Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Kitten

My new kitten is an absolute joy.  He really is.  His name is Oliver and he’s probably about 6 months old, even though the shelter thinks he’s only 3 months.  He has an appointment to get neutered and microchipped at the vet tomorrow…hooray!  So far, he’s getting along just fine with my older kitty, Vlad.  They chase each other through the apartment and play together.  Just this morning, Vlad walked up to Oliver and Oliver immediately laid down on his side and meowed quietly.  This is significant because it means that Oliver recognizes Vlad as the dominant and elder kitty, worthy of respect.  Vlad still gets a little annoyed with Oliver and hisses at him here and there, but it’s getting less and less frequent.  It probably helps that yesterday morning I went and spent about $12 on toys, catnip spray and a cardboard scratching pad.

Some people are bound not to agree with me on this, but I will be getting Oliver at least front declawed, if not fully declawed.  I know some people say it’s inhumane, but I want to tell these people that I don’t think it is.  I ALWAYS get the *optional* pain medication for my kitties when I get them declawed.  What would be inhumane would be if I didn’t get the pain medication…that would be downright cruel to make them suffer through the pain of surgery like that. 

Oliver is an orange tabby with a white spot under his chin down to his chest and white socks.  He’s not just a traditional tabby with stripes.  He has spots, which I think are absolutely gorgeous.  It kind of makes him resemble a Bengal cat.  He’s VERY playful.  He loves the toys I bought yesterday morning.  He loves to run around the apartment and pounce on things.

He’s very snuggly.  When I first brought him home, he would snuggle, but I had to chase him down and pick him up.  Once I did that, he would snuggle as long as I wanted him to.  Now, he actually comes to me and curls up on or next to me.  He purrs like a little motorboat, so I know he’s very happy.  He’s adjusting quite well, I think, to his new home and his new big brother. 

Oliver has a small problem with diarrhea right now.  It’s most likely due to the change in his food.  I talked to his foster mom via email this morning about it and she said that when he spent a week and a half at PetSmart last week, he had some diarrhea for a couple days due to the change in food that they were feeding him there as opposed to what she was feeding him at her home.  So, hopefully another day, maybe two, of dealing with finding little cat patties in random places around the apartment and watching where I step and he’ll be fine.  I need to get some stain spot remover so I can clean up the spots in the carpet.

All in all, Oliver is a wonderful addition to my home.  We make a fabulous little family of 3 (my favorite number).  The 3 of us are going to be very happy.  My dream is to have both kitties snuggle me at the same time on the couch while I watch TV and in bed while I sleep at night.  Since both Vlad and Oliver are snugglers, I see this happening at some point.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Thursday, I overate a little bit.  I had 2 regular bags of M&Ms, 2 small tortillas (plain) and some crackers with peanut butter.  This never would have happened except that I had an overwhelming tiredness going on that day…and I was at work and unable to go to a grocery store and buy myself a couple apples…which would have been the best choice by far to help wake me up.  The M&Ms ended up doing the trick and getting me through the end of my shift, but at what cost?  I probably consumed about 1000 calories that I otherwise would have not eaten just because I was lethargic.  Another option I could have pursued would have been to give a coworker that has a very large coffee percolator that he charges $1 a day if you want coffee from it.  I had a dollar in my pocket and I totally should have just had a cup or two more of coffee.  Even if I put cream in it, that would have been WAY less calories for the day.

But, overall, I’m not getting down on myself about it because it only happened once.  I didn’t repeat it on Friday and the rest of the week before Thursday was just fine and within my acceptable calories for the day.  Speaking of, I think I need to start tracking what I’m eating again.  So, today, I will get back on my sparkpeople.com account and do just that.  I’m sure I’m eating between 1500 and 1800 calories a day.  I’m eating a good amount of volume type foods…like fruits and veggies…and filling up on them.  I have a little splurge with my afternoon veggies by dipping them in a light ranch dressing.  I have cereal for breakfast and put a goo d 1% milk in it to keep it tasting good and lower in calories and fat.  For lunch, I eat 2 tuna salad sandwiches on those sandwich thins bread (they’re round and have half the calories of regular bread…because they’re half as thick…but I don’t like my sandwiches to be super bready anyway).  In the afternoon, I eat a Ziploc bag of fruit (like plums or grapes), a Ziploc bag of baby carrots (with ranch), and a Ziploc bag of sliced cucumber (also with ranch).  For dinner, I eat a protein (chicken, fish, shrimp, etc.) and a large serving of veggies.  I think that’s a pretty balanced day of eating, don’t you?  After I track my calories, if it’s not as much as I think it is, then I may adjust what I eat for breakfast by adding 2 eggs along with my cereal and milk.  A little extra protein is always a good thing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

