Saturday, December 20, 2008

Feeling the Crush

So, is it just me, or is everyone feeling The Crush right now?
The clock is ticking. There are always still presents yet to buy.
Family members are moody. Extended Family is leaning on me for things completely out of my control. I'm expected to bake a sh1t load of something yummy for the people I work with and have it all ready to go by Monday. I need to try to keep the house clean all week with a child home from school. Have a ton of gifts to wrap and no good place to do it. And if I hear one more awful version of O Holy Night I may have to murder somebody.

For some reason, this Christmas Season has taken on a different texture than those of the past.
There's the same old stresses, compounding like dominoes. That same feeling of aloneness.
The same listlessness that always appears weeks before Christmas and tries to linger. Thoughts of loved ones lost, Christmases Past playing through my mind in full technicolour.
Stress. Stress. Stress.

But I do have to say that the rewards have been greater this year as well.
We actually started a Christmas Club Bank Account this last year, so we're not going to have to spend our entire December paychecks to finance presents this year instead of paying bills like we ought to.

And my coworkers have really helped to keep my spirits up by doing something unusual.
We had a "Decorating Competition" amongst the Family Practice Department. Each of our suites had a day this week where we had to decorate our Nursing Area (back behind the scenes where patients never dwell) for Christmas. Everyone in each suite had to come up with a theme and plan how the decorating will be done. It sounds like an extremely lame idea when I put it into writing. Especially when you consider that the decorations could only stay up for 1 hour so that everyone could come and take a look. But - Holy Smackers! Each suite did a gorgeous job of totally transforming their suite into a Winter Wonder Land. It was absolutely amazing. I'll have to ask Dr. House to forward me her pictures of it so that I can post them. That's the only way you'd get the gist. And I now have a mental snap shot of all of the doctors wearing Reindeer Antlers and funny Santa Hats. Who'da Thunk?

I think that next year we ought to do this in the Clinic Lobby and actually leave it up for an entire day so that the patients can see it as well. Seriously. It was like a Macy's Department Store Window in each suite. Each was a labour of love and it showed.

And speaking of labour - - this week, I got to witness a profound miracle. Our friend Berni has for many years cried that she'll never find a man she'll want to marry, and never have a baby of her own. And coming from a family of 12 siblings, these things are very important to her. And I'm happy to say, this week, Berni and her new Husband Bill became the proud parents of Beautiful Baby Sarah. All 6 pounds, one ounce of her is pure angelic. I am so happy for them. I know things will not be easy, especially since this is a "Late-in-life Baby". But I can say from experience with our Jerry, that they will be so much more attentive of all the little moments, and savour the beauty of this amazing gift.

Yeah. This is a tough time of year. But I suppose it's nothing that a few extra hugs can't get us through.And if that doesn't work, there's always Eggnog to look forward to!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hooray! My Hero Won!!

I watched the Biggest Loser Finale tonight.
Yeah, I know. A reality show. And a cruel one at that.
I don't know how these people are able to lose so much weight each week and still be considered healthy. But I still find it fascinating as well as inspiring.

Only a few weeks ago, there were 5 members of the Blue Team and two members of the black team left. They were all in the gym performing their last chance work out before that week's weigh in. The comments coming from the Blue Team were just appalling! Each of them was saying that they deserved to be there more than the two people on the Black team. They were acting as though those two ladies were garbage and they were the La Ti Da Queens of Weight Loss. It was then that I decided that I wanted Michelle on the Black team to win. I wanted her to totally wipe them off the map! And guess what! She DID wipe them off the map! She lost a total of 110 pounds to win the big money, and she earned every penny that she won. And she did it with total class.

So if this gal can drop 110 pounds in however long they really took to film the series, then surely I can drop 50 pounds in 4 or 5 months.

December is a tough month to lose weight. My diet went on hiatus on December 2. And so far, I'm up and down 3 pounds since then. My goal is to coast through December, and then come January, I'm gonna kick some Cellulite Booty.

I would love to get friends and family in the running as well. Competition always helps me reach my goal better. And it's a good competition, because win or lose, everybody wins by gaining a longer life span and more energy and renewed good habits.

Of course, when you're talking about doing this in a healthy manner, we also have to be realistic. Just as I had those two pieces of pie on Thanksgiving and still beat my co-workers in the challenge, there will always be temptations along the way that I won't pass up and will not feel guilty about. After all, we only get one life. The core idea is that if one watches portions and nutrition in the long run, a few indulgences along the way can't ruin the chances of achieving a goal.

I'm in the zone. It took me a year to get back to this point. I'm ready to focus and get it done. But for now, I think I'm gonna go browse through the Biggest Loser web site and let myself be amazed at the before and after pictures.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oprah, I feel your pain!

I just finished reading an interview with Oprah where she admits to weighing 200 pounds.
In the interview, it says that since 1988 she's gone up and down from a size 10 to a size 20.
I feel her pain.

Of course, she has the extravagance of tons of money to throw at this problem.
And even so, her methods have not always been the most healthy.
She got down to a size 10 by going on a total liquid diet. And right after filming the show where she celebrated reaching that goal, she had a party with food and never got back there.

I owe a lot of my own re-gained weight to stress eating. Something Oprah doesn't need to
face often. But, like her, I know better. I know there are alternatives. I just need to choose them.

