Thursday, March 31, 2011

Animal Attraction

Yesterday I was driving to an appointment and saw 2 dogs (a basset and a beagle mix) wandering the street.  I got out and saw that they were VERY friendly and both had collars.  Before I had the chance to look at the collars, though, the basset walked to the gated front lawn of a nearby house, where another dog waited (in the yard), and turned to look back at me.  I figured it was his way of telling me that he lived there, but I checked his collar just to be sure.  And yes, both he and the mutt lived there.  So I opened the gate (luckily the 3rd dog had zero interest in running out) and let the dogs back in.
I always seem to attract lost dogs.  Most of the time I'm able to get them back home, but sometimes I have to call the SPCA.  I don't know if I'm some sort of dog whisperer, or just a sucker for our furry friends.
OK, scratch that (no pun intended): I absolutely DO know, and it's the latter.
When I was a kid, I'd often go for walks around the neighborhood, and every time I did, the cats would find me.  We had lots of cats in the 'hood, and I'd attract at least 2 or 3 on every walk.  Not the same 2 or 3, either.
In my early 20's, when I started at the Shakespeare company, I continued my walks.  This time, however, the dogs, cats, and even a horse one time, would often follow me.  It' was a fairly rural area and the critters would always amble back home, eventually. It took some getting used to, as I had just moved there from Manhattan.  One time I was out walking and heard a rustling in the bushes next to me.  I immediately jumped away, into the middle of the road, tore the headphones off my Walkman (this was 19 years ago, lol!) and crouched, waiting for my would-be attacker, ready to strangle him with the cord.  Well, my "assailant" turned out to be a cow.  Looking decidedly unworried by my ninja-with-deadly-headphones stance.

In grad school I met my husband.  A few days after that first meeting, we met up again at a bonfire.  He had his dog with him, a big, fluffy, husky-looking guy.  Having been dogless for 9 years at that point, I fell in love at first sight.  When Future Hubby asked me to watch Tundra (the dog, who turned out to be a 2 year-old Alaskan Malamute) while he got something out of his car, I heartily agreed, not knowing that it was a ruse, that FH was planning on spying on us to see if we got along.  Luckily, the love-at-first-sight thing went both ways, and Tundra was soon sitting in my lap, all 95 pounds of sweet malamute-ness of him.
Tundra would end up being OUR dog, and my constant, faithful companion.  He lived for another 8 years before succumbing to cancer, and in that time he was my protector, my baby, and my best friend.  He was filled with personality, and universally admired, everywhere we went (and, boy-howdy, did he know it!  That guy was SHAMELESS!)  He was also a gigantic flirt, and liked to put on a show (like the time he jumped into a water fountain at an outdoor mall in Santa Barbara.)  He taught our current dog, Luna, how to howl.  And when he passed, I dreamed that he was in a huge dog park, fit and healthy, running happily.  In the dream, he sat in front of my and I crouched down to be on his level: he put his furry forehead up to mine, as he had so often in life, gave me his big paw, and then turned and ran off to play with the other dogs.
A couple years later, his best friend Nanook joined him.  And Luna is now nearly 13; who knows how much longer we'll have her.  But when I get sad about that, I remember that her buddies will be waiting for her when her time comes.  And in the meantime, she has Chopper, a 65-pound pit bull, to boss around.  And she does! Lying on his bed, eating his food, and generally giving him a "don't-mess-with-me-kid" attitude. (I'd like to introduce anyone who's afraid of pit bulls to Chopper; the only dangerous thing about him is his tail, which causes gale-force winds because he wags it so hard.  Well, that and the fact that he thinks he's a 6-pound terrier and tries to climb onto your head.)

Finally, you all know by now about my feathered friends.  Well, the other day I saw something I'd NEVER seen before: A duck running.  In all my 41 years, I must admit I'd never seen that.  And this guy was moving at a pretty good clip!  It wasn't the most graceful movement, but, hey, it got him where he wanted to be (by me, the bringer of bread) before the other ducks and geese, and he got first dibs.

So does this mean anything?  I honestly don't know.  I DO know that I still get excited when I see the bunnies out on the field near our house at night, and I think it's adorable to see water fowl swimming in the pool, and I LOVE May because all the ducklings and goslings are presented to the world.  I'm quite proud of the fact that one goose not only ate out of my hand, but even let me pet her.

