Archive for November 2012
…and I promise not to make a habit of that.
Yesterday was hard.
I did get my internet back on Tuesday, but then something was wrong with the roomie’s internet. After spending the better part of the day and night trying to get it back, I gave up and went to bed.
Woke up yesterday feeling incredibly bleak. It was the 28th, and we had no money until the end of the month. I had, while working on the roomie’s internet, called the friend I was supposed to be meeting and postponed that until Sunday, which is the last possible day to see one of the two exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum that we had been planning to see. Got notified by the bank that two more payments were declined — and this is still stemming from the deficit caused the last time the roomie screwed up (in October). She is not happy about having to put more money than usual into the account for our expenses, but I am not happy about incurring hundreds of dollars in bounce fees because she got scared of a creditor.
So I stayed in bed mot of the day, feeling hopeless and — something I try not to do — sorry for myself. And when I did get up, I jut ate what was in the house — a small corn muffin for breakfast, and two bowls of chicken and rice (one for lunch one for dinner). I didn’t bother with portion control, nor did I bother tracking. I also did a little phone tech support for my sister, and sat on the phone for an hour with a Cablevision tech, and about an hour with a techie friend trying to get the roomie’s internet back. The techie friend and I managed to narrow down the issue to that the roomie’s computer is not seeing the router, even when it is directly plugged in to the computer. Fortunately, I made the roomie purchase a service contract, so she is going to take the machine back to the store and have them fix it.
Anyway, the upshot of all the above is that I have been feeling particularly down and miserable, and I reverted to what my old eating habits were. I didn’t think, I didn’t choose to do so, I just reacted the way I have so many times before — shoved down the frustration, anger, helplessness, and hopelessness with food.
However, now that that ha happened, I have acknowledged that I did so, and will not beat myself up over it. I am going to move forward, and work at being more cognizant of what is going on WHEN IT I GOING ON, so that I can deal with the issues in a more appropriate manner.
While I was at the doctor’s on Monday, I was able to obtain a clearance from him for dental work, so I have an appointment today at 2:30 with the new dentist. I really love my old dentist, but he is not on the list of dentists approved by the Medicaid dental plan, so I chose the dentist nearest my house.
Anyway, I again apologize for being late with this, and I will have my regular accountability post on Friday.
I’m typing this from the library because my router has died. When I worked this out with the tech last night,we figured tat I’d just have to go and buy a new router. However, the tech talked to his supervisor, and tomorrow, Optimum is sending over a router — free of charge — and a tech to hook it up. I couldn’t do it today, because I had a doctor’s appointment, so could not wait around for a tech.
The good news is that the new blood pressure meds seem to be working very well — my blood pressure was 110/70; something that hasn’t happened since I gained back the weight. The bad news is that, by the end of the day, my left ankle resembles a baseball. So the doctor and i discussed it, and agreed that, so long as the swelling goes down when I sleep at night, I will stay on my current meds. He sent my pharmacy a prescription for Singulair, for my asthma, but the pharmacy has to call him because Medicaid rejected my prescription. He will have to call them and do a prior approval. Such is life, when the government gets in your healthcare because you cannot afford health insurance on your own. Still, the jumping through hoops to get meds is better than not having them.
I made a late Thanksgiving dinner for Marc, the roomie, and Claudia yesterday. We had turkey breast, butternut squash, Claudia’s broccoli/cauliflower mash, spaghetti squash, salad, homemade cranberry relish (using Splenda instead of sugar), my pistachio pie, and Claudia’s pumpkin pie. I loaded my plate with veggies, and took a heaping bowl of salad (fat-free dressing on the side for dipping), and had about 6 ounces of turkey (mind, this was a combination late lunch/early dinner, or I would have halved the amount of turkey).
No questions this time, since this is pretty much a drive-by posting…our library only lets you use their computers for half an hour.
See everyone Wednesday!
The good news is that I went into doing Thanksgiving with a plan, and I stuck to my plan. The bad news is that my body is up to its old tricks a bit, so I gained .2 lbs. But my body’s old tricks can cause me to be holding 3-4 lbs. of solids at any given time, so .2 lbs. is nothing.
I took my turkey (and some skin — I will give up almost anything, but not my poultry skin; especially when it’s nice and crispy!), and then proceeded to load up my plate with veggies. What my cousin did was to set up all the food in the kitchen on her counter and side table, and we ate in the dining room/living room, which was great, because once you fixed your plate you were away from the food. Her husband brought our beverages to us, so what was on the table was what we were eating and drinking, without a lot of temptations or distractions. She had rolls and salad on the table, so I sat at the end away from the rolls, so I couldn’t see them. Not that I was worried — there was so much good, healthy food that I was not gonna waste points on store-bought rolls, no matter how fluffy. I heaped a salad bowl with salad, and topped it with a little bit of Ken’s Lite Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing. I sat at the end of the table, with my sister, her fiance, my cousin’s daughter, and my aunt from Texas and we had a really great conversation.
