Thursday, August 30, 2007
one of my co-workers asked me yesterday if i've noticed a change in my spending habits since i've come so close to being out of debt. am i spending more just because i can. answering is sort of difficult, it's a yes and no thing. i'm not completely out of the woods yet so there is a certain amount of ingrained restraint. the place i'm least restrained is the grocery store. one of the things i avoided most when i was my brokest was fresh fruit, it was too much of a luxury. i bought some vegetables because my mother taught me that i would die of scurvy without them. i didn't buy the amount of fresh vegetables i buy now, you know, enough for every meal. i wonder why i didn't look into frozen back then but i think i had a theory about spending the least possible time in the store. the less time i wander, the less i spend. it must be true because i take my sweet time now and i spend plenty. it is very safe to say that i spend more money on food than i used to. i didn't buy organics, i didn't buy meat, and i had pasta for dinner about 9 out of 10 nights. i have no desire to go back to that way of life so i don't worry over spending more on food.
then there is everything else. i recently upped my netflix subsription and i now pay about 25 dollars a month. less than cable, less than a dish, less than a phoneline and still every month i think "is that too much?". as far as spending habits go i guess this means i loosened my grip on the entertainment budget a little, one point to the big spender column. i always thought i would definitely add the landline and the internet service as soon as i could afford it but now i'm not so sure. that i'm putting in the "still a tightwad" column. that one evens out i guess.
the one spending habit i don't feel great about is how much i spend on clothes. i know i spend more than i did last year. 80 percent of that is because my clothes got too big and i had to replace out of necessity. the rest of those percents are vanity. i'm feeling particularly spendy in the clothes department lately because this has been a huge month for clothes buying. you know how some seasons the clothes suck and you can walk through store after store and then you get ice cream and go home. this season has been an i love everything i see season. i probably bought more than i normally would because i don't feel as pressured not to spend. i also bought more because everywhere i went things we 50 percent off and why should i pass up 6 dollar shirts only to buy them full price out of need in two months?
so, my spending habits are definitely changing. my life has changed too. i have very some different priorities now. two years ago i would never have bought organic yogurt to eat everyday, i couldn't have afforded it and i wasn't thinking about a balanced diet either. i definitely spend more on things that are worth my money. my goals are still the same though. i never want to be in debt like that again. i never want to live beyond my means and still have a crappy life. i want to be in control of my life and my finances and my future and i know i can't do that by spending all day at the mall or eating out or driving a flash car. i learned that lesson the really hard way. the way that changes your whole life and how you look at money and pretty things and dealing with stress. i think more about what i'm buying and why and i'm sure i always will.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
i'm very happy about the cooking thing. i need a hobby, and i don't know if cooking counts as a hobby because you have to eat to survive, atleast it'll get me out of the house. the writing class was on the same night and i had to choose, so i chose cooking. i've also picked up some vegan cookbooks from the library. i'm not really thinking of going vegan but the recipes looked great and i can always use real cheese if i feel the need. there's a winter term for adult ed. so i can always do writing then, or stained glass art...it's a toss up.
i'm a little sad about the shoe thing. i love the shopping part, no doubt, but i have to replace a lot of my favorite shoes. it now seems obvious that i can't wear heels all day and complain about my knees like it's solely the fault of healthy exercise. it's so me to think a problem is caused by the one healthy thing i do instead of the many unhealthy things i do. i crack myself up. so, err, i'm ditching my shoe collection. ditching in the sense of not getting rid of them at all but just not wearing them very much. one of the things i liked about getting my skinny on was that i could wear heels all day and not have to saw off my feet of an evening. i have to accept that it's not healthy for my body and it doesn't help me to do the things i want to do. especially if i want to walk when i'm 60.
i was thinking it would save me some money if i kept my ass out of the shoe department. i thought that for about 8 seconds while i filled my zappos basket with earthy orthopedics. funny how i won't pay thirty bucks for flimsy heels but i'm all over hundred dollar squashies. these are the days i know for a fact i'm channelling my mother.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
this week more people have commented on my weightloss than ever before. when the season started quite a few people i hadn't seen since last year made comments about it. some of them were run of the mill "you've lost weight" and some had the "you look great" addendum. i personally prefer the addendum because it's easier to be gracious. you receive a compliment, you say thank you and then it's all over. when someone just says "you've lost weight" it can be awkward. like it's a challenge and you're expected to defend it. it's at the weirdest when someone you see every day says something. this morning i was told i've lost a lot of weight, and it's not that i'm offended because it is a fact and in its way a compliment, it just makes me think "what, since tuesday?".