P90X Progress

I've had 6 really good workouts so far this week.  I love that I bought that adjustable pull up bar that allows me to do “girl” pull ups.  That’s awesome because I can’t even do just 1 regular pull up.  I’d completely miss out on like half of two different workouts (the Chest & Back and the Legs & Back workouts)…and that’s just unacceptable to me.  I *must* be able to participate as much as I’m physically able to.  So, when I was in Walmart the other day and saw the Perfect Pull Up bar and it cost less than the other pull up bars that don’t allow you to do “girl” pull ups and just kind of clip on over the top of your door frame.

I’m feeling pretty good about going into my first weekly weigh in tomorrow.  I don’t know if I've really lost any weight yet, but my clothes are definitely a little tiny bit looser.  So, if I haven’t lost any weight, I’m at least sure I haven’t gained any.  The first 3 weeks of P90X don’t have a whole lot of cardio in them and, in my experience, it’s cardio that really burns the fat off my body.  But, I’m also not stupid and am fully aware that strength training burns probably just as many calories as cardio, you just don’t necessarily sweat as much…unless, of course, you’re rapid fire going from one exercise to the next to the next and so on.  But, I know it does burn calories just as well and effectively.  Plus, it also builds muscle, which helps you burn even more calories during your workouts.

I already thought this, but now I’m pretty well convinced of it…P90X is going to do wonders for me and my body and my self-esteem.  My goals that I want to achieve by the end of the 90 days include being able to do the Ab Ripper X workout in its entirety, without stopping to rest and with good form.  I also want to be able to do 3 actual pull ups.  And, last (for now) but not least, I want to lose 30 pounds.

About 3 weeks before I’m done with P90X, I’m going to start looking for a copy of P90X2 on craigslist to buy.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to find a copy of it or a used original just because it hasn’t been out on the market for very long.  So, I may end up buying it new.  I’d rather not spend that much money, but I will if I have to.  I’d really like to do P90X2 after I've completed P90X.  Then, of course, after I've completed P90X2, I want to try my hand at the Insanity workout program.

I’m not sure when I’m going to start adding going to the gym into my schedule with P90X, but I do plan to do that.  I want to go like twice a week and do the circuit training area for 30-60 minutes 2 or 3 times a week.  I imagine I’ll wait a few weeks to see how much impact P90X really has on me.  Maybe I’ll only go to the gym on my days off, which would be on Fridays and Saturdays, making it 2 days in a row, where I’d really rather break it up and put a few days in between the trips to the gym.  I’ll get it all felt and figured out.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fitness/Weight Loss

On top of my own personal fitness/weight loss challenge that I’m doing with the P90X and the 80-day weight loss challenge, I get to work yesterday and I’m informed about a fitness challenge that will be starting on August 1st!  It’s a $10 buy in per person.  It’s not about weight loss, it’s about meeting goals you’ve set out for yourself.  How awesome is that?  I am, of course, going to participate in it.  I’m looking forward to it.  That’s just one more thing to motivate me and help keep me on track to reach my goals and to then maintain them.  You see, the term of the challenge is one year.  So, it’s starts this August 1st and ends next year on August 1st.  I plan to reach my goal of 45 lbs lost by my birthday (Dec. 14th), but then I have to immense task of MAINTAINING that weight loss.  If I can maintain it that long, then I should be good for the long term.  After I've reached my weight loss goal of 45 lbs (hopefully by my goal date), I will set new goals for myself that are strictly fitness based.  For instance, bicycle 50 miles a week or walk 25 miles a week.  Or maybe, it will be to start and complete a fitness program, like P90X2 or Insanity.  I want to go to this place that does non-surgical pain relief.  They claim (and a friend/co-worker has had it done) that they can “cure” shin splints.  I want to do this because I want to start running.  So, if I get that done, another goal of mine can be to do one 5K a month.  The options are practically endless, really.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I had a little setback this week.  I went to start the P90X program this past Sunday only to find out the discs I had, which were copies of copies of the program, didn’t work properly and so I was unable to start it.  Instead of just popping in another one of my workout dvd’s, I simply gave up.  Thankfully, I didn’t binge.  I just gave up and got in the shower and loafed around on the couch until it was time to go to work.  I was going to try to convince myself to just buy the program new from Beachbody itself, but then I realized that I could possibly find the program used on Craigslist for a lot cheaper.  I found one set for $50, messaged the guy but never heard back from him.  So, I messaged the guy that had it for $30.  That guy messaged me back only to tell me that his set was copies, but they were copies straight from the original and were in picture perfect condition and did come with all the documents that the original program comes with.  Plus, it has 3 discs that I don’t have in my copies of copies.  So that’s a bonus.  I figure, if the discs turn out to be bunk, I only spent $30 on them.  But I’m hoping they work as good as he says they do.  So, I will be starting P90X this coming Sunday and I really couldn’t be more excited about it.  Of course, I’m anxious about it, like I am about starting or doing anything new.  I’m afraid I won’t get bitten by the exercise bug, which I shouldn’t even worry about because I ALWAYS get bitten by the exercise bug, I just have to take the first steps and actually start exercising and it is pretty much guaranteed to happen. 