The food (besides the turkey) was my sister’s garlic turnips, butternut squash, mixed veggies in olive oil (I only had a little of that), kernel corn, stuffing (I only took one spoonful), mashed sweet potatoes mixed with mashed carrots, and some rice pillaw with chicken (my cousin’s daughter-in-law is Indian, and Jaya’s mom made the pillaw, which was fabulous), and Jaya’s eggplant parmesan (which I had one spoonful of, and it was well worth it). When it came time for seconds, I took a second spoonful of the turnips, and a bit more of the turkey skin. For dessert, I split a sliver of pecan pie with my aunt, took one of the cookies that my cousin’s grandson offered me, and a taste of the raspberry/almond torte that my sister brought.
So, my weight for this week is 243.4. I am pleased, and I met the challenge to lose 8 lbs. by Thanksgiving! I am, on the whole, pleased.
I have been wearing my AcitveLink device, but have no information to share yet, since I am still in the assessment period.
I have also been tucking my pedometer into my pocket every day (when I have gone out). Sadly, I am till not walking every day, but I will get there.
- 11/16: 3,857 steps
- 11/17: 1,205 steps
- 11/18: 731 steps
- 11/19: 0 steps
- 11/20: 0 steps
- 11/21: 0 steps
- 11/22: 545 steps
My next challenge is going to be tomorrow; I will be travelling to White Plain by public transit, to visit my cousin Ira and his family, who will be having my aunt from Texas over. My sister and her fiance will be taking me home but, given that they got hit badly by Hurricane Sandy, we agreed that having to travel from Long Island to Brooklyn to pick me up, then back to Queens to get to the bridge out of the city, would just be far too long a trip, especially given the cost of gas. Fortunately, my cousin and his wife are into eating a lot of what we on Weight Watchers call Power Foods, so I am not terribly worried.
Oh, and I have applied for the SNAP (food stamps) program. I did this after a lot of thought. Yes, I have been surviving, but I need to be able to buy more Power Foods for myself, to support my weight loss and getting healthy. Given that my pension will not support my doing that, I am applying for aid. The plain truth is that eating more nutritional foods will support my getting healthier, and if I can do anything to improve that process, it really behooves me to do so.
So, going forward, what can you do that will support your efforts to get healthy, lose weight, or whatever your health and other goals are?
See you in a few days!
Okay, folks. This is it. Tomorrow is the beginning of the big holiday season. No matter what you celebrate, you have likely been conditioned to base a large part of those celebrations around food.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. More than almost any other holiday, this is geared totally around food (although, in truth, it should be geared around people and reflection on what we have that makes our lives good). People make huge dinners, and expect their guests to stuff themselves. Or they arrange to have food in restaurants, where their plates are over-stuffed.
For me, I have a plan. My sister and I are going to a cousin’s for Thanksgiving. I called my cousin, and we talked about what she was having for dinner, and I offered to bring a dessert that everyone could enjoy and would keep me on track without making me feel deprived. I am planning to take no more than a spoonful anything on the table, because even though my cousin believes that she cooks healthy, she cooks differently than I do, and uses oils an sauces that I would not. Also, her daughter-in-law will be bringing some Indian food, which I love, and she’s a really good cook, so I see no reason to deprive myself. Further, y sampling a little of everything, I will be minimizing the chance of other trying to feed me thing I haven’t taken, and comments about my diet.
When it comes to desert, I am not only bringing a pie I make, but I’m bringing a can of Fat-Free Reddi Wip, so that when I am at the table, my dessert will be no different (at least visually) to anyone else’s.
Beyond that, I’m planning on concentrating on the people there, rather than the food. These are my family, and I don’t get to see some of them anywhere near enough (one of my aunts lives in Texas), and I know that time I spend talking with them will not be time spent eating.
I am also planning on having breakfast before I go to my cousin’s. I know many people think that skipping breakfast will help them stay on track at Thanksgiving dinner. For me, however, all it would do is make it harder for me to stay on track because I would be more likely to overeat, for two reasons: First, I would be inclined to feel that skipping breakfast would entitle me to eat more, which is dangerous. Second, I would be more hungry, which would lead me to eat more.
And, finally, if I need them, I will use some of the 49 weekly points my program allows me each week, just for such occasions.
What I will try not to do is get upset if/when people who do know I am trying to lose weight ask “Can you have that?” I will simply explain that there are no forbidden foods on the program I am on, and let it go at that.
So, I know how I will handle the holidays and holiday parties. What strategies do you employ to handles such occasions and till keep on track with your program?
