Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stress eater

I got my assignment yesterday morning. And then I wept at my keyboard. And then I found out that the university library is closed on weekends, so I couldn't even do the book research I needed to do in order to complete the assignments until Monday.

I was a little stressed. There was a double cheeseburger involved. No one was hurt except my pride.

I am feeling much better today. After finishing the second part of the final last night (basically a discussion of my practicum this spring, which I had to do from memory because of course it's on my work computer, which is unavailable on weekends like the library), and finding that plenty of periodicals have been scanned in online into full-text pdfs, I actually took a break and read for pleasure before bed.

I have to answer four out of seven questions (my choice) and give about three pages on them, using at least one book, two periodicals, and no more than two internet sources. The questions are along the lines of, "Discuss the history of the dichotomy of emotion vs. intellect, and why emotion has been seen as the lesser of the two, and how that has caused music education to be considered less-than necessary?"

Wow, biased much, teach? Too bad it seems that most people believe that the mutual exclusivity between intellect and emotion doesn't exist anymore. I decided to get the book Emotional Intelligence as my guide for that.

And so, it goes forward like that. I turned in my conducting analysis yesterday afternoon and spent some time with the Mahler First symphony, fourth movement. Thank goodness for the class message board and people who are keeping it up. I would be lost without them. I made sure they knew that. My theory professor is probably going to get a lot of laughs out of this analysis, but as long as I turn something in and obviously tried to grasp it, I'll get an A. The comp final is pass/fail...a little more of a daunting task, in my mind.

In other news, I gained all the weight back, except for one pound, that I lost, and I am so obviously bloated it's comical to me. I know I didn't actually gain four pounds of fat in two days, but I certainly gained it in water. I promptly took the scale and hid it in the back of the hallway closet, and vowed to not step on it until Saturday morning, after a full week of healthy eating, with no grains and no alcohol. After I finish this project, I will also be able to get my gym time in with some regularity, and will likely sweat out a few pounds at the school when I go up to put my rooms back in order!

This coming Saturday, however, is the Day of Debauchery and Gluttony. Some politician asked people to fast and pray for the future of our country, and there has been an obvious backlash. The hardcore atheist in me grabbed onto this, and immediately invited those in my friend list that I knew would appreciate it. My Catholic husband included! I plan on using that day (after a hard workout in the morning, of course) for a movie, unhealthy food, and maybe celebrating my awesomeness and finishing grad school. I must text my sister and see if she's up for the challenge.

So, dark clouds overhead, but some sun peeking through. I sure wish it would be cloudy for real. Last night, while reading, I realized how much I miss the rain. How much I miss walking outside and not having your breath taken away by the heat. The co-op put out their monthly newsletter and one farm was talking about their plans for fall plantings and I had a sudden urge to buy turnips, a vegetable I have never eaten but that surely reminds me of cooler weather. I'm making chili tomorrow, so I can kind of say "fuck you" to the sun and the heat. Fuck you, heat dome, I'm eating chili. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday Freeday

I decided to give myself a pass every week, and yesterday was my day. I had a normal breakfast, but allowed myself some Freddy's for lunch (sounded so good) and then hosted a birthday party in the evening for a friend.

The Freddy's was everything I imagined it would be. Salty, a little greasy, with that strong mustard/pickle/onion flavor they do so well. I even had a Pepsi.

Not more than 30 minutes later, I got sick and paid my dues. I was fine after that one trip, though.

In the evening, I made spicy roasted shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, and sliced up some veggies to go with hummus. Not too bad. I made some bread, too, because I figured there would be alcohol and bread helps. I only had I think one piece of it.

We were enjoying this drink H's family used to make called a "mint bucket." It's a punch bowl with lots of fruit, mint, ice, pink lemonade concentrate, ginger ale, and vodka. Lots of vodka.

About 2 hours into the party, and I got sick again. I think it was the sugar. I was fine, and then suddenly there was this hard knot in my stomach. It wasn't pleasant, to say the least. I likely didn't eat enough to counterbalance all the sugar in the drink.

Regardless, it was a fun night and a couple of my friends who had never been to my house (we don't live all that close to our people) finally got to meet the cats, the dog, and see our home, and laugh at my seashell bathroom light fixture. (For the record, I didn't pick that out, it was here when we moved in, and I plan on changing it very, very soon.)

