Monday, March 19, 2018

Shake Shake Shake


Just got back from a glorious (endless) hour with Fit-Bit, and every muscle I own is quivering. I am a limp shaky noodle.

I am also a wet noodle.

ALERT FOR THE SQUEAMISH AND EASILY GROSSED OUT: Don't read the next paragraph. After that, it's all daintiness and light, I promise!

Fit-Bit made us do jumping jacks, and after 55 years, 300 pounds, and 2 whole children, I no longer have a pelvic floor. Or any bladder control. You say "Jump!", I hear, "Pee!", apparently. And I told Fit-Bit what she was doing to me as I jumped and peed, jumped and peed, and she just laughed because she is 19 and her pelvic floor is made of steel. (She's actually in her 30s, which is astonishing. She truly looks 19. Very motivating in its way, except that ship has LONG sailed for me.) I shoved a handful of paper towels in my crotch and did the rest of my workout in wet pants. But these are the days of miracles and wonder, and I will simply add Poise to my workout attire. All will be well. And dry.


I had the loveliest nine days in California with my mother, despite our constant bickering (we are the worst) and lots of "aromas" (I'm at the point where I find the scent of aroma-covering-products almost as revolting as the original aroma), and I did work out a little but not as much as I wanted to. And I think I gained five pounds, since almost every meal in)volved cheese enchiladas and tequila. (Oh! so good!!

But it's time to get back on the wagon or back on track or back to business or whatever. I'm back!

My goal is to break a sweat every day this week, and I really, really want to go to the zumba class at my gym tomorrow night at 7. It's on my calendar, and I'm telling you all — maybe this will be enough to get me to go. I'm sure it will be too hard for me and I'll be very intimidated — but I must break the ice somehow, and if not now, when?

One of my Broadway-singing pallies takes this class sometimes; maybe I'll e-mail her and see if she's going. Another motivator!

Short-ish post today; I have a ton of editing work to do and any number of other chores. Tonight I'm making chicken tacos for dinner and then taking a hot bath, and I know my weight will be down a little tomorrow. It will be a Xanadu weight, but still very motivating.

Oh! In other "shake" news, my darling niece Stacy Sparkle sent me some packets of protein shake powder as a thank-you prize for participating in her ab challenge. I am not generally a fan of smoothies and the like — I'd rather chew — but the recipe she enclosed sounds yummy, and it's always nice to get a prize! She also gave me two protein bars, which look very tasty. I'm very willing to try something new.

And today I showed Fit-Bit my ab routine, the one Stacy taught me, and she was very impressed! Which was cool. Very little I do impresses my trainer, let me tell you.

In other news, Mimosa applied for two jobs last week, and either one would be an awesomely cool thing for her. If you wouldn't mind sending a prayer or a good thought in her direction, I would appreciate it mightily.

Quiver quiver shake shake. I am old. But it's a good feeling.

Lady C

Monday, March 5, 2018

Apparently I Need a Challenge

Nice restaurant, did you poison me?????
Friday was my last official day of the Whole Life Challenge, and I intended to be Compliant for the most part, though I also planned to be "open" to the idea of multiple cocktails at lunch with my dearest Mrs. Cynicletary. And I did in fact have one cocktail and one glass of wine, but my entree, a salmon and black rice bowl, was completely Compliant! We eschewed dessert and instead had coffee, and I felt quite smug and ahead of the game.

And then I promptly got so so so sick, I barely left the bathroom for the rest of the day. Since then, I've been up and down — wonky on Saturday, so I treaded lightly, then on Sunday I felt fine and celebrated THE OSCARS with, oh my, an entire bottle of champagne —


(I was making champagne cocktails! in a wineglass! and, it turns out, three nice-size cocktails can empty a whole bottle of champagne)

— and today I'm back to wonky-ness and many bathroom visits, including at the gym. (Fit-Bit was kind and understanding, but she still made me run laps on the turf and push the heavy thing, she said I wasn't sweating enough.)

I know that not feeling well hampered my healthy instincts, for sure, but this must be said: I did not exercise Friday–Sunday, nor did I stretch, nor did I drink as much water as I've been drinking. And last night, because of THE OSCARS and then getting up at dawn to drive Li'l Martini, I slept for about five minutes.

Healthy living has kinda gone down the tubes, in other words.

So, okay, I had a blow-out weekend, but I don't want to lose all the progress I've made. I'm planning to eat as lightly as possible and to work out every day for the next week.

Which will only be slightly challenged by the fact that I'll be in California, visiting my elderly mother . . . !
No, it'll be good. She belongs to a gym and will get me a guest pass. She also lives in a lovely senior center that is encircled by a path for walking, and my aunties will be there when I arrive, and they love to take long walks in Bidwell Park.

