Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 40: Progress!

It seemed like it was going to be another one of those days, where I have lots of little things to do but no pressing deadlines, and I spend my hours puttering. I did get a bunch of things done — bills paid, stain removed from my favorite shirt, finally remembering to see how many frequent flyer miles my husband has racked up (I cheerfully steal everyone else's miles — it's the perk of being The One In Charge), that kind of thing — but while this might lead to a kind of mental fitness and clarity, nothing I'd done was likely to have a physical impact.

And as each day wears on, I grow ever more adept at coming up with excuses for why I can't/shouldn't/won't exercise.

But I had a small brainstorm: I added "exercise" to my calendar of things I must do today. Being the Type A personality I am — well, I simply must do it so I can get the joy of crossing it off.

I did everything else on my list, then trudged down to the treadmill, feeling grumpy and stiff and full of onion soup and otherwise completely un-exercisey.

And then I surprised myself. I set my pace at 2.7 miles per hour, the pace I managed last time, and started off at a brisk clip. The mile increments ticked away . . . faster than I expected. I checked my pace again.

Two point eight! And I was doing it with no trouble!

I walked two miles in 40 minutes, and while I was my usual sweaty stinky mess, I wasn't even that out of breath!!

I really am getting in better shape. It is an amazing thing.

Now I'm debating whether to go to a 10 a.m. zumba class tomorrow or do another two-mile walk. Zumba is funner — but it also involves leaving the house and looking at least semi-presentable. The treadmill is more boring, but my music is WAY better (for me) than the zumba music. (Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" vs. Diana Ross singing "Love Child"? I am firmly in the second camp, thank you very much.)

But in any event, I need a major sweatfest before tackling the trough of guacamole, the flagons of tequila awaiting me in Beverly on Saturday night.

Tonight, we'll have a simple dinner — meatballs, whole-wheat pasta, fresh cranberry beans cooked with olive oil and sage, and green salad — and I will eat lightly, watch Ringer with my daughter, take a hot bubble bath, and finish Mockingjay. A lovely evening! Wish you were here.

Lady C

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 39: The Day That Got Away From Me

I woke up with a terrible migraine, so stayed in bed until the last possible minute; the husband and I were meeting dear friends visiting from Walla Walla, Washington, for lunch (which was lovely; I had chicken and salad and didn't eat the pasta I wasn't particularly hungry for anyway). From there, I took my daughter for her annual check-up, which ended up taking twice as long as it should, for a number of reasons, and then we all got in the car to head to Nashua, N.H., to see the 25th anniversary of Stand By Me, the wonderful movie based on Stephen King's short story "The Body" — except it was bumper-to-bumper traffic and the heavens opened. We were clearly not going to make it Nashua in a timely fashion.

So we crawwwwlllllled our way back to Arlington, checked out Stand By Me from the library, picked up deli sandwiches and mini chocolate doughnuts, and had a lovely family evening in the comforts of our own living room.

Once again, I held myself to six potato chips, though I did eat a mini doughnut. C'est la vie.

Tomorrow I'll get back on the treadmill and eat 25 fruits and vegetables. Today was just weird.

Good night!

—Lady C

p.s. The ending of Stand By Me, as Richard Dreyfuss voice-overs about the River Phoenix character dying and River Phoenix slowly fades away, is just eerie, knowing what's to come for that actor. Gave me serious chills.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 38: Go, Greased Lightning!

(This is just a quickie — I may post more later.)

Last night's zumba class was outstandingly fun and an insane workout, as always, but here was the highlight: One of our routines included Danny Zuko and the T-Bird's choreography for "Greased Lightning" from the seminal coming-of-age classic Grease!

In the midst of all that crunky blunky funk my teacher plays, at last — a song that I not only know but have absorbed as part of my DNA!!!! I could not have been happier.

I had to to relive the moment with Lady Darcy as I drove home. I believe I introduced her to Grease our sophomore year. We watched it on her little TV in "A" dorm and took "The Best Friend Quiz" from Seventeen magazine (which we have taken and re-taken many times over the years, because we are stunted), and between us we've seen the hopelessly devoted Travolta and Newton-John 1,117 times. And I knew that this would be the thing to get my exercise-adverse pal to zumba!

Alas. She is so very far away. And I don't think she'll fly out here just for one zumba routine.


In other news, I am right back on track, weight-wise, which is thrilling, but I'm also nervous because directly preceding Sunday's weigh-in, I'm having An Evening with My Beloved Brunie, which will involve kettles of the world's best guacamole and multiple margaritas.

(Preceding that, I plan to see Contagion; perhaps that will dampen my appetite and cause me to eschew food that other hands have touched? Hmm. Contagion as diet plan. I could be on to something!)

Maybe I'll do my weigh-in on Monday instead.

Or maybe I'll borrow a tip from The Hunger Games and have a ritual purge between courses. (Ew!)

No, this will be a good challenge for me — can I have a fun night out with a friend and enjoy a restaurant meal without obsessing overmuch about my diet? We shall see.

A lovely "free" day stretches out before me — I hope to get some good writing done!

—Lady Chardonnay, Aspiring Authoress

p.s. Got another rejection letter yesterday, though it gave me an odd kind of hope — because I sent these folks my query letter and chapters in April. So I may well hear from some of the other folks I haven't heard from yet, and who knows? Maybe one will be good news. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 37: "What Are You Doing?"

I just got off the phone with Nurse Kathy, who tells me she's joining Weight Watchers on Monday. She apologized for not reading my blog, which is totally cool; I know she's not a computer person. "So how's that going?" she asked. "Pretty well," I said, "it's been 36 days and I've lost about 12 pounds."

"That is excellent!" she said. "What are you doing?"

And that gave me pause. What am I doing? And why is it working?

Well, I'm exercising more. And I've reached the point where I notice when I don't exercise — like yesterday. (Oh, gotta tell you what happened yesterday. But let me finish this thought.)

I'm tracking what I'm eating — mostly. There are many meals I never get around to logging. But I am seriously mindful — not one thing goes in my mouth without some forethought (i.e., Is it protein? Is it fiber? What have I already eaten today?).

But the best tool for me, honestly, is this blog. I've given the URL to, I think, 13 people, but I know they're not all reading it. (Which, again — totally cool! It's a tool for me.) But just the idea that 13 of my nearest and dearest are watching — that carries a lot of weight. I know you're rooting for me. I don't want to let you down. I don't want to let myself down.

Girlfriends, you — along with my husband, children, and parents — are the loves of my life. You mean so much to me. And having you "with" me, even virtually, on this journey is making me stronger. So not eating at restaurants (the other love of my life), not drinking very often (the TRUE love of my life), not snacking, and not eating sweets (True Confessions: Am not a sweet person, this is no sacrifice) hasn't even been that hard. The 13 of you are magic.

So — thank you!

And here's what happened yesterday: I was unable to extricate myself from my computer, for no good reason — didn't have much work, didn't do any writing, I was just a Web-surfing bum, and I didn't exercise or move around at all. So I headed for my special anniversary dinner feeling like a total slug and resolved not to have a movement-free day again, unless there's a compelling reason.

At Macaroni Grill, a truly breathtaking sight awaited us: an empty parking lot!

