Thursday, April 23, 2009

Seraphim, the water baby.

I am just over the moon at how well I've done so far at my swimming sessions. I've only been doing a slow breast stroke back and forth, from one end to the other, but I can really tell only after 4 days of doing this what a difference it is making.

I'm starting to get my strokes down, one problem I have is that my frog kick is all over the place so I'm trying to slow down and concentrate on what I'm doing. Stroke to the sides with my arms while I'm pulling my feet up under my butt, point my hands outward and stretch while kicking my legs - propelling me forward. I did about twenty (many twenty-two, I lost count!) 25-yard laps today, then I did some legwork in the deep end, like bicycling, legs stretching to the side, and more practice with my frog kick holding on to the side.

My arms are as sore as can be, not painful, just a dull ache. I'm really feeling some soreness in my ab area (YEAH!!), but I can't really tell with my legs because they ache so much already!

Oh, but the feeling of being weightless for even just the 30-40 minutes I'm in there is just so awesome and relaxing on my joints. Although, I hate having to get out of the pool because once my feet hit solid ground I just feel so HEAVY! I mean, I know I am pretty heavy to begin with but you can really feel the gravity pulling you down once you don't have the water supporting you!

After I finish with my workout, I just bob. I totally relax and just let the water envelope me while I float. Niiiiiiice!

I haven't started going to the fitness center yet. I went over there Tuesday to check things out, but I just wanted my body to get used to the swimming before I added anything else to the mix.

I do so love swimming. I think it goes back to when my mom was pregnant with me, and she was sitting in my great-aunt's pool during a family get-together. My dad was so funny - he told her, "Carol, you better get out of there! You're going to drown the baby!" And he was serious!

My mom also had me take swimming lessons when I was 3, because she got scared after the little girl who used to live next to us drowned in a pond near their new home. To this day, the smell of pine cleaner makes me long for a pool to swim in (that's what they used at the YMCA where I took swimming lessons).

And then I was on the swim team for a few years when we lived in Bainbridge.

Anyhoo, I am enjoying my swimming so much I might drive in on Saturday for a session. I'll miss tomorrow because I have to get my allergy shot. Ah well. 5 days out of 7 is not bad at all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A year in review.

March 24 marked my 1-year anniversary with Weight Watchers.

One year ago, I had high aspirations that by this summer I would be a lot lighter than last summer. I wouldn't be quite so self-conscious as this water-loving soul emerged from the dressing room probably not in a bikini but in a comfortable and perhaps flattering swimsuit. As we began shedding our winter layers, I was looking forward to wearing shorts without my thighs rubbing together, having the energy and less pain to finally do some walking around downtown Savannah and exploring this beautiful and historic city close-up, closer than you can get in a car or trolley tour.

Well, ain't gonna happen THIS summer.

And I'd like to blame it all on the medical problems that cropped up, and I am still dealing with, admidst my efforts to become healthier. Truthfully, it really is only part of my problem.

I am a food addict, I know it. This addiction is what makes it hard for me to eat the correct portions, makes it hard to fight strong cravings for food that I know darn well is not good for me. I don't know how I got to this point, but RIGHT NOW is the point where I am going to do my best to nip it in the bud.

I came to a very stark realization the other day. It was a post that a friend made on Facebook last week that spurred it:

"(NAME) Wonders why our self-preservation instincts don't override our self-destructive tendencies." To which I went on a tirade of how I don't understand why people who drive motorcycles feel the need to drive recklessly (like going 90-MPH on the interstate) knowing there's not much between them and the asphalt but the fabric of their clothing.

Well, that's not exactly what her thought process was, "It just popped into my head. Why some people choose to live unhealthy lifestyles and why some don't. And then I'm somewhere in the middle. I want to live a healthy lifestyle, but I don't always choose that path. Just a thought as I was driving in this"

That really got me to thinking. Yeah - every time I shove that Big Reese's cup, 2 scoops of Leopold's rum raisin ice cream, or peach fritter from Baker's Pride in my cakehole I'm being no less reckless than the motorcyclist driving at breakneck speed.

Another issue is this whole thyroid thing. As of my last appointment on March 3 with my endocrinologist, I was still showing signs of being in hyperthyroidism. I was pretty sure that the treatment had worked and I'd "crossed over" to hypothyroidism, because of all the weight I'd gained. That, combined with the weight gain from that medication I'd been on, I'd developed the attitude of, "Why bother trying if I'm going to gain anyway." So, I still continued to follow the Program, but only half-heartedly - and of course with the expected results. I am now a year later. As of December 20th, 2008 I had lost 51 pounds. Between then and now, I have been losing and gaining the same 39 pounds. And in my mind, I don't think, "Well, I lost 50 pounds already and this is just a small setback. I'll get back to that point again soon."

