Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog ...

... not that you probably noticed, but this blog has been interrupted this week because of revival meetings. I am getting my spiritual batteries recharged, and it has been absolutely wonderful, although my physical batteries are almost completely depleted and my mental batteries are long gone.

I will return next week and if you return too, you will read stories about the corn maze, cat surgeries, singing with gnats, driving tanks, unexpected family photos and other fun stuff.

I should note that none of the above things have to do with the revival meetings. Although maybe some of them are why I needed revival meetings. Maybe. At any rate, I'll see you back here next week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Donuts, Eggs, Bakers, and Lindas

I know it's late. I doubt anyone is going to read my answers. But I simply cannot let two weeks in a row go by while ignoring the random dozen. This meme is hosted by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee. But in a show of great friendship and helpfulness, this week's questions were provided by Linda at Mocha with Linda. Either way they're great questions. So without further ado (because I don't know what I'd do with more ado anyway) here are my belated answers.
1. Do you prefer to read the book or see the movie?
Whichever I see/read first.

2. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas. Presents. (Duh!)

3. Which do you like better - the mountains or the beach?
Beach. It's closer.

4. If money were no consideration, what vehicle would you drive?
Hummer. And before you get all "it's a gas-guzzler" on me, money's no object, remember? And if money's no object and I'm driving a Hummer, just imagine what kind of a house I'm parked in front of!

5. What is your favorite cold-weather beverage?
I would have to find cold weather first. We don't get that often in Florida.

6. How do you communicate most often with your friends: phone, email, text, face-to-face, or Facebook?
Depends on how close a friend they are. : )

7. How do you receive your mail? Mailbox on the porch, at the end of the driveway, down the street, or post office box?
Usually late, and crammed into the box so that I have to yank and pull and sometimes tear to get it out. I have issues with our mail delivery person.

8. Of the four basic personality types - sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and choleric - which is your strongest? Which is your least evident? (See definitions below.)
My husband and I had a discussion on this recently. He and I disagree on my strongest personality types.  I think we finally came to the conclusion that I have all four. I strongly suspect what he was really suggesting was that I have multiple personalities.

9. What do you miss the most about being 20?
Let's see ... was it the fact that my face was still breaking out? No. I was too shy to make friends? Nope. I didn't have much of a personality yet? Uh huh. I give up. Why am I supposed to miss being 20?

10. How long from the time you get up, does it take you to get ready to walk out the door in the morning?
Are you talking about actually, physically making myself presentable and ready to face the world or are you talking about including all the stuff that comes up during the time I'm trying to make myself presentable and ready to face the world? Because it makes a difference.

11. Who handles the car maintenance and pays the bills in your family?
You make it sound as if one person does both. Sometimes I do. Sometimes he does. Sometimes neither of us does, and that always makes life a little more exciting!

12. For those in the US, how many states have you visited? For those outside the US, how many provinces/other countries have you visited?
When I was in the U.S. I visited all the States I drove through and most of the ones I rode through. When I was out of the U.S. I definitely visited all the countries that I was supposed and some that I never intended to. (It's late and I'm not even sure these answers count anymore. What did you expect?)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So What's The Difference?

Obviously there are good things about losing over 20 pounds. One is just being able to say it. You'd be surprised how often that works into my conversations. "Cooler weather today. I hope my sweaters fit, now that I've lost over 20 pounds."

Another bonus is the fact that I'm gaining another wardrobe. I haven't bought any more clothes, but I never got rid of ones that I outgrew either. Now I'm fitting into them again. I've pulled several skirts out of the "I have a dream" section of my closet, and I'm thrilled that they fit again. And I mean they seriously fit. No sucking it in so that I can zip them up, or having to change them after lunch. They actually fit!

On the down side, some of my tops don't fit as well. I mean they fit better; there's more room in them. But they're a little, um, lower than they used to be. Guess I don't have quite as much to hold them up? A side effect I wasn't expecting at any rate.

A few other odd things:  some of my rings are starting to twist a little more around my fingers. And I'm starting to slide around a little in some of my shoes. Nothing real extreme, just a little bit of oddness I wasn't counting on.

The guys in my family have been very supportive--in their own way. My husband is smart enough to compliment me often and encourage me in positive ways. The older boys cheer me on and manage to look interested for about 30 seconds when I announce my latest weight loss. The younger boys are earnest in trying to be supportive, but brutal honesty plays a role as well.

For instance, one morning as we were driving to school/work I announced the latest loss. They all congratulated me/told me I was doing a great job/told me I looked great. And then I made the mistake of asking, "Can you guys really tell I'm losing weight or are you just saying that?"

"We can tell," one of them answered. "You're arms used to be really big, but now they're getting smaller." I told them right then and there that a discussion of body parts and size comparisons would never end well, and I would forevermore be satisfied simply to hear that I looked great.

