Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday! Holiday! Hugh Jackman!

quote du jour: I’ve always felt that if you back down from a fear, the ghost of that fear never goes away. It diminishes people. So I’ve always said ‘yes’ to the thing I’m most scared about. -Hugh Jackman

It's Friday,it's a holiday weekend, and I've gotten lil'ipad to play nice with blogger. Maybe.* So of course I needed a picture of Hugh.

*I still can't get the Preview button to work, and most of the text runs off the edge of the screen, so you have to guess at what it really says. But it's better than it was.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Please don't let Blogger design nuclear power plants, 'k?

Quote du jour:
Arthur: "What happens if I press this button?"
Ford:"I wouldn't."
Ford:"What happened?"
Arthur: "A sign lit up, saying Please Do Not Press This Button Again."
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Curse Blogger! They've changed the whole interface, and taken away all the text on the draft page. If you add an image, you can't see it, not even the HTML code. All you see is a bunch of icons. Presumably you're supposed to click each icon until you find out what it does. ("Oh, was that the Delete button? That must be why all my text went away.")

Not that Wordpress gets any awards either, as you might have discovered recently if you tried to leave a comment on a blog and got a message loop telling you to log in.

Luckily, I read another blogger's comments, which mentioned that clicking the cog icon gives you an option to revert to the old UI. Which has text, text being symbols that TELL you what will happen if you click a link BEFORE you click the link. Please don't let Blogger get the idea that it should design nuclear power plants. "Oooh, it's a shiny red button. What would happen if I press it?"

Friday, April 13, 2012

Interior dialogue, with gratuitous Hugh Jackman pic

Quote du jour: “I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.”
Mark Twain

Me: I need to put up a post on my blog.
Inner critic:Why? Nobody ever reads it.
Inner paranoiac: Besides, even if someone does read it, they'll give you advice!!!
Me: Because I need to hold myself accountable. I can go a few weeks keeping up the daily exercising without blogging about it, but something always happens to derail me, and once that happens, it's hard to get back into it.
Inner slug: Stop! I'm blushing.
Inner defeatist: Look, it's simple. This week, you've been working 10 hour days. Add that to the 3 hours of daily commute and 8 hours of sleep, and that leaves you one hour in the day to eat, exercise, shower, weed the yard, mow the lawn, and whine about how tired you are. What do you expect?
Me: The only solution I can see (aside from not working 10 hour days) is to build exercise into the commute.
Inner selves: Why not just put up a picture of Hugh Jackman exercising instead?

Exercise du jour: Callanetics this evening. Next week, plan B.

Photo courtesy of Cool Guyz

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Eat to Live Weeks 5 & 6

Quote du jour: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon

I didn't post last week, so I lumped that post in with this week's post.

Week 5 - Made it through week 5 of the Eat to Live diet. Lost the four pounds of sodium/ water retention, gained two pounds from swollen legs due to excessive exercising, lost that too. Um, where am I again? It's easy to lose track, but I think I ended up back where I was in week 3.

I think my body's having trouble adjusting. This past week, my old headache has come back repeatedly. This is a hormone-related headache that involves my face swelling up like a balloon. The upper eyelids especially become so swollen that the pressure on the eyes causes the headaches.

Week 6 -- more headaches. For two days, I went back to the non-vegan style of eating, which had three immediate results: the headaches eased off, I gained two pounds, and I got my period. This last is one of those side effects that I should have been aware of. Apparently it is quite common to stop getting your period when you first switch over to a low-fat diet. It's a reminder that what I eat has a direct effect on the hormones coursing through my body. And eating this way makes the cramps much, much, MUCH less painful. I'll take the occasional headache any day compared to that.

I went right back to eating vegan, because I really do like it. I started this six week diet as a way to tie in with Lent, but I don't feel like I'm giving up anything now by eating this way. The only thing I plan to change is to add in some more starchy vegetables or grains sometimes. Maybe meat or fish on special occasions. Dr. Fuhrman suggests using the 90/10 rule as a long-term eating plan: only eat 10% "bad" food. I like that. I've learned it's important for me to not feel restricted; if I think I can never eat a particular food, I'll feel deprived. If I think "well, not today", then I am fine with it. It doesn't matter how much the eyes and the imagination want fried chicken and chocolate-- once I've eaten the beans, greens and strawberries, the stomach is perfectly happy with the substitution. The body doesn't NEED fried chicken.

