Plan for 2018 (v.1)

Theme for 2018: Perseverance (finishing what I start) and Love? (While I adore The Last Jedi, it left me feeling profoundly lonely — It’s been about seven years since my last relationship…) Sure, Perseverance and Love.

How do I want to evolve and grow? What kind of person do I want to be at this time next year?

  • I want to be happier (not as cynical).
  • I want to be proud of the things I’ve accomplished.
  • I want to be clean of my sugar addiction.
  • I want to continue repairing my relationship with my father
  • I want to have tried new things (new exercise classes, new dance events, etc.)

What areas do I want to focus on?

Health (for me & Holly)

  • Give up carbs for 2018 — You did it in October, you can do it again. (Exceptions: sushi, Hidden Valley ranch salad dressing, ketchup, Emergen-C, and maybe a few other things…)
  • Sleep = 11 pm to 6 am
  • PT exercises (15 min, twice a day), because I’m tired of hurting all the time. Also, 15 min is only 1.04% of the day.
  • Various exercise — FitLife Center / trainer appts? Elliptical, Swimming, Weights. Investigate tai chi, Bollywood, ballroom lessons
  • Schedule showers in calendar (because the shortest shower I’ve ever taken was 20 min.)
  • Weigh-Ins every Sunday (Starting with Dec. 31)
  • Conscientious use of food diary app
  • Initial goal of 5,000 steps / day (FitBit) — Keep it attainable…

Crafts

  • Priority List (testing organizational plan with index cards in a box, with supplies lists and color coding…)
  • Dedicated Craft Time
  • Finish things I’ve started before initiating new project(s)… No matter how excited I am to start a new thing, I have to practice finishing things too.

Spirituality

  • Regular cleaning / decluttering / decorating time (apartment maintenance)
  • Plan Sabbat / Esbat rituals & ceremonies
  • Study! (Lots of books to read)
  • Practice (tarot readings, spell casting, herbs, etc.)

Meals Planning / Food Framework:

Breakfast = 3 eggs (with some salt) and a package of SteamFresh Veg (rotation of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, and creamed spinach). The creamed/cheesy spinach is my favorite.

Dinner = a huge plate of salad (spinach or leaf mix) and a meat

Lunch / Snacks =

  • Cottage cheese
  • 2 cans of tuna with mayo, soy sauce, & shredded cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Peanut butter with carrot & celery sticks
  • Mixed veg (Getting more veg into my day will be the hard part…)

Next Steps:

  1. Optimize iPad calendar use. Put ALL THE THINGS on it, including some daily snuggle time with my kitty.
  2. Keep the fridge stocked with good food; Regular grocery shopping!
  3. Follow the calendar for time use! (Srsly, what’s the point of making the plan if you’re not gonna follow it?)

Living in Phase One (with a few more loopholes)

Following my nutritionist appt last week, I have decided to stay in Phase One (extremely low-carb), with a few more loopholes / exceptions, like

  • rice (This means I can have sushi.)
  • Winter squash (because we still have some from the farm share & I don’t want them to go to waste)
  • Hummus (garlic hummus on my breakfast eggs; Yum!)
  • Cracklin’ Oat Bran (This is my Very Favorite Cereal. I measure out about half a cup (dry) and slowly savor it for dessert.)
  • Emergen-C packets (because ain’t nobody got time to be sick)

And this is paying off. Yesterday I weighed 250.0 lbs, which is down a full 13 lbs from October 1st. As you can see from my FitBit graph (below), I’m almost back to where I was in February, before I got my sit-at-a-desk-all-day office job.

I did make it to the Y on Friday night, and did 30 min “jogging” on the elliptical and 10 min walking on the treadmill. I am not as out-of-shape as I’d thought I would be, but post-workout snacks are even more important than they were pre-detox. No snack afterward left me shivering and nauseous by the time I got home. Note to Future Self: Snacks. Bring them.

Sugar Detox Summary & Nutritionist Appt

So I think at this point we can say that the “detox” part of this has ended. I weighed 253.4 on 10/29 and 254.8 on 11/5. I blame Halloween (the candy holiday).

