Well, what a month this has been. Sorry that I didn’t post on October 8, but it was a really rough day and, for obvious reasons, I was in no mood to post about losing weight.
So it’s October 9, instead. I know you forgive me for the extra day, right? But I’ll talk as though I’ve not given myself an extra day.
Goal 1 – Weight loss: Last month I set an 8 pound goal for the month, and I was able to lose 7.2, which is pretty darn close. I’m very happy about that loss, since the last part of September was a tricky one since I went a whole week without exercising. It’s proof that exercising MAKES A DIFFERENCE in weight-loss goals. So does counting those WW points. The week I didn’t exercise I also got very lazy about counting my points everyday – and I ended up with a week where I gained again. So that’s twice where I stopped counting points where I gained that week. So from now on I’m counting, counting, counting. Because it works along with the exercise.
Goal 2 – Exercise: Speaking of exercise, my goal was to walk/run 25 miles a week. Nope didn’t happen, and I’m no longer making that a goal. *lol* I did a tough 5 mile walk to a nearby section of town (it was ALL hills) and lived to regret it. I strained a muscle in my right hip and had two weeks of consistent pain. I ended up taking an entire week off from any walking/running and let the muscle heal – I’m now (mostly) back to normal. Last week I walked 6 out of 7 days, including doing a Komen 5K on Saturday morning. I ended up with my best 5K time thus far, which was awesome.
So as of October 9 I’m down 40.2 pounds (yay! for finally reaching 40 pounds down)! My hope is to continue on the downward trend.
One fun thing I did a few weeks ago was go “shopping” in my closet. I was able to begin wearing some “new” shirts, and a couple “new” pairs of pants. And I even gave in and bought a couple belts so I could continue to wear my larger pants without having them fall down around my ankles at work. In another 10 pounds I’ll be ready to bring out some other “new” pants from my closet and finally retire some of the larger ones.
The same night I did that, I also put on a couple more formal outfits that I haven’t worn in a while. I tried on an outfit I bought for a friend’s wedding 7-8 years ago, and it fits again. My plan is to wear that outfit the night of our annual White Elephant party in December. I also tried on a slinky black dress that I bought a number of years ago as a “goal” dress. I was able to get it on, although it’s very tight. But when I initially bought it I couldn’t even get it on, so that was a major success. *lol* My hope is to be invited to a super-formal evening wedding (anyone? anyone?) next spring and bring it out for just such an occasion.
So let’s talk about goals for the month.
Weight loss: We’ll go for 7 pounds this month. It’s still a decent amount to lose in 30 days, and if I continue to count my points and increase my distance and/or running intervals, I’m confident I can do it.
Exercise: My goal is to get to a point where I’m doing more running intervals that walking intervals when I do my 5Ks (either on the treadmill, on the pavement, or at official races). I still don’t consider myself a runner, but I do appreciate that running gets my heartrate going and enables me to burn fat.
I really enjoy going to the gym I joined in September. There’s never a huge crowd, I’m always able to walk right onto a treadmill and do my hour, and the clientele varied enough that I fit right in (instead of looking like solo fat chick among the size 0 in-full-makeup women and Jerky Boy weightlifter types). So with any luck my motivation will remain high to keep going and count those points, so that I can report back here on November 9 with much enthusiasm!
See you next month!
Words cannot describe the sadness throughout my family today. Our matriarch, GGma, passed away today just 7 1/2 weeks away from her 100th birthday. Today has been a day of steel magnolias. Of wondering why God took her when I wasn’t ready, and yet rejoicing that she went quickly, which is just how she wanted it. Of weeping at the idea that we won’t get to tease each other anymore, and keeping it together to sign the medical examiner’s paperwork and release to remove her from her apartment. Accepting condolences of many, many friends, and feeling terrible for not getting there in time to say goodbye.
What can I say about GGma? I loved her a lot. She was the very definition of “Steel Magnolia” as well – tough and tender all at the same time.
Picture taken of GGma and CG last year.
She was feisty. She had no problem telling a fool he was actin’ a fool, and had no problem gossiping during all her weekly bridge games. She (probably) cheated at playing cards but no one said anything because she was so damn charming about it. But she was at church every Sunday.
She loved and lost two men who adored her. When she was 18 she was approached at a dance by a young man named Mike A’losio (sp) who told her he liked her legs and asked her for a date. They were married very shortly thereafter. He worked for her parents for a while and then became a cop. Sadly, he died in a motorcycle accident only 4-5 years after they got married. However, a few years later she met the man who would later become my grandfather. She met him on a boat that traveled from Norfolk, VA to Baltimore, MD. She had ridden an entertainment boat (similar to the gambling ferries in the Mississippi and New Orleans) to spend the day with another man she knew who lived in Maryland. When she arrived at the dock to ride the boat back to Norfolk, my grandfather was standing on the dock waiting for her to spend the ride back to Norfolk with her. They began dating and his ex-wife was not happy that he had moved on, and would harass him. He finally took GGma over to the woman’s house and said (pointing to my grandmother), “This woman’s little finger was worth more than your whole body,” and she got the point and stopped stalking him. They eventually married and spent many, many happy years together until he passed away on my birthday when I was a child. They raised three kids together and after he passed away she swore she’d never marry again, and she didn’t.
