Easter candy overdose

Easter candyIs Easter over yet? No? Can we just fast forward a week …. wait, no, then we would have all the leftover candy on sale for 50% off. That would be worse.

At work today there were bowls of foiled covered eggs and caramel kisses but I wanted something else. And on the way home I stopped and picked up a small (thank god) bag of malted milk eggs covered first in chocolate and than that delectable candy coating that is so sweet that it will rot your teeth. And I’ve eaten more than half the bag.

Fortunately I’ve stopped. They’re not that good and I’ve gotten my craving satisfied. I confess that there is also a bag of Starburst jellybeans in my “go to the office” bag. Do I need them? No. Will I eat them all? No. Will I enjoy them? Yeah, maybe. At first, anyway.

The thing is, the first bite is the best taste. It doesn’t get better as I keep eating them. So having five jellybeans, while somewhat inconceivable, would give me the bright burst of flavor (and sugar). I don’t have to eat the entire bag to get that. And I bet that if I put the rest in a little bowl out in a public area, others will eat them and I won’t be tempted.

Easter isn’t about jellybeans or chocolate bunnies or plastic grass stuffed into little baskets or dyed eggs or pastel colored stuffed animals. It’s about the resurrection of Christ, and all that other stuff is just decoration.

Let’s Get Real

Wakeup ButtonWhen I eat too much and exercise too little, the inevitable results will be weight gain. With a few rare exceptions, that’s what’s been happening to me since I moved in June. As of tonight’s weigh in, I’m higher than I’ve been in a long, long time. Something about recracking a particular ‘decade’ number made me wake up and pay attention.

I haven’t been working hard at weight loss or taking it very seriously and it shows. I’ve let the portions get sloppy, my food choices become unbalanced, and my exercise practically disappeared. What did I think would happen? That I had some invincibility and could eat whatever I want and have it not show up attached to my hips with superglue?

I was actually pretty shocked tonight when I got on the WW scale because the scale at home, which usually at least lets me have a heads up on the official weigh in, didn’t indicate that this was coming. I stayed for my meeting and we talked about winning outcomes. Specifically, how to manage to get through December and reach January having achieved the outcome we want – whatever it is.

I have no illusions that I will lose weight between now and New Years. My real goal is to lose one pound and break back through this unhappy place where I find myself. Frankly, staying basically in one place will be an accomplishment.

Losing weight takes a lot of energy and I haven’t put much into my process since I moved. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important; I do, and I know that I would both feel and look better with even 10% of my current weight gone. But I haven’t cared enough about it to do the work that’s felt more like punishment at a time when I was already scrambling to learn a new place and establish a new life.

I’m not giving myself permission to be lax. Being “kind of on program” shows me that just letting go completely would mean regaining it all, as I’ve done before. I just can’t go there again. I’d rather stay fat but smaller than risk gaining it all back and then some, which is my usual pattern.

For now I’m holding on by the skin of my teeth. I’ve planned my food for tomorrow and will try to get in some extra walking, though my knee gets very unhappy when I do that. I haven’t been to water aerobics in six weeks “because the water was too cold” which is a pretty stupid reason, although the water really was freezing. I don’t promise that I will go to class tomorrow but I will be back at the pool within the next two weeks because the water exercises were the only things that helped without pain.

A Gain, a Flat, and a Kitty

TessieAs of today, I’ve gained 16 lbs since moving to Connecticut from Boston. I am not amused and I’m not surprised. I’ve been eating a little extra here and there, exercising less, and using food for comfort. My goal for the next two months is to stay the same. Losing more would be nice but I’m not expecting or counting on it. I might as well be realistic, given my past history.

That’s the bad news. Well, okay, there’s more. I came out of the house to leave to work this morning and discovered a pancake-flat tire on the car. It could have happened yesterday on the busy interstate highway as I came home with the kitty, so this was better if it had to happen at all. I momentarily considered trying to change the tire myself, then wised up and called AAA. Good thing, coz the spare was flat, too. I’ve had the car for 8 years and never used it or even checked it which was pretty stupid. One lesson learned.

Grace comes in unexpected place, such as the waiting area at the tire store, where I met a wonderful 80-year old lady with a refreshing view of life and her place in it. I very much enjoyed spending an hour with her and heading in late seemed like less of a hassle.

My other bit of grace is my beautiful new kitty, Tessie. She was not happy to be in a moving carrier and meowed the whole hour we were on the road. Once here, though, and out of her carrier, she busily explored and ate her supper before lolling around on the carpet.

Last night she was not very happy that I had on a CPAP mask and hose because she wanted to be right on my face. She meowed a lot and I can’t say that I got solid sleep, but she was a happy interruption. Tessie seems to be settling in well and will not be happy to go to the vet on Saturday for her well-kitty checkup. I, on the other hand, will be happy to have someone clip her claws so they don’t keep snagging on everything I wear.

