Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Who cares? It's SPRING!

It's SPRING!  Totally spring!  If I was young, thin, firm, beautiful and having a good hair day I'd wake up early and dance naked among the spring flowers.  Unfortunately, there will never be a day where all those circumstances happen simultaneously.  I'd do it anyway, but I'm afraid I'd scare Mother Nature away and we'd have 6 more weeks of winter.  I adore this time of year.  It doesn't matter that my basement still leaks.  It's spring.  Who cares that we're working one Nursing Supervisor short at the hospital and it's absolute chaos and hell working alone?  No one cares!  It's spring!  The house is still a mess, my laundry will always be piled up, all my nails have been broken this month, and I think my younger daughter has chosen another loser boyfriend.  But I don't care.  It's spring!  The sparse, barren, gray colored land is turning green again.  Leaf buds are forming on the tree branches.  There's no more ice on my car windshield in the morning.  The afternoons are sunny and warm.  I got a whiff of something yesterday that immediately reminded me of carnivals.  There was one that used to come to my town every year around the time of my birthday in the spring.  It was exciting, and gave me my first taste of slightly dangerous, wild abandon.  And yet, I knew it couldn't be sinful, because it was run by the Catholic Church.  What fun.  Guiltless sinning.  ENCOURAGED guiltless sinning.  REQUIRED even, if you attended Catholic school.  But what I love most about the spring is the flowers.  Daffodils are my favorite.  I only wish they could last longer.  It's always been my dream to have a garden with hundreds, if not thousands of tulips, daffodils and flowers.  It's SO exciting to watch them bloom and I could sit and marvel at their beauty all day long.  And THIS year... I can do it sitting on my very own front porch.  So there you have it.  I've got my man, Ray.  Three great kids.  An adorable grandbaby.  Most of my teeth.  A good job.  A porch.  Some daffodils.  And it's SPRING!!  I am truly blessed.  I AM TRULY HAPPY!  If only I had a bowl of pasta and a piece of hot bread in front of me...  I'd be delirious.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Facing Temptation

10 days.  8 pounds.  I haven't maimed or killed anyone yet, so I guess I'm doing quite well.  My friends at work are astonished.  No one ever thought I'd last this long.  I went food shopping today with Ray.  Usually, I only do eat out or take out food.  We really shouldn't have gone there while I was so hungry though.  I was FINALLY able to go 8-12 hours without eating and I got my blood tests done this morning, and we decided to pick up a few items on the way home.  By the amount of people in the Shop Rite I have to assume that many people still cook and use real food.  Thank God Ray was with me.  I'd like to say that even if I were alone I would have been able to withstand all of the temptation, but I think I would be lying.  Grapes, juicy peaches, plums and bananas in the fruit section.  Ice cream in with the frozen foods.  Lucky Charms in the cereal aisle.  Ready Whipped Cream and tapioca pudding in the dairy section.  They even had chocolate chip mousse behind the counter with the lunch meats in the Deli.  But the hardest part was walking through the Bakery Section.  I bet they have a bakery in heaven.  There is nothing on earth like the smell of cinnamon.  I saw blueberry muffins with sugar crumb topping.  Strawberry Short Cakes.  Cherry Danish.  Chocolate layer cake with butter cream icing.  The temptations were almost too much to bear.  Actually they WERE too much.  If Ray hadn't been riding shot gun for me I would still be there.  Only a SWAT Team and a sharp shooter would have been capable of taking me out.  Shoppers would grab their children and run to the exit doors, fearing for their very lives.  The store manager would beg me over the intercom not to rip open any more packages of sticky buns.  Newscasters would interview my neighbors on live TV.  "She seemed like such a quiet woman.... We're totally shocked."  The surveillance cameras would show me clutching a Jewish Apple Cake to my chest.  Eyes wild and glazed.  Melted chocolate and powdered sugar all over my face.  "Come any closer and I'll eat another one!  I mean it!" 

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It's TRUE!

One week.  I never thought I could last this long on the Atkin's Diet.  And... despite my initial prediction... I'm still alive.  The worst day was the 6th day.  I was so tired that I literally had a hard time getting out of bed.  I had no strength or energy and I felt completely awful.  Totally crappy.  I was also very tearful.  I found myself crying at the slightest provocation.  A sad movie.  A photo of my kids when they were little.  Running out of home made whipped cream (Atkin's style) for my Jell-O.  Seeing the TV remote control fall under the bed where I couldn't reach it.  Finding an empty candy bar wrapper in my pocket book.  I guess I'm just an old softie.  But the 7th day is much better.  Although I wouldn't say I feel wonderful or have boundless energy now ... I'm OK.  I've lost a total of 7 pounds and according to the little dip stick I am definitely in ketosis. 
I'm waking up earlier every day.  Very annoying.  I have never been a morning person, although I always admired those who were.  It IS sort of cheerful I guess.  The sun shining.  The birds singing.  You never see that kind of stuff when you're a night person.
I'm doing 45 minutes to an hour on the Step Climber now, three times a week.  I can really feel the effects of all of those Tootsie Rolls I've eaten the past few months.  I can see the results of them too, in the full length mirror.  I'm actually beginning to ask myself if it was worth it.  I said BEGINNING to.  Don't rush me.  At this point, I need all the inspiration I can get.  Even if it IS planning to lose an extra five pounds just so I can go on a chocolate eating binge when all this is over.  I really won't.  But it makes me feel better to think about it.

