Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February status report

After today, the year is 16.4% over. Here's how I'm doing on my 2012 goals:

  • Memorize 10,000 words: 20.67%
  • Walk 1,000 miles: 9.38%
  • Sell 100 items on eBay: 7%
  • Lose 10 pounds: 60%
  • Write 1 children's book: 0%

Further evidence that I have this weight-loss thing figured out now (but virtually nothing else in my life). 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dwarf-life balance

Happy's book is done. Dopey's book is done. Nothing new from Sleepy or Bashful for a while. That leaves three dwarfs, and three dwarfs I can handle. Whew.

It's good to be out of the woods, but I'll feel a lot more serene after I take care of all the little things I've let slide these past few weeks. There are invoices to be sent and bathrooms to be cleaned. Miles to walk. Birthday cards to be mailed. Romans Chapter 4 to memorize. Forms to send back. Prince Charming's book. I should call my grandmother. (I already took a long-overdue shower.)

I think I'll kill two birds with one stone and work on Romans while I go for a walk.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This morning's revelation

For a long time—at least since I've had kids, so 11 years—I've been at least sorta trying, in one way or another, to lose weight. At times I worked fairly hard at it, too: restricting what I ate, getting my vegetables, eating low-calorie-density foods, eating resistant starch, trying to count calories (that lasted about two days), running, swimming, weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, Spinning. Then I trained for and finished an Ironman—not with the intention to lose weight, necessarily, but I figured that there was no way I wouldn't be skinny by the end of that process. Nope. None of it worked.

I don't think it was a lack of hard work or willpower holding me back, nor an inability to stick with things. I think I was just doing it wrong.

Now I think I'm doing it right: I cook at home almost all the time, and eat Paleo when I do. (And I fight the good fight against sugar, off and on.) That's it. I've barely been out of this chair all month, and my clothes just keep getting looser. If you are struggling to lose weight, you really ought to try this, I kid you not.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bright spots

I'm feeling pretty overrun; I either worked or should have worked for five of my clients today (sorry, Sneezy). It's going to be another long weekend at my desk. But there were some bright spots:

  • I took an afternoon break to go on a walk with M.H. After several days of crazy wind, it was calm and sunny and beautiful out. Ahhh.
  • M.H. got a prototype of his book cover emailed to him, and it is SO COOL. This thing will be ready to make its debut in a matter of weeks, and it's just…squeeeee! (Of course, before that can happen, I have to find time to give it one last proofread…)
  • I just got home from dropping my 13-year-old off at the movie theater, where he was enthusiastically greeted by a group of what I know to be great kids. It is just so satisfying to be raising this happy and well-adjusted person, I can't even tell you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Swimming with the kid

Swimming season is over, and I told my 11-year-old I'd bring him to the gym a couple of times a week during the off-season so could swim together. He's really been looking forward to it, primarily because he's pretty sure he's faster than me now. And he pretty much is. We raced 25's of every stroke, a 50 free and 50 fly, and a 100 IM. He beat me at everything except the fly and the 50 free. Well, I might have left the wall a fraction of a second late a few times just to make absolutely sure.

We also challenged each other to see how far we could swim without breathing. He did a no-breath 25 for the first time ever, and I found I can still do a 50 that way. But just barely.

He's great competition, and great company, and I think if we follow through with our swimming dates, we'll both be in great shape by the time his long-course season starts in April.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making better use of my time

I did some work for Grumpy this morning but then had a couple more blissful hours of being completely caught up before Sneezy and Dopey sent new stuff.
Sidebar: This new information should allow my sister to deduce that her company is Doc and not Dopey. (Naturally, I decided to let her worry about it for a few days.)
Sidebar to the sidebar: I am in love with the dwarf names and will probably still think of all my clients that way long after I get tired of blogging about it.
Anyway, I had time to walk 4½ miles on the treadmill at the gym, including a little over half a mile of running in short intervals. I'm figuring out that the only way to get fast is to run fast, even if it's only in short bursts at first. So once every mile, I set the thing for 8.7 mph (a 7-minute mile) and then just went as long as I felt like it at that speed. It's not a sprint, but maybe close to 90% effort, which is apparently enough to get good results.

