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Long time no Spark

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's been a while since I've blogged. I've definitely been letting stress get the best of me - poor eating habits, poor exercise habits, and I've gained back weight that I thought was gone forever. SIGH. Good news is that I did keep off a lot of weight for over a year, so I know I am capable of losing again and keeping it off. I just have to make the right choices, which is a WHOLE heck of a lot easier said than done!!!

I stopped coming to SP - not really sure why - but I've recommitted to logging on daily, and am trying to be more active on the site. It helps, I know it helps, so I need to do it! No more wasting time on the computer playing silly Facebook games LOL.

I thought if I made a list of things that are stressing me out, and things that are good things in my life now, maybe that would help me gain perspective.

#1 stress = WORK! Always and perpetually....but way worse the last few months. BUT on a bright note, I have a phone interview on Wed for a new job, so I'm really really really hoping that I get it, and that would take care of this problem!

#2 stress = tennis elbow. Just after the new year my right elbow started bothering me. It wasn't getting better, so I went to the doctor and he told me it was lateral epicondylitis aka tennis elbow. Not that I play tennis, but it's essentially a repetitive stress injury. Anyway, I got a steroid shot in the joint, and it "cured" it but I had some weird skin reaction. About a month ago the skin reaction went away, and apparently so did the pain relieving effects of the shot LOL. Because it started hurting even worse than before. So far nothing is helping, and it's been very difficult to exercise. I went back to the doctor, who said "don't use it" HA it's my right arm and I sign papers for a living!!! He put me on a short course of oral steroids, which I finished, and than after a week I have a prescription of high dose naproxen to try. If that doesn't work he wants to refer me to an orthopedist. At this point I'm trying to baby it as much as possible, but that means not doing a lot of the exercise classes that I had been doing, because they all involve using your arms! We'll see what happens, I just hope it starts feeling better soon.

Good thing #1 = job interview, as stated above! I'm really hoping it goes well, and I get the job. It's in Houston, and I'm not thrilled about moving there since I really like Austin, but it would be a pay raise and it would mean I was working essentially by myself, so all the "office politics" would go away.

Good thing #2 = upcoming Alaska cruise! I leave in less than 2 weeks for a 2 week vacation with my parents and my granny. Never been to Alaska, so I am very excited!! I had hoped to be at my lowest weight ever for the cruise, and unfortunately that's not going to happen, but I'm not going to let that spoil my fun. And I plan to walk a LOT and avoid too many sweets and carbs, so my plan is to at least maintain my weight if not lose while on the cruise. Ambitious yes but I'm hoping a lack of stress will help. If I get really lucky, maybe they'll offer me the job BEFORE I go on my cruise, so it'll be a celebration!!!

Hope everyone has a good Labor Day weekend!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APED7969 9/1/2014 8:06AM

    Glad to see you're back! Don't let the stress get you down! Although that sure is easier said than done, especially when you add in injury. I hope the elbow improves with the drugs! Enjoy your cruise and good luck on the job app :-)

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APED7969 9/1/2014 8:06AM

    Glad to see you're back! Don't let the stress get you down! Although that sure is easier said than done, especially when you add in injury. I hope the elbow improves with the drugs! Enjoy your cruise and good luck on the job app :-)

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2BDYNAMIC 8/30/2014 3:47PM

    emoticon and good luck on the job interview this week! emoticon

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BONNIEMARGAY 8/30/2014 1:56PM

    So glad you're back!

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KNEEMAKER 8/30/2014 1:33PM

  Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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LALATIDAH 8/30/2014 12:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Barre Fit, NutriBullet, and other random thoughts

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Well, this blog is starting like most of mine do...with the comment that it's been a long time since I've blogged! New resolution...blog at least weekly. I tried every day, and that doesn't happen. Every month or two is not enough. Weekly seems doable!

This week I've gotten back to tracking calories. I never should have stopped, and honestly I'm not sure why I did. But that doesn't matter, what's past is past, I can only look towards the future. So since Monday I've been in calorie range all but one day (and even then I was only just over). I've resisted buying "bad" foods when I grocery shop, because telling myself that I can have them as long as I eat in moderation is one thing...but I never eat in moderation :-(.