(Their parking lot is never empty.)

Turns out, the town of Burlington is suffering an outbreak of E. coli in its water (GROSS), which also let out Plan B: Cheesecake Factory, and Plan C: Legal Seafood.

So we went to Bertucci's in Lexington, a perfectly nice restaurant, and I had a perfectly nice meal and a lovely glass of Prosecco . . . but it was a bit of a letdown. You know?

And I knew my weight would be up this morning, no surprise, but I got back on track by doing three hours of strenuous sweaty yard work and eating small healthy meals, and now I'm off to zumba! with my crazy Italian spitfire. Should I confess that I've been unfaithful to her?

Lady C

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 36: Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Today, my beloved and I have been married 18 years. Woo!

We have one of the best "how we fell in love" stories ever, which begins, as so many do, at Boston's Rape Crisis Center. Ha!

He and I both chose to volunteer there for the same reason: We wanted to make some friends. My Boston bestys had a terrible habit of moving away (yes, Maybelline Queen, I'm lookin' at YOU), and he wanted more male friends, and both of us thought this would be a good way to meet cool, like-minded people.

(Ironically, while he met many wonderful men, two of whom were in our wedding, I hated all the women there. But, hey! I found a husband.)

In the meantime, though, I'd become sure that I was never getting married, that Restaurant Owner was not the man for me after all, that I was going to die alone and single — and, if that were the case, I wanted to be back in the bosom of my family, i.e., in California. I'd squared it with my parents and had a plane ticket to California in my pocket . . .

. . . and then the phone rang. It was Mr. Lady C, with a question about a speaking engagement I'd booked for him. But we got to talking about other things, about travel and work and families and what it's like to be far from home (he's a Texas boy) and shoes and ships and sealing wax, and an hour sailed away.

(An hour! And I was at work!)

So I extricated myself but couldn't stop thinking about this guy (who, for all I knew, was married or gay) (or both), and later I left a carefully casual message on his answering machine:

It was great talking with you today, and I'm sorry I had to get off the phone. I thought it might be fun to talk without being interrupted, so, would you want to have dinner or something? Or if that's too much of a commitment for you, we could just have a snack.

(He says he melted when he heard this.)

We made a dinner date, and then I lost my mind in a fit of nerves. I had had literally a million dates at this point in my life; what on earth was I in such a tizzy about? But I finally gave in and went to the restaurant a half hour early, hoping to have a glass of wine and chill and seriously get it together before dining with this guy.

Well, he had the same idea, and there we were, sitting in the bar together. The glass of wine went straight to my head. I grabbed his hand and meant to say something like, "I feel like I'm falling in love with you!" in a completely jokey flirty silly way, but what came out instead was:

"I am already madly in love with you."

And I didn't say it in a joking way at all.

He squeezed my hand and said, "I feel exactly the same way."

I flew home (I still had that plane ticket) to tell my parents that I wasn't returning to the nest after all, I was staying in Boston and getting married. And my poor mom was so torn between "Crap! I almost had her back!" and "Thank GOD my spinster daughter has found someone at last!" (I was 29, people), she hardly knew what to say.

But we got married (duh), and though we've been through the wringer, even separating once for about six months, I think we're all the stronger for it. When we watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. this week, and Julianne was so unhappy and edgy in her marriage, so Is this all there is?, I completely got what she meant — but at the same time, that is so far from where I am now. I can't imagine getting divorced at this point. This is my guy. I think we're in it for life. And that is a nice feeling to have on anniversary day, I must say.

Because we're old, we're celebrating our big day with lots of doctors' appointments. Hee! Seriously. We've already been to therapy, now the mister has two appointments with his sleep study doctors, and then Martini has his 1,099th appointment with the orthodontist. But tonight we'll have a lovely restaurant meal (restaurant!) and I may even drink champagne. I guess I need to earn it with a treadmill session this afternoon, hmm? We'll see how the day goes.

(We're going to Macaroni Grill, land of butter and heroin bread and troughs of pasta, and I've already planned what I'm going to order: salad and a grilled chicken and vegetable skewer, no dessert. That's a yummy and satisfying meal; I'll be fine.)

I wish you all a day of happiness in love, my friends!

Lady C

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 35: A Perfect 10!

Your jaw may drop along with mine:
  • Today's scale reading: 273

I think this is a result of yesterday's Spartan lifestyle, though I ate a foot-long deli sandwich for dinner (I learned, by the way, that roast beef or turkey with mustard, no mayo or cheese, and all the vegetables possible — in my case, onions, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce — is the lowest-calorie option. A whole-wheat roll would've been even better, but my deli doesn't offer that. Anyway — it was delicious!). First I said I'd have no potato chips, then I asked my husband for three, then I asked him for three more, and he was so cute and dear, carefully selecting six of the largest chips for me. A good man.

Anyway, I think my "real" weight (like, what it will be tomorrow) is probably more like 275. But nonetheless — I've officially lost my first 10 pounds!!!!! I'm a happy happy kitten.

—Lady Chardonnay, a mere wisp of a thing

p.s. In my church, we light candles of concern and celebration. Is it shallow to light a candle celebrating my lost 14 pounds?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 34: Walking on Sunshine

I have such a love-hate relationship with my treadmill. I've had it for about 10 years, and believe me, I think it's gone unused for a year or so at a time — and then I go through my periodic spells of, "I have to be healthier," and I take a 30-minute walk (3-minute warm-up, which is usually one song on my iPod; 24 minutes of brisk walking, so I can hit that magic 20 minutes of target heart rate [seven to eight songs], and a 3-minute cool-down [one final song]) a few times before getting tired of it again.

The treadmill is boring. And what I tend to do is fixate on how messy our basement is, which is doubly irritating because I'm the one person in the house who doesn't use it (except for occasional treadmill walking). It's mostly my darling husband's fault, as he is a book hoarder. Seriously. I LOVE books, and we have bookcases in every room of the house but the bathrooms, but he is beyond amassing a personal library; there are stacks on top of stacks all over the basement (and bookcases in front of bookcases in his study), and it is just ridiculous.

But there are always so many things I'm waiting for him to do, and the "out of sight, out of mind" principle is also a factor; i.e., I'm usually more focused on the overgrown lawn than the overgrown book collection. So . . . it continues to grow, like a fungus, and I only fixate on it whilst treadmilling.

However, it's not all "hate." There are definitely times when a hard pounding sweaty walk on the treadmill is exactly what I'm in the mood for, and that was the case today; I felt sluggish and bloaty and ready to get in a cardio groove.

And I did it! I walked a cool two miles at a brisk pace, 2.7 miles per hour, and it was so much easier than the last time I did it! It was still a workout, believe me, I'm a sweat-soaked horror, but never once did I begin doing secret deals with myself for stopping early, or depend overmuch on Jermaine Jackson to sing me home. Today, the Go-Gos were my gym buddies, and we rocked it out. I am so the sixth Go-Go!

