Blog Archives

The Key Is Consistency over Time

successblocksIt’s been about two weeks since I last posted, so I thought I’d give an update on my progress in the fitness area.  It’s mixed.  The good thing is that in the last week, which is when I really got serious (I spent the week before dilly dallying around mostly until about midweek), I lost a kilo, which is just over two pounds.  Last Monday, I took measurements and set goals and one goal is to try to  lose a kilo a week. But when you are over 50 and your lifestyle involves food and social events that are not conducive to furthering your fitness goals, it’s tough.  I blew it a lot.  But I did one thing well and that was to workout or be active every single day. And I tracked my progress.

Fitness is always an internal journey as well as a physical one.  We win or lose the battle in our heads long before we see the results on our bodies. It’s about being consistent over time, more than it is about being really good at anything we do.  I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in, in recent years.  Walking is tough for me and I’m not fast. I can ride my bike, but the bike I’m riding these days is much heavier as am I, so I’m pushing hard when I have to climb even the slightest of inclines. It’s easy to look at how much fitness I’ve lost over the last two years and become discouraged.  It’s a mental battle before it becomes a physical one.  On October 21st, I just decided to get started.  I set a goal to get out and walk every day for at least two miles. On some days I was just under that goal, on others I was well over it.  By the following week, I logged a couple of days where my walking distance was six or seven miles. Last week I exceeded my weekly walking goal of ten miles after only three days in.  Since the weather was nice, I added bike riding into my activities and I headed back to the gym for some strength training. I took two days of rest after ten straight days of activity.  Now, I won’t keep that up, but I needed to force a daily exercise time into my schedule.  I had to be okay with the fact that it wasn’t at the gym every day but that I was getting out and doing something for one hour a day. I hoped I’d lose weight.  I wasn’t holding my breath about it though, because like I said, I really didn’t modify the eating too much. My big goal was the exercise, and I’ve got that underway.  Now I can continue that progress and add in another small goal. Mental determination translates into physical fitness success. Read the rest of this entry

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Weight Loss, Motivation, and Suffering

Transitions have alweight-lossways been difficult and often turbulent for me. In my last position, in the last two years before I ended up on what amounts to an extended (maybe permanent?) vacation, I remember it taking me a good month before I felt like I had control of my schedule so that I knew when and where I needed to be at what times and could make arrangements for the kids. Since the children were older, these arrangements largely meant making sure I had food in the refrigerator for them and that they knew what time to expect me home and where to reach me in an emergency. It just always seems to take so long for me to feel like the transition is finally our life. But we made it through that transition and before I knew it I was busier and more stressed than I ever imagined possible. There’s a point to where trying to achieve too much is just…too much. Read the rest of this entry

Martha Stewart Mommy

No matter how much you look forward to the day when you no longer have to taxi kids around, text instead of talking on the phone, or hide in the bathroom with the door locked for a few hours of solitude, when children grow up and leave home, it leaves a big hole in your life. I’m not exactly a helicopter mom. I don’t hover over my children. I don’t get my confidence and security from my persona of “Mother”. I believe that as a mother, it is my job to work myself out of a job. To this end, from the time my children were little, I have not done anything for the child that the child can do herself. Or himself. I’m not the world’s greatest mom. I don’t do Martha Stewart birthday parties. I did. Once. It nearly killed me. I don’t like playing the taxi mom, and I hate sports where you have to sit for hours in the cold spring rain and watch your kid sit on the sidelines or daydream in the outfield as, all the while, I’m thinking of the hundreds of dollars I had to scrape together for the pleasure of doing so.

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Alone on Christmas Day

It’s Christmas Day. Many of my friends and all of the rest of my family will be waking to stuffed stockings and gifts wrapped elegantly and placed neatly under or around the Christmas tree. Later they will enjoy a feast. My day will roll very differently. There are hardly any presents under my tree. The stockings hang limp and lifeless by the fireplace. This year I am alone on Christmas Day.

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Dreams

This is where I should place an overused quotation about dreams and broken-winged birds. Right here. Right up front. It would be here to draw The Reader in. It would be The Hook. The Reader would read the quotation, and sigh longingly in agreement. Yes! Yes! Life without dreams is like that broken-winged bird that cannot fly (wait, isn’t that redundant?). The Reader, so enamored with my clever use of the quotation could not help but read on. Read the rest of this entry

Countdown

Eleven more days until payday and miraculously I have more money in the bank than I had at this time last week. It isn’t much more, I got a rebate check in the mail, which helped. Twelve days. Most of the month is behind me. This has been tough, but not nearly as tough as it would have been had I not had the money in the bank when those big bills hit. While, I hated, and will hate, for quite some time the fact that my work money from this summer evaporated in ways that were not of my choosing, I am glad I bit the bullet and paid them in full rather than opting to pay them over a few months. The payment plan deal would certainly have made my financial life easier this month, but would have made it more difficult down the road and for longer. At least, after these next twelve days, I can move on and don’t have extra bills to pay. This is certainly a good thing.