If it DOES mean anything, I guess it's that I'm a big ol' softie.  Show me an animal or a child and, well, I get all gooey inside. And, yes, I often use baby talk.  I admit it.

I also know I'm not alone.  Two years ago one of our neighbors installed a wooden ramp on the side of the lagoon so the baby ducks and geese would have an easier time getting in and out of the water.  And when some ducklings were in the pool and couldn't get out, another neighbor used the hot tub cover as another ramp for them.  There are signs all over that say "Caution: Duck Crossing" and show a picture of a duck walking across the street, carrying a satchel.  Traffic often stalls because drivers are waiting for the geese to cross.

So when I start to despair about the state of humanity, I think about all this.  About the time I was debating a guy on Facebook about politics and we ended up discussing our dogs.  About the fact that even though I disagree with 99.99999% of what is said on Fox News, I LOVE that they do stories on laughing babies and extraordinary animals (like the Corgi who's good at math!).

And then all is well again, at least for a little while.  The amazing Temple Grandin  wrote a book called "Animals Make Us Human."  Ain't that the truth?!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oy! Such a Day!

Woke up at 4 AM and immediately started THINKING.   And that's NEVER good, lol!
To the soundtrack of  WG partying like a (half-pint) rock star in her room, I started Obsessing.

Would I get the job I interviewed for?  Did I WANT the job?  Would I have reliable enough childcare to TAKE the job?  Do I have enough energy to DO the job?  It's only 2 weeks, but it's a lot to take on, especially as LG will have started his summer vacation during the second week of this job.  And it's in the East Bay, which means driving over the bridge.
Every day.
But the main concern is childcare.
Oh, and the move.
Which got me thinking about long-term childcare for other jobs that may come up.
Which made me start worrying.
Because it is so ridiculously complicated.
Which made me wonder if I should be unemployed for a while after we move.
Knowing that after 2 days of said unemployment I would most likely throw myself out of the 3rd-floor window, just to have something to do.

And then, because I'm me, my brain went directly to all the worst-case scenarios it could envision.  And my brain may not be so good at things like math or peoples' names, but it's got a GREAT talent for worst-case scenarios!
And, of course, I forgot to do my yogic alternate-nostril breathing, which calms me down right away...when I remember to do it!  (Seriously, it's better than a sedative! Check out Sadi Nardini demonstrating it on YouTube; it'll change your life!)
Luckily, Hubby's alarm went off soon after.  He took one look at me and asked me what was wrong.  I explained the childcare rigamarole, and he completely understood.  Then he spent the rest of the morning (at least until 7:15, when he left for work) reassuring me that we'll work it out.
And we will!

I put WG on her bus and dropped LG off at school, where all the teachers save one in his classroom were subs.
(Not the ideal situation for a room full of autistic kids, but they made it through).
Then I went to San Jose for WG's IEP (an annual meeting with her teachers, therapists and team, to discuss her progress and set new goals).  It was great!
have I mentioned how much I ADORE her school, and all the people in it?
And the special ed director from our school district is going to talk to the special ed director in the district we're moving to about keeping WG at her school.  How awesome is that?!?!

Then it was off to the gigantic Whole Foods in Silicon Valley to buy me some vegan products:  I got cheeze, mock chicken salad, miso, hummus, and even treated myself to lunch at Gratitude Cafe, which is a raw, vegan  (hella expensive!) cafe inside the store.
It was YUMMY!!!!!!!!
Then it was off to the gym, to teach my Pilates class, after which I picked up LG from school and got WG off the bus.

Today was the first day of my 21-day vegan experiment.  I must say, I felt more satisfied than I usually do, and wasn't obsessing about my next meal.  I also have A LOT more energy right now than I usually do at this time of day.  I'm thinking of taking the kids for a nice walk, since it's so beautiful out and the days are longer.

And let me just add that feeling this good after very little sleep and a pretty crappy start to the day is kind of a miracle.  I don't know if it will last, if I'll become full-on vegan or more flexitarian, but if I feel good and I'm getting healthy and not obsessing over food, then I say this is one for the "win" column.