Summary: after six weeks, I've lost eight pounds and a couple inches. More important, though, is what I've gained. I feel better. I feel healthy. My nails used to be brittle and break easily; now, I've had to buy a nail file because they are growing long without breaking. I'm enjoying eating more than I used to, and I'm much more aware of everything I taste.

Final note: Since I've started eating this way, Damn Back hasn't complained once. Not a peep.I think all that pain was exacerbated by the inflammation, which was itself fueled by the high fat diet.

Exercise du jour: I've decided to go for another 30-day challenge. This month, I'm going to be doing Callanetics in the morning and evening. It's rather like Pilates, but it is supposed to be good for people with bad backs. No, I don't currently have a bad back. I want to keep it that way.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week 4, Eat to Live

Quote du jour: “Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong'.
Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.”
― Charles M. Schulz

UPDATE:Done. I do feel a bit silly. Okay, a lot silly. But I did it anyway.

Made it through week 4 of the Eat to Live diet. Couple slip ups. Not with eating meat or grains or such, more a matter of eating things that I THOUGHT were low sodium, but turned out not to be. I shall avoid all sauces for the next couple weeks.

Usually, I don't track my weight this closely, but for the six week diet I decided to make note of how well it works. On Sunday, I gained four pounds overnight. An overnight gain like that suggests water retention, hence my suspicions about the sodium levels in the sauce. I'm not asking for advice on how to change this; I am merely keeping track.

Otherwise, I am enjoying the simplicity of this diet. Lettuce might not be very exciting to eat, but I like how it makes me feel full without feeling weighed down by greasy food. I don't have any qualms about eating with people who are downing French fries and cheeseburgers. So long as they don't expect me to join in, it's all good.

Exercise du jour: 15 minutes waving my arms around with an exercise band and trying not to feel foolish. If people stare I will smile and nod and Act Confident. What the hell.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Monday, March 19, 2012

Armed and dangerously silly

Quote du jour: “Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I've got a new idea for making a fool of myself in public. I spend three hours a day sitting on a train. Why not work some exercise into that time? So I've packed an exercise band in next to my lunch. The Wes train in the afternoon starts out with few enough passengers that I can do some arm exercises without putting someone's eye out.

I tried it last Friday. The conductors suggested some good exercises. And what the hell. Haven't been deliberately foolish in a while now.

Exercise du jour: 15 minutes waving my arms around with an exercise band and trying not to feel foolish.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Do over Day

Quote du jour: This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. 'I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

FAIL on both exercising and organizing and eating right. Decided to get a migraine instead. Today is a do-over. Just pretend yesterday didn't happen.

Exercise du jour: 45 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes cleaning/organizing. It will get done!!!

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eat to live, week 3

Quote du jour: I consider the 70s to be the youth of old age. So all you women out there who are afraid of getting older, just keep your orgasms in place, eat a lot of vegetables, take exercise, and you'll be fine.
- Betty Dodson

Finished the third week on the Eat to Live six week diet plan. Only lost a pound and a half this week. ("Only," she says.) I blame the pizza. (Yes, I could blame myself for lifting the pizza to my open mouth, but that's far less satisfying. Anyway, blame is boring. Done now. Moving on.) Had a little problem with the innards when I introduced ground up flax seed into the diet, but other than that the transition to eating high fiber has been amazingly stress free. I am pleasantly surprised.

Interesting note: Friday, the day of the Dreaded Pizza Encounter, was the first time in weeks that I felt hungry. I knew in theory that a diet of mostly rabbit food makes me feel full more than a high-fat low-fiber diet would, but this brought it home.

I'd eaten only low-fat food that morning to balance out the pizza, so I was quite hungry by lunch time. For about five minutes after I ate the pizza, I felt satisfied. Then I was hungry, a gnawing hunger that wouldn't go away until I ate a couple cups of lettuce. Then the stomach was happy, purring instead of growling. Damn. I really am turning into a healthy person.

Exercise du jour: 45 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes cleaning/organizing. Maybe if I post organizing up here, it will get done.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sleep savings time

Quote du jour: If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters. - Jim Davis, attrib.

I propose a new time system: Sleep Savings Time. Why bother with saving daylight? It's all going to be gone once night comes around.

Actually taking the day off exercising. My legs feel swollen from the steady regime of nothing but elliptical, so I'm going to spend my exercise time clearing things up so that I have room for exercise DVDs or using the rower. I've done so much exercising lately that I don't feel lazy for taking the day off.

Exercise du jour: 15 minutes stretching.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Monday, March 12, 2012

Onward and downward

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Survived the pizza peril. As expected, suffered a reversal temporarily on the downward progression. It helped that I was prepared for it. Back to being good. Onward and downward.

