Some Days Are Harder Than Others

Today was one of those days. You know the kind I’m talking about. You start off with lots of plans and items to check off the To Do list and then Whammo! Life throws a monkey wrench and all of those carefully laid plans go right out the window.

Despite the unfinished items on my list, work was pretty good today. I really like the days when I get some extra face time with Doc. It is always good to sit down and just talk, you know? I didn’t have an opportunity to talk with him about the ONE BIG THING on my mind, but that’s okay, I am sure we’ll get to it tomorrow.

I might have already mentioned that I am the Insurance Coordinator for our practice. Today, I had a list of precertification and predetermination requests I wanted to complete. I’m trying to work ahead so that I know everything is complete and there are no loose ends to be tied up when I leave for vacation on February 12. Working with insurance companies is sometimes a bit of a maze. I do love the challenge, though. Nothing makes me happier than guiding our patients through the process and then calling them to say, “you are approved!” For most of our patients, the road to surgery is long and arduous.  I really can’t describe how gratifying it is to coach them through the process. Since I’ve had surgery myself, I get to do more coaching than before. It’s nice to be able to share my experiences with others.

The gym, though, THAT was a struggle. Oy! Sis and I have been going faithfully, and each session I feel like I get a little more out of it. I’m getting in at least 30 minutes of cardio and really amping up the weight training. But tonight, everything seemed harder. I was bored on the treadmill, bored on the bike, bored on the stairmaster (which has become my favorite piece of equipment, by the way) and I just couldn’t focus. When it came to weights, I couldn’t get motivated to stick to a routine. I try to do one night of lower body, one night of upper body, one night of abs and just keep rotating. Tonight I was all over the place…legs, arms, sit-ups, arms again. I feel like I worked out without accomplishing anything.

So that’s it. Today was kind of a meh day. But, I kept to my goals and didn’t let myself give in to the ennui.

Oh! I guess I should share my success from yesterday…I’ve melted away another 4 inches, bringing my total inches lost since June to 36. Three feet of excess me is now history. So, even if the scale is moving more slowly than I’d like, it is still moving and I am still getting smaller, healthier and more fit every day.

And, since I haven’t shared in a while, here’s the tally for today:

Breakfast: ProJoe Nillacino Protein Drink (20g Protein)
Lunch: Starkist Tuna Salad with 2 crackers (22g Protein)
Snack: Light String Cheese (8g Protein)
Dinner: Baked Chicken Breast with Broccoli & Cauliflower (24g Protein)
Post-Workout Treat: 100 Calorie Nesquik Chocolate Milk (8g Protein)

So, with that, I think I’ll borrow a line from Scarlett O’Hara…Tomorrow is another day.

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Goal Number Two

My focus lately has been goal number two, Get Fit.

Last week, my sister and I joined a gym. It is one thing to join a gym, quite another to actually GO to the gym.  Right after Thanksgiving, I paid fora gym membership and had two sessions with a personal trainer. It would be easy for me to say that it was bad timing on my part and use all of the craziness of the holidays as an excuse for not going more often, but that would be a lie. I could easily have gone to the gym every evening on my way home and on Saturdays, but did I? Nope. I chose to half-ass my way through some Zumba and Pilates DVDs at home and play around, here and there, on the elliptical.

This time is different. Having my sister to go with me is a great help. We tend to push each other and she doesn’t let me get away with making excuses.  Since we’ve started going, I feel so good about myself.  So good, in fact, that when Sis had a work event last night I dragged off to the gym on my own.  I simply decided that I couldn’t let her excuse, however legitimate, be mine. And, the encouragement of my online friends always helps.  Thank you, Plurk buddies!

In a half-hour or so, we’ll trek off to the gym again and stop at the grocery store before the BIG STORM hits. BIG STORM where I live is anything where snow accumulations are expected to be over an inch. There is always a run on milk, eggs and bread, but I don’t care about any of that. My yogurt supply is getting dangerously low. Running out is not an option. Oh, and we need fat free half and half at the office.