No, in my mind all I can think, "Dammit, it's been a f--ing year and I've only lost 12 pounds!!"

But since my friend made that statement, my mind has been all shaken up and the puzzle pieces seem to be falling into a more logical state. I think I now know what I need to do:

1) It's only been a little over a month since I last saw the endocrinologist and I won't see him again until June. SO, as far as I know I am still in hyperthyroidism mode and therefore will act as if my metabolism is revved up and use that to my advantage.

2) So what if I am in hyper- or hypothyroidism.....the MAIN GOAL is to get healthier, whether I lose any weight right now or not -RIGHT?? Then, as I get healthier and my thyroid issues start to be resolved, the weight will begin to come off.

3) Find what physical activities work for me, and work 'em! Walking apparently is a no-go for me because of the neuropathy. And, Russell and I have also discovered that with our sometimes-crazy schedules and my physical problems, it would be best for us to just be "on our own" in our efforts to get some sort of physical activity in. Russell likes to listen to OTR (old time radio shows, like Jack Benny, etc.), and he walks faster than I do so most of the time when we're walking he's ahead of me. And I usually end up quitting before him because I'm hurting.

The best physical exercise for me, and something I love, is swimming. And by a wonderful stroke of luck in the past few years the college has built a new rec center complete with a workout room. As long as I am working as staff here, I can have access to the pool and workout room for only $11 a month - how stupid could I be to NOT take advantage of that? Unfortunately, spouses of staff cannot use the facilities so Russell does his walk over at the indoor track and OTR thing - and that works for him. I have just started (2 days so far) walking the short walk over to the pool (indoor, so I could do this almost year-round) and swimming at lunch time and then after work I'll go to the workout center and so some strength training while Russell goes over and walks on the indoor track. Then, we meet at the car and go home! After a while, perhaps as Russell and I get more and more fit we can plan to do some physical activities together - like walking and exploring downtown, hiking in the mountains (I'm going to tackle Stone Mountain again one day!), or even something else I've been wanting to do - kayaking!

4) Get my eating in check. I like the whole motorcycle analogy - so perhaps now that I have that in mind every time I think of eating something bad I'll imagine myself on a speeding motorcycle. Another goal, something I did last night, was to half everything I had for dinner and put it in a divided plate and had that for lunch today!

5) Try not to beat myself up so much. Hey, guess what? I've lost 12 pounds this year!!! LIFE IS WONDERFUL!! (clap, clap, clap, clap!) (No, Russell, I'm NOT turning into Andrea..)

So, there's my plan. And here's to my next year on Weight Watchers. I'm feeling more positive and renewed already.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Apple a la Seraphim

Step 1 - take tiny bite of one Weight Watchers Chocolate Caramel Mini Bar (acquired as a freebie at LAST week's meeting...)

Step 2 - take BIG bite of apple

Step 3 - chew

Step 4 - chew

Step 5 - chew

Step 6 - swallow

Step 7 - burp (optional)



Hear that sucking sound?

Seems the plug on my retention issue has been pulled and now it's all draining out, thank goodness. I have a 9.8 pound loss this week, a mere week after reducing THAT MEDICATION (Lyrica) in half. Tomorrow, I get to cut it again by half and eventually I will be totally off this med. WOO HOO!

And I don't know what's up, but I am feeling REALLY GOOD right now. Lots of energy, maybe a little too much because I seem to be driving a couple of my co-workers a little batty with my exuberance. Perhaps even a friend or two - I seem to recall sending a rambling email off yesterday.....something about fondue.....I know I must've sounded crazy.

I think it's a combination of coming off that drug that just made me lethargic, and the B12 injections in my system, nearly 10 less pounds on the frame again, my new love of my 34 oz. insulated coffee mug that I can get refilled at the cafeteria for the same price of a 20 oz. coffee, the steroids that I was prescribed for the pneumonia.......I just don't know. I'm sad that this is the last day of the steroids because I truly do feel better when they are in my system. My joints don't hurt, I feel more limber and more enthusiastic about getting some exercise.

I even took a short walk around campus yesterday. You guys up North are going to hate me for what I'm about to say. I'm sorry. But yesterday around noon was GORGEOUS. It was about 66-67 degrees outside, sunny. I walked out the front of the building and one of the campus frats was having a cookout in the plaza. Students were milling about, birds singing, just lovely. I walked across campus to take some paperwork to another office and then walked to the back of campus to check out what the crowd at the pool looked like because I am considering doing a lunchtime swim a few days a week.

