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DO NOT BE FOOLED BY WAISTING TIME IMPOSTER!

Let me start by saying, “Hi.”  I’m alive and well.  And, well, shocked.

Shocked and dismayed. Very dismayed.

Apparently someone else has taken over my old domain name and the posts are still going out to subscribers.

Imagine my surprise when my husband got an email from Waisting Time Blog, since I haven’t done a post in over two years!  Obviously it was a mistake on my part to let my ownership of the domain expire.  Yes, I did consider that someone might eventually take over that name.  But it never (in a million years) occurred to me that their posts would go out to my readers.  Did I say “never?”

All I can do is quickly reach out via this blog and hope that no one is taken in.  If you did receive notice via email or in a reader, I caution you that I am NOT blogging at WaistingTimeBlog dot com.  Dot anything!

And I apologize to anyone who was faithful enough to still be subscribed and who is now hearing from someone else.  Who, according to my husband, doesn’t write nearly as well as I do:)

For now… farewell again, dear readers.  But for those who are now wondering about the real me, I promise to put fingers thumbs to keyboard sometime in the not too distant future to update you about myself and my life.  HERE.

Karen

The former blogger once known as Waisting Time.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I made a mistake.

Thinking I could write this post in the few days I had before my other blog disappears, my self-imposed deadline.

I started several drafts.  Several versions.  Each with a different spin.  Different tone.

What to say?  How to say it?  My perfectionism was rearing its ugly head and leaving me tongue-tied.  Because I knew that this might be my last post.  My final words as Waisting Time.  Maybe as a blogger, period.

My heart told me that I owe you something.  My faithful readers.  My remaining followers.  That, at a minimum, I should share what’s going on with me now.  Or, maybe I should document how I’ve changed in the three-plus years since I started blogging.  And NOT changed.  Writer’s block ensued.  Aaaack.

And self-doubt set in.  Did anyone care?  What would they want to read about, if anything?

Yes, this is how it went.  As I tried another draft.  Another approach.  As I walked away from the keyboard.

So, I decided that I’d leave it up to you.  Tell me what you want to know.  Ask questions.  I’ll either answer in the comments below or via email or, maybe, just maybe, in a future post.  And, if you hope I write more, subscribe to THIS blog and maybe I’ll pop back up.

But one thing I will share, as someone who started blogging in a final act of yo-yo dieter desperation, because I feel inquiring minds might actually want to know… I weigh less now than I did when I started blogging.  I am, in theory, maintaining.  I am, if one doesn’t split hairs, or in this case a pound or two or three depending on the day, at a weight that feels comfortable for me.  Feels maintainable.  Livable.  Feels okay for my middle-aged, former yo-yo dieting self.

After three years of blogging and learning and evolving and struggling and more, progress has been made.  But some things stay the same.

Changed:  I eat kale.  KALE!  And discovered a love for sweet potatoes.  And Greek yogurt.  Who knew?

Unchanged:  I wouldn’t choose to eat vegetables if I didn’t make it a conscious, daily effort.  Changed:  I make it a conscious, daily effort.  I wish I had inherited the “I love veggies” gene from my mom rather than the “I love bread” gene.

Changed:  I CAN eat some of my former binge foods in moderation.  Hello, dear peanut butter.

Unchanged:  Some foods are triggers and best kept out of the house.  Oh, bagels, I hardly even miss ya.

Changed:  Eating protein on a regular basis, particularly for breakfast, but usually at most meals.  And also new is the slow shift in my mindset that maybe I should follow my husband slowly, closer down the path towards less meat.

Changed:  I drink green tea every day.  And don’t even dislike it:)

Unchanged:  My ingestion of artificial sweeteners.  But some things change even as they stay the same:  I’ve switched to what might be a less unhealthy, more natural, option.

Changed:  I can go to a social event and not pre-cheat or post-cheat.  One meal or evening out no longer leads to a whole day or week (or months) of off-plan eating.

Unchanged:  More often than not, I see (or use) social eating as an opportunity to gobble down food that I don’t normally eat nor keep in the house, rather than an opportunity to exercise my increasing self-control to find ways to stay on plan even in the face of major temptation.  There is still an inner battle being waged.

Unchanged – but in a good way:  I continue to be a consistent exerciser.

Changed – but in a bad way:  Thanks to a slew of injuries and aches and pains, I do considerably less cardio than I used to.

