Monday, January 31, 2011


I love the way my grandma writes.  It’s very snarky and off the cuff and witty.  She can make a joke out of a bad situation, thereby making it not such an overwhelming thing to handle.  Her and I email regularly back and forth and I never thought much about it until just now that she’s an excellent writer and if she had the mind to do it, I’m sure people would pay to read her story.  But she’d rather read a book than write one, that much I know.  She sends out a yearly Christmas letter that is usually fraught with her and my grandpa’s antics for the previous year.  I usually laugh my ass off.  This year’s letter, unfortunately, wasn’t as upbeat as normal.  They had sold their house in Washington and moved outside of Dallas, Texas only to decide that it really was much too hot for their liking, even my grandpa’s and he was the one that pushed so much for the move.  My grandma wasn’t happy about the move at all and actually had a pretty severe bout with depression and anxiety over the whole deal.  Then, they moved back to Washington and bought another house, only to find out that the thing was apparently a money pit in disguise.  All the while, the house they had bought down in Texas is still on the market and they’re still making the mortgage payments on it, which means they’re making 2 house payments!  Needless to say, my grandma wasn’t able to come up with much happy to say in her annual letter to everyone.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, now my grandpa has need of a heart valve replacement and, according to the doctor’s, if he doesn’t get it, he might not make it another year, which means I won’t ever get to see him again.  Now maybe it’s selfish of me, but if he’s going to die, I want to be able to see him once last time and give him a hug and for him to give me a kiss on the cheek and tell me he loves me.  I just can’t imagine life without my grandparents.  Yea, they’re not a huge part of my life, but they are definitely important to me.  They’re part of who I am and why I am the person I have become.

On occasions in the past, when reading letters from my grandma, both handwritten and email, I have wished that I could write the way she does.  She makes it seem so effortless.  When I read her letters, her voice narrates it in my head.  I think the fact that I would wish that I could write like her was part of my problem when it comes to writing.  I shouldn’t be trying to write like someone else; I should be trying to write like me.  I should write in the way that comes natural to me.  Any other way will sound forced and false and people that know me won’t recognize me in my own writing.  Sure, reading memoirs helps me find my own voice, but it doesn’t replace my voice with that of someone else.

I have an appointment with the neurosurgeon to get set up for receiving the implant of the spinal cord stimulator in 8 days.  I’ll have to leave work 2 hours early that day, but I wanted to get the first available appointment, so my sergeant should understand.  I’m really excited about it.  By the way, when the PA pulled the temporary one out of my about WEIRD feeling!  Ugh.  It felt sooooo weird.  And I’m so happy!  I get to take a SHOWER tonight!!!  YAY!!!  I haven't had one of those since Wednesday since i wasn't able to shower with the temp implant in.  I was using bathroom wipes to wipe myself down every day.  Not the same.  Not even close.  I wish the lead hadn't slipped as soon as it did.  It would have been really nice if it could have benefited me for one more day.  Oh well.  Soon enough, I'll have the real thing and I’ll be able to do all the activities that i haven't been able to do since July.  Sheesh.  I can't believe it's been so long!  I’m going to celebrate when this is all over.

I'm going to have a girls night at a nice restaurant and I’m going to invite all my girlfriends here in Texas because, frankly, getting the surgery and returning to full duty at work will warrant a celebration.  I want to dress up nice.  I won’t yet be the skinny me again, but I still know how to make myself look nice and that’s the important part.  Besides, I'll be feeling great and that’s what we’ll be celebrating.  When I reach my goal weight, we’ll have another big celebration at a nice restaurant and then I'll be all skinny and smokin’ hot and I won’t have to try to make myself look good because I already will look good.  Hahahaha!  I won’t be conceited, I'll be justified!  *Snap!*

My work has a bunch of wellness stuff they want you to attend, but I’m almost always at work.  Most of the time, even if it was on a day off, i wouldn't want to go.  Frankly, what could they possibly tell me that i don't already know about nutrition and exercise?  Seriously?  I’m not even being snotty about it; I just know a LOT about those 2 subjects.  If it were possible, I would take a blanket test for nutrition and pass and then receive my degree in Nutrition.  Also, I know so much about fitness and how to put together an excellent workout schedule, I have thought about getting certified to be a personal trainer, but I'm really not all that great with dealing with other people, especially if they want to wimp out on me and not do what I would ask them to do in a training session, which I would be all, like, why did you hire a personal trainer if you’re not going to listen to them? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011


When I went into the office at my apartments to pay my rent today, the lady asked me “How come I never see you with your boyfriend?”  I responded “Um…” There was an awkward pause and then I answered, “because we broke up like 4 months ago.”  She just said “Oh.”  I was a little irritated that she brought it up, but she didn’t know, so it’s not her fault.  I may or may not have mentioned to her that I thought he was an aloof asshole in response to her asking if he was super clingy and that's why we broke up. 

