Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Just One More Page

"Just one more page" does not only affect readers, it affects writers just as much. I have been working extensively on my book, filling out the bones and finally doing more showing rather than telling (but not to the extreme). One chapter in particular reads at least twice as well as before! It gives me something to do other than focus on food. Unfortunately, it also distracts me from getting up and moving. Not so good for my diet. On the other hand, it does distract me from eating!

Last time I was on here I was battling the evil that was 200 pounds. Now I am within half a pound of 190! I can taste it...er...feel it. My eating has been all over the place. Some days I don't eat at all until after 8pm and then proceed to eat my day's worth of calories (but not over). Other days I graze till bedtime. I let my body dictate how and when I eat now, so long as I stay within my calories and am eating at least fairly healthily.

As of next month I am stopping the Nutrisystem. I can't justify the cost for okay food when now I can regulate myself pretty well and not feel like I need to go on a binge or have just one more bite. It has been very useful, but after forty pounds I think I can safely do this on my own again. I can always approximate the meals through the frozen goodies if I find myself having troubles with portions again. My food scale is also my friend.

I have been noticing that my shirts are all feeling different. I looked in the mirror and realized why: the are obviously too big now. It makes sense since I already went through one size of pants, so why wouldn't I go down a size (or two) in shirts? My old shirts that I saved from when I was headed up the scale don't really fit well--they seem to be too short for my frame. Maybe I just wore them that way before and never noticed it because that was just how they were made. Now I get to go out and spend a little money on buying some new shirts. Nothing fancy, just some more basic T-type shirts to tide me over till the next set of shirts in my pile fits. I hate shopping, but this is one time where I will happily shell out cash for clothes.

One good thing is that I am slowly getting off of an evil medicine that does two things to me that I hate: 1. It makes me groggy in the mornings. Extra help sleeping is good, but being a zombie is not. 2. It makes me ravenously hungry. I cannot wait to get off of this and be back to a semi-normal appetite! I have tried getting off of it in the past and couldn't quite make it. This time I am confident that I will at least be able to knock down the dose low enough to not cause me problems. Hopefully I will knock it out completely!

Now I think I will go back to poking around on the book, adding here, fixing there, screaming at myself for not seeing errors earlier, that type of thing. Keeping myself busy.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Why do I write? To feel.

Sometimes life is too slow, too numb. How do I fix that emptiness? My favorite method: writing.

For about a year and a half I have been slowly creating and editing a sci-fi/fantasy book that I hope to eventually publish. Now I know that publishing is highly unlikely, but it is something to strive for. I have lost count of how many times I have done complete edits of the book, but every time I read it I find more errors and things that need fixed/expanded.

With every round of editing I go through a cycle of emotions.
-begrudgingly starting, here we go again
-elation, isn't my writing great?
-rush of energy, who needs sleep?
-frustration, didn't I edit this before?
-anxiety, story lines too close to home
-hope, I can do this
-depression, I am a horrible writer
-acceptance, it is what it is

Why do I put myself through this? Good question. And I don't really know why except that I get extreme satisfaction that I got this far, whether or not it ever gets published. I wait at least a month before re-editing the book. Each time I find new things that I didn't even realize I wrote--call them Easter eggs if you will. I also find whole sections that I look at and realize, "I can do better." Those parts require serious editing and re-editing...which oftentimes makes the section worse than it started. Frustrating to say the least.

Eventually, I accept that the book is as good as I can make it for the time being and I hang it up for another month or so. The whole mental roller coaster is cathartic in a wonderful (and free) way.

Why do I write? To understand life, to make myself better, to feel something--anything--when life has grown too empty.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I Can See! It's A Miracle!

Last Wednesday I had LASIK done on both eyes to take me from not being able to see the big ol' E on the wall to having 20/15 vision (for the most part). It was sort of scary the day of the procedure because I went home for a nap after the LASIK and then woke up unable to see. I could tell there was light--painful light--but I couldn't open my eyes except for in a pitch black room. A nightlight was too bright.

Needless to say, there was a trip back to the eye surgeon for a followup. He checked me out and said that, since I was already light sensitive before the surgery, I was just having an extreme light sensitivity. He gave me some drops and pain meds (of which I only used one) and said to come back tomorrow unless anything else popped up. I went home, and kept my head below a blanket. By that night I was able to pretty much move around the house so long as there was not a very bright light in the room.