Changed:  Yoga.  Unchanged:  A lack of zen in my life, either while practicing yoga (while my mind might be making my shopping list) or during my few failed attempts at meditation (while my mind was off wandering in a million other places).

Unchanged:  My tendency to snack when I’m not hungry.  My ability to overeat even the most healthy of foods.  Sigh.

Unchanged:  I’m still not normal.

Changed:  The realization that I will probably never be normal when it comes to food and eating.  But I have maybe learned and changed just enough that I can adapt and keep myself under control.  I hate that the word control is still part of my “diet” vernacular.  But I have accepted that this really is a lifestyle (yada, yada, yada) and that if I don’t want to ride that old weight roller-coaster again, there are just some things I need to forever do differently and some things I need to give up.

Unchanged:  It isn’t easy.  I wish I could say it is.  Oh, how I wish I could say it is!

Okay, wow, that was way more than I planned to say.  (Unchanged:  I am rather long-winded.)  And all about a healthy lifestyle.  But, there it is.

And, as I said above, if there is something you’d like to know (healthy lifestyle related or otherwise) – ask.  For now, I’m signing off.  With my blogging future still undecided and unknown.  But, one thing is for sure – I’ll miss you.  I’ll miss connecting.  And I’m forever grateful for you keeping me company and supporting me these past three years.  Huge thumbs up:)

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Fake a New Tan, Stan

My college roommate used to say that “tan fat looks better than untanned fat,” as she headed outside to catch some rays.  That was almost three decades ago, before we knew what we know now about the negative impact of sun on our skin.  But studies show that despite growing concerns about skin cancer, the majority of us still find tanned people more attractive and think people with tans look healthier.

I wonder if those survey respondents have been following the story of the New Jersey mom, accused of bringing her daughter into a tanning salon, who many are now calling a “tanorexic.”  Apparently some people are addicted to food, some to alcohol or drugs, and some to tanning.

I have no opinion about the case, since I don’t know enough specific details.  But I will share that I was struck by how very unhealthy this woman appears in all the photos I’ve seen.  I don’t know her personally; I don’t know why she tans as often as she does; I don’t know if she thinks she looks healthier or thinner or more attractive this way.

But what I do know is that doctors will tell you that a tan is an outward sign of skin damage.  And that the sun is a known carcinogen.

Do I think I’d look better with a bit of color on my uber-pale skin?  Maybe.  Okay, probably.  But as a three-time skin cancer survivor, my days of intentionally exposing myself to the sun without protection are long over.

Consider this:

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • One dies of melanoma every 62 minutes.
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than of all other cancers combines.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and today is Melanoma Monday.  So today I am asking you to consider changing the paradigm that tan looks better than au natural.  Or to at least choose to get your tan from a bottle.  And I am encouraging you to take steps to prevent skin cancer for yourself and your loved ones.  The research is very clear:  most skin cancer can be prevented by practicing sun protection.  And it is never too late to start protecting your skin.  And with that said, I’ll hop off my soapbox now:)

To learn more:

Melanoma Monday

The Skin Cancer Foundation

Thoughts about the Jersey tanning mom?  Have you or anyone you know been diagnosed with skin cancer?  Any personal crusades that you’d like to share today?

Photo credit [myFOXny]

The winners of Diane’s book giveaway are Lori and Andie🙂

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May Day! May Day!

In honor of the new month…

I may… get choked up when my son graduates college.

I may… not get around to my typical annual birthday treat debate since I’ll be spending most of the day on the road, driving home from the graduation with the graduate in tow.

I may… be glad that there is no scale around on my birthday.  Something about that day makes me always mark my weight in my mind.  But I’m confident I’d weigh at or near my goal weight, except for those inevitable pounds from several days of travel.

I may… watch a House marathon with my (husband and) youngest son when he gets home from college.  I’ll also be catching up on the many episodes of Chopped that I’ve saved to watch with both my boys.  Go figure – they like cooking competitions as much as I do:)

I may… cry during the last episode of Desperate Housewives.

I may… take a “posed” family photo while both boys are home.  I guess I need to start thinking about what we can wear and which family member I can impose upon to try to get us all to smile at the same time.

I may… find a different day to celebrate Mother’s Day because I may be working.  I don’t mind; hopefully my mom doesn’t either:)

I may… have to get someone to drive me to work this summer since we’ll be back to more drivers than cars.

