Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Look Great in 2008 (Week 6)

Well, as a few readers have noticed, I've been conspicuously absent from weigh-ins for a little while because my life has been spinning pretty badly out of control these days. As I blogged last night, I'm having struggles with The Kid, I'm not getting enough sleep, and work has taken over every living, breathing moment of my life.

It is now Wednesday morning, and before I even do one minute of work for the day, I've already put in 30 hours at work. On Monday, I put in 12 hours, and that doesn't include off-the-clock time for meal breaks.

Obviously, this doesn't leave me a lot of time for blogging, exercising, or anything else. Just about every waking minute has been spent sitting at my desk, churning out work.

All I can say is thank G-d I'm Jewish. Were it not for the fact that I can tell my boss that I need Saturday off for religious observance, he'd be insisting I work seven days a week and not the six days I've been putting in.

As far as my weight goes, I'm happy to report that it hasn't completely ballooned skyward. It's still not where I'd like it to be, and it's still a few pounds higher than my all-time low, but this morning's weight was 235.4. That's about six pounds up from my all-time low, but I'm not sure that weight was even valid, since I was having trouble with my scale giving me weird readings right around that time.

But 235.4 isn't bad, since it's only 1.8 lbs higher than what's showing in my sidebar. I haven't updated that in a while for the same reason I haven't been blogging -- I've just been working far too many hours and dealing with far too many problems on the domestic front.

But I'm still here, and I haven't completely given up. I'm going to try to do better for the next month or so, because I have a friend who has been sent out of town for six months for work, and she'll be coming back sometime in December. It would be nice if I could lose enough weight that she will notice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Abyss of Work, Sleeplessness and Bad Behavior

I haven't blogged in 18 days because I seem to have really fallen down an abyss of work, sleeplessness and bad behavior on the part of The Kid.

We've been having a rough go of it for a while.

The Kid had a melt down just after her birthday, and she's been ugly, difficult and defiant. This evening, she was arguing over trivia (whether one of our household pets should be asleep after dinner or not) and it's been really hard. We have started the ball rolling for special education services at school, and they have decided to do their own independent testing. This will be good, because it will either confirm the bad news we got earlier, or refute it. My gut feeling is that it could go either way. On good days, The Kid seems together, smart, and quite capable. On bad days, I think figuring out how to open a mayonnaise jar with a loose lid is beyond her reach.

I still haven't been sleeping worth a darn. I keep waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about The Kid and her numerous behaviors and challenges. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but three to four hours later I wake up having to go to the bathroom, and thoughts roll around in my head until it's time to get up.

And, if all of that isn't enough to put me over the edge, I've been put on mandatory overtime at work. I'm so exhausted in the evenings I barely can keep my eyes open.

I'm tired. I'm grumpy. I haven't been blogging. I haven't been reading anyone else's blog.

Bad Oinkstop, no cookie!

My diet isn't exactly doing great, but it's not doing horrible, either. This morning I weighed in at 236, which is still up from my all-time low, but down from my most recent high of 239. So, I can't say that I'm doing good, but considering how my life has somewhat fallen apart around my ears, I'm not doing bad.

The one thing I have been doing , which probably falls into the won't hurt, might help category is that I've been trying to exercise in small five or ten minute chunks. This way, I'm hoping to avoid breaking out in exercise-induced hives, and I'm at least doing something.

I haven't been doing as well as I should, as I haven't been making any effort to count calories or keep track of what I'm eating. I've tried to make a conscious choice to eat less than what I'd normally want to put on my plate, but that is about the extent of it.

But I'm still here. I haven't given up. Tomorrow's another day, and things are bound to get better eventually. Right?


Friday, October 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to The Kid

Yesterday was The Kid's birthday.

It was not such a good day for dieting, and we haven't even gotten to her birthday party scheduled for this weekend.

We went out to breakfast, we had tamales for lunch, and we went out for burgers and fries for dinner. It was not pretty.

We still have a party to look forward this weekend, with two of her girlfriends sleeping over Friday and Saturday because their parents are out of town, pizza and cake.

I'm just not going to step on the scale this morning. I don't even want to know.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Insomnia and Weight Loss

Lately, I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping. Part of it is because I've needed to change my schedule at work. I'm waking up at 4:45 AM so that I can be at my desk by 5:00 or 5:15 AM, which means I'm going to bed a lot earlier. The change in schedule has been tough, but I don't think that's my only problem. When I go to bed, I'm tired, and I fall asleep quickly, but I don't seem to stay asleep. Last night, I woke up at midnight, 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM. I wasn't able to go back to sleep after that, though I was most definitely tired when the alarm went off.

