Krissie: Yippee!!

Photo on 2014-01-25 at 09.54 I think it’s time for a trim, don’t you? I look like a sheep dog.
Remember the great line from The Devil Wears Prada? “I’m just one stomach-flu away from my perfect weight” or something like that?
Well, yesterday I had a stomach attack (I’ve got IBS so these things are common) and now I’m 238.0. That’s just ten pounds above the weight I got down to. Nine pounds from the 220s. I’ll bounce up again, but that’s very encouraging. One needs these little encouragements to keep going.
I’ve done pretty well. Kept away from sweets (just ate a cupcake Alex and I made when they came for dessert and then sent the rest home with them). I don’t think I’ve eaten anything fried. Been to McD’s but just had the snack wrap and I’ve avoided that (I think just once this month). Way down on sodas — one Tab first thing and then an occasional Diet Ginger Ale later in the day, but mainly pushing the water.
It was just too damned cold to swim this week. On a few days this week the temperature rose above zero (never in double digits) and I just couldn’t face immersing myself in a pool when it’s so hard to get warm.
But next week … well, I’m not sure. It’s supposed to get cold again. Plus, I’m visiting Crusie as soon as she makes her doctor appointment (ahem!) which may be as soon as next week. We’ll freeze together.

I’m frustrated by my physical limitations. It’s started to remind me of my sister, who ate and lazed herself into immobility and then death. I’m tired of being unable to do stuff. I’m still not convinced my knees need replacing (well, they do, I suppose, but I have all sorts of other aches and pains). First step (and always first step) should be to lose weight, but I can’t put off my life until I lose weight. That way lies no life at all.
So … I’ll keep on this way, see the doctor, keep swimming. I’ve got a lot of issues with aging (with the idea of aging). I’m not ready to be disabled by lack of mobility.
Lots of stuff to deal with. Big progress on the laundry room — pantry’s organized, lots of stuff tossed, stuff washed down. Next to the hall closet, while Richie works on the lights in the kitchen. Progress, slowly but surely.

In the meantime I’m daydreaming about a new idea while I have two proposals out, so right now no deadlines, though I never feel really right unless I’m writing. But I need to get the third proposal done before I get started on somethings specific. But hey, I’m refabbing like crazy.
1. Lost of chunk of weight and well on my way to better health
2. Swimming (though not this week)
3. Decluttering (took a carful to Goodwill last week)
4. Not eating bad stuff
5. Going room by room, dumping, organizing
6. writing … going strong

So progress, not perfection. Good things are coming my way. I have a feeling 2014 is going to be absolutely lovely.

Krissie: Food redux

Photo on 11-12-13 at 9.47 AM Barbara Samuel is going to do Make it Tuesday  as well as Move It Wednesday (I don’t know what she calls it but that’s how I think of it). She’s created a whole new writing personality as well as a whole new book, and wants to talk about it, and I want to hear. In general we’re not about publishing, but we’re certainly about writing and creating along with other things.   Before I come up with a family (that’s all of us) Make It Post I need to go through the folder and see which projects I’ve talked about and which ones I haven’t.  Upload your Christmas ideas/gifts/crafts.
Okay, brace yourselves, Maggie. (Punchline to a bad joke). I know weigh 242.1. Pretty ridiculous. Then again, I had a stomach bug last night. Yesterday I had oatmeal w. raspberries etc., lunch was at the health food store and I had a whole grain baguette with lean roast beef (not a lot of it), gorgonzola (asked them to go light on it) and caramelized onions. A little indulgent but hey, a health food store? On my way home started feeling sick. I think the gorgonzola hit me, even though I took a lactaid at the end of the meal. I should take it at the first bite of dairy but I can usually manage that much or the amount on a pizza. Maybe with my stomach less full I’m more sensitive. So after an unpleasant time in the bathroom I went to bed and watched vampire tv shows on my ipad (Dracula and the Originals). Came down and had a slice of homemade bread, which I’m now having without smart balance and a huge apple.
I have felt dizzy the past two nights but surely I’m having enough food. Yes, the last two dinners were pretty spare but the lunches have been large. Not enough veggies yesterday (you know, we out to switch to the Brit/Australian term veg. It’s easier).
But then, things weren’t sitting well so I didn’t want to push last night. I did buy a cauliflower though. Lynda Ward gave me a great recipe for roasted cauliflower soup. Problem is, you start with cutting the cauliflower into flowerets, toss them in a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast them. Then you make the soup from it, but the roasted cauliflower is so good we don’t want to waste it on soup. Yum!
But it is soup time.
But I digress. I’ll have oatmeal for breakfast (shortly) and then some hot tea while I work. Things have calmed down now. And the blessed thing, for me at least, as I said yesterday, and how many clauses am I going to add, is that I’m in the zone food wise. I’ve got a couple of unopened Smart Balances I need to give to Erin and Tim (I think they’ll use it).
So, that’s how things have been going. I think my face looks a little thinner already, probably because this is mainly water weight. But I need to feel better, and less weight means less pain on my back and knees, and it means my pelvis exams will be more reliable.
We need to get Toni back to talk about re-hab. We lost her when the server went belly-up, and I miss her.  And why Toni would follow pelvis exams in my mind is quite beyond me.

