Saturday, August 31, 2013
So... this morning, I decided to spot clean the carpet in my main living area. (I have a dog who has been sick & is still learning the whole housebreaking routine, and I thought it would be a brilliant idea for me to spot clean the areas where she has been most likely to have her accidents.)
So I borrowed a Bissel "Little Green" steam cleaner from a friend. It's small cleaner that consists of a base unit with a reservoir for the water/cleaning solution, a container for all the dirty water it pulls back in, and a small (4 inch) hand held tool attached to a short hose.
And life was good. At least... at first. I felt like the Queen of Clean. I moved my furniture around so I could get to the offending area, and I vacuumed first, as per the directions on the "Little Green" box. And since there was a large window in that area, I also grabbed the Windex and cleaned the windows & sills while I was at it. Look at me being all responsible and adult and... well, clean!
I'm on my knees cleaning the carpet when I accidentally snag the cord for the vacuum cleaner, which in turn falls over and knocks the Windex off the coffee table... and the windex bottle opens and spills half its contents onto part of the carpet on the other side of the room. Where I never intended to spot clean. Especially not with copious amounts of Windex. There was so much Windex on the ground I could see it running dangerously close to going under my makeshift entertainment center: a piece of furniture that I did NOT want to move.
But hey, I have the perfect liquid spill cleaner-upper already in my hands -- so I jump up and reach for the puddle of windex with the steam cleaner. And it's working. At first. But as I reach further... the "Little Green" tips over and promptly dumps both the remaining cleaning solution AND the accumulated dirty water onto yet ANOTHER part of the floor.
I jump up and pick up the pieces of the Little Green and set them back up -- in the upright and locked position, and move it out of the puddles of clean and dirty water that I have now created, a little closer to my Windex carpet swamp. I turn my attention back to the Windex spill and spend another 5-10 minutes cleaning that up. Then I look back at the Little Green. Apparently, it doesn't like Windex. Now... I have created a sea of soap bubbles... coming out the top of the steamer and flowing onto... you guessed it... yet ANOTHER part of the carpet.
So... I spot cleaned my entire carpet today. Some areas, multiple times. With a 4" hand-held tool. And I can tell you with extreme confidence that cleanliness is NOT next to Godliness. It's next to impossible. And it more closely resembles insanity...
Thursday, June 20, 2013
My father was the first person I ever knew who had surgical weight loss. He lost a tremendous amount of weight in a relatively short time, and managed to keep it off for the rest of his life.
But he didn't have weight loss surgery.
He had open heart surgery.
It was the early 1980s. I was only 8 years old and he was only 40 when he had a massive heart attack. I don't know how much he weighed at the time, but he was a large man. I don't remember him being "fat", but I remember him not having much of a neck and having a "Santa" stomach. Open Heart Surgery was a cutting-edge procedure back then, it was still being developed. After the surgery, he was kept in the hospital for a long time -- months -- and he couldn't smoke or eat what he wanted. He had to go to cardiac rehab. He learned to exercise. His lifestyle was forcibly changed, and accompanying weight loss was dramatic. It was a very long and difficult recovery process, but he wound up being healthier after that heart attack than he had ever been before it.
I'm almost 40 now. I'm all of 5'2" or 5'3", but I probably weigh more than my 6'2" father did at his heaviest. And as much as I long to follow in his footsteps in many other ways... I really don't want to follow his lead in weight loss. But the reality is that I'm not very healthy right now. I'm not "sick" per se, but neither was my dad before he had his heart attack.
My dad passed away in 2009. A couple of years before, he challenged me to lose weight. Specifically, 50 pounds. Unfortunately, I was heavier when he died than I was when he gave me the challenge. I'm about 15 pounds lighter now than I was at my very heaviest, but I still have a long way to go. I've had temporary weight loss successes -- dropping ~30 pounds on at least three different occasions, only to gain it all back. I've never made it to 50 pound mark.
But I'm optimistic. I don't think I've ever had the kinds of tools that I now have at my finger tips. And this time, I'm not looking for the miracle product or the quick fix. And with the significant milestone of my 40th birthday looming on the horizon... I'm motivated. I'm determined to lose the weight in a way that would make my dad proud: by NOT following in his footsteps.
Friday, June 14, 2013
This morning, I got up, ate breakfast... then went to the city pound and adopted a dog. I'm hoping she'll turn out to be a great playmate for the dog I already have. She's about a year old and she's really sweet... but she also comes with challenges. Aside from the normal shelter dog struggles, when I took her to the vet, I found out that she is heartworm positive. That was devastating news.
A dog her age has a pretty good chance of coming through the treatment and recovering. But it's a long, difficult, expensive treatment. And there are no guarantees. The vet asked me if I wanted to keep her and start the treatment. I almost surprised myself with how emphatic my answer of "yes!" was! This little dog deserves a chance, and I want her to have it.
Funny how easy it is to be decisive when it comes to animals, or even other people -- how willing I can be to step up and make the difficult decisions -- but how unwilling I am to do the same for myself. It's time for me to decide just as emphatically to make the tough decisions for my own wellbeing, to willingly take a long and difficult journey, to say no to the junk food, to get off my rear and exercise, even though it could be painful... because that's what I need to do to give myself the best chance possible.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I added a new toy today: the FitBit Aria scale. I say it's a toy, but in reality it is likely to be an instrument of torture. In a good way, of course. I've never had a scale with a wifi connection before. So now, instead of tracking my weight manually (where I would be tempted to "fudge" the numbers a bit if I had a bad weigh in), my numbers will be transmitted to FitBit and Sparkpeople automagically... so, for better or worse, I have a new accountability tool! Now I just have to force myself to get on it every morning...
Monday, June 10, 2013
Not really sure what to write here. But I thought I'd give it a try anyway :)
I'm terrible about starting things and not following through... hoping I can break that habit.
So far, I've installed the app, linked my sparkpeople to my fitbit account, and started tracking my food. At this point, I'm not even trying to eat healthy -- I'm just getting what I'd normally get and trying to enter it faithfully. Facing the facts about what I'm actually eating is a bit sobering. Looking up the values for some of my fast food choices has been eye-opening. But I guess that is the point... to make you start thinking about things.
I'm also carrying around my fitbit, but not really making a special effort to exercise. I wanted to let it run for a week or so, just to see where I was as a baseline. It's going to be interesting...
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