I’ve started another countdown this week. 135 days till I achieve my weight loss goal. I have started this countdown a million times over the last five years, but somehow, I never quite had the determination to carry it through. I’m not sure I have the determination even now.

Here’s what I do know. The Monday after the Full Pitcher Of Beer Day, I reluctantly stepped on the scale, fully expecting it to register an all-time non-pregnancy high. I was stunned to discover that since the Gone Boyfriend left, with no effort and plenty of drinking, I was actually down five pounds. Weird.

After finishing off the last ounce of gin in a very weak cocktail Monday evening, I have had nothing alcoholic to drink since. I started walking the track during my daughter’s volleyball practices, and while I haven’t significantly changed what I eat, I have changed how much of it I eat. I’ve recorded a loss every day. I’ve now lost a total of eleven pounds since mid-August. This put my total weight loss yet to achieve at under 40 pounds, which is psychologically motivating and completely doable.

In the past,I have tried to motivate myself by thinking I’d love to be wearing smaller sizes and wouldn’t it be great to look and feel sexy back in skinny jeans again? Somehow this motivation wasn’t strong enough to keep me at it. This might be because, even at 50 pounds overweight, I still get looks from the opposite sex. I still have people hitting on me in the grocery store and on the bus (leper colonies, but still), and, honestly, I was having too much fun hanging out sipping the calories, enjoying the atmosphere and copping a beer buzz on the sunny Saturday afternoons…and every other afternoon besides. This changes last Monday. For some reason, after that afternoon with the mammoth beer pitcher, something changed.

I haven’t sorted all of it out quite yet. A big part of it, to be sure, is that I have come to dislike myself once I’ve had too much to drink. I also, don’t like how uncomfortable I feel most of the time. Lately, though, I’ve been dealing with the eventual and current reality of aging. When I was in my twenties, the second half of my life seemed so far away. As I moved through my thirties and early forties, it was easy to ignore the fact that I was getting older. I didn’t look older, and other than a few aches and pains I didn’t feel older. Lately, the fact that, I hope to live until well into my 90’s has “weighed heavily” (ha.ha.) on me. Thinking about life then, forces me to consider what I want my life to be like next year, in five years in ten years, etc. watching aging people struggle to get on the bus, or battle with weight to the point that they are relegated to a wheelchair or scooter, is not a lifestyle that seems easy nor enjoyable.

Of course, we can never tell the future, but we can certainly do our best to put the odds in our favor. My body might develop another more serious case of cancer, I could have a stroke, I might have a heart attack, I could die in an automobile accident, my lung could collapse. (This last actually did happen recently to a friend of mine who is nearly a decade younger than I.) on the other hand, my medical history is good. I have been active and involved in some sport most of my life. My body tends to withstand illness and heal quickly. If I get myself back in the best physical condition I can be in for my age, eat right, get plenty of rest (the last one is going to be tough), there is no reason to believe that the last half of my life can’t be better than the first half. Packing the extra weight around, certainly lessens my odds of aging well. In addition, it’s bad enough that my extra weight slows me down when I’m out cycling. It will really be bad when my aging, weakened body has to struggle to cope with the extra weight. This is not the future I want for myself.

Weight loss for women becomes now difficult as we age, so the time is definitely now if I’m going to lose this weight I gained when I got pregnant with my youngest child. That child is now 11. My life is now stable. There’s not the chaos of an abusive, dysfunctional marriage or relationship. There’s financial challenge, and while worrisome and annoying at points, things are not declining and will improve. My kids are older and don’t need me to manage them every minute. Now is the time to focus on me. After all, old age is not for weaklings. I fully hope to make the second half of my life a marathon rather than a sprint to the finish. In order to do that I need to drop the weight and get in shape.

Eleven days.

135 days.

50 more years of quality, healthy, strong living…I hope.

Bad Day

Today started out all wrong.  The problem is, I didn’t know it was going badly until it was too late to correct. Today I arrived at work 30 minutes late. There is nothing like walking into a meeting full of people, when your company has called in a consultant and designated you as a leader, with your boss present…and you are a full 30 minutes late.

I would have actually been on time, however, the competent individual who sent out the information via email stated an 8:00 start time.  Everyone else got the follow up memo with the time correction.  Everyone except me.

You know it is a bad thing when you are walking down the hall to a meeting, thinking that you perfectly on time, maybe even a few minutes early and your boss is texting you, “Are you coming?” That awkward moment when you feel the dread thickening in the pit of your stomach as you open the door, take your seat and discover, everyone else has been there for 30 minutes.