I've even been a lot more productive at work, getting the piles of bills paid that arrived with the piles of books for the beginning of Spring semester.

After work, Tal picked me up and we went over to our weigh-in. Then we went to one of our favorite restaurants (or would that be one of the many locations of our favorite restaurant?)because their half-price hot wings deal ends in a few days. :-) Which reminds me, I still have some leftover hot wings in the fridge......

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chuck Norris' daughter......

Adorable, isn't she?

Boy, I'm going to make you wish I never discovered how to embed YouTube videos now, aren't you? Well, if you don't like it I'm gonna come kick your ass.

I mean, I'm gonna kick your butt. Sorry, Mom.

I hate the taste of LifeBuoy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dancin', dancin'.......dancin' machine......

Lord have mercy- it's when I see videos like this that I'm ashamed to be a white chick:

Bless their little Paula Abdul wanna-be butts!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nickel-and-dimed to death.....

Tal had a good night at WW this evening. I didn't even go. I just decided I couldn't face the scale tonight after last weigh-in. December 20th's weigh-in had me FINALLY getting to and going over a 50-pound loss. Jan. 7 - the scales showed me 23 pounds heavier.

I know, I know - it's partly the medication that is causing the weight gain, and partly me feeling like "If I'm gonna gain weight anyway, why should i even try?" I know, it's not the best attitude and I'm trying to fight this attitude.

It's been a busy week - first day of classes on Monday and once again students needs books. We did our usual potluck munchies Mon. and Tues. I think I was pretty good - I used light mayo and double fiber bread for my ham sandwiches and ate veggies with hummus instead of chips. I took some delicious cookies - Raspberry Angel Cookies - which are pretty light. They are made from one box of angel food cake mix, 3/4 cup of sugar-free raspberry jam (I used Polaner's seedless) and 3 TBSP of mini chocolate chips. Drop by round tablespoon onto a greased baking sheet, bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes. Oh, so good! You want them to get lightly brown to preserve that lovely pink color. You get about 3 dozen cookies from this recipe, which - for you WW followers - I calculated to be 1 point per cookie.

Since I'm the accounting assistant, and we're selling lots of books, I've got lots of money to count. I tell you, it's a pretty depressing feeling to be holding $10,000 in cash in your hands and know it's not yours. :-) Fall semester, it can be over $25,000. Wonder how long I could make that stretch down in Mexico?

I left my cell phone at home yesterday morning and I had this fear that my doctor would try to call with my test results from Jan. 2, so I called her office instead and left a message with her nurse. The nurse called me back later with the blood test results. Good news is that I don't have arthritis (I'm guessing she was looking for lupus or something?) but I am anemic and have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. What does this mean? I have to now take iron supplements and will need B12 shots. As I sit here typing, beside me on a TV tray lies a box that contains three vials of cyanocobalamin and 40 3ml syringes with some ominous-looking needles on the ends. Guess I get to test my meddle and see if I can administer my own shots. I figured it would hurt less to do that than to pull out my wallet and pay $15 each time I need an injection to have it done at the doctor's office. I told the nurse that I took out my own stitches (all 2 of them)from my leg a couple of days ago and she said, "Oh yeah, if you did that without passing out then I think you can handle giving yourself a shot."

We shall see.

But before I do the first one, I have to go to the doctor's office and have the first one administered and get instruction on how to do the subsequent injections.

Speaking of stitches.....the biopsy on my leg came back benign. It's just some sort of rash and does not require treatment. I don't know if I like that answer. It's SOMETHING - it may not be cancer, but I have these splotches all over my body and I want to know why. Which is what I will ask when I go there tomorrow.

Well, Mr. Gleck is passed out in the chair that is right in front of my desk and that looks like a good idea to me. I think I will take my "Plum Spooky" with me and try to get through a couple chapters before Mr. Sandman pays a visit. Or Mr. Gleck. Whichever comes first.

Say good night Seraphim.

Good night Seraphim.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Ranger.....or Morelli?

My last post kind of brought up a debate that rages within the "Plum Crazy" fans of Janet Evanovich: Who do you think Stephanie should be with? Ranger or Morelli? Who would YOU be with? And, if they ever made these books into a movie or series, who would you cast as the books characters?

IMHO - I think Stephanie should be with Ranger. Morelli is starting to get domesticated and now that he's got that house he's gonna start longing for a wifey-poo and rugrats. That ain't Stephanie. Stephanie can't go a few months without losing her car one way or another - how's she going to keep up with a few kids? Nah, Steph has not a domestic bone in her body. I mean, c'mon - she keeps a gun in her cookie jar for Pete's sake! Martha Stewart would have several heart attacks over that!

