People in other states like to make fun of Oklahoma – we’re an easy target because of our slow dialect and our laid back way of life (no we don’t live in Teepees and ride our horses to work, let’s just get that out of the way first). There’s nothing particularly exceptional about Oklahoma as far as geography or landmarks or anything like that, but what is exceptional about this state is the people. There are lots of talented celebrities who hail from Oklahoma – singers, actors, athletes, politicians – but the real talent lies in the every day folks. My state has seen its share of disasters – everything from acts of nature to acts of terrorism – and every time there is a tragedy, you can count on one thing: my people will pull together and do whatever it takes to help a neighbor in need. It’s how we were raised, it’s what we do.
The last 2 days have been terrifying and heartbreaking for my state. A tornado ripped through Shawnee on Sunday, then yesterday…yesterday another one demolished Moore, which is just outside of Oklahoma City. This tornado was a mile and a half wide and completely destroyed everything in its 2 mile path including an elementary school whose students are still unaccounted for. It doesn’t look good for them or their families. Last I saw, there were 24 souls lost, including 7 children. The death toll will most likely rise once the debris starts being cleared. This is not the first time this town has experienced a major tornado: on May 3, 1999 an F6 tornado tore through Moore on almost exactly the same path as this latest tornado. The wind speeds from that tornado were the fastest ever recorded and yesterday’s tornado most likely matched those speeds.
My niece lives in Moore with her husband, but thankfully the tornado missed her house by a couple of blocks. She said there was lots of debris in her yard but there was no damage to her house (or her dogs). I can’t imagine losing her. I can’t imagine the total heartbreak that so many families are feeling today. It’s just too much to think about.
But as I said before, the people of Oklahoma know how to step up to the plate and help each other. My brother in law is a doctor in that area and he stayed in Moore to help out last night. My friend’s son here in my town grabbed a buddy, filled the back of his truck with water and drove to Moore last night just so they could help. There are clothing and food drives being organized and people heading toward the destruction right now just to help out in any way they can. A tremendous amount of love and support is going to be showered upon a lot of hurting people today and in the days to come. For that we can be thankful.
So others can make fun of us all they want. Laugh at our accents, chuckle at our ranching and farming heritage, crack jokes about our Indian-named towns…you won’t find a more kind-hearted or willing group of people any where else. I promise you that.
Hug your kids extra-tight today, wave to your neighbors, give a smile to someone at the store today. Do whatever you can to spread some warmth and kindness today in honor of those who are hurting.
If you would like to help, here’s how (from the American Red Cross website): People who wish to make a donation can support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas as well as disasters big and small throughout the United States by visiting redcross.org, dialing 1-800-REDCROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
So you may have noticed I was MIA last week. I just need to take a little time and get my head together. Oh and get over a particularly nasty stomach bug. Blech. I’m feeling much better now though, thankfully.
My last post – the “she’s stuck between…” image that I posted – didn’t really convey exactly where I was. I didn’t look at that quote as a bad thing or in a negative light; in fact it was very hopeful to me. I wasn’t actually stuck; I was in a state of knowing that things were going to be different. Instead of the word “stuck” I think I was actually just pausing and saying goodbye to where I had been before moving forward to where I am going. I can’t be the person I used to be – I’m not 20 or 30 or even 39 anymore, so what worked for me then doesn’t work for me now – and I haven’t quite entered into the person I want to be yet, so for several days I mulled over what I needed to do, what I needed to let go, and which direction I wanted to take. I don’t for one minute believe that I have it all figured out, but at least I know which way I need to be headed.
Like I said, I was down with a stomach virus all of last weekend and the first half of last week, which was actually a blessing in disguise because as a result of eating nothing for 3 days, I got the chance to reset some eating habits. I’ve cut way down on the sugar and the processed foods and have been eating as cleanly as I can. That’s not to say I’m 100% clean, but maybe 70%, which let’s face it, is a freaking miracle for me. I’ve always heard of the benefits of eating clean – more energy, better skin, better sleep – but you know what goes along with better sleep? Better waking!! For the last 6 days, I have woken up before my alarm and it was almost easy for me to get out of bed. Let me say that again so you can fully grasp the depth of meaning here…
GETTING UP IN THE MORNING HAS NOT BEEN THE EMOTIONALLY DRAINING AND PAINFULLY TORTUROUS ACTIVITY IT ALWAYS WAS.
This is huge people. It is worth it to me to skip the ice cream (and any other junk) if it means I will wake up feeling rested and ready to go. Usually I wait until the very last possible minute to make myself get out of bed, but lately I wake up and stretch and actually have a couple of minutes to become conscious and think about my day before the alarm rings. This is such a great feeling; I can’t even really describe accurately how it makes me feel. Almost…dare I say it? Adult-like?
