Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'll Be Fine in 2009

It was with no little trepidation that I made resolutions a year ago. I needed to shake things up and I also wanted to reduce my life to simpler things. So as you may or may not know I made two quite strange resolutions. I decided to ban TV, sugar and high fat foods--to differing levels of success. When I decided to blog about it I knew I ran the risk of seeming like this was all I cared about, especially the dieting part.

In fact a friend of mine emailed me soon after and made me think about what I was doing. She said some really thought provoking things. She told me not to define thin as success and that she liked who I was and part of that was because I had these inclinations. She wasn't telling me not to try to be healthy, but that I wasn't defined by my weight. It was much better written than how I summarized it--in fact it was one of the most meaningful letters I've ever received. Every time I blogged about diets I thought about her and her perspective. She was mostly right but I think last year I did want to define my life simply. Maybe make it about my weight for awhile. Life is so complicated, I wanted to make a little fun of myself--and maybe think about why I needed to do this. Well I'm still thinking and I'm not sure I am any wiser.

The Reckoning


We'll start with the second resolution. It was to watch no TV all year. I made that goal perfectly for about a month and then I had a sick day and enjoyed a TV extravaganza. I was able to swear off again and didn't watch anything but Battlestar Gallactica (not even sorry about that). Then about mid April I completely threw in the towel. I made it 4 months. Honestly I am happy with that! My husband may disagree with me, but I think I broke the back of that addiction. I watch plenty--but I don't find myself slaving over a certain show--or many shows like I was before.

This resolution had an unintended consequence--I started to read obsessively. I've always been an avid reader, but now it's like three books a week. This continued even when I started watching TV again. I would feel just dandy about this if most of the books were great art, alas I seem to have become addicted to pop mysteries, thrillers and double alas romance!


I made the resolution last year to give up sugar, refined carbs and eat low fat. I was also able to do this for a couple of months, but then I had sporadic success until July when I decided to again take the horse by the reigns. That is when I started a new diet each month! That was fun and surprisingly challenging.

It has been an up and down experience, but I am putting in the final statistics now. I've lost 20 pounds this year and about 20 inches. It won't make me the biggest loser, but I have to look at as a success (or go insane). Of course I wanted to do better, but I know if I hadn't made the resolution I would have been back to square one. It's nice to be on square two.

I was fine in 2009. Maybe not a shooting star--but fine--and after the things that happened this year fine is okay by me.

I'm not sure if I'm going to continue the different diet each month--I'm going to decide before January 1st 2010 though. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shocker--Defeated by the Fad Diet

UpDayDownDayDiet goes down, downtown, all the way down, down into the garbage, down into the underground, down, down, down! Did I make that clear. The first week was fine, but the second week was impossible, I just couldn't do the 500 calorie days any more. It's as if my brain just screamed, "No!" Plus everyone kept telling me it sounded like an eating disorder so the support was LOW. I even had my college age daughter tell me it sounded, "Very unhealthy."

So I quit. 
Week 1:  Lost 4 pounds
Week 2:  Gained 4 pounds!
1st day of week three: Screamed and re-grouped.

I've only quit mid-month on 2 diets--Weight Watchers and UpDayDownDay. Each at 2 weeks and so I am giving myself permission to quit diets if I find myself resorting to old habits and gaining weight. These two diets have nothing in common. Weight Watchers is universally heralded as healthy, UpDayDownDay has yet to be heralded period.

So I've come up with a couple of theories about myself.

#1 There are two Edens.

(My husband will beg to differ he's known about 300 Edens but that's a story for another day)

There is Sugar Brained Eden and Non Sugar Brained Eden (herafter known as SBE and NSBE). I know I've blogged about the evils of sugar before, but until I get this right I have to blog about it again.

NSBE is serene, in control, thinks of others, can plan a healthy meal, waits until she's hungry to eat, likes herself, has pretty ankles that don't hurt and feels happy (maybe even a little self-righteous).

SBE is frantic, scattered, justifies bad behavior in eating and sometimes life, has a swollen face and ankles, has a cluttered mind, and mostly just feels out of control.

When a diet seems to allow sugar and refined carbohydrates NSBE jumps for joy and thus begins the spiraling descent that leads to a very bad place in sugarville.

So a diet that includes refined carbs is just not for me.

#2  I've learned that severe cutbacks are not for me. They trigger the "Rebellious Eden" (RE) and no one wants to see that. Especially me--who has time to be rebellious? Especially with the end of the year coming up and Judgement Day on the past year's resolutions.

So don't laugh at my rememdy but I had to get off sugar quick. I'm doing two weeks of Atkins just to get off the bad stuff and then I'll start a new more balanced diet.

Go away beautiful Sugar!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Ephemeral

A couple of weeks ago I looked at the huge maples outside my window at work. They were in full golden fire as if they burned from within. I watched the wind blow, stealing armfuls of leaves and realized within days the leaves would be off their branches and in some clean-up crew's bags. I couldn't help but admire and pine for the ephemeral beauty of fall.

The leaves are gone now; some fell in their complete beauty, others clung until brown and crispy. I watched as the gardeners blew them into piles, dragged them off on a huge drop cloth and piled them in their truck. The sun shines strongly through the naked trees into my office and I have a lovely unobstructed view of Library Square. Yet, I still cannot get the beauty of those dying leaves out of my mind.

I've had two lovely friends die in this past year. One was much too young and the other was youthful, even into her eighties. Both glowed from within as if they kept a constant fire alight inside. I want to be like them--burning as brightly as possible until the very last second.

One was a father of six who had more energy than ten people. I've never seen anyone double (or quadruple) task like him. He could be on the phone, holding a meaningful conversation with the person he was physically with, drive a car and decide what would be the best thing to do next, all at the same time. He organized people, companies (probably empires), had an incredible family and was good to the core. He was a thoughtful bishop and made me want to be a better human. He was one of those people who changed the way I thought about things. I remember sitting in Sacrament Meeting and hearing him speak and truly being inspired--inspired enough to change some bad habits.

I love his family and his wife. They are examples of understanding and testimony. I often try to think of what I would do in the same situation and hope that I could be half as valiant as them. He was and I am sure is one of the shiniest people I've ever known.

My other friend Mildred typed up the program for Sacrament Meeting each week and was our Ward Librarian. She had been librarian for years and prepared every lesson's visual aids, games, or activities and had them on file. She and the other librarians prepared a folder filled with these helps each week for every teacher in the ward. If you did not pick them up--they would be delivered to you.

She kept me in line. She made sure I let her know who the new teachers were and helped me stay organized. She prepared my program for the Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation each year--usually re-typing anything I produced.

Every Sunday morning at 8:15am as I set up chairs for the children, she came in and visited. We talked about everything. We talked about her exercises that she did daily so that arthritis wouldn't immobolize her, we talked about our plans for the week, we talked about our various medical conditions and we just talked. One day 2 months before she died, we talked about how she wasn't feeling well. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer soon after. She continued to prepare the programs, and call people to make sure things were being done until the week she died.

I miss them both. I miss them because honestly they were one of the few people who actually made my life easier and more fun, I miss them for who they were, I miss them because of how I felt when I was with them. I want to be like them. I want to be useful, to make people's lives easier and better because they know me.