Oh, and after going over all my options, I'm still planning on going back to school for drama therapy.
As for the job, well, they haven't even offered it to me yet.  And I need more time to think.  But my instincts are telling me it may not be the best timing, and I might be stretching things too thin if I take it on.

But I'll let you know!

Take care, all!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well, It's Happened.

The Plateau.  The stalled weight loss.
I kinda hoped it would happen later, when I'd lost a BIT more weight.
But then, maybe it's not a REAL plateau: maybe it's the combined result of a few incredibly stressful (and ridiculously busy), emotionally charged weeks and a late period.  (I took a test, it said negative.  But I bought a 3-pack just in case.  PLEASE, NO!!!!!!!)

I'm also considering doing a 21-day vegan experiment, courtesy of Dr. Neal Barnard. What the heck, it's only 3 weeks, it's free online, and what could it hurt?  I've been looking more and more into vegetarianism/veganism over the past couple of years.  May as well give it a go.  No law that says I HAVE to stick with it if I don't want to.
But I have to do SOMETHING about my energy levels!  They're in the basement.  I feel like I'm sleepwalking through my days.  Every day.  I'm missing out on my life, and my kids' childhood, and all the good stuff that's around.  Some days I dread going to work.  I'm having trouble motivating myself to work out on the days I'm not teaching pilates.
I think I'm falling into a bit of a depression again.  I REALLY don't want to go back on the drugs, but I will if I have to.  It just seems like every day dumps something else on my already crud-filled plate.  This morning I started wondering if I was being punished for something I did in another life.  Maybe I was a real jerk, and now my kids are paying the price.
Except I don't believe that G-d and Karma work that way.  I don't believe He would make my kids suffer for something I'd done.  And I also know that I am so very blessed, in so many ways. That my husband and I were chosen to be the parents of these two amazing kids.  That, yes, things happen for a reason, and those reasons aren't always clear until later, looking back.  So I just have to keep slogging through the quagmire (literally; it's been raining here for nearly 3 weeks!) and keep the faith that the light is out there and I WILL reach it, eventually.
(This is going to sound bizarre, but I think I was a marine mammal in a past life.  I was OBSESSED with water when I was a kid, staring at my grandparents' neighbors' pool for hours on end, swimming until I turned into a prune whenever possible, and running right for the seals every time we went to the aquarium.  And really, how big a jerk could I have been as a SEAL?!?!?!   Even in this life, marine mammals and birds REALLY like me! I once went nose-to-nose with a puffin at the New England Aquarium.
In my 20's.  And don't get me started on the ducks and geese.  OK, I feed them, but still!
My husband always attracts the chimps at the zoo.  What does THAT say? )

I did have an interesting experience a week ago: in the middle of teaching a class, I felt, for just a few seconds, more powerful and capable than I have ever felt in my life.  I thought "I am the TEACHER."  These students are relying on me, my knowledge, and my experience to give them better health.  And I ROCK!!!!!!"
I can honestly say I have NEVER had that particular feeling before; of being so completely grounded, confident, and in control.  It was a flash of insight.  I was left with the feeling of what it would be like to live my life as a full participant, rather than simply reacting to the people and circumstances around me.  I finally understood, on a visceral level, what yogis mean when they talk about being the tree that bends in the wind and stays standing, rather than the one that topples over.
Or maybe a better image is that I no longer want to be that plastic bag being blown around in the wind (remember "American Beauty?").  I want to be sturdy.  Flexible, yes, but not bending to the point where I break.

I remember seeing a sign in someone's office once, back in my temping days, that said "A mistake on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."  It was the first time I realized that I didn't have to make other peoples' problems my own, even if they were my boss. Or the a**hole in the car behind me, revving his engine and leaning on his horn because I was taking "too long" to make a right turn.  (I do try to avoid driving directly into the path of oncoming cars.  Call me crazy...) Or the woman who gave the Starbucks baristas a hard time and then honked at me because I let a car in front of me and she was behind me.  Too bad, so sad: pull on your big-girl panties and deal with it, byotch!
(I have had some NASTY encounters with rich suburban moms in that shopping center parking lot!  I WON'T miss that when we move, let me tell ya!  Spoiled idiots who GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to ruin someone else's afternoon because they were inconvenienced for all of 5 seconds!)

