Thursday, January 29, 2009

Setbacks Schmetbacks

I awoke yesterday with a different brain. It was as if I had been possessed by a nagging hunger that was deep--not just deep--it was cavernous--not just cavernous--it was galactic--not just galactic--it was infinite. Yep, that's the word. I woke up with an infinite hunger, that would not be sated. I know you're sad--because you thought I was perfect. I am sorry for the disillusionment.

It couldn't be sated with low-fat & high fiber soy nuts, whole wheat pretzels, Wendy's Chicken Sandwich without sauce, Wendy's Small Chili (on the edge of the 4g of fat thing), chicken gyro (okay that was a skid off the edge) of which I only ate 1/2, and okay the final truth and I am only going to whisper it French fries and fry sauce. Yes, I ate like 15! I just couldn't stop. My first real cheat!

I just felt like eating JUNK! Thus, the foray to Wendy's and when I picked up my hungry daughter from dance, Apollo Burger. Honestly. The French fry craving had been building for days, but I was handling it--no problem. I had perspective. What made me lose that perspective? I didn't feel stressed or down. I animated those fries, like they were talking to me, like they had power. They don't have power--I DO! Tarnation.

I take a deep breath. Today I am back in the drivers seat--where food is fuel--nothing more, it doesn't dance, it doesn't tempt, it is there to serve me and make me strong!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Through a Glass Darkly

It's been days. I think I've forgotten how to blog.

I've had some good news on the book front that I am excited about. I started sending out queries again and thanks to my incredible sister-in-law Brodi's advice on query tweaking, I had a positive response.

I sent a query and the first chapter to an agent and she asked to see the whole book! Yea! It's the first time that has happened. A bona-fide NY agent—with a great agency. So the reason I haven't posted is that my book was still in pieces—past, present and the bomber. Therefore, I've pretty much spent the past 2 days writing and editing.

I've decided one thing for sure--it is good that we don't see ourselves clearly all the time. That can be just a mite dangerous, irritating, scary, and humbling. I'm not saying we should live in denial, I'm just saying it's good we don't live under fluorescent lights!

I've just spent the last two days with my book under a microscope. I just about hated every page. Then to add insult to injury I went clothes shopping during lunch yesterday--Yeowza. It helps me keep me on track, I guess.

My mom and dad have these really incredible mirrors. I love them, I try to look in them every time I'm at their house. I think every mirror should be replaced with theirs.

Since I've been looking up scriptures the past two days for my book I thought I'd put one in here too.

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

I hope to see enough to want to get better, but not so much that I can't get out of bed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 16 - High Anxiety--I mean--Low Anxiety

As you can see today is January 16th! I've been able to stay on track for all of those 16 days. So here's the down low. I pride myself on not being a terribly anxious person--I can handle stress--no problem. Until I take away my medications (TV & munching).

I don't feel extremely anxious, it's just this kind of low level hum of anxiety. Like I should be doing something and can't remember what. The feeling that in the past sent me to numb myself in front of the TV or the refrigerator. I'm trying to combat this in healthier ways like writing and conversing. Yet, the subversive side still comes out and now I'm reading New Moon (book 2 in Twilight series) for a fix! It works with just the right level of distraction and might I add numbing.

If you have any healthier alternatives just let me know.

Here's the rest of the story. I am really feeling much better. I have a lot more energy which is fantastic. I am also getting a lot done--especially with writing, thus the strange behavior with my book! I've also lost 10 pounds since January 1. Yeah! Tomorrow is the 17th --my cheat day, but Emily my sister is making wiener schnitzel on Sunday the 18th. I am not going to miss that, so the 18th is my cheat day this month.

16 days down only 349 days left.

Remember Everyone's Crazy--Especially Me!

I have decided that I'm submitting my book again to agents. Therefore, I cannot keep it on my blog--I'm so sorry for my extreme vacillations! If you still want to read it I do have copies that I lend out and I would be happy to lend one to you. If you would like one and live relatively close email me at

I know I am a nut!

Monday, January 12, 2009

24 is a Vampire or You know you're desperate when:

I've been doing fine with the no TV thing for over a week now--no problem. I can read while my husband watches late night TV. I feel all productive and such as I look down my nose at the whole television industry. Until last night--last night was hard. Last night had the two hour 24 premier (for which we have all waited a very long time) and The Golden Globes (which I find very funny).

I had to read something, anything easy and distracting. I got out Twilight. I have only read it once and I knew it would be absorbing if nothing else. By the time 24 starts I'm at the part where Bella tells Edward she knows he is a vampire. Then he tells her how he is the perfect predator because everything about him draws her in!

I had an epiphany. 24 is a vampire. Everything about it draws me in! I was lying in bed next to my 24 watching husband, desperately reading my book. I kept peeking over the top. The sound of the clock ticking down, the unraveling sound at the break, the yelling, the crashes, Jack Bauer's handsome yet ferret-like face--I was helpless against the onslaught, it's evil and so cold in its disdain for my goals. So, I did not cheat, but I had to surrender the bed and leave with my book. Like reading Twilight is better than 24. Maybe a better idea would be to take a vow of abstinence from Twilight. Now that would have been smart!

