Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 71: New Day, New Week, New Attitude

(I am still a little blue, but my determination, it is steely.)

Two key things that were working for me — getting eight hours of sleep, and logging my food on Fat Secret — were absent from my life last week, and I know it makes a difference. So today I am sallying forth with renewed vim and vigor. I've logged all my food (which, I sadly must admit, included half my chorizo-and-hot-pepper pizza from Za and a slice of sharp cheddar) and will turn off my light no later than 11 (the alarm rings at 7). I've also walked on my treadmill already, my usual two miles in 40 minutes. I feel ahead of the game.

You know what's killing my early-bedtime plans? The Good Wife!! I curse its goodness. I climb into bed at 10, fully planning to watch just one episode . . . and then, like "just one glass of wine" or "just one Peanut M&M," my good intentions put up all the resistance of Aunt Pittypat. But I'm almost done with Season 1, and I'll try to resist getting Season 2 for awhile.

In any event, while treadmilling I began compiling a list of things that I love to do that have no calories. Here's what I came up with:
  1. Taking long hot bubble baths (have I mentioned that?)
  2. Planning party games and party menus
  3. Watching girl movies with Mimosa
  4. Playing with beauty products, particularly nail polish and things that exfoliate
  5. Calling Lady Darcy or my mom (long distance!)
  6. Drinking Diet Pepsi over ice with a squeeze of lime
  7. Playing Speed Scrabble and Taboo
  8. Doing hard crossword puzzles
  9. Flirting
  10. Dancing
This week's goal: Do every one of these things!

(And track what I eat and get in five sessions of vigorous exercise and sleep eight hours each night.)

Piece of cake!

Back to work. This week, I'm editing a curriculum on the civil rights movement, which will have plenty of horrifying stories, I'm sure, but will also include moments of profound courage and inspiration, and that? Is a nice thing to spend time with, day in and day out.

Ever thine,

Lady C

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 70: Crappity Crap Crap

Last week at weigh-in I was at 270.5 and on a good roll, so naturally I assumed I would be in the 60s this week. Right?

  • Today's scale reading: 271
Despite not once seeing a number with a 60 in it this week, I nonetheless harbored my secret hope.

And I know it's only half a point up, BUT. STILL. It feels like a significant half point.

Yes, I could do a pep talk (It's a journey, rah-rah! You're still 16 pounds down, rah-rah! It's Week 10 and you're losing 1.6 pounds a week, which is a kick-ass rate, rah-rah!) but I'm weary.

The reality is: This week comprised four restaurant meals and three glasses of wine and one margarita and only one zumba class, and I don't think I logged a single bite I ate on Fat Secret. I think I've gotten a little cocky. The fact that I'm only half a point up is probably what I should be rah-rahing.

But. Still.

I know it's a journey, but man is it a long journey! And there is definitely a part of me that believes this is about as far as I'll go — it's unlikely I'll get below 250, and I will certainly never see the 100s again.

(Most of me does not believe that, but the small part of me that does is very loud. And persistent.)

Ah, well.

I'm off to watch The Good Wife and hem Lil' Martini's pants for tomorrow's Halloween costume. He's going to be The Undertaker, and by amazing coincidence we found a pair of good-fitting skinny black jeans in his someday-my-tiny-baby-will-be-big-enough-for-these-man-clothes drawer [I think they came from Mrs. Cynicletary's son], which will be perfect. They cling to his little 10-year-old booty in the most adorable way, but they are six inches too long. Mommy to the rescue!

(Mimosa is wearing her Rocky Horror leopard outfit, with the addition of a black leather jacket — it's BUTT COLD in Boston right now — and a demure black eye mask. "What will you tell people you are?" I asked, and without hesitation she replied, "The Midnight Cheetah." LOVE my girl!)

Tomorrow . . . is another day.

xox Lady C

p.s. I've been sneezing and blowing my nose for four weeks now, but it's not consistent; today I said to Mimosa, "I'm allergic to something that's in our house and in my car and at our church but isn't at Za [the fabby restaurant where we had lunch] — what do you think it could be?" and she said, "Sadness."

p.p.s. Our lesson on bees was awesome. I did a killer role-play of a rival queen bee taking down the existing queen, and my first-graders were riveted. And it felt very churchy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 69: Busy Busy Bee

(This is a very appropriate title, since tomorrow I'm teaching a Sunday School lesson on bees and their homes. I've been reading up on the life of the bee, and let me tell you, it's horrifying.)

(I'm also remembering Good Neighbor Anne's vegan beau from a few years back, who, when hearing Anne tell her daughter that bees give us honey, said with a smug little grin, "Do they really give us honey?")

(This is one key reason that he's a former beau.)

Today was full of chores and laundry and getting rid of accumulated crap piles and readying ourselves for winter by cleaning out drawers and closets and such. Mimosa has enough clothes for an entire fleet of teenagers, but Martini has outgrown (or destroyed) everything and needs new snow pants and good pants and summer shirts and an umbrella.

So there wasn't time to exercise, but my house is now lovely and tidy and fairly clean (don't run your finger along any shelves, or wipe up a spilled drink on our floors), the kitchen is emitting the marvelous scent of apple bread (concocted by Mimosa), and I've got a lovely tray of vegetables with olive oil and rosemary ready to roast and a plate of chicken thighs to pan-fry, which I'll serve with homemade cranberry chutney. In short, a delicious dinner.

And tomorrow's weigh in will be what it is. Que sera sera.

Tomorrow we carve our pumpkins and buy Halloween candy. (I suggested that this year we hand out toothpaste and floss, but no one went for that.) If we don't buy Peanut M&Ms, I should be okay; I find most other candy more or less resistible.


—Lady C

Day 68: Squeaking in Under the Wire

Another day of solid work, but tonight I had the loveliest treat. Lil' Martini and his dad went out for an evening of pinball and Man Food (this was his Huge Special Treat to make up for having to miss the Rocky Horror Picture Show play — Mimosa can pass for 20 when she's glammed up, but I just wasn't comfortable taking a 10 year old), and my girl and I stayed home to have the greatest Girl Night ever: eight appetizers from our local yummy Thai place, icy cold Chardonnay, vanilla frozen yogurt with hot caramel sauce, and three back-to-back girl movies! We watched 13 Going On 30, Sixteen Candles, and A League of Their Own. I had only one glass of wine and no dessert (and I prepped for this evening of genteel debauchery by walking on my treadmill).

It was so much fun, and I held hands with my girl during the tearful moments. Love my girl!

Mimosa's comment on the evening: "John Hughes was a genius." Amen, sister.

Tomorrow I plan to eat like a sparrow and exercise some more — I have high hopes for an exciting new weight on Sunday. We'll see!

And so, to bed.

—Lady C

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 67: Oops! Forgot One

I cannot believe that the love of my high school life somehow slipped my mind!!!

