Sunday, February 28, 2010

Run It

I'm really thinking about doing the Soldier Field Ten Mile at the end of May.  The only thing keeping me from signing up at this point is the probability that I might not finish within the 2:45 time limit.  That's roughly a fifteen-minute mile.  I'm a little slower than that when I'm walking, but I think I could work my way up to it.

I went to the gym yesterday and completed 5 miles in 1:25.  Next week I'll add another mile, then another the following week, and so on.  When the weather gets better, I'll take it to the streets.

What's notable is that I actually ran for 8 minutes!  I plodded that shit nonstop for 8 whole minutes.  I've never done that before.  Maybe I can add more running minutes on to each week, too.

I think I could really do this, and I have two months to make it happen.  Should I put cash on it and sign up for the race?

So there's that,


Friday, February 26, 2010

Hard Facts

I've learned some hard facts about my diet and behavior since surgery.
  • Baked potato chips, while approved by my dietician, do not make me feel good.  They feel sludgy in my stomach, I can feel the pulp gurgling around down there.  It's nasty.  I can't even look at chips ever again.
  • Packaged tuna and salmon are hit-or-miss with me.  A month ago, I got some tuna stuck in my pouch, which caused much pain and dry heaving.  Last week I decided to revisit packaged fish - the salmon salad went down really well for 3 days.  It was the 4th day that destroyed me.  I'm putting that shit back on the shelf for another time.
  • I love cheese.  I fucking love cheese.  I want cheese to get me pregnant.  Thankfully, cheese is a high-protein essential in my post-op life.  Praise cheese!
  • It's weird to go grocery shopping now.  I want to make lots of different things for the week, but I won't be able to eat lots of things for the week.  Case in point:  I made meatballs 3 weeks ago.  Last weekend I had to throw the final 3 out.  I just couldn't eat them often enough.  I've decided to really focus on the things I need (sugar-free popsicles and Activia Light yogurt), and buy other staples as needed.  I don't want to be a hoarder.
  • I can't look at the scale between weigh ins.  That shit fucks with your mind.  Example:  I looked at the scale today and am apparently up 5 lbs since Tuesday.  No way.  There's no possible way on this diet.  Will see what the scale says next week.  Bet it will be awesome.  Bet it will be awesome.
  • I need a schedule at night to keep from going crazy.  I'm a hermit.  I live alone.  I don't like going out on weekday nights.  I could easily graze on cheese and sugar-free popsicles if I allowed it.  Unfortunately, I'm bad about keeping schedules.  This week's evening schedule was successful:
    • Go home.
    • Take multi-vitamin.
    • Turn on music.
    • Put on lounge-y clothes. 
    • Make bed, clean apartment.
    • Do dishes.
    • Complete the L.A. Times crossword puzzle for the day.
    • Check on the interwebs.
    • Watch my stories.
    • Take a bath and read.
    • Go to bed.
  • From the list above, it's clear that I need a hobby/enriching activity.  To that end, I began volunteering at a homeless shelter.  Last night was the orientation, and next week I begin volunteering at their clinic on Tuesdays and their kitchen on Thursdays.  I'm pretty pumped.(!)
  • I'm losing patience with people.  It's not because I'm more confident and tired of being rolled over all the time; it's because I'm cranky...and tired of being rolled over all the time.  I'm trying to keep my tact and manners in check.
  • I need to reach out to people more often.  I'm a really shy person, and it's become so much worse after so many months in seclusion.  I make a point to go to one social commitment per week, and try to call friends and family more often.  It's difficult, but I just have to grit my teeth and get out there.
Have a good weekend, everyone!  I'm going to try and make the best of it!
So there's that,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lordy Lordy, Look Who Lost 40!

That would be me.

I've lost 40 pounds since my surgery 9 weeks ago, 67 pounds since my highest weight at the end of 2008.

That's pretty fucking awesome.

It's weird, but I keep thinking I'm not losing enough WHICH IS CRAZYTALK AND I'LL NOT HAVE IT.  Forty pounds in two months is nothing to pee on.  That's an average of 4.5 pounds per week.  

However, if I'd actually lost at that rate, I'd probably be more satisfied with it.  Instead, I lost 20 pounds in the first 3 weeks, went through a stall, lost 10 more pounds, then went through another long stall during which my weight fluctuated.  Suddenly I dropped 7 pounds over the weekend.  Don't get me wrong, I'll take it; it's just so suspenseful.

The odds are in my favor that I'm gonna lose weight.  Nevertheless, weekly weigh-ins are still nailbiters.  I can tell I lost bunches of inches (though I haven't measured), but it's that number on the scale that means so much.  That's always been the bottom line.  

But then again, who the eff sees your scale, knows your weight?  No one!  That's why I'm going to focus on my body shape and clothing sizes when gauging my weight loss.  That's the stuff that's out there in the world, not my number on the scale.  I need to take satisfaction in how I look and feel.

So there's that,


Re: "How the G.O.P. Can Fix Health Care" (Op-Ed, 2/22/10)

To the Editor:

James Pinkerton obviously isn't familiar with households like mine – those rural homes several miles off Main Street where the middle class dollars come from jobs in manufacturing, service and agriculture. On my State Road, when Americans think about health care, they think first of finance, not health.

