llcoolvad: (new)
It's possible that within the next two weeks I won't have a job anymore. The rumor mill is churning in overdrive right now: there's some pretty good evidence that we've been purchased, and that there will be big changes in staffing. We've heard it's a done deal. In fact, some reps from the new company were in a conference room here the other night, typing away furiously on laptops, and no one was allowed in (including people needing to fix things so they could use them in that room). The partners had a big meeting two nights ago. One of the founders of our company is leaving to go back to teaching. My direct managers are all in a "review" meeting right now (it's the end of the year, performance review-wise, so they COULD actually be doing that, but it seems pointless).

We've heard also that if we do retain our jobs we'll have to move offices, because they're renting ours out. Thanks to Sandy, our NYC office is offline until at least Monday, so we're all pretty sure we won't hear anything definitive until after they reopen. But the rumor is that everything will be done, i.e., decisions made about staffing, etc., by mid-month November.

The thing is, I would LOVE to be laid off right now. I would be SO HAPPY. They'd probably do a decent severance. I'd qualify for unemployment. I live in Massachusetts, so I'd be fine for health insurance. I live with Mom, so I wouldn't be out on the street. It's an ideal time, really, if such things can be ideal. [Which of course means I will not get laid off.]

The other thing is that the new company is a good company to work for. Huge huge company. Better benefits than ours. Highly regarded in the industry. Good promotion record for women. Women in upper management positions. So if I end up over there, that might be good, too. At least it would be a new company on my resume. I've worked at the same place for almost 13 years, now, which in the modern economy looks like I'm stagnating (which is true). Having a new company on my resume would be good.

So really, either way is good. I'd prefer the layoff. But at least at the new company I'd have opportunities to move into new positions. There isn't really anything I'd want to do at my current company. So we're all on edge, waiting for the shoe to drop.

In other news, my kitty has a new name. No more Mr. Whiskers, he's now Zachary. Mom gave me a list of names she liked, and I picked it off the list. Cooperation! Zach Johnson is a golfer she likes, so Zach it is. We're calling him Zach Black. He's rambunctious and adorable. And sometimes I want to kill him. And sometimes Sally Ali wants to kill him. But we're managing. He's very smart and very curious, and he occasionally ends up with a face full of cobwebs due to his curiosity and my inadequate housekeeping skills. Mr. Whiskers, indeed.

My exercising is less than satisfactory, and I've been eating a bunch. I'm on the upside of the four to five pounds I keep surfing, so that's not good. This stupid knee is sometimes better, and sometimes awful. I slept poorly last night, tossing and turning, achy all over, and that's true more often than not. I'll probably have to see my doctor about it, because it's just not good and I need a plan of action. I have a prescription for Tramadol, but I don't want to just treat the symptons. I'd like to see what I can do to solve it.

It's a new month, so I'm hoping to double down and get busy again. I haven't walked since Saturday, and here it is Thursday. I'll walk at lunch today, but I am so out of my groove. I've even been forgetting to put the Fitbit on.

Exercise Oct 20-Oct 30
Sat: Nothing; Fitbit logged 3,200 steps
Sun: Walking 60 min; Fitbit logged 9,700 steps
Mon: Nothing; Fitbit logged 4,000 steps
Tue: Walking 40 min; Didn't wear Fitbit
Wed: Nothing; Didn't wear Fitbit
Thu: Walking 45 min; Didn't wear Fitbit
Fri: Nothing; Fitbit logged 7,000 steps
Sat: Walking 40 min Fitbit logged 8,200 steps
Sun: Nothing; Fitbit logged 5,100
Mon: Nothing; Didn't wear Fitbit
Tue: Nothing; Didn't wear Fitbit
llcoolvad: (new)
Spent the week doing the usual. Added in some Roller Derby last weekend with my pal Michelle. Kind of hilarious. The subculture around it was surprisingly robust. Loads of fans there. Also loads of Shriners, since we were at the Shriner's Auditorium. Sometimes I go whole months forgetting there even ARE Shriners.

Derby Girls


Exercise Oct 10-Oct 19
Wed: Nothing; Fitbit logged 2,250 steps
Thu: Walking 55 min; Fitbit logged 10,600 steps
Fri: Nothing; Fitbit logged 4,200 steps
Sat: Nothing; Didn't wear Fitbit
Sun: Walking 60 min; Fitbit logged 9,200 steps
Mon: Nothing; Didn't wear Fitbit
Tue: Walking 50 min; Fitbit logged 10,300 steps
Wed: Nothing; Didn't wear Fitbit
Thu: Walking 75 min; Fitbit logged 15,400 steps
Fri: Nothing; Fitbit logged 5,000 steps

Trying to take it easy. My knee is a little better: I've got less pain, but it's still stiff when I bend it, and it hurts after a while when I walk. I'm doing a shitload of daily exercises and stretches, at least when I remember to I am. My PT says we'll see if it improves after this week coming, but if not I'd probably need to see an orthopedist. They might need to drain it. I also did something to my elbow, so I decided that I'd hold off on weight lifting for a couple weeks to give that a break too. I feel weird not going to the gym, I have to say. I was planning to go this evening, but I had some unexpected chores I had to take care of:

my guy

He's from the Animal Rescue League in Boston. He's a year and a couple months old. He came from a "crowding" situation (read: crazy cat lady who didn't get her cats fixed and had lots of kittens). I met him last night, and found out this evening that his foster mom chose me. Yay! He's not my normal type (I love the big orange boys, after all) but he's delightful and he needs me, so there you go. My new kitty! Sam's been dead for several years now: it's definitely time. And Sally Ali needs a friend. So I pick him up tomorrow after work. I am excited! Kitty!
llcoolvad: (new)
Had a week. Went to PT a few times. One time involved a kinda painful deep tissue massage on the inside of my leg and knee, so that sucked because it hurt for four days after, but then it started to feel better overall. Also am doing my stretching exercises. Picked up three more exercises, now have to do six, three times each, two times per day. Sheesh! Apparently you have to stabilize the hips and ankles to make the knees better, so that's sorta interesting. And also interesting because my hip hurts a bunch anyway.