Yesterday, I received his W2 in the mail and happily wrote “RTS-addressee no longer at this address” and placed it in the outgoing mail slot.  See, he hasn’t even bothered to turn in a damn change of address form.  Seriously, the nerve he has.   Like I actually want to occasionally see his name in my mailbox.  Not.  I thought about putting in a change of address for him, but decided he’s just not worth the effort.  Besides, if something he needs get sent back and it inconveniences him to get it sent to the proper address, then maybe he’ll just turn the stupid form in himself like he should have in the first place.  Sure, his front door is within 20 feet of my front door, but like I said, he’s not worth the effort or my time.  I thought about throwing his mail away, but then I don’t want to commit a felonious crime.  Not thanks, I like my standing in society.  And…again…he’s not worth it.
I've been writing a lot lately.  Taking the pressure off myself to write every day seems to have done the trick.  I manage to find things to write about and make them sound interesting.  I've been reading a lot of memoirs lately and that has helped me significantly with the style in which I write.  It's very conversational and funny and I just love it.  The authors I have read really make you feel like you're a part of their life or that you're their friend and they're telling you what happened in the last month since you saw them.  My thinking is different because of it too.  It flows more.  This is funny because i had a dream the other night and I was brainstorming about things to write about.  In my dream, I came up with the perfect thing to write an entry about and I even made a mental note to remember it for when i woke up.  Of course, I forgot what it was, but still it was funny that I knew I was asleep and made that mental note.  All I remember was that it was something about Jon-Pierre.


So I’m frustrated that the lead on my spinal cord stimulator seems to have slipped.  I’m guessing that at some point in the last few hours, I moved wrong and it slipped out of place.  Thank god this is just the temporary one and slippage was warned about.  However, I had really hoped it wouldn’t slip so much that I would no longer receive stimulation to my spinal cord.  And can honestly say, though, that I can tell how much difference the stimulator made because now it hurts in the spot where it was covering.  So, yea, I’ll be going through with the full implanted spinal cord stimulator.  This little contraption will definitely make the difference for me.  I could just cry out of frustration and just a general feeling of “well, crap” over it slipping so much.  I’ve only had it in for 2 days, but it made a world of difference for me in that short time.  And now, I have to wear it for 2 more days without it doing anything.  I am, however, hoping that it will fix itself while I sleep.  I’m not holding my breath, however.

It’s been a little disconcerting that I haven’t been capable of taking a shower since I got the temporary stimulator, um, installed in my lower back.  I’ve had to wash my hair in the kitchen sink and use sanitary wipes to take the place of my regular daily shower.  Oh how I cannot WAIT to take a shower.  I will tell them in two days, on Monday, that I know I want the full implant.  They promised me that they would take it out the same day that I told them my decision as to whether or not this device is helpful enough to proceed, which it is.  I have to wait to tell them because it’s the weekend and they’re not in the office. 
Well, the lead didn't fix itself while I slept like I was hoping it would.  So, I guess I just have the 2 days that it was working just fine to judge my experience on, which is fine.  I'm able to make a decision based on those 2 days.  Thank goodness for my high pain tolerance and that I was able to push the pain from the procedure out of mind and concentrate on how well the stimulator was resolving my other pain in my back.  I am happy with how well it worked and I know I can be comfortable with the sensation that it emits.
Last night, after I realized I could no longer feel the sensations coming from the device, I got anxious and couldn't get my thoughts to stop.  I felt guilty and kept thinking that I have moved around too much and had stood up and sat down too many times and that is what caused the lead to slip.  Which, yea, it probably was, but there's nothing I can do about it after the fact.  Obsessing over it now won't do me any good.  All it will do is cause me to be all anxious.  So, I had a very difficult time going to sleep last night.  I finally did, but it wasn't very good sleep and I was still tired this morning, whereas I'm usually wide awake.


Bought myself a little fireproof safe today.  I will be saving up my moving to Oregon monies in it.  I was just going to put all the money I was saving onto a prepaid Visa card until it was brought to my attention that most of those cards you can’t put more than $1500 or $2000 grand total on.  My final amount will be at least $5000.  So, I figured I had better find a better way to save up my money and that’s when I settled on storing it in a fireproof safebox.  Plus, that will give me something tangible that I can reference when I want to think about how things are progressing with my preparations for moving.  It will give me something to do when I’m nervous.  It will calm me to be able to touch something in relation to the move.

Also bought myself a string of faux pearls.  It’s a long strand, so it’s classy and, since it’s faux pearls, it can be worn with just about anything.  I’m looking forward to wearing it with my black knit dress (you know, the one that’s actually a maternity dress, but who cares?) on the next girls night out with Heather and Eileen.


