Friday, 25 July 2008

I'm really excited to report that my honey has won a literary prize for unpublished writers which apart from receiving a nice fat check means that he will have one of his four book manuscripts published next year.

We went to the award ceremony yesterday for all the short listed writers and it was very nerve wrecking waiting for the winner to be announced. They were 11 writers short listed from hundred of entries all hoping to win the prize. The MC started by introducing/announcing the runners up from no. 11 and moving forward. Idiot that I am sometimes, I got a little lost with what was happening and when they got to the 2nd runner up and my honey's name hadn't been called, I felt so sad for him and was thinking that I was going to have to do a lot of consoling and shoring up when we got home. I was therefore completely caught off-guard when they actually announced him as the winner. We were the only two people in the room sitting (cowering to one side of the room is more accurate) during the awards, so poor bloke had to struggle to his shaky feet and try to propel himself through a ton of people.

He gave a really lovely acceptance speech talking about always wanting to be a writer and having given up a lot for his dream and how gratifying it was to finally be recognised. It was a really amazing moment.

I am especially proud of him because we've been together for a good part of his journey and I know how hard he works. Here's a little synopsis of his story, after he graduated from Oxford with a very impractical history degree he knew he wanted to write as a career but wasn't sure how to go about it and needed to start earning money, so he took a job with Citigroup, which trained him to be a corporate banker and after a couple of years in London transferred him to Citigroup's Wall Street office in New York.

This is where we met and clicked because among other things we were both creative types who were out of place in that environment. I actually was just passing through on my way to graduate school and encouraged him to chuck banking and do the one year masters in Journalism at Columbia University. He eventually did it and that turned out to be a fantastic program for him because it got him into the discipline and habit of writing.

When he graduated he went to work for the Wall Street Journal. He loved working with them but financial writing was not exactly what he had been yearning to do and during his third year with them, he would get up at 5am every morning and write for two hours before he went to work. Doing this he finished his first novel in a little more than a year. After that he decided that he wanted to dedicate himself to writing fiction. We moved back to London and he took a job as a temp working three 12 hour shifts a week and using the remaining four days of the week to write and send out his writing to try to get it published.

Like all writers, actors, artists he has known some serious rejection and I know many times he looked at the downward trajectory of his life from corporate banker to temp and felt like a victim of his own delusions but he kept his head down and pressed on and now he is at the beginning of what I hope will be a long and fruitful career for him.

I won't tell you much about his book here but if I'm still blogging when it comes out next year, I'll definitely announce it.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ok, so I HATE exercise. I really really really do.

After that conversation I had with my new doctor a few weeks back, I reached a deeper level of acceptance regarding the role exercise plays in maintaining good health and staving off certain lifestyle illnesses but that didn't make me more eager to exercise though of course it did light a fire under my ass.

When I was looking at the best place to fit exercising into my day, it was clear to me that my problem with exercise was not that I lacked the time to do it, but rather that I lacked the will and that lack of will manifests itself in start stop start stop behaviour.

Now having said this I know it is possible for me to exercise consistently because when I maintained a healthy weight over a 10 year period, I used to run for 1/2 hour 5 days a week and that worked really well for me. Now I can't run anymore because my knees can't take the pounding but I'm now trying to make exercise as non-negotiable as I did back then.

The way I'm trying to think of it is the same way I approach my other self care rituals like brushing my teeth, showering etc. I don't do these things because I like them, I do them because my parents taught me to do them when I was very young and they became a habit before I knew how important they were. Just as I would no more think about leaving home without brushing my teeth, I'm working to make exercise a thing I wouldn't think of starting my day without doing first.

I am now moving towards the end of week three of my new exercise regime. Some mornings, like this one, it takes superhuman strength for me not to blow off exercising, but I do notice that every time I don't give in to this impulse, it makes blowing it off the next morning less likely.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

This is not a swan song by any means, but I have not been at all motivated to blog for quite a while now. Whenever I think of blogging, I just experience it as a drag, which contrasts greatly to when I first began to blog. Then I was a very enthusiastic blogger and commenter.

I thought blogging was going to be the magic weight loss bullet, that my fear of public failure would help to keep me motivated in losing the weight. Well I am coming up next month on the one year anniversary of having started this blog and I am almost in the same place I started in. So much for that idea.

The only reason I haven't just given up the whole blogging thing is because I've met such really wonderful people from around the globe and feel like I'm part of a loose knit community of people who are all struggling to achieve the same goals: weight loss and better health. I want to keep that communication going and I fear that if I stop blogging, I'll stop reading blogs as well and lose connection with all the great people I've gotten to know. So I press on and hopefully will be blogging more than once a week again.