Managed to get a few things done when I had some energy last Wednesday. Lots of housework, moving of air conditioners, laundry, organized the closet finally, etc. Hung out with P for a bit watching Revenge. Sunday he and I went over to Stephen and Val's for dinner, which was fun.

Exercise Oct 2-Oct 9:
Tue: Walking 20 min (started to rain!); Fitbit logged 5,000 steps
Wed: Nothing; Fitbit logged 4,500 steps
Thu: Walking 30 min; Fitbit logged 8,400 steps
Fri: Walking 10 min, weight lifting 45 min; Fitbit logged 5,500 steps
Sat: Walking 50 min; Fitbit logged 10,400 steps
Sun: Walking 60 min; Fitbit logged 11,400 steps (and 32 flights of stairs! thanks, Breakheart!)
Mon: Nothing; Fitbit logged 2,500 steps
Tue: Walking 55 min; Fitbit logged 10,300 steps

HATED exercising all week, right up until I went back outside and walked on Saturday, and then again on Sunday at Breakheart. I do much better outside. Was exhausted on Monday, no idea why. Barely did the food shopping, otherwise was pretty comatose all day; finished reading a book. Maybe the excitement of two days in a row walking did it. Didn't even go to weight lifting. Turns out it was probably for the best, as I found out today at PT that one of the things I do regularly at the gym is a very bad idea for someone with my back issue, so I will now stop doing that thing! I have a new thing I can do, so that's all good.

Yesterday I managed to get my walk done at lunch, again back outside. I was feeling pretty pokey and slow, however, feeling every ache and creak. PT told me to take it slower while the knee is getting better, but I don't know if I'd be able to speed along right now anyway. Can't tell if it's physical or mental, this malaise. Hope it hits the road soon!

Last week I decided to email the director of my YMCA to thank her for running a good facility. I pointed out a few specific things that I really appreciated, like my class and the pool with full time lifeguards, etc. I got a nice email back from her in which she told me that most of the email she gets involved requests or suggestions for improvement, so getting my email made her day. That was nice! And then it would seem that my good karma came back to me in the form of a weekly win in my LoseIt/YMCA challenge (the Hometown Wellness Showdown, which I have been participating in): a $50 gift card to New Balance! Cool timing.

I logged into LoseIt today and saw a banner across the page suggesting that I upgrade to "premium", and that the upgrade was on sale for $14.99 down from I think $39.99. Since I've been using them for over a year for free and have lost about 85 pounds almost directly due to them, I decided that upgrading was a good thing even if I didn't use any new features. They deserve the cash! If an app is good I usually upgrade. They just didn't ask me to until now. Looks like the new features are interesting, so I'll have to explore that.

I also bought the Humble Bundle today. I only had one of the books already, and it's good to feed the authors and donate to charity. I paid $25, although they'll accept any amount. Now I'll just have to up my reading pace to get through them all.
llcoolvad: (new)
Exercise Sep 19-24:
Wed: Nothing; Fitbit logged 3,300 steps
Thu: Weight lifting 25 min, walking 10 min, stationary bike 10 min; Fitbit logged 8,000 steps
Fri: Weight lifting 50 min, walking 30 min; Fitbit logged 9,500 steps
_____ hurt myself here, so trying to take it easy_____
Sat: Nothing; Fitbit logged 5,500 steps
Sun: Nothing; Fitbit logged 4,000 steps
Mon: Weight lifting 50 min; walkiing 30 min; Fitbit logged 2,500 steps (forgot it at home when I went to the gym)
Tue: Walking 10 min, weight lifting 15 min; Fitbit logged 5,250 steps (lunch hour at work)
Wed: Nothing. Was home all day so didn't put Fitbit on.

I'm not sure when the injury happened, exactly. I got mad while I was at my work gym on Thursday and maybe overdid it there. While I was waiting to get onto the treadmill I did some ab work (lying on a mat, suspending a 40 lb. barbell above my chest, lifting my legs up to perpendicular) and I then did some upper body exercises and some leg lifts. I didn't stretch beforehand. I got line jumped, and someone else took the treadmill before I managed to finish what I was doing, so I got mad and left and went to the Y. By the time I got there I was pretty pissed off and only did 10 minutes on the treadmill. Got onto the stationary bike and cranked up the tension pretty high. My knee felt sore the next day. Then I was enthusiastic after weights class on Friday and did some more jogging on the treadmill (just a few minutes here and there). It didn't feel good, but it also didn't feel actively bad when I was doing it. As soon as I got off the treadmill, however, I felt like my leg was cramping up. I massaged it and stretched it and limped to my car. The knee was hurting, too. It's still hurting. I'm finding it hard to bend. I got on the exercise bike at work yesterday to see if they'd fixed it, and spinning the pedals made it hurt a ton. It sorta feels like it felt before I had surgery years back. I hope I'm wrong! The walking wasn't too bad on Monday, and I kept the pace up at 3.5mph. Tuesday, though, really didn't feel right, even a bit slower at 3.3, so I decided to keep it super short.

I'm thinking I'll call up my PT place and ask if they can fit me in Friday morning. I probably should have called already, but I was sort of hopeful that the light work I'd done since Saturday would help it. No joy so far! I will probably do some more light walking tomorrow at work. Keep the speed down and keep the incline flat.

I would pay more attention to being sore, but honestly I am sore every day. I have arthritis in my knees and hips (I am guessing about the hips, but hey, they hurt) and I have a problematic L4, so basically I ache a little almost always—and that's whether I work out or not. This makes new pain less noticeable. That's totally my bad. I just hope I haven't hurt myself much! I will make the PT people show me safer stuff to do. At least I can still do weight lifting. Nothing I do there (with the possible exception of some of the ab stuff) is hurting me. The moral? Cardio = bad! :-)
llcoolvad: (new)
Forgot to stick this in my last entry. Feel compelled to report in!