Today, the dog wanted to make out with me because I ate a can of tuna.  Also in doggy related news, after only a week of repeating the “go to bed” command to instruct her to go into her crate (and to also receive a treat once locked in the crate), she proved her proficiency not once, not twice, but three separate times within 2 days!  I'm such a proud doggy mama. 
I feel bad for not being able to take the dog for a walk.  But it would be practically pointless.  Due to the procedure for the temporary stimulator, I can't walk fast enough for walking to be beneficial to either myself or to the dog.  So, since I hope to have the temporary stimulator removed on Monday, I promised her that I'd take her for a walk on Tuesday.  I hope I can keep my promise.
I did my first day of officially tracking what I ate on Weight Watchers yesterday.  And let me tell you what, a 20 ounce Dr. Pepper is a whopping 7 points!  That's more points than what I ate for dinner!  I won't be doing that again.  If I get a craving for a Dr. Pepper, I'll get a Diet Dr. Pepper.  Those are sugar free and therefore, shouldn't be very many points at all.  I almost left the Dr. Pepper off, but then I told myself that if I was going to be lying and omitting things from my daily intake, the only person that would be affected would be me.  So, I judiciously decided that lying on my food intake was a no-no and that I wouldn't be doing it.  But, despite the Dr. Pepper fiasco, I only went into my weekly "treat points" by 2, so that's not too bad.
My weigh in day is Monday.  I don't expect to see that the scale will have lowered its number for me.  I took all my measurements yesterday.  Those are the numbers that I'll really be happy to see drop like flies.  Those numbers say more to me than the scale ever could.  I also took my "before" front and side pictures yesterday, and oh my goodness I really need to get rid of the spare tire that has settled around my waist.
I'm really looking forward to progressing with Weight Watchers' online program.  It's very user friendly and I love tracking things.  I had great success with a little over a year ago.  The problem was that I simply lost the weight too fast and I got burnt out on it and then launched myself into an unhealthy relationship where I ate junk food and fast food all the time, causing me to gain back what I had lost and then some.  My back injury didn't help either.  That caused me to gain another 20 pounds on top of what I had already gained.  I thought about getting diet pills from the doctor, but the pills doctors prescribe come with cardiac warnings and make you excessively jittery and I don't like feeling like that, so I wanted to take a more natural approach to losing the weight.

Of course, that 7 point Dr. Pepper has nothing on the 9 point Reese's peanut butter cups I ate today.  Walk of shame.  Walk of shame.  Argh.  I told my friend at work who brought them to me that he's not allowed to bring me anymore chocolate treats because I really need to get serious about losing weight.
I am so excited to be getting the full implant of the spinal cord stimulator.  That means, once I'm healed up, that I can do actual cardio!  I can do a bust ass pace on the elliptical, for instance.  I've decided that I'm going to buy the kayak first, however.  Since I have a friend that already has his own kayak and is excited for me to get mine so that we can go on kayaking expeditions together.  It will be so great.  I'll buy the new bicycle after I've gotten the kayak.  By then, it will be almost summer, so the weather will be better for cycling at that time anyway.  Being able to do more cardio, and intense cardio at that, will greatly lift my spirits and will ramp up my weight loss.  I'll actually be able to burn calories instead of just adding up my food every day and not being able to do much else for myself.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Million Dollar View

You know what I think is absurd?  The fact that all magazines aimed at women assume that all women work in office buildings.  This just simply isn’t true.  However, they always tell you to go after the office with “the million dollar view” or tips on how to make the office more fun or ideas for how you can personalize your office space.  It’s ridiculous, really.  I don’t work in an office building, or anything close to being considered an office building.  I work in a jail for crying out loud.  There is no personalization of my work space.  If I personalize my work space, then the inmates will have an insight into my personal life that they could potentially use against me to run a scam or get personal favors.  There is no “million dollar view” where I work.  There is a lovely view of concrete and metal screening and cinder blocks.  How exciting. 

Working in a jail isn’t for everyone.  It really isn’t a nice place to be, as an inmate or as a corrections officer (aka-jailer).  Jail is a seriously depressing place.  A lot of the people in jail don’t belong in jail; they belong in a mental hospital where they can receive the proper care for their conditions.  Problem with that is that states are cutting budgets that allow for the mentally impaired to receive the proper treatments and are reducing the amount of available space in mental hospitals or are even shutting them down completely.  Mentally ill people who don’t receive proper treatment accidentally commit crimes or do things that they don’t understand are wrong or they lash out when frustrated and hurt or kill someone, therefore landing them in jail where they would never be if they were receiving the kind of care that they should be getting.  And it’s all due to budget cuts.  So, my job is not just dealing with your regular run-of-the-mill criminals and regular citizens that made a simple mistake; my job is dealing with people that are mentally ill and are therefore unstable and unpredictable.  It makes my job a heck of a lot more dangerous than it needs to be as a result.

I read success stories of women who have lost surmountable amounts of weight by changing the way they eat and adding simple exercise to their weekly schedule.  I look at them and I have a feeling of desperate longing, but it is squelched by my inner voice that tells me that I can never do that.  It backs itself up by pointing out that changing the way I eat only rewarded me with a 13 pound loss, of which I gained back 8 pounds.  And it reminds me that I added simple exercise to my weekly schedule to be rewarded with naught except frustration as to why nothing was working for me. 

I have decided to join Weight Watchers Online.  I don’t want to go to meetings.  I suppose I should give my reasons for not wanting to go to meetings since they say that people who attend the meetings lose 3 times more weight than people who do just the online program.  Well, for starters, stress.  I don’t like being put on the spot and expected to express how I feel about food and what it does to me.  I have a busy enough schedule without having to try to make room for a weekly time commitment.  Also, my work schedule is such that I wouldn’t be able to attend the meetings on a regular basis anyway.  And, besides, I think that I work quite well on my own without other scrutinizing my progress.  I also feel as though I’d be more pressured to show some significant progress if I were to attend the meetings whereas, if I do just the online program I am only accountable to myself.  And, frankly, I think I’m a pretty strict person to be accountable to.  I try not to be too harsh on myself, but every now and then I can be a little excessive in the way that I talk to myself.  I try to be just motivational, but sometimes it comes across as talking down to myself, like I’m not good enough.  I will actively make an effort to be more positive to myself when it comes to my weight loss.  I will look for the silver lining in everything, the positive amongst the negative, the needle in the haystack.  I will use that to create a positive atmosphere for myself where I can feel comfortable and happy.  And I believe that happy people are more successful than angry or unhappy people could ever hope to be.

