Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 153: Tiptoeing on the Eve of Genius

Tomorrow National Novel Writing Month begins, and I have committed to produce 1,667 words a day for 30 days — ai yi yi. My only saving grace is that they don't have to be good words, though probably some of them will be, and certainly I can improve on All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So — that is something.

Today was yet another chock-a-block event-full day, which started at dawn when I arose early to wash my newly highlighted hair — (I'm so pretty! like a lady skunk!) — and drove Mimosa to Madrigals (it's deeply dark at 7 a.m., I don't have the heart to make her walk). Husband and I then drove Martini + glock to the middle school, then went into Boston, where Husband met with his cranky department chair and I sat at Peet's, drinking coffee and reading my book.

And then we dashed off to Roxbury Community College's MainStage to see Handsome D in "A Soldier's Play," which was magnificent. Handsome D played the plum part of Sergeant Waters, the racist, bullying non-com whose murder prompts not only the question "Whodunit?" but also "Who didn't want to do it?" The entire cast was stellar (truly, to an astonishing degree), but our good friend, the man at the center of it all, shined most especially brilliant, and we were so proud and happy for him. Both Husband and I had forgotten what a good play it is, and we were still talking it over during lunch afterward at Asian Fusion Hoody-Doody. Yum!

Live theater, sushi, chardonnay, and a hot date with Husband — my perfect day.

And all that happened before 1 p.m.!

When the kids got home from school we carved our jack o'lanterns (yes, today is Halloween — why rush these things?) and I made a lovely dinner (Mom always insisted that we eat a healthy meal before trick or treating and before going to the fair, and let me just say this: you don't want a stomach full of egg salad when you're on The Twister. And yet I persevere with this tradition . . .), and now Li'l Martini and his pallies Shrieki and Mr. Critic are roaming the neighborhood. (Mimosa elected to stay home this year; she and I plan to watch the Simpson's "Treehouse of Horror" and then maybe Pitch Perfect for the 90th time or something like that.)

The boys will wind up back here when they're finally sated, and we'll drink cider and eat candy and watch A Charlie Brown Halloween (tradition!), and then they're all going to Shrieki's for a sleepover. No school tomorrow! It's all good.

And I am sharpening both my wits and my pencils, in preparation for my own little War and Peace. Well, more like Teen Angst and Cute Boys, but you get the idea.

Life is sweet.

—Lady C, budding authoress

p.s. The thing I am most excited about this weekend is daylight savings on Sunday and setting all our clocks back — so for a few glorious hours, every clock in this house will actually have the same time. We are five minutes off all over the place, it's driving me nuts.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 150: New Week, New 'Tude