I was hopelessly devoted to Willie Aames, who played Tommy Bradford, Child 6 or 7 on Eight Is Enough. He also kissed Kristy McNichol on Family — I didn't watch that show, but boy did I watch that kiss.

And died inside.

I had his poster over my bed, and a collage I'd made of 10,000 pictures of him (from my friend Linda's Tiger Beats) on the wall across from my bed. Not one of my TV loves, not even my Blondie Bear, has been so thoroughly represented in my own boudoir before or since.

And I forgot him. Ah, my fickle heart.

I don't have much weight loss news for today — it was another day of errands and work work work, though I'm off to zumba after dinner. And it's amazing how much I'm looking forward to it — I thought of it with joy several times today.

This is not my usual relationship with exercise, I assure you!

Also, in my new effort to be mindful, I'm very aware of how often I would have had snacks in the past week, just to alleviate the boredom and stress of work work working so hard. But one thing I've been asking myself before I eat a snack (i.e., something outside a regular meal) is, "What are you really hungry for?" and the answer is so seldom "Food" — rather, it's "Distraction" or "Pleasure" or "Comfort." So I'm getting pretty good at giving myself what I actually need rather than the easy fix that isn't going to address the issue anyway.

And that is Lady Chardonnay's Brilliant Weight Loss Tip of the Day!

I got several compliments today, and one person told me I was glowing. I don't think my lost pounds are really visible yet (I am so looking forward to a thinner face!), but maybe I just can't see it?

Dinner time! Then zumba! Then a bath and a book!

Nothin' but good times ahead.

—Lady C


I love my Thursday night zumba class so much because it's very dancey. Tonight I felt like I was at a disco! I let loose and rolled my hips and had a blast, and afterward I got two compliments!

I didn't get to say much to my zumba crush (did I mention her last week? can't remember. She's redheaded and willowy and very bendy, and I love to watch her dance. And I think she's Russian) because one of my buddies, who signed up six weeks ago, finally showed up.  She looked askance at my chosen front-row spot (she's a back-row girl) but she hung in there with me, so I felt like I had to talk and joke with her . . . and neglect my bendy ginger girl.

Ah, well! We're signed up through December. She and I will be enjoying post-class vodka shots and blinis by Thanksgiving, I predict.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 66: My TV Boyfriends

Ringer was a repeat, but it all turned out okay, because I climbed into bed with Saltines and a Diet Pepsi (see "nervous stomach, Day 65) and watched three back-to-back episodes of The Good Wife, Season 1, which Brunie lent me and I am completely obsessed with — what a good, good show!!! And then some sweet pillow talk with the hubby and lights out before midnight. A perfectly fine night.

And then today I made a spur of the moment decision to have lunch at a restaurant — this week has been a tad grim, and I wanted a treat. But past "treat lunches" usually involved several glasses of wine and often a chocolatey dessert, whereas today's lunch was all about sparkling water and taking half my entree home — no dessert. And it still felt like an enormous treat, and I am proud of myself.

And I finally finished the 180-page document on child labor that I've been, excuse me, laboring with for two weeks, and that is a very good thing indeed. I still have a lot of work to do, but it's all smaller pieces, which always feels more manageable.

Ringer's especially exciting lately because Jason Dohring just showed up, Mr. Logan Echolls himself, and while I loved every single thing about Veronica Mars, the thing I loved best of all was seeing Veronica and Logan fall in love. Jason Dohring is playing a high school teacher on Ringer, and I think you know what song cue is coming:

I think of all the education that I missed.
But then my homework was never quite like this.
Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,
I'm hot for teacher . . .

LOVE me some Jason Dohring!

And then my Muse said, "But who was your first TV boyfriend, Lady C?" Travel back in time with me, won't you?

Where It All Started
I loved loved loved Marine Boy. I fully planned to marry him. And when Mom came to get me at Melanie Driver's house, saying, "Honey, there's someone here to play with you," there was not a doubt in my mind that Marine Boy was waiting in our living room.

What a crushing comedown. It was Bobby Zeppy, the kid who lived in the orchard. I sent him home, informing him I had to take a nap.

I was five.

During my teen years, I was all about Pete Dixon on Room 222. Then in my twenties, I got into a soap opera phase and was crazy for "Patch" Johnson on Days of Our Lives. (As I look over my list of loves, I see that Patch was the turning point. Marine Boy and Pete are the quintessential Good Guys, but everyone I loved after that . . . oh, such Bad, Bad Boys.)

I fell in love with Mr. Lady C, and he brought Star Trek into my life. I am not a serious Trekker, but I did enjoy the shows — because of my hot brown boyfriends, Worf and Chakotay.

(When Worf married Dax, Mr. Lady C and I got dressed up for their wedding, made a wedding cake, and toasted them with champagne and finger sandwiches.)

(No, I am NOT a Trekker. I just like weddings, is all.)

But my three most deeply loved TV boyfriends (so far, anyway) were still to come.

In March of 1997, we learned that to every generation a Slayer is born. And in a matter of months, I met William the Bloody and promptly gave him my heart.

OK, that's a lie, Spike was kind of awful when we first met him. But oh sister did he grow on me. Quickly.

I could live forever with any of my TV boyfriends and be perfectly happy (well, except maybe Marine Boy, much as it pains me to turn on my first love), but Spike is in fact my number one. LOVE. HIM.

But then in 2000, another new show premiered, something that hadn't been seen before but soon spawned a number of copycats, all of which I shun because (A) I watch enough TV, and (B) none of them boasted CSI: The Original's secret weapon: Warrick Brown.

The actor who played Warrick, Gary Dourdan, is kinda a hot mess, but Warrick himself was sexy and dangerous and cool, the anchor of his team but not ever in a stodgy or predictable way. And the girl he flirted with on the show is redheaded and stacked — (just. like. me.) — so I would always pretend that I was Catherine Willows and that Warrick loved ME.

But then Warrick married someone else, fell into a snarl of drugs and corruption and crazyness, and DIED. My days of all-but-licking my TV screen were over.

Until 2004, when Veronica Mars premiered and I fell hard for wounded Bad Boy Logan.

There's no one on TV that I particularly love right now, so I'm ripe for the reappearance of Jason Dohring on Ringer. We'll see how it plays out.

Firefox has crashed 20 times since I started this blog entry, so I'm calling it a night.


—Lady C

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 65: Who's at Zumba? Not Me

Tonight I had to help with a fundraising event for Li'l Martini's school, so, no zumba. Today I did nothing but work, big deadline looming, so, no exercise. A fairly grim week stretches before me, and I have a nervous stomach. (Example: Tomorrow I see my cold-fish dermatologist and pivot naked before him. And that's the highlight of my day.) Finally, I'm trying to read 20 pages before Ringer (the highlight of this day) starts, so a very brief post today. Sorry! Too busy and stressed to be entertaining.