Embarrassment.

Anger.

Sudden, overwhelming insecurity and paranoia.

I, did, in fact check my memos.  All of them listed an 8:00 start time. There was no follow-up memo, at least, not to me.

How is it that every one else knew of the change in time, but me?  And then my next thought, Was this an intentional set up?  Who would do that?  Why?  Read the rest of this entry

Irony

It isn’t supposed to work this way. Life isn’t supposed to be bad, really, really bad, so-bad-it-sucks bad and still be enjoyable.

So, go figure. My finances suck. We’ve been over that. My love life is non-existent. I just had a guy I supported walk out on me after two years. He gave me three days’ notice and he was gone. Haven’t heard a word from him since. After my two epic fails at marriage, I don’t know which hurt worse, to have the marriages end, or him walk out after I invested so much financially and emotionally for two.fucking.years. It is now all water under the bridge, but at times, it still stings.

I’m at an age and in a demographic where there isn’t much dating action, and if there is, it isn’t serious, nor is it even remotely authentic. Face it, after 45, there are so many obstacles to overcome, so much history to wade through, so many people’s scrutiny you have to undergo before a relationship can even be viable, let alone long term. I’ve given up on that area of my life ever being a source of pleasure or happiness. People who really know me, will know what a big deal that is. Most people tend to understand that it is the nature of the beast these days. Dating after divorce is, at best, a difficult thing, and unlike wine, this does not improve with age. Oh, to be 35 again. Before the wrinkles. Before the mistakes. Before the calendar reveals the stigmatizing number of years you’ve been on this planet (because you cannot lie about that).

In spite of all that, the little surprise I’m experiencing is this: I’m actually having fun. I’m enjoying life more than I ever have. I’m happy, in spite of the fact that nothing (except my delightful children) is as I would have expected it and most of it reeks of pathetically miserable failure. I can’t keep a relationship. I can’t catch a break financially. I rent, on purpose, instead of owning. My car is ready to self destruct at any moment. I should sell the thing and try, if possible, to get some money out of it to put down on a more reliable car. But…how to do that? It’s crazy. I have more problems facing me than solutions. I have experienced more endings in the last year than beginnings. I have more reason than ever to despair, instead of hope. Read the rest of this entry

Notes From The Swamp

Online “dating”, if that’s what you want to call it, is exhausting. So, far the contacts I’ve received can be classified into four main categories. First, there’s monosyllabic contact. Easily half of the people who contact me do so in this manner. “Hey.” “Hi.”  The more sophisticated ones say, “Hello.” Okay, so that’s two syllables. All of these characters get the delete key. I don’t even bother to look at their profile.

The next group is the group that uses words to say nothing. For example, they might initiate with,”I liked your profile.” Really? What exactly did you like about my crummy profile that basically says nothing about me? What could anyone find of interest in three sentences written when lit? Another example is, “You have a nice smile.” Now, there’s a real conversation starter. What can a gal do with that besides say “thank you”, and move on to the delete key? Or this one’s always destined to be a charmer: “Having any luck on here?” Like I’d tell you if I was or wasn’t. Then there’s this comment I just received,”How’s the night?” It’s just great, thanks. I’m blogging about stupid things guys say when contacting a woman online, and I’m using you as an example. Hmmm, should I really reply with that much honesty? It’s tempting. Or this:

Hi. Good morning. Happy Friday. Anyway, thought I’d stop by and say hi.

I just don’t even know how to respond to that, especially when I go check out the profile and the one image the person has posted was clearly taken in the 70’s.  Read the rest of this entry

Dilemma

I’ll cut to the chase.  I’m an idiot. Who signs up on an online dating sight at the most busy time of their professional and personal year? I do. Like I said…I’m an idiot.  I admit it. I have only one excuse. I was three sheets to the wind when I did the signing up. Yep.  Had one of those down days.  One of those days that proves living a block from the local liquor store is not necessarily the benefit you might think it would be.  I don’t know the particular circumstances.  I think I successfully drank them out of my memory.  I just remember it was one of those days, which, for whatever reason I was feeling blue about the whole situation that transpired in my life recently.  Actually, I wasn’t really feeling blue about that situation if the truth be known.  I was feeling blue that I’d wasted the last two years of my youth on the man. Okay, enough with the drama. It is also very possible that I was feeling happy.  I feel that a lot these days.  In fact, I almost get giddy with the lack of stress and the ease with which my family functions right now. No more walking on eggshells.  No more having to ask permission or wonder when the next derisive comment is going to come. No more worrying about money.  Since I’m not paying  his bills, there’s an extra amount in our coffers this month, and that makes me genuinely silly with the giddy factor. Read the rest of this entry

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