Exercise Sep 11-19:
Tue: Nothing. Shopped all day; Fitbit logged 5,000 steps
Wed: Walking 30 min, stationary bike 10 min; Fitbit logged 10,000 steps
Thu: Walking and JOGGING! etc. 75 min, stupidly left Fitbit at home
Fri: Weight lifting 50 min, stationary bike 10 min; Fitbit logged 9,000 steps
Sat: Nothing, Fitbit logged 3,300 steps. Pretty low (and that included a fairly lengthy wander around the mall. I had it in my pocket, instead of clipped to my waistband. That might have made a difference?)
Sun: Nothing, Fitbit logged 2,500 steps. That was a super sedentary day!
Mon: Nothing formal, but made it to 15,000 steps on Fitbit. Big E, apple picking, much activity. Ouch!
Tue: Walking/jogging 30 min, weight lifting 20 min; Fitbit logged 9,000 steps (lunch hour at work)
Wed: Nothing; was mostly home all day so didn't put Fitbit on.

The Fitbit goal is around 10,000 steps a day. That works out to between four and five miles. You clip it on first thing in the AM and it tracks every step you take all day. I dunno really how indicative it is of health but the current wisdom suggests 10,000 steps per day is a decent idea. The Swedes suggest slightly more, depending on age and sex (kids need a lot more). Arizona State suggests categories of activity levels. Normally I guess I'd be a "low active" unless I consciously work out. You people who walk to work or commute in a non-car way probably are higher on the activity scale.

So on Tuesday I found out that running on a treadmill is easier than running outside (that's probably a big DUH to most people). Managed five full minutes a couple of times. The rest was fast walking. Leveled up in walking speed again. Yay!

I took last night off. Wanted to get some stuff done, was a little sore from the day before.
llcoolvad: (new)

Back to work yesterday. Woo! Hard to get up. The cat was annoyed. She was already used to me staying home. Ah well, that's my life: disappointing felines.

So I started using "Day One", which is a journaling app on the iPad. It's nice because it's really clean and simple and it lets you add a picture to each day. I am pretty obsessive, so once I start doing a thing I do it every day. The app chimes a little reminder to update, and knowing I'm going to update makes me take a picture at some point throughout my day, so it's sort of serving a dual purpose. It means I have very little floating around in my brain for here, though. I guess I can refer back.

Hmm. I really spent most of my week off doing a lot of nothing, but a good kind of nothing. Going to stores I never get a chance to go to. Sleeping in. Catching up on some movies (finally watched the other two Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" movies. Very good! I admit it, I watched the dubbed versions. Dubbed is not something I normally seek out, but I have little patience lately and can't sit in a chair and just watch a movie unless I'm at a theater. Can't casually watch a subtitled movie, so dubbed it is!). Catching up on some DVRd summer shows, stuff like that. I also got outside a lot. Walks, ambles, trips to nowhere. The weather was just perfect all week.

On Thursday I headed out to get my hair cut, then had lunch. Since I went to Five Guys and ate more fries than I should have, I decided to take a walk at Breakheart Reservation again. I loaded up on bug spray and hit the hill side first (an aside: I guess I am fairly unique in going that way. Most people start on the flat side and then work their way to the hills, but P took me the hill side first, and that makes sense to me. Get it over with while you're fresh and have energy!), but somehow missed the turnoff for the longer path. Realized it fairly quickly, so I decided that I'd make my walk a little more challenging since it would be shorter, and since I was mostly alone up there and no one could see me, I started to jog on the downhills and flat parts. Not a LOT, mind you. A minute here, a minute there. But hey! That's FREAKING AMAZING. It wasn't even awful. It was sorta ok. I was worried about my knees, because even after 85 pounds off or whatever, there is still a LOT of me to haul around. But they seemed ok. (I felt a little shin splinty, so we'll have to see how that goes.) In fact, they seemed so ok that I decided to do a second circuit and see if I could do more. So I did a second whole loop, ran on some of the flats and downhills, and upped my pace walking on the uphills. Did four miles altogether, mostly walking, but some of it at speed! So weird. I got caught one time: I was trying to run when no one was around, because ugh! But some guy zoomed around the corner on a bike coming towards me, and as we passed he gave me a thumbs up and said "Great job!" which was both nice and kinda embarrassing. Everyone is SUPER NICE up there. Greetings and smiles all around. Eerie.

The rest of the weekend was more shopping, the play (Patrick's boyfriend Peter is the lead), dinner with P's mom, P, and Peter for P's birthday, weights class, house cleaning, reading, picture taking, etc. I'll do another entry for Monday, because that was a pretty eventful day--apple picking and the Big E! But there are pictures, and this is long enough. 

llcoolvad: (new)
So we sent a "we're not coming" email to the client that had vanished, and I just logged in to work email and HE STILL NEVER REPLIED! It is the most bizarre thing. I cannot imagine how this guy (who used to work for our company as a consultant — so he's super tuned in to communication skills, you know?) just decides that not answering us is a good idea! Of course I don't understand how my bosses decided that email was the best method of communication, either. It is a puzzle, indeed. But it's not MY puzzle, so yay for being a low rung. So then I decided to take this week off. Really need it! Just need some brain space.

Exercise:
Tue: Walking 30 min, weight lifting 10 min (lunch break)
Wed: Walking 35 min, stationary bike 10 min
Thur: Nada
Fri: Nada (yep, missed class AGAIN!)
Sat: Walking 35 min
Sun: Walking 30 min
Mon: Walking 20 min, stationary bike 10 min, weight lifting 45 min
(my teacher asked where I was the last few classes. I lied and said I was busy at work. Ah, well. I suppose he's heard "I just wasn't feeling it, coach" loads of times and I just could have been honest. He's not being nosy, he just knows my goals and wanted to make sure I was still doing my cardio. I reassured him.)