So I guess the theme in my life right now is Keeping The Faith.  Things WILL get better.  The plateau will go away, the weight will come off, the kids will adjust to their new home, be in the schools they are meant to be in, and all will be well.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn!

That's who I'm turning into.  The crazy, mean neighborhood lady who yells at kids.
Not that I have a front lawn.
But I'm feeling somewhat Scrooge-like lately.   When I look at other peoples' vacation pix on their blogs, or hear a client complain about the difficulties of renovating their kitchen, I get cranky.
OK, let's be real: I get bitchy!

And I fall into the "poor me" syndrome.

"Poor me!  I haven't had a vacation in over a year-and-a half, so don't talk to me about yours!"
"Poor me!  I can't even afford to stay in my house, so don't complain to me that your custom-made drapes don't match the dishwasher!"
"Poor me!  I'm struggling financially, so don't complain to me that you don't feel rich with *ONLY* 5 million dollars!"
(OK, I think that last one is legitimate.)

Yes, it's true that I desperately need a break.  And I will take one in May, once the class I'm teaching (and show I'm co-directing) is over.  I'm taking a week-long stay-cation, getting subs for my Pilates classes.  I'll go for walks and bike rides and swims while the kids are at school.
Or maybe just nap.
I'll hang out at Barnes & Noble, take the dog to the dog park, and just chill as much as possible.

In summer we'll move, and we won't have to pour all our money into our house.  So I won't have to work quite as many hours outside the house. I won't be doing just about ALL the housework!!!!!!!  I'll have  help, and help with the kids.

So I just need to hang in there for another 2 months.

And stop grousing!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Getting sucked into political discussions on Facebook.  Staying awake and worrying over the state of the world. Letting others make me feel less than or even useless because they don't like or agree with the way I live my life.


Spending time on energy drains, whether they be people or things.


Feeling guilty because other people think I don't work as hard as they do.  They don't see me when I'm not with them.  They have no idea.  (For example, today:  Waking up at 4:30 AM, getting WG ready for occupational therapy while she pulled my hair and scratched.  Then getting LG up and dressed.  Dropping him off at school, taking her to O.T., then driving her down to San Jose for school.  Driving home to pick up LG, who had an abbreviated day, then taking him to HIS O.T.  Coming home to get WG off the bus.  Making them a snack.  Doing laundry, making dinner, taking the dog out, trying to get a workout in, giving both kids baths.  Getting ready for both of my classes tomorrow AND creating a lesson plan for an interview on Friday, for which I will drive to Oakland after teaching 2 Pilates classes, then drive home to pick up the kids.  After that, cleaning the house to get ready for Hubby's birthday on Saturday, when I also have a class in the A.M.)


Enough of letting others' opinions of me matter so much.  Enough of trying to get others to see a different P.O.V when they don't want to.

None of that is my concern.

Because I have enough to deal with.

So, enough.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


2 posts in as many days?  What the hey?
I have the ENTIRE day off!!!!!! And since LG is home again from school, I'm hangin' out here with him. Gonna do some laundry, get ready for tomorrow's drama class, throw in a little yoga, then get in some quality reading time with the LG.  I think we'll do BOTH pirate books, the Animal Strike at the Zoo (It's True!), AND The Lamb Who Came for Dinner.  Good stuff!  We may even get through Pierre the Penguin (A True Story).

But first, some random post stuff:

I am once again teaching my mat class for the pre-school teachers at the JCC on Monday afternoons.
Which is quite nice.

This past Saturday I had 26 people in my mat class at Crunch.  The week before I'd had 30.  That makes me very happy!  I LOVE that class; the clients are so nice!

The mole on my dog's paw is getting larger, and she keeps licking it.  I'm worried.
She is 12 1/2, after all.
She also has yet another bladder infection.
And an ear infection.
Poor puppy!