I may… start feeling confident comfortable, rather than nervous, about ringing sales and returns on the register.  I may finally have less back aches from standing.  I may feel guilty about asking for so much time off.  The job is still going well but it sure is making all these trips out east more complicated.

I may… blog less often.  Or without a schedule.  Or I may not.  I’ve said it before and, yet, here I am today.

I may… eat less meat to go along with my husband or eat more meat to go along with my teen, home from college.  I may tear my hair out trying to plan family meals.

I may… read “Shades of Grey” to see what all the hype is about.

I may… bake sweets for my son’s “officially leaving the nest and relocating halfway across the country” party or I may let someone else handle desserts so I’m not “sampling” the batter or tempted by the wonderful smells coming from the oven.  I may once again show my love with his favorite M & M cookies.

I may… paint my toenails for the first time this season.  If I can find just the right color.  I may decide I don’t like how it looks and I may start over.  Or I may just be lazy and leave my nails alone.  I may over-think this and so many other things.  Okay – for sure I’ll over-think many things, that’s just me.

I may… babysit my three young nephews overnight this weekend.  Which means lots of little boy energy.  And three soccer games at three different locations but not at three different times.  I may be reminded how glad I am that my boys are (for the most part) grown.  I may need a nap.

I may… start doing cardio again!!!!  My calf is still bothering me but I’ve sort of given up waiting for it to be “normal” again.  I may regret my decision but there’s only one way to know.

What may you do this month?

The winner of the Snikiddy Snack giveaway was Diane!  Really.  Coincidentally.  I’ll be announcing the winner of her book giveaway next week. 

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The Yo-Yo Dieter on the Job

In the back of my mind a little voice used to wonder if getting a job would help me with my eating.  If it would be the missing piece of the equation that kept me securely on the wagon and permanently off the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster.  Because that little voice used to whisper that maybe my eating was from habit and from boredom, and maybe that eating was rooted in having no “passion” or purpose to my days or in my life, and maybe a job could alleviate boredom, interrupt bad habits, and fill my life with some meaning.  I know there’s no magic pill, but maybe working could be somewhat magical in the changes it brought to my life.  Maybe?

Maybe.

Here’s what I can tell you from my short stint as a working woman:

Having to wear your own store’s clothes is a great motivator.  Partly so that I can fit into the ones I already owned.  Partly so that I can feel more comfortable trying on styles.  And partly so I can be happier when I buy new clothes that I’m getting my “happy size.”  And, yes, I have great expectations that not wanting to have to shop in my own store for new clothes in bigger sizes will be an awesome deterrent to ever again regaining any significant amount of weight!

When I’m working I’m not eating.  Ta da!  How simple is that?!  I might put in a four-hour shift and not think about food even once.  And yet I know that if I’d spent those same four hours at home, my mind would have gone to food often, and my hand and mouth might have then followed.  What a novel idea – that I can go all afternoon or all evening or two hours past my normal lunchtime and not be eating or even missing eating or even thinking about eating.

Food temptation follows me everywhere.  In our “back room” there is a bin of “community” food.  I’ve done my best to ignore it.  In my first week I was already offered crackers (which are like crack to me) and, gasp, chocolate (the nectar of the gods), by nibbling coworkers.  So far I’ve done great with a simple “no thank you.”

Planning is key in this as in all things.  I think about what I’m going to eat next.  If I know my shift will run over a mealtime, I eat something hearty and healthy before I leave the house, even if I’m not hungry.  Dinner at 4:30 can be tough to get down.  A second breakfast at 10:30am is a bit easier.  I’ve put a small bag of almonds into my purse for “emergencies.”  And I’ve packed a snack of cut peppers to eat in the car on my drive home so I don’t walk in the door famished.  This week will be the first time I work a longer shift over the dinner-hour.  I’ve already planned what I’ll bring from home for a quick, healthy, just-filling-enough “meal.”

Hydrating is hard I don’t want to drink too much before I got to work because, as I’m sure you can imagine, I don’t want to make repeated trips to the bathroom.  “Excuse me while I leave the floor; I have to visit the potty again.”  I can’t drink while I’m actually working except if I make a trip to the back.  Some of my co-workers keep water bottles there.  And there’s a water cooler with cups that I’ve taken advantage of a few times, just a few sips to wet my very dry whistle.  So I’ve taken to leaving a water bottle in the car so I can rehydrate on the way home.

