Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Winter, Wing, Wummer and Wall

The Markovian theory of the seasons. He says Wing has passed and we are currently into Sprinter. Golly I hope so. Has been 60 degrees here for the past two days. I took the opportunity to dig out more of the driveway. Snowed a skiff last eve and is supposed to snow off and on for the next five days. sigh No more digging for awhile.

I am very class conscious. And I hate it. I am not comfortable with folks who have been gently reared. There are several couples I would like to get to know better but I am put off by their wealth and style. I just can't relax around them. I keep expecting I will eat peas with my knife and be judged accordingly. I wish I would stop this but it seems to be bred in the bone.

I now have most of the personal accoutrement's of a middle class woman. I usually appear fairly knowledgeable and relaxed in company. It is an act. I feel less than because of my background. It is not my illegitimate birth that bugs me, or my crazy mother, nor my stint in foster homes. I am kind of proud of surviving all of that. It is the opportunities I missed that make me feel bad. All the things I don't know how to do, and all the things I do know how to do. For instance: I can put together and take apart an industrial mop and bucket with lightening speed. I should be able too, I mopped a nursing home every night for years. I lately had an opportunity to display this knowledge amidst a group of people who appeared to be astounded at my skill. I can unload mouse traps right quick too. I can unclog toilets and carry off dead cats. I can dig post holes, turn a compost pile and stick my hand inside a cow to pull on leg. I could do all of this by the time I was fifteen. But I can't f**king play bridge, read music or ski. I have never been out of the country and have never lived in a house with a dishwasher or a water softener. And I am fat.

None of this should matter. I am fifty-one years old and God has been good to me. I have so many blessings I can't count them all. And yet...I still persist in feeling bad at choir practise when I have to imitate the person beside me because I can't read the notes. I feel bad at dinner parties when everyone discusses the myriad places they have been and I realize I was working nights while they all were exploring Europe. I feel common when a friend blushes while discussing child birth and I am familiar with all the permutations of a human body. I have gone from degradation to the sublime in my years. I want to value the depth and breadth of my life as a great good fortune.

But sometimes I don't. Stoopid card parties.

Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Garden of Life

This week I read three blogs that touched my heart. Cindy, Lori and Nory all had information I needed.

Lori is tired. Mee too. Half the damn time. And no it is not a physical problem. I am fairly healthy. The thing is, I work weird. I go at stuff like I am killing snakes or I sit on my aspirations and do nothing. Both wear me out. And then I want to eat. Has taken me years to realize I don't do well if I get too tired. But...I was raised to believe that only tired people were worthwhile people. Being tired was a sign of hard work. And only HARD work was acceptable. If work did not wear you out completely it was not worthwhile!

One of my aunts was healthier than her sisters. She knew her capacity for work and paced herself. She even took breaks and stopped for lunch! She was routinely and roundly castigated by the other women in the family. Lois was lazy. And worst of all, she admitted to being tired, and rested!!! Funny thing is, my Aunt Lois had a spotless home, three wholesome homemade meals on the table everyday, clean and ironed clothes, an overflowing pantry of home canned goods, and the most beautiful flower garden I have ever seen. It was a mystery to her exhausted slovenly sisters how this lazy, gripey woman managed to get all this done. Maybe she had help (this was code for a verboten cleaning lady).

Because Mom was sick I spent much of my early childhood with my Aunt Lois. I learned her secrets for a balanced life. Alack and alas, I am my adopted mother's daughter. I was born a perfectionist so her workaholism and black and white pattern for living found fertile soil. I am very much like her. Blood is not necessarily thicker than water. But...I also internalized Aunt Lois' credo, and the two opposite ways of living are forever at war within me. No wonder I am tired. Here is how Aunt Lois got it all done.

Set a realistic goal and time frame for a project. Start early, in the day and on the project. Prioritize. Do the awful stuff first. Work for fifteen minute increments at the awful stuff and then go and do something else more enjoyable. Only do one thing at a time. Have set rest periods and a quitting time. Rest and quit on time. Reward yourself (not with food Bea) for time spent on a project, not just the for the finished product. Realize most things take longer and are harder to accomplish than you had planned. Be prepared for snags in the process. Have an end goal and stop when you have reached your goal. Celebrate when you are done.

I usually don't do any of that so I end up frustrated and tired. I have trouble getting started and then I have trouble stopping. No wonder getting things done is so exhausting.