Last night I dreamed that Lawrence O'Donnell (from MSNBC) and Bill O'Reilly (From Fox) went out to a pub in Manhattan together to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  After a number of pints, they strolled the Upper East Side arm in arm singing sea chanteys.
I'm wondering, yet again, what the H my subconscious is trying to tell me.
I also realize it will take a while for me to see either of them without hearing :
"O, when yer sailin' 'round Cape Horn
(Heave away, Haul away)
Don't ya wish you'd ne'er been born
(Haul away Home)"

Last night, BEFORE said dream, Hubby and I had to cut WG's nails.  Fingers AND toes.  We dread it, because she hates it.  She fights and struggles and squirms and cries and kicks (have I mentioned how strong she is?) and wails like her little heart is breaking.
But last night...she didn't.  She cried a bit at first, when we worked on her toes, but she didn't fight.  And by the time Hubby got to her fingers, she was helping him out! Then he played music on his guitar for her and she started dancing with me!!!!!  LG was also in the room, and every once in a while he'd say "Stop singing, Daddy!"  (because he prefers to do the singing around here, thankyouverymuch), but only half-heartedly, because he knew his sister was enjoying it.
We have the most awesome kids!

Went to bed at 9.  Turned on the TV and was flipping around and found an old episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" with Brent Spiner.  I LOVE Brent Spiner!  So I started to watch it.
But then I fell asleep.
Because, if you read yesterday's post, you know that I hadn't slept much the previous 2 nights.
Hubby watched, though.  I woke up a bit towards the end.
I think the daughter did it.
Killed the guy, I mean.
(And poured acid on his face.  Which was, I think, quite literally, overkill!)
So while Brent Spiner's character was a whackadoo, he wasn't a killer.

I've been reading some very good books lately.  Right now I'm reading "The Penny Tree" by Holly Kennedy. It came out 4 years ago, but I'm only now getting to it.
My "To Be Read" list gets longer and longer.
I've also read 3 books by Barbara O'Neal that I enjoyed immensely.  Good stories, happy endings, and recipes.  What more can you ask?
And the new Sarah Addison Allen book is coming out soon.
Love her!

Also love Artisana Cacao Bliss.  Raw chocolate and coconut.  Warm it up before you eat it.  Heaven! (I eat it  right off the spoon.)

OK.  I think I'm done rambling now.  If you've stuck with all this, thank you.
And I'm sorry.

Take care!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sniffles, Sleep, Seals, and "Les Miz." Oh, and Pools.

I'm a little worried: LG, who hardly ever gets sick, has yet another cold.  This is the 3rd time he's been sick in 4 months.  The first time, in November, I think he had the flu.  He missed a week of school, and he NEVER misses that much!  He's usually over his sickness within 24 hours.  But today he woke up with a slight fever, and he's sniffling & sneezing, poor thing.
Although it certainly hasn't affected his energy level (through the roof) or his appetite (5 Boca breakfast links, 2 apples, and counting).
WG got the flu right after he did, and she's had a couple of colds since, as well.  She had a big ol' sneeze right before leaving for school this morning, so we'll see how THAT goes.
It's because I didn't get them their flu shots this year, I'm guessing.  But we haven't gotten them for the past couple of years, and they've been fine.
Sometimes I'm an idiot!
I REALLY shouldn't take chances this way!  Because now they're paying for it!
And yes, I know the flu shot doesn't protect against colds, but maybe they wouldn't be so vulnerable to the cold viruses if they hadn't had the flu.  Poor babies!

LG is going to turn 10 this year.  WTH?!?!?!  How did THAT happen?  It's crazy; time just keeps speeding up, and I want it to slow down a little bit!  I want to go back in time, just for a couple of hours, to when they were toddlers.  It's a bit of a blur, and I want to go back knowing what I know now.  But I guess we all want that, at some point or another.

Anyway,what with all the germs and anxiety flying around, there hasn't been a lot of sleep up in here.  I'm hoping that will be remedied soon.
Like tonight.

In the GOOD news portion of the blog, I saw a seal yesterday!  I was walking at Seal Point Park, a place, mind you, where I had NEVER previously seen a seal.  Just as I was thinking about that fact, a seal popped his head out of the water and looked right at me.  He (or she) was SO CUTE!!!!!  Just staring right at me, as if to state that, yes, they do in fact live there.
I may be post-40, but show me a cute mammal and I'm 9 years old again.  Don't even get me started on the deer that live around here!  They see me coming and sigh, like little kids who know they're about to get their cheeks pinched.  As for the geese and ducks, well, they've once again started hanging out in front of our townhouse, waiting for bread.  I'm gonna miss those guys!  Although I'm guessing our neighbor's cat may expel a huge sigh of relief when he sees our moving van drive away.