The shorter walking times are directly treadmill-related. I can't stand being on the treadmill for a whole hour, and I just can't make myself do it. So I don't. It's better if I go off into the world. But if it rains, or I am short on time, or it is late in the day and prime mosquito time, then treadmill it is. It's all good, right? I'm getting more exercise than a lot of people, and way more than I ever used to get. I also walk faster on the treadmill than out in the wild, and my speed is (obviously) way more consistent. I've gone from an average speed of 3mph to 3.5mph, so that's a big win. I also can check my heart rate on the treadmill: I still haven't bought a heart rate monitor, so having it on the treadmill is pretty convenient. If my heart rate isn't in the "fat burning" zone I can increase the incline and crank the speed a little. I am probably going to add in my fitbit data one of these entries. Just be interesting to track (not for you, I'm sure, but I write this mostly for me).

I finally did a measurements spreadsheet. While I was plowing through scraps of paper (see below) I found a scrap I'd written measurements on earlier in the year. Idiotically, I didn't date the scrap, so I just know it was a few months ago. And comparing that with now, I've lost an inch here, a half inch there, another inch over here...so that's super.

If I have one regret for this whole weight loss process, it's that I didn't take measurements as I started. I wish I had measurements and some before pictures. I can find a few here and there, some really awful ones, but nothing full body. A few sitting down. One horrible one of me in shorts by Patrick's pool in the early 2000s. But I wish I just had a whole body before.

I took Saturday in addition to all this week (my Labor Day holiday), so I will have 10 full days off when it's done. I'm not traveling or anything. I have a lot of house stuff I want to get done. I have a few ideas of fun things to do also, however. For example, next Monday I am going to do two fun things. First, I've never actually been apple picking, so I'm going to do that with my work pal Joanne. Then, since we'll already be somewhere kinda remote, we decided we'd hit the Big E for a few hours. She's originally from Springfield, so the Big E is sort of her old stomping grounds; I haven't been in probably 20 years, so I guess I'm due! Should be fun. I plan to take many pictures, probably of cows.

I already did a couple of fun things: on Saturday I went clothes shopping. Mom had given me some cash to spend on clothes for my birthday, so I decided I'd look around in Marshall's. It still amazes me that I can find things that fit me there. And that they fit right off the rack. And that they're cheap! It's sort of miraculous. I need outerwear (the jacket I wore last spring made Patrick wince every time. "It's falling off of you! Will you buy a new jacket for god's sake!") and new fall things might be nice, too. I found a couple of vest-type jackets, so I'm still not done in the outerwear category, but I also found some good tops, another dress (!), and some awesome socks. (they're so awesome I might go back for more) I don't know what it is about the lighting in the changing rooms, but I always feel like I look great while I'm in there. My phone's camera does not capture the lighting properly, but here you go:

Me in the changing room at Marshall's


On Sunday Patrick and I walked down to the Victorian Fair in Melrose, and it turned out to be surprisingly fun. I expected it to be sort of half-assed and lame, but there were thousands of people there and a lot of things to see and eat and interact with. I had fried dough, because it is my favorite. Patrick got kettle corn because it is his favorite. We shared. There were strange things at the fair, including statue actors in steampunk and copper paint. There was a man dressed as Lincoln. There was Santa. There was a Victorian Lady complete with parlor setting. There were National Guardsmen and their Humvee. There were crazy people and lots of kids and dogs.

Statue Actors in steampunk finery Too soon! AUGH!


After, we had lunch accidentally at Sonic — we had intended to go elsewhere, but there was freak traffic on rte 1 and we were thirsty and nothing says thirst-slaker like Sonic. And OMG! They have this awesome low-cal Cherry Limeade. 20 cals for a large! SO EXCITED, because it was good. And tots are 220 cals. So I had some of those, too. I haven't been to Sonic since I started dieting, so that was sorta keen.

Last night I finally dealt with my mail. I am pretty slacktastic about my mail in general. It comes in, I glance at it, and unless it's something unusual I just toss it in a bag to deal with eventually. It's dumb, but there you go. I pay all my bills online, so it's not like I need return envelopes or anything. So last night I plowed through it. I made a stack of the charities that are begging me for cash, and once I have a little extra I'll be sending those out. Best to do now, before the Christmas rush. They need money all year, right?

Because I became a member of the Peabody Essex Museum and the Museum of Science this last year I've also been getting museum spam. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum wants me to be a "charter" member, and MOMA also would like me to cough up some dosh. Shall I be all arts-patrony? I don't know. Maybe! We'll see how much I can afford. I do love the Gardner. And I've still never been to MOMA. OH! and the local zoos have been hitting me up, too (that's probably because of the museum of science). I dunno about that one. How often would I actually go to the zoo in one year? Zoos make me sad. I don't think I can be sad more than once every few years.

Today was back to chores day. Had a funny mother moment: She's been convinced that the friendly cat from next door is dead. We used to get regular visits from said cat until Mom yelled at the woman who owned it, saying it was going to get hit by a car if she didn't keep it inside because we live on a busy intersection. So sure enough, soon after, the cat vanishes. Haven't seen him/her in months. I tried to convince my mother that the cat's owner had taken her advice. She was convinced that the cat was dead, though, because she always jumps to the worst possible explanation for something. So today it's finally cold enough outside that the cat's owner took her A/C out of her window, and when I came home I glance up and there was the cat right in the window. Came inside, pointed it out to Mom, and she says "Oh! They must have gotten another cat."
llcoolvad: (new)
On my walks, I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near Tannhäuser Gate...

OK, maybe none of that. But I see pretty things. Apparently I like to walk near water.

Footpath


Social stuff: Met Patrick's boyfriend Peter on Saturday night. Went to a Japanese place, ate way too much! So good, though. And Peter is very nice! On Sunday I saw Steve and Val: we ate dinner at the beach, then we took a walk along the seawall in Swampscott.

Sun Setting Over Swampscott


Monday, P and I had lunch and then took a walk at the Breakheart Reservation. GORGEOUS weather. Nature! We saw two deer. I couldn't get a picture because they were in deep shrubbery and looked like nothing through my camera lens. Lots of hills there, so I got a pretty good workout. It's about three miles from my house, so I think I'll start going there more often. Only open daylight hours, so it'll have to be on the weekends.

