Today was a day of frustration on many fronts.  My coworkers were uncooperative at best and I struggled with a task I should be able to do in my sleep.  Then there was the whole eating thing. 

Maybe it’s all in my head, but I felt hungrier today.  Rather I felt like I should be hungrier today and wanted to eat more.  I am an emotional eater, however, so I’m betting most of that “hunger” stemmed from frustration.  I stuck to the plan despite the chips and dip in the common pantry offered to all and despite “this time of the month’s” cravings for sugar and more sugar.

So what did I eat?  One egg-beaters portioned to equal two eggs, and a sliver of turkey sausage.  I decided to save my protein shake for later because I wasn’t all that hungry.  I drank about half a bottle of water then had my string cheese.  I hope the roommate remembers to prep more celery for tomorrow.  I was looking forward to lunch and didn’t drink any more water.

Lunch time rolled around and I heated my beautifully crusted pistachio chicken and put it on the salad with the lime dressing.  Oh. Heavens.  That is so good.  I mean – gourmet-pay-money-for-it good.  YUM!  So far the salads have been awesome!  Tomorrow will be another tuna salad (I forgot to buy shrimp for the salad we should be having, but I’ll make it up on Thursday.)

I was pretty content for a while, around 2ish I got nibbly and ate my 30 pistachio nuts.  Hey, I like them so I can never have too many.  I remembered to drink some more water.  But honestly, maybe only another half a bottle.  I need more Crystal Light mixins.

Then about 3:30 – 4 I was hungry again – or maybe it was just the chips and dip taunting me from down the hall.  I made my protein shake (LOVE IT) and was perfectly satiated.  Cracked open another bottle of water but barely drank any. 

I picked up Lola from the vet (comprehensive exam – everything looks great) and went home to my Ginger-Honey Tilapia and String Beans.  A little salty, I need to figure out why but luckily the tiny bit of honey in the dish seemed to help.  It was good, but the salt bothered me.  I still ate every bite.

Whipped out the salad for tomorrow, the omelet for breakfast and the chocolate creme for dessert.  I really love that they make you eat dessert.  We’ll try popsicles for dessert tomorrow night, but tonight I wanted something more substantial.

I think I’ll experiment with that recipe and make some adaptations for random flavors, but overall I like it.  Since I’ve been home I’ve downed two more bottles of water, which still puts me one under my goal… I’ll do better tomorrow.

See, I am trying to be optimistic.  There are no failures, only opportunities for improvement.  I have lots of those. 

Note:  I haven’t been to the gym at ALL this week.  It’s ridiculous, I have to go back.  My gym buddy is going without me.   I have no real excuse so tomorrow, I’m going.  I mean it.

I love the song by Sarah MacLaughlin, but I never realized how much it would mean to me.   February 9, 2009 marks 6 months since my Dad died.  Hey I can type that without crying.   That’s major progress for me.  I think of him constantly and still say and do things before remembering that he’s actually gone.  There’s still a sense of the surreal for me.  Since it hurts less today than it did 6 months ago, I’m assuming that in a year it will be even easier. 

I’ll still remember you, Dad.  Love doesn’t fade.

First, you should know my roommate and I tried starting this new eating lifestyle (diet is a curse word in this house) about two weeks ago.  It went pretty well, I did all the cooking as I fancy myself quite the gourmet and the roommate struggles with the basics.  Anyway, it turns out we were doing phase two of the plan not phase 1.  So, we decided to start over – today.

Um, so phase 1 kinda sucks in that you can’t have any fruit (we were already pretty light on the breads and stuff, so cutting back to none wasn’t as painful), no carrots, no starchy veggies at all, and no alcohol.  I mean, if I can’t have chocolate, I should at least be able to drink, right?  (Truthfully, we rarely drink in our house so it wasn’t a hardship.  We prefer to eat the pain away – after all isn’t that why God invented chocolate covered (insert almost any food here) and cake?  The answer is yes.

Ok, so on to my day.  I made four dinners on Sunday, because I knew extensive cooking couldn’t happen during the week.  I’ll figure out Friday on Thursday night as I usually have a bit of time then to do more.  I also made breakfast for today, vegetable quiche cups, which was really quite tasty.  Very small, but tasty.  Did I mention, small?  So we added (I know I know) two small pieces of turkey sausage to pretend it was a real meal and a low-carb protein shake.  Somewhere in there was a bottle of water.