I still only look normal.  I am sure that on the outside, to my new colleagues, I look “normal.”  After all, I wear a size small in most of their pants.  They’ve seen me in more body-hugging clothes than I typically wear.  At work I’m not a reforming yo-yo dieter or a woman who bares her soul and eating issues in a blog.  I have a clean slate.  And I intend to keep it that way.  But on my first day when my manager asked if I wanted to stay longer to try on pants, my mind immediately went to “but I haven’t lost those few extra pounds yet.”  And how self-conscious I’d feel modeling such fitted attire in front of people I hardly know.  And… well, there was an inner “eek” but an outward “sure.”  It was good for me, I think, to “let it go” and to push that part of me away and outside the store and to just be, well, normal.

A little padding is the girls’ best friend.  I’ve told you before that to say I am not well endowed would be an understatement.  Mostly, I’ve come to peace with my itty bitty titties, and enjoy the freedom of an often braless life.  But, don’t worry, I harness the (little) girls when clothes or situations demand it.  But for work I’ve taken it one step further.  I’ve done something I’ve shied away from in the past.  Worn a padded bra.  Gasp!  As tiny as I am, I’ve never wanted to look like anything other than myself.  (Okay, I did really wish I had bigger boobs, but since I didn’t, I was going with the natural look.  I mean, really, can you imagine if one day you see me as my boobless self and the next you see tiny odd-shaped things sprouting from my previously flat chest?)  But the reality is that my body doesn’t look good in most fitted clothes and that includes workout tops.  So, a little bit of (mostly) natural looking padding it is.  And my guess is no one is the wiser.

Maybe I think I’m bigger than I am.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I just like my clothes comfy and have gotten used to wearing things loose and unfitted.  Whatever the reason, every time I try on pants with my boss around she tells me, “those are too big on you.”  The other day I went in just to try stuff on (to learn more about how styles fit on my own time) and was actually feeling very comfy in one of our new capris from our casual (non-exercise) line and, sure enough, my manager told me, “you need a smaller size.”  And one of her regular customers got into the act, telling me they did indeed give me “mom butt.”  Well, I am a mom; I have a butt.  And I prefer that over visible panty lines!  Honestly, I don’t think I have a distorted self-image.  But I do think I have gotten lazy about what I wear and have always put comfort over style.  That might have to change now that customers might be paying attention to how clothes look on me.

I wonder if everyone is like me.  Does every woman think she has problem areas?  Every time I get dressed for work I’m aware of mine.  My (every-increasing-with-middle-age-despite-ab exercise-and-healthy-eating) muffin top showing under my fitted exercise top and above my fitted low-rise waistband.  My visible panty lines that cut across my butt and the nearby saddle bags that show beneath my long-but-not-long-enough-to-cover-that jackets.  The cankles so clearly defined between the snug top of my exercise socks and the bottom of my capri pants that hit at the widest, least flattering part of my lower leg.  I tell myself, “stop it.”  I tell myself, “everyone thinks she has a problem area.”  Or two.  Or three.  But then I wonder if maybe some people don’t!  And I am only just beginning to appreciate my role selling clothes to women who may have body issues of their own!

So, there you have it – the inner workings of the mind of an over-thinking reforming yo-yo dieter, transitioning to a new definition of self thanks to the new focus of a new job and a new normal.

 

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Working 5 to 9

You’ve asked; I’ll answer… Since inquiring minds want to know, here’s a glimpse behind the dressing room curtain of my first few weeks as a working woman:

Fit to be tried:  The first thing I did at my job, after piles of paperwork, was to try on pants.  Lots and lots of pants.  Our store carries several styles of workout pants and they come in multiple lengths.  The best way to learn the fit and unique features of each?  Try them on!  In more than one size to compare.  And then I moved on to the capri or cropped lengths.  I haven’t tried them all, but I did try a lot.  I see more trying on in my future:)

Three pants and a capri:  Before I started work, I owned two pairs of their pants.  One I had purchased as a splurge for my spa trip last November.  One was a hand-me-down from my mom which I had never actually worn.  And I also owned a pair of fabulously comfortable capri pants that weren’t workout clothes.  Knowing that I was supposed to wear primarily their products while working, but having been told by the manager that I could “wear the same thing everyday if I want to,” I had not intended to buy anymore bottoms just yet.  Instead, I really needed tops.  But the fit of one pant style (from my trying-on-a-palooza) unexpected won me over.  The new pair is much more form fitting than I usually wear but made with some amazing compression material that holds things in and makes my jiggly bits less jiggly and my muffin top less muffiny.  Gotta love that!