Ah, my Xanadu weight was as insubstantial and fleeting as its name implies. And last week was so crazybusy and chock-a-block with stuff, it was hard to maintain my focus on better living through weight loss and health. Here are just a few snapshots of What's Been Going On:
  • In my efforts to drum up editing work, I e-mailed a former colleague who now works for my main employer's competition. Alas, I haven't heard from her. But then I went to a new zumba class, since last week's holiday messed up my zumba schedule, and there I saw yet another former colleague — who also now works for the The Competition. She said that yes indeed they use editors, gave me her business card, and invited me to follow up. (So far it has led to nothing, yet I have to believe that these moments of serendipity happen for a reason. Stay tuned!)
  • Brunie and I and Mama Brunie road-tripped to Moultonborough, New Hampshire, to see my favorite living author Ruth Doan MacDougall give a writers talk! We spent the night at a charming bed and breakfast, I professed my love to the pygmy goats that roam the premises but was shunned, we dined at a lovely pub where Brunie ordered the beer sampler and, upon seeing its presentation, promptly christened it the "Beer-norah,"
    and we treated Ruth to lunch in a castle! Well, more accurately, the gatehouse or stable or something near the castle, you have to pay sixteen bucks to visit the castle proper, and we are cheap. Though we allowed Ruth to have a drink with her lunch. It was so much fun, New Hampshire is incredibly beautiful, and Ruth is a perfect peach. I've never been in a roomful of people discussing her work before, and I was in heaven.
  • The Music Director at my church has abruptly resigned. I know there is more to the story, but everyone is following good process and being very circumspect, which is appropriate. She is simultaneously brilliant, gifted, difficult, and beloved, and people's reactions have been HUGE. We are also in the midst of a capital campaign and contemplating our church building being under construction next year and our minister is leaving for a brief sabbatical. In short: Church is not exactly a haven of peace at present, and those of us in the thick of things (yes, me) are being called to be good, consistent leaders. Which I can do, it's just . . . stressy.
In other life news, being my family's anchor was also somewhat draining, as they are racing along on their own hamster wheels:
  • Mimosa is auditioning for Into the Woods, and I found the show on DVD for us to watch (she loved it; she wants to be the Witch). For her audition she needs to sing a "story song" (she's chosen "What I Did for Love," which I have the sheet music for, so we've been practicing that) and deliver a one-minute monologue. Her first idea was to do Emily from Our Town, which is great — but I also think that lots of girls will have the same idea . . . and then I had a brainstorm, which Mimosa loved: She will do a monologue from the movie Carrie, from the book by Stephen King. I found a copy of the shooting script online, and there's a bit that will work perfectly (where Carrie says, "I have to try to be more like other people, Mama"). Mimosa read it for me and Husband this weekend, and she's amazing. She also sang a solo at her Youth Group retreat; her peers gave her a standing ovation, which gave her the confidence to try out for a solo with her school chorus — which she got. We are so proud of our budding diva!
  • Li'l Martini is practicing his glock and trying out drums (I think he'll decide this week whether to go forward or not) and doing LARP twice a week — and has now decided that he might audition for his school play, Guys and Dolls. He's done a little acting and is quite good, and both his Music teachers at school have complimented his singing voice, so he's also feeling pumped and confident, which will serve him well. Though he's getting a D in Geography, and I feel like he's trying to do too much and isn't that great at managing his time. I'm willing to let him try, but it takes a lot of guidance and structure on Mama's part . . .
  • Poor Husband is writing the captions to go with the voice narration for his online course and having to grade all these online papers, and he desperately needs a new eyeglass prescription; he can't see a thing onscreen with his current glasses, and the effort to squint, read, think, and type wears him out and gives him headaches. He's realizing that in-person interaction with students is something fairly essential to his work enjoyment (which is good to know) and is pretty much counting the days till the online course is over. It's hard to watch him be so miserable, because there's really nothing I can do to help, other than be a kind wifey and cook him good meals. (Check!)
Busy busy!!

I had a large three-day editing job last week, which I had to cram into two days because of my road trip — but other than that, not much work. Today I will check in with all my clients, follow up with the temp agency, and drop off the forms I filled out to be a substitute teacher. I'm also talking with a man, a friend of a friend, about editing the three novels he's written; my price is a bit out of his range, but I'm hoping we can negotiate something that works for both of us, as it sounds like a fun job.

And I will walk down my hill to Trader Joe's, eat lightly and healthfully, and go to zumba tonight. (I didn't do anything terribly wrong last week, but I didn't exercise enough and I drank a lot of wine.)

(It was awesome!)

In any event, my weight has floated up again — though with a little diligence, I know it will float right back down.

Today — I will be diligent.


—Lady C

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 142: I Know It's Xanadu, But I'll Take It

Here's a trick that always works for me:
  • Plan exercise for the evening
  • Eat very lightly before (usually, a fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • Work out
  • Take a long, hot bath and drink tons of water
  • Go to bed (no more dinner!) (though, I'll admit, I often have a handful of nuts)
My weight is always lower the next day. It doesn't always stay at this low weight, and I know the bulk of what I've "lost" is water, but nonetheless — this Xanadu weight gives me a lift and helps me feel confident and successful first thing in the morning.

Yesterday I did a variation on this trick; both kids were gone for the day, so I did my chores plus some of theirs, lugging my million-ton Kirby vacuum up and down two flights of stairs; I had a big breakfast (eggs and linguica!) so was able to skip lunch; Good Neighbor Anne and I took a long walk around Habitat (gorgeous!!! She is so good at spotting wildlife. Because of my intense and irrational fear of falling, I am good at spotting the path directly in front of me and that's about it, but her eagle eyes found a bat house and an amazingly-colored caterpillar); I lifted weights and worked my core and then ate a light lunch/dinner of leftover potstickers and green salad and a plum; I took a two-hour bath (and yes, drank water, but also a glass of wine and a cup of coffee); made a bowl of popcorn (on the stove, not the microwave, which I think is healthier) and watched Freaks and The Devil-Doll on Turner Classic Movies (awesome); and went to bed.**

This morning's weight: 247 !!!

I'm back to my lowest low since I began this journey, and that is a full 40 pounds lost!! Whee!!!

Though I know it's Xanadu weight, still — when I see that weight on a scale, even on a Xanadu morning, I know I'm close.  And please note that yesterday included sausage, a buttery English muffin, and wine. (aka: a perfect day!!!)