From a recent article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Poor sleep habits have become so closely associated with obesity that some scientists want obesity therapists to address sleep with the same intensity as diet and exercise, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

"There's an association between [inadequate] sleep and obesity," says Dr. Joseph Ojile, head of the Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis.

For decades, studies have found that overweight and obese people tend to have poor sleep habits. But the evidence was statistical. The physiological link, albeit in a relatively small study, came in December 2004 when a University of Chicago researcher in endocrinology, Eve van Cauter, found that poor sleep disrupted two hormones associated with appetite.


I for one have had problems sleeping for years, and if there is a link between sleep and weight gain, it doesn't surprise me that the years I've had the most trouble with sleep have been my heaviest. It's been so long since I've slept through an entire night without waking up for one reason or another, that I really can't honestly remember what it was like. I think I was last consistently able to do it when I was in high school or perhaps college. Since I started life in the adult working world, I've definitely been plagued with both a lack of both the total amount of sleep I get and a lack of uninterrupted sleep.

That's something to think about, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Look Great in 2008 (Week 3)

Once again, I'm finding myself barely hanging in by a thread. But, I'm still here.

This week I made a concerted effort to get back on track because I saw some pretty scary numbers on the scale earlier in the week. My high -- 239 -- really freaked me out. I'm not sure why it was that high. Yeah, I ate some things I should not have eaten, but I suspect the fact that I hadn't been to the bathroom in a while was part of the problem.

This morning's weight -- 234.6 -- is much better than the scary high, though still a bit more than I weight in last week. I'm hoping things will go in the right direction between now and next Wednesday.

I'm slowly getting back to regular blogging. For those who might have missed my recent posts:
Although things are going better at our house and some of our major stress-causing problems have improved, it's not to say things are perfect. Right now The Kid, who is one day short of her birthday is having a small temper tantrum because I asked her to go look for a jacket she'd misplaced. "But I don't need it right now," was her excuse. I made her go find it anyway, because if she didn't find it right then, we'd be made late for an appointment because then it would suddenly become the key to her being able to leave the house.

So here's to another week. I'm hoping things will get better!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Often There Is No Pleasure In Virtue

Things have calmed down to a dull roar chez Oinkstop, and things are going better:
  • The sick critter seems better.
  • The over-the-top brat has moved elsewhere, and The Kid has taken her place.
  • The alarmingly-late paycheck finally arrived.
So several crises are over. Of course the sick critter might not stay better, as we think she has something seriously wrong with her, but two weeks of antibiotics has improved her mood a bit.

We'll see.

So, on to weight loss things.

I figured since the level of rottenness in my life was sinking back to its usual level, it was time to get back on track with regards to my diet. It's time to start eating better and trying to make more active choices, though the exercise thing is still a problem because I keep breaking out in hives.

For the past few days I've really been making an effort to eat well, skip the crap and pay attention to what I'm doing. Last night, instead of having something that actually tasted good, I had some salad and some plain tuna.

Certainly it met quite a few caloric and nutritional goals, but there wasn't much to entice my tastebuds. Although I walked away from the table no longer hungry, I can't say that dinner was a particularly enjoyable experience.

Often, there is no pleasure in virtue. I guess we'll have to see what the scale says tomorrow.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Too Hungry for my Own Good

Despite the fact that I ate a couple of mini cheese wheels yesterday afternoon, I let myself get just a little too hungry during the day, and I ate more than I should have at dinner. I was so hungry I went back for seconds on pasta, which I should not have done, since I also had a beer with dinner.

Despite the train wreck dinner, I was really good the rest of the day, and my weight was down a pound from yesterday.

So that's good.

Other things around here are a mixed bag. Our sick pet seems a little better, but not a lot better. She's lost a little bit of weight, which isn't a good sign, but she seems to be feeling a bit better as she's playing with her toys and has a bit more energy. We'll see. She's got another week or so of antibiotic treatment ahead of her and we'll see how it goes.

We are still waiting on our check. It's now about two weeks late. We'll be okay, but it's just stressful not having the money. I paid a bit more than the minimum payment on all our credit cards, so all our bills are paid to the point where we aren't going to incur late fees or punishments of any kind. I just keep reminding myself, we'll be okay.

We are still having major struggles with The Kid. The basic problem: she doesn't want to do anything that isn't her idea. Anything that involves chores, school work, or anything she doesn't want to do becomes a complete and total battle of wills.