In the red:  I have yet to receive my first paycheck.  Or, rather, my first direct deposit stub.  Actually, I have no idea when or how often I get paid.  But I made some error filling out my W4 form that probably delayed things.  Not that it much matters… I have so far spent more on new clothes for work than I’ve earned wearing them!  Shhh.  Don’t tell my husband.

What’s your hang up: I had no idea there were so many nuances to hanging clothes.  How they sit on the hanger, how the hangers sit on the rack, how the sleeves drape, where the tag is tucked, the position of the zipper pull.  And then there’s the folding.  Yes, there’s an art to that as well.  One of the first things I learned, and I’m happy to say that I (almost quickly) mastered, is how to fold the pants that go in bins on the wall.  And again, tag placement.  It gives me new appreciation for going into another store and putting something back after I’ve looked at it!

The germ hands are coming:  I’m a bit of a germophobe.  But there’s not much I can do on the job about touching things that have been touched many times before me.  I’m doing a great job of (mostly) not even thinking about it since it’s pretty much out of my control.  At the end of my shift when I get in my car, I break out the hand-sanitizer.  And when I get home I immediately wash my hands.  And for now, that’s as good as it gets.

Into each life a little train(ing) must fall:  I’m still in training.  There’s no official program or process, just learn as I go.  But learn slowly.  So far I’ve been mostly learning about the clothes.   And some about the store’s approach to customer service.  This slow process is hard for me because of the unknown.  I never know when I go in what I should be doing; I have to ask.  I never know if the person who will be supervising me on a particular shift has a plan to “further my education” or is just flying by the seat of her (well-fitting, great performing workout) pants.  I’m rearing to go.  But I don’t want to overstep.  Or screw up.  And there’s so much to learn just about the clothes!

No waiting.  I haven’t waited on any customers yet.  That’s kind of awkward, when they walk into the store and I feel a bit like a deer in headlights, standing there, saying nothing.  A couple of times I’ve been the only one in the front when someone’s come in so, yes, I did greet them.  And, honestly, I suspect I could handle it fine if I wasn’t so worried about knowing I’m not “trained” for this yet.  Soon, I hope.

Study hard – eeeeh.  My memory is bad.  Really bad.  And I’m a (reforming) perfectionist.  And a people pleaser.  So I want to do well at this job and I want to learn fast and I want to know the clothes.  Really know them.  So I can really help the customers.  So I’m studying at home.  After my pant trying extravaganza, I came home and got on the company website and looked at the pants and wrote some short notes about the features.  That wasn’t enough.  So, thanks to a scene on a TV show, I was reminded that in college I had relied on flash cards for memorization.  Yes, I made myself flash cards.  About pants.  And the next week I added bras.  And slowly but surely it’s sinking in.  I know that over time it will all gel, I’ll learn the products, I’ll remember the features.  But for now, it’s slow going and frustrating.  Darn memory!

The back up plan:  I worried that standing would be hard on my feet.  I’m pleasantly surprised that, probably thanks to wearing my supportive running shoes with their Birkenstock insoles, my feet don’t bother me at all.  But I can’t say the same for my back.  Which I also sort of expected, from past experience anytime I had to stand for long periods.  By the end of a shift my lower back is screaming.  I’m optimistic that over time I’ll adjust and this will get better.  And I suppose I should do more planks and core exercises:(  For now… ouch.

The names have been changed to protect the duplicate.   As in the blog world and most of my life, I am once again the other Karen.  Of all the names (in all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world), there just had to be another Karen.  I did give a moment’s thought to suggesting that at work I go by my last name which happens to be a women’s first name, but then I thought I might not respond to it.  So, Karen it is.  With my initial added, when necessary, to differentiate me.  Liza with a Z, meet Karen with a C.  So far, in addition to Karen 1.0, I’ve met about three-quarters of the staff and liked them all.  Four are about my age, give or take a few years (and that estimate is based on what I’ve learned about their kids’ ages), and one is 27.  Yes, I asked; it came up in conversation.  You had to be there.  I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone over time but am being very careful to not be “the new girl who talks to much.”  I think I’m probably already the “new girl who asks a lot of questions.”