So I decided that yesterday was a day of desperation. Desperate act one: I hadn't bought Diet Coke before the Sabbath and I only had one--which embarrassingly sent me into caffeine withdrawal causing a terrible headache--so I drank an old flat Diet Coke in the fridge. Desperate act two: I had hardly any low fat food at home either so I ate two peanut butter sandwiches in a row for lunch (only 1 tsp peanut butter each). Desperate act three: I re-read almost 3/4 of Twilight in one night, just to avoid 24. Talk about unintended consequences.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fat Cow Syndrome--It really is a disease, not a British insult.

I spent all day today at work reading and writing about Fat Cow Syndrome. It is an actual problem that leads to all kinds of problems in the pregnant and post-natal cow! It leads to metabolic disorders, infections, difficult calving, retained placenta, metritis, displaced abomasum (one of those pesky stomachs), mastitis, ketosis and milk fever. Just to name a few.

Guess what the treatment is--it boils down to basically eating less, eating fiber and exercise!

It sure was a graphic and informative day. Cows are just a little gross especially when they're sick, and I got to be treated to so many wonderful pictures and drawings. Honestly it was fascinating.

Not that I drew any unflattering comparisons, but how could you not. Cows are just these really big mammals. I don't want to be a perfect example of Fat Human Syndrome. I want to be an example of Sleek and Sexy Human Syndrome!

Thus I've made it to the 9th day. By the way--as I suspected the TV thing has turned out to be much easier than the eating thing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 6: "To sleep, perchance to dream, aye, there's the rub."

I am still on the wagon, for anyone who cares.  I've made it six days with no TV--even though my daughter had to remind me once that my eyes had drifted to "The Colbert Report" that she had so thoughtlessly turned on while I was doing the dishes.  

I am also still doing well on the eating leg of this journey.  Although I have to admit--the not eating white flour/rice may just be impossible.  I took my daughter up to Logan today to visit her twin (and by coincidence my other daughter) and when I was on my way back I needed to stop for gas, wiper fluid, diet coke and of course something to keep me occupied on the way home. They didn't have the whole grain pretzels I prefer, but they did have regular ones.  So you all may count that as a cheat--I don't, even though that may mean to some that I am fudging--hard pretzels are after all eminently low fat!

Now after that update--I can get to the real meat of this blog.  Yesterday I had the strangest dream.  I dreamt I was watching TV.  I was watching a show that was a mix of Teletubbies and Simpsons.  It was extraordinarily disturbing.  First of all both shows are unnerving in their own special way, but the mix of the two is like watching our hairless cat steal a rib off the dining room table, dis-tur-bing.  In the dream I just sat there watching and I knew that TV was off limits but I couldn't  turn my head.  It was like the dream where someone is chasing you and you can't run away, but worse because I was blowing my goal for the whole year--and I knew it wasn't worth it.  

I woke up mad and relieved.  Relieved that I hadn't failed but angry that I didn't get to watch anything good in my dream!

6 Days Down Baby!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 3: Sometimes your only option is a pickle.

I know you can’t believe I have more to say on the subject of my resolutions, but I do. I have to write about it or I’m going to eat something or watch TV.

I went to a movie yesterday “Seven Pounds” which I really liked, but as my sister-in-law Sally said, “It’s a redemption movie; I’m just not sure it’s my kind of redemption.” Enough said. During the movie I had a rumble in my tummy and my darling husband said he was going to get some food, did I want anything? Did I want anything? So I started to think, hard—Yes, I did want something, I was hungry, but I couldn’t think of one thing—not one thing that fit my new nutritive goals—except a dill pickle. No wonder the US is having a hard time losing weight! There’s nothing of nutritive value at the movie theaters!

Now on the TV front. I’m remarkable productive now. Yesterday I cleaned my husbands automatic toothbrush, did 4 loads of laundry, dusted and cleaned ½ of my room, ½ of my closet, I spent an inordinate amount of time on my blog as well as a good chunk of time Facebook stalking old friends. That may not sound like much to you but it really was for me.

Then the time came to fall asleep. I went to bed at 11:00PM a perfectly reasonable time for sleep. I was tired, yet I couldn’t sleep without the dulcet tones of the TV lulling me. At 12:30AM I was still trying.

Anyway all is well. Today I weighed myself and I’ve lost 6 pounds in two days! I’m sure it was all water. I think it was my body’s way of saying, “Phew, thank you for feeding me something good.”

362 days left—not that I’m counting.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 2: Resolution Reality

You may not believe it but I've made it for a day and a half. I've eaten low fat, no sugar, and watched no TV.

Yesterday I read my resolutions to my husband before I published them and then uploaded to my blog. Seriously maybe 5 minutes had gone by when I entered my bedroom; my husband was GLEEFULLY deleting things off the DVR. He turned to me and said, "It's okay right--I can get rid of everything you've recorded, including the timers?" It was shocking. I didn't know he had such strong feelings about my viewing choices. Our communication may not be as good as it should be 20 years into marriage.

