A happy indication of true change.

Scrabble with my Dad and sisters. Note the absence of junk food on the table. 🙂

Hello blog buddies. It has been about three weeks since my last post. Sounds like I’m making a confession! Rest assured, the absence of blog posts does not indicate a lack in my commitment to keep pressing forward on this journey.

Sick no more
Like most of you, life is just crazy busy. I had a third bout of the cold/flu after writing my last post. I finally went to the doctor when my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t swallow. My eyes turned pink and a bunch of gunky nasty stuff started oozing out. Sorry to be gross, but it seriously freaked me out. Went to the doc the next day and he prescribed eye drops and a five day course of antibiotics. He advised OTC pain meds for my throat such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Who’da thunk you need pain meds for a silly cold (other than for sinus headache, which I didn’t have)? He said the virus was causing the nastiness in my eyes. About a day later, my eyes cleared. About three days later, I was feeling pretty groovy. Now I’m back to 100% health. Oh, it feels good to feel good.

A happy indication of true change in traditional family eating habits
I visited my family in Oregon last weekend. It was a surprise trip – my sister “R” needed some help on an important project: Her mother-in-law passed away in early December, and her husband requested my graphic design skills to help put a memorial slideshow together. She and her husband’s family flew me the thousand miles up north to finalize the project for the memorial gathering that took place yesterday. (R let me know that everyone loved the show. It’s such a great feeling to help a family in this way as they both grieve the loss and celebrate the life of their Mom.)

My thinking, headed up to Oregon, is – don’t worry about the diet this weekend. I’ll be with family. We like to eat when we all get together; all moderation is usually thrown out the window. We like our popcorn, M&M’s, red and black licorice, chocolate, etc.

R and I stayed at our sister T’s house to work on the project; our fourth sister wasn’t able to join us. T and her husband are very conscious about taking care of themselves, so there was no junk food in the house. R started Weight Watchers a couple months ago and she’s making fantastic progress; she’s dropped over 20 lbs. She’s got me seriously considering changing from Lindora to WW. I’m ready for lots more variety and choices so I can stay in this for the long haul.

Perhaps it was because we were so busy all weekend on this project. Perhaps it was the fact that we are all actively working on losing or maintaining our weight. But we did not pig out once. We ate our protein bars when we got hungry between meals. It was funny when we each pulled out our favorite bars and compared labels. T pulled out her nut and dried fruit snacks. She also made us fresh carrot and apple juice using the juice machine that she gave her husband for Christmas. Sweet ambrosia!

SodaStream® Fizz Home Soda Maker. Photo from Brookstone.com

T had also recently purchased a soda maker as she and her husband really like sparkling water. She made us a drink and added just a bit of berry flavoring. It was about 40 calories for 8 oz. So good – it reminded me of those New York Seltzers or Crystal Geysers my Mom used to buy back in the 80s and 90s. T got it at BevMo for about $100. The only maintenance cost is the carbonation canister — it’s about $30 to replace. It comes with four large bottles that maintain carbonation for about four days. She keeps the canisters in the fridge full of water so that when she makes the soda, it’s already cold. I love diet soda. I want one! No cans or bottles to recycle. No lugging sodas from the grocery store to car to house. Less clutter and better for the environment. It’s on my wish list. 🙂

We spent an evening with our Dad and brother playing Scrabble, our traditional family favorite, after eating T’s homemade chili with Ritz crackers. We went to church with Dad the next day, then went out for lunch. T and I split a garden omelet plate at IHOP. That evening for dinner, R and I split a chicken dinner plate. In both cases, splitting provided plenty of food and we were each satisfied but not stuffed.

Bottom line? My sisters and I have acquired much healthier eating habits. I was ready to toss it out the window temporarily for the weekend, but they broke the pattern. Getting together no longer equals a free-for-all when it comes to food. And our time together didn’t suffer; in fact, it was better than ever.

R and I finished the weekend at the airport waiting for my flight by enjoying Coffee People mochas and scones—for lunch. A perfect sweet end to a productive and bonding weekend.

As I flew home, I kept thinking about how good I felt… to have finished a major project, to have no regrets over the food I ate or the words I said, to have just enjoyed my sisters—as well as seeing my Dad and one of my brothers. It’s good to connect with the people you love. Must visit more often. 🙂

Sick of being sick.

“From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
—From “Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” by Bronnie Ware (fantastic article, by the way), reposted at BeyondTheOpposites.com

No, I’m not dying. Thank God. I don’t have a terminal illness. Thank you Lord. There are many people so much worse off than for me. I have only temporarily lost my health.  I shouldn’t complain.