As far as my weigh ins are concerned, before the stomach bug got me, my head was in a very confused bad place and I ate my way up to 194.2 (that was 5/11/13’s weight) – then the bug hit just a few hours after my weigh in and I ate little more than dry toast and 7 up for 3 days. When I started feeling better, I adjusted my eating so that I was eating lots of veggies/fruit/lean proteins and my weight at Saturday’s meeting was back down to 190.4. I know it was a bunch of water weight that I lost, but I was afraid that I would go right back up to 194 and that hasn’t happened. I’m keeping a watchful eye on my points and being judicious about how I spend them. I hope to have another loss this weekend on the scale.
In my quest to rid myself of sugar, I discovered a few packets of Truvia in the dark recesses of my pantry and I also bought a box of Stevia when I shopped on Saturday. I have decided that Stevia (and its name brand twin Truvia) tastes awful. Awful awful awful! The aftertaste is just too chemical-y and bitter to me. I’d rather lick a tire than have to consume it on a regular basis. I may have to give up coffee because I need a little sweet stuff in my morning java (along with half & half) and drinking it without sugar is just not worth the effort. I don’t know what I’m going to do about that yet. I so look forward to coffee first thing in the morning! I had hoped that I could hang on to the coffee a little while at least, but…I don’t know.
So that’s where I am right now. In a good, happy place where I have to continually say NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO when I see tempting treats or when I want to go down the easy (read: boxed) road at dinner time. I’m happy to do it though if it means I can reap the benefits of feeling healthy and sane.
…can look at the perfectly formed mound of buttercream frosting sitting atop a spongy cupcake and not be deeply and emotionally affected by it.
…wakes up at 5:00 a.m. with sleepy determination to kick out an intensely sweaty but fulfilling workout six days a week and looks forward to it as much as she looks forward to her morning coffee.
…stocks her fridge with heaping mounds of produce and uses it all before it goes bad.
…is satisfied with eating simple meals over and over again.
…can’t help checking the size of her guns in the reflection of every window she passes by.
…can go into a restaurant and order the healthiest thing on the menu so that she won’t be in a carb coma for the next 4 days.
…is tight and toned and healthy and relatively happy and somewhat stable in her moods.
…someone who gets off and STAYS OFF this damned roller coaster known as “losing weight”.
I’m tired of the fight y’all. I’m tired of trying to do things my way and wondering why I can’t lose weight. I’m tired of being my own worst enemy. I thought that Weight Watchers would help me set some boundaries with food, but I just wonder if I don’t need tighter boundaries. It’s something I’m trying to figure out and when I do, I’ll let you know.
Hey guys – just checking in to say I’m starting to feel a little bit better. This whole allergy thing has really messed with my head this week. The weirdest and probably the worst thing has been that my allergy attacks come in the middle of the night. About one o’clock in the morning I’ll suddenly start sneezing and sniffling, which leaves me awake for about an hour or so while I fight it off, so then I’m worn out when I wake up in the morning. I finally took an allergy pill before bed last night and I slept like a
baby completely exhausted woman. I’m still fighting the bad body image, but it’s not quite as strong as it was earlier in the week. So, I’m on the mend even if I don’t quite feel 100%.
Still doing my marble-in-the-jar thing and even if I don’t get to add a marble, it’s nice to see those other marbles which reminds me that I am capable of having good days. So I got that going for me.
We got our tax refund yesterday and so today I paid off my car and our credit card. Squeee!!!! I cannot tell you how liberating it is to pay off that damn card. This is the first time in the 16 years that we’ve been married there is not one drop of debt on that card. I got a little loosey goosey with it when I was a SAHM several years ago (need diapers? Put it on the card! Need a few extra groceries? Put it on the card! Need a fabulous pair of shoes? Put it on the card!) and racked up a nice little chunk o’ debt. Nothing extremely horrible, but more than we could pay off at once. I have been chipping away at that debt for six years now and even without the tax refund, I would have had it paid off later this year, but now it’s free and clear! Woohoo! I’ma go buy some STUFF!! (relax, I’m kidding!)
That’s about it for today. Also wanted to say thanks for your nice comments on my last post – mainly just needed some rest to get my head on straight, being tired really jacks with me on so many levels!!
You guys are the best!
I didn’t go to weigh in last Saturday because a) my daughter was under the weather and b) I knew I had a gain. Cowardly? For sure. But I just couldn’t deal with seeing the number go up again, so I ignored it. We’ve been fighting allergies in my household the last couple of weeks and frankly, I’m worn out. For me, allergy attacks are only mildly annoying, but they also bring with it a slight case of depression. Every time. I just feel tired and sad and just…well…blah. Which ultimately doesn’t help my weight loss at all of course because I just want to eat tortilla chips and watch tv.
