Friday, December 28, 2007

I've got the blues, the reds and the pinks

I love that line from J Geils Band - "Love Stinks".

I've been feeling down for the past couple of days, and was before the trip as well. I just remembered something this morning - the last time I was at the Dr. we talked a bit about my depression, and he mentioned that I might have a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder - I love that the TLA for that is SAD.

Maybe I just need more sun. Yeah, that big yellow thing that only occassionaly decides to show up somewhere on the ceiling of that big room (that used to be blue, but somebody must have painted it grey lately, and is more often than not black) that I have to go through between work and home.

I think I've heard of this mythical thing called sun before. I seem to remember it being warm as well (and that is something I'm not all that familiar with any more.) I swear since I lost the weight my hands are always cold, and I'm in general cold now. I lost my frickin' insulation is what happened.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Move that Bus!!!"

Ok, time for the big reveal. People have asked me for a while for a before picture of me when I was fat, and I had a hard time finding one, because I hate to have my picture taken. I used to have a small weight problem, and I got rid of that. But I still have a small ugly problem, and no amount of weight loss helps with that.

I was digging through a bunch of old pictures, and found one of back when my oldest son graduated from high school, which would be May of 2006. And then the Body Shop (the workout facility at work - everything there has car themes) picked me as the member of the month for January (that and two bucks will get me a cup of coffee), and they want a picture. So I had Diane take a picture, and I guess I have them both.

So here they are. First about three months before I started Weight Watchers - I'm not sure how big I was then, but I wasn't trying to diet at all at that point, so I was probably higher than when I started WW at 252.

Now time to "Move that Bus" - or my big fat ass in this case. This one was actually taken earlier this evening (not quite my lowest weight (I am struggling with maintenance), but close to it).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Keeping Accountable

I went to my first meeting as a lifetime member of weight watchers this week - weighed in at 169.4. It was interesting that when I got my sticker it had set my goal weight 1 lb lower than it was (at 171), but I'll life with it.

So I'm done for December. I have to weigh in once a month to remain free - I figure it will be late January before I head back, what with the trip to see my daughter coming up next week, then Christmas.

What I've found is that I have to be very careful, or I quickly get out of control. I'm mixed about food journalling (and counting points) - I see the value in it but don't want to have to do it for the rest of my life. I want to get to the point of just eating reasonably, working out, and staying where I need to. But that remains to be seen if I can do that or not. It didn't work over Thanksgiving, but then that is also a once a year exceptional time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Letter, 2007 Version

December 5th, 2007

Once more a warm Christmas greeting to all our friends, family, in-laws, out-laws, and the person that seems to stay on our address list forever, even though no one knows who they are (kind of like old luggage);