So what's going on for me today? I'm really HATING being overweight. It makes me feel less than. I have been trying to lose weight on and off since January 2005 and haven't gotten pass 179lbs./81kgs before I go back to the 190s. While I was on the elliptical trainer this morning I was wondering what all the years of obesity and yo-yoing have done to my health. I wonder if my inability to be responsible with my diet and exercise has shortened my life span. I wonder if I will ever lose weight or if by my yo-yoing I've locked my body into some sort of weight loss purgatory. I know that I have not been consistent in my weight loss efforts but, when I am consistent I seem to reap minuscule results which simply demoralise me.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Thank you all for checking in on me and for all your wonderful supportive comments. Sorry I've been away for so long. I taught my last class for summer school yesterday and now I am FREE from teaching until mid-September!!! Yeah!!! I love teaching but I also LOVE my breaks from it.

Now I can focus exclusively on working in my studio for the next two weeks until my niece arrives on the 30th August to spend a month with me. She's been coming to visit me during the summer since she was 5 (she's now 8) and I love having her.

Things have been going really well on the food and exercise front. I have been working out consistently for about 1 hour 5 days a week doing a combination of stretching, weights and the elliptical trainer. I'm trying to make that hour of exercise at the beginning of my day as non-negotiable as my daily meditation and so far so good. My food was a little rocky at the beginning of the month but things settled down last week and I now have a good rhythm going there as well. I haven't gotten on the scale recently but I love the way my clothes are fitting again.

Well that's all for now, I'm off to do some visiting since it has been way too long since I've visited my favourite blogs.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

I have just had an appointment with the nicest, kindest, most compassionate, most caring, most efficient, most beautiful doctor I have even met in my life. LOL!!! REALLY!!!

As mentioned before I have been very angry and bitter about my health care. I have a great dentist and eye doctor but have had seen a bunch of cold, incompetent, 'I don't know a fuck and don't give a fuck about you' doctors since we moved to the UK. I kept trying to find a better one in my catchment area, but each was actually worse than the one before.

Then last week, as mentioned in a couple of posts back, I got a recommendation at that weight management meeting I went to and immediately made an appointment for today. I went along this morning. First the receptionist who registered me was warm and friendly, which for me was a good sign since down to the last woman, at all the other practices the desk staff were cold and awful. Then the nurse that did my intake was also warm and friendly ... ohhhh ... I'm on a roll I thought. But none of that could prepare me for this doctor...when my appointment came up, I was escorted upstairs into Dr. W's office.

The minute I entered, she made eye contact, smiled, got up, walked from behind her desk came to me introduced herself and welcomed me. I was floored since the most I've ever gotten in the past is a terse good morning from behind a computer. On top of her warmth and courtesy, she was drop dead gorgeous. She is originally from Greece, is probably in her mid 40s, is about my height but very slim, had a beautiful head of short thick dark glossy hair, a beautiful face and complexion and was dressed like one of the characters from Sex and the City. Not inappropriate, just trendy and hottttt!!! I SWEAR I am not making this up. The overall effect was so stunning that I just blurted out, "oh my God you are SO beautiful and you look amazing!!!

Anyway, she allowed me to talk about all my concerns and issues regarding my health and weight, addressed each one in turn. She examined me physically, ordered blood work, told me she would be in touch if my blood work turned up any red flags and asked me to make an appointment to see her in a month. I have had good doctors before, mostly in the USA, but this woman is head and shoulders above anyone I've ever met. She was caring and compassionate in her response to me, firm when she needed to be, gave me good solid information and has positioned herself as my advocate and support in relation to my weight loss efforts. I was so relieved to find a doctor who cared and was so overwhelmed by her thoroughness, efficiency and compassion that I actually burst into tears towards the end of our session and thanked her a million times before I got out the door. Poor woman, I'm sure she now thinks I'm a basket case ... which come to think about it may not be far from the truth.

Anyway, I now feel so much more confident about my health and am actually optimistic that eventually I will beat this disease of obesity and have a fighting chance of avoiding heart disease, hypertension, diabetes etc.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

I got on the scale this morning and I was 85kgs. That's up 5kgs from when I last weighed two months ago. Yikeees!!! NOT GOOD!!! Nevertheless, I'm not going to get on the pity pot. I'm moving on.

Taking into consideration my lifestyle, I've restructured my food to have my heaviest meal in the morning, a moderate lunch and light portable dinner. My exercise routine for now consists of stretching, light weights and the elliptical for half an hour 5 days a week. I'm also going to weigh myself once a week ... every Tuesday morning. Maybe this will keep me more focused.

On y va!!!