Breakheart Reservation


Exercise:
Tuesday: Walking 50 min (lunchtime at work)
Wednesday: Walking 60 min
Thursday: Walking 45 min (lunchtime at work)
Friday: Walking 50 min (lunchtime at work)
Saturday: Walking 45 min (lunchtime at work)
Sunday: Walking 35 min
Monday: Walking 45 min

All seven days! And 5.5 hours. Not too strenuous on Sunday, but that was extra, anyway. I was REALLY not feeling it on Friday, so I skipped weights class. I had already walked at lunch, so I figured that was ok. But I had forgotten that today was Labor Day and my class wasn't being held! So a whole week of no lifting heavy things. I might go to the work gym tomorrow at lunch and lift heavy things. But I dunno. Stupid holidays. Mess me all up! I drove to the gym and pulled into the parking lot and only the lack of other cars made me realize that DUH, holidays mean things close sometimes.

Looks like the work training session is at least postponed, but possibly cancelled. It's weird: we've been sending email to the guy (a VP at the company) who set it all up, and until a few weeks ago he was very prompt in his responses. Then suddenly he just stopped responding. We've sent him three requests. Got an out of office reply to the middle one, but now he hasn't replied to any of them. So bizarre! I mean, if he wanted to cancel, why not just let us know? No big deal. And if he was fired or something, why the out of office reply with a return date? We cc: another member of his team, so if he'd died or something you'd think the other member would at least let us know. But no! We've decided that even if he responds this week there's not enough time to pull it together by Sunday, which would be travel day.

I note that my management team simply refuses to try to solve the mystery. No one will pick up a phone. They're all "we emailed him, ball's in his court!" Which is spectacularly unhelpful all around. Whatever. I stopped writing the training document. We'll still bill them for what we've done. And maybe I'll take the week of the 10th off. Because I REALLY need a vacation.
llcoolvad: (new)

Had a good week. Very encouraged by my overall health reports, especially the sleeping thing. Part of me still can't believe it. Very cool! I really had the creeping suspicion that I'd waited too long to work on my health, and that I would do all this stuff and nothing much would change. Never happier to be wrong about something. And go figure: conventional wisdom was right all along. Weight loss is good for you. Who knew? :-)

In retrospect, I'm feeling a bit conflicted about my letter from my doctor. The usual letter arrived, but in the same day's mail there was a new letter, obviously sent directly by the hospital with my test results. Part of that letter included a laundry list of all of my "conditions", and it was pretty disturbing to see all in one place. Especially since some of them (in my opinion anyway) are no longer conditions I have. I don't know what the protocol is. Do they stay on my record forever? I mean, I never actually had allergic rhinitis or reactive airway disease: I had a tumor in my throat that was irritating everything around it and making my sinuses inflamed and making me cough. I might not have obstructive sleep apnea any more. I don't get restless legs now. I had a goiter, but they cut it out. So does all that shit stay on there forever? I keep getting requests to be part of hospital studies for people with asthma, but I don't have asthma. AUGH. I guess I should make sure all this stuff is going to stick for a while before I get all uppity about it.

Other people's health: My aunt had a bad pain in her stomach this weekend, along with pretty serious night sweats. Finally called an ambulance at 4am Monday morning. She's 83 and lives alone, so we get pretty scared when she doesn't feel well. It turned out to be pneumonia, which is bad, but could be so much worse that we were hugely relieved. Also, pain in the stomach for pneumonia? Weird! She was already feeling a lot better by this afternoon, and she'd only been in the hospital for about 12 hours at that point. YAY antibiotics and good nurses! They think she'll go home tomorrow. So glad she finally listened to my Mom and went to the hospital. Listen to your bodies, people! Stabby pain usually isn't a good thing. And more evidence that my crazy mother is crazy: she was CONVINCED that Paula must have been bitten by a mosquito and that she had West Nile (she lives in one of the hot zones for it). I like it when SCIENCE smacks down her crazy.

Suzanne had her surgery and got the white sling, so YAY! When I spoke with her last she was planning to be back to work by Tuesday. I've left her alone, phone-wise, not wanting to wake her up if she was napping, so I dunno if that's still the case. Miss Janet was a hero again and drove her to and from the surgery, and stuck around for an extra day to help out in general. She's awesome.
_____________

The week's summary:

Social stuff: Dinner with P on Wednesday night at Ruth's Chris. Was very good! Good thing we don't drink, because MAN was the tab high anyway. Then we got cannolis at Mike's Pastry in the North End. Dinner with Jenn on Thursday night, including dessert. Drove my coworker Joanne home on Saturday after work so I could meet her kitties*. Lunch with P on Sunday, no dessert. Gotta get back on the wagon. I'm going to dream about that filet for a long time. DRENCHED in butter! Saw Mary Ellen at the library this evening, chatted a bit. Drove her home and met her kitties! A week for kitties.

Workouts:
Tuesday: nothing
Wednesday: nothing
Thursday: Walking 45 min (lunchtime at work)
Friday: Weights class 55 min, bike 20 min, walking 25 min (lunchtime at work)
Saturday: Walking 50 min (lunchtime at work)
Sunday: Rest day!
Monday: Weights class 40 min, bike 20 min, walking 20 min






4 out of 7 days this week. Eh, birthday week. I probably should have worked out on Sunday, but I like my tradition of Sunday rest day. And I walked a LOT on my birthday. So meh!

Rest of the week, after all the birthday festivities, was pretty ordinary. I really want to take a nice long vacation. Having two extra days off last week just whetted my appetite for vacation. I need a long stretch. Once New York is over, I'll take some time then.

Watched "Case Histories" on Masterpiece Mystery this week; really good show. I love Jason Isaacs. Apparently he also recorded the British version of the audio books that the series is from, which of course we don't have here on Audible. Found the CDs through amazon.uk so I ordered them. I'll be out of Will Patton reading James Lee Burke, soon, and I'll need a new fix. Go from deep South to odd Yorkshire/transplanted to Scotland accent. Should be good.