Krissie: Update

Photo on 3-27-13 at 11.01 AM 235.9 fucking pounds. Jesus! What the fuck have I been doing? (Sorry for all the fucks, but fuck!).
Okay, I’ve got a lot on my plate..  (Chortle — that was an accident,  I certainly do have a lot on my plate and I’ve been eating it all).
Time to take stuff off my plate, literally and figuratively. I want to feel better (my pain issues are giving me fits) and I want to be healthy.
I actually did a good job yesterday. Breakfast bar for breakfast, oatmeal with splenda and unsweetened frozen raspberries for lunch, a big salad (with too much yummy stuff in it like avocado), a plain bagel (nothing on it and I didn’t eat the second one) and scallops and oven fries for dinner. Not a lot of noshing in between and no visit to McD’s even though I went by two.
Okay, pull up my socks and get it together. No more McD’s for anything but a DC and/or salad. Smaller servings of oatmeal (measure). Cut out the dinner-time starches. Push the veggies and fruit.
Two things I can do — use NetDiary for a reality check (also my scale) and be mindful. It’s so easy to toss a handful of something into my mouth. Grazing is healthy but not all day long.
C’mon, Krissie, get it together. I’ve been Ziggy Piggy when I go to NJ (I just saw “Bill and Ted” again last night so the term is on my mind). I need to figure out how to partake of the culinary joys of NJ (Kathy’s diner, real pizza) without getting out of control. Particularly since I seem to end up there every few weeks (and will be there in another three weeks or so again).
Richie also hit me with the usual bad financial news, but we’ll deal with that. At least my car was repaired and I was only out $800 instead of $2000. And I love my car.
Got a traffic ticket yesterday but the nice cop cut it down to 10 miles over the speed limit instead of the 15 (and I was more likely going 25 because I was passing someone). He probably saw me crying (I was trying to hide it) so my ticket was only $99 instead of $200 and something. I was late for the dentist and they’re nasty when you’re late. Sigh.
But I’m writing, and as I said yesterday, things fall into place when I write.
Which I’m going to do now.
But I need to check in with food counts and weight every day for a week and see how things go. So far, only a Tab and a breakfast bar. Maybe a salad for lunch before I see my shrink.
Aaaargh. I will do this!
I WILL DO THIS!

