Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


Saturday Plans go Awry

The good news about today is that when I finally got around to getting dressed, I put on a bathing suit under my clothes, went to the gym, and did 30 minutes of water aerobics for the first time in months.  The bad news is that I ate a whole bag of gingersnaps – not all at once, but still.  TOTALLY mindless eating which I wouldn’t have done if I had not bought the bag in the first place.  The fact that they were reduced fat gingersnaps helps a tiny bit but not much.  The texture and flavor and bite of the ginger that satisfied something I was craving.  I just need to find something that does the same thing in a less self-destructive way.

My plan for the day was to go to an orchard some 20 miles from here, one of those “pick your own fruit” places where I could stock up on peaches and apples and other good stuff from the farm stand.  But the real draw was their sunflower maze:  3 acres of 12-foot sunflower stalks with a maze carved out for walking and getting lost.  They also have a corn maze but it’s the sunflowers that call to me.

I don’t really know if I can walk around a whole 3 acres full of sunflowers but I want to at least see them.  I’m going tomorrow and try to beat the heat and crowds.  There are supposedly viewing stations to look down and see the designs in the mazes as well so I have that option if I just don’t think the knee will hold up for the walking.  After a whole summer of wearing mostly my pink Birk sandals, I’ll dig out the walking shoes and socks so I’m well supported.

My little brain has been sidetracked by Hurricane Gustav which has become a Category 4 storm and is projected to make Cat 5 tomorrow.  My parents told me that in East Texas they are expecting to lose power at some point because of rain and wind damage messing up power lines; this happened to them with Katrina and Rita both.  They’re stocking up on dry ice tomorrow to help keep the cold things cold, and Dad replaced the batteries in flashlights and lanterns.  I worry about my friends in New Orleans and hope they are safe, along with so many whose lives were uprooted or lost in Katrina just three years ago.


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Bingeing on Girl Scout Cookies

SamoasGirl Scout cookies don’t solve everything but they certainly do taste good.

I’d successfully evaded the sprouts, instead making a contribution to one colleague’s daughter’s troop to purchase cookies for a homeless shelter. But this morning they got me outside the grocery store. They were cheerful and bright-eyed, adorned in colorful sashes covered with those little badges of accomplishment. There must be one for cookie sales, too, though I think a lot of parents would be earning those instead.

We had a lively chat about what was their current best seller and what each of them liked as a favorite, and I ended up buying a box of Samoas, loaded with coconut and chocolate and fat and goodness, giving them a $10 bill with the rest to go to the support the troop. The girls were thrilled and I had the box opened before I left the parking lot. Of course.

They’re all gone now. Not smart, which I knew before I bought them. I also was pretty sure I would end up doing exactly what I did: eat the box during the afternoon, picking away. There were only 15 cookies, I think, not tons and tons the way there are with those delicious Thin Mints. It was, however, still 15 cookies more than I usually eat in a week much less a day.

Now I’m feeling stuffed with an upset tummy. The cookies led to other things which didn’t include the fresh crisp apples in the bottom of the fridge. I did manage to have some protein in there somewhere but the whole day was out of whack. I’ve now brushed my teeth, put on a robe, and am sitting here with a liter bottle of water. It won’t make up for the cookie binge but at least it’s something to hold on to.


Girl Scout Cookies for the Troops

I mentioned on Vickie’s blog that one of the options for dealing with girl scout cookie mania is to buy some to be sent to US troops overseas. She asked me for more information. Here’s what I learned from my supplier, er colleague who is selling them for his daughter:

Different girl scout councils, which are comprised of multiple troops in a particular region, can decide on charitable options for those who want to support the girl scouts but cannot or choose not to bring cookies home. One very popular national option is cookies for troops, but there’s usually a local community service choice, too. His daughter’s troop chose the armed forces and a local homeless children’s shelter.

Buyers who want to support those options give their order for cookies and pay their money to the girl scout (or her parent, whoever hit you up in the first place). Cookies for overseas are sent centrally by the council rather than the individual troops, since it’s more economical and eases logistics. I think the local community service cookie donations for each troop are handled by the troop itself.