The eating . . . well, Mom eats like a bird; perhaps I'll model myself after her. We can share a lot of entrees. It helps that our food tastes are very similar.

Okay. I've been waiting for my applesauce to cook, but it smells ready and now I really need to pack. Ugh ugh ugh, I hate packing more than almost anything in the world. Fortunately, I've gotten good at it and can get it done fast. But I still hate it.

Tonight's supper: my perfect chicken, Grandma's Rice Dish (which I'm making with a brown rice mix I got at Trader Joe's — very excited to see how it turns out), green salad with optional avocado, and the aforementioned homemade cardomom applesauce. YUM.

Man, I'm tired. I am so looking forward to an hour from now, when I'm all packed and can put my feet up and drink hot mint tea and maybe finish Jenna Fischer's excellent book, which I've been carrying around for, like, eight days. New cat to settle in, math book to finish editing, an eBay dispute to resolve, friend drama to deal with, tax documents to get ready, passports to renew, Pacific Northwest trip in May to plan, and so on and so on. Busy girl.

So ready for a break!!!! I hope I get one.

Lady C

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I Get So Emotional, Baby


Ah, crazy times 'round these parts. My daughter is sad (see below), we're about to adopt a cat (see below), my to-do list is giving me agita . . . yada yada yada. I'm exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep — known stress-busters!! ha — but I still cried 17 times yesterday. I guess I'll blame menopause.
We meet her tonight . . . very excited!!!
I'm almost done editing this math book, huzzah! I love doing my final read. That's when I really get a sense of the quality of the book itself, and this one — on using children's literature in math lessons — is very interesting and right up my alley. I should finish this part (there's still a whole other big piece to do, a database, but it can wait) today or tomorrow. Such a good feeling!! And also: a big check is coming!! Such a good feeling!

It's the last week of the Whole Life Challenge, and I must say: my motivation is slipping. I'm not going to "win" (which wasn't the point anyway), and I've done very well for five weeks — for God's sake, can't I have some cheese????? But apparently my actual challenge this week is to bolster my flagging resolve. I'm giving myself stern talking-tos, let's see if that does the trick. I can be very stern! Just ask Husband.

This Challenge has been an interesting experience, for sure. Last night I had a margarita, and it felt too "heavy" and sweet to me. After 5+ weeks of significantly less sugar, which was never my big craving anyway, have I completely lost my taste for it?

Mimosa and I were a tiny bit late to our workout with Fit-Bit yesterday . . . and I felt like I needed "more," so when we got home I did 20 crunches, 20 obliques, and 20 leg lifts. Who have I become???? (but I didn't stretch last night — I took a long bath and honestly forgot; by the time I remembered, I had the covers pulled up and my nails were wet. Too late!)

Speaking of my nails: I am doing astonishingly well at not "picking," but the skin around most of my fingernails is still pink and puffy. My thumbs and forefingers are the worst, my ring fingers and pinkies are the best.
My actual hand! Ugh. See what I mean?
Maybe looking at my pretty pinkies will motivate me. I know I have a chronic infection in my cuticles; who knows how long it will take to get back to normal. Which is frustrating!! I'm working hard, I want results, dammit!! Grr arggh.

My daughter has been blue and that makes me blue. I think she is deathly afraid that this is her life forever: working at a minimum-wage crappy job and living at home. It has always been a challenge for her to put things in perspective, "act as if," and keep a good attitude; instead, she (in my opinion) chooses to wallow in her own personal cloud of misery. I am sad for her but also getting irritated. If you don't like your life, change it. I realize this is easier for me — a grown woman with confidence and resources — to say and do, but still. I refuse to attend anyone's pity party.

Then again, she has clinical depression, and it's hard for me to tease apart what is her disease and what is her natural response to a depressing situation. (I imagine it's hard for her too.)

So, we keep on keepin' on, but it is a tough slog right now. I am ready for a vacation.

However, what I'm getting is a family oblication, as my yearly visit with my mother has morphed into including every aunt and uncle I have!! I love my aunts and uncles, but oh my. My dad's sisters will be there when I arrive and will stay for three days, then we're off to visit Mom's siblings. Good times!

I do get Mom all to myself for four days, though she has also packed our days with lunch and dinner dates with all her pallies, whom I barely know. But she loves to show off her sparkly kids, I will handle this with good grace.

(See that, Mimosa? THAT is how you handle a challenging situation! I am such an inspiring model, if people would only pay attention.) 😌

Despite my flagging enthusiasm for challenging myself, I'm still "on the program" (mutter, mutter) and have lost more weight. (Woo.) This morning I got one of those awesome Xanadu weights (the result of a light dinner and a long hot bath), telling me I've lost 20 pounds! I think this is not accurate, but I have definitely increased my muscle mass, so I know I'm burning calories more efficiently.