I’m really hoping that P90X becomes my exercise salvation.  I need something that I look forward to doing every day, something that inspires me to get out of bed in the morning.  I need to sweat.  I need to exert myself.  I need the stress relief.  I know that once I’ve started exercising regularly again, what I’m eating will just fall into place.  I will crave healthier foods.  I will no longer long for junk foods like pizza and cheeseburgers.  Baked chicken, baked fish and loads of grilled and steamed veggies will be what my body wants more than anything else.

I’ve already taken my beginning measurements and pictures.  I was sad to see that of the 24 pounds I lost at the beginning of this year, I had regained 20 of them.  Ugh.  That puts me back at 205.  And that means that I now have upwards of 45 pounds left to lose, instead of just 30 or 35.  I’ve set a goal timeframe of getting below 170 by my birthday, December 14th.  That’s 5 months.  That means I need to lose at least 7 pounds a month to achieve the 35 pounds, which would put me at 170.  I can totally do that.  It’s not unreasonable in the slightest.

So, I’m restarting this journey that I started at the beginning of this year.  I’m hitting the reset button on my goals for myself.  And I’m going to post my progress on here every week.  I’ll retake my measurements every 4 weeks, but I’m going to refrain from taking progress pictures until I’ve reached the end of the 90 days of the program.  But, if I see a good difference from where I was when I started, then I will take new progress pictures.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Retake Control

I’ve been getting the urge to be healthier.  This is a big step in the right direction for me because I’ve had nothing but urges to binge eat and be lazy that refuse to be ignored.  Part of me seems to have finally gotten sick and tired of living that way.  Part of me has gotten over feeling like I failed myself and is tired of me punishing myself with the self-disrespect I’ve been incessantly pummeling myself with for the past 3½ months. 

I’ve done nothing positive with myself during this time that I have felt like a failure.  I’ve only encouraged myself to do as little as possible and eat whatever I want, whenever I want.  And that is no way to live.  I know I’ve gained back at least 15 pounds of the 24 pounds I had lost at the beginning of this year.  I’m trying not to think about this.  I’m trying to focus on just starting over from where I’m at now.  Let me tell you, it *sounds* easy, but it’s not.  It’s not easy when you’re someone that has a habit of hyperanalyzing everything, especially when it comes to her body.

I mean, really, I’m just your average, typical adult female, obsessing over how my body looks, over every little last pound on the scale.  I’m too quick to jump to insulting myself and calling myself a failure and feeling complete disappointment in myself.  I don’t stop and focus on the amount of weight I’ve lost since I first started at the beginning of last year; I focus on the amount of weight I haven’t lost yet.  I’ve got to start praising myself for what I’ve accomplished thus far and not focus on how much of the journey is left to go ahead of me. 

I want to be one of those success stories you read in the magazines or on online blogs.  I want to be a testament to every woman’s ability to focus her energies and do whatever she wants with her life.  She can mold her body into the form she truly desires it to be.  She can sculpt her personality to be as nice or as mean as she wants to be toward others. 

I have to move past the hurt and damage done to me by JP.  I have to learn to accept that it is in the past and there’s nothing I can do to change it or erase it.  It’s done and over with.  I have to move on.  I have high hopes that the skills that Dr. H is teaching me will help me to do just that: move on with my life and retake control over myself. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Personal Rights

This week, Dr. H gave me something called the “Personal Bill of Rights.”  It states that, as a human, I have the right to say no, to make requests, to have needs,, to be myself, to be respected, and to feel and express.

These are all very basic and straightforward rights and ideas.  I need to learn these rights and understand them.  I need to realize that they really do apply to me.  I need to understand and accept that I am human just like everyone else and that I deserve to be treated with dignity and allowed my own wants and needs and boundaries.

Something Dr. H and I discussed was did I have a problem saying no to people.  I said that in intimate relationships I very much have that problem.  She asked me why I thought that was.  The main thing I came up with was that I do it out of fear.  Fear of disappointing that person and then them leaving my life.