Krissie: More Progress

Photo on 2013-02-20 at 08.58 So, did I mention I kept the weight loss from Ebola? At Jenny’s I found I’d been eating so much that I’d oinked up to 241.5 (assuming her scale is right). After Ebola I was 231.5 (where I’ve been hovering for the past nine months). I got on my own scale Monday and I was at 231.3. So good for me.
I’ve kept my vow to do Netdiary every day. Two days at about 1500, and that’s being relatively careful. So I’ll try to start cutting that down a bit.
Can’t swim today because I’ve got a full day of grandson, but that’s okay. What I need to do is work while Alex is here. No, not write — that’s impossible. But some decluttering while he’s playing. No reason I can’t do that.
And Tim continues to do well. He came in yesterday, we asked how he was and he said “Just wonderful.” Me, being dense, said, “Oh, how nice.” Then realized he was being sarcastic and said something like, “oh, sorry.” And he, instead of thrashing around, pulled himself together and said “it’s not that bad” and went and did something productive (he’s been working in the woods). And there was another time when he stopped himself from letting his temper fly.
So good signs abound.
Got some writing done yesterday, though not a lot. Did some office decluttering (emptied two tubs of stuff I’d brought over from my mother’s). And then Richie and I went to bed early and read. It was very nice (he was reading about retiring to the Pacific Northwest, I was reading the new Ilona Andrews Edge book).
We did have a funny moment though. Tim was out, I was lying back in the recliner and Richie and I were being racily demonstrative in our affection when we heard the front door open. He and I jumped back as if a disapproving father had walked in on teenagers. (And it was pretty racy. We kiss and snuggle in front of the kids all the time — this was groping).
All in all, a good day, and today’s going to be excellent as well. It’s cold and snowy and blowy and I’m picking up Alex at McDonalds so Erin can make it to work on time (they had dentist’s appointments that she couldn’t break). So I’ll feed Alex junk food while I eat salad and we’ll have fun.
And I’ll resist the siren lure of French fries. It’s pretty easy to avoid burgers now — I just think of the pink slime they put in them and my stomach turns off. Ah, but fresh mcnuggets.
Down, krissie. Salad.
I’ll weigh myself next Monday. I hope attention to detail will start things moving downward again. It’s time.

Krissie: Vanity, Vanity, All is Vanity

So that’s what my hair looks slightly parted with the dreaded bangs to one side. Not happy. Maybe it’s simply the cut. It looked fabulous after Hannah did it, but it’s not wearing well, and I don’t want to be using product on a daily basis. It’s fun for special occasions but not now.
but I digress. The scale is sitting happily at 230.5 to 231, which is nice if only slightly frustrating. Losing at a glacial pace is always better — means the skin gets less saggy, means you’re in better shape about regaining.
So, I’m still on vanity, because there was so much food for thought in the comments yesterday. One thing that’s changed — the last time I lost significant weight I was at least …. hmmmm, fifteen years younger? Maybe more. And yes, times have changed. It’s such a loaded question.
Case in point — every time I go to RWA people compliment on losing weight, even if I’ve gained. And my theory is that everyone remembers me as bigger than I really am, so the reality is better.
Of course, that’s a fairly depressing theory.
And now that I’m (cough, cough) 57 significant weight loss usually signals something dire, not something nice. I’m probably just as guilty of thinking those dire things when I see someone my age melting away.