I had a bowl of noodles with dinner on Sunday night, and my body was NOT impressed. I felt cramped and bloated and gross the next day. This leads me to believe that very low carb eating is going to have to be more permanent than I’d anticipated. (Or maybe I’d always known that and just didn’t want to admit it.)

I had an appt with the new nutritionist at my HMO this morning. It was a little aggravating because I spent at least half the time explaining why my weird eating habits work for me and I was an hour later for work than I’d expected to be. The point, though, is that she agrees with my self-diagnosis of sugar addiction and that I should stick with low-carb eating; She wants me to get down to 237 lbs (10% loss from Oct.1), and I kinda want to see how deep this rabbit hole goes…

The plan moving forward is to start adding exercise back in, now that I’ve gotten used to low-carb eating. I’ve written in my planner to hit the YMCA & use the elliptical on Friday night, and to go swimming at some point this weekend. Fingers crossed I can do the things.

Sugar Detox: Week Three Summary

Again, on break at work, so keeping it short:

Weight this morning was 256.6 lbs, which means I went up 0.4 lbs. I’m still ok with this, as moving into my apartment made me REALLY SORE and I prolly added some muscle while healing the RAGING FIRE DOWN MY BACK. So it’s ok.

I need to add more vegetables. It’s been awhile since I bought groceries and the quality of my food has been decreasing. Pepperoni and cheese will only do so much… I’m thinking of salad mix for dinner tonight…

Week Four is starting to add things back in, so I elected to allow myself Emergen-C packets (more diluted than usual, because I can’t get sick, dammit), Tums, and maybe kidney beans? I was discussing with a roomie on making chili with vegetables…

I also feel like I dug myself into a hole and don’t know how to get out. I want to add stuff back in gradually, but all the carb-ish things I can think of are like, lasagna or candy, and that’s not where this is going, and my brain flounders with indecision. So we’ll see where this goes.

But I’m living in our new apartment now, and I can already see a difference in my attitude. ^_^

Sugar Detox: Week Two Summary

Gotta keep this one short, as I’m on break at work…

Last week was interesting, as I think getting rid of the sugar craving is revealing other cravings that are harder to deal with. I’ll just say that it’s been about four years since I’ve been laid and leave it at that.

The scale said 256.2 lbs on Sunday 10/15/17, which means I’ve lost almost 7 lbs in two weeks. My nefarious plan continues to work!

My bestie who is doing the detox with me brought up an interesting point last night; He said that his friend’s doctor said that stopping carbohydrates entirely will shut off your pancreas because it won’t know what it’s doing anymore. I’m really suspicious of the medical veracity of that, and no, we haven’t researched it yet. I’ll keep you posted of what we find.

Otherwise, I’m hip-deep in moving into our first apartment. I’m sore EVERYWHERE. And I really want to go grocery shopping but don’t want to move the groceries as well. I haven’t gone grocery shopping since Sept. 30th…

Sugar Detox: Week One Summary

Today is Day 8 of my sugar detox, so here’s the rundown of the last week:

  • Only had 2-3 headaches. It’s hard for me to tell what’s a headache and what’s tired, as they feel the same.
  • Had about the same number of cravings. Only one bad one; I had half a bar of cream cheese and told my brain to shut up.
  • Food disappears a LOT faster. I would have three eggs and a pile of veggies for breakfast, and I’d be hungry an hour or so later. Where does my food go??? (I know the chemical / biological reasons for digesting them faster, but it’s still annoying.)
  • Going grocery shopping while hungry was really challenging.

I went dancing with my brother on Saturday night. We left at break, but in the first half I sat out only one dance, and I danced the waltz. I got over 11,000 steps on Saturday, so I’m curious how high that would have gotten had we stayed the whole dance.

I got on the scale this morning, and weighed 260.2 lbs. That’s almost three pounds lost this week!

My nefarious plan is working…

See you at the end of week two!

Sugar Detox

While I was growing up, my parents would drink a lot. Like, 1-2 bottles of wine every night. I have distinct memories of waking them up off the couch so I could go to bed, and helping them up the stairs because they were too drunk to make it to bed themselves. (Looking back, maybe if I’d left them there overnight it might have been a wake-up call that they were drinking too much…)

I didn’t want to turn out like them, so even as an adult I’ve never developed a taste for alcohol. Most alcoholic drinks taste absolutely foul to me. The problem is, I still have an addictive personality, and I’ve become hooked on something more insidious: sugar.