And also: My period started this morning, which usually makes my weight go up, so this is all very interesting.

(On another "interesting" note, this period follows the last one by only two weeks. Two weeks!! Are my periods only 14 days apart now? When will the menopause freaking get here?!!)

Yesterday really was awesome; I've been trying to get outside a lot this month because I love October so much and we are having such a beautiful one; on Friday I sat on my patio reading and drinking wine (and saw the cutest chipmunk!), and yesterday Good Neighbor Anne and I sat on her front porch post-walk and got all caught up on every facet of our thrilling lives and enjoyed the pretty-ness of our street. (The mail carrier stopped for a long chat about Daisy-the-dog's future, as she also loves Daisy and is worried — but I think all will be well. Daisy's on the Cape this weekend with her uncle, who lives next door, and I suspect it might be a try-out visit. But isn't it fun that our nice mail chica cares about all of this? How much do you love small-town life?!)

There's always so much more to tell (including an amazing tale of career serendipity) but I need to get dressed for church and finish polishing tonight's OWL lesson. (Topic: self-pleasuring and human sexual response, woo-hoo! I plan to do lots of role-plays.)


Off to slip into something form-fitting yet church-appropriate. Maybe I can dig out my old Weight Watchers "Ask Me How Much I've Lost!" button.*** God will understand.

—Lady C, light and lively

** "But Lady C, where was Husband during all this?" you may ask. Ah, Husband has a new mistress; her name is Camtasia and she is a harsh dominatrix, demanding his time and attention 24/7. (He's teaching an online course, which requires learning a whole new skill set. Not so much fun for him, but the money's good and he really likes one of his new colleagues. But just that one. He's ready to be done with Camtasia. Don't tell her, though.)

*** Have I told you this story before? A few birthdays ago, Mrs. Cynicletary presented me with a light-up blinking button that read "Kiss Me! It's My Birthday!", which I promptly pinned (and turned) on. Within a few moments Sister Hart the Elder had joined us for lunch, and she greeted my button with some bemusement. "Mrs. Cynicletary made me wear it!" I blurted. Sister Hart turned to Mrs. C and said, "How ever did you pressure her into it?" Mrs. C rolled her eyes and replied, "I handed it to her." Ha ha ha, my friends are wicked funny.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 139: I WILL Achieve Zen, Just Give Me Five More Minutes

My days are just . . . ridiculous.

For example, this was my Tuesday:
  • Rose at dawn to drive Mimosa to school
  • Walked down my hill to vote for state rep (my girl won!) and then back up again
  • Showered my stinky sweaty self
  • Saw the boob surgeon, Dr. Dixie (she was very nice and reassuring; I'm in good hands — literally)
  • Picked up our last CSA share for the year — the nice woman who hands me my veg every week gave me an extra basket of apples and a big hug, because she loves me; we have these great food chats all summer long, and she laughs at how excited I get when I see my share each week
  • Scheduled my boob surgery (nothing to worry about — I'll keep you posted)
  • Picked up Li'l Martini and his glock
  • Drove Martini to his first drum lesson, maneuvering through heinous road construction that was determined to thwart my nice MapQuest directions — but Martini had a blast
  • Concocted a magnificent dinner of Chinese sausages, rice noodles with cilantro and ginger sauce, potstickers, green salad with Paul Newman's Light Sesame Ginger Dressing, and a fruit plate
  • Collapsed into a hot bubble bath
  • Decided that this editing dry spell has gone on long enough; it is time to work, and since I don't want to commit myself to a low-paying forever job, temping it is!
  • Contacted two temp agencies about employment and e-mailed several resumes
  • Spoke to a nice rep at another agency
  • Reached out to a former co-worker to see if her new company uses freelance editors
  • Checked in with the client I'm supposed to be working for this week [result: silence]
  • Downloaded all the forms to apply to be a substitute teacher; the pay is crap, but nonetheless — in seven days, I'd have enough to buy Martini a drum set
  • Called my boob doc and got the all-clear to fly three days after my surgery (and why am I flying? More will be revealed!!!)
  • Picked up three books at the library
  • Had a fabulous lunch with my Dear Sleepy Susan, who introduced me to her favorite Tibetan buffet restaurant — so so so good!!!!
  • Convinced Wish Salon to honor my $130 gift certificate, even though it expired in June
  • Tracked down Paul Newman Chardonnay, which hasn't been made since 2011 and is ridiculously hard to find but will be the PERFECT gift for a friend I'm seeing next week (again — more will be revealed!)
  • Picked up Li'l Martini and his glock
  • Briskly walked to the house of the friend I split my CSA share with and dropped off our basket
  • Concocted (with Martini's help) what I hope will be a magnificent dinner: cauliflower casserole (a recipe that came with my CSA share this week, along with an enormous head of cauliflower; it's basically steamed cauliflower baked in cheesy custard, but I've tarted it up with diced ham, green peas, and a half-cup of slivered red pepper, for color and excitement!), green salad, toasted carrot muffins, and fruit
. . . and I think another hot bath awaits. Though I'm also supposed to have the little doggie over for her visit. Well, we'll see.