It’s all about me.  I’ve never been a very confident person.  And I’ve always been an over-thinker.  Combine the two and picture me, laying in bed, awake in the dark, or watching a TV show without really watching, thinking about work, second-guessing things I did, replaying and rewriting conversations, thinking about other pants that I might have suggested to a particular customer, coming up with more questions… Aaack!  Make it stop!

My Google Reader runneth over:  Working has definitely impacted my time spent in cyberspace.  In the blog world (my own and yours), on Twitter and Facebook.  I’m still here!  I’m still reading.  Okay, maybe I’m not tweeting as much.  Priorities, after all:)  And I am probably commenting less and later.  (Or not at all if you have a wordpress.com blog that keeps giving me an error message!)  But I’m still here.  And I plan to stick around.

Does anybody really know what day it is.  Before I had a job, I lost track of the days of the week.  No one in my house went to school or work so every day was much like another.  Sure, my workout schedule varied.  I had to figure out by my second cup of (decaf green) tea if it was a strength training day or a yoga day.  But often my first waking thought would be, “Think, think, what day is it?”  Well, having a job hasn’t much helped.  Because my work schedule varies week to week.  (Both in terms of the days I work and the hours, when and how many.  So far it’s been some morning, some afternoons, and a lot of evenings.)  So, yes, now I have more reason to care what day it is, but the fact that I work or doesn’t work hasn’t helped my internal calendar one bit.

Patience is someone else’s virtue.  I’m trying.  Really I am.  I am trying to be patient with myself and what feels like an inordinate amount of time to learn all the clothes.  I am trying to be patient with the training process.  I am trying to be patient with being the new girl and wanting to be a fully contributing member of a team.  Patience is not my middle name.  I know it will all come in time.  I know that as much as time flies, I’ll look back a few weeks or months from now and… well, honestly, I’ll look back and be glad that I’ve come as far as I know I will have come by then!

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I’ll go.  The bottom-line is that I like having a job:)  I thought I would.  I knew I was bored.  I knew I needed some focus and purpose in my life.  Will this job become my passion a-la Oprah?  Probably not.  But maybe it will be enough.

Breaking news:  Since I drafted this post I have graduated to actually waiting on customers!  I’ve made several sales, been able to answer most questions but not all, and actually had fun doing it, although I’ll admit to lots of nervousness too.  (Good thing most of our clothes are moisture-wicking and odor-inhibiting since there’s a whole lotta sweating going on!)  I still haven’t learned anything about the register.  Except that in this day and age it’s maybe referred to as a computer instead:)

And with that, I’m off to work today, Thursday, 4:30-9:30.  Catch ya later!

Photo credit: [IMDb]

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Thumb Like It Hot

Thumbs down: Oops.  I didn’t mean to publish this today.  Eek… Still a work in progress.  Brain fart.  Sigh.

Thumbs up:  My job.  I’ve got two blog post drafted about this, one to share how it’s going since several of you have asked (thanks for the emails, comments and tweets) and one from the perspective of my blog’s theme – the impact of my new job on my “diet.”

Thumbs down:  Commenting on blogs.  I’ve been unable to comment, intermittently, on several wordpress.com blogs lately.  So, if you have one, I’m still reading, even if I don’t comment.  Because… I DO comment but darned if those words don’t get eaten by the wordpress goblin!

Thumbs up:  Eating out.  While my teen was home on spring break, we went out to dinner at a new Mongolian grill style restaurant.  It was a great choice because we could all make our own bowls of food based on what we like or don’t like and, in the case of hubby and myself, what is currently “on” or “off” our eating plans.  My son got pretty much protein with five different spicy sauces and white rice.  My husband had tofu instead of any animal products, also with rice.  As for myself, I had a very tasty bowl of veggies with some chicken, shrimp and beef, no rice.  My bowl looked pathetically empty in comparison but I was happy and satisfied and was pleased to eat out with no regrets.