good times, good times. the next part was about how in reality i had gained a wee pound since my exciting 166 pounds weigh in. that was my favorite. oh, the one pound gain. the tears, the laughter. what larks! in the middle of writing that paragraph i wrote something along the lines of "gee, i wonder if it's only up because the dial isn't set to zero". and then i got busy and it never got published. when i went home and saw that no, the dial wasn't set to a perfect zero, i fixed it. and this, i think, is the funniest part. the part where the next time i weigh myself it's 173. that scale, such a card.
so, can i say now that last week was an extraordinary week. i have never so effectively followed a meal plan, deflected salacious chocolate advances, and actually exercised. and, it seems, all for naught. on the one hand i'm glad i had the start of this post to read this morning and remember that there is a visual difference to the naked eye. the naked eye that isn't mine anyway. the other hand is really pissed off about it. intractable even.
i'm toying with a few things. one of them is not doing anything. keeping my habits and my goals and continuing on the path to righteousness. another is to try something new and switch things around, putting some focus back on trying to run in the mornings. maybe try a new knee brace, maybe new running shoes as the doctor suggested. the third, and i'm leaning very hard on this point, is getting a new damn scale and possible keeping it at work.
not because i want to obsess at work, but just in case the floors are more level here. that would mean some changes, because i couldn't weigh in naked, 'specially with the cameras, and i would have something in my stomach which i don't when i do it at home. a new scale and a new frame of reference for the numbers would be a pain, but probably a worthy pursuit. accuracy didn't bother me before, as long as there was a trend, but it's starting to bother me now. i don't want to walk into my physical next year thinking i've lost another 20 pounds, or 10 or 1, and find out i'm maintaining to the ounce.
so, yet again, i'm re-thinking things. i suppose i should be glad that i'm still trying and not yet giving up. every day i can say that is a victory. it's not just about going forward, it's about not going back too. i forget that at times when all i do is mourn the body i don't have yet. i should have kept a pair of 16's in my closet. i had good reason to get rid of them but i think one really horrible pair of fat pants that i could pull out at times like these would be helpful. i'll have to stick to reading my archives to remind myself of where i could be.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
i was typing up a very different account of my morning at the sports store when i started to lose feeling in my hand. tingly, would be the word. and also swollen. you know how your arm looks in a blood pressure cuff when it takes them a little too long to get a reading? that's what it looked like. my right arm was noticeably fatter, and tingling and very cold. so i'm going to go out on a limb and say that the medium is a little too small. i'm going to be a radical and look for something adjustable to bridge the medium/large gap.
and not speaking of being a radical at all, i tried another luna bar. you know i only bought them because they were on sale and you know i had to buy two to get the sale price and it would never occur to me that i could buy just one to test when in fact two was a bargain. i tried the caramel nut brownie one today for breakfast. i'm much more impressed today. it didn't really taste like a brownie, but it didn't taste bad. i haven't felt hungry or munchy and it's practically lunchtime, so i'm calling it a good proteiny breakfast. it's still not real food. it's not something i cooked myself and know where it came from. but it's better for me than a chocolate croissant when i feel like something different. i think they could come in handy on a road trip, or in an emergency kit (no, really, i can't turn those thoughts off). i won't make it a staple of my non-diet but as an alternative to crappy breakfast foods i'm happy with it as an option. and the part of me that says "eat more protein, eat more protein" is satisfied that i'm trying things to get more protein in my diet. try, try until i get it right. you can't do better than that.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
i usually only use this much imagery when i'm in a bad mood, but i'm actually not today. i'm perky. i'm thinking about taking a cooking class. and maybe a writing class. the cooking class because it's vegetarian. that would be awesome. i always want to do those kinds of classes and then i realize they probably cook a lot of meat because lots of people eat meat. it's totally reasonable for adult education i just don't want to pay to cook meat when i can do it at home for free. the vegetarian class sounds pretty awesome though. i can always use ideas to kickstart a veggie proteiny dinner and i have a serious desire to learn to use lentils. i feel like that's the thing to do, eat more lentils. i have a lentil calling and i'm going to embrace it.