Here's some fabby news: I'm staying at my boot camp weight! This is quite thrilling to me and of course motivates me to keep eating less.

The timer just went off, and the casserole smells delicious. Time to be a good mama and care for my little family.

Lady C, juggling sweat and glamour since 2011

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 136: Boot Camp Success! UPDATED to Laugh at Myself

For seven days, I maintained an intense focus on exercising and sleeping more and eating less, and I end my week two pounds lighter than when I began. It's a small success but it is something.

Especially since my "intense focus" included cocktails, several restaurant meals, one day that I completely blew off, two servings of apple pandowdy with vanilla ice cream, and two "walks" that were just walking up and down my Big Hill to Trader Joe's. But I did exercise and break a sweat every single day, and I ate a lot more produce — and went to bed earlier!

(As I've noted before, the trick is reading before bedtime rather than watching a movie — though I nodded right off during Dead of Night on Friday.)

I was most dedicated about zumba and walking; I did one or the other every day. I lifted weights three times (my goal had been four), but I'm also lifting heavier weights, which I know makes a difference. I was least dedicated about my core work, doing my throw-downs only three times (goal: seven) — but I'm up to 27 reps! (I started at, like, nine.)

And I did "okay" at sticking to my 2,000-calorie limit. Some days I was way under and some days a little over, and on a day-to-day basis it seemed to make little difference. But I was conscious of being hungry and not eating several times, which is good for me. (I tend to be terrified of hunger and do anything to avoid it. It's good for me to see that it's something I can survive!) And I also drank a lot more water than usual, which was good.

In any event here I am, two pounds lighter. I'll take it!

So much other stuff going on, which is remarkable considering that I have no editing work and no big church project at present. And yet I feel all my wheels spinning, constantly.

Introducing the little doggie to my cathouse has been quite the adventure. The cats are not happy. I plan to bring Daisy over for brief visits all week and see if my felines get any calmer — but so far, Annabel blows up like a puffer fish to twice her size and growls and hisses and scratches, and the little guys cry and run away. Not so fun, so far. (Daisy, to her credit, is remarkably chill during these goings-on, which gives me hope.)

Supper's now on the table — shepherds pie, apple salad, and carrot muffins baked by Mimosa. Time to eat!

— Lady C, delighted to have shed 32 ounces — that is one big gulp!


Cocktails and restaurant meals and apple pandowdy? I am the worst Boot Camper EVER.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 132, Part 2: Boot Camp, Day 4 (Still In Progress)

I have a few minutes while I'm waiting for the kids' frozen hash-browns to cook, so I will update the blog — since my readers are in such a lather!!


First, today's Thin Food Report:
  • Grape Nuts
  • Skim Milk
  • Coffee
  • Green Salad with Many Veggies
  • Half a Can of Water-Packed Tuna
  • Sprinkle of Goat Cheese
  • Dollop of Greek Dressing
  • 7 Reduced-Fat Triscuits
  • Water
  • Trader Joe's Harvest Blend Tea
. . . plus, I will admit, 7 candy corns.

My plan had been a quick yogurt before zumba, but there may not be time. I'll eat it afterward, plus some fruit.

In any event — I often put tuna on my green salad but I always, always mix it with mayo first. Having it "dry," with the goat cheese and Greek dressing, was delicious! Such a good thing to know!

(I haven't logged it on Fat Secret yet, but I have to believe that goat cheese and Greek dressing, which I might've had anyway, will be preferable to full-fat mayo, which is the only mayo I can abide.)

However, I also measured my waist today, and as far as I can tell it's gotten bigger.


Second: So about that dog . . .

Do you remember me mentioning that I am madly in love with one of our neighborhood dogs? Her owner is quite elderly, and I've oft wondered if it would be impolitic to inquire if there are plans for Daisy (that's the dog) should anything happen to her mama.