And here’s a little Krissie story. I do try not to offend (at least, not on personal matters) and I’ve run into trouble so many times asking people if they’re pregnant (always much worse than mentioning weight). A couple of years ago an acquaintance came by to pick up a check for garden work and she was wearing a maternity top and clearly about 8 months along. Having run into trouble before, I blurted out “Oh, are you fat?”
Yes, Krissie, well done.
I remember a larger woman I know talking about “when the baby comes” and I said “Oh, are you pregnant?” Considering she was almost at term that was as big an insult as asking someone who isn’t pregnant if she is.
The last library job I had, when I was about 31, I was trying desperately to get pregnant. I’d also made a nice, loose, trapeze-style denim jumper (they were big that year). And every damned person kept asking me if I was pregnant, rubbing salt in the wound. I finally embroidered “No, I’m Not” on the front. Sometime I’ll talk about infertility, but today isn’t the day.
But I digress.
I have very mixed feelings about being praised for weight loss, just as many of you do. It’s that old line — “you look beautiful — I hardly recognized you.” What’s wrong with the way I used to look?
Part of me wants to show off, but part of me doesn’t. Because we go up and down and temporary weight loss means nada in the long run (and might even be bad for us). I didn’t want to show up at RWA a newer, slimmer version. Not until I wrap my heard around it.
Mind you, I was more conflicted the year my sister died, when I lost ten pounds and then got distracted. It said right on her death certificate that she died of “emphysema complicated by obesity.” She wouldn’t have died if she hadn’t eaten herself to death. Death by Cheez-its, I kid you not. As if I weren’t conflicted enough about the entire weight issue to begin with!
I’ve made some peace with it, at least better than three years ago. But I’ve got a ways to go.
I guess part of my issue is, again, the roller coaster. The high of losing weight, gathering the compliments, preening, buying new clothes. Followed, almost inevitably, by the regain, the buying larger clothes again, ending up worse than you began, and the added shame of having failed.
One good thing about surgery — even those who regain don’t go back to their previous weight. But it’s clear it’s not a magic button. People with eating disorders find a way around everything to regain. God knows, I have.
I don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to dance around the house singing “I’m skinny, I’m skinny” when I finally dip into the 220s or teens or even below 200, only to surge back up when something terrible happens, because terrible things always happen. (Sorry, but you’re talking to someone who lost her beloved father when he was 58, nephew at 18, brother at 40, sister at 64, all without warning. Just a phone call and everything changes.)
So I think I need to make peace with weight loss. Look at it clearly and calmly, figure out what I need, why I need it, and stay on task. It’s much much harder to keep weight off than to lose it, and it’s once you stop being in the moment that disaster happens.
Big sigh. (Mentioning my family always puts me in tears). Anyway, clearly there are no easy answers or dieting wouldn’t be such a multi-billion dollar industry.
I have lots of food for thought, even if not much on my plate (chortle).
And on the good news front, Crusie’s still losing weight too, even while ignoring the whole thing. And when she mentioned she wasn’t down 10% (though she’s close) I realized I am. Or close enough that I’ll take it. I was in the low 250s when I started, and I’ve lost 25 pounds. Very very cool. I think it calls for a celebration or a (non-food) treat.
I’ve accomplished a lot.