I have semi-high, yet conservative, hopes for my success with using the Weight Watchers Online program.  I just signed up for it today. I will hopefully start feeling more secure and confident about my chances of losing the weight I need to lose.  I guess I’m just afraid that this will be yet another story of failure.  But I can’t think that way, not if I hope to succeed this time. 

Lately, on my days off from work, I have been sleeping a lot more than is necessary.  It has a lot to do with I don’t have much to look forward to on my days off.  If the spinal cord stimulator trial provides the kind of relief from my pain that is beneficial, then I will go ahead with the full implant of the stimulator.  Once I’m healed from that, I’ll be able to do things again.  My days off will be filled with so many possibilities of what to do.  I’ll be able to ride a bicycle again.  I’ll be able to use the kayak I want to buy.  I’ll be able to go longer and push myself harder on the elliptical trainer.  I’ll be able to take my dog for hikes through the greenbelt.  I could go camping.  There really are so many possibilities that will be open to me if this treatment route works for me.  Right now, all I have to look forward to is playing World of Warcraft.  Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy me some World of Warcraft, I’m just saying that I really prefer to do active things, or at least to have the option of doing active things.  Also, I’d really like options of what I can do.

I guess I just really feel the fact that I’m all alone right now on my days off.  My work days are fine because I’m around other people.  But, for the past two weeks I have only had human contact outside of work a handful of times and most of those were very short lived or had to do with I needed a ride to and from my appointment for my temporary version of the stimulator.  I don’t have a lot of friends and this just drives that point home for me.  I don’t like feeling all alone or detached from others.  My distance from other people really shows up in my irritation and impatience that I get when I’m around others or have to deal with them.  If I was well socialized, I don’t think I’d act or react like that at all.

I’ve been invited over to my friend Doug’s apartment on Super Bowl Sunday next week.  I have decided that I would bring a guacamole dip since we both loved the avocado dip that we ate at Torchy’s Tacos the other day.  I found a recipe for a nice, creamy guacamole dip that should taste great!  I love avocados.  I’m really looking forward to the Super Bowl, too.  Green Bay Packers versus Pittsburgh Steelers.  I like both teams, so I’ll be happy no matter who wins.  I think it’ll be a great game.  My favorite part, of course, is all the commercials.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Right now, I just want to eat a big pile of something.  It doesn’t even really matter what exactly so long as it’s not something I dislike.  That’s a small list, by the way.  But, a heaping pile of spaghetti, which I haven’t had in forever, would be absolutely delish.  A large serving of pot roast and a huge side of my divine homemade mashed potatoes.  Yes, I called my own homemade mashed potatoes divine.  What?  They are.  Can’t be helped.  A whole loaf of garlic bread.  An entire pie.  A plateful of falafel and yogurt sauce.  An enormous omelet.  A whole loaf’s worth of grilled cheese sandwiches.  A mixing bowl full of Cheerio’s.  Like I said, I just want to scarf the heck out a huge amount of food right now.  You see, since I’m dieting, I have moments where my blood sugar crashes.  I suppose I will start having a piece of fruit with my lunch from now on.  That should help with the sugar crash.  Maybe I’m just trying to do too much too fast.

That’s another one of my problems.  I’m sure a lot of people could agree with this too.  I expect results way faster than is actually possible and then I don’t understand why I’m not getting these rapid results, even though I’m working my ass off at what I’m doing.  There’s a part of me that doesn’t understand that doing things the fast track way doesn’t always equal lasting success.  Hell, it doesn’t necessarily even equal remote success in some instances…or half-ass success.  I have to learn to be patient and more understanding. 

Jon-Pierre always knew how to dash my positive energy.  I’d have a happy thought and would express it and he’d squash it so fast I wouldn’t even know what hit me.  I would be all excited about something and in he’d come, Captain Pessimist, and ruin the moment for me.

So, yesterday I received the trial version of the spinal cord stimulator implant.  What that means is that they ran some leads up alongside my spinal cord and then connected them to an external generator.  I can control the intensity of the tingling sensation with a remote control.  The leads slipped a little (I was warned this may occur due to bending and twisting and stretching motions) and now I’m getting a good portion of the tingling sensation in my legs as opposed to mostly localizing in my lower back like it’s supposed to.  The tingling in my legs is a little annoying, but the part that is still hitting my lower back is good.  I can move that portion of my spine around a little and I find that the pain is almost non-existent there, which is a good sign.  They said that after about 4 days of wearing the trial version is to be expected and that I should have a good idea of how this treatment will work for my pain as far as a permanent implant goes.  If you were to ask me to decide right now and were to guarantee that the tingling in my legs would be mostly or all gone, then I would say yes to getting the permanent implant.