As for the rest of my goals…

I am getting more organized. My office is mostly clean and my filofax is filled with all of my to do lists, appointments and plans. I’m journaling regularly and it is helping me to keep my thoughts organized and focused on my goals. I won’t lie, it was slow going at first, but they are starting to get more insightful and inspiring.

I am still logging my food intake, but I need to be more consistent. I was positively compulsive about it for a while, and I’m finding it hard to get back to that consistency.  I’m getting there, slowly but surely. And I suppose you can be the judge as to how well I’m doing on my goal to blog regularly.

Time to pull my yoga pants from the dryer, lace up my sneakers and throw my hair in a pony tail. My plan for tonight, in addition to strength training, is to run one minute out of every three during my 20 minute warm-up on the treadmill and complete a full five minutes on the stairmaster. I loathe cardio. But I want to be a runner. Go figure.

Mari Winsor Kicked My Ass!

I realize it has been almost a week since I last posted here, but it has been kind of crazy these last several days. And, to be honest, I’ve been a little lax and unfocused in all of the running around. I’ve made some good choices, and some not so great ones, but I’m back on track today.

My aunt was in town visiting over the weekend, which meant dinner out on Friday and a home-cooked meal (prepared by my mom) on Saturday.  I feel like I made really good choices at both dinners, but the sitting around chatting on Saturday night was a study in mindless munching. The Chex Mix wasn’t even all that tasty, and it really didn’t go well with the glass of Riesling I sipped on, and still I sat there munching and chatting and chatting and munching. Did it ever occur to me to just move the damn bowl? Nope. Not even for a second. Le sigh.

I did, however, manage to pass up the cake at Doc’s birthday lunch. I took one small bite and that bite let me know that I needed to stay far away from it or I would inhale the entire thing. I managed to avoid it the rest of the day. *whew*

Lets talk about today, shall we?  I had my six-month check-up with my neuro-opthalmologist.  In 2007, I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri. Basically, a build up of spinal fluid collects in the brain and acts like a tumor, putting pressure on the optic nerve.  I had been experiencing severe headaches for a few years – I remember having a Cat Scan when I was in college because I’d have blinding, “white light” headaches that would make me nauseated. The scan was normal. In 2002, I stopped in for a routine eye exam, thinking that I just needed my prescription updated as I was starting to have headaches again. The optometrist said my optic nerve looked “fuzzy” and could indicate that something, like a TUMOR, was causing pressure. I freaked out! My family doctor ordered a stat MRI for 10:oo am on a Friday and by noon I was driving with my family to New Orleans for my sister’s wedding. And while it was a fantastic weekend, I was convinced I was going to come home to horrible news.

The MRI showed no abnormalities. The headaches stopped. (Isn’t that always the case, symptoms disappear only after you’ve spent a fortune on tests?)

Fast forward a few years. In 2007, I was sitting in the hospital room reading while my mom recovered from her hysterectomy. Each time she would make a sound, I would look up from my book. I noticed that when I looked back down, it would take thirty seconds or more for my vision to un-blur. Sometimes, I would notice “floaters” as though a flashbulb had gone off.  I went to my family doctor again, and he thought he noticed micro-aneurysms in my eyes. This is fairly common in people who have diabetes, which I did not have, so we did some blood work to check and that came back essentially normal. I was referred to an opthalmologist.  He was absolutely no help and his report back to my doctor basically said, “this is out of my depth, perhaps order a neuro consult.”

My family doctor, who doesn’t mess around, decided “screw it” and made me an appointment for the next week at Washington University Eye Center to see one of the best neuro-opthalmologists available.  Dr. Hart was an older gentleman who wore three-piece suits every day and wrote with a fountain pen. He ordered a few tests and before the day was done, he was fairly certain of the diagnosis. I went back the next week for an MRI, to once again rule out a brain tumor, and then had a spinal tap to measure, then remove, the excess fluid from inside my skull. (Note: If you ever have to have a spinal tap, I highly recommend Barnes Hospital in St. Louis…my procedure was as painless as having a huge needle jammed in your spine can be!)