Another issue I have is letting hurts and problems build up within me.  I don’t deal with them.  I just shove them to the side and ignore them and hope that they’ll just go away, even though I know they won’t.  Along this same line, I allow hopeless relationships to continue.  Why?  Because I’m afraid to be alone.  I’m afraid I won’t find someone else…that I won’t find someone better…that I don’t deserve someone better.  For instance, years ago, I dated Toby.  At 6 months, our relationship was over because he violated my trust, but I stayed with him for 2 years.  All for the sake of my fear.

I have to build up my self-confidence and my feelings of self-worth.  A great example is my struggle to lose weight.  Last year, I managed to lose about 35 pounds.  I did regain about 10 pounds around the end of the year.  At the beginning of this year, I set my mind to lose 50 pounds.  For 2 straight months, I ate 1100-1500 calories a day and exercised at least 30 minutes every day.  I lost 24 pounds.  Then, in the second week of March, I somehow gained 4 pounds.  It completely knocked me off track.  I managed to relose those 4 pounds, but the damage was done.  I was still working out every day (an hour or more most days), but I was no longer losing weight.  I was binge eating again.  I haven’t been able to motivate myself to get back on track.  I see this as a failure and I’m afraid I will just fail again and I don’t want to go through that disappointment again.

I’ve got to come up with a new plan of action.  I’ll be dog sitting for the next 9 days.  I’m going to use the time I spend at my friend’s house with her dogs to reflect and plan.  It’s been almost 2 months since I worked out regularly.  I need to come up with a workout plan I will follow and stick to.  I also need to plan to go back to cooking most of my meals from fresh ingredients.  My friend Doug has invited me to go to the farmer’s market with him one Saturday.  I’m looking forward to that.

I think I am actually, but slowly, getting a bit of a handle on my binge eating.  I don’t feel as out of control as I was before.  I don’t feel like I’m getting the urges as much as I used to.  Before it was at least 3 to 4 times a week…or more.  Now it’s only about 1 or 2 times a week.  I can’t believe I’m already seeing a difference.  When I feel full, I don’t eat any more, usually.  And that’s some pretty significant progress for me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Some of the things in the handouts from Dr. H that I’m reading are skills for dealing with situations of stress.

The first is to just observe.  Observe the experience you are having without interacting with it.  Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  As an emotional person, I can tell you that it is one of the most difficult things to ask of yourself-to be somewhat detached, but without being cold.  To observe is to just be aware of what is happening to you and around you.

The next is to describe.  To put words to the experience.  To state a fact about what you are feeling.  To acknowledge it.  Then you put it into words.  Simply state to yourself what is going on.  You do this without getting all caught up in it.

After you have done the observe and describe, then you may participate.  To quote the handout: “Become one with your experience, completely forgetting yourself.”  When you allow yourself to participate, do only what is necessary, don’t over or under do it.  Be as Goldilocks to the situation.

I am to practice changing harmful situations, changing my harmful reactions to situations and (the hardest of all) accepting myself and the situation as they are.  That’s asking a lot, seeing as how I don’t accept myself as I am.  I look at myself and I see a lot of room for improvement.  I see a lot that needs to be changed about me.  I look at myself and I am disappointed.

Over the last few years, I have done nothing but disappoint myself and let myself down time after time.  I recently found pictures of myself that I took about 8 years ago.  I weigh at least 20 pounds more than I did at that time.  And that’s all I see.  I don’t see the fact and triumph of the 50 pounds I have lost to date.  I only see my failure to continue losing weight.  I only see that I have, once again, gotten in my own way in life.  I am holding myself back from being what I think I should be right now.

The skills in the handout continue with how to actually deal with the experiences and the situations.  You have to be non-judgmental about it.  That seems like a practical impossibility in this day and age.  We are brought up to be judgmental of ourselves and others.  You have to separate your opinions from the fact.  Also extremely difficult as so many people view their opinions as fact.  You have to acknowledge what is helpful and what is harmful without actually judging it.

“Do one thing at a time.”  Don’t multitask.  Multitasking means you are not actually paying attention to what you are doing.  It may sound very simple to just do one thing at a time.  Heck, my ideas of relaxing usually involve doing two things at a time.  I’m either walking or otherwise working out AND listening to music, or I’m eating and reading a book, or eating and watching tv.

You have to do things effectively.  You have to focus your attention and your efforts on what actually works.  Don’t use words like fair/unfair, right/wrong, should/should not.  You have to treat the situation as it needs to be treated.  Don’t treat it or approach it as if it were the situation you WISH you were in.  You must keep your eye on the objective, letting go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness.  These things only hurt you and don’t work.  They are not effective.