It's exhausting.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mini Cheese Wheels to the Rescue

As I've mentioned quite a bit in my last few blog postings, things are not going so well over at Chez Oinkstop. This morning, however, I decided that enough is enough. Even though my life is falling apart at the seams, I really need to get back on track with my diet and start paying attention to what I am eating.

So I did what any responsible dieter does. I cut back.

Things were going surprisingly well until about 4:00 PM this afternoon.

Then, all of a sudden, I found myself crashing. I was hungry -- no, starving -- and I felt like I was having a low blood sugar episode. My hands were shaking and I felt dizzy and light headed.

The So and The Kid weren't home. They'd taken the car to go pick up a load of produce from the farm cooperative.

I was hungry, and my first temptation was to drive over to the local mini mart and buy myself something small and sugary so I wouldn't feel so dreadful.

I felt crummy enough that I didn't feel safe driving to the mini mart, and I was definitely too shaky to walk.

I decided to investigate our refrigerator. Usually, that's a place I avoid, as The SO has it claimed as personal territory, and I'm frequently threatened with bodily harm for going in there. Besides, The SO isn't the best of housekeepers, and usually the inside of the fridge is populated with the corpses of dead and dying food items that have decomposed to the point of being unrecognizable.

I stay out most of the time.

But today I found myself in a moment of desperation.

I opened the refrigerator door and discovered, quite happily, that it wasn't nearly the dreadful food morgue as the last time I'd looked inside.

Sadly, it was filled with lots of nothing to eat. There were several bottles of some sort of diet drink, a few miscellaneous cans of something, and various condiments. There was nothing identifiable as edible, so I started to close the door.

As I closed the door, a small package jumped out at me. It was a small net bag of mini cheese wheels, that were preserved in wax. The bag was unopened, and I had no idea how long the bag had been in there.

I decided to take my chances. The cheese wheels looked like a safe bet, so I selected two. I unwrapped one, and it passed the sniff test, so I went ahead and ate it. It was good, so I ate the second. Then I stopped. 140 calories of cheese was probably more than enough to tide me over until later.

I'm still hungry and shaky. Now I just have to wait for those little buggers to hit bottom.

Look Great in 2008 (Week 2)

Well, I'm still hanging in here. My weight this morning was 234.0, or 0.4 lbs higher than last week. I guess that's pretty good, considering that I've paid almost no attention to my diet recently.

Part of it, is because I'm just tired of dieting. I'm tired of being hungry, and having to make "good" food choices, and eating things I "should" eat, rather than what I want to eat.

Part of it is because we've had some simply horrendous challenges going on at our house. We've had a pet die, another get sick, behavior problems on the part of The Kid, some unexpected and very big expenses come up, hassles at work, and a very late paycheck.

Every time I turn around, something else goes wrong.

We've gone from paying off our credit cards every month to carrying over $7,000 in debt practically overnight. We've had some very expensive things go wrong lately, and the problem has been compounded by the fact that about half our income for this month never appeared. Sure, there are contracts and laws and all sorts of things that are supposed to guarantee we get paid in a timely fashion, but when the boss doesn't sign paychecks before he takes off on vacation, there's nothing that anybody can do.

Maybe we'll get paid this week. We were expecting the check almost two weeks ago.

We aren't at risk of financial ruin yet. The check will come, the debts will get paid off, and hopefully The Kid's behavior will improve.

I just keep reminding myself: this too shall pass.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hanging On (By a Thread)

Well I'm still here.

I'm hanging on barely, by the tiniest thread.

I have mixed news to report:
  • My scale isn't working right (again). No surprise there.
  • My sick bird is very sick, but probably isn't contagious. The vet's current guess is that she has a tumor.
  • Our biggest client didn't pay his bill on time, and we had to dip into savings to pay our bills this month.
  • The Kid is continuing to be difficult.
  • The diet is still on my "to do" list, but it's sinking lower and lower on the priority list, simply because of all the major disasters happening right now.
It seems like every time I turn around, another disaster happens. We've had several major and unexpected expenses pop up, including dental bills, car/RV repairs, and veterinary bills. All I can say is that I'm glad someone invented credit cards. Yeah, they are evil, but they are the only think keeping us out of complete financial ruin at the moment. Were it not for the evil plasticharge, The SO would probably be dying from a massive toothache/infection, our car would be inoperable, our RV roof would be leaking, and our sick birds would have gone without veterinary care.

Now if someone would just kick my non-paying client in the ass, the world would be a much better place.