Just as he suspected, my intracranial pressure was 32. They were able to lower it to a much more normal 14. I think. I’m a little fuzzy on those numbers. I was officially diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri. From that point, I had two options. I could have a shunt placed that would re-route excess fluid into my abdomen where it would be absorbed or I could go on high-dose glaucoma medication. Dr. Hart told me that PtC is sometimes referred to as glaucoma of the brain (that’s a little opthalmology humor, I suppose). I chose medication and we have been monitoring my progress since.

Over the last four years, I’ve lost a little bit of peripheral vision, a small bit from the inside, lower quandrant of my left eye, and an even smaller place in the same location in my right eye. But my overall vision has not deteriorated.

Fast forward to today’s visit. My visual field test showed no change. No change is good. This means that my peripheral vision loss has not worsened.  I may never get back what I’ve lost, so the goal now is to remain stable. My overall vision has actually improved.  I’ll see my optometrist for a new reading prescription soon, but that should be all that I need. I’m also off the glaucoma medication entirely. THIS is a huge deal. I started out at 1000mg per day, then we doubled that dosage when my visual field tests worsened. In October, because my VF had remained stable and I was losing weight, we dropped my dosage to 500mg per day. Today, Dr. Van Stavern (he took over my care when Dr. Hart retired in May 2009) took that huge orange pill out of my life for good. I’m so thankful!

I also got to spend the whole day with my sister who volunteered to come to my appointment with me and then out for shopping and a little lunch. I’m pretty proud of myself. We went to one of my favorite restaurants and I chose their signature Mandarin Orange Souffle which is served with this gorgeous, fresh chicken salad. Lots of protein and good carbs. Okay, so the souffle is dense with cream, but I only had two bites.  We did pick up a small piece of Godiva chocolate for the drive home and I swear to you, it was the best tiny little bite of chocolate I’ve ever had in my mouth.

I had the one on the left. The Chocolate Mendiant -Dark chocolate ganache between two dark chocolate disks, topped with bits of organic dried apricot, tart cherry, and sea salt.  I’m so glad we only bought a single piece for each of us! (photo from Godiva)

During our drive, we made the decision to join a local gym. We scheduled a time that works for both of us and we’ll begin next week. The good thing about working out with my sister is that we are pretty competitive  and we can see right through each others excuses. There will be no “I’m too tired” or “I need to wash my hair” attempts at getting out of it. We’re planning to go each evening after her kiddos are safely tucked in bed. I’m excited!

I started this post thinking about Mari Winsor. Months ago I purchased the WinsorSlim Pilates DVDs. I’ve tried them a couple times in the past, but they were hard to get through because my fat thighs made it difficult to do the transitions with the Accelerator bar. Not any more!  My fat thighs have been banished forever! I did the Cardio Sculpt workout tonight…TWICE! I felt really good after the first one, so I decided to keep going. My thighs feel a bit like jello at the moment, so I might regret that decision. I skipped the elliptical tonight, but I’m setting my alarm to get up a half-hour early to get in at least 20 minutes in the morning. I think I said before that was my plan, but so far it hasn’t worked out that way. I really like my bed. Too much. I need someone to pull me out of it at 6:00 am every day. Volunteers?

I found this interesting graphic a while back, and it really helped me to make the decision to go forward with bariatric surgery:

I think I might be on the winning side of that percentage! Love it!

 

Goodies! (And How To Turn Them Down)

My Filofax arrived today! I’ve been obsessively checking my order status on the website and tracking its delivery since I placed my order on New Year’s Eve. Finally, my pretty pink bundle of love has arrived!