And while I'm linking, I just saw this, which almost made me regret my decision to cut out sugar for a couple of weeks. But instead of caving to the pressure, I made chocolate chili instead.

And I saw this interesting thing about calcium, which helped to alleviate perhaps the only worry I have left about eating Paleo. 'Cause I eat all manner of green things now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

True Confessions

I'm proud of myself for having plowed through nearly all the work I had to do this weekend. But I've noticed something stupid and self-destructive. The closer I got to being finished, the more time I started spending at my computer playing Scrabble and reading blogs. Not "the more time I spent with my kids" or "the more healthy meals I started cooking" or even "the more miles I started walking." Nope, I got to a level of panic and dysfunction I was comfortable with and decided to just set there a spell.

And since it's True Confessions Time, I'll also tell you this: When I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, my brain (fueled, probably, by its daily small dose of chocolate) had a genuine sugar tantrum, and I decided I had plenty of time to try to make chocolate-chip cookies out of almonds, coconut oil, and agave nectar. (I should post the recipe I came up with, because, oh, man, they were so good.)

I don't know how to fix the Internet thing. I need the Internet all the time for my job, and I'm not willing to quit Facebook or to stop reading the blogs I enjoy. But I do know how to fix the sugar problem. Gonna ban it until the next family birthday, March 15. Then I'll give myself another shot at this beast called moderation.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Update from the mines

I knocked out all the work requested by Bashful and Sleepy last night, and I'm just about through the pile sent by Sneezy (a crash in Microsoft Word set me back at least an hour there, but I guess I share the blame for not taking half a second to hit Ctrl+S).

Grumpy won't be back until the stock markets reopen on Tuesday, and Dopey and Doc have not yet arrived. So that means I just have to edit Happy's 500-page book for what's left of the three-day weekend, and I'm all set.

My husband reminded me last night that I also have to keep plugging away at his book, which has a deadline of sorts looming. So I've edited two more chapters for Prince Charming as well.

I slept horribly last night. I don't know if it's because sat on my rear too much, spent too much time being exposed to UV radiation, went to bed too late, was too stressed out, or all of the above. There's nothing worse than lying in bed, fruitlessly awake, when you might as well be editing citations for Sneezy, know what I'm saying?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Whistle while you work

I'm freaking out. I have seven clients I regularly do work for (which I've assigned clever code names for blogging purposes) and Happy, Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, and Sleepy are all dumping work on me right now simultaneously. Dopey and Doc have projects scheduled to start next week.

I walked to yoga this morning (that was before I knew about Bashful and Sleepy), and it was good for the soul, if not for time management.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

There's food, there's love, and then there's chocolate

My grandmother used to love to feed the ones she loved. A typical meal was hamburgers, corn on the cob, mushrooms, rice, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and the special favorite food of every single person coming to the table, be it grape Jell-O or liver and onions. And when I say "a typical meal," I mean pretty much every meal.

Not surprisingly, she was fat. Grandpa was fat. Their dogs were all fat. And, because Grandma babysat me, I was fat, at least as a toddler in Iowa. (Somehow my mom was thin. She must have been a rebellious teen.)

My dad always told us, "Grandma's problem is that she equates food with love." So I grew up thinking, "Silly Grandma. Food isn't the same as love."

But now I'm not so sure. When I get up early to make the kids hashbrowns for breakfast, aren't I saying, "I love you and want you to start your day with something that's at least one step up from Frosted Mini Wheats"?

When my husband brought me chocolate in a heart-shaped box, wasn't he saying, "I love you enough to give you exactly what you want"?

And when he brought me an absolutely delicious, 100% healthy, vegetable-packed dinner at my desk as I frantically pounded away at a deadline, wasn't he saying, "I love you enough to warn you right now, put down the chocolate and back slowly away from the heart-shaped box before you make us both miserable for the rest of the night"?

Don't tell me food doesn't equal love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The most dangerous month?