At the age of 32, my mother discovered she had large - yet benign - breast tumors. After the biopsy, my father's 3-man plumbing company could no longer afford to offer insurance coverage to my family. Fortunately my mother was able to insure us through her factory, but we rationed health care in fear that too many visits to the doctor would result in loss of coverage or worse, the loss of her job. We suffered the opposite of hypochondria. Twenty years later, my parents still refuse to see the doctor for stitches and sprains, let alone preventative care such as mammograms and colonoscopies.

My parents put their faith in Republicans. Unfortunately, Republicans are doing nothing to help people like them.

So there's that,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I've been talking to a guy for the past few weeks, and it was getting to the point that we were going to meet up for a date.  I was g-chatting him this morning, and he said that he didn't want to mislead me; he started seeing someone that he was talking to before he met me, and he wanted to see where it would go.  He likes talking to me, could we still be friends.
A big part of me wanted to say, "I got enough friends."  But I didn't.  I just said I don't know how we can be friends when the whole reason we started talking was to begin dating.  I can't divide my feelings that easily.  But...I could always use friends.  We decided to keep the line of communication open.
Why did I do this?  I don't want to invest myself emotionally in someone that I might never date.  I don't want to be on the bench for this guy if it doesn't work out with this other chick.  I will continue talking to other guys, don't get me wrong.  It's just not my style to talk to more than one person at a time.  I don't have the attention span, can't keep them straight.  And I don't think it's fair.
Well, who said dating was fair?
So there's that,

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Presh.

Recently I've been feeling very down.
Lots of people report feeling depressed in the weeks following surgery, and now it seems that mine has finally hit.  I hoped to keep it at bay with excercise, but apparently that's not enough.
I went off my depression meds after surgery, so I guess that didn't help either.  I've started taking them again in the past two weeks, and they've really helped me focus through the day.
But beyond pills and endorphins lies a deep sadness/rage/cynicism/hopelessness.  I just haven't felt proper.
Right now I just want to cry.  Maybe this is the aftereffect of yet another lonely Valentine's Day, but I just feel that I'll never have a successful romantic relationship.  I don't want to spend my life without a good man.  I know I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself, but I can't help it.  I don't understand how it's so much easier for other people to meet their partners.  What is there about me that's so unlovable?
Do I find myself unlovable?  Is that it?  I feel as successful as ever, with weight loss, work, mind.  But do I love myself?  Does anyone really love themselves?  I think we develop self-love through the eyes of those who love us.  I have a great family and a great group of friends; I feel loved and appreciated by them.  But as far as intimate, personal love, there is nothing.  There is no person that thinks of me first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  Those who did are long gone, and I'm long forgotten.
It's bleak, and I try not to think about it.  Am I doing myself a disservice by ignoring it?  By trudging along?  Some days it's hard to ignore.
I shouldn't say this, but it's true:  I do find myself unlovable.  I will until it's proven otherwise...or until I change.
So there's that,

Biding Time

The habit of eating when bored is coming back to me.  Fortunately, I've gotten through the rough patches by chowing on sugar-free popsicles.  Unfortunately, I'm addicted to sugar-free popsicles.


I need to find ways to keep busy at home.  It's too cold to walk at night after dinner, and too dark to walk right after work.  I'm getting tired of taking baths, if that's even possible.  For my benefit only, below is a list of ideas to keep myself busy at night:


  • Dance Dance Revolution.  I got the PS2 for a reason...
  • Serious Housekeeping.  I could spend an hour per night on some serious spot cleaning in my apartment.  My bathroom and bookshelf could use some serious attention.
  • Drawing.  I like doing it, and I'm pretty good at it when I focus.  I bought a pad, some charcoal and pastels last week.  Now I have to use them.
  • Blog.  I could do it more, but I hate being on the computer when I'm home.
  • Write.  See above.
  • Get a Life.  Easier said than done.  I hate going out on weeknights.  Admittedly, this should be easier since I don't drink anymore, but still.  I need to decompress after work, and I don't want to be around people or at a bar to do it.


The next step is managing the time I watch television.  I never thought it would come to this, but I'm addicted to certain television shows:  RuPaul's Drag Race, No Reservations, Lost, and Project Runway, to name the most important.  When I'm not watching these shows, I'm watching stuff I've seen before.  I'm wasting time.  I need to cut back my television time to only include these shows.  When I'm not watching TV I could be focusing on those other enriching activities.


Now I need to put the plan into action!  I will report at the end of the week!


So there's that,



Friday, February 12, 2010

Set it and forget it.