The TV thing might just about kill me. It shows how addicted I am--I listened to NPR all day yesterday just to have something to think about. Hopefully once I go back to work next week I'll be okay, but whose great idea was to do this while still on Christmas break? Looking on the bright side; the TV resolution is helping with the food resolution for now, because that feels like no big deal.

On the food front, there were a few landmines hidden around the house. First the Guittard 9690 Wafers Non-Pareil Mints in the Santa dish. Very yummy and very sugar and fat filled. I pulled my little fingers back from the brink. Then there was also the M & M filled candy cane bowl on the kitchen table--I had another close call there, but I made it through. Maybe it would help if I just put away the Christmas Decorations--that's an idea on January 2, 2009.

Woot! Only 363 1/2 Days left!

Guilt Inspiring Gifts

My darling daughter Lily--the one we've already met--with all the wishes. Well, she gave me a wonderful, thoughtful gift this Christmas! It's a Mom's Plan It Daily Boxed Calendar. It gives mothers wonderful advice on what to do each day.

I'm only on the second day of the calendar and I am already declaring myself an unfit mother.

Here is yesterday's advice "Icky, sticky toys! You wonder how you'll ever get them clean. Plastic figures, tub toys, and plastic blocks can be made sparkling clean by running them through the dishwasher." Suddenly I'm aware that I've had five children and never cleaned their toys! Arggghhh! I'm okay though--My youngest is 9 and we've had no major epidemics so maybe it's okay.

Then I get today's advice, "The next time you're at a scrapbooking crop, take a few minutes to make some lunchbox notes." I find two problems in just that first sentence: 1. When "at a scrapbooking crop" 2. "lunchbox notes"

I do not scrapbook, I tried with the first two kids, but I found I'd rather be tortured by sitting on a red ant hill than continue. Plus everything I did for them looked awful--I ruined pictures, glued things in wrong and made a great big mess. So the kids receive a big box with all their memorabilia in it and I say dig in.

The next thing I am loath to admit--I don't pack my kids lunches. I have a sister that packs 8 kid's lunches every day--She is amazing. I don't seem to function right until about 10am and lunch packing happens before then. If my kids want a home lunch they have to pack them themselves--I provide the food and the paper bags. I also generously pay for the delicious hot food they are served at school.

Whereas I love Lily and the thought of the gift--I am afraid, very afraid to look at tomorrow's helpful advice.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Year Without: "I'll be Fine in 2009"

I finished "A Year Without" on February 17, 2007. I bought 15 things that year: 2 replacement capri pants, 1 pair replacement jeans, 1 pair of black pants -& jacket-& shirt-& shoes (justified because I was going to a writing conference and just had too look great--I can justify anything) 2 flats of flowers, 3 books on writing (again the same justification) and 3 hair color appointments.

All in all it was fun--it felt like a game. The only hard time was Christmas. I really wanted a special Christmas outfit, but it was so close to the end I was able to hold on.

It turned out that not buying things wasn't hard for me, because it isn't my true weakness. I knew at the time that the experience would have to be repeated and would have to address more directly my core weaknesses.

Well that time has come baby! I am ready!

I'm still left with a weight problem and an ability to waste an immense amount of time. So here goes--I exhale deeply and wonder if I really am ready. Yes, I am. This year I will form a two pronged attack on my two greatest problems.

First, I will not eat sugar: candy, cakes, brownies, cookies etc. for one year. Second I will stay away from refined carbohydrates: white flour, rice etc. Third, I will only eat foods with a fat content of 4g or less per serving. One exception and this may seem like a cop-out, but on the 17th of each month I may eat anything I want! (17 is my favorite number!)

Second prong attack--this is giving me pause. Give me a moment to collect myself. This has already been hard this morning. . . . .I will not watch television for one year. I watched an Oprah years ago with Alice Walker (whom I love) and she said something like, and I approximate the quote here, "Why do people let television steal their dreams." I've thought about that a lot since then. I have dreams and I think I am one of those people. I have a DVR and I can watch an enormous amount of t.v. really fast. I can fit two dramas into an hour and feel so good about myself because I've managed my time so well. Then, I come to realize that I'm watching 3 times as many shows because of it--and I'm hooked.

Sometimes desperate times require drastic measures.

This may kill me--no Law & Order, Jack Bauer, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Star Trek re-runs (I know I'm really laying out all my special secrets here), CHUCK, The Office, 30 Rock, surreptitious views of an occasional General Hospital (a remnant of my childhood), and the list could go on and on and on. Yep, that's it, I wrote it down. Seriously--my heart is pounding as I write this--it feels as if I've stepped off a cliff.

These shows will be out on DVD next year, won't they?

I don't know if it's possible to take two crutches away at one time. I may be crawling through 2009, but I'm going to do my darnedest!