But I'm not overeating or turning to drink, and I guess that's something.

—Lady C

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 64: Bad Influences

It's time for my adorable house guest to flee the premises; I have successfully resisted drinking with her all week (except for Friday night, which DOESN'T COUNT), but today is her last day with me, so we had celebratory wine at lunch time, and then we felt we had to finish our respective bottles (she's red, I'm white) rather than recork just an inch or two — right? And I haven't been drinking midday alcohol pretty much since I began this journey, but oh my! it tasted so good!!!!!!

So I did a penance walk on my treadmill, knocked out my two miles, and am now a sweaty stinky monstrosity. But K.C. and I are about to drive to Beverly to meet Brunie for dinner at our favorite Italian place, and I fear that another glass of wine may be in my future, also some deep-fried artichoke hearts in thyme cream sauce, also some pumpkin tortellini swimming in Gorgonzola.

Not dessert, though, desserts kinda blow at this place. And I expect to do some very aerobic deep-belly laughing. So that is something.

I'm handing over K.C. to Brunie just in time, as a week of gluttony and sloth was clearly on our immediate horizon. But that's just another day at the office for Brunie, she can handle it.

(Mr. Lady C held my legs while I worked my core again, something I haven't done in weeks. I could only do 10 lifts, and my baby kitten Fenton came running downstairs to see why I was howling. My core has returned to margarine, in other words. But as I was sitting cross-legged and stretching my shoulders, I absentmindedly ran my hands down the length of my thigh – and ohmygoodness but it actually feels a teensy tiny bit smaller to me! Which is amazing.)

Off to the shower! And pumpkin tortellini!

—Lady C

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 63: A New Low!

I will try to post an update later but wanted to write now, before my day of craaybusyness got away from me. I did NOT walk on my treadmill last night, nor did I take a hot bath; I was so tired, I crawled into bed at a time that had a 9 in it.
  • Today's scale reading: 270.5 !!!
Fat Secret says, "At this rate, it will take you 10 months to reach your goal weight." "This rate" is 2.5 pounds per week, which seems unlikely, but still: My dream weight could be 10 months away.


I am very happy (though, of course, wonder what the number would have been if I had exercised).

Simply wasting away in New England,

Lady C

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Days 61 and 62: Horror and Houseguests

I can't believe I forgot to post yesterday! Just plum forgot. I had writers group in the morning, lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary, and then a lovely afternoon of drinking wine and getting ready for the theatah! Mimosa allowed me to dress her like my own little fashion doll (she rarely indulges me in this regard) and was stunning in a leopard shirt and head scarf and long slinky black skirt. My friend K.C., visiting from Vegas, wore my slinky leopard-print gloves, and Brunie, after trying on all my clothes, elected to wear her own usual burka but also let me put make-up on her, which I LOVE doing. Then Nurse Kathy came by with chips and salsa and guac, and we opened yet another bottle of wine, and there was much merriment.

And the play! was FANTASTIC!! We sat in the front row and were very animated and jolly. Frank 'N' Furter spoke to me many times from the stage. All the little boy actors were so very, very gay, but it was nonetheless great fun to flirt with them, and Riff Raff (my personal fave) kissed me sweetly on the cheek, after declining to come home with me and be my new gay husband.

Then today, K.C. and Mimosa and I headed off to a Betsy-Tacy Halloween party, which was more fabulous fun. We thpoke pietheth (spoke pieces — an inside joke) and played games and ate doughnuts and apple cake and key lime pie and whiskey sour pickles and had an altogether jolly time.

My goal is to walk on my treadmill tonight and take a hot bath before weigh-in tomorrow. Despite my night of wine (three glasses) and Cosmos (three glasses), my weight was still down, but I have high hopes for an impressive number tomorrow. And I know that diet is key, but for me exercise seems to make the biggest difference.

But I'm also very tired, and the mister has made a lovely egg-and-sausage dinner for us, and an early comfy bedtime has great appeal. Well, we'll see how the evening goes.


—Lady C

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 60: My Protestant Work (and Drink) Ethic

Today was an insane work day: I was up at 7 to finish the proposal on the insecurity of our homeland, which I worked on till midnight the night before. Then I had to look up a few more references for a proposal on wasterwater quality management, then I spent 20 minutes on child labor stories from other lands, where they pay children pennies to do truly ghastly things.

What a relief it was to turn my attention to green technology education! It was blessedly dull and didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out. Or self-purge.

Anyway, I think I'm billing 11+ hours today. Crazytown.

And now I'm cooking two things that are heating up at very different paces, and I think I'm about to serve my family burned roast cauliflower and undercooked turkey breast. YUM! That thing gets 10 more minutes and then I'm serving it, botulism or no. We're also having a mess o' greens (beet, turnip, and chard) with sauteed onions), cranberry chutney, and toasted pumpkin and bran muffins.

But what I really want is an enormous glass of wine, as my reward for working so hard today. And I'm not doing it, because I have zumba in an hour.

Tomorrow. I'm living for tomorrow. I have a fun lunch date with Mrs. Cynicletary and then it's party party party all afternoon as I get ready to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show live with a bunch of my fabby-est girlfriends. We shall paint our faces and dress like hoors. Hours and hours of cosmos and the Time Warp, I can't wait!

And I have earned it.

(Diet, shmiet, that's what I say. I'm about to go zumba, for pity's sake! Don't judge me.)

—Lady C, overtired and getting punchy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 59: Yes, But...

Yay! A new low on the scale today!

. . . but it was after I threw up (another migraine) so perhaps not fully accurate.

Yay! I ate only small meals today!

. . . but each meal included pie. Even my snack.

That's all I've got. Piles of editing to do, kids to transport, houseguest to entertain (she's easy, though), party games to plan, meals to cook, a PTO empire to run . . . I'm decidedly frazzled. And my hair looks stupid.

And even though it's 10:21 p.m., I still need to work for another couple of hours because I inadvertently scheduled two clients for the same time slot tomorrow morning.

(Yay! Money!

. . . but I expect a few more migraines over the next few days. What can you do.)

—Lady C

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 58: Pie!

I have a friend visiting from Las Vegas (which is awesome!) and I decided to properly welcome her by baking that most New England of treats: apple pie. Though this is an apple-cranberry pie, since there was a box of fresh cranberries in my CSA share today. And it has a streusel crust — brown sugar and oatmeal and butter, YUM — because all my fruit pies have a streusel crust. The house smelled amazingly of cinnamon and hot apple when we got home from the airport . . . for about a minute.

Then it smelled of smoke.

My lovely pie completely overflowed, as pies are wont to do, except I didn't think about that and didn't put a cookie sheet under it, as I often do.

The house filled with smoke, and by Golly did it stink.

I think the pie will be okay, though.

I abandoned my guest and went to zumba — I am determined to do both classes this week! — but now I'm home, and stinky, and I will have a piece of pie for dinner.

