Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves."

-written by the great William Shakespeare

As I was driving my son to Manhattan yesterday I started thinking that everything was in order, he had everything he needed, he ate, he was feeling OK, we were on time, I started to reflect on what was about to happen. I turned to look at him asking him a question when I realized in our rush to be ready, I hadn't noticed how he had changed-he was now suddenly so different. What happened to my son? Who was this young man sitting in the back seat? It made me think of the time my sister-in-law came to visit & she referred to him as beautiful boy. I was so touched by her affection much in the same way I was touched by his presence now sitting in the back seat with his suit jacket on, his red bow tie, his green scarf & dapper hat. It was almost startling seeing him- as if for the first time in this way. It felt like a perfect awareness of a moment in time.

When I got to the toll booth I blurted out to the attendant, "My son is playing his violin at Carnegie Hall." As I waited for my change, staring at the smiling man & feeling very choked up, he looked at me & said, "You must be very proud." "I am." I responded feeling as if I would cry if I continued to speak.
Then with a kind voice he told me to watch the road because it's very slippery out today.

I remember when my son was 5 years old my childhood friend suggested I take him to Suzuki lessons for the violin. My son loved his teacher from the moment she started teaching him & now her son teaches him to play the violin.

When we got to the parking garage near Carnegie Hall my son warned me not to tell the parking attendant that he was playing his violin at Carnegie Hall.
I wish I could describe to you exactly how I felt dropping him off & then coming back later to see him perform. Mostly it was disbelief like, "How did this happen?, Am I really where I think I am? Then it was awe as I watched him play with his fellow musicians from my seat along with an entire Carnegie Hall filled with people. When they finished their two Tangos, the crowd went wild. As he left the stage, my son flashed the peace sign-he later told us that was for us, his family.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"We know what we are, but know not what we may become."

The timeless Shakespeare says it all.
So I didn't get to go to weight watchers Saturday to find out my weight loss for the week. Have you ever been sick enough where you slept in your bed an entire day? This has only happened to me a handful of times throughout my adult life. It is almost liberating in a strange way because when you are sick there isn't anything you can do about it but wait until you get better.

Thanksgiving wasn't easy. So I am definitely glad I prepared for it. All week I saved as many of my "extra" calories as I could. WW gives you 35 points or approximately 2100 calories "extra" a week to play around with. You use these when you know you may need to eat more, like at a wedding or holiday or just because you can't resist one more temptation. You can eat these calories all in one day or spread them out over the week. The extra points act like a safety net.

I had about 20 extra points by the time Thanksgiving came. So my allotment for the day was 55 points or approximately 3300 calories. I decided I would have a healthy breakfast of coffee to get me started & lots of water. Oh yeah, & I had some ziti while I was cooking in the morning. I didn't eat again until 2PM when I had 2 pieces of cheese & a cracker. Then I made sure to bring shrimp over to my brothers so I could eat something high in protein with few calories. I didn't count calories but I am pretty sure I didn't go over my 3300. I think since I have been eating less I am not used to eating a lot because I've noticed I get fuller faster-which I love.

The good news is that I know I have lost weight-at least another pound if not more. I've also lost 5 & 3/4 inches since I have begun my mission. One of those inches were from my waist. According to DR Oz, a womans waist should be no more than 35 inches. I have a way to go but I now have one less inch to worry about.

I will be eating at a NYC diner tonight so I have to go find out how many calories grilled cheese on rye with tomatoe is.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Paul, we miss you...

The Kaddish Prayer

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
We remember them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
We remember them.

In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,
We remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
We remember them.

In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of fall,
We remember them

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength,
We remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart,
We remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share,
We remember them.

So long as we live, they too shall live,
For they are now a part of us,
as we remember them. Amen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

sick at home & stir crazy

If the TV service breaks, it will happen when you have a sick child at home.
So yesterday when the FIOS guy came to fix our TV service, Priscilla acted like she normally does by ferociously barking, running in circles, jumping as high as she can, feverishly sniffing the person & wagging her stubby tail. & everytime this happens I think, this is the last straw-I am definitely going to train her. This behaviour is unacceptable! I have to start reading Cesar again. Then the person leaves & I promptly forget about it only to be embarrassed again at a later date. Another viscious circle thingy in my life with the dog.