I think a smoothie is in order this morning to replenish vitamins. I don't know what we're going to do for lunch because I didn't plan to make one. I wasn't a very good meal planner last week. I could always cook up a piece of chicken and get some veg out of the freezer. Dinner is that other party, likely, so I'll do the best I can.

Oh, and I have got to stop stepping on the scale every day. I like to see how what I eat one day affects my weight, but it starts to border on obsessive. I might put the scale away in a hard-to-reach place to keep myself away from it.

I had my last-ever graduate class on Thursday. Then I found out that I screwed up and didn't read the comprehensive exam information correctly, and still have one to go. The professor was supposed to email it to me yesterday, but my luck, it never came. I sent an email a short while ago asking if she had forgotten about me, and that I need to get this done next week as I am completely finished save for a couple assignments that are due Sunday and Tuesday. I was so angry with myself for misunderstanding and not asking for clarification, just in case. Hopefully, that will all work out, and soon, as I am ready to be done. Done-done.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why do I stop?

Why do I ever stop eating like this and start eating pasta and rice again? WHY? I feel so much better this way and I always forget how much more energy I have. Last night, I could barely fall asleep. I thought I was tired, turned off the tv, and felt like I couldn't close my eyes. It took me a long while to fall asleep.

I woke up at 6:30 so I could try C25K again this morning, but the app will barely work on my phone. And the music wouldn't play, and that just won't do. I can't go without something in my brain besides my thoughts. So, after two blocks and much cursing, I turned back. I tried updating my phone, but after re-installing iTunes (because it wouldn't open because of "missing files") it said my phone was up to date. I guess it must be time to upgrade the phone. And yes, it was one of "those" mornings with technology. Blah. I will say that it was nice waking up and not feeling dead tired. I don't even remember any dreams from last night. That was nice.

I tried to find a decent workout on OnDemand, not feeling like going to the gym, but I don't think that 15 minutes of The Biggest Loser Workout is going to do much for me. I opted to lift weights and use the newly-inflated stability ball. I stuck to lower body and abs today, and maybe this evening I'll go to the gym and do some cardio.

My morning class isn't meeting right now, since half the class can't make it due to a certain school district starting earlier this year, so I have more time to work on my conducting for my afternoon class and work out in the morning, which is also nice. I'm quite looking forward to conducting, though I know I'm going to get reamed for facial expression. I do fine with angry stuff, but I want to conduct the slow, pretty movement, and it's weird just smiling through the whole thing, so I'm trying to go for "serene." We'll see how that works out. I'm at least challenging myself. It was fun playing yesterday, too.

I managed to lose about 4lbs of water weight in the last couple of days, and a lower carb diet will do that to you. We'll see how it goes from here.

Yesterdays' food:
B: a little under 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt, 1/8 cup sliced almonds, raspberries, and about a tbsp spun honey.
L: "Antipasto:" cherry tomatoes, mozz pears, prosciutto, hard salami, and bell pepper strips, water.
S: Colby Jack cheese stick.
D: "Low carb" beef stroganoff--sirloin cubes, mushrooms, onions in a mushroom/cream cheese/sour cream sauce with green beans.
DS: A huge peach

I can certainly say I got in my dairy yesterday! Hooray for calcium.

For now, I need to try and finish up this theory final. I won't be able to answer all of it, I know that for sure. But, I've tried hard and I know the person grading it will take that into account. I haven't done a lot of this stuff since undergrad...10 years ago. Use it or lose it, they say. Then lunch (breakfast today was the same as yesterday and tasty!) which will be leftovers and more green beans, and dinner is balsamic chicken and some kind of veggie. I am undecided. I was going to do a caprese salad and I might still. Just not sure.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh, dreamweav-ah...

So, last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I was hit with Beethoven-overload-insomnia. I couldn't get the 2nd movement of the Eroica out of my head...the funeral march. I finally left the bedroom and slept on the couch. For some reason, I was asleep in 10 minutes there. I think Anchovy's comforting purring at my feet helped (he's always waiting for someone to come sleep on the couch!).

After I went back to the bedroom around 5:30, I had an awful dream. I dreamed that my dad (who passed away over four and a half years ago) had gone to some church in Wichita and came back, declaring that I was "sick" and needed medication. He forced me to take some kind of pills, though they didn't seem to do anything, and held my sister and me hostage in our home. Mom was nowhere to be found. She had run away before he came back. I kept trying to call her, over and over...but my sister and I were being watched. My dad had put a recording device in our room. I only called when I knew he was asleep. At one point, I escaped, but found that there were obstacles I could not pass, and so I turned back. I finally got my mom on the phone, but she just sounded cheerful and willingly ignorant of the situation. I felt defeated, and lost, and sad.

WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?!? I spent most of the morning trying to shake the awful feeling I woke up with, and even teared up getting in the shower thinking about it. It's no secret that losing a parent is difficult, even years later...and I can certainly say the details of my father's passing were not...optimal. However, I hadn't even thought of him in days. I just saw my mom yesterday evening, so who knows where all of this came from.

In better news, I turned a corner today in the kitchen, and am re-vamping how I eat. Yet again. I am following myself on Livestrong's myplate online, and have set myself up to lose a pound a week. A nice, reasonable number. I have decided to ditch the grains, and focus on proteins, fruits, veggies, and a little dairy instead. For example, I will have yogurt with berries and almonds in the morning, with just a little honey to sweeten. I justify the honey because it is local ;) Lunch will likely be an antipasto platter in my lunchbox, with organic cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, bell peppers, mozzarella pearls, and probably a cut-up peach, if they will ripen up a bit. I'm making beef stroganoff over green beans for dinner. Yum. That will be lunch for a couple of days.

I find it easier to eat cleaner if I ditch the rice, pasta and so forth. I always eat too much, anyway, if I make it. I have plenty of pasta in the pantry, though, nice high-protein and whole wheat pastas, for days when I feel the need for them. This isn't Atkins, folks. It's kind of my own design...sort of a mesh of Paleo/Primal and, well, "normal" eating. Alcohol will be a once or twice evening treat, not the beerfest June was. Sheesh.

I also find it easier to eat less this way. Like I said, I always overeat on the carbs, anyway, so cutting them out is an easy solution. I just have to up the veggies in their place, and I doubt that any doctor or nutritionist could argue with me that more veggies in my diet is a good thing. It's also easier for me to eat less, because I don't get as hungry. Hell, today I have lots of calories left to eat, according to myplate, and I haven't even had dinner yet! And that's breakfast, lunch, and a snack.

So, good luck to me. I am really thinking about starting C25K again, as well, and might get up early in the morning to see how the hot weather feels. It's 106 right now, so evening runs are out of the question, at least for this hot-natured woman. I quite liked running, and the peace it brought me early in the mornings. I think I could do that and use the new weights and things we have here (I need to inflate my stability ball! Husband, where are you??!) and possibly drop the gym membership and enjoy that money in other ways. Like putting it into savings for shopping when I hit my first goal!

I should set a goal for 15 pounds on my birthday. I think it will be a birthday/weightloss shopping spree. I think that's reasonable.

Off to blow up my ball!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

PMS Monster strikes again

I ate Taco Bueno yesterday. BUENO. What was I thinking? I felt awful after...but it was soooooooo tasty at the time. Meh.

I did some HHA, until my toe started stinging from the pressure and the bandaid worked off. The bandaid is really just there to make sure I don't snag it on the bedsheets, or the carpet. I also had to stop mid-way through and fix the DVD. It was dusty and skipping! So, I got about 30 minutes in of at least something.

This morning, I slept a little late and skipped a class meeting (no teacher...totally voluntary) so I could lift weights this morning and get it out of the way. I did squats (normal and wide-stance for inner thigh) with weights, lunges with weights (only 2 sets each leg as it put pressure on my toenail on the step back), calf raises, deadlifts, chest presses, chest flys, overhead press, and twists with the medicine ball.

I am tired now! I know I need to eat breakfast but I'm just not hungry.

For the rest of the day, I have to go to the school and pick up some books that I need for my theory final and my conducting class next week. Then I need to work on the Beethoven analysis and my final. I hope to get most of those done in the next two days so I can convince H to take me to see HP7 and to dinner on Saturday!

I feel the need to celebrate every small victory this month. Nine hours of graduate credit in a month is nuts. I'm not alone, at least. There are others doing all the same classes as me, but I have the comprehensive stuff on top of it (paper's done at least, and was turned in last week) so it's been a little stressful. Almost done!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So, I was all gung-ho about starting my gym routine and whatnot, right?

Yeah...I was pretty sore on Sunday, and still pretty sore yesterday. I had hoped to strap on some shoes and at least go for a walk in the evening to loosen up my muscles since it was super hot and I knew that would feel good on my aching muscles. Sounds like a good plan, yes? Especially if I was well-hydrated.