As for me.....I'd go for Ranger, too. Dark, dangerous, Latin. Just makes me all tingly!

Excuse me for a moment..........

(While Seraphim's gone, please enjoy the soothing sounds of of Cyndi Lauper's "She-Bop", followed by a classic - "Pictures of Lily" by The Who.)

OK, back to business........if I were to cast a movie/TV series based on the book series, I would choose:

**America Ferarra as Stephanie:

Yeah, I know she's Hispanic but I think she can pull off the Italian/Polish look. I mean, look what she did with Ugly Betty.........I'm just sayin'. I just picture Stephanie with "curves" ya know?

** Mark Ruffalo as Morelli:
Now tell me - doesn't this picture of him just SCREAM Joe Morelli??!?!?!

**Benjamin Bratt as "Ranger":

Imagine him wearing a black "Rangeman" T-shirt........mmmmmmm..........

Pardon me for just a moment, I think I need a bit of water.

(Please enjoy the sultry tones of Carole King as she serenades you with "I Felt The Earth Move"........)

Ah. Better.

** Queen Latifah as Lula:

**Steve Buscemi as Cousin Vinnie:

** Michael Clarke Duncan as Tank:

Oh, I'm tapped for now. Time for bed. Maybe I'll dream up more actor/actresses who could star in this movie/series.

I've love to hear your opinions of my choices or suggestions for your choices!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm SO freakin' jealous............

.........but I'm so freakin' in love with my freakin' awesome husband!!

To start off, GUESS WHO HE MET TONIGHT?!?!?! (answer below)

(Hint: Look at the books behind on the picture if you can't see them..........NO, not the Social Sciences books, on the OTHER side!)

She was in Charleston tonight doing a book-signing for her newest "between the numbers" book and I was all excited about her being so close and the possibility of going up there to buy the newest book and meeting an author that I totally adore! I mean - I've read just about all of her books, not just the Stephanie Plum series of, what, 20 some-odd books.

But, alas, I had a cake class scheduled for tonight and wouldn't you know it I actually had people sign up for it! (Not that I'm complaining but if I DIDN'T have anything else going on I probably wouldn't have had ANYONE sign up for the class.

So, what did my freakin' awesome husband do? Lucky dog who had the day off (well, actually a teleworking day but he worked all night and slept most of the day) drove up to Charleston, stood in line and got an autographed copy of the latest book for me. He was #359 in line. And apparently he was also asked the question (on my behalf) - Ranger or Morelli? Seeing as he has not read any of the books, he had no idea what that meant. Since he didn't know the answer, he was given a sticker that said, "Plum Crazy" instead. Fine w/ me!

Another thing he did, as he was leaving the Barnes & Noble where the signing was being held, was snatch a bouquet of purple and white balloons with "Plum Crazy" on the purple balloons and a picture of the book on the white ones.

I called him as I was leaving the mall after class as I usually do to let him know I'm heading home and he says he had some GPB business to take care of and was heading home. Said he was at the "Circle K" about to get some gas in the car. I just assumed he meant the one in Pt. Wentworth just 8 miles from our house.

I got home, and he still wasn't there. I ate the food that I'd picked up, checked email, watched some TV and he still had not gotten home. I called him again to find out where he was, and he was about 1/2 and hour away. I said, "I thought you said you were at the Circle K." He said he was, and then I realized I just assumed he was at the one in Pt. Wentworth and probably was at one in Savannah closer to his work. He once again said he had to take care of some GPB business and would tell me all about it when he got home. I thought, "Oh no, he's got that exasperated sound in his voice and with him being out there so late it must be a real doozy of a GPB problem."

He gets home not too much longer, flops down on the chair in front of me looking beat. I said, "So tell me your problems." in my best therapist-like voice. He says, "Oh wait, I left something in the car I need to get out because it's supposed to be cold* tonight." Next thing I know, he's walking in with a bunch of balloons and I see the "Plum Crazy" on the purple one. "Plum Crazy"? Where on earth is a place called "Plum Crazy". What's that all about. Then I see the book and it hits me. I swear, I nearly cried.

Apparently the "GPB" in his "GPB business" stood for "Getting Peanut's** Book".

OK, now you can say, "Awwwwww." And even though I probably shouldn't be kissing him yet, I just HAD to. Just a small, quick one to minimize his radioactivity exposure!