My goal for 2009 is to get back to that size 10. It felt good to be that weight. I didn't ache in the morning when I first woke up. I didn't fret over my wardrobe. It was fun opening my closet each day.

It's my birthday today. I'm yet another year older. And I totally hate feeling old.
Inside, I'm still 29. Inside, I still believe that the world is a wonderful place and that I
can still do anything if I really put my mind to it. In my mind, I wear that Wonder Woman uniform beneath my wardrobe and I am able to tackle anything that comes my way.
If only I could remember where I parked that damn invisible air plane!

I guess I really shouldn't complain so much about getting older, though. I know some very fabulous old people who have helped change my views on life as I grow. And it's been a wonderful adventure getting this far.

The irony of it is that I hate seeing my youth fade away, and yet I am able to consider deep beauty in people far older than I am. And it's the same thing with weight. I know that I am the most critical person about my weight. I know a lot of people who likely weigh more than me. But I certainly don't focus on their weight. I focus on their true beauty that radiates about them.
Zona Schuh comes to mind as I'm writing this. The woman is pushing into her mid 70's and she is as beautiful and vibrant as ever. She's cavalier about her weight. The woman could weigh 300 pounds and still look as if she's about to break into a dance and song with a simple ease. She has such a wonderful grip on the joy that life brings, that you just feel like a better person just knowing her.

So there's a goal to strive for. No matter what my age, I hope I can always give off that same type of energy. Good Karma. Love. Hugs. That's what it's all about, right?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksmas never lets me down!

We held our Second Annual Thanksmas Party this past Friday Night.
We actually fit 20 people into our home somewhat comfortably and had a great time doing it.

Unfortunately, Hubby's menu got a bit out of his control, so we were left serving a ton of munchies and Hors Derves, but I don't think it was a great loss. We had plenty of alcohol and great music to go around.

And I'm still giggling about Son Andy and the "Thespians". The jokes for that are endless, and we continued with them all day Saturday. Andy of course insists that James and Amy's friend Rachel is not a full blown Thespian. But in my opinion, you either Really Love the Theatre or you don't. :-)

I only wish every one would have mingled a bit more. After all, these are all of our loved ones. Surely they all have much more in common than just us. But I hope everyone had as great of a time as I did.

Amazingly, I really wasn't all that hung over on Saturday. I think I owe that to not smoking two packs of cigarettes while drinking all evening. It really does make a difference. I was tired, but not dehydrated and headachy. Which is good, because we had yet another party to attend the next day!

I got to snuggle my grand nieces, and re-name the youngest, Sierra - who at 5 months old is already as big as her older sister. Her new name is POUNDCAKE!!!

I'll be going to work tomorrow, and I know Robin is going to ask how the party went. She was invited, but for some reason didn't make it over, which is okay. But she'll be sorry to know she missed her opportunity to finally meat Rich, whom we've been hoping to introduce her to. I'm wondering just how I'll re-cap the evening's events. I suppose a good place to start would be to say that I caught Rachel's cold. But that's nothing a lot of Dayquil can't get me through.

Just before the party, I strung Christmas Lights all around the house. It makes the whole place so warm and cozy that I think I'm going to leave them up for some time to come. Maybe I'll take the time to string them a little better and just leave them up year round. Which leads me to wondering where the heck we're going to put a Christmas Tree this year. We have to fit a family of 20 into this house again in a few weeks. A tree will take up precious table space which is needed for the spread of food we'll be serving then! What I wouldn't give to have just a simple fake table- top tree. But Hubby won't hear of it. Call me scrooge, but I'm tired of sweeping up needles in June.

But I'm getting ahead of myself! Before the tree can enter our home, we must first honor the passage of my day of birth. I'm old. I want red meat while I can still chew it. I have Tuesday off work, and I think I'm gonna force Hubby to take me to The Roxy for lunch so I can have a Cajun Steak. That's the stuff!

Thanks again to all who came. It means a lot to us!
Next year, there will be a simpler menu and more booze! \0/

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Winner Takes All

Today was they day. The Big Weigh In. The End of the Weight Loss Challenge.
The day that separates the strong from the weak, the seasoned from the green.

As you'll recall, Miss Robin and I had a side bet going that we would out-do each other.
I had said that I planned to drop 10 pounds in 4 weeks.
She had said that if I was gonna lose ten, then she was gonna lose 11.

She's been walking around with 5 pound weights on her ankles and eating salads every time I see her. And then, she took last week off work to go hunting, and I had visions of her doing chin-up on branches in the woods, doing step aerobics on tree stumps, and walking great distances to burn extra calories.

Because of these visions, I was extra tough with myself this week, being sure to eat a good breakfast and a healthy low cal lunch, and a salad for dinner, and I just kept moving all week instead of sitting dormant like I normally do.

This morning, I stepped on the scale and it told me that I not only lost the 10 I had hoped for, but I also got that bonus extra pound as well! 11 pounds, my friends! Eleven! W00t!
That's 5.2% of my total weight!
The others were in the 3% category.

I am the proud winner of $80!

So to celebrate today, I had a big mac for lunch, and we went to Taco John's for dinner! Ha ha!
The rest of my winnings will go towards our Thanksmas Party. After all, we've got Whiskey to procure for the Eggnog, and Wine to procure for the Mulled Wine! Oh, I can't wait! Yum yum!
We are gonna Pah-TAY!