Exercise du jour: 60 minutes on the elliptical. It shall be done.
Update: DONE

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Friday, March 09, 2012

Perils, pitfalls, pizza... and a plan.

Quote du jour: And Jesus saith to him: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And immediately the father of the boy cried out with tears, I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief!
- Mark 9:23-24

Today is a short day at work, but it's a day filled with perils and pitfalls. Yes, today is pizza day. One is expected to attend. One will feel obliged to partake. It's showing Team Spirit, or something like that. I know that when faced with the pizza, I'll probably end up nibbling.

What I'm most concerned with is not losing momentum. I'm almost halfway through the six week diet plan; this is about the time when I'd expect doubts & difficulties to start dropping by for a visit. I've been losing weight at the rate of a steady 2 pounds a week, which is a great way to stay motivated. I've been averaging an hour a night on the elliptical. Things have been good.

Even a vegetarian pizza that's been commercially made is going to be stuffed to the gills with enough sodium to choke a horse. I've learned enough to know that it's going to add pounds on the scale, that I'm going to feel most irrationally annoyed, and that that I'm going to feel irrationally discouraged. Even though I believe the diet works, I will start to disbelieve in my ability to follow it in faith.

So the plan is this:

  • Eat a ton of fruit and vegetables for breakfast
  • --DONE
  • Start the day with 15 minutes on the elliptical --DONE!

  • Work in 15 minutes of walking while waiting for the morning train --DONE!

  • 45 minutes on the elliptical this evening

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Second week doing Eat to Live

Quote du jour: The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late. ~Charles Caleb Colton

Survived another week on the Eat to Live eating plan. Lost another two pounds, despite the Unfortunate Chinese Food Incident, which is not to be sneezed at even if it is allergy season. One thing I've noticed is that my weight is not fluctuating wildly up and down as it used to before I started this. Is it just reduced salt intake? I'm curious.

Another curious thing is how sensitive the taste buds are getting. Is it because so much of the diet is green, leafy, unspicy? I had a bowl of sweet, sweet early strawberries with some tart blueberries mixed in. Even ten minutes later, my taste buds were acting like a bunch of stoned hippies in a brownie factory: "whoa, man, that was, like, intense, dude.*"

Of course, that is not always a good thing. Yesterday I went out to eat at a restaurant with a bunch of people. It was the first time I'd eaten out, since I've been on this eating plan, at a place that didn't have a salad bar. All you could get was stir fry, though you could pick out what you wanted them to put in the wok. I thought I was playing it safe by getting a vegetable stir fry, but that sauce! Argh! I can still taste it. Forget Chinese food making you hungry, I was full for the rest of the day.

Update: exercise done!

Exercise du jour: Going for distance. 60 on the elliptical.

*Yes, my taste buds are Californian. They talk like that.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Joy of Exercising

Quote du jour:

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
~D.H. Lawrence

Very strange thing. Last night, I'd planned a short 15 minutes on the elliptical. But once I got going, I didn't want to stop exercising. Don't ask me where my Inner Slug was; he must've taken the night off, because my body felt full of energy. I wanted to work out. I ended up doing 40 minutes on the elliptical for the sheer joy of movement.

I'm trying to remember the last time I worked out for the sheer fun of it. It's the kind of thing I associate with childhood. These days, fun is hanging out with friends or playing a game, not exercising. I'm not complaining, not by any means. Just wondering when that joy went away. I'm glad it came back last night.

Exercise du jour: No plan. At some point this evening, I'm going to get on the elliptical and move, but how hard and how long, those details I will leave up to my inner child. Might be fun.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eat to live, Merry style

Quote du jour: I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day, because that means it's going to be up all night. ~Steven Wright

By request, a typical day's menu on the Eat to Live six week plan. At least, typical for me. One thing that I like about this way of eating is that you don't have to count calories. (I'm keeping track because it's a way to study my eating patterns, for my own understanding.) The emphasis is on eating beans and greens, especially green leafies, with 4 pieces of fruit and some nuts and seeds.

Breakfast is generally fruit with a bit of protein thrown in. Today, strawberries, blueberries, and a pear, about 3 cups' worth, with a bit of baked tofu on the side. The application I'm using to track calories suggests that I should aim for eating 200 calories and 5 grams of fiber at breakfast. I'm not an especially breakfast or morning type of person, so it might take me a couple hours to eat breakfast while at my desk. If I finish before 10, I call it breakfast.