Monday, March 22, 2004

S.O.S

So far I have made it 5 days on the Atkin's Diet.  Already sugar cane production has decreased and stocks are down.  Although I realize that my local economy will suffer, I hope no jobs are lost.  The first 3 days I lost 6 pounds.  I'm guessing it was water, but that's OK.  If I had 6 pounds of excess water on me I'm happy to have lost it.  I am beginning to feel weak, but Ray thinks it's my imagination.  I have literally lived on carbohydrates my entire life.  My body has never had to make energy out of it's own fat before.  I know I'm probably dehydrating as I detest drinking water, and Atkin's doesn't allow ice tea unless it's Crystal Light.  Fruit 2-0 is OK, but I can't bring myself to swallow more than 2 glasses of any of those drinks a day.  Working all weekend was a challenge.  Being a nursing supervisor I wander all over the hospital.  There is Easter Candy, cookies, cakes, chips and even real food at every nurses' station.  I can't take the bags of candy out of the drawers in my office because I'm not the only one who uses it and it's not MY candy.  The Toostie Rolls are still calling my name.  I'm trying to pretend that I don't hear it.  The only thing that has saved me at night is eating diet Jell-O with home made whipped cream.  I'm starting to hate cheese.  I haven't dipped my urine yet.  Ray thinks I should wait another day to see if I am in ketosis.  I guess he's afraid that if I'm not, I'll get discouraged.  I only plan on staying on this diet until I lose 20 pounds.  After that I will really watch my caloric intake, fat and carbs, but I won't actually stay on the Atkin's diet.  I hope I have enough energy to keep exercising.  Each day I feel a little more tired, but maybe that will change.  I do wake up earlier though.  Even without coffee.  I don't have a morning headache, and I'm not in a frantic rush to go and get something to eat.  I can also fall asleep at night in less than 5 minutes.  They are all good things.  So we will see how this week turns out.  I don't think that one month on Atkin's will kill me.  And if it does... maybe I'll be so skinny that I'll only need 4 friends to carry me to the grave instead of 6!  Just kidding.  Thanks for worrying.

Friday, March 19, 2004

The Atkin's Diet ... The 1st 2 weeks are the hardest.

There are so many diets going around now a days the hardest part is choosing which one is right for you.  Since there wasn't one that completely suited me, I decided to go with the Atkin's Diet.  It seems that on Atkin's you can lose the most weight in the shortest amount of time.  I hate cooking and shopping and I don't have a lot of extra time to be reading and calculating.  My work hours vary so much it's hard to maintain any kind of a schedule.  So basically, I'm looking for ease, speed and immediate results with the least amount of suffering that's possible.  I admit it.  I'm lazy, impatient and wimpy.  I won't be able to have pancakes, syrup, toast and Danish for breakfast anymore but I will be allowed to have bacon and eggs.  Splenda is a great sugar substitute, but of course, I prefer the real thing and lots of it.  No more pasta, rice and potatoes, but I can have steak and shell fish.  Atkin's doesn't allow any bread, rolls or crackers but you can still have cheese.  I always said that if I can't have sweets then I must have fruit.  Not on Atkin's damn it.  Not even one lone, pitiful grape.  Which also means no fruit juices either.  It's amazing how many carbs are in soda, ice tea and milk.  On Atkin's all I can really have is Crystal Light, which isn't too bad and lots of water.  I detest water.  At first, I thought it would be difficult to remember which foods I wasn't allowed to have.  But it's actually very simple.  The more I like a particular food, the higher the carb content turns out to be.  So I can pretty much bet that whatever I'd really like to eat, I won't be allowed to have.  That narrows it down.  I've been on this diet for 72 hours now.  Ray said that the Tootsie Rolls in the drawer in my desk at the hospital are NOT really calling my name.  He said it's all in my imagination.  He says that no one has ever died from carbohydrate withdrawal and that in a few days I won’t be craving sugar any more.  Right now, the only thing I wish Ray would say is, "Honey?  I brought home a dozen Boston Creams from Dunkin' Donuts!"  I just love it when he talks carbs to me...

