Category Archives: Lifestyle Changes

Deep Cleansing Breath

Black and white outline of left hand

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I managed to hurt my finger again.  More gravy!  I was testing the gravy at home to see if it was warm enough, and without thinking I dipped my not-completely-healed finger into a small amount on a spoon.  It was so hot it burned my fingertip.  It’s feeling much better today but is still red.

None of my clothes fit me anymore.  Well, they do, but they are uncomfortable and my choices are limited.  I got on the scale today and it read 242.4, so that explains it.

I’m a mere .6 away from my heaviest weight of this year, which is where I was when I started SparkPeople in January.  All that work down the drain.

I know why I gained.  I’ve been depressed and not really caring about my weight.  I’d been lazy, and eating everything in sight.  Being healthy is hard work and I am LAZY.

I realize that I need to treat myself better.  I started working out with a friend in the evening (we’re doing various DVDs in her humongous living room after work).  I’m not crazy about it, but it’s not the company, it’s just my natural inclination to want to go home and lounge around eating peanut butter.

I signed back in to SparkPeople today, and I’ve been logging my food.  Mostly fruits and veggies, but then again it’s only 10:30 in the morning.

I can do this, because I’ve done it before.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the holidays, because they are each only one day per month.  I need to take better care of myself.  I want to fit back into my clothes!

  1. Logging every bite.
  2. No candy.  Who needs it?
  3. Exercising at least 10 minutes per day.
  4. Speak kindly to myself.

Bullet Update

a taiwan exolorsive rocket.

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  • Recovery (as in OA) seems infinitely harder when you’ve told people.  I’ve told a few people, but not many.
  • I haven’t told my husband.
  • I got an online sponsor and I love her.  She’s great.
  • I found out today that she may be sponsoring at least one other person, as well.  That kind of bothers me. 
  • It probably shouldn’t.
  • I got an email from The Well Fed Writer yesterday regarding group mentoring starting this month.  I can’t afford it now.
  • I am planning to participate in the very next one available after tax refund time. 
  • I cannot wait for tax refund time.
  • I finally FINALLY got my hands on a package of Sharpie Pencils.  The jury is still out on how I feel about them.
  • I have a very bad attitude about work these days.
  • This attitude will probably get me fired if I don’t start keeping my mouth shut again.
  • I saw a picture of a rocket launching today (not the one on this post) and it really inspired me.  That’s how I’m feeling right now.

Hanging In There

return of the pink rose... =)

Image by spisharam via Flickr

I had a horrible weekend as far as my eating was concerned.  I didn’t do major diet damage, but I was definitely not the perfect OA member.  Not even close.

I went searching for a sponsor last week and found one, though it seemed a bit tentative.  She wanted to monitor my progress through an orientation loop, so I started cc’ing her on my responses.  She has been really sweet and responsive.

Sunday afternoon I tried to nap to stop myself from eating, but all I did was cry.  I finally sent her an email and she responded with some very insightful thoughts and helpful words of encouragement.  I am so grateful for her part in my attempts at recovery.

When I stop focusing on food I am able to focus on other things, which is pretty amazing.  I am trying to be more creative, and to honor my creative process.

I’m trying to stop and enjoy life – smell the roses, take time to talk with friends, really listen to my body and my heart and my mind.  This week has been much better already – I am a creative powerhouse!

Stopping the Spiral

Eternity, as symbolized by Armenians since anc...

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I can feel the tendrils of depression beginning to curl around me like a cocoon.  It’s August, hot and humid and still.  Nothing happens in August except the desperate waiting for September, the endless desire for fall.  It is maddening, the stillness, and it makes me want to lash out and create drama just to break the monotony.  I am trying to control myself.

Work is tedious.  I’ve handled back log, and worked on front log, and I don’t want any of it.  The politics of moving forward are not in my favor, and any attempts to change things will be met with derision.  I am done here, except I am still here.  There is no end in sight.

When I get like this I start dreaming of being somewhere else, except I want to be Samantha Stephens and twitch my nose and be there.  The work to make it happen seems like more than I can bear.

What I want to do and love to do is write.  I want that to be my life.  There is a path to take from here to there, but it is the burden of my current life that makes getting to that one seem a Herculean task.