Speaking of the move, my therapist (bless her) gave me a suggestion.  One that goes into the "Duh!" file, but she's kind enough not to say that out loud.  I was saying how much we'd miss the pool, how good the water is for the kids' sensory systems, and that I was concerned about taking them to a big public pool with the crowds and the noise and all, and she said "Why don't you get one of those inexpensive above-ground pools from Target?"
And the angels sang!
And then I remembered last summer, and how we would get all those circulars in the paper advertising those pools!  They're not kiddie pools, but they're not huge, either.  The water goes to about 4-5 feet, and they fit 6-10 people, depending on whether they're kids or adults.  I kept thinking "If we had a yard, I'd TOTALLY get one of these, omig-d!!!!"  (Because I often think in a valley girl accent.)
And then promptly forgot all about it.
But my in-laws have a yard.  A big yard!  With an area that would be PERFECT for one of these inexpensive pools! And then the kids could splash and play to their hearts' content.  In private.  Safely (with adult supervision, of course!), and we wouldn't have to pay a fee to use it!
Then, as the weather gets cooler, we simply empty it out and put it away until next year.
So, of course, I then had to go and start dreaming big, like "What if we got one of those swim spa thingies?  Or one of the "swim at home" pools that creates a current so you can swim laps?"  Then I went online and saw that they START at $13,000, and that was the end of THAT.  'Cause the one from Target costs $179.
Hubby's on board with the idea.  We just have to ask, y'know, my in-laws.
But I have a feeling they'll be amenable to it.

Finally, I don't know if you happened to catch it, but "Les Miserables: The 25th Anniversary Concert" was on PBS last night.  it was performed last November, and at the end they brought on members of the original London cast to perform.  It was AWESOME!!!!!  "Les Miz" is one of my favorite shows EVER.  I saw in on Broadway in '87.
3 times.
And saw the touring production in Boston in '88.
4 times.
(Gotta love those student discount tickets!)
And I have to say, watching it again last night brought a few tears to my eyes.
Partly because I'm, once again, realizing how freakin' old I am!  I saw the show when I was 18/19.  Now I have kids and I'm hitting (glurk!) middle age.

Time marches on.

But, hey.  At least when we have the pool I can act like a kid again!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's The Point(s value)? And On to Politics.

If you're familiar with Weight Watchers, you know that you have a daily allotment of Points (every food has a Points value.  And usually the word "Points" is followed by that little "TM" sign, but I don't have it on the keyboard, so I'm just going to Capitalize it and let you know that that word has been trademarked by Weight Watchers.  So I don't get in trouble.) You also have a weekly allotment of extra points that can be used however you see fit, and you can rack up Activity Points by, well, doing activities.  Like working out.
I have been borrowing A LOT of points.  And I need to cut down.  Because the things I have been borrowing Points for are not always the most beneficial.  Yes, a treat now and then is, I believe, absolutely necessary, but do I REALLY need (or WANT) a sugar-free caramel brulee latte from Starbucks 5 days a week?
No.  I REALLY don't.
Granted, the Points value is low, but still.
The fact is, I don't like them all that much.
And I don't like the effect of all that artificial sweetener on my body.
I'd rather blow those points on pizza night with my family, or on a really good dessert, than on the fake stuff.
Yesterday I decided to not only cut down on the amount of sugar I eat, but also fake sugar.  The stuff I already know is bad for me, but has been hard to let go of.  I'd already decided to declare diet soda as a once-in-the-while thing, easing towards cutting it out completely, because not only does it have zero nutrition, it may also lead to a STROKE!!!!!!!  At least according to a report that came out about 3 weeks ago.
So I have 1 cup of coffee in the morning, and then some unsweetened ice tea later.  Lots of water.  And I've been hitting the blogosphere for good, healthy recipes: THANK YOU, Heather Eats Almond Butter, Chocolate Covered Katie, Meals & Moves, Carrots-n-Cake, Diet, Dessert, & Dogs, Girl Heroes, Smoothie Girl Eats Too, The Body of a Mother, and SO MANY others!!!!!!!