Lunch is where I go to town on veggies. I usually go for a salad with a couple cups of greens, then beans, mushrooms, sliced carrots, whatever veggie toppings are around. There's a salad bar in the cafe at work, so I tend to cruise it for things I wouldn't usually buy at the store, and add them to my home-brought salad. One thing I've noticed about the beans and greens diet is that my taste buds are much more easily pleased. Used to be I didn't especially notice my food after the first taste of an entree, but now it's different. Suddenly, each bite of something like sundried tomatoes makes my taste buds all join hands and dance around in happy circles. Eating has become a lot more interesting.

For the mid-afternoon slump, I munch on an apple and some almonds.

Dinner is where I throw in any 'bad' food, i.e. anything that's not especially nutritious. Traditionally, I eat very well during the day and blow it after I get home at night. These days, I plan my bad, so I don't go overboard. One thing about this six week plan is that grains and starchy vegetables are limited, so here's where I'll eat some fritos or a baked (nuked) potato with salsa, something like that along with my salad. I'm still trying to find the best way to include flax seed into this diet.

Exercise du jour: 15 minutes elliptical. Yesterday I did a rather long 50 minutes, the day before was resistance. Today is just a placeholder, a quickie. Because I overslept, I get to work late, which means I won't have time to organize the house and exercise both. Inner Slug will be pleased.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So far... (Week 1 Eat to Live)

Quote du jour: Nothing cures insomnia as well as the realization that it's time to get up.

Survived week 1 of the Eat to Live six week plan.

Look, I don't want to jinx anything, but so far, so good. Not really noticing much difference. Well, yes, I did lose a couple pounds this week, but my weight fluctuates wildly anyway, so it's not that significant. (In the last six weeks, I've gained and lost 11 pounds. It's a roller coaster.)

More to the point, I'm not noticing any complaints from the Department of the Interior regarding the increase in high-fiber veggies in the diet. Not noticing any decrease in energy. I am noticing the feeling that I had before, the feeling of lightness, of not being weighed down by high-fat foods.

Exercise du jour: 50 minutes elliptical. Yesterday I did 30 minutes on a higher resistance; today I want to go for endurance.

I know I should mix it up with other kinds of exercise, such as spine-stretching yoga, but until I get all the furniture moved back into my office, the living room is too crowded for me to try exercise DVDs. No, seriously. I'll have to put a picture up. I keep planning to organize things when I get home, but i don't follow through. Turns out there is something my inner slug hates worse than exercising or house cleaning: organizing. The thought of being faced with that kind of decision-making at the end of the day makes the inner slug Really Eager to get on that elliptical.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Re lent

, demotivational posters
see more Very Demotivational

Update: Done! That was a looooooong 50 minutes. Much longer than 45 minutes.

Quote du jour: Change is inevitable. Except from vending machines.

I know people scoff at New Year's resolutions and things of that ilk, but all the same there is a bit of an energizing momentum feel to the start of something; it can help you get out of a rut. (Keeping going once the momentum fades, that's another story.) I've been mulling over things to do for Lent, and this morning an idea occurred to me. (Even before coffee.) I wrote a review of the Eat to Live diet for Cranky Fitness. The author, Joel Fuhrman, suggests starting this lifestyle off with a six week diet plan. I can do something for six weeks. Hmmmn... That's about how long Lent is, too. Coincidence? Well, yes, okay, so it is a coincidence. But it's also a plan.

Last time I tried eating this way, I loved it with 80% of my body. The innards couldn't handle that much fiber after a lifetime of going carnivore. So I've been gradually switching my diet to eat more greens, beans, fruit. This is not going to be as radical a change as it was before. Let's see what happens.

Note: I'm using the Net Diary app on the iPad to keep track of the nutrients, so yes, I WILL make sure I get enough protein, 'k?

Exercise du jour: 50 minutes elliptical. I know I should mix it up, but until I get all the furniture moved back into my office, the living room is too crowded for me to try exercise DVDs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Party Gras on Mardi Gras?

Quote du jour: The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.
- Wilson Mizener

Another reason to take public transportation: it is not a good idea to drive when I'm this sleepy.

Another reason to walk at lunch. I go to work every morning when it's pitch dark outside. I leave work and it's equally dark. If I don't get out for a walk at lunch, it feels like I'm stuck in one eternal night until winter is over. That feeling creeps me out.