the writing class is less about desire and more about me needing a push. i might hate it. i'll probably hate it. and i'll have fabulous excuses as to why i stop going the third week in but i think i might sign up anyway. living the easy, pointless life is well...easy. but more than a little bit dull. for 45 dollars i think it's worth it to kick start my brain. at the very least i can mock the other students which proved very amusing in college. it probably means that i'm at heart a bad person, but there's just no way i can take people who say "if they had the bible, why weren't they christians?" seriously. if that's your world view in a class labeled "cultures of india" you deserve to be mocked five years later on some anonymous fat blog.
what comes after petty and mocking? more job news. the new folks pay 100% of our health insurance. that's awesome. if i last that long i'm gonna get my knee checked out left, right and center. i feel very not sure about my decision to put that off. i have a feeling it will end badly. if i don't go now and pay for it myself, my knee will fall off. if i spend a few thou and get it checked now, it will be fine and they will prescribe advil when it's "uncomfortable". advil is the one thing the doctor said i should do for my arm and i haven't done it. i got the b vitamins and i use the ice. i don't want to take 16 advil a day when it doesn't hurt that much. to which she said it's not for the pain it's for the inflamation. i can dig that, it's just so much drugs. i don't want to take so many drugs if i'm not in dire need. is this me being stubborn for no good reason? i'll have to re-read this in a few hours and see if i dis-agree then. and i'll keep my advil handy.
you know how sometimes it's just impossible to see past the bad? i was getting tired of that. it's very tiring being negative and it's not like you're always in the driver's seat. some events, some emotions, some...err...hormones, get the better of you and it takes a while to make your world right again. it's all good to take it in stride, or power through and never mention it again. but it's not very human. not all the time. no one is top of their game at every moment. if they were oprah would be out of business. i can't say i'm looking forward to my next slump very much, but i won't be surprised. you can't have highs without lows and yadda yadda yadda. i guess this is me documenting that i feel better lately. for posterity.
and moving on sans segue, how do we feel about protein bars? i picked one up the other day, one of the luna ones because i'm a sap for gender-based marketing. apparently. and i'm just not sure. it wasn't horrible, i didn't want to die while i was eating it. i ate the whole thing and i sort of don't know why now that i've given it some thought. i don't normally finish things that i'm not enjoying. i wasn't in danger of starving to death in the middle of bangor with a fistful of credit cards. i'm going to try another one, maybe a different brand or flavor. i think they would be a good thing to have on hand in an emergency way. like the power is out and you're tired of canned beans. it makes me think of firefly and the molded protein any which way you want it. i wonder if i can keep a few in the car?
it's come to my attention lately that i think about survival situations A LOT. i bought cat food this weekend and i ended up double bagging it for emergencies. that could be emergently forgetting to buy some but i know i was thinking the rapture. apocolypse. doom. it's one of my many re-occurring thoughtwaves that makes me think valium would be a good idea. and really who would want to survive the apocolypse on luna bars and cat food? what would be the point. there'd be no one to read you blog about it.
Monday, August 20, 2007
it's sort of nice to wear the outfit you like instead of the one that's clean. we're trying our best to look fancy and professional this week since we're expecting an inspection...err visit...from above. we're getting more and more information from the bank gossip grapevine. apparently the new folks are lean and mean and have the fewest employees of any bank their size. interesting. whatever. i'm so going on vacation of we get severed. somewhere awesome. somewhere hawaii. until then it's put out applications and plan a somewhat closer vacation. we're taking labor day week off and i think we're going to canada. hawaii of the north. anyway, i'm excited.