But you know, the FIOS guy was pretty cool bending down to pet her, trying to calm her. God knows what happened when I went upstairs while he worked. I did hear our cat Sylvia start her extremely loud mewing from the porch. Usually we leave her in there, but ever since her surgery to repair a large gash in her neck, she has taken full advantage of our sympathies allowing her more freedom in other parts of the house. Her mewing must have started to grate on FG's nerves because he relented & let her out of the porch. Can you imagine what he was thinking trying to work with Priscilla sniffing at his every body part & the cat's nagging mewing in his ear?

I guess it wasn't too bad because not only did he fix our service, he hooked up our TV in the basement,(even though I discouraged him from doing so) gave us a new remote & went through a fairly long tutorial about the remote to both my son & myself. Not that any of it will stick to my technically challenged brain- which is why I asked my son to be present while he instructed.

So the FIOS guy says to me, "Have you ever read Cesar's way?" as Priscilla is trying to have her way with the poor mans arm. Thankfully he caught on right away & put an immediate stop to it saving me from further embarrasment. I told him I did read some of it, but left out the part that I actually bought it for my husband as a gift from Priscilla herself last Christmas. By the way, my husband is a smart man who read the book, followed Cesar's instructions & now has a dog that actually listens to him-mostly, at least more so than she does to me.

So later on I find my cell phone has a message from Verizon informing me that the repair man cannot make the appointment for the day & I should call back to reschedule. When I tell my son about the message I ask him, "So who do you think that was that came over here then?" Of course he was like, "Mom you're creeping me out" Then I say, "maybe it didn't even happen-maybe we imagined the whole thing, maybe it was someone else & that's why he stayed so long." To which he replies, shaking the new remote at me, "Is this real Mom, does this new remote look real to you?"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I feel like I have an infant who won't let me sleep

only she is a Yorkshire terrier & her name is Priscilla. She seems to think her mission in life is to wake me up every night so I can go pee. It's a vicious circle.
One night during the summer I got up to use the bathroom. Of course she immediately jumps off the bed and follows me. Ever since then she thinks this is what we are supposed to do at 2, 3 or 4AM. Only I am not the one waking up-she wakes up, jumping off the bed landing on her bed on the floor that she is supposed to be sleeping in & proceeds to sit there & cry until I wake up.
When she first started doing this I would wonder if she was alerting me to something much like Lassie would do in the old TV series. Another night she did this when my twin nieces were sleeping over. I woke up to find her scratching & crying at their bedroom door. Not wanting to disturb the children I debated with myself if I should go in & check on them-it was 2AM. Finally I decide that I have too & not two seconds after I open the door Priscilla is on the bed hopping like a bunny from one twin to the next alerting them that it is now time to get up & play. Surely, she is thinking- this is why in fact they came over here in the first place & they don't really want to be spending the entire night sleeping anyway, right?

I think this is why there is a rumor going around that Yorkies are so smart. You only have to do something once & they pick up on it right away -developing it into a habit that they will never break. Priscilla must be especially smart because when it is raining out, she will not go outside to do her business unless accompanied by one of the humans she lives with holding an umbrella over her. & if the human isn't paying attention & holds the umbrella awry & not directly over her shielding her entirely from the rain-she looks up at you & waits until you get it right, & only then will she pee .

Priscilla readying herself to jump

Saturday, November 17, 2007

.4, not 4 pounds less this morning at 6:45AM

& this is why I woke up at 6AM on a Saturday morning-to find out I lost a whopping .4 pounds. Ugh ! After all that dieting & running & walking & stretching & cleaning the house...& then to tell my husband to which he replied,"Wait, what? .4, you mean not even half a pound? But you know he is always so reassuring, like when he said, "At least you can write about it on your blog."