A list of things I would like to do once I am free of the constant pain:
Ø  Ride my bicycle at least once a week
Ø  Go kayaking at least once within every 2 weeks
Ø  Take the dog for hikes instead of walks
Ø  Volunteer at the Humane Society a few days a month
Ø  Pilates
Ø  I’d like to try my hand at jogging again
These are the main things I would love to be able to do and look forward to doing.  I’m sure that there is a lot more things that will become evident that I want to do when the time comes.  I plan on purchasing a kayak of my own within the next two months so that I can go kayaking with my friend, Doug.  I told Doug about my plans to buy a kayak and he got all excited and told me to hurry up and buy my kayak.  Hahahaha!  I want to buy a new bicycle.  I currently have a pretty heavy mountain bike that I would like to sell to someone who may actually use it for its intended off road purpose.  However, they’ll have to buy new knobby tires for it because I put street tires on it.  The bicycle I want to buy is a street bicycle.  I would really like to be able to train to ride the BP MS 150 bicycle race next January if I can.  That would be quite the comeback story if I can pull it off.  Plus, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I’ll get from it?  Priceless.

So many things I have taken for granted that I have learned over the past 5 months that I can never take for granted.  So many things that people do every day and don’t think twice about doing.  Going up and down the 2 flights of stairs at my apartment can be a struggle for me sometimes, let alone walking the dog for an hour a couple days a week.  Being able to do exercise that is actually beneficial to losing weight is another.  I would love to be able to pound out the cardio like I did a year ago when I dropped 30 pounds in only 2 months.  I will do that again.  I will succeed.  I will learn to love myself as I am and I will just love myself more as I mold myself into the person I truly aim to be.

I have been playing World of Warcraft like crazy lately.  I can’t really do much else and I sort of got tired of watching episode after episode of Bones on Netflix.  Sure, I love the show.  It’s one of my favorites.  But I can only take so much at a time before I want to scream.  I love World of Warcraft.  I can find myself playing for hours on hours and forgetting to eat sometimes when I don’t have a time limit to my gameplay that day.  Today, for instance, I almost forgot to eat lunch until my stomach growled at me like a Wind Rider.  The character I’m playing right now is Worgen, which is basically a werewolf.  They  were the new race introduced to the game when the Cataclysm expansion pack came out.  I am a member of a truly awesome guild, the ßLØØds.  They are a guild of very helpful, very personable and nice people.  Point in case happened today.  I was upset because I reached level 60 and wanted to get the ability to have a flying mount.  Turns out I was over 200gold short of this goal because I was unaware that there were 2 things that I had to purchase/train in order to make having a flying mount a reality for me.  One of my guildmates, completely unsolicited, sent me 225gold so that I could get what I needed to get!  I couldn’t believe it.  After I had thrown a temper tantrum at that person and the rest of the guild members that were logged in at the time this person was so very nice to me.  I owe an act of epic niceness to someone else in the future as a result of this.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Maybe it’s time for me to evaluate how I am…you know…towards other people.  I have an attitude that borders on the “my shit don’t stink” level when it comes to fellow humans.  If I’m to be true to this whole self-improvement kick, then that should be one of the items on my checklist of things I want to address and improve.  For instance today, I was on my lunch break at work and I was reading a Jen Lancaster book.  I absolutely despise being interrupted while reading.  Especially when I give a curt response and the person insists on continuing to talk to me and interrupt me.  I mean, seriously, rude much?  But, apparently, as it’s been pointed out to me that maybe, just maybe these people’s intentions are to be friendly and nice and, ironically, polite.  Oh social graces, thou hath abandoned me!  I’ve gone straight past bitter and cynical to a total asshole.  I think I skipped a few steps in there somewhere because sure it doesn’t rocket from just bitter to total asshole in such a short amount of time.  Of course, I naturally want to know what barn these people were raised in where it was okay to interrupt people while they’re in the middle of doing something…especially reading.  I have a sneaky feeling that, besides my weight loss, this is going to be the biggest mountain set out before me that I attempt to climb and conquer.

I’m an incredibly impatient person.  I’m not entirely sure how I got to be that way.  I was always a little impatient but not to the point I am now.  I am impatient to the point of anger.  At work, co-workers will call me with information that is work related and when they don’t get straight to the point of why they are calling and just tell me what they need and they just hem and haw and um and er at me, it drives me up the wall with irritation.  The only thing I can think of that would make me act in this way is that I am extremely unhappy with my situation at work right now.  I am on restrictive duty due to a back injury and am therefore doing a job that is not the job I was hired to do because I am not cleared by my doctor to perform my regular duties at work.  I have been in this work status for 5 months now.  At no point did I ever foresee me being on restrictive duty for this amount of time.  However, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  In the next couple days, I will be getting a procedure done that should reduce my pain level to practically nothing, thereby allowing me to return to full and regular duty at work.  It will also allow me to start exercising to the level that is necessary for me to lose the weight I need to lose to be healthy again.

I can be arrogant and self-assured to the point of obnoxious.  I say I just want people to be as efficient as possible, but really, I think it has to do with I don’t want to let anyone get close enough to hurt me again.  I completely let my guard down with Jon-Pierre and he did everything he possibly could that would hurt me and break me down.  This was especially damaging because I had just finished building myself back up and had just become emotionally independent again.  I let him into my heart in a moment of romantic weakness.  I let his seemingly kind eyes worm their way into my heart.  I let my emotional security walls down with him and he burned the little wooden shack where my heart lives and now it’s all exposed and vulnerable.  So, I lash out at people when they try to be my friend because I don’t want to take any chances.  Maybe realizing this will be enough motivation for me to change.  Maybe I can take a deep breath and steady myself to be a little less hostile to those around me.  I don’t have to let them in or let them get too close, but I shouldn’t bite their heads off when they’ve done nothing to deserve it.