(Which, of course it is, so I've never pursued this train of thought.)

So yesterday I'm driving home, and my friend Mrs. C flags me down and says, "Hey, you want Daisy?" I pick my jaw off the floor and gulp, "Um . . . yes?" and Mrs. C tells me that Daisy's mama is moving to assisted living in February and can't bring her li'l dogie with her. But since Daisy is her baby, she wants to be sure that she's going to a good home — and she knows I adore her.

We have three cats, of course, and I have never been a dog owner EVER, so this is all very very preliminary. But on Sunday Daisy will come over for a long visit, enough time for everyone to kinda start acclimating to her (maybe — actually, I predict that we won't see the cats at all), and we'll just see how it goes. I've been doing a lot of reading about how to introduce a dog to a cat-house, and I have a few good ideas. I think.

Anyway. We'll see.

This was not exactly the exciting new life challenge I was looking for . . . but I LOVE this little dog. I can't bear the idea of her leaving both her mama and me and the neighborhood!!!

Martini is enraptured by the idea, Mimosa is cautiously pleased but also skeptical, and Husband . . .


Let's not count our chickens yet.

I'm not actually sure what kind of dog Daisy is. She looks a little like a Chow-Chow and a little like a Pomeranian; she's small (teacup piggy size, maybe? but bigger than a Chihuahua); probably around nine years old; she's auburn; and she is perfectly beautiful with the most winsome personality!!!

O I love her so much!!!!!

But again — the chickens remain uncounted.

More will be revealed.

—Lady C, open to the mystery

(Including the mystery of why in the hell my waist is BIGGER?????)

Day 132: Boot Camp Day 3 Report, aka Ah, Sweet Mysteries of Life

Yesterday was a good day. The last thing I wanted to do was exercise in the a.m., but I knew I had to do penance for the excesses of Day 2, so I squeezed into my exercise clothes (Compression is my friend!) and headed to the Bike Path. And it was lovely! A perfect October day — bright blue sky, crisp air, brilliantly colored tree plumage. Autumn is lovely pretty much everywhere, I would expect, and I know that New England doesn't have a monopoly on a gorgeous fall — but for a girl who loves October above all other months, Arlington, Mass., is a very good place to be.

It also gave me such a mental lift to be outdoors! Afterward I did a quick shop at Walgreen's and Trader Joe's, my homes away from home, and saw a girlfriend and had a nice chat, and that was fun. Then I had lunch with another dear friend at Pasha, our local Middle Eastern restaurant, which I adore; I had my usual, falafel wrap sandwich and hummus, and I was full sooner than usual and brought home most of the hummus and all of the bread for my kids to enjoy as an after-school snack.

Since my lunch was so large I didn't have any dinner, and then I went to zumba, where I sweated hard and lifted my weights. I just read that it's much better to increase the amount of weight you're lifting, rather than do more reps with lighter weights, so I went up to four pounds (I've been lifting three). When I got home, I held Husband's ankles and did my throw-downs, 25 of them, the most I've ever done, I think. And it wasn't even that hard! Those ab muscles are definitely stronger, which is exciting to contemplate.

And even though I'm reading a deliriously exciting and page-turny book (The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty — highly recommended!), I turned the light off when my eyes started closing just after 11.

In short: A practically perfect health-and-weight-loss day!

And this morning, when I weighed myself . . .

. . . I had gained a pound.

In review: After a day of margaritas and no exercise, I gained no weight whatsoever. After a day of light eating and two sessions of exercise, I gained a pound.

Here's how I'm feeling right about now:

Again, I know, I know, that weight comprises many variables and that restaurant food is packed with fat and salt; I'm likely retaining several pounds of water from that incredibly yummy falafel sandwich, and this is largely why experts say not to weigh yourself daily (or if you do, not to get too hung up on the actual numbers).

But still. There are few areas in my life where I work so hard and see so little payoff! It is incredibly discouraging.

And yet, and yet. I thought about all the exercise I did yesterday, and the truth is: I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved my glorious morning walk. I loved my fun zumba class. I like lifting weights, and while I don't love my ab exercise, I love increasing the number of reps I can do. Yes, I did it all for health reasons, but I had fun doing it. No regrets.

And that's the key, for me, anyway: finding something I love, so the payoff is not solely a lower number on a scale.

Or not.

So — a new day has dawned. I have a zumba class tonight (a make-up from Monday, and my first time back with Big False Smile teacher — we'll see how I like her this time), and I will eat very, very lightly. I have fat-free Greek yogurt and leftover green salad in the fridge, which will aid in my efforts. And since I'm thinking of Boot Camp as a full seven-day week, I'll do my final weigh-in on Monday rather than my usual Friday.