Overeating Member of Red Sox Nation

Red Sox LogoRight now I wish I was back in Boston. Back in the heart of Red Sox Nation, to celebrate with a whole city and state full of excited happy people, dancing in the streets over last night’s World Series win.

Instead, I’m here in Connecticut. There are Red Sox people here, too, of course, but we’re dangerously close to Yankee territory and we’re definitely outnumbered. Larry Lucchino said three years ago that we were the point of the sword deep into Yankee territory – but we were still part of Red Sox Nation. Last night was a late night and when the game was over, everyone was too excited and happy to sleep. That’s not a good plan when we have a whole work week ahead.

I’m trying not to think about all the food I’ve consumed in the last three days. Everything not nailed down that had sugar and fat managed to find their way into my mouth – cookies, Halloween candy, ice cream. I didn’t journal, I didn’t drink my water (well, some but not all), I didn’t get enough veggies or fruit. I was totally out of control.

It didn’t help and probably was exacerbated by the fact that I was home doing as little as possible. I felt totally drained and mindless, without energy for doing much of anything. Those days don’t come often but when they do, I just need to recharge. Usually I can do it without stuffing my face the whole day. I’m not really sure why this time it was bad, perhaps because I’d forced myself not to snack while my parents were here and it blew out in bad ways.

I know that I’ll be up at the scale on Wednesday and I really don’t care. Actions have consequences and when I eat more of the things outside the program, I gain weight. That’s actually a cautionary truth, a hard reality that I see with my eyes as much as I feel it in the tightness of my pants.

Tomorrow is Tuesday and I’m going to water aerobics after playing hooky for two weeks. I need the workout and hope the water isn’t freezing. My new car heating pad is here and I’ll give it a whirl out in the parking lot before class.

Feeling Balanced and Appreciated

I’ve been foiled in my plan to finish assembling the desk. One of the parts is damaged, cracked along the curve of the molding that sits front and center. It’s not a big piece but I spent big bucks on the desk and plan to keep it for a good long time, so I was annoyed to find the damage.

I anticipated having to fight with someone to get the piece replaced but was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Sauder people have an online form to order replacement parts for any of their do-it-yourself furniture. Hmmmm, perhaps this is an indication of the general quality, if they’ve made it so easy. But they didn’t charge me anything for it and I didn’t have to argue with a real person, just fill out a form and, like magic, a replacement Molding T piece will arrive. In the meantime, my guest room looks like a desk graveyard with half-assembled bits waiting for me to complete Step 7.

Hillhouse AvenueIn other news, work is going well. I had yet another orientation today, this time to the university library system, which has over 600 employees. I was struck today, even more so than at the general university orientation, how glad they were to have us as new employees. We heard several times that we were chosen for these positions because of our experience, skills and talents. It wasn’t just that we chose Yale; Yale chose us. Chose me. Wow.

Much is expected of us but they don’t hire people and then drop them into a black hole and let us find our way out. There’s an elaborate support system for continuing professional growth but they also emphasize work/life balance, wanting us to be whole people. I have to say this is pretty refreshing, as I don’t remember ever really hearing this from my previous employer.

I’ve been leaving the office at 5:00 since I got here, which is also refreshing. I’d let my hours get completely out of hand, staying until 6 or 7 or sometimes even 8pm, which only made me tired, cranky and stressed out. It didn’t make me more productive. Now I’m leaving on time to catch a bus to the parking garage, or maybe walk over with other people also ending the day at a reasonable time.

While I’m there, I’ve been digging into a backlog of problems and unsolved mysteries. I’ve always loved doing this kind of thing; it’s so satisfying to pull a small thread, discover the tangle, and track it through to completion. I mixed a bunch of metaphors there but you get my drift. When I leave at the end of the day, it’s with a sense of accomplishment, not stress. This has been a good change.

Food is another matter. It’s not that I have no idea what I’m eating – I do. I’m eating things that are healthy and sensible, followed by a bunch of stuff that isn’t. Goofy foodBut I can’t seem to do all one or the other. Eating only junk food, sugar and bread and oily things that used to be the staples of my diet, just isn’t happening anymore. Not only can my brain not allow my stomach to go there, my stomach doesn’t want to go either.

Eating only healthy things that are good for me starts out as a well-intentioned plan that falls apart for lack of interest. What I need to do is push through it whether I’m interested or not but today I just can’t do it, don’t want to do it, and am not beating myself up for failing. While I’m not always making good choices, I’m aware of the choices I’m making. I’m walking more and enjoying it (as long as it’s not beastly hot), and this is itself an improvement.

I’m content today with the choices I made. Now if I only had my replacement part, I could finish up my desk.