They passed in full and unfaded beauty. I've got a long way to go to measure up to my two dear friends who I know are stirring things up on the other side.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fad Diet Here I Come - or - Of Mice and Women

Month 4 vegetarian was a sad and sorry experience. I gained 5 pounds.  Yippeee for me! I am currently on the slowest weight loss plan ever. If your looking for excuses (and I always am) I think putting vegetarian right after vegan was just a little too similar to be fun--and this is all about fun--right?

So this month bring on the fad diets! I am doing the "Up Day Down Day Diet," created by a Dr. Johnson. (Link is on the right under Month 5.)  He read the studies on mice that they fed one day and then didn't the next and found out the mice participants lived longer and healthier lives (I don't know about happier).  He took this to heart and created the diet where you eat normally one day and the next eat 500 calories.

I only found out about this diet from my husband who heard second-hand that a very overweight man's trainer used it as a last resort. It worked wonders for him! With endorsements like that who could resist.

I've been on it for almost a week and I've lost 4 pounds, so I guess it does work so far. It's quite a trick to only eat 500 calories a day. Last night at 10:00pm I couldn't resist some Skittles that were resting less than innocently on my desk. I'm still trying to figure out some tricks to make it through the evening hours.

Gasp! I hope Thanksgiving is on an up day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Modern Torture Chambers--or--What I Have in Common with Keira Knightley

I'm going to be an old lady for just a moment and talk about my sciatica. I have sciatica and if I stand too long or walk on a flat surface my leg hurts like the dickens, my foot falls asleep and it just plain feels like an electric shock running up and down my leg. I found out that the numbness can lead to nerve damage and that I better check it out.

I went into the doctor and he prescribed an MRI. By the way the MRI is really a modern day torture device masquerading as a medical instrament--I am sure of it. First they strip you naked and put on an ugly drape and then they keep asking you questions like, "Do you have any metal inside your body--you better tell us, because if you don't the MRI is going to rip it out of your body and then you'll be sorry if you lie to us about the metal in your body." I kept telling them, "I have metal staples in me from a gall bladderectomy" but then they just said, "Oh those metal type things don't count."

So I entered the room with that tunnel terrified. Then they shove you onto this little board that stuffs you in this thing like toothpaste going back into the tube. If the fear of the staples emerging from your body like the alien from Aliens or the claustrophobia don't get you then there's the noise. It seems impossible that aligning your electrons to form a picture could be so incredible loud--but it is.

This is all beside the point. The point is that one of my discs is being squeezed out of my spine and poking into nerves that cause the painful condition known as sciatica. The radiologist (who turned out to be my brother's best friend from high school) had me come back to his den of wisdom and told me, "The pain you're feeling is real!" Like I should be congratulated for not being delusional!

He thought that I didn't have to have surgery and could maybe take care of it all through physical therapy. Yeah!

So I go to a lovely man who turns out to be a high school buddy of my husband for physical therapy. (I prefer not knowing my doctors--I believe in medical anonymity.) He's great. We do some yoga like moves, he tells me to get my blood pumping on a recumbent bike, he shows me a wonderful power point presentation on my condition and then he pulls out this big, black corset and proceeds to put it on me.

At first I thought there was no way this corset is going to fit around my waist and then I notice all of the Velcro. He got the end through the buckle and started to pull and pull and pull. He laughed and said, "Now you look like Keira Knightley, in Pirates of the Carribean." I looked at him and said, "No one has ever said that to me before," but I thought "yeah, right."

He put me on a treadmill and hooked the corset to straps that go to a scaffolding connected to the treadmill. Then he turned a nob that slowly makes me weigh less by lifting me slightly off the treadmill. He said it was to take pressure of my spine. He set it at 40 pounds lighter and then set the treadmill timer for 3 minutes. The scaffolding pulled me up--except now there is a problem, the corset slipped up and took my breasts with it. I looked down and ouldn't believe my eyes. Somehow over the last 2 minutes I turned into Dolly Parton and the corset kept moving up.

I looked scary and I was scared. I looked over at the helper with desperation in my eyes. She cane over and said "This looks like it needs to be tightened a bit more so it doesn't ride up." She tightened it up and while I was grateful that it wasn't pushing my breasts to my forehead I was starting to have a problem breathing. She set the timer for 2 more minutes. The longest two minutes of my life.

Then, because I am prone to delusional optimism, I realized I do have something in common with Keira Knightley--a corset does do wonders.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Yes I have been avoiding you. Here is the beginning of the excuse--2 weeks ago I was going through a stressful period. I was in charge of the Primary Program and I also knew that I was about to be released so I had a lot of things to tidy up. Then last week we had our program and it went great! The kids were fantastic.

The day before the program my daughter had her 16th Birthday Party to which she invited 60 kids. Because if you invite one person of course you have to invite 5 more so that no one feels bad. We made caramel apples, decorated pumpkins, had s'mores by the fire, ate dinner, chips, popcorn and watched a movie. All this before I had to be at church by 7AM.

Anyway, through all of that stress I stayed on the wagon. Good for me!

Then Sunday night came. I was in a blissful state of job well done and rested from a wonderful afternoon nap. Then I started obsessing about my daughter's chocolate Costco cake we'd bought for the party. Puffy frosting and all. (I wasn't obsessing about the homemade marzipan cake I'd made on her actual birthday that would have actually tasted good.)

I let that devil sugar in the door--and it made itself right at home in my belly. I had a piece a cake a day for the next 6 days and I enjoyed any kind of Halloween treat that I passed by.

Yes. by my weigh in date I'd gained 3 pounds.

So stats on the first two weeks of Vegetarian is + 3 pounds. Plus 3 pounds!

So there. Now you know. Will you please leave me alone now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winter Doldrums in October?

I feel like I'm already having my winter crazies. How could this be? What will I do in January if I've already colored my hair, acted absentmindedly, and wanted to hibernate for the rest of fall and winter. I fear for everyone around me!

Sometimes my first clue that I am stressed is a strong desire to drive away and be alone for a few days. Well, I must be stressed, because all I can think about is spending a week at a cabin, hut, or especially at the foggy Oregon seaside—actually anywhere I am completely alone.

I want to sleep and read as much as possible and not worry about the phone, schedules or my hair!

How about you—where does your mind go when you are stressed, or does your mind just go. . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Fond Farewell to Vegan, Hello Ornish "Spectrum"

My Vegan experience is over and I must say I really liked it. I am shocked. I thought it would be really hard and that I would always be craving something, but thanks to Great Harvest Bread and Whole Foods I ate really well and enjoyed myself. In fact I think I could do this one forever. It's the first diet that I'm sorry to see go. Life is just full of surprises.

Final Vegan Stats:
Week 1 = 5 Pounds
Week 2 = 1 Pound
Week 3 = 1 Pound
Week 4 = 1 Pound
Total = 8 Pounds!!!!

I've lost a total of 20 pounds in 2009! Hip Hip Hurray! Only 2 million more to go!

Now onto this month. I liked Vegan so much and because my system gets a little upset with big changes I'm going to go the “The Spectrum” program by Dr. Dean Ornish. This diet is similar and focuses mostly on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It has more options than vegan because the program also allows for non-fat dairy and egg whites.

Dr. Ornish lists foods in 5 groups from most healthful to least healthful. I am going to stick to group 1 mostly, and some group 2 foods. I’ve listed the website in the sidebar if you are interested in what the food groups are. I have missed seafood so I may dip into group 3 foods for a little bit of ocean goodness.

This diet is lower in fat than the vegan, but has more options. Cross your fingers!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quick Vegan Stats

Week 3 ended Thursday, October 8.