Gala Darling is my blog crush and I totally copied her by ordering the Metropol Personal she blogged about back in June.  It is a little smaller than I was thinking it would be (I have a horrible sense of size), but at just over 5″x7″ it fits perfectly in my purse without taking up the whole bag. It came with a week-on-two-pages diary format and I’m trying to decide if that will be enough space for me.  I think I will use it for a bit and then decide if I need to get the day-per-page version.

Now, it is time to organize. I want to set up my filofax so that it is not only functional, but inspirational. I need it to demand that I use it. I’m also trying to decide if I want to keep work related “stuff” in it. I already have a large desk calendar that I use for keeping track of our surgery schedule and I have a pretty good “to do” list system for tasks that need to be accomplished each day and each week.  For now, I think I will keep this one personal. I might jot down mileage when I have to travel to another office or track my ETO time, but that will be it. At least for now. I know that I’m going to need some more To Do list pages, Address book pages and definitely more lined sheets for jotting notes and journaling.

But that wasn’t the only package of goodies that arrived today… oh no! My dear friend Kimmy recently started her own Mary Kay business and I couldn’t wait to show my support. No, my makeup addiction had nothing to do with it. Really. It was just perfect timing. The facial highlighter because my skin tends to be a little dull and sallow-looking in the winter and I needed a new lipstick. Honest. The fact that the Satin Hands collection was a gift with purchase had no bearing at all. *cough*

There was one goodie that I was able to turn down today, and I’m damned proud of myself for it!  One of the service providers we work with drops off little treats on occasion and today it was a simple box of cheese crackers and peanut butter crackers. Mmmmm peanut butter crackers! I love them.  They appeal to my everything-salty-needs-a-little-something-sweet taste bud.  Suzy, however, is not such a fan. There is a definite limit to the number of bread/cracker-like items I can have in one day before she decides she’s had enough. And today, I had a few crackers with my lunch. Nonetheless, when three o’clock rolled around, I wanted something and since I’d already had more than one liter of water, I allowed myself a second cup of coffee. (That Tassimo we got Doc for Christmas is certainly getting a workout…by the staff. I wonder how long before he decides to move it back to his office.)  While I waited for my coffee to brew, I spied the crackers. Mmmmm peanut butter crackers! I took a pack back to my desk and set about finishing my work for the day. When five o’clock rolled around, guess what was still sitting on my desk…

I picked them up several times during that two hour period and almost opened the package. I kept asking myself, Am I really hungry? Do I really need to eat these? The answer, of course, was no. I picked them up because they sounded good and they were available. Before surgery, and perhaps even two weeks ago or two days ago, I would have had the snack and not given it a second thought. But, I am really trying to recognize and understand my eating behaviors, to identify those triggers that lead me to eat. Today, it was the “whew! that was a busy day of patients and it is finally quiet…time to unwind” feeling.  I was able to beat it back today. Let’s hope I can do it again tomorrow.

To be on the safe side, I might hide them in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Today’s tally:
Breakfast: Greek Yogurt with Kashi Go Lean Cereal (8.75g Protein)
Lunch: Spicy Thai Chili Tuna and crackers (15.4g Protein)
Dinner: Scrambled Egg with Cheddar and Green Chile Salsa, Strip of Bacon (16.52g Protein)
Snack: I’m a little light on protein today, so I’ll probably grab a stick of string cheese or two (8g Protein each). I’m not going to fret about coming up short, as it is too late in the evening to eat 20+ grams more. I’ll just plan better for tomorrow.

Exercise: 100 Sit Ups and 30 minutes of Zumba

Tomorrow’s Goal: More protein and get up thirty minutes early to jump on the elliptical before work. Also, I’m having dinner with my aunt at my favorite restaurant tomorrow. I will attempt to pass up the crab cakes.

Clean Up and Unplug?

Operation Clean This Mess has begun. If I’m going to get organized, I need to start with the space where I spend most of my time. That would be my little home office.