It still is a quarter of a pound & if I add that to the .6 I lost the day before I started weight watchers, I have lost an entire pound in 8 days. It's just not going to be like the old days when I could drop 5 lbs. in three days. It doesn't matter that I never dieted when I was younger & that I'd notice my jeans got tight & then 3 days later they wouldn't be tight anymore & I barely even thought about it or much less tried. What matters is today. Maybe if I really struggle over this weight loss I'll do so much better in the long run-like I've bottomed out so badly the only way I can go is up & when I lose .2 pounds next week I'll still be grateful knowing all this.

Yeah, right.

Truthfully though, when I got to my meeting this morning I had a feeling I didn't lose any weight. & I didn't like that feeling but I still really want to lose weight & I know I am doing the best that I can & that is the most important thing. Like I was espousing to my son this week about his grades. I told him if he gets a 76 on his test but he did the best that he could, that's OK. Do you see the correlation?

So today is the start of my new week & I wrote on the back of my tally sheet that I commit to measuring my quantities of food more accurately. This won't be easy. I am a lot like my great grandmother when I cook-she never measured either. It's weird how I have inherited an aversion to measuring.
Well, at least my house is clean.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Seven days of dieting

& I don't even feel like I am on a diet as much as I feel like this is just what I am doing right now. I think that may be good. I don't even feel deprived. I hope all these feelings stay with me because mentally I feel so much better.

Yesterday when I got home I was ravenous for lunch-not something I recommend in terms of eating properly-but what I noticed while I was unwrapping the dark German wheat bread is how much better everything smells & tastes when I am truly hungry. I really enjoyed my sandwich. & this is good because according to Deepak Chopra it is very important for me to put my full attention on my meals while I am eating. I didn't speak to him personally, but I was lucky enough to take his Dosha quiz posted on his site at http://chopra.com/namaste/november07

I forget what body type I am but I do know my Kapha (body) & Vata (mind) need some work. No surprise there. It seems as though there is a heaviness, sluggishness, & congestion I need to deal with. If I focus on "activation & invigoration" by way of yoga, self massage, deep breaths, spicy, pungent,bitter & astringent foods, take a 5-15 minute walk after eating, drink invigorating tea & put my full attention on my meals as stated above-it should help. Who has time for all this?

& I didn't even tell you about what correcting my Vata entails, which is-Wait...I just don't think I can meditate 2X a day. I should also be creating rhythm & routine, a bedtime schedule, wear relaxing fragrances, listen to slow relaxing music, minimize heavy reading, TV, & eating at night & diffuse fragrances in my environment. Just listing this is stressing me out. Maybe I can fit in some Tai-Chi today. That's a lot like meditating. Even if I sit for a minute or two & try & quiet my mind- that's a start. & I can take the dog for a walk after lunch. I love to smell her, now there is a relaxing fragrance! Wow, maybe I can do some of this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Some reasons to continue running

-I'm not feeling that flab shake up & down anymore.

-euphoria is nice.

-accomplishing something I didn't think I could do is good for my self-esteem

-I get to see stuff like this. Click on photo to enlarge the picture so you can check out the glowing moss.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 5

OK,...so yesterday I didn't do so hot with my eating. It wasn't the worst of days but it certainly wasn't the best. If I had any "extra" points/calories leftover to use other than my allotment for the day-it wouldn't have been so bad, however I consumed them over this past weekend celebrating 3 birthdays. & we all know, if you are ever invited to a birthday party you must always do as Master Shakespeare commands us too-& I quote from his glorious Twelfth Night

"Dost thou think, because thou art virtuos, there shall be no more cakes and ale?"

So there you have it-I am virtuos & willing so I shall get to where I need to be. Today is a new day & I am happy to continue my journey gaining strength from yesterdays mistakes.

I think I shan't eat over my daily allotment when I start my new week this Saturday. This way I can be virtuos while imbibing with family & friends this Thanksgiving as I gobble down my "extra" 2100 calories. Uhmm-yummy, I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 4...