Don’t I want people to be courteous to me?  Don’t I want people to treat me with respect and dignity?  Well, then, maybe I should treat them with a little courteousness, respect and dignity.  A little kindness goes a long way, they say.  Maybe that’s some advice I should heed.  It won’t kill me to be at least superficially nice to others around me.  There’s a chance that if I can at least put on a happy face and just smile at people and say nice things to them, even when I don’t mean it, that it will become habit and, therefore, will just become the way I treat people. 

I seem to have lost some of the feeling of urgency that I was having over my move back home to Oregon.  I’m still excited about it, but since I’ve already planned everything that needed planning to the point where there’s nothing left to be planned.  The air has been let out of the balloon, so to speak.  See, when I first realized that it was very doable for me to make the move back home to Oregon in a little over a year, I got very excited and had a few nights of anxious insomnia until I got every last detail of the act of moving planned out to the last mile.  I planned out how many days it would take me to drive there.  I will be traveling with a dog and a cat.  If I was only traveling with the dog, I could drive straight through and just potty walk her whenever I stop for gas.  But the cat needs to use the litter box, so I have to stop every night and get a hotel room so he can do that and so he can relax for a little while.  So, I have each and every nightly stop planned out and predetermined down to what hotels I will be staying at.  I decided to stay in Motel 6 each night because the entire chain of hotels is pet friendly and they don’t charge an extra fee for your pet(s) to stay in the room with you.  I even got the specifics of the moving truck and vehicle trailer for my truck worked out.  I already know how much it will cost me.  I planned out what kind of boxes I’m going to use and made a plan to buy a package of bankers boxes every payday between now and then.  I looooooove bankers boxes.  They are so sturdy and easy to put together and you can’t possibly overload them so that they’re too heavy to lift, unless, of course, you put an anvil in one of them, but that’s just silly.  Every box will be as specifically labeled as possible so that when I find a place to live once I’ve arrived in Oregon it will be easy and quick to unpack everything.

I’m a little anal when it comes to making my plans, obviously.  I want to make sure this goes as smooth as possible.  Since it will be the culmination of my year-ish journey of improving my life, I want my move to be as close to perfection as it can possibly get.  I don’t want any contingency to go unplanned.  I want to make preparations for every step of the way.  I want to know what lies in store for me and how everything will flow.  For instance, my driving schedule is planned so that when I stop each evening in my predetermined cities at my predetermined hotel locations that I can take the dog for a walk and do a little bit of tourist activities.  It will be a nice way to wind down from the stress of driving a 22 foot moving truck with my personal truck on a trailer.  I have never driven with a trailer so I have a little bit of anxiety about that portion of my plan.  But, really, there’s no other way to get it done properly and get all my belongings and my truck all moved at the same time without making an additional trip back to Texas to do it.

I used to have this horrible and nasty habit.  Chewing on my fingers.  Not on my fingernails, mind you, but on my fingers themselves.  I almost always had nice fingernails.  I say that I used to have this habit because I have managed to stop, but also because I want it to stay in the past and not come up again.  It was something that I had done for a great many years…since I was about 12 years old in fact.  It was so difficult to stop, almost more difficult than when I quit smoking.  It was something that was basically an integral part of me and was part of the definition of what was me.  It wasn’t a component of my life that I liked to admit or concede to.  It was such a prominent focus of my anxiety that it even made me anxious to think of quitting it.  But I put my mind to it and I was able to expel it.  I put my mind to it and was determined.  It wasn’t easy, but it was simple. 

I have this guy friend at work.  We don’t work in the same section as each other, but we talk a lot…on the phone and via email throughout our work day.  Well, I went on lunch break yesterday and he stopped by to say hello to me right before I came back.  When I came back, one of my co-workers said my boyfriend had stopped by.  I was mortified.  I don’t have a boyfriend and I don’t want a boyfriend.  Sure, I should have probably dated Richard years ago, but we didn’t date, for numerous reasons.  And now, now it’s too late.  I’m done with intimate relationships for a while, for at least the remaining amount of time I have in Texas, anyway.  But I would prefer to stay abstinent for a while longer than that.  Abstinence does a person good.  It’s good to sever that kind of connection every once in a while.  Maybe not if you’re actively in a long term relationship.  But, if you’re single, it’s appropriate to learn how to interact with other people on another level other than on a sexual level.  It’s kind of like losing one of your 5 senses in that your body compensates by dialing up the sensitivity of one or more of your other senses.  You take sex out of the picture and your personality should compensate by dialing up the sensitivity of one of your other levels of dealing with people.  I usually get rather flirty when I abstain.  Which seems like it’s just increasing my sexual type behavior, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s a very personal way of dealing with others, I think.  You connect on a different level.  You connect on a more comfortable level, I think.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Could Be Fatter

I could be fatter.  I tell myself this because someone once informed me that if I don’t love myself the way I am now, how do I expect to love myself once I have reached my goal?  Precisely.  Things could definitely be worse for me.  I have to stay positive or I will fail, it’s really as simple as that.  Being positive about everything as much as possible will help me to find the motivation I need to carry on and continue, even when things are stacked against me.  Being positive in the face of adversity and challenge is true determination.  Making the hard choice and not the easy choice will mean the difference between success and failure for me.  I can’t choose to go the easy route in this journey…ever.  Nothing about this path I have chosen for myself is meant to be easy.  Simple, yes…easy, no.