So my fridge and pantry are relatively empty, but what is there is healthy! Now, work is another story LOL. Thursday I ate lunch at the church next door, where we usually eat lunch. I had their chicken fajita salad, which is delicious, and if I only use a little dressing is a pretty reasonable lunch (they use lots of veggies and only a little cheese, and grilled chicken breast). But they had carrot cake...uh oh. I got a piece to go, and honestly I was going to give it to someone else, but work got crazy insane that afternoon, and my stress levels were through the roof...and I ate it.

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Stress is that evil monster that did me in before, and has been doing me in again.

But I'm not going to let it! No sirree! Step one to conquer stress is to try to eat better. This week I've been experimenting with smoothies. I'm usually too tired to want to cook when I get home from work, so I thought I'd try having a smoothie for dinner. It's been working pretty well, but my blender didn't do a great job. So today I broke down and bought the NutriBullet system at Costco. I have to say, it made a smoothie lickety split!

Here's my first attempt:

It's really ugly, but didn't taste too bad! Frozen acai, power green mix (kale, chard, spinach), and strawberries. I should've used less green stuff and more strawberries, but live and learn!

So that was one first for me today - drinking a green smoothie :-). I also bought ground bison and made a bison burger for lunch, which was another first for me today. And my final first today (at least so far!!!) was trying out a Barre Fit class at the Y.

I, of course, look *nothing* like that when doing it...but it was fun, and a really intense workout! They have class every Saturday morning, and I think Wed evenings, which I probably can't make with my work schedule, but I think I'll try.

So here's to eating healthy and good workouts!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 6/26/2014 1:32AM

    You can do it.

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BONNIEMARGAY 6/22/2014 2:37PM

    You can do this!

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ALEZHANDRIA 6/21/2014 7:55PM

    Kudos on cleaning out the pantry and fridge to nothing but healthy stuff. I just got back to blogging here regularly, I aim for once a week and take anything more as bonus. Getting rid of the daily pressure helped immensely, hope you have the same boost with a weekly mindset. Best of Luck!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's been forever since I've blogged...once again I sort of lost my spark. It tends to disappear rather frequently I'm afraid. Not sure who's blowing the candle out, guess it's my inner demon LOL.

Anyway, I've been in Los Angeles for the last 3 weeks on a work detail at the Animal Import Center. This week so far has been ridiculously boring (nothing to do AT ALL), but up until this week it's been fun. Nice to get to do some work with live animals, even if there isn't much involved besides looking at them and watching someone else draw blood emoticon

The weather is nice out here, although it did get pretty hot for a while. The hotel is just 3/4 mile from work, which is AWESOME! Makes me realize how stressful a lengthy commute is, really. I'm getting some overtime, which is nice for the pocketbook. Plus the hotel has free breakfast every day, and free dinner M-W, and I have a full kitchen in the room. So I am saving LOTS of money on food (I get $73/day for food, since I'm not eating out I am not spending even a tiny fraction of that). I've been able to go to San Diego 2 out of the 3 weekends I've been here, to visit my family, which has been nice.

Peanut managed to bite a jogger who apparently ran into him, so unfortunately my mom had to keep him under home quarantine for 10 days emoticon. He's challenging enough when he's getting plenty of exercise...which of course he's not now LOL. But his 10 days are up finally, so hopefully he'll be better behaved.

The people here are very nice, and I like the work environment. A job in the area opened up for a lateral transfer, but unfortunately nobody seems to really know what position it is! There are two potential openings - this one here at the port, and one that is designated as an export inspector position (which would work from home - that's the job I really want!). I think it is that job that opened, but apparently they have someone already earmarked for it, so it wasn't supposed to open for applications. So perhaps even though the description doesn't sound like a port vet, it is for this job I'm doing now. Regardless, I applied LOL. Either one would be fine with me, so we'll see what happens.