Another good reason to keep a blog. It feels like I'm in a rut, but if I look back, I can see progress. Even though damn back gets cranky if I sit too long, it doesn't fuss so much about the elliptical. It got annoyed with me last night, because I had the effrontery to try to pick something up off the floor. (Can I get a doctor's note to excuse me from house cleaning? And would the house elves do it for me?) Once I get the place organized, I need to go in for some ritualized form of stretching and strengthening, like yoga.

Exercise du jour: 45 minutes elliptical. Pushing things a little further.

UPDATE : done!
Posted from DPad on my iPad

Monday, February 20, 2012

The garlic had it coming...

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Update: Done!

Quote du jour: Are you casting asparagus on my cooking?
- Curly Howard

It's not my fault.
Not completely, anyway.

I mean, the recipe said that you're supposed to roast the head of garlic without peeling the cloves. In my joy at that news, I kinda skipped over the part about removing the dried papery skin around the garlic. And everything was going fine...until I heard the high-pitched screaming coming from the oven. I had to pierce the skin with a knife several times before the noise went away. Okay, yes, I stabbed it until it stopped screaming. I felt guilty for assaulting a vegetable.

Who knew cooking could be this violent?

Damn back still hurts, but it's a low level of pain that doesn't seem affected by ellipticaling. (Sitting is another story.)

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes elliptical, respectfully.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Friday, February 17, 2012


Quote du jour: I'd like mornings better if they started later.

Stayed up late last night. Went a weeeee bit off the healthy eating path. I'd planned to take the day off, but they asked me to come in and work overtime, which is extraordinary enough that I felt obliged to do it.

The back didn't object to the elliptical! I'll try it again with the resistance up a bit more, see how that feels. It's not back to normal, but it's a LOT better.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes elliptical, respectfully.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Less pain = more exercise

Quote du jour:

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Steve Jobs

Update: Done! Got the Elliptical done before midnight. Admittedly, only two minutes before, but it still counts.

Site du jour: Ever read the sarcastic science comic XKCD? Ever read and then thought "what the hell is he talking about?" There's a blog called XKCD Explained that explains the science (and sometimes the sarcasm) behind the humor.

Exercise du jour: The back pain has descended into minor irritant level, so I'm going to see if I can do 30 minutes on the elliptical. What's the worst that could happen? Wait, don't answer that. Let's see what happens.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The many uses of guilt

epic fail photos - Romance FAIL
see more epicfails

Quote du jour: If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
-- Anon

Site du jour: The How to Write Badly Well blog created a Random Folktale Generator. No more casting around for something to write about, the plot creates itself! Some assembly required.

UPDATE: Got the walk done!

All the comments yesterday about guilt got me thinking.

(Dang it, I hate it when you guys do things like that to me. Thinking? At this hour of the morning?)

To me, guilt is useful, so long as you don’t linger over it. Accept it, learn from it, and move on. ‘nuff said. If I aim for a goal and miss, I count that as a FAIL. Hopefully one with lessons learned, so I can make different mistakes the next time.

I use guilt as a tool in my fight against my inner slug. It gets me up in the morning, it makes me get on the elliptical or lace up the walking shoes. I use guilt whenever I put up a post about a challenge, something I want to do to extend myself. The difference is that these days, I don't dwell on a FAIL.

When I was young, I used to feel guilty all the time; it was my default position. I was the sort of person who’d say “I’m sorry” whenever people told me I apologize too much. Someone once gave me a copy of “When I say no, I feel guilty.” I just ran across it the other day, and yes, I do feel guilty that I’ve never opened the cover and read a single page. All the same, I’ve mostly learned to deal with guilt, accept that it has a place in my general scheme of things. Just not a very big place. I’ll shake the hand of guilt, but I no longer feel the urge to hug guilt to myself as if it were a best friend. Honestly, we’re not that close any more, and I’m fine with that.

Speaking of FAIL, I spent yesterday's lunchtime working instead of walking. No good reason. Since the back has improved a bit more, I'm falling back into the old standby of ignoring my body and concentrating on work. This is repeating old mistakes, which I do consider a FAIL. Today will be different.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Monday, February 13, 2012

I was not prepared

Quote du jour: It's innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn't.
-- Mignon McLaughlin

Site du jour: On the Mark Reads blog, Mark is blogging about the experience of reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time. Interesting to see it through the eyes of someone who's never seen or read the tale.

I never posted about the January challenge of going 30 days without going near a store. I did not do well. Lasted almost three weeks before I had to pick something up. I made it through the month with a couple of quickie FAILs. I know this is a learning experience, but I still felt guilty. I should adopt the motto from Mark Reads:You Are Not Prepared. I did try to be prepared. Even so,I ran out of almost everything, overstocked on a few things. I still have loads of frozen vegetables stuffed in the frig... want some? Yeah, that's what I thought. I suppose I should eat them up.