But right now I’m sick of being sick.

I was sick with a cold/flu the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s. Like, in-bed-for-three-days sick. Our third wedding anniversary in the middle of that week was a total bust. I was much improved the first week of January, and my husband and I went out a couple of evenings for dinner and a movie or show. We took in some comedy at the local Improv. One male comedian joked about women who let themselves get fat after they get married. He complained that his wife told him, “If you really loved me, it shouldn’t matter how much weight I gain.” He replied to her, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t get fat!” The men in the audience laughed hysterically while the women were silent. He said, “I know you women out there are pissed off at me right now for saying that, but it’s true. You know it’s true.” I cringed. I’m thankful for my husband all the time. He married me when I was at my heaviest weight.

Sunday night, I was ready to hit my eating plan full throttle for this serious next weight loss push. I prepared my intentional, healthy snacks and lunch that night, then went back to work on Monday. Several of my coworkers had been ill the week before, and some were still out sick. Ugh.

My husband and I had a fantastic workout at the gym on Monday night. Then Tuesday came, along with the all-too-familiar cruddy feeling: burning eyes, sore throat, headache, body aches.  I went to bed Tuesday night at 7:30pm, didn’t get up until 8:30am the next day and emailed-in sick.  Then went back to bed until 1pm. How many hours of sleep is that? Like 16? Sheesh.

Back to work Thursday and Friday. I ate normally, which means stuff like turkey sandwiches and shredded beef tacos. I’m feeling better, but now I have a hacking cough which, experience tells me, will last for weeks. Drives my poor husband nuts.

It’s just so frustrating. Starting is hard. Getting into the mindset is hard. Then a ginormous wrench gets thrown in.

Trying to figure out why I relapsed. My husband thinks I started too hard and fast on the food and exercise after being sick.  That along with one really bad night of sleep on Sunday apparently created the perfect storm.

And now I’ve gotten my husband sick. Eegads.

I’m trying not to fret too much about losing my flow. The amazing feeling I had throughout the fall as I dropped the weight. I want that feeling back. That focus. That commitment. That excitement. That hope. Right now I just want to feel better, which sometimes means having a chocolate chip cookie.

Doesn’t help that I’m PMS-ing, a time when my personal reality is completely altered.

My inner critic is saying, “You can’t stick with anything for long. You always quit after a few months.” Shut. Up.

Well, one hopeful sign of permanent change is that we miss the gym. We can’t wait to get back to the gym. It’ll still be there tomorrow.

I miss my health. I want it back.

A Christmas cold, thoughts on John Forsythe, and taking action in 2012!

Bachelor Father TV Show 1957-1962

I spent the final week of 2011 sick, laying in bed or sprawled on the couch, loaded up on Nyquil or Dayquil. Started feeling crummy on Christmas Day. There’s nothing like being having a super nasty cold/flu combo to make me appreciate my health. Thank you, Lord. Exercise and eating right staved off my annual fall cold, but the bug finally caught me.

So… I just don’t feel like analyzing the year that has just passed. I don’t feel like making any hollow New Year’s resolutions.  Just want to keep on, keeping on…

I discovered Antenna TV during my sick sojourn on the sofa. I especially liked Bachelor Father, a sitcom that aired from 1957 to 1962, about a man named Bentley Gregg who adopts his teenage niece after her parents are killed in a car accident. It’s like a super clean, totally unpolitically correct version of Two and a Half Men. John Forsythe plays the uncle. What a voice! And he’s such a smokin’ hot studmuffin! It’s fun just looking at and listening to him. He had a long TV career, including major roles in Charlie’s Angels and Dynasty. He died in 2010 at age 92.

During one episode, Bentley’s 13-year-old niece wants to go out on her first date. Bentley discusses this with another father and he laments about “kids these days. They’re growing up so much faster than we did.”  The show aired during the early years of my parents’ long marriage. They’d had four of their seven kids by the time the show ended.  Simpler times back then. More marriages stayed intact, for better or for worse.  Comedy was clean. Sure, women didn’t have the choices they have today; the civil rights movement was just beginning, and yet…  I feel a bit nostalgic for a time in which I never lived.

2012 is upon us now. My 19-year-old nephew can barely sit at a table with us for two minutes before he’s pulling out his smartphone to text or listen to music or play games. He cannot tolerate boredom or silence for any amount of time. Fortunately, his girlfriend takes his phone away from him when they’re together. Smart girl.

As for resolutions… None of those here. Just actions. Actions that will be documented on this blog as I press toward my goal—a journey that I began last July.  Looking forward to reading about your actions too this year! 🙂

Happy New Year!