Off to a hot bubble bath and gallons of ice water, my perfect no-calorie special treats (plus I've got Catching Fire to read in the tub; I started it this morning, and it is so freaking awesome). Tonight we're having deli sandwiches for dinner (I have to figure out the lowest-calorie option there) and watching Modern Family, and Mimosa and I still have an unwatched episode of Ringer (we loved the pilot) to savor. And I have some yummy fat-free frozen yogurt!! THIS is an awesome Saturday night, my friends.

And tomorrow is weigh-in day! I am optimistic.

—Lady C, sweaty and reeking but in high spirits

p.s. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is Funny, Smart, Fabulous. We laughed, we teared up, we squeezed hands a lot. Highly recommended!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 33: We're Gonna Zoom-Zoom-Zoom-a-ZUMBA!

Points to those who recognize the theme song above ('cause you're OLD like me!).

Last night I went to my "new" zumba class. My old class is taught by a little Italian spitfire; she's the size of a fourth-grader and has no center of gravity, and keeping up with her is my life's work — but I manage to do it, though my class role is chiefly one of comic relief. In any event, I was a little nervous about this new class — would the teacher be even harder? Would everyone by thin and hard-bodied and impossibly limber? Also, it's being taught in the high school gym, and I've never been there.

All in all, a lot of unknowns, which are not my favorite thing.

Also, my hair looked kind of stupid. 

BUT. I got there and immediately saw a much bigger girl in much tighter workout clothes walking in the front door, so I followed her and didn't get lost. (This is huge for me; I have the directional sense of a shrub.) And the gym was full of women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, which was immensely reassuring.

And the teacher! I am so happy! THIS is the creaky geriatric zumba class I've been dreaming of!

Okay, not exactly; it was a great workout, and I was sweat-drenched and stinky at the end — but New Teacher is no Italian spitfire. She was easy to follow and I could totally keep up. And it was so much fun! I am completely loving the zumba!!!

Also, after my week of angsting, today I was down by three pounds. I think much of it may have been the sweat I lost after zumba and my scalding hot Cherry Blossom bubble bath, but still. Very encouraging!!

And today I woke up with a migraine, which is a sure sign that my Special Lady Time is indeed commencing. Oh, how I enjoy being a girl.


On today's docket: Lunch with dearest chum Mrs. Cynicletary, two books waiting for me at the library (Catching Fire and Mockingjay — I shall have a Hunger Games orgy this weekend!!), a possible visit with Kind Tina, some pleasant yard work (still haven't planted my lovely new aster, and my side hedges are out of control), and a hot hot movie date with the husband at our cute local theater, where Crazy Stupid Love is finally playing, and we will hold hands and be all romantical. In short: An outstanding day.

I wish the same to all of you. T.G.I.F.!

—Lady C

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 32: Slow and Steady Makes Me Cranky

Also: I'm an idiot. Two different friends noted that they couldn't leave comments anonymously, and all I could think was, "What on earth are they doing wrong?"

Yeah. Turns out, I need to tell Blogger that anonymous comments are just fine (for my hordes and hordes of shy readers, don'tcha know). Which I now have done. 

Sorry!!! I am a big dopey dope.

I'm also impatient and irritated. I have made vast sweeping changes in my life! Restaurants — they are practically a relic of my past! Fresh produce — it is with me at all times! Nuts, brisk walks, eight hours sleep — I have embraced you! Chardonnay, margaritas, late-night snacking — do you even remember my name?

So why, why???? are the pounds not falling off me? Why has the scale refused to budge since my last weigh-in?

(Oops! I told.)

I am very cross about this.

I also got a note from my OB, who says that my IUD is playing peek-a-boo with all my fibroids (just what a girl wants to hear, right? . . . Fibroids, you say? Sexy. Tell me more!) and it's not worth trying to remove it; that thing is following my uterus to the grave. (Yay?) But in other so happy news, there's a mass on (in?) one of my ovaries; "Probably normal," he says, in his annoyingly upbeat tone of good cheer, "but we'll check it again in November." So I have another full-bladder pee test in my future — double yay!

I'm not actually worried about any of this, but it does add to the general pile of annoyance.

I guess I just have this feeling that I'm really trying hard and making sacrifices, and it's still not enough — that I will actually have to go on more of a starvation diet and devote even more time to even more vigorous (aka hideous) exercise — and then I will have to live like that forever, or I'll just get fat again — and this idea is too horrifying and scary to even contemplate. But I can't help thinking it.

Hmm. Despair . . . grumpiness . . . general pessimism . . . scale stuck on "FAT" . . .

I think I'm due for my period!

Lady C

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 31: What Scares Me

  • Praying mantises
  • Grasshoppers
  • Driving on bridges over water, which will of course lead to:
  • Getting trapped in my car underwater, with or without my children and non-swimming husband
  • Falling
  • Having to choose between my two children, like in Sophie's Choice
  • Holding my arms in any one position for longer than five seconds
That last one may seem random, but I'm really afraid of my shoulders dislocating, which they do relatively easily, and it is excruciating. This weirdo disability has had a profound impact on my life: I can't donate blood any more, I almost came to blows with the second doctor to give me a C-section, I have audibly screamed in many a medical office, etc. etc.

Why am I thinking of this right now? Because I am so afraid of falling that I can't walk downhill when it's remotely slippery without looking like an impaired moron, and this very thing happened just yesterday. But let me back up.

I had Martini's cold all weekend, but (thank you, God!) it wasn't a big deal, just a runny nose and sneezing, no coughing, and coughing's the thing I hate most. (Marilu Henner would say that this is because I've been exercising! Sure, I'll take it.) I didn't eat much, but I also didn't move very much — mostly drank hot tea and watched the first season of Room 222. (I heart Lloyd Haines!)

But Zumba! starts tomorrow, and I knew I couldn't keep up in Zumba! after lying around for a week, so yesterday I forced myself to get moving — namely, a walk down my giant hill to Trader Joe's to get some nuts for my five-a-week servings.

There are two ways up and down my hill: a nearly vertical but quick climb, and a meandering circular route with lots of plateaus, which takes twice as long. I chose steep 'n' quick, not thinking about the fact that it had rained off and on all day. So there I was, mincing my way down the mountain, looking twice as old as I actually am. Also ridiculous. People were jogging past me. 

(One thing I hope will come with being lighter is being less afraid of falling. Right now, my 279 pounds would hit hard if I fell. But maybe 189 pounds would land more lightly, and I'll be less scared? That's my dream, anyway.)

Ascending the mountain was, ironically, much easier than going down, even though I huffed and I puffed, all the way home.

Today I took another walk and did my stretching and 30 wall press-ups, and boy howdy do I stink. But I think I'm ready for Zumba!

Off to the shower. You'd thank me, I promise.

—Lady C

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 30: Random Thoughts

Here's the booty from today's CSA share, plus a few other things I picked up, enjoying my 10 percent members discount (I also got a gorgeous aster plant in the most beautiful shade of antique pink). I love CSA day! Simply walking around Wilson Farms, reveling in fresh vegetables and blooming plants and organic eggs fresh from the chicken, makes me feel healthy and virtuous.

It's also the first squash in my share, two delicatas, my favorite, and a sure sign of fall! Autumn is my favorite season, and I spend the entire month of October with a goony smile on my face.