I have had a modicum of success already.  Even though I took the easy road yesterday and ate a whopper and french fries instead of maybe a salad with grilled chicken, I have still lost 3 pounds in the last week.  I was still able to buy a size smaller jeans when I went shopping this morning and not have those jeans be super tight and constrictive.  My success won’t be measured rapidly.  It will be the tortoise’s pace that wins this race and guarantees that my success isn’t short lived and easily reversed.  This journey is about self-discovery and self-improvement.  I must discover a healthy way of eating that works for me.  Sure, there will be the occasional fast food meal or juicy hamburger, but that won’t be part of my regular daily food intake. 

I tried the South Beach Diet a couple months ago.  I experienced a good amount of weight loss during the first phase of the diet, the phase that restricts carbs.  Once I moved on to the second phase and introduced the healthy carbs back into my diet, I plateaued almost instantly.  And then, much to my horror and disbelief, I began to gain the weight back while not varying from the diet in the slightest.  I became frustrated and began to indulge with ice cream or tacos or pie.  I had failed.  But it wasn’t a failure that I was going to let keep me down.  After a little re-evaluation, I determined I needed a diet that wasn’t a diet, so to speak.  And I sincerely hope this one works out better for me.  I’m eating a bowl of cereal or slow cooked oatmeal for breakfast and a healthy, portion-controlled tv dinner for lunch and dinner with small healthy snacks between meals.  I have to admit that I am using diet pills to help give myself an extra edge, but those are only for the initial weight loss. 

I have scheduled myself a simple exercise plan that fits well within what I am capable of doing physically and doesn’t harm my lower back further.  The more I do it, the more I will work toward actually enjoying my workouts.  Right now, they are an incredible chore for me.  Also, I haven’t been able to fully stick to what I’ve set out for me to do.  I have it worked out so I do 3 days of cardio and weights a week, but I always only manage to complete once or twice a week so far.  The other 4 days of the week, I want to walk the dog for an hour each day.  Or at the very least, 3 of those 4 days I want to walk the dog.

But you don’t really want to know all the mechanics of what I’m doing.  Or, maybe you do?  Would it interest you to know just how much I struggle with staying on track every single day?  Would it be worth knowing that I get stressed out just thinking about how surmountable this task is that is laid before me?  You know what, if you’re reading this, then it is of interest and it is worth knowing, so therefore, it is worth me telling it.  I won’t leave you out of any thought or decision that happens in regards to this path I have set myself upon. 

Every day is a struggle for me.  Every day I wrestle with the question of whether or not this is worth all the effort or if I should just consign myself to being fat from now on.  But when I think like that, I get depressed and I don’t like feeling depressed.  So, I don’t entertain those thoughts for very long.  Thankfully, I don’t have the attention span to entertain them for very long.  Ha! 

When I think about my goal to lose weight, I think about how skinny feels to me.  I wrap my hands around my wrists and feel the bones under the skin and imagine how it would look if there wasn’t so much padding in between the bone and my skin.  I look at myself in the mirror before and after my shower and look at how my stomach pooch kind of hangs there now instead of just pooching out a little bit like it used to.  I look at how much my inner thighs touch each other and remember when there used to be a little sliver of space at the tops of them.  I flap my arm wings and think of how gross that is.  I glance at my thick neck, not so much a double chin though.  I briefly wonder what it would be like to get liposuction and a tummy tuck and be rid of all my weight problems with just a simple surgery…how it would be like to do things the easy way.  But I wouldn’t appreciate it if I took the easy route.  I wouldn’t respect my weight loss, just like I won’t respect my money unless I find a way to stop spending it like my wallet is an artery that has been severed.  I have to lose weight the “old fashioned” way.  I have to go through the motions of exercising and eating responsibly and LEARN from the process, from the journey.  I know there’s a skinny person hiding under all my physical “fluff,” I just have to be patient because apparently, she’s a little shy and needs some coaxing before she’ll reveal herself.  Once I reach my weight loss goals, I will be so proud of myself and my new found body.  I won’t every take it for granted again.  I won’t ever toss my physical or emotional health to the wayside again like I’ve done.  I won’t let myself suffer like I’ve caused myself to suffer with this weight gain.  It has done so much to break me down that it is a true journey to build myself up again.

I long for the day that I can wear a swimsuit without shame again.  And by “swimsuit without shame,” I mean a bikini.  Really, I don’t want my thighs to be seen in public either, so I won’t be flouncing around in a once-piece swimsuit either anytime soon.  One of my plans is to buy a kayak and I really don’t want to have to buy a wetsuit to wear while using it.  I’d really like to be able to go out bikini clad onto the lake with my kayak and my dog.  That’s right; the dog will be on the kayak with me.  She’ll get her very own doggy-sized life jacket too.  Once I’ve gotten the kayak and the weather is consistently nice and sunny out, I’d really like to try to go kayaking once a week.  It’s a great upper body workout and a great way to destress and get away from it all.