we're looking at st. andrews, new brunswick. i've been there before and i just remember it being beautiful and peaceful with great huge fabulous tides in the bay. i'm pretty sure that's where we're going. our big plan is to show up and veg all week. i saw some pretty hiking trails and i know there's a beautiful coast to walk and a fort to explore that matt will love, but i think sitting and also eating are going to be our main focus. focuses. foci. that and not being at work. every minute will be wonderful because it will be a minute not spent in maine. and i think there's a chocolate factory on the way which will be very educational.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
in other news i really want a sandwich. as i was walking back from the hospital everyone had these gorgeous deli sandwiches. they were also sitting on park benches and definitely on vacation and free of cares but the sandwiches are what stood out so i guess i'm hungry today. i could go get one but i'm just not hungry enough to justify it. i can wait till i am. sandwiches aren't exactly going extinct.
what might be going extinct is my non-illustrious running career. she's sending me to a specialist to check out my knee click. the one thing i casually threw out there she was the most concerned about. atleast i'll have some reassurance that things are ok or reassurance that it would be better if i just stuck to walking. i got the feeling she really didn't want me to stop running. like i'd weight six ton by october if i took it down a notch. i suppose it's her job to encourage active life styles, it's probably me on the fat defensive. like i have any reason to defend being fat when i couldn't have run a mile to save my life thirty pounds ago. anyway, she gave me some exercises to strenghten the muscles around my knees to keep the knee cap on the right track. which makes sense. i like thinking that i can fix the exercise problem with exercise. it's very circle of life.
this photo was supposed to be all about the cupcake but mostly i'm thinking "gee, i have really crowded counters". matt took a lot of grief over the size of the kitchen he built himself. his family thought the number of cupboards he built was ridiculous. too many. i think it's ridiculous too because there's still not enough room. he was putting dishes away last night and he had some serious issues with the bakeware. there's just not enough room for every cake pan to live with us. do i make a bundt every week? no. so why do i need it within reach.
it must be a very late spring cleaning bug that has me tearing my house apart to build it up new. the same bug that seems to have picked up where i left off in my actually wanting to set a new goal. i'm pretty much certain that when my hormones ride off in to the sunset i'll be back in the 160's. well in to the 160's. there's something about the last week that has made me all "i'll go for a run, and then i'll have some water, and look watermelon!". it's nice to crave vegetables again. to be the person who chooses fruit over junk and doesn't think twice about it. size ten is very much in my sights and nearly in my grasp.
in completely different news, i've got a call into the doctor about my wrist. and it just ocurred to me that i can ask her about my knee problem aswell. the wrist is mre of a concern though, as it's job related. if there's an issue with worker's comp i want it dealt with early and often and before we get bought out. 'course then i'll be damaged goods. better unemployable than unable to use my arm though, or maybe that's a bit dramatic.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
work is interesting, but mostly i'm too low down to worry much. middle management will be the ones with the cushy severance packages. atleast so we assume. not that i would mind, i'm always trying to jump ship so who am i to complain about job loss. it would just be a kick in the ass to try something new. and since i'm so optomistic i'm sure i'll be here 'till i die. it's a very "there's nothing to worry about until there is" situation.
in the meantime it has come to my attention that i have $125 of fitness spending money i might never see again that i had better spend. do i spring for the treadmill or do i get 12 cardio dvd's? i just can't decide. i wonder if they'd let me buy sports bras. i'll have to check it out. even if i leave soon it would be foolish not to use the perks while i could. my new motto should be make the most of things. i think that's a good way to carry on for the transitions to come. little suzie sunshine, i am.
Monday, August 13, 2007
i had some kind of cleaning revelation and i gutted my closet yesterday. i have this tendency to forget about all the gorgeous clothes i have and wear the same 5 shirts all week. i hate that. so i'm de-cluttering. i have so many things that i pull out and say "i love that!". you know what, i love it so much i haven't worn in in 7 months. that's how much i love it. so now i have a last chance saloon shelf. if i can't choose one of those shirts over the many white v-necks i wear like a uniform they have to go. i'm not worthy. 'course i also did a lot of shopping this weekend. i think i bought one of everything old navy was selling. i haven't liked a shred of their clothes for most of the last year and all of sudden this season i'm enamored. it must be magic.
this is officially supposed to be a free for all week, diet wise, but i think i worked it all out of my system with shopping. we have enough soap and toothpaste and infusium to last FOREVER. i had a lot of coupons and the cute old lady who rung me up rang one of them twice and if she's not there next time i go i'm going to feel terrible because i didn't tell her and if she's fired it's all my fault. i feel like i should call, but i didn't even notice till i had left. it's grating on my soul. i can hear my mother tsking from beyond.