Today's other goal: Beginning the search for a decent-paying part-time job. It's time to bite the bullet!

(Ugh. I'm already bracing myself for the nasty taste of that bullet.)

Oh, and in other health news: As always, I am trying trying trying to leave my cuticles alone, and as always have been only somewhat successful in this effort. But I've learned that watching the challenges on Survivor is very bad for my cuticles; I get completely worked up and find myself shredding, shredding without even realizing it. (Yes, I do realize how completely absurd this sounds. I am beyond dorky in this scenario.) So last night I actually donned my elbow-length gloves, after applying deep-moisture lotion, and enjoyed a little spa treatment while watching Survivor with Li'l Martini, and he is such a good son, rather than laughing about what a dork I am, he cheered me on. I have raised that child perfectly!

And in my final news bulletin of the day: We may be getting a dog. Don't ask.

My motivational mantra for the day: I enjoy eating like a thin person.

Well, gee, doesn't everyone?


— Lady C, exercising her face by glaring at the scale

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 130: Can My Boot Camp Include Margaritas? UPDATED with The Morning After

It was pretty much a relentless day of suck, all told.

On Friday my printer died, and I really, really need a printer, so I paid an extra $39+ to have it delivered overnight. Which, since they're only counting business days, meant Monday. I waited around for FedEx all day Monday (as well as my electrician — fun day!), but the printer never came.

Turns out — Epson put the wrong zip code on the order, transposing two numbers. Everything else was right, though, so FedEx was kind of a moron, I must say. But in any event, I didn't get the printer until today, around noon.

Here was my plan:
  • Set up printer.
  • Call Epson and calmly insist that they refund my $39+.
  • Take a long walk and sweat sweat sweat.
  • Pick up Li'l Martini and his giant glockenspiel at school.
Here's what I did instead:
  • Attempt to set up printer.
I could not get that thing to work for love or money.

And then I looked at the clock and saw that I needed to get to Martini's school.

. . . and he appeared at 2:30, sans glockenspiel, saying, "Mom, I don't know what happened, I left it in the hallway as usual — and now it's not there."

You know, there are days when I can roll with the punches — adroitly deflecting the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But during the entire time I was waiting for Martini (and trying not to break down and cry), I was reflecting on the fact that not one single thing I'm doing in my life right now is fun.

Boot Camp — not so fun. I was hungry all day yesterday and felt very virtuous — then I weighed myself this morning, and my weight was no different from the day before. This is the opposite of fun. !!!

Editing work — nonexistent, though I keep being "promised" jobs. I was supposed to have a big job today, but the client says he needs another day. I have three large jobs floating in the ozone . . . but who knows when they'll hit. I'm also "auditioning" for another big job, but you just never know. I am so stressed and worried about work and money and what I "should" be doing (whatever that is)!

Church work — beyond frustrating. I am so sick of people who simply take and contribute nothing. I want to slap them all.

Family — I spent the entirety of yesterday reminding the three dopes I live with of what they're supposed to be doing. I love them to pieces, but this is the least charming aspect of each of their personalities.

In any event, when Martini told me his glock was missing, that was my tipping point. I placed my hands gently on either side of my skull (so as to collect the millions of skull fragments when my head surely exploded), then got out of the car and headed into the school. We were finding that glockenspiel or I was leaving a kid behind. One or the other.

And after crawling through a bunch of storage closets, we did find it. (The school is hosting author Rick Riordan tonight, hundreds of people are expected, and the teachers and custodians went on a hall-clearing rampage. I have . . . so many questions, but whatev. We have the glock, all is well.)

Then I came home and called Epson technical support, and the nice foreign man kindly walked me through several troubleshooting options. My printer now works! Again, all is well.

The I called the Epson store and nicely asked them to refund my shipping fees. They countered by offering the difference between overnight shipping and two-day shipping. I could've pushed harder, but again — whatev. I took the deal.

And then it was 4 p.m. and I went into the kitchen and made a margarita.

So — today's Boot Camp may be something of a bust, though I will eat lightly of our produce-heavy dinner (pork chops, rice pilaf, sauteed greens, grilled leeks, carrot sticks, and homemade applesauce) and have only a thin slice of the apple cake I made for dessert. If it's light enough after dinner, I'll walk down our hill to Trader Joe's, and I plan to take a long hot bath tonight.