Anyway, I'm going to try to be better about keeping up with Spark, and blogging more regularly. My weight is still above 150lbs, and I have GOT to get it down - and I've proven time and time again that the accountability of SP really does help me lose weight.

TIme to just make it happen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 6/12/2014 9:26PM

    I'm glad work is going well in CA.

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BIGPAWSUP 5/22/2014 1:13PM

    Glad things are good. You've been missed.

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BONNIEMARGAY 5/20/2014 6:18PM

    Waving hello from San Diego, and wishing you a miraculous spark of inspiration!

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KST1969 5/20/2014 3:52PM

    You can do it. :)

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Crappy week...with at least one good thing

Saturday, April 05, 2014

So this week has been the week from he!!. Bit of a rant here so feel free to skip. Just wanted to put it in writing.

Conference calls/video teleconferences on Wed, Thu, and Fri - all with our new service center director who is a complete a$$ho!e. Pardon the language, but it's true. Since our agency reorganized in November last year, and he took over as our senior leadership, he has made arbitrary changes that impact all of us, with absolutely zero consideration of how it affects us. Morale has plummeted, and our work is suffering. I think he honestly believes he is making it better though. He is trying to make our office operate the exact same way his office operates, and ignoring the fact that we have 5 times the workload and 5 times the people. Frustrating.

When he first took over, he insisted that myself and my fellow two vets, who each supervise some of the staff, relinquish some of our duties to him - he signs off on all leave, he signs off on all time cards, and he manages their training in our internal system. I objected on several occasions to these changes - we had two conversations where I indicated that I felt these were integral parts of being a supervisor, and I did not like having those responsibilities taken away from me. I also sent him an email putting all of that in writing, and asking that he keep the supervisors informed when people in his office were contacting our people to either tell them they had messed something up, or to ask them to go help out at other offices. I never did get a response to my email, but he called my supervisor and essentially told him that anyone in his office (in Oklahoma) could contact anyone in our office (in Texas) and discuss anything they wanted, and it was none of our da&# business. So much for chain of command!

But I was dealing with that, until this week, and our many calls. Thursday he informed us (with everyone present - no heads up to the actual supervisors) that we would no longer evaluate our employees with the criteria that we have been using for 2 1/2 years. Of course, we are already mid-year in the evaluation cycle! We spent 40 min while we all explained to him why we do what we do, and why it makes sense, and why the staff likes it. We use actual metrics, measurable numbers, to give staff a way to see where they stand, and how they can get a superior rating. Oh no, though, that's not acceptable, we can't judge them on a "scorecard" we need to just judge them subjectively! Ridiculous! Then he had the nerve to say that if we were "insecure" about evaluating employees without our "scorecard" he could "teach" us, because he has umpty dump number of years as a supervisor! Bull&^%$! I have almost as many years as a supervisor, which he would know if he ever asked, and my supervisor has WAY more years as supervisor! It's not our first time on the block. During this call, I told him that I wanted to discuss offline, and he said "no, anything you have to say can be said in front of everyone." So I told him that he was now taking away my last supervisory control, and that we've talked before about how I didn't feel like I could supervise when I didn't have control over so many things, and that I no longer wanted to do it if he was going to dictate how I evaluated my employees. Guess what? How do you think he responded? Dead silence, then he moved on to another topic entirely! It was like I never said a word.

Then on Friday, we had to listen to him tell us for another hour (this time without the employees present) how our staff basically sucks and aren't doing half the work of other offices. Based on what, I don't know, he has his mind made up, though, and there is no changing it.

I wrote a letter and gave to my supervisor on Friday officially asking to have my supervisory responsibilities removed. Officially I'm not even supposed to be doing it, it's not in my job description. We'll see if I get any response.

Then to top things off, Igot the final word on a situation I've been dealing with for almost 2 months, and found out that I cannot accept a prize that I won back in February. It's stupid, and frustrating, and I won't go into the details, but it would've been a lot of money and there is no reason I can't accept it but for stupid stupid gov't bureaucracy. Sign.