At this moment, though, I'm sporting a different expression, one approaching grimace: I just consumed 36 ounces of water over a 30-minute period, which I must now refrain from voiding for another 60 minutes so I can have a pelvic ultrasound and play I Spy with this ridiculously coy IUD of mine. I know it's not causing any harm in there, per se, but I still want the darn thing out. I can't wait to see where it's been hiding this whole time; who knew there were so many ways to camouflage oneself inside my uterus?

In other news: Happy birthday to Geologist J, my dear friend, old college buddy, and bridesmaid!

I was thinking about how J and I met and it made me smile, so I'm going to share it here. Of course it involves boys, many boys, though ironically I'm not in touch with a single boy in this story, though the two starring girls are still two of my dearest friends. There's a life lesson here, people.

Anyway. I was a shy, nerdy girl from a small town who didn't have a boyfriend until the summer before college, so the idea of myself as someone attractive to boys was still brand-new and completely intoxicating, and I spent my first week at my cool hippie college drinking beer and kissing men. Whee!

But by the second week I was ready to get serious and find a real boyfriend, and a suitable candidate quickly presented himself: cute freckled CurlyTop, who invited me to see Young Frankenstein playing outdoors in a big field somewhere on campus. Well, of course I accepted! despite the fact that I loathe Mel Brooks in any form, also being outside. And fields. But I raced back to my dorm room to brush my teeth, reapply lipstick (yes, I wore lipstick at a hippie college. Also panty hose, also high heels. What's your question?), and otherwise prepare myself for my certain future of being someone's girlfriend again, oh joy!

(Oh, child, I am weeping for you. But that's where I was.)

Out of her room popped Lady Darcy, eager to know where I was off to on this fine Saturday evening. I told her, and she cried, "I love Young Frankenstein! Can I come too?"

Okay, to be fair, she wasn't my super-glue-bonded all-time BFF yet, she was just the nice girl who lived next door — but still. Here is what I said:

"Oh, I'm so sorry, but I'm kind of going on a date."

And THEN — are you ready for this? — it wasn't even a date. When I ran back outside to meet CurlyTop, all prepped and primed and pretty, he was waiting with a bunch of other guys. "Ready?" he said, not acting boyfriendy in the least, and off we went.

(Yes, I could've run back to our room to get Lady D. But I didn't. I was in shock, okay? Does it make it any better if I tell you that she reminds me of my craven behavior, oh, every single time the subject of Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Young Frankenstein, boys named Curly, girls who dump their friends when a boy's around, or Frankenstein in general comes up, or, in fact, any time she feels like it? Yes, I know, it's what I deserve.)

Anyway. We watch the movie, and CurlyTop does in fact make a move, and we end up smooching big-time, and I'm all happy because I have just the boyfriend I wanted. Nothin' but good times ahead.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

This was my first experience with Men Who Kiss You Passionately on Saturday and Have Trouble Remembering Your Name on Sunday.

CurlyTop did not seem to understand that we were now in a relationship, and I took to haunting his hallway like a stalker in training. And while I was there, I got to know some of the other people on his hall . . .

. . . including SweetiePie Muscle Man, who became my actual first college boyfriend and was a kind and adorable boy. We had nothing in common and little to talk about, but oh my he was cute. And while I was visiting him one Sunday afternoon, he looked up and said, "Oh, hey, J — welcome back!" And there she was — this cool girl wearing an awesome hat, just in from visiting her boyfriend in Boston. (Boston!) This seemed impossibly glamorous to me, and J instantly became my icon of all things grown-up and sophisticated.

I determinedly wormed my way into her life (many of my bestys can tell tales of how I stalked my way into their friendship — I'm very goal-oriented), and we've been dear friends ever since. Though she claims she never wore a hat.

  • CurlyTop, the hall's RA, was declared incompetent and strange by the Housing Office and replaced by J, whose cool leadership was by then legendary.
  • Muscle Man stayed my boyfriend until Valentine's Day, when we broke up and I started dating his best friend. Yeah . . . I was young.
  • Lady Darcy forgave my perfidy and started dating "Optimistic," one of the men who accompanied me to Young Frankenstein. It may be worth noting that this relationship lasted way longer than any of mine. So — we're even? Yeah.
  • J's work often brought her to the East Coast, and I think she may be the California friend who's visited me the most —but it's been a while, and I miss her.
  • I still loathe Mel Brooks, though my kids and Mr. Lady C enjoy Young Frankenstein.
Got to get to the doctor — come out, come out, wherever you are, little contraceptive device!

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of My IUD.

—Lady C

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 29: Health — Catch It!

Back in my health educator days, I had to do a presentation on the five dimensions of health: emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual. And I remember thinking even then that I do a stellar job of maintaining my health in four of those five areas, and a truly crap job with the physical side.

I would like to say that this was a wake-up call — that I saw the error of my ways and headed into the light.

Well, maybe in a small way it was, because I did make one big change:
  • I floss!! Every day!!
I also wear a seat belt every time I'm in a car, and I haven't smoked a cigarette since 1995. Though I did take a drag on my friend Maybelline Queen's cigarette the night Li'l Martini was conceived (no, MQ wasn't there for that event), and I took a drag on my anonymous friend's Marlboro Light a few years ago, while we sat on my front stoop — and that was disgusting, and I am totally over the idea that I will ever be a regular smoker again. Done.

But I thought of this again (what I do, and don't do, for my physical health) when I read a "good health checklist" in the September Good Housekeeping:
  • Every day: Stop eating when you're 80 percent full (I'm workin' on it . . .)
  • Every day: Get 6–9 hours sleep (check!)
  • Once a day: Floss (check!)
  • Once a day: Take a multivitamin (check! I take the generic version of the One-a-Day Vitamin for Women, it's the size of a tadpole, and I'm convinced this is why my hair and nails grow so fast)
  • Once a week: Weigh yourself (check!)
  • Five days a week: Eat an ounce of nuts (check? maybe? I love nuts and often grab a handful, but can I guarantee that I do it five days a week? Hmm. Maybe I'll start tracking this on Fat Secret — which, I'm chagrined to admit, I've been neglecting to do daily. But I'm still eating mindfully!)
  • Five days a week: Engage in endurance exercise for an hour (no check — but I'm workin' on it)
Endurance exercise, by the way, is the number one way to boost energy. Previously sedentary postmenopausal women who took combo cycling/treadmill classes for an hour a day, five days a week, functioned as though they were 20 years younger. In the immortal words of that sage Paris Hilton, "That's hot." 

(I tried using husband's stationary bike, but it hurt my ladyparts. Zumba! starts this Thursday, and I'm taking two classes a week, so I'll just need to supplement with three brisk hour-long walks. I can do it!)
  • Regularly: "Hang with your homeys" (check!) (Oh, Good Housekeeping, you are so hipto the max!)
  • Yearly: Get a mammogram (check! bleh)
  • Every five years: Check your cholesterol (check! My good HDL rocks)
So! My physical health care is not as outstandingly sucky as I'd thought. And the two areas where I'm falling down, I'm actively working on. Good to know.

It feels so odd to post without noting my daily scale reading — but you'll just have to wonder . . . !