Wow, has it been another year already? Why, it seems that just 12 short months ago Diane was twisting my arm to write up our adventures here in the Ohio wilderness to share with everyone. It does seem that each year civilization comes creeping ever closer – why it only takes two weeks now for letters to get back and forth from here to Utah! I know, that is simply amazing and hard to believe what they can do in this day and age!
Yet again, or biggest family event was to load up the magic mini-van and head out on that fabled expedition sung of by the bards of old – the Road Trip!!! This year we outdid ourselves (and our gas budget) making a huge round trip to Missouri and Minnesota. We started out visiting the annual Carter family reunion/ It is amazing, based on the sign that mom had me help hang up (and I swear, I had nothing to do with making it) that we were still getting together in the year 20008! Then up to Minnesota to visit some wonderful friends and relatives (this time on the other side of the Brady-bunch wannabe’s that we have become!).
In June Diane and I completed the last parent seminar and are officially Key holders! We have learned a lot about ourselves and our family attending these, and the experience has been invaluable. In 2008 we hope to be able to send the boys to a summer camp that includes these seminars as well, as they are truly something everyone can use.
I am still working at Reynolds and Reynolds, and not all the changes that have been made here have been bad. It is always challenging adapting to change, and this past year at work they have been pretty big, but things do seem to be settling down here now, and while not the perfect job, they are definitely trying to keep me around. I am still the treasurer of the Band Boosters, and I figure they just like having me around to pay for things and carry heavy items (kind of like being married there), though learning about filing tax returns for a non profit organization this summer was simply more fun than should be legal. I continue to paint and play with toy soldiers in my basement, winning several more awards this summer and fall. To top off the year, I hit my goal of losing 82 lbs in October, and have officially become a lifetime member of Weight Watchers (though Diane says I’m too skinny now).
Diane is still enjoying her career as a realtor, hitting a record number of sales with almost 25 homes sold (and not all of them were to the same guy either!). Unfortunately, most of these were very low priced homes, usually under $10,000, but a sale is a sale. She has become the co-chair for the Equal Opportunity Committee of the Dayton Board of Realtors, and is also writing the newsletters for both the Women’s Council of Realtors and the Band Boosters (yet she still makes me write the Christmas letter – go figure!).
Becky’s last year at St. Kate’s is going very well, and she is not only active in her American Sign Language club, but she also had the opportunity to staff a conference in San Francisco this past spring. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts she is no longer a nanny, and is back working hard at the Hilton, trying to find cheap rooms for her parents. She has a new boyfriend Lou, a chef teaching at Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, and we look forward to meeting him soon.
Jon is enjoying this second year at Bowling Green University, and has switched his major from Education to Art, to hopefully pursue a career in 3-D graphics. He has discovered the joy of regular (if not full time) employment, even when it means giving up some of his regular family vacations because of job conflicts. This fall with our help he purchased his first car, and we hope that by the time you read this he will actually have a license to drive it.
Katlyn recently had big news at Cross Creek Manor in Utah, achieving level 4! This means much more responsibility, and also has earned her first off-grounds pass in the more than two years she has been there. She doesn’t know it, but Diane and I are flying out to see her the weekend before Christmas. She changed therapists at the beginning of the year, and with her 18th birthday rapidly approaching next summer, she has finally started to work this program, and she really wants to graduate from there and return home in June.
Erik is a still in the marching band as a sophomore in West Carrollton High School, and also enjoys the pep and jazz bands, so much so that he lamented the end of marching season, claiming that his life was now over. He is keeping his grades up, and is even occasionally finding something challenging in school. The most frightening thing is he will soon be getting his drivers permit!
Matthew is in 8th grade, and this fall helped out a lot with the marching band, and is looking forward to joining it in the summer. He has just switched Boy Scout troops to a much bigger one, looking for more challenges, and received his Star rank in September. He is also doing well in school.
Scout is thriving in his role as the ruler of the house, and has managed to sleep through pretty much every day. He continues to protect the back yard from all the varmints, joggers and other dogs walking buy, as has the neighbor trained quite well to give him treats on demand.
As we look forward to 2008, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for all the events happening. Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary in April, Becky’s graduation in May, Katlyn’s graduation in June (hopefully) are just the beginning – as I look at the calendar nearly all my vacation is already used up and the year hasn’t even started yet.
As the holiday season is once more upon us, we wish everyone a wonderful Christmas, and a joyous and prosperous New Year. And this time I’ll actually get the old Irish blessings right.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shin warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Erik, Becky, Scout, Matt, and Jon at Thanksgiving

Mike, Diane, Becky, Jon, Katlyn, Erik, Matthew and Scout

Monday, December 03, 2007

Time flies

Wow! Is it December already? I'm having a hard time getting my mind around that.

But then the christmas tree is up and Thanksgiving is over, so it must be time for Christmas.

This weekend was fun. My work had their first EVER adult christmas party (take your mind out of the gutter (why is it that we no longer have a word to denote those things that aren't open to children, but aren't x-rated (which adult seems to imply) or for retired (as in mature)?), and it was actually a lot of fun. I heard that over 2400 people RSVP'd for it, and of course there were always more showing up.

There weren't enough tables (by at least half), but we did get one, which is good because Diane can't stand that long with her knees lately. The big draw of course (aside from the huge amount of food and open bar) was the Beach Boys, and they were great. I even got a decent picture of Mike Love on my cell phone:

Of course they are old enough to be the Beach Bums now, but we were right up front and had a great time.

Of course I get on the scale this morning, and I'm up seven lbs - so time to actively get back to counting everything - I've been real lax about it and this weekend it really caught up with me. I figure a large part is just the awareness.

I've made the analogy that weight watcher's points are like money, and I don't like spending them and wasting them. But when I'm not counting it is like going on a cruise or staying at a Disney resort, where everything is put on your room key - it all adds up without you realizing it.

Now I know most of this is 'temporay' weight (i.e. just a normal fluctuation), but if I let it get away from me now then it won't be temporary, and will just keep fluctuating up.

As for WW - I got my lifetime number this weekend - it was fairly disappointing that a number is all it was. They also ended up changing my goal on it (down a pound), but not worth bothering over. It is funny how on the monthly pass they can send out a card every month, but can't be bothered to send a permanent card to lifetime members. And the letter says I'll have to fill out yet another form, plus they sent me a job application.

For the job (which I'm not planning on doing) I was expecting this - I think it is standard for nearly everyone who makes lifetime, especially those of us who fit in the 'results not typical' category (and at 80+ (ok, not today, but you know what I mean) lbs lost I guess I do go there).

One other bit of news - I got a (cheap, cheesy) plaque at work last week as part of the department 'Exemplary Project Recognition' for being part of a project team. The girl (it just doesn't sound right to say woman, though I know it is probably sexist, but then again I am almost old enough to be her father (actually technically I am, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the kids I do have) who sits next to me go the 'Rising Star' award for the department. I told her to bask in the glory of her award, as that was all she was going to get! I was also nominated for the company wide 'Consistent Performer' award (with about 100 others it seems, out of about 2000+ people) but didn't get it (nor did I expect to).