I confess: My iPad is truly a delight. I was sort of scornful of tablets; why would I need one? I have a laptop and a smartphone, I've got everything I could need. But there's something about a tablet. It's pretty nifty. Perfect size for reading in bed, watching a video, reading the web, playing games. Not heavy like my personal laptop. Doesn't heat up like my personal laptop. Fits nicely in the hand. I'm sure I'm just about the last person to get one, so you all probably already know this. But I know that in a fire I'd grab it. Maybe after my phone, but maybe before!

And now to bed. Fitbit strapped on and iPad recording my sleep again. Need more data!

* Her kitty Pierre looks like someone took my wee Greykitty and inflated her with a pump. He weighs around 30 pounds and is the largest cat I've ever seen in person! He let me scritch him under his chin and rub his enormous belly, and I even got a rumbly purr out of him. BIG KITTEH!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

llcoolvad: (new)
Long week this week, and I was just exhausted all week so it felt longer. Mom had her cataract surgery on Wednesday, which involved a lot of driving around — first to drop her off, then to pick her up, then to bring her to her eye doctor's office, then back home — while I was also working from home. We also had contractors at the house blowing insulation into the walls, which basically involves removing clapboards, drilling holes, running the pump thingie into the walls, then (I assume) filling the holes and putting the clapboards back. That is not a quiet process! They took three days, so I had to get up early each day. Really glad that's over with. But hopefully that means we'll be warmer and will pay less for heat this winter.

Social stuff: P and I got a late dinner after my weights class on Friday. That's it, other than work chatting. Too tired for much else.

Workouts:
Tuesday: Nothing
Wednesday: Nothing
Thursday: Stationary bike 30 mins. (MAN did I have to force myself to go, felt good after I did, tho)
Friday: Weights class 45 mins, stationary bike for 15 mins (had to meet P for dinner so I cut it a little short)
Saturday: Rowing machine 15 mins, weight lifting 15 mins, 5 min elliptical (lunchtime at work)
Sunday: Rest day!
Monday: Rowing machine for 30 mins, weights class for 45 mins

That's only 4 out of 7 days. See prev re: tired. Glad it's over. This week will be better!

Sunday was mostly nothing much. I slept late, got up, did a few chores things, then after chatting with a friend determined that I should buy SOMETHING on tax-free weekend, so I went to Newbury Comics and bought a few CDs. I probably saved $3, but at least I contributed to the economy, right? Then headed over to the local farm "stand" — it's really more like a supermarket, but their stuff is really good. Found a few native tomatoes (yay!) and some native corn so I made BLTs with corn on the cob on the side for dinner. SO GOOD. I finally watched the rest of the opening ceremony for the Olympics, fast-forwarding through the parade part. Macca was not very exciting. I wonder when I'll watch the closing ceremony? I didn't record it, so I guess I'll only have the On Demand option.

Today was my annual checkup with my primary care doc. Seemed to go well. I am down 11 pounds since I saw him last (although that was April, I think, so that's not GREAT, but it's still good). Blood pressure was 107/70. I will learn the rest when my 8 vials of blood come back — he sends me a results letter usually about a week after the appt. EKG was normal, too, I think. At least they didn't wave their hands in the air and push alarm bells, so I am assuming all was well. The woman taking my EKG hadn't seen me since last year and freaked out about my weight loss. So that was nice. I've been going to the same doctor for so long I know all the people who work there. Pretty satisfying.

I have to fast before I go to see my doctor so they can get a fasting blood sugar, so I was pretty ravenous afterward. I stopped at the cafe in my doctor's building before I left for my next appointment to catch a quick lunch. I was sitting there playing words with friends and eating my salad when I heard my doctor behind me. "Hi Laurie!" I got a little laugh out of the thought that, after all the discussions of my weight loss, at least I was eating a salad and not a hot fudge sundae. How often do you see your physician at a restaurant? I still felt a smidge ... caught? I dunno. It amused me, anyway.

Appointment number two was my gynecologist. So perhaps you are male or from outside the U.S. and you don't know this about the medical world here: there are tons of women who don't actually have primary care physicians, but because they want birth control they have to have gynecologists. As a result, the GYNs have stepped into the void and become de facto PCPs for most of their patients. So my GYN is very chatty and full-medical-history-taking and involved, spends a lot of time taling to her patients about their whole health, etc. Yelled at me the first time I went about my overall health, my weight, the whole thing. Reinforced that with subsequent visits. It was sorta irksome, because I actually HAVE a PCP, but I understand the driving force behind it, anyway.

Today she didn't actually recognize me. I only see her once per year, so she hadn't seen me since the weight loss. Anyway, she gushed at me and told me to keep doing what I'm doing, and I was her patient of the year, and all this silly stuff that felt really good to hear. She said that the current advice for exercise is 150 minutes per week to maintain decent health, so I feel good about exceeding that by a lot, almost every week. She also thought that if I continue down the path and get to my goal, it's possible insurance would pay for some of the plastic surgery I might need, since it would be medically necessary. (I gots lots of extra skin already. TMI, sorry! It's what I'm hoping the weights and gym will help with, frankly) It's weird to be having that conversation with someone who is also giving you a breast exam, but there you go.

And then I did all my usual Monday stuff, including weights class, which was hard today! But in a good way. I went up in heaviness today on almost everything. My triceps are still wimpy bitches, though, and the "head-knockers" are still tough for me. I tried the 30 pound barbell, did seven reps very shakily, had to go back to the 20 pounder. Wimpy triceps!

I probably overdid it a bit by then hitting the rowing machine after class, but I *like* the rowing machine, and I can't say that about any of the other cardio options (other than swimming). I think the rowing machine is my new friend. Although I am not sure I'm doing it right. My back is a little sore. My guy at the gym told me to keep my back straight, but how the heck do you do that when you're on the recovery part (the scootching forward)? I will have to practice more. Thank god for youtube videos, seriously.