Ever thine,

Lady C, lady of mystery

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 28: Four Groovy Weeks

I'm four weeks into my new journey, and I've lost about nine pounds — about two pounds a week. Rockin'! Today we went to Ixtapa, our local Mexican joint, after church, which is our habit (at a certain point in our minister's sermons, I start going, "Tacos . . . tacos . . ." Pavlov's dog has nothin' on me), and I had a Diet Coke with limes instead of a margarita, and only ate half my California burrito (the burrito of my people!) instead of scarfing the whole thing, and it wasn't even hard. I feel like I really am making good changes, and my body is my ally in this adventure. All good!
  • Today's scale reading: 278.5
I'll now go do my official weigh-in on Fat Secret. I hope there will be a bugle call or a cry of hosanna at my good news!

(Still have a runny nose and feel fatigued, but otherwise this cold may pass by rather lightly. Which would be lovely!)

Lady C

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 27: Sleep Is the Word

Yesterday included a glass of wine at lunchtime (unusual for me lately, I was a little woo-woo as I cleared the table) and a piece of fresh-baked pie with buttery brown-sugary streusel crust, but also a long walk, a hot bath, and a good night's sleep.
  • Today's scale reading: 278.5 !!
A new low! I'm convinced I'm on to something.

Fat Secret does official weigh-ins every Sunday, and I think I may switch to reporting my weight here weekly rather than daily — otherwise, I think I'm too focused on the daily fluctuations rather than thinking big-picture. (I'll still weigh myself daily — it's a lifelong habit, can't help it — I just won't note it here. Dear Readers, do let me know if you care one way or the other. I live to please.)

Li'l Martini has a cold and I now have a runny nose. I guess I should stop kissing him so passionately, hmm?


And does anyone else find it disturbing that my first thought was, "If I'm sick, I bet I can lose another three pounds!!"? Man.

Today is Chore Day and, among other things, I am determined to make my downstairs bathroom stop smelling like wet stinky bathroom. The children scrubbed the grout, I laundered the shower curtain, and I'm now going to soak the bathmat in a gallon of mildew-thwarting bleach. It's sunshiny and brisk today, the windows are flung open, the bathroom smells of cleanser and elbow grease. It's lovely.


—Lady C

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 26: Sleeping Beauty

Last night, I took a lovely Melon Daiquiri bubble bath (bathtub books: Gap Year by Sarah Bird* and Being Nikki by Meg Cabot), climbed into bed to finish Meg's book, yawned profusely (no reflection on Meg**), and turned off the light at 10:40, sleeping soundly till the alarm went off at 7. This is an almost unheard of early retirement hour for me; I'm a push-through-till-midnight girl. But I've become convinced that sleep is a key factor in my failing metabolism and that I need at least eight hours.
  • Today's scale reading: 280
And that's after last night's spaghetti and meatballs (I held myself to one serving, but it was a generous serving. I LOVE Trader Joe's party meatballs! Just the right size and so flavorfull!) and a glass of red wine. Happy, happy.

Today, I'm hosting two of my PTO officers for lunch: homemade roasted tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches (Jarlsberg on ciabatta), a nice salad of mache and arugula, and a bowl of fresh cherries. Yum!

And the air has finally turned brisk and Septemberish, so I'm hoping that a midday outdoor walk is also in my future. I really do prefer to walk outside (the treadmill is boooooooring); I like to snoop on my neighbors' gardens and pet their dogs and feel the wind at my back, but I hate doing it when it's anything approaching warm.

Off to concoct soup and wash lettuce.


—Lady C

* Brunie told me that I had to read this, and I am nothing if not Brunie's sheep (baahhh!), but I am finding it more terrifying than anything Stephen King*** ever wrote; I have to keep putting it down and reading something warm and fuzzy.

** I've met her, so I can call her Meg — 'cause we're close like that.

(Honesty compels me to note that nearly half my readership met her on the same day, if not before. But she looked deeply into my eyes, and I felt a special kinship. I also felt a special kinship with her shoes.)

*** Am I the only one who has to look up the spelling of Stephen King's name (Stephen or Steven?) every single time? I have a hole in my brain where Stephen King's name should be.

UPDATE: I did take a walk, in the lovely crisp fall air, and I'm noting it here because I'm proud of myself; after my swellegant luncheon, I was so pleasantly full of warm soup and lightly buzzed on tasty wine, and I really just wanted to do the dishes and make a pie for my church's pie sale tomorrow (I have a kitchen full of aging fruit) — but I made myself cram my abundant flesh into sneakers and a sports bra, and I'm so glad I did.

My favorite walk takes me by Nurse Kathy's house, though her street is the most loathsome part of the journey — 100 miles long and all uphill. As I ascend Cardiac Crest, I content myself by saying that when I have my heart attack, I can roll back down to Nurse Kathy's house, and she or her firefighter husband can give me CPR.

But then, once I've climbed every mountain, comes the best part of the walk, a slightly downhill stretch along the access road to the highway, with the glorious vista of Lexington, in all its higher per capita earning glory, spread out before me. Trees and sky, as far as the eye can see, and its beauty is stunning.

One beagle petted, two friendly exchanges with nice old ladies, and a most intriguing flame-red bush spotted. Great walk.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 25: Better Homes and Gardens

I grew weary of my treadmill, after two days of sweaty pounding, so I tried to think of a different kind of exercise to do today (my goal is some kind of daily movement beyond my regular activities). And then it hit me: Gardening! My garden needed some major tending, and that would be a fine workout.

And then . . . the heavens opened.

It was the first time in my life that I was extremely bummed not to get to do yard work. (I like the garden to look pretty. I just don't like being the one to make it look pretty. And yes, I could pay someone to do it, but I am also very attached to my money.)

The sun came out briefly, and I dashed outside with my saw and my clippers and my scissors and my gloves. The front bed is now weeded and groomed, the poor sickly transplanted bush is trimmed and pruned, my Grizzly bear-size hydrangea bush is cut back and tamed, as is the insane forsythia along the driveway; I swept the walkway, and have two giant bouquets for my house. All good! And believe me, after an hour and a half of this, I was sweating like Ben-Hur and his crew team. It had to be good exercise.

(Or I'm about to have a stroke. Which is also possible.)

Last night was kind of weird. I was hanging out with some very nice friends, drinking a glass of wine that I didn't really want (see: Powerless to Keep from Draining a Wine Glass, Day 10), and the subject of our karate teacher scandal came up, as it so often has these past few weeks. I was the only one there who knew him well; others either knew him slightly or didn't know him at all. And yet, without exception, they had already declared him guilty in their minds, simply because they couldn't imagine why a child would make up a story like this.

I don't know what the truth is, and I do know that seemingly wonderful people can do terrible things. I'm not naive, and I'm not stupid. But: I am choosing to believe that he's innocent until proven otherwise. This conversation caught me off guard, and it wasn't pleasant.

Today I spent a cheerful half-hour Googling "Why might a child lie about being molested?" so that I'll be prepared when this comes up again — which I know it will.

Good times.