Then midmorning snack was a string cheese.  Strangely, I was kinda full.  Personally, I think it’s all mental to some degree.  So I ate the cheese and sipped on water.  Suddenly it was lunchtime.  Now lunch is the South Beach Chop Salad.  Two things to note – 1.  This salad is really yummy  and 2. This salad is huge.  Especially if you don’t bother to strictly measure the lettuce and cucumbers or celery.  I eyeballed what I thought a third of a cup of cut up veggies were.  I might need glasses.  The salad was too big for me to finish, I’ll have the rest tomorrow.

In fact, I couldn’t drink any more water right then.  The thought of something going in my mouth made me nauseous and I went back to work.   Twenty minutes later, I could eat again.   Midafternoon snack!  Celery with a laughing cow cheese wedge, ok.  I have to admit, I needed some salt or pepper with mine.  That cheese is bland to me.  I wonder if I can substitute Gouda next time? 

About an hour later, I could eat again.  I should have had more water, but I forgot my crystal light mixins and straight water makes me nauseous.  So I nibbled on the “savior snack” of thirty pistachio nuts.  Full again.  Drank more water begrugingly, but not enough.  Contemplated around 5pm finishing salad as I was hungry again but still at work.

After work I had some errands to run and I did, getting hungrier all the while.  Suddenly food establishments were everywhere and they were taunting me with sweets and bread.  I prevailed, however, and managed to make it home to dinner, Salsa Pork, which is pretty tasty as well.  Couldn’t finish it either.  The first three bites took care of my hunger.  I picked at it a while longer until it was half eaten then put the rest away. 

I made lunch for tomorrow (Pistachio crusted chicken salad – oh yeah) and cleaned the kitchen.  I made homemade doggie treats for Lola who looked sad to be ignored while I cooked.  Then I felt my evil nemesis, it was about 10 pm (way too late to eat, but I wouldn’t be in bed for a while) and my sweets craving was fierce.

Luckily, the South Beach Diet anticipates this and plans for you to eat dessert.  Tonight was Vanilla Creme made with Ricotta cheese, vanilla extract and (in our case) Splenda.  Perfect for the sweet tooth.

So barring my poor drinking habits today, which I will fix tomorrow,  and the extra sausage in the morning and nuts at night  (That sounds SO dirty, but it’s not.  I wish it were, but it’s not.) I did pretty good.  It wasn’t all that painful either.

Can’t wait to see how day 2 goes.

February – isn’t that a funny word.  Y’know, phonetically speaking.  That “r” after the b is a real treat and yet you find yourself wondering – what made someone decide that the second month of the year should be called February.  Frankly, this question can be asked of all the months.  I’m sure some genius somewhere has the answer on the history of the words, but I really don’t care. 

That’s right, I’m asking a question to which I really don’t care about the answer.  Welcome to “polite society” and “the American Mainstream Media”.  This is not a complaint, it’s a fact of life – we all do it.

“How are you today?”  is supposed to be answered with “Fine, yourself?”  (Ok, the grammar teacher in me wants to inform you all that the correct response is actually, “Well, thank you.  How are you?”   Well is an appropriate response to “how something is” not good or fine – you can’t BE good or fine in that context, it doesn’t fit the terminology.)  I digress… 

Anyway, we ask questions to be socially correct or to make ourselves seem intellectual.  “Did you hear the rhetoric regarding the Republican review of the President’s economic package?   Wouldn’t you say some of their ideals are detrimental to the overall fabric of democracy?”  (This is a true quote of a question asked by a coworker.)   Ok, so I actually have been half-way following this story.  I have some general feelings on the topic, but do I feel the overall “fabric of democracy” will be affected?  I don’t know.  I mean, offhand, probably not – No, I think democracy as an ideal is stronger than the economic platform on which it stands.  This country has been poor before and managed to survive and strengthen.  But, as it turns out, my coworker really didn’t care about the answer.  The question was just a starting point for him to espouse his personal feelings in an overly articulate manner that was intended to make him look exceptionally intelligent.

I personally got “pompous turd” out of it, but that’s just me. 