She was adventurous. I’ve mentioned this before, but GGma taught me – by example – how to waterski when she was 73 years old. Her friend owned a boat and during my summers visiting we’d go out on the boat and spend the whole day zooming up and down, waterskiing as long as our arms and legs could stand it. She also went parasailing in Mexico at age 83 and clog danced until she was in her mid-90s. She loved to travel and went to too many places to list, but the ones that stand out are her trips to Alaska and Israel, as well as through most (if not all) 50 states.
She hated cats. And I’m not using too strong a word. When I say “hate,” I mean it. She thought they were loathesome evil creatures who deserved one thing: death. I remember when I was in elementary school we walked out of my house to go for a walk somewhere and she began screaming and threw herself onto the hood of our car. She had seen a cat about four houses away and was petrified it would come near us. Four. houses. away. I loved her cat phobia because while I couldn’t understand it (kittens are adorable), I could totally understand it (due to my extreme phobia of spiders).
She was a teacher. She was a teacher for many years back in the days when teachers had paddles hanging on the wall and weren’t afraid to use them on ornery kids who didn’t follow the rules. She loved teaching and was frequently given the gifted students. However, one year she was given the kids who were typically passed over. She ended up teaching them Shakespeare and had them put on a production of “Midsummer’s Night Dream” for the entire school just to show them that NO KIDS should be considered worthless just because of lack of money or lack of opportunity. She sewed all their costumes herself and spend her own money on props. Unfortunately, the trees she had a local gardener bring for the stage decor had bugs in them and they came into the gymnasium one morning to find the place swarming. Despite the mishap, the play went on and they gave several repeat performance as a result of the hard work of those kids and my grandmother.
She was one of a kind. She told stories all the time of how her father didn’t care much for her because she was so spirited and independent. They would battle all the time because she didn’t put up with the misbehavior of her father (he was the notorious rapscallion of Norfolk, VA) as well as her father’s favoritism showed to a couple of her siblings (she was one of 7 children).
She was kind-hearted, too. Many, many years ago (about 20?) she saw a young teenaged boy being neglected by a family in her town and took it upon herself to give him a better life. He had been adopted from Russia and put to work as a farmhand on his “parents’” farm. He was basically slave labor. They didn’t let him attend school, and so she took it upon herself to teach him how to read and speak English, do math and learn other basic skills. When he turned 18, he asked if he could move in with her, and she said yes without hesitation. One night he had gone out with some friends and came back after she had gone to bed. He woke her up and before she could ask him what was wrong, he very simply asked, “May I call you ‘Grandma?’” She said yes, and from that day on he was part of our family as well, celebrating holidays with us until he went out on his own to become successful in the airline industry. She still kept a room for him at her Virginia house until she moved away a couple years ago. And to my knowledge, he still calls her a couple times a month to check in on her and let her know how he is doing.
She was fun. I hung out with her a lot when I was in high school, going to visit her during my summer vacations for hijinks with her old biddie friends. The summer I got my driver’s license she let me do most of the driving from central Virginia to Nashville, TN so she could participate in the Hee Haw Clogging Championship with her fellow senior citizen dancemates. It was one of the most fun times we ever had. OTher summers we’d spend time lounging at the town pool, or going to drive-in movies, working on our tans in her friend’s boat, and eating every meal at her favorite restaurant (she didn’t cook and was a faithful daily customer there for about 40 years).
I could go on and on with so many stories – her life could easily be made into a movie and I told her as much many, many times. She’s like Rose in “Titanic,” only without need a sinking ship to teach her to live each day to the fullest.
The past year has been amazing, providing care for her even when she drove me crazy. I enjoyed having her only 10-15 minutes away from me, and hearing all the folks in the community where she lived say how much they loved having “Miss Florence” in their building. From day one, everyone there knew who she was because she was one of the oldest residents.
I will miss her forever, but am so grateful to have had this much time with her. I just wish I had a little bit more.
Last night I let CootieGirl play with my Samsung Galaxy SII for a little bit. The kids have a new game wherein they attempt to figure out the security password, which is actually a pattern swipe on the main screen. She tried 8-9 patterns, all to no avail, and suddenly my phone was requesting I enter my Google account login and password.