It was a tremendously useful challenge in terms of how much I learned. There are organized people out there. I am not one of them. But at least I am much more self aware. I thought I needed a lot more veggies than I did. I want to try that challenge again in a few months, see if I can do any better.

Note: the jury is still out on using Dpad. I'm getting better at working with it, but blogging on an iPad is always going to be a frustrating experience unless you have a wireless keyboard. It's better than straight HTML coding... I guess... But I'm not thrilled with it.

Still going to go Cold Carrot today. In more ways than one.

Exercise du jour: one gentle walk at lunch.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting better all the time

Quote du jour: Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music — the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.

Site du jour: The Perfect in our Imperfections blog wrote a good post on Things that get in the way.

Not my best week, but I suppose it could be worse. Better than last weekend. Managed to go almost completely cold carrot this week. I don't know if it was the smartest move budget-wise, but I bought a big container of pre-washed salad and supplemented it with salad toppings from the deli counter in the cafe. Okay, yes, I did slip in an ounce of grilled chicken once, but that was it. From the point of view of being good, it's much easier if I don't have meat in the house so I am giving myself a pass on buying food from work this time.

I really feel like I'm being obsessive about the diet, but that springs from fear. I do not want to go through pain like that again. Usually I take the absence of pain for granted, but right now I am profoundly grateful for it. I actually managed to sit through a whole meeting - an entire hour sitting down! - without having to get up because it hurt. I am betting that my body will be nicer to me if I avoid inflammatory comfort foods.

It's easier to be good when you feel bad. Since I've started to feel better, the old habits have come slinking back in, acting casual like they've been around the whole time. Last night on the way home it was cold and dark and depressing. I really wanted to stop off and pick up something baaad to eat, something high-fat with no nutritional value. Maybe even get a bottle of wine. My inner child was whining and pouting and throwing a tantrum. (You'd think it would have grown up with the rest of me. Can't wait until it hits adolescence.) Managed to give my inner self a time out, i.e. I told it we'd deal with it when I got home. Then, of course, the inner slug spoke up and pointed out that it was dark and cold and rainy and who wants to go out in that? Thus inertia saved the day.

Still going to go Cold Carrot today.

Exercise du jour: one gentle walk at lunch.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Me and Shakespeare

Quote du jour: Our faults, dear Brutus, lie not in our stars, but in our selves.
- Will Baby, Julius Ceasar

Better. Could be worse, anyway. Though I do think that if I'm going to feel like I'm being stabbed in the back, I should be wearing a toga in the ides of March. Interesting to note (well, interesting to me), that beer therapy has no effect. I thought alcohol acted as an analge-, an analg- a thing that made pain go away for a while. But no.

Still going to go Cold Carrot today. No food that has even the slightest inclination to aid the inflammatory response (e.g. anything with saturated fat) shall pass these lips.

Exercise du jour: one gentle walk at lunch.

Another good reason to take public transportation

Quote du jour: Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
- G.K. Chesterton

Site du jour: I love studies that agree with what I already think. Turns out business meetings can make you dumb.

Sigh. The back continues to improve, albeit slower than a snail on Valium. And I likewise. Gentle walk again today.

I feel obsessive, minutely chronicling each goal, but it does help. If nothing else, my Stubborn muscle is getting a workout. Semi- fail on the good eating yesterday. I had to eat Bad for social reasons.

The company went through a round of layoffs yesterday. You could see how hard it was for some of the managers, laying off people they'd been close to for years. In an effort to find something positive in the day, one manager brought cupcakes into a meeting to celebrate an employee's 35th anniversary with the company. I could see how stressed the manager was, so when she passed out the cupcakes I felt obliged to take one and nibble at it. Honestly, I didn't want it. Afterward, I felt down, rather depressed. That might have been because of the re-org, I suppose.

The layoffs went on all day. No one knew how many people were let go or from what departments. There were a couple articles in the newspapers; they didn't have the details either. It's understandable that management wouldn't want to go into detail, but the uncertainty does tend to feed the paranoia.

On the shuttle ride back to the train, the bus driver filled me in on all the details of exactly how many people were let go and from what departments.

Still going to go Cold Carrot today. No food that has even the slightest inclination to aid the inflammatory response (e.g. anything with saturated fat) shall pass these lips.