The great thing is that while I have done WW before, this time I feel different.  I'm not exercising simply to accrue more points, or eating crappy, processed diet food, or obsessing endlessly over my numbers. I find myself gravitating towards the things that make me feel good; the whole foods, a nice glass of ice water, recording my activity points AFTER I've done the activity, so I don't fall back into over-exercising.
Yes, the sugar-free gelatin is low in points.  But do I really want it?  Ugh!  No!  Eating it takes me right back to being 10 years old and having intestinal flu, when gelatin and Nilla wafers were all I could keep down.
No thanks!

My weight loss has been slow, and fairly steady.  Which is good.  Sure, there are times when I want to yell at the scale to hurry up and move faster, but I gently remind myself that the number on the scale is simply that; a number.  And I think if I didn't have to weight myself as part of the program, I'd ditch the scale entirely.
The funny thing is, I don't panic about it like I used to.  The scale is not my enemy.  I don't weigh myself daily, and certainly not multiple times a day like I used to while in the throes of my ED.  I don't give myself a time limit for when the weight has to be off, or even a goal weight.  Because I am stronger and more toned now, and healthier.  It's not about how much I weigh, it's about getting rid of the excess baggage, both physical and psychical.
As I go through this, I am working, very slowly, through Marianne Williamson's "A Course in Weight Loss."  I wrote about it before, when I was just starting.  I'm working my way through a long, involved section dealing with my emotions.  It's slow-going, and it's invaluable.
It also makes me think about the speed at which we live our lives.  We want, and get, just about everything right away.  Sometimes fast can be good: when you're looking at a mini-Everest of Laundry, getting it done as quickly as possible can be a good thing. But there are some things that need time.  And when we race through the day trying to finish our to-do list, I think we miss an awful lot.
Yesterday I was in the car driving to work, and being endlessly tailgaited (as you know, one of my pet peeves).  One car after another, until they'd give up and switch lanes.  Because I was in the slow lane, behind a long line of cars.  People were honking and cutting each other off and making rude gestures at each other, and I wondered: does EVERYONE on this freeway have to be somewhere RIGHT NOW?  Is it a matter of LIFE AND DEATH?  Or are we just impatient?  And doesn't it speak volumes about the way we go through life?  If the car in the lane next to us signals that it wants to move into our lane, how do we react?  Usually by speeding up and making them fight to get in behind us.  But what would it cost us to let the car in IN FRONT of us?  10 seconds of time?  Yet we act as if they are trying to take something from us, as if there's only so much freeway and not everyone will be able to get on.  Driving has become a fiercely competitive sport.
What would happen if we all decided to give ourselves a break and take things slowly?  If everyone took our time getting to work ('cause, really, are they gonna fire ALL of us on the same day?), stood patiently in line at Starbucks, focused on one task at a time, were polite, ate slowly, walked more slowly (as long as the weather allowed for it!), gave our full attention when someone spoke to us?
Would we be healthier?  Calmer?  Less afraid?  Our culture seems to be to be based on fear right now: fear of the economy, of losing our jobs, our homes, what is rightfully OURS.  And these ARE real, genuine fears.  But when we live in  a constant state of anxiety, we become unhealthy.  Just look at studies in the area of anxiety disorder:  constant anxiety produces stress hormones, creating more adrenaline, which keeps us awake at night and gives us, believe it or not, belly fat. So if we can't calm ourselves down for the sake of our health, can we do it for the sake of vanity, at least?
There are many people who benefit from our stress.  The diet industry, the pharmaceutical industry, yes, but also politicians and pundits.  If they can keep us believing that "the other side" wants to take away our freedom, we will stay fearful and keep watching/ electing them.  If we were to cut through the partisan noise, we might just find out that we all have a lot in common and that we all want many of the same things, and the fear would lessen.
That would be bad for ratings.
But maybe, just maybe, the politicians would focus less on pleasing those pundits and work more toward finding solutions.
I'm not holding my breath.

I AM, however, fighting the good fight in my own life.  There's not a lot I can do to change the political tone in the country, or control the way others drive, but I can control how I REACT to it all.  I can do what is best for me and for my kids. I can try and be compassionate when someone is being a jerk, because they are coming from their own experience and, yes, their own fear.

And I can be compassionate with myself when I forget and screech at the idiot who just cut me off on the freeway.