For dinner last night I sauteed a bunch of vegetables and then added eggs, and we had sausage and a sliced melon. Husband and kids also had toast, which I eschewed. In the past I would have added cheese to the eggs, but I didn't last night and no one seemed to miss it. And that was a delicious and satisfying dinner with no cheese and no flour! (for me) Even after the Challenge (which ends FRIDAY, did I mention that?), I think I will be more mindful about what goes into our meals. It has indeed been an interesting and eye-opening experience.

But by far the best thing has been the discovery of BOWLS and that my family will eat brown rice! and that brown rice cooks in the rice cooker just as quickly and easily as white rice!!! This is a game-changer, I think.

OK — I need to get back to the math book. It looks sunny outside, maybe I'll take a walk later. Then again, it can be sunny and below freezing, Massachusetts is bewitching that way. Que sera sera.

Lady C

Friday, February 23, 2018

If I Wind Up Dead, Here's the Prime Suspect [Updated, because I'm a moron who can't read a calendar]]


I'm pretty sure that Fit-Bit is trying to kill me. Here's what she made us do today:
  • Treadmill warmup, with increasing speed and incline
  • Bicep and tricep curls with free weights — HEAVY free weights
  • Shoulder presses
  • Sit-ups with a heavy ball
  • A twist-and-lift exercise with a ball, for obliques
  • Pushing the heavy sled thingy
  • Stretching and kicking
  • Punching a bag, three intervals
  • Bike riding
. . . and maybe some other things I'm forgetting.

Every muscle I have is SO TIRED. Alleve is my new best friend.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, closeup and indoorImage may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, closeup and indoor

But the Strong Abs Arising gals have pushed me to challenge myself still further:  Every time I visit the bathroom today (which is CONSTANTLY, given all this freaking water), I am to do 5 calf raises and 20 (wall) pushups. I will try to do this, though I've already been to the bathroom 40 times today and only remembered once. I guess that's why they call it a CHALLENGE.

Also, I think I mentioned once too often the blowout meal I'm planning after the Whole Life Challenge is over, and Writer Jenny is cautioning me not to backslide. She says that my attitude of "We'll see what sticks" (in terms of Challenge practices) will doom me; I need to make a plan, intentionally keeping what I like and discarding what I don't (adios, ban on cheese!!!!). As much as I hate to admit when I'm wrong, I think she is right. I will give some thought to which practices are working for me.

(Why do I keep making friends who want to kill me???)

In other news, I'm sending much love to my longtime BF Lady Darcy, who turns the rosy age of 56 tomorrow! She and I generally prefer the even-year ages; I hope tomorrow is the first of 365 wonderful days.

Back to editing. And peeing. And trying to remember to raise my calves. And making love to the Alleve bottle.

Two more days of Strong Abs. Eight more days of Whole Life. And then — freedom! And CHEESE.

Lady C

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Road to Fitness Is Freaking Long and Often Boring

Seems like there's a certain sameness to my posts lately — another day, another set of hurty exercises, another ocean of water to drink, another way to dream up three meals that don't include flour. Yada yada yada.

Today I'm challenging myself to write about something — anything! — a little different. Here goes:
  • After years of eschewing Facebook, I finally activated my dormant profile and am finding it kinda useful and kinda entertaining. It's also kind of a pain. I still prefer e-mail — and small dinner parties! (in terms of keeping connected with people) I'm only "friending" my immediate family, and I'm not telling it anything about me. Good God, I do not want people from high school and college looking me up!! Am I weird? Probably. 
I tagged Husband in a picture, and suddenly all these people from his world were commenting on my page! Ew ew ew, I hated it. (Am I weird? Probably.)
  • I have lost 15 pounds since December 31!!!!
  • Last weekend we cleaned the basement, and I found a stack of exercises I've torn out of magazines over the years. Some looked interesting, so for today's workout I tried them all on my living room rug while watching that new Ann Curry show We'll Meet Again (I like it, but it is sloooooow — maybe not the peppiest thing to watch while working out). One exercise claimed to work my triceps (the one pictured in the middle), but as I did it I kept thinking, I do not feel anything in my triceps. And now here I am, several hours later, and oh baby are my triceps sore and tired! What a funny exercise.
  • As noted, I will have to work like a crazygirl for the next two weeks to get this book done — but today I breezed through Chapter 7, the penultimate chapter, and Chapter 8 looks to be in pretty good shape too. I need to ask the authors a few questions, then tackle a huge annotated database, and then do my final read. Can I do it? Yes, I can! Maybe. I will surely try.
  • I'd love to be done-done by next Friday, when I'm having coffee with Kind Tina and then lunch and pedicures with the abundantly coiffed Mrs. Cynicletary!!!! She gave me permission to share these photos from our hot hot chemo date:
Look at that glorious head of hair!! She is a freaking miracle.
  • I was looking at my stack of library books and feeling not inclined to read any of them, even though they each sounded really interesting when I requested them — and I decided to just return them, unread, not even the usual 50 pages I give any new book. And I feel so much lighter! Now I have only one library book, and I am loving it and dying to read it. And that is how it should be. Though Li'l Martini is heading out right now to pick up another book for me (and to return the unloved). He's also getting some more contact lenses, which he got fitted for this week; he wants to be able to be onstage without having to wear glasses. An admirable goal. I also got contacts at 17, and it was a game-changer; I was quite adorable my senior year of high school.
OK, that is all I can think of. I'd planned to make another salmon bowl for dinner, but I think I'm going to work work work instead, and we'll acquire dinner from somewhere. Somewhere that has a yummy flour- and cheese-free option for me — hmm, a challenge.