Friday, August 10, 2007
i didn't get here yesterday because of inner frustration and today it's all about outer frustration. i've been a grump-a-holic all week and i don't really have a great reason. this morning i phoned in to order zz top tickets for matt and all i could think was gee, i really hope this doesn't work. i don't want to go see zz top. but he really does. maybe he'll find a boyfriend to go with him and i can sit home and frown instead. that would be awesome.
he also suggested a trip to baxter state park this weekend. which normally would be awesome too because usually when i ask him if he'd like to do something he says he has to clean the garage. but it's not awesome. it's a long way there and a long way back and while i'll totally get to sit on my ass there's no tv in the car. damn it.
i seem to be drowning in dis-satisfaction with my life and i'm really not sure what to do about it. or is a week too short to actually be drowning. am i jumping the gun? am i merely spluttering on my dis-satisfaction? coughing on it noiselessly behind a polite hand.
back to the regularly scheduled fat on monday. probably.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
and that's as far as i got before my brain died. don't you hate when that happens. my enthusiasm lasted about 15 minutes into the working day and now i'm here slobbering and babbling and directionless. with that in mind, i'm off to make tea and read the deathly hallows until it's mercifully time to go home.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
i'm sort of thrilled with the amount of chocolate in my house. in the way that it's behind a cupboard door and i forget that it's there 99% of the time. i love that. when i was home this weekend i noticed myself doing something that i hardly do at my house. opening the fridge and every cabinet just to see what's there, what you could eat if you just reached in and took it. it was a pretty horrible eating weekend with my sister wanting all her favorites you can't get in slovakia. i always know that going home screws up the way i eat, this weekend just felt particularly bad. particularly gross. eating pizza and chinese and ben and jerry's all in one day really made me feel ill. to no one's surprise. the surprise is that no one else felt ill at all. either my family is used to feeling ill or they're used to eating gross food. or both.
it was a good lesson at a good time. i haven't been trying very hard lately. my knee still clicks and i haven't run for weeks and weeks. the meals i prepare are still healthy 90% of the time but i've definitely had more snacks around lately. a cookie here and there, caramel popcorn, regular popcorn. much more "junk food" than i'm used to and i really don't feel that great as a result. tired and lazy. it's also hot, and sticky and things have been a little crazy. i think it will be legitimately worth my while if i get my shit together and eat real food. i can't say i was proud of the choices i made this weekend, i had the power to eat different foods than the rest of my family. i had money and a car and a kitchen to cook in, i just didn't. i am a little proud that we don't eat like that. i'm proud that a weekend with my family made me feel ill. woohoo! it's times like these i know i would benefit from psychiatric intervention.
Monday, August 06, 2007
i think matt was a little bewildered by our way of carrying on. we had a good time with the staff at my brother in law's pharmacy. "where is the benadryl?" "benadryl caplets? right over here." whisper on stage left "what if i want tablets?" "what if you want a powder so you can huff it?" "where's the injectable benadryl?" and so on and so on. he also got a second birthday cake which my sisters ate before he got a piece, very my family. he wasn't raised in a get it before it's gone atmosphere which i think is a huge factor in his ability to eat like a normal person without any emotional baggage. but it means he missed out on cake, and the one person who really needed it. i suppose in a regular world with eating and guilt and bingeing our background hasn't prepared us well, but we've got a full skill set for survival of the fittest in a famine. i'm a glass is half full girl, can't you tell?
so, now that i'm back, i really have to go grocery shopping. we bought an absolute ton of freezables at trader joes. fish and meat and some mushroom alfredo which sounds so good i'm glad i can only buy it five hours away. but i didn't get any of the staples like milk and lettuce and ice cream for matt. although i'm thinking if i withhold the ice cream he can work his way through the ice cream sandwiches and then it won't be me eating them. if he only knew how much plotting goes into a weeks eating. i wish i could be happily oblivious like he is and not be thinking about the content of so many meals. but then we'd end up eating out and eating crap or indeed eating nothing at all. and now i'm off to do the meal plan and the shopping list so i can be like the wind at shaws. i will shop so fast it will be like the grocery olympics. and it will be efficient. and the coupons will line themselves up alphabetically and by food group. le sigh...