Well now that the excitement is over, I'm going to bed because it's been a long day, it's almost 12:30 a.m., and my alarms starts yelling at me at 5:41 a.m. (although most of the time I don't get up until 6:30!).
Good night all! Sleep well! (Meant for those who are probably already sleeping, too!)

-Seraphim "Plum Crazy about my man" Gleck

*As cold as it gets in the arctic Savannah area.
**Peanut, being one of many terms of affection between the two of us. We consider ourselves "two peanuts in the same shell" and will often say to one another, "I love you my Peanut." to which the other says, "I love you MY Peanut."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Driving Miss Seraphim

Welcome to radioactive day #2!

Monday evening, Tal and I were discussing how we were going to drive to work together on the days we went in the car together (days when neither of us have a doc appt. or I have cake class or Tal works from home) if I had to keep him at an arm's length. Neither car would keep me far enough away from him if I were to sit in the front seat as we drove.

So the obvious solution would be for me to sit in the backseat.

I kind of like this arrangement. I sit in the back on the passenger side of the car and Tal can see me in the rear view or if he turns his head to the right, and we can still have conversations. I took the headrest off the front seat and can see the road ahead. I discovered that there is an armrest/cup holder in the back that flips down between the back seats. I totally forgot about that feature! The back seat is just so much more comfortable than the front, especially if I push the front seat forward to give myself plenty of leg room. I tried to push the seat as far forward as I could and then lay the seat down to see if I could create myself a mobile chaise lounge but the seats do not align like that, like the seats in the Honda Element we used to have did (as pictured below):

You know, I really like being chaufferred around. Perhaps I'll make this a permanent thing. I do at times wonder if I may have been royalty in a previous life because at times I have this regal feeling and then try to get all bossy, like people should do my bidding. But the people I try to get bossy with have a tendency to put me back into my place really quickly. *sigh* It's not easy being a middle class princess. :-)

Well, I must be on my way....but not before THIS important announcement.

(See, Tal, THAT is how it's supposed to be done..... LOL!)

Friday....back in the front seat again.

- "Princess Seraphim"

Monday, January 05, 2009

In case you haven't caught on yet...... husband can be a real smartass.

So you know that I got my dose of radioactive iodine today. I get home around 6 or so, greet Tal at an arm's distance, and get busy cooking supper and working on 2 cakes for tomorrow.

A few minutes ago, probably about 11:20-ish, I go back to our bedroom to take a radioactive tinkle and notice a "Fall Out Shelter" sign hanging above my side of the bed.

If he wasn't already sleeping on the sofa tonight.........

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What now?!?!?!

Tal and I went down to Jacksonville on Saturday to burn up a Williams-Sonoma gift card from the in-laws and spend a little time at Dave and Buster's. While at D&B's, I saw a girl wearing this T-shirt and it totally cracked me up.

It's a shirt I would LOVE to wear to my doctor's office - OMG WTF is up with my health?!?!?!

Last Monday I went to my allergy doctor for a follow-up. While there, I asked him about these spots that I had. A couple of months ago I noticed a small spot on my right thigh just above my knee. I thought it was maybe a bug bite or something, so I didn't think anything of it. Then about a month ago I noticed it had friends, and was getting bigger. Over Christmas, I discovered that it had evolved into a family reunion on my legs, abdomen, stomach, and back.

So, I figured that if anyone would know what it was, it would be my allergy doctor. Well he took one look at the spots, said it was ringworm and that I would need to see my regular doctor.

Friday I went to my regular doctor, who said it wasn't ringworm and she really wasn't sure what it was but wanted to do a biopsy. She did a "punch", which means she used an instrument to punch out a piece of the flesh on the edge of the lesion. Don't worry, she numbed it before she did that so I didn't feel a thing. I didn't watch, though. I think that might have been a bit much. She did show me the piece. I found it a bit fascinating. This was a little piece of my body, about the size of a pencil eraser, floating around in formaldehyde in a little plastic container the size of a film canister.

She also ordered some bloodwork - 4 vials worth of blood was taken. She stated that she's concerned I may have developed an immunological disorder and wanted to do some tests.

So now, here I sit with two stitches in my leg and a mountain of anxiety over what this possible new ailment could be. I'm just hoping that whatever it is, it will tie together all the other stuff that's going on with me, is treatable, and can finally allow me to continue in my effort to improve my health.

Well I guess if I am starting the New Year like this, then it's GOT to get better. Right? :-)

OHHHH, it's getting late and I go back to work tomorrow after a week and a half off. Ugh, it's going to be tough.

Will update when I find out what's going on with the old bod!