Thursday morning I woke up and could see clear across the room--in the bright sunlight streaming through my window. I could see! I got a call from the doc: appointment postponed due to gas leak in the building. Okay... So I drove (Yes. Me.) down to get a new pair of wrap-around sunglasses since I was still a little light sensitive. After that I took my mom out for breakfast while we waited for recently-rescheduled appointment time.

Come to find out that my vision is around 20/15, with some halos around light. The sensitivity kept lessening by the hour. I still have troubles sometimes focusing directly on text, but I think that is mostly my body having to recompensate for both eyes now seeing the same strength. We shall see how well my eyes are by the appointment this Thursday.

So yeah, I can see! Now it is just a matter of how much will heal up quickly and how much takes longer to go away.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When Life Blows Backwards

Sometimes life really sucks. Other times it merely blows backwards. Life is only blowing backwards slightly right now, but still I am less than pleased.

I remain stuck at 200 pounds. It has been weeks now since I got to this point and I was expecting to be well on my way to 190 by now. But so it goes. You plan for one thing and another thing happens. Frustrating? Yes. Very yes.

On a separate but slightly related tangent, I went on a short five day vacation to South Dakota to wish my grandfather happy birthday. The secondary (and maybe more important) task was to try to lift my grandmother's spirits after she decided to check if gravity still worked by falling down the stairs. They seemed quite happy with the surprise invasion and we made sure to cook dinner and snacks and make sure that we weren't adding to the stress of the visit. We were only there a day and a half, but we made the most of it.

The road trip itself was interesting as the first day I drove the entire day. No biggie except that I was fighting a crosswind of fifty miles per hour wind plus gusts. In a large truck. One thing I had going for me was that the truck is rather heavy so it wasn't as much of a wind sail as my little car would have been. The way up we stopped for the night late since we didn't get out early. Mom then drove the rest of the way in case we ran into ice or snow as I am not used to driving on it in a truck. The way back we split driving and I got to drive the last third through some pretty dense fog, nothing really bad, but it got my attention as a novelty around here in New Mexico. Good and safe trip; well caffeinated too.

The past few weeks I have been less than good about staying on my diet. Not bad enough to gain back weight, but enough that I am not losing. The road trip didn't help anything, but it wasn't a complete pigout fest. I know why I am stuck at 200 physically. Mentally...still working on it since I am having trouble getting back on the wagon and not eating the entire fridge every evening. Eventually I will break this block. Getting back home will help. I will have the treadmill staring at me from across the room. I may even put my old suit where I can see it so that I remember that I have a pool pass too, Little nudges.

I WILL continue to eat well. I WILL get healthier. I WILL be happy with who I am.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Keeping Busy

Aah, the holidays. A time for stress. A time for family. Or is that the other way around?

Christmas and New Years were pretty low key. Christmas was with parents--nothing very much out of the ordinary from most other days and quite enjoyable. New years day had a little more spice with a fancy lunch and magic show, followed later by a nice night with a friend. I like to keep it simple, especially during traditionally high stress times.

The holidays in past years have been ridiculously high stress. Usually my grandparents are in town and that ramps up the levels. Second, I like to make lots of tasty treats for Christmas gifts--like chocolate truffles. That adds to the weight problem with all the tasting and trial runs. These two factors hit my mental state hard. Not so much trouble with this year.

Granted, this year was not a complete escape. I have been stuck at 200 pounds since I went to stay with my parents an hour north of town. That is far better than past years' gain, but still a blow to my weight loss ego. All the key lime pie was most likely the culprit of my down...er...up-fall.

I finally have something to keep me busy in my downtime: volunteering! Yup, I have too much time on my hands, so I decided to do some good with it. There is a local food pantry that is always in need of help, and I am a willing minion. I am loving it! I think I am sick of tortillas and eggs already--those are the two items that always need sorted and packaged. So far my favorite (and elusive) job is food distribution where I actually get to interact with people. Only one chance to do that job so far, unfortunately. I want more!

While volunteering I meet some interesting people too. This last time through I was with lots of the community service people. They are serving court sentences for things that made for interesting conversation. Lots of potheads, lots of petty theft, and the most common: drunk driving sentences. Last Thursday one of the guys--major repeat pot and petty theft offender--was most definitely high while trying to work. Let me emphasize 'trying' as he was mostly useless in his schlepping duties, but he was there and that is what counts. I do like most of the people there and almost all are really nice, and useful too!

