summer updates

Last Wednesday, which may well have been the hottest day of the summer, I rode my bike to work, but got a lift home from a co-worker. I gave blood for the first time since I was 17 (a funny story that I may have already told here) and it left me more woozy than I was expecting.

Later, I was recovered enough to (slowly!) bike down to the Deschutes River with C. We spent that evening in and next to the river. Something about standing thigh-deep in cold river water when it’s 100 degrees outside…. The place was packed, but that was only to be expected.

We did meet a couple of guys towards the end of the evening who’d been picking up trash — bottles, cans, paper, cigarette butts. (The butts are maybe the most annoying trash, just everywhere you’d want to throw down a blanket!) One of them said he figured on making $30, IIRC, on the glass and aluminum, and was planning on coming back. We all griped about stupid people who won’t clean up after themselves.

After that day, it cooled down gradually, until the last couple of days were mid-70s and raining. It felt fantastic. It’s not raining right now, but it’s supposed to be off and on through Monday. (Which means rain for Lakefair, a fact that makes me inappropriately gleeful. Lakefair annoys me.)

Except for the last two days, I’ve been biking like crazy. Over the weekend the odometer on the cyclocomputer I got in April rolled over past 400 miles, which is all the way to Portland and back, with an extra trip up to Seattle…and back. Whew.

I’m still counting calories, too. C keeps telling me I should be counting carbs, but that’s too complicated for me, honestly. I know I should eat things with a lower glycemic index, and with less fat, but the thing that I can do without massively crazy math and/or research is count calories. And I’ve (mostly) been staying under my target.

As of this morning, I’ve lost about 15 pounds. I say “about” because going strictly by today’s scale, it’s 16.5, but using the moving average of, it’s 14.9. I’m tending to use the average. I’m right on my target, too: 1.1 pounds a week. (In a somewhat scary moment of transparency, here’s my public profile.)

Speaking of web tools, has been fantastic because it’s so freaking simple. I tried traineo, which a commenter recommended a while ago, but it didn’t work for me. Their interface is too cramped: too much of the screen is taken up by site navigation outside of the application and by prompts to use other parts of the site. I felt smooshed when I was using it, and it didn’t give me enough more than physicsdiet plus the spreadsheets on my MDA to be worth keeping up on.

I’ve had some low moments, but mostly I’ve been feeling really positive. Psychologically, I’m relying on three things:

  • small steady improvement (the daily weighing/moving average thing helps here)
  • no restrictions on what kind of food I can eat, as long as I stay w/in my calorie limits (I had cake twice at various work celebrations and still came in under the line. I don’t do that very often, but at least I’m not beating myself up about it)
  • the ultimate goal (on this one, I’m thinking of my dad, a lot, and also with more vanity, next year’s SXSW)

And the in-between bits are going really well. I think I’m going to need to toss one and maybe two pairs of work pants, plus quite possibly all of my shorts…except for the ones I almost gave away a couple of months ago because they were too tight. The sad part is that I may need to get rid of my two favorite skirts, too.

Plus I just feel better. I’m moving more easily. I’m proud of myself. Five years ago, I did the hacker’s diet and lost a little less than 10 pounds, but other than that, I’ve never lost weight. I was a very thin child and adolescent, which is why I only gave blood the once; accepting, then conquering, all the weight I’ve gained since college has been a huge psychological challenge.

Recently I was talking to Mom (who is going back to work next week!) and I told her how proud I was of her for losing all the weight that she did when I was in junior high. She had gained a lot of weight after some cortisone-related medical thing in her 20s, tried to lose weight just before she was pregnant with me (apparently back in the day Weight Watcher was a PITA for pregnant women), and then finally dropped around 50 pounds about the same time she went back to school. (In <dr-evil-voice>lasers</dr-evil-voice>!) Yes, Mom went to community college, lost 50 pounds, and raised 3 rather troubled girls all at the same time. She may have her flaws (!), but what she was able to do is quite impressive.

She harrumphed about not being able to do Weight Watchers now, time and effort, blah blah blah, which is pretty typical for her. I just hope she was able to hear the compliment and know that her experience is helping me now.

For those who may be wondering, work is still good. I’ve been here 7 months and I still really like it. I’m getting to work on the kinds of things I never had time for at my old job; my coworkers are very cool, and I’m really close to home. Oh, if you are or know a graphic designer, there’s going to be an opening in my department soon. Somebody got promoted and so now we need to fill his old job. Email me for details.

That was a much longer update than I was planning on writing! I’m discovering as well that regular writing is also damn critical to my mental health, same as exercise, medication, or therapy. So I’m trying to get into a better habit of it. Maybe that will mean more blogging….