I lost one more pound. 7 pounds so far on Vegan. Yea!

I guess the best thing to say about Vegan is that there is really no possible way of eating fast food. I haven't been to a drive through (okay, I have had Diet Coke at a fast food restaurant) in three weeks. I think it's been years since that is true. The diet should be lauded for that! It's been the hardest by far for eating out. Almost every vegetarian option at restaurants has cheese in it.

I found some great places for vegan sandwiches. I love Great Harvest for their hummus veggie sandwich. Rich's Bagels has a great vegetarian sandwich too. The Dodo's ginger carrot soup is amazing! Whole Foods has some great roasted veggie side dishes boxed up as well as a fantastic couscous salad! So there are great options, but I've had to search high and low to find them and I have to get out of my car to get them!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Be Careful or I’ll Bite Your Head Off Too!

Week 2 of Vegan ended last Thursday (Oct .1) and I lost another pound! So far as a Vegan I’ve lost 6 pounds. I feel fantastic physically. I don’t feel tired or lethargic—in fact I feel wired! Even without excessive caffeine.

Although I am a bit worried that I cannot seem to keep a thought in my head. Honestly I now know the literal meaning of airhead—because that’s all that’s in there.
Proofs of my air problem:

1. The other day I am putting the DMV sticker on my daughter’s car.
It is supposed to look like this example on the left, but instead of the '01 it would be 10 for the year 2010. I placed the sticker on the blank space next to last year's sticker. It now shows that her registration will expire 09, 09, 10. I was supposed to put it over the second 09. I know it’s very complicated. So instead of leaving it I try to tear it off and just manage to rip it in half. I place half the sticker on top of the second 09 and leave the other half where it is. See I can’t even write without being confusing. She will probably get pulled over countless times over the next year and have to explain about her crazy mom.

2. I go through a “I hate my hair color” phase every two years. Ordinarily I keep my urges under control with trips to the hairdresser for professional color enhancements. I had to cancel my appointment and I was stuck with two inches of ugly re-growth. I went and bought not 1, not 2, but three boxes of hair color. Two are blond and one is brown. I decided that I was sick of being blond and having to deal with re-growth so I choose the brown. It looked pretty good, but since I bought ash brown after a couple of days it fades to a nice mossy brown, mossy as in green. I then made an emergency appointment with the hairdresser and had her re-do it and now I have true brown hair.

I don’t know why I bought 2 boxes of different shades of blond.

The second thing I am worried about is that I am extraordinarily irritable.

I am an irritable airhead.

I’ve had to resort to telling my children—I am in a really bad mood so I am going to take a time-out in my bedroom--FOREVER. You really don’t want to bother me. I find myself snapping at whoever doesn’t understand my vague instructions or explanations. I find Smoky the Hairless Cat incredibly annoying and keep pushing him out of my room. Now that’s just sad.

I’m never hungry but I wonder if my subconscious is yelling for that cushion of over-eating it is so used to.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Skinny on Vegan

Here's the good and the bad of eating vegan so far! I am very interested in knowing what you give up for a smaller waistline! Let me know that I’m not alone, that other people miss certain foods too!

What I love:

Hummus I love hummus, my husband thinks of it as stinky feet, but he’s WRONG.
Roasted Red Peppers
Veggies, Veggies, Veggies I am a Veggie lover
Fruit, yum!
Whole Wheat Bread—How I missed you on Atkins. You are: crunchy, crispy, soft, seedy, chewy goodness.
Olive Oil
Vanilla Soy Milk—this is my new treat!
Odawala etc.—Thank you for making so many varieties of nectar for the gods!
Veggie Enchiladas at Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill! (Without cheese of course)

I love that I can eat as much of this stuff as I want.

What I don’t miss:

Meat or Dairy—This was a nice surprise. I guess I am just not that into you! (Except bacon, I am into bacon—and don’t let anyone fool you organic soy bacon is not a satisfying substitute—I know you don’t believe that, but it’s true.)When I dream I dream of you. . . Or in other words what I miss:

SUGAR You fickle, fiendish and poisonous love
Unlimited Diet Coke Do you like the qualifier there—unlimited? For the past 3 days I have had 2 diet sodas a day and it has been a glorious and satisfying cheat. To limit myself to only two is very difficult so I’m still looking at it as a victory. (I can and will justify most anything!)
Butter—I like butter. It’s good. It makes everything it touches good (kind of like the King Midas of the food kingdom)
Sweet rolls and other bakery products
Sugar Free products made with artificial sweeteners.
Ice Cream

Even though it looks like I am missing a lot of things, I actually really like the diet. So far what I love outweighs what I dream about!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Were They Thinking?

It has been an exciting week! This Vegan thing is not easy, but I love being able to eat as much as I want of the foods allowed. Plus I feel fantastic.

I went out with friends on Tuesday to a really nice Japanese restaurant and I was sorely tempted--I LOVE sushi, but the restaurant had a vegan plate and I was the first to order so I held fast to the plan and ordered it. To my surprise all of the other women ordered it too!? It was great and all--but seriously--none of them are Vegans. The menu had incredibly healthy choices and they all ordered the vegan bento box?! I was flummoxed. I like grilled tofu (kind-of) but if I'd had choices it probably wouldn't be the first thing I ate.

Does this mean that people voluntarily eat vegan style?

Anyway it was fine and did I mention that I feel fantastic. Yea I do, but (there is always a but) I am sleepy. I'm falling asleep in bed by 10:30. That is unheard of. I didn't think the caffeine was affecting me so much. I haven't been to sleep before 11:00pm in years. I always told everyone, "Diet Coke doesn't affect me at all I can drink it right up until bedtime." Maybe I was wrong (shocker).

It's still the hardest thing for me to do though. The other day I was recycling one of my husband's Diet Coke can's (yes, he is weak--I'm working on the self-righteous thing--it's the only thing I've got!). When I picked it up it was cold, I had in my hands a half-full, cold can of Diet Coke. I want so much to taste its refreshing goodness--but I abstained, for now!

Week 1 Results: 5 pounds!

The weight loss is very encouraging and being off sugar really does make me feel 100% better (I know, I know, I already said that). I can see my ankle bones again. Woot!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is Life Worth Living Without Diet Coke?

As a vegan--at least the vegan outlined in the Skinny B. plan (I'm no longer typing the whole name out), I'm not supposed to have soda, artificial sweeteners or caffeine and that makes diet soda a three time loser.

I miss Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Coca-Cola Zero and TAB! Those beautiful elixirs of popping, refreshing bubbles. Those stimulating morning, afternoon and evening friends. The true and faithful loves. Now that the caffeine withdrawal headaches are gone all I have left is gaping emptiness.

I'm trying to look at the bright side though. I think it's a good thing that I am missing diet soda so much because it makes it easier to do the rest.

This reminds me of when I gave birth to my twins. I had Baby A the old fashioned way but then Baby B got all excited with all the room and decided she was comfortable there. After an hour of lovely labor both the baby and I got a bit stressed and I ended up having a c-section. The c-section pain stopped me feeling any other (delicately vague wording here) pain.

Giving up diet soda this month has been so painful I can't really feel the pain of giving up everything else.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sugar Must Die!

Isn't sugar beautiful!

Look at it laughing at you in its crystalline, snowy perfection. You are looking at the devil. Sugar is the devil. Sugar is an evil invention meant to enslave us with sweet lies that throw strong wires of addiction over bodies growing fatter by the day! My number one problem is sugar.