Anyway, I ate well and exercised yesterday, but I did drink the unwanted wine, and ate a big handful of whole-grain pita crackers late at night, and also went to bed very late and didn't get a full eight hours sleep, and I'm convinced that all of these things, plus the extra pound of angst, had an effect:
  • Today's scale reading: 281.5
Still a decent number, I'm not complaining, but also a good reminder to me to put down the freakin' glass (or plate) already if I don't want it.

In other news, it looks like I have next week off (no scheduled work), and I've decided to devote it to Novel 2, which so far comprises two double-spaced pages and some notes I scrawled during the boringest part of last week's training. It will be great to have a new fictional world to live in again.

(I haven't heard anything from the agent who's reading Novel 1. Que sera, sera.)

Time to fix supper: Spaghetti and meatballs and a big crunchy fresh salad, yum!

—Lady C

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 24: I Love the '70s

Yesterday's diligence paid off:
  • Today's scale reading: 279 !
I was beyond ready to see some good results, so this is very encouraging indeed.

Today's schedule is similarly free, so I plan another sweaty workout and some lovely Fat Secret-approved meals. Yay, momentum!

Short post for now, I'll write an update later.


—Lady C

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 23: Aloha, Kahuna

I want to acknowledge the passing of an actor I loved, Mr. Cliff Robertson, who played The Guy Who Didn't Get the Girl in both Gidget and Picnic, two of my all-time favorite movies. He won the Academy Award for Charly and found a new measure of fame late in life as Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man movies. Rest in peace, dear twinkly-eyed man.

And on that sad note, I'll go ahead and share today's numbers, 'cause after this? It's all good.
  • Today's scale reading: 284
I am stuck stuck stuck, like a Band-Aid. 

But! My day has otherwise been lovely!
  • Breakfast with my darling friend, Kind Tina, who listened to my stories of mean bullying men with full attention, and then gave me exactly the warm, empowering validation I needed to move on.
  • Plus, awesome breakfast sandwich. (It was on whole-wheat bread, Diet Fairy! Wicked healthy!)
  • No scheduled work today — I'm free to follow my bliss for 24 hours!
  • The Fall Preview TV Guide is here!
I resolved to work out mid-day, which I just finished doing, and I am so freaking proud of myself. I pushed really hard on my treadmill and walked two miles in about 45 minutes. (I usually walk a mile and a half in 30 minutes.) I thought my copious sweat would short out the poor treadmill, but we survived. And the iPod gods were smiling on me, because "I Will Survive" was my very last hard-push song, which turned out to be a great choice — I channeled my inner drag queen* with lots of bold gestures to accompany my brisk stride, and it got me right over that last awful hump. And then I cooled down to the Temptations singing "I Wish It Would Rain," which was so lovely it almost made me weep. And THEN, Jermaine promised that he'd be there to comfort me, build a world of dreams around me, and yeah, I know that most of you were Michael girls, but I was totally Jermaine's girl, and that was all I needed to walk the final 0.4 miles.

Whoo! I am a sweaty mess and my thighs are quivering, but seriously — I could die of pride right now. Yay, me!

I will now roast those CSA tomatoes and beets, finally, and eat a lovely salad and fresh homemade soup for tonight's supper. And, of course, sink into a hot hot bubble bath. My blogging sister Mrs. Cynicletary gave me bubble baths that smell like cocktails, and I think tonight I'll soak in Melon Daiquiri. Bliss.

—Lady C xox

* Some would argue that my inner drag queen is more of an outie.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 22: Work It, Baby!

I told myself that I wasn't allowed to blog — (fun!) — until I'd worked out — (less so!). And then I spent the day at my desk, editing a high school curriculum on civil law (scintillating!), and my prime workout hours, they were gone, gone with the wind (a classic! . . . but I digress).

I ate pretty well today, hearty grain cereal for breakfast and tomato-mozzie salad for lunch and pork chops with cooked apples and three — three! — vegetables for dinner.

[ . . . and, it must be admitted, a slice of gingerbread at my PTO breakfast, and a small, small brownie (yes! we still have those cussed brownies! I think my kids don't like them because they're salty — dark chocolate and salty, oooooh mama)]

Anyway! I stayed within my calorie limit and hit my fiber goal, and Fat Secret was happy with my protein.

But I still hadn't worked out. And it was 8 p.m. AND, it turns out, my iPod needed recharging — and let me tell you, walking on the treadmill with only the voices in my head for company is not the pathway to happy.

So I gritted my teeth, grabbed my hand weights, and proceeded to do a made-up workout routine, cobbling together what I can remember of Jane Fonda and the Lazy Woman's Workout my daughter and I did a few weeks ago. I lifted, I bent, I raised, I lowered, I moved slowly and did 30 reps of everything, except the one leg lift that always kills me, where you hold your leg kinda in front of you and point the toe down — I could only do 10 of those. I have never been able to do those. I don't think I have a muscle there.

And then I grabbed the mister and held his ankles while I worked my core, and tonight I did 12 reps. (When I started doing this exercise, I could only do 10, and that about killed me. Tonight, 10 were pretty easy. And if I'd wanted to scream, I could've done 15 — but the cats had gathered, looking concerned, at rep 12, so that seemed a reasonable stopping point. I guess I was . . . whimpering?)

And then I did 30 wall push-ups (press-ups!) and my stretches (Mayo-approved!). And now here I am — stretched and muscle-weary and proud.
  • Today's scale reading: 284
 To quote from the aforementioned classic: Tomorrow is another day!

Thank you, by the way, for your kindness and support, whether you comment here or e-mail me privately. It's all appreciated, so much.

—Lady Chardonnay O'Hara, who is not beautiful, though men and women seldom realize it when caught by her charm . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 21: I'll Cry If I Want To

This was a complete and total day of suck.
  • Suck Item #1: I'm crampy and emotional, but it's too early for my period. I think my IUD has perforated my uterus.
  • Suck Item #2: Not only have I barely lost any weight in the past 20 days, today I was up rather than down.
  • Suck Item #3: Despite my good resolutions, I did not exercise when I got home, nor did I eat a particularly sensible dinner. I had a comfort meal of quesadillas and margaritas at our local Mexican watering hole.
  • Suck Item #4: The reason I needed comfort? The professional facilitator at my three-day training, someone who is supposed to nurture and guide me as a new trainer, gave me this feedback on the presentation I delivered today (in front of all my peers): "I thought you seemed really full of yourself." (His response to my statement that I'd forgotten how much I loved teaching sex ed: "It's not about you, it's about them.")
I know this says more about him than it does about me, but it was nonetheless fairly humiliating.
  • Today's scale reading: 284
This is why I'm contemplating lap band surgery, as soon as I can come up with the $500 co-payment. I think my body simply doesn't know how to lose weight, no matter what I do. And this was before the two margaritas.

Sorry. Not having any fun whatsoever today.

—Lady C

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 20: Long Day, Short Post, Tired Lady

Let's cut right to it:
  • Today's scale reading: 283
I feel like I'll be gaining and losing the same three pounds forever. It reminds me of the last time I did Weight Watchers, when the scale didn't budge for the first two weeks. I fled to the bathroom to cry after the second weigh-in. So discouraging!

But when I look over the last 20 days, I see that it includes one weekend of fast-food crap, two nights of tequila-laden excess, three cheeseburgers, four slices of pizza, and a partridge in a pear tree . . . in other words, I can't say that it was my best diet effort ever.