You may say, “You can’t be addicted to sugar! That’s nonsense! How can you be addicted to something you can buy in the grocery store?”

Because you can buy it in the grocery store.

Sugar is in everything. Drinks, peanut butter, ketchup, baked goods (dear gods, the baked goods)… I would cheerfully make a meal of donuts and cheesecake if presented the opportunity. And being good at baking does not help matters; I have a distinct memory of getting home from school and making myself a batch of oatmeal raisin cookie dough, and eating the whole batch of dough raw.

Even just writing this is making me want to check for discount donuts at the grocery store later today.

And there is increasing research that shows that sugar has the same effects on our brains as hard drugs. Google it.

So yeah. I’m addicted to sugar.

Working in the office of a Wholesale Grocer doesn’t help matters. The bakery department is two rows of cubicles over from my desk, and there are various foods available at least once a week. I think there were at least three birthdays within two weeks, which meant cakes and cupcakes and deliciousness…. One of my coworkers makes a whoopie pie cake, which I have nicknamed “Death-cake”.

I’ve gained 15-20 pounds in the seven months I’ve been working there, and somewhere around 80 pounds in the last seven years. Eighty pounds is like, a person.

SO! In the spirit of not-dying-young and keeping a handle on my diabetes susceptibility, I’ve roped my best friend into doing a sugar detox with me. Starting tomorrow, we’re going cold turkey for three weeks, only eating protein, fats, and non-starchy veg. (“Why are you still eating fats?” Because fat is not the chemical enemy here; Carbohydrates are.)

In order to make this work, I need to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I need to stay busy (but not stressed), and reasonably active (2 exercises per week, minimum; 4 would be better). It’s also going to take a lot of thought and preparation, and money; good food isn’t cheap. I plan on weighing myself tomorrow (Day 1), and doing weigh-ins once every two weeks, because more often has the potential to be depressing. I will be resuming use of my food diary app (YouFood), and will be daily journaling in a Notebook app to keep track of cravings and challenges. I will post here on Saturdays to summarize the week.

See you on the other side of Week 1. Wish me luck.

Root Chakra Journaling

So, in my (perhaps ill-advised) attempt to make my body hurt less, I’ve decided to try some chakra work. Given that I’m not working with any energy experts on this, I’m not sure how well this will work out. This is the journaling section of the chakra work, and I found some prompts that I’ll be working off of, so bear with me.


I deserve to have… a place to live where I don’t have to walk on eggshells around anyone… food that promotes and supports my health… Clothes that fit well and don’t have holes or stains… clean drinking water…

Do I deserve to have love? Sometimes I’m not sure. My head knows that it’s important, but my heart is harder to convince.

I’m tempted to add single-payer health care to this list…


I am afraid of:

  • Losing my job / being yelled at / Can I even do anything right? / failure
  • Small spaces / tight clothing / not being able to breathe
  • Confrontations / yelling / anger / angry men / physical violence / authority figures (police?)
  • Having more regrets / not being happy

Prosperity means … (a.k.a. I’ll know I’ve ‘made it’ when…)

  • I have bedding sets that match my bed / I don’t have to cut down a set of sheets to fit my bed because they were free / I can get a memory foam mattress pad / my blankets are the appropriate size for my bed
  • I can take my nieces on trips / I don’t have to worry about ticket prices to events / I can travel
  • A house on/near the beach
  • Living in such a way that I can wear historical costumes every day
  • I can get a car that I actually like (I’ve wanted a hybrid for about a decade so far)
  • Not stressing about paying bills every month.

How do you feel about your body? Woof, that’s a loaded question.

I like my hourglass figure, how my waist is actually really small compared to my hips & shoulders. I like that I can support a strong muscular system. I love having blue eyes and long blond hair. I have great night vision.

I don’t like how hard it is to lose weight/inches. I don’t like how much pain I’ve been in recently, and how sitting can make it way worse. I don’t appreciate not being able to wear heels, and I certainly don’t like that I’m addicted to sugar.

