Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me...

Happy Birthday dear Rachel, Happy Birthday to me! (and many more!)

Okay, so today I am 42. Hold on a second while I cringe!.......Okay, I am back. 

Interestingly, this year, I got a few gifts ahead of time. I think this is funny because I am the friend who remembers your birthday on the exact day and then you get your present from me a month later.

Well, my li'l bro, Jon, gave me the coolest Mac recipe software called Yummy Soup.  There are already recipes in it, you can add your own to it, and you can click on a recipe(s) and set up a grocery list.  You can add pictures of the recipes too.  The other gift, which was free, but so thoughtful (and I love those kind of gifts) was a Mac software that catalogs all of one's books, dvds, cds. It's your own library. I can't remember the name, but what's cool is that the camera on the Mac turns into a bar code scanner, so you just scan the ISBN number of the item and presto it shows up, even with it's picture, reviews and where to buy it online.

My buddy Rachel sent me an adorable kitschy sign that says, "I'd give up CHOCOLATE but I'm no quitter."  LOL. And along with that came an organic chocolate bar, a cute little ceramic planter (I'll have to plant some flowers in it with Autumn) and a very pretty little ceramic picture frame with a picture of Rachie in it! Rach lives in Florida (where we met, as I used to live in Florida).  So, I like seeing her smiling face in a picture, since I don't get to see her, in person, much.  She also sent me an adorable card too. 

The most important gift I have gotten is the one I have given to myself:  a 5 pound weight loss (just 23 more to go!).  I haven't gone on something like  Weight Watchers, or counting calories, or low carb, and I have not joined a gym.  All those things I have done before.  I am not a yo yo dieter.  I was always pretty thin.  After my mom died, when I was 34, I put on 20+ pounds.  A few years ago (I guess about 5) my husband lost 55 pounds.  I kind of joined him and lost 20. I kept it off for a few months and slowly put it back on. Then I just accepted it. Almost 2 years ago, I joined a Curves near me...not to lose the weight as much as add exercise into my life.I had seen a picture of me in a bathing suit and realized I was looking quite matronly...though in my head I am anything but matronly.  It went really well and I was getting firmer.  Then, just a few months in, we started having real problems with Ben.  Then, that Spring, my eczema (which had been lying dormant for 15 years) reared it's ugly head again. This time it was not just on my hands but on my feet.  That made going to Curves impossible. I ended up losing a lot of money.  Curves say that if a doctor fills out a form they close your account or hold it.  Well, they didn't.  Needless to say, I wouldn't go back. 

 The impetus for this whole thing, as I have not cared too much about the extra 20 pounds, is that after 2 rounds of steroids, in March,for the eczema, I put on EIGHT POUNDS in ONE MONTH!!! EEEEEKKK!  Clothes I had been wearing for the last couple of years suddenly didn't fit and I freaked out. I weigh myself maybe 4 times a year.  I was weighed at the docs before the steroids, still in my 20 extra pounds holding pattern, and then I stepped on the scale in April and flipped when I saw the number. 

So, knowing I can't be told what, when, and how to eat, or have a gym contract over my head, I figured I would take the sum of all my knowledge and make it work for me.  I know what I ate before. I am not keeping a food journal ( I did that too once and it only makes me obsess about food more) I am just making better choices.  My default food it sweet and baked or salty and crunchy in two words: cookies and chips.  And I would plow them into my mouth.  I am not a binge eater or closet eater. I am not dealing with an eating disorder...just older age. Plus, I just like eating.  So, since I love food, I am choosing other foods in lieu of my default comfort foods.  I am eating tons of fruit and veggies (which, aside from weight loss, is about time as they are good for me!) and lean meats.  I am still eating bread, pasta, cookies, chips etc...just far LESS.  I guess I am using a kind of portion control thing, as I think about it.  Also, and this is KEY: more than anything I am eating MINDFULLY.  I am really thinking about what I am eating, when I eat, and taking small bites and truly savoring it.  It makes a huge difference.  I used to inhale everything.  I would taste it, but it would go down so fast, I needed to taste it again, and again, and again, and well....you get the picture.  Now I am really swirling things around in my mouth and really tasting them.  So, I find I need less to eat now. REALLY!  I know it sounds nuts but it's true.  Last, I am doing my best to make this a life thing, not temporary thing.  My mom died shortly before her 54th birthday of metastic colon cancer (it spread to both lobes of her liver).  So, when my mother was 42, she had barely 12 years left to her life.  I don't want that for me.  My mom had a legitimate eating disorder.  She was an overeater  and a very large gal.  I loved her to bits no matter what. She was my best friend.  I miss her dearly.  But I know she would want me to have what she never could seem to grasp for herself: fitness and good health.  I had them both before, it's time to reclaim them again. 

Gotta run!


sea glass hearts..... Laurie said...

Happy Birthday Rachel!
Congrats on the weight loss. Keep up the good (eating) work!
I'm working on the same thing.
I just found quinoa last week and have been making a delicious roasted veggie dish to put over whole wheat pasta, rice or the quinoa. I make a lot and reheat it.

MaggieClitheroe said...

Well done on your weight loss, but I'm afraid you've inspired me to go and get a bag of crisps (mmm, I think that's chips to you!)I'm coming up for 48 next month, so I've given up caring about how overweight I am ha ha!

Happy Birthday too - I'm still praying for your special intention.

Blogger Julie in Atlanta said...

Happy Birthday Rach!!!! What a great gift you gave yourself. Like you after our weekend I decided I needed a heart healthy diet....because of my family history, I don't want to leave Sarah when she is in middle school! SO Andy and I are doing the South Beach Diet, and are both down 4 lbs. Way to go, maybe we can keep eachother motivated!

a thorn in the pew said...

Happy Birthday! God bless!

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Happy, happy Birthday!

Hope it's the first day of the best year yet!

Cindy said...

Happy Birthday Rachel!

Ok... you want to feel young? I am hitting 50 next year!!

You are a spring chick!

Leonie said...

Happy birthday to you! 42 is not old - hey, we are new wave chicks remember?? lol!

Congrats on the weight loss too - yo are doing it the right way. I know I have to work on fitness and food all the time, as I can tend to be a compulsive eater and have had food disorders...

summer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Catherine said...

Hello again Rachel. So I missed your birthday? Happy belated birthday from France!
You seem to be a little spoiled! A Mac recipe software! Ma chère! It sounds a very interesting small toy. Will you borrow us some recipes on the net? The one for books! I won't dare to borrow you a book or a cd, now!
When I read you still just have to loose 23, I was scared and ready to wonder "but how much does Rachel weigh?" In fact, I was stayed on MY system of calculation (kilo)! Well, we could make the diet together. : (
I have pretty as much to loose! I was always eating the Easter chocolate of my children, they don't like it so much! Whose children are they? Really there have been a mistake somewhere? You know the way I do? I stop every sweet food (sugar addict) except natural sugar in fruits of course and I'm wondering when I want to eat something, could you replace it with an apple? As I don't like so much apples, I forget my eating desire.
So sorry for your Mom and for you! At this age, I know you had still both a huge need of each other presence and support. She would be proud of your reaction. Maybe she was lacking of will to take care of her health as you do, today.
Have a nice Mother's day.