Clearly I will never have a problem with maintaining humility, no matter how much weight I lose!

As a side note:  When I started these posts, I had lost 23 pounds. Now that I'm finishing them, I've still lost 23 pounds. I'm beginning to wonder if accountability is once again cursing me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

But I Don't Wanna Be A College Girl!

To read the first part of this doctor/weight odyssey with a little romance thrown in (and really, who wouldn't?) you need to go here.

So the doctor asks me what we're going to do about the weight problem. To be honest, I really wasn't hoping for a miracle here. But a push in the right direction would be nice. "Have you got a goal in mind?"

Suddenly I don't feel like such a failure because I do actually have a goal in mind. A good goal. After all, you can't succeed if you're not actually aiming at something, can you? And my goal is reasonable, too. I don't want to be a model. I just want to be an normal, average weight. So I tell him my well-thought-out goal.

And he frowns. And then he asks how tall I am.

What? My goal is average for my height. And my build. And my age. I looked it up. It may be a little on the high side of the range, but it IS within the range.

And then the doctor asks what I weighed in college. And once again I want to poke him in the eye.

Is he serious? I was nineteen in college. I was nineteen when I got married. I was a giggly little teenager when I got married. Now I am a mature, forty-four year old woman who has born multiple (many multiple) children. Why, why why would I want to aim for the impossible? Why are we even discussing what I weighed in college? I told him the truth. I weighed 115 back then. I didn't tell him this, but my nickname was Olive Oyl. I think that had to do as much with my clumsiness as it did with my lack of a figure, but whatever.

I hate to speculate, but for some reason he looked surprised. He actually said, "Really?" I wanted to asked if he thought perhaps I had passed that weight when I was ten. Then he said, "Well we won't aim for that now."

Well good. Who said we wanted to?

He consulted a chart and said, "If we aim for your goal, that will put your BMI (body-mass index) at ... " his voice trailed off for a minute. "It'll put it exactly where mine is," he finished.

I felt vindicated. The doctor is a normal, average weight. And after coming to that conclusion, he certainly couldn't argue with my choice. HA!

So with my goal finally established as reasonable, that still left the problem of how I was to reach the goal. After blood work revealed that I am as healthy as ... well, do I really want to finish that comparison? Anyway, I have no major problems so the doctor suggested I try the Atkins diet. Apparently it's been revamped in the last few years, with a lot more vegetables added to the initial phases. Since carbs and sugars cause problems with my blood sugar levels anyway, it is a good diet choice for me.

I've been on the diet for a little over six weeks now, and I've lost twenty-three pounds. I'm feeling pretty good about that. Plus, I've managed to control my blood sugar levels more so I'm dealing with less spikes and dips, meaning less mood and energy swings. And that means everyone's happier. : )

I am not even halfway to my goal, but people are starting to notice the weight loss, and that's a fun thing. Surprisingly enough, there are a few odd things I discovered about weight loss as well, but I think I'll share those with you tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

There is Definitely An "I" in Weight

So to bring you up to speed, my son fell in love and I ended up having to see a doctor. Yep. That about covers it.

The day of my appointment, I braced myself to deal with my phobias. The first was The Scale. Is there anything worse than the scale in the doctor's office? I'm used to being weighed. I weigh myself every morning in my bathroom at home. That scale knows me. It's not my friend, but it knows me. I feel like it has a sense of where it needs to go when I step on it. It's got a starting point, anyway. The doctor's scale doesn't have that. It doesn't know me from Adam.

If I have to be weighed, I want an accurate reading. Accurate meaning the least possible amount that I can get away with. In order to get that, you need to weigh first thing in the morning. First thing in the morning before you eat breakfast. Before you eat breafast, after you go to the bathroom and buck naked if you really want to get down to it. There's no other way to get a truly accurate (re: lowest possible) reading on a scale.

So right away I have issues with The Scale at the doctor's office. My appointment was at 2:00 in the afternoon. Right there we're way past breakfast. And lunch too. And obviously I'm keeping my clothes on. At least until I get into the room with the stirrups, but that's a whole other post. (One you might want to skip, by the way.)

Bottom line is, I know that scale reading is going to be several pounds more than my "true" weight. And if I'm there to talk about my weight problem, how are we going to deal with the issue if we don't have accurate facts to start with?

But that's not my only problem. My other issue is that this doctor is a male. Male doctors have their place. After all, all my children were delivered by male doctors. But can male doctors truly understand female medical issues? And really, isn't weight a female medical issue? Can a male doctor understand the need for chocolate? Or stress eating? Or the fact that I could have used both while waiting for him to come into the examining room?

The doctor finally comes in and introduces himself, and then we discuss my medical history. Then he sits back and says, "Why have you come to see me today?"