Exercise du jour: one gentle walk at lunch.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pain but no gain

Quote du jour: History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
- Maya Angelou

Wow. After four days of increasing back pain, last night the agony suddenly decreased. I'm not free of it, but it's now so moderate that I feel as if I can have a life again. I actually slept last night! (The night before, every time I tried to doze, the pain would wake me up.)

Now I'm trying to figure out what the hell that was all about. What makes a body turn on you like that? I feel like someone who has owned a fat, lazy cat for years, the kind that lounges around waiting to be fed, only to wake up one morning to find that Fluffy has turned into a snarling Sabertooth tiger with a major attitude problem.

Still going to go Cold Carrot today. No food that has even the slightest inclination to aid the inflammatory response (e.g. anything with saturated fat) shall pass these lips. Might try a walk at lunch. I'm going to play it by ear. Back, as it were, to basics. But gently. Nice kitty, niiiiice kitty...

funny pictures - basement cat  EVOLUTION!!
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I also lost another pound last night. Granted, I've gained and lost nine pounds in the last two weeks, so who knows how long this will last, but I am calling it a win.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Monday, February 06, 2012

Honest lying

Quote du jour: Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
- Lance Armstrong

Okay, change of plan. The back flared up into intense nastiness, so I spent the whole weekend lying on my back either in bed or in a hot bath. I can't sit in a chair, but I can walk and I can lie. Down, that is. So I'm thinking this is the body's way of slapping me upside the head to get my attention. I'm putting exercise on hold and switching my attention to Extreme Diet mode. Going to go Cold Carrot today. No food that has even the slightest inclination to aid the inflammatory response (e.g. anything with saturated fat) shall pass these lips.

funny celebrity pictures - You...  ...shall not pass!
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I lost two pounds this weekend while lying around. There's something positive.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Friday, February 03, 2012

All the good things

Quote du jour: What doesn't destroy me makes me stronger.
-- Nietzche

Site du jour: Scientists are trying to read our thoughts. Mood rings are never going to come back into fashion.

Good things are happening:
  • I pulled a muscle in my back. Which is good, because now I can't sit in a chair for more than an hour at a time. I have to get up and move around.
  • I missed the connection for my second train this morning. Which is good, because it meant I was stuck at a very cold and windy transit center for half an hour and has to walk around to keep warm. More exercise!
  • So all I need now is one more good thing... Oh yeah. It's Friday! All day!

Exercise du jour: Again, the goal is to take a lunch break, back away from the keyboard and walk. No one is forcing me to work through lunch. Four days in a row!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Three Faces of Merry

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Quote du jour: The personality which swore to meditate early in the morning every day was not the same personality as the one who threw the alarm clock out of the window. - Gurdjieff (attrib.)

I think I'm three people in one:
  • There's AM Merry, who wakes up full of hopeful plans for the day. Life seems full of opportunity. Of course there'll be time to exercise, so long as I stick to the To Do list.

  • There's Workaday Merry, who devotes her hours to dancing the Corporate Shuffle (kinda like the Charleston, without the catchy tune). She resents having to stop work just to do something lame like exercise. "Can't AM Merry see how important this work is? Why stop just when I'm getting things done?"

  • And then there's PM Merry, who wants nothing to do with the other two. Frankly, she thinks Workaday Merry is a humorless killjoy, and she can't stand AM Merry, whose plans should be shredded into confetti. All PM Merry wants is comfort food and the chance to curl up in bed.
Of course, what I really need is a job that doesn't take me an hour and a half to get away from each night. And I need for it to be lighter out on the way home. Something about that long train ride through the dark night drains all energy and optimism out of me. Luckily, both of those things can be changed, given time.

Site du jour: I gotta give these people credit for a shocking headline that grabs my attention even as I think, WTF? Popping a multi-vitamin can lead to debauchery.

Exercise du jour: Should I go for it? Oh sure, why not. Trying for a third day in a row of taking a walk at lunch.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Modest goals

Quote du jour: When we die, no one remembers us for what we weighed. Our weight isn't etched into our headstones.
-- Stephanie Klein, Moose, 2008

Site du jour: I liked this post about overwork versus getting things done. Myths of the overworked

Exercise du jour: Again, the goal is to take a lunch break, back away from the keyboard and walk. No one is forcing me to work through lunch. It shall be done.
Done! Hey, that's two in a row. Not that that makes a habit. But it does make for an improvement.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trying again...

A Witch turned me into a Newt!  ... and I haven't got better...

Quote du jour: I always wanted a happy ending... now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
-- Gilda Radner

Site du jour: Who knew rescuing a pet was so hard these days? I can understand rescue organizations being picky, but this is a bit extreme.Not good enough to adopt a pet?

