Saturday, December 31, 2011

As 2011 fades

2011 is fading fast, and I am waiting for 2012 to begin.  This past year had its ups and downs, its betrayals and disappointments, its tragedies and pain, but it also had its joys.  I prefer to think about the good things and leave the bad things behind.  My mantra for 2011 was, "forward, not backward" and it is still my mantra as we enter 2012.  However, I can't help thinking about the past on New Years Eve, about  people and places that are long gone.  Memory Eternal!  My face is turned resolutely to the future, though.   Although I don't have a clue what the future holds for me, I am straining to hear that still, small voice. In the meantime, I am preparing for a large change by decluttering in every possible way, exercising my frugal muscles even more, working on my iconography and other creative pursuits, and becoming more healthy.  This little laundry list is actually a list of my resolutions, I guess.

I am a bit lonely.  I guess that's to be expected since I live alone and don't date.  Perhaps I should change that...  Perhaps not.

Welcome, 2012.  Welcome.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Storming

Quick update on my previous post, The Perfect Storm.

I am still with Weight Watchers and doing well.  The loss of weight is slow, but very steady.  I am now at the 9 week mark, and have lost 10% of what I want to lose - that is a victory, for sure.  The biggest victory, though, is that I am still tracking my food and counting points.  Whenever I've tried Weight Watchers in the past 20 years, by the third meeting, I would dread the meetings and quit.  There is something about the meetings that I find off-putting. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but one thing I know is that I never participate in the conversations about what to eat, because no one seems to eat real food.  The conversations center around the latest non-food Weight Watcher snacks and how delicious the chemicals are.  Yuck.  Anyway, I have found my niche with the on-line program. No meetings for me - just the online tools and a weigh in every Saturday morning, which is when the local meeting weighs in.

I notice that my daughter and my beautiful big cousin Roseanne are keeping up with my weight loss and have become my cheerleaders.  I love you both so much!  And, I thank you for your support.  I think they are more excited than I am, and very proud!

What is different?  Well, I am keeping track of everything that goes in my mouth.  Once I did that for a few days, I understood that I was snacking a lot - grazing, really - and on things that were high in salt and fat.  I've replaced that with raw baby carrots (love the crunch and faint sweetness), microwaved plain popcorn dressed with a tsp or two of olive oil and spices of my choice (thank you, Presto microwave Power Pop! 1/4 C popcorn plus 2 tsp of olive oil = 8 points), and lots of fruit.  I nosh all morning until lunch time, when I have a main dish, sandwich or soup for 5 - 9 points, plus salad or veggies or fruit.  I love grapefruit and have always peeled them and eaten them out of hand; a grapefruit at lunch or in the afternoon has been really great for filling me up until dinner time.   For dinner, I cook whatever I want and calculate the points.  Then I play with the portions until I get the point value I want.  I do try to cut down on oil or butter a bit, but I don't really do a lot of substitutions because I don't want to have to buy a lot of fat free or low calorie foods that don't taste as good.  I'd rather have a smaller portion but full flavor.  Leftovers become lunch, and I divide my dinners into portions right away, so I'm not tempted to unconsciously eat more.  The other thing I'm doing which has been a help is that I write point values on different foods when I unpack my grocery shopping.  For example, I really wanted waffles, but was too lazy to make them, so I bought a small box of 10 whole wheat waffles.  I used the nutrition info on the box to calculate the points, and then I wrote it right on the box so every time I reach for two little waffles, I know they are 5 points.

What do I still need to do?  Well, I don't get any exercise other than walking to Fresh Market once a week. I need to add in some joint-friendly exercise, but that just isn't going to happen right now.  I have a yoga video for people who are stiff and sore, and I'll start that soon.  Not right now, but soon.  Perhaps that will be my New Year resolution.  I am not getting two servings of calcium every day, even though I love plain yogurt and have some in the fridge.  I'm not sure what's up with that, but I need to do better with that.  I'm not weighing and measuring everything that I eat, and to be successful in the long term, every WW article I've read says that you really have to be very careful about portion sizes and not rely on eyeballing everything. I think I should designate one day a week to religiously measure and weigh everything, just to keep my portions true.  But not this week.  Or next.  LOL!

I am 56 years old.  I live alone with my cats and dog.  My only child is married and has her own life four hours away from me. I come from a very long-lived gene pool, and if I live healthily, I believe I may live to my late 80s or even into my 90s.  I have 30+ more years to live, and I wonder what I should do with those years?   I need and want to get healthy in all parts of my life, including, but not limited to my weight, so that I can freely pursue the rest of my life, whatever it turns out to be. I think it will take me about two years to lose the weight and grow a strong, healthy body.  At the end of those two years, hopefully my finances will be in order, my home will be completed and ready for sale or rent, and I can move forward into the next phase of my life.  

I have no idea what the next phase will turn out to be - I have some ideas that keep gnawing at me, but God only knows what lies in store for me.  In the meantime, I will keep chugging along, preparing for a big change, so that if it comes, I'll be ready.

And that, friends, is the update on my life!