I got home from class, a trip to the tire shop, and stopping by the school to pick up some scores and was home all of 5 seconds when I injured myself. It's a small injury, and it's not really an injury-injury...but, I was wearing flip-flops, and as I stopped by my desk to drop off the scores, I bumped my big toenail on the bottom of the desk, where there is a space between the desk and floor.

Ouch! I thought. I felt the nail, and there was a little sharp ridge there. I took the dog out to pee and came back in to cut it back.

That's when I saw the blood. Plenty of it, under the nail. I split that bad boy about 1/4 inch down, almost. The height difference between the two sides was GRABBABLE. If grabbable is a word. I went into the bathroom and removed the nail polish...and the remover got into the split and yowza, that stung!

I slapped a band-aid on it to protect it from sheets, but there's no way I can put on shoes, as I'm pretty sure I'll just rip the rest of my toenail off.

I wanted to do some hip hop abs today, as I could do that without shoes on the cushy carpet, but the damn thing actually hurts today, if I put weight on it wrong.

Of course this comes in the midst of the PMS Monster that can't get full. Sheesh.

In other news, I cannot focus on the Beethoven 3rd. The first movement is definitely stuck in my head....rather, the exposition of the 1st movement. The entire first movement is 695 measures long, in my score. So, I just keep hearing the same parts over and over. It's maddening.

To make it stop, I made brownies. It was a vain attempt at distraction. It lasted 5 minutes. I can at least say that I'm enjoying this week's more relaxed schedule. I almost have too much time to get work done, and feel myself procrastinating!

I'll get back on track. My muscles should be strong enough tomorrow to be able to at least work out at home, even if I can't put on shoes. H and I bought a stability ball, a 10lb medicine ball, some weight lifting gloves, and two adjustable-weight dumbbells that can be adjusted up to 30lbs each. I tried to talk him into the set that goes to 60lbs, but he didn't think we would need it. Seeing as I'm already rowing 20lbs, it won't take me long to need more, but we can buy more weights as we go. I also want a weighted bar--those are cool!

I should try and be productive, I guess. I've just lounged most of the afternoon. Lazy me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finally going to do this

You know how you sometimes just need an "a-ha" moment to get you inspired? I had mine the other day. It wasn't exactly "inspiring," though...more like sad and depressing.

I stopped in to The Loft to kill a few minutes while waiting to meet a friend for lunch, and I realized that there really isn't anything in there I can wear. If I want my size in pants, I have to order them online, and even then, it's a crapshoot. I miss being able to shop there and try on clothes there. I miss buying higher quality clothes than Old Navy and Ross.

So, I'm setting a goal. I'm usually scared of doing this kind of goal, because what happens if I don't meet it? Well, fuck the fear. If I don't hit the goal, then I will just keep going until I do.

My goal is 15 pounds by my 31st birthday. That's a short 15 weeks away.

I did manage to work out on Friday -- it was only cardio as my hip is KILLING me after sitting in awful desks and chairs for class for the last two weeks -- and yesterday. I kicked my ass yesterday, and I'm quite proud. I'm moving pretty slow today, actually. I was quite surprised at how heavy I could lift to start. I'm pretty strong considering I'm not in awesome shape. So, that's a start.

Eventually, I plan to move our diet (and yes, H is going to do this with me whether he likes it or not) into a more plant and animal protein based diet, with less dairy and fewer grains. Not totally low-carb or Primal/Paleo, but with smaller and fewer servings of those two things. With much, much less alcohol. Sweets have not been that big a deal around here, as long as I don't bake for just the two of us, so we'll keep a treat day now and then so we can have a meal that isn't "on plan" and enjoy a drink or two.

First steps will be getting a workout plan started. We have talked about turning our empty dining room into a home gym, and I think I have finally convinced H to get free weights instead of some bulky machine. I don't want to have to move that thing someday. We will also get some sort of cardio machine. I would prefer an arc trainer, as I like how they work and my knees feel better, but I could do an elliptical. We both hate treadmills, so we at least agree on something! Maybe we could get H a stationary bike for rainy/too hot/too cold days, as well. For the time being, though, I've got a gym membership and H is just going to have to suck it up and deal with the (oppressive) heat.

So, that's what's going on. I know I've said it before, but it was a wake-up call for me. Maybe H will have a similar wake-up call of his own.