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The big picture...

Some people would say that I am procrastinating by sitting here writing a Journal entry instead of working out on the Bowflex.  They would be right, but I have a very good reason.  Even though I am not actively losing any weight at this particular moment, I'm not actively gaining any weight either.  I'm making progress already!  Personally, I find it extremely annoying when I hear one of my anorexic friends say that they have to lose 5 pounds.  How the hell hard is THAT?  So... just to keep this interesting let me tell you what trials and tribulations I feel lie ahead of me.  I have to lose a minimum of 17 pounds despite being a born again, totally committed, outrageously zealous, fanatically loyal carbohydrate addict and chocoholic.  Reducing even a fraction of fat, calories and carbs will be physically painful for me.  ELIMINATING them would be impossible.  I will be 49 years old in May, so it's a lot harder to lose weight than it used to be.  I'm currently on hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms.  They do help, but I am still suffering with borderline terroristic mood swings, and my usual routine bouts of PMS.  These hormonal fluctuations make me ravenous most of the day, and regularly wake me up at night as well.  Add to this the fact that I quit smoking 7 months ago.  I have practically no will power (I used the little I did have to quit smoking), and there is no chance that I can develop, find or purchase any amount of stamina, endurance, physical strength or coordination.  I have tried bicycling, skating, tennis, jogging, swimming, and golf.  Unfortunately each activity proved to be personally challenging to me.  I am a klutz with no sense of balance, who has the ability to fall over at any given moment.  I have always missed every ball in every sport I ever attempted to play and I have a phobia of wasps, bees, and great white sharks.  I have 3 slipped disks in my back so I'm always in some degree of pain.  My cholesterol level is 340... and that's AFTER taking medication to bring it down.  So although I clearly have a lot of reasons to get myself into better condition, those same reasons are going to make it a lot harder to get there…  (stay tuned)...

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I really did it this time...

In one month Ray and I are going to Punta Cana.  Normally I love warm and sunny days on the beach under a palm tree where every activity can be done wearing a bathing suit.  But since I have gained at LEAST 20 pounds since I quit smoking 7 months ago, that thought is causing me a lot of anxiety right now.  My winter clothes have afforded me the temporary security of hiding most of the weight.  I'm sitting on 10 new pounds, and the other 10 are resting peacefully on my lap as I sit here typing.  But in one month the only camouflage I will have is my wrap around bikini cover up.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I not only look AWFUL but I don't feel very good either.  I have to get some blood work done but I can't even go 8 hours without eating chocolate.  I am out of control.  I was a wild woman while Ray was in Spain last week and I had to get rid of all the incriminating evidence before he got back.  I had been happily dining on Entenmann's, Tastykakes, Dunkin' Donuts, and Easter candy from Rite Aid (they have an entire aisle of Easter candy... quite an assortment... I highly recommend it).  My house was a carbohydrate crime scene.  Empty wrappers were strewn all over the floor around the computer.  There were chocolate fingerprints and cookie crumb trails.  I can only imagine what I would have done if I hadn't been sick half of the week.  I probably would have jogged over to Friendly's Ice Cream store.  A couple of times.  No... I'm exaggerating.  I would have driven over.  I haven't jogged in years.  My wicked ways have caught up with me and now I am frantically seeking a solution.  I need to be placed in a temporary, purposely induced coma for a month, and fed only Atkins low carb shakes through a tube.  Ray should CHAIN me to the Bowflex.  Worst of all... as I sit here debating what diet I should start tomorrow, I can't help but think I still have the rest of today to eat a few more Lorna Doones...

Monday, March 8, 2004

Where do I sign?

After much time and thoughtful consideration I have finally decided what I want to do with my life.  I want to be rich.  I'm not talking comfortable or well off.  I mean filthy, freakin' rich.  Although I have no previous experience, I'd like to have a chance to prove myself.  Who knows?  I could be a natural.  Have talent beyond the extraordinary.  People might go around saying, "I can't believe she's never been rich before!  She acts like she's been rich all of her life!"  I think I would be a great rich person.  I'd never be greedy or stingy.  Everyone would share in my good fortune in some way.  I'd invest lots of money into research.  With my funding we could possibly eradicate wrinkles, cellulite and gray hair in the near future.  We could get someone to develop a pill that really makes you tan from head to toe so no one would have to spend hours lying out in the sun.  I'd sponsor a team of scientists to develop an antidote for testosterone.  Maybe find a cure for PMS and menopause.  I'd be a crime-fighter.  Any man found guilty of indulging in a mid-life crisis would be deemed incompetent, committed to a psychiatric facility immediately, and control of all the money would be given to his wife.  I don't want you think that I'm some kind of a saint...  I'd indulge myself.  I'd spend almost all of my time traveling, and I'd always fly first class.  I'd have a driver and a personal assistant just to follow me around and remind me where I put things and what I was going to do next.  I'd have so many twinkling lights at Christmas you'd see my house from outer space.  Wherever I went, a miniature orchestra would play the appropriate music for that moment of my life.  Just like in the movies.  (Hopefully they would never feel the need to play the music from 'Jaws' or 'Halloween').  I'd plant bulbs everywhere.  I'd be the Johnny Appleseed of tulips and daffodils.  I'd produce a new sitcom for TV and star in it.  And I'd write humorous entries in my Journal every day.  Now that I know what I want to do with my life I just have to start making it a reality.
So... anybody know where I sign up?