I need a day off. Oh, right, I just had two. Doesn't feel like it!
llcoolvad: (new)
Update: Eastern Mass

Friday night was weights class, and this time the instructor didn't show up! But there were enough women there that they pieced together a pretty good workout anyway, so I managed to get about 50 minutes in of weight lifting, plus my there-and-back walk, plus 10 minutes on the bike.

Saturday was dead at work again, so Mike let us go early. Decided on IKEA with P, who spent a lot of dosh and got a lot of stuff. I got some tin boxes, and bought some Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce. MMM! Went back to P's place to help him trim Gracie's nails. I think we finally have a workable system for that, so it should be easier going forward. She looked disgruntled, but there was no blood loss on either side. Win!

I didn't leave the house at all on Sunday — spent the whole day cleaning. Got through about eight loads of laundry (mostly Mom's stuff), cleaned the whole kitchen including floor, cleaned the whole bathroom including floor and washing all the towels, cleaned my bedroom including changing the bedding, vacuuming, cleaning off my desk. Updated stuff on my phone, synced new playlist for a new audio book. Other mundane stuff like that. Productive, but nothing much to report.

Monday was more busy stuff: had lunch out, did groceries, recycling, more laundry, then made dinner for mom and went to gym. Trying to get the most out of my time at the gym, so this time I did more than ever before: 20 min swimming (or so), 35 min weight lifting (class), 15 min bike, 3 min elliptical, 25 min walking (to and from the gym, that is). So that's a full hour and a half of exercising. Pretty good! I need to start with the elliptical next time, as I did it almost last (after 1/2 walk, bike, weights) so I was pretty pooped. I did the swimming last, which meant I could do one length of the pool, then would have to stop and catch my breath for a bit, then another length, etc. I think I did 16 lengths? But I wasn't really paying close attention. I know I was in there for about 30 minutes, so I'm counting 20 of that as swimming time. Ish. I'm not even remotely speedy. I might have to do the swimming on nights when I don't do the weights because my arms were pretty tired. I just get enthused once I'm there.

Today I woke up feeling head-coldy, sorta. I had already arranged to be off work so I could take Mom to the eye doctor. She's having cataract surgery next month, and today they needed to dilate her eyes so they could take measurements (or something). She also had her pre-op appointment with her GP, so I spent a lot of time hanging around reading. After we got home I basically stared at the internet. Finally roused myself to do some quick errands, said hey to [livejournal.com profile] sarcasticah at her library gig, and found some dinner. Decided at the last minute that I would skip the gym tonight because I just felt a little drained. Wednesday is work from home day, so I'll be able to go early and get some good time in.

Have seen more action on the scale. If the number I saw today and yesterday hangs around, it's now 87 pounds since the end of last June. Pretty good! I weigh less now than I have since probably the mid to late 80s? I can't remember what I gained when I first went away to college, but I don't think it was anything dainty like the freshman 15. Then again, I didn't weigh myself much back then. I'm about 35 pounds from what I think of as my starting college weight. And I am 127 pounds lighter than my max weight, which I figure must have been in 2000 (and probably a bit before). I had somehow dropped 30 pounds off that maximum when I weighed in at a Weight Watchers meeting back in 2005, which was probably directly due to quitting sugared soda (particularly Coke) after my diabetes diagnosis. I was completely surprised by this, actually, and made them weigh me three times. I didn't really end up embracing WW. I wish now that I had, of course. Would have been nice to have had seven more years of healthier life. Jerk.
_____________

So I have to admit it: I love feeling fitter. I love just getting up and doing things, rather than thinking about doing things first, dreading the effort, procrastinating, and eventually making myself miserable.

I love that the heat isn't affecting me like it normally would. I mean, it's been brutally hot many days this summer and I am actually loving it. I go outside to warm up and bake in the sun a bit at lunch. I don't run my air conditioner very often when I'm home, and when I do I turn it off fairly quickly after I start it.

I love little things, too, like the fact that I can run down the stairs now and that I don't THINK about it and hold onto the railing and concentrate on every step. I love knowing that my knees, while still a bit noisy, can take it. I love that I'm off two of my five daily meds, and probably can come off another. I love that I just sit on things, now, without doing elaborate mental calculations to figure if they can hold me up. I love wearing my old t-shirts and realizing that I am swimming in them. I even love having calluses on my feet from walking.

A year ago I felt hopeless and sick and miserable and disgusting and didn't know what to do with myself. Today I feel so different — healthier, happier, my normal sunny optimism restored (stop laughing). Exponentially better. Can't wait to see how I feel by this time next year!

Fabulous by fifty. I'll be 48 in a few weeks. Got a little time.
llcoolvad: (new)
Saturday was a pretty slow work day. I wasn't sore from the workout the night before, which surprised me. I was supposed to see P so we could hit a movie, but he got a better offer and blew me off, so I just spent the night home. It was so damned hot out that I had done my exercising at my work's gym (FIVE WHOLE MINUTES on the elliptical this time, and lots of treadmill), so I didn't need to go out for any reason. Was nice!

Sunday I decided to finally deal with the stuff I'd brought back from Suzanne's basement. It's my childhood book collection, along with a lot of games and puzzles and such. I'd been driving around with it in my car for two weeks, and the whole time it was smelling of mildew which was annoying me. I figured that baking in a super hot car for a while would be good for killing any residual mildew, but two weeks was plenty. Patrick was willing to stick the stuff in his attic along with all my other stuff, and I did some quick internet searches on ways to kill off mildew smell in books. One suggestion was to put the books with some dryer sheets and seal them in Ziploc, so I got some of those giant Ziploc bags, repacked everything into them with a bunch of dryer sheets, and sealed them all up. If that doesn't solve it, I guess the stuff will end up trash, but I couldn't make that decision this weekend. I mean, all my childhood!

Anyhow, brought it all over to P's, visited for a few minutes, then took off. Wanted to get my car sanitized. I went to the car wash and vacuumed it, washed the exterior, even cleaned out the glove compartment. Smells good now! That made me happy. Brought mom home some lunch. Headed off to Steve and Val's for dinner and chatting. They made pasta with roasted eggplant, and suddenly I like eggplant. WHO AM I? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME? I went back for seconds on the eggplant. It really goes to show that any veggie is good roasted in the oven with olive oil.