I was reminded today of a quote by Dave Ramsey:

“If you live like no one else, later you get to live like no one else.”

Do I want to go home every night and do hours and hours of work on another job?  No, but I will if it means I get what I want in the end.  Do I want to continue to come in to my current job every day for the next 20 or 30 years? Hell no.

And so it’s time to live like no one else.  It’s time to stop living like I’ve been living because I can’t get from there to here.  So here is the plan for this week:

Monday – 8/9/2010

  • 1 hour workout (Zumba)
  • 1 hour housecleaning (any type, just do it for one hour)
  • 1 hour working on freelance writing
  • The rest of the time is free time.

Tuesday – 8/10/2010

  • 1/2 hour workout (gym)
  • 1 hour housecleaning (any type, just do it for one hour)
  • 1 hour working on freelance writing
  • The rest of the night is free time.

Wednesday – 8/11/2010

  • Free night (work colleague in town for dinner/drinks)
  • 1/2 workout, if I can swing it after dinner

Thursday – 8/12/2010

  • 1/2 hour workout (gym)
  • 1 hour housecleaning (any type, just do it for one hour)
  • 1 hour working on freelance writing
  • The rest of the night is free time.

Friday – 8/13/2010

  • 1/2 hour workout (gym)
  • 1 hour housecleaning (any type, just do it for one hour)
  • 1 hour working on freelance writing
  • The rest of the night is free time.

Saturday – 8/14/2010

  • 1 hour workout (Zumba)
  • 1 hour housecleaning (any type, just do it for one hour)
  • 1 hour declutter
  • 2 hours working on freelance writing
  • The rest of the day is free time

And yes, I will be using a timer (thanks, FlyLady!)

I haven’t ever made a schedule like this before.  I tend to make plans to do stuff, and then go home and sit on the couch for hours and none of it gets done.

My evening workouts get me home around 7.  Dinner takes about 45 minutes to prepare and eat, then by 8 I can do housework and then write or do freelance prep work / job hunting for an hour and then it’s 10 pm.  Heck, I usually spend that whole time on the couch feeling sorry for myself!

I’m going to see how this works.  If I end up getting to bed earlier I can get up earlier and add a half hour of something or other to the morning, too.  And if this schedule doesn’t work, then I will try something else.  But for a week? I can do this for a week.

Eventually, this work will pay off and I can start doing what I love all the time and never have to punch a clock again.  Oh, what a blissful day that will be.

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Andrea Knight, Zumba instructor, leads her cla...
Image via Wikipedia

About 18 months ago I decided to join a gym.  It was actually part of the county parks district, and they offered a daily drop in rate, a month-at-a-time rate and an annual rate.  I know how I am about gyms, so I only purchased one month.

It’s a good thing, too, because I think I went to the gym three times that month.  I got bored by the machines and the tiny workspace, and I eventually stopped going, and luckily I was only out the money paid for that one month.

One of the things that interested me about the place was that on the nights I was working out after work, a bunch of women would come pouring out of one of the larger rooms.  They were all sweaty and laughing.  Sometimes I would see them through the windows, dancing like a bunch of spandex-clad goddesses.

The I heard the magic word: Zumba.

The Zumba class was included in the monthly fee, but I was intimidated by these sweaty, glowing women.  Even the instructor looked tired at the end of the class, so how could I ever handle it?

I never did it then, but I hear about it everywhere.  Last week I convinced a couple of friends to come with me to try it out.  I even had a small windfall at a breakfast meeting (I won a 50/50 drawing) and so I paid for our trial lesson – no one was out any money.

We loved it.  Well, I did.  The other girls say they did, but I’m the only one who has been wrestling with the idea of going back again.

It was fun, it made me feel sexy and capable.  The working out I’ve done over the past 7 months really helped with my stamina, and the hour just flew by.  Suddenly I was a sweaty, smiling mess, sashaying out to my car.

So I committed: I paid for a month, which entitles me to two yoga classes (another something I want to try) per week, three Zumba classes per week, and use of the gym anytime I want for 30 days.

Let’s see if I use it more than three times. Tonight is Zumba!