It's been a sugar-fest around here for more than a week now, starting with the Super Bowl, continuing on through my three-day birthday extravaganza, and probably not finishing (if I'm honest) until after Valentine's Day. I'm starting to think February might be as dangerous as December, and I saw Cadbury Eggs in the grocery store the other day.

I've been thinking, though, even with the influx of junk food*, my diet is still probably better than it was last year at this time. I mean, I had about four cups of collard greens with breakfast, for crying out loud.

I've made some mild attempts to resist the sugar, mostly by making semi-Paleo treats to have instead. I just made some awesome cookies where the only "bad" ingredient was a quarter-cup of agave nectar, and my birthday cake was this chocolate walnut torte. Holy tasties.

* A note on the phrase "junk food": I read an interesting article somewhere recently about how the problem with American diets is that we consider sugar just empty calories, when instead we should think of it as actively harming us. Rice is junk food. Sugar is a whole nother beast. So we ought to think of a new phrase. "Devil food?"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Birthday fun starts…now!

It's funny I should have joked that I was never going to leave the house again, because right after I did, an avalanche of work poured onto my head, and I stayed at my desk for three days straight trying to dig out. ("Dig up, stupid!")

I did get to go outside today on the way to my son's band concert. Best of all, the concert was so good, and my birthday is so tomorrow, that we went out for ice cream afterward. We have all but stopped eating out, so this was some Big Deal fun.

Speaking of birthdays, I have one friend from college who never forgets a special occasion, and I got my card today right on schedule. Chances are it may be the only card I actually get in the mail, and although I'm not particularly sentimental about birthdays OR greeting cards, I have to admit it's really nice. So I started thinking that, for our 50th birthdays, I should send every single person I know an actual card in the actual mail.

Since most of my friends are about my age, that plan doesn't really go into effect for about nine years. But if you've got a 50th birthday coming up before then, let me know. Because I mean it. Turning 50 is a big deal.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tiny circles and a post-Paleo party

It was a weekend of great swimming*, great climbing**, and great walking, even. My mom joined me on the tiny track at the pool, and we logged more than 11 miles Saturday and Sunday between swimming events—that's 121+ tiny laps. But time flies when you have a walking partner. I'll have to remember that.

I fell hard off the Paleo wagon at my parents' Super Bowl party, but I didn't feel too horrible afterward, which was surprising given the amount of sugar I inhaled. I'm not sure what to do about this tendency I have to dive headfirst into the nearest available bowl of Peanut M&Ms whenever it's any kind of special occasion, but I guess there's no point beating myself up about it now. I'll just carry on with eating well at home and try to never leave the house again as long as I live.

* Several more improved times (including a 1:17 100 free, for those who want to compare their own swimming ability).
** Second place in his age group and looking strong, plus won an orange shirt in the raffle. :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Busy weekend

We have another swim meet this weekend, and a climbing comp, but both are in town, so we won't need to subsist on fruit and nuts.

(By the way, when I say "we," I'm talking about myself and my husband, who is still faithfully following all the Whole30 rules because he's lost so much weight on it. In fact, I spent several amusing minutes this afternoon watching him try on shorts, looking for a pair that will still stay up.)

Anyway, there was only one swimming event tonight, but the boy did us proud, dropping 45 seconds off his 1650 time, after already dropping nearly three minutes from it just two weeks ago. And during warm-ups, I went for a walk on the track around the basketball court—a whopping seven 0.09-mile loops. Better than nothing. Lots more swimming, climbing, and tiny loops to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stats you were just dying to hear

Okay. Time to add up the walking/running miles for January: 39.5. 39.5!? That is not the mileage number of someone who is on track to make it to 1,000. (I know, because my mother hit 90, which is that kind of number.) Well, my owwie is starting to feel better, so I guess it's not too late to step it up.

Wonder if I could do 90 in February? We do have that extra day this year.

Other stats:

  • Words memorized: around 500-600 (goal: 10,000, but if I stay on track with my group, I will consider this a success)
  • eBay items sold: 7 (goal: 100) 
  • Pounds lost (from previous low of 169): 4 (goal: 10)
  • Children's books written: 0 (goal: 1)