I dutifully put in my info and nothing happened. It dumped me back out to the login page again, as though I hadn’t just entered my email and password.
So I tried again.
And again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
It wouldn’t work.
This is when I began to panic and went online to find out how to fix my phone. The most often given advice was to factory reset the phone to default, which would mean losing a LOT of photos, videos, messages with valuable information. I didn’t want that.
There were a lot of suggestions out there, and I tried all of them and none of them worked. Here’s a sample:
1. Call the cell from another phone and once you’ve answered, hit the menu button then click on Memo. Supposedly this would somehow get you to your home screen where you could then reconnect to your Gmail account and gain access to your phone again. Didn’t work.
2. Call the cell from another phone and once you’ve answered it, hang up using the calling phone and as the line disconnects, begin furiously pushing your home button on the cell. Supposedly continuously pressing the button would somehow bypass the email/password request. I tried this over a dozen times and it didn’t work.
3. Take out the battery, SIM card and SD card, then insert them back. This didn’t work.
4. Turn off the phone completely. Turn it back on and after the intial splash of “Samsung Galaxy SII” disappears begin mashing the home button repeatedly. This is very similar to Option 2 above, and didn’t work.
5. Connect the cellphone to your computer via USB cable, enter safe mode on the phone and transfer all important files and data to your computer, then reset your phone to default settings. The problem with this is that my cellphone never went into safe mode because it didn’t register that it was connected via USB because I wasn’t logged in. This didn’t work.
I sat at my computer for way too long (I won’t tell you how long), moaning the fact that I was about to lose all my unbacked up stuff because of the need to do a factory reset.
Then I remembered something. Months ago I had set up 2-step verification on my phone as a way to safeguard someone getting into my Gmail account. Two-step verification requires not only a password but a special number code provided by a Google authenticator app that updates every 30-60 seconds with a new number. On a whim, I logged onto my Gmail account on my computer and turned off 2-step verification on my account. I then turned off my phone, turned it back on, put in my email and password and VOILA! I was back in! The phone requested I put in a **new** security pattern, which I did. Once that was accepted and confirmed, my phone was unlocked and back to normal.
SO GLAD I had that thought BEFORE I did the factory reset on my phone. Hundreds of photos, videos and bits of data would have been lost forever.
I immediately turned on Kies Air and began transferring all my photos and videos to my laptop for safekeeping. I don’t want to take a chance on it happening again and the 2-step verification NOT being the problem next time around!
Anyway, if you’ve tried all of the above attempts to unlock your phone and have 2-step verification turned on, consider turning it off and see if you can get back into your phone. It worked for me!
Hello again! It’s the time again – when I update you on my progress to self-improvement!
Well, August was a pretty bad month. I’ll just get that out there first. Didn’t reach any of my goals this time around.
August was a busy month. I hosted book club. School started. The Boy celebrated his birthday. I fought a kidney stone. Those things, and more, all added up to less than stellar results.
Goal 1: Lose 8 pounds. Well, I didn’t lose eight pounds. I came so close. On August 31, I was down 7 pounds and had a week to go. I knew I’d reach the goal. But on September 1, I took myself to the ER at 6 a.m. because I was peeing blood, vomiting, had a fever, and was suffering from unrelenting back pain. Three hours later I came home with three prescriptions to treat the kidney stone that showed up on the CT scan. By September 4, I was UP four pounds from my August 31 weigh-in. All because of the meds (which I had been warned would probably happen). Yesterday’s weigh-in was tough – it showed my first gain since I began this journey on June 8. And as a result I only lost 5.4 pounds this month instead of the 8 pounds I was on track to accomplish only one short week ago. The good news is that I’m down 33.6 pounds since June 8. Had I not had the weight gain this week, I’d be down over 35 pounds – a nice round number that screams milestone to me. Oh well. Next time. If I lose 8 pounds this month I’ll be down over 40 pounds, which is an even bigger milestone, right?
Goal 2: Walk 25 miles per week, and 30 miles at least one week. On this one I didn’t even come close. My highest mileage over the past four weeks was last week when I did 21.37 miles. But the week before that I only went 14.84 miles. I blame the busy schedule for this one. I had a lot of after work events that had me getting home long after dark. And then this past week I did no walking at all because of the kidney stone.
The one success I had was that I participated in a 5K walk/run in Charlotte a couple weeks ago and beat my best time by about 7 minutes. I was very proud of myself for that accomplishment. I had hoped to come in at under 53 minutes minutes, which would have beat my previous best time of 53+ minutes (which was down from the 71 minutes that The Girl and I clocked when we did the fun run at church in late May). So imagine my shock when I crossed the finish line at just over 46 minutes!