I guess my body is okay? I certainly feel better about living in this body than I did when I was younger, and I’m more accepting of parts of my body than I used to be. Which is weird, considering that my health has declined and I’ve had to wear bigger sizes. I think part of that has been the realization that a lot of modern styles of clothing aren’t designed for people with curves / my body type, but I have the power / skills to make myself clothes that will work with what I have; Victorian styles are all designed to give the illusion of a small waist. I already got that. Now how can I rock it?


“Are there belief patterns that still influence your thinking but are no longer valid?” Um… I’m not sure how to answer that. If I flip it around: Do I hold beliefs that are no longer valid, but still influence my thoughts/actions/feelings?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m hard to love; I know there was a time where I felt that all I was good for was sex. (I didn’t know my ex-boyfriend was an abusive narcissist at the time, and it took me awhile to see that he really messed me up.) I now know that this isn’t true, but it still sometimes comes up in my thoughts.


What would my 10-year-old self tell me today? Assuming that my past self took her nose out of a book and was brave enough to talk to me…

I hope that my younger self would tell me about how bad things were at home. How responsible she was trying to be. How afraid she was sometimes. (That last one just made me cry a bit.)

I hope that my younger self would tell me about what our older cousin did, back in the hay barn. She would show me the kitten we adopted from a farm cat’s litter and named Holly. (And holy shit, I’m making myself cry now.)

This week has been Too Much.

This has been a crazy week…


Things started to escalate on Tuesday, when I had an appointment with the diabetes nurse at my HMO. She seems kinda impressed that I’m managing the diabetes without medication and without even testing my blood sugars, which means that this interaction was much better than our previous meetings.

I mentioned to her that I think I’m addicted to sugar, as I can’t stop eating it (cookies, donuts, cheesecake, cannoli…) even though I KNOW it’s bad for me. She said that many people are addicted to sugar, and she suggested that I do a sugar detox to change my taste buds so I don’t want the sugars any more. She gave me an article to read that detailed a sugar detox; “Go cold turkey (protein & non-starchy veg only) for three days. Then you can add a dairy and a fruit back in…”

My response to the article was “Three days is nothing. I’d need to be cold turkey for like, three weeks.”

And then I started making a plan for this sugar detox, which will likely happen at some point, but I’d like to run the plan past both my nutritionist and my primary care first, just so everyone’s on the same page.

The emotional part of this is that I enjoy sugary things, and I will have to deprive myself of things I like to better my health. And that’s hard to wrap my head around, because there have been times where there was so few things that brought me any happiness at all, and now I’m reluctant to give up anything that increases my happiness quotient. (This is, of course, the addiction talking, and logically I know that kicking it will be better for me… and this is apparently a cyclical explanation. You get the idea.)


On Wednesday, I was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor; the bosses like to have these every two weeks to check in with you on progress, etc. (Personally I think that once a month would be enough, but I’m not the boss.). Only mine wasn’t a one-on-one, it was two-on-one, as the boss-man (my supervisor’s boss’s boss, who oversees a few different teams) was sitting in. When the person who hired you sits in on a random private meeting, it tends to not bode well…

My supervisor started by recapping what we’d talked about last time, how one of my personal goals is to pay down my student loans, because I know that having them hanging over me is going to prevent me from doing a lot of things that I want to do (such as traveling). She then asked me to fill in the boss-man on my plan & progress.

A bit of background info here: I’ve done 8 years of undergrad, yielding a BA in Math and an AS in Engineering, and I was working on a BS in Engineering/Environmental Science when I withdrew for health reasons. So I have a private loan (at 9.66%) and lots of Federal loans (between 3.4% and 6.8%); they sum to about $53,000. At the rate that I’ve been paying my private loan ($150/month, even when I was unemployed) it’ll take me about 13 years to pay that sucker off. My Federal loans are on an income based repayment plan, and because I’ve been consistently so poor my required payments are currently $0, though some of them are accruing interest. … MATH.

So I explain to the boss-man what the deal is. He asks what my take-home pay is like per month (about $1200), and then asks me what my bills are that I’ve been spending it on. THEN, he spends at least half an hour lecturing me about what he thinks I should do to pay off my loans. His plan included:

  • NOT getting an apartment (continuing to live with my dad, despite being almost 30)
  • Draining most of the savings I’ve built up since starting my job in March: leaving $600 “for emergencies” and using the rest to pay down some of my private loan
  • Getting a second job on the weekends and putting that income straight to the loans
  • Somehow living on only $200/month, and putting the other $1000 take-home straight to the private loan and it’d be paid off in a year
  • Maybe considering putting my cat down, because her healthcare is expensive

So I have to sit through this gods-awful lecture, trying my best to not cry in front of my bosses. Then they bring up my work performance.