My weight was up a bit this morning. I think it's hormonal. I've decided to have a chill week and do my very best to eat small, healthy meals and not be unduly concerned with a number on the scale. Or mean mean agents. Or the piles of work I must get through. Or the baked-on pie filling now adhered to my oven floor, awaiting tomorrow morning's ministrations (I have it soaking in baking soda and water at present, at the advice of one of my zumba buds).


Lady C

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 57: Monday, Monday

I told a client that I'd edit something for her tonight; I try to avoid night work when possible, but I could really use the dough. It is 7:36 p.m., and that job is nowhere in sight.

I'm a tad annoyed.

Seriously? Does she expect me to stay up all night with her job? Because that . . . will not be happening.

But I have plenty of other things to do on this here computer, including other work, so I can cheerfully occupy myself for an hour or so while I wait for the tardy job.

(She's someone I've worked with for a long, long time. When she says "Monday night," she knows that I expect it around 7.)

In other news, the agent who's had my manuscript for two months said no today; she liked the food descriptions but thought the characters weren't developed enough. C'est la vie. (My husband grew very indignant on my behalf, which was sweet.)

I will keep shopping it around, but I'm starting to think more about Novel 2. I've decided to apply again for the Boston Public Library's Children's Writer-in-Residence Program. I applied for Measuring Up (aka Novel 1) but at that time it was still early days and I didn't have as good a sense of what it was about or what the character arc would be. I feel much more on top of Novel 2, which will in fact require some serious research, and being at the library would be most helpful. (Though, honestly, I do my research online. But still.)

It's a very long shot, but what a nice little coup it would be, hmm?

As for today's weight loss efforts, I spent the day at my desk, though I did get up to dust and vacuum all three floors of my house — not the greatest workout ever, but it was something. (I have a houseguest coming to stay for a week — the only time the house ever gets dusted, unless I'm having a party. And even then, I don't always dust the shelves in the basement.) But I ate well, lots of fresh stuff and fiber, and I feel good about the day.

And it was weigh-in day!
  • Today's scale reading: 273
So I didn't maintain the very jazzy 272 I'd been seeing all week, but I'm still very pleased.

Still waiting for the errant job to appear . . .

Impatiently yours,
Lady C

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Days 54–56: The Way Life Should Be

Sorry for my absence from blogging — we were in Saco, Maine, and I didn't have a free moment before leaving to write a word. However, I did manage to fit in a treadmill walk, though it took a full mile before I even felt warmed up, I was just that stiff. I think I've also got something hormonal going on (the IUD has made my cycles a little odd, so I never really know where I am), because listening to Barry Manilow sing "This One's For You" made me weep — yes, while on the treadmill — and by the time he's done, I'm bawling, "He is music! He does write the songs!" Panting, sweating, bawling. Pretty.

(I had also had a big screaming fight with my husband that morning. Perhaps that had something to do with it as well.)

So, three days in Maine with people from my church at our rustic campground — communal meals, communal bathrooms, noisy children, squalor. Some parts of it I love — the Talent/No Talent show is always a blast, and the Sunday morning service in the outdoor chapel is my favorite church service all year, bar none, even better than Christmas Eve, which is darn near perfect. But this year, the parts I don't love seemed unduly magnified, and I just couldn't shake the feeling that I've done it all before. I've had the exact meals, the exact conversations.

This year, I enlisted my daughter as a bozo buffer, meaning, that if anyone approached us that I didn't want to talk to, I was going to say our code word, "I.E.P." (Individual Education Plan) and she was going to look distraught (her "distraught" look was rather hilarious), and I would say, "So sorry, having an intense conversation here, could I look for you later?"

But what is the point of paying $300+ and driving for two hours to sit and read with my daughter? We could drive somewhere else just as pretty and do it for free!

In other words — I think this may be my last year of church retreat-ing, even though I will really miss that Sunday service.

Also, I usually drink a fair amount of wine throughout the weekend, and this year I was determined to do it sober — which I did. And this may well have made a difference!

I ate green salad at every meal (and spinach at breakfast — Spinat mit Ei, very Betsy-Tacyish!), didn't drink wine, ate few desserts, and took a long walk on the beach with my daughter. I haven't weighed myself yet, and I expect to be up by a pound or two, but I didn't do too badly either.

This week, for the first time since I signed up for two zumba classes, I'll be able to attend both of them in the same week! And that will be great.

I'm now going to soak in a hot hot bath. Sleeping on a wafer-thin mattress in a skinny iron bunk bed was not much fun for these aging bones, let me tell you. I am stiff and achy and cranky.

And craving wine. Maybe I'll weigh myself first, and if it's not as bad as I think (considering that it's midday, and heaven knows where in my woman-cycle), I'll pour a glass to drink in the tub. Oooooooh, that sounds so good!

Official weigh-in tomorrow. Whee!

—Lady C

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 53: Who Can Take a Nothing Day . . .

. . . and not do much with it? ME!

Seriously, I am hard-pressed to come up with any outstanding highlights of my day:
  • Got up early, went straight to my computer, and worked.
  • Went to marriage counseling. SO. FUN.
  • Came home, went straight back to work.
  • Ate a high-fiber lunch; entertained my colon.
  • Work, work, work.
  • Picked up Mimosa after volleyball (it was pouring rain; she is afraid of lightning), drove back home, resumed working.
Sensing a theme here?

I did make a delicious dinner: macaroni and four cheeses (I only ate a small portion), whole-wheat bran muffins (spiked with molasses, they tasted like Boston brown bread — so yummy!), sauteed apples and pears, and a giant green salad full of vegetables. Delicious, and lots more fiber. Ohhhhh, happy happy colon.

After dinner, I went to a teacher training at my church and led a very successful exercise on answering kids' tough questions ("Do you believe in hell?" "Why do people have to die?" "Will I ever see my puppy again?").

So maybe those were my highlights: good food and good karma points. Maybe.

Or maybe my highlight is twenty minutes from now, when I'll have dealt with the pile of crap on my bed, I'll be all washed and scrubbed, in my flannel nightie, and climb between my soft sheets with my nighttime cup of coffee (I am such a freaking addict, I drink it 'round the clock), ready to watch an episode or two from Season 1 of The Good Wife (my other new addiction). That sounds pretty good.

I haven't exercised in two days, and tomorrow we leave for a weekend in Maine. I have so much to do before then, I don't know if I can fit in a walk. But I really want to — I feel sluggish and inert.

Except for my colon. Have I mentioned that enough now? These high-fiber meals are a workout of their own, man.

It's bedtime for this girl. Nighty-night!

—Lady C

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 52: My Favorite Sweet Treat

But first, some housekeeping from yesterday. I felt sure that Barbara Cartland had said something a tad more crude, namely:

But I'm wrong. Madame Cartland indeed used the words "face" and "figure," and went on to say, "So choose your face and stay sitting down." The lovely Catherine Deneuve is the source of the earthier version.