It started as a second bedroom and for a while, I had a very lovely daybed under the window, but it belonged to my sister and when she moved into her new house, it moved with her.  The space once occupied by the daybed is now home to my elliptical. I’ve had this thing for a number of years and most often refer to it as the world’s most-expensive clothes rack. It is perfect for hanging up my coats, jackets, purses and totes.  Well, it was. I actually moved all but some scarves off of it last month so that I could actually use it for its intended purpose.

I’ve added an L-shaped desk that holds my PC, two monitors, a printer, my makeup mirror and most of my cosmetic and skin care products. It is also littered with water bottles, coffee cups, empty cigarette packs, various wrappers, magazines and a pile of bills. My desk is not exactly a stress-free workspace at the moment. I’d show you a picture, but truthfully, I’m ashamed of the state it is in currently, so you’ll just have to wait until it is clean.

I usually don’t let it get so bad. I try to take a few minutes every few days to clean it up, but over the holidays my desk became a landing spot for everything without a designated home.  With all of the family activities over Christmas and New Years, I got into the habit of running in, dropping everything, plurking and running back out.

I like everything to be organized. I think better, work better and therefore relax better when everything is put in its place. I’m usually very good about keeping my physical surroundings organized. But organizing and scheduling the intangibles has always been more difficult for me. I’m really anxious for my Filofax to get here.  I did do a little pre-planning in anticipation of its arrival today during my lunch hour. I stopped at Staples and picked up some new pens and pencils.  Sharpies, of course, because I’m an addict.

I also took the time to go through the google calendar on my phone and make note of upcoming appointments, birthdays, anniversaries and other notable events.  Speaking of my phone, I’m considering downgrading. Just considering this option at the moment.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am positively addicted to my Droid. I love it. It keeps me connected to my online friends and family, I can plurk, twitter and facebook at anytime, no matter where I am. It is my alarm clock, my calendar, my phone/address book, my GPS. Basically, my entire existence seems to be wrapped up in that six-ounce black beauty. I’m wondering now, though, am I too connected?

Don’t get me wrong, I love having all of my friends and family at my fingertips day in and day out. But, what I’m left with is absolutely zero downtime. I’m a slave to the ding, checking each email and text the moment it arrives. Skype, twitter, and plurk…always on. I’m wondering if maybe I need to unplug a little more often and be more present in my physical life. And, it’s not cheap. Downgrading to a non-smartphone would save me a bundle of cash each month. Tempting. I’m going to have to give this idea a little more thought.

Okay, before I log  off to make a dent in this mess of a desk, here’s today’s rundown:

Breakfast: Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar (18g Protein)
Lunch: Bumblebee Spicy Thai Tuna with 2 Crackers (15.4g Protein)
Dinner: 3oz Grilled Talapia with Black Bean Salsa and a couple spoons of Carrots (20.13g Protein)
Snack: Nesquick 100 Calorie Chocolate Milk Oops! Make that a piece of Low-fat String Cheese, instead. My milk was way past the expiration date! (8g Protein)
Coffee: 2 (9g Protein – Starbucks Venti Non-Fat Caffe Misto)
Water: 1 Liter and counting

Exercise: 20 minutes on the Elliptical

Turning Point

August 10, 2010

I remember feeling oddly calm as I showered and dressed before heading to the hospital. The bed in the corner room of the Ambulatory Care Unit was uncomfortable and cold, but I was surrounded by family, text messages from friends, friends and coworkers stopped in to check on me, and my online family sent virtual hugs across the interwebs. By the time I was wheeled into the operating suite, my calm had dissolved into a facade I was only able to maintain thanks to the pre-op cocktail of happy juice that was slipped in though my IV.

I don’t remember the rest of that day.  The latent effects of anesthesia took care of that. I do remember waking up briefly and reaching for my phone, though I’m pretty certain I passed out again before I was able to find it.