Friday, August 03, 2007
"I tell all the tourists from New Zealand to avoid crowds and use back alleys and still there's a New Zealander mugged every day."
i stayed at school every summer during college. paying rent and working and taking classes. because i am a moron. if i had the sense to realize that i would be paying rent and working and taking classes for the entirety of the next five years i would have gone home and sat on my ass. and appreciated it. hindsight and all. but anyway, one summer sarah stayed at school too. i must have talked it up really well because maryland isn't that much fun in the summer. what with the heat and hotness and the humidity. i must have felt really bad about duct taping her to that chair and making her stay with me, so i baked her a cake for her birthday. a white cake with chocolate frosting, which is purported to be her favorite.
it was a big damn cake. i think our choices for pans were pretty bad because sheet cake really doesn't seem appropriate in retrospect. it wasn't appropriate at the time either because the cake split down the middle like the grand canyon. it would have been great if we'd had tiny plastic donkeys and goldminers but at the time i was batshit trying to make the cake look like something you'd want to get up from your tape chair for. and she said "just fill the fissure with frosting". we did and it was fine and she still talks to me so it can't have been that bad. not like the rice, but that's a different story.
since then i'd like to think that my baking has improved. i'd like to think that my expertise has flowered into one of those solid sugar wilton roses my sister mainlines. so you know who had a birthday yesterday? and you know for whom i was baking a cake yesterday? yeah. can i just say fissures and donkeys. the cake stuck every which way, it stuck to things it never touched, never thought of. things in rooms i never entered were covered in cake like a martha stewart buttermilk conspiracy. if he'd been home i'd have been weeping into my batter bowls.
fortunately he wasn't home. i made a double batch of buttercream (blue for a boy!) and assembled the cake bits. it would be safe to say that 83% of the cake is blue frosting. it's a really good cake.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
on the upside i look really cute today. all the clothes i bought this weekend are perfect. the sort of things that only pop up once in a while and are exactly what you're looking for and mysteriously come around all at once so you feel like a jerk spending so much money in one go. i'm trying really hard not to feel like a jerk. surprisingly not one thing is black. i passed up about 20 perfect black skirts because i just don't need 20 perfect black skirts. it's very mature of me i think, not buying a bunch of stuff i don't need just because it fits. clearly, i'm growing. the bargain bag of hello kitty lunch bags not-withstanding. (and wow, i have no idea how to punctuate that. tres sad.)
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
it's been sort of a busy week with the shopping and the un-packing the shopping, which i still haven't actually finished yet. and tomorrow is matt's birthday. wonderfully his present has already arrived, i just have to wrap it and bake his cake. i forgot that i had meant to make it in the shape of a truck or something. i was thinking big last year i guess. however, the odds on me getting a cake like that made without him noticing are going to be minute. it might be better to go the lazy route and fill the bed of a toy with cupcakes. but since we're not having a party with 15 toddlers maybe i should just make a grown up cake. he's not all that excited about his birthday. something about feeling old. he is going to be 31 and since that's practically dead, he needs an appropriate confection. maybe i'll bake something and then put it through a blender. that would strike just the right note.
it's sort of amazing how little i get done in an evening since we moved. i was thinking last night, while sitting on my ass, that i used to atleast step while watching tv. i slowed my stepping when i was running more and then i lost the habit completely. right now i'm completely habitless exercise-wise. it never ceases to amaze me how well i maintain when i'm not exercising or eating carefully and it never ceases to piss me off that i'm not doing more in order to lose. it's a circle with no end. atleast until i get myself completely together. which seems a truly elusive concept. most of the time i think i'm not together only to find out that i can get even less together and then think wistfully of the prior weeks.
before they found the very last body on our road i was running every morning. it was a crime with no relation at all to the area, it was just a dumping ground. but still it makes me nervous. even with the myriad defenses i mustered i don't really want to face running on the road. i'm officially out of the habit and it's going to be a pain in the hole to get back to it. wouldn't it be easier to just get a tape worm?