I will not win any Boot Camp awards today,  but my psyche needed this.

Life should be fun. Period.

Cheers! (I'm still sipping my margarita.) (It was pretty big.)

—Lady C, Boot Camp degenerate

p.s. I keep meaning to mention this! I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), pledging to write something like 1,500 words a day for the month of November. It will be a challenge, but I'm excited about it. I'll tell you more later, but now I need to get back into the kitchen.


The sky was inky-black after dinner, so my only walk was upstairs to the tub (though I did eat lightly, having seconds only on greens and leeks — SO good! — and my sliver of apple cake was indeed a sliver). I took a very long, very hot bath and had my light off by 11:15. (Two nights in a row!)

Then I weighed myself this morning, and the scale needle hadn't budged.

So, just to review: Day 1 included exercise and a stringent diet; Day 2 comprised no exercise, two margaritas, and a slice of apple cake; and my weight was the same after each day.

I know that weight is a complex entity and there are lots of other variables involved, but nonetheless: I would not call this encouraging.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 129: The Dawn of Boot Camp, Plus Other Odds and Ends

Good Neighbor Anne and I have started a week of Boot Camp. For me, this means daily food logging, aiming for no more than 2,000 calories (FYI, to achieve a one-pound weekly weight loss, Fat Secret has me at 2,200 calories); daily aerobic exercise, either walking or zumba; daily core work; weight-lifting every other day; lots of water; and eight hours of sleep each night, if at all possible. 

Sadly, this last goal will be the most challenging for me; I get up at 7 but cannot seem to turn my light off at 11. Midnight is my natural bedtime, and on Saturdays, my one day to "sleep in," I naturally wake around 8. So I know my body wants eight hours . . . I'm just not the boss of my body, apparently.

Today I'm waiting for both an editing job and my new printer to arrive (my old one died on Friday — a bad, bad day for many reasons). But I've already taken my walk (and sweated a gallon — it's humid here), lifted my weights, and worked my core, and I'm feeling good.

Actually, I'm feeling sweaty and stinky, but nonetheless virtuous. 

OK — on to "old business," aka the things that are starting to pile up around my computer again.

I read a great article called "Rev Up Your Metabolism!," which acknowledged that metabolism slows as you get older. The authors recommend checking out the online Metabolism Calculator and then subtracting 500 calories from what you naturally burn each day in order to lose a pound a week (because a pound equals about 3,500 calories). I was torn between whether I'm "lightly active" or "moderately active," so I tested both — and both are very close to what Fat Secret is telling me! So this week I will play the numbers game and see what happens.

I've always loved math. Now it's math's turn to love me.

Next up! I mentioned a few days ago that I read an article by Tory Johnson, who's lost 62 pounds so far . . . and of course I'm happy for her, but I found her approach unsettling. 
  • One of the first things she did was to rid her kitchen cupboards of all carbohydrates, even healthy ones like brown rice. This seems crazy to me. How can cutting out an entire food group be good for you? 
  • She offers this nugget of wisdom: "Food is fuel; it does not have to be amazing, entertaining, or exciting." Um . . . wow. This is pretty much a 180 from my philosophy of live to eat. If I'm not enjoying what I'm eating . . . I'm going to look for something more enjoyable. Fortunately, I do enjoy lots of healthy foods. 
  • Finally, she describes an interaction with her girlfriend: "Cindy wants to lose weight, too, but when she acknowledges that no, she doesn't want to give up her glass of white wine at night or her margaritas when she's out with girlfriends, I'm skeptical." Because . . . you can't possibly want some small pleasures and also be serious about losing weight? The word "skeptical" struck me as needlessly bitchy and judgmental.
Since I may also sound needlessly bitchy and judgmental right about now, let me quickly say that weight loss is such a personal thing, and everyone has to find the approach that works for her. I wish Tory Johnson all the best.
. . . but I'm also glad that she's not my besty.

I did like how she lost 11 pounds and got ready for the world to hand her a medal — and then no one even noticed. That is exactly how I felt during the first months of my weight loss. Where's my standing O, world? Are you kidding me?? And I love her suggested distraction of painting your nails when you've got the munchies — when your top coat is wet, you won't be reaching in to the potato chip bag. (Though what's she doing with potato chips in the house if she won't even allow brown rice?!)

Hmm. I am really stinky, but UPS hasn't arrived yet, and I'm afraid to abandon my post. It may be time to break down and call someone. This girl needs a shower!!

