I’ve decided that my goal isn’t a point on the scale, it’s being able to fit into size 16 petite pants.  I’m having a terrible time finding pants to fit because I’m really an 18p right now and petite departments usually only go up to a 16.  Sure, I can get some online but I really want to be able to try them on in a store instead of paying for stuff I have to return because it doesn’t fit.

But it doesn’t really matter to me when that happens.  After losing 126 lbs, it’s hard to get excited about another 15-20.  Picking up the exercise pace will obviously help but I’ve been sick for 2 weeks and have been having continuing back problems that my doctor thinks are connected to that heavy apron of excess skin hanging in the front.  My balance is off.  At least the pool workouts are easier on everything than the ones “on land” as my trainer calls them.

Did you know that you can create 8×10 photo collages at Walgreens?  I’m sure you can do it other places, too, but I know it works there.  I uploaded some digital photos to have prints made, and discovered there was an option for photo collage.  You can select up to 20 photos (though I’d definitely recommend no more than 8-9 if you want to actually see them) and the system arranges them for you.  You can shuffle the images, add more, remove some, select the color background and width of the lines separating the photos, etc.  Price is $3.99 each.  I’m not sure if you can create them on the spot; I did this from home and picked up at the store.  They’ll make fun presents for the family and one of them will go into my new office.  Check it out!

On Vacation on a Quiet Monday

Here I sit on a quiet Monday morning, Sipping coffee with my wet hair wrapped up in a Turbie-twist (these things are awesome and have freed me from that heavy towel wrapped around my head that kept falling off).  I’m on vacation for the next 10 days and love days when I don’t have a race from task to task to keep on a work-day schedule.  Of course, Tessie is there to remind me that, “yo mama, give me crunchies” comes early whether I think I can sleep in or not.

Today’s agenda is finding a swim cap (hoping that drug stores have them because I don’t want one of those racing caps that squeeze your brains out), getting my hair colored and cut, going to the gym for an hour pool workout with my personal trainer (hence the need for a swim cap with newly colored hair).  My outside stuff finishes up with a fresh pedicure.  Then it’s time to actually think about what to pack because tomorrow morning I head to Texas for a week’s visit with my family.

Left to my own devices I wouldn’t go to Texas at the end of June.  Do you know how hot it is there??  I am a New England girl now and don’t have a high tolerance for heat.  Plus I’m shifting sizes again so who knows what will fit and be appropriate for the weather.  The trip was originally timed so I could go to my nephew’s wedding next weekend, but it was called off and the engagement ended (by the bride) so there is no wedding.  But my aunt and I had non-refundable tickets, and we hadn’t seen the Texas fam in quite a while, so we’re making this a mini-family reunion.

Lapband update – my doctor told me he did NOT think I needed a fill, especially with two trips coming up.  He reminded me that as I get smaller, the weight will come off more slowly, and that 5 lbs a month is a good rate.  I’ve now lost 108 lbs and am 3 lbs away from breaking 200 for the first time in over 30 years.  Believe me, I’ll keep you posted on that.

Since I’m going away for a week, naturally I needed to clean this weekend.  Ever since I spent a summer as a hotel maid, I’ve hated cleaning.  I know how to do it, I just hate doing it and procrastinate amazingly well.  Yesterday, though, I vacuumed up enough cat hair to make a kitten for Tessie to play with, scrubbed the bathroom, cleaned the stove and sink, and did 3 loads of laundry.  I still have to dust and finish cleaning the kitchen.  I always forget how much nicer it looks after I do this.  Maybe I should do it more often 🙂