I’m also fighting a case of bad body image right now. In my office, there is a huge plate glass window that at certain times of the day reflects like a mirror, and when I pass in front of this mirror and see my reflection, this is what I’m reminded of:
Lord knows I love Phyllis, but I feel like I’m too young to look like this. And yet this is what I see every time I pass by the window or look in the mirror. I see overweight, matronly, and past-her-prime. It’s not helping my weight-loss efforts at all.
I could attribute this to my allergy depression too, but that would be an excuse. I see myself like this all the time and have for a long time. As long as I stay at this weight, this is who I see, and I know it’s going to take losing at least 30 pounds before I can see myself differently. I also know that it’s probably going to take me a year or more to lose 30 pounds, so I suppose I can look forward to seeing myself this way for a while. Yay.
And lest you think I’m being particularly hard on myself, here’s a picture I took about 30 seconds ago. You can’t deny the similarities:
It’s rainy and gray outside and my hair is being ridiculous today. Of course. Enjoy this picture while it lasts because it may not stay up for long.
*sigh* So that’s where I am today. I’m tired, I’m sniffly, and I look like the burned-out, overweight secretary that I am.
I hope you have enjoyed my pity party today. Please don’t forget to grab your goody bag on the way out – it’s filled with disappointment and regret and tortilla chips.
*and just to add to the festivities, I just inadvertently created an issue here at work with my boss because I have 3 weeks’ worth of filing on my desk, which I intended to take care of today, but as usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short. Story of my life. :/
Hey kids! How was your weekend? My hair is being weird today, must be a Monday thing. :/
I’ve decided to stick with my Saturday morning Weight Watchers meetings instead of switching to Thursday evenings for a couple of reasons: a) there are several Lifetime members/members who are at goal/members who are close to goal. In other words, there are a lot of successful folks in this meeting and they are good at giving out advice and support. I like that. Reason b) is that it gets me up and going for the day, otherwise I would lay around until noon and then bemoan the fact that my weekends feel so short. Another reason (c) is that I do my grocery shopping right after my meeting and it’s nice to get it done and out of the way.
Before I share my weigh-in results, I’m going to share with you my new favorite lunch. I’ve been eating this same lunch (with slight variations) for about 3 weeks now and I’m still not tired of it. I call it the Mediterranean Lunch Wrap of Wonder and here’s how it goes: get yourself a flour tortilla or a fancy wrap (whatever you have on hand), then smush a Laughing Cow wedge over it. Next sprinkle some chopped black olives over the LC, then add a BIG handful of spinach on top of that. Get yourself some roasted red peppers from a jar and add a few of those over the spinach, then sprinkle some sunflower kernels on top of that. Add some sliced turkey or chicken, then roll that sucker up as tight as you can. Then take a bite and savor the all mighty goodness. Add a side of baby carrots and you’re good to go!! I love this lunch so much. So, so much. And it holds me for quite a while in the afternoons, which is a bonus. YUM!!
Okay, on to the weigh in…I finally dropped another pound on Saturday. I was starting to doubt my ability to lose weight, but guess what? If you don’t eat a crap-ton, you don’t gain a crap-ton!! Genius, right?! My totals are thus: current weight is now 191.6 which means a total loss of 5.2 pounds since Feb. Slow and steady is the story of my life, but I’ll take it. I’m just glad to be moving downward again.
Another thing that is helping, is that I’ve been using Kyra’s idea of the Marble Jar to help keep me on track throughout the day. The idea is that the marble (or rock or bead or gem) is a physical reminder of the kind of day I want to have. I want to have the kind of day I can feel good about – I want to make good choices with my food and also in other areas of my life (like work and the ever-lovin’ laundry), so having this gem with me all day reminds me to stay on track. At the end of the day, if I feel like I have done a reasonably good job of moving forward with my goals, then I add my gem to the jar. If I’ve had a day that wasn’t awful, but I could have done better, I don’t add that gem to the jar. If I have a day where I just blow it completely, I not only don’t add that day’s gem, I take an extra one out. Luckily I haven’t had to do that yet. What I love most about it this is I only carry one gem with me at a time. I don’t load my pockets up with 52 weeks’ worth of gems – that would be a heavy load to carry! I only carry one gem per day – I only focus on today’s choices – what can I do TODAY that will move me forward?
Do you know how much easier it is to live when you take tomorrow’s worries out of the equation? So much easier! And that’s the purpose of the Marble Jar – to focus on today’s choices only.
The idea is the same as adding pearls to a string – one good day will eventually add up to a lot of good days which will eventually add up to a smaller waistline and a saner way of eating.
Do any of you do a variation of the Marble Jar? Does anyone have another favorite wrap recipe to share? Is anyone else having a weird hair day (I seem to be having those a lot lately)?