Overall the holidays were pretty darn good. I just hope that the weight starts to fall again soon.

Monday, December 19, 2016

I Did It! Now What?

Two hundred pounds! I made it! So why do I feel so bad?

I overate yesterday big time, celebrating my new victory--with food. Not the smartest thing to do when trying to lose weight. This morning, thanks to the extra food and drink, I weighed 201.5, which is no biggie since I know that it is not my...what shall I call it?...true weight. But still. Grr.

I think that for some reason I am trying to sabotage myself. Not consciously, but very much a real problem. It has been years since I was below 200. I now have only fifty to sixty pounds to go, but hey, that is a third of the way there. Maybe there is part of me that is holding on to a known part of my life. Perhaps it is because I think I don't deserve to be healthy (a horrible idea, but I know that it is there). Why? Who the bleep knows.

There is a new-to-me treadmill sitting in my living room now making it impossible for me to procrastinate walking... well, it should make it impossible. Yet I am sitting like a lump here on my comfy chair. I just paid for another year of pool use too, despite not having gone in a while. More on that in a bit. There are options for exercise depending on how I am feeling, yet the gumption to get up and do it is lacking and no amount of kicks to the rear seem to be changing that. Perhaps over-caffeinating would work.

So I need to find a real kick in the rear to counteract the self-sabotaging that I have been part of for a while. One good way to do that is to get back into swimming. Which I tried and failed miserably.

I figured that my old suit was not going to be up to the task of containing my (rather pain-in-the-back) boobage, so I dug out my new suit and tried it on. Success! It fit! I had a list of things to bring and do while at the pool. Pay for a year's pass which involved taking my checkbook with me, trade out suits, trade out towel, go for a swim, and (if I remembered) fill up my soap bottle.

I got to the pool, went to pay for the pass...and forgot my checkbook at home. Fine. I decided that I may as well try out the new suit. I get all situated and admire the results. Off to the pool!

About fifteen feet in I realize there is a problem: my built-in life preservers are trying to escape their holder. Fine. I can just do a different stroke. They truly escaped their holder. Whoops! Razzumfrassum grr. Back out of the pool I go, less than five minutes since I got in.

So I shower off and get back into clothes, growling all the way. I remembered the soap so I got that taken care of. Then I walk out without the old suit or switching out towels. At least I took home the new suit to alter it.

I get home and realize that nothing got accomplished except the thing that I had marked as optional.

At least I remembered the soap.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bits and Pieces

Just a short post today. The dog is free and clear on lupus! As it turned out the lump was a pre-cancerous tumor that didn't have any chance of spreading to the rest of Link's body after being removed. All I have to do now is to keep an eye out for any more of those lumps and get them taken off quickly.

Yay! Healthy boy! (Now if only his joints would cooperate--both ACLs torn, but he is stable so no surgery.)

In other news: it is cold. I call 20's cold by the way. And the 40's aren't much better. Yay for reliable heat! I pray for all those who are without heat and shelter in this winter time. It is time for blanket donation again.

In the weight loss department I managed to not gain any weight while I was on vacation! Yay! This is pretty amazing considering that it was during Thanksgiving and my total amount of exercise consisted of going up and down the stairs at my grandparents to get from the TV to the fridge (okay, and the garage to the bedroom). The goodies were endless! Here is to losing some more weight in time for the new year! Hopefully another five pounds to get me to 200, but most likely it will be somewhere in the 204 range with how slowly I was losing before the trip combined with making edible goodies for family. I was wearing a tight men's size 44 belt when I started this whole thing. I now am a comfortable 38.

Finally, the worst part of coming home from a vacation is the unpacking, especially in a gear-heavy trip like hunting in the winter. Yesterday I managed to wrangle all the gear in and have some of it put away. I always forget just how big the Beast of a truck is until I unload an entire truck bed worth of gear! Another good reminder is when I have to get up and crawl around in the bed to unload items stuck out of reach from the sides (most of the stuff since the truck rides so high).

Now on to trying to get up the gumption to go swim or do some exercise of some sort. Swimming would be good since I have to pay for the pass again here in the next two weeks. Onward and downward into a pile of blankets!