There’s actually nothing wrong with doing this – I know, I know “What am I saying?!”, but it’s the truth.  Intelligent conversation for the sake of discussion and conversation without actual investment in the outcome is not a bad thing.  It sparks debate and ideas that usually get back to someone who IS invested and appreciates the rhetoric. 

I just wonder how much our usage of this type of dialogue affects our ability to trust others and share genuine concerns.  How many times do we hold our tongue on the assumption that “they really don’t care anyway” and how many times does that thinking lead us astray?  Did the people in the housing industry have questions about practices in the early years that they never asked because “no one really cares anyway”? 

Not that I expect an answer…  I’m just asking.

So, I’ve been obsessing lately with the need to go to the gym.  Only, I let my Bally’s membership lapse because I wasn’t using it.  (I know I make no sense sometimes, imagine BEING me!) 

Anyway, I got an offer to renew my membership at a ridiculously low rate.   (It basically comes to $5.40 a month!)  Well the frugal person in me can’t let that pass by especially since I’ve been lamenting the need to get to a gym.

I also found a workout buddy within 24 hours of getting the renewal offer.  Mysterious ways?  Nah, this time God’s taking out a billboard.   It says, “Hey chubby girl – get thee onto the elliptical machine and sweat!”.  So, since I can take a hint (not at all), here I go.

Next week starts the big adventure so I’m sure there will be many posts about the sights and escapades of a major chain gym.  I wonder if they have pole dancing?

Question:  Would you ever leave your front door open and invite passersby the right to roam through?  Caveat being that of course they can’t take anything, but they should feel free to camp out and see what’s going on?  Maybe watch you and your significant other have a huge argument (again) about whether football is more important than family board game time?  Possibly the make-up session in the bedroom later?  How about sitting and chatting with your kids about school, their friends or if they have ever kissed a member of the same sex?

No?  I thought not.  Which is why I find it utterly fascinating the number of people who have little difficulty exposing their lives on MySpace or Facebook.  Now, I know what you’re going to say – “You can control the access by controlling who your friends are…”  True.  But who here only wants to have the same 9 friends? 

It becomes almost a competition to suddenly find yourself with 82 friends, three of whom are famous thank-you-very-much, and endless strangers trying to add you to their cool list.  As time passes, you relax and start responding to all the random conversational leads on your page until one day you look back and realize that with very little effort a total stranger could find out enough about your life to ruin it.

Or maybe you’re not that paranoid.  I am.  I read the news and see some terrible things.  I always wonder, “How did he / she know enough about them to do that?”  Sometimes we just let people in, but other times they take the back door.

What did we do without these sites before?  Pick up the phone, visit, send a letter – send an email?  But I haven’t seen them in 20 years… and maybe there’s a reason for that.  For every 100 happy reunions I’m sure there’s probably not even one unhappy reunion, right?  So what’s the worry? 

Maybe there isn’t one, but human nature is pretty predictable and history shows that where information is available there is always someone waiting to abuse it.

Signed,

Anonymous

I will not be joining the masses shopping Friday for a Christmas gift deal.

Why not? 

Because I have my doubts that there will be masses.  There are some pretty good deals floating around and if you haven’t visited www.bfads.net to check them out, get with the program.  However, there are also a lot of companies not giving out bonuses this year, cutting back hours, laying off staff and dumping their retirement programs matching gifts.  So far, my company isn’t one of them but I have to admit I worry. 

Budgets being what they are don’t generally contain a lot of room for discretionary funds when you are in a recession.  It just doesn’t make sense to waste what you might need for the real bills.  All that being said, I do have to wonder how many people will be seduced by some ridiculously low item they never knew they needed?  It’s such a tough time all around for the business owners, especially the small and boutique niche businesses and the consumer alike.

My advice is make a list of the items you’d like to get this year or need around the house.  Things you would have purchased anyway.  Try to find them on sale and enjoy the discount.  Make sure you bring your checkbook register along, however, and keep an eye on that bottom line.  I, personally, am avoiding any extra credt debt and only spending what I can actually afford.

Unless that 42″ Vizio LCD goes on sale around $600 – then I might have to rethink my plan.  Otherwise, I might come out for a few minutes – we few and frugal.  I don’t think there will be masses… just mini-masses.