And again — long haul, long haul.

Today was my 9–9 training — not as deadly as I'd feared, but not the best day of my life either. Tomorrow, post-training, I will do a good sweaty workout, have an enormous salad of fresh vegetables and edamame and goat cheese for dinner, and collapse into my wonderful tub.

Until then . . . !

—Lady C

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 19: I'm HAVING FUN, D**mit!

Okay, yesterday was just a bad, hard, sucky day of overwhelming to-do-ness. But today will be better! Yes!

To soothe my poor, ravaged tummy, the site of day-long sharp shooting pains, I had a bowl of Panera's broccoli cheese soup. Then I learned that Panera's broccoli cheese soup has the fat content of . . . a giant vat of fat. C'est la vie.
  • Today's scale reading: 283.5
But today will be better! Yes!

Though once again I'm desk-bound pretty much all day, and tonight I'm attending a training from 5:15 to 9. Kegels? That will make me popular, I think. "Hi, I'm Lady C — want to hear about my taut and toned ladyparts?" It is a sex ed training, maybe that'll fly.

(I'm going to teach sex ed to middle-schoolers at my church, something I've been dying to do for years. So I'm psyched about the training, just — bad timing. But what can you do.)

The thing is — I can't have another day like yesterday. Yesterday BLEW. I mentioned that, right? No matter how much editing work is breathing down my neck, I have to take a mid-day break and exercise. So that is my new vow: a happy day of mindful eating and mid-day sweat. Encouraging notes, as always, are most welcome.

Today will be better! Yes!

Staying positive,

Lady C

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 18: Last First Days

Those are my sweet children, feeding some very disinterested ducks on the last day of our summer vacation. We also went bowling, ate at Cabot's (a '50s-ish ice cream parlor/family restaurant, where you can still order a dish of cottage cheese topped with a pineapple ring and a cherry, I kid you not), and bought Li'l Martini a Big Boy Umbrella. (He was quite disgusted by the only umbrella left in the umbrella stand, which had a Hot Wheels theme. I guess we've lost a few umbrellas.)

Today begins Li'l Martini's last year at elementary school (weep!) and Mimosa's last year at middle school (whatev). A busy and exciting day so far! But let's cut right to the chase:
  • Today's scale reading: 282.5
At Cabot's I had a mock Reuben burger and a dish of vanilla malt frozen yogurt and six of Mimosa's fries, and I hardly moved at all because I had a migraine and then was enfeebled by my migraine medicine. So, slight upward movement on the scale was not unexpected.

And it was totally worth it. Dang me, that was a good burger!

Today, for the first time since I started all this, I'm feeling ravenous and wanting to eat everything in sight. I'm also crazycrazybusy and don't have time to roast the nice beets from my farm share (to make tasty salad with wasabi arugula!) or to roast the nice tomatoes from my farm share (to make delicious homemade tomato soup!), and it's oh so tempting just to grab the container of leftover brownies! 

(There are nine. Nine small brownies. Just sitting there in my kitchen.) 

I'm trying to eat filling fiber and sustaining protein, but today? Feels hard. I don't know why.
I mean, of course I know why — I'm tired and stressed and have way too much on my plate and got up too damn early and will be out three nights in a row and won't be home for a minute this weekend because I'm going to a training, so the time that I normally have to chill and feel caught-up is non-existent. But there is nothing I can do except grit my teeth and get through it.
Sorry, not a peppy post today! If I could make myself make time to exercise this afternoon, it would probably help my stress level, but I have GOT to get some work done, so — unlikely. But it's early yet, we'll just see.

Tomorrow is another day!

—Lady C

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 17: Last Dance

It's the Last Day of Summer Vacation, and the kids and I traditionally celebrate this solemn event with a Big Day o' Fun: miniature golfing in Saugus (under the benevolent gaze of a giant orange dinosaur), feeding ducks on a lovely pond in Auburndale, Fuddruckin', and throwing water balloons off our upstairs deck. Big! Fun!

Except: It currently looks like Big Day o' Rain, so I'm not sure what we'll do.

I'm also drowning under piles of work and PTO and churchy stuff to do, so this will be short.
  • Today's scale reading: 281
Though I'm up half a pound from yesterday (tequila!), I'm still psyched. I think I'll be in the '70s next week!

Happy last day of summer vacay!

—Lady C

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 16: Baby What a Big Surprise!

I did take a walk yesterday, outside rather than inside, 35 minutes of hard labor (the sidewalks around here are crap, you have to watch your feet every second lest you step into a ditch or get tripped by a heat-seeking root), then came home and worked my core (pushing myself to do 11 lifts this time, rather than 10! progress!) and did "press ups" (my friend Sister Hart says what I do against a wall can't be called "push ups"), then did my approved Mayo Clinic stretches and ate a modest meal.

(It should be noted that my "modest" meal included a slice of leftover cheeseburger pizza.)

So, after a weekend of excess and a day of Spartan living:
  • Today's scale reading: 280.5 !!!!!!
A very happy surprise, indeed!

However, tonight will likely involve drinking to excess, as I'm PTO President at Li'l Martini's school and we're having our annual budget meeting. Nothing goes better with big mathy problems like tequila and pomegranate juice, si? I'm playing with name ideas for the bright red margarita-like drink I'm going to concoct:
  • Ruby 'Rita
  • Scarlett O'Hara
  • Scarlet 'Rita
  • Red Red 'Rita
  • Tequila Redhead
  • 'Rita Hayworth (ooh! It's a 'rita AND she's a redhead! Clever clever me)
Please cast your vote! You have till 6:25 p.m. East Coast time.

Anyway, I will endeavor to eat sensibly and work out today, before the Bacchanalia of a suburban PTO budget meeting commences.

Oh, and if you have time, do check out that link to the Mayo Clinic stretches, which I got from O Magazine. I used to get shin splints all the time after walking, but haven't had them since I've been doing these stretches. Also, the stretch to loosen up your tight neck has helped ward off several migraines — I taught it to Brunie and our friend Inspirational Kathy while dining at a nice restaurant — (restaurants! I miss you!) — and, yes, we looked demented, but nonetheless, we all made that "Oooooooooh" sound of pleasure and contentment. It's a good stretch.


—Lady C

p.s. I finished Hunger Games in the bathtub last night, adding hot water so I didn't have to get out. I felt the book's spine snap, I felt pages curl, I felt my besty Lady Darcy having a heart attack on the West Coast (she's a tad dainty about the appearance of her books), but oh my goodness! What a great book! I am very psyched for the movie (love that cute little Jennifer Lawrence!!) and the next two in the series. Yay! reading!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Days 14, 15, and 16: So Many Days, So Little to Report

Back from the Granite State, where I (1) immersed myself in butt-cold water, (2) petted five goats (and yearned for one of my own – mean, MEAN husband!), (3) read three books, and (4) finally started a paperback that's been on my To Be Read pile for a year, a little trifle called The Hunger Games (have you heard of it?), which I opened at 10:40 p.m., while my sleepy kids clamored for me to turn out the light (I forgot to bring a book light) and I kept saying, "One more page, just one more page" as I waited for the plot to get slow and calm and dull.