In the days after surgery, I told my sister that I was looking forward to the surgically imposed limits and losing the need to obsess over my weight loss because there's no possible chance I'll gain weight on such a tiny diet.  I told her I didn't want to look at the scale anymore.  At least, I didn't want to look at it every day.
I was at peace with the limitations.  I didn't want to think about food anymore.  As far as my stomach goes, I wanted to set it and forget it.
I'm learning that it's not that easy.  I'm losing weight again after a 3-week stall.  My body was shrinking, but the scale was staying the same.  After losing 30 lbs in just a matter of weeks, my body was all, "Hey!  Don't take these pounds off of me!  I need to catch up!  You're starving; I'mma hang on to this for as long as I can!"
And I was all, "It's okay, body, you'll get fed."
And my body was all, "I don't believe you."
But while I was going through the stall, I couldn't help but check that scale every day just to be able to slide the counterweight to the left.  I don't want to obsess over how much weight I'm losing each day; I'm not that fucked up.  I was just curious.
My appetite and cravings are coming back.  It might have something to do with PMS, or it could just be in my nature.  What's good is that I can't eat as much as I used to.  What's bad - or at least inconvenient - is that I can't order out for a quick bite, or go out to eat alone without doing some serious thinking about how pointless it is.
I wanted pad Thai the other night, and I was thisclose to ordering when I finally said "fuck it" and scrambled an egg.  It's not worth it.  I can eat the chicken and the tofu, but I'd only be able to slurp down maybe two noodles.  They'd probably get stuck or make me just wasn't worth the effort or the waste. 
I can't go out of my way for carbs.  Pasta, rice, potatoes just blow up in my stomach and take up room for vital protein.  I love them, but they do nothing for me.  I have to keep conscious of my limitations, as much as I love them.
The other day at lunch I had some lentil soup and splurged for some gluten free tortilla chips as a side.  After my soup, I could only eat 2 chips before I started to get that sludgy stomach feeling.  I told my friend Lyzz to food-check me if she ever saw me buying chips again.  I normally don't abide food-checkers, but in this case it's good to have someone be like, "Hey, you don't like those, remember?"
So now comes the time to make conscious food boundaries, to know my limits and enforce them.  Sure, the surgery helps me understand that bad food sucks, but I still have to be the policeman.
So there's that,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Herb of the Week!

I'm only one person.

That's why I hate it when I buy a bunch of herbs in one shopping trip - basil, parsley, cilantro - but can't use them all before they start to slime up.

So Friday I decided to buy basil and do as much shit as I can to it before it goes bad and takes my fridge hostage, shooting the dijon mustard and raping the eggs.

Here's what I'll be making this week:

Prosciutto Bites: A strip of prosciutto topped with a basil leaf and wrapped around 1/2 of a ciliegine mozzarella ball and 1/2 a grape tomato.

Chicken Meatballs in Vodka Sauce: Trader Joe's chicken meatballs tossed in a slow cooker with a jar of vodka sauce and simmered for a few hours on low. I topped them with fresh ribbons of basil and shredded mozzarella and cranked it up to high for 15 minutes before eating.

Shrimp Salad: Chopped shrimp tossed with chopped banana peppers, basil, mayo, salt and pepper. Served on a rice cake.

Tomato-Mozzarella Salad: Halved tomatoes and ciliegine mozzarella balls tossed with basil, salt, pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Basil Scrambled Eggs: Scrambled eggs with basil and red bell pepper. I guess these are the basil-raped eggs.

Basil Cottage Cheese

I'm pretty sure I'll be sick of basil by the time I'm through with it.

So there's that,


Clean Closet

Do you ever get the feeling that your stuff is taking over you life? Well I do.

Every few months I get a wild hair to purge my apartment of the things that I don't use or wear anymore. Since I've noticed a bunch of my pants are sagging, I decided to pull all the unnecessary things out of my closet - pants, shirts I can't or won't wear anymore, things I've only worn once because clearly they were bad purchases, mistakes.

Here's a look at the first closet raid:

Check out the yellow layer. That's a hideous sweater my mom got me for Christmas. I think it was meant for my grandma, but she mislabled it. I haven't even removed the tags:

Here are the orphaned hangers:

And the bags I took to the Brown Elephant:

It was a very productive day...and I still have a full closet. How can one person have so much stuff in such a tiny apartment? Further, how can one person need so much stuff?

One doesn't. This activity was a good exercise in understanding how much I can waste. To be fair, I haven't worn many of these pieces in years, or I've worn them so much that it became time to give up on them. I hope that I can manage my closet better in the future. Only buy things I need and not stupid, outrageous pieces that I won't have the confidence to wear outside the store.

Tim Gunn says a woman needs 10 essential wardrobe pieces. I'm going to keep that in mind when I'm rebuilding my wardrobe. And in general, keep essentials in mind when I'm rebuilding my life.

So there's that,


Friday, February 5, 2010

Bittersweet Wow Moment

As you know, I've been losing my buttshelf over the past few weeks, allowing me to fit easily into auditorium seating and dining chairs.

Well...shit just got real.

Thanks to my missing buttshelf, I'm sitting farther back in my office chair. This means that I'm farther from my computer screen. That means I can't read good and stuff. I've taken to hunching over and resting my elbows on my desk, my face inches from the screen.

I don't think that's in my best interest. I'm really starting to regret this whole surgery thing...

PSYCHENAW! I'm just kidding!

Either I need to get a bolster for my chair, go see the eye doctor again for the first time since aught six, or adjust the view setting on my monitor to "geriatric." After much consideration, I've decided adjusting the screen is cheaper. And maybe I should see the doctor.

So there's that,