I've applied for 3 or 4 jobs in the last couple of weeks, planning to apply for more. I put in for a 4 week detail to Los Angeles, and if I get that I'll get out from under our OK supervision which would be nice.

I like Austin, I like the work I do, but I cannot continue working for this man.

The one bright note is that despite this crappy week, I got back into the groove of tracking my food and eating health, and I've stayed in my calorie range all week!
range sun mon tue wed thu fri
Calories: 1,300 - 1,650 1,395 1,252 1,208 1,244 1,382 1,635

Yeah me!

Sorry for the rant, feels better to have it off my chest though :-).

Hope everyone has a good weekend, I'm going to try to!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 5/1/2014 3:39AM

    No worries sometimes we all have to rant.

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BIGPAWSUP 4/6/2014 11:35AM

    I'm so sorry. I understand work troubles. I know how stressful all this could be. Best of luck.

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MAPLE137 4/6/2014 8:51AM

    Good to see you blogging again and CONGRATS on staying within calorie range all week..very impressive given the crappy week you are having! Go, girl! emoticon

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BONNIEMARGAY 4/5/2014 3:30PM

    Wishing you relief!

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Semi-successful January

Sunday, February 02, 2014

So the first month of 2014 started out well, went downhill, then ended well. Sort of a crater, instead of a hill, which I guess isn't too bad!

For the last week I have been eating well. I have actually stayed in calorie range, and under my fat grams, which is always really hard for me. Work is still a nightmare but I'm determined that I can fight my urges to eat when I am stressed. It's not easy, but the stress isn't going to go away any time soon, and I absolutely do NOT want to go back to where I was 3 years ago.

Yup, that's me in the back....the fat one!

I swore I would never get back to that weight....in fact I swore I would never get above 150 again. Oops, after my New Orleans trip I finally got on the scale, and apparently the fact that my clothes were still fitting was deceiving me, because I was above 150 :-(.

Anyway, I'm back on track now, and hopefully when I get on the scale again tomorrow it'll be headed in the right direction.

My parents come to visit on Wed for a week, which will be nice. I know I'll eat healthy - my mom is good about making sure of that :-). And likely she'll have a good meal ready for me when I get home from work each night, which will be great! Too bad I'm not independently wealthy - if I had a live in cook then that would solve a lot of my problems LOL.

I have managed to get in my 10,000 steps every day so far this year. And let me tell you, some of those days were TOUGH! The weather has been up and down, freezing to warm, and those icy, rainy, sleety freezing days were challenging to get motivated to take Peanut for a walk to make my steps. A few days I had to jog in place while watching TV, but I did do it! For February I plan to continue that streak, and aim for an average of closer to 11 or 12k steps per day.

I'm also still being good about drinking water - I get in about 12 cups a day. That's one healthy habit that is easy to maintain.

I've been tracking my food again this last week. I plan to keep that up, although I am going to Vegas for a week for a vet conference Feb 16-21, and tracking is going to be challenging. I think I'll just write down what I eat, and not try to count calories. I know I am going to be over, but my plan is to make as many sensible choices as I can, and try to only have one big splurge a day food-wise. I know that I'll be walking all over the place, so that should help as well.

Anyway, I hope all my spark friends had a successful January, and here's hoping February is even better!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 2/15/2014 8:32PM

    Sounds like you had good month. You can do it.

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CAT-IN-CJ 2/3/2014 5:08PM

    Wow! What a great job you're doing!!!!
You've got the right attitude and doing all the right things!!!

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BONNIEMARGAY 2/3/2014 1:26PM

    Funny, I didn't see a fat picture at all. I just said, HEY! That's Balboa Park! Want to walk with me?


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BIGPAWSUP 2/3/2014 10:29AM

    Sounds like a ggod month to me. Here is to a Fabulous February! emoticon

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APED7969 2/3/2014 3:18AM

    Easy to say you won't go over a certain weight but hard to actually stick to that :-) glad to hear you ended on a high note! Good luck at the conference

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UMBILICAL 2/2/2014 10:01PM

  Climb out.

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