So, I do want to talk about my favorite sweeties, but first let me tell you about last night. Li'l Martini is spending a week at Science Camp, and the mister was there last night as well, doing his good deed for the year and serving as Tuesday Chaperone. Mimosa and I had the house to ourselves, and she was such an angel of helpfulness, I told her she could choose whatever she wanted for dinner. She picked Thai food, yum.

And it was just that point in the afternoon, that sweet spot of pre-dusk when your work is done for the day and your evening of (one hopes) happy leisure and family time and good food is right there waiting for you . . . and I wanted nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with my babygirl, eating Spicy Eggplant and Thai rolls and crab rangoon, watching girly movies.

(Ahem — as opposed to "girlie movies." I'm talking 13 Going on 30 and Pretty in Pink and Ice Princess, not the oeuvre of Debbie and her Texas township.)

BUT. I had partaken of not one but two of my favorite sweet treats during the day, and I really really really needed to produce some serious zumba sweat. It was the hardest thing I did all day — but I trudged upstairs to don my sneakers and hot pink sports bra, and I did indeed zumba like it was 1999.

And my weight is still holding at the new low, and all is well.

So what are these treats, you ask?

One glorious word: DOUGHNUTS.

I love doughnuts more than pecan pie, more than Chunky Monkey, more than raspberry walnut torte, more than Peanut M&Ms, more than fresh-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with toasted walnuts, and more than hot gingerbread with lemon sauce. (But those are all my second runner-ups.)

And the four doughnuts I love most in the world are (1) seasonal or (2) otherwise hard to get. They are:
  1. Buttermilk bars, made at the Donut Nook in Chico, California, and nowhere else on earth, apparently, as people look at me like I'm a mentally impaired alien when I ask about them 
  2. Verna's Glazed Honey "Tips," named for Tip O'Neill, which, in theory, I should be able to have more often than I do, because Verna's is just down Mass Ave in Cambridge — but I never go there, and when I do, there's never any parking. And they close early on Sunday, and Sunday afternoon is often when I think, "Hey! Let's get some doughnuts!" Totally my own fault, I know.
  3. Wilson Farm apple cider doughnuts, hot out of the deep fryer, which only happens in October. Ohhhhh they are so good. (I ate one yesterday.) You can kinda fake the hot-out-of-the-fryer aspect by nuking them, and that's a perfectly nice snack with a hot cuppa, but nothing beats the real thing.
  4. Dunkin' Donuts pumpkin doughnuts, which are only available for a short time in the fall. (That's the other doughnut I ate yesterday.) So rich, so moist, so succulent — I am usually a big snob who eschews Dunkin, but dang me! I love these doughnuts.
These are my perfect four, and it's probably a good thing that I can't (or don't) have them all the time.

Writing this has made me hungry, but I shall be virtuous and eat a protein-and-fiber-rich lunch, and leave the last cider doughnut for the returning mister. (Even though, if you read closely, you know this is not a great sacrifice . . . !)

First PTO meeting tonight — does engaging a roomful of strangers count as exercise? It will be strenuous, that's for sure.

—Lady C

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 51: The Face of My Future?

Just a few posts ago, I mentioned my almost-nonexistent wrinkles, and I wasn't being flip — I have faint lines around my eyes, but otherwise, this 49-year-old face is fairly wrinkle-free.

(Though my gray hairs are growing faster than I can pluck them. I've happily avoided the dye pots thus far, but I think they loom in my future. I do not intend to be anything other than a redhead for a very long time!)

I reflected on my mostly wrinkle-less state, and I'm sure it's all about the lovely plumpness of my face.

I jest. I hate my fat face. Mostly, I hate how much smaller my eyes look than they used to. I now have little piggy eyes in this big, fat face. Comparing my passport photo of 1990 to my passport photo of two years ago . . . I could cry for a year. In 1990, I had the cheekbones of Kate Walsh (and Pink's haircut). Now, I have the cheekbones of Mrs. Pillsbury Dough-Boy. It is to weep.

So, here's a question: Assuming I do lose 100+ pounds and achieve my dream weight, what will my face look like?

Today I got a hint. A woman I loathe (because she is psychotic and mean and a bad Unitarian) showed up at school (she's usually a no-show at school events). I haven't seen her in quite a while – and I almost fell off my chair. She's lost something like 80 pounds (or, as my friend Brandi Brite says, hundreds and hundreds of pounds)* and she is very very thin.

She is also haggard and ill-looking and grey-faced. She does not look attractive AT ALL.

I grabbed Nurse Kathy, the one woman who's managed to stay friendly with Universal Nemesis, and asked whether U.N. was dying or if she'd just lost a ton of weight way too fast. Nurse Kathy said No, she's healthy, she's just working very hard on weight loss.

Before the 80 pounds, I would have described this woman as pretty. A big girl, for sure, and loathsome, but quite attractive.

Well, that ship has sailed, and it's really given me pause. I always assumed that when I achieved my dream weight, I would once again look like Kate Walsh, though no longer with Pink's haircut. (Pink was my one derivation from my life-long hairstyle icon, i.e., Farrah. I have been Farrah at many different lengths, and now I'm shoulder-length-bob Farrah. All good.) But now I don't know what to think.

I'm holding steady at 15 pounds (amazing!!), but you can't really see it yet. (Though Mrs. Cynicletary hugged me a week ago and says that my waist feels smaller.) I'll be watching my face with great attention**, you can bet the farm on that.

Fretfully yours,

Lady C

* We ALL loathe her.

** Did you hear that sound? That was Brunie's mind exploding after trying to imagine me giving my face even more attention.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 50: Fifty Days, Fifteen Pounds

Today's scale reading: 272!!

And even though I'm only weighing in weekly at Fat Secret and reporting those totals here, nonetheless — this is the second time I've seen that number on my scale, so it's starting to feel more real, and it is very very exciting.

Today I tromped all over creation, first playing with twin three year olds (my good deed for the day; their dad is in Arizona for a few weeks, and poor mama's a bit overwhelmed) (and the two of them are freaking adorable), then picking apples on a surprisingly warm October afternoon. I also drank wine and ate a large-ish dinner, but I'm hoping that it all evens out.

One fun thing, not diet-related: Next weekend we're off to Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine, for a sort of church retreat, and my family plans to do skits at the Talent/No Talent Show. At our apple orchard, there's a cute little gazebo, and I suggested that we practice our skits there. At first, Mimosa demurred, saying, "I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of all these strangers." "Who better?!" I said, playing the Mom card and making her do it.

And it was a blast! People turned away from their picnic lunches and conversations to watch us, a three year old laughed out loud (that's pretty much the level of our humor), and we got much applause at the end. Mimosa took her bow, glowing with smiles.

There's a life lesson here, folks. (Besides Mama is always right.)