I debate giving him a truthful answer:  "My husband made me come." or "My son's getting married." But I've noticed most doctors don't have that much of a sense of humor. "Thank you. I'll be here all week, and don't forget to tip your waitresses."

So I mention some pain in my wrist. His diagnosis is tendonitis brought on by too much typing (oops), and he suggests a brace at night. Which I've already started doing, thanks. Anything else? I mention a few other minor things, easily taken care of. And finally I say I need to lose weight. He smiles, and I almost expect him to say the first step is admitting there's a problem. I want to poke him in the eye.

"So how are we going to get the weight off?" He asks.

We? I've just met the man and we're a team? Why do I doubt this? Maybe because I will struggle on a day to day basis and then show up and have my efforts judged by him next month? I hate accountability. (Hence the lack of dieting results up to that point.)

And why was he asking me what to do anyway? Wasn't I paying him to come up with some miracle cure?

Whose idea was this anyway? To figure that out, click here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Weight of Woe

Several of you noticed that I didn't participate in the Random Dozen this week (actually, I guess this week it was the Random Eleven), and I just can't tell you how much I appreciate being missed! I didn't join in because I wanted to post about something else, but then life intervened and I didn't get to post about anything at all. So today you're going to get yesterday's post which may also turn into tomorrow's post because I tend to get long winded like that.

See, it all started because I'm under a doctor's care. Now doesn't that sound ominous. Except it really isn't. The only thing is, I haven't been under a doctor's care since I last gave birth. That was almost eleven years ago, and I have no plans of needing a doctor again for labor and delivery any time soon. Or any time at all for that matter. And I certainly don't think I would have needed a doctor now if it weren't for the fact that my oldest son thinks he needs to get married.

Actually it all started, really, because my husband needed major surgery. Among the many doctors he saw during his medical odyssey was a family physician that he liked. So once he finished accumulating medical bills, he decided I needed to see this doctor for my needs.

Oh goody.

My needs are basically two. My blood sugar levels, which I like to believe I keep under control. That's not always true, but I like to believe it anyway. And my weight which is never under control and I just don't like to think about it at all. See, I never had weight problems until my husband and children came into my life. So isn't it their fault I gained weight? Why should I have to be the one to suffer in trying to get rid of it?

Weight is one of the reasons I avoid going to the doctor. It's demeaning to have someone else weigh you. I always wonder if they honestly underestimate your weight or if they're just being kind when they don't move the 50 lb weight over far enough on the scale. And then I wonder if I should say something, or just reach over and move it myself. Today's digital scales are no better. Especially if I look down and I can't even see them. That's never a good sign. And all of this before I ever even see the doctor? Especially if I'm feeling physically well in the first place, why would I want to put myself through all that?

So for the last eleven years, or since I stopped bearing children, I have tried on my own almost every diet there is with limited (re: no) success. I had a 10 pound weight loss here or there, followed inevitably by a 10 pound gain. I think it was a combination of not having enough discipline, not finding a diet I could live with, and not having the motivation.

My oldest son finally took care of the motivation part. It seems he has begun to care very deeply for his girlfriend and their relationship has turned serious. He has informed me that there can and probably will be a wedding in the future. The thought of a multitude of wedding photos and wedding finery has at last given me a goal because, of course, a wedding is always about the mother-in-law.

On a side note, I am thrilled for them, and I love his girlfriend. I am not so sure about this pushing me into the next phase of my life, and I'm not at all sure I'm ready to be a mother-in-law. (And if anyone says the "G" word, please consider yourself cyber-slapped!) At the moment I am respecting the couple's privacy, but as their plans become official, there will be much blog conversation on these topics, I can assure you!

So with the inevitable marriage handwriting on the wall, I agreed to go see the doctor. In this case, I had to download forms, fill them out and send them in, then wait for the office to call and set up an appointment. That was find with me, as I was in no hurry. After all, my husband needed surgery, and it still took them a month to call with an appointment. Maybe I'd lose a few pounds before I actually had to go see the doctor.

Of course they called within the week. (Stay with me. I really do have a point in these posts!) To follow up on the doctor's visit (get it?) click here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Playin' Tag

Taylor at The Lumberjacks Wife tagged me. I always loved tag. Especially freeze tag. That's where someone tags you and you have to freeze until someone else has to unfreeze you.