My first diet month was the Atkins Diet and of course I couldn’t eat any sugar—none. I didn’t even eat any refined carbohydrates (or really any carbohydrates to tell you the truth). I felt great. I lost weight. I could see my ankle bones—and they are lovely. I had a modicum of self-control.
The next month I chose Weight Watchers because it seems so rational. Weight Watchers allows sugar and I ate it up—even though WW doesn’t necessarily recommend that you do. That was my Achilles’ heel. Sugar is the gateway drug. It is the highway to Hell. It is the gaping jaws of destruction that are waiting to chew me up and spit me out.

Did I get my point across? Was that dramatic enough for you?

So this month the diet I have chosen does not include the entrance of sugar into my glorious body. Also, after Weight Watchers I wanted something with more restrictions—more rules and less having to write things down.

So this month I'm a vegan baby! Yes, you heard me right—Vegan. I hesitate to say it’s the Skinny Bitch diet because I hate to promote a book that swears as much as that book does. I’m listening to it on tape and those women have major, major potty mouths. I find myself rolling up my windows in the car even though the weather is great because I don’t want anyone to hear those words coming out of my car.

So let’s just say for a month I am going to eat an abundance of: fruits, veggies, whole grains, soy, beans and not much else. Here’s the kicker—part of the diet is giving up soda and caffeine. I’m giving up Diet Coke for one month. I feel that I have become too dependant on Diet Coke and sugar so they are out the door. I’ve done vegetarian before but vegan is stricter; it requires giving up all animal products including dairy. I enjoy dairy I have nothing philosophically against dairy. I just want to see how it feels. (I will still wear my leather belts and shoes etc.—I’m not a fanatic!)
P.S. I already have a caffeine withdrawal headache and it it's only 8:30AM.

Final Word on WW

1st 15 days lost 2.5 pounds
2nd 15 days gained 1.5 pound (eek!!!!)
Total = Lost 1 pound

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let's Just Say I Love the Number 17

I bet your thinking, “Eden hasn’t blogged she must be embarrassed by her lack of Weight Watchers success.” To this I say—“You are wrong! I haven’t blogged because I am lazy and I had to read Catching Fire and had to do other important time wasting things.”

The first week and a half on Weight Watchers I lost 2.5 pounds—which almost puts me at the pre-NY weight loss. I will weigh again on Thursday—and I will report.

I am also quitting Weight Watchers on Thursday after three weeks for two reasons.

1. I love the number 17 and I want to stay on that as my change date.

2. I still hate it. I’m sorry. I know it is the most sensible plan, I know if I had a back-bone it would be the best, I know if I want to keep off the weight I need to be able to do this—but I can’t. I cannot keep track of everything I eat—and I cannot have so many choices. It boggles the mind and then it boggles the body!

If you have any ideas on my next diet email me quick. You have two days.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lies all Lies, I Tell You

Many of the people I know who have lost weight and kept it off used Weight Watchers. I have just one question—How? Yes, you heard me—How?

I like to lie to myself, I am an expert. If there are dishes in the sink at night I think, “I’ll get up early and wash them” (lie). I have other favorites like, “I’ll exercise later” “I’ll start a diet tomorrow” “I’ll read that large work report at home over the weekend” “I’ll take the kids to Lagoon this year” “I’ll call that person later” “I’ll go grocery shopping on my way home from work.”

I could go on all day. I am an expert liar.

You may think that I am a generally dishonest person, but usually my lies are reserved for me, myself and I.

This brings me to Weight Watchers. It is sensible, flexible, encourages health eating, and gives tons of options. I’ve found out one thing this week.
Options=Lies to self.

For instance:

“I’ll have this piece of pizza for breakfast, it is 9 points, but I can eat veggies for lunch. I’ll have these Peanut M & M’s for a snack at work—that’s the great thing about WW you can have things like that and just count the points.”
By noon I have two-thirds of my daily points and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Then at dinner, “That’s okay that I only have 2 points left for the day—I’ll just use some of my weekly points—I have 35 of those. I can even have ice-cream on those points. Who cares if it’s only the first day of the week and I’ve used all my daily and weekly points! I’ll be a vegetarian the rest of the week.”

Lies all lies. I tell you all those successful people out there must not lie to themselves. They must have respect and are as honest to their own self as they are to others. Wow, what a concept.

P.S. I don’t weight myself until Sunday—so the jury is still out!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Besame Mucho New York City!

I think New York City is surreal. There is nothing ordinary about it, nothing bland. The thing I find most extraordinary about the city and its people is the acceptance that their life is normal.

Case in point—the Subway. Everyone on the subway seems to take pride in not noticing or acknowledging anything that happens in their surroundings.

Before I illustrate this point—I do have an exception. They seem to have a great understanding of danger and respond to it quickly. One day while riding the subway up to my daughter’s school, in a semi-full car, two teenage boys entered. Not to be judgmental but they looked like trouble. They talked loudly to each other, swore like sailors and took up about 8 seats. They made me feel uncomfortable. At the next stop everyone got off. It didn’t matter if they were black, white, young, old; everyone exited and I noticed many moved to another car on the same train. Being the dumb tourist and thinking I’m only one stop away from my destination I didn’t even try for the door. I sat at the other end of the car alone with the two loud and scary young men. They felt an urgency I hadn't felt. Nothing happened but I have to admit I booked it off that train as soon as humanly possible.

Now, here is the other side of that same story.

I had just bid a final and fond farewell to my fair daughter on a lonely New York street corner. It was 1pm on an ordinary Thursday afternoon. I was very teary and trying my best not to cry. I sat down in a subway car and counted windows, because that is how I stop myself from crying, I count something. In movie theaters it’s the dim lights up on the ceiling and I guess on subways it’s the windows. The doors began to close and two men sat on either side of me.

The doors bounced back open and a Mariachi Band entered the car. Yes, a Mariachi Band, in full regalia. Did I mention it was 1pm on a THURSDAY. There was a man with a little guitar, a man with a ginormous guitar, a man playing the trumpet and the singer. They immediately started to play “Besame Mucho” loudly. Not one person looked at them. I then saw the man sitting on my left surreptitiously take some pictures—so I didn’t feel completely insane about feeling like this was a little out there.

While the band played on a little boy, who couldn’t have been more than nine, held up his I-touch. The application he was using displayed a perfect little hand-gun. The man next to me gestured to the man on the other side to look at the little boy. (I figured out that these two must be friends—I am quick that way.) The little boy pointed the I-gun at people, pulled the I-trigger and it actually I-fired. The three of us looked at him as we saw him I-shoot every person on the train, beginning with the Mariachi Band that was still playing with gusto.

At this point the one man leaned over me, like I wasn’t even there, and in very accented English said, “Dis is unbelievable.” Thank you foreign tourist for being the voice of sanity! We were probably the only three non-New Yorkers in that car.

We arrived at our next stop and the band took off their hats for tips and slowly exited the car. Not one person gave them money (including myself, because I didn’t have any) or looked at them.

At this point I went from trying not to cry to trying not to laugh hysterically and ended up just grinning like an idiot.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Next Month's Diet Locked and Loaded

It was great to be in New York City. My daughter and I made the tour of art galleries and food. We ate at Italian, Thai, Indian, French restaurants and of course I had to make a jaunt down to Magnolia Bakery. So what if I gained 3 pounds (life for me is a little two steps forward and one step back. I wish I was one of those linear people who just seem to march forward.)