Thumbs up:  Lemon water.  I’ve started adding a slice of lemon to my morning glass of water.  Recently I had heard about it from a couple different sources, both touting the potential benefits.  What could it hurt?  And I was surprised to find I actually like it better than without:)  Thumbs down that you are never supposed to get lemon in your water in a restaurant.  Did you know that?  Studies show the lemons are horribly germy and then they transfer that to your drink:(

Thumbs up:  Green tea.  Lately it seems that I’ve recommended green tea to several other bloggers, who, like me, struggled to find one they liked.  So I thought I’d share with everyone the two that I drink on a regular basis.  Every morning I drink two mugs of Lipton Decaf Green Tea with Honey and Lemon.  It’s perfectly palatable and pretty inexpensive.  I can find it at some but not all of my local grocery stores.  Later in the day I might indulge in the much more expensive, surprisingly yummy Republic of Tea’s Plantain Coconut Raw Green Bush Tea, also decaf.  My Whole Foods carries this and I have also purchased it online.  Hot tea is a great alternative to snacking for me, and I’ll be sad to see the warmer temps stick around because it means less of this healthy habit.  Yes, some like it hot, and I’m one of them:)

Thumbs down:  Let them eat cake.  So… my book club gals came and went and at the most the gals ate ONE bar of the baked goodies I slaved over made just for them.  That’s one bar total, not one bar each!  I  chose a recipe with lots of walnuts (which I don’t like) but it was still tasty enough that I, unlike my gal pals, managed to ingest several over the course of the day.  But a big thumbs up that I didn’t eat even one crumb once book club was over.  Thumbs up that a lesson has been learned – stop trying to please them with the food I serve and start pleasing myself!

Thumbs down:  Wrist owie.  A few times a year for the past several years my right wrist has hurt.  It typically comes on in a matter of hours and lasts for a few days.  I wear a brace for the duration which seems to help with the healing.  I have no idea what it is and often no idea what causes a particular flare up.  But I do know a few things that have set it off in the past:  “playing drums” on my teen’s Rockband video game (which was the first trigger), full body push-up with my palms flat (so instead I do them with my hands on weights or push up grip thing-a-ma-bobs), tricep dips (which I have given up since I can’t find a way to do them without putting my full body weight on my flat hands).  Last week it flared up again and has taken longer than usual to abate.  I actually had to wear my brace to work a few times and I’ve avoided yoga since so many of the poses require wrist support.  And, yes, thumbs down, it hurts to type unless I wear the brace in which case it’s hard to type:(

Thumb down:  My darn calf.  Still not healed.  I “rested” for two weeks and can’t really sense an improvement.  It doesn’t “hurt,” but is just still not right, tight sometimes, nothing horrible but something is still going on.  I can’t decide if I should try resting longer or just give up and go back to my full activity and put up with it.  Sigh.

Thumbs up:  Time change.  I have to say that I have really appreciated the time change this go round.  Typically I’d be trying to keep my eyes open in the evenings but now I am (almost) easily staying up until a reasonable bedtime.  And, since I have no kids to wake up for school and always wake up early, I don’t mind having lost the hour in the morning.  And I’ve also taken advantage to shift my dinner time later which has helped with cutting back on evening snacking.  Thumbs up that I figured out how to change the time on my (seldom used except for travel and now for work) digital watch all by myself!  My teen always used to do it for me.

Thumbs up:  Evening snacking.  Funny how all of a sudden something that was so difficult for me in the past is now so easy.  For the past couple of weeks I’ve not struggled at all with evening eating.  Really.  Just like that.  Easy peasy.  Don’t ask me why and how.  I don’t know.  Let’s put it down to a new found determination and not look a gift horse in the (empty) mouth.  Thumbs down that my my afternoons are still more of a willpower battle.  But right now I’m winning:)  Thumbs way up.

Thumbs down:  Helicopter mom.  Yep – me.  Yes, my boys are both halfway across the country.  Yes, both are legal adults.  But some habits are hard to break.  I’m trying to let go.  Really, I am.  Baby steps.  (“Baby?”  – How ironic.)  The latest:  my husband and I are planning a trip to help our oldest find his first apartment (for his first job, after graduation in May).  Husband to me:  “Did you look for your first apartment on your own?”  “Yes, but this is different.”  And son number two is having some struggles with school and hubby and I are trying to figure out how best to help him and what he really wants from us.  I think I’m doing pretty well with listening, asking questions, only offering advice when asked, and letting him make his own decisions.  Thumbs down at how hard it is when your child is hurting, regardless of how old he is.

Thumbs up:  Blog award.  Thank you muchly to KC@TheOccasionalAdventuresofaHermit who gave me the Versatile Blogger award.  And apologies to her for taking so long to acknowledge it here.  Since I’ve gotten this one before I’m going to forgo passing it on.  As for the requirement to tell you seven random things about myself, I think this post has that covered:)

Thumbs up:  Eating.  Mine has been stellar since the morning after book club.  100% on track.  I feel great, physically and emotionally.  Funny how that happens:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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