Readers, I think we all know how that story ended. What a good book! What took me so long?

(I was also The Last Girl in the USA to Discover Harry Potter. Dunno.)

(I haven't finished it yet, so don't tell me anything. I caved in to plaintive children and turned the light off at 11:15, as Peeta "declared" his "feelings" for Katniss. True love or good strategy? So! Exciting! I'll finish it in the tub tonight.)

But there's little to report, weight-loss-wise. I ate a lot of crap, but, on the crap scale, I tried to make it better crap. To wit: a bean burrito and coleslaw at the KFC/Taco Bell combo, rather than anything featuring red meat, extra-crispiness, and sour cream. And I only ate half my medium-size order of fries at Wendy's, though it is very very very hard for me to throw away food, and (I am AWFUL) I gave them to Mimosa, who'd already eaten a large order of fries and definitely didn't need any more. I am the worst kind of pusher. Substitute french fries for smack, it's totally Go Ask Alice over here.

The shame.

I also moved around very little — sister, once I score the best pool-side table, complete with high-backed chair, sun-shading umbrella, and extra chair for my feet, I ain't budgin' — and drank a glass of sangria on Saturday and a glass of white wine on Sunday. And ate Honey Dew doughnuts. No, not my best eating weekend.

I'm determined to hit the treadmill today and sweat hard, then eat a sensible dinner and have a lovely bubble bath reward. Send me lots of motivational notes, that will help me. (The sensible dinner is no problem, it's the treadmill I'm likely to skip. But I really need to move.)

Something I thought about over the weekend were the Times I've Successfully Lost Weight, trying to find a common denominator. (The biggest common denominator is that I gained it all back, every time. Yay, consistency!) So here, for your reading pleasure, is Lady Chardonnay's Weight Loss History: The Musical! 

High School, 1979: Freak Out!
Senior year in Northern California, Farrah hair, plaid skirts, knee socks and clogs. I wrote down everything I ate and held myself to a strict calorie limit, consulting my ever-present Pocket Book of Calories. I brought my lunch to school every day and made little Tupperware containers of D-Zerta. I went from 160 to 145 and had amazing cheekbones. (I'll try to find the picture of me and Buddy Bart, headed to a Hawaiian-themed dance. I am stunning.)

Gained it all back, easily weighed 160 again by the time I headed to college.

On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the road again

Sophomore Year, 1981: I'm Coming Out
Or, at least, my meal was, as I discovered that I could make myself throw up easy as pie. I'm not sure I was actually bulimic; I could just throw up on a dime. And so I did. I also jogged around my parents' street all summer and went back to college about 10 pounds lighter and quite a bit firmer.

My great secret diet trick of throwing up remained my friend through college, but the jogging? Not so much.

It's time to spread our wings and fly
Don't let another day go by . . .
It'll be just like starting over

Senior Year, 1984: What I Did For Love
Oh, Bob, how I adored you! So buff and tan and cute in his muscle shirts — I was a smitten kitten. And Jane Fonda was there to help me weigh less than my new hunky boyfriend — Jane, and my other secret weapon.

I did Jane every day, I drank black coffee, I ate very little, and I SMOKED. I got close to 150 again and felt thin and hollow and fantastic.

But Bob and I were not meant to be, and I left him behind . . . by about 3,000 miles.

The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go
It's a cruel . . . cruel . . . cruel summer 
The Nanny Diaries, 1987: God Bless the Child
As a live-in nanny in Boston, all I wanted to do was to get the heck out of that house. So the minute Nanny Mom got home from work, I went straight to the gym and did Nautilus and high-impact aerobics. I didn't follow a particular diet, but I generally ate less and ate healthier (as one is wont to do when exercising hard), and I wish I had a picture of how freaking fantastic I looked in my bathing suit that summer.
But after a year of nannying, I went to work for Planned Parenthood (oh! irony!) and fell in love with a man who owned a restaurant. Bye-bye, Nautilus! Hello, new life of sitting at Nabil's bar drinking wine and dipping falafel into hummus every night!

(He was a sweetie. It's not his fault I quit lifting weights. Alas, he was not the man for me, for-ever.)

Can't we try just a little bit harder
Can't we give just a little bit more . . .

 1991–present: Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry
I weighed 180 when I met my dearest darling and have faithfully put on five pounds a year for the 20 years we've been together. Twice in that interval I did Weight Watchers with some success (going from 245 to 219 during my first try, and 267 to 252 during my second)— BUT. I don't like Weight Watchers meetings. So I'm thinking that I might check out the online program and see how I do with that.
I tell you, though — this blog has been a great tool. You all are right there with me, every bite I take. And I appreciate it!

Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there
Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?

(I know that's not a song of 2011. What can I say? I'm old school.)

And now I'm going to walk my old-school booty upstairs to don my workout gear and commence to sweat. 'Cause, everything I do? I do it for you.

Glad to be back!

Love and xxx's,
Lady C

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 13: Live Free or Die, Babycakes

Love New Hampshire's state motto!

Which is where we're off to, me and kids, for our annual stay at the world's most craptastic motel! Ferris wheel, water slide, petting zoo — and it's all so low-rent and decrepit, yet utterly charming. We go every Labor Day weekend; the kids swim and romp and frolic, and I sit by the pool, drink wine, and read. Though this year I hope to drink more seltzer than wine and to snack on fruit and whole-grain pita chips rather than Twizzlers. And to swim a lap or two, perhaps, or at least walk the grounds every few hours. We shall see!

Alas, the weather does not look promising. Today is blooming gray and overcast, and another tropical storm is due on Sunday.

Also, I don't have anything I'm all that excited about reading, except for the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly with **Sarah Michelle Gellar** on the cover! But that will take 20 minutes, what then?

Also, I still have my IUD despite the good doctor's efforts, and that was a fun treasure hunt yesterday, let me tell you.

  • Today's scale reading: 283
Yes, yes, I know it's a day-by-day thing, but I would like the numbers to start heading down now. Despite the fact that I comforted myself post-IUD non-removal with a giant glass of sangria, and also ate several cookies and two chocolates at a committee meeting last night. Oh, well.

So, dear readers, I apologize, because I won't be able to blog in New Hampshire. You'll hear from me again on Monday (or Sunday, if we flee the expected storm). Happy Labor Day!

—Lady C

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 12: Life's a Beach!

Yesterday was a GORGEOUS beach day, and we had so much fun! I walked the length of the beach twice, as "briskly" as I could — the shoreline is not super-long, and all told it was probably a mile, but still. It felt good. And I did enjoy a snack bar hot dog but filled up on fresh cherries rather than French fries. And later, we all had deli sandwiches for supper, but again I filled up on produce (a sliced tomato with fresh basil and balsamic vinegar) rather than potato chips.

My reward for all this virtue:
  • Today's scale reading: 282 !
I'm having my expired IUD removed today, which I'm NOT looking forward to. But maybe at my weigh-in, the nurse will say, "Wow, you've lost five pounds since you were here last week!" I'm holding on to the dream.

Short post today, I gotta work work work. But maybe more later.

—Lady C