I would like to sincerely thank those of you who gave me ideas on my next diet while I was out of town. I will have to look into the Acai Diet from Ashley, the Cookie Diet from Sam, the ice cream diet from Dan and next month I'm definitely looking into the Nutri-System discount at Costco. Thanks for your help!

Well, I have decided on, Weight Watchers Online program. Each food is given a point value and then you eat a set amount of points a day--with a little cushion of extra weekly points to round out the program. Veggies are really low in points (most are none at all) and fruits are also low. The diet encourages low-fat and fiber rich foods. I signed up today and made it one day with the correct amount of points--Yea! Although for dinner I couldn't resist the french fries my husband brought home and after I ate them I looked up how many points they were-9! That was pretty much the rest of my points for the evening. I added a peach and that was dinner. I think I better look up the points before I eat. (Definitely should have looked before I leaped.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Herbivore, Carnivore or Omnivore--Oh My!

I need help. I cannot decide what diet to do next. I am taking my daughter back to school in NYC and have therefore decided to stay on Atkins for one more week because it is easy to do while traveling. So you all have one week to help me decide what direction to go.
There are some very interesting selections on Check them out if you’re really in a pickle for an idea.

There are lots and lots of options. My only criteria is that they don’t require a doctor’s supervision (oh yea and they don’t require lots and lots of dinero!). I got some great ideas from my sister-in-law C. She gave me a recipe book for Skinny Bitches, I am tempted to do this diet just so I could blog those words over and over! It’s a low fat vegetarian type, lactose free type, meat-free type diet (exactly opposite of what I’ve been doing). It looks hard, but doable and I’ve always wanted to be bitchier.

My sister-in-law also sent me a link to the Dash diet. This diet is rich in veggies and low fat milk products. It has some fat in it and looks balanced—I’m not sure it is perfect for weight loss, but it looks great for relieving hypertension (which I don’t have).

Here are some others I am thinking of. Nutri System (a little pricey though), South Beach, Dr. Ornish’s “Eat More, Weigh Less” (Hurray for that! I’m all for eating more (this is very low-fat and almost vegetarian), Weight Watchers Online Program, French Women Don’t Get Fat (This one requires you just to eat less of what you already eat—I don’t know—that sounds like it might involve willpower! Eeeek!), Body for Life (This is plan is rich in low-fat proteins, complex carbs and fruit and veggies—it also includes weight lifting/aerobic exercise etc). I also have a one page diet given to my dad by his trainer. It looks like a modified Body For Life program—with lots and lots of fruits and veggies.

So as you can see I need help. HELP ME!

Now Presenting--Atkins Results

I would like to state, For the Record, that I know this is a weird thing to do. I am a woman of a certain age, posting diet activity and weight loss on the internet. Even I think this is more than a little embarrassing and narcissistic. So I am trying to look at this as an effort to meet my goals, as an experiment and just doggone fun and I will not see it as pathetic--darn it! So here goes!

Final Statistics on Atkins Diet

Dates Followed: July 16th-August 21th (Plus next week)

Weight Loss by Week:

Week 1 = 7 lbs (WOW)
Week 2 = 2 lbs
Week 3 = 1 lb (Trip to Canada and lost weight!)
Week 4 = 1 lb (I’m seeing a trend here)
Week 5 = 1 lb (Yep, trend continues)

Total = 12 Pounds

Technically I will be on this one more week. So I will have to see if the 1 pound trend holds.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Remember to Put Your Oxgen Mask on First

Things are still going well. I've made it 4 weeks on the Atkins Plan. Is it just 4 Weeks, it seems much longer. It hasn't been too hard. I haven't weighed myself for the grand total, but by the third week I'd lost 10 pounds! Tomorrow I am doing my final weigh-in for the diet.

The main thing I've been trying to deal with is stress. Stress leads to a panicky feeling (like my insides are screaming--that's all--nothing to worry about), and I don't know how to handle it without food. Like yesterday, I come home and my lovely children all tell me their needs within about 10 minutes. I hear in rapid succession--"I want to go to friends, Do I have to clean my room before I go anywhere, I need to buy my coat today, I need to get my prescriptions filled, I'm going up to school early so I need everything done by Friday, the windshield on my car is cracked, I need $200 extra for books, My glasses are broken and I can't see." Silly and unimportant stuff like that. Within five minutes I was craving a chocolate shake with brownie bits from Nielsens Frozen Custard so much I couldn't see either.

I looked my children lovingly in the eye and said, "I am going to take a nap now." How is that for progress? I substituted sleep and denial for food. After a half an hour or so of denial I was able to go back downstairs and begin scheduling for their needs too. I looked at it as putting on my oxygen mask first so I was alive and available to put on the oxygen masks of my children.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Engineered Nutrition

I wrote this hours before I went out of town almost 2 weeks ago and forgot to post. So I added a little and here it is.

Two weeks. I've made it two weeks. 9 lbs down and minus 7 inches. It works. Of course I've given up food. Yes, it's true. I cannot stand the thought of meat before dinner--alas even bacon. So now I eat engineered food. It's been protein bars for breakfast and most lunches.
You have to know these bars SAVED me, but even in this state I could only eat the ones that had something crunchy in them. Otherwise they were way too pasty for me. I could only eat the Atkins brand bars because other protein bars had too many carbohydrates in them--convenient eh! (the 'eh is in honor of Canada--because I've been in Western Canada all week).
It's strange to actually have no cravings. I have no desire for food. For me that's like saying I have no desire for air. I don't even get hungry. The Atkins diet in the first phase is supposed to have an appetite suppressing effect, I just didn't expect it to be so powerful. I know when I wake up that I need food, but I don't really feel like eating. Weird. Freaky. Even supernatural.
Coming Soon. . .

"The Atkin's Experiment Comes to an End," and "Hello Online Weight Watchers!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy

I've been given an award. It's not for my good looks, my intelligence, my mothering or my way with animals. No, it's for my blog! I'm taking a bow right now--if you could only see it. Does it matter that it's from my sister-in-law, whose blog truly is brilliant and I think she may be throwing me a bone?

It's an award that's kind of like a chain letter and it has rules.
1. You thank the person that gave you such an honor. I thank you Brodi
for giving me such an award. You rock as usual! You also have to include the link.