I guess I have a choice.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All's Well

Dinner went off with a bang. Eleven people squashed around the table. Was very convivial. Food was splendid if I do say so myself. Mark was sorry our guests ate so much of it. He was hoping for more leftovers. We played games afterward and had a hilarious time. The dog added to the fun by trying to climb into several people's laps.... She spent most of the party in her crate. Everyone loved our petite abode. I think it reminded them of the houses in which they grew up. Made me feel much better about the little place.

The whole darn house is clean. The laundry is done. We have leftovers so I don't have to cook. The boxes are unpacked. There is still too much snow on the ground to do anything outside. I am going bonkers. Damn am I goal oriented.

A guy was just here about putting up a fence for the dog. Is going to cost $600-800 to install forty feet of chain link and two gates. I almost passed out. The last time we put in a fence it was $300 for three times the distance. We are getting a price quote on wood. It may be cheaper. We could end up putting in the fence ourselves. I don't fancy that. The soil here is all rocks. Using a post hole digger is dangerous and you end up doing most of the digging by hand. Phooey.

I have lost some of the weight I gained. Not much, but some. I couldn't believe it. I am trying to eat consciously and attempt to notice if I feel full. I think I may be eating less. I am saying this very cautiously and quietly less the fat god's hear me and curse me with a binge. I have had a paradigm shift about my eating. As usual with me this was/is tied up with my faith. The Bible talks about the gift of "fruits of the spirit." One of the fruits is self control. I believe that when I accepted Christ into my life those attributes came to dwell continuously within me. But...just because they are in there does not mean I avail myself of them. Most times I just ignore them. But, along with the conscious eating, I am now consciously praying for help to exercise the fruit of self control. This is way different than defining myself as a helpless sugar addict.

As a sugar addict I had/have no control over what I eat if it has sugar in it. One bite and it is binge city. As a person with the divine gift of self control I can take a taste of something and then stop! I know I sound like a religious nut, but I do think God spoke to me when He/She said "eat less" a month ago. I believe I was then directed to watch the "I Can Make You Thin" thing so as to reacquaint me with the concept of Intuitive Eating. I have choice. If I rely on God's strength and not my own I can eat like a normal person. I can eat less.

Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Winter of My Discontent

This has been a long hard winter. It is currently 18 degrees outside and I am wearing my gloves to type.

I have some ferocious bruises but other than that I am none the worse for wear from my fall. I am grateful. My life came suddenly into perspective this week. One of our friends nearly cut his arm off with a chain saw. He was Life Flighted to Salt Lake and they saved his arm and hand, but they aren't sure if he will be able to use it again. He's a contractor.

I am fifty-one years old and fatter than I could be, but for the most part I am healthy. So is Mark. As I get older I am more and more grateful for my problem free body. God knows this is not from any effort on my part. In fact just the opposite. But after John's accident I am determined to take better care of what God has given me. For instance, I am going to take my magnesium at night and put on my wrinkle cream. If I have been "good" with my food intake during the day then I think I am entitled to take the magnesium and use the wrinkle cream. If I have been a "bad" eater then I am not entitled to take the pill or use the cream. I sometimes have to literally force myself to swallow the pill. Isn't that weird? This type of odd weight induced thinking has got to go.

I may never be a really "good" eater but by damn I can take care of my self in other ways. We have begun walking in the mornings again. It is freezing cold and I have to wear my giant snowmobile suit and boots, but we are up and moving. I have begun drinking water again. I am taking my vitamins and using my plethora of potions on my face. I am going to bed at 10pm. I am beginning to address my mountains of paper work. I have begun to take my spiritual life seriously again.

It was a rough winter but I think spring is on the way.

Take care of your dear selves. Love Bea

P.S. I got all the boxes unpacked upstairs. I was in a cleaning frenzy but after the accident I decided the house would be just normal clean for the party. Feels like a good decision.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Life In The Fat Lane

I swear to God this has been the dumbest day. I am trying to unpack the last few boxes from the move and I am stressing about it. Two abrupt moves in one year do not make for organized packing. The boxes are full of paper stuff and family mementos crammed in from the first move, and which were never unpacked. I am now trying to go through all this stuff. We have zero storage space left so I can't keep most of it. It is driving me nuts trying to decide what to pitch and what to keep.

Next weekend we are hosting a group of couples from our church. I am also stressed out about this. I am trying to make this sow's ear of a house look like a silk purse with limited time and finances before the event. Hence my unpacking frenzy.

So I was not in the most cheerful frame of mind when the cat peed on the dog's bed this morning. I caught her in the act. I began hollering like a mad women as the urine had soaked through the bed and onto the newly cleaned carpets. (We spent last weekend cleaning them with an industrial carpet cleaner.) I grabbed the cat and carried her downstairs hollering, "You go potty in your box." The other cat apparently hearing and fearing those familiar words streaked past me on the stairs on her way to the box. Of course I fell over her. I got banged and bruised but nothing is broken. The cat lept to safety before I fell. I could swear she looked vindicated.