Friday, March 5, 2004

Much Ado About Nothing

I never have enough time to do the things that I really want to do.  But I never really finish doing the things that I don't want to do either.  Let me describe a typical morning in my menopausal life.  Today, like always, I start the day with a drink of water and a hormone pill. Uh-oh!  Only two left. I better call in a refill before I forget.  Where did I leave my glasses? Oh yeah.  In my pocket book.  Let's see... Geeze!  There's that envelope I meant to mail yesterday.  OK... Put on a stamp and head for the mailbox.  Will you look at all those alien droppings lying in the driveway?  Annoying little balls. Where did I put that push broom?   In the basement.  Let's see... There's the light bulbs I was looking for last week.  I'll bring one up for the family room while I'm thinking of it.  Look how dusty the top of the TV is… Let me just grab the Windex and the paper towels under the bathroom sink.  Uh-oh.  There's the copy of my work schedule that I brought home last night.  I should enter those dates into the computer so I know what I'm doing for the next 6 weeks.  Sign on.... OK.  Maybe I'll just check my mail real fast.  Oh!  An E-mail from Kara.  Oh no!  She's worried about me since I haven't written an entry in over a week.  I better write back.  I should check out her Journal first just to make sure everything in her life is OK before I do though.  OK... nothing awful. Oh! Look at that!  I left two empty bottles of ice tea on the floor beside the computer.  I should put them in the recyclables.  It's full, damn it.  OK.  Might as well put all the bottles out by the curb.  Tomorrow is trash day anyway.  What's this?  Oh!  My Mega Millions Lottery Tickets!  I wonder if I won?  I should check…  I may not need to go to work today after all.  Back to the computer.  No.  Didn't win.  Darn!  Oww!  My tooth still hurts.  If I don't call the dentist and make an appointment I'll end up regretting it this weekend.  I'll put the bottles out later.  What was that dentist's telephone number again?  Let's see... Where are my glasses?  Oh yeah... I was on my way to get them from my pocket book after I woke up...

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Ah-Choo!

I wish I could say that I accomplished all of my goals this past week and a half.  I'd even settle for saying that I completed one of those goals.  But as luck would have it, I got sick.  The head cold with the alternating runny/stuffy nose, throat so sore it hurts to even THINK about swallowing...  Headache, sneezing, coughing...  Two ear aches, muscle aches, and chills...  Then I developed a chest cold and now every time I take a deep breath my left lung hurts.  At some point I developed an intestinal virus and on one of my many frantic trips to the bathroom, I accidentally kicked the scale that Ray left in the middle of the floor, breaking the index toe on my right foot.  There's nothing you can do for that, just limp and suffer until it heals on it's own.  Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I woke up with a toothache this morning.  I was lying on the bed, my head on a heating pad trying to relieve the ear aches, my hair in a tangled mass, face slightly swollen, lips dry and cracked from dehydration, cheeks flushed from fever, red nose, breathing heavily and trying not to cough, and balancing an ice pack on my broken toe.  Ray looked over at me and smiled.  "My poor baby", he whispered.  "I feel so guilty leaving you like this and flying off to Spain..."  Ray is temporarily laid off from work.  His niece is an exchange student in Madrid, and Ray's sister invited him to go along with her to visit her daughter this week.  I wouldn't have been able to get any time off from work at the last minute, and I don't have a passport.  But it's a great opportunity for Ray and he might as well do it while he has the chance.  Besides, if I ever feel better I'll be able to accomplish a lot more while he's gone.  It may be the fever but I keep dreaming about renting another dumpster...  He looked down at me with his rugged features.  "Do you think it's too big?", I asked him nervously.  "NO!", he almost shouted.  "It may not be big ENOUGH!"  He backed the dumpster into my driveway.  It was huge but I knew he was right.  If I threw away all the things that should be thrown away in this house I would probably need two dumpsters...