2. Put in the picture of the Award. I will treasure this picture forever!!!
3. Pass on the award to seven other people whose blogs you find brilliant in content or design. Notify the bloggers you choose for the award and hopefully they’ll join in.
a. I love Heather's blog--she doesn't post a lot, but when she does it's usually thought provoking, beautifully written and often heartbreaking.
b. I can't live without Brodi's blog (see above link), I know it's cheating to send it back to her, but I find her unbelievably funny. She also says things that you cannot believe a human can think of let alone write! I love that. I have to be careful when I read it at work because I laugh out loud.
c. I love the blog Seriously Shellie. She makes me laugh. She has an elastic brain. She also makes me cry. I think she's doing something really important with her blog, as she writes a haunting memoir of her battle with cancer when she was young.
d. My favorite Dad blog is The Quad. Sam writes about his day-to- day thoughts about family and wherever his random brain takes him. I also have to be careful not to laugh to loud at work with this one too!
e. A Bountiful Kitchen is a beautiful blog about food and has great recipes. I know the blogger and she can cook! Anything Si likes I will eat, because I know it will taste great! They should canonize her taste buds.
f. I also think the The Pioneer Woman Cooks website is incredible. It is not low-fat, but guaranteed to satisfy any cowboy.
g. I follow other blogs, but they are mostly family blogs and I'm not sure they would love being listed here. But here's a cheer for the great family blog!! Yea!! Yea!!
4. The last thing we're supposed to do is list 10 honest things about yourself. As if the act of blogging itself wasn't meant to be revelatory.
Here Goes:
1. I hate large crowds. I don't understand them, I don't like to be in them and it makes me not like humans so much. So I avoid them (does that make me neurotic).
2. I'm always making a plan. It drives my husband CRAZY. If my future is uncertain I make a plan for every contingency. I often write them down and start seeing how I can make them work. Most of them are fiction, but they are definitely still great plans.
3. I hate grocery stores. This hatred spills over into any kind of retail. I don't like shopping.
4. I have a love of John Mayer that borders on the bizarre and unhealthy. I love that he gets all these fine women, because he's really just a guitar geek. It shows that geeks do actually rule the world.
5. I love Red Rock Brewing Company in downtown Salt Lake City and not for their beer, which I'm sure is fabulous but I don't drink. I love their food especially their salads!
6. I dream of being able to live in a different place each summer for the rest of my life.
7. I have transcendental experiences in beautiful gardens. Wherever I vacation I visit gardens and they transport me to this lovely place that holds a certain reverence. I almost always remember countries or cities I've visited by their gardens.
8. I also remember places I've visited by their grocery stores. Even though I hate grocery shopping at home, I love grocery shopping elsewhere. I think a grocery store tells more about a place than almost anything else.
9. I love the process of finding friends. They are almost never the people I think they are going to be when I move to a new place. There are so many treasures out there.
10. I enjoy going to movies alone, especially if the movie is a guilty pleasure (like romantic comedies that aren't great--but I'm secretly dying to see). I think that has to do with expectations. I don't have to worry about anyone else enjoying the film. I also love the idea of doing something naughty and yes probably a little pathetic, like seeing a film in the middle of the day all alone.
Well, that is definitely enough about me! Now it's time to see what other bloggers think.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week 1 Diet 1--Atkins: Pros v. Cons

It's been a good first week. I've been able to stem any cheatin' urges. I'm counting my carbs and loading up on protein. The headaches are gone taking fuzzy brain along with them.

I thought I'd present the first week to you in a list, I am so very fond of lists, especially the pro/con variety. Lets starts with the pros of Atkins!


1. I've lost 7 count them 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 pounds. 7 glorious pounds.

2. My face is not puffy!

3. My ankles do not hurt when I wake up and take my first steps. (This corresponds highly to sugar intake--why would eating sugar hurt my feet? I don't know it's a mystery). For that matter my feet don't hurt either.

4. I have energy!

5. My mind is clear. (After the first few days)

6. My clothes fit like a dream

7. The menu is uncomplicated and easy to prepare (see below it falls into a con also). It's so simple I find myself not thinking about food--shocking!

8. I outlasted my husband--he lasted 6 days.

9. Only one more week of the "induction" phase.


1. I have bad breath. I asked my husband about it and he didn't say it was bad, he just said it was different. I think that's nice--isn't it?

2. The lack of variety. I mean, you know I love bacon, but there has to be more than salads and meat.

3. I'm looking longingly at watermelon, cookies and my sister "E's" bread sticks.

Only three cons, I'm actually surprised by that fact. I think I can make it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dreaming of Bacon

Four days into the Atkins Diet and I just have to say one thing. Bacon=Yum! As I usually try to eat a low fat diet I can’t remember when I last ate bacon and I’m sure it’s been about ten years since I ate guilt-free bacon. Bacon is good. Bacon, bacon, bacon! Yum, yum yum! Sorry, I know I’m not thinking clearly, (a side-effect I’ve found is common when in the induction phase of Atkins) but bacon is fab!

Let me explain the induction phase of Atkins. You have to stick to 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. That is low. In fact sugar free vitamin water still has 5-10 gram of carbohydrate—even though when I read the ingredients there was hardly anything in it. Each Werther’s Original Sugar free candy has about 3 grams of carbs in it! So, the diet the first two weeks is limited to meat/protein, fat, some cheese and what they call salad vegetables. You can have other veggies, but one raw tomato has 4.3 grams of carbs. You may have salad dressing too, but watch out for sugar content, because a lot of salad dressings have hidden sugar in them—gasp.

The diet also says to limit caffeine because it can cause “symptoms of hypoglycemia.” I just want to make one thing clear; I am not giving up Diet Coke.

The first two weeks has few choices but the delight of eating bacon seems to outweigh the limitations at the moment. It even outweighs certain uncomfortable side-effects I am currently enduring. Like the fuzzy brain I mentioned. I also need to take fiber tablets but I won’t burden you with more information there. Last, but certainly not least, I have a headache. Not a terrible one, but it is persistent over the last two days, from temple to temple. Also, yesterday I came home from family dinner at about 2:00pm and slept 3 hours and then still slept a normal night’s sleep. Is it just me or was that weird?

There are other side-effects that are not so bad. My ankles did not hurt this morning when I first walked on them. I put on my favorite Sunday skirt yesterday and for the first time ever it was not tight around my waist--no straining the seams there! I weighed myself this morning and after 4 days I’ve lost 6 pounds. Whoa, Nelly! That was a surprise. I know it’s just water, but who cares—my skirt fit!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Will as a Gardener

It's been a month since I last blogged. That's the longest I've gone since the beginning. As an excuse my world has spun a little out of control. In fact all heck broke loose! I’m just saying that it has been taken control of by “aliens” from planet “Decision of Yesteryear.” Let’s call them “Miscalculationtoids.” So I am forced into trying to focus on the few small things that I actually do have some influence over.

Like cleaning the garage, I now have the most beautifully clean garage on the face of the earth. It is organized and I actually know what is in there.

I cleaned and organized my family room. I threw away two large garbage cans worth of junk from both the family room and the garage. I tried to get rid of our video tapes, but I was soundly defeated by my husband and children on that front.

I made the living and the dining room perfect. I filled nail holes and chips in the paint. I even cleaned the shutters.

Now I’ve turned to my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m restless so I don’t want to start again with the ones I blogged about in January. I want to have fun with it again. I’m still better off than I started. I’m down about 15 pounds and I am in much better shape—but I’m stymied. So last week when I was at the Utah Shakespearean Festival I saw this wonderful quote:

Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens,to the which our wills are gardeners.” Othello, I(3)322

I have a will—and where there’s a will there’s a way. So I have a new dastardly plan! I have five months left in the year and still a lot of room for improvement in the “gardening” of my body—so here goes.

Current State of Garden

I’m going to adhere to a different diet each month! Please don’t think I am crazy (because I am) but this has to be fun. What could be more fun than that—Ha ha! I’m already laughing. I’m also starting the diet on the 17th of every month. Because of course you know I love the number 17.

Diet number 1 is my least favorite and therefore a beautiful platform on which to build. It is the Atkins. I will update on statistics weekly, I’m expecting BIG results—or should I say I’m expecting small results!