Okay so I hauled my mangled body back upstairs and tried to get on with my day. First on the list was to wash the dog bed. I stuffed it in the washer, poured soap on it and went about my business. Of course the washer overbalanced and stopped. When I opened the washer the dog bed was in a wad and I couldn't straighten it out. So I got a laundry basket , lined it with a garbage bag and then proceeded to try to pull this sopping wet heavy ball of material out of the washer. In my struggle with the wad my wedding ring slipped off and went plunk into the dirty soapy water. I am crying in frustration by now. I hauled the dog bed out of the washer and got water everywhere. I then stuck my arm in the washer and fished around looking for the ring. At this point I decided to take off my sweatshirt so it wouldn't get wet.

I was up to my armpits in water when the doorbell rang. The dog promptly went nuts and tipped over the laundry basket with the sopping dog bed in it. Tipped it over onto my sweatshirt laying on the floor. I was in the laundry room and to get to the door I would have to cross in front of an uncurtained window. The only thing I could find to put on was one of Mark's ratty old tee shirts he wears to paint. It was the Schwan's man. I needed a whole host of stuff so putting the worry about my ring on hold I proceeded to place an order. Our Schwan guy is young. He is usually very friendly and jokey. I try to be the same. Today he was friendly at the beginning of the visit but got quieter and quieter as time went on. He kept looking at me funny. I apologized about the old ratty shirt and told him about my washer troubles. He barely nodded and seemed in a hurry to leave. He brought me my order and fairly ran out of the house. I went back to trying to find my ring.

Mark arrived home for lunch while I was still fishing around. I promptly started crying again and told him about my morning. He looked at me sort of funny, hugged me and began to look for my ring while I cleaned up the floor. He eventually found it! I dried my tears, attended to my wounds and made us peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. As we were sitting down to eat he said, "Don't you think you ought to change that shirt?" "Why" I asked looking down? Good God. One of my boobs was sticking out of a huge hole under the armpit of the shirt and the other one was covered by a big wet spot. My bra had apparently been wet when I put the shirt on. The bra that had become semi transparent in the soapy water. I now see why that poor young man was having trouble discussing the merits of New York over sirloin steak.

I took a shower, took some pills and and am now telling you all of this. After that I am going to watch an old movie. I hope I don't eat.

Take care, love Bea.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Black and White

I am rigid, rigid, rigid.

I have been thinking about many things in the past week. For starters, I have become a web whiner. I get on here and gripe and moan. Is not making me feel good. Is making me feel bad. I have become so focused on what I perceive to be be wrong with my life I have lost sight of what is right. And much, much is right. For instance.

Last night I watched episode four of "I Can Make You Thin." Mark was downstairs so he watched with me. He had never before seen Paul McKenna. This week's show was another take on the finger squeeze association thing. We were to do the finger squeeze thing while associating something wonderful with exercise. Paul is very expressive and has that aggressive motivational style of speaking. He was about half way through with his explanation/demonstration of the technique when suddenly Mark jumped up from this chair, squeezed the thumb and middle finger of his right hand together, pointed them at me, and hollered "Expecto Patronum." Harry Potter beware.

After I became less hysterical we watched the rest of the show. When it was over I asked Mark what he thought. "What, no altar call" was all he said? sigh

I read or hear or see something that makes sense to me about weight loss and then I think I have to slavishly follow the whole of whatever plan has enlightened me. I currently have been caught between my no sugar, no flour addict food plan and the non-plan of Intuitive Eating. In my rigid black and white mind they could not both be correct. One or the other had to be the WAY. Vickie opened the door a crack with her comment about rigidity and then Mark's funny antics shoved it completely open. It was not a specific plan or formula that enabled me to lose the weight, it was that I ate less. Yes the nutritional content of food does matter. Yes non-processed foods do have less calories. Yes I did feel better when I was eating "clean." But I had made a religion out of it. I had come to believe the only way I could lose/maintain the weight was with a specific combination of foods. If I deviated at all I was in relapse and destined to gain back all the weight. I now see that feta cheese on my salad can be part of a healthy diet and does not have to derail my weight loss effort.

I can learn to bend. It is really the only Way.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Markovian theory: The next exercise craze to sweep the country will be sponsored by the National Social Health Movement. It will entail a synchronized high kicking hike followed by a series of straight arm exercises accompanied by the motivational shout "I'm Thinner."