On the way home I stopped at Zinga!, which is a self-serve frozen yogurt place. They have the full nutrition panels for every one of their flavors and toppings. If you're careful and weigh everything, you can get out of there with a low calorie delicious snack. And I was very careful. It's my new favorite place.

Today was grocery shopping and recycling, and that's about it. Lunch, then more Zinga! I took another nap today, too. What's with the napping? I woke up fitfully, and finally made dinner before round two of weightlifting class. Went well. Some interesting exercises, a lot of which use your own body weight as the resistance. A lot of his exercises involve getting down on the floor and lying on our backs and such, and the getting down there and back up is a challenge for me with my knee but I'm managing so far.

I have always liked weight lifting, going back to high school gym class. We had the option to go out and play tennis, play softball, or work in the weight room. I sometimes did tennis, but mostly I did the weight room. I've always been pretty strong (for a GIRL), but as I get older I've noticed I've lost that. No more. I will regain it and then some! I am using Ernestine Shepherd as my inspiration. I'll probably never be that kind of awesome, but hey. She's 75 and runs two hours a day. That's pretty impressive. Check out the image search!

I've finally seen a little scale action the past few days. That's a relief. This has been a long plateau. I was hoping the gym addition would do something to shake things up.
llcoolvad: (new)
Some weeks I am more together than other weeks. I let this last week basically get away from me, and I don't even know how. The week of the fourth was nice and relaxing. I worked Thu-Sat as usual, and it was not surprisingly very quiet at work. Saturday night, P and I were supposed to see a movie, but when we got to the theater it was so sold out that there were exclamation points in the sign telling us it was COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!! Ok, FINE. We went and got some dinner, then since we needed to go back to Cambridge to get my car anyway, we decided to take a walk around Memorial Drive and cross over the BU Bridge to Storrow Drive and the parkway along there. Was a nice walk, very buggy on the Cambridge side, less so on the Boston side. About 4.5 miles. I'll admit that I was pretty sore at the end. Yay!

Sunday I started the day with an orientation session at the Y gym. My trainer was pocket-sized, 20, and adorbz. About halfway through my session, as we gossiped about music and where he liked to work out, he got this huge grin on his face and said "So I've gotten myself into a little trouble lately..." and told me that he'd started seeing two different girls, and how he was afraid they'd figure out about each other thanks to facebook because one of them was always posting pictures and he figured he'd get tagged in them. As I was lifting heavy things I first commented that one was hard enough and what was he thinking? and then reminded him that you could turn off the tagging option in facebook. He said he'd thought of that, but if he turned off tagging it would be even more obvious! He said he really needed to choose one, he knew he did, and he really needed to do it soon.

Oh, the problems of the beautifully sculpted 20-year-old.

We then bonded over the fact that his dad, also a trainer, was only four years older than I ("you look great for your age!" he chirped). So he continued to pummel me with heavy things, and by the end of the (super long) session I was battered and sore; I thanked him and as I walked away I said "take care of that problem SOON!" and he burst out laughing and swore he would. I so want to friend him on facebook to see the fallout! I suppose that would be inappropriate. Sigh!

Anyway, that pretty much did me in physically for the rest of my weekend. I was practically inert for the rest of Sunday. I managed to go out and do a little shopping, but mostly I sat around doing very little that involved my arms, back, chest, or abs. Coughing, sneezing, laughing? OW. And again on Monday I was pretty lazy. I did go out for my walk Monday night, but I was pretty slow. Everything creaked and groaned. I didn't even do the dishes.

Tuesday I started to feel a little better, and I just had lingering arm soreness. Chest was better by then, back was fine (we did chest, arms, back, and abs in my marathon session). Abs were still a little jumpy, but not painful. Of course I had to use my arms all day, as one does, so it wasn't much of a comfort that the rest of me felt better. Stupid arms. How does brushing my hair hurt? FEH! I managed to walk that night, too, a little faster this time. I saw Mary Ellen at her job at the library (I broke my walk into 2 parts and stopped at the library in the middle. Needed more audio books! My addiction, she is strong), which was nice. And I did the dishes.

Wednesday was my WFH day, so I didn't have to wash my hair (because—arms!). I managed to get my laundry done by throwing the hampers down the stairs, then sort of sadly dragging them across the basement floor to the washer. Pathetic! Went out for Thai for lunch to make myself feel better. Worked! At the end of the day I took my walk and ended up at my old apartment, visiting Patrick. Turns out it's only 2.92 miles from door to door, so that's convenient. He nicely drove me home, so I wouldn't have to stress my sore self out by making it 5.84 miles round trip.

Thursday I was still arm-wise pretty sore, but mostly the day seemed normal enough until after dinner, when I just totally put myself to bed for a nap. No walk, no television, no internet. Just nap. I woke up around 11:30, watched a couple episodes of Mad Men, and went back to bed. Had fitful dreams, very classic anxiety (for me) — I've left my caged pets for a week without feeding them in a hot attic, and suddenly now I've remembered them, that kind of thing. Usually when I dream that kind of dream I'm sick. And there was the napping thing! I don't nap. I suck at it.

But today I felt ok. Finally the arms felt pretty much healed up. I had some energy. I had to lead an orientation/training session at work, I had to sit through a firm meeting, I had some work, and I still felt ok all day. So tonight I went in for the "women and weights" training class, and lifted more heavy things. It's a freeweights class, so no fancy machines for us. Just some dumbbells, barbells, and benches. Woot! Was pretty fun. Meets 2x per week, on Mondays and Fridays, so I guess I'll keep going. After the class I got on the stationary bike and OW! I could only do five minutes at resistance 9. I have no idea what that means. I could only do two minutes on the elliptical (who says that's low impact? damn, that hurt) and then I walked home. Still, I feel pretty good about the whole thing. Yay, YMCA! I like you.

And now some sleep. Maybe tomorrow I'll use the stationary bike at work. Supposed to be too hot to go for my walk.

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