& I am feeling good. How could this be? It is so weird, but so good. I think starting running may have something to do with it. I started running 6 weeks ago hoping to get some of those endorphins I would hear about every so often. Wondering if it would work one day while at the brink of a mental meltdown I thought I would give it a try. I couldn't believe the results. First I thought I would run to the bank. It was very hard. The entire time I felt like I was running up a hill. My body felt so heavy & I could feel my flab shake up & down. I felt really uncomfortable. That took eight minutes. After waiting at the bank for 5 minutes I wondered if I could continue to run. Thinking of those endorphins & knowing I needed at least another 12 minutes for them to kick in, I knew I had to at least try. As I ran again I just kept thinking, let me try to get to that next corner and when I got there I felt so good about achieving that goal, it compelled me to run to the next corner & then the next until I completed another 12 minutes. It must have been my running angels because I hated running. Everyone talks about how it really isn't good for you & how it'll ruin your knees. Personally I know I may suffer some consequences, but the feeling of mental well being I experienced for the rest of the day after I completed my little challenge was worth it. Not only did I definitely feel some sense of inner balance, I felt really good about achieving something that I wasn't sure I could do.

I asked my friend how I should continue. She just completed her 16th NYC Marathon (& her knees look fine). After much encouragement & congratulating me on my taking up what she refers to as a dificult sport, she advised me to run for 25 minutes at least 3 days a week for 3 weeks & then gradually increase my time by 5 minutes every 3 weeks. She told me not to concentrate on distance right now, just run the allotted time. She says this way I will avoid injury as my body gets used to it. She also said that if I am running & suddenly feel I can't do it & I need to walk, I shouldn't get down on myself, I should just take comfort in the fact that I am listening to my body. My other friend who has been running as long as I can remember told me so much of it is mental. She said the first mile is always her hardest,but once she gets past that she knows she can go as far as she wants. What sage advice from the two of them. As I continued to run over the next few weeks their words kept coming to my mind making me feel like I wasn't alone & that I could do this.

I think running has given me some of my confidence back therefore giving me the courage to believe I can actually lose weight if I want to. & now for some reason which I probably will only ever figure out in hindsight, I really do want to lose weight.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I don't want to go to weight watchers again...

But I have too. My blood pressure was 140 over 85. My DR said if I lost weight it would go down. She told me to monitor my sodium intake by reading labels. She said some foods taste salty but have very little sodium & some foods taste like they haven't any salt yet have a lot.

The truth is, I didn't want to go to the DR either. I dreaded the visit. I had agreed to see her in late September early October with the idea that I would have lost 15 pounds by then. I hate dieting though and when I realised I wouldn't lose 15 pounds the week before I was supposed to see my doctor, I cancelled my appointment. It is now November & I was replaying the same scenario. A week before the doctor visit I made the decision to see her no matter what I weighed. I was thinking of my blood pressure & realized I had to face the music. So I did.

She immediately took blood work after checking my blood pressure. Unfortunately I had pizza for lunch the day before as well as shrimp for dinner. I know the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says the high amount of cholesterol in shrimp is OK now-it may have something to do with the low fat content & fish oils. Still though-I had pizza too.

The next day was like a small miracle. I felt a resolve inside me that I haven't felt in ages. That day I ate what I thought I should eat & kept track of my calorie & sodium level consumption. I like eating healthy foods so as long as the willingness is there I'm OK. My total calorie intake for the day was approx. 1200. I felt sated, energized & happy. My sodium was around 1100mg. All day I actually wanted to lose weight. I don't remember ever really wanting to lose weight before. The last time I went to WW, I went because I thought I should go. It feels better wanting to go though. I hope that feeling helps me succeed.

The following day I started weight watchers again. Initially I didn't want to go because I remember by the time I was winding down with my first & last stint at ww, the point thing was driving me crazy. I actually lost 23 pounds and was losing or gaining .2 or .8 lbs. per week. This was excellent. At least I was reasonably maintaining. Looking back on it I can see the problem was I had a merde attitude. Only now, wanting to lose weight suddenly seems so much more important than quibbling over their point system. Then my husband suggested I focus on the great support I could get there. That is when I decided that I would track my calories along with following their program. This, in my mind would help me keep it real. I wouldn't have an excuse about being bothered by the points.

The good news is that when I weighed in I was already .6 pounds less than 2 days ago. I felt like I was in the groove.