A day of sunshine and toddler twins and wine and toting a peck of apples — I am one tuckered tootsie.


—Lady C, who just howled at the full moon

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 49: Didn't See That Coming . . .

  • Today's scale reading: 274
Actually, to be more accurate:
  • Today's scale readings: 275, 274, 273.5, 273
I kept moving the scale around the bathroom floor because I was so astonished!

I did do a lot of manual labor yesterday; we moved furniture in the basement (both kids now have computers down there, and we needed a place for them to sit — so out went Mimosa's student desk, which I've always hated anyway, and in went a simple card table at which they can face each other, computers back to back), then reshuffled everything else, went through toy bins, cleared out a TON of crap (oh, how I would like to report that Mr. Lady C embraced the giant crap purge with the same fervor . . . alas), decorated the living room and dining room for Halloween, and did the usual Saturday housekeeping chores, which involved carrying my enormous heavy vacuum up and down two flights of stairs. So, a decent workout, I suppose.

But still — I did not expect my weight to be down this morning!

This is very motivating, I must say.

It's gorgeous outside; I will take a walk around the neighborhood, then come home and work my core (which I haven't been doing — I suspect it's turned to marshmallow again), and eat a small supper (we're having sausage and peppers, yum, but I will fill myself on salad greens, rather than spicy sausage and homemade French bread), take a hot bath, and try to have my lights off by 10:30 (after watching The Good Wifelove!).

That's my plan, anyway!

I must admit: I am quite fatigued, after leading a strenuous Sunday school class for 18 rambunctious kids whose ages ranged from 5 to 11 (that's a big range to keep engaged), and I have a stack of enticing library books, and the idea of lounging in my comfy green armchair with a book and a cup of coffee is wildly enticing. Maybe if I put my exercise clothes on right now, I'll be more likely to do it? We'll see if that works.

Send me some virtual strength of will, won't you?

—Lady C, whose spirit is willing but whose flesh is so very, very weak


I did curl up in my chair and drink coffee, but instead of reading I talked to my mom for an hour — and when we were done, she said, "And you still have plenty of time to take your walk!" So, yeah, shamed into it by my mother.

But I do think that donning my exercise clothes helped (just as getting ready for bed hours early — an idea I got from The Happiness Project — helps me get myself to bed at the proper time, rather than staying up too late because, as the evening wears on, the effort of brushing my teeth, flossing, washing my face, removing the last traces of eye makeup, night-creaming my almost invisible wrinkles, taking my Buick of a multivitamin, and drinking a full glass of water begins to seem as insurmountable as climbing Everest), so that's a tip I will remember.

And I did go outside. By 4 p.m., it was a bit cooler though still sunny, so I could soak up some Vitamin D without dissolving into sweat — perhaps. I have to say, though, this was a pretty boring walk — everyone I passed was unsmiling and grim, and the only dog I saw was a self-satisfied Bichon, too far away to pet even if he'd deign to allow me. And when I "hit the wall" (does that mean the part where you're thoroughly sick of what you're doing and want to quit? That's what I mean), I was still some distance from home — though I was near the houses of Martini's best friend Shrieki and of my PTO Treasurer, and it amused me to imagine how they'd react to my ringing their doorbell, then collapsing:
  • Shrieki's mom is kind and fluttery and Japanese; I think she would tuck me into an easy chair with a bowl of nourishing miso soup and fold a hundred paper cranes for my peace and well-being. Then she'd call Mr. Lady C to come get me, which is always a comedy, since he can't understand a word she says.
  • My PTO Treasurer is a no-nonsense badass; she'd snap, "Quit yer bitchin' and get moving — double time!"
I know which house I'm picking for my collapse, in other words.

Anyway, at these moments it's good that I'm away from home, because what else can I do but keep going? Usually a good song will get me over the hump — and what I learned is that all the songs starting with "Su--" on my iPod S-U-C-K. "Summer Days" by the Partridge Family? "Summer Wind" by someone other than Frank? "Sulomon" by Neil Diamond? Gah. I finally settled for "Super Trouper" by Meryl Streep and the cast of Mamma Mia!, because I was tired of scrolling.

Other thought: I do realize how absurd it is to be all squealy-excited about weighing 274, which is still a ridiculously high weight. I am a big, fat, enormous girl. BUT. I have lost 13 real pounds, and my BMI has gone from 43 point something to 41.7. I'm still considered MORBIDLY OBESE ("normal" tops at 24.9) — but I'm making progress! It doesn't happen overnight, so . . . what else can I do? And I'd rather celebrate than cower in shame.

So — yay! Thirteen pounds! Yay, me! An almost two-point drop in my BMI! Double yay! Haven't missed a day of blogging, and I'm still feeling committed to my program of jazzy and glamorous weight loss! Super mega quadruple yay!!!!!!!

Off to slice sausage and peppers and onions — mamma mia!

Ciao, bellas!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 48: Preparing to Pay the Piper

Oh, how I ate.

Half an order of queso fundido con chorizo.

The salsa dish refilled twice.

At least half the basket of chips.

A perfect chiles relleno, filled with poblano peppers and mushrooms and melty melty cheese.

Black beans. Spanish rice. Sour cream.

And a full half of a pitcher of sangria rojo. Possibly more. I think I drank faster than Jenny, who was busy pouring out her tale of woe (while I drank sympathetically).

And ooooooohhhhh baby was it good!!

My weight will most definitely be up tomorrow. So be it.

Vay con Dios.

xox Lady Chardonnay-Sangria

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 47: I Think I Caught Gwyneth's Disease

(from Contagion — and folks? It was NOT pretty.)

All week long, I've been sneezing and rubbing my eyes, and my nose has been on continuous drip — but I don't have a sore throat, I don't think I have a cold, and . . . it's worse inside my house than outside. Clearly, I'm allergic to something within these walls, and the likeliest culprits are house dust and cats. I don't even want to think about it (but we'll dust thoroughly this weekend, and maybe exfoliate the cats).

Today was particularly bad, as I also had a sort of migraine, so I would sneeze, rub my eyes, rest my cool hand on my aching forehead, blow my nose, and try not to barf (since I had just taken both Mucinex and a migraine pill, and I never know what to do if they get barfed back up. Do you still have to wait four hours before you take another one?). '

I'm also wearing a Poise pad. Look up the word "glamour" in the dictionary, you will find me.

I wrote four new sentences of my new novel and clipped the cats' claws, but otherwise the day was kind of a bust.

Also: I felt so crappy, I declared today No Diet Day. (It helped that I wasn't particularly hungry.) But I had three handfuls of Winco's sweet-spicy-salty snack mix (my mom sends it from California — soooooo good!) and a glass of Chardonnay with dinner. Oh! sweet sweet nectar! How I have missed you!