That was a Tuesday. I spent the rest of the week learning to sip, as opposed to gulp, clear liquids, talking to the dietician, my surgeon, reading magazines, fighting waves of nausea and trudging up and down the hall with a drill sargeant disguised as a spritely little wisp of a woman in scrubs. On Friday, after a bolus of magnesium, a shower that could have gone on for days, and final instructions from my doctor, I was sent home.  Well, most of me was sent home. According to the op report, 85% percent of my stomach was sent for “permanent pathology,” otherwise known as the incinerator.

On that Tuesday, I underwent a Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. A form of bariatric surgery designed to limit, physically, the amount of food and/or liquid I am able to consume at any one time. Basically, about 85% of my stomach was surgically removed, leaving me with a banana-shaped sliver of a stomach that can hold about three to four ounces.

My new stomach came with a whole slew rules and restrictions that dictate what, when and how I eat. I won’t bore you with the details (yet), but you should know that my entire life revolves around protein, protein and most importantly, protein. Sixty or more grams per day. Every day. If you have any protein-dense recipes to share, please do! One cannot live on tuna and chicken forever, you know.

I was never scared of surgery, the procedure itself. I work for my surgeon so I get to see, day in and day out, how meticulous and compassionate he is with all of our patients. His skill as a surgeon was never, not even for a moment, given a second thought.  I was scared, though, of the social, and subsequent emotional, impacts of this type of surgery.

I know that there is a stigma surrounding weight loss surgery. I was worried that people would think I was taking the “easy way out”. I’ve always worried too much about what people think about me and I feared their judgment of my decision.  I read this on a blog recently:

Weight Loss Surgery: seen by pious public to be surgical baptism for the guilty gluttonous slothful.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a tool. Not a cure or a magic bullet or a quick fix…a tool. It is also not for everyone. I never considered myself to be gluttonous or slothful. I knew how to eat in moderation, increase my physical exercise and I could easily lose 10% of my body weight. Weight Watchers was my method of choice and it really worked. But sooner or later, my old behaviors – emotional eating, stress eating, laziness – would come back and that 10% was wiped out. I’ve probably lost that same 10% ten times over the last ten years. I needed to break the cycle.

This surgery wasn’t about vanity for me. Far from it. Okay, sure, I do love picking up a smaller size of jeans every time I go shopping and it is such a rush to not have to shop in the plus-size section. Those are little things, small measurements of my progress. I chose surgery for my health.  My family’s medical history is filled with diabetes, breast cancer, gastro-intestinal cancers, osteoarthritis, hypertension and dyslipidemia, all diseases that are major risk factors when one is obese. So while I could lose 10% easily – losing and maintaining a 10% weight loss, by the way, is the marker of a successful diet – that would never put me out of the risk zone for the diseases already prevalent in my family.  And I do not come from a family of overweight people. I had to ask myself, how many times am I willing to lose the same 25 pounds and do I really want to wait until I get sick before I get serious?  The answers were easy. Zero and hell no!

I chose surgery. I chose it for my health. You don’t have to agree with my decision, but I would prefer that you respect it.

Fast Foward

Four and a half months after surgery, I am still learning how to use my tool. By the way, I’ve named my sleeve, my little sliver of a stomach, Suzy. She has a personality all her own and deserved a name. She gets cranky when I drink too fast. She is quick to correct me if I eat too much, too fast or don’t chew enough. And she punishes me, swift and vicious, when I have something with too much fat or sugar.

I’m still working on the emotional eating behaviors. That is where my goal to journal compulsively comes in. I think that if I can get a better handle on what I’m thinking and feeling, the triggers that send me rummaging through the cupboards, I’ll be able to come up with alternate behaviors that are healthier. Only then can I stop perpetuating the feel-eat-guilt-stress-eat cycle that threatens to destroy any chance I have to be successful.