Here’s some info from the Girl Scout Cookie FAQ:

Q: Can Girl Scouts donate cookies to military personnel serving overseas?

A: Girl Scouts of the USA will be following the guidelines (see below) issued by the United States Department of Defense (DoD). We are keenly aware and supportive of the widespread desire to show support for our troops overseas. Towards this end, we provide alternate ways to show support, such as helping out the families of service members within their own communities.

In addition, many Girl Scout councils with military bases or establishments in their immediate area have made arrangements with the local military personnel to arrange for the proper shipment of cookies.

Note: For Girl Scout purposes, “gifts” include donations of Girl Scout Cookies.

Gifts for Deployed Personnel: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
The DoD has requested that the public not send unsolicited mail, care packages, or donations to service members unless they are family members or personal friends. Such donations overload the DoD transportation and distribution systems and may pose a security threat to deployed personnel.

So it sounds as though this is possible in some areas and not others. If you’re interested, check with a local troop leader to see if they are participating in any sort of cookie donation program, whether for overseas troops or to fill local needs.

It’s been many moons since I did the door-to-door cookie pre-sale thing, all spiffy in my green uniform. In the old days I walked for blocks and blocks in every direction, knocking on doors and telling strangers how wonderful the peanut butter Gauchos and Thin Mints were, and why they should buy boxes and boxes from me. My mom was the cookie chairman for a couple of years and our basement was crammed with boxes and boxes of cookies. I think my dad secretly hoped some people would poop out and leave us with extra thin mints. Didn’t happen, Mom was too organized.

I want to support the local girls and am happy to be able to buy cookies without worrying about the temptation of having them in the house. While I could also simply make a donation to support the troop, why not use the same money to buy cookies that will brighten someone else’s day?

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Eating the Week Before Christmas

Elf with Candy CaneIt’s a week before Christmas and food is everywhere. Bowls of brightly wrapped Lindt truffles and almond rocca bars. Metal tins of cookies with nuts, powdered sugar, rich spices and shortbread. Boxes of Belgian and Sees chocolates. One box of clementines which doesn’t begin to balance out the rest. And this is all just in my department in the last week.

We had the library holiday party today with trays of lasagna, empanadas, latkas, and salad, with a table of desserts. Musical entertainment was courtesy of Habeas Chorus, a law school singing group. But the main focus was food. There’s another party tomorrow, this time the campus-wide library party. And another one on Friday with a law school staff lunch.

Oh yeah, and we go out for an Indian buffet lunch on Thursday to hear about our colleagues’ trip to Mumbai for a conference. It’s topical and I’m sure it will be tasty but it’s just more food.

It will be a relief to get to the weekend. For me, the parties will be over. I’m not going away or even out for Christmas dinner and can pretty much control what I have in the house so it includes something beyond the Sugar and Chocolate food groups. Not that there’s anything wrong with them. But too much of a good thing is still too much.

I have my WW weigh in tomorrow and it’s not going to be pretty. I’ve managed to be reasonable about at least one meal a day but other than that have been grazing and eating comfort food. Though actually when I look at it, it could have been more out of control. Carrot cake pancakes at IHOP still had sugar free syrup. Only a small meatball sub and not a whole one. Slow churned peppermint ice cream instead of the full stuff. Lots of water. Light popcorn. Reduced fat cookies.

I have learned some things and I refuse to binge the way I used to. It’s too much physically and emotionally and I’m happy to see and know that I really have moved forward even though sometimes it just feels as though I’m in a spiral.

Losing weight this month is not a goal, an expectation, or practical reality. It’s not gonna happen and I don’t care; that isn’t the “winning outcome” I decided for myself. This particular week is the worst for me in terms of situational temptation and as soon as it’s over, I will get back to my regular routine with a sense of relief. Part of that will be going to WW the day after Christmas to get the week behind me and starting fresh.

I love that about my weekly weigh in. Oh, I don’t always like the number on the scale but I go and get on the scale anyway. Staying away in paralyzing fear of what it will show doesn’t help me change my eating patterns as much as just hopping on and off, and starting fresh the next day. The scale gives me a number, feedback not judgment, and I really can just move on. It’s taken me a long time to get here but it’s a healthy place to be. Even the week before Christmas.