And dinner was very high in sodium; I made Chinese food, stir-fried broccoli and red peppers, and stir-fried chicken, snow peas, and mushrooms, and the secret ingredient of deliciousness? Soy sauce.

In other words: I do not expect a happy-happy scale reading tomorrow. C'est la vie. (Or, as the Chinese say, 那是生活. Seriously, look it up.)

And I've made another stupid Saturday night date; I have GOT to stop doing this before weigh-in day! But I'm a good friend — I'm going out with the newly sadly single Artsy Jenny, and we will have many pitchers of sangria and much melty-cheese-and-chorizo dip, and we will talk of the perfidy of weak-willed girlfriends and sing songs of girl power, and The Man will have to pour us onto the sidewalk when he closes up for the night.

Maybe while I'm down there I'll do a few push-ups.

Enough of today. I need a bath and a book (I'm reading Choker, which is GREAT so far) and an early bedtime. Probably curled up with a kitty who is trying to kill me.

Will Claritin work if I continue to stick my face into the belly of the beast? I would rather sneeze every five minutes than live cat-less, I'm telling you now. Though my nose is awfully red and chapped — and I use the kind of tissue that coats you in Vaseline after each blow.

Like Gwyneth in Contagion — NOT PRETTY.


—Lady C

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 46: Eek! Forgot to Blog!

Sorry, peeps — just got home from Back to School Night, where I did a little presidenty speech, then either had a major hot flash or an acute attack of Bright Red Face or I don't know, but I'm red and hot and fanning myself and feeling quite unwell and achy. So now it's off to bed with an ice-cold Diet Pepsi and a handful of Motrin.

Quick reports:
  • A new low weight on my scale this morning! Very thrilling, we'll see if I can maintain it.
  • I took my two-mile treadmill walk and hit a new high pace: 2.9 mph!!! Definitely a challenge, but thrilling nonetheless.
  • I was hungry and wanted a snack but also wanted to wait a bit, so I chanted, "Skinny - skinny - skinny" to myself, and that was quite motivating.
And so, to bed.

—Lady Chardonnay, longing for a fainting couch

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 45: Movement!

Hmm, given my indelicate mention of sluggish ladyplumbing the other day, it occurs to me that this title could be misinterpreted. But, just to continue the indelicacy, movement in that context is not inaccurate either.

In any event, after a day of small, fiber-filled, protein-rich meals and a night of zumba, today my scale reading was back where I thought it should be.

The argument against daily weighing is that plateaus or gains do tend to give one a sense of hopelessness. But the argument for it is that almost nothing beats the joy of seeing a new low weight!!!

In two more weeks, I may well be in a new "decade," and that is thrilling to contemplate.

More later, I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate my good news.

Yay! Yay! Weight loss, yay! (shaking my virtual pom-poms)

Ever thine,

Lady C

p.s. Mrs. Cynicletary is very bossy on the subject of daily weigh-ins (she's agin it), preferring to chart her weight loss by how her clothes fit. To me, the relative tightness of my clothes has more to do with where they are in the laundry cycle (freshly washed and dried vs. more broken in), but each to her own.


I realized that my three errands (making copies at Martini's school,* returning the CSA basket to the neighbor I share my share with,** and buying coffee cream at Trader Joe's***) formed a nice triangle, with my house in the middle of the base,**** so I decided to do it all on foot as today's exercise. It's perfect walking weather — bright blue sky, lively breeze — and I set out with great optimism and joie de vivre.

I returned sweaty and panting, but hey. I was on my feet and mostly moving briskly (the photocopying was not particularly aerobic, alas) for an hour and 20 minutes. All good! And even though my scalp was decidedly damp, the only visible wetness on my pretty teal shirt was two patches on my back.

(Back sweat! Ew!)

I then had a nice little lunch of scrambled eggs, lettuce and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar for dressing, seven reduced-fat Triscuits (that's a serving, people!), and red-hot applesauce**** for dessert. Low in fat, high in fiber, and all locally grown! (Except the Triscuits.) Good for me and Mother Earth.

* I also had to return the roll of plastic book cover wrap I shamelessly stole from the school library to cover all my new Judy Bolton color dustjackets! C'mon, who could blame me?

** The basket looks like a laundry basket, and I am quite the Tobacco Road figure, strolling through the streets with it.

*** I had just a dab left in the carton, so I tried to fool myself by shaking it up with some skim milk. I was not fooled.

**** It should be abundantly clear from this illustration that I haven't taken geometry since Mr. Bader's class in tenth grade. (And what did the bad boys call him? Master Bader, natch. Sigh.)

***** Red-hot applesauce is cooked apples with only candy Red Hots for sweetener (and color — and a little bit of a kick!). It's pretty and yummy. (Like me!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 44: Flatlining

I seem to have hit another plateau, where I do all the "right" things and the scale doesn't budge.

Okay, two pieces of homemade pizza probably doesn't fall under the category of Recommended Diet Food. But man! it was good! We used Trader Joe's olive oil and herb flatbreads and topped them with sweet Italian sausage and black olives (Martini's creation) and thinly sliced onions, mushrooms, and red peppers (my creation), and they were both deluscious and well-received.

Of course, the Chardonnays all eat like vultures, so perhaps this is not worth noting.

And I spent the entirety of yesterday parked in a chair in front of my computer. I got a lot done! but alas — crossing things off a to-do list is not aerobically stimulating.

I've been in my chair again for four straight hours, but now I'm off to pick up my repaired vacuum (it weighs as much as a Volkswagen bug, maybe I'll carry it around the parking lot for a while), mail some books, and pick up my CSA share. Then a big healthy salad for lunch, lots of beans and greens, and zumba tonight!

In other words: I'll keep on keepin' on. What else can I do?

I also wanted to mention that I've found a great breakfast, and Fat Secret loves it too: Chobani Fat-Free Raspberry Greek Yogurt, topped with Kashi GoLean Crunch Cereal. It's very low in fat, very high in fiber, and quite yummy — creamy, sweet, crunchy. What's not to love? And it's satisfying as all giddy-up; I eat that and am pleasantly full till lunchtime.

Errands call! And I shall answer.

—Lady C

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 43: Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Well, this is a first:
  • Today's (and yesterday's) scale reading: 275
So, for the first time, I have to report a weight gain at Fat Secret. Oh, well! I still would not take back my guacamole, my margaritas, my chicken tacos, not for anything!

(I think I am probably full of sodium. Also, my ladyplumbing is a bit sluggish. Next Sunday's weigh-in will be better.)

I'm in a good mood, though, because the sweetest young man from South Carolina is in my house this morning, fixing things. I asked if he'd like a cup of coffee, and he said, "No thank you, ma'am, but thank you kindly for the offer," and I am still swooning.
Plus, he's already fixed my wonky front doorknob, sticky closet doors, and forever-running toilet, and I am in love with him.

