Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Mishucalanza of a Post

I've been trying to write a new post for several days, but I can't seem to focus on one topic. So, here's a bunch of topics.

First, NaNoWriMo. I started a novel for NaNo. I was right on track on November 1. The second day, thanks to the time change, (I'll skip the rant and just say I hate that they do this twice a year.) I was way too tired and only got about half the words. November 3 Paul was sick, so I didn't write. Today, though, I stopped at Peet's after work and got in about a half hour. I'll write more later tonight.

The story is going well. It's turning out to be a very bizarre story. I'm writing it in the first person, which I usually don't do. But this one seemed to want to be written that way. I trust my instincts about a story, so I'm writing in the first person. I'm having a lot of fun and hope to catch up the words as the month goes on.

Second, Paul's headache thing came back, but not quite as bad as a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to the COBRA thing where you don't have to pay the whole premium, we still have good health coverage, so he's back on medication for his blood pressure. He goes back in on Friday to get it checked after having been on the medication for several days. We need to pin the doctor down about the headaches, though. I don't think they're caused by the blood pressure problem because he started getting them back when his blood pressure was normal.

Third, weight loss. I've lost a total of 25 pounds, as of last Friday. I've noticed some changes in my approach this time around that are making it a lot easier. I changed a lot of eating habits over the years. The kinds of changes seem to make it easier to make choices that allow the weight to come off without me being hungry.

(I suppose I'm repeating myself a lot in my weight loss posts, but that helps me to cement it in my brain. I apologize if anyone is actually reading this blog and gets bored when I do repeat myself.)

One thing that's making a huge difference is that I'm paying attention more to flavor, texture, color, etc. If it looks pretty, has a variety of textures, and really good flavor, it's satisfying, even if it's not a large amount of food. I get full on smaller amounts of food these days. But that's pretty common when you start losing weight. Regular exercise also decreases my appetite a bit.

Another thing that's making a huge difference is paying attention to how full I am. It's hard for me to do that without paying a lot of attention. It's not an automatic process for me to know when I'm full. So, I use a couple of tricks. I start the meal with soup or salad. Sometimes both. That starts to fill me up and takes some time to eat. Then, when I get to the higher-calorie main course, I'm able to eat appropriate portions and feel satisfied. If I have dessert, I tend to eat only a few bites, which is why when we're out, we usually share.

Fourth, music. This is a big time of year for music. I'm so glad STOCtet chose early December for their concert. Prince of Peace is the week after that. It will make for a much calmer holiday season. While I love doing music, I'm glad we gave up a couple of the choirs. Juggling the rehearsals and concerts for four groups was too much.

Fifth, I still need to figure out a better way to manage my kitchen and food and my weird schedule. I'm discovering that it helps a lot to keep prepped ingredients on hand to make dinner from during the week. But I need to plan the ingredient-making sessions so they're spread out over time, not crammed into a couple of days. I just don't have that much time.

Sixth, that whole organizing thing. A while back I joined the Fly Lady web site. I've been getting the emails, but only doing a little bit. I realized that I have to do the same thing with organizing my life as I did with weight loss--make very gradual changes. I'm starting very small with adding a few new habits. I'm picking the things that bug me the most as the place to start. And the biggie right now is finishing the boxes in the living room. I need to sort, put labels and lids on them and restack them in the bedroom hallway. Then I can deal with all the storage issues one at a time, in those 15-minute spurts Fly Lady talks about.

Seventh, I enjoy Farmville and Cafe World on Facebook. I discovered that if you use your time properly, you can time the crops to ripen and the food to cook at a time when you can play. A few minutes and you can go off and do other things while stuff grows and cooks. The thing is, I'm making myself let myself have fun with them. I was raised that adults don't "play". It's another area in my life where I have to fight my upbringing and allow myself to be myself. I need to play. It sparks my creativity and if I don't play, I can't write stories. Besides, the things I was taught adults do for fun aren't fun for me. The thing that makes me sad is how long it took me to realize that it's OK to be myself. And that realization is one of the reasons I'm able to successfully lose weight now.