But first, two more things from my pile. The first is a true marvel that one of my Betsy-Tacy pals knew I would want (which I totally do, despite the weirdly armless nature of the players — even though, as Mimosa points out, all foosball players are armless. But these seem especially so. Not that I have anything against the armless):

And this, a joke that my pal the Maybelline Queen sent me a long time ago. It's totally misogynistic and totally sexist, and nonetheless it makes me giggle every time I read it:

One day, long, long ago, there lived a woman who did not whine, nag, or bitch.

But this was a long time ago . . . and it was just that one day.

The End
Have a great week, everyone! If you want to do Virtual Boot Camp with Me and Good Neighbor Anne, let me know and I'll post your goals here as well.


—Lady C, planning to get an "A" in Boot Camp

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 127: Back on the Road to Wellville

Ugh, what an awful week! I was sucking down sumatriptan tablets like they were peanut M&M's, my poor head hurt so bad. But by Wednesday I had the feeling that sweat would be my friend, so I actually went to zumba, headache and all. And it helped! I haven't had a headache since, though I am still producing snot like my body thinks it's an endangered resource. At least the Kleenex corporation raked in some dough this week — I'm happy to do my part for the economy.

My weight had been down in the '40s again so I was psyched for weigh-in, but there is just something about Weigh-In Day, no matter when I schedule it: I was up two pounds. Alas!

But one night this week, something clicked:

I used to eat way too much, and I steadily gained weight as a result.

I cut down the amount of food I ate and increased the amount I exercised. This allowed me to lose and keep off 35 pounds.

But here I've been, stuck at the 35-pound mark, for all these many months, wondering why the scale needle has stopped moving — when the answer is obvious.

I now eat what a 250-pound woman eats. To weigh less than 250 pounds, I must eat less.

I know I've said variations on this before, but this is the first time I've thought about it exactly this way, and for whatever reason it has finally sunk in.

One "bad" thing I've been doing is falling back into my old restaurant habits (many, many restaurant meals per week). Time to re-break this habit, ugh. But my budget will appreciate it too.

Anyway. Ever since I heard the "click," I've been eating less — smallish portions, no seconds, no dessert. And I haven't had any hooch since I've been sick. It helps that I ate less this week in general, so my appetite is smaller anyway. But clearly this is what I have to do.

Good Neighbor Anne is talking about doing boot camp next week, which sounds exactly like what I need. Stay tuned!

In other news . . .


Last year on my milestone 50th birthday, a bunch of true-blue Betsy-Tacy pals chipped in to give me a bottle of Dom Perignon — such an exciting gift! I decided that I would open it on the day my weight loss total hit 50 pounds.

Well, you and I both know that that day hasn't come yet — and that bottle still sits in my kitchen, watiting, waiting.

I am mortified. I know this is not what my friends wanted.

So here is my vow. I still hope to hit the 50-pound loss mark, and sooner rather than later. My new eating philosophy and a week of boot camp will be a great start.

BUT. If for whatever reason my weight loss efforts are stalled beyond my control, I will open that bottle on New Year's Eve 2013 and enjoy every single drop of it! I promise.

Time to get dinner on the table! A small healthy dinner, natch.

More will be revealed . . .

— Lady C, determined to start eating like a 237*-pound woman

* That's my 50-pound mark, for those who haven't been reading this blog for decades or memorizing every up and down of my volatile weight

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 123: Too Clogged to Blog

O I am so sick.

The cold that's been parallel-playing with me for a month finally rang the doorbell and invited itself in. It's also my special ladytime and I have a pounding headache — an exciting combo of hormonal migraine and sinus pain/pressure. Strange bedfellows, together again at last!

Ouch ouch ouch.

My anniversary celebration was stupendous, plus I had a weekend chock-full of joy and fun, but those stories will have to wait for another day.

As you know I embrace glamour at every opportunity, but when I'm sick . . . it is hard to imagine how I could be less glamorous. I'm wearing an ancient oversize Marquette sleep shirt from my brother's college days (said brother is now 49), grimy knitted footie socks, and my raggedy flannel robe (which I keep taking off because I'm hot with fever, then putting back on because I'm freezing, and this seems to be my exercise for the day), my face is unadorned and highlighted by my ruby-red nose, and my hair is badly in want of cutting.

All I want to do is curl up with hot drinks and The Plague and I, my favorite sickbed reading, but I must do a quick editing job for a good client. And at some point today I have to pick up our CSA share, call the electrician, and pay our long-overdue property tax bill . . . but I won't think about that now. I'll think about that this afternoon.

Honk sneeze blow,
Lady C