Krissie: Another Day, Another Dollar


I’m keeping up with the daily photos because it’s kind of a statement. As Crusie says, Photobooth is terribly unflattering. Plus the lighting is bad (those swirly-ecological bulbs) and I sit here first thing in the morning, face unwashed, hair unbrushed, usually in my jammies. It keeps me honest. And it keeps me from getting too vain. It’s sort of like saying, this is me, warts and all. I’m here to be honest, not prettified.
I got through the tough day yesterday. Funny, how anniversaries can pass and we pay tribute and move on, and then others just kneecap us. Yesterday it kneecapped both me and my niece (though my falling apart may have made hers worse). Still, it’s good to cry. To remember. And then to move on, with love.
So …
I didn’t get on the scale this morning — figure I’ll ignore it for a week while I eat well and exercise and give NettieD her due. I may measure myself though. Many of my bras are getting way too big, I’m having to fix the straps and move the hooks in on the ones that aren’t made for honeydews. I’m more cantaloupe size right now. But my pants are looser, not just around the waist but around the legs. All these usual signs of loosing weight, when I haven’t gotten to that point in as long as I can remember.
It’s kind of unbelievable that all these clothes are going to fit, are going to be too big. In fact, it’s probably just as well not to focus on it, but take it one day at a time, eating well.
I finally figured out the best way to make steel-cut oatmeal — the crockpot. I cooked a shitload overnight, have it stored in the refrigerator and I can scoop out some and nuke it. I’ve been having it with splenda brown sugar mix and frozen raspberries, which thaw in the hot oatmeal, and it’s divine. I’m measuring (1 cup of cooked oatmeal, but it was soooo good). 2 cups of whole wheat spaghetti last night. Both of which may be too high an amount but if I count and pay attention to the other things it’ll be okay.
And damn, did I buy veggies last night. Tons and tons and tons. (Plus our home-made spaghetti sauce is mega-veggie).
So, I think I need to add a little protein to breakfast, which I can do with almonds, and veggies for lunch. That should be easy enough to do. I’m going to make up a bunch of mini-salads the way Crusie did (she bought me a set of the bowls to do it with) so I can always grab one of those with lunch. If not that, then nuke something, have half and give Richie the other half to thicken up his Healthy Request soup that he has most days.
Oh, and someone mentioned soup, glorious soup. I’m going to be making more soups. I dug out a great soup cookbook I bought but unfortunately every recipe called for 2 cups of heavy cream. Whoever heard of putting heavy cream in fish chowder? Chowders have milk in them — they’re not cream soups. Tsk tsk.
But I love bean soups. And non-cream chowders. And I had the most divine chicken gumbo on the way back from Syracuse.
So it’s time to make soup.
And I worked my ass off in the pool. Physical therapy (and I found that one thing I was doing, swinging my leg back and forth, was hurting my back. I should only be moving it forward). I did their stuff and then I did my stuff and I ended up working out for and hour and 45 minutes. Damn, I was tired! But it felt good.
When I water walk I think about stories. I plot out stuff, daydream about characters and backstory and scenes, and I sort of hate to stop, it’s so much fun. Which is why I worked for so long yesterday — I was in the midst of a good daydream and didn’t want to leave it. It’s the sort of thing I used to do when I went driving. Great to know that it works even better when I’m water walking. Now when I need to work something out I won’t go on a shopping expedition, I’ll go to the pool. At least most of the time.
Hey, a girl can’t be perfect.
So I’m ready to charge ahead. The scale really is my friend, because it gives me a wake-up call when I’ve gotten sloppy. I know that it doesn’t work for everyone — it can be tyrannical and destructive. For me it’s a tap on the shoulder to remind me to pay attention. At this point in the getting healthy game I can’t afford to trust my instincts. I need to be very careful on amounts, no matter how healthy.
I get my grandson today! And as I probably mentioned, the roller coaster with my son is leveling out, at least for now. I love my little boys so much, my nephew, my brother, my son, my grandson. Even my father was my little boy too, since in alcoholic families the roles are often reversed.
I remember the lost ones with love, and love the ones who are here with a fierce passion. I just have to remember to give them some space.
So life here at Squalor Holler is good. Once more, dear friends unto the breach! Breech? Beach? That sounds like a lot more fun. Once more, dear friends, unto the beach!

Krissie: Before I Go

I’m rushing around looking for last minute things like my tarot cards (writing exercise) and the new Tom Tom and my brilliant Kindle that Jenny decorated, but I’m popping in to announce the wonderful news that I weigh 237.5. Now most of you will see that and go, oh, no, she gained a pound and a half, and give me words of encouragement.
But the thing is, I’m an old hand at this game. And weight never simply plummets. Well, it does if you weigh once a week, I suppose, but the scale tends to be my friend. When it was giving me trouble last month it was trying to tell me something, namely that I was eating too much, even if it was healthy.
So I pop on every day or so, just to remind myself that I need to be honest.
And the brilliant thing is, I never trust low weights. I finally cracked the 230s (squeaking down to 239) and that was lovely, and then everything went to hell and I didn’t eat and had … er … gastrointestinal upset (we’ll have to decide how honest we want to be about such things) so I knew I’d be down a lot and I was 236. Which I didn’t trust. So getting on the scale and being at 237.5 feels like a real triumph, a real weight. It’s not going to go up from there — well, you never can tell given water weight etc. but it’s unlikely. It’s going to go down. And I can now celebrate being well and solidly out of the 240’s, not just dipping down or being freaked out.
So I’m off to the wilds of Syracuse with a happy heart. The child situation seems to have stabilized again, which reminds me — I’ll talk about anger when I have time. It’s a loaded issue for me, and for a lot of you too, and at the heart of my relationships with my mother and son.

Because this year is about losing weight, and decluttering my house, and getting healthy (oh, god, colonoscopy here we come), getting finances in order, creating fun things, trying new projects, and getting my relationships in healthy order.
All this refurbished fabulousness just waiting to burst forth.
Nothing but good times ahead.