yeah. It doesn't work so well in blogland.
So anyway, Taylor asked me eight questions and after I answer them I have to come up with eight new questions and tag eight more people. I'm telling you right off that I'm brain dead. And although I'm posting this on Monday morning, I'm actually writing this Sunday night. I may not be able to come up with eight new questions. Meaning I may copy some of Taylor's. We'll see how I do.
 1.  What is one food you detest?
Tasteless food.
2.  What is your perfect day?
It hasn't happened yet, but if it does, I'll be sure to blog about it and let you know.
3.  If you could take a vacation next week, where would you go?
It hasn't happened yet, but if it does, I'll be sure to blog about it and let you know.
4.  What are five of your favorite blogs?
Well of course I like Taylor at The Lumberjacks Wife. I also like Fringe Girl at the Domestic Fringe, Nan at Moms the Word, Louisiana Tara at Showing My Roots, and Rebecca D at High Maintenance Aspirations. By the way, ya'll consider yourselves tagged except for Taylor because I don't think there are any tagbacks in blog tag.
5.  What are your thoughts on The Facebook?
My first thoughts are that it is called Facebook. Not The Facebook.
6.  Are your parents technological goobers, like mine?
I don't think I can throw technological stones at anyone since I still have to make happy faces like this : ) instead of doing the little yellow smiley faces that I don't know how to do.
7.  If you had to choose between losing 15 pounds forever, but never wearing makeup again OR having perfect skin but putting on 15 pounds permanently . . . what would it be?
This question isn't clear. Are you saying I could never lose more than 15 pounds? Because that's not acceptable. Or are you saying that I would never gain more than 15 pounds? Would my perfect skin ever wrinkle? would it stay perfect forever? There are too many variables to answer here.
8.  What is your best recipe?  (so I can steal it!  ha!)
I don't have a good recipe. I always bring the ice.

Okay. There are my answers. And since I'm so tired, I'm not making up new questions. Those that I tagged can answer the same ones. Sorry to be such a spoilsport. : ) And a technological goober.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Birthday Random

1. From "Men Are Dumb ....": If you had a theme song that played whenever you walked into a room full of people, what would it be?
Here Comes the Sun. Either that or The Baby Elephant Walk. But I prefer the first one.

2. From Pam of "Alert And Oriented x 4": Which of your shoes are your absolute favorite, and which are of the object of your most painful shoe-buyer's remorse?
All my shoes are favorites. I don't care how much they hurt or pinch--I will never give them up! Never! 

3. From Susanne of "Living to Tell the Story": Tell about your favorite birthday celebration that you've personally experienced.
Great birthday: 16th. Family threw me a party with balloons and posters and streamers everywhere. The entire youth group came. I was overwhelmed and excited that it was all about me. (Shallow little thing, wasn't I?) : ) Worst birthday: 35th. I was in the hospital in Uganda, fighting off a bout of malaria. Most of the rest have fallen somewhere between those two.

4. From Lori of "Just me and My Life": If you were a flavor of ice cream, which would you be?

I would be every one of the 31 flavors at Baskin Robbins. It would be too boring to choose just one.

5. Cindy Swanson of "Notes in the Key of Life" asks: Have you ever had a crush on a movie star? Who was it, and are you still crushing?
When I was a kid there was a Saturday morning show (not a cartoon) called the Kids from Caper. They were dudes that ran around solving weird mysteries like one episode where everyone thought they were turning into hotdogs. The Kids from Caper rode around in a big van called the Big Bologna. (I am not making this up.) I had a crush on Doc because he was the smart one of the bunch. He also happened to be the cutest. I have gotten over my crush, but it was a long and painful process. Thanks for stirring up old memories.

6. Jill from "Jill Boyd's Place" inquires: Glasses or braces--if you had to wear one, which would it be?

Yes, this is me, and yes, this is a dumb question. It was the first thing that popped into my mind, but since I asked it I'll answer it. I would chose glasses because then I could have the option of going with contact lenses. Which I did. But my teeth are still crooked.

7. Nel from "Fasteneau Facts" asks: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

In a house. I'm not big on outdoor living.

8. Thena from "Patiently Waiting" wants to know: If money were no obstacle, what would be the perfect birthday gift to receive?

Money, and lots of it.

9. From "Life Through Bifocals," LynnMarie asks: What is your favorite birthday meal?

The one I don't have to cook or clean up.

10. Debby at "Just Breathe" checks in with: Do you still send hand-written thank you notes?

Yes, but unfortunately they rarely make it all the way to the mailbox.

11. Linda from "Mocha with Linda" poses this question: What is something you've done that you never thought you'd do?

Live in Africa although I should have seen it coming when I married Indiana Jones.

12. Jewel, my homegirl from Indiana who writes at "Musings from the World of Jewel," is very insistent that we answer this: Mount Rushmore honors four US Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. If you could add any person to Mount Rushmore, who would you add and why?

Our 10th President, John Tyler. He loved kids and had fifteen children. Come to think of it, maybe we should put his wife's face on Mt. Rushmore instead!

Now click on the donuts at the top of the page to enjoy some more great answers. Not that my answers were great, necessarily, but you know what I mean.
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