Updated link: HERE

Exercise du jour: Again, the goal is to take a lunch break, back away from the keyboard and walk. No one is forcing me to do that to myself. I will take a break! I have spoken.
Done! I didn't wanna do it -- not for any good reason, I just didn't wanna. But I did it anyway. Do that enough times and I'll have a habit.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blogging on a train

Geez, the personal details people talk about on cell phones. The guy on the train just called his son " to hear his voice," He asked the kid how his Christmas was. Apparently, the place where the man was being held, he wasn't allowed to make phone calls. He's in a halfway house now, so he can call any day except Sunday. And in a few months, he'll be able to find them both a place to live.

The other night on the train, a woman was yelling on her cell at her son. After she hung up, she called someone else and had a long conversation about how "DHS said she wasn't a good mother, so they wouldn't let her throw her son a birthday party."

I really hope it wasn't the same kid.

Exercise du jour: I am going to take a walk at lunch. No excuses. I'm posting this to publicly shame myself into doing it.

Damn it. I don't know whether to classify this as a WIN or a FAIl.

I mean -- was it my fault I was born female, and heir to all the exercise-inhibiting cramps that female flesh is heir to?

(That sounds so much more fancy than saying cramps stopped me from taking a walk at lunch. Gotta go with what sounds good.)

On the other hand, I was able to do 20 minutes on the elliptical this evening. Should that qualify me for a gold star? I think that I'm gonna call this a win, on the whole.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't ask, don't tell

Egad, I got tagged. That's what I get for being so quiet.

One reason I haven't been posting is that if I share any issues, people will try to tell me what I should do, even if I'm not even remotely asking for advice. In fact, i wasn't sure I should even mention it. I'm afraid of getting some well-intentioned commenter saying "you don't want people to offer advice? Well here's what I think you should do about it..."

it sounds like a simple enough, even trivial issue. But it's not really. Not if it stops me from posting. It inhibits me. ("You find it inhibiting? Here's what you should do...") I mean, if i post about a problem and you want to tell me what you did in a similar situation, that's wonderful. I'll sit at your feet and listen attentively. I'd love for you to share your experiences of life. Just don't want people telling me what to do with mine.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Update:it's Friday!
Ha! He's a swinger! I always suspected...

Photo courtesy of: / CC BY-SA 2.0

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trying something new

It is a dark and stormy night.

I am trying to see if I can blog on the iPad on the train.
If I can figure out how to sleep on the train, I'll really be doing well.

Posted from DPad on my iPad

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wait a minute... who turned the lights back on?

Whew! It's bright in here now.
Must be time for a spring cleaning, or something like that.
(It's warm enough for a spring cleaning... the weathermen were all warning about a huge storm, 'Snowmagedden' approaching. Turns out to be more like 'Slushmagedden.')

I've been good, and I've been bad, but mostly I've been tired.
My immediate goal for the week is simply to get to sleep before midnight, so I can get up before I have to already be at work, so that I can get to work at an early enough hour that I can leave at a decent hour so that I can get home in time to get to sleep before midnight so that I can...

Oi vey maria. Enough already. I'd like the universe to send me a job that doesn't involve spending 3+ hours a day commuting. Preferably one that includes a respectable salary, positive co-workers, interesting-but-not-extremely-stressful work. Also, I'd like the workplace to be populated with single, straight Hugh Jackman lookalikes. (I thought I'd throw that in. You never know.)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New year, new challenge

Funny Pictures - Happy Kitten
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Out with the old, on with the new. Challenge, that is.

One thing I noticed from going car-free for a month was that I spent more time going to the store and I spent more money at the store. Because I couldn't carry as much stuff on a bicycle, I shopped more often. The more I shop, the more I spend. Spending more is bad.

I wanted to try something different. I wanted to see if I could not go to the store for a month. Use up the food that I have in the pantry or the freezer. What would that be like? Can I do this? I have no idea. I want to find out.

So yesterday, I started up the evilSUV and went off to the grocery store. (I wanted to stock up on things like frozen vegetables and toliet paper.) Today, my freezer is stuffed to the gills with fruit and vegetables. If there's a power outage, I might have to re-think this idea.

I do realize it would be smarter to try this in the late summer, but I want to try it now. I'm curious. Maybe this will be a fabulous experience.

funny pictures-Tiger was an optimist. His cone wasn't a Cone of Shame.
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Exercise du jour: 30 minutes on the elliptical. I can do it.
Done. I did it!