Goal Garden

You are probably thinking, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. You just might be right!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Smoky's Memoir

I found some very scratchy writings underneath Smokey's litter box. He has a lot to say. I posted them here because Smoky must be heard.
Memoirs of Smoky Johnson, the Hairless Wonder Cat
Book 1: Wherein I leave my Mothers Warmth
And Travel to My First Home

Picture courtesy of sis-in-law B

I am a Sphinx cat and am therefore special. I revile the word mutant, but I am a mutant in the best sense. As genes progress they have to mutate, there are bad mutations and there are exquisite mutations. I am, of course, exquisite. My DNA is the next generation of cat. Those of my breed are unburdened by fur and unfettered by cuteness. We are the true aristocrats of the cat kingdom.

I won’t dwell on my early weeks. It is sufficient to say I was born. I was weaned. I have only the memory of being loved and warmed by my mother. Ahhh, nothing is like the warmth of a mother. I was then given, for a sizable financial transaction (of course I am expensive), to a lovely family.

This family had such high hopes for me. I was personally selected by them for my hygienic qualities. I do not leave scraps of fur to be disdainfully vacuumed up. I am sleek and hygienic.

Alas, it was not to be. You see I still have one embarrassing problem. I must groom. I really must—I can’t leave the grooming to humans. They are arbitrary; I cannot count on them to know exactly when and where I need to be cleansed. They would never figure it out. In the process of grooming my beautiful body I produce (and now I whisper) dander.

My first family had one major imperfection. Several of them were allergic to (gasp) me!

And thus I left for my new home, for a still sizable financial transaction (50% off I am loathe to say). I must go.

The saga continues in, “I Enter the Home of a Second Discerning Family with Two Young (Very Young) Boys.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Morning Musts

When I lived in Bountiful I lived among the greats of homemaking! Most of them did it all by themselves—in Holladay I’ve found that there is a little more hired help. I was stunned in Bountiful by the ability and joy many found in housewifery—since I seem to lack both. I became fascinated by it and soon decided to do a survey. I asked about how people scheduled their house work, how they controlled the paper trail, and how they managed. It was really fun and I will post some of that here soon.

Today I am interested in what you have to do in the morning to make you sane. I have two things:

First I must bathe; I do not feel sane unless I’ve taken a bath. I don’t take showers in the morning; they are too active for me. I have to ease into the day. I usually read my scriptures (only drawback is this makes it difficult to underline and make notations) or if I’m being naughty a novel. It takes about 15-25 minutes depending on how early I wake up. It is for this reason alone that I don’t like camping. I can sleep at night in the wilderness, the food is fun, I love the outdoors—but miss a bath—eeeek!

The second thing I must do is eat peanut butter on high fiber toast with a diet coke. If I do not do this I don’t feel human. It is a crutch that I am in LOVE with. (Often I do this while in the tub.)

I think this post qualifies as over-sharing, but I only over-share in an effort to get you to do the same. What can’t you live without in the morning? What gets you rolling out of bed and into the day? No lurking—I seriously want to know.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Study of a Female Mid-Life Crisis

I'm pretty sure I'm having a mid life crisis--or the other alternative is I am just losing my mind! It's been going on for weeks but has suddenly gone from the realm of cute and quirky to pathological and scary.

In one 36 hour period I did three things.

1. We have a schedule for Sharing Time in Primary. Each member of the Primary Presidency has a week and then a class does a week. I talk to my 2nd Counselor and she tells me she's going to be gone a certain Sunday. I say fine, but it niggles at my brain. She just told me she would be gone on the 3rd week and that is HER week. I realize this on Saturday. I call her and she is surprised and says she thought she was the next week. I magnanimously say I will do it for her. The next day I go in and set up early and the wonderful Primary Secretary looks at me setting up and said, "Isn't it my week?"

(I'd changed it myself because of scheduling conflicts with Memorial Day.)

2. That same Sunday night I have a Senior Recital of a darling young woman I am quite excited to see. I check the invitation before I dash out the door and confirm to myself that it is at 7:30. I think, "That seems late for a recital." I was glad because then I could spend more time with my extended family at Sunday Dinner.

When I get to Sunday Dinner I find my darling niece is also going to the recital. She tells me it is at 7. I say "No, I just looked at the invitation and it said 7:30." She calls her friends and they plan to meet there at 7:30. This time I do have doubts--the mornings shenanigans still stinging, but I'm pretty sure. We leave a little early just in case and only miss the first 3 of the 6 pieces she is playing. My nieces friends come in to see the bow!

I go home and pick up the invitation--yep it says 7:00pm

3. Picture 6:45 am the next morning. I roll out of bed to check the Jr. High carpool schedule. I put my finger up to the date, then slide it over to the name--looks like Eden to me, it must be my turn for carpool. I shower and drive down to the first pick-up when my very dependable friend and co-carpool driver slides up next to me in her sleek enviro-friendly SUV and says, "Eden I think it's my turn for carpool."

I do not even question her and watch as my daughter enters her car and they drive away. I go home and yep it says her name next to the date.

This is disturbing in three ways:

A. I am checking and re-checking and actually seeing the wrong information. I am not just thinking a time, I am checking.

B. I am leading others away in my deluded certainty.

C. My Dad used to call me "often wrong but never in doubt." Alas, now I must admit it is "always wrong and beginning to doubt."

How come mid-life crisis for Men is fun. At least it's fun for them and horrible for everyone else except the mistress and car dealer. There still remarkably good looking--maybe even better looking than they've ever been, they're in their peak earning period. Seriously what excuse do they even have to actually be in crisis? I guess they suddenly feel life slipping, their body starts to change and they experience the knowledge of mortality. Things I understood after I had my first baby at 24 years of age.

My mid-life crisis is caused by the realization that I am too small for my life. I don't have enough energy, ability or brain power to do all I should do--or even have to do. If you have any answers beside running through the streets screaming let me know!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What kind of person are you?

I divide the world into two groups, yes people and no people.

You might be a YES person if:

*You line up outside stores before they open the day after Thanksgiving.
*You like to go duck hunting in 20 degree F weather at 5:00 in the morning--or you like to do anything before 9AM.
*You get home from a long day and someone calls you up to go to dinner and you want to go.
*You like answering the phone.
*You go to Lagoon (or any amusement park) more than once a year.
*You would rather do anything than read.
*You think fun doesn't sounds like more work--than actual work.
*You go to Easter Egg Hunts, St Patrick's Day Parties, & 4th of July Breakfasts religiously.
*You volunteer for the PTA.
*You go to Community Meetings.
*You think seeing things live may be better than watching them on TV.
*You can't think of reasons not to do things.

Well, I fail the above test. I am a NO person. I like things quiet--peaceful. I blame it on Graves Disease that I had when I was 23. Graves disease causes the thyroid to become hyperactive. I felt wired all of the time. I drove from SLC, Utah to Portland, Oregon--12 hours straight with out caffeine or anything more than a pit stop. My hands shook and I felt stressed out. So now, many, many years later whenever I feel that stressed out feeling I equate that to illness and I don't like it at all. So I try to keep my life simple (well as simple as is possible in this frantic world).

Here's the joke on me. I work for YES people. In fact almost every morning I come in to work and someone asks me to do something that I'm pretty sure is impossible. In my mind I'm thinking, "You want me to research that--I'm pretty sure there isn't any information on that. Cows can't live there! You want to go where? They don't let people in there! I'm sure that there aren't any flights and I know you can't get a visa. We can't do that--there." Then I sit down and start typing on my keyboard and you know what--It is possible to go anywhere if you really want to and people will research and write about pretty much anything (irony intended). Amazing. I've shocked myself by loving it--it's like a little puzzle I need to solve. It's turned me into an open minded NO person.