Tonight, Martini and I are making homemade pizza for dinner. I do not expect my sodium level to dip much at all. Tomorrow, it will be natural diuretics and zumba and sweat, but tonight I'll enjoy Italian sausage and olives with my sweet sweet boy.

Onward! (Journey, journey, journey, I chant to myself.)

—Lady Chardonnay-Piaf

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 42: The Best Exercise

Back in my Planned Parenthood days, we had a saying:

Q: What is the best method of contraception?

A: The one you'll use.

Okay, as wise old adages go, perhaps it's a tad lacking in zip, but there's still a lot of truth to it. Condoms and foam may be the most reliable method outside of sterilization, but I would never never never use them. There are a million and one drawbacks to taking the Pill, but that? I can remember to take, without fail. That's my method, then.

(Or was, before the mister's special procedure. Mimosa's friend Mouthy once inquired why we only had one carseat, and Mimosa pertly replied, "Because we've had an operation and we're not having any more children." !!)

And for me, exercise is kinda the same way. Swimming is touted as the best all-over aerobic exercise and fat-burner, but I'm not going to do it. I'm unlikely to go to a gym on a regular basis, and I think my aging, aching knees have ruled out running.

For me, it's walking and zumba, weight lifting and stretching — and that's pretty much it.

I got the treadmill many years ago, thinking, OK, walking in a straight line, I can do that at the very least, and I gamely trudged along. Then I started mixing it up by going outside, and that was nice. And then, I spent a weekend at a hotel, during a Weight Watchers period, and I was determined to exercise every day, so I logged several hours on the treadmill — and had an epiphany: Treadmill walking is boring. Walking outside is fun. I thought of myself as hating exercise, but I really just hated the treadmill. (Hate is too strong a word, but you know what I mean.) I actually enjoyed my outdoor walks,  for the reasons I noted before.

So I went along with that for a while, walking outside when weather permitted.

The weight-lifting got added when I went to see a physical therapist about my stupid dislocating shoulders. She taught me that two things hold a joint in place: ligaments and muscles. My ligaments are the problem; I'm something called "hyper flexible," which doesn't mean I can wrap my leg around my head; I can however touch my thumb to my inner forearm with little difficulty. (Such a useful skill! You have no idea.) Nothing short of surgery will tighten up a ligament (and I did try that, and my ligaments promptly stretched right back out again, which happens to a teeny percentage of the population), but I could lift weights to build up my shoulder muscles.

So — weight-lifting.

Then I read an article in O Magazine called "A Month of Living Perfectly," and that's where I got my Mayo-approved stretches. I knew I should stretch, I just didn't know what to do. But this website had pictures! of a fellow who looks vaguely like Dr. Oz! and clear directions! (Except in some cases; I never could figure out one of the stretches, and one is actively painful for me, so I cheerfully skip them both. But in general, I think I'm getting a good stretch.)

And then, last winter, I was talking to Brunie about exercise and how much I love dancing (like, at a disco), and she said, "You should do zumba. I would totally do zumba if there weren't any mirrors at my club," which made me howl. I'd never heard of zumba, but then I saw it listed in the Arlington Recreation catalogue, timidly crept my way to the first class (expecting a bunch of glossy Spandexed hardbodies laughing at me in my crappy men's tank top and cut-off stirrup pants), and fell in love. I adore zumba. It is dancey and sexy and fun, and I almost can't believe it's also a workout!

Exercise is on my mind, because I was determined to walk today . . . and then the day wore on in that way that days do. I went to church (got an awesome hug from my handsome church boyfriend — his wife is spindly and athletic, I think my abundant flesh is a gift to him), went to Target and Home Depot, drank coffee, talked to my mom . . . and I cannot tell you how loathsome the idea of movement became as the hours ticked by. But I forced myself — and I did it! Two miles in less than 40 minutes, and I'm even less sweaty than usual. And I feel really good!

Mr. Lady Chardonnay made chicken tacos and Spanish rice and sauteed corn with green chilies for dinner, and it was very delicious, and I ate what I hope was a normal-size meal. Time now for a bath, more coffee, The Good Wife, and a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow I'll do my real weigh-in and then go with the weight I like better. (Today's numbers weren't bad, but we'll see.)

Here's the benediction we say in my church:

May faith in the spirit of life, hope for the community of earth, and love of the sacred in one another, be ours now and in all the days to come.

Peace be with you!

—Lady C

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 41: Random Bits

(My alterna-title was "When Bad Things Happen to Good-Looking People.")

Today I got two pieces of yucky news: One of my husband's colleagues, Mr. Sporto, someone I like and enjoy very much, is in the hospital with a particularly nasty and fast-spreading form of cancer; even with treatment, he may not have more than a year to live. And my good friend, Artsy Jenny, was just dumped by the woman she's been seeing for eight months — someone she was madly in love with and whose defection has taken her completely by surprise.

It just sucks. There's really nothing else to say. I'm praying for both of them and trying to live in a place of gratitude for all that is good in my life — which is a lot.

I tell you, though — if you want to know the antidote for feeling all good about yourself for getting healthier and losing some weight, it's trying on bras in the hospital-lit three-way mirrored Kohl's dressing room. Man! That was depressing. I couldn't wait to get my clothes back on and look semi-cute again.

And then I went to see Contagion — (loved!) — which did serve as a unique diet aid; rather than scarfing my half of the delicious burrito we split, I reenacted the entire movie for Brunie.

(We did, however, consume an entire trough of guacamole and imbibe strong spirits. But then we took a brisk walk around the block, stopping only to contemplate getting matching tattoos, so I'm sure we worked it all off.)


And she and I must have been looking especially breastacular tonight, as at least seven men (and one bi-friendly girl) stopped by our table to see if we were enjoying our meal. Since Brunie actually had her head in the trough at one point, I think the answer was a fairly obvious yes. But still they asked. Our cleavage — it is captivating.

I am fairly sure that I will postpone my official weigh-in until Monday, but you never know.

Also: I am covered in mosquito bites. I never go outside, this makes no sense to me. On Thursday morning, when I was so sick with my migraine, I made the husband Google symptoms of West Nile Virus, just to see if I had it. (He is very good to me.)

(My symptoms were not a match, but maybe I have a mutation.)

Also: Inspired by Zooey Deschanel and New Girl, the four Chardonnays each have our own theme songs. (And they are awesome.)

And finally: The Hunger Games trilogy is so so SO good! I finished Mockingjay last night and then cried for half an hour. I am majorly psyched for the movie. Brunie and I both love Finnick; she says that she pictures him as my spiritual husband Hugh Jackman — which is really good, except it makes me too sad, so I picture him as Michael York playing Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet.

I brought home half of my half burrito, also the tiny side order of guacamole we ordered after we licked every inch of the trough (is is seriously good guacamole, people). Still, I'm fairly sure that Fat Secret would yell at me — if I told them. Ha!

See you in the a.m. Sweet dreams!

—Lady C