The other success came in the form of a complete physical, something I haven’t done in at least 9 years (I’m not typically one for going to doctors, except for childbirth and kidney stones). I was worried what my lab work results would be, but was happy to see that all is well! My glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and all the other things they test are at good, healthy levels!
So what’s next for me? New goals for September 8-October 8.
Weight loss: I’ll set an 8 pound goal for the month again, knowing that once I begin going to the gym (yes, I joined – will start going next weekend once it opens) I can work out even after it gets dark and get in more exercise than I currently get. Also, I hope that this last bit of weight I gained this week falls off and jumpstarts another quick few weeks of loss as we head into fall.
Exercise: As for an exercise goal, that’s a tough one. I could make a goal to work out 7 days a week, but I know that won’t happen since we’ve got a couple family road trips coming up in September. I suppose I will make a distance goal again – aim for that elusive 25 miles a week again and see if I can get it done this time.
So last month I posted that I had a couple weight loss goals for July 8 – August 8, and promised to update you on my progress. Who knew that an entire month would go by and I wouldn’t post at all on Cootiehog during that time about ANYthing. Sorry about that.
But in my defense, summer was in full swing this past month, which meant the kids going to camp in Asheville for a week, Denis and me hitting the road to see The Monkees play a show in Raleigh (10th row center and they were fabulous), and all kinds of other miscellaneous mischief.
In addition to that, I continued to work on the new me. So let’s catch up on the past month and see how I did, shall we?
Goal #1: Lose 9 pounds between July 8 – August 8. It has been a really great month, and not only did I meet the goal (which, frankly, I did NOT think I’d reach), but I crushed it, losing a total of 12 pounds this past month. Yep, you read that right. Twelve. Pounds. No one was more shocked than me! I figured my weight loss would slow down once my body got used to the new food intake quality and quantity. But no, it continued to be baffled and it was fun watching the scale continue to move in a big way every week this past month.
As such, my total weight lost since June 8 is now 28 pounds. And no, I’m not starving myself in order to lose weight. Trust me when I say I eat my daily number of Weight Watcher points each and every day, and sometimes even eat more than my daily allotment if I’m splurging over the weekends. I chalk up my success thus far to the amount of exercise that I’m doing this time around (which I didn’t do last time I tried to get healthy).
Speaking of exercise…
Goal #2: To be able to comfortably walk 6.2 miles by August 8. I can report that I accomplished this goal on Friday, August 2, and it was strictly by accident. For the two weeks leading up to this walk I had been doing 4 miles, 5 miles – but not actually gone 6.2 miles. I knew I could do it, but just hadn’t yet. Anyway, I went out for a walk that night with the intention of walking 5 miles, but when I got to the 2.5 mile point where I would normally turn and head back home, I decided to continue walking up to the next stoplight on my route. Little did I know that stoplight was another 1/2 mile away! When I reached the intersection, my running app chimed to let me know I was now 3 miles from the house. I knew at that point I had pretty much reached my goal.
But not only that, this walk was different from the rest I had done up to that point because I did walking/jogging intervals the entire time. What that means is that I walked 1/2 a mile, jogged 1/2. Then walked half, jogged half. So not only did I go 6.2 miles, but half of those were walking, the other half were jogging.
I felt good when the walk was done, but boy were my glutes sore in the morning. And the next day. But I still forced myself to to walking on those two days if only to loosen my stiff joints (I only walked ~3 miles on each of those walks).
So it’s now time to look ahead to the next month, and what goals I can set for August 8 – September 8.
Weight loss: 8 pounds. I’m not delusional enough to think that I could lose in the double digits again. But I’d be happy with ~2 pounds a week.
Exercise: My top weekly mileage since June 8 has been 25.75 miles in a week’s time. Another week I did 23+ miles. I’d like to get that up to 25 miles EVERY week from August 8-September 8, and have at least one of those weeks be 30 miles total. Of course, the weather will have to cooperate (we’ve had more rain this past month than I care to comment upon), but that’s what I’m hoping for.
In other news, the fake wedding band I’ve been wearing since I gave birth to Cootieboy in 2004 is now too big, and I’m now wearing a smaller temporary ring until my real one fits again. Knowing how thin I was when I got engaged, it’ll be a while before the old one fits again, but it’s nice to know I’m getting closer.
Also, Denis and I are considering joining a gym so that we have alternatives. Right now he just uses the elliptical we have in our bedroom, and I walk outside. However, I’d like a place to go when it’s rainy, and I’m sure he’d like to do something other than the elliptical every time. I’m in the process now of negotiating a price that we’re willing to pay to join. So with any luck by September 8 I’ll be going to the gym in addition to just walking (the bonus of joining the gym is that I will no longer have to put up with bugs divebombing my face during my walks – I cannot WAIT for non-flying bug winter to arrive)!
So there you have it. See you in September!