Friday, June 15, 2012

States of Mind

Dr. H gave me some handouts to read between this week’s appointment and next week’s.  One of the first things these handouts cover are the three different states of mind.  There is reasonable mind, which is rational, logical and thinking.  A reasonable minded person is not impulsive or disorganized.  Then, there is the emotional mind.  An emotional minded person is, as the name suggests, ruled by their emotions.  They are very impulsive, never or rarely consider consequences, and can be self-destructive.  Third, there is the wise mind.  A wise minded person has a balance between the reasonable and emotional minds.

When Dr. H brought this up in our session this week, she asked me did I see myself as more of a logic-minded person, or do I base what I do on emotion.  I started to answer that I was a very logical person, rather Spock-like.  But, I stopped myself.  Over eating, binge eating, impulse shopping.  All of these things are NOT logic-based.  They are, in fact, emotional minded.  I was shocked to realize this about myself.

As time has progressed since my split from JP, I have slowly (very slowly, actually) been getting a handle on my impulse shopping.  Which is good because I can’t really afford to shop that way.  Of course, I really can’t afford to over eat and binge eat, yet I do.

Right before I met JP, I quit smoking.  Literally right before…like maybe 2 weeks before was when I had my last cigarette.  As a result, I no longer went out to my patio multiple times a day…or even just once a day, for that matter.  As a result of this, I took away from myself the relaxing practice of sitting on my patio tending to and enjoying my plants.  I had cut myself off from my own little paradise and from nature.  My plants all died due to my lack of tending to them.

I never replaced my patio time with anything else when I quit smoking.  I had taken away from myself the perfect me time activity and introduced myself to a shut-in style life.  No more talking to and petting the green and vibrant leaves of my plants.  No more gazing out at the blue sky with peaceful clouds floating slowly by.  No more listening to birds call or insects chirrup.

As a result of my neglecting my patio in general, it was invaded by wasps.  The whole apartment complex was invaded by them, really.  I had decided last year that I wanted to start using my patio again and set about to start cleaning it, only to find about three wasp nests on my patio itself and two more nests within 10 feet of the edges of my patio.  After many cans of wasp spray and a few visits from the maintenance man armed with the foam wasp killer, I was finally rid of my wasps.  I succeeded in cleaning the patio of all its detritus.  But then, I just didn’t use it.  I never returned to my patio.

Today marks the first time I have sat on my patio with the intent of relaxing.  I plan to do a little reading and a little writing.  Maybe I can make this a daily, or at least a most daily, habit.  If I can get in the habit of writing every day again, that would be a great improvement in my life.

I have the Slacker Radio application on my phone.  My favorite music to listen to on Slacker is their folk rock station.  It’s very relaxing to listen to this style of music for me.  It makes me feel connected to the past, the past that came before me.  It has a traditional Irish fee to it, to me anyway.  I can get lost in it and forget about the world at large.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spread My Wings

So, I’ve gone out on 2 dates with Patrick now.  He’s a really nice guy, we seem to have a decent amount of stuff in common, or at least enough to keep a conversation between us going for a couple hours.  And that’s a good thing.  I’m a little hesitant about anything potentially long term with him because he does have a child.  I’m not so sure about dating a guy that has a kid.  I mean, it’s great that he doesn’t want any more kids, but I would for sure take second seat with his focus in life.  Not that that would be a bad thing, per se.  It could potentially be a good thing because he does have her about 50% of the time, so that would force us to move at a slower pace…a pace I would be so much more comfortable moving at with any guy.

I’m not so sure how I feel about dating, in general.  I’ve just recently started going to therapy to help me get a handle on my binge eating and start dealing with my issues left over from JP.  I’m really not so sure that I am actually ready to be dating.  But I don’t want to just shut it down and not even test the water before leaving the beach, so I’ll keep talking to him and see what happens.  If we get along, then great, we’ll spend more time together.  But if he doesn’t see it going anywhere, then I would be okay with that as well.  I’m in a sort of emotional limbo for the time being.

If someone were to flat out ask me if I thought I was ready to start dating again, I would tell them a confident “no.”  But, yet, I’ve gone on a couple dates with this really nice guy.  A little bit of a conflict?  Yes, I would agree.  But I’m trying to get out of the house more and minge with other people and not be such a shut in.  I’ve been pretty much a shut in since the end of the relationship with JP.  I definitely need to do what I can to move away from that state of being.  I need to, as the cliché goes, spread my wings.

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