I also need to move more. That is a goal all in itself, but it is also a big part of my goal to get organized. I’m going to schedule time for regular exercise, both at home and at the gym. If there is anything I”m scared of more than not losing weight, or regaining what I’ve lost, it is flab. Or the appearance of saggy skin that can be a problem for some after bariatric surgery. One of the best ways to combat this is regular exercise, cardio work to burn calories and strength training to build, tone and shape.  I’m going to be breaking in these new trainers starting today, with any luck (and a lot of dedication), I’ll wear them out pretty quickly.

That’s all for now. Time for me to stop ignoring the elliptical glaring at me from the other side of the room and get on with my day.

Happy Sunday!

Transitional Invariance

tran·si·tion (tran(t)-ˈsi-shən)n. Passage from one form, state, style, or place to another.
invariance (in-ˈver-ē-ən(t)s)n. The property of remaining unchanged regardless of changes in the conditions of measurement.

This is my dichotomy. Is it possible to make true changes in my life while remaining unchanged as a person? Is it naive to think that I can stay true to myself while committing to making these changes? And, if I really believe that significant changes are required, then how well do I actually know myself?

Every year, since I was able to understand the definition of the word “resolution”, I’ve vowed to do better, be better, stop this, change that. I do pretty well for a few days, a few weeks, sometimes even a few months. Sooner or later though, the old habits and familiar tendencies creep their way back in. Change is good, yes. But, change is damn hard. Particularly when I am the only one holding myself accountable to these resolutions.

So, how will this year be different? I don’t know the answer to that for sure yet. I just know that it has to be. Two years ago, I made a promise to myself but I’ve not done a very good job of keeping it.  Keeping that promise requires a great deal of faith and confidence, two things I’ve been woefully lacking. At some level, I suppose, I haven’t felt like I deserved the eventuality of that promise.

Four and a half months ago I was given an amazing gift (I’ll tell you more about that in my next post) and finally I feel like maybe that tide is turning…that I can be invariable in this transition.

The List

Some people have a bucket list, but I’m not ready to think about all of the things I want to accomplish before I die. I just want to focus on the things I need to do so I can really Live. With a capital L. For the last thirty-something years, I feel like I have merely existed and that is no way to Live. Here’s the start of my list, the steps I feel like I need to take to make my life my own again, to learn how to live…for the first time.

  1. Get Organized. My life is a mess. Both literally and figuratively. I’m too easy on myself. I don’t hold myself accountable and I’m horrible at planning. I took a page from Gala Darling‘s playbook and placed an order with Filofax. This pretty little pink binder will become my lifeline for the next year. I’ll use it to plan, organize and journal. I can’t wait for it to arrive.
  2. Get Fit. It would be a bit trite to list “lose weight” as one of my goals, though in the end, that will be the result. I have the tools in place that I need to lose weight, I just need to use them wisely. That means I need to commit to an exercise regimen. Ultimately, I want to learn to think of exercise as something I do because I enjoy it, not because I have to.
  3. Log. Log. Log. That tool I mentioned, it has a few specific dietary requirements. To meet those requirements, I need to be diligent about logging what I eat. I really like using FatSecret.com for logging. The website features a great tool for building recipes and calculating nutritional values, it keeps track of your most recent food choices and there is an app for my Droid and my iPod. The best part is I can save my food diary as a .pdf document and email it to my dietician for review and analysis.
  4. Journal Compulsively. This will be a tough one. I have a hard time thinking about, much less writing about, what I’m thinking and feeling. I really want to learn to be present in each moment, so to that end I’m going to journal more to force myself to focus on my own thoughts.
  5. Blog Regularly. Blogging will be my way of keeping myself accountable, keeping track of my changes and being honest with myself when I stumble along my transitional path.

There you have it. I’ll add to this list as time goes along, adding mini-goals and checkpoints along the way. Tomorrow, I’ll start telling you more of my story.

Happy New Year!