Disclaimer: Okay, I’m Jewish. That said, I am also an American and a New Yorker. Also, my grandma worked for Macy’s for most of her adult life, as a salesperson. End Disclaimer
When I was growing up (in the 1950s and 1960s), the Christmas season began the moment that Santa and his sleigh appeared onscreen at the end of the New York Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and not one second sooner. It was the way things were in my entire neighborhood (Richmond Hill, Queens, NY), and we were fine with it. The day after Thanksgiving was, of course, Black Friday (originally named because this was the biggest shopping day of the year; the day that could flip a store into the black, and not for the behavior of the shoppers). Heck, the whole weekend was when most people did their Christmas/Chanukah/whatever (there was no Kwaanza then, and most folks in my neighborhood didn’t celebrate Yule) shopping.
Now, as online retailers started taking away some share of the brick and mortar retailers’ profits (not to mention competition among the brick and mortar retailers themselves), the brick and mortar retailers started pushing back. First came early bird specials, which could start at any time after, say, 4 am. These were followed by Midnight specials: stores opening at the stroke of Midnight between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
Now, some of the larger brick and mortar retailers are pushing to have stores open on Thanksgiving Night or Day, in a blatant attempt to create bigger sales. In order to do so, they are spending vast sums to stock up, hire security, and entice employees to work on Thanksgiving (in some cases coercing employees to work on that day). Now, I know that for some folks, the economy being what it is, a workday at time and a half is a wonderful thing, and I have no bone to pick with them. I wish them well, and I am certain they are thankful for the chance to add to their budget.
However, I do have an issue with the retailers, particularly the big box retailers. Thanksgiving is the one uniquely American holiday in that it can be celebrated by people of any background or religion, and in that, rather than as a holiday in which people are pushed to give gifts, it is about reflecting on all that we do have — food, a roof over our heads, friends, intelligence, whatever — the things that make our lives good.
Erica, of the blog Northwest Edible Life, did an excellent post on the subject, and I am willing to spread her conclusion:
“This, therefore, is my conclusion and my message: all y’all Grey Thursday and Black Friday deal-hunters need to just calm the hell down for a second (or, ideally, twelve hours). Have some turkey, play a board game, watch a football game. Call your friends, hug your family, put on some music. Go around your house and count how many TVs you already have. Hint: if (number of TVs x 200)>(your credit score) do not buy any more TVs!
Go shopping on Friday. Have a blast – get up early, buy a Mrs. Field’s cookie and make a day out of it. Go with friends, keep the economy moving, hunt for parking, be part of the Black Friday tradition. If everyone did this, within two years stores would take Thursday sales off the table, hundreds of thousands of employees would not be pressured to work Thanksgiving, and the discounts would be just as good on Friday.
I cannot emphasize this enough: there is no reason – at all – why a steep discount has to be offered on Thursday instead of Friday. The stores would all adapt if we refused to offer up Thanksgiving to commercialism.”
Of course, like Erica, I feel I am preaching to the choir here. Most of the people I know would sooner eat soap than go near a mall on Black Friday.
However, like Erica, I want to spread the word that if enough people avoid taking part in this crazy rush to acquire things, and the retailers lose enough money, they will be forced by their own bottom lines to not repeat the folly.
Therefore, I am taking a stand. And I am putting that stand out in the world, so that others so inclined might also take one. I will not, other than maybe a last-minute run to the local bodega for more milk, go near a store on Thanksgiving. I will dine with my relatives, relax with them, enjoy their company, and then go home, where I will either read, chat with online friends, or knit until bedtime.
I note that the roomie just placed a full-page ad from one of my favorite local chain appliance/electronics stores, P.C. Richards, into my hand. They are not only not going to open on Thanksgiving Day or Night, but are blasting retailers who do so.
Since the text of the ad is not clear, here is the text:
Our 2,968 Employees Wish You a Very Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving… A Day for the Celebration of Families, Friends, and Loved Ones.
It is our opinion that retailers who choose to open on Thanksgiving Day or Night show no respect to their employees and families, and are in total disrespect of family values in the United States of America.
Honor Thanksgiving Day… A True American Holiday!
And on this day… our thoughts and prayers are with our employees, customers, friends and neighbors who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
We appreciate those who provide us essential services today.
A special thank to all emergency response teams, working tirelessly in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and to the service men and women who protect our freedom each and every day!
P.C. RICHARD & SON
Family Owned & Operated for 103 Year…Est. 1909
And because of that, I think you folks can predict what retailer will continue to get my share of patronage when I want to purchase an appliance or small electronics item.
So, I am, as I said, taking a stand. And I ask if you will, too. Will you avoid the attempt to turn Thanksgiving Day into an extension of Black Friday? Will you avoid becoming part of the madding crowd at the malls?
Note: I do welcome dissenting opinions, so long as they are voiced civilly. If they are not, I will borrow Teresa Neilsen-Hayden’s disemvowelling tools, and John Scalzi’s Mallet of Gentle Correction, and use them liberally.