I pine for the day that I can look in the mirror before or after my shower and tell myself that I’ve done a great job and that I have succeed at the most important thing I can do for myself.  I will have sculpted myself back into a work of beauty and will be pleasant to look upon again.  I look forward to not having to remind myself that the guys nearby me are not interested in me because I’m not pleasing to the eye.  I look forward to the day when that is completely a moot point and no longer relevant.  Basically, I look forward to being myself again, to being who I am meant to be.  And, at the end of this journey, I will know who that person is and I will love her with all my heart.  I will love her for all that she has gone through and for all that she has become.  I will love her because of her strengths and her weaknesses, know that she cannot be whole without both aspects.

So, it’s completely true that things could be so much more worse than they are now for me.  I could totally be way fatter.  I could have gained so much weight that I wore bigger than just a 2X in clothes.  Hell, I can still manage to look decent if I dress myself right.  And I have this amazing black knit dress that I bought, sure it’s a maternity dress, but that just means it’s meant for a bigger tummy area.  Anyway, the amazing black dress…if I put on one of those belts that is for shirts, the wide belts that go shortly under the breast area, it makes the dress make me look smashing! 

I want to get pictures done in a couple or a few months from now.  I want to be able to be thinner than the last time I got my pictures taken.  I’d like to show a bit of improvement.  I know it won’t be a lot, but maybe in 3 months’ time I can manage to shed about 25 to 30 pounds.  That would make a world of difference in how I look and in how I feel, which will make all the difference in how my pictures turn out.

I must be subconsciously hungry today (as I am having no hunger pangs or rumblings in my tummy, this is purely an educated guess) as things my co-workers are describing sound delicious, or at the very least, appetizing.  For instance, hominy.  I’ve never eaten it before, but they say it tastes like grits.  I love grits!  And then they were talking about some cornmeal type consistency mixed with oil and fried up.  Made me think of falafel.  Oh how I love falafel!  And salmon patties!  I was saying that I had canned salmon and I needed to figure out something to do with it and one of them blurted out “salmon patties!”  So I found a recipe for salmon patties and I think I will make them tomorrow afternoon after work and will eat those for dinner, along with some green peas.

It’s not that I need to get a handle on what I eat, mainly just how much I eat.  I tend to eat when I’m bored, when I’m tired, when I’m hyper, when I’m sad, when I’m happy, when I’m angry.  Basically, I have a tendency to eat and eat and eat.  I won’t even be hungry and I’ll eat.  It’s crazy!  I never used to be like that.  I used to always forget to eat and when I was sad I would abstain from eating.  That was how I stayed trim.  A big part of my problem is that the military taught me a whole new form of eating with a whole crap-ton of calories consumed within a day because we were so physically active.  That wasn’t the problem because, like I said, we were extremely active throughout the day.  The problem comes into play when I was no longer active and yet continued to just shovel food into my face.  The military had completely reprogrammed my eating habits and I never learned how to reset them back to how they were before I entered into the service.  Now I need to do that.  I need to rediscover my respect for food so that I can truly enjoy it.  That’s another thing, I need to not only learn how to respect food again, but how to appreciate it and enjoy it, how to savor it.  Savoring something, being patient.  Two things that are not on a list of things that I do even remotely well. 

Marriage.  There’s a loaded subject for you.  Sometimes, I’m a romantic and strongly believe that there is someone out there for me, someone that I am meant to be with and someone that will love me for me and will stay by my side for the rest of my life.  And then there’s times where I’m extremely sardonic and bitter and set against finding “the one” for me.  In those times, I think that it would just be best to put on a pretty wedding dress and put my cat, Vlad, in a tuxedo and marry him.  I would never have to worry about him letting me down or cheating on me or lying to me or keeping secrets from me like I would with a real husband of the human variety.  Of course, that realization comes with sadness.  While I’ve never been the Barbie doll toting girly-girl, I have wanted nothing more than a decent-sized wedding with me wearing a pretty dress that I designed and sewed myself.  I want a man that I can depend on, but all the men I find are defective it seems.  Maybe that’s just the bitter cynic in me talking, but it feels true.  My hope at finding a good man seem to be in vain because all men seem to be self-absorbed, shallow, inconsiderate jackasses.  And if they’re not insufferable personality wise, then they have some sort of hygiene issue that detracts from their great personality.  And I’m not talking about a hygiene issue that could be fixed by putting on a little deodorant; I’m talking about the sort of issue that is blackened, dead teeth and the smell of “I just ate a sewer rat for lunch” breath. 

Right now, I’d be happy if I could just find a guy that had a job, his own apartment (independent women tend to frown on the situation if you still reside with mommy) and vehicle, and his own set of friends that are completely separate from me.  Of course, I’d also like a larger selection of my own set of friends to be able to be social with.  I find myself bored a lot of the time and therefore watch endless hours of Bones episodes on Netflix and then, when I tire of that, I play me some World of Warcraft to pass the time and break up the monotony.  Of course, the truth of the matter is that I don’t have any intention of dating anyone, so that at least temporarily the problem is resolved and a moot point to even pursue at the moment.  This year is all about me and friends and improving my life and my happiness.  It is not about dating and finding a guy.  That’s the last thing on my list of things not on my list of things I want to do.

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