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Letting Go

10 of 365 - Let Go
Image by admitchell08 via Flickr

A few years ago I got involved with someone, and it was quick and intense.  It was one of those online things that shoots off like a rocket, and then when you’re no longer blinded by the flare you realize it’s nothing more than vapor in the night sky.

Everytime I hear the song “Beautiful Disaster” by Kelly Clarkson, I think of him:

And if I try to save him
My whole world could cave in
It just ain’t right
It just ain’t right

Oh and I don’t know
I don’t know what he’s after
But he’s so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster?

He is one of those men that, when his father tried to toughen him up, went the opposite direction.  He was somehow more whiny, more indignant, and more victimized than the average male.  This wasn’t readily apparent in the beginning, blinded as I was by his good-natured charm and generosity of spirit.  Unfortunately the bad outweighed the good.  That’s how it goes sometimes.

I ended the intense romantic part of the relationship but, at his insistence, kept in touch.  His idea of keeping in touch has been reaching out to me romantically, but always more “why don’t you love me anymore?” than “do you ever miss what we had?”  I have kept in touch partially by fielding these inquiries, and partly by saying “hi” when I feel lonely and need an ego boost.

I accept my part in our little drama.  I feel guilty about it, and then we interact, then things grind to a halt, and he’s off my radar for a time.

I did us both a favor the other day, and I deleted him.  He’s no longer a Facebook friend, not on my Blackberry Messenger, out of my contact list.  I never memorized his phone number so I don’t have that to worry about.  I deleted all of his old emails and emptied the trash.  I took the love note he wrote me out of my wallet and shredded it.

It’s not like we can’t find each other if we really need to, because that is entirely possible.  I just can’t imagine why we would need to be in contact.  I would imagine in a few years he will pop into my mind and I will search my synapses for his last name, unable to find it.

At least I hope that’s how it goes.

Book Blog

Odd Box of Books for Storage
Image by j/k_lolz via Flickr

As part of my lifestyle changes I’ve been trying to declutter.  Way back when I was living alone I acquired a lot of stuff for one simple reason: shopping made me happy.

Something I  have a ton of is books.  It’s ridiculous how many books I have.  When I invested in the Kindle a couple of months ago, I decided that I would be replacing most of my library with ebook versions. Ebooks are not all that heavy, and take up no space in the garage.

Ideally I was going to sell all of my books and make a killing, but only after I took the choice books out and listed them on  Unfortunately, the books I had weren’t really worth that much anymore.  It’s sad when you paid $22 for a book ten years ago that people are selling on for $.75.  No one ever talks about book depreciation!

I had a lot of books.  Tons.  And honestly, even after all this I still do.  I’m taking it in stages.

Here is what I recommend to make sure you get the most bang out of your book collection.  I should warn you that it can be time-consuming, but ultimately should be worth it.

1.  First, check  Amazon is doing a trade-in thing now where, if your book is worth something, they will buy it from you in the form of giftcard cash.  Go to the website and and find your book, then check the listing.  To the right of the page you will see check out and purchase options, as well as a trade-in value if there is one.  It looks like this:


If you want to trade it in for that amount, just click the button.  It will add the book to your list and let you find more.  Once you are done, you print out a prepaid mailing label, box up your books and send them to Amazon postage paid.  In a week or so they will process them and deposit the money into your Amazon gift card account.  Please note that books must be in good to great condition, and you should probably look the book up by the ISBN (usually located near the UPC code on the back of the book).  I sent in the “wrong” book (right book, wrong version, whatever) and they mailed it back to me.

2.  Once you’ve determined what you’re willing to trade in, go to and list anything that you think you might have been able to get more for than what Amazon was offering.  Usually if Amazon isn’t offering the trade you won’t get spit at but it’s worth a try.  Just make sure that when you mail the books out you send them media mail (you’ll have to go to the counter to get this service) not parcel post.  I made this mistake once and a book that would have cost me $2.50 to ship cost me something like $8.80 to ship parcel post.  Stupid snail mail.

3.  Have a garage sale and sell what you can of what’s left over.  Honestly, garage sales suck, so maybe you just want to skip to step 4 and

4.  Donate or recycle the rest.  Here are some great resources for that:

Got Books?  (New England book donation center)

How to Donate Used Books to Charity (eHow)

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