Lady C

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ow. Ow. Ow.

 Today I worked out with Fit-Bit, who pushed me so hard I left little sweat puddles all over Gold's Gym, so gross (I wiped them up). Then I came home and worked, made a yummy broccoli soup for dinner with carrots and leeks (the kids also had bread and cheese with it, but I had a lovely fruit salad with a dollop of fat-free vanilla yogurt — I'm clean, baby, clean), and did the dishes. I've had five of my six glasses of water and I've done my stretching, am I not golden for today?

Ha. I keep hearing "Challenge!" in my head, chanted by my adorable niece, and so I pushed myself to do more ab exercises: 10 leg lifts, 10 oblique crunches on each side, and 20 flutter kicks.
Ow. Ow. Ow.

This is more ab work than I've done since . . . I dunno, since my Jane Fonda days back in the '80s maybe? I usually prefer to ignore my abs. Ow, ow. So hurty.

But I am proud of myself, too.

Time for a hot shower and an episode of The Good Wife, I'm too tired and sore to even read.

Lady C

p.s. I just realized that I'm going to California in less than two weeks, and I really need to finish this math book before then. And I still have some Oscar movies to see! Ah, what will win out?? Time will tell. But it'll be all nose to the grindstone for the next few days, punctuated with ab work. I'm livin' the dream, baby!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Clean Living Life


I'm on Week 5 of the Whole Life Challenge (the end is in sight!!! I'm dreaming about my first Non-Compliant blow-out meal, which I've narrowed down to pizza with CHEESE or Mexican food with CHEESE and fried tortilla chips!!!) and Day 2 of the challenge my niece talked me into (titled Strong Abs Arising!).

Day 1 went pretty well. I have successfully resisted picking at my hands for the most part (it helps that this is glove season), though my fingers are still pretty inflamed. It will take a while to get to where I should be. But I did the ab workout yesterday (ow! ow! ow!), ate Compliantly (Greek yogurt, sushi, nuts), and did not drink wine.

Somehow I neglected to record my starting weight for this latest go-round, but I'll get it from Fit-Bit tomorrow. For sure, I've lost 12 pounds — and possibly 15! And my face is definitely thinner, the first place that weight loss really shows on me. I love that.

The ab exercises are KILLERS: 20 crunches, then 20 oblique crunches on each side, then 20 sideways thingies (shown above), where you're propped on your elbow and try to lift your midsection (I can't do those at all), then 20 leg raises and 20 flutter kicks. My flutter kicks were more like sad, desperate little stabs at the air, and I'm not great at the oblique crunches (I know another way to do those, which I'll try tomorrow). Also, the crazy Strong Abs gals are doing this workout every day, but I believe that muscles needs a day to rest and heal, so I will do something different today.

I found an exercise plan where you break up a 30-minute walk with intervals, and if the weather allows I'm going to try it outdoors today:
  • 5 minutes easy pace (warm-up)
  • 5 minutes brisk pace
  • 1 minute of 10 jumping jacks and 20 curb step-ups
  • 5 minutes brisk pace
  • 2 minutes of 20 jumping jacks and 20 step-ups
  • 5 minutes brisk pace
  • 2 minutes of 20 jumping jacks and 20 step-ups
  • 5 minutes easy pace (cool down)
The neighbors may give me some funny looks as I do my jumping jacks, but I have the courage of my convictions! I will smile and wave, all will be well. I think it sounds fun.

And if it's too cold outside, I'll do it on my treadmill (which is a slightly different plan). But outside would be way better.

Today I see my knee surgeon — it's my one-year post-surgery check-up, and I am very excited to bend and flex for him! I think he will give me 100 gold stars, and THAT is a very positive way to start the day.

I'm finally seeing results from all this hard work. It feels so good!!!!

Off to curl my hair and get pretty for my surgeon. Don't judge, I'm a girl.

Lady C