I may start using it on my kids and myself. Maybe you can have friends over if the house isn't clean. Maybe you could play that contact sport. Maybe I'm not too old to take up the Lambada. Maybe I will write a romance novel--(Did I type that out loud?).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hitting the Wall

I haven't failed because I haven't given up, BUT I'm certainly not acing my New Years Resolutions. I feel like that one marathoner who hit the wall at mile 9 and is determined to make it, BUT she is only at mile 11 and all the officials and runners have gone home. I'm walking and watching all the volunteers clean up crushed cups. Yep, that's me.

Of course the guilt has made me a poor blogger. When I don't want to confess why go to the confessional. (I'm sure that's a saying somewhere.) The past six weeks have been resolution free zone. I'm still about 50/50 on the sugar thing--about half the time I am off of it. I am not doing so well on the low fat! Not even good enough for a fraction.

TV, well I would give myself a B. I've watched Chuck, The Office, 30 Rock and yes, I am still ashamed to admit it America's Next Top Model, every week. It is still much better than I was last fall--but short of the goal.
I lost 15 pounds and have gained back 5--Bleah. I hesitate to say to anyone but myself that I am starting to run in that marathon again. So I'm going to say it to myself--you can listen if you want. In the timeless words of the wise sage Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You know you're low when you look up to a sponge!

I've been wondering where all my gumption went.

I came home from work today and slept two hours. I fixed a bizarre dinner (Mexican, Italian gumbo over rice or noodles--your choice) and I told my family I'd lost my gumption.

My kids immediately asked, "What's gumption?" Well my husband, my 15 year old daughter and I started coming up with words, "verve." That really didn't help and my husband said, "vigor and vim." They still didn't get it.

I tried to think how to best describe gumption and the picture that came to mind was Sponge Bob. He is the definition of gumption. I want to be more like Sponge Bob. He enthusiastically attacks life. He is kind (if misguided), helpful (no one's a better friend or employee) and he is open to new opportunities. Yes, I want to be Sponge Bob.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This Man is In My Head

I've had a guilty pleasure since my birthday in February. I received several gift cards to Barnes and Noble, since reading is my main vice at the moment. (It is truly a vice now--I just slipped my cravings for sugar and TV into cravings for mass market novels--with a few literary treasures sprinkled in.)

So, I went through Barnes and Noble. I found a couple of really good books on Islam. I finally bought a translation of the Hadith because I want to see how the Qu'ran and Muhammad's life are interpreted. See how deep I am! Then I bought a couple of semi-trashy novels (YUM). I also bought the memoir by Terrell Dougan, That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister (Very good and once again proving I have some sort of mind). I then bought some great YA--City of Ember and The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau (which I LOVED).

This is all a lead up to the culmination of my shopping spree (or rather is it an attempt to cover up my utter insanity). As I'm in line to check out I glanced innocently to my right. I knew I would have about $10 dollars left over and I spied I Can Make You Thin, by Paul McKenna--with a guided hypnosis CD. I was intrigued, the jacket said he is the "English Dr. Phil," what more could I want. I thought "I dare you to make me thin" and picked it up. It was on sale for $10--IT WAS MEANT TO BE!

The next day after work --and more importantly, before my husband got home and committed me to an asylum. I surreptitiously slipped the CD into my CD player and pressed play. As it began I made myself comfortable and from the moment I heard "If your listening in stereo these words should be coming from the right hand side" I was hooked--in love--relaxing to his English accent! I started counting backwards from 300 and the next thing I knew he said, "3, 2, 1 wake up" Oh my heck I'm awoke and felt grand.

I honestly don't know what he says for that 20 minutes or so, each night I hear something a little different before I enter lala land. He could be making me a mass-murderer, but I don't seem to care. It is so dang relaxing.

Something is happening though--I find myself thinking, "I have a body full of life," "I am vibrant," "I don't need to eat that--I'm not hungry." Seriously--completely new thoughts. So I listen to him about every night before bed. It might be the most satisfying relationship I've ever had.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who is that person? Part II

If it isn't already evident I'm dealing with a mild case of the winter blues in MARCH! I thought I'd gotten through the whole winter without a major descent, but then again it didn't stop snowing when winter ended. My experience with Seasonal Affective Disorder ("SAD"--isn't that just the cutest acronym) is a pulling in the center of my chest that makes me feel both tired and a bit sad. It's not too bad this year--definitely more a case of ennui. That's a more romantic way of saying, "I'm a little sad and don't know why."

Anyway, I'm pretty sure my ennui lead to the question I posed yesterday--Would the old me be disappointed in the new me. I've thought about it all day. I still come up with probably and I have an example.

When I was 18 I was with a good friend and we went to his sister's house to help her move in. They'd bought a house of someone I knew. Someone a little famous in our small community so I was very interested in seeing the house.

We were given the job of cleaning out the fridge. We did a bang up job. We pulled out all the drawers and shelves and really put some elbow grease into it. I remember thinking it was really dirty. There was old pickle juice under the drawers, some mildew in back and it grossed me out. I'm embarrassed by it now, but I complained about how bad I thought it was and finally my friend's sister said, "I think (fill in the blank with any semi-famous good person's name here) had more important things to do than clean her fridge."

I was taken aback. It seemed to me as if having some mold in the back of a refrigerator was a sign of bad character. This morning I took a good hard look at my fridge. I have really bad character. I hope in heaven we have better judges of character than 18 year old girls.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who is that person?

I feel like I've been a thousand different people. I look at pictures of myself even just a year or two ago (or 22 years ago) and hardly recognize myself. I laugh at how impatient I was. I've always been a rushing towards the future kind of gal. I wonder if my twenty year old self saw me now would she be disappointed? Probably.

I unfairly expected so much from myself and from others. Now I'm really happy to get through the basics of my day. I don't have time or actually I don't have the energy to worry about what others are doing or saying. I look at people that in my younger years I would have thought of as failures and wonder at their staying power, at their ability to try to overcome really difficult problems. Success to me now is not something that is necessarily achieved but the effort of trying to be a little bit better everyday.

Sometimes waking and getting dressed is success. Today I made my bed, washed out the dog kennel, did a few loads of laundry, went to the grocery story and delivered several kids several places while also managing to take a bath! I won't list the things that didn't get done--that's just defeatist. I still deserve an ovation--and so do you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March Madness - Resolution Review

March will not go down in history of one of my best months in this resolution cycle. I find the ways I've cheated to be both dissatisfying and disappointing. I didn't cheat grandly--which is at least fun. I've just cheated here and there with things that are not even worth discussing. Which is why I am going to discuss it in detail now.

First here are the foods that save me:

Wendy's Chicken Grill - Without sauce is under 4 g of fat

Snyder's Honey Wheat Pretzels

"The Store" Salsa--YUM

Now for the problems--Peanut M&M's at work. I was just eating one a day--today was bad and I had a couple of handfuls! Then just eating bits and pieces of food that don't fit the rules I've made. If I'm going to cheat I should just sit down and make a meal of it!

So the weight loss has stalled. I haven't gained any back, but I'm not losing and that just gets discouraging.

Then I'm having a hard time with TV. I cannot seem to fold laundry without watching, but then it's so easy to just keep watching even after I'm finished! I ended up watching America's Next Top Model two weeks in a row. That is the high calorie, hardly filling, food of television and definitely leaves me wanting to take a shower!

So it's back to basics baby!