A bit more background: I schedule trucks to deliver product from vendors (Hershey, Kraft, Hormel, etc.) to my company’s warehouses. The trucking companies request the appointment online, and it pops into the queue to be scheduled, sorted by which facility it’s going to. (We call those “webs,” for web-requests.) We have a 2-hour turnaround time for webs, and every two hours my supervisor runs a report that lists how many webs are pending, how many are over 2 hours old, and which facilities they’re for. Apparently my facilities always have the most webs pending, which says to my bosses that I’m not pulling my weight with the team. (Personally, I think their data is skewed. Like, what are the web flow rates (how many webs come into each building)? Because I’m pretty sure half the problem is that I have the busiest facilities.)

Anyway, the boss-man thought I was over-thinking the scheduling of each web. I had to correct him, “No, I’m easily distracted.” Which is true; between the noise in the office and my body being uncomfortable sitting for so long, it is hard to focus. (Another problem is that in the web browser of my mind, there’s always at least 5 tabs open at all times, and it’s easy to distract myself when I’m bored… Which is pretty often at work….)

The meeting culminated in talk that sounded to me like, “We really like you & we like having you on the team, but you need to start doing better with your webs or we’ll fire you.”

And then I had to go back to work for another 2 hours after this meeting ended.

After work I rushed home, gave my cat her medication, and made dinner. At the end of dinner I was literally almost done cleaning up when my stepmother came home and Dad said, “You need to do that somewhere else,” essentially kicking me out of the kitchen. Gods forbid I spend 30 seconds in the kitchen finishing my dinner while you guys are starting yours.

Naturally I cried when I got back to my room, but I couldn’t indulge long because I had to get to the dance hall before 7 because I had the cash box for taking money at the door. And then, I was stuck at the hall on clean up afterward and didn’t get home until 11:30 pm. And then I passed out for six hours and woke up on Thursday to go back to work…


Thursday was emotionally / spiritually hard. I listened to my iPod all day, and I think I did alright on my webs, but no one acknowledged that I was doing better or trying harder or anything. I felt like I was suffocating, turning into a drone. I left work, picked up the farm share, went to the bank to make the deposit for the dance, and went home. I might have cried a bit, I don’t remember.


Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that it was kinda a crap week. Any one of these things would have been enough to deal with on its own, but all of them at once is excessive. Also, despite me working here since March, my boss clearly has no idea who I am yet.

  • I have to get an apartment & move out. Not only is it LONG past time I do so, but 1) my dad is selling the house in the next year, 2) my stepbrother is getting out of prison soon & I don’t want him knowing where I live, and 3) my abusive ex-boyfriend still knows where I live, as I haven’t moved since we were dating.
  • $600 is not emergencies. An emergency is my cat spending three days in the hospital and I suddenly have $2500 in vet bills. $600 is not NEARLY enough to cover anything.
  • Getting a second job is plausible, I suppose. My excuses for not doing so are that I need time for things like exercising, snuggling my cat (gotta take advantage of the time we still have together), and house chores.
  • Living on $200/month is absurd. (I know some people do it, and I’m not putting them down. I’m explaining why I can’t do it.). I’m diabetic and I cannot live on meals of rice & beans. My other bills add up (phone $50, car insurance $35, YMCA membership $15), and that’s not including gas for my car. I’ve been poor. I honestly still consider myself poor. Why would I voluntarily make myself miserable?
  • Do not even think about suggesting I put my cat down. You would never suggest that a parent of a human child put their baby down just because their medical care wasn’t cheap. I have no intentions of parenting a human child; my cats are my children. This, was not acceptable.

</rant>

New Tech!

Testing… Testing…

Writing to you now, from my fancy iPad with Bluetooth keyboard.

I